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We don’t have time to write about every single piece of Apple news that comes our way, and you probably don’t have time to read it either. So each week we take the smaller stories from around the web – things that are interesting, but don’t warrant full articles – and bundle them into a bite-sized package for easy digestion.
Please dig into this week’s Apple bites, and as ever click through to read the full stories if you want to know more.
“Creepy” location tracking
A startling New York Times report shows that a worrying number of apps are logging precise location data for users and, in some cases, selling it to advertisers. Of course, on iPhone, only apps that you have given your express permission to can track your location – but this exposé shows that many developers do much more with that information than is suggested by the pop-up permission request. It’s a stark reminder to only allow location access to trusted apps when there is a clear benefit in doing so. The full article is a long, interesting read – but if you’re short of time there’s a snappier piece on the subject courtesy of Gizmodo.
Google+ data breach
Not for the first time this year, failed social network “Google Plus” has admitted to a data breach. This one is pretty huge, too, with public profile information of over 50 million users inadvertently leaked to developers. Google says the bug that caused the breach has been fixed and no private data was shared, but it’s still pretty worrying. The service is shutting down in April, but if you’d rather jump ship a little sooner, PCWorld advises you delete your account immediately.
Apple Watch ECG testing
After its announcement back in September, Apple is this week putting an impressive new feature live on the Apple Watch Series 4. Users in the U.S. can now perform a basic electrocardiogram (ECG) test on their wrist in under a minute – a consumer first. This functionality is intended to help wearers spot irregular heart rhythms that could otherwise go under the radar. The feature has been tested by Dr. Sanjay Gupta for CNN.
Australian encryption laws
A consortium of tech giants, including Apple, have signed a letter denouncing an “anti-encryption” bill recently passed in Australia which gives the government better recourse to obtain access to encrypted messages. The companies involved in the condemnation say that the bill is inherently flawed and will undermine the security and privacy of Australian citizens.
Infinity Blade leaves the App store
The Infinity Blade trilogy, a series of games which raised the bar for 3D hack-n-slash action on a mobile device after its launch in 2011, has been quietly removed from the App Store by its publisher Epic Games. It’s unclear whether this is because the games became too laborious to consistently maintain, or because they’re soon to pop up on the newly-minted Epic Games Store. Either way, you can expect the Infinity Blade itself to appear in Fortnite very soon.