We’ve already taken a look at MWC’s hottest devices so far, but what’s going on outside of Mobile World Congress? For starters, Apple’s terminated its push email service, Evi. and texters beware, Facebook’s been caught accessing user texts via their mobile phone app.
Because of Motorola Mobility’s win against Apple over patents regarding the push email functions, Apple’s had to rework some features on the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad; they’ll now need to open the Mail app to access new messages.
A report from Computerworld states that, “Apple advised MobileMe and iCloud users in Germany to reconfigure their iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch to pull new e-mail to their device rather than waiting for it to be pushed.”
“Users of the iCloud service will continue to have new contact and calendar information pushed to their device from their iCloud account, and e-mail too will be pushed as soon as the user moves outside Germany, Apple said.”
“For users of the MobileMe service, however, the block on push updates will also affect contacts and calendars — and once they have checked their MobileMe mail from inside Germany, then push updates will be disabled indefinitely, even after they leave Germany, Apple said. The only ways around this are to convert the MobileMe account into an iCloud account, or not check MobileMe mail while in Germany, the company said.”
Last month, SiliconANGLE ran a feature on the latest wave of Siri-like apps, which included True Knowledge’s Evi, a talking app with personality. Though Evi doesn’t have the task-added functions of Siri such as calendar integration, Apple decided it was too similar to Siri, pulling it from the App Store.
According to a report, Apple representative Richard Chipman told True Knowledge that they’re pulling the plug on Siri, citing number 8.3 in the App stro T&Cs – “Apps which appear confusingly similar to an existing Apple product or advertising theme will be rejected” as the reason for doing so.
True Knowledge CEO William Tunstall-Pedoe said that, “I don’t think it takes too much of a leap of the imagination to realise that ‘confusingly similar’ is code for ‘competitive with’ – and that all the user and press reviews along the lines of ‘now you don’t need to buy a 4S – you can download Evi’, ‘better than Siri’ etc. have resulted in a change of heart from Apple about allowing its users to get the app.”
And rumor has it, Apple is dropping the 30-pin dock connector in future iOS devices for a smaller component, making roon for a larger battery as well as other additional parts. And it looks like Apple is looking to wireless charging technology for upcoming iOS devices.
Continuing an expose trend kicked off by The Wall Street Journal’s findings on Google’s browser-tracking behavior on iOS devices, The Sunday Times calls Facebook out for snooping. Facebook’s been caught accessing users’ text messages through their mobile app, but the social network vehemently denies allegations, releasing the following statement:
“Facebook is currently running a limited test of mobile features which integrate with SMS functionality. SMS read/write is not currently implemented for most users of the mobile app. As part of this test, we declared the presence of that functionality within our app store permissions starting with the 1.7 version of our application.
If Facebook ultimately launches any feature that makes use of these permissions, we will ensure that this is accompanied by appropriate guidance/educational materials.”
It’s the latest in a string of privacy-irking developments from the major web services in recent weeks, a camp that includes Google, Apple and others. It’s gained the attention of consumers and legislators alike. Facebook, Google, Microsoft and several other tech companies recently agreed to require privacy policies from software makers, adding a new layer of protection for mobile app users.