In today’s mobile news roundup: Crashlytics joins Twitter; Apple releases iOS 6.1; Whatsapp criticized for storing non-user contacts; and Ubuntu phone OS to have terminal application.
Crashlytics joins Twitter
Crashlytics, the mobile apps crash reporting solution is joining Twitter’s team. Since its release, Crashlytics has helped developers find the problem or what’s causing their apps to crash. Developers gained instant visibility as to which line of code caused the crash, which makes fixing it a lot easier.
With the merge, Crashlytics won’t be dissolved by Twitter, as operations will stay the same.
“[W]e’re thrilled to work with the incredible team at Twitter. We share a passion for innovating on mobile and building world-class applications. Joining forces will accelerate our build-out, allowing us to leverage Twitter’s infrastructure to deliver new features faster than ever,” Crashlytics said on its announcement.
Apple releases iOS 6.1
Apple has released version 6.1 of iOS for iPads, iPhones, iPod Touch, and Apple TV. The over-the-air update brings LTE support to 36 additional iPhone carriers and 23 additional iPad carriers, the ability to purchase movie tickets throught Fandango via Siri (US only), iTunes Match subscribers can now download individual songs from iCloud, and a new button to reset the Advertising Identifier.
“iOS 6 is the world’s most advanced mobile operating system, and with nearly 300 million iPhone, iPad and iPod touch devices on iOS 6 in just five months, it may be the most popular new version of an OS in history,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “iOS 6.1 brings LTE support to more markets around the world, so even more users can enjoy ultrafast Safari browsing, FaceTime video calls, iCloud services, and iTunes and App Store downloads.”
In other Apple news, the company is said to readying a cheaper version of iPhone 5 to be released in China later this year. According to iLounge’s Jeremy Horwitz, sources have told him that the cheap iPhone 5 will still look like the original version, but will have a plastic casing to reduce the price of the phone. The design is said to be the cross between the iPhone 5, 5th generation iPod Touch and the the iPod classic. It will have a Retina Display and the new Lightning port for charging and transferring data.
Whatsapp criticised for storing non-user contacts
In a joint investigation from the Dutch Data Protection Authority and the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, it was discovered that messaging app Whatsapp stores contact information of non-users.
The Dutch DPA may take punitive action if the company does not change its practice, while the OPC stated that it would continue to monitor the app. But unfortunately, the OPC does not have the power to issue sanctions, though it believes Whatsapp is breaking local laws.
When installed, Whatsapp asks access to a user’s address book for cross-referencing to determine which of their contacts also use the service. There’s nothing wrong with that part. The problem is, upon checking which of your contacts use the service, Whatsapp doesn’t delete the contacts that don’t use the service, but are instead transformed into a short code and stored. This practice contravenes Canadian and Dutch laws that only permits storing of information “for so long as it is required for the fulfilment of an identified purpose.”
Ubuntu phone OS to have terminal application
In order for users to fully access the power of Linux, the upcoming Ubuntu phone OS will come with a terminal application that would allow users to type in Linux commands.
So what’s the big deal with a terminal application? According to the GitHub Android terminal project “it lets users “access the entire /sdcard file system, and you can install and run Linux command-line applications in the parts of the /data file system that are accessible to the Android Terminal Emulator process. You can also run command-line programs that access the Internet.”
Canonical wants the terminal app integrated with BusyBox, a set of Unix tools. Developers are encouraged to propose designs for the application.