From MacRumors on Apple tracking you with first-party apps:

For example, according to the researchers, the App Store app continually harvested a wealth of usage data in real time, including user taps, apps searched for, viewed ads, and how long a user looks at any given app. Along with these details, Apple is also allegedly able to gather details typical of device fingerprinting methods, including ID numbers, device model, screen resolution, installed keyboard languages, and internet connection type.

In another example, the Mysk researchers said the Stocks app sent Apple a user's list of watched stocks, stocks viewed or searched for (including timestamps), as well as a record of news articles viewed in the app. This information was said to be sent to a web address via a transmission separate from the iCloud communication necessary to sync user data across devices.

I was of two distinct minds when I read this:

  1. Doesn't Apple need to know 80% of this stuff (what version OS, what phone, etc) when you're on the app store? And if you want to read an article, don't you need to request it? etc etc
  2. Boy, Apple really doesn't dogfood, do they?

Re: 1. -- here's a screencapture from a related YouTube video:

some of the info apple snoops while you're on the app store

That at first seems mostly like fair game info, doesn't it? But if you say "I don't want anyone tracking me," I can understand why you don't want and, what's more, wouldn't expect all of that pushed up into the pipe. As a developer, it'd be nice if Apple had to ask for that info the same as anyone else.

I wonder how much of Apple not truly dogfooding is so they can claim they can't split the software and hardware sides of the house. Because otherwise they really, really should dogfood as if they were any other app maker. Leveling the app-building playfield would improve every user's experience, because Apple could no longer take shortcuts when determining iOS' priorities.

"Oh, we can just grab that data from the OS," would no longer be a strategy, and, "Hey, we lose 90% of our conversion with this modal asking for full hardware info," would be enough for iOS to make those decisions move more smoothly, however that might be.

Oh, in other news, I finally got a Framework laptop. They had the 11th gen i5 refurb come back in stock for $600, and that's about what I'd pay to play around in this world. If there's a 13th gen CPU update next year that I can use, I might "really" shell out then, depending on how quickly and completely I take to Ubuntu. So far, versus my last foray into Linux on the desktop (admittedly over 10 years ago, I believe), it's nice and fast.

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