Another day, another iOS developer in hot water for playing fast and loose with user data. This time it’s Path, a favorite of the MacLife.com team — but fear not, the sky isn’t falling, as you’ll discover from reading onward. It’s otherwise been a moderately quiet day on the Apple home front, so we’ve collected a few related tidbits from competitors like Google Android and Research in Motion to keep you entertained for this Tuesday, February 7, 2012.
Privacy Gaffe Exposed in Path for iOS App
We’re big fans of Path here at MacLife.com, which is why it’s disheartening to find out that the iOS app quietly uploads your address book to its servers — including names, emails and phone numbers. The privacy gaffe was first discovered by Arun Thampi and detailed on his Mclov.in blog, which explains how the Path app pushes your address book data as a plist file, without your express permission to do so. “I don’t remember having given permission to Path to access my address book and send its contents to its servers, so I created a completely new ‘Path’ and repeated the experiment and I got the same result — my address book was in Path’s hands,” Thampi explains. Now, before you rush to delete the otherwise excellent Path app from your iOS device, the developer isn’t using this information for anything nefarious — in fact, Path co-founder and CEO Dave Morin rushed to explain the company’s decision “in order to help the user find and connect to their friends and family on Path quickly and efficiently as well as to notify them when friends and family join Path. Nothing more.” That said, Path is changing the behavior with a forthcoming 2.0.6 update pending App Store approval, which allows users to opt-in (the Android client has already been updated for this).
Google Introduces Chrome for Android
Rocking an Android device with Ice Cream Sandwich (otherwise known as 4.0)? If so, the Google mothership has a bonus treat for you today: Chrome for Android, the search giant’s latest effort to beef up the web browser on its mobile platform. According to the Google Chrome Blog, a beta of Chrome for Android brings a number of desktop browser features to the palm of your hand, with lightning fast speed, a slick new user interface for tabs and the ability to easily sign into your Google account for syncing open tabs, autocomplete suggestions and bookmarks from the desktop version. The only bad news — aside from the absence of Adobe Flash Player — is that you’ll need an Android 4.0 device in order to grab it from the Android Market, which narrows it down to maybe one percent of the folks running the mobile OS (such as owners of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus). But hey, that will change in time… right?
iTunes Connect Now Requires Retina Display Images from Developers
MacRumors is reporting that Apple has notified iOS developers of a new requirement for submitting iPhone and iPod touch apps. Effective immediately, developers will be required to submit screenshots in Retina Display resolution, which are 960×640. The change also affects existing apps, whose screenshots must be upgraded before updates will be approved. “The requirements for high-resolution images are 960 x 640, 960 x 600, 640 x 960, or 640 x 920 pixels,” Apple’s email to developers notes. “Images must be at least 72 dpi, in the RGB color space, and the file must be .jpeg, .jpg, .tif, .tiff, or .png. You can update your screenshot files at any time in iTunes Connect.” Considering that Retina Display was introduced a year and a half ago with the iPhone 4, the new requirement should come as a surprise to no one — especially considering that the iPad 3 is widely expected to arrive with its own form of Retina Display which effectively doubles the current display resolution.
Roxio Weds Corel, Makes Easy VHS to DVD 3 Plus Baby
Ottawa, Canada-based Corel today announced the completion of its acquisition of Mac and PC software maker Roxio, which includes the popular Toast disc-burning solution. Roxio has been acquired from former owner Rovi Corporation, and the deal includes its entire portfolio of Mac and PC software. Best of all, the newlyweds already have an offspring to call their very own in the form of Roxio VHS to DVD 3 Plus, a new hardware and software product that makes it easy to transfer existing VHS, Hi8 and Video 8 tapes to digital formats, save them to DVD or share via YouTube, Facebook and mobile devices like the iPhone. The new product carries a $69.99 price tag and upgrades are available for owners of previous versions.
BlackBerry App World Claims 60k Apps, More Profitable Than Android
Research in Motion is having a tough time of it these days, but the BlackBerry maker is fighting back with some facts and figures intended to make their platform more appealing to developers — especially those who currently hone their craft on the Android platform. According to PaidContent.org, RIM is kicking off their developer’s conference in Amsterdam with the bold exclamation that its BlackBerry App World is now home to 60,000 apps — up from only 17,000 this time last year — with six million downloads per day and two billion last month alone. While those numbers pale in comparison to Apple’s own App Store — let alone Google’s Android Market — RIM is also claiming that App World is more profitable than Android, with more paid downloads than Android Market. According to RIM VP of developer relations Alec Saunders, 13 percent of their developers have pocketed $100,000 or more, with carrier billing now active in 34 countries. Wake us when RIM releases that new BlackBerry 10 operating system, won’t you?
Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter