Apple’s design and aesthetics track record is pretty stellar. The iPhone and Mac are some of the most iconic gadgets ever produced and the company’s minimalist stylings are frequently imitated across the entire tech industry.
That said, not every Apple hardware and software choice has been a winner. Between design gaffes like Antennagate and rushed, glitchy iOS updates, some fans have started to worry Apple products might be more beauty than brains. Tap or click to see why an iOS 13 update broke multitasking.
But if you thought software crashes and poor antenna placements were bad, wait until you hear this latest blunder. The company has updated its rules so third-party apps can show you more ads. Has everyone lost their minds or is this just how tech products will be from now on?
Apple has published an update to its App Store review guidelines for third party apps with some new language surrounding push notifications. According to the changes, apps will soon be allowed to use push notifications for marketing purposes.
In the near future, your favorite games and shopping apps will have a chance to spam your phone with notifications about promos, discounts and deals. That’s a serious departure from the tidy app experience Apple users are familiar with.
Don’t the folks at Apple realize we already suffer enough from banner ads in free apps?
Here’s what the language says, specifically:
“Push Notifications should not be used for promotions or direct marketing purposes unless customers have explicitly opted in to receive them via consent language displayed in your app’s UI, and you provide a method in your app for a user to opt out from receiving such messages.”
Translated from legalese, this means that push notifications will be allowable as long as an app gives you the chance to opt in or out for them. Unfortunately, this ignores the fact that many apps simply ask for you to enable push notifications the first time you boot them.
Less tech-savvy users won’t even know what they’re agreeing to should these changes take place. But that’s more or less why details like this are hidden in places like user agreements and terms of service documents. Tap or click to discover an app that reads these documents for you.
How can I stop this change from taking place?
Unfortunately, this change isn’t one being made to your operating system, it’s a rule change for app developers. Thankfully, the rules do state you’ll only receive notifications if you opt in, and apps must include an option to opt out.
As we mentioned above, you can avoid running into issues should you opt out the first time you use an app. But if pre-existing apps update and start to send annoying notifications in the future, you can easily access the notification settings by opening Settings >> Notifications >> the offending app. Tap the icon and turn off Allow Notifications.
While it’s nice that Apple is giving us an out from this annoying policy, it’s a pain we have to deal with it at all. Then again, advertising is what makes the tech world go round. Tap or click here to see how to limit what advertisers can see about you on Facebook.