Zoom has become one of the leading video conferencing app used by millions during the COVID-19 pandemic. It has become a must-have application for students and businessmen alike since even the most mundane tasks have moved to the virtual world.
During these past few months, Apple seems to be on a mission to protect its users from privacy violations by releasing the App Tracking Transparency feature which forces developers to ask permission from users before tracking them or collecting data. The Silicon Valley-based company seems to be determined to prevent data violations however recent reports about the company’s favoritism with Zoom show that there are exceptions to their crusade.
This particular detail was bought to attention by app developer Jeremy Provost, who, in a blog post, explains that Zoom uses a special API that allows the app to continue using and accessing the iPad camera while the app is being used in Split View mode. This “special access” enables developers to execute other particular capabilities with the API as well.
It is worth noting that Apple publicly documents the ability for developers to apply for several different entitlements, such as ones related to CarPlay, HomeKit, and much more. Nevertheless, the special API access that has been granted to Zoom, is not offered to any other app developers by the tech giant. The special permission is not publicly acknowledged by the company as well.
On the Zoom Developer Forum, a staff member for the video conferencing platform had confirmed earlier in February that Zoom has access to the “com.apple.developer.avfoundation.multitasking-camera-access,” or iPad Camera Multitasking entitlement.
Due to Zoom’s access to the special API, now when a user puts the video conferencing app into Split View mode, the video call will no longer go dark and the app will be able to access the iPad’s camera even while using other applications.
This new development does not help the video conferencing giant since it is in a fierce legal battle with Epic games over holding unfair and anti-competitive control over the App Store and the distribution of apps on iOS devices.
The trial between the two tech conglomerates begins on May 3. Amid, the entire legal battles critical evidence which includes email correspondence between Apple executives and employees have revealed that Apple has previously granted certain developers, such as Hulu, access to APIs unavailable to other developers. This will be a huge blow for Apple since it considers itself the pioneers of data privacy rights and is often at odds with Facebook. As for now, nothing much can be said about the situation until the trial proceeds further.
Apple has finally released its controversial App Tracking Transparency Feature. Since the feature is still being rolled out it is unclear how well it is working or how it has been implemented. Apple has not yet released any statements regarding the feature or explained how it is dealing with developers that have refused to comply with the new changes. The feature was launched with the iOS 14.5 update. However, it is worth mentioning that there seem to be issues with the feature, some Apple device users have upgraded to their devices. The App Tracking Transparency feature toggle has been grayed out for a few users and there is no clear indication of what might be the issue. Users have gone to social media sites to voice their concerns but as of now, there seems to be no solution or statement provided by Apple.
Furthermore, amid the pandemic there seems to have been a rise of utility apps such as notes, data transfers, workout apps, gallery cleaner, and pill reminders, Due to people being confined to their households, the need for such apps has greatly increased, People have started looking for digital solutions even for the most mundane tasks. This has also meant that the tech companies have been innovating at a rapid pace and have released some fascinating applications such as delivery applications by grocery stores.
My name is Mukesh Jakhar and I am a Web Application Developer and Software Developer, currently living in Jaipur, India. I have a Master of Computer Application in Computer Science from JNU Jaipur University. I loves to write on technology and programming topics. Apart from this, I love to travel and enjoy the beauty of nature.