How to restore older versions of iOS apps

It's not easy, but you can restore old versions of apps on iOS.

Usually, an app update is a good thing. But sometimes, things go wrong: An update does the opposite of what you expect it to do. In that scenario, you want to roll your apps back, but unfortunately, at least on the iOS and Mac App Stores, Apple makes that seemingly impossible.

But it isn’t impossible — just a little tricky. Here’s how to roll your iOS apps back to an older version when things go wrong.

Over on Medium, Kenny Yin posted a list of instructions on how to legally download any previous version of an App Store app through iTunes.

There’s a lot of steps, so we’ll let you check it out there. But if you’d rather follow a video walkthrough, Jeff Benjamin  has put together a useful explainer of the process.

This isn’t a process most people will need to undertake, but in the off chance you’ve installed an update that has broken your workflow, this could be a real lifesaver.

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Apple removing hundreds of App Store apps as advertising SDK found to collect sensitive user data via private APIs

Code analytics platform SourceDNA has found hundreds of apps on the App Store that used private APIs to collect private user data, like email addresses and device identifiers, slipping under Apple’s radar in the approval process. The code got into these apps through the inclusion of a mischievous third-party advertising SDK, which secretly stored this data and sent it off to its own servers.

Apple has now verified the SourceDNA report and is removing all of the apps that included the advertising SDK from the store, as using private API calls is a breach of App Review Guidelines. Apple has also patched its approval processes to prevent any more apps that use this technique to make it onto the App Store.

The SDK under examination comes from a Chinese advertising company, Youmi. SourceDNA used its own binary search tools to find 256 apps that included the unscrupulous SDK, which have received over a million downloads in total.

The SDK used a variety of techniques and APIs to collect identifying personal information it shouldn’t normally be able to. This includes serial numbers, peripheral serial numbers, lists of installed apps and obtaining the user’s Apple ID email. The analytics company speculates Youmi became more confident with its methods over time, slowly adding more and more data collection code over a two-year span.

In this instance, almost all of the offending apps were targeted at the Chinese market. However, given that evasion of Apple’s app review process has been going on for many months, SourceDNA is concerned that there may be other cases of similar bad behavior already on the App Store, as yet undetected.

This is Apple’s full statement on the matter.

“We’ve identified a group of apps that are using a third-party advertising SDK, developed by Youmi, a mobile advertising provider, that uses private APIs to gather private information, such as user email addresses and device identifiers, and route data to its company server. This is a violation of our security and privacy guidelines. The apps using Youmi’s SDK have been removed from the App Store and any new apps submitted to the App Store using this SDK will be rejected. We are working closely with developers to help them get updated versions of their apps that are safe for customers and in compliance with our guidelines back in the App Store quickly.”

Protect yourself from massive iOS security breach.

False versions of Xcode may have gotten into your apps; here's how to fix the problem.

Apple has now been affected by the worst security snafu in iOS history when it found that hundreds of apps, mostly in the Chinese App Store, have malicious code in them, called “XcodeGhost.”

Apple’s pulled the affected apps from the App Store to contain the security breach, but you’ll still need to take a few more steps to make sure your iOS devices aren’t affected. Here’s what you need to do.

The otherwise legit apps were infected by developers who used a counterfeit version of Xcode from Chinese file-sharing service, Baidu, since it was faster to download than the official Apple version of Xcode. Doing so, however, caused the bad code to proliferate and cause this massive iOS security breach.

Since Apple doesn’t allow access to any API’s that a security company would need to know whether malicious code was in any installed apps, says mobile security firm Lookout, you have to protect yourself manually.

  • First off, keep an eye out for any odd dialogue boxes that show up on your screen. Don’t enter any information without being sure of the source.
  • If you’re running any of the affected apps — delete them and wait for a developer patch.
    • WeChat
    • Didi Chuxing
    • Angry Birds 2
    • NetEase
    • Micro Channel
    • IFlyTek input
    • Railway 12306
    • The Kitchen
    • Card Safe
    • CITIC Bank move card space
    • China Unicom Mobile Office
    • High German map
    • Jane book
    • Eyes Wide
    • Lifesmart
    • Mara Mara
    • Medicine to force
    • Himalayan
    • Pocket billing
    • Flush
    • Quick asked the doctor
    • Lazy weekend
    • Microblogging camera
    • Watercress reading
    • CamScanner
    • CamCard
    • SegmentFault
    • Stocks open class
    • Hot stock market
    • Three new board
    • The driver drops
    • OPlayer
    • Mercury
    • WinZip
    • Musical.ly
    • PDFReader
    • Perfect365
    • PDFReader Free
    • WhiteTile
    • IHexin
    • WinZip Standard
    • MoreLikers2
    • CamScanner Lite
    • MobileTicket
    • iVMS-4500
    • OPlayer Lite
    • QYER
    • golfsense
    • Ting
    • Golfsensehd
    • Wallpapers10000
    • CSMBP-AppStore
    • MSL108
    • TinyDeal.com
    • snapgrab copy
    • iOBD2
    • PocketScanner
    • CuteCUT
    • AmHexinForPad
    • SuperJewelsQuest2
    • air2
    • InstaFollower
    • CamScanner Pro
    • baba
    • WeLoop
    • DataMonitor
    • MSL070
    • nice dev
    • immtdchs
    • OPlayer
    • FlappyCircle
    • BiaoQingBao
    • SaveSnap
    • Guitar Master
    • jin
    • WinZip Sector
    • Quick Save
  • If any of the listed apps is on your iPhone or iPad, change your Apple account password and be wary of any phishing attempts to get it.

 

Some Users Report Touch ID Not Working in App Store in iOS 8.3.

A number of users report that under iOS 8.3, Touch ID does not work for them in the App Store when making purchases. Instead, users are asked to enter their password for purchases.

Some Users Report Touch ID Not Working in App Store in iOS 8.3

Following the release of iOS 8.3 for iPhone and iPad on Wednesday, many users have turned to the Apple Support Communities, Redditand MacRumors discussion forums about Touch ID not working in the App Store on the latest software version. The issue affects multiple iPhone and iPad models, including the iPhone 5s, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and iPad Air2, although the bug does not appear to affect all users.

“I just updated to iOS 8.3 and it completely removed my ability to use Touch ID in the App Store on my iPhone 6,” a Reddit post reads. “It asks for my password for each and every purchase. Is anyone else seeing this? The option to use Touch ID in the App Store is on. I have already tried turning it off and on again to re-enter my password.”

Other users report the same issue when attempting to purchase content from the iTunes store on their Touch ID-enabled device.

I have personally been asked for the password multiple times when purchasing an app from the App Store on my iPhone 6 Plus. When using Touch ID for unlocking my iPhone or for Apple Pay, it works as it should.

While it is normal for the App Store to request a password following a reboot of the device, such as when you update to a new iOS version, it normally reverts to allowing Touch ID for any later purchases.

The bug isn’t preventing anyone from purchasing anything in the App Store or in iTunes, it simply requires you to enter your account password before completing a purchase. As such, this could be considered a minor issue, but an issue nonetheless. Apple has yet to provide comment on the matter.

This is how App Store rankings are manipulated.

App store manipulation photo

On some sites, the photo is being paired with an alleged price list for the services (above), with Tech in Asia reporting that it will cost customers RMB 70,000 ($11,200) to get into the top ten free apps (that’s the option at the top), while keeping it there will cost RMB 405,000 ($65,000) each week. The third column reportedly shows the monthly price for these services, while the fourth gives potential customers a contact number on QQ — a popular messaging app run by Chinese internet giant Tencent.

THE HARD TRUTH IS THAT MOST APPS FAIL

All of this effort and expense might look like a lot of trouble just to get an app into the App Store’s top ten, but for a desperate developer it’s a logical step. Apple is right to boast about how much money is made from the App Store, but the hard truth is that most apps fail. Apple does its best to shine a spotlight on worthy apps, but it’s not like it can put every bit of software in the App Store’s featured section. For a developer whose pride and joy is languishing in obscurity, budgeting for a quick boost up the download charts must be tempting.

Of course, there’s no way to verify these images, but as Tech in Asia notes, a quick search on Chinese e-commerce sites brings up plenty of vendors offering exactly these services. If this isn’t what a App Store ranking farm looks like then we don’t know what is.

App Store responds to freemium haters, features ‘Pay Once & Play’ games with no in-app purchases.

App Store

 As part of Apple’s weekly App Store refresh, the company is currently highlighting iOS games for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch that are paid apps with no in-app purchases. The featured section is notable as in-app purchases have been a source of confusion and frustration for many consumers since their introduction despite being an added revenue source for developers and Apple.

Apple has made a number of moves to help its customers avoid issues that spring from the use of in-app purchases, especially in games, both at the request of various government agencies and on its own.

Most recently, Apple moved to change the way app prices are presented to users in its App Store.

Specifically, apps which were previously accompanied by a download button labeled free began showing labels saying “Get” to avoid presenting “freemium” apps with in-app purchases as totally free to use.

More broadly, Apple has faced class action lawsuits from consumers and disputes with the United States Federal Trade Commission over issues surfacing from the use of in-app purchases within free apps.

The company settled over a lawsuit with the FTC last year despite its position that it resolved issues that potentially made making purchases unintentionally on the App Store. At the time, Apple CEO Tim Cook relayed to the company its actions to protect consumers from making purchases unintentionally in the App Store.

Apple also prominently displays an In-App Purchase explainer at the bottom of the front page of the App Store, added in 2013, which highlights parental controls available in iOS to disable making in-app purchases and more.

While the featured section could become a permanent part of the App Store, Apple often uses the space to for one-off collections of apps without refreshing them.

Aside from issues with accidentally spending and misleading marketing over in-app purchases, though, some customers simply prefer the experience of paying upfront for an app and not worrying about needing to unlock more content later, which this week’s App Store feature also serves to address.

Today in the App Store — the best free apps, new apps and app updates.

App Store

Here are some of the best free apps, app updates and new apps that have landed in the App Store recently. All app prices are USD and subject to change. Some deals may expire quickly, so grab them while you can.

Apps Now Free

App for Instagram – InstaFeed [OS X; Now free, down from $4.99] Experience the best of Instagram today with InstaFeed! Engineered from the ground up, InstaFeed was designed exclusively for Mac OSX. Enjoy the sleek user interface, seamless browsing, quick loading, and its suite of Instagram tools.

DragonLair [iOS Universal; Now free, down from $0.99] [DragonLair] has 60 floors, numerous dungeons, puzzles in each dungeon, and missions will entertain you.

Axe in Face [iPhone; Now free, down from $0.99] Axe in Face – Defense of the Daffodils.

Memly [iOS Universal; Now free, down from $0.99] Put Your Mind to the Test.

KnockClock Alarm [iPhone; Now free, down from $1.99] KnockClock is an innovative alarm clock that lets you snooze/stop the alarm by simply knocking either on the phone or on the surface where it is placed.

Cloud Knights [iOS Universal; Now free, down from $1.99] Cloud Knights is a physics-based action game with an epic fantasy adventure style.

YouPlayer – Playlist Manager for YouTube. [iOS Universal; Now free, down from $1.99] Watch videos like you are used to! Access all videos with YouPlayer – Playlist Manager for YouTube, powered by YouTube!

New and Notable Apps

Hydra – Amazing Photography [iOS Universal; $2.99]Hydra offers innovative photo capture technology, and lets you take beautiful pictures even in the most difficult lighting conditions.

BlitzKeep [iOS Universal; $3.99] BlitzKeep, where pinball meets an RPG!

Updates you don’t want to miss

Fantastical 2 for iPhone – Calendar and Reminders [iPhone; $1.99] The award-winning, best-selling calendar app has been redesigned and reimagined for iOS 8, including new features such as reminders, a new week view, and much more! Version 2.2.3 brings the following changes:

  • Improved search to reduce the chance of unexpected matches
  • Added support for Opera Mini
  • Fixed a problem when editing detached recurring events
  • Fixed an issue where alerts could disappear from the lock screen
  • Various fixes and improvements

Exposure – Photo Filters and Effects [iOS Universal; $2.99] Amazing effects for your photos! Version 1.5 brings the following changes:

  • Before and After videos: Show the original photo and the result with an awesome video that you can share everywhere!
  • Intensity controls: You can now adjust the intensity of each effect, giving even more control over your final photo.
  • New Effects: Old School, Valentine and HDR.
  • New Texture Effects: You can apply textures to part of your photos: Fur, Film, Letterpress, Paper, Concrete, Puzzle, Old Map, Tree, Fabric, Clouds, Rust and Leaf.
  • Bug Fixes and Improvements.