Wednesday, September 21, 2016

iOS 10.0.2 Concerns and App Store Malware

I’m really starting to wonder what is going on at Apple, Inc.. Allowing malware to propagate through the App Store? Who in the world decided that the Shuffle and Continuous Play buttons should be removed from the Music App? I’m trying to play my music and I’m now stuck listening to each song individually? And the Music app no longer plays in the background? I sort of understand why Apple blocks all other apps from playing music in the background but doesn’t Apple own the Music App on the iPhone? They must have removed the background music play feature to satisfy some judge or EU antitrust commissioner.

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Now I understand there is probably some very, very logical reasons some geek in Palo Alto decided to get rid of or hide the background play or Shuffle features. But I’m less and less interested in an Operating System that slowly strips away the features I and I suspect millions of other users once enjoyed. I’m just guessing that other Music App users liked Shuffle or the ability to listen to songs while playing a game or writing.

In the end I realize a kid still living in his parent’s basement, with hundreds of hours available to just study her iPhone, will discover a workaround or the deeply hidden menu setting, three levels down, that re-enables the Background Music option. I have no doubt Shuffle is hidden, on page 300 of the latest iPhone for Dummies book, under Settings, General, Storage & iCloud Usage, Manage Storage (not the solution) or some such location but some iPhone users actually have a job, a family and other things to do besides seek out every new location for useful features.

I don’t like how my iPhone now turns off my car’s air conditioning every time a GPS app decides to speak some directions. I probably should not have bought a new car but the car works fine, until I do something really crazy like open a GPS App to struggle to find directions to my training site. I literally took a Gazetteer, a large paper maps book, with me on my business trip this week. That’s how terrible Google Maps and Apple Maps have become with the latest updates to the iOS or the app itself. I really don’t have the time to analyze every update to an App or operating system

My iPhone got infected with a virus or malware today. This is a first infection on any Apple product for me, ever, so I’m a bit unnerved today. Something called Everalbum invaded my iPhone, through the Apple App Store, no less. A text from an acquaintance let the beast in and I fought it for nearly an hour. It’s gone but the damage is done. Still have not hard reset the iPhone, after six very technical years at Ma Bell I know how nasty resetting a mobile device or replacing a cell tower can be. I will do so (the phone, not my local cell tower) but not while out of town on business. I’m forced to just turn off Data and use the phone only for SMS and Voice calls until I have the time to repair it.

Yes, I am a corporate and government technology trainer, somebody paid to learn the most complex new tools and hardware and then teach others. And the new iPhone has me crawling the walls, hunting for a simple feature like Shuffle. Or chasing malware, it is starting to remind me of Windows or Android phones. I long for the days when software developers actually conducted User Acceptance Testing before releasing a new or updated application. Those days are over, now they release the product and wait for users to start howling away. Not a good strategy for retaining clients.

UPDATE 9/29/16:  I found the Shuffle feature in the iPhone Music app, but then it disappeared again so I cannot say for certain it is back to stay as a feature. 'Lurking' does not constitute a reliable feature!

The Everalbum malware is still available to download, viciously infect your device and then spam your contact list. Don't believe the ratings, read them closely and you will see they are fake reviews. Apple apparently doesn't monitor app reviews or actual app functionality any more. iPhone users seem to be heading into the Wild West of the Android app store / Google market / or whatever Google calls their crappy app source this week. I'm averse to mobile devices that blow up in my front pocket!

My iPhone's new-found desire to adjust my car's A/C settings, only when I get a call or use GPS, is very unnerving. However autumn has arrived and I enjoy riding with the windows down and the roof open. Perhaps there will be an update before I need to use the heater!

The double-song download issue persists. In the image below you can clearly see Apple Music app's propensity to duplicate downloads. I am surprised Apple has allowed this to go on for so many years:

The red Shuffle All words in the image above do not provide any actual Shuffle control. They are just words on the screen with no function or response whatsoever. I've been exploring alternative music apps from other vendors. I wish the purposeless Love / Dislike buttons allowed an easy app review to be submitted!

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