From the Editor’s Desk: It’s been a week full of surprises

Here we are once again, my fellow iMorians: another week of From the Editor’s Desk! I hope you’ve all been sane, safe, and healthy amidst the coronavirus panic mode that the nation seems to be going through.

In the world of Apple, the company has updated its developer guidelines to allow developers to send ads through push notifications, as long as the user has opted-in to receive them. Our own Joe Keller wrote a fantastic editorial piece in response to this new change, and I want to voice some of my own thoughts here.

Honestly, this change is pretty upsetting. I’m already overwhelmed with notifications across my iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Macs, but these are already ones that I’ve opted to receive. I fear that developers may take advantage of this change, and the apps that I’ve chosen to have notifications on will start pestering me with ads, like “Check out our new app!” or something similar. If I’ve opted in for notifications for an app, it’s because I just want to get important information that I shouldn’t miss, whether it’s for personal use or work-related reasons.

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But just because I opt-in doesn’t mean I want to get ads or promotions. The change mentions that users need to “opt-in” via consent language written in the app’s UI, but I’m sure that some developers may get around that somehow, and that’s not cool. Plus, as Keller mentions in his article, a lot of users absentmindedly tap “OK” or “Yes” on things without reading — developers can definitely take advantage of those kinds of folks with this change.

In other news, Konami did a surprise release of Castlevania: Symphony of the Night on both iOS and Android this past week. The game originally came out on the PlayStation in 1997 and is regarded as one of the best Castlevania games in the series thanks to non-linear gameplay and exploration. While many people may be skeptical of playing this with touch controls, there is thankfully support for MFi controllers, including the PlayStation 4 DualShock 4 or Xbox One S controllers. The release of this game is well-timed to go with the release of the latest season of the Castlevania anime on Netflix. Speaking of, I have some catching up to do!

Finally, I want to point out that, thanks to the recent global spread of COVID-19, it’s more important than ever to make sure that you’re keeping your iPhone and other devices clean and germ-free. I mean, did you know that your phone can be 18x dirtier than a public toilet? Yeah, it’s pretty grody. We have a nice guide on how to properly clean and disinfect your phone without damaging it. And if you want to go a step further, you should look into a product like PhoneSoap Pro, which I reviewed over on our sister site, AndroidCentral, this week. It sanitizes your phone or other objects with UV-C lights, which can effectively kill 99.99 percent of bacteria and viruses like the one that causes the flu (influenza).

That’s all for this week!

- Christine Romero-Chan

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