Archive for August 24, 2021

Tuesday, August 24, 2021 [Tweets] [Favorites]

Managing Family Sharing Subscriptions

mthoms (via Kosta Eleftheriou):

Most people don’t know this but the “Parent” (read:credit card holder) of a family sharing account can’t see, let alone cancel, any subscriptions a minor on the account has purchased.

Let that sink in for a second. Apple will happily charge the parents’ credit card a weekly recurring fee but there is nowhere in their interface (on device nor on the web) where the parent can even see that subscription.

Apple expects the child to go into their interface and cancel the recurring subscription. Something many (most?) adults find confusing. In my case, the child just deleted the App when the trial was over. Which is of course perfectly logical thinking. No bueno.

Apple says this is for privacy reasons, which doesn’t make much sense since they do e-mail the parent a receipt. So this seems like either a poorly thought out feature or a dark pattern.

dumpsterdiver:

That truly is egregious that they’re hiding that information, and you have to notice it via your bank statement. At the very least the primary account holder should be able to see that an unspecified member of their family account has a subscription to an unspecified service, and have the ability to summarily cancel it.

The statement doesn’t even tell you which child is the subscriber.

Previously:

Update (2021-10-08): Boris Yurkevich:

This was true, however recently I got an email about IAP I made from my sons iPad. Clicking through the “Report a problem” link in the email and logging in with my family organiser Apple ID shows this new message.

Google Voice Drops SMS Forwarding

Google (via Hacker News):

In light of spam causing potential issues with SMS forwarding, text message forwarding to linked numbers will stop on or after August 1.

If you’re using a Google Voice number for 2FA, presumably you can still get the text messages in the app or on the Web.

FlickType Discontinued

FlickType (Hacker News):

It’s with a heavy heart today that we’re announcing the discontinuation of our award-winning iPhone keyboard for blind users.

Apple has thrown us obstacle after obstacle for years while we try to provide an app to improve people’s lives, and we can no longer endure their abuse.

[…]

Last week, we submitted an update that fixes various iOS 15-related issues & improves the app for VoiceOver users. No new features, just improvements. No changes to our App Store page either.

But Apple rejected it. They incorrectly argue again that our keyboard extension doesn’t work without “full access”, something they rejected us for THREE years ago. Back then we successfully appealed and overturned their decision, and this hadn’t been a problem since. Until now.

We tried reaching out to Apple a total of 9 times last week, with no success. At this point they seem to be ignoring our attempts to contact them directly, despite previously explicitly telling us to “feel free” to contact them if we need “further clarification”.

Our rejection history already spans more than FOURTY pages filled with repeated, unwarranted, & unreasonable rejections that serve to frustrate & delay rather than benefit end-users.

Juli Clover:

Eleftheriou previously levied a lawsuit against Apple in March over Apple’s failure to get rid of copycat apps, and he today highlighted Apple’s “terrible” third-party keyboard APIs as another reason for the App’s discontinuation. Apple’s keyboard APIs have reportedly been “buggy, inconsistent, ever-changing, and broken” since 2014.

The Macalope (Hacker News):

Clearly, he has a varying relationship with Apple that has wavered across the spectrum, from at one point being in talks with the company to get acquired[…]

Suing Apple may seem over-the-top on a casual glance but… who else is he going to sue? The makers of those scam apps undoubtedly operate through phony accounts from countries that couldn’t care less about scamming people out of money. Apple is the only one that can do anything about it. And, oh, it happens to run the store it tells everyone is so safe and great.

Previously:

High CPU Use From trustd

Jeff Johnson (tweet, 2):

I’ve heard from several other people who started noticing the same issue yesterday too, one of whom helpfully referred me to this reddit thread with even more reports. On investigation, I found that the nsurlsessiond process was connecting to the server valid.apple.com, and immediately afterward trustd CPU jumped from 0% to 100%. It seems that the issue can be temporarily solved by preventing nsurlsessiond from connecting to valid.apple.com. You may have to reboot or force quit trustd to get its CPU usage back to normal. It’s important to note that this is only a temporary workaround to the CPU usage problem; trustd is an important macOS system process that checks certificate validity and revocation status, so you probably don’t want to block valid.apple.com forever.

I’ve been seeing long periods of high CPU use from trustd since Catalina.

My postmortem theory is that at some point Apple had some bad data in their Certificate Revocation List online, everyone downloaded the bad data, and then trustd got stuck. Anyway, it looks like blocking valid.apple.com is no longer necessary after removing and regenerating the valid.sqlite3 database.

To delete the database you need to reboot into macOS Recovery, and then find the SQLite file on the main boot drive, not at the recovery’s /private/var/protected/trustd/.

The problem is also seen on iOS, though it’s not clear how to fix it unless your device is jailbroken.

Previously: