Monday, September 20, 2021

Record App Activity

Jason Cross:

Apple is always expanding privacy features, and with iOS 15 you have a powerful new tool to find out which apps are accessing your phone’s features and data.


This will record a 7-day summary of exactly when and how often all your apps access things like your microphone or microphone, or which web domains they visit. Just come back to this screen a week later for a full report.

You can even tap Save App Activity to export a JSON file of all the data if you’re into that kind of thing.

Nick Heer:

I’ve just saved four days’ worth of app activity. It’s a 27 MB JSON file. An analysis of this would be wild, I am sure.

John Spurlock:

Want a better way view the json files saved from “Report App Activity” in iOS15 beta privacy settings?

I just published a simple web app that runs locally to slice and dice them.


Update (2021-10-20): Marco Arment:

I analyzed a week’s worth of my phone’s app activity, and it’s pretty surprising how many apps — big and small — send analytics data to Google.

Marco Arment:

Record App Activity isn’t intended to be a user-facing feature.

It’s part of App Privacy Report, which is coming later.

Record App Activity is more of a preview/preparation tool for developers.

Record App Activity is there mostly for devs to make sure we’re setting .attribution on our NSURLRequests to .user when that’s semantically correct. (See docs.)

For instance, I don’t set it when talking to Overcast’s servers, but I do when downloading user-selected podcasts.

3 Comments RSS · Twitter

The don't-call-it-a-hamburger-menu hamburger menu in first screenshot in the Macworld article made me sigh.

Yeah, the new Weather app is nice and clean and all, but how is this user-friendly? I know it's been decades, but where did the Mac's ideals of discoverability go? Why does any of this need to be hidden behind "dot dot dot" if a third of the screen is entirely unused?

(Related: from the folks who brought you "the scrollbar is only visible while scrolling" comes "the scrollbar isn't visible at all" — either that, or my Safari has a bug when scrolling through tabs. I don't see any scroll indicator whatsoever.)

Leave a Comment