The Signal: Are Apps Eavesdropping?

The Apps Have Ears: Many apps use the microphone, allowing the user to discover what song they’re listening to, what show they’re watching, and more. But how many apps are listening without you knowing? On Android, all apps have to disclose what features they’re using, but that’s not the case on the iPhone. Apps like Color and ShopKick listen to your surrounding for sound patterns and there’s a flood of information supplied by that, even down to your gender. Feel violated? I do. Computer World


Square Endorsed by Apple: The tiny dongle that plugs into headphone jack of your smartphone and allows you to take credit card payments just got a big push. The device can now be found at Apple stores and online for $9.95 in black and white, with a $10 credit on Square for all who buy it. Founded by Jack Dorsey of Twitter fame, Square has been on a roll, raising $37.5 million in total. Apple endorsing the product is worth whatever the cut will be. Apple


Google Fear Spurs Flipboard Funding: Flipboard’s $50 million funding round seemed a bit much for a company that has a single iPhone app. The reason appears to be that age old fear: Google. CEO Mike McCue explains that the funding is needed to keep ahead when he’s hearing whispers of a “Flipboard killer” in the works at the Googleplex. TechCrunch


iPhone for Pictures, Cameras for…?: Flickr forecasts that within the next month, the iPhone 4 will take the lead as the most used device for taking pictures, at least for their service. The current spot holder is the Nikon D90 which is quite a different level of photography than the iPhone 4, but if anything can be taken from this it’s that iPhone users love to snap pictures (Instagram, Hipstamatic, and Camera+ are great examples of this trend). It would be even more interesting to see Facebooks numbers. GSMArena


Playbook Fails Flash: Add another nail to the coffin of BlackBerry tablet Playbook. Besides the sleek design and feel, RIM’s debut tablet is continuing to falter. The device, which boldly boasts how well it handles Flash, was put to the test by Wired and came up short. Bogged animation and browser crashing were just some of the first complaints that came from Wired’s review. No app store. No Blackberry-staple features. And now unusable Flash. Wired
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