We’ve seen services like Clueful catalog apps that can access our private information, and many of us are familiar with tweaks like Protect My Privacy and Firewall iP that attempt to keep our data secure. But what are our leaky apps actually doing, and what are the real risks?
Unfortunately we don’t have all the answers for you, but you can do some snooping of your own. The most user-friendly tool for inspecting the APIs your actual installed apps can access is built into a popular iOS filebrowser called iFunBox…
I’m not a fan of the ads built into iFunBox itself, but I am impressed by the included ‘App Inspection’ tool. The App Inspection Reports this tool generates provide a thorough list of any app’s capabilities. According to the developer’s website, they’ve focused on APIs which may leak your private information, consume carrier data, and provide an annoying experience.
Of course, not every app which can attempt to access your address book, calendar, cellphone carrier information, OS kernel information, and prompt for in-app purchases will be malicious. The problem is your iPhone doesn’t always tell you when an app is calling for potentially sensitive information, and this gives you a peek at each app’s capabilities. Knowing is the only way to make informed decisions about the apps you use.
You can download iFunbox for Mac and PC from our Downloads section. Here is a brief guide to accessing iFunBox’s App Inspection tool on Mac or PC:
- Open iFunBox, and select the ‘iFunBox classic’ tab to access the file browser.
- If it’s not already connected, plug your iOS device into your computer.
- Next select your device through iFunbox, then open User Applications for a list of your apps.
- Right click on an app you want to inspect, and select ‘App Inspection’ from the right-click menu.
- At this point, iFunBox should generate an App Inspection Report.
Should Apple natively list the API permissions of each app before the software is installed, similar to the permissions page on Android? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.