iOS 7 lets you secretly take screenshots in apps like Snapchat

By , Jun 25, 2013


There’s been a lot of talk over the past 24 hours about the many changes in beta 2 of iOS 7. Apple seeded the update to developers yesterday morning, and there’s already been a number of new features and enhancements discovered.

But tonight an alteration was uncovered in the firmware that’s been around since the first release. It’s not clear yet whether it’s by accident or design, but something in iOS 7 has broken the screenshot detection in apps like Snapchat…

MacRumors reports:

“A MacRumors reader sent us a tip on a small change that has gone unnoticed since the first beta was released on June 10. In iOS 7, screenshot behavior has been altered, and as the release notes state, “Active touches are no longer canceled when the user takes a screenshot.” This minor change has a number of implications for several apps that rely on screenshots to notify users of unwanted behavior, such as Snapchat and Facebook Poke.”

Have you ever noticed that you can’t take screenshots while trying to hold a pane like Notification Center halfway open? That’s because when iOS detects you simultaneously pushing the Power and Home buttons, it will cancel active touches.

The thing is, apps like Snapchat rely on this behavior. For those unfamiliar with the messaging app, it requires a user to keep their finger on the screen while viewing incoming photos, thus allowing the app to detect any screenshot attempts.

But in iOS 7, taking a screenshot no longer closes the photo window in Snapchat, meaning no notification is pushed out to the sender when a screenshot is taken. This could end up being devastating for the app, which thrives on its promise of privacy.

It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out—regardless of whether it’s just a glitch or a permanent change. Because either way, Snapchat and other apps are going to have to find a different way to detect screenshots, even if it’s just temporary.

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  • batongxue

    = =

    • Bobby McBobson

      i like your profile picture

      • batongxue

        = =
        He is Ted.

  • Cameron Chao

    Or a flex tweak will do that too.

  • seyss


  • Bobby McBobson


  • Gorgonphone

    why is this a big deal

    • Bobby McBobson

      Because Snapchat is an app that lets you send pictures and the pictures are deleted after 10 seconds. Snapchat lets you know if that person took a screenshot of the picture. But now the person could just take a screen shot of all hehe

      • Gorgonphone

        ohhh okay well am sure this will be tweaked before IOS& release or the app maker will adjust their app..

      • Bobby McBobson

        it would be funny if the problem would not be fixed…

      • Victor

        calm down, it’s not like you’ll get any cool pictures sent

      • Bobby McBobson


      • Bobby McBobson

        i don’t have snapchat.

      • jdjd

        How can you be sure?

  • Bobby McBobson

    I was just thinking if a jb tweak could do that. But ios 7 b2 comes.

    • Ryan Stack

      a jailbreak tweak does do this – phantom – bettersnapchat (I think that’s what it’s called). there are a few

      • Bobby McBobson


  • Joe Plal

    It is true that iOS does not allow you to take a screenshot with the NC partially drawn. But, it is possible to take a screenshot of a zoomed out page, e.g. the mobile version of this page such that the iOS6 grey linen background is visible, by actively holding the zoomed-out image and simultaneously engaging the screenshot.

  • Toby Kazeil

    There is a bug in iOS 7 beta 2 for iPod touch. When you try to delete a weather place, the weather app crashes.

    • Bobby McBobson

      Hopefully it will be fixed

    • jdjd

      Don’t delete weather places. When you do that, the ACTUAL PLACE suffers an earthquake. That’s why the app is crashing.

  • Bobby McBobson

    Snapchat is a HUGE thing at my school. Everybody has it.

  • Markieze Anthony Mitchell

    How do people find out these kinds of things?! Its amazing!

    • jdjd

      You’re easily amazed.

  • Appelpoesss

    Well they do detect this on Android which also doesn’t cancel active touches..

    • John Sklikas

      So? iOS has completely different APIs than Android. This is like suggesting that if something is working on windows it should automatically work on a Mac…

  • This is what happens when you build a whole app that relies on a quirk in the OS that could change at any time.

  • jdjd

    Where’s the follow-up on this?