iOS 7 lets you secretly take screenshots in apps like Snapchat


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.