or Connect
AppleInsider › Forums › Mobile › iPhone › Virgin Atlantic unveils new airport terminal experience powered by Apple's iBeacon
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Virgin Atlantic unveils new airport terminal experience powered by Apple's iBeacon - Page 2

post #41 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blah64 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post
I really don't know why this is such a hard concept.
.....
The mention of the hash was a future option from Apple to allow the addition of an MD5, SHA-1 or similar cryptographic hash function that can be stored for each node, and the app (or a connected server) so it can be verified.


I fully understand the general scheme of how beacons work (though that was actually a very good description on your part, perhaps the most concise that I've read, but I'm also not a fan of any location-tracking tech, so I admittedly have not read a lot).

What I'm talking about here that you're apparently not getting, is that afaik there is no protection against impersonating Beacon IDs. That's what I think/thought you were referring to with the hash, so I'm just echoing your initial concern. Unless I'm mistaken about this, it could be a problem in the future. As for the potential magnitude of the problems this might cause, maybe "huge" is a stretch if we're only thinking about the obvious right now, but any time there is potential for abuse, miscreants will find a way to do so to the maximum extent possible. And as I stated earlier, I think it's fixable, so I'm not super concerned about it.

If there are protections against impersonating beacons, I'm happy to be corrected. Otherwise, I guess we can just disagree on the magnitude of potential for abuse.


Quote:
How will they be able to collect data when they are not running? They are not running!


This part you're wrong about. I said:

Quote:
The aspect that's most troublesome to me about the beacons is that apps are still able to collect data when they're supposedly not running.


Not the emphasized "supposedly". When someone hard-quits an app and it's not active, nor in their tray, the expectation is that app is not running. Like full-stop not running. Unless someone is a techie (tiny minority), they are not going to understand that these apps are actually still active in the background even when they're not in the tray. That's not cool, no matter how minor an issue it might be, and it kind of reeks of google-esque behavior, even though I don't think Apple is doing it for the same kind of reasons google and facebook and their ilk pulls their crap.

Gatorguy was kind enough to point out this conversation:
http://beekn.net/2014/03/apple-ios-7-1-launches-major-ibeacon-improvement/

in which the author clearly considers this as an "improvement". Most of the developers appear to be excited (devs love new tech), but the last couple comments (not me! I just saw this article) have the same problems with it that I do.

Quote:
But let's say they are, if you have given any app access to your GPS location, contacts, internet, whatever then you're giving it a lot more access than some very short range BT node that might randomly encounter… but you still need to have installed, location services enabled, and for those node IDs sent to the system to monitor. How are all these checks from the system and the very small range of a BT signal a huge issue, especially when compared to giving an app your actual location, contacts, calendar, and access back to its servers?



Now will Macy's record when you are in contact with their store's nodes? I can't imagine why they wouldn't, but you still will have to have installed their app, location services and app background refresh enabled, BT on, and be next to each node before any of the chain reaction happens to give the Macy's app the small package of data from the node.



Worrying about iBeacons is like worrying about the calories of an extra piece of broccoli but then completely ignoring that you had cheesecake for dessert.


You're mischaracterizing my concerns. I'm VERY concerned about all the other stuff. Far more so than beacons. And no, I am in no way hypocritical, I walk the walk, and it poses more and more challenges as things like location-tracking get embedded into our culture. I do not, and never have, enabled any kind of location services, and in fact take great care in other areas as well, which I won't get into here. A 24/7/365/lifetime surveillance society is where we are headed, and it's pretty disgusting. That's a MUCH bigger problem than silly beacons, but that doesn't mean small issues around the edges shouldn't be addressed. As a Beacon developer stated on that blog:

Quote:

I think this is bad idea. Any app the needs to run in background should be granted that right on the “Background App Refresh” menu. Allowing individual Apps to do so opens security and power consumption issues the average user many not be aware of, especially when they might rightfully assume such privileges are granted on the background app refresh menu. There is no reason to hide this, we need to be forthright with our users!


Ultimately, this is the problem I have. Apple needs to be absolutely forthright and transparent about how stuff works, and a simple setting should be exposed to give users control. A user might choose to install something to give it a quick try, say a Starbucks beacon-enabled app. They decide they don't want to use it now, but maybe they'll keep it around to check it out in the future, so they quit the app and forget about it among the hundreds of apps on page 10 of their phone. AFAIK, with GPS-tracking, when you quit the app, you're no longer providing location data to the app, but with beacons, the app will continue to track this person's Starbucks visits forever. Is this a minor thing? Maybe in the scope of all the other tracking crap that's happening, but it doesn't mean it's wrong to point it out and push for a change.

(My apologies but on iPhone so can't reply to your thorough response with the same completeness.)

1) Don't Apple's guidelines only allow for 10 iBeacon IDs to be saved per app? I don't know if you can swap out beacon IDs as easily as you can with geofence locations, like when choosing your PassBook pass stores, so I don't know how hard of a rule that would be if an app could get your GPS-based location and then swap out new beacon IDs for iOS to look for.

2) The way it reads to me is that the system (iOS) looks for the beacon IDs, just as it has always done with any BT radio signals, and only when an ID matches an ID given to it by an app that also has location services enabled is that beacon ID data ever passed to the app, so only then will the system wake the app if there is a match. It will not mean all beacons will be sent to all apps with location services enabled.

3) I wouldn't mind seeing Enable buttons for the various types of location services for each app in iOS 8 Settings.

4) I'm a firm believer is asking questions and voicing your concerns (which is why I appreciate your comments despite being frustrated with them at the same time. 1smile.gif). My suggestion to you is to email Tim Cook with your concerns, your wishes for more clarity, and perhaps some of the ideas presented in this thread. He may or may not answer you but I am pretty sure it will be read.
Edited by SolipsismX - 5/4/14 at 1:31pm

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

Reply

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

Reply
post #42 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

(My apologies but on iPhone so can't reply to your thorough response with the same completeness.)

Sounds like you could use a big screen iPhone. lol.gif
"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
Reply
"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
Reply
post #43 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post

Sounds like you could use a big screen iPhone. lol.gif

I agree… so long as it's not a much bigger phone.

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

Reply

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

Reply
post #44 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

I agree… so long as it's not a much bigger phone.

Funny how I'm more confident that Apple will get it right than many on here.
"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
Reply
"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
Reply
post #45 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post

Funny how I'm more confident that Apple will get it right than many on here.

I don't think I'd ever consider a 16:9 5.5" phone as I think that display size would be too big even if there was zero bezel.

4.7" seems like it's pushing it. Based on my rough estimates 4.4" with a smaller side bezel would probably be close to ideal.

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

Reply

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

Reply
post #46 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

I don't think I'd ever consider a 16:9 5.5" phone as I think that display size would be too big even if there was zero bezel.

I have a real hard time believing they'll go that big. I'd bet somewhere around 4.6, 4.7. I'm still quite surprised at the popularity of the Note 2, and 3, and I'm even more surprised at how many women have taken to it. TBH I hated my phone at first, but I grew accustomed to it. Btw I typed this entirely with one hand, and I don't have large hands. Yes there's a learning curve, but you'll master it quite quickly.
"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
Reply
"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
Reply
post #47 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

(My apologies but on iPhone so can't reply to your thorough response with the same completeness.)



1) Don't Apple's guidelines only allow for 10 iBeacon IDs to be saved per app? I don't know if you can swap out beacon IDs as easily as you can with geofence locations, like when choosing your PassBook pass stores, so I don't know how hard of a rule that would be if an app could get your GPS-based location and then swap out new beacon IDs for iOS to look for.


2) The way it reads to me is that the system (iOS) looks for the beacon IDs, just as it has always done with any BT radio signals, and only when an ID matches an ID given to it by an app that also has location services enabled is that beacon ID data ever passed to the app, so only then will the system wake the app if there is a match. It will not mean all beacons will be sent to all apps with location services enabled.


3) I wouldn't mind seeing Enable buttons for the various types of location services for each app in iOS 8 Settings.


4) I'm a firm believer is asking questions and voicing your concerns (which is why I appreciate your comments despite being frustrated with them at the same time. 1smile.gif). My suggestion to you is to email Tim Cook with your concerns, your wishes for more clarity, and perhaps some of the ideas presented in this thread. He may or may not answer you but I am pretty sure it will be read.


I'm on a real keyboard, but I need to dial it back a bit too. It's too easy to get too deep; it's obviously a topic I'm passionate about - I truly despise virtually anything to do with tracking and profiling, of any kind. Beacons are just a small part of this, but when Apple makes a change that I think is unnecessarily less-than-transparent, it sticks in my craw a bit. I just expect better from them.

Briefly,

1) If that's true, at least it's better than no limits. Maybe. I am a developer (for many, many years), but very little on iOS (and none at all in the past couple years), so I really haven't dug into the APIs/guidelines.
2) Yes, the bigger issues are not around the actual beacons, but the apps. And the problems I see certainly aren't limited to beacon use.
3) UX decisions about what to expose via preferences are always tough. You don't want to end up looking like the prefs for Handbrake or some of Microsoft's old work ;-), but this is one time where it goes against the grain of what most users will think is happening, so I really think it should be there.
4) I probably won't, for personal reasons, but that's a good idea. Perhaps someone else reading this thread will take that on.

I guess it's probably time to check out on this topic here, as I think it's mostly run its course and I need to get back to work! Until next time...
No Matte == No Sale :-(
Reply
No Matte == No Sale :-(
Reply
post #48 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blah64 View Post
 
Ultimately, this is the problem I have. Apple needs to be absolutely forthright and transparent about how stuff works, and a simple setting should be exposed to give users control. A user might choose to install something to give it a quick try, say a Starbucks beacon-enabled app. They decide they don't want to use it now, but maybe they'll keep it around to check it out in the future, so they quit the app and forget about it among the hundreds of apps on page 10 of their phone. AFAIK, with GPS-tracking, when you quit the app, you're no longer providing location data to the app, but with beacons, the app will continue to track this person's Starbucks visits forever. Is this a minor thing? Maybe in the scope of all the other tracking crap that's happening, but it doesn't mean it's wrong to point it out and push for a change.

 

Apple cannot explain this all to users as it is just too complex. The simple answer is that if you don't want the Starbucks app to track your location via any means including iBeacons, do not enable it to use location services. If you don't want it to be able to do stuff in the background, don't enable background refresh for the app. 

 

Apple puts a little icon on the system bar when location services are being used. You can go to the location services section of settings and see what apps are enabled for location services and which of those applications has accessed location data within the last 24 hours. Apple is actually doing a very good job of giving this stuff user visibility and as detailed as it needs to be level of control.

post #49 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phone-UI-Guy View Post

 

Apple cannot explain this all to users as it is just too complex. The simple answer is that if you don't want the Starbucks app to track your location via any means including iBeacons, do not enable it to use location services. If you don't want it to be able to do stuff in the background, don't enable background refresh for the app. 

Apple puts a little icon on the system bar when location services are being used. You can go to the location services section of settings and see what apps are enabled for location services and which of those applications has accessed location data within the last 24 hours. Apple is actually doing a very good job of giving this stuff user visibility and as detailed as it needs to be level of control.



I think you missed some of the conversation above. You say "don't enable background refresh for the app", but the point being discussed is that iOS 7.1 changes the behavior of apps, so it doesn't matter if the user has that enabled or not, the app will still listen for beacons in the background. That's unexpected (wrong) behavior.

From the article: But with iOS 7.1 your application will listen for beacons even if it was hard closed. The user can still opt out by turning off “location permission” under settings, can turn Bluetooth off, or can delete your app entirely.

It's a subtle point, and it appears users can take extra steps to prevent the app from using any location-related services, but as is, the OS is doing something unexpected behind the scenes, and that's not cool. Requiring someone to completely disable bluetooth is unreasonable in most cases, as is deleting an app entirely when you might want to occasionally use its location services. There is the mostly reasonable option of disabling location services entirely for a given app, but users currently understand that when you hard-quit your app it's completely off, and it's not supposed to be doing any more location tracking. That is misleading at best, and needs to be very clearly transparent to users, either by heavy education or with an option to change that behavior back to a more reasonable one.
Edited by Blah64 - 5/5/14 at 5:15pm
No Matte == No Sale :-(
Reply
No Matte == No Sale :-(
Reply
post #50 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blah64 View Post

I think you missed some of the conversation above. You say "don't enable background refresh for the app", but the point being discussed is that iOS 7.1 changes the behavior of apps, so it doesn't matter if the user has that enabled or not

Right from Apple's developer site:

Quote:
Before attempting to monitor any regions, your app should check whether region monitoring is supported on the current device. Here are some reasons why region monitoring might not be available:

  • The device doesn’t have the necessary hardware to support region monitoring.
  • The user denied the app the authorization to use region monitoring.
  • The user disabled location services in the Settings app.
  • The user disabled Background App Refresh in the Settings app, either for the device or for your app.
  • The device is in Airplane mode and can’t power up the necessary hardware.

So how can you say "it doesn't matter if the user has that enabled or not."
Quote:
the app will still listen for beacons in the background.

Again, and for the final time, apps don't listen for beacons, the system does.

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

Reply

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

Reply
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: iPhone
  • Virgin Atlantic unveils new airport terminal experience powered by Apple's iBeacon
AppleInsider › Forums › Mobile › iPhone › Virgin Atlantic unveils new airport terminal experience powered by Apple's iBeacon