October 16, 2013 Last Updated 8:56 am

Even bait and switch apps need to issue updates for iOS7

Magazine apps from Russian developer offer one title in App Store, another when downloaded and installed

The list of magazines issuing app updates due to iOS 7 is getting longer each day, but one is occasionally surprised to see that even the shady apps are updating to make their apps iOS 7 compliant. One would think they would not risk exposing themselves by issuing updates.

Anastasiya Rudneva is the name of a developer of four Newsstand apps that I have written about in the past. I previously asked Apple for a comment on the apps – Balloons magazine, Nine mag, Men’s stories and Uppy Magazine – but never received any response. (The original post on these apps appears here.)

The apps promise one magazine, but deliver another. In fact, two of the magazines show the exact same magazine covers but with different names slapped on them, but once the reader downloads the app and installs it, the app delivers porn magazines.

Rudneva-library-lg

All the app descriptions link back to the same – http://smart-soft.me – which is an invalid link, of course.

I suppose it is to be expected that a cunning developer could get an app past Apple’s review team if creative, but the issue of false web links and screenshots seems odd. What is the review process about if not to at least open an app to see if it actually delivers what the developer says it does.

These same magazines are out in the open from the apps from another Russian developer Dmitry Nikolin, which probably means that the magazines do not actually deliver hardcore porn ( I have to admit, I did not buy any of them!)

As I wrote previously, the issue of porn – soft or hard – is not really the point here. The question is about whether there is, in fact, a review process going on, and whether the reader who buys a magazine from the Apple App Store has the right to expect that what the app description says will be downloaded is what one ends up installing on one’s iPad. If it is so easy to circumvent the app review process to hide the title what a Newsstand app actually delivers, it probably is even easier to deliver malware.

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