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Glitch Resurrects Dead iOS Apps

You know Apple‘s penchant for yanking apps? Well, it seems that the company’s shiny new iCloud features can bring them back to life for you.

So if you no longer have that download of your favorite ousted iOS application anymore, you may be able to recover it by re-downloading it off your Purchased list. The word “may” is operative here: This doesn’t work for all of them. Engadget found Tris in its list. But I searched for VLC, which I had gotten prior to Apple pulling it, and it wasn’t there. It seems limited to apps that the developer voluntarily took down, rather than ones that were yanked by Apple.

The fact that this works at all looks like a glitch, which means it may be closed off before the official release in the fall. But at least for now, it will probably thrill many iOS users who want to reclaim certain apps. (If you have a device with iOS 4.3.3, you can check it out for yourself in the App Store app’s Purchased tab.)

Others are a little less happy with the Purchased list, though. There is growing concern from users who share accounts with children. Even though Apple has been strict about lewd or pornographic apps, there might still be some in their history that parents just don’t want their kid to see. And they’re gobsmacked that there’s no way to delete items from the list yet.

That’s an interesting facet of iCloud. No doubt, app histories are available as a convenience feature, but is there a genuine privacy concern here if they don’t allow us to edit them? In other words, would you be concerned if your uneditable record of app downloads were tracked and used for background material on you, like video rentals and library books? Weigh in.

[via MobileCrunch, Engadget, source CDFXApps]


Adriana Lee

Adriana is the resident writer-slash-culture vulture who has written about everything from smartphones, tablets, apps, accessories, and small biz...

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