Apple Can Remove Apps From iPhones

Martin Brinkmann
Aug 7, 2008
Updated • Dec 1, 2012

The public outcry would be loud and ear-deafening if someone would have discovered that Microsoft was able to remove installed applications from a Windows operating system. But it is Apple this time that is able to remove applications that have already been installed on an iPhone according to the website Macrumors.

How is that working? Apple is managing a page with blacklisted applications. Researcher Jonathan Zdziarski has a theory that the iPhone is calling home once in a while to check the installed applications against the Apple maintained blacklist.

This could mean that Apple can deauthorize commercial applications that the user paid for. This could ensure the security and safety of the user in case where malicious applications are detected in the store, but it is more a question of how strict they will use the blacklist. Putting a safe application on that list could have serious consequences for the owner of an Apple device and Apple itself.

The ability to deactivate applications remotely is on the one hand a way to keep users of iPhone and iPad devices safe as it enables Apple to remove malicious or otherwise problematic extension from those devices effectively. Some users on the other hand see this as a invasion of privacy. While it certainly may seem strange that someone would object to the removal of a malicious application, other than the creator of said app of course, it makes sense when it comes to apps that are not malicious but unwanted for some other reason.




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  1. iampriteshdesai said on August 8, 2008 at 9:25 am

    I guess it is OK when ‘beloved’ Apple does it. Had MS done it, Apple would have tore them apart for it in their kiddy-baby ads. Martin did you read about that stupid 1000$ “I am Rich” app? It only displayed a red ruby image-nothing else!
    Apple sucks. Hope the drown once Steve iJobs goes away. All their BS of “Oh Apple is slick!” Shiot goes with them. Apple is 100 times worse than MS.

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