Apple is aware that most iPhone users care more about their privacy, especially when they are using their favorite apps. After all, data such as contacts, photos, and location information should be kept private for your eyes only.
With the arrival of iOS 15, you presently can see what information your app is getting by recording your iPhone app activity and delving into the App Activity Report.
Why Should You Record App Activity on Your iPhone?
It’s no longer a secret that developers collect and make use of our data to better understand who’s using and who is not using their app and what they’re using it for. With those insights, these companies can better tailor their ads and experiences to boost profits.
For many smartphone users, this fact feels uncomfortable and a bit like they’re being spied on. Luckily, by recording app activity, you can see what data your apps are accessing and make some changes to protect your information.
For instance, if you find out that one of your apps is collecting more data than you’re comfortable with, you can uninstall it and try an alternative. Or, you can find the apps with too many iPhone or iPad permissions and reset them to those default permissions to better fit your needs.
Who Has Access to the App Activity Feature?
Note that not all iOs users are eligible to access the App activity feature. to be able to access the app activity feature you must have iOS 15.2, iPad Os 15.2, or watchOS 8.3, or later.
How to Record App Activity on Your iPhone
Before you could start recording app activity, you must have to enable and configure the settings inside your iPhone. Go to the settings app and follow the procedures above
- Click on Privacy.
- Scroll all the way down and click on Record App Activity.
- Turn on the Record App Activity feature.
How to Access and Read the App Activity Report
Immediately you turn on this feature your device will start tracking your app activity You can now view your app activity data in the App Activity Report, which I will also explain below.
The App Activity Report gives you all the necessary overview of which apps have been accessed, important data such as your location or microphone over a seven-day time frame.
The App Activity Report will also disclose to you when apps, or websites you visit within your apps, contact domains. When making use of an app, it’s normal for information to be shared within third-party domains such as other websites or even trackers.
When you’ve got the app activity report it will definitely help you to make better decisions you’ll use in protecting your privacy.
How To Download The App Activity Report
To download the App Activity Report take the following simple steps, go to Settings select Privacy > Record App Activity > Save App Activity.
Now, you can choose what you wish to do with the App Activity Reports. The report is always in NDJSON format, which can be opened with any type of text editor. You must have to send it to your computer to be able to edit it.
For instance, you can send the file to your Mac through AirDrop (unless if you have one) then open the file in TextEdit. Or, you can email the file to yourself and then you open it using Notepad on a Windows Laptop.
Reading the App Activity Report
At first, When you open the report, you will see the crazy amount of numbers and terms. Although it might look a bit tiring at first, all you need to know is what to focus on or look for.
Here are some key terms:
- Accessor: Anytime you see this word in the report, “an app accessed your data”.
- Network Activity: Anytime you see this word in the report, “an app is connected to a specific domain” (very similar to the ones mentioned earlier).
When looking at accessors, there are some categories you will see in the entry. These categories will show things the app accessed and will even provide a timestamp of when the access occurred.
Those categories and resources, listed on the Apple website, are as follows:
- Camera: This is the device’s camera
- Contacts: This is Your contacts
- Location: this involves Your location data
- Media library: these are Your media files, like podcasts, music, and movies
- Microphone: Your device’s microphone
- Photos: these are photo galleries
- Screen recording: Your recordings and screenshots