Apple Rushes Location Services Patch, Rightly

As it turns out, the hard part of being tough but fair is the fairness bit. It's very easy to slam somebody when they foul up; but giving due credit doesn't always come naturally to some people. I'm certainly guilty of finding it easier to criticize than to praise, particularly when the subject is Apple. After all, the company has plenty of fans willing to cheerlead for it, and the company's PR team certainly isn't sitting around waiting for an attaboy from me. At the same time, there are plenty of people willing to slam Apple even when it does something right, and so I have to pick my battles wisely.

This week, for a change, I'm going to give Apple credit for doing the right thing. That's because the company managed to turn around a patch for the bug in iOS 4's Location Services and release it on May 4, less than 10 days after admitting that it did indeed have a problem, in that devices running its mobile operating system were collecting far more location information than is necessary or wise.

The patch, included in iOS 4.3.3, eliminates a problem first reported two weeks before, on April 20; the company fessed up on April 25, and promised a fix in "a few weeks." Apparently, the problem was easier to solve than it first appeared; having given the company grief in the past for dragging its heels on more serious security problems, I'm now obliged - and happy - to credit its engineers for the prompt solution.