Apple hits Facebook, others with new restrictions on messaging apps: Report

Apple is imposing new restrictions that could force Facebook and other companies to redesign apps used to make voice calls over the Internet, according to a report on Tuesday.

Continue Reading Below

The California-based tech giant is tweaking its mobile operating system to bar apps from running a calling feature known as Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) in the background when it is not actually in use, The Information reported, citing multiple sources familiar with the matter. At present, Facebook’s Messenger app and WhatsApp run the feature, even when not in use, to speed up phone call connections.

The soon-to-be barred feature could also allow Facebook and other companies to collect data. Apple reportedly plans to implement the restrictions when its latest mobile operating system, iOS 13, goes live this fall. Developers will have until April to comply.

“The changes to the upcoming iOS releases are not insignificant, but we are in conversations with Apple on how best to address,” a Facebook spokesperson told The Information. “To be clear—we are using the PushKit VoIP API to deliver a world-class, private messaging experience, not for the purpose of collecting data."

FILE PHOTO: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies before a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing regarding the company's use and protection of user data on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., April 11, 2018. REUTERS/Leah Millis/File Photo - RC13

Apple representatives did not immediately respond to FOX Business’ request for comment.

Facebook and other messaging app developers will have to redesign their apps to comply with Apple’s guidelines, the report said, citing multiple sources familiar with the matter. WhatsApp uses VoIP in part to facilitate its end-to-end encryption.


Apple first announced the new restrictions at the Worldwide Developers Conference in June. The changes come amid competition between the two companies’ respective messaging services.