After refusing to allow India’s anti-spam app onto the App Store over privacy concerns, Apple is going to provide “limited help” to the Indian government to develop a suitable substitute for iOS, Reuters reports. Apple’s refusal to approve the Telecom Regulatory Authority’s app has drawn the ire of the TRAI at a very inconvenient time for the company, which is trying to expand its presence in India’s massive smartphone market. Google’s Android system already supports the app, which accesses the device’s SMS details and call records to enable users to report numbers and block numbers that have been reported. But Apple doesn’t provide third-party apps the ability to access those details, so the government’s app won’t function even though iOS does feature other apps that identify and block calls through other means.
In the hopes of resolving the situation, Apple executives flew to New Delhi last month and offered to help develop the app, but warned the resulting app might have limited capabilities. A government official said Apple specifically pointed out that the current version of iOS might not be allowed to make call logs available in the app so that the numbers can be reported as spam. Apple confirmed that new iOS features are in the works to help the government combat spam text messages, but didn’t discuss the app’s potential lack of call log access, noting that Apple hasn’t changed its stance on maintaining user privacy.