Newly Updated Chrome for iOS 7 Knows What You Googled Last Night
October 8, 2013

Newly Updated Chrome For iOS 7 Knows What You Googled Last Night

A new bug in Google’s Chrome browser for iOS 7 turns the app into that terrible, annoying friend that waits until you’re in polite company before saying something like “Dude, remember when you got so hammered last week and passed out naked in the kitchen?”

According to a design company in Leeds, England called Parallax, (just a happy coincidence) any searches made in Incognito Mode (otherwise known as “please-dear-lord-don’t-let-anyone-know-what-I’m-doing-here-mode”) are carried over into regular “I’m-a-fine-upstanding-citizen” mode.

So, for example, if you search something particularly embarrassing or shameful (whatever that might be for you) in Incognito Mode, the next time you search for something less horrifying in regular mode the dirty search will pop up and remind you of what you did.

You should really be ashamed of yourself.

This becomes particularly troubling considering Google’s handy little universal search bar. A truly convenient feature, the unified search bar lets users either type in their search or type in the actual URL. If you’re running the latest version of Chrome on your iOS 7 device and go to search in regular mode, you’ll probably see your dirty searches pop up, too.

It’s also entirely likely you’ll discover this bug by accident.

One of the key “helpful” features of iOS 7 is automatic app updating. While this certainly beats playing a sort of whack-a-mole with the App Store badge app icon, it also means buggy apps like this will be immediately downloaded to your phone, and you’ll be none the wiser.

Last month, before iOS 7 was officially released, an updated version of another Google app, Authenticator, contained a bug that locked users out of their accounts and even wiped their data. The incognito bug is embarrassing, but the Authenticator bug was downright inconvenient. And, any user running beta versions of iOS 7 had this update immediately pushed to their phone without any knowledge of the critical flaw.

So, what have we learned here today?

While it doesn’t happen often, sometimes apps are pushed through the system with critical bugs. They’re found almost immediately, of course, in no small part due to hard working journalists who slave over hot, sticky keyboards to bring you, the reader, the freshest information available.

Speaking of sticky, we also learned that if you’re going to be googling some naughty stuff, you’d do well to open Chrome in an inconspicuous place for the next few days, or at least until Google ships a better update.

And finally, we learned that though helpful, it couldn’t hurt to turn off auto app updating to avoid discovering these issues on your own.

I mean, come on…it’s our job to find these bugs and let you know about it. Don’t be a martyr.

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