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Apple Angers Users with Carpool Karaoke Push Notifications

Apple is in some hot water with users who were angered by the company's decision to send unwanted notifications promoting its Apple Music show Carpool Karaoke. 

Credit: Apple

(Image credit: Apple)

According to users, Apple sent push notifications to them on Dec. 7 and Dec. 14 to promote two episodes of Carpool Karaoke: one featuring Kendall Jenner and Hailey Baldwin and another featuring Jason Sudeikis and the Muppets. The notification pops up as a TV notification and gives people the option to tap it and start watching the show immediately.

Users who have complained about the problem said that they never provided Apple with permission to send them notifications about the show. What's more, many of them said that they've never even watched it. Still others said that they've never even used Apple's TV app.

Soon after, some folks did some digging to find out whether Apple is violating its own policy on notifications. They pointed to section 4.5.3 of the App Store Guidelines, which tells developers that they can't "spam, phish, or send unsolicited messages to customers." The Verge earlier reported on the issue.

Apple's guidelines are a bit unclear on exactly what constitutes spam or unsolicited messages. But if the company is sending notifications to people about a show they've never watched and never had any interest in viewing, it could be a problem. After all, that would technically fall under the category of "unsolicited messages to customers."

If you want to avoid pesky notifications like these, Apple at least makes it simple. From the iPhone's Settings app, simply go to Notifications, find TV, and turn them off.

Apple's Carpool Karaoke was adapted from the CBS show The Late Late Show with James Corden. It features two people in a car singing to their favorite songs and talking about what's happening in their lives and their careers. It's featured everyone from actors to wrestlers and artists. Apple bought the rights to show and its own CEO Tim Cook has been on it with Corden himself.

Don Reisinger is a communications strategist, consultant, and copywriter who has also written for many leading technology and business publications including CNET, Fortune Magazine and The New York Times, as well as Tom's Guide.