Announcing Zap iOS on the App Store

Yo! Guess what? Zap iOS is now listed on Apple’s App Store. You can download it here.

Zap has enabled thousands of people all over the world to use Lightning in a non-custodial way on their iPhone. The credit goes to the amazing minds at Lightning Labs for their work on LND along with the broader Lightning developer community, and all of you reading this blog post. For reference, this is what the very first Zap iOS design looked like:

And this is what Zap iOS looks like today:

Zap iOS has iterated on its design and implemented a ton of new features, all because of the community. This is truly a community-driven project. Thanks for testing, reporting bugs, and giving feedback.

The Future of Zap iOS

For us, Zap being on the App Store just changes how and where people will download it. There is still much more work to do. We are now confident in Zap’s stability and ability to deliver on its current intended functionality, and for us, that was enough to move to the app store.

I have great ambitions and high hopes for the Lightning Network and for Zap. One of those is to have Lightning nodes running on everyday devices such as your iPhone. This allows users to use Zap in a non-custodial way without requiring a remote node setup. So, with this move to the App Store, Zap’s Testflight alpha program will now be used to test running LND on the device with neutrino. So, if you have already joined our Testflight alpha and would like to test out non-custodial on-device LND support (no remote node setup required), don’t move a muscle. For those that have not joined the Testflight program and would like to do so, click here. We hope to have neutrino enabled Zap iOS ready for testing this week.

Privacy Policy

One of the tallest hurdles to jump to get Zap onto the app store was submitting a privacy policy to Apple. Every app is required to have a privacy policy, and without one, no app-store for you.

Usually, for developers, this is a non-issue. Typically, many early projects simply download free privacy policies from the internet. However, for Zap, this was an issue. All standard privacy policies state; the application may require users to provide personal information, the application may use 3rd parties to collect information and data from its users, information such as IP addresses will be stored, etc. Here is a snippet from a privacy policy generated by App Privacy Policy Generator:

For a better experience, while using our Service, we may require you to provide us with certain personally identifiable information
The app does use third party services that may collect information used to identify you.
This Log Data may include information such as your device Internet Protocol (“IP”) address, device name, operating system version, the configuration of the app when utilizing our Service, the time and date of your use of the Service, and other statistics.]

Thanks, but no thanks. Zap is a trailblazer. Zap is a tool used to represent the community and all that Bitcoin and the human beings behind Bitcoin stand for. Zap is a representation of a greater world, a world where applications don’t infringe on user’s privacy by default. After doing some more research I realized that it is assumed all applications spy on you and consume some personal data from their users. No cypherpunk privacy policy has ever been written. So, we wrote one:

The Company intends for users to be able to use the functionality of the App on a decentralized, anonymous basis. The Company therefore does not collect, use, maintain or share any personal information about you when you use the App, and the Company does not use any tracking technology to track your use of the App. The Company also does not allow third parties to collect personal information about you when you use the App, or to use tracking technology to track your use of the App.

Our full privacy policy is public and can be found here.

Thanks

That’s all for now folks. I continue to be humbled and amazed by this community and the support you all have for Zap. Thank you.

The show goes on, you know this. Expect to hear from us often. We’ve got a lot in the works. As always, don’t be shy, hit me up via email or via Twitter. For those looking to report bugs, give feedback, suggest features, and so on, our Slack and Github is the place to be.

Cheers friends 🍻