Apple Archive

Why we can’t trust Apple

This is a problem for all of us. Most people who can afford one have bought their iPhone or iPad already. The programmers already have their MacBooks. And while everyone will need to buy replacements at some point, that’s a steady-state or at best low-growth business. When Apple says more, it means the Wall Street kind of “more”: a hockey stick of growth. Which means, Apple needs to find growth outside its usual business. And these days, that means: advertising. And online advertising requires: surveillance. And a surveillance-enabled ad business leads, inevitably, to deceiving customers. It’s already happening, and like the boiling frog (which is not actually how it works – the frog will definitely jump out if it’s being slowly boiled; the tiny detail not part of most retellings is that the researcher had removed the frogs’ brains), Apple users are slowly being prepped for slaughter.

Apple is becoming an ad company despite privacy claims

Apple currently brings in roughly $4 billion from advertising and is forecasted to bring in as much as $30 billion by 2026. While these amounts are an order of magnitude smaller than the $210 billion Google made from its ad services, they represent a change in philosophy for Apple, which only earned around $300 million for ads in 2017. This new emphasis on advertising also undermines Apple’s claims about privacy with its App Tracking Transparency (ATT) feature and its “Privacy. That’s iPhone” ad campaign. In fact, it appears ATT may have been more about blocking competitors than protecting user privacy. Since Apple introduced ATT, its ad revenue has skyrocketed, leading German regulators to investigate Apple to see if it’s abusing its power. Apple has one of the most valuable repositories of credit card information and user behaviour data in the world, and after years of sanctimonious lying about how much they care about privacy, all bets are off now. iOs is already infested with ads, and it’s only going to get worse. It’s not like you’re going to switch platforms anyway at this point.

Apple clarifies security update policy: only the latest OSes are fully patched

Earlier this week, Apple released a document clarifying its terminology and policies around software upgrades and updates. Most of the information in the document isn’t new, but the company did provide one clarification about its update policy that it hadn’t made explicit before: Despite providing security updates for multiple versions of macOS and iOS at any given time, Apple says that only devices running the most recent major operating system versions should expect to be fully protected. I mean, this seems like typical for Apple, but the vagueness of it seems problematic. If I’m managing a large fleet of devices, I would definitely prefer the more detailed, structured, documented, and defined update and patching policies of professional Linux vendors or Microsoft.

Apple releases OS updates for basically everything, including iPadOS and macOS

It’s “release everything!” day for Apple – virtually every single Apple platform and operating system is getting updates today. Almost all device releases are point releases to address issues in the major versions released in September, with the exception being iPadOS 16, which was delayed and is accompanied today by macOS 13. Ars’ macOS review, is, of course, the definitive resource for this new macOS release. But it does feel like the software side of the Mac is lacking its own unique direction and identity lately. Overwhelmingly, new features for macOS merely help it keep pace with what is happening on the iPhone and iPad. That feels doubly true in Ventura, where a core system app has been rewritten from the ground up to mirror its iOS counterpart, where a new window management feature is being implemented in the same way on the iPad, and where new apps and updates to old ones are increasingly just iPad apps running inside macOS windows. The throughline for all these features is about making the Mac more welcoming and comfortable for people who come to it through one of Apple’s mobile platforms. This makes some sense. The Mac is Apple’s most powerful, extensible computing platform, both in hardware and software. It’s also the smallest. Maybe some of the first iPhone buyers were coming to it from the Mac, but the balance surely flipped years ago. But when was the last time that the Finder, the Dock, or the Menu Bar was given a substantial, non-cosmetic rethink? When did Apple last make major improvements to the way that windows coexist on a given screen? The Mac does get new under-the-hood features that are specific to it, but the headline features are mostly iOS and iPadOS imports, especially this year. You know where you can get the updates.

My favourite computer: an old Mac

This Macintosh Classic II wasn’t the best computer of its day, it wasn’t even the best Mac available at the time, but 30 years on and as its second owner it has unexpectedly become one of my favourite computers. The Classic II sits on a desk in the corner of my living room, just beside my main front window. It takes up a small amount of space, is unassuming, and always looks happy, ready to serve me whenever I call on it. There’s definitely something to be said about using an old, disconnected computer for certain tasks. Of course, this imposes a lot of limits that may end up frustrating and annoying, but it may also be calming.

Apple plans to sell ads in new spots in the App Store by year-end

Apple plans to release new ad “placements” as soon as the holiday season, according to a message sent to developers on Tuesday inviting them to an online session to encourage them to buy ads. The new spots represent a significant expansion in Apple’s advertising inventory, which is focused on its App Store. In recent years, Apple’s advertising inventory has been limited to one unit in the Search tab on the App Store and one on the search results page. Let the milking commence.

iOS 16 released

iOS 16 brings the biggest update ever to the Lock Screen, the ability to edit and collaborate in Messages, new tools in Mail, and more ways to interact with photos and video with Live Text and Visual Look Up. iOS 16 is available today as a free software update. Unlike in the Android world, every iOS user here on OSNews will most likely be able to install this latest update right away. I’m especially enamoured by the notifications popping in from the bottom instead of the top – this makes a lot more sense, and I hope Android picks it up as well.

Apple faces growing likelihood of DOJ antitrust suit

Justice Department lawyers are in the early stages of drafting a potential antitrust complaint against Apple, according to a person with direct knowledge of the matter — a sign that a long-running investigation may be nearing a decision point and a suit could be coming soon. Various groups of prosecutors inside DOJ are assembling the pieces for a potential lawsuit, the individual said, adding that the department’s antitrust division hopes to file suit by the end of the year. The Justice Department has been investigating Apple since 2019 over allegations that it abused its market power to stifle smaller tech companies, including app developers and competing hardware makers. As the investigation has progressed, a suit has become increasingly likely, but the move to drafting sections of the suit is a significant step forward in the process. Finally.

Apple finds its next big business: showing ads on your iPhone

Apple is set to expand ads to new areas of your iPhone and iPad in search of its next big revenue driver. Let’s begin with the current state of play: Apple’s advertising efforts today consist of display ads inside of its News and Stocks apps, as well as inside the App Store, across the iPhone, iPad and Mac. The App Store also has Google-like search ads. And more recently, Apple put advertising inside of TV+ for its “Friday Night Baseball” deal with Major League Baseball. I believe that the iPhone maker will eventually expand search ads to Maps. It also will likely add them to digital storefronts like Apple Books and Apple Podcasts. And TV+ could generate more advertising with multiple tiers (just as Netflix Inc., Walt Disney Co. and Warner Bros. Discovery Inc. are doing with their streaming services). So that was the plan all along. First, Apple tried to cut a deal with Facebook – one of the two online advertising giants (Apple already gets billions a year from the other, Google) – to get in on the online ad revenue. Second, when that fell through, Apple went on a privacy crusade against Facebook (and to a lesser extent, Google) to harm its online advertising business. Third, Apple is now going to expand its own ad business by adding even more ads to iOS. And all along the way, millions fell for it. John Gruber, a few years ago: My concern, again, is what happens if the drive to increase services revenue takes precedence over Apple’s “Prime Directive”: to put product design and experience above all else. Well, now you know.

Apple asked for a cut of Facebook’s ad sales years before it stifled Facebook’s ad sales

Apple and Meta may not be the best of friends right now, but at one point, Apple was in discussions with the social media company about how it could make more money from its presence on the App Store, according to The Wall Street Journal. Apple reportedly argued that it deserved a cut of certain portions of Facebook’s ad revenue. The specific ads in question were boosted posts, which let users pay to have their posts reach more people, the WSJ reports. Apple apparently argued boosted posts are in-app purchases, which it famously takes a portion of; Meta argued that they were ads, from which Apple doesn’t get a share. It seems that Meta won out. So Apple was perfectly fine with profiting off Facebook’s anti-privacy business model, and only when Facebook declined did Apple go on its holier-than-thou privacy crusade against Facebook’s ads business. Apple’s privacy position is pure marketing, and any time Apple needs to choose between money and privacy, money wins every time. Whether it’s Google paying Apple billions to be the default search provider on iOS, Apple handing over all Chinese users’ data to the Chinese government, or now, in dealing with Facebook, Apple will choose money over privacy every time. Apple repeatedly calls privacy “a fundamental human right“, but human rights should not be for sale. It’s yet another illustration of corporations being above the law – Apple is allowed to just lie left, right, and centre without any legal repercussions.

The women calling out Apple’s handling of misconduct claims

In interviews with 15 female Apple employees, both current and former, the Financial Times has found that Mohr’s frustrating experience with the People group has echoes across at least seven Apple departments spanning six US states. The women shared allegations of Apple’s apathy in the face of misconduct claims. Eight of them say they were retaliated against, while seven found HR to be disappointing or counterproductive. This story is based on those interviews and discussions with other employees, internal emails from Apple’s People team, four exit contracts written by lawyers for Apple, and anonymous employee reviews. There’s some real blood-boiling stuff in here. Emily says she felt that HR treated her like she was the problem. “I was told went on a ‘career experience’ for six months, and they said: ‘maybe you’ll be better by the time he’s back?’” Or this one, where a colleague undressed another colleague as she was sleeping, and snapped photos of her. Apple’s response? “Although what he did was reprehensible as a person and potentially criminal, as an Apple employee he hasn’t violated any policy in the context of his Apple work,” HR wrote. “And because he hasn’t violated any policy we will not prevent him seeking employment opportunities that are aligned with his goals and interests.” Apple seems like a fun work environment for women.

iPhone Lockdown Mode coming in iOS 16 to protect against targeted cyber attacks

Apple filed a lawsuit against ‘Pegasus’ spyware creator NSO Group last fall and announced it would be donating $10 million+ to organizations pursuing cyber-surveillance research and advocacy. Now taking the next step in combatting sophisticated spyware, Apple has announced a brand new “extreme” security feature called iPhone Lockdown Mode – coming to iPad and Mac as well – to help protect against targeted cyber attacks. Apple detailed the brand-new iPhone Lockdown Mode that will be available to test in updated iOS 16, iPadOS 16, and macOS Ventura betas, along with its $10 million+ grant for cybersecurity in a Newsroom post today. This seems like a really good and welcome feature, so good on Apple for working on it. That being said – I wonder if it will be available in China.

PowerMac 6100 upgrade guide

This site is a comprehensive resource for a variety of upgrades to the Apple PowerMac 6100 and related machines. Contrary to popular press and opinion, the PowerMac 6100 is a very expandable and upgradeable machine! From its humble beginnings as a “beginner’s” Performa, my venerable PowerMac is now a G3-powered, multimedia authoring workhorse machine with all manner of options, input devices, peripherals and cross-platform capabilities. It took a little elbow grease and a lot of reading, but now that the leg work has been done, it’s really quite easy! An extraordinary time capsule from 2000. These upgradeable Macs are some of the most interesting Macs Apple ever released, and I have a soft spot for the various rare and hard-to-find G3 and G4 processor upgrade cards – which is why Action Retro is one of my personal heroes.

Porting Doom to A/UX

It seems NCommander’s horrid journey porting Doom to AIX is inspiring others to the same. This time around, Cariad Keigher ported Doom to a more obscure UNIX variant – Apple’s A/UX. I’ve never considered porting Doom before, but I was curious if my favourite abandoned UNIX variant had a port. With some very brief cursory searches on Google and GitHub, I was led to believe that this was unlikely or if it had been done, it was never publicly announced a port or it has been lost to the sands of time. If it is the case nobody has bothered, there is a good reason: it isn’t exactly necessary. Once I explain A/UX, it’ll make sense why I am likely the first person ever to port the game to this platform. All I can say is – godspeed to people like NCommander and Keigher. This sort of hackery makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside, even if I don’t always understand all the details of the programming work they’re doing. I wonder who will pick up the baton and what obscure UNIX will get a Doom port next. May I make a suggestion?

Apple unveils new versions of iOS, iPadOS, watchOS

macOS wasn’t the only platform in Apple’s spotlight today, of course. First, iOS 16 comes with an entirely new lock screen, moving notifications from the top to the bottom of the screen, and adding tons of customisability. Craig Federighi says that iOS 16 includes “the biggest update ever to the lock screen, completely reimagining how it looks and how it works for you.” You can add widgets to the lock screen, adjust the depth of field with your background image, and much more. The iMessage application, a messaging service popular in the United States, has also received many new features, many of which were long-awaited by its users. Most notably, iOS 16 introduces the ability to edit or unsend recently sent iMessages, as well as mark iMessage conversations as unread after opening them. These features will bring iMessage more in line with third-party messaging services like WhatsApp and Telegram. A very important and welcome new feature is Safety Check, which is designed specifically for people in abuse relationships. It’s of course sad that features like this are needed, but I’m glad this may make the process of escaping an abusive relationship just a little bit easier for victims. A new privacy tool called Safety Check can be helpful to users whose personal safety is at risk from domestic or intimate partner violence by quickly removing all access they’ve granted to others. It includes an emergency reset that helps users easily sign out of iCloud on all their other devices, reset privacy permissions, and limit messaging to just the device in their hand. It also helps users understand and manage which people and apps they’ve given access to. Apple also unveiled new versions of iPadOS and watchOS, with the iPad getting access to the same Stage Manager feature as macOS for easier multitasking.

Apple unveils M2, new MacBook Air

From MacRumors: Apple today announced the M2 chip, the second-generation Apple silicon chip for the Mac, offering improved efficiency and performance, as well as support for up to 24GB of memory. M2 is built using second-generation 5nm technology with 20 billion transistors, 25 percent more than the M1 chip. ‌M2‌ features a 18 percent faster CPU, a 35 percent more powerful GPU, and a 40 percent faster Neural Engine compared to the ‌M1‌ chip. The ‌M2‌ supports up to 24GB of LPDDR5 unified memory and features four performance and four efficiency cores. The chip supports 100GB/s of unified memory bandwidth, up 50 percent from the ‌M1‌. We’ll have to wait for the independent benchmarks, but considering the M1 still runs circles around the competition – especially in the laptop space – I think it’s safe to say the M2 will be running those same circles at least a little bit faster. The M2 can be found in the brand new MacBook Air, which Apple also announced today.

Remembering Apple’s Newton, 30 years on

Thirty years ago, on May 29, 1992, Apple announced its most groundbreaking and revolutionary product yet, the Newton MessagePad. It was released to great fanfare a year later, but as a product, it could only be described as a flop. Widely mocked in popular culture at the time, the Newton became a poster child for expensive but useless high-tech gadgets. Even though the device improved dramatically over time, it failed to gain market share, and it was discontinued in 1997. Yet while the Newton was a failure, it galvanized Apple engineers to create something better—and in some ways led to the creation of the iPad and the iPhone. I have one of the earlier Newtons and it really isn’t a very good product, even in context. It tried to do a lot of groundbreaking things, but it suffered from feature creep and the hardware just not being ready. I’ve read later, more powerful Newton devices are a lot more pleasant to use, so I might snap one up.

Apple’s RealityOS for rumored headset appears in trademark application

RealityOS — the name Apple is reportedly using for the operating system running on its rumored virtual and augmented reality headset — has appeared in a trademark filing spotted by Parker Ortolani. Bloomberg News was first to report the “reality operating system” branding back in 2017, and references to the name have appeared in Apple’s software. The trademark application hasn’t officially been filed by Apple, but it’s common practice for large companies to apply for trademarks under one-off company names — like Realityo Systems LLC, in this case — in the state of Delaware for the sole purpose of maintaining anonymity. Never bet against Apple, but I just have a hard time seeing a very big consumer market for virtual reality headsets. It feels like far too many people still get nausea and headaches from using these things, and save for a relatively small number of games, I simply don’t understand what anyone at home would use it for. Of course, in professional settings, VR could have a huge impact. Augmented reality, on the other hand, seems like a much more widely applicable technology that also happens to be further away than even decent VR. Still, the problem of convincing people who otherwise would not wear glasses to, in fact, wear glasses every day seems like a steep hill to climb.