February 2019

privacy & security

Time Cook penned an essay in Time magazine, You Deserve Privacy Online. Here's How You Could Actually Get It. He calls for federal privacy legislation and the creation of a `data-broker clearinghouse'.

Tim Cook writes, `In 2019, it’s time to stand up for the right to privacy—yours, mine, all of ours. Consumers shouldn’t have to tolerate another year of companies irresponsibly amassing huge user profiles, data breaches that seem out of control and the vanishing ability to control our own digital lives.'

Cook continues, `This problem is solvable—it isn’t too big, too challenging or too late. Innovation, breakthrough ideas and great features can go hand in hand with user privacy—and they must. Realizing technology’s potential depends on it.'

Rene Ritchie of iMore, discusses privacy and Tim Cook's essay in this brief video:

Apple is banning Facebook’s research app that collects users’ personal information, reports ReCode. Facebook had distributed an app via Apple’s Developer Enterprise program that paid user (including teenagers) $20 per month to essentially give up their data. Facebook will stop its `market research' program that was paying users in exchange for their mobile data`.

Reporter John Gruber highlights Apple's PR statement and its `translation'. Apple is not amused.

Apple also revoked Google's enterprise certificates for iOS apps, reports Gruber. However, Apple issued a statement about guiding Google to fix the issue; they issed no such statment about Facebook.

Walt Mossberg gives his take on Apple's control over iOS:

Judge rules that Feds Can't Force You To Unlock Your iPhone With Finger Or Face. `A California judge has ruled that American cops can’t force people to unlock a mobile phone with their face or finger. The ruling goes further to protect people’s private lives from government searches than any before and is being hailed as a potentially landmark decision', reports Forbes.

Apple Apologizes for FaceTime Bug and promises a fix soon, reports Macrumors. Note that this only affects Group FaceTime. Regular 1x1 Facetime has not been affected and continues to work fine.

Teen who discovered Group FaceTime eavesdropping bug playing Fortnite speaks out about experience.

Lee points us to Life Without the Tech Giants, by Gizmodo. Reporter Kashmir Hill spent six weeks blocking Amazon, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Apple from getting her money, data, and attention, using a custom-built VPN.

Here is some video documentation of the Gizmodo reporter's attempts to live without the tech giants.

iOS & Apple news

Apple's financial results are exactly in line with their announcement a few weeks ago.

18 Key take-aways from Apple's financial results.

If you'd prefer to see the financial results in charts, Sixcolors has all the details.

Apple names Deirdre O’Brien senior vice president of Retail + People, Angela Arendts will depart after 5 years.

Apple has posted a series of new billboards in Los Angeles featuring nominated artists as Animoji characters.

New Animoji in (beta) iOS 12.2. These will be released soon.

New emojis coming to iOS in 2019.

HomePod Now Counts Toward Apple Music Device Streaming Limits for Single Memberships, Apple Encouraging Family Upgrades.

Survey by UC San Diego Health Found 78% of Patients Satisfied With Apple Health Records at UC San Diego Hospital. 96 percent of respondents said they could `easily connect their mobile devices to the platform' and 90 percent said the `smartphone solution improved their understanding of their own health, facilitated conversations with their clinicians, or improved sharing of personal health information with friends and family.'

Second Apple Employee Accused of Stealing Apple Car Details. `The United States FBI this week accused a Chinese citizen working for Apple of attempting to steal trade secrets that are related to the company's autonomous vehicle program'`

In last month's CES 2019, HomeKit was a surprise winner, writes Macworld. `Without stepping foot in Las Vegas or making a single announcement of its own, Apple is having one of its best CES conferences in years, as companies turned to HomeKit en masse to boost their smart offerings.' `Now Siri needs to improve', they write, in order to enable HomeKit accessories to grow to their full potential.

Apple now selling refurbished iPhone X for $769.

'Today at Apple' Expands With Over 50 New Sessions Focused on Skills, Walks, and Labs.

AnandTech reviews Apple's iPhone XR: A different display leads to brilliant battery life. `The iPhone XR is an interesting product for Apple: It is clear that it aims to be a lower-cost alternative to the higher-end XS flagships. Among the reasons Apple is able to offer the XR at a cheaper price point is eschewing an OLED panel in favor of a more traditional LCD. In terms of the fundamentals of the LCD in the iPhone XR, Apple continues to employ some of the best panels in the industry, and the iPhone XR is no exception to this. Brightness, contrast ratio (for an LCD), viewing angles, and colour calibration are all top-notch and will not disappoint. Lasting 25% longer than the iPhone XS Max, it represents a major improvement in battery life and is going to make all the difference for users who value it above everything else. For those users, the cheaper iPhone XR may very well be the better choice.'

[ Rumor ] Bloomberg expects/reports that New 10-Inch iPad and Cheaper iPad Mini Coming 'As Early As This Spring'.

iOS 12

ZDNet takes a systematic look at DND feature in iOS, concluding that it's really more oriented toward calls, not overall `do not disturb' across the board. Am interesting overview.

iOS apps

SketchParty TV The fun drawing-and-guessing party game for Apple TV! `It is a high-tech drawing game that plays a bit like Pictionary. It's great for parties or family-get-togethers, and even for teaching vocabulary or just about any subject in the classroom.'

Tucson International Airport Info, a mobile website that acts like an app, if you save it to your iOS desktop.

5 of the best email apps for iOS, reports Macrumors.

Warby parker has launched an app to help you virtually try on glasses. Download Glasses by Warby Parker.

GoodReader iOS PDF app gets major update, with all-new UI and viewer, Apple Pencil 2 support, Split View on iPad, much more, reports 9to5mac.

tips & tricks

How to automatically save iMessage pictures to the iPhone Photos app

How to Repurpose an iPad Air as a home control panel for guest use.

How to Do a data Cleanse, by the NY Times.

15 Ways to Organize your Digital Life, by AAA. Even if you do not have AAA car insurance, this is a sensible list, especially for spring cleanup preparations.

gadgets & accessories

Bernie points us to this article about Puma Introducing $330 iPhone-Connected Self-Lacing Sneakers to Compete With Nike.

Here is the Osmo Pocket review, by 9to5Mac, which they deem `as `the best-value iPhone gadget'.

Also, read the review and get a hands on view: with Osmo Pocket.

DJI Osmo Mobile 2 retails at $129. The Osmo Pocket, in contrast, costs $349.

The Eve Light Strip is HomeKit compatible and provides LED-based accent lighting.

Lume Cube AIR VC Kit Accessory Light for Video Conferencing is now available at Apple stores and online.

An overview of the Lume Cube, by 9to5mac.


Target begins Apple Pay rollout.

TD Ameritrade taps Apple Pay for instant fund transfers to accounts, reports Reuters.


Roger points us to this article about Apple saying that Watch repairs may qualify for Series 2 replacement, due to shortage of parts.

Apple Promotes Heart Health With Activity Challenge and Apple Store Events Throughout February.

Apple Watch fall detection credited with saving user in Norway after severe overnight fall.

New Apple Watch helps Nashua man detect he was in AFIB, reports WMUR.

Apple Watch saved a man by detecting signs of A-Fib. The ER detected major blockages and he got 2 stents. Tim Cook Tweeted: