The Data-Portal Edition Thursday, October 18, 2018

Apple Overhauls Its Privacy Pages, And Now Lets U.S. Customers Download Their Own Data, by Zack Whittaker, TechCrunch

You’re not going to see much change from previous years — the privacy pages still state the same commitments that Apple’s long held, like that privacy is a “fundamental human right” and that your information is largely on your iPhones, iPads and Macs. And, now with a bevy of new security and privacy features in iOS 12 and macOS Mojave, the pages are updated to include new information about end-to-end encrypted group FaceTime video calls and improvements to intelligence tracking protections — and, how it uses differential privacy to understand which are the most popular features so it can improve, without being able to identify individual users.

One key addition this time around: Apple is expanding its data portal to allow U.S. customers to get a copy of the data that the company stores on them.

How To Download Your Data From Apple, by Zack Whittaker, TechCrunch

Earlier this year when I requested my own data (before the portal feature rolled out), Apple sent me a dozen spreadsheets with my purchase and order history, a few iCloud logs, and some of my account information. The data will date back to when you opened your account, but may not include recent data if Apple has no reason to retain it.

But because most Apple data is stored on your devices, it can’t turn over what it doesn’t have. And any data it collects from Apple News, Maps and Siri is anonymous and can’t attribute to individual users.

Get Work Done

Why Photoshop On iOS Is A Huge Win For The iPad Pro, by Jason Snell, Macworld

A lot of the criticism of the iPad Pro as a flawed tool for doing real work comes down to software. The hardware is capable—but where’s the software? These arguments have been weak for a while now—I think Microsoft Office for iPad is aces, and Apple’s iWork apps are remarkably capable, too—but with every major app that arrives on the platform, the quieter that criticism has to get. Adobe’s also bringing a simplified version of Premiere, called Premiere Rush, to the iPad. I wonder if Apple’s considering just how Final Cut and Logic might work on the iPad?


Photoshop on the iPad isn’t the magic key that unlocks the future of the iPad Pro. But it’s one of the biggest signs yet that things are changing—and that the iPad won’t be denied as a destination for people who want to get work done.

Something Deeply Strange

Chartbreakers: How Spammers Are Gaming The Podcast Charts, by Chartable

So, what can we conclude from this network graph? Here's my take:

If the podcast charts are based on subscription velocity, it's highly likely that some or all of the podcasts in the isolated clusters have artificial subscriptions. We can't be certain that every podcast in each isolated cluster is subject to manipulation. But the combination of highly interconnected shows, plus isolation from the “main cluster” of popular shows, plus disparate subject matter suggests that something deeply strange is happening across a sizable number of podcasts. It's been suggested that click farms are used to artificially boost subscriber counts.


Pixelmator Pro Adds Mojave Dark And Light Themes, ML Enhance, Automator Actions, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

There’s also a new machine-learning enhance feature, support for Quick Actions in the Mojave Finder and some batch effect actions in Automator. Pixelmator Pro also now supports SVG Fonts for richer, graphic, typography.

Spotify Premium Update Lets You Listen To One Artist Forever, by Sean Keane, CNET

The music streaming service's Endless Artist Radio lets you search for a playlist based on your favorite musician and find a matching endless stream.

Palm Desert Teen Creates App Highlighting Public Art Pieces In Valley For Residents, Visitors, by Sherry Barkas, Desert Sun

Creating apps isn’t new for Martin, who was in seventh grade when he developed one for King’s Schools in Palm Desert, where he was enrolled.

He developed a prototype and was working with the city when he did a presentation at a meeting with representatives of cities valleywide, who saw it and wanted to be included. This ultimately led him to Scott White, chief executive and president of the Greater Palm Springs Convention & Visitors Bureau.

“It’s been a long journey,” Martin said.


Some Of Apple’s Forgotten iOS Apps, by Stephen Hackett, MacStories

Apple has just about always offered iOS apps on the App Store, separate from what apps come bundled on its devices from the factory.

Sometimes, these apps get promoted to being part of the iOS image, like Podcasts and iBooks have. Once stuck hanging out on the App Store, they now ship on the iPhone and iPad by default.

A lot of other apps weren't luck enough to get that lifeline, and have since been removed from the App Store. Let's take a look at a few examples.

Commission Withdraws Court Action Over Apple Tax Delays, by RTÉ.ie

"Taking into account that the payment into the escrow fund of the illegal aid removed the distortion of competition caused by that aid, the Commission has today decided to withdraw the court action," a statement from the European Commission said today.

The funds will be held in the escrow account until final judgments are made in appeals against the original Commission decision.

How China Rips Off The iPhone And Reinvents Android, by Sam Byford, The Verge

Yes, many of these phones make similar mistakes with overbearing UI decisions — hello, Huawei — and yes, it’s easy to mock some designs for their obvious thrall to iOS. But these are phones created in a very different context to Android devices as we’ve previously understood them.

The Chinese phone market is a spiraling behemoth of innovation and audacity, unlike anything we’ve ever seen. If you want to be on board with the already exciting hardware, it’s worth trying to understand the software.

Bottom of the Page

Many of the Today Widgets on my iPhone are simply taking up too much space. It will be so nice if they can appear as a watch-like complication on the iPhone's lock screen.


I used to play a heck of Vortex) on my iPod. Nowadays, I'm playing Orbital on my iPhone while listening to my audiobooks and podcasts.

I think I can see the similarities between the two games.


Thanks for reading.