The Dub-Dub-Nineteen Edition Tuesday, June 4, 2019

No Mac Is An Island With macOS Catalina, by Adam Engst, TidBITS

Let’s face it. Macs users are adrift in a sea of iOS devices. Waves of iPhones and iPads break around us and even an occasional iPod touch floats by. So it shouldn’t be at all surprising that the forthcoming macOS 10.15 Catalina focuses on changes that bring the Mac and iOS closer than ever before.

That’s not to say that Apple is trying to replace the Mac with iOS or remove those unique capabilities of the Mac that make it special. The Mac and macOS remain first-class, vibrant members of Apple’s hardware and software platforms. But what we’re not going to see, at least from Apple, are new technologies that set the Mac further apart from its iOS brethren. When it comes to operating systems, it’s safe to say that it’s one for all, and all for Apple.

iOS Apps Will Run On macOS With Project Catalyst, by Romain Dillet, TechCrunch

Apple announced during its WWDC keynote that iOS apps will run on macOS, starting with the next major release of macOS this fall — macOS Catalina. Third-party developers will be able to release their iOS apps on the Mac starting this fall.

This might seem like a small change, but it requires a ton of radical changes behind the scene.

Apple Introduces Sidecar App For Using An iPad As A Mac's Secondary Display, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

Sidecar will work both wired and wirelessly and will support the Apple Pencil as an input device for the Mac. This functionality will be supported across all apps that support tablets.

Now With Its Very Own iPadOS

iPadOS: The MacStories Overview, by Ryan Christoffel, MacStories

Today during the WWDC keynote, where Apple unveiled the next major version of its mobile software platform, iOS 13, the company also had a big surprise to share: iOS is now exclusive to the iPhone and has given birth to a new, dedicated operating system for the iPad, named iPadOS.

iPadOS includes all the existing features of iOS, including the host of updates coming in iOS 13, but adds to it a long list of enhancements that address common pain points among iPad Pro users. From an updated Home screen to multitasking improvements, Files upgrades including USB drive support, a desktop-class Safari, and much more. All of these features aim to make the iPad a more capable full-time computer than ever before.

In today’s Worldwide Developer Conference keynote, Apple’s Craig Federighi whipped through the major changes, most of which revolved around individual apps. Unsurprisingly, those changes largely reflect or are matched by similar changes in the iOS versions, but there were a number of Mac-specific enhancements as well.

Apple’s New iPadOS Includes Mouse Support For iPads, by Tom Warren, The Verge

iOS developer Steve Troughton-Smith discovered the new mouse support in iPadOS today, and it reportedly works with USB mice and even devices like Apple’s Magic Trackpad.


Apple has implemented this support as an AssistiveTouch feature, and the cursor looks like a typical touch target you’d find in iOS.

For All Your iDevices

iOS 13: The MacStories Overview, by Ryan Christoffel, MacStories

iOS 13 is the latest major version of Apple’s mobile software platform, unveiled earlier today during the company's WWDC keynote. Contrasting with last year’s iOS 12, which focused largely on performance improvements and brought fewer new features than usual, iOS 13 promises to continue the theme of strong performance while also adding a wide array of enhancements across the board. From a systemwide dark mode, updates to Shortcuts, a long-awaited redesign for Reminders, enhancements to an unprecedented number of system apps, and much more, there is a lot to take in here.

Apple Is Building A Major Defense Against Spam Calls Into iOS 13, by Chris Welch, The Verge

Apple is taking a new step to combat spam calls in iOS 13. Today, you can already install third-party spam call screeners on your iPhone, but if that’s not good enough (or something you don’t want to do), iOS 13 will add a new solution this fall: it will be able to automatically silence any calls coming in from an unknown number. Even better, it’ll automatically send them to voicemail.

Apple’s HomePod Speaker Will Be Able Recognize Who’s Speaking To It With iOS 13, by Dan Seifert, The Verge

Now it’s adding the ability to recognize who is speaking to it and tailor its responses accordingly. It can provide personalized music, calendar information, and reminders depending on who is speaking to it.

iOS 13 And AirPods: Reply To Messages Instantly With Siri, Share Audio Between People, HomePod Handoff , by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

If you are listening to music with AirPods, you can start sending music to another nearby iPhone owner.

Apple's Voice Control Feature Lets You Use Your Mac Or iPhone With Only Your Voice, by Melanie Ehrenkranz, Gizmodo

Voice Control works “with virtually any app,” according to Apple, and allows users to tap, swipe, and scroll using their voice. The feature affords individuals with motor impairments a way to more fully and autonomously navigate Apple’s phones, computers, and tablets.

Apple's New 'Find My' App For macOS And iOS Can Find Your Devices Even When They're Offline, by Mitchel Broussard, MacRumors

Apple said that when a device is offline and sleeping, it sends out a secure Bluetooth beacon that can be detected by other Apple devices nearby, even the ones owned by other people. This results in a network that works to find lost Apple devices through a secure, encrypted, and anonymous signal relay.

iOS 13 Includes References To Apple's Tag Device For Tracking Personal Items, by Guilherme Rambo, 9to5Mac

Now, the first beta of iOS 13 includes an asset package for a device with the product type “Tag1,1”. This type of asset package is used for pairing devices by proximity, the same way as AirPods and HomePod can be paired to a user’s device.

iOS 13 Removes 200 MB File Size Limit For App Downloads Over Cellular, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

In iOS 13, the system now shows a dialog warning that the app size is large, noting the file size. Users can choose to continue downloading or schedule it to happen later when the device returns to a Wi-Fi connection.

Watch TV

Apple Wants To Save Your Hearing And Track Your Menstrual Cycle With New Apple Watch Update, by Sean Hollister, The Verge

Apple’s big upcoming update for the Apple Watch, watchOS 6, is going to try to protect your ears — Apple’s going to use the built-in microphone to tell you if ambient noise is too loud, and warn you to take care of your hearing. And that’s just one of several new health features, including menstrual cycle (and fertility) tracking on the Watch itself, and a new Activity Trends feature that’ll let you see how you’re tracking toward your fitness goals over time, the company just announced at WWDC 2019.

tvOS Gets Support For Multiple Users, Xbox And PlayStation Controllers, by Romain Dillet, TechCrunch

tvOS will support multiple users so that your “Up Next” queue is personalized to your tastes. It works pretty much like profiles on Netflix and other streaming services. You swipe from the right to open a new Control Center panel.

Day of the Mac Pro

A Closer Look At Apple’s Reinvented Mac Pro, by Brian Heater, TechCrunch

The company happily discussed how much it had undercut the competition at $5,999 — but it’s important to note that those who are really serious about the category are almost certainly going to want to upgrade from some of the base-level specs including, notably, the 256GB SSD. When we’re having conversations about editing 4K and 8K video, you’re going to want something beefier out of the box.

The Pro Display XDR 6K monitor is also quite lovely. And it’s interesting to see the company getting back in the monitor game after handing off a lot of the heavy lifting to the likes of LG. At $4,999, it’s $1,000 cheaper than the Pro — until you add back in the optional $1,000 stand.

Privacy Matters

“Sign In With Apple” Is A Great New Privacy Feature—and A Weapon, by Mark Sullivan, Fast Compnay

Sign in with Apple is an impressive, privacy-friendly alternative to one of the main data-harvesting techniques used by its rivals. And Apple isn’t just offering it up as a new option for developers. It will require apps that include sign-in buttons powered by other companies to add its new button as well.

Rolling out Sign in with Apple is different than Tim Cook saying “we believe privacy is a human right” in a speech or a TV interview. This is Apple weaponizing its privacy stance, creating a product that directly addresses a well-known tactic used in the surveillance economy. If users embrace it, they’ll benefit—and if they use it instead of some other company’s more intrusive sign-in service, other tech giants will lose out.

Apple Says Apps Will Be Required To Offer 'Sign In With Apple' If They Support Other Sign In Platforms, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

“Sign in With Apple” isn’t live in the first beta of iOS 13, but the company says it will be available for developers to test this summer. It also notes that if an app supports third-party sign-in from a competitor like Google or Facebook, it must also support “Sign in with Apple.”

Apple Is Now The Privacy-as-a-service Company, by Darrell Etherington, TechCrunch

Apple shared plenty of news today at its WWDC 2019 annual developer conference, but a few of the announcements early on are potentially its biggest in terms of what they signal about the company and its direction. Specifically, Apple unveiled a new single-sign on unified ID platform, as well as a new way it’ll operate as a go-between for security cameras that work with its HomeKit smart home services.

These didn’t come out of nowhere: Apple has been playing up its privacy game for at least a few years now, and in the Tim Cook era it’s especially come to the fore. But today’s announcements really crystallize how Apple’s approach to privacy will mesh with its transformation into becoming even more of a services company. It’s becoming a services company with a key differentiator – privacy – and it’s also extending that paradigm to third-parties, acting as an ecosystem layer that mediates between users, and anyone who would seek to monetize their info in aggregate.

Apple Restricts Ads And Third-party Trackers In iPhone Apps For Kids, by Zack Whittaker, TechCrunch

“Apps in the kids category may not include third-party advertising or analytics,” the new guidelines say. Previously, the guidelines only restricted behavioral advertising tracking.

Apple also currently prohibits apps in the kids category from including links that point outside the app or contain in-app purchasing.

Apple Is A Tech Regulator Now, by April Glaser, Slate

Apple pulling in the reins on what apps can access about users is just the latest example of Apple regulating other companies.

Apple CEO Tim Cook On iOS 13's Sign In With Apple: 'We're Not Really Taking A Shot At Anybody', by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Apple, he says, focuses on the user, and the company believes people want to be able to use the web without being under surveillance.

UIs and Kits

Apple Announces SwiftUI, A Modern Declarative User Interface Framework For Apple Platforms, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

SwiftUI enables a realtime UI programming environment inside of Xcode. Developers declare the kind of UI components they want to show in their app’s UI and it appears immediately on the right-hand side of Xcode.

Apple’s Real User Indicator Will Tell Developers When A New Account May Actually Be A Bot, by Nick Statt, The Verge

The feature, announced during the company’s Platforms State of the Union event at its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), is designed to check for traits more consistent with bots than people. It then informs an app developer of the situation, so the developer can then take further action to verify the authenticity of the new account.

Apple Unveils ARKit 3 With People Occlusion, Motion Capture, Multiple Face Tracking, And More, by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

The latest release brings some major new features like people occlusion, motion capture, multiple face tracking, simultaneous front and back camera use, and more.

Apple Announces RealityKit And Reality Composer, by Guilherme Rambo, 9to5Mac

The new framework should make it easier for developers to integrate 3D content into their apps, including content in AR.

Apple Introduces SF Symbols App With Over 1,000 Configurable Symbols For Developers, by Michael Steeber, 9to5Mac

SFSymbols is a set of over 1,000 consistent and highly configurable symbols that was designed to integrate with Apple’s system font, San Francisco. These symbols can be used in iOS 13, watchOS 6, and tvOS 13. Each symbol was designed with a variety of sizes and weights so you can find the right version for your app.

Apple Expands Feedback Assistant Platform To Developers, Replacing Bug Reporter, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

In the past, Apple has used the Feedback Assistant platform for collecting beta feedback from users of the public iOS and macOS betas. With iOS 13, iPadOS, and macOS 10.15, however, Apple is expanding the platform to developers as well.

The Winners

Apple Announces 2019 Apple Design Award Winners, by Tim Hardwick, MacRumors

Apple tonight officially announced the winners of the Apple Design Awards 2019. Recipients are selected based on what the company thinks are some of the best apps for various Apple platforms.


Apple Backs Off Crackdown On Parental-Control Apps, by Jack Nicas, New York Times

After promoting its latest software updates in a splashy two-hour presentation on Monday morning, Apple articulated its new policy in a short blog post on a section of its website for developers.

The post said parental-control apps could now use two technologies that Apple had recently cited as grounds for their removal from iPhones.

One technology, mobile device management, or M.D.M., enables parents to take control of a child’s phone. The other is a virtual private network, or V.P.N., which parents can use to block certain apps on a child’s phone.

While the blog post did not explain why Apple had changed its mind, the company said the apps could use the technologies if they didn’t “sell, use or disclose to third parties any data for any purpose.”

Inside Apple’s Earthquake-Ready Headquarters, by Thomas Fuller, New York Times

The building is one of a relatively small number in the United States that use so-called base-isolation technology. [...]

Jim Wilson, the San Francisco bureau photographer, and I were the first journalists to descend into the basement and tour the building’s protective seismic system.

Bottom of the Page

Will we start seeing prices of Mac apps dropping to iPad's level?


Thanks for reading.