The Free-to-All Edition Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Apple’s Online-only WWDC 2020 Starts June 22, by Samuel Axon, Ars Technica

Access to this year's conference will be free to all Apple developers. Videos of all the sessions, plus any related documentation, have been offered through Apple's website and apps to active developer accounts in previous years, too. It's unclear what, if anything, Apple will do differently with this conference in addition to livestreaming the sessions online and making the videos available.

Apple Unveils WWDC 2020 Coding Contest For Students, by Jason Hiner, CNET

To participate, student developers from across across the globe need to use Swift Playgrounds (on iPad or Mac) to build an interactive scene that can be experienced in three minutes or less and submit it through the WWDC 2020 Swift Student Challenge site. The contest opens today and runs through 11:59 p.m. PT on Sunday, May 17. The contest winners will get a WWDC20 jacket and pin set and will be notified by June 16, ahead of the virtual WWDC, which is set to begin June 22.

Pro Crackling

Apple Updates AirPods Pro Firmware To Version 2D15, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

There is no word on what's new in the refreshed firmware at this time, though there have been some complaints from ‌AirPods Pro‌ users about Active Noise Cancellation issues with the prior firmware.

Apple Releases Support Advice For AirPods Pro Users With Crackling Audio And Noise Cancellation Issues, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

This week, Apple has released a couple of support articles that specifically mention troubleshooting steps to try, for users experiencing issues with Active Noise Cancellation or if they are hearing crackling/static noises.

Working Relationships

France Accuses Apple Of Refusing Help With 'StopCovid' App, by Sudip Kar-Gupta, Michel Rose, Reuters

Apple’s iPhones normally block access to Bluetooth unless the user is actively running an app. French officials want Apple to change the settings to let their app access Bluetooth in the background, so it is always on. So far, they say, Apple has refused.

“Apple could have helped us make the application work even better on the iPhone. They have not wished to do so,” France’s minister for digital technology, Cedric O, told BFM Business TV.


“We will remember that when time comes,” the minister added.

Spotify CEO Expects Apple To Further Open Up After Complaint, by Mark Gurman and Emily Chang, Bloomberg

Spotify Technology SA Chief Executive Officer Daniel Ek said he expects Apple Inc. to further open up its platform a year after the Stockholm-based music streaming company filed an antitrust complaint with the European Union.


“It’s moving in the right direction, but we still have many, many steps to go before” Spotify considers Apple “an open and fair platform,” Ek said.

Apple’s Copyright Lawsuit Has Created A ‘Chilling Effect’ On Security Research, by Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai, Motherboard

The lawsuit, however, has already produced a tangible outcome: very few people, especially current and former customers and users, want to talk about Corellium, which sells the eponymous software that virtualizes iPhones and Android devices. During the lawsuit's proceedings, Apple has sought information from companies that have used the tool, which emulates iOS on a computer, allowing researchers to probe potential iPhone vulnerabilities in a forgiving and easy-to-use environment.


“I don’t know if they intended it but when they name individuals at companies that have spoken in favor [of Corellium], I definitely believe retribution is possible,” the researcher added, referring to Apple’s subpoena to the spanish finance giant Santander Bank, which named an employee who had Tweeted about Corellium.


Apple Adds AFI Movie Club Picks To Apple TV App, by Todd Spangler, Variety

The American Film Institute’s AFI Movie Club, daily selections of favorite films new and old to watch during quarantine, is now available directly on the Apple TV app — thereby making it easier to stream the titles from the app or pay Apple to rent or buy the titles.

Abyss Is A Neat Little “Read Later” App For iPhone, iPad And Mac, by Gayatri Tanksali, Beautiful Pixels

It’s a super simple app that lets you save links into the app from anywhere using the native share sheets on iOS, iPadOS and macOS. These URLs that you save in the app sync between all your devices using your iCloud account, so everything stays private since there are no 3rd party servers or services involved.

Bottom of the Page

Will Apple be offering any reasons for developers to attend WWDC live? (Well, besides the keynotes, that is.) If so, will Apple be doing something for all the major timezones, or are we all going to live on Pacific time for a week?


Thanks for reading.