The Based-on-Catalyst Edition Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Apple Updates Its Developer App And Provides New Information About WWDC, by John Voorhees, MacStories

For the first time, there is now a Mac version of the Developer app, which appears based on Apple’s Mac Catalyst technology. The new app includes a left-hand sidebar that presents the same written and video content found in the iOS and iPadOS versions of the app. The iPhone and iPad versions of the Developer app have also been updated with a redesign of the Discover, Browse, and WWDC tabs and the option to mark Discover articles as favorites.

Apple Design Awards Announced For June 29, More Details On WWDC 1-on-1 Labs, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Apple says that the labs will be held from June 23 through June 26 and take place over a Webex audio call. The appointments will be between 10 and 55 minutes.

Apple Highlights Swift Student Challenge Winners, by Ryan Christoffel, MacStories

One unique component of Apple’s online WWDC this year is that the company opened a Swift Student Challenge where students could submit a Swift playground creation for special recognition. Today in a press release, Apple is highlighting three of the 350 winners: Sofia Ongele, Palash Taneja, and Devin Green.

Distorting Competition

Apple Pay And iOS App Store Under Formal Antitrust Probe In Europe, by Natasha Lomas, TechCrunch

Apple is under formal investigation by antitrust regulators in European Union — following a number of complaints related to how it operates the iOS App Store and also its payment offering, Apple Pay.

The Commission said today that it has concerns that conditions and restrictions applied by the tech giant may be distorting competition in a number of areas, following a preliminary probe of the issues.

Apple Says Disappointed With EU Antitrust Investigations, by Foo Yun Chee, Reuters

“It’s disappointing the European Commission is advancing baseless complaints from a handful of companies who simply want a free ride, and don’t want to play by the same rules as everyone else,” the iPhone maker said in a statement.

Doing Business

Apple Claims 'Half A Trillion Dollars' App Store Economy, by Leo Kelion, BBC

The study was commissioned by Apple but carried out by economists at the Boston-based consultancy Analysis Group.

It surveyed billings and sales related to apps running on the tech firm's iOS, Mac, Watch and Apple TV platforms.

Apple Says Its App Store Facilitated $519B In Commerce In 2019, by Sarah Perez, TechCrunch

For its part, Apple has been accused of running an anti-competitive app marketplace — one where its own services compete against rivals. Those competitors then have to pay Apple commissions for transactions the App Store facilitates. Apple also doesn’t allow other apps that sell apps, like the Epic Games Store. And it uses its favored status to wipe out competitors by launching similar products that can more deeply integrate with its OS — as it plans to do with its upcoming lost item finder, AirTags, which will work better than the current market leader, Tile, due to its first-party status.

In that light, it’s easy to see how this study is attempting to shift the narrative from one about how much Apple profits off developers — developers who are often now also competitors — to one that characterizes the App Store as one where business transactions flow freely. It paints a picture of industries that generate billions without Apple’s hand in the pot, so to speak.

But this ignores all the workarounds businesses have had to take to avoid Apple’s cut.


Apple Adds New MacBook Pro Graphics Option And Mac Pro SSD Upgrade Kit, by Brian Heater, TechCrunch

A week before kicking off WWDC, Apple introduced a pair of upgrades to its pro-level hardware lines. Both the 16-inch MacBook Pro and the Mac Pro desktop are getting select internal upgrades, starting today.

Apple Launches New 0% Apple Card Financing For iPad, Mac, AirPods, And More, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Apple today has officially launched support for financing additional products with Apple Card and 0% interest. The new financing options are available for the Mac lineup, iPad, AirPods Pro, AirPods, Apple Pencil, and more.

Mental Health Apps: Can They Help You Deal With Anxiety, Depression And Stress?, by Shouvik Das, News 18

“When you consult a professional psychiatrist, he or she can communicate with you and reciprocate to your feelings, which is the most important part of seeking professional help. Can it replace actual doctors? I don’t think so at all. But, can it help patients in certain cases? Definitely so. These apps are designed to be companions at best, so it isn’t a standalone solution but one that augments actual advice from doctors,” Sawant sums up.

Think of these apps as the proverbial first step in a long, winding flight of stairs. What apps like Remente and Insight Timer are offering are ways to get over your inhibition towards seeking professional help. But often, the first step is a very important step to take.

The FDA Just Approved The First Prescription Video Game — It’s For Kids With ADHD, by Sean Hollister, The Verge

It might not look like much of a video game, but Akili Interactive’s EndeavorRX, formerly Project EVO, may go down in history: it’s the first video game that can legally be marketed and prescribed as medicine in the US.

That’s the landmark decision from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which is authorizing doctors to prescribe the iPhone and iPad game for kids between ages eight and 12 years old with ADHD, after it underwent seven years of clinical trials that studied over 600 children to figure out whether a game could actually make a difference.

Twobird Is A Great Free Email Client With Collaborative Notes, by Ivan Mehta, The Next Web

I get a lot of emails every day, which Twobird helpfully sorts by Today, Yesterday, This Week, Last Week, Current Month, and months before that. This way, even if I missed a few emails from yesterday, I can quickly read them today and inch closer towards inbox-zero.

Then there are little things that helped me manage my inbox: pinned emails and notes, snooze, and the recently opened emails tab.

Create Custom Apple Watch Screenshots With ‘Watchshot’ App, by Filipe Espósito, 9to5Mac

If for some reason you ever needed to create a custom screenshot with an Apple Watch frame, you know it’s not the easiest thing to do on an iPhone or iPad. With the new Watchshot app, not only can you create these screenshots easily, but you can also combine them with a range of Apple Watch models.


Apple's Tim Cook Praises Supreme Court Ruling On Protections For LGBTQ Workers, by Alexandra Garrett, CNET

"Grateful for today's decision by the Supreme Court," said Cook in a tweet. "LGBTQ people deserve equal treatment in the workplace and throughout society, and today's decision further underlines that federal law protects their right to fairness."

Bottom of the Page

I do not know how many laps to walk around my dining table to get to 10,000 steps... but I do know I can get to about 1,000 steps in about 8 to 9 minutes.

Yes, that's what I've being doing in the second-half of this lock-down.


Thanks for reading.