The Complexity-as-an-Option Edition Thursday, June 25, 2020

With iOS 14, Apple Is Finally Letting The iPhone Home Screen Get Complicated, by Dieter Bohn, The Verge

When you eventually upgrade, all your stuff will be in the same place and nothing will work differently by default. There will be a new section called the “App Library” over to the side, but you are free to pay it no mind.

Offering complexity as an option is a tricky thing, but I think Apple has landed upon a good balance. There are four main ways that Apple is adding complication. None of them are a rebuke of the old way of doing things, but all of them require a different and more involved mental model of what it means to use an iPhone.

Macs With Apple Silicon Will Get New, Refined Boot And Recovery Mode, by Jason Snell, Six Colors

Holding down that button at startup will bring up an entirely new macOS Recovery options screen. From here you’ll be able to fix a broken Mac boot drive, alter security settings, share your Mac’s disk with another computer, choose a startup disk, and pretty much everything else you used to have to remember keyboard shortcuts to do.

Now that Apple is holding all the cards, the company has built a new boot process, based on iOS’s existing secure boot process, but modified to support those features that Mac users expect, such as different macOS boot drives, multiple versions of the operating system, and macOS Recovery itself.

What’s New In The Apple Music App For iOS 14: Listen Now Tab, Endless Autoplay, iPad Redesign, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

One of the common criticisms of Apple Music from Spotify users is the playlists and discovery features aren’t as good. Listen Now is seemingly trying to address that angle with an even greater focus on personalization. The tab features Top Picks like your heavy rotation and curated playlists for your mood, followed by Stations For You focusing on artists you follow, and the custom Apple Music mixes like Friends Mix and New Music Mix.

Some sections in Listen Now — like Top Picks — use this new prominent poster art style. It adds some nice visual variety compared to iOS 13’s For You repeating lines of square-shaped albums.

Also Coming This Fall

Safari To Support Password-less Logins Via Face ID And Touch ID Later This Year, by Jon Porter, The Verge

Safari 14, the version of Apple’s browser that will ship with iOS 14 and macOS Big Sur, will let you use Face ID or Touch ID to log in to websites built to support the feature. The functionality was confirmed the browser’s beta release notes, and Apple has detailed how the feature works in a WWDC video for developers. The functionality is built on the WebAuthn component of the FIDO2 standard, developed by the FIDO Alliance. It should make logging into a website as easy as logging into an app secured with Touch ID or Face ID.

iOS 14 And tvOS 14 Bring All-new Game Center, Expanded Xbox And Playstation Controller Capabilities, by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

Game Center, one of Apple’s less talked about platform components is getting an all-new design this year with a focus on finding games and playing with friends. Other details in WWDC game development talks this year include leveraging the new game controller advancements, how to offer users the ability to share clips from games, and more.

Apple Introduces Hand, Body Pose Detection To Vision Framework For Developers, by Mike Peterson, AppleInsider

Apple gives a series of examples of how developers can leverage that capability.

That includes a fitness app that could automatically track an exercise that a user is performing, media editing app that can find photos or video clips based on the poses within them, or a safety app that can help train employees on correct ergonomic postures.

Why Are iOS 14 Default Apps Limited To Just Browser And Email Apps?, by Tom Warren, The Verge

Apple is gradually bringing its walls down, either by choice or because of looming pressure from regulators. Many iPhone and iPad users will be happy they can finally set default apps for their browser and email apps, but those same people are probably wondering, like I am, why Apple hasn’t gone further.

Apple's Latest Privacy Announcement Could Be More Impactful Than CCPA Or GDPR, by Ronan Shields, AdWeek

While Apple makes much of its transparency regarding consumer data, its communications with the ad industry are more opaque. The announcements and subsequently released documentation have led to varying interpretations of what the latest announcements say about Apple’s long-term plans.

What is clear is that iOS 14’s transparency requirements will have repercussions for the digital media ecosystem with laws such as the California Consumer Privacy Act and growing public backlash over how user data is used to target ads.


Is Active Noise Cancellation Fixed By AirPods Pro Firmware? Nobody Knows, by Ed Hardy, Cult of Mac

Apple updated AirPods Pro to firmware version 2D27 on Tuesday. Users of these truly wireless headphones have since had a chance to install it, but there’s no consensus about whether it makes active noise cancellation as good as it was when this product first launched.

Apple Offering Some Users An Extra Month Of Free Apple Arcade Access, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

It’s not entirely clear how many people are receiving the additional month of Apple Arcade service to try it out, but the emails may be going out to those who tried ‌Apple Arcade‌ for a month and then canceled it after the trial period was over.


Apple Now Letting Developers Know When Customers Request In-App Refunds To Prevent Scams, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Apple is introducing a new in-app purchase server notification system that lets developers know when a customer requests and receives a refund for an in-app purchase, allowing the developer to take an appropriate action, such as revoking the purchased item.

WWDC: How Apple's Swift Student Challenge Winners Are Fighting Coronavirus, by Alison DeNisco Rayome, CNET

When the novel coronavirus made its way to the US in March, leaving doctors and nurses without necessary medical supplies, a hospital in Houston got help from an unlikely source: A 17-year-old technologist and Apple Swift Student Challenge winner named Ethan Saadia.


Apple Stores In Houston Next To Reclose As COVID-19 Cases Rise, by Michael Steeber, 9to5Mac

Apple is reclosing more of its US retail stores as COVID-19 cases continue to rise in many states. Starting June 25, seven stores in the Houston area will temporarily close.

DOJ, States Eye Potential U.S. Antitrust Probe Of Apple, by Leah Nylen, Politico

The Justice Department and a coalition of state attorneys general are taking the first steps toward launching an antitrust probe of Apple, turning the iPhone-maker into the latest Silicon Valley giant to face legal jeopardy in Washington, three people involved in the discussions told POLITICO.

The individuals said DOJ and the AGs have spoken to several companies unhappy with Apple’s ironclad control of its App Store, the source of frequent griping by developers who say the company’s rules are applied inconsistently — particularly for apps that compete with Apple’s own products — and lead to higher prices and fewer choices for consumers.

Apple Acquires Fleetsmith To Enhance iPhone, iPad, And Mac Enterprise Features, by Bradley Chambers, 9to5Mac

Mobile Device Management is at the heart of every Apple enterprise customer’s network stack. Up until now, Apple has generally relied on third party companies when enabling its customer to deploy, secure, and manage devices in the corporate environment. Today, Fleetsmith announced they have been acquired by Apple. This acquisition will give Apple a first-party MDM solution to offer its customer.

Bottom of the Page

I hope you are having a good day.

But if you are not, I invite you to look out the window, and share whichever slice of the sky with me, and I'd share my wish with you that hopefully tomorrow, or next week, or next month, or next year, things will be better.


Thanks for reading.