The Transparency-Tracking Edition Thursday, January 28, 2021

Apple Says App Tracking Transparency Feature Will Launch In ‘Early Spring’ With iOS 14 Update, by Chance Mille,r 9to5Mac

In honor of Data Privacy Day on January 28, Apple has announced that its App Tracking Transparency feature will launch to users “in early spring.” The company has also launched a new easy-to-understand report dubbed “A Day in the Life of Your Data,” which illustrates “how companies track user data across websites and apps.”

Google Apps Won't Have To Show iOS 'Allow Tracking' Prompt, by Abner Li, 9to5Google

Rather than having to show that prompt, Google will stop using a device’s unique IDFA (Identifier For Advertisers) when ATT goes into effect early this year, and thus be “in line with Apple’s guidance.” Of course, Google presumably has other tracking methods, while everything in their stack is technically considered first-party. The company also reiterated that its services will get App Privacy labels as they are updated.

What We Learned From Apple’s New Privacy Labels, by Brian X. Chen, New York Times

Apple said only some of its apps — like FaceTime, Mail and Apple Maps — could be deleted and downloaded again in the App Store, so those can be found there with privacy labels. But its Phone and Messages apps cannot be deleted from devices and so do not have privacy labels in the App Store. Instead, the privacy labels for those apps are in hard-to-find support documents.

The result is that the data practices of Apple’s apps are less upfront. If Apple wants to lead the privacy conversation, it can set a better example by making language clearer — and its labeling program less self-serving. When I asked why all apps shouldn’t be held to the same standards, Apple did not address the issue further.

Strong Sales

Apple Sees Revenue Growth Accelerating After Setting Record For iPhone Sales, China Strength, by Stephen Nellis, Reuters

Apple shipped its iPhone 12 lineup several weeks later than usual, but an expanded number of models and new look appear to have tapped into pent up demand for upgrades, especially in China. The company also posted strong sales of its Mac laptops and iPads in the quarter, driven by consumers working, learning and playing from home during the pandemic.

This Is Tim: Holiday 2020 Results Call Transcript, by Jason Snell, Six Colors

Apple’s latest record financial results were released on Wednesday. Here’s our usual complete transcript of Apple CEO Tim Cook’s and CFO Luca Maestri’s statements on their call with analysts, including their question-and-answer segment.


AirPods Max Ear Cushions Now Available To Order Separately For $69, by Parker Ortolani, 9to5Mac

AirPods Max Ear Cushions are available in silver, black, green, sky blue and pink. When you buy these you’ll get a set of 2 cushions, one for the right side and one for the left side.

Control HomeKit From The Keyboard With HomeControl Menu, by Jason Snell, Sxi Colors

It’s great to finally have HomeKit under my control on my Mac—from my menu bar, my keyboard, and my scripts.


Apple Releases First-ever tvOS User Interface Design Kit For Sketch, by Parker Ortolani, 9to5Mac

Apple’s tvOS design kit includes all of the components you’d expect from design template to colors, materials, and more. These new tools should make it much easier for designers and developers to create mock ups and concepts for their apps.

Bottom of the Page

I've been greatly enjoying this long audiobook that I am listening right now, that I haven't watched any TV lately.

And I've realized that, because of my way shorter commute lately in these strange times, I haven't been listening to many long audiobooks. (Barack Obama's memoir -- part one! -- was the exception.)

(The book is The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue, by V.E. Schwab. I haven't finish the book yet -- it's not short -- but I am quite confident the ending will also turn out to be excellent.)


Thanks for reading.