The Behind-the-Scenes Edition Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Ahead Of ATT Launch, Apple Touts Its Other Privacy-preserving Ad Technologies On iOS, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Apple has debuted a new “A Day in the Life of Your Data” report today with updated details on its efforts to preserve user privacy. The new report focuses on the behind-the-scenes technology Apple uses to manage the impact on user privacy of targeted advertising. This comes ahead of this spring’s launch of App Tracking Transparency.

Apple Details Ways Advertisers Can Measure The Impact Of Ads Without Tracking Users Ahead Of iOS 14.5 Launch, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

Apple says SKAdNetwork lets advertisers know how many times an app was installed after ads for it were seen, without any user or device data being shared. Likewise, Private Click Measurement allows advertisers to measure the impact of ads that lead users to a website while minimizing data collection using on-device processing. Apps can use Private Click Measurement starting with iOS 14.5 and iPadOS 14.5.

On Security

Bug In Mac’s Default Text App Could Let Hackers Reveal Your IP Address, by Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai, Vice

Paulos Yibelo found a bug that potentially allowed a hacker to trick a victim's Mac into revealing their IP address just by downloading a .txt file and opening it with TextEdit. The issue was that TextEdit automatically parsed and interpreted HTML code. To trigger this vulnerability, the hacker would have simply needed to insert some malicious HTML code into the text file to make TextEdit ping a remote server controlled by the hacker, as the researcher explained in a blog post.

Apple patched the bug last year, according to the company's security update notes. The company declined to comment.


Is Apple TV+ The Best Streaming Service Out There? Not Yet. But It’s Gaining., by Emily VanDerWerff, Vox

But making a smaller number of shows, based on fresher ideas, is a smart way to build a streaming service with an eye toward standing out in the long run, especially if those shows hail from creative voices who might bring new perspectives to the air.

Apple Sets New Apple Watch Activity Challenges For Earth Day And International Dance Day, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

In addition to the annual Earth Day Challenge, Apple is also launching a new International Dance Day Challenge for the first time. This comes after the launch of Apple Fitness+, which includes an entire category of dancing workouts.

5 Ways To Tap Into Your Smartphone’s Audio Powers, by J. D. Biersdorfer, New York Times

It has been a decade since Apple integrated Siri right into its iPhone software and mainstreamed the voice-activated assistant. But the assistant is just one of the voice-powered tools in your smartphone’s ever-growing audio toolbox. Your device can also be a digital recorder, a dictation machine, a podcast production studio and more. Here’s how to get things done with more talking and less typing.

HomePaper: A Handy Utility For Creating Beautiful Home App Wallpapers, by John Voorhees, MacStories

HomePaper makes creating great-looking wallpapers effortless with a huge set of pre-built gradients that you can pair with an image in your photo library or by taking a picture with your iPhone or iPad’s camera.


Apple Launches An App For Testing Devices That Work With ‘Find My’, by Sarah Perez, TechCrunch

Apple has launched a new app, Find My Certification Asst., designed for use by MFi (Made for iPhone) Licensees, who need to test their accessories’ interoperability with Apple’s Find My network. The network helps users find lost Apple devices — like iPhones, AirPods and Mac computers, among other things — but is poised to add support for finding other compatible accessories manufactured by third parties.


No More Scrolling: Ditching My iPhone For An Apple Watch, by Nick Krasney

A week ago, I replaced my smartphone with an Apple Watch. The amount of screen in my pocket went from ~18 square inches to ~2.6 square inches—almost 7x smaller. Here’s why I did it, what happened, and what I learned.

All Of Google's Main Apps Now Feature Privacy Labels, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

It’s not clear why Google delayed adding App Privacy labels to its apps for so long as it isn’t exactly a surprise that the company is collecting quite a bit of data from users.

Developer Highlights How Fake Apps Scam Users Via Apple's In-App Purchasing System, by Sami Fathi, MacRumors

Apple hosts millions of apps on the App Store, calling the platform a “safe and trusted” place to discover apps. While mainly true, Apple has come under criticism for hosting many different scam apps on the platform, some even raking in millions in revenue.

Bottom of the Page

I don't use a lot of apps on my phone. There're the reading apps (RSS, ebooks, and read-it-later), the audio apps (audiobooks, podcasts, music), and the internet-communication apps (chats and texts).

I wonder how many "do you want to be track" dialogs I have to dismiss this spring?

I'm guessing four. And, yes, one of the regular apps that I do use is owned by Facebook.


Thanks for reading.