The Unintended-Consequences Edition Friday, June 18, 2021

Big Tech Has A Battle Ahead Over Antitrust Regulation — And It’s Going To Get Messy, by Shirin Ghaffary, Vox

Cicilline’s spokesperson later wrote on Twitter that the congressman was misquoted and that the bill would not block Apple from pre-installed apps but would instead force the company to let people uninstall or switch Apple’s default apps. Currently, on newer iPhones, you can delete some — but not all — of Apple’s installed apps. You can already switch the default apps for your email and web browser on newer iPhones, although not on older ones.

The back-and-forth over the details of Cicilline’s bill just shows how messy the battle is becoming between Big Tech’s supporters and the politicians trying to regulate the industry — particularly when it involves nuanced discussions about unintended consequences that could result when you regulate popular consumer tech like iPhones.

How iOS 15 Transforms The Way We Think Of iPhone Updates, by Jason Snell, Macworld

It’s not that Apple hasn’t been updating older devices when necessary—it has. It’s more that, by making this feature so much more prominent (it’s in the iOS 15 marketing page!), it’s both committing to the practice and highlighting that even devices that aren’t on the latest OS version are still usable. That’s a good flag to plant in the ground, especially if a new round of incompatibility might be in the offing next year.

Apple And Google’s AI Wizardry Promises Privacy—at A Cost, by Tom Simonite, Wired

Since the dawn of the iPhone, many of the smarts in smartphones have come from elsewhere: the corporate computers known as the cloud. Mobile apps sent user data cloudward for useful tasks like transcribing speech or suggesting message replies. Now Apple and Google say smartphones are smart enough to do some crucial and sensitive machine learning tasks like those on their own.


Apple Updates iMovie, Final Cut Pro, Motion, And Compressor With New Backgrounds, Enhanced Search, Notifications, And More, by Hartley Charlton, MacRumors

Apple has released updates for iMovie, Final Cut Pro, Motion, and Compressor, introducing a handful of new features such as enhanced media search and notifications for encoding batches, as well as bug fixes.

Apple Lowers Prices Of AppleCare+ Plans For M1 MacBook Air And MacBook Pro, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

Apple today lowered the prices of AppleCare+ plans for MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro models equipped with the M1 chip. Coverage offered by the plans, as well as accidental damage fees, appear to remain unchanged.

Unread 2.6 Gains Full-text Search, New Compact Article List For iPhone, by Oliver Haslam, iMore

Popular RSS reader Unread has a new update out, with version 2.6 now available for download from the App Store. The update adds a few new features, a couple of which will make significant changes to the way you use the app.


Shazam Crosses 1 Billion Song Matches Per Month Milestone, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

Apple subsidiary Shazam has crossed the 1 billion Shazams per month milestone, the company announced on Thursday. The song recognition app has also tagged more than 50 billion songs since it first launched in 2022.

Bottom of the Page

Almost every single app that shipped with the iPhone -- with the exception of the App Store and Settings apps -- has competitors competing.


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