The Monitored-by-Apps Edition Monday, November 8, 2021

The Parents Who Track Their Children, by Anna Jones, BBC

Family-tracking apps have exploded in popularity over the past decade or so. A parent’s natural instinct to protect their children is a component of growth, of course – but these apps keep booming as many parents feel the world – both off and online – is inherently and increasingly dangerous.

Yet experts say parents wanting to use them should think very hard about how they’’ll do so, and how they’ll talk to their children about them. Apps are becoming ever more sophisticated in the data they're gathering, raising questions about personal security. And children raised being app-monitored are now reaching adulthood, leaving the parents with the quandary – when do you turn them off?

The Dawn Of Tappigraphy: Does Your Smartphone Know How You Feel Before You Do?, by Zoë Corbyn, The Guardian

If symptom-related digital signals – called digital biomarkers – can be properly teased out, it could provide a new route for diagnosing or monitoring a range of medical conditions, particularly those relating to mental or brain health. Early research suggests patterns in geolocation data may correlate with episodes of depression and relapses in schizophrenia; certain keystroke patterns could predict mania in bipolar disorder; and the way toddlers gaze at a smartphone screen could be used to detect autism.

Data streams include smartphone activity logs, measurements from any of a phone’s built-in sensors (such as the GPS, accelerometer or light sensor) as well as user-generated content, which can be mined for words or phrases. “It is classic big-data analytics… repurposing data for reasons other than it was primarily collected,” says Brit Davidson, an assistant professor of analytics at the University of Bath, UK who has been critically watching the field develop.


Apple Shares New 'Everyday Experiments' Video With iPhone 13: 'Hollywood At Home', by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Apple is continuing its popular “Everyday Experiments” video series this weekend to promote the iPhone 13’s camera features. The latest installment in this series is entitled “Hollywood at Home” and it features several different scenes including RC cars, food, and pets.

How To Troubleshoot Someone Else’s Phone Remotely, by David Nield, Wired

The answer is to get the person you're helping to share their device's screen with you. Not only can you see for yourself what's happening, you can also try and fix the problem yourself remotely, over the web.


The Future Of Netflix’s Gaming Service Rests With Apple’s App Store Rules, by Mark Gurman, Bloomberg

Because of Apple’s ban on all-in-one services, the current individual app implementation on Android of the Netflix service gives us a preview of how the Netflix offering will function on iOS.

An Apple Executive Said Something Extraordinary. You May Think About This For Days, by Chris Matyszczyk, ZDNet

Please, there may be many very good reasons why these MacBooks have a notch, but no Face ID. Some of them may even be attached to the truth.

But to suggest Touch ID is preferable on a MacBook because your hands are already on the keyboard seems so far removed from what one might call user experience.

Bottom of the Page

So, when Apple tells us that we really don't want FaceID on the MacBook Pros, and that TouchID is the better option, is it more like Steve Jobs telling us we don't want to watch videos on our iPods, or is it more like Craig Federighi telling us we don't want to touch the screens on our Macs?


Thanks for reading.