The Wall-Rebuilding Edition Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Why Passkeys Will Be Simpler And More Secure Than Passwords, by Glenn Fleishman, TidBITS

The passkey is a modern replacement for passwords that rebuilds the security wall protecting standard account logins. Proximity—in the form of the device that stores your passkeys—is a powerful tool in reducing account hijacking and interception. Passkeys may seem scary and revolutionary, but they’re actually safer and, in some ways, a bit old-fashioned: they’re a bit of a throwback to a time when having access to a terminal provided proof you were authorized to use it.

Period-Tracking Apps And Data Privacy In Post-Roe America, by John Gruber, Daring Fireball

I don’t mean to glibly suggest that Apple Health is a panacea for this dilemma. It’s certainly worth worrying about which third-party apps you grant access to your Health data, for one thing. And for another, data stored on-device is still accessible to law enforcement if they have possession of the device and can unlock it. But it’s a distinction worth noting. HealthKit was designed from the ground up to be cryptographically secure in this way.


DEVONthink 3.8.4, by Agen Schmitz, TidBITS

DEVONtechnologies has released DEVONthink 3.8.4 with a long and varied list of additions and improvements for the document and information manager. A new preference allows you to decide whether viewed items are marked as read, a new filter pane finds multimedia documents, and several inspector panes receive new options.

The Excellent Unread 3 Gains Its Own RSS Syncing Service And More, by Oliver Haslam, iMore

Unread is a great way to follow and read RSS feeds on iPhone and iPad — and with Unread 3, it's better than ever thanks to the integration of an all-new sync service.

An Introduction To Mechanical Keyboards, by Matt Birchler, The Sweet Setup

We love keyboards here at The Sweet Setup [...], especially mechanical keyboards, so today we’re going to walk through the basic things you need to know when shopping for mechanical keyboards. We’re also going to do brief reviews of a few Keychron keyboards that we think are great starter boards for Apple users who want to get into the mechanical keyboard world without giving up some of the quality-of-life features we’re used to.

Best Plant Care Apps To Keep Your Houseplants Healthy, by Stacey Nguyen, HappySprout

Tending after houseplants might offer you a reprieve from digital screens, but plant apps can actually be helpful resources for foliage enthusiasts. You’ve probably Googled a plant question and found yourself on a gardening subreddit before, but did you know that there are excellent plant apps out there that can help you troubleshoot plant problems and identify new plants?


Where Apple Sees Security, Critics See A Highly Profitable Monopoly, by Leah Nylen, Bloomberg

Apple says an antitrust bill aimed at cracking open the app-store market will make iPhones less secure — even though Congress and some large firms already have Apple-approved tools that let them bypass the App Store.

Apple Revokes Certificates For Spyware App 'Hermit' Distributed Outside The App Store, by Filipe Espósito, 9to5Mac

A company spokesperson said that all known accounts and certificates associated with the spyware have been revoked, so the malicious app can no longer be distributed outside of the App Store.

Studios Battle For Players Of ‘Hypercasual’ Videogames, The Latest Mobile Distraction, by Katie Deighton, Wall Street Journal

Users can learn how to play within a matter of seconds and often without instructions. And some hypercasual games don’t feel like games at all, instead tapping into the trend for autonomous sensory meridian response videos by asking players to paint virtual nails, pop virtual bubble wrap and slice virtual objects.

But the publishers and studios behind these apps are starting to add some elements of complexity—such as leaderboards, multiplayer formats and in-app purchases—to historically uncomplicated games, looking to retain players as the market saturates and landmark shifts in technology make it harder to monetize apps with advertising.

Bottom of the Page

I hope the smartphone will not be an essential piece of equipment that we need to carry and use in order to get on our lives. But I do think this is a losing battle.


Thanks for reading.