The Never-Ever-Anticipated Edition Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Why I'm Thankful For Universal Control On My Mac And iPad, by Jason Snell, Macworld

It’s been about eight months since Universal Control arrived–remember, it was announced in June 2021 but gestated for nine months before being released in March of this year–and I’m finally ready to weigh in on Universal Control.

It’s great. It is one of my favorite operating-system feature additions in recent memory. And most surprising of all, I’m using it in ways I had never, ever anticipated. Here’s why I’m thankful that Universal Control exists.

Apple Urged To Address Privacy Gaps To Protect Reproductive Health Data, by Jessica Davis, SC Media

The latest state-led effort centers on Apple’s “long-promoted” privacy policies, which are touted as the company’s core values on iOS devices and its app store. The state attorneys general believe that Apple has indeed adopted consistent privacy and security measures to meet consumer data privacy goals.

However, “apps that collect private reproductive health data from consumers frequently fail to meet these same standards or to implement appropriate protections for this sensitive data, exposing consumers that seek or provide reproductive health care to potential action and harassment by law enforcement, private entities, or individuals,” the state leaders wrote.

I Followed Myself, For Months, Through Apple’s Find My Network, by Stephan Janssen, Medium

So, to summarize, while the openness of Apple’s Find My network is a nice change, it also opens it up for abuse. Since devices that Apple doesn’t control also don’t seem to trigger any warnings, this allows nefarious people to abuse the system to create a cheap, hard to identify, tracking devices and follow anyone around, without having to pay for cell service and with only a small chance of getting caught.

On Privacy

Thinking About Taking Your Computer To The Repair Shop? Be Very Afraid, by Dan Goodin, Ars Technica

If you’ve ever worried about the privacy of your sensitive data when seeking a computer or phone repair, a new study suggests you have good reason. It found that privacy violations occurred at least 50 percent of the time, not surprisingly with female customers bearing the brunt.


Besides finding widespread snooping, the study uncovered other problems. Among them: The vast majority of repair shops provide no privacy policy and those that do have no means of enforcing them. Even worse, repair technicians required a customer to surrender their login password even when it wasn’t necessary for the repair needed.

On App Stores

Apple To End App Commission Policy Charging More In Korea, by Laura Dobberstein, The Register

According to South Korea's Fair Trade Commission, Apple said it will correct an oddity that sees local developers charged even more than the usual 30 percent Cupertino demands for sales of software in its App Store.

News of the change comes after the Commission (FTC) in September launched an antitrust probe into Apple – in part because it added a ten percent sales tax before charging commission fees in South Korea, and only South Korea. The unusual billing policy resulted in Korean app developers paying a 33 percent rate of commission while their overseas counterparts paid only 30 percent.

U.K. To Investigate Apple And Google's 'Stranglehold' Over Browsing, by Ashley Capoot, CNBC

The authority will explore the companies' "stranglehold" over browsing, as well as Apple's control over cloud gaming through the App Store, it said in a release. The agency said Google and Apple powered 97% of all web browsing that took place in the U.K. in 2021.

iPhone Pro This Christmas

iPhone Delays Weigh On Apple Ahead Of Holiday Season, by Subrat Patnaik, Bloomberg

The delays, resulting from Covid lockdowns around a Chinese plant run by a contract manufacturer of iPhones, could cause analysts to trim their earnings estimates for this quarter, which accounts for 35% to 40% of iPhone unit sales. That in turn could further pressure Apple’s stock price, which has been a relative haven in this year’s tech meltdown.

iPhone 14 Pro Supply Dwindling From Third-party Retailers, Best Buy CEO Warns, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

iPhone 14 Pro availability continues to wane as the holiday shopping season enters full swing. Now, Apple partner Best Buy is warning that it is seeing strong demand for the flagship iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max devices, and it doesn’t have the supply to be able to keep up with that demand.

Hey Siri

Amazon Alexa Is A “Colossal Failure,” On Pace To Lose $10 Billion This Year, by Ron Amadeo, Ars Technica

While Google and Amazon hurt each other with an at-cost pricing war, Apple's smart speaker plans focused more on the bottom line. The original HomePod's $350 price was a lot more expensive than the competition, but that was probably a more sustainable business model. Apple's model didn't land with consumers, though, and the OG HomePod was killed in 2021. There's still a $99 "mini" version floating around, and Apple isn't giving up on the idea of a big speaker, with a comeback supposedly in the works. Siri can at least be a loss leader for iPhone sales, but Apple is also hunting around for more continual revenue from ads.

Report: Amazon Alexa Is A ‘Colossal Failure’ On Pace To Lose $10 Billion This Year, by John Gruber, Daring Fireball

Siri is there to make iPhones, iPads, Macs, Apple TVs, Apple Watches, and even AirPods better. And Apple isn’t losing money on any of those. Siri will serve the same purpose on future platforms from Apple, too. Apple’s investments in Siri are part and parcel investments in their OS strategy for everything they make.

Everybody Promised To Disrupt The Smartphone — And The Smartphone Outlasted Them All, by David Pierce, The Verge

Smartphones may be boring now, but that’s only because they’ve been so good for so long

Smartphones may be boring now, but that’s only because they’ve been so good for so long. As they’ve become so entrenched and ubiquitous in our lives, they’ve become even harder to disrupt. How do you beat the device that can do everything and is always with you? Battery life, I suppose. But good luck with that on your AR glasses.


ReadKit 3.1 Adds Smart Folders, More Customization Options, And New Lifetime Purchase Options, by John Voorhees, MacStories

However, what sets ReadKit apart is its thoughtful gesture and keyboard-driven interface that makes scanning through lots of feeds easy. Now, with smart folders, anyone following a long list of feeds can also create complex filters to pull a subset of the most relevant stories from their feeds.

Improve Your Safari Browsing Experience With These Automatic Redirects, by Pranay Parab, LifeHacker

Sometimes the desktop versions of websites have options that are missing from their mobile counterpart—you can make a redirect to switch to the desktop version of any site automatically. In other cases, you may prefer to open some sites in an app as opposed to the browser. Or you might want to automatically redirect a URL to remove paywalls from certain sites. In all of these cases, you’re going to need a browser extension to help.

The App Every Hiker Needs To Find Great Trails And Stay Safe, by Joe Cuhaj, TravelAwaits

The best thing about AllTrails is that all of the trail information you need, everything from an overview of the trail to turn-by-turn navigation to the weather forecast, is right there at your fingertips. No need to carry that guidebook or ripped pages from the guidebook with you.

Review: Belkin's MagSafe Car Charger Brings Faster Wireless Charging To Your Vehicle, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Aside from the price, Belkin’s Car Charger has few downsides. There is a strong connection between the ‌iPhone‌ and the charger that keeps it in place, and it also adheres strongly to the vent, which is even more important. It does not move and it stays in place while you’re driving, plus it’s the fastest wire-free charging you can get in a vehicle at this time.


Asahi Linux For Apple Silicon Has Come A Long Way In A Few Months, by Andrew Orr, AppleInsider

A project to port Linux to Apple Silicon Macs, the latest update to Asahi Linux has new hardware support, new features, and fixes for "longstanding pain points." It also features a new bleeding-edge kernel branch with support for suspend and the display controller.


Apple's Green Rhetoric Suggests Macs And iPads Should Merge, by Mark Pesce, The Register

But shouldn't that be a matter of choice – by which I mean user choice, not Apple's? Why should I carry both an iPad Pro and a MacBook Air, when it's nothing more than a wasteful duplication of hardware resources?

More Headaches For Apple In China As Protests Erupt At Foxconn, by Rita Liao, TechCrunch

Two weeks after Apple warned of production delays in China amid heightened COVID-19 restrictions, the giant is facing more challenges as worker protests broke out at its largest manufacturing partner Foxconn.

Hundreds of workers at the world’s largest iPhone plant in central China clashed with the police, according to videos shared over the last few days by Foxconn workers on Douyin and Kuaishou. Some videos showed workers breaking out of their dormitories and security personnel beating them.

Why Bob Iger's Ultimate Power Move May Be Selling Disney To Apple, by Joe Bel Bruno, The Wrap

Now that Disney CEO Bob Iger has regained the keys to the Magic Kingdom — less than three years after his chosen successor, Bob Chapek, took over — insiders suspect they know how the beloved executive will find a new way to go out on top during his final two-year stint.

“He’s going to sell the company,” one Disney insider who has worked for Iger predicted. “This is the pinnacle deal for the ultimate dealmaker.”

Landing a deal with Apple (or some other megabuyer) would also cement Iger’s legacy. “I think he’d welcome it — he’d be the last CEO of Disney,” a former top Disney executive told TheWrap, noting that the two companies have “similar brand identities” and could benefit from a merger.

Bottom of the Page

I am doubtful about Apple buying Disney. Sure, I do think Disney's shareholders and board will welcome the move, and if Mr Bob Iger, the new old CEO of Disney, wants to do it, he will have little trouble making a convincing proposal.

However, I am skeptical that Apple want to buy Disney. Disney has so many businesses from network television to cruise ships that I don't see Tim Cook and his team being interested in running. And buying Disney just for the studios and the streaming business doesn't really make sense: so much of Disney's properties are valuable because of these other businesses.

Moreover, Apple doesn't have anyone within the company that fully grasp Disney, so Apple will have to find someone from Disney to run the Disney that Apple buys. I think Tim Cook learnt his lesson well with John Browett: this new person not only have to understand Disney, they will also have to understand Apple.

Bob Iger probably already have a difficult time finding and grooming a successor that understand Disney. (After all, Bob Chapek's lack of experience with the creative side of Disney is probably one of the major reason why he has make the mistakes he made.) Between Iger and Chapek, they have also pushed out a lot of leaders out of Disney over the past few years.

Now, to groom a new leader that not only understand Disney, but also understand Apple, I will say that is verging between very hard to quite impossible.

And I don't see Bob Iger want to sell Disney to Apple, just for Apple to break up Disney and sell parts of Disney away. If he can't that new leadership for Apple, that's probably exactly what Apple will do. I see Bob Iger as a proud Disney man, and I don't think that's what he want for his legacy.

So, my prediction: no Apple buying of Disney in the next two years.


Thanks for reading.