The Cuts-Across Edition Thursday, June 22, 2023

Apple Updates All Active Operating Systems To Block Exploited Security Vulnerabilities, by Adam Engst, TidBITS

Apple has updated all its active operating systems to address (in varying combinations) three security vulnerabilities, all of which are actively being exploited in the wild. The most concerning of the three vulnerabilities affects the kernel and thus cuts across all Apple operating systems, new and old. macOS, iOS, and iPadOS also receive fixes for a WebKit vulnerability, and iOS 15.7.7 and iPadOS 15.7.7 plug yet another WebKit vulnerability that has presumably been addressed in newer versions but afflicts versions prior to 15.7.

Apple Releases iOS 16.5.1 With Fix For Lightning To USB Camera Adapter Bug, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

According to Apple’s notes for the update, the update includes important security fixes and is recommended for all users. It also addresses a bug that could prevent charging with the Lightning to USB 3 Camera Adapter.


Apple Releases visionOS SDK And Developer Tools, by John Voorhees, MacStories

Today, Apple announced the visionOS software development kit that will allow developers to start creating apps for the Apple Vision Pro. In addition to the SDK, an update to Xcode is introducing Reality Composer Pro, which lets developers preview 3D models, animations, images, and sounds. There’s also a new visionOS simulator that can be used to test different room configurations and lighting for visionOS apps.

Spotlight On: Developer Tools For visionOS, by Apple

For Ryan McLeod, creator of iOS puzzle game Blackbox, the SDK brought both excitement and a little nervousness. “I didn’t expect I’d ever make apps for a platform like this — I’d never even worked in 3D!” he says. “But once you open Xcode you’re like: Right. This is just Xcode. There are a lot of new things to learn, of course, but the stuff I came in knowing, the frameworks — there’s very little change. A few tweaks and all that stuff just works.”

visionOS is designed to help you create spatial computing apps and offers many of the same frameworks found on other Apple platforms, including SwiftUI, UIKit, RealityKit, and ARKit. As a result, most developers with an iPadOS or iOS app can start working with the platform immediately by adding the visionOS destination to their existing project.

Developers’ Early Experiments With visionOS, by John Voorhees, MacStories

Within hours, developers had downloaded the Xcode beta and begun testing the visionOS waters, building their apps for the Apple Vision Pro. Although there is undoubtedly a lot of work to be done to fine-tune their apps for use in a spatial computing context, it’s impressive how quickly Apple’s new tools allow developers to get started.

To give readers a sense of what the developers of some of our favorite apps have been able to accomplish in under 24 hours, we’ve collected posts we’ve found on Mastodon and Twitter below.

Solve Myopia In A Pinch With An iPhone, by Adam Engst, TidBITS

The discussion of how Apple’s Vision Pro puts a little screen in front of each eye reminded me of a neat discovery I made a while ago: if you’re near-sighted, you can use an iPhone to stand in for your glasses and even see in the dark.

Coming Soon

Apple Services Preview: Better Integration, Increased Customization, And Sharing Options, by John Voorhees, MacStories

All told, there are more services-related updates coming this fall than you might have expected, given the brevity of their appearances in the WWDC keynote. Although Apple Podcasts and Apple Music are getting the most extensive set of new features, Maps, Fitness+, and other services are getting excellent enhancements too.


SkySafari 7 Pro App Review, by Jamie Carter,

Planetarium apps show you what's up in the night sky, but few go much further than that. SkySafari 7 Pro proves to be the exception. It is an expensive, expansive and exhaustive app that marries an immersive user interface with the ability to control a host of telescopes.


Apple Illegally Interrogated Staff About Union, Judge Rules, by Josh Eidelson, Bloomberg

The judge wrote that Apple should be required to “cease and desist” from coercively interrogating workers about their legally protected labor activism. It should stop confiscating pro-union literature in its break rooms and “interfering with, restraining or coercing employees” in the exercise of their rights, according to the decision.

How Scammers Use Psychology To Create Some Of The Most Convincing Internet Cons – And What To Watch Out For, by Stacey Wood, Yaniv Hanoch, The Conversation

Online fraud is today’s most common crime. Victims are often told they are foolish for falling for it, but fraudsters use psychological mechanisms to infiltrate the defences of their targets, regardless of how intelligent they are.

So it’s important to keep up with the latest scams and understand how they work.

Why Spotify’s Podcast Experiment Went Off The Rails, by Amrita Khalid, The Verge

Spotify knows something is wrong with its podcast strategy — and these past few weeks have proved it. The company’s missteps reveal how fundamentally different the formula of success is in podcasts from film, video games, books, and even music. Franchises, IP, and name recognition can be enough to deliver a hit across many different mediums. But in the world of podcasts, a series from an acclaimed filmmaker, best-selling author, or even a former president can barely register on the charts. And after years of chasing this hit-making strategy, it all seems to be falling apart.

Bottom of the Page

There is, no doubt in my mind, profits to be had in the podcasting world. But, I don't think this is Netflix-money kind of world.


Thanks for reading.