The Virtual-Chips Edition Thursday, July 27, 2023

Apple, Meta, Google Argue They're Not 'Bookies' In Casino App Appeal, by Alison Frankel, Reuters

Apple, Meta and Google warned the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals this week that if online platforms can be held liable for processing users’ purchases of virtual chips sold by casino game apps, the entire internet economy could be at risk.

The platforms are appealing a 2022 ruling from U.S. District Judge Edward Davila of San Jose, California, that Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which immunizes online publishers for hosting third-party content, does not shield the sites from claims that they essentially acted as “bookies” by facilitating (and collecting a commission on) purchases of virtual chips for use in online casino games.

iPhone 15 Pro Action Button Options Potentially Revealed In iOS 17 Code: Flashlight, Shortcuts, Voice Memos, And More, by Steve Moser, MacRumors

The Action button, which could be similar to the Apple Watch Ultra’s Action button but with more phone-focused options, is expected to be a new physical button on the next-generation Pro iPhone models that replaces the Ring/Silent switch. [...]

According to the code found in ‌iOS 17‌ beta 4, the Action button could have nine different options that users can customize and assign to different actions. While the code only lists feature names related to the Action button, we can infer what most of them will be able to do.

As Stars Strike, Streamers Debate Shelving Shows, by Lacey Rose, Lesley Goldberg, Hollywood Reporter

Without any clear sense of how long the work stoppage will last, the question becomes: Do you really want to run through what ammo you have so early in the fight? And, for that matter, is it worth rolling out series without stars available to promote them?

At multiple streamers, discussions are already underway about potentially moving certain fully shot (but undated) series to early 2024, if not simply benching them until the dual strike ends.


Over at Apple TV+, decisions will ultimately be made about its cadre of star-driven shows, including Bad Monkey (Vince Vaughn) and Palm Royale (Kristen Wiig, Laura Dern), that are in the can.


Beats Studio Pro Review: Apple’s New Top Headphones Love Android Too, by Samuel Gibbs, The Guardian

The sound is really good, falling just shy of the very best from Sennheiser and Sony. The noise-cancelling is pretty good, too, again just shy of the top Bose and Sony models. But it is their deep integration with Apple’s various devices and Android that sets them apart. No other brand can offer similar, which makes them ideal for those who use a combination of Android and Apple. Full support for spatial audio on Apple’s devices is a particular bonus for movies, while the ability to use Bluetooth, 3.5mm or USB-C for sound is very welcome.

Audiobook Platform Announces Its International Launch, by Lauren Forristal, TechCrunch, the audiobook retailer and listening app for local bookshops, launched internationally on Wednesday to give even more bookstores the ability to earn income via audiobook sales.


Every time a customer makes a purchase or pays the membership fee, shares profits with the selected bookshop. So, instead of customers giving money to a large service like Audible, they are providing necessary revenue to their local bookstores.

This Is My Go-to Photo Editor On Mobile That’s Completely Free, No Strings Attached, by Timothy Coleman, TechRadar

The styles menu is a great starting point for your edit, and then you can go on and add more complex edits via tools. And if you are editing more than one photo with the same look, you can simply hit the ‘Last edits’ option that will apply all that hard work from your previous photo edit to your next one with a single click.

The Browsing Company’s Unconventional Browser Arc Releases Publicly On Mac, by Samuel Axon, Ars Technica

Its main distinction lies in the way it allows users to customize individual websites to their liking.

Using a feature called boosts, users can replace fonts for just about any text and change colors for any part of an individual webpage and save that state for later. They can even "zap" sections to remove them from view. You can get really heavy-duty with this by writing scripts, too, but you can still get a lot done without going that deep.


Tips For Vision Pro Labs, by David Smith

We’ve just had the announcement of the Apple Vision Pro developer labs. These one day, hands-on experiences will take place around the world over the next few months and allow developers to refine and enhance their apps for visionOS based on real-life usage.

I’ve applied to attend one of these and hope to get the chance to work on Widgetsmith there. While I wait to see if I was selected, I figured I’d put together a list of tips for getting the most out of experiences like this. Over my career I’ve been to several similar things and have learned a few things about maximizing your time.


French Competition Authority Issues Antitrust Objection To Apple For App Data Tracking, by RFI

The Competition authority did not block the introduction of ATT in 2021, but said it would investigate whether Apple was applying different rules on its own apps.

In Tuesday’s statement of objections, the regulator said it believes that Apple is in fact doing that.

Bottom of the Page

I sure hope that, for the rest of us who are not going to rush out to buy a new iPhone Pro later this year, there is a similar action button on the lock screen.


Thanks for reading.