In the Electronic Frontier Foundation's annual Who Has Your Back report, Apple is commended for adopting a "strong stance" on user rights, transparency, and privacy. The 2015 edition of the report is the fifth to have been produced, and it rates a number of tech companies according to how they inform users about their privacy policies and how they respond to government requests for data.
Apple was awarded a full five star rating, faring better than Microsoft (three stars), Google (three stars), and Facebook (four stars). Other companies receiving a five out of five rating include Wikimedia, WordPress, and Yahoo. At the bottom of the heap are AT&T and WhatsApp who received just one star each. Despite a few disappointments, EFF is generally pleased with how tech firms have noted the renewed interest in privacy that now exists.
With less than two weeks to go until the launch of Apple Music, a report suggests that the company is having trouble enticing smaller and independent labels into signing up to take part. The problem is not necessarily that there is a lack of interest in joining Apple Music, but that the three month free trial period would generate no income for the labels.
Apple Music will make its money through monthly subscription fees, a percentage of which is then shared with record labels. During the three month free trial, Apple will make no money from the music streaming service, and will therefore have no revenue to share. While this is a cost that larger labels might be in a position to absorb, small companies say it could put them out of business.
So apparently, people are more interested in dead things than the Apple Watch, and it’s a devastating statistic.
According to a chart for Apple, from Pacific Crest analyst Andy Hargreaves, people are more interested in the iPod than the Apple Watch. No, that was not a typo, I wasn’t trying to say iPad. I meant -- iPod, the thing that’s basically been dead for years now.
The launch of Apple News looks set to upset potential publishers if initial reaction to the service's terms and conditions is anything to go by. Bloggers have complained that they have been spammed by Apple with an email inviting them to join the service. Nothing wrong with that (aside from the unsolicited correspondence), you might say, but the problem is, complainants grumble, that acceptance of terms and conditions is assumed unless individuals actively opt out.
Again, this is not entirely unusual, but one of the terms makes for interesting reading. "If we receive a legal claim about your RSS content, we will tell you so that you can resolve the issue, including indemnifying Apple if Apple is included in the claim". But this is not the only clause that has raised the ire of bloggers.
There was a lot of Apple news to digest from WWDC last week. As well as the latest versions of OS X and iOS, we witnessed the appearance of women on stage as Apple tried to do its part for diversity. Apple would probably like us to focus on the likes of the Apple Music and Beats One launches, but really it's another announcement that should be foremost in our minds: Apple News.
On the face of it, this is a simple replacement -- perhaps even just a renaming -- for Newsstand, but it's really much more than that. The key difference here is that content will not only come from media partners, but will also be curated. Apple is now a news editor, and that's extremely dangerous.
Seven days ago, CEO of the most valuable, publicly-traded technology company on the planet unveiled a potentially category-changing online streaming service. In 15 more, you will be able to subscribe -- three months for free. Pundits wave the Spotify flag and spit out diatribes of disgust, much as they did when Apple launched iPhone eight years ago or iPad in 2010. Wrong again is their destiny. Will they ever learn?
Many of the doomsayers forget, or maybe just ignore, the fruit-logo company's success disrupting category after category. They also start out from a misguided premise: That Apple is a latecomer who cannot catch up with competitors like Spotify. How ridiculous. iTunes debuted in January 2001, iPod nine months later, and iTunes Music Store in April 2003. By longevity and reach, which includes exclusives (like The Beatles) and large catalog, Apple is the status quo. On June 30, the giant awakes, and the smidgens shake as it walks.
There is a movement calling for the encryption of all web traffic. The cause of this could be laid at Edward Snowden's door, but there's no getting away from the fact that in recent years there is an increased interest in security and privacy. To this end, Wikimedia has announced that it is now using HTTPS to encrypt all of its traffic -- including that to Wikipedia.
We've already seen the US government embrace HTTPS, and companies like Google and Facebook are making it easier to control privacy settings. Apple has hit out at companies that fail to do enough to protect users' privacy, and Wiki media is taking the extra step of also implementing HSTS, just days after Microsoft announced that this would be supported by Internet Explorer 11 under Windows 7 and 8.1.
UK consumer watchdog Which? tested a range of popular tablets and discovered that when it comes to speed, there’s only one champion, and that’s Microsoft’s Surface Pro 3.
It turns out it wasn’t only Microsoft’s slate that bested Apple’s tablets in the speed stakes. The iPad mini 3, which sells for £319 in the UK, was beaten by the Tesco Hudl 2 which costs just £99.
Apple’s recently announced streaming music service is being viewed by many as a potential Spotify killer. Spotify might have more than 20 million paying subscribers and over 75 million active users, but Apple is a force that cannot be ignored, and being late to the party means nothing.
So should Spotify be concerned about the forthcoming battle with Apple? Unquestionably. Although, if new research is to be believed, it’s Apple that should be worrying the most.
The next update to Apple’s mobile web browser Safari will include a way to block annoying ads, working similar to AdBlock Plus on desktop browsers.
After Apple released the beta version of its latest operating system, iOS 9, many users wanted to see what the new release of their favorite OS brings.
However, as with any other beta version of any program out there, iOS 9 comes with untested bugs and broken features, making it unviable for daily use.
Users of iOS, beware. An unfixed vulnerability has been found in the Mail app, which allows hackers to steal passwords by sending an email.
The flaw was first noticed by Ernst and Young forensic bod Jan Soucek. He has created a tool capable of generating slick iCloud password phishing emails he says exploits an unpatched bug.
I have some advice for the European Union Competition Commission: Lay off. You don't need to reign in the Google monopoly. Apple will correct the market around search and mobile. That's one of two related takeaways from Monday's WWDC 2015 keynote. iOS 9 and OS X El Capitan up Apple's push into search and proactively-delivered information in big ways. That is if delivery is as good as the company promises.
The other takeaway harkens back to what I told you last week about Tim Cook's piracy rant against unnamed Facebook and Google alongside the friggin U.S. government -- plural if thinking beyond the Feds: It's BS marketing. Apple prepares a major competitive assault against Big G, hitting where damage can be severe: Perception and profits. I cannot overstate Google's vulnerability, which ironically is where the search and information giant exploited Microsoft during this Century.
If you cannot expand the storage capacity on a high-end smartphone, 16 GB of available space just isn't enough. Install all your favorite apps and games, maybe try a couple of new ones, add some music, use the device for a while, and you end up with an alarmingly-low available capacity. As someone who is using a 16 GB iPhone 6 Plus daily, I have to work around this restriction.
And I shouldn't have to, which is why I find Phil Schiller's arguments on why the company he represents as SVP still makes 16 GB iPhones to be disingenuous. Phil, at least be honest: it is all about the money.
As with all things Apple, there’s been a lot of talk about its new music streaming service, ingeniously named Apple Music.
After it got officially unveiled and showcased during this year’s annual Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), the initial amazement was quickly replaced by a profound feeling of meh. Onstage the company said it would transform the listening experience for fans, and the creative act for artists, but once the hype died down it became obvious -- it’s not really offering features you can’t find elsewhere in the market. And then it hits you -- the price!