iOS is wonderful… and mysterious, especially when it asks you to login, or shows you duplicates of your data. Listen to John F. Braun and Dave Hamilton solve these problems and more for you. Then, should you get a separate Mac as a server, or can you run in the background? And, of course, more Cool Stuff Found just for you. Press play, listen, learn, and enjoy!
Michael Gartenberg spent three years as Apple’s Senior Director of Product Marketing, reporting directly to Senior VP Phil Schiller. In his fifth encore appearance on Background Mode, Michael and I chat about Apple’s 2018 fall lineup of products. We talked about the Apple AirPower, still MIA. We examined the new 2018 MacBook Air and how the 2015 McBook was supposed to be the MBA successor—and failed. We looked at the new iPad Pros and how they may have broken through a computational barrier that will allow new capabilities. Finally, we looked at Apple’s 2018 iPhone product strategy as well as the corporate decision to suppress unit sales numbers. Michael is well versed in Apple marketing strategies and is always a delight to have on the show.
It is no secret that smartphone apps accumulate large amounts of user data and that this data is used by advertisers. However, a new report in The New York Times details just how specific and precise that data can be. While firms insist that they are interested in patterns, not individuals, this report explains how data from apps can be used to identify individuals, without their consent. Hedge funds, as well as advertisers, are among those who purchase the information generated by apps. The Times has a lot more detail, but here’s a taste:
More than 1,000 popular apps contain location-sharing code from such companies, according to 2018 data from MightySignal, a mobile analysis firm. Google’s Android system was found to have about 1,200 apps with such code, compared with about 200 on Apple’s iOS.
We have a deal on a 1-year subscription to WhiteSmoke, a software writing assistant. WhiteSmoke checks your work for grammar, spelling, punctuation, and style errors. Our deal is for $19, but coupon code GREENMONDAY20 takes 20% off for a checkout price of $15.20. There’s a lifetime subscription offer on our deal listing, too.
LONDON – The Apple Store in Bordeaux, France, was robbed and vandalized on Saturday by rioters involved in the ‘Gilets Jaunes’ movement. These protests were originally against a new motoring tax but have morphed into a larger movement. There have been protests in France over the last 4 weekends. 9to5Mac reported that protestors also damaged two Apple Stores in Paris, including the new Champs-Élysées flagship.
Apple Sainte-Catherine in Bordeaux, France was robbed and looted Saturday night by French “yellow vest” protestors. The vandals smashed the store’s windows before flooding through the building and ripping MacBooks, iPhones, iPads and more from product tables. While the rioters refrained from completely destroying the property, the damage done will require extensive and time consuming repairs. By Sunday morning, plywood sheeting had been placed over the store’s windows to prevent further attacks.
LONDON – The introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in Europe brought the issue of data transparency to the fore. Not all firms handled this change as well as others. Apple, however, is an example of a company that improved its data transparency, launching a portal that made it easier for customers to find out what data the company has on them. The stance also had commercial benefits, according to IT Pro. Here’s a snippet:
Apple is a prime example of a major tech giant taking steps to improve data transparency for its users. It recently launched a portal where customers can sift through all the data the company has on them, and CEO Tim Cook has been very vocal about data protection. He recently called it a “fundamental human right” and commended the implementation of GDPR, calling on tech companies to not only embrace the spirit of the EU laws, but to support the introduction of similar legislation across the US.
A new form of Snapchat portrait mode could be coming soon. App researcher Jane Manchun Wong reverse engineered the app and found some details.
Portrait photos are in vogue, and Snapchat users will surely want to have this feature in the app as soon as possible. Wong posted a tweet that shows Snapchat‘s redesign camera UI to place these functions on the right-hand side.
As a small side note, what I find strange is TNW’s defense of Instagram, because apparently it had these features first. Instagram, the app from the company that punched a hole through OS app restrictions via literal spyware.
Amazon is having 12 days of product deals, and today’s deal is Netgear mesh Wi-Fi wall plugs. It creates a mesh Wi-Fi network that blankets your home in super fast, seamless Wi-Fi — room to room, wall to wall, floor to floor. Replaces your old router, works with your modem and internet service provider. Featuring a slim profile these wall-plug satellites make it super easy to extend your Wi-Fi to any room with a standard electrical outlet, just plug it in and stream with speed. They’re up to 123% faster than the leading brands, as certified by an independent study, makes Orbi the highest performance mesh Wi-Fi system on the market. They also eliminate Wi-Fi dead zones and buffering — 5,000 square feet of consistent coverage — at speeds up to 2.2 Gbps (gigabytes per second). You’ll get simple setup with the Orbi app — create guest network, access parental controls, and run speed tests right from the app. Amazon: US$199 (Regular price US$299)
Today the Google Maps app is being updated with a For You section similar to those found in Apple’s apps. Google Maps For You gives you personalized recommendations.
The For You tab is designed to be a constant source of inspiration tailored to your tastes and preferences. Simply follow neighborhoods or places you’re interested in to get updates and recommendations—everything from recent news about an opening or pop up, a new menu item, and even restaurant suggestions based on what you’re likely to enjoy. If you’re making a trip this holiday season, the For You can help you get a jump start on travel planning even before you take off.
Hive Explorer is a smart insect composter that empowers you to recycle your food waste into fertilizer and proteins with the superpower of mealworms. All while learning how you can help create a healthy planet. Bringing nature indoors in a safe, regulated way allows grown-ups and kids to start growing precious products on food waste and start exploring the fascinating life of the Hive inhabitants (mealworms) easily. The Hive holds open source technology that controls the climate and micro-ecosystem for the insects. All lifestages of the mealworm are grown in the Hive. It is a continuous loop system of efficient food and fertilizer production. Almost everything edible in your house can be converted by the Hive Explorer! Potato or carrot peels, apple cores, bread crumbs, you name it! Mealworms are ferocious eaters and you can see the process happening right before your eyes! Because they eat it right away, it won’t start smelling like your typical biowaste. This smart insect composter is available on Kickstarter at a pledge of US$136 or more.
Bryan Chaffin is joined by Chuck Joiner from MacVoices to discuss Facebook’s ongoing crisis of blunders and mistakes, and whether or not CEO Mark Zuckerberg should go. They also look at what seems to be Tumblr’s real-time death spiral, and debate whether or not Wall Street is punishing Apple for not reporting iPhone sales and whether or not that’s OK.