Popular ad blocking applications like Adblock and Weblock have explained that Apple has stopped accepting updates to their applications, on the grounds that they violate a section of the AppStore Developer Guidelines. Which one? Well, the requirement stipulates that apps should be useful, unique and provide some kind of value. More specifically Apple states: “your app should include features, content and UI that elevate it beyond a repackaged website. If your app is not particularly useful, unique or “app-like”, it doesn’t belong on the App Store. If your App doesn’t provide some sort of lasting entertainment value, or is just plain creepy it may not be accepted”.
Why is this an issue for Adblock and Weblock? They are both VPN-based adblock apps who recently had their updates rejected. Again, why is this an issue? The adblocking app installs certificates on your device to block advertisements both in Safari and other applications. The issue for Apple is that they want advertisements through Safari. Apple indicated that they “have always supported advertising as one of the many ways that developers can make money with apps”.
If you want to block the advertisements, you have to find an app that uses the Safari Content Blocker. Further to that, they haven’t removed the actual applications from the AppStore, but rather are just blocking future updates. Does this make sense? And is it fair? For one, this has been a rule of Apple’s since day one. … Read the rest
Apple’s Secret Fitness Lab Collects Over 33,000 Hours of Biometric Data
Apple, who is notorious for keeping their products and development under wraps, have give us a sneak peek into their secret fitness lab. The purpose of the lab is to get data to be able to create better products. The predominant focus of the Apple Watch is health and fitness. This is the big drive for most people, so it’s important for Apple to improve the watch. There are some drawbacks I’ve noticed myself, but I’m not going to get into that today.
To date, Apple has logged more than 33,000 hours of biometric data using employees as “volunteers”. I think the term is “volun-told”. I mean, I can see people coming forward wanting to help with this information, but to call them volunteers is a stretch in my opinion. Especially since they’re actual employees. They may be volunteering for the program, but I suspect there is more to it. Maybe Apple is as cool of a place to work for as it seems, but I would bet that there are some incentives to participate. But I digress a bit. This amount of data is actually estimated to be the largest chunk of fitness data in the world. How they’re measuring that I’m not exactly sure, but it is kind of neat.
Jay Blahnik, Apple’s Director of Fitness has indicated “that the facility employs 13 physicians and exercise specialists, in addition to 29 nurses and medics. It’s also the largest purchaser of 50 metabolic carts, which are used to track the oxygen consumption of Apple engineers, managers, and even security guards as they perform various kinds physical activities– including cycling, swimming in the lab’s endless pool, rowing, running, and yoga.… Read the rest
Stock Market Glitch Reports Apple and Other Stocks at $123.47
If you have stock in Apple, Amazon, Google or Microsoft, you may have woken up to some interesting news. These stocks were all listed at $123.47. Which was a drop for the first three, but a significant gain for Microsoft. But, the drastic jump in stock prices was not accurate. If you woke up and had a mini heart attack today, you can calm down as it was all because of an error. A Nasdaq spokesman told CNBC that the glitch came about after some test results were wrongly distributed by the third party finance sites. “As part of its normal process, the UTP distributed test data and certain third parties improperly propagated the data. Nasdaq is working with third party vendors to resolve the matter,” the spokesman said.
What is interesting is that these stock prices were all the same. Down to the penny. But that alone might not have been enough for some people to know that it was an error. “I’m surprised it doesn’t happen more often,” considering the complexity of today’s financial markets, said James Angel, a finance professor at Georgetown University in Washington. “We want these mistakes to happen when the market is closed on a holiday, rather than when the market is open for business.” I too am extremely surprised that this doesn’t happen more often. As Angel points out, the markets are complex.
According to Bloomberg, “Nasdaq and NYSE Group Inc., each run central data feeds that are the industry standard bearers.… Read the rest
Virgin Mobile Teams Up With Apple To Offer iPhone Service for $1
Virgin Mobile USA has decided to go iPhone only. Well, kind of. Virgin is teaming up with Apple to offer you what they are calling the “Inner Circle” plan. Virgin is stating that there is no other phone on the market. Literally. “There’s iPhone. And then there’s everything else. At Virgin Mobile, we’re teaming with Apple to offer you nothing but the world’s most popular phone. Because life in the Inner Circle is about living big, expanding your horizons and pursuing your passions. And it starts with an iPhone you’ll adore.” The plan itself will only cost you $1, and with it you get unlimited talk, text and data.
Which is amazing, right? Except if you’re not an iPhone customer, you’re out of luck. At least in terms of this plan. That doesn’t mean you can’t get one, so it seems that this is Apple’s way (indirectly) of getting you to switch? I’ve written a lot about brand loyalty in the past. Especially how it relates to which kind of device/platform that you choose. As an aside, I spent the day in meetings today, and as I looked around the room, I noticed that the majority of people at the meeting were iPhone users. Which is interesting, isn’t it? Especially when the data suggests that there are more Android users than people using iOS. But it does speak to the larger battle between iOS and Android.
If you are in the market for a home assistant, you’re probably wondering which one you should buy. The big two that are available are the Amazon Echo and Google Home. During last week’s WWDC, Apple announced it’s own home assistant. Well, kind of. It’s being marketed as a smart speaker that you can use to control your HomeKit enabled accessories. The difference is that it is also an bit like a wireless speaker. The big question, however is should you wait for it to be available? With the Amazon and Google product being available now, should you wait until December to buy Apple’s version. That’s right, I said December. It’s likely not as far away as you think it is, but still. Do you want to wait six months for a home assistant? Or should you?
The HomePod is more like a speaker than a home assistant. It has some pretty incredible technology built into it that allows the speaker to understand the dynamic of the room to be able to adjust the sounds. At this time, neither the Echo or the Home have the same technology. There are similar capabilities, but if you’re interested in a dynamic musical experience, then you should hold off for the HomePod. That being said, you might be able to get a similar experience out of the Echo as you can connect the Echo Dot to a speaker.
Apple is marketing the HomePod around the idea that it wants to give you a better musical experience. … Read the rest
iOS 11 Will Automatically Delete Unused Apps from Your iPhone
As part of the iOS update expected this fall, Apple can automatically delete unused apps from your phone. I’m torn about how I feel with this one. On one hand, I have a storage issue. I have a teeny tiny iPhone and not enough room for all my data and apps. So this might be a good way for me to free up some storage space. On the other hand, I don’t know that I like the idea of Apple making these decisions for me and deleting my apps willy-nilly. There are other ways to free up storage space, but sometimes those aren’t even enough. I regularly delete podcasts, music and photos. Even moving things to iCloud, but it never seems to be enough. Will this help?
I find that there are a couple of apps that use a TON of storage on my phone. I’m not trying to pick on Instagram and Twitter, but those are two major culprits. I often find myself deleting and reinstalling just so I can free up some space. That being said, is Apple onto something? Or is this just lip service to a bigger issue? That being, there are some apps out there that just use up all of your storage space? In my case, Instagram and Twitter would never be deleted because I use them almost daily. So that wouldn’t necessarily help. I regularly go through my apps to determine what I need and what I don’t. … Read the rest
With Updates like ARkit & iOS 11 Is Apple Forcing You to Buy a New iPhone?
There have been a ton of announcements by Apple this week. And with that, it feels like they’re going to force you to buy a new iPhone. That is, if you want to get the most out of iOS 11. What am I talking about? Well, there is going to be a lot of really cool AR functionality with iOS 11. But if you don’t have the “right” iPhone, you’re out of luck. As part of Apple’s ARKit documentation, it indicates that ARKit will only work with Apple A9 and A10 processors. Which means that if you have a pre-2016 iPhone or iPad you’re not going to be able to take advantage. I wonder how many people this will affect? And is Apple doing this to drive sales?
Or is it just a matter of the technology just won’t work with the older devices. Which I can appreciate. As someone with an iPhone that wouldn’t qualify, I’m not thrilled with this. But I am due for an upgrade this fall, so maybe it’s coming at a good time.
What is ARKit, you ask? It is an iOS framework for placing digital graphics into mobile devices camera scenes. If you watched the keynote speech, you might remember Apple showing how to place a cup of coffee and a lamp right onto a surface. A real surface. But the downside to this? It’s going to use a lot of battery power.
ARKit is actually a really great and big step by Apple, but the issue for users is whether or not they want the iOS update. … Read the rest