Apple removes apps from their Affiliate Program

Members of the iTunes Affiliate Program (myself included) received an email from Apple yesterday that announced iOS and Mac apps would no longer be included:

Affiliate Program App Store Updates

Thank you for participating in the affiliate program for apps. With the launch of the new App Store on both iOS and macOS and their increased methods of app discovery, we will be removing apps from the affiliate program. Starting on October 1st, 2018, commissions for iOS and Mac apps and in-app content will be removed from the program. All other content types (music, movies, books, and TV) remain in the affiliate program.

For more information on commission rates, please see our Commissions and Payments page on the Affiliate Resources site.

If you have questions, please visit our Helpdesk.

This is a disappointing development. When someone buys an app using one of the links on this site I earn a small commission. It’s not a lot of money but it does help cover some of the annual cost of operating this site. This loss of income won’t impact me much but there are bigger blogs and websites that will most likely be severally impacted by this change.

I think Apple may be overestimating the value of the new Mac and iOS App Stores. I can say that without a doubt the majority of the apps I’ve purchased have been the result of articles or reviews on sites such as The Sweet Setup, MacStories, Brett Terpstra, MacDrifter and the Mac Power Users podcast not the App Store.

Web Finds for June 23, 2018

Web Finds are from my web surfing travels. You’ll find some unique and informative news, apps and websites that you may have never known existed. Enjoy!

Textor
Textor is a plain text editor, fully optimized for iOS. It’s the equivalent of Text Edit on the Mac. Files can be opened from anywhere, including iCloud Drive and other apps.

iPhones on iOS 12 Will Automatically Share Precise Location Data During 911 Calls in United States
Apple announced that, starting later this year with iOS 12, iPhones will automatically share precise location data with first responders during 911 calls in the United States, helping to reduce emergency response times.
Via MacRumors

Hands On Video With iOS 12’s New Screen Time Feature
The iOS 12 update introduces a comprehensive set of built-in features designed to help you focus, limit distraction, monitor your iOS device usage, and get a better understanding on how you’re using your time throughout the day.
Via MacRumors

Apple Launches Repair Program for Faulty MacBook and MacBook Pro Keyboards
Apple today launched a keyboard repair program for MacBook and MacBook Pro models equipped with butterfly keys to address complaints over letters or characters that repeat unexpectedly, letters or characters that do not appear, and keys that feel “sticky” or do not respond in a consistent manner.
Via MacRumors

Previous Web Finds are here.

Web Finds for March 28, 2018 – Apple’s education event

Apple introduced a new entry-level iPad that is pencil compatible and 200 GB of free iCloud storage for students at their educational event in Chicago this week.

Here are a couple of event related articles that I found worth reading.

How to choose between Apple’s iPad and iPad Pro
If you look at an iPad and an iPad Pro side by side, you won’t notice much of a difference. The Pro is a little bigger, it has slightly thinner bezels, there are some metal dots on one edge — and that’s about it.

With Apple’s update to the entry-level iPad on Tuesday, the two full-sized tablets are surprisingly close together in both appearance and spec sheet. There are some notable differences between them, but if you’re planning to buy one for casual use — or for a student, like Apple hopes — there’s not a ton you’re missing out on by getting the $329 iPad instead of the $649 iPad Pro.
Via The Verge

Where’s the iCloud storage bump for the rest of us?
Look, it’s lovely that Apple has decided to give 200GB of free iCloud storage to any Apple ID associated with a teacher or student. It’s a nice gesture, and one that probably makes things a lot easier for those in school environments.

But, come on, Apple—you’re really going to leave the rest of us at 5GB?

The standard 5GB of free iCloud storage has been in place for years now, and, frankly, it’s starting to wear thin. When most iOS devices come in 32GB configurations at the smallest, and many start at 64GB, 5GB feels pretty paltry. Especially when the next step in the upgrade tier is to pay $0.99 for 50GB of storage space. I realize Services has become a moneymaker for Apple, but it just feels cheap.
Via Six Colors

Previous Web Finds are here.

iCloud data is stored on Google servers

I always thought my iCloud data was stored in an Apple-owned data center. I’m not sure why I thought that. I guess I just assumed. Turns out it’s not. It’s being stored on Google and Amazon S3 servers.

I’m not sure how I feel about that. I started avoiding Google services several years ago. I left Gmail for Fastmail. I moved my calendars and contacts from Google to Apple Calendar and Contacts. Now I find out that Apple is storing my data on Google servers.

I guess we have to trust that Apple is properly securing our data on Google and Amazon’s servers. They say they are.

iCloud stores a user’s contacts, calendars, photos, documents, and more and keeps the information up to date across all of their devices, automatically. iCloud can also be used by third-party apps to store and sync documents as well as key values for app data as defined by the developer. Users set up iCloud by signing in with an Apple ID and choosing which services they would like to use. iCloud features, including My Photo Stream, iCloud Drive, and iCloud Backup, can be disabled by IT administrators via MDM configuration profiles. The service is agnostic about what is being stored and handles all file content the same way, as a collection of bytes.

Each file is broken into chunks and encrypted by iCloud using AES-128 and a key derived from each chunk’s contents that utilizes SHA-256. The keys and the file’s metadata are stored by Apple in the user’s iCloud account. The encrypted chunks of the file are stored, without any user-identifying information, using third-party storage services, such as S3 and Google Cloud Platform.

​CNBC first reported on this.

Worth Reading Today

How Apple Plans to Root Out Bugs, Revamp iPhone SoftwareBloomberg Technology News

“This change is Apple beginning to realize that schedules are not being hit, stuff is being released with bugs – which previously would not have happened,” when Apple was a smaller company with fewer engineers, customers and devices to manage, says one person familiar with the company. Apple declined to comment.

The shift is an admission of what many customers have already come to notice: Some Apple software has become prone to bugs and underdeveloped features. In recent months, users have complained about text messages appearing out of order, the iPhone X registering incoming phone calls late and frequent app crashes.

I hope Apple plans to take the same approach with macOS.

Web Finds for February 1, 2018

Web Finds are from my web surfing travels. You’ll find some unique and informative news, apps and websites that you may have never known existed. Enjoy!

Agenda – A new take on Notes
Agenda for Mac is a date-focused note taking app for planning and documenting your projects. With its unique timeline, Agenda gives you a complete picture of past, present and future, driving your projects forward. The notes in Agenda are beautifully styled, and include powerful features like tags, lists, and links. You can even connect your notes to events in your calendar. Agenda Review by Mac Stories.

Scoop: Apple delays iOS features to focus on reliability, performance
Apple has shaken up its iOS software plans for 2018, delaying some features to next year in an effort to put more focus on addressing performance and quality issues, Axios has learned.

Software head Craig Federighi announced the revised plan to employees at a meeting earlier this month, shortly before he and some top lieutenants headed to a company offsite.
Via Axios

Apple Said to Release New Entry-Level 13-inch MacBook This Year, Likely Replacing MacBook Air
Apple plans to release a new entry-level 13-inch MacBook in the second half of 2018, according to industry sources cited by DigiTimes. The report claims General Interface Solution (GIS) is expected to win more LCD display orders from Apple for the planned new model, after it began supplying the modules for existing MacBooks in the fourth quarter of last year.
Via MacRumors

Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Team Up to Disrupt Health Care
Three corporate behemoths — Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase — announced on Tuesday that they would form an independent health care company for their employees in the United States.

The alliance was a sign of just how frustrated American businesses are with the state of the nation’s health care system and the rapidly spiraling cost of medical treatment. It also caused further turmoil in an industry reeling from attempts by new players to attack a notoriously inefficient, intractable web of doctors, hospitals, insurers and pharmaceutical companies.
Via The New York Times

Strava Fitness App Can Reveal Military Sites, Analysts Say
A fitness app that posts a map of its users’ activity has unwittingly revealed the locations and habits of military bases and personnel, including those of American forces in Iraq and Syria, security analysts say.

The app, Strava, which calls itself “the social network for athletes,” allows millions of users to time and map their workouts and to post them online for friends to see, and it can track their movements at other times. The app is especially popular with young people who are serious about fitness, which describes many service members.
Via The New York Times

Previous Web Finds are here.

Web Finds for January 24, 2018

Web Finds are from my web surfing travels. You’ll find some unique and informative news, apps and websites that you may have never known existed. Enjoy!

How Bill Gates limits tech use for his kids
For all his success in designing world-changing technology, Bill Gates has set surprisingly strict rules for how his kids can use that technology, the billionaire philanthropist has said in multiple interviews.

Each of Gates’ three kids — ages 15, 18, and 21 — has grown up in a home that forbade cell phones until age 14, banned cell-phone use at the dinner table, and set limits on how close to bedtime kids could use their phones.
Via Business Insider

Apple plans $350 billion boost to u.s. economy over 5 years, 20,000 new jobs, and a new campus
Cupertino, California — Apple today announced a new set of investments to build on its commitment to support the American economy and its workforce, concentrated in three areas where Apple has had the greatest impact on job creation: direct employment by Apple, spending and investment with Apple’s domestic suppliers and manufacturers, and fueling the fast-growing app economy which Apple created with iPhone and the App Store. Apple is already responsible for creating and supporting over 2 million jobs across the United States and expects to generate even more jobs as a result of the initiatives being announced today.

Combining new investments and Apple’s current pace of spending with domestic suppliers and manufacturers — an estimated $55 billion for 2018 — Apple’s direct contribution to the US economy will be more than $350 billion over the next five years, not including Apple’s ongoing tax payments, the tax revenues generated from employees’ wages and the sale of Apple products.
Via Apple Press Release

On rumors of the iPhone X only being produced for one year
This would not be the first time an iPhone flagship model didn’t stick around for a second year. In 2013, Apple introduced the iPhone 5S to replace the iPhone 5, and also introduced the iPhone 5C to occupy the second pricing tier. The iPhone 5 was dropped from the product line when the 5S and 5C debuted.
Via Daring Fireball

Will millennials kill Costco?
Warehouse clubs such as Costco, Sam’s Club and BJ’s Wholesale Club have for decades been an American staple: a place where families can stock up on bulk items, try free samples and spend the better part of a weekend morning meandering through aisles filled with 26-packs of canned salmon and king-size mattresses. But as more of Americans’ buying shifts online, some retail analysts say warehouse clubs may largely be left behind.

The sector received more bad news this month, when Walmart announced it would close 63 Sam’s Club stores, affecting an estimated 10,000 workers. In a tweet, the company said the closures would help “better align” its physical locations with its strategy. (Ten locations will reopen as e-commerce fulfillment centers.)
Via The Washington Post

Previous Web Finds are here.