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.

Web Finds for January 12, 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!

Apple planning new, “robust” parental controls to help protect children, teens
In a report by The Wall Street Journal, Apple states it has plans to create new software features that will make its current parental controls on iPhone and other devices “even more robust.”
Via Ars Technica

Apple Shares Updated iOS Security Guide With Info on Face ID, Apple Pay Cash and More
Apple this afternoon published an updated version of its iOS Security white paper for iOS 11 [PDF], with information that covers features introduced in iOS 11.1 and iOS 11.2, like Face ID and Apple Pay Cash.
Via MacRumors

How-To Disable macOS High Sierra Upgrade Notifications
Is it just me or are those daily upgrade notifications for upgrading to macOS High Sierra annoying the bleep out of you? Every time I turn on my MacBook (2017,) it immediately starts up with that exasperating High Sierra notice to upgrade to High Sierra so I can “enjoy the latest technologies and refinements.” And it’s even popping up on my iMac (2015 with Fusion Drive,) that Apple itself recommends NOT updating to High Sierra. And I really DON’T want to upgrade to macOS High Sierra right now on any of my Macs!
Via AppleToolBox

How-To Fix an iPad Keyboard That’s Split in Half or Two
One of the most frequent questions we get from our iPad friends and readers is problems with their iPad keyboards. Specifically, what should you do when your iPad keyboard is split down the middle with half of it on the left side and the other part on the right side of your iPad’s screen. Just how do you get it back together like it should be? For many iFolks, this a very annoying problem that they just can’t figure out how to fix!
Via AppleToolBox

The iPad Gestures You Should Master
Your Dock will follow you wherever you go, in any iPad app. Just swipe up about an inch from the bottom of the screen to bring up your Dock and its list of applications, along with the three most recent apps used. You can add up to 13 apps to your Dock so you have the most important ones at your fingertips, apps you can drag and drop to use for multitasking.
Via lifehacker

Previous Web Finds are here.

No tracking, no revenue: Apple’s privacy feature costs ad companies millions

This is a testament to the effectiveness of Safari’s Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP) announced in June of 2017.

For Safari version 11 users, ITP prevents tracking as we move around the internet through the management of cookies, small pieces of code that allow advertising technology companies to continually identify us as we browse.

Apple takes user privacy seriously. That’s one of the reasons why I use their products.

Alex Hern, writing for theguardian

Internet advertising firms are losing hundreds of millions of dollars following the introduction of a new privacy feature from Apple that prevents users from being tracked around the web.

Advertising technology firm Criteo, one of the largest in the industry, says that the Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP) feature for Safari, which holds 15% of the global browser market, is likely to cut its 2018 revenue by more than a fifth compared to projections made before ITP was announced.

With annual revenue in 2016 topping $730m, the overall cost of the privacy feature on just one company is likely to be in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

Web Finds for January 4, 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!

FAQ: What to Know About Apple Slowing Down iPhones to Prevent Unexpected Shutdowns
By now, you’ve probably seen headlines about Apple slowing down your iPhone, but it’s not nearly as simple or corrupt as it sounds. In this Q&A, we’ve taken the time to explain exactly what’s going on.
Via MacRumors

Apple’s $29 iPhone battery replacements are available starting today
Those $29 battery out-of-warranty replacements Apple promised are now available for impacted users with an iPhone 6 or later. The company was initially aiming for a late-January timeframe in the States when it first offered up the discount, following blowback against its admission that it had slowed down older model phones to maximize performance.
Via TechCrunch

Ad targeters are pulling data from your browser’s password manager
Nearly every web browser now comes with a password manager tool, a lightweight version of the same service offered by plugins like LastPass and 1Password. But according to new research from Princeton’s Center for Information Technology Policy, those same managers are being exploited as a way to track users from site to site.
Via The Verge

Protect your family from inappropriate content on iOS
Over Christmas, I am sure many of you have purchased new iPhones, iPads, iPod touches, and Macs for family members (assuming they are on the “good list” this year). One of the things that you want to consider is how you are protecting your children from the not so nice parts of the internet. I’m going to give you some options below that I hope will help create a safe computing environment for your home.
Via The Sweet Setup

Previous Web Finds are here.