Web Finds for September 13, 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!

Credit Freezes Will Soon Be Free
With the one-year anniversary of the Equifax breach just behind us, here’s a reminder that you will be able to freeze your credit reports and sign up for year-long fraud alerts for free starting Sept. 21 thanks to a federal law passed earlier this year.
Via Lifehacker

IPHONE XS AND XS MAX: HANDS-ON WITH APPLE’S GIANT NEW PHONE
Apple just announced the iPhone XS and XS Max. They’re iterations on last year’s iPhone X, but the XS Max at least stands out in one very notable way: it’s so much larger. The Max has a 6.5-inch screen, making it a bigger phone than even the latest model in Samsung’s famously large Galaxy Note line.
Via The Verge

Apple iPhone XR hands-on: the new default iPhone
The new iPhone XR, which feels like it will be the default iPhone for many people this season. Not only does it have a very similar design to the more expensive iPhone XS model, it has many of the same features for a considerably lower price.
Via The Verge

Hello eSIM: Apple moves the iPhone away from physical SIMs
On Wednesday, Apple announced that its new iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max will use an eSIM—a purely electronic SIM that allows users to maintain a secondary phone line in a single device. That line could be a secondary domestic line (say you’re a journalist and don’t want to have separate personal and work iPhones), or the phone could have an American and Canadian number (if you travel across the border frequently).
Via Ars Technica

Previous Web Finds are here.

Web Finds for August 31, 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 to Embrace iPhone X Design With New Colors, Bigger Screens
Apple Inc. is not only doubling down on the iPhone X, it’s tripling down.

The world’s most valuable company plans to launch three new phones soon that keep the edge-to-edge screen design of last year’s flagship, according to people familiar with the matter. The devices will boast a wider range of prices, features and sizes to increase their appeal, said the people, who asked not to be identified discussing unannounced products.
Via Bloomberg

All New and Updated App Store Apps Required to Have a Privacy Policy Starting October
Apple has announced that, starting October 3, 2018, all new apps and app updates will require a privacy policy in order to be submitted for distribution on the App Store or through TestFlight for beta testing purposes.
Via MacRumors

Google and Mastercard Cut a Secret Ad Deal to Track Retail Sales
For the past year, select Google advertisers have had access to a potent new tool to track whether the ads they ran online led to a sale at a physical store in the U.S. That insight came thanks in part to a stockpile of Mastercard transactions that Google paid for.

But most of the two billion Mastercard holders aren’t aware of this behind-the-scenes tracking. That’s because the companies never told the public about the arrangement.
Via Bloomberg

Previous Web Finds are here.

Apple is secretly encouraging paid app developers to switch to subscription

I’m disappointed to hear that Apple is encouraging developers to move to a subscription model. As I’ve written before, I think this will be the demise of many small developers.

Many users dislike subscriptions. If you don’t believe me just read the App Store reviews for some of the developers that have switched their app to a subscription. A good place to start would be Ulysses or Drafts 5.

Personally, I’m experiencing subscription fatigue. My subscriptions add up to around $1500 per year. Yes, this includes my Netflix, Hulu and Sling subscriptions. It also includes my internet subscription, the subscription for all that’s needed to operate this website, my email subscription at Fastmail, and the subscription to a few apps. I’m not interested in adding more subscriptions.

I love trying new apps. If all apps went to a subscription I would no longer be able to continue trying and writing about them.

For example, I have several writing apps. If they all went subscription I would have to select one and abandon the others. In this scenario, there will be one winner and several losers.

Here’s the story according to Business Insider:

Apple’s secret charm offensive: How an invite-only meeting at Apple’s luxury loft in New York helped transform how software is sold on the iPhone

In April 2017, a group of over 30 software developers gathered at a luxury loft in New York City’s trendy Tribeca neighborhood after receiving an invitation from Apple. They didn’t know exactly why they had been summoned, but all of them had one thing in common: they developed apps for Apple’s devices, according to people who attended the event.

Developers, Apple said, needed to realize the business model of apps was changing. Successful apps tended to focus on long-term engagement instead of upfront cost. Indie developers who wanted to capitalize on this needed to move to a subscription model, as Apple had made possible in the past year in a splashy announcement.

There’s also a danger that consumers may not want to pay on a monthly basis for a utility. “You’ve seen many apps changing their business models, and the consumer reactions are mixed,” Denys Zhadanov, a VP at Readdle, which makes Spark, a mail client, as well as other utilities, told Business Insider in an email.

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.