Friday, June 26, 2020 [Tweets] [Favorites]

MKBHD Interviews Craig Federighi

Marques Brownlee (tweet, MacRumors):

Some insight with Craig Federighi about the iOS 14 and the more controversial 2020 announcements!

He starts off with a question about why iOS 14 doesn’t let you set the default maps app. I like the way he intersperses additional commentary and reactions with clips from the interview itself.

Previously:

12 Comments

I'm watching the 20 minute overview video (I'll get to the full episode later) and so far I like his interview style -- he seemed to ask much more interesting questions and tried to get Craig to address what's on the mind of many tech Apple users compared to, ahem, other interviews. Even the non-answers about the Weather app on iPad and lack of Watch support on iPad were useful. What will be really interesting is to see if Craig was being completely transparent... will iPad get a Calculator or Weather app or Watch support within the next year? If so, I'd imagine Apple is already working on it and Craig knows full well the "real" answer to those questions.

One thing I haven't been able to figure out: how are these streaming sessions produced? Marques hinted that Craig was using iPhones on the Apple end of things. But can FaceTime really look that good? And how are they getting multiple angles? I thought maybe they're just initiating a group call with 2 cams calling in as different participants, but I don't know how Marques would seamlessly capture the transitions between the Apple cameras on his end.

Presumably, Craig just recorded himself and sent the recordings afterwards.

Ah yeah... why didn't I think of the obvious. Doh.

I’ve only watched the short version so far, but I thought this was a better interview than John’s, frankly.

I like the way he intersperses additional commentary and reactions with clips from the interview itself.

Yes!

Presumably, Craig just recorded himself and sent the recordings afterwards.

Almost certainly.

The podcast producers occasionally get into this. Each participant records themselves. You always have fallback recordings that way as well.

For instance, this Upgrade episode goes into a lot of detail. Each participant uses Call Recorder for Skype to make an audio file, then shares that.

The fact Marques chose to challenge Craig made this a much more interesting interview than Gruber's 1.5hr discussion. I enjoyed hearing some of the rationale behind Apple's decisions. More like this please.

Worth noting that Marques commentary makes a mistake almost immediately

His example of a reddit (?) App using an in app browser is not the same as what Craig is warning about. Lots app in apples ecosystem use web views or safari view controllers to keep users in apps. Craig is worried about an app pretending to be a browser, and then interceptBig all URLs (so like a link from messenger get redirected into Facebook/tiktok for instance). I have yet to watch the rest of the video but that’s pretty disappointing mistake to make almost immediately

iOS 14: The return of iCab :D

Yeah, Marques got confused by the point about browsers, but I think that's because Craig made the point confusing. What Craig said doesn't actually make a whole lot of sense. There are no games that pretend to be browsers on platforms that allow you to set your own browser. Since you usually manually pick your custom browser, why would you even pick a game? Craig's point makes no sense.

My guess is that's why Marques seemed to interpret Craig as saying that embedded browsers are generally problematic.

I think what Craig probably meant to say was that there could be malicious apps that actually *are* browsers, but collect user data in a malicious way, but then, isn't the App Store anyways intended to protect us from that? And if it can't, then how does an additional approval layer fix that?

There are no games that pretend to be browsers on platforms that allow you to set your own browser.

Are you sure about that? Shovelware games that double as a vector to abuse your system (e.g., to install a Bitcoin miner) are absolutely a thing. Making yourself the default browser might not be subtle enough, but I wouldn’t be surprised if one or two do it anyway.

isn’t the App Store anyways intended to protect us from that

Isn’t that what Craig is saying? That the review folks will be particularly careful to look at any app that wants to become a default browser?

I've never heard of a non-browser app maliciously pretending to be a browser in order to somehow scam people. I'm actually not sure how that would even work, since apps presumably can't just register themselves as the default browser. Worst-case, they'll show up as an option in your browsers list, and then you just wouldn't select them.

>>isn’t the App Store anyways intended to protect us from that
>Isn’t that what Craig is saying?

Yes, it is. That's what I find confusing. He's saying that the review process is ineffective at preventing malicious apps from getting into the App Store, so they'll add another layer of reviews on top of it. But that is a pretty damning comment on the current review process, and if the normal review process can't stop scam apps, then why should the special review process be any better?

None of this makes any sense if you take Craig at his word, which is presumably why Marques ended up confused by Craig's answer.

It's pretty obvious that the real reason for this is that they want to have control over what browsers can do, and prevent things like Choosy from being possible on iOS.

I’ve never heard of a non-browser app maliciously pretending to be a browser in order to somehow scam people.

I’m talking stuff like https://www.howtogeek.com/172141/how-to-fix-browser-settings-changed-by-malware-or-other-programs/.

Yes, it is. That’s what I find confusing. He’s saying that the review process is ineffective at preventing malicious apps from getting into the App Store, so they’ll add another layer of reviews on top of it. But that is a pretty damning comment on the current review process, and if the normal review process can’t stop scam apps, then why should the special review process be any better?

…is it?

They’re making iOS slightly less restrictive (by allowing other default browsers), and adjusting the review process so not every app can become a default browser. How is that damning? Isn’t that exactly how the review process should be?

To be clear, I don’t think Craig’s answer was… phrased all that great. It was a little confusing. But it sounds to me like you’re going out of your way to find something negative in it.

prevent things like Choosy from being possible on iOS.

I don’t think they’ll allow something like Choosy, but I can’t think of a nefarious reason to ban it either.

(You could argue that they want people to use Safari as much as possible due to the Google default search engine deal. But if that is the case, why allow other search engines at all?)

What is damning is that he basically admits that the current review process is pointless, since it won't weed out malicious apps.

I don't know if it's helpful to consider whether banning something like Choosy is or is not nefarious, the point is that this is Apple's actual goal with this additional layer of reviews. The goal is not to prevent games that register themselves as browsers, because that's not an urgent problem that requires a dedicated solution.

Anyways, I really didn't want to get into a whole discussion about Apple's weird restrictions on what is and is not allowed in the App Store. My main point was that Craig's example, his game that embeds a web view and falsely registers itself as a browser, makes no sense, which is probably what confused Marques into thinking that he was talking about embedded web views in general.

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