Archive for August 10, 2020

Monday, August 10, 2020 [Tweets] [Favorites]

Funneling Into Apple News+

Tony Haile (also: MacRumors):

I wonder how many publishers in Apple News+ realize that the new iOS14 and MacOS Big Sur are by default intercepting traffic to their sites and sending it to the Apple News app instead.

This traffic interception has two interesting consequences: 1) Any strategic rationale that Apple News+ represents a separate channel/audience is now gone. This directly cannibalizes a publishers’ core subscription audience.

2) Apple has been touting privacy as its core attribute, particularly blocking cross-site tracking. In this case, not only is Apple engaging in cross-site tracking, but is doing so as a default opt-in buried in the settings.

The setting is called “Open Web Links in News.”

M.G. Siegler:

As a user I noticed it as I kept getting notices that Apple News had crashed, which is weird because I didn’t have it open. But it was intercepting links I was opening in background on browser. What a weird experience. Who wants to open another whole app to read a single article?

Russell Schneider:

Additionally, many links to external published article url’s change to apple news urls’s if go to open the article in Safari or to email a link. This is a cruddy user experience


Even worse: since the beginning, they’ve been hijacking .rss links and shoveling you to News, then giving you a warning that the RSS feed is not part of Apple News. It’s insane.

John Koetsier (via Hacker News):

Apple looks to be giving its own ad network a leg up on competitors with customer data that other ad networks can’t access. In iOS 14, Apple Advertising appears to have a separate settings panel with a default-on setting. Other advertisers and ad networks on iOS, however, need to ask permission every single time.


Update (2020-08-11): Jeff Johnson:

So I think we can say with confidence that Big Sur is checking an offline list of URL domains rather than checking online with Apple. Your privacy is still protected here.

Except that if you view an article that is available in Apple News, that information is then sent to Apple. (Of course, by default, every Web page you view in Safari is sent to your iCloud account, anyway.)

Dave Mark:

I’d love to see Apple News+ make it much easier to recover the original link to an article. I can get there by digging through the share panel, but it is certainly not obvious. And Google makes this just as difficult, often offering up a link to a link that takes you to Google’s servers.

This gatekeeping behavior is not helping solve the “news decline” problem. It’s not helping get publishers paid, and that’s not good for reporters/writers.

Update (2020-08-27): Nick Heer:

Apple has chosen a crude way to send subscribers to Apple News — something more like an app banner would be less interruptive — but this does not appear to be as gratuitous or as privacy-invasive as it appear at first blush.

Update (2020-09-11): Tim Hardwick:

Apple has added Smart App Banners to the latest iOS 14 beta that prompt Safari users to open its News app when viewing the website of a publisher that is part of Apple News+.

Update (2021-07-30): Daniel Hall:

I uninstalled Apple News from my phone, and if someone shares a link (to web content) from News, it won’t open in the browser. Instead, iOS shows me a screen requiring that I reinstall Apple News to see it. Web content!

Apple Legal vs. Prepear

Hartley Charlton (tweet, Hacker News):

Prepear is an app that helps users discover recipes, plan meals, make lists, and arrange grocery deliveries. The app is a spinoff of “Super Healthy Kids,” and the founders claim that they are facing litigation from Apple. Apple reportedly takes issue with Prepear’s logo, arguing that its attributes are too similar to its own logo.

This is ridiculous. Their pear logo looks nothing like Apple’s. Alas, this bullying isn’t new.

Philip Oltermann, in 2013:

Apfelkind (Apple Child) is a cafe in Bonn where parents can sip lattes while children play with toys or listen to storytellers. Its logo shows the outline of a child’s face within a red apple – with none of the characteristic bite marks of the electronics manufacturer’s logo.

Yet when Apfelkind’s owner, Christin Römer, filed a trademark application for her company in 2011, Apple got in touch asking her to withdraw the request since customers could potentially confuse the two logos.

Römer stood firm and a two-year legal correspondence ensued. Last week Apple withdrew its objection.

Greta Hamann:

After countless meetings with Apple’s lawyers and sleepless nights, Römer says, the company offered her a settlement. But Römer didn’t want sign the contract. To do so would have forbidden her from manufacturing products related to computers - such as carrying cases for laptops, for example. But it was one sentence in particular that bothered the café owner.

“I wouldn’t have been able to talk about it anymore, and would only be able to say that I have come to an agreement with Apple,” she told DW.

Sarah Jacobsson Purewal, in 2012:

According to Telepolis, Apple is taking issue with the’s logo, and is claiming that the grocer is trying to deliberately confuse customers by using Apple’s well-known likeness and reputation. Considering Apple sells iPhones (and iPads, and MacBook Airs, and Mac OS X, and other non-edible technology items), and sells food (and cleaning products, and other items you might find in a grocery store), this seems like a bit of a stretch. I think it’s unlikely that customers will mistake’s products for iPhones, and vice-versa.

Apple is continuing its efforts to force meal planner app Prepear to change its logo by expanding the fight beyond the United States, with the iPhone maker now going after the company’s trademark filing in Canada.

This one really takes the cake. Taking on school districts because they have a picture of an apple in their logo? Taking on a company because they depict a pineapple?

While Apple has not dropped its opposition, it appears a resolution to the dispute may be coming fairly soon, as filings with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s Trademark Trial and Appeal Board last week have requested that the trial proceedings be suspended for 30 days as the “parties are actively engaged in negotiations for the settlement of this matter.”

Prepear, a recipe and meal-planning app, has agreed to change its pear logo to settle an ongoing trademark dispute with Apple, Prepear’s co-founder today confirmed to iPhone in Canada.


Though Prepear’s logo has a pear shape instead of an Apple shape, Apple seems to have taken offense to the right angle of Prepear’s leaf in the original logo. The new logo features a leaf that’s angled differently, a small change that Apple apparently feels makes it different enough from the famous Apple logo. Prepear’s app icon has also been tweaked.

“Everything” Apple Gift Cards

Michael Simon:

Apple today announced a major change to its gift card offerings. Instead of separate cards for iTunes and Apple Store purchase, Apple is now selling a single [card] for “everything Apple” that can be used online and in stores to purchase “products, accessories, apps, games, music, movies, TV shows, iCloud, and more.”

While the new cards will make it easier to buy things, they could also mean the end of the standard iTunes gift card deals that regularly pop up. Best Buy, PayPal, and others often offer 15- or 20-percent off $50 or $100 cards, but those deals rarely surface for Apple Store cards.

Discounted gift cards have been one reason offered in justification of Apple’s 30% App Store cut.


SwiftUI Alerts

Thomas Hanning:

SwiftUI refreshes the view whenever the bool value changes since it is a state. As a consequence, the alert gets displayed if it’s set to true.


It’s not possible to add more than two buttons though.


But for a view it’s not so uncommon to have more than one scenario for displaying an alert. […] Unfortunately, this doesn’t work. The reason is that every view can only have one alert.

This is not a good advertisement for the Swift UI way of doing things.