Archive for September 4, 2020

Friday, September 4, 2020

Apple’s Commitment to Human Rights

Apple (PDF):

We believe that dialogue and engagement are the best ways to work toward building a better world. In keeping with the UN Guiding Principles, where national law and international human rights standards differ, we follow the higher standard. Where they are in conflict, we respect national law while seeking to respect the principles of internationally recognized human rights.

This is not exactly news. In some cases like end-to-end encryption, Apple stands on principle. In others, it chooses not to push back. When it comes to the availability of iOS apps, Apple’s highest principle is that Apple, not the user, decides what can be installed. And this makes it subject to governmental control.

Tim Hardwick:

The Financial Times reports that Apple’s board of directors approved the policy and published it ahead of a deadline of September 5 for shareholders to submit motions for next year’s investor meeting.

The commitment comes seven months after some of Apple’s shareholders defied management and supported a proposal from a consumer advocacy group called SumOfUs that would have compelled it to uphold freedom of expression globally. Apple reportedly tried to strike the proposal from the agenda but was denied by the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

Apple has faced increasingly pressure from investors about its relationship with China and its tendency to accede to Beijing’s demands. Last year, for example, Apple removed the app of news outlet Quartz from China’s App Store after complaints from the government that it included content that is illegal in the country.


Why You Should Charge More for Your App Subscriptions

Matt Ronge:

The reality is most people won’t sign up for your subscription even at a low price. Most people dislike subscriptions, and many won’t subscribe at any cost. The recurring nature of subscriptions provides a major mental hurdle and makes them hard to commit to.

However, you likely have a smaller set of users who get the most value out of your app and are willing to subscribe. These are your most devoted and die-hard users. When designing your subscription plan you want to focus on these users, they are the ones who will pay and stick around (see my post on churn for why this is critical). By going subscription, you are choosing to focus on fewer customers but your most dedicated customers. Given that this is a much smaller customer base, you need to charge a higher price.



Auto Linking in MachO-Explorer

Milen Dzhumerov:

Auto Linking works by inserting linker flags in object files. When the linker creates the final executable, it’s as if those linker flags were passed as arguments.


I recently added support for LC_LINKER_OPTION to MachO-Explorer, so you can use it to inspect the linker flags visually as well.


Update (2020-09-07): Jeff Johnson:

PROTIP: autolink doesn’t work as expected with import Cocoa

If your binary uses no AppKit symbols, then only Foundation gets linked.

Inside Digital Pregnancy Tests

Tom Warren (Hacker News):

Pregnancy tests used to be fairly simple sticks you peed on, but the move to digital versions has transformed them into tiny computers almost as powerful as the original IBM PC. Fascinated by the digital era of pregnancy tests, Twitter users foone and xtoff recently pulled apart examples from Walmart and Clearblue to reveal what’s really going on inside.

Each test, which costs less than $5, includes a processor, RAM, a button cell battery, and a tiny LCD screen to display the result.


You might assume that the addition of an LCD screen and processor to digitize this pregnancy test improves the accuracy or modernizes how the test works, but that’s certainly not the case. This digital pregnancy test still includes a paper strip to measure the chemical reaction you create when urinating on the strip.

It’s an interesting user interface problem. Even if the paper strip is the same, the digital tester is probably more accurate because it has been calibrated based on actual strips, whereas the human is reading instructions on the box and may not have seen a variety of actual positive and negative results. The digital test is also less stressful because it gives a definitive result without having to wonder whether one read it properly. How faint a line is too faint to count? Is it just an evaporation line?

The downsides are that the single-use digital test is more wasteful and that the binary result is not 100% definitive. It can in rare situations report a false negative instead of a faint positive. With the analog test, the faint positive would be a sign that you should test again later or that hormone levels were off for some other reason that might warrant investigation.

Update (2020-09-07): foone:

Yesterday I had a lot of retweets and reddit posts and such for playing Doom on a pregnancy test. But as I explained then, it wasn’t really PLAYING on a pregnancy test, it was just a video being played back, not an interactive game.

Well, now it is. It’s Pregnancy Test Doom!

Tokens 2

Gikken (also: Filipe Espósito):

Tokens not only generates promo codes 13x faster than App Store Connect but also provides you with a bunch of entirely new features.

It’s mind-boggling how slow and clunky App Store Connect still is.

The pricing is interesting, as it’s a subscription based on the number of apps that you have. For example, 2 apps costs $80/year.