Archive for October 16, 2020

Friday, October 16, 2020

Apple Watch With Family Setup

Dan Seifert:

The most interesting thing is Apple’s new Family Setup service, which lets parents provision an Apple Watch for their kids to use. They can choose what apps and services their kids can access, who they can call or send messages to, and track their location through GPS. Even if you’re not a parent, the new Family Setup service is interesting because it gives us an idea of what a truly standalone Apple Watch could be.

For the past few weeks, I’ve strapped an Apple Watch SE to my eight-year-old child to see what the new Family Setup service is like to use in the real world (or at least as real of an experience as I can get in the middle of pandemic lockdown). Here’s what I’ve learned.

Avoiding AppleScript Security and Privacy Requests

Armin Briegel:

Since macOS Mojave, the Security and Privacy controls restricts sending and receiving AppleEvents. A given process can only send events to a different process with user approval. Users can manage the inter-application approvals in the Privacy tab of the Security & Privacy preference pane.

I ran into another case today where macOS failed to auto-add a checkbox under Automation so that the user could approve communication between two apps. There remains no way to manually add an app to give it permission. The only solution seems be to reset the privacy database and hope that macOS will add the checkbox the next time the app tries to communicate.

Over time, even though the underlying problem with hidden dialog has been fixed, this practice has persisted. You often even see AppleScript code use this with commands other than user interaction, where it wouldn’t have made sense in the first place. With the privacy restrictions in macOS Mojave, this practice has become actively trouble some, as you are sending the display dialog (or other) command to a separate process. The process running this script will require approval to send events to “System Events.”


Even after you have considered the above options to avoid sending AppleEvents to another process, there will still be several situations where it is necessary. […] MacAdmins can pre-approve AppleEvents (and most other privacy areas) between certain processes with a Privacy Preferences Policy Control (PPPC) configuration profile. PPPC profiles can only be managed when pushed from a user-approved or automatically enrolled MDM.


Local Network Privacy FAQ


I regularly get asked questions about local network privacy. This is my attempt to collect together the answers for the benefit of all. Before you delve into the details, familiarise yourself with the basics by watching WWDC 2020 Session 10110 Support local network privacy in your app.

Via Peter Steinberger:

Including gems such as: “Receiving an incoming UDP multicast or broadcast does not currently require local network access but, because we hope to change that in a future update, our advice right now is that you write your code as if did”

Update (2020-11-07): Rory Prior:

The local network security privacy stuff in iOS 14 is a complete cluster fuck. The only reliable documentation is in Apple’s help forums, basic features like checking if the user has actually accepted aren’t shipped yet.

Not all network activity actually triggers the alert even if its needed for said network activity to work properly. There’s no simple mechanism to actually trigger the alert, Apple’s sample code just spams every local network interface.

These problems only became apparent in the shipping release of iOS 14 for us causing a last minute panic to fix things. Rushing major OS updates out the door with half implemented breaking changes is incredibly hostile to developers.

Chrome Exempts Google Sites From User Site Data Settings

Jeff Johnson:

In Google Chrome’s “Cookies and site data” settings, accessible via the Preferences menu item or directly with chrome://settings/cookies in the address bar, you can enable the setting “Clear cookies and site data when you quit Chrome”. However, I’ve discovered that Chrome exempts Google’s own sites, such as Search and YouTube, from this setting.


Some people are going to read this article and say “Use Safari instead of Chrome!” But it’s important to note that Safari doesn’t even have the feature to clear site data on quit, so Safari is actually worse.

Update (2020-10-20): See also: Hacker News.

Update (2020-10-22): Jeff Johnson:

Someone on Hacker News indicated that this Chromium commit yesterday is the fix for my bug.

If so, the bug was introduced into Chromium 5 months ago and apparently shipped in Chrome 85 about 2 months ago.

Jeff Johnson:

So, it seems that Google actually shipped a partial fix today.

In my testing it’s fixed in Chrome 86.0.4240.111 for but still broken for

Steve Jobs Stories

Drew McCormack:

Steve’s anniversary was a few days ago. I always pause, at least for a moment, to remember how great those times were after his return to Apple in 1996. A rollercoaster that convinced me to leave my secure job in the scientific community, and risk everything on something new they were calling “apps”.


That’s when I got the order. I would receive details of all Mental Case purchase orders in my email inbox. (Yes, there were so few I could read them all individually.) This one was different, because I recognized the name immediately.


I have no idea if this was the real Steve Jobs on the line, or just a carefully crafted practical joke. (I don’t think the information about treatment in Missouri was even common knowledge at that time.) But I like to think it really was Steve, bored in his hospital bed, recovering from surgery, and just browsing through apps to see where the wind was blowing.

Chris Hynes:

I worked right on the hallway where he hiked between buildings, so it was very common to see him. A few days after the bicycle incident, we were walking towards each other in the hall.

He looked at me, ducked his head, and did the same apologetic gesture with his hand. I couldn’t believe he remembered. He did this duck and wave about a dozen times in the next month or so. Then one time he passed me with a grin on his face and just said “Hey”

Perhaps he felt he had done enough apologizing.