Apple details decision to enhance Safari privacy Permanent Article Link- Apple details decision to enhance Safari privacy

Safari in macOS High Sierra offers a new privacy feature that attempts to block cross-site tracking. This type of tracking is valuable to advertisers and marketers to understand consumer behaviors and pitch them for ads and offers.

Apple Statement via The Loop

"Apple believes that people have a right to privacy - Safari was the first browser to block third party cookies by default and Intelligent Tracking Prevention is a more advanced method for protecting user privacy," Apple said in a statement provided to The Loop.

"Ad tracking technology has become so pervasive that it is possible for ad tracking companies to recreate the majority of a person's web browsing history. This information is collected without permission and is used for ad re-targeting, which is how ads follow people around the Internet. The new Intelligent Tracking Prevention feature detects and eliminates cookies and other data used for this cross-site tracking, which means it helps keep a person's browsing private. The feature does not block ads or interfere with legitimate tracking on the sites that people actually click on and visit. Cookies for sites that you interact with function as designed, and ads placed by web publishers will appear normally," the company said.

Technically web visitors probably often agree to be tracked by sites within the terms of service. So, if you feel this isn't right or simply enjoy having ads follow you around, you can dimple not utilize the feature.

iPhone X could see more severe availability issues Permanent Article Link- iPhone X could see more severe availability issues

Most iPhone upgrade cycles seem to have some kind of hitch that's anticipating constrained supplies. This year's cycle for the iPhone X could be worse than normal:

Fast Company:

Part of the problem is that the iPhone X is densely packed with lots of custom components that aren't easy to manufacture quickly. And Apple probably locked down the feature set of the iPhone X relatively late in the game, compounding the problem.

"It got right down to the wire," says Patrick Moorhead, an analyst with Moor Insights & Strategy. "They were trying to put everything they could into the thing and still make it in time for the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays."

It seems weird to worry about the holiday sales if products will be back order beyond that. If you don't have a box to give, Apple will probably miss a sale, so we'll have to see about that. Also, the iPhone 8/8 Plus could relieve pressure as people compare specs and prices and settle.

Face ID security masks Permanent Article Link- Face ID security masks

The Verge:

Just days after Apple announced the iPhone X that replaced the home button's Touch ID for Face ID, Chinese merchants have launched "protective masks" in response to the news.

These are all just regular masks being marketing for the new iPhone X and Face ID. Cheap marketing ploy for sure, but it wouldn't happen if there wasn't some demand. Crazy times.

Reloaded Mac

Privacy and Face ID Permanent Article Link- Privacy and Face ID

Ars Technica has a nice rundown of security and privacy implications of the new Face ID security feature. Basically, it doesn't really change much from Touch ID. It expected law enforcement can still compel people to unlock a device. Apple, however, says Face ID is harder to trick, so it can be more secure from unauthorized access. As described by Apple, Face ID also requires your attention, which basically seems to mean you must be looking at your device to unlock.

Other than the new hardware, iOS 11 should beef up security across all devices.

it should be noted that Apple has instituted some new privacy features for iOS 11, which rolls out next week. Let's assume you unlock your phone for the authorities, whether they have a warrant or not. If you have TouchID enabled on a non-iPhone X phone, the passcode is now required when the phone is connected to a new computer. "Trust This Computer" pops up on the computer's monitor, requiring the password. That wasn't the case before. This means the authorities would need your passcode again to siphon data from your phone beyond just reading its contents manually.

One researcher who has written about this suspects the same will apply to the iPhone X and its FaceID--that a passcode will be required when connecting it to a new computer.

Apple Watch Series 3 with LTE Permanent Article Link- Apple Watch Series 3 with LTE

The new Apple Watch Series 3 now untethers itself from the iPhone. This brings a bunch of new possibilities, but also an extra monthly charge to your mobile account. It appears for $10 per month, you can leave your iPhone at home and still receive calls and messages.

When on LTE, the watch still shares your iPhone's mobile number, so that makes it's transparent. Also when sharing location, your location data will reflect your position with the Apple Watch. Apple also announced the Apple Music will be supported on mobile, so you can listen to your music using only your Apple Watch.

Apple says the new dual core processor is 70% faster and a new W2 chip offers 80% improvement on WiFi.

Series 3 looks is nearly identical to the Series 1 and Series 2, except that the digital crown is red. That seems weird and basically intended to differentiate the models for those who care about such things.

I was hoping to have something new with the heart rate sensors. It appears not much has changed there since the Apple Watch was originally introduced in 2015. Not really complaining, but something there would be a bigger incentive to upgrade.

Pricing starts at $329 for the 38mm watch and $359 for the 42mm on SPorts models. If you want the LTE cellular feature, prices bump up to $359 and $429. Other models and bands go up from there.

Apple TV 4k Permanent Article Link- Apple TV 4k

The new Apple TV 4K basically is more powerful Apple TV supporting 4K and HDR video. It has the A10 Fusion CPU, which is the same as the iPad Pro.

Interestingly, Apple is selling 4K movies for the same price as HD. Also, any HD movies you already purchased will be available to review in 4K. That's pretty cool. Apple is also working with Netflix and Amazon to support their 4K content.

I'm a little split on the new Apple TV. I don't have a 4K TV and very happy with my plasma as it keeps on keeping on. Still, if Apple can be a catalyst for 4K content, it will make 4K much more attractive.

Reloaded Mac

iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus Permanent Article Link- iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus

The iPhone 8 looks to be a significant refresh of the iPhone 6/6s/7 platform. Retaining the same basic design except for a new glass back, the iPhone 8 adds many core functions of the new flagship iPhone X.

The new glass back allows for wireless charging using Qi industry standard. Apple also previewed its own charging dock that is expected next year. Apple also said the glass is 50% stronger than the previous iPhone.

The iPhone 8/8 Plus features the new A11 Bionic processor, which offers 25% faster CPU speeds and 30% faster GPU over the iPhone 7.

Also new are cameras that offer 83% more light sensitivity. The rear camera also now supports 4K video at 60 fps, where the iPhone 7 was limited to 30 fps at 4K.

The augmented reality demos were pretty cool, especially the non-gaming demos. We say constellations overlaid the camera image looking at the sky. Also, a baseball game that overlaid player info over images of them in the field. Games were nifty too, but I think every-day stuff is more compelling. Apple said the new camera and hardware are designed to drive performance for these AR features.

The iPhone 8 goes on sale 9/15 and available beginning 9/22. Pricing is $699 and $849 for the iPhone 8 64GB and 256GB models. The iPhone 8 Plus is $100 more for $799 and $949. This is a slight tweak over last year's new model pricing, giving a little more storage space for the money, but with a higher entry price.

iPhone X Permanent Article Link- iPhone X

The iPhone X is Apple's new flagship mobile device that creates a new product tier within the iPhone lineup. Starting at $999 for the 64 GB and $1,049 for the 256 GB models, the iPhone X is a super premium smart phone. While it shared many specs of the new iPhone 8, there are some advanced features unique to the iPhone X.

The iPhone X has an edge-to-edge OLED display with a 458 pixels per inch density. Apple calls this new higher density display the Super Retina Display and it is also slightly larger than the iPhone Plus models at 5.8-inches compared to 5.5. Despite the larger display, being edge-to-edge, the phone is slightly smaller and lighter than the iPhone 7 Plus.

Dropping the home button, the iPhone X introduces a number of gestures. It also drops TouchID for the new Face ID. It will be interesting to see how this plays out. Face ID isn't just image recognition as it utilizes multiple sensors including infrared. Apple says its implementation works whether the user is wearing glasses, hats, and in different lighting conditions. It also works looking at different angles, so it would seem you can unlock the device looking down and looking straight on. Interestingly, Face ID won't unlock unless it has your attention, which seems to mean it requires you to have eyes on the display. Apple also says Face ID is less prone to unauthorized access as it has a 1:1,000,000 false ID rate compared to 1:50,000 for TouchID. It seems this is the first time we've seen this number from Apple. Some other tidbits are Face ID works with Apple Pay, in addition to any apps supporting TouchID. Also, Apple said it adapts to facial hair, which sounds like it learns of face changes over time. Power this whole thing is what Apple is calling its first neural engine utilizing machine learning.

Also demoed was animated emojis. It appears it uses the Face ID tech to drive augmented reality feature of transferring facial expressions to animated characters. This can be used to send texts in Messages. I think my kids will love this.

The Face ID demo didn't quite work right and a backup was used. I'm not sure the reason, but that could be why we need to wait a few extra weeks for the iPhone X. Apple will be taking orders on 10/27 and ship 11/3.

Apple Event Viewing Permanent Article Link- Apple Event Viewing

This iPhone cycle has been probably the most leaky. It will be interesting if there are many big surprises left, but seeing it actually happen is always the best way to find out.

Apple is providing a live stream of the event starting at 10 AM PDT on September 12.

Delays and the iPhone Upgrade Program Permanent Article Link- Delays and the iPhone Upgrade Program

Apple's iPhone Upgrade Program is a mechanism to finance a new phone every year. Essentially you have a 24-month payment plan with the option to trade in that device early as a payoff. It's a nice program, but jumping through the necessary hoops can make it difficult to get a new iPhone when they launch.

Apple has made it easier, but there are still challenges when supplies are limited. Unsurprisingly, like pretty much every launch supplies are expected to be limited.

9 to 5 Mac has short overview of options for those looking to upgrade through Apple's program.

If you happen to do your iUP trade-in after 12 months has passed, the good news is that Apple will refund any payments you have made up to 30 days before upgrading. So there is a month buffer built-in, and it's possible that Apple could extend that period for iUP customers if there happens to be a more serious delay with the iPhone 8. (Note, while this doesn't appear in Apple's iUP T&C, we've confirmed this with multiple Apple Store employees).

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