Tag: iOS

  • Callum Booth from The Verge writes:

    Fundamentally, in their current state, third-party iOS app stores like AltStore will only be attractive to power users, groups of enthusiasts who are desperate to solve niche issues or have particular interests in something they can’t get on the App Store, like a fully functioning clipboard manager or game emulator.

    I don’t know if I necessarily agree with the “ONLY” argument there, given the sentiment online — however I don’t think Booth is entirely wrong either. Apple’s malicious compliance (with the Core Technology Fee) is also a big issue, and I have a feeling the EU isn’t done with the company on that front.

    Only time will tell. Check out their hands on at the link here or above.

  • Apple announced that there’s a new app for Sports on iPhone, aptly named “Apple Sports” and the design cues are very similar to those of watchOS and visionOS. I generally don’t like speculating too much–but considering how out of place this app and the Action Button menu looks on iOS 17, this could potentially mean iOS will receive an overdue redesign treatment this year to bring the platform more in line with other Apple platforms.

    iOS has stayed largely the same design-wise since iOS 7, with mainly minor tweaks each update cycle. With iOS 18 rumored to be a big update this year, only time will tell whether or not this happens!


  • Apple Confirms No Web Apps in EU

    From Apple:

    The iOS system has traditionally provided support for Home Screen web apps by building directly on WebKit and its security architecture. That integration means Home Screen web apps are managed to align with the security and privacy model for native apps on iOS, including isolation of storage and enforcement of system prompts to access privacy impacting capabilities on a per-site basis.

    […] And so, to comply with the DMA’s requirements, we had to remove the Home Screen web apps feature in the EU.

    EU users will be able to continue accessing websites directly from their Home Screen through a bookmark with minimal impact to their functionality.

    It’s official, users in the EU can no longer have Home Screen web apps on iOS in the EU. Apple says this is to comply with the DMA’s requirements, however as a web developer, I don’t quite see how this is anything but malicious noncompliance. The company says there is low adoption of these web apps, but that’s not entirely true, either, if you look anywhere online. Not to mention this change breaks a lot of web apps.

    It’s a bad move meant to create hardship for their own users. It’s really sad to see.

  • There’s some new emoji, of course, but most of the new changes in iOS 17.4 Beta 3 — which was seeded to Public Beta testers today, and Developers on the Developer Beta track not long before that — are EU-specific.

    From MacRumors:

    The iOS 17.4 […] [beta] introduce a whole slew of changes for users in the European Union, allowing for alternative app stores and alternative payment methods.

    There are new options for choosing a default browser, NFC has been opened up to banks and other financial institutions, and browsers aren’t mandated to use WebKit.

    None of those features are coming to the US or any other territories besides EU member countries, though.

    However, Stolen Device Protection, new emoji, and transcripts in Apple Podcasts are included worldwide, so there’s that. My guess is most of the engineering efforts are on EU DMA compliance and iOS 18 now… Apple’s WWDC is imminent (June), and they usually have things ready to go by mid-to-late April/early May.

  • Iconfactory writes:

    Our plan is to fund and then build Tapestry as an iOS app over the course of 9 to 12 months with the following features and functionality:

    • 🕰️ Unified, chronological timeline
    • 🔍 Detail view for individual posts
    • 📙 Remember your reading position in the timeline
    • 🌎 Ability to add common publicly accessible sources to your timeline, such as Mastodon accounts, RSS feeds, and more (see below)
    • 🛠️ Basic support for building and adding your own plug-ins to support additional source types
    • 📱 Support for iPhone and iPad
    • 🗣️ Full accessibility via VoiceOver support
    • 🆎 Support for dynamic font resizing
    • 💡 Light and Dark theme

    I’m really excited for this! I’ve always wanted one app to rule them all, and this would certainly be a push for me to return to iOS full-time. They’re looking for about $100,000 USD of funding, and as of writing, they’re sitting at about $42,000 USD. If this is of interest to you, please consider giving a few dollars! The Iconfactory are brilliant humans (who I wish I could work with) and they’re absolutely worth your support!

    (Disclosure: Ged Maheux is a friend of the blog, and the human who writes it–but he and the Iconfactory team did not have any say in this post going live for readers.)

  • Previously on Slade’s Corner: Apple’s “Core Technology Fee” Raises Two Giant Middle Fingers at EU’s DMA

    Sarah Bond writes on Twitter:

    “We believe constructive conversations drive change and progress towards open platforms and greater competition. Apple’s new policy is a step in the wrong direction. We hope they listen to feedback on their proposed plan and work towards a more inclusive future for all.”

    This Tweet was in a response to Daniel Ek, CEO of Spotify, stating in part “While Apple has behaved badly for years, what they did yesterday represents a new low, even for them.” Microsoft and Spotify have long been vocal of Apple’s restrictive rules, and this time is no exception.

  • Friend of the blog Riley Testut recently joined 9to5Mac Overtime to discuss iOS 17.4’s new sideloading capabilities and support for “alternative app marketplaces” now that the March deadline for complying with the EU’s Digital Markets Act is drawing nearer. I highly recommend giving this a listen wherever you get your podcasts (or the embed above!)

    For those who don’t know, Riley Testut is the creator of both the Delta emulator and AltStore, the latter of which allows users to sideload apps onto their iOS devices with just an Apple ID associated with the free tier of the Apple Developer Program.

    I really don’t think 9to5Mac could have picked a better guest to talk about this with!

    (Disclosure: As mentioned, Riley Testut is a friend of the blog, has given me access to the TestFlight version of Delta, and is one of the people I look up to in the developer and tech communities! I honestly and truly consider him a mentor.)

  • First off: I want to be clear that I like Apple’s products. I have an iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and a Mac. I don’t always have my personal SIM in an iPhone, but I use the other three fairly regularly. I enjoy their approach to software design. But the fact of the matter is, their concerns about “security” fall flat. They shouldn’t be making those decisions for their users on whether or not they can install any app they want–the users should. I’m not saying open up the filesystem or anything, but allowing third-party app stores and even direct installing of apps isn’t a bad thing.

    And if users are concerned about security, they can just not install anything from third-parties. Including from the App Store, which Apple touts as this mega secure thing (we’ll come back to that point in a sec.)

    That said, David Heinemeier Hansson (DHH) writes (emphasis mine):

    “[…] let’s take Meta as a good example. Their Instagram app alone is used by over 300 million people in Europe. Let’s just say for easy math there’s 250 million of those in the EU. In order to distribute Instagram on, say, a new Microsoft iOS App Store, Meta would have to pay Apple $11,277,174 PER MONTH(!!!) as a “Core Technology Fee”. That’s $135 MILLION DOLLARS per year. Just for the privilege of putting Instagram into a competing store. No fee if they stay in Apple’s App Store exclusively.

    DHH and I don’t always see eye-to-eye–who does?–but this is something I can absolutely rally behind him on. I’m not an EU resident, nor an expert in US or EU law, so take what I say with a grain of salt from here on out.

    Like DHH said in the title of his post, it’s an “extortion regime”–and I’d take it one step further to say it’s literally two giant middle fingers raised directly at the EU Parliament, who passed the Digital Markets Act not that long ago. It’s no secret that Apple makes a shit ton of money from the App Store, and for the EU to say “you can’t do that anymore here” literally hurts their wallet.

    The thing is, Android has been open since the platform’s infancy, so it really hasn’t had this problem. Don’t want the Play Store? Install another store. Google doesn’t care. Samsung doesn’t care. It might warn you about installing from “unknown sources” or whatever, but it won’t hinder you. No matter what kind of device you have, you can install whatever you want on Android. No questions asked. Play Protect will scan things for malware, but it still won’t stop you.

    Apple, however, seems committed to not allowing anyone to do what they want with their mobile devices that cost upwards of $1,000 USD. On the Mac, however? It’s a different story. Install what you want, no problem. It’s really absurd to me and I don’t fully understand why this hasn’t been taken up by regulators until now.

    Watching Apple list a bunch of requirements for “alternative app marketplaces” to even exist on iOS with their proposed rules seems like it’s the most bad faith attempt to comply with any law ever.

    iOS is one of the most secure platforms out there. My friend and fellow tech enthusiast ChiefGyk3D said in a mention to me on Mastodon that “stock ios [sic] is way more private” than Android is judging by his firewall logs. That’s not because of the App Store lock down. Remember how I said we’d come back to the whole “even third-party apps from the App Store are insecure” thing? Well, my friends at Mysk discovered a huge privacy-invading tactic that apps like TikTok use to collect your data every time they send a notification on iOS, too. (Oh, and their discovery has since made international headlines, so hats off to you guys if you’re reading this!)

    My point is, iOS’s leg up in security doesn’t come from being locked into the App Store. It comes from Apple’s own development and PR investments. The platform can still be cracked and exploited–that’s why jailbreaks are still popular to this day. There are ways around Apple’s own third-party app installation restrictions, too, that I won’t name here. You can find them with a Google search if you’re interested.

    The truth is, these rules Apple set forth this past week are preliminary and haven’t been approved. They probably won’t even go into play, and they’ll be forced to drop and tweak some things. I hope to God that they’re not accepted and they don’t move forward, for the sake of everyone involved. Apple is simply moving the “Apple Tax” they collect from the App Store over to this new “Core Technology Fee” of theirs, and then adding another shit ton on top of that. It’s a scare tactic, plain-and-simple, to keep people in their storefront and no-one else’s. They just want to make more money off this legislation, because again, it hurts their wallets. They cannot (and should not) be allowed to.

    And by the way–regardless of what their excellent PR team wants you to think–they’re kind of lying to you about some of this. I was always taught there are two sides to every argument, they’re just litigating their side in the court of public opinion instead of where it belongs. They have a lot of evangelists dedicated to their brand who won’t see why this is such a big deal, and why Apple is in the wrong. They’re using them against the EU right now.

    The law is clear, the EU shouldn’t accept this attempt at extortion. Apple must be put in their place once and for all.