Friday Morning News

Chinese authorities have uncovered a network of individuals selling customer data to third parties, including names, phone numbers, and Apple ID email addresses. The group consisted of both employees of Apple suppliers and contractors working for Apple in marketing roles in the China region. The data points were sold at about $12 per pop, for a total of about US $7.36 million, and at this stage, it’s unknown whether the information was just from customers in China or whether it included customers from other regions.

One of the coolest things to come out of WWDC is the possibility to make your own HomeKit devices. No longer do HomeKit-compatible products have to get official certification from Apple, which opens the doors for hobbyist products built using a Raspberry Pi or Arduino. Note that you won’t be able to sell such a device to the general public, but I’m guessing there’s nothing preventing you from making instructions and putting them up on the web.

A teardown of the 2017 21.5-inch iMac with Retina 4K display reveals that it’s surprisingly upgradable, with the caveat that you’ll need to take your computer apart to do it. The RAM is no longer soldered onto the logic board, but is mounted onto a standard RAM bank module on the rear of the logic board, and the CPU is attached to a standard CPU socket, once you take off the heatsink.

Apple are introducing something called Business Chat with iOS 11, which lets businesses connect with customers over messages. While it’s not explicitly pitched as the replacement for picking up the phone and calling the business, maybe one day we’ll be able to communicate entirely by text, and what a world that will be.

Also in iOS 11 is increased privacy from apps that want to use your location all the time, even when you’re not using the app. In particular Uber, Facebook, and Waze will be disappointed to learn that a new setting in iOS 11 forces apps to only use your location when you’re using the app, regardless of what the app developer wants.

A new option in iOS 11 share sheets is the ability to create an Apple Watch face. By sharing a photo from your photos library, you can choose to create a Photos watch face for your Apple Watch, or make a new Kaleidoscope theme for some trippy visuals.

New accessibility features in iOS 11 and macOS High Sierra include an on-screen keyboard for the Mac, and a smart invert colours option for iOS that doesn’t change the colours of text or video. It’s not quite a system-wide dark mode, but it’s pretty close.

With the release of Apple’s Planet of the Apps, opinions abound on whether it’s good or bad. The Ringer says it’s actually good, providing a reasonably compelling argument about why it makes for good TV. It’s probably not worth cancelling your Spotify subscription for, but you should definitely check out the worst app-pitches once there are a few more episodes out.

This year’s Talk Show episode from WWDC featured Apple SVP of Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller and Apple SVP of Software Engineering Craig Federighi discussing the announcements of WWDC. While audio has been available for a while, the video of the podcast is also now available.

The latest Apple ad is a good one, featuring footage shot on iPhone by regular users. It shows off planet Earth through the lens of everyday iPhone users, featuring narration from Carl Sagan from the book Pale Blue Dot.

Notable Replies

  1. kyte says:

    BEST THING EVER!. There is NO reason any app needs your location all the time.

  2. What I like most about this is that it basically legitimises the Homebridge project that I've been leveraging for a while to control my heat pump.

  3. That would be glorious!

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