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Apple Reveals Major Update to Its Privacy Webpage

Privacy and everything it entails is not easy to explain. Under the hood, it’s driven by complex mathematics and code. However, in practice, app privacy starts with how apps are designed. Some are designed to collect information about you, and others aren’t. With Apple’s update to its privacy page today, the company has created a site that explains how privacy drives the design of its apps in clear, concise language. However, for anyone who wants to understand the nitty-gritty details, Apple has also published white papers and linked to other materials that provide a closer look at the issues that the main page addresses.

Apple’s Privacy webpage starts with a declaration of the company’s position on privacy:

Privacy is a fundamental human right. At Apple, it’s also one of our core values. Your devices are important to so many parts of your life. What you share from those experiences, and who you share it with, should be up to you. We design Apple products to protect your privacy and give you control over your information. It’s not always easy. But that’s the kind of innovation we believe in.

What follows is an app-by-app explanation of how each is designed to give users control over what they share and limit what Apple collects. Safari, Maps, Photos, Messages, Siri, News, Wallet, Health, Sign On with Apple, and the App Store are all covered with playful animations and a short explanation of what they do to protect your privacy.

Additional information about each app, their underlying technologies, plus iCloud, CarPlay, Home, education and children’s privacy, and other features follow under the Features tab. Included among the more detailed materials are white papers that go even deeper on Safari, Location Services, differential privacy, iOS security, and Face ID security. There is also a tech brief on Photos and links to additional materials about Ask Siri, Siri Suggestions, Apple Pay, ResearchKit and CareKit, Apple News, Apple Music, the Apple TV app, Apple Arcade, iCloud, Screen Time, Family Sharing, security in education, Apple’s student privacy pledge, and your data and privacy page. That’s a lot of information, but it’s presented in a thoughtful, compelling way that lets you go deeper if you want without being confusing or difficult to navigate.

The final new tab is called Control. Some of these tips and guides were available before, but the page has been updated with new practical suggestions on how you can make your Apple devices more secure. The page covers passcodes, Touch ID and Face ID, two-factor authentication, Find My, the alerts that explain the information third-party apps request, using your data and privacy page, advertising, analytics, and more. It’s an excellent place for users looking for ways to take command of the security of their devices.

I know that a lot of MacStories readers care strongly about their privacy and the security of their devices, and many are aware of at least some of what’s covered on Apple’s privacy page. However, it’s still worth a visit because privacy and security are part of so much of what Apple does now, that I expect there are at least a few tidbits on this new page that will be new to everyone. It’s also a great page to share with family members and friends who may not be as aware of the privacy issues related to their devices.


How To Open the Apple TV+ Front Page and Individual Shows Directly in the TV App

Update, November 7: The shortcut has been updated with links to all currently announced Apple TV+ shows. You can find the updated download link below and in the MacStories Shortcuts Archive.


I was listening to the latest episode of Upgrade, and, among several fair points about the shortcomings of Apple’s TV app for iPhone and iPad, Jason Snell mentioned an issue that stood out to me: if you don’t know where to look, it can be hard to tell where exactly the Apple TV+ service lives inside the Apple TV app. This sentiment was echoed earlier today in this article by Benjamin Mayo at 9to5Mac:

Apple has made very few changes to the TV app design and feature set to accommodate the TV+ launch. TV+ is shoehorned in as just another source of content with very little consideration. With other streaming services, if you want to commit to their world and explore everything they have to offer, you can just open the dedicated app and never touch the TV app. With TV+, that’s simply not possible.

There is a channel section of the TV app that is dedicated to TV+ content — but it’s far from perfect. Finding the TV+ section requires a lot of scrolling, meandering past several screens worth of Watch Now recommendations for everything in the iTunes catalog.

I’ve been watching The Morning Show over the weekend (which I surprisingly liked a lot; I’m going to start For All Mankind and See next), and even though I’m used to the TV app’s quirks by now, I recognize that its navigation should be improved. And in particular regarding the new Apple TV+ service, I do believe that it’s somewhat buried in the TV app experience – by default, Apple doesn’t offer a single, easy way to open a “page” with Apple TV+’s complete catalog. So, I had to figure out a solution on my own.

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AppStories, Episode 137 – Our Third Annual Apple Watch Check-In

On this week’s episode of AppStories, in what has become an annual tradition, we talk about how how we’ve set up our Apple Watches, including the complications we use, the third-party apps on which we rely, and what’s in our Watch docks.

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Apple Releases Trailer for The Banker Arriving in Theaters December 6th and Streaming on Apple TV+ in January 2020

Apple has released a trailer for its upcoming movie, The Banker, on its Apple TV YouTube channel. The company describes the film as follows:

Based on a true story, “The Banker” centers on revolutionary businessmen Bernard Garrett (Anthony Mackie) and Joe Morris (Samuel L. Jackson), who devise an audacious and risky plan to take on the racially oppressive establishment of the 1960s by helping other African Americans pursue the American dream. Along with Garrett’s wife Eunice (Nia Long), they train a working class white man, Matt Steiner (Nicholas Hoult), to pose as the rich and privileged face of their burgeoning real estate and banking empire – while Garrett and Morris pose as a janitor and a chauffeur. Their success ultimately draws the attention of the federal government, which threatens everything the four have built.

The film, which is rated PG-13, will be released in theaters December 6th and stream Apple TV+ in January 2020 following a similar pattern to The Elephant Queen and Hala which are also Apple Original movies. It’s an interesting approach and one that is likely designed to ensure the films are eligible for awards like the Oscars, while simultaneously creating marketing opportunities and viewer awareness in advance of their debut on TV+.


Microsoft Previews New Office Mobile App, Unifying Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and More in a Single App

Today Microsoft previewed a fascinating new experiment in mobile: a brand new iOS app, simply dubbed Office, that houses versions of Word, PowerPoint, and Excel in one place, integrated with OneDrive, while also including Sticky Notes, Microsoft’s OCR-powered Office Lens camera, and a variety of mobile-friendly actions. Until test slots are full, you can sign up to access the beta version of the app through TestFlight.

For now, the beta version of Office is iPhone-only, but Microsoft states it “will bring this experience to tablets as well.” It will be interesting to see how that pans out, since currently Microsoft requires Office 365 subscriptions to edit in its Office apps on iPads over a certain size, while devices under that size can edit documents for free. It’s likely the new Office app will follow the same restrictions, but we’ll have to wait to find out.

I’ve spent a little time working with the beta version of Office, and I think Microsoft may be on to something here.

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Adobe Releases Photoshop for iPad and Aero, an iOS AR Creation Tool, Plus Offers a Peek at 2020’s Illustrator for iPad

Source: Adobe

Source: Adobe

Adobe MAX begins today in Los Angeles and runs through November 6th. As in past years, the three-day conference is an opportunity for Adobe to announce new products and updates to existing ones.

Last year, Adobe previewed Photoshop for iPad and Aero, an iOS AR creation tool. Today, those apps are finally out of beta and are available to everyone in the App Store. In fact, both Photoshop and Aero showed up on the App Store the evening before the start of MAX, providing me with a little hands-on time with them in advance of their official release.

Adobe has also previewed an iPad version of Illustrator, another of its core Creative Suite apps, which the company says will be available sometime in 2020.

Adobe’s announcements are packed with updates to a wide range of its products, but there’s a clear focus this year on mobile apps. In addition to Photoshop, Aero, and Illustrator, the company also announced updates to Lightroom for iOS and iPadOS and its Rush video creation app.

However, the centerpiece of Adobe’s mobile announcements is Photoshop, the company’s iconic professional design app relied upon by creative professionals worldwide. Ever since word of Photoshop for iPad was leaked to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman in July 2018, the idea of ‘full’ or ‘real’ Photoshop on the iPad has captured imaginations. That initial leak, combined with Adobe’s early marketing efforts, led to outsized expectations for the first version of the app.

Instead of the full-featured, desktop-replacement app that some people were expecting, Adobe says that it has built a foundation with its new cloud-based PSD files and Photoshop’s desktop engine, upon which it will evolve with the guidance of users. Based on what I’ve heard from Adobe and seen from my limited use of the app, I believe the company truly is committed to building a more fully-featured version of Photoshop for the iPad; however, it doesn’t appear that users will be able to abandon their desktops anytime soon.

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Pixelmator Pro: Professional Image Editing Tools That Anyone Can Use [Sponsor]

Pixelmator Pro proves that powerful Mac image editors don’t need to be complex. The app, which is the successor to the original Pixelmator, is designed for ultimate ease of use. It’s the ‘image editor for the rest of us’ who want a native Mac app that’s instantly familiar.

The app introduced a refined, single-window design that puts the focus on your work instead of your tools. Pixelmator Pro features a completely nondestructive editing workflow that allows you to experiment, unleashing your creativity with the confidence that you can always revert any changes you make.

Pixelmator Pro has full RAW image support and advanced photo editing tools for careful fine tuning. The app also includes extensive machine learning-based tools that can automatically enhance your photos. There’s even a Photos app extension that lets you use Pixelmator Pro inside the Photos app and save your edits nondestructively.

The app isn’t just for photographers though. Illustrators will love Pixelmator Pro for its vector tools and SVG file support, and digital painters will appreciate the app’s powerful painting engine and extensive set of dual-texture brushes.

Best of all, Pixelmator Pro’s features are lightning fast because they’ve been built from the ground up using Apple’s latest technologies like Metal 2, which powers the app’s editing engine. Pixelmator Pro is ready for the upcoming Mac Pro too with full support for multiple GPUs.

To learn more, visit Pixelmator Pro’s website where you’ll find even more details along with terrific tutorials. Then, download the app’s free trial to start editing your images like a pro.

Our thanks to Pixelmator Pro for sponsoring MacStories this week.


Adapt, Episode 12: Conversational Shortcuts and Recreating the Mac’s Desktop

On this week’s episode of Adapt:

Conversational shortcuts make Siri a programmable assistant, and Federico details how that works. Then Ryan commends Federico with a (symbolic) trophy for his creation of a Mac-like desktop environment on the iPad, complete with file and folder launchers.

You can listen below (and find the show notes here), and don’t forget to send us questions using #AskAdapt and by tagging our Twitter account.

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Adapt, Episode 12

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Connected, Episode 267: Something Stuck in Your Ear

On this week’s episode of Connected:

Federico and Myke break down the new features of iOS 13.2 and watchOS 6.1, before giving their first impressions on the AirPods Pro.

You can listen below (and find the show notes here).

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Connected, Episode 267

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