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As Apple TV+ Celebrates the Series Finale, What Happened to the Real People Involved with ‘Black Bird’

Fri, 08/05/2022 - 22:47

Today Apple TV+ has released the series finale for Black Bird and it is sure to keep you glued to your seat. For those that haven’t watched it yet, I will do my best not to spoil anything. Of course, the series is based on a non-fiction book, so astute viewers are likely to figure out mostly how the series ends. Of course, the series finale is still incredibly likely to shock viewers, and it may not end exactly the way one would think.

With that, today we’re going to look at what happened to four of the people involved with Larry Hall’s real case, including Larry Hall. With the series being based on James Keene’s non-fiction work In With the Devil: A Fallen Hero, a Serial Killer, and a Dangerous Bargain for Redemption, the Apple TV+ series did have to take a few liberties concerning the story of Black Bird.

‘Black Bird’ Season Finale: Looking at the People Involved With a Serial Killer

Starting with Keene (Egerton), it seems he has been relatively quiet after his time in MCFP Springfield. According to his Facebook page (it is public, but link not included out of respect for privacy), Keene now lives in Chicago as a free man. Interestingly, it seems Keene has now republished In With the Devil, and has rebranded it to fall more in line with the Apple TV+ series.

Of course, after his release from prison, Keene was able to enjoy five years of spending time with his father.

According to his Facebook page, Keene is a fan of REO Speedwagon.

Is Lauren McCauley a Real FBI Agent? (No.)

When it comes to the writing of Black Bird, it seems the creative team took the most liberties concerning FBI member Special Agent Lauren McCauley (Moafi).

Within Keene’s novel In With the Devil, FBI agent McCauley is actually Janice Butkus, who is likely based on Janet Butkus, an actual FBI agent. While McCauley is partially based around the FBI agent, there are several differences.

LaurenMcCauleyBlackBirdInTextAug2022

For example, McCauley does not meet Keene in a Michigan prison. Rather, real life attorney Lawrence Beaumont (inspiration for Edmund Beaumont), was the one to strike the deal with Keene. Additionally, the book does not mention Butkus being involved with the initial investigation of Jessica Roach’s murder.

Reports indicate that the real Butkus worked for the FBI from 1991 to 2002. This includes Jimmy’s time in MCFP Springfield. Interestingly, during her time as an agent, she played a key role in the Oklahoma City bombing investigation. Butkus also investigated several cases concerning counterterrorism, counterintelligence, violent crimes and more.

The real Butkus retired from the FBI in March 2016. Afterwards, she joined Indiana University as a Physical Security Analyst.

Larry Hall Somehow Worse than ‘Black Bird’ Portrayal

Looking at Larry Hall, the Black Bird finale details that Hall’s twin brother Gary would convince Larry to confess to fifteen murders, he would later recant this confession.

In 2011, Hall made a confession concerning the disappearance of Laurie Depies in 1992. Hall shared details of the case with investigators that were not known publicly, much like how he lost his appeal in the series. Currently, police are stilling looking for physical evidence linking Hall to the crime.

RealLarryHallBlackBird

In 2016, Hall also became a suspect in the 1986 killing of Eulalia Mylia Chavez. Like many of his other exploits, Hall eventually recanted his statement.

Currently, Hall is serving a life sentence at a medium-security federal prison in North Carolina. He has still only been charged with the murder of Jessica Roach.

The location of the majority of his victims still goes unknown.

Taking a Look at Sheriff Brian Miller: From ‘Black Bird’ to Reality

Lastly, taking a look at Brian Miller (Kinnear), the character is actually based off the real-life Vermilion County Sheriff’s Investigator Gary Miller. Miller did indeed work on Hall’s case.

In an interview with Illinois newspaper The News-Gazette in 2004, Miller briefly spoke about his part in investigating Roach’s death. Miller stated:

It was six years from the beginning of that case to the end, but that’s a classic example of how there’s very little celebration getting a conviction when you look back and see what the family has been through.

It’s very self-satisfying to arrest a person who committed a crime, but it doesn’t change what’s happened to the victims. Although you’ve solved it, you wish it had never happened.

Miller retired in 2004. Concerning this decision, he stated, “All things considered, it was a good time to go”.

Now that Black Bird is over, fans may have to find something else to binge-watch. Based on reception, it would not be surprising to see Black Bird finding itself with a host of award nominations.

What are you watching on Apple TV+ right now? What did you think of the series finale of Black Bird? Let us know in the comments.

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Bringing Together Rumors of the Upcoming iPhone 14

Fri, 08/05/2022 - 22:00

In just over a month, we expect Apple to announce its first fall event. During that keynote presentation, likely to be completely virtual, we should receive the iPhone 14 announcement. We may also hear about the new Apple Watch Series 8, but let’s leave that for another day. Now, let’s bring together the various rumors we’ve heard about the upcoming iPhone 14.

Ditching the iPhone mini and Introducing the iPhone Max

For the iPhone 14, Apple will supposedly ditch the mini model of the handset. The iPhone 12 mini didn’t sell well at all, and neither has its iPhone 13 successor. Instead, leaks indicate Apple will release four different varieties of its handset in two sizes:

  • The iPhone 14 will be the base model, offering a 6.1-inch display.
  • Next, Apple will offer the iPhone 14 Max with a 6.7-inch display
  • The Pro lineup will continue, starting with the 6.1-inch iPhone 14 Pro
  • Finally, the Cupertino-based company will offer the 6.7-inch iPhone 14 Pro Max

On the Pro lineup, we expect the notch to change into a pill-and-hole-punch design housing the front-facing camera and Face ID sensors. The base iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Max should continue to annoy some with the notch.

A New CPU For Some, More Memory For All

For the first time in years, we don’t expect Apple to update the CPU across the entire iPhone lineup. Instead, the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Max will continue using the A15 Bionic chips found in the current (soon to be previous) generation.

On the other hand, Apple will give the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max a somewhat better spec bump, utilizing the new A16 processor. This chip will continue on TSMC’s 5-nanometer fabrication process, though, so don’t expect any sort of mind-blowing performance boost.

At the same time, sources have pointed to Apple bumping the memory for all iPhone models to 6GB instead of the current 4GB. This, along with using more efficient cellular modems and other components, should offer all iPhone 14 models a bit of a performance increase.

Innovative Thermal System to Keep Things Cool

Making the iPhone more powerful and giving it more battery life comes at a cost. That cost is heat, and speculators say the iPhone may be at a point where making it more powerful could make keeping it cool more of a challenge.

To help with this, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo (via MacRumors)believes Cupertino may adopt a vapor chamber thermal system on the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro Max. Other smartphone manufacturers, including Samsung and Razer, already use such technology.

Improved Camera Systems Front and Back

The iPhone’s camera system should also get some improvement. We’re looking for the main camera on the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max to include a sensor 57% larger than the current setup. This will allow for sharper detail in photos as well as better performance in low-light conditions.

On top of that, experts believe Apple will increase the megapixel count on the iPhone 14 Pro camera system to 48MP. Right now, it uses the same 12MP lens that iPhone models have been using for years.

It won’t just be the rear-facing camera getting some love. We believe Apple is set to offer a more high-end front-facing camera system across the entire iPhone lineup. Yes, that includes the base model iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Max.

This new camera system could offer autofocus capabilities and a wider f/1.9 aperture. The current iPhone 13 front-facing camera’s aperture is narrower, at f/2.2. The wider aperture will allow more light to enter the camera sensor. This means better quality and low-light performance.

A Farewell to Physical SIM Cards

As Apple has made so many improvements to its implementation of eSIM technology, expect the physical SIM card to eventually go the way of the headphone jack. Cupertino did away with the headphone jack, almost infamously, in 2016. A year later, it phased out the physical home button.

According to a lengthy memo MacRumors thinks could be legitimate, Apple is already in talks with several U.S. carriers to phase out the physical SIM card. This disappearing act could come with the iPhone 14.

Bold New Color and Storage Options

Your next iPhone could include more color and storage options. Certain leaksters have suggested the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Max might include a purple color option once again. Other choices would be the traditional black and white, along with blue and PRODUCT(RED).

On the Pro lineup, we may see Graphite, Silver, Gold and Purple. Current iPhone 13 Pro colors include those, except purple. Then there’s also Sierra Blue and Alpine Green, which probably won’t return for the new models.

On the storage front, Apple recently introduced a new 1TB option for the iPhone 13 Pro Max. Look for the next round to possibly bump that up to a 2TB choice. This could be crucial for making the most of that aforementioned 48MP rear camera.

Rounding Up the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro Rumors

These are the iPhone 14 rumors we take the most stock in. Understand, Apple is highly secretive. However, we typically find leaks to hold the highest chance of being correct the closer we get to launch.

These are the iPhone 14 rumors that have either stood the test of time over the past few months, or have only recently surfaced. We will, of course, have to wait for real confirmation until the new flagship iPhone is actually announced.

New Today at Apple Tutorial Video Shows Users How to Capture ‘Dramatic Summer Light’

Fri, 08/05/2022 - 21:29

Today Apple has posted a new Today at Apple tutorial video showcasing the joys of summer light. The new video has Apple Creative Pros Jahmyra and David teaming up with Eddy Chen, a professional photographer, in order to explore ways to capture and edit “Dramatic Summer Light” with your iPhone camera.

Today at Apple Tutorial Video Focuses on Photographing Summer

The new iPhone camera tutorial is now on Apple’s YouTube channel. Apple describes the session as “Learn how to photograph and edit dramatic summer light on iPhone, with tips on using Portrait mode, Depth Control, and Night mode from photographer Eddy Chen and Creative Pros Jahmyra and David.”

Fans of Euphoria and photography may recognize Chen as being the set photographer for the series. Additionally, Chen has also shot various film and TV sets throughout his career. In addition to Euphoria, Chen has also worked on the TV series Blindspotting and Web Therapy.

The six minute video begins with Jahmyra meeting David at the Apple Antara Store in Mexico City. According to the video, David runs photo tours in Mexico City, and typically shows his audience the best way to utilize their photography skills. The two meet up with David and they begin exploring the sights of Mexico City.

Within the video, topics covered include:

  • Create a Shared Album 00:39
  • Adjust exposure to capture afternoon shadows 1:26
  • Push contrast to accentuate shadows 1:50
  • Use the golden hour to take glowing portraits 2:27
  • Switch to Portrait mode for better focus and Depth Control 2:58
  • Dial up shadows and brightness to add drama to your portraits 3:15
  • Capture electric scenes after dark with Night mode 4:07
  • Play with contrast and black point to bring focus to the subject 4:55
  • Share before and after photos with #ShotoniPhone 6:07
  • Go further with #TodayatApple live sessions 6:18

Concerning #TodayatApple live sessions, Apple provides in-store sessions that can help users “learn essential photo skills, experiment with portraiture and even break the rules for more artful photos”. For example, in my area, sessions include “Photo Skills: Photography on iPhone”, “Editing on iPhone” and “Photo Lab for Kids: Fun Family Portraits”. You can check Apple’s official website to see if they have any sessions near you.

Do you enjoy taking photographs of the summer nights? What do you like to capture? Let us know in the comments.

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Apple Removes App That Could Hijack Facebook Ad Accounts

Fri, 08/05/2022 - 20:27

An app that was scamming Facebook advertisers is gone from the App Store. Apple was unknowingly hosting the app, which was used to hijack Facebook Ad accounts, on the iOS App Store.

App Could Hijack Facebook Ad Accounts, May Have Run Malicious Advertisements

The app was pretty high-ranking on the App Store if you searched for “Facebook ads manager.” Billed as a better way to control and manage presence and advertisements on the Facebook platform, it was really a backdoor for hackers.

Once installed and configured, the app allowed malicious actors to take over a Facebook Ads account. One ad agency employee told Business Insider of getting locked out of their account just 10 minutes after downloading the app and logging in.

The app in question, Pages Manager Suite, was listed as the second result when looking for a Facebook ads manager. Two ad agency sources reported that after they logged in, they found themselves locked out of their Facebook Ad accounts. Meanwhile, the hackers started running their own ads, using the victims’ budgets, through the hijacked accounts.

According to Apple, the developers originally submitted the app as a simple document manager. It supposedly had no ties or functionality to the Facebook platform, but it turned malicious after approval. Recently, security researchers identified other apps, on the Mac App Store, that transformed into completely different software after passing the App Store review process.

Scam Apps Continue to Plague the App Store

Despite Apple’s efforts to wipe out the problem and its claim that the App Store is “a safe and trusted place,” scan keeping sneaking in. Last year, a study showed that 2% of the top 1000 paid apps were actually scams. These apps, according to the report, netted scammers more than $1 million in revenue.

In this instance, Facebook flagged the app as problematic in mid-July. Nevertheless, Apple failed to remove the app until after Business Insider asked for a comment on the issue.

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Apple TV+ Looking for Pixar Magic as It Delivers First Major Animated Feature ‘Luck’

Fri, 08/05/2022 - 20:20

Today Apple TV+ has premiered its Pixar-competitor Luck, the first feature film that’s part of an exclusive deal between the streaming service and Skydance animation. According to a multi-year deal, Skydance will produce 3D animated movies and TV shows exclusively for Apple TV+.

Skydance is led by John Lasseter, a former member of Pixar. Lasseter left the company years ago due to incidents allegedly involving professional misconduct. In addition to Lasseter, several other high-profile producers joined him in an attempt to recreate Pixar magic without the involvement of Disney.

Apple TV+ Looking for Pixar-Charm With ‘Luck’

Lasseter’s involvement has stirred controversy. Originally Emma Thompson was slated for Luck, though the actress publicly departed from the role after news Lasseter was hired for Skydance. A report from The New York Times indicates that Skydance lawyers investigated Lester, yet found “nothing egregious”.

However, this has not stopped Apple from ensuring that Lasseter’s name is nowhere near marketing materials for Luck. Instead, the trailer and poster reads, “From the creative visionary behind Toy Story and Cars”.

Concerning Luck, the story follows Sam Greenfield and her being the unluckiest person in the world. Greenfield discovers the Land of Luck, a secret and magical world where creatures manufacturer luck in an effort to fight the bad luck generation. Luck features voice acting by Simon Pegg, Jane Fonda, Whoopi Goldberg, and the legendary Pixar voice artist John Ratzenberger. Eva Noblezada plays Sam.

For Apple, the company is paying top-dollar for the production, likely in an effort to compete with Disney’s Pixar. According to reports, Apple’s deal with Skydance is valued at hundred of millions per property. Cupertino also has another high-budget deal with Skydance Pictures for live-action movies.

In terms of Luck, it seems like Apple may be taking a gamble. According to Rotten Tomatoes, the film is currently sitting at a 49% critics score, and a 74% audience score. According to the Critics Consensus, the film is “inoffensive”, though reviews suggest there are far more entertaining options out there.

Of course, when it comes to family-entertainment, reviews don’t necessarily bring in money. When it comes to family-entertainment and the big dollars, the smart move is typically in merchandising.

Behind-The-Scenes of ‘Luck’

According to reports, behind-the-scenes issues may be responsible for for some of Luck’s mixed-reviews. With the film predating Lasseter’s involvement, his arrival at Skydance saw him tearing up the script and revamping it alongside Skydance. This includes adding a pink dragon voiced by Jane Fonda.

Apple is heavily promoting the film. In addition to Luck taking up a large portion of apple.com real-estate, Apple is also giving away three months of Apple TV+ to Apple Card users. This promotion appears within the Apple Wallet app below the Apple Card menu for making payments.

Anyone with an Apple Card is able to access the promotion page and redeem the offer. They have until Oct. 31. Both new and existing Apple TV+ subscribers may redeem the offer. At the end of the three-month period, subscriptions will auto renew at $4.99 per month until cancelled.

In terms of Apple and Skydance, the next film slated for release is Spellbound, an animated musical. Unlike Luck, Lasseter saw involvement on the project during early stages. The cast of Spellbound includes Rachel Zegler, Nicole Kidman, Javier Bardem, John Lithgow and more.

Apple has yet to confirm an official date for Spellbound.

Additionally, Skydance is also developing the feature films Pookoo and Ray Gunn for Apple. Brad Bird, creator of Pixar’s The Incredibles franchise, will be delivering Ray Gunn for Apple TV+.

Lastly, Skydance and Apple have also officially made an announcement for the TV series adaptation of The Search for WondLa novels. Apple is giving the series a two-season order.

While Luck may not see any award-nominations, it is still likely to find an audience where’s it looking: families and children.

Are you going to watch Luck? What did you think of it? Let us know in the comments.

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OBS Live Streaming App Beta Now Optimized for Apple Silicon Macs

Fri, 08/05/2022 - 19:26

The popular live streaming app known as OBS has released a new beta that works well with Apple Silicon Macs. The OBS beta update brings in native support for Apple Macs with M1 and M2 chips.

First Beta of OBS Studio 28 Brings Improved Performance

As posted on the app’s official website, the first beta of OBS Studio 28 provides full native support to Apple’s Silicon platform. This means that Apple Silicon Macs will be able to enjoy significant improvement in the app’s performance. The beta update also added some new features to the OBS live streaming app.

Although Apple Silicon Macs support apps made for Intel computers through Rosetta technology, the apps can’t fully utilize Apple’s ARM chips. Apps with native Silicon support were proven to work faster without consuming too much power. Hence, many Mac users prefer to use apps with native support for their processors.

This is good news for Silicon Mac owners who usedthe live streaming app. However, the app developer noted that third-party party plug-ins still need to be updated to work with M1 and M2 Macs.

New Features of OBS Live Streaming App

When it comes to new features, OBS Studio 28 added support for 10-bit HDR video and the new ScreenCaptureKit API. This API allows high-performance screen capture on macOS. In addition, the update also brought improved support for the Apple VT encoder.

Aside from the good news, the first beta of the OBS live streaming app also came with bad news. The app dropped support for macOS 10.13 and 10.14 as well as other operating systems. These include Windows 7 and 8, Ubuntu 18.04, and all 32-bit operating systems.

OBS Studio 28 beta is now available to download on Github for testing purposes only. No word yet on when the public version of the app will become available. Those who are looking for a good live streaming software might want to give this app a try.

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Apple Warns of Revenge from China After U.S. Representatives Visit, iPhone Shipments May See Impact

Fri, 08/05/2022 - 19:20

A controversial visit to Taiwan by U.S. House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi has now caused Apple to warn suppliers that China may attempt to get revenge. The result being that China’s response may possibly disrupt iPhone or iPhone component shipments.

In terms of China, the government has expressed a series of emotions regarding the visit and has implemented a series of measures in response. This includes imposing sanctions on Pelosi and her family, to military exercises featuring live-fire within Taiwan’s waters. Additionally, this may also disrupt iPhone production due to further acts of revenge.

A Visit to Taiwan Spurs China Into Revenge, May Affect Apple

For a brief history lesson: China sees Taiwan as a part of its territory. For decades, China has applied pressure to governments in an effort not to recognize Taiwan as a sovereign nation. Many report that military experts believe China will eventually invade the island.

According to reports, earlier in the week, Pelosi had met with Apple chipmaker TSMC as well as Pegatron, who assembles the iPhone. Pelosi made a visit to Taiwan in attempt to show U.S. support as concerns increase about a possible invasion by China. The goal being to show the Chinese government how series the U.S. is in legally helping Taiwan defend itself against a military attack by China.

Despite this, many viewed the plan as a means of provocation rather than diffusion, and it is likely that this is now the case.

In terms of Pelosi meeting with TSMC, this is likely regarding the CHIPS act, as well as possible implications concerning its plant in Arizona. Reports suggest that the Taiwanese company has concerns that Intel may get the majority of subsidies.

To further complicate matters, reports also indicate that Pelosi met with iPhone assembler Pegatron, who is also out of Taiwan. Since this meeting, there have been reports that China is blocking shipments to and from Pegatron’s Chinese plants. Pegatron has denied these claims, though with ambiguity.

Complicating Matters for Apple and iPhone

In a report from Reuters, Cupertino has given warning to suppliers that China is enforcing a customs regulation which may lead to the refusal of import and export requests.

According to Reuters, Pegatron informed suppliers that China has begun enforcing a long-standing rule that parts and components made in Taiwan must be labeled as being made either in “Taiwan, China” or “Chinese Taipei”. So far, the rule has been “more honored in the breach than the observance”.

However, reports indicate China is now being strict on compliance. Currently, reports conflict concerning whether shipment delays are affecting both imports and exports to and from China. Or, rather, only movements of parts between Taiwan and China.

Looking at the Label

Though Apple products have the label “Designed by Apple in California, Assembled in China”, it is possible that shipping documents would indicate they are from Taiwan. According to reporter Ben Lovejoy, It is likely that only a change on paperwork would need to be seen for the permission of shipments. Should it be merely an issue of paperwork, it would be easy to resolve. However, things may become more complicated should any of the components see the label “Made in Taiwan”.

According to reports from DigiTimes Asia, Pegatron has denied both reports that Chinese customs officials are holding shipments for scrutiny. According to Pegatron, production at all its China sites and shipments remain normal. However, while production at facilities should remain normal, as this is a shipping issue, what the company means by shipments from China is unclear, as the information relies on whether or not Pegatron views Taiwan as a part of China.

With it being an already tumultuous journey for the iPhone 14 this year, this news is likely not to help things much. While there have been plenty of arguments concerning Apple’s supply chain, this is likely only going to further complicate matters at a time when Cupertino needs to ramp-up iPhone 14 production.

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Fraudulent Chinese Apps Elude Apple’s Strict Mac App Store Review Process

Fri, 08/05/2022 - 19:10

Independent research found several fraudulent Chinese apps available on the Mac App Store. Said apps seem to have bypassed Apple’s review team and managed to get into the Mac App Store as legitimate apps.

Fraudulent Chinese Apps Slip Past Apple’s Review Team

The researcher, identified as “Privacy1St” (Alex Kleber), posted his findings on Medium. Security research and former NSA staffer Patrick Wardle supported the post. According to the report, a certain Chinese developer used seven different Apple developer accounts to submit apps to the Mac App Store.

The report noted that most of the fraudulent apps contained hidden malware. This malware can receive commands from a server. Once the apps were approved and went live on the Mac App Store, the malicious code became active. The method used by the developer essentially disguised the app to make it seem legitimate. Once installed on a Mac, the developer can execute a command that sends the malicious app to other users.

Apps Use Cloudflare and GoDaddy to Hide Hosting Provider

According to the report, the apps use domains hosted on Cloudflare and GoDaddy. The researcher found out that although the apps appear to be released by different developer accounts, the apps still communicate with the same domain providers. This enables the developer to hide the app hosting provider. In addition, the report also found that the apps direct their Privacy Policy link to a website created using Google Sites.

Additionally, the researcher found that the apps use the same password when decrypting a JSON file. This is a method used to mislead the App Store review team.

Interestingly, some of the apps identified in the report appear to have numerous positive reviews. The reviews were too good to be true and appeared to be fake reviews. Hence, most of the fake reviews were removed by Apple.

One of the apps identified as fraudulent was PDF Reader for Adobe PDF Files. If the name sounds familiar, that’s because the app is one of the most downloaded apps on the Mac App Store. The app may seem legitimate, but once downloaded, it tricks users to pay for an expensive subscription plan.

All in all, the report identified seven fraudulent apps submitted by the same developer. You can find the full list of these fraudulent apps on Medium.

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Female Employees Call Out Apple’s Handling of Complaints on Misconduct

Thu, 08/04/2022 - 22:52

A lengthy report published by the Financial Times details several cases of female employees who complained about the misconduct of co-workers. The report says that Apple allegedly retaliated against those who aired their complaints of misconduct by colleagues. These happened across Apple retail stores and corporate locations.

Apple Shrugs Off Complaints on Misconduct

The Financial Times cited 15 interviews done with female Apple employees across retail stores and corporate offices in the U.S. Multiple female employees filed their complaints about the misconduct of colleagues with Apple’s human resources department. Complaints include sexual abuse, bullying and other incidents.

The report alleged that Apple seemed to have brushed off or neglected those complaints. This runs contrary to the image of inclusiveness that the company projects.

Female Employees Cite Apple’s Lackluster Approach to Handling Their Complaints

One incident cited by the report was about Orit Mizrachi, who worked as a legal assistant for Apple until 2017. She complained of a hostile work environment after being “harassed and bullied” when she asked to take a leave. Ms. Mizrachi needed to spend time with her dying father at that time. She also complained about a colleague who sent her sexual messages throughout the day.

Unfortunately, the HR department “shrugged” and brushed her complaint “under the rug,” according to the report. Eventually, HR laid her off under the guise of the company cutting down its employee headcount. Apple offered her three months of salary that included a lump-sum payment. In exchange, she would have to agree to “fully and completely release, discharge and agree to hold harmless Apple from all claims, judgments, and liabilities.” She did not sign the agreement.

Another incident happened with an Apple Store Genius employee who complained about two instances of sexual harassment. One of them could have been a rape incident. Surprisingly, the HR department did not consider her a victim. Instead, the HR representative told her that the assailant went on leave for six months. The department hoped that she would feel better by the time the co-worker returned to work. She didn’t get approval for her request to transfer and remained in the same store.

Apple Cites Clear Policies On Discrimination in the Workplace

The above-mentioned complaints on misconduct were just some of the cases included in the report. And there are more horrendous misconducts committed against Apple female employees. Interestingly, Apple’s statement on the matter cited the company’s clear policies relating to discrimination. The company encourages any employees to report these incidents and says they should not fear retaliation for doing so.

“There are some accounts raised that do not reflect our intentions or our policies and we should have handled them differently, including certain exchanges reported in this story,”  said Apple.

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Why This Texas Restaurant Will Make You Lock Up Your iPhone

Thu, 08/04/2022 - 22:38

It’s not “deep in the heart of Texas,” but there’s a Fort Worth restaurant that will make you lock up your iPhone while you dine. The just-opened small Italian restaurant may be the only one of its kind in the country. It’s bringing back the old days when people would enjoy a dinner without electronic distractions.

Lock Up Your iPhone to Help Foster an Atmosphere Where Diners Pay Attention to Each Other

It’s a scene that’s surely been replayed in dining rooms and restaurants around the world. Dinner is served, but the friends and family around the table aren’t talking to one another. They may not even notice when someone gets up from the table. Everyone’s engrossed with their iPhone or other smartphone.

That’s the sort of thing chef Tim Love wants to do away with, at least in his establishment. That would be Caterina’s, a cozy, 40-seat Italian restaurant in the historic Fort Worth Stockyards. Love’s eatery opened last week, and has already drawn lots of attention.

When diners come in, they’re required to lock their smartphones in a bag. That bag remains locked until the customer is ready to walk out the door. The idea behind making you lock up your iPhone in Caterina’s is simple. It’s to create a place for customers to actually enjoy their dinner and each other’s company, without constant distraction.

If Someone Must Reach You While You Eat, Fear Not

The staff stays on the lookout for customers who forget to lock up their devices. Love has already seen it happen a few times, and says his team is trained to be as gentle and kind about it as possible.

We’re going to kindly ask them to put their phone in the bag. We’ve already had that happen. Some people forget. They just have their phone in their pocket. We give them the bag. They put their phone in the bag. It’s not a big deal.

The owner goes on to explain he understands some people simply can’t bear to be separated from their phones. For those people, though, his message is clear: “This is not the place for you. I mean, people go to movies, they don’t get on their phone.”

Should a customer need to be reachable during their dinner, Caterina’s has a simple solution. They just need to give the restaurant’s phone number to the babysitter, for example. If a customer receives a call, restaurant staff will bring an old-fashioned landline to the table.

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Spring Cleaning Starts Early as Apple Drastically Delisting Outdated Apps in App Store

Thu, 08/04/2022 - 22:36

According to reports from Pixalate, nearly two-thirds, or 64%, of apps seeing delisting in the Apple App Store have not seen an update in at least two years. This news arrives after Apple warned in May that they would begin delisting apps that have not received an update in some time.

Ultimately, Apple has removed a staggering 8,652% more apps in the second quarter of 2022 when compared with the first. These apps include Russian state-owned Sberbank apps, as well as 178 ‘Family Planning’ apps.

Apple Delisting Apps in the App Store

Back in May, Apple announced that they would be removing “abandoned” apps from the App Store, and it looks like its making good on a promise. The company made an announcement stating that they would remove apps that did not receive an update 30 days after the announcement. During this time, Pixalate crawled the App Store and discovered that 650k apps met Apple’s qualifications.

According to the Q2 2022 Delisted Mobile Apps Report provided by Pixalate, Apple has been cleaning out apps that have not seen an update at a seemingly faster pace than Google. The report is based around both the Google Play store and the Apple App Store, and can potentially help with privacy threats as well as compliance breaches due to the apps not updating.

AppleAppStoreRemovalTopTenInTextAug2022

In the second quarter of 2022, almost 600,000 apps were delisted from Google and Apple stores. Which is an almost 3x increase from the 220k delisted in the first quarter of 2022.

Some may find the stats surprising, according to the numbers:

  • 592,000 apps saw delisting on the Apple App Store and Google Play store in Q2 2022.
  • An 8,652% increase in apps delisted from the Apple App Store from Q1 to Q2 2022.
  • Of these 592,000 apps, 64% were delisted from Apple had not seen an update in two years, compared to 20% from Google.
  • Of these apps, 35 Sberbank apps were delisted across both Google and Apple. Sberbank is a Russian state-owned business.
  • Nearly 100X increase in ‘Health & Fitness’ apps were delisted by Apple in Q2 2022. This includes 178 “Family Planning” apps with a total of 1.5 million plus downloads. This includes the period tracker Lunar.
  • 49K delisted apps in Q2 2022 were likely directed towards children.
Looking to Developers

In total, apps that were delisted in Q2 2022 had over 117 million user ratings prior to their delisting. However, the 82% of them featured no detected app country of registry.

For Apple, the company delisted 5,000 apps in Q1 2022 before the major clean-up in the second quarter.

When Apple first made the announcement in May, many developers complained that this would negatively impact both indie and gaming developers. For gaming apps, the argument goes that many of them are “completed” and do not need updating.

However, it seems things are not that simple. Updating apps helps alleviate problems. When new iOS updates arrive, developers updating their apps can ensure that the apps play nice with the new iOS. Furthermore, Apps that don’t update frequently can also be vulnerable to security exploits.

Though Apple delisting apps in the App Store is rough, it’s hard to get around the argument that apps need to see updates so that they don’t become vulnerable to exploits.

You can view the final report from Pixalate here.

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Studio Display Speaker Issue Fixed by Latest Firmware Update

Thu, 08/04/2022 - 21:25

Apple has released new firmware for its newest monitor. According to the Cupertino-based tech giant, the latest update should resolve Studio Display speaker issues many owners have faced.

Choppy, Distorted Audio Followed By None at All

According to reports from consumers, the Apple Studio Display has been suffering from speaker issues after several weeks of use. The sound from the monitor’s speakers would become choppy or distorted, then cut out altogether. The only fix was to power cycle the Studio Display. Since the monitor lacks a power button, this meant unplugging it and plugging it back in.

After several weeks of complaints, Apple acknowledged to its authorized service providers software issues were behind the problem. In the memo, Cupertino said a future update would fix the issue, but offered no release timeline.

Firmware Update Addresses Studio Display Speaker Issue

Thursday, the new firmware update arrived. Apple’s release notes only say the new build “resolves an audio issue with Studio Display.” It would appear that’s the only bug-fix included in the new firmware. It’s still labeled as version 15.5, but with a build number of 19F80. The previous version was build number 19F77.

For those unfamiliar, an A13 Bionic processor acts as the brains for the Studio Display. It runs what seems to be a variation of iOS, which helps make the camera’s Center Stage support possible along with Spatial Audio.

Cupertino has faced a bit of pushback over the Studio Display’s incompatibility with non-Apple hardware. Critics have also pointed to underwhelming camera quality. This latest problem only adds to the laundry list of faults found in the beleaguered Studio Display.

What’s most troubling is how long tis particular issue has been going on. The fact that some reports point to the problem going away for up to six weeks after a power cycle. So why such a long delay for a fix?

To update the Studio Display firmware, the monitor needs to be plugged into a Mac. From the Mac, go to System Preferences > Software Update to install the latest firmware. This does require macOS Monterey 12.4 or later.

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Apple TV+ Announces September ‘Friday Night Baseball’ Schedule, Availability in New Countries

Thu, 08/04/2022 - 20:45

Today, Apple and Major League Baseball have announced the September 2022 schedule for Friday Night Baseball. As always, games scheduled are free to anyone with an internet connection through Apple TV+.

Additionally, Apple TV+ has also announced Friday Night Baseball access for Colombia, Dominican Republic, Germany and Italy.

Apple TV+ Announces September ‘Friday Night Baseball’ Schedule

Game assignments for Friday Night Baseball will be announced on a weekly basis. Pre and postgame coverage continues to see host Lauren Gardner alongside a rotating group of analysts and former MLB players. This group includes Carlos Peña, Cliff Floyd and Yonder Alonso. Additionally, former MLB umpire Brian Gorman continues to offer rules analysis and interpretation.

MLB fans are able to access Friday Night Baseball as well as additional content through the Apple TV app. Additional content includes exclusive programs such such as Countdown to First Pitch, which previews the week’s matchups, as well as MLB Daily Recap.

Additionally, fans cal also follow their favorite teams as well as watch personalized MLB highlights directly from the News app. Every Friday, fans may enjoy a curated group of highlights and stories around the league, while also catching up on Friday Night Baseball directly through the Apple TV app.

In terms of Apple Music, fans can also find exclusive playlists featuring batters’ walk-up songs from teams that are featured on Friday Night Baseball every week. Fans will also find a collection of classic songs that celebrate baseball.

September Schedule

Friday, Sept. 2

Miami Marlins at Atlanta Braves
7 p.m. ET

Philadelphia Phillies at San Francisco Giants
10 p.m. ET

Friday, Sept 9

Cleveland Guardians at Minnesota Twins
8 p.m. ET
Atlanta Braves at Seattle Mariners
9:30 p.m. ET

Friday, Sept. 16

Baltimore Orioles at Toronto Blue Jays
7 p.m. ET

Los Angeles Dodgers at San Francisco Giants
10 p.m. ET

Friday, Sept. 23

Boston Red Sox at New York Yankees
7 p.m. ET
St. Louis Cardinals at Los Angeles Dodgers
10 p.m. ET

Friday Night Baseball games are available to anyone with internet access on devices where Apple TV+ can be found. This includes iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple TV 4K and HD, as well as tv.apple.com. Furthermore, Apple TV+ is also available on certain smart TVs, gaming consoles and cable set-top boxes.

Users can also follow step-by-step instructions on how to access MLB games across devices.

What games are you looking forward to for Friday Night Baseball? What are you watching on Apple TV+ right now? Let us know in the comments.

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China Starts Regulating Autonomous Driverless Cars, Beginning With Shenzhen

Thu, 08/04/2022 - 20:23

It’s not just the U.S. testing fully autonomous, driverless cars.. Chinese authorities have recently begun regulating the use of the technology. Shenzhen, China’s technology hub, is home to the country’s first dedicated regulations for such vehicles.

Regulating Intelligent Connected Cars In Shenzhen

Beginning Aug. 1, registered autonomous vehicles are allowed to travel on designated roads and other areas. Local transport authorities lay out the exact locations the vehicles can operate. The cars are allowed to operate without a human driver, but do require the presence of a human “safety operator.”

According to South China Morning Post, autonomous driving startups are already beginning to deploy their fully self-driving cars. Shenzhen-based DeepRoute.ai is among those rolling out their vehicles. The regulations, the first of their kind in China, could become a model for other cities throughout the country.

Under the new rules, vehicles are classified as conditional, high-level, or fully autonomous driving. These classifications help determine liability in case of an accident. If the vehicle has a driver, that person is liable to pay compensation for an accident. On the other hand, the owner or manager of the car could be held liable if the vehicle is fully autonomous.

Regulating Autonomous, Driverless Cars In the World’s Biggest Car Market

You might think the U.S. is the largest car market in the world. I certainly did, but it turns out China registers many more new cars each year. China saw 21.1 new vehicle registrations in 2020, compared to 14.9 million in the U.S.

This is, of course, reflective of the country’s population. Indications suggest China has less than one car for every five people, whereas the U.S. boasts 800 motor vehicles for every 1,000 people.

During a test ride Tuesday afternoon in Shenzhen, DeepRoute.ai sent several of its driverless cars causing through the Futian Bonded Zone. This is a busy area filled with many long buses as well as illegally parked vehicles clogging the narrow streets.

A three-kilometer trip through the area took eight minutes. Riders in the vehicles kept track of the route and surrounding environment in real-time, viewing everything on in-vehicle monitors.

Baidu, China’s internet search and AI giant, also plans to roll out driverless taxis in 2023. The company hopes to deploy as many as 100,000 of the vehicles, expanding to 65 cities by 2025 and 100 cities by 2030.

These happenings are sure to catch Apple’s eye, as the tech giant continues moving towards launching its own autonomous vehicle, hopefully in 2025.

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Foxconn looking to Expand Factory in India, Help Diversify Apple Supply Chain

Thu, 08/04/2022 - 19:13

Reports indicate that Apple supplier Foxconn may be looking to expand in India through the opening of a new production facility based within an already existing factory. The goal of this expansion is to further increase production of the iPhone.

Reported by The Economic Times, Foxconn is looking to begin production in the new building in just a few months after a recent hiring boom occurring in India during within recent weeks. The new building will be a part of Foxconn’s already existing factory near Chennai, India.

Foxconn Looking to Expand Factory in India

With Foxconn having involvement in production of both the iPhone 13 and iPhone 14 this year, the expansion of Foxconn in India is but one way Apple plans to further diversify its supply chain. Foxconn is looking to continue investing in India, as the local government is looking to strengthen its local market.

For both Apple and Foxconn, it seems to be a rather tumultuous year in terms of production. Both Apple and Foxconn have been moving more toward India as the COVID-19 restrictions in China have increased pressure to do so.

For example, the end of June saw Foxconn’s Zhengzhou factory offering a $1,345 incentive for new employees who stay with the company for four months. This hiring bonus came to employees after Foxconn’s Zhengzhou factory attempted a hiring blitz in May that was quickly thwarted by COVID-19 related lockdowns.

As recently as the end of July, Foxconn’s Zhengzhou facility was ordered to work in a “closed loop” system due to COVID-19. Within this type of system, employees assigned to the closed loop conditions live in dorms on the company’s facilities. During this time the workers were not to engage in physical contact from anyone outside the facility, including members of their family.

Waiting for September

Despite this, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo argues that supply issues will likely have a limited impact on iPhone 14 production. While there were rumors that Apple had to cut its iPhone 14 supply order by 10% due to semiconductor supply issues, Kuo argues that supply chain surveys disagree. At the same time, there may no supply issues potentially due to Apple making the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 pro models significantly different.

With the iPhone 14 keynote likely to be Sept. 13, it will be fascinating to see some rumors gain credence and some rumors fall to the wind. While there may have been supply issues this past year, it seems Cupertino has done its best to strategize. September will likely show if the work has paid off.

Are you looking forward to the iPhone 14? What about iOS 16? Let us know in the comments.

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The Hunt for M2 MacBook Air in Singapore

Thu, 08/04/2022 - 18:33

The word is out. Apple’s M2 MacBook Air exceeds the expectations of many while disappointing others. In other words, it’s a great laptop that caters to various users’ needs. One proof of this, it’s so hard to get a unit if you’re outside the U.S.

The M2 MacBook Air Sells Well in Singapore

So my family and I went for a 4-day trip to Singapore. It’s our first trip abroad since the pandemic. But aside from sightseeing, my ulterior motive was to get the M2 MacBook Air from a Singapore Apple Store.

To cut a long story short, I’ve visited all three Apple Stores in Singapore but only managed to find available stock at the Apple Store Jewel Changi Airport. And that was a few hours before our flight back home.

There was no stock available in either the Apple Store Orchard Road or the Apple Store Marina Bay Sands. The Apple Store staff from both stores told me on the day of my visit that the laptop was out of stock.

Both stores also told me to purchase from their online store and have it picked up from their physical stores instead. But upon checking the Singapore Apple online store, it would take at least five days before the stock arrived. I would be gone by then.

Feeling frustrated I hoped that there would be units available at the Apple Store Jewel Changi Airport. So come departure day, before checking in for our flight, I immediately went to the Apple Store, and lo and behold, the M2 MacBook Air was available.

In short, I finally got an M2 MacBook Air, but only after two days of agonizing about whether I could get it or not.

Apple Supply Issues Linger On

It seems Apple customers outside of the U.S. are having a hard time getting the M2 MacBook Air despite Apple announcing its availability. The situation becomes even harder if you’re in a country where the laptop is not yet available.

You see, had I opted to purchase it from the Apple online store in my country, it would have taken Apple 3 to 4 weeks to dispatch it. I definitely couldn’t wait that long. Upon checking other Apple online stores such as the U.K. and Japan, it would take Apple 2 to 3 weeks to ship the M2 MacBook Air. In the U.S. Apple online store, it would take at least a week before Apple could deliver your order.

All that being said, it seems Apple has not improved its supply chain for at least some of its new products. The situation has not changed for most countries outside the U.S. Hopefully, Apple will find a solution to this, as it has become quite frustrating for customers outside the U.S. to find new Apple products. It has been a true dilemma for Apple fans, like yours truly.

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Apple Will Delay iPadOS 16 Launch a Month, Sources Say

Wed, 08/03/2022 - 22:07

Although it began beta testing alongside iOS 16, apparently the next major iPad software update will lag a month behind in its final release. While Apple has, for the past several years, released iOS and iPadOS at the same time, it will push back the iPadOS 16 launch until October, according to some sources.

Delaying iPadOS 16 Launch to Refine Stage Manager

Several people with knowledge of the matter leaked the news anonymously to Bloomberg. For the first time I can remember, Apple will put the launch of its iPad operating system on hold even as it releases the iPhone counterpart. The delay, according to the sources, is partly to ensure new iPad multitasking capabilities are refined.

Within iPadOS 16 (and macOS 13 Ventura), Apple is offering overhauled multitasking capabilities by way of Stage Manager. This feature allows users to manage several tasks at the same time, resizing app windows and quickly switching between them.

Unfortunately, Apple doesn’t seem to have Stage Manager quite right on the iPad. It’s unusually bug-ridden, even for a beta, and developers and users alike have criticized its confusing interface. It also isn’t compatible with most iPads, a fact that has stirred up quite a bit of controversy.

Apple May Release iPadOS 16 Alongside macOS 13 Ventura Instead of iOS

Should Apple go through with rumored plans to delay iPadOS 16 until October, it could mean a launch alongside macOS 13 Ventura. That could make sense, actually, since Ventura offers its own take on Stage Manager. Typically, Apple releases its mobile operating systems in September, followed by the new macOS version in October.

According to the sources, iOS 16 is still on track to release in September. Several new features to iOS 16, though, won’t arrive in the initial version. This includes the Live Activities feature, which will allow apps like Uber to pin a live updating notification to the iPhone’s Lock Screen.

Of course, many of us can remember a similar situation with iOS 15 and iPadOS 15. Features like SharePlay and Universal Control ended up late by several months after the new version released.

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Here’s the August Events for ‘Pokémon GO’, Including Global Release of Ultra Beasts

Wed, 08/03/2022 - 21:43

Trainers! Niantic has announced the events for Pokémon GO arriving in August. There’s a lot to look forward to, including the finale to Pokémon GO Fest 2022. While some events have sparse details right now, we tried to include as much as possible for the events.

Concerning the events, let’s take a look.

August 2022 Events for ‘Pokémon GO’

For Friday, Aug 5 through Sunday, Aug 7, Pokémon GO Fest: Sapporo will be taking place in Japan. Right now, it is mostly an in-person event, though many are expecting a Global Collection Challenge. The event is looking to feature a Special Research story based around Sky Forme Shaymin as well as the introduction of the Ultra Beast Xurkitree. It is likely that there will be global event spawns based around this event, likely seeing Pansage in the wild.

For Wednesday, Aug. 10 through Tuesday, Aug. 16 trainers will have the Bug Out! 2022 event. This event will feature Bug-type Pokémon, and many are hoping that Kleavor, the Hisuian evolution of Scyther, will be making an appearance. Either way, expect bonuses as well as increased Bug-type spawns.

Saturday, Aug. 13 is Galarian Zigzagoon Community Day from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. local time. Galarian Zigzagoon will be appearing more frequently in the wild, with a chance to capture a shiny. This is going to be a likely massive event, so expect a full report sometime next week. However, right now we do know that the final evolution of G. Zigzagoon, Obstagoon, will learn the move Obstruct. Additionally Galarian Linoone will appear in 4-Star Raid Battles after the event.

PokemonGoIntextAug2022

During Thursday, Aug. 18 through Tuesday, Aug. 23, the Pokémon World Championship event returns for the first time in since 2019 and will feature Pokémon GO for the first time. Due to this news, it is likely that POGO will have it’s own special event during this time, so be sure to keep an eye out for that.

‘Pokémon GO’ Fest 2022: Finale Has Big News

Lastly, the largest news to arrive this week concerns the secret bonus unlock event for Pokémon GO Fest 2022: Finale. Taking place Aug. 27 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. local time, the Pokémon Company today officially announced that all four Ultra Beasts that have been introduced will be making an appearance during this event. That means trainers across the globe will have access to Xurkitree, Buzzwole, Nihilego and Pheromosa.

Additionally, Sky Forme Shaymin will also be available through Special Research.

The new Pokémon Presents announcement released today unveiled a ton of Pokémon news, so be sure to give it a watch.

Furthermore, here are the spotlight hours for August:

  • Aug. 2: Hisuian Voltorb with Double Catch Stardust bonus
  • Aug. 9: Nidoran♀ with Double Catch XP bonus
  • Aug. 16: Joltik with Double Catch Candy bonus
  • Aug. 23: Nidoran♂ with Double Transfer Candy
  • Aug. 30: Pidove with Double Evolution XP bonus

Spotlight hours occur every Tuesday from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. local time. Only Hisuian Voltorb lacks the chance to be shiny.

Concerning Raid Hour, here are the Raid Hours for the month of August.

  • Aug. 3: Palkia
  • Aug. 10: Genesect
  • Aug. 17: Genesect
  • Aug. 24: Zacian
  • Aug. 31: Zamazenta

Note that Genesect, Zacian and Zamazenta cannot be shiny. Raid hours are every Wednesday from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. local time.

For Mega Raids, here is the schedule:

  • Sunday, July 31, to Wednesday, Aug. 10: Mega Abomasnow
  • Wednesday, Aug. 10, to Thursday, Aug. 18: ??? (Rumors suggest Mega Scizor)
  • Thursday, Aug. 18, to Thursday, Aug. 25: Mega Slowbro
  • Thursday, Aug. 25, 2022, to Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2022: Mega Ampharos

Lastly, for the Special Research Box this month, it will feature Galarian Stunfisk, with a chance to be shiny. Complete a research task everyday for seven days to unlock the Special Research Box.

What are you looking forward to in Pokémon GO this month? Let us know in the comments.

 

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French Publishers Seek Injunction Against Apple’s App Tracking Transparency Program

Wed, 08/03/2022 - 21:07

In a recent antitrust complaint against Apple, a trio of French app publishers are trying what nobody else has thought of. They are asking for an injunction against Apple’s App Tracking Transparency (ATT) policies, claiming it’s doing too much to influence app discovery. The suit also claims ATT harms potential revenue streams for free game developers.

Everyone Seems to Hate App Tracking Transparency, Except Maybe Consumers

Since its inception, Apple’s App Tracking Transparency campaign has come under fire. Apple ostensibly designed it to give consumers more control over what apps can and can’t see of their third-party browsing and app usage. Competitors and other app developers disagree.

They claim that Apple’s policies are affecting their ad revenues. Facebook parent company Meta, Peloton and others have blamed App Tracking Transparency for lost income.

Three French publishers filed a lawsuit against Apple Aug. 1. Société du Figaro, L’Équipe 24/24 and le GESTE brought the complaint. They represent newspapers and other publishers, but also develop apps in support of their publications.

The case is before the U.S. District Court of the Northern District of California. This, incidentally, is the same court that heard the now-infamous Epic Games v. Apple case.

The filing calls Apple out for the impact of App Tracking Transparency:

However, large and small iOS developers claim that it is implemented in such a way that they are unfairly robbed of their ability to monetize their work by fair use of consumer data for targeted advertising.

The suit alleges that since developers face more limited opportunities to earn revenues through advertising, they will develop less free-to-download apps or start charging for existing such apps.

French Developers Take Aim at Apple’s Own Personalized Ads Program

Going even further, the suit claims Apple’s Personalized Ads architecture doesn’t work the same way as ATT. As pointed out by the U.K.’s Competition and Markets Authority(PDF), the Cupertino-based company’s Personalized Ads structure uses a “different choice architecture compared to the ATT prompt” for consumers to opt out of the program. This could distort user choice and confuse consumers, the regulatory agency says.

This gives Apple an advantage, the plaintiffs claim, in pushing ads to consumers. Taken as a whole, Apple’s commission for app sales, the ATT program and Apple’s Personalized Ads program, allegedly harms iOS developers “by way of supra competitive pricing and retail pricing mandates.”

Seeking an Injunction Against Apple’s ATT

In the suit, the plaintiffs are looking for damages that could exceed $1 billion. On top of that, they want an injunction against Apple for various “abusive, unlawful, and anticompetitive practices” described within the lawsuit.

Should the court side with the plaintiffs, Apple could be forced to suspend its App Tracking Transparency campaign. This would mean, of course, that app developers and advertisers could resume tracking consumers’ activities outside their own apps.

Tip o’ the Hat to FOSS Patents’ Florian Mueller, who first uncovered the references to ATT within the lawsuit filing.

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Apple TV+ Continues to Find Success in Original Content According to ‘Reelgood’

Wed, 08/03/2022 - 20:36

According to reports from Reelgood, it looks like Apple TV+ refuses to stop the success train from scooting into town. After a wave of announcements for new content last week, reports from Reelgood indicate that Apple has been having great engagement success year-over-year.

Over the past couple of months, we’ve talked extensively about the content arriving to Apple TV+. For a quick refresher, audiences have been enamored with Academy Award-winning CODA, whereas Ted Lasso and Severance also continue to swoon critics and audiences. Of course, Black Bird, which will conclude with the series finale this Friday, Aug 5, has also seen nothing but glowing reviews.

‘Reelgood’ Reports Apple TV+ is Having a Pretty Nice Time

Now, according to Reelgood, Apple TV+ is seeing year-over-year engagement across the website. For Reelgood, any engagement is an aggregate of behavioral data on its website and apps. This includes data such as playback, tracking as well as other interactions.

AppleTVReelgoodEngagementInTextAug2022

According to the research, for every 10 engagements on the Reelgood platforms during Mar-Jun 2021, an average Apple TV+ movie now receives 12 engagements. Additionally, movie engagements for Apple TV+ on Reelgood’s platforms grew ~20% YoY. For the Reelgood platform, it attributes much of the streaming service’s success concerning films on CODA.

Additionally, for every ten engagements on Reelgood’s platforms in Mar-Jun 2021, the average Apple TV+ series now sees 14 engagements. This means a ~40% increase on Reelgood platforms YoY. Reelgood attributes this success to Severance, WeCrashed and Slow Horses.

Looking at Success

In terms of movies, no doubt CODA was a huge win for Apple TV+. The film continues to bring in new audiences with its incredibly heartwarming journey (seriously, just watch it already!). Of course, Martin Scorsese joining up with the streaming service is no doubt going to help the company’s numbers. As fans still eagerly anticipate Killers of the Flower Moon starting Leonardo DiCaprio, Scorsese and DiCaprio are already teaming up for another movie for Apple TV+.

Additionally, many are also waiting for The Greatest Beer Run Ever, starring Zac Efron and directed by Peter Farrelly. Additionally, Apple TV+ recently landed the Jennifer Lawrence feature Causeway, which will see a theatre run as well as global streaming. Of course, some may have forgotten that the Will Smith-driven Emancipation saw delays due to a little Oscar mishap.

In terms of Apple TV+, the company made waves at San Diego Comic-Con during July. In addition to sharing a teaser for the next season of Mythic Quest, the streaming service also announced new seasons of For All Mankind and See, starring Jason Momoa. Of course, Black Bird is still making waves, and Loot is also receiving a second season.

Lastly, rumors that Apple TV+ is looking to Brazil for content may bring some exciting new shows and features to a global audience.

In short, it’s a good time to be an Apple TV+ subscriber, to say the least.

What are you watching on Apple TV+ right now? Anything you’re looking forward to? Let us know in the comments.

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