That is exactly it. Apple is not good at privacy, they are good at giving you the sense of it. A closed source OS, on proprietary hardware, where they don't even give you root access to your own device, will never be private. You pay them, but really they own the phone and you have to trust them.
But they are obviously very good at making you /feel/ secure and private.
Now tell me what serious alternative there is for a modern smartphone? Firefox and Ubuntu have abondoned their phone OS, and they had no good working system that could compete with Android or iOS? Windows Phone? How's that better than Apple's offering?
Apple seems to have the best arguments here.
You could try jolla or fairphone or even a blackphone (or one of the governmental only privacy oriented smartphones not available to the general public).
But this is somewhat irrelevant as having a smartphone with a GSM chip is a severe privacy issue in itself whatever the hardware/OS. Even a simple mobile phone is a privacy liability unless you take some precautionary measures.
To get some privacy one has to accept to have less comfort and ease of use, privacy and security are a tradeoff. something only a few actually do.
You can use a free version of Android? Yeah!
You are going to lack some stuff tho. Google Play Services provides geolocation services, the app store, push notifications,...
Android is more open than iOS but it’s not really open enough to make a significant difference, not for 99% of users and not really for the 1% that think it is more secure or private because they run a (heavily modified, very old, probably abandoned by the manufacturer) Linux kernel but ignore the baseband and closed source camera driver.
Even the FLOSS nature of AOSP has been questioned for years, but as a manufacturer it's impossible to offer a phone with AOSP, to be able to use android you have to include the Gapps.
Google has slowly been moving functional parts from AOSP to Gapps, the point being to limit the AOSP part and eventually get rid it of the open source part.
And no: AOSP is Android. It's like saying that Linux is not Linux unless you bundle it with GNU-utils and wrapped by Canonical.
1. Privacy of information
2. Freedom to inspect, modify and change source code.
So Open != automatic privacy of information.
The question then really boils down to do you trust apple to be doing what they say they are doing? Or would you prefer to verify it yourself? (open source)
I think Apple is betting that point 1 is much more important than point 2. More people also care about it. Hence the strategy.
Actually the more I think about it the more i realize this may be apples master stroke strategy. Google, Facebook etc. business models are primarily based around monetizing your personal data. Where as apple is saying you can have the same level of services but with out having to compromise as much of your data.
Apple is actually uniquely positioned for this strategy, since the do not need to sell your data to companies. They make their money of the devices.
It's probably one of the reasons google has been moving to more and more devices. To neutralize the Apple threat.
A device can be perfectly respectful of your privacy despite being closed and proprietary.
The only difference (IMO) between open and closed platform is that with the former you can have 3rd parties inspect it.
However, unless you have the resources to fully audit an open platform (either yourself, or by paying someone else) I believe you should assume the worst from both open and proprietary platforms.
Which does not mean that open source is synonymous of privacy either, only that one can go further than blind trust to the manufacturer.
As another example, Telegram claims to be the most secure messaging app out there. They have open-sourced their code, but what really matters is what they do with peoples' data on their servers.
> They're not going to open source their entire web infrastructure.
I think blockchain can actually solve this problem once and for all. When data is stored in decentralized nodes, much of these concerns are gone.
Personally I do not trust them and for this reason I have no data plan and no internet on my phone.
Nothing in your reply counters Apple being good at privacy. Source availability is related to privacy in your own personal opinion.
If you would like to audit each line of source code your phone will run, that is fine, most do not. Personally I like to have it both ways by regularly cracking open various components of iOS in a disassembled (ARM assembly is just as good as source code to some folks).
Total security is not possible, not at least by a long shot.
Although, I understand your concern about why people trust these companies. While I don't know the answer just yet, I think one reason is that most these companies are located in Western countries where "rule of law" is considered extremely crucial. Openness about balance-sheets, government policies, and privacy are - to the best of my knowledge - critical in the US.
BUT, there is no 500 gb plan. So everyone who wants more than 200 gb is paying for 2TB.
They are earning more, just in a smarter way
The difference with other big players such as facebook or google is that google business is selling ads based on giving software for gratis and facebook business is being the parasitic middleman between people and their data / online interactions (also company) and scrambling to make the investor story time lie believable as long as possible. They both indulge in strong vendor lock-in.
My point is that apple is not in this to protect your privacy or to defend humanist values but to get more people to buy their hardware for increased profit and shareholders.
Where there is vendor lock-in there is no possibility for freedom and freedom requires privacy. Apple has a long history of being the king of vendor lock-in.
My understanding is that apple does not protect privacy, it merely does not disregard it as effectively as the other big players because apple is different in the sense that its business is selling hardware.
Just look at what the posted page actually says: it presents touch id as secure despite being repeatedly shown otherwise, it pretends a complex passcode is secure but it will not protect your privacy when someone is asking you the code with a hammer.
It phrases things in a way to induce the reader into thinking apple does not gather data about users: "Apple doesn’t gather your personal information to sell to advertisers or other organizations." which actually means Apple gather your personal information to exploit themselves and to give away or trade with third parties.
And so on...
Being better than the worst does not mean it's good enough.
Here are a few examples:
try making a backup of your iphone without icloud or itunes (or manual update of iOS, or restoration)
try sending GPS coordinates to a non iphone
try exporting your contacts to a non iphone
When apple finally offered DRM-free music on the itunes music store but refused to licensed their ALAC lossless codec preventing the music to be listened on other devices until it was reverse engineered
try installing software on an iphone without using the app store and jailbreaking the iphone
jailbreaking is actually made to remove the limitations imposed by apple to its customers
integration only works with other apple products
the list goes on
There is nothing Apple does that even remotely resembles such practices. I want to buy an Android? It'll take some time to migrate stuff, but I've done that before, it's not that hard, just time-consuming. It won't cost me multiple times the cost of buying another phone, and I won't lose any data.
> try making a backup of your iphone without icloud or itunes
Is offering a way to backup a device lock-in? It's the same as "oh no you have to use pg_dump to export a postgres database". Also, there are 3rd party apps you can use to backup your phone. And if you make local un-encrypted backups with iTunes, there are many tools to extract stuff like your messages history, and if you really need to - you can just find the right file, fire up sqlite and browse/recover them that way.
> try sending GPS coordinates to a non iphone
Whatsapp can do that, Google hangouts too - there's nothing stopping an app from doing that? What's your point? That you can't send an iMessage to a non-iOS device? I suggest you have a good look at all the alternatives, which can be installed without a problem on an iOS device btw.
> try exporting your contacts to a non iphone
I've done this on multiple occasions. I've had a harder time exporting contacts from Google than from iCloud/iOS devices. Apple simply uses the vCard standard.
The App store would be a vendor lock-in if I could only install Apple made software from it, which is not the case. I use many competing services and apps on my Apple devices.
And yes, ALAC was a problem for a while, but they did release the en/decoder source code under apache2 license in 2011. There are other things that smell a lot more like vendor lock-in: Siri and the maps integration in iOS, but again, that's more an inconvenience than a real hard lock-in.
Apple is not a charity and nobody thinks of them as such. For example, the "RED" campaign is an effort to sell THINGS, but it also gives money to charity. Seems win-win to me.
However, to dismiss it as a marketing scheme is somewhat disingenuous. It may achieve that, but there are plenty of people out there who simply think they make the nicest hardware. The tight integration is icing on the cake. I own almost entirely Apple hardware. If I thought something else was nicer, I'd get it. I don't.
It's telling how you describe Google in comparison; Google is "giving software for gratis" and Facebook is "parasitic." Google is no different than Facebook: using the person as the product to sell advertisements.
This happened to me enough times that I do not even bother looking up compatibility and consider lineageOS as not an option to save myself time.
> the device you had plans to buy are not supported
Because of said context, one simply wouldn't have the plan to buy that device.
Checking for support is only a click away:
Simply mentioning a laundry list of the myriad things an app will be permitted to do is NOT giving me control over security and privacy.
That's not control, that's bullshit.
Apple got permissions right long before Android did: no third party apps have intrinsic permission to use the microphone, address book, location etc until the OS asks me on behalf of that app. And I can always say no if I want.
It works just the same as iOS, where the first time an app wants to use your location/etc it asks android, which shows a prompt:
And can be revoked as well:
Once you grant e.g. permission to access the microphone to an Android app, it can do so at any time without you noticing. Until you manually go to the settings and revoke the permission, that is.
If you change the permission to ‘always’ the banner won’t show.
Mic recording, on the other hand, is always user-initiated and very explicit.
With the pace of Android adoption, the new permission model isn't even present on half the devices that have been tracked on the Android Dashboard.  Versions 6 and 7 combined are at 48% adoption as of this moment, according to this dashboard.
On the iOS side, the granular permissions model has been around since the last seven years or longer, IIRC. And iOS devices have a much higher rate of new OS adoption, which means almost every iOS device currently in use has the same permission model for a lot longer.
Actually some of these permissions need to be requested by the first-party apps as well. You can deny the built-in Maps application location updates.
I like to know if an app has access to the network. If it does, don't install unless I trust the parent company.
Erm, so could Android apps? You don't need to request permission for internet access anymore.
I am particularly interested in storing my photos somewhere, but the details about the encryption have not led me to believe that Apple can't access my photos, which is a must-have requirement to me.
It says 'encryption-server: yes' for photos, but around this table you have the text:
" For certain sensitive information, Apple uses end-to-end encryption. This means that only you can access your information, and only on devices where you’re signed in to iCloud. No one else, not even Apple, can access end-to-end encrypted information."
"These features and their data are transmitted and stored in iCloud using end-to-end encryption:
- iCloud Keychain (Includes all of your saved accounts and passwords)
- Payment information
- Wi-Fi network information
- Home data
- Siri information"
So alas, no photos.
It is established knowledge that Apple has been for a very long time (and remains) a partner of the NSA's PRISM mass surveillance program.
Apple appears to be doing as much as it legally can to get around that fact, such as in providing end to end encryption on iMessage.
Do you appreciate what your asking? You're honestly saying if they do something this radical then they're "not serious about privacy"?
If they did move to a country with privacy protection then privacy protection could be considered possible.
If you buy tech from one of the US big corps, you simply have no more privacy. That is a simple fact.
I’m not convinced this is somehow more virtuous than doing it automatically. The warrant was signed, Apples hands are tied either way.
Which is precisely why I stopped syncing my images to Google.
(There's a crowdfund going on for an official iPhone app for Syncthing: https://www.bountysource.com/issues/7699463-native-ios-port-... )
Works extremely well for me. Set it and forget it.
Besides syncing 357GB requires some serious internet which is a privilege of a limited few.
 It has been flakey as a weasel's taint in the past.
You can set this in the photos setting. You have the option to store all content locally while also backing up everything in th cloud. However, none of my devices have the space for 357GB of photos so I default everything to “optimize local storage”.
"Favourites" seems to -almost- have this priority in that they'll more often than not be on the device regardless of age and whether you've specifically downloaded them but it's not -quite- there.
You’re gonna be fine :)
It does take a while for things to arrive at all destinations due to my crappy internet connection but for me it works quite well.
Also, we know Google is actively engaged in mining this data in order to do something. Today it's to improve the user experience which I believe is an honest motivation, but inevitably this empowers a surveillance apparatus that both governments and powerful corporations want.
I think it's worth pushing back a bit on the sort of standard operating procedure of tech companies today, and question where this is all leading. Apple are definitely not saints, but at least they provide something resembling a dissenting viewpoint on the issue of customer data privacy.
Just a story, I took a picture of my car three months ago, someone asked me to show a picture of my car, I just went to google photos, typed "Grey car" and voila ... This is the future.
- Apple was part of the prism program;
- they denied it;
- their platform is so closed you can't have remotely any idea what's it doing;
I would put Apple in the same bag as anyone else and assume they give away everything and then make a big PR noise to pretend they don't.
Only fanboys or naive people would believe the contrary.
* looks like Apple is trusted for key discovery. Abuse of this trust could be tested with the Mac iMessage client. That can’t detect a targeted attack, of course, but I don’t think that’s what you’re claiming is happening.
A privacy version of the godwin point is mentioning google instead of the nazis. Mention the worst known offender and you'll look better in comparison.
It isn't successful though, so i hope you can read between the lines of Apple caring about privacy ;)
PS. I'd like to see if they limit the knowledge of Siri because they care about your privacy.
For me, Google are very good at giving you security settings and then completely ignoring them or resetting them to defaults when you're not looking. This in addition to, if you want to be able to do anything with an Android phone, even things that don't even seem to relate to this, you have to consent to giving Google more data to mine. You can't just turn on your location to allow your weather app (regardless of its backend location provider) to show you your local forecast, you have to consent to sending your location to Google on a regular basis. Granted, with most of the processing done on the Google cloud, it's probably unavoidable now.
My current gripe with them, though, is that I specifically switch off my GPS. Two reasons for this - 1. is battery life. I have no need for my weather app to refresh and then get my pinpoint location (which it will, it just requests the most accurate location available from the subsystem) when the cell-tower location will suffice. 2. is that I have no desire for every app on my phone to be able to work out where I am at any time.
On several occasions, however, I'll be in a commercial establishment (shop, restaurant etc.) and a notification on my phone will appear, asking me for further information about the exact store I'm currently in. I've been asked to review the restaurant or if I know the website for the fish and chip shop I'm standing in. How does this happen? Why, the Wifi-Scanning-in-Sleep-Mode option gets randomly re-enabled, of course. And because Google decided to log the SSIDs and MAC addresses of every broadcasting wireless network when they drove the Street View cars, this information is as accurate as GPS. Not to mention, I switch my wifi off when I'm not using it for battery reasons, and this totally undermines the point of having a Wifi Off switch.
I keep switching this option off and Google keeps switching it back on. I'm beyond fed up with their total lack of respect for my privacy. There's also the fact that, not only do they go out of their way to figure out where I am, they then expect me to answer questions. It's like a man in a Google uniform suddenly leaps out of the nearest bin with a clipboard as I'm either waiting for dessert or walking out the door.
I've experienced the Apple lock-in before with my iPods and I'm not keen to sign my life over to an iDevice, but I am getting to the point where they seem to be the only way out of this cycle.
Is this satire? If there's one thing the open source movement has proven, it's that without the backing of a business very little will happen. If there were some "free" mobile system out there, the only way it could work is if there was a "red hat mobile" type of company funding its development. Random "users" generally wouldn't fix anything just as they don't fix Linux/Mozilla/etc. bugs now.
The phones are good on their own, but when choosing between having every action tracked and keeping some things to yourself, unsurprisingly a lot of people want privacy. Here's hoping their marketing can help ordinary people who wouldn't normally care about privacy see why it's important (and maybe score some wins for privacy at the polls in the future!)
If only it wasn't for that fscking no headphone jack..
I decided I had enough of cables and bought a pair of wireless headphones. I am never going back to cables. The battery of mine lasts for 12 hours when continuously used. I charge it while I sleep. Now I am not missing the headphone jack anymore.
Obviously they know damn well that there are people like us who value privacy enough to buy Apple in spite of all of the other unpalatable stuff. I just hope the demand gets high enough that other companies start catering to it as well.
Well, it's kind of the business Google is in though — selling your "privacy".
Apple, what were you thinking?
It may just be a matter of time. Especially if 2 major companies normalise it, then all the other companies get to drop a feature and save a few cents on every phone.
It's possible that dropping headphone jacks could become universal, but I don't see any reason to expect it's likely.
Most people also buy headphones from popular brands rather than attempt to discern on sound quality.
I see quite a few AirPods and Bluetooth headphones these days. I don't think you can discount the possibility.
So headphone jacks without updates, hurray!
Flagships usually do (Samsung flagships, and numerous phones lower in their line, tend to get two major version updates.)
> and Project Treble won't change that
If update practices are something a worthwhile market segment looks to in buying decisions, and Trello makes it easier on OEMs because their is a cleaner isolation of the device-specific pieces, then, I'd expect it to make more OS updates happen.
Obviously I'd prefer to keep the jack socket on my phone, I'm just saying it's a minor issue. I think people like to focus on it because it feels like the prototypical Apple dick-move, but it's not that big a deal e.g. compared to the walled garden thing.
So far, this isn’t really crippling. I use some sennheisers when at home with the mac and use the earphones when I’m out. If they remove the 3.5 jack from the Mac I’ll be more pissed.
Reasonable steps towards a waterproof phone?
(Although you do have to give it a shake when you take it out of the water)
They were thinking that AirPods and similar are the future of audio.
And for those who have more discerning needs they ship a dongle with the phone that you can leave permanently attached to your wired headphones.
> I guess with wireless charging you can now do so.
Guess that settles that debate then, glad we can put that to rest going forward. (...I realise this sounds weirdly sarcastic?, but it's actually not)
But only one at a time - charger, or your dongle connected wired headphone. At some point, that phone's going to run out of battery. My normal use case is that I go on long drives with the phone getting charged using the car charger, while the audio output being sent to the car stereo. This change breaks my workflow even with their free included accessories.
"Quick switch simply disconnects phone from access points and devices rather than turning off the radios, in move criticised by security researchers."
"On iOS 11, pressing the wifi toggle immediately disconnects the iPhone or iPad from any wifi networks, but leaves the wireless radio available for use by location services, scanning for the names of nearby wifi access points. The Bluetooth toggle operates in a similar fashion."
"To actually turn off Bluetooth and wifi users will need to head into the Settings app and manually turn them off, which deactivates them until 5am the next morning"
"But security researchers warn that having either wifi or Bluetooth active when not in use puts users at risk of attack, calling the change “stupid” and “not clear for the user”. Only recently researchers demonstrated that, due to a weakness in the implementation of Bluetooth in some smartphones and tablets, hackers could wirelessly hijack a device without the user having to accept a connection or download anything."
Let’s be clear. Leaving WiFi or Bluetooth active puts users at risk of attack in the same way that leaving your house to go anywhere puts you at risk of getting in a traffic accident.
How cynical can you get? Jeez...
Do they? I hope that's true, but the fact that Apple is selling it doesn't mean people are buying. Most people I talk to still have zero concern for privacy, unfortunately.
Apple is taking a direct jab at Amazon, Facebook and Google.
My friend who works at Facebook confirmed they actually buy shopping data from Amazon (and in fact many companies buy your credit card shopping history), and internally Facebook has a tool where you can search someone's name and see their shopping history according to the data collected from Amazon. Of course the tool is monitored and all searches are recorded. My friend only ran the search on himself, but he said it was a little shady that this tool exists.
One first hand story: this person searched a database to find tax records for a specific individual and their income. The records were de-anonymized but there’s enough data there he could figure it out.
We should design systems to preserve individual privacy. The person I heard the story from had no business in this persons tax records.
For example, let's take phone location records, just look where the phone is every night of the week and where it goes every morning and you have the home and work address of the owner which is more than enough to identify the phone owner in pretty much all cases.
In the digital age, privacy is not really a thing, and for the most part, anyone semi-integrated in modern society should just expect that virtually all information about themselves, including things like shopping and television watching habits, conversational "metadata" that is not-quite-so-meta, and so forth is quietly being trafficked by all kinds of parties. Only a tiny portion of that traffic is actual identity theft, though each step along the way increases its likelihood.
Do not make the mistake of believing this is exclusively limited to online activity either. Wikileaks has revealed that the government would remotely hijack a common brand of wall-mounted televisions and activate the internal microphone (???) to listen to private conversations, and this has long been a speculated use of cellular phones. Many people willingly stream everything that happens in their home, video and audio, to Google via the NestCam or similar devices.
If you've carried your cell phone on you, BigBroCo knows that you were (or weren't) at church on Sunday, Walmart on Tuesday, and that you spent a suspiciously long time parked in the far corner of a parking lot yesterday.
It's pretty likely that the relevant parties have already deduced which transaction in Walmart's payment systems was yours and have indexed the contents of your shopping run (even more likely if you've explicitly enabled this by using something like Walmart Pay in the Walmart app). Transactions are tied to your profile and it's all shopped around not only through AdWords but private B2B databases that want the information to try to target you with relevant solicitations. This is trivially visible in a variety of ways, since almost everyone is using such programs in some way or another.
It's naive to assume that such gold mines have never tempted anyone, especially when many of the people with an interest in accessing some of that data would also know how to bypass any auditing systems that may exist, and especially when there are many people who'd be happy to grease a few palms for the inside scoop.
We're coming in on the world where interest in the vast trove of personal data expands beyond targeted marketing and ultra-high-level political malfeasance. We have a thorny and potentially very scary road ahead of us.
Facebook and Google can say the same without lying. Apple's iAd is the ad-network and Apple sells the categorization (male, 14-21, likes dogs) of you based on your personal information. As do G and F.
So it's basically PR double speak.
If the argument is sound, the question instead becomes: Did their privacy focus start at that date, or did the iAd business case evolve into something else?
That iAd was discontinued is the wrong focus. I want to know whether they actually care about privacy, since there is so little insight.
The whole document reads like novlang and PR marketing propaganda.
Buying credit card shopping history (or something very similar) was highlighted in a Malcolm Gladwell book, but I forget which. If I search for, "Malcolm Gladwell" and, "Target" I just get SEO pages as search results, trying to sell me his books. Oh what a world!
They are not perfect by any means, but it definitely takes the discussions about privacy, encryption and personal data protection away from the "don't be paranoid" or "just don't be a criminal" territory.
They may not feel like they need privacy now, but what about what they do becomes taboo? Rights need to protect even the worst among us, and they are eroded by using the worst among us as examples.
I don't really have anything to hide from the government, but I damned sure support the 4th. Some day, I might want to hide something and be secure in my person and papers. I don't like most criminal activity and I don't like terrorists, but I really don't want them being used as an excuse to erode my rights.
I keep looking for more resources on educating people (and keep some of those around). But we really need to spend a lot of time to make people aware about what they're giving up.
So for now, they can have my data. But I try my very best to avoid letting Google et al. infer other people's actions from mine, so I don't tag people in photos or otherwise expose them or their actions, without their consent.
Unfortunately, these are conflicting goals. It is not enough not to tag photos.
For example, if you use Gmail, they have your address book, hence they have names and emails of other people.
Or, if you publish photos of a group of people, and Google/FB/etc. have working face recognition, they know these people are connected with you (and with each other), and at which time and location you all came together.
But imagine they don't even get that from you. If they know private information from yourself, you are training their system to extract that information from others, too. For example, if you are homosexual then you tech them how to recognize homosexuals. If you are heterosexuals, you teach them how to better distinguish homosexuals from heterosexuals. Same for other types of private information.
It is impossible to show everything from oneself, and at the same time respect the privacy of vulnerable people nearby oneself.
I try to have as low an online profile as I can, though.
I have been a sort-of, low-level, public figure. So, I don't mind if people post my picture, I'm used to it. I just ask that they not tag me, specifically in non-public spaces. I only have so much privacy, really. I mean, I've been in newspapers, magazines, and on television and radio. I don't mind if those things get republished, but I'm happily retired and my private life is something I'd like to keep that way.
Err... I'm not famous or anything. Well, I'm famous to maybe a dozen people. I had some brief fame when I sold my business, but that was it. I'm not even notable enough for a Wikipedia article, I don't believe. I'm a mathematician who helped bring traffic modeling to the age if computers, that is it. I got lucky and sold my company. It was to a publicly traded company and so there were SEC filings and the likes.
That's the extent of my infamy.
Since then, I've retired to the side of a mountain in Maine. It's nice and I live here because it's very remote. In return, I get some privacy when I want it. People are good about that here.
But, I don't really have anything to hide. I will happily tell you all sorts of information - about me, and only about me. It's not my right to tell you about the private details of other people.
So, I don't mind being posted if I am in a public space. I don't mind, within reason, if it is in a private space - but don't tag me and certainly don't tag me in a private space, or tag the people with me. Basically, don't put me in a position where I am used, willingly or not, to compromise the privacy of another person.
I don't think that's too much to ask. Just, you know, be smart about it.
So, yeah, I can see where you're coming from and very much agree. We're pretty similar in those regards.
Also, speech... I don't have anything offensive to say. Yet, I'm a very adamant supporter of the right to free expression. I am even willing to defend the free speech rights of Nazis and Nazis pretty much hate me. I'm not white, not on the political right, and I'm not a huge fan of strict nationalism. Not that they need all those reasons to hate me, they hate me just because of my skin color.
But, I still strongly support their rights to free speech. If I can't support their rights, it means I had no principles to begin with. Besides, someday, my speech may be considered harmful. Someone has to defend it.
Sorry for the novella. I need to sleep soon.
There's a link to an iOS security white paper that was published in March 2017. And there's one for FaceID. Not sure how if any of the info was previously unknown, but the paper's publish date is September 2017: https://images.apple.com/business/docs/FaceID_Security_Guide...
That's just marketing speak for "we failed to make a business out of tracking you, so now we're spinning that to our advantage". If Apple had succeeded with iAds, you wouldn't be seeing this page now.
Just business as usual.
See examples like iAd, Siri, Photos app, Maps, and Apple Pay. Review the San Bernardino case and notice how firm they stood despite the extremely negative PR.
There are so many instances where the easiest and most profitable path forward was not the path Apple took. We as consumers wouldn't have even noticed in the moment if they went down the easy path, but we notice now because of the consistency and belief in their own actions. That speaks for itself.
They've earned the right to market the principles that they've demonstrated over and over again whether publicly or more privately (e.g the reasons for iAd's failure that another poster mentioned).
It's a business at the end of the day and it always will be, but a statement like that on it's own is completely meaningless. I think most of us can agree here that this is an example of the right and honest way to do business.
Also, whether we agree with the privacy stance or not and whether we accept the tradeoffs or not is completely irrelevant to this.
My hacker side wants to get an android for all of the obvious reasons, but I really appreciate the fact that Apple's marketing interests are aligned with my privacy. I also appreciate that they are making a point of actively crusading for it. It's a fully selfish, profit-driven move on their parts, which is precisely why I like them: I don't have to trust them and their capricious future stockholders to "do the right thing", because they already make money by doing so. We're in equilibrium already. I am often disappointed by Apple's decisions, but their strategy is working on me, and I don't feel that I have a realistic alternative to protect me from hackers and over-enthusiastic government agencies (at least in the near-term future).
I'm still not fully convinced (I'm very comfortable in my DIY PC/Thinkpad/Linux/Motorola/Android device bubble right now), but considering I barely even play that many games or anything anymore, I just want a desktop and a laptop that let me run a web browser, Spotify, a media player and a few token games with relatively low system requirements. So far, my 7 year old DIY PC (3.3GHz Phenom II X6, 16GB RAM, Geforce GTX460) and a 5 year old refurb Thinkpad T420 are both doing quite well, so I am quite unlikely to spend the required money to get into the Apple ecosystem.
I do like playing around with old Mac stuff like System 6 and Mac OS 8/9 in emulators, but that's not really the same thing :-)
I mean, my 2010 MBP has 16GB of ram and a 512GB SSD. The benchmark stats are awful for CPU/GPU/memory/storage speeds, but it's pretty pathetic that 7 years later I can't even choose to get a new mac with more memory.
They've painted themselves into a "thinness at all costs" sort of corner with the Macbooks, and they've have to go back on that and make them slightly thicker again, if they want to upgrade them. Last time they were backed into a serious corner (G5 PowerPC being completely unsuitable for mobile use and disappointing performance-wise), they took a chance and switched to Intel. They're going to have to mess with some important core design tenets this time.
For the desktop line, a new non-stupid Mac Pro will go a long way. They also need to seriously refresh the Mac Mini, because it's just a piece of junk right now.
Cool enough that a lot of people still reuse them as PC towers now.
The trash can looks like... A trash can. I'm kinda curious what they'll be going for in the next one, if they've learned something.
I would love it if the level of Apple privacy came to Android but not if it meant losing the tiny bit of openness that Android has over Apple.
I am excited about it, but do not like the idea of asking for donations/funding without having design completed yet... my concern is I give money then do not like a decision they have made.... in any case I am watching it closely, what about you?
I'm asking because I've only ever owned one Apple products (an iPad Air 2 that was gifted to me) for a short while, and I chalked up all the limitations to simply being due to being a tablet, and not an full-featured computer.
And I was under the impression that there were several third party email apps for iOS?
I downloaded the Android APK and sideloaded it on my Android device. Sure, the echo doesn't support Canadian addresses (although it does have Canadian content) it otherwise works fine.
I'm happily running the app on my Android device despite it being region restricted. Sweet sweet freedom.
Which is why I'm not getting into the apple walled prison with a garden inside.
The iPhone also supports installable apps :)
I used to own an iPad Air 2 (given to me during a course I was taking), and it was a super slick and very well-integrated device. It just had some odd limitations that I was not a fan of, so I moved back to a Thinkpad running Linux. But I had pretty much the same experience with my previous tablet, an Asus Transformer Infinity, so it was probably more of a general tablet thing.
The main thing keeping me from buying Apple products these days is the price, and of course the fact that no proper Apple desktop exists, outside of the super underpowered Mac Mini and the silly trashcan Mac Pro. I have a perfectly good display already, which I intend to keep for a long time, so I don't want an iMac.
And I very much dislike the Apple Evangelism and super-annoying slavering fanboys, to whom Apple can do no wrong ever, and all other tech companies are basically banging rocks together, in their perception.
Apple sells hardware, resells apps and media. Google sells advertising.
The hardware company's interests are much more in line with the interests of your privacy than the advertising company. It's about what Apple will do willingly with your data and what it won't do.
Google's entire purpose is classifying and measuring you so that the ads it serves you are the most effective. In other words you are their product, or more specifically, they sell the ability to manipulate you to the highest bidder. Ok that's a little harsh, but with the last election a large (and seemingly apparently growing) factor in the result was the ability of each side to manipulate populations of voters. It's not too much to want as much as possible to minimize the attack surface for organizations to profile and serve you information tailored to shape your behavior.
The issue with how far Apple apparently went to protect the data of one of it's (mind you, entirely guilty) customers makes a person think that buying Apple is a preferred choice. I'd like the ability to own my devices and data to the extent that the government or the manufacturer cannot give it away without my agreement.
You try to separate the two companies using their main source of income, but in the end they are both surveillance apparatuses. Their surveillance may end up being used against your favor despite the unofficial contracts from their PR. Read the fine print for more information.
This seems more like a description of Amazon. I understand Google and Facebook to be data hoarders: they build up the ability to manipulate you and use it in putting together the ads they serve, but they jealously guard it, rather than sell the ability on.
Meanwhile on Android you can opt for a different photo gallery app, giving Google _nothing_ to work with, while on iOS you're stuck with whatever Apple allows you to use.
You can install whatever photo gallery app you want on an iPhone and use that. It’s mildly less convenient, but not really a big deal.
I understand that for them it may just be a business decision and differentiator, but it is one that is important enough to me to keep me on their platform.
There are policies that empower the user, such as making applications subscribe to specific security permission sets and notifying the user what those are, and there are policies that restrict the user, such as only allowing signed applications delivered through their own app store. To my mind, Apple is much more willing to restrict their users for what they see as their own good, as well as for Apple's profit. Android isn't perfect in this regard either, but it's better (at least for a lot of brands, which allow third party applications if you jump through the right hoops).
Allowing a third party app to be set as default for some function could be done right now, but Apple doesn't seem to think it has any incentive to do so. I'm not expecting that change anytime soon, or ever.
Some other changes will be done in a methodical way without compromising on the app sandbox and other restrictions placed on apps to maintain privacy and security (if not enhance them). I'm guessing third party browsers with their own engines could come to iOS within a few years.
Some other limitations, like allowing apps from a non-App Store sources (except the Xcode side loading available now, for which a Mac is required), would never be lifted.
A Mac and $99 a year. That's not cheap, and given how infrequently I replace my phone, might be up to an additional 50% on the base cost, even if you have the Mac. Around 2011 or 2012 I wanted to play around with making an iPhone app. I never did because I didn't have a Mac and didn't want to pay hundreds of dollars and a $99 fee on top of that just to play around.
I used a Mac for work for a couple years 5-6 years ago. It wasn't horrible, but it definitely grated in areas. Mainly in how the window manager switches applications, and windows within the application with different commands, and for my usual workflow (lots of terminals and a browser) that was extremely annoying. It might not have grated so much if I wasn't coming from a custom FVWM config I had been revising for over a decade, but the limitations of the OS X window manager were maddening at the time.
Isn't this more of a restriction on developers? I know as someone who's coded Mac apps since the 80s that Apple has been very much users>>developers.
While it restricts what you can install (i.e., no f.lux a closed binary), it also prevents a lot of potential malware from spreading.
Not App Store policy, but can’t change the app handling the functionality at least for the main one I care about Maps.
- Chrome, Opera, and Firebox on iOS
- Google Maps, Waze on iOS (and others)
Restrictions that empower users on iOS ultimately restrict developers. That is an essential power balance "problem". Which side one prefers sure says a lot about that person ;-)
On iOS, any "third-party" browser is just a wrapper around Apple's rendering engine.
At least that is now it was very recently. As in, within the past year. I'm not sure if it has changed since. In May, they announced they were slowing development down. I haven't followed up with that.
And when it comes to privacy, moving the outer half (network, rendering, input handling) of your browser to the cloud is a disaster.
You’re literally repeating a meme that has been dead & incorrect for longer than the MacBook Pro has existed.
A person could be forgiven for thinking there might have been a powerful person at the top that didn't want to be seen as having been wrong: 
Eventually I said, ‘Well, this was asked for by the marketing division. It’s a multi-button mouse. It’s been approved through Apple’s process channels, and so we’ve been working on it.”
Jobs stared at him.
“I’m Marketing,” he said. “It’s a marketing team of one. And we’re not doing that product.” With that, he turned and stalked off.
I feel there's some very careful wording in the OP which blurs the lines between "we care about protecting your privacy from everyone, including us" and "we care about protecting your privacy from everyone, except us". I don't have time right now to do another deep dive through their legal documents but this is the kind of thing large data-driven companies do to keep their customers feeling good while they go about collecting data as always.
Where are you getting this? They explicitly list what they do and do not collect, and the purpose of it.