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Apple Sign In (techcrunch.com)
1145 points by ikarandeep on June 3, 2019 | hide | past | web | favorite | 528 comments



Disposable, anonymous email forwarding is a massive step forward for privacy. I know we've all been doing it for a while, but this on a consumer level is fantastic.


And being done by Apple, most services can’t just reject these the way they do with Mailinator addresses, since it would be throwing away a giant chunk of their revenue. Apps with huge consumer demand like Uber or Facebook could get away with it, but not the vast majority of apps.


Right. One of the big things about Apple getting into something, even if it's been done before, is that they carry enough influence to strongarm other companies into respecting their paying customers. It's great.


It strikes me as terrifying, personally, but to each their own.

I have been responsible for creating and maintaining an app generation system. Among other things, it taught me that App Store Connect has many sharp edges showing how easy it is to abuse the kind of power you've correctly pointed out Apple has.


In a world where every other tech company swindles and manipulates consumers at every opportunity, I'm happy that at least one is incentivized to do the opposite, and has the power to do so.


Apple swindles, manipulates and mistreats developers to further their own ends.

It's perhaps less evil than the kind of wholesale data-farming the other big tech companies are engaged in, but it still doesn't make me like the idea of Apple ascendant.

And I was raised on Macs, giving Apple a heavy nostalgia bonus that they burned years ago.


Apple takes powers from developers hired by greedy companies and puts that power in the hands of the users.

You find that you're being strongarmed. As a oonsumer, I could not care less. Hell, I am thrilled that developers are being strongarmed when it comes to user privacy and security.


I'm not concerned with Apple refusing apps that do seamy things (though "seamy things" is more subjective than you might think, as Apple is well aware).

I am concerned with things like Apple's terms of service saying "If you put an app in the store, we reserve the right to copy it and ban yours."

They don't spell it out quite that clearly, but sections 14.4 and 11.2 of the developer guidelines make it clear enough (https://download.developer.apple.com/Documentation/ADP_Progr...).

Yes, there are more charitable interpretations possible, but Apple does have some history of cloning and killing off third party software, so I see no reason to apply the more charitable interpretation.


How is it evil? Apple is saying that their customers aren't yours to pillage. No developer is forced to write for the Apple platform. If a developer doesn't like the terms, there will always be another developer willing to fill the gap.

Who said the Windows/Android model is the morally correct one anyway?

As a customer I'm glad that Apple is providing a truly different alternative.


I guess I was not especially clear, so my apologies for that.

I'm not scared of this anonymous signin feature, per se.

I'm scared of the sheer amount of power Apple has, and that they can abuse it to force third parties into compliance with what they think software should be.

That's what I was saying I found terrifying.


Apple swindles and manipulates the user to buying a new device whenever there is any fault at all because everything is glued and soldered together so fixing anything requires buying half of the device.


Personal experience. Battery change on iphone SE, cost $75. They couldn't safely do the replacement (broken tabs on battery) and they simply replaced the phone.

I'm not sure how this is manipulating to get me to purchase a new phone.


That's not much better. Another phone goes to landfill because not even apple was able to repair it due to their horrendous practicices. It took me half an hour to remove a battery from an iPhone and I had to get the hair dryer out to melt the glue. With other devices I just unscrew a bracket holding the battery down and it takes me 5 minutes.


> Another phone goes to landfill

That's disingenuous. Apple has a recycling program, where they take apart every component to be reused or recycled into new materials.[1]

[1]: https://www.apple.com/newsroom/2018/04/apple-adds-earth-day-...


Has a recycling program =/= everyone who ever purchased an iPhone is using that recycling program.

7.8 million "Apple devices"[0] in 2018 is a lot, but an average iPhone is far more likely to end up on a landfill. If it were easy to extract the battery, that wouldn't be such a problem.

[0] They group them all together and I can't find any other metric: https://www.apple.com/newsroom/2019/04/apple-expands-global-...


Yes, but phones that Apple swaps out generally do get recycled.


I don’t think that is a fair comparison. Aside from hardware va software I personally have never had an issue with apple products last 3 or more years. Get apple care and they just fix or replace it when anything goes wrong. Better experience then my friends seem to have with other manufactures.


I have a collection of broken apple products from other people who were going to throw them out. Usually they have a fairly minor issue but its just about impossible to fix because of the use of insane amounts of glue or one way clips


It’s pretty funny though that you consider a few dozen Apple broken devices as "a collection" meanwhile a few dozen of Android broken devices is generally considered "a pile of thrash".

And this effect is massive last week I offered two of my old laptops to a friend child wanabee hacker. He quickly considered a 2012 HP for parts, then he kept on thanking me for a working state 2002 PPC iBook.

PS: To be honest he might be ranting about it in a few day, I’ve played around it a little and that 2002 iBook bios is a mostly undocumented nightmare!


I went through the pile of Apple stuff we'd collected over the last few years and repaired them myself. Annoying + fiddly but simple and extremely possible with some spare parts, a $20 toolkit, and care + patience.

The battery glue is like a 3M command strip, you're supposed to remove it by applying tension to the side. You need the heat source if the strip breaks and gets trapped underneath, but I used dental floss instead.


I’m tired of gmail and hotmail forcing me to sign up using my personal cell phone number. Finally I can create throwaway emails without resorting to gmail!


I think this will be proven wrong. Do you think that the folks using Mailinator are strictly non-Apple users? As an Apple user that signs up with a mailinator ID, if rejected I either move on or use a more palatable address, as the case may be depending on my desire to use that service. The same will hold true for any private appleid address.


I’d say that one month from release, 100 times as many people will know about Sign in With Apple as have ever used Mailinator. And Apple marketing will drill into them why they should use it, and mark apps in the App Store that support it. Eventually for experimental apps that they are not 100% decided on getting, there will be a large fraction of users who simply won’t try an app that doesn’t support it.


I think there are two differences here:

1. Services have little incentive to support mailinator, and indeed may deliberately choose not to if they feel it is leading to signups they don’t like. On the other hand it would be hard to argue with an incentive like the App Store requiring you to support apple’s service.

2. Because the service is built in to apple’s systems there seems to be an implicit contract that apple wont let it be abused for the purposes that many sites claim mailinator is used for (because it isn’t useful to apple customers if sites don’t trust it and it). So they might be more willing to accept these email addresses.

I guess neither of these help services like mailinator gain credibility.


You're missing the scale. Mailinator users are a very small percentage of users, while Apple Sign In users are likely to represent a much larger slice of your potential users, given that you have a honking great button there waiting for them.


They also have pretty strict whitelisting requirements around who can send emails to these privacy addresses.

"In order to send email messages through the relay service to the users’ personal inboxes, you will need to register your outbound email domains. All registered domains must create Sender Policy Framework (SPF) DNS TXT records in order to transit Apple's private mail relay. You can register up to 10 domains and communication emails."

https://help.apple.com/developer-account/#/devf822fb8fc


Neat. It sounds like this extra step prevents a situation where, for example, a dev's server-side database gets hacked and the users' relay e-mail addresses are exposed.

The attacker wouldn't even be able to send e-mail messages to the users. He'd also need to compromise the registered domain's mailservers, or their DNS servers (to modify the SPF records), or their Apple dev account to add their own registered domain.


Apple is evolving and adapting in a way the rest of the industry can’t follow.

And, they have the money to do it.

For as long as Android has google ownership... they will never, ever be able to compete on the level of privacy that Apple is now buying into.


If you don’t use apple, I just built this as a stand-alone product: https://idbloc.co


From the web page, I cannot tell what pricing is going to be - looks like you go out of your way to not scare off potential users. I can't find pricing information at all via Google searches, either.

That's something I really dislike. Perhaps it's a necessary evil.


It’s at the bottom of the landing page: https://idbloc.co/#pricing

The goal is to explain the concept ahead of the pricing as I think it’s quite novel to most users.


That page should have some sort of indication that it's scrollable since browsers increasingly don't show visible scrollbars until you're already scrolling. Something like Bootstrap's scrollspy might be useful since it could also show you the sections further down before you scroll through the intermediate sections.


I pay $30/year for a cpanel host that includes unlimited mail forwarding for any address on any domain. This is a byproduct of what I really do which is host a bunch of sites. $48/year for email scrubbing seems like a high price.

I think it’s great, and use it a lot. Just wonder how you got to that price vs like $10/year.


Pro users subsidise the free ones, unfortunately. Assuming a 1% conversion rate to pay server costs and 1-2 devs full time at 4 usd/pro user/month you need 2500 pro users, which is 250,000 users.

That and people pay 4 bucks for a coke these days so it’s not really much. Also cPanel is most definitely an expert tool.

I might make it paid only soon and reduce the price but at present there’s not much option to get real feedback and user traction.


Once it's up and running, does it really take 2 full-time people to keep it running?


Thanks, this helps me understand and I appreciate you going into cost model for something that’s really up to you to decide.

$4 is not very much, you’re right, but that doesn’t mean that it should be spent unwisely otherwise it adds up quickly. It seems unlikely that this would need a full time dev to operate and seems more like a “4 hour workweek” type business once it’s set up that would have pretty minimal maintenance, or a super bored developer waiting around for a bug to patch.

Do you think you’ll drop the price once you no longer need a dev?


Thanks. I had not noticed even though I scrolled to the bottom


This looks a lot like 33mail (https://33mail.com/) which I've been using pretty happily for 4-5 years now (and paying I think $10-15 a year for, so a lot less than this on a per month basis, but they're not strictly unlimited)


33mail is cool but the domain being the same & unique for each user removes the privacy element, and it asks users to make up their own addresses (and remember them), which can be dangerous. For example you might create facebook@dave.33mail.com, so it’s very easy to guess what Dave’s twitter login is or other target.

With Idbloc (and apple sign in) the address is completely random and untraceable, and it’s impossible to tell which addresses belong to which users.


There is also spamgourmet, which is free and has been around for 20 years.


Unfortunately they’re not accepting new signups


Oh, I hadn't noticed. Your service looks nice, and if spamgourmet is not taking new signups it does make even more sense.


Is there by chance a Firefox add-on on your product roadmap? This looks interesting



the super annoying "can i help you?" popup after 10s is revolting. i closed the tab immediately without learning more. it's cheesy, pushy, and seems antithetical to a service that offers privacy. i recommend you turn that thing off.


Thanks for the feedback, I’ll try to tone that thing down a bit. The thing is, some people LOVE the chat widget. Especially for those users who don’t want reveal their real email address but have a quick question. I’ve had at least 3x more chats on there than support emails.


Chat is awesome. Personally I love it. You get to talk to someone in real time. What's not to like about it. I'm not sure why the OP is so revolted by it. Maybe remove the sound but leave the popup and chat.


> You get to talk to someone in real time.

Except it’s not real time until a support person is notified and responds minutes or sometimes hours later. Chat pop ups feel like a lame trick these days every time I try to use them; they pretend like they’re going to be fast and then make you waste your own time waiting. The last one I used the other day made me wait more than 10 minutes, so I did something else, and when the support person responded and asked a follow up question and I didn’t answer in 5 seconds, they closed the support ticket, making me start over. I’d rather use email.


When you're trying to read the site for yourself, it can be distracting and a bit obnoxious.


Maybe just have a chat button or a link to the chat on your support page? I'm in the strange position of both liking the chat approach (I've used it on Dell's site, probably others), and also very much disliking chat popups. It feels like it's really there so that someone can convince you to buy something. It's even worse when there's a fake initial message - "Hi there, I'm Jen. Can I help you?" - it seems especially imposing.


Great! I used a service like this many years ago and they shut down after a few years. Have been looking for the same thing for years but seems like nobody's been doing it, or at least not in a user friendly way. Will give this a try.


I like it! how long have you been around? Do you think Apple's product might bring more awareness to yours?


I've been trying for some time to explain to my friends and family how a unique email/password + 2FA strategy is the best thing to do and how it would allow them to cut one in case it gets leaked. I guess I will just tell everybody about "Sign in with Apple" now, it will be easier.


Will you also tell that to your Android or Windows using friends?


Family is easy, I made them switch to Apple years ago and things have been a breeze since. Most of my friends using Android are also working in IT and are already using disposable/forwarding emails AFAIK. And... to be honest, I don't have friends using Windows :D


You can tell them it's a valuable category of service that they should want an analog of.


Take a look at SAASPASS Authenticator & Password Manager. It might meet your criteria of usability and security.


It's only polite to disclose that it's your company when you flog it like that.


I agree that it is great. I'm not sure how we convince people to not signup on sites that don't offer this SSO option. I've always struggled with the question of 'How do we convince people to care about privacy when they post their location and meal to a public social media every hour?'.


My rule, and it is a semi-idiotic one, is "i don't impulse buy from independent merchant websites that don't support apple pay at checkout".

I usually email them after, too. "I actually clicked through your instagram ad, looked at some clothes that looked nice, and didn't buy anything because I was on my phone and didn't want to make a new account and add credentials to my password manager. Have you considered adding apple pay support to your shopify account?"

I have no idea if i'm helping or not.


It's dumb that so many sites require you to create an account just to buy something from them.

One of the reasons I get lunch from Panera and Pei Wei is because I can check out on my phone as a guest when I order ahead.

Heck, even fleaBay lets you do a guest check out now. That was what made me consider using it again.


I think it's not an idiotic idea, it's just that your idea of what counts as third-party payment support is a single smaller payment provider located mainly in the United States. I follow a similar policy, but in my case the third-party payment services are Paypal, Stripe, and Coinbase, all of which are reliable and don't require me to give financial data to the seller. Paypal seems to be near-universally supported on small ecommerce sites.


Note that PayPal gives away your email address, and I’m not a fan of that. If a third party wants my email address, they should ask me directly (and I’ll give them a unique one); PayPal shouldn’t distribute my email address for me.

Look, I use three email domains for online accounts, in addition to a unique address for each account — one domain that links to my actual identity (my public-facing, professional domain), one domain that’s somewhat anonymous, and one domain reserved for highly sensitive accounts, e.g. online banking, PayPal, AppleID, etc. And PayPal sharing my email address with third parties breaks the model, making my sensitive domain less secure.


i picked shopify because i know they have an apple pay switch.

i don’t care who processes the payment, i just like being able to buy physical goods without making a new account, and ideally without any more friction than faceID while impulse-buying nonsense while i’m on the toilet :)


Convenience. This feature is good even if you don’t care about privacy.

Password management is a big problem for non-technical users. Even for people who don’t know/care about security and reuse the same password everywhere, it presents a huge issue when their preferred password doesn’t meet the website’s requirements. They are then forced to make one up which they’ll never remember so it’s gonna be a headache down the line when they need to sign in again.

When they learn that the magic “Sign in with Apple” button allows them to avoid all that, they’ll want it even if they don’t care about privacy.


Totally agree. I set this up for myself to have a anything@mytrowawaydomain.com and it's great to see when folks sell your email :)

So far it's only happened once, actually, when Keen.io got bought by a PE firm, I got a bunch of spam, so they clearly sold off my email address.

It's a system that would be hard to operate as a "normal" person, so this is a great step.


As a former (pre-sale) Keen employee, this makes me sad. I'm very sorry.


No worries. I am at least glad the product is still alive. Despite being a competitor, there is a lot to admire about the offering. I am really bummed it didn't come out ahead of other competitors :)


My first thought was: Bye bye mailinator.com


> My first thought was: Bye bye mailinator.com

Mailinator can be pretty hard to use, since so many sites can detect the addresses and block their use.

I've pretty much given up on it, and use Fastmail's very easy aliasing features with my domain. It's not quite as private, but it's a lot more reliable.


If I recall correctly, mailinator lets you host your own DNS record that sends mail to them. While I have never had any problems, back in the day I had nospam.jrock.us forward to mailinator and that worked every time.

The truly clever programmer could open an SMTP session to the mail exchangers specified in your email address, and reject you because they point to mailinator. I know of 0 programmers in the world that have written this code. I think you could ask the vast majority of programmers that work with email addresses and dark patterns to do this, and they wouldn't even know how. So you're probably pretty safe.

I use mailinator all the time and I have never had a problem, however, which is why I don't even have the MX records to host my own anymore.


> If I recall correctly, mailinator lets you host your own DNS record that sends mail to them.

While I'm sure that works. The main reason I'd use mailinator is for privacy (i.e. not exposing anything associated to me). If I have to use my domain, rather than their free ones, I'm still identifying my domain, so I might as well use my own aliases with my own mail system.

Domains are cheap, and mailinator really ought to register and discard a bunch of $1 specials on a regular basis.


As if everybody uses Apple.


what is the need to have such a knee jerk reply? Seriously, why would you say something like that?

My comment meant: "Bye bye " for me. As in: I'm not using it anymore.

I don't get you man.


I'm not the commenter. But taken at face value, your comment could be either bye bye mailinator.com (I'm not using you anymore) or bye bye mailinator.com (no one is going to use you anymore). Fwiw, I thought you meant the latter until I read your reply.


Thank you. I can see that. But if anyone really is curious about the meaning and needs clarification, I believe it’s best to ask.


I would have never thought you meant the former. I believe it’s better to be more clear and evident in your writing.


Same here.


The knee jerk comment is yours. 'Bye Bye Mailinator' is too short to convey anything useful other than the general case, that you believe that you or those that use Apple will defect from Mailinator in droves. The typical use case for Mailinator and the overlap between the Apple eco-system as well as the fact that they specialize in this and that for Apple it is 'just another feature' makes me question whether or not you have thought through the ambiguity in your comment, by taking the most probably meaning and responding to that you have a chance to clarify your position.


I use mailinator to have some privacy from my email provider.


I was wondering why all the popular ‘private’ email services don't seem to have such a feature.


Agreed, I think it’s the most important part of the demo today.


I wonder how many poorly designed database schemas this will break that used email as a primary key/id.


Why would this break any databases? Accounts will still have valid emails. The difference is just that there won't be data for that email in third-party tracking databases, which is a good thing.


I don't think you'll find much sympathy for someone who's software would break on such a change. That sounds broken already.


Yeah, it doesn't break anything. It just reveals that it was already broken.


I think the email is consistent for each app, so there should only be a problem if the user wants to change their email, right? Plus, apps would have to opt-in to support this.


In case anyone needs something similar today: Outlook already allows you to create ephemeral top-level aliases, i.e. XXXX@outlook.com. You can use this to sign up, then delete the alias. It can't be traced back to your account and nobody blocks @outlook.com.

https://account.live.com/names/Manage

(not to take away from this announcement at all; just to provide some context. it's an often overlooked feature which people here might appreciate.)


Microsoft's email management has some neat perks here: You can change which one's the primary as well. It's entirely possible for you to change the email address of your Microsoft account, by adding an alias, making it primary, and then deleting the original. In fairness, there are some quirks with this, my old email address would still get sent some receipts or some newsletters because the configuration for service A, B, or C was buried somewhere else in the account. But generally speaking, it works pretty well.

As someone who changed their name but had to keep their Google account with the old one because of how much Google account data/purchases can't be moved to a new account, this felt positively revolutionary. Google accounts can only have one Gmail address for their entire lifetime.


I dont think thats quite the same thing as an Identity Service, its just a component. In Microsoft's world im either using my Microsoft Account to sign in OR using throwaway email addresses, not both.

.

Apple can get way ahead of the competition by combining about 3 things.

1) Ephemeral email addresses

2) OAuth or apples equivalent tokens

3) Keychain autogenerate and auto-populate

If all those products are integrated correctly, this becomes the SINGLE sign on of single sign ons. If a service supports Apple OAuth, your name is hidden, and you only have one Apple password to remember. If the service doesnt support Apple Tokens, then apple fills in a private email address and a random password, and abstracts away the fact that the service doesnt support Apple Tokens. The user experience is nearly the same regardless. Tokens and randomly generated passwords should be managed from the same interface, allowing you to either revoke access (token) or cycle the key (both.)

I've felt it for a while, but the banking industry needs to arrive at something similar. Chase, BoA, WF, and Citi should turn Zelle into a banking OAuth Identity Service.


Why do users need to have a 3rd party managing their identity? It seems like it would be _safer_ if users could setup their own OAuth infra which would then be certified for use with other systems. For people who lack the expertise or will to roll their own infra then they can use something like Apple ID.


How many people do you know running Mastodon nodes instead of using twitter or facebook?

>For people who lack the expertise or will to roll their own infra then they can use something like Apple ID.

SO 99.9% of the population. It's a nice sentiment, but for what apple is doing to work (random username generation, and identity obfuscation) the only way for it to work is strength in numbers, that the Apple userbase of people who will only use frictionless sign in, becomes too big to ignore, and to tempting too left uncourted.

>It seems like it would be _safer_

Im not sure I would say safer. Depending on millions of people to keep their software up to date hasnt historically worked super well for Windows and Wordpress. One central authority patching all its services and 24/7 devops sounds a lot safer than trusting millions of self hosted OAuth servers to be up to date and not compromised. What percent of people who have non-self-updating home routers, do you think go in regularly and press the update firmware button?


>It can't be traced back to your account...

I'm sure there's logging or other AD property (think something like sidHistory[0]) to keep track of this.

Companies don't like being liable for not being able to provide data under order[s].

[0] - https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/desktop/ADSchema/a-...


Sorry I meant by the service you're signing into, any of their 3rd party trackers, or in case of a data breach. This sets it apart from e.g. gmail's username+servicename@gmail.com, or a wildcard on a private domainname which only you ever use.


What liability is there for not providing data you don't have?


In some countries, it's fiscal liability - such as paying hefty fines. In others, that are not so friendly, the HR representative who receives/processes the legal request and/or whomever the country wishes to charge could very well land in jail[0].

In a choice between strictly maintaining your privacy and fines/jail time, most - if not all - companies will sell you down the river (if given a feasible chance that it doesn't entirely ruin them, say for example, if they weren't purely in the privacy trade) to save their own hide[s] (e.g.: see the whole PRISM scandal and its fall-out).

[0] - https://www.reuters.com/article/us-facebook-brazil-idUSKCN0W...


I switched to Outlook because of this.

I also like how you can set it so only a specific email can login. That way if your alias is compromised, your account won’t be.


I'm so mad I missed the window where you were supposedly able to merge email accounts. If I want to merge existing separate accounts now I have to terminate the old account, wait like a 9 months/a year(??) for it to expire and be purged, and then add it as an alias, assuming MS doesn't hold the expired account name >:C


Apple also lets you do this with your Me/iCloud address as well.


According to the App Store review guidelines update posted today, Sign In with Apple will be required for any iOS app that implements a single-sign in button.

"Sign In with Apple will be available for beta testing this summer. It will be required as an option for users in apps that support third-party sign-in when it is commercially available later this year."

https://developer.apple.com/news/?id=06032019j


This is Apple sensing weakness and dropping a bomb right on facebook’s doorstep. And they sidestep the anticompetitive angle by arguing that instant anonymous sign on is simply a better UX, which it is.

Someone at Apple deserves a raise.


It is an incredibly bold move. Just as tech monopoly power comes under scrutiny--in Apple's case the AppStore--they wield said monopoly power...but for a seemingly good cause.

Quite the gambit.


Lol, I doubt it. Apple is years late and sucks at doing the leg work of getting third parties to adopt its suck. Look at Apple Pay which was launched at the perfect time.



Great 1% of online stores supports it. I am sure only a fraction of that traffic actually uses apple pay. You are comparing it to google pay that had a terrible UX and like four conflicting versions. They had to catch up to apple pay once it launched. Apple had the perfect product at the perfect time. They complete wasted the US chip switchover. They could have dominated retail purchases.


Interesting site since neither Apply pay or Google pay is available in lots of the countries on that map.

(Data is mostly correct though)


Always fun to see a comment that doesn't age well the moment it's posted.


Practically any point-of-sale that supports NFC also supports Apple Pay. Adoption rates may vary by region but NFC penetration is very good where I live.

I have switched almost exclusively to Apple Pay, and frequent only one chain of gas station because they rolled out NFC at all of their pumps last year. After the introduction of chip readers gas pump mag stripe readers became the main vector for card skimming in my area and even with the security stickers all of the gas stations have been putting on their pumps I don't trust any mag reader anymore.

At locations that don't have an Apple Pay logo on their card readers, like my local movie theater, I have spied the NFC logo and given it a try and it works.

Except for Amazon, almost all of my online shopping is now done through Apple Pay. I have a shirt out for delivery today from a small retailer I had never heard of before that I purchased with one click and a fingerprint via Apple Pay.

It has not only changed how I buy things, but how I dress. Instead of my George Costanza wallet I only carry an ID and two cards in a slim front pocket wallet, relying on Apple Pay for almost everything and walking out of a store if they are cash-only or don't support chip/NFC.

Regardless of your chosen NFC platform, I recommend that everyone use it and shun points of sale that don't have it.


I think he meant Apple Pay on the web.

Personally I used it only once (although I am not in US market)


Apple Pay has been my primary payment method since the day it launched in the UK.

Fortunately, most payment terminals in London already supported NFC payments thanks to NFC debit and credit cards long being prevalent here, and Apple Pay is just tokenised NFC payments.

Same is true of literally every iPhone owner I know, and usage simply increased as payment limits went from £20 to £30 to unlimited (unlimited on Apple Pay, but still limited to £30 on NFC cards or when using older payment terminals).

Plus I got to ditch my oyster card and just use weekly fare capping after a while too. Good times.


I use Apple Pay for almost all my purchases in Singapore, where almost ~80% of merchant terminals support it. Recently, Singapore's train system started allowing Apple Pay payments at the turnstiles. Using the Apple Watch at the turnstiles without having to fumble for the stored value card is amazing.


Frankly as a consumer I am happy about this.

Even the existing Sign In with Facebook is implemented terribly by many apps, e.g. requiring me to enter my password in app instead of calling out to the Facebook app like maybe 50 of apps support properly.

I think honestly this comes from apps that are built with cross platform frameworks but its still frustrating.

Further more it drives me crazy new apps (and websites) released this year focused on mobile (e.g. pay for fuel at a fuel station with your phone) and I can't even auto complete the credit card or name using the new keyboard extensions because they somehow labelled the forms in a way apple can't figure out.


I'm really curious to see if this impacts enterprise apps that are configured by an administrator to use an internal SSO provider, or if this only applies to apps that allow users to sign up.

For example, Slack can be (and is often) configured to use Okta or some other SSO provider. Does the Slack app have to implement some kind of support for Apple Sign In when such use cases are involved?


Apple have always had excellent Enterprise support on iOS, including "private apps" and what not. There is no reason to believe the same exception wouldn't be extended to Enterprise Devices and Apps.


> Apple have always had excellent Enterprise support on iOS

Not for the first half of the iPhone’s life, I’d say.


Therefore, anyone offering Facebook/Google login will also have to accept Apple's anonymized forwarded email addresses, like fc452bd5ea@privaterelay.appleid.com.


But this explicitly doesn’t work as an SSO. How can I tie that back to the actual email address they would have used to create an account using their FB / Google account?

This sounds like a tremendous headache that I really don’t want to worry about. But Apple is looking to leverage their power in the app market to force me to implement a tool I may not be interested in as a merchant?

I despise being strong armed. I hope the EU crushes this.


It’s the users who are being given power here over their own data. Yeah it’s tough but it’s been a long time coming.


I trust apple w/ my data way more than the EU


A non-sequitur if I ever saw one.


It seems the email part is optional (ie you can choose to share your verified email with the company if you want).

The above scenario goes against what they are trying to achieve though

1) If you support SSO and email/password - then the email and password are still stored (and possibly not hashed and salted if the developer is incompetent) - so you are at risk of compromise if you reuse passwords 2) If you store the users actual email, you are putting them at risk of credential stuffing, as well as opening them up to tracking

The EU can always surprise, but I suspect they would actually like this because it addresses key risks to consumers of password reuse, credential stuffing, and tracking. Additionally it competes against their ideological targets, Facebook and Google.


EU is not picking on FB and Google specifically. This mindset is toxic. They are picking on all monopolies for European customers and have been for a long time. Basically we believe the market is not healthy if there isn’t any competition.


This is a bit rose tinted outlook. GDPR does not increase competition, the amount of regulation in EU and worker protections in place raise barriers for new competitors. France has laws that prohibit new movies from being put on Netflix in order to support local distributors etc.

Not saying what the EU does is goos or bad, but painting it as pro free market competition seems unfounded.


GDPR isn’t about addressing monopolies. It’s about addressing privacy and data ownership.

Every tech related legislation doesn’t and shouldn’t need to so,be every tech related problem. The EU has other, non GDPR related, mechanisms to handle monopoly issues.


My point is EU will adopt regulation that actively harms competition (such as GDPR), because they have different priorities (e.g. privacy, data ownership as you mentioned).

So to me it seems unfounded to say EU cares about market health and is not, in fact, just picking on FB and Google.

I am honestly curious what you think are examples of EU mechanisms fostering healthy markets. Maybe the MS case but that is the same “EU picks on US tech giant” genre.


Like breaking up the Samsung-Philips cartel?

I’m not sure what kind of examples you want.


Presumably it’s always the same address every time they sign in. It is used for single sign on after all!

However, I wish email and sms would go away as a way to authenticate. Until it does I will be using foo+aliashere@gmail.com so that my account can’t get transferred to someone else through socially engineering a tired rep.


But someone who has already signed up via FB is going to click that button and then get angry when we can’t log them into their account.

I personally don’t use FB login. And I use `+merchant` to keep track of bad actors. But from a merchant perspective this will likely be a chore. And Apple has decided that we don’t get to decide if it’s worth it. We can’t disable FB login because we’ve supported it for a long time and a ton of accounts only have a FB-synced profile.

To be clear, it’s not the product I have issue with. It’s the draconian ultimatum that because we are in bed with FB we have to also get in bed with Apple Sign In.

They could have just built this into their form system. It already recommends my personal email / credit card / auto generated password. Why not prepopulate / suggest an Apple-generated email? Why force the merchant to implement another standard which breaks all other SSO integrations _by design_?

I don’t have answers to those questions. If this was a consumer feature embedded into their keyboard I’d be ecstatic. Strong arming merchants to implement and bear the full cost of confused consumers who can’t seem to login to their app _even when they click the Apple button_ is inexplicable (to me).


"+merchant" doesn't do squat to prevent bad actors from selling your email address. Anyone so inclined to sell your address would just strip off the postfix since they know it's unnecessary per the spec.


One of the many advantages of using a hosted solution with your own domain is that you can receive email from arbitrary addresses in the same inbox. For example merchant1@inboxname.mydomain.com gets sent to my inbox at Fastmail. inboxname@mydomain.com doesn't exist, so there's no way to get my "real" email address from what I give out to merchants. If I start getting spam on an address, whoops, you and everyone you sold my email to get sent to a black hole in the cloud.


This is called subdomain addressing or subdomain stripping in case anyone wants to look up how to do this with your hosting provider.


Per what spec? Having “a+b” deliver to address “a” is Gmail specific, as far as I know.


It’s called subaddress extension: https://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc5233

Can confirm what parent poster is saying, we remove them on signup.


I wonder whether that's GDPR compliant. If I give you permission to contact me on me+alias@example.com and you strip off +alias and then contact me on me@example.com, you've inferred data about me I haven't explicitly given you. One could argue that's in a similar ballpark to running a geoIP lookup and then sending me mail through the post.


It seems rude (like if I told you to drop off a package at my back door and you put it by the front door), but I given the existence of RFC 5233 I don't see how this would be "data about me I haven't explicitly given you".

Also, if you try to mail people based on GeoIP data, you're going to have a bad time.


It's about permission. If I give a company a certain set of contact details, and they run some process to find other ways to contact me that seems unfair and beyond what I've given permission for. The fact that it's trival to find my real email from an alias I think is irrelevant - it's still an abuse of trust. Like I say, I can see a correlation with more invasive methods of finding other ways to contact me that I hadn't granted the company (imagine if they start contacting you on social media just because they could look up your profile from your name).

You could argue that a major feature of the GDPR is to legislate that just because a company can do something, doesn't mean it's allowed to do it.


user+detail@domain.com

user@domain.com

The 'detail' is optional, and doesn't infer any privacy.

It's kind of like if you get mail delivered to:

nprateem, office 2, university of ycombinator

and instead they only store:

nprateem, university of ycombinator

Odds are, mail will still be delivered to you, but it might not come to office 2, and might come to office 1 instead. It's not what you wanted, but there's absolutely no impact to your privacy by them stripping away additional details.


If you decide you no longer want to receive email from user+detail@domain.com it's easy to set up a blacklist filter. If they circumvent that and email you at user@domain.com you've lost that alias and easy way of blacklisting them. And presumably if someone had wanted to be contacted at user@domain.com they would have provided that email in the first place. So I don't think your analogy holds.


Fair, the analogy doesn't hold onto the functions provided, but RFC 5233 is very clear that the user+detail separation does not provide any privacy protections, nor can it.

The 'user' part is still public information, as is what it's used for. There should be no expectation of privacy for information being used per specification design.

The usability trade-off is a shame, but the solution was half-baked at best, and is primarily useful when combined with privacy-sacrificing public email providers. When you have greater control of your email, distinct 'user' parts can be used, which does provide the privacy aspect desired.


we’re a B2B app, it’s unlikely a random user will sign up for our service as it’s quite expensive and contract negotiations happen before the account is activated. we also never send marketing blasts or sell (or even collect) any information about our users. we also don’t operate in any country requiring compliance with the GDPR.


Fair enough.

> we also don’t operate in any country requiring compliance with the GDPR

You know it's nothing to do with the country you operate in but the nationalities of your customers though don't you? You could only have a presence on the moon but if you had any EU customers you'd still be bound by the GDPR AFAIK.


> we remove them on signup.

But why?


to avoid duplicate user signup. allowing the + would not allow me to use a unique constraint for email address on the user table and be sure an email is only used once.


RFC 5233: Sieve Email Filtering: Subaddress Extension

https://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc5233

Not Gmail-specific. Labels however are ;)


Thanks! I did not know it was a standard!


Gmail ignores (or ignored?) dots on the left of the @, so some.person@gmail.com and someperson@gmail.com and s.om.e.person@gmail.com all went to the same inbox. That is gmail-specific.


If you email me without the +merchant postfix I gave you, your email will go into the trash without me even knowing you sent it.


Apple's auth does allow you to use the canonical email address associated with your Apple ID rather than a one-off generated by Apple.


You can’t, that’s the idea. What do you need it for?


Because thousands of people already have an account tied to a specific email and are going to click the Apple button and get really mad when we can’t log them in.


So then you ask them for their email address and password once and link the accounts together?


And Apple Sign In helps this user, how?...


Apparently they want to use it, otherwise they wouldn’t, right? This way they can have the easy login using Face ID and you can use the account they already have.


Sending invoices, GDPR exports, validating that a user contacting you is a certain account, etc.


You send information to the apple address, that's what its for. You can still send it invoices or a magic link, the user gets it and clicks on it, nothing is changed in that regard. The difference is they can turn off that email address and never hear from you again if that is what they want.


Stuff sent to the fake email address will be forwarded to the user’s real email address, from what I understand. So you will still be able to communicate with them.


[flagged]


My problem is that I don’t get to choose if your business is worth the implementation cost. Because we’re already in bed with FB we will be forced to implement. It’s the “have to” I’m arguing against, not the feature.


How will this work if I use non-Apple products (and GOD BEWARE !) move from say an iPhone to an Android or an overpriced Macbook to a PC?

Once I chose to use Apple-Sign In will I be locked into the ecosystem? Will there be 'Apple-Sign In' for Android?


this is the same problem you get from any identity provider — what happens when you finally delete your facebook? — it's just more obvious with Apple. With a 97% satisfaction rate, most iPhone users don’t want to go anywhere else… but yes, if you want to stay free, you should always create credentials directly with any app or service you use, when possible.

That said, the concept of "Apple Sign-In" for Android and other platforms is an interesting one, not likely in the short term, but possible someday!


I'm speculating here, but Apple Sign-In for Android would work just fine if the sign-in process was based on an OAuth flow where the credentials are entered into a web form. From the limited details I've seen that sounds like how Apple Sign In will work.

A service supporting alternate identity providers via OAuth (Facebook, Twitter, Google, Github) via a flow like this shouldn't have trouble with Apple Sign In from a web page, iOS app, or Android app.


It is not about deleting accounts or moving over. Heavy user has multi-device setup, I use Android tablet, iPhone, Mac and sometimes PC, some appliances like Synology with bundled apps also. Nowdays even my printer has online sign in, for file sharing apps. I expect same account to work everywhere. If they provide reasonable platform-independent email solution, it may work.


Yes, but while I can choose to log in with facebook, or google, or whatever, it appears that Apple are mandating that app providers use the Apple sign-in, which means app users no longer get to choose.

Unless I'm misunderstanding what the mandatory part is.


They are mandating that if you offer any other authentication provider (e.g. Facebook, Google, etc), that you have to offer Apple sign-in as an option as well.

The option is mandatory. End users using it is optional.


If the policy is "if you offer one or more authentication providers, you must include Apple sign-in", while it's still a little harsh, I think it's much more defendable and reasonable.


Only if they grandfather existing apps. We made the decision a long time ago to support FB login. That decision now requires us to either stop having an app in iOS, remove FB login (which a good portion of people use exclusively), or implement a new authentication provider _that won't work for people that already have an account with us_.

Again, the tech is fine. The strong-arm is indefensible.


Why would someone already authenticating via an existing identity provider be affected by you adding an additional identity provider?

If you support FB login now and decided to add Google, for example, that doesn't require your existing FB users to do anything different. It should only affect new users who are creating an account and choosing to use the new provider. Wouldn't that be the same for Apple Sign In?

Note, I'm not taking a position on the strong arm tactics, just pushing back on your claim regarding existing users being affected by a new identity provider. That doesn't sound right to me.


You can always choose another platform to develop for if you want to screw the customer over.


It’s a standard SSO flow with JWT token and a REST API. Any website or Android app can add it.


I expect the disposable email will end up in Keychain, and you can export from there. Not the most user-friendly thing, but doable. Well, at least on a Mac.


Sites should allow you to add extra authentication methods; if they don't, that's not Apple's fault.


How will this work for apps that depend on the third party for more than just identity? For instance, does an app built on Spotify's API have to include a Sign in with Apple option? Or something like CI2Go, which is an app for CircleCI, which only offers log in via GitHub or Bitbucket.

I have to assume there will be exceptions.


If you are built on Spotify, then the use is not signing in to your app, but to Spotify (and then authorizing your app), so it should be up to them to provide the Apple Sign In feature, I assume.


that smells like an anti-competitive behavior.

obviously apple has considered this and is forging on anyway. good for them.


Probably Apple is hoping the entire Apple ecosystem not to be defined as "a market" in terms of antitrust laws. I am not sure if the Justice Department will agree with it though; we'll see.

If it's defined as a market, then Apple will be surely in trouble but enforcing Apple ID alone doesn't make much differences from the current situation as it always has been doing similar things for web browsers, music apps, app store itself etc. So it's pretty natural to enforce this policy for Apple; no additional risks but only benefits.


Competition is not anti-competitive.

Excluding other third party sign on options would be problematic if Apple were abusing a dominant position among smartphone makers, which is not the case by any objective measure.


Is it problematic if Apple says "you must include us if you include anyone else?" That seems anti-competitive to me.


That’s competing. Fair play unless you’re the dominant player in the relevant market.


Leveraging their status as the controller of the platform to require support for their solution is not the same thing as their solution competing head to head with other solutions.

Note that I'm not making an argument about how to classify the behavior legally, I'm arguing that calling it "competing" is pretty generous.


The trouble here is the definition of "market". Apple's ecosystem (which Apple has an absolute control on) doesn't seem to be very safe from being defined as a sole market since there's no viable substitute to the app store for Apple users.

For instance, even if Apple decides to increase the app store fee to 50% so its app's prices as well, still consumers don't have much choice since buying a new phone is typically more expensive by order of magnitude than buying an app. This is also a part of Spotify's claim as well and Apple is trying to defend itself for this time unlike Apple v. Pepper.


You can’t define Apple’s market as iOS customers unless there are no alternatives to iOS, which there most certainly are.


I already have explained; there's no alternative to iOS for apple mobile devices unless you're willing to pay more than $500 for an equivalent level of android device. If Apple allows Android to be installed to Apple devices, then things can be different though.


This is true with any industry. There is no alternative from Honda unless you are willing to spend <car-price> on another car.


Same applies to PlayStation, XBox, Switch, FitBit, Tesla, Thermomix etc.

Pretty much the standard.


In fact software monopolies on hardware isn't pretty much the standard, it's a universal reality in just about all consumer products except one—the personal computer. And even then it's exceedingly rare for a consumer to deviate from the shipped software.


Are you really going to persist in claiming that Apple has a monopoly on its own products? If so, your grasp of competition rules is fatally flawed.


"Dominant player" isn't especially relevant in European market law. Essentially the test is that you are of sufficient import to materially affect pricing in that market, which Apple definitely is.


I was taught that Article 102 is the test for abuse of monopoly power in the EU. It actually uses the words “dominant position” if I’m not mistaken.

I haven’t studied this since the late 90’s, so I may be out of date...


Yes it is anticompetitive. It is using Apple’s monopoly as gatekeeper of their app store.

Apple would have long ago been cited for Antitrust if Android hadn’t had most of the market. I personally think that the definition of a trust is too narrow — one member of an oligopoly abusing its position as a platform provider and strongarming people is also pretty bad.

https://www.theverge.com/platform/amp/2019/6/3/18650861/appl...


That’s not how antitrust law works. It’s not a test of whether a company exerts too much control over its own customers. It’s a test of whether customers have some alternatives and a real opportunity to vote with their dollars.


Apple has argued that developers are its customers (in the Pepper lawsuit). What options do developers have? Ignore the iOS market (those most likely to pay money)? There isn't a choice here: you let Apple have 1/3 of all of your revenue and you implement Apple Sign In. Because... competition?...


That's how American anti-trust law works.

It's not entirely how European anti-trust law works.


Yep, that’s what meant when I said that the definition was too narrow


Antitrust is among the most mature areas of law, in terms of how these concepts have been thoughtfully wrangled over. I definitely encourage you to dig deep on how market scope is determined, if that’s interesting to you. There are many ways to manipulate a market but very few rise to the level of requiring state or regional government intervention.


Well exactly.

If Apple was the only provider of smartphones then there would be a case for them to open up their platform to third parties.


Can’t services just disallow/block this address?

Fun thing is, Apple themselves block name+addon@gmail.com addresses when using their dev console. You can bet that some companies will disallow Apple’s signature private passwords similarly if they can, in the name of ‘security’ or what have you.

Or am I being too cynical? Feel free to CMV.

EDIT: best response addressing this seems to be ‘The addresses are only generated from the "Sign In With Apple" workflow that a developer has to enable in the first place’


Presumably such services won't implement Sign In With Apple in the first place. People will accept it because they want the sheer quantity of users Apple provides.

The useful thing about Apple is that they can force people to do things they don't particularly want to do, like accept anonymous e-mail addresses or stop using Flash. (unfortunately this is also the bad thing about Apple)


"[Sign In with Apple] will be required as an option for users in apps that support third-party sign-in when it is commercially available later this year." https://developer.apple.com/news/?id=06032019j


Sign in, but not sign up? I guess some apps will not allow accounts to be created through the iOS app. Much like netflix stopped allowing sign up on iOS [https://gadgets.ndtv.com/entertainment/news/netflix-ios-app-...]

There by, when apple passes a XXXXXXX@privaterelay.appleid.com address back, it won't match the existing account's email address = Sorry, matching account not found ?


One other thing that seems powerful is that users that use Sign In With Apple have some guarantee of quality; with Apple using FaceId to authenticate, there's some amount of guarantee that you're not a bot.


I think this is something that people are missing when they suggest services will just block the Apple relay address.

Of course they wont. They still want the business and as you've pointed out, these accounts will be in a different customer engagement category. They are almost certainly real people and they a lot of value to marketers, even is you don't have all of their other personal details.


Since when do Apple IDs require 3-D cameras to log in to? Mine only needs a password. I don't think my MacBook even does 3D face recognition.


Or they already rely on FB login and are now _obligated_ by Apple to implement this feature. I work for a company that has allowed people to create accounts with FB login (meaning we don’t have an internal password associated with them). This change would ostensibly require us to also allow Apple Sign In _even if we don’t want to_ just to continue to service existing users.

There really isn’t much choice here for us. Leave Apple / iOS? Abandon FB login and piss off thousands of people? Implement Apple Sign In regardless of its tech stack / requirements?


As someone who also run a service where the only login option is using Facebook, I'm curious about how you regard the negative press regarding Facebook, the recommendations to leave Facebook, and the many users who is sceptic to or has already left Facebook.

Do you have any plans to adopt any other login provider? I would really like to, but other than email/password, I'm not really sure what would be a good alternative, and I'd really like not having any personal information stored at all - email addresses included.


We let people create a username/password but can also use FB if they prefer. Turns out having their email is nice; we need to send them notices and reminders from time-to-time.

I’m not a FB fan. I post on social media maybe twice a year. As an advertiser I don’t trust the numbers they report. None of my criticisms of Apple in this decision should be interpreted as pro-FB. I just have a very strong distaste for Apple deciding that they get to decide how we run our apps.

They have to mandate usage because it’s the only way devs will do it. And it seems like a fine enough product for Apple-only hardware. But when you get to supporting multiple connected devices it falls apart. Are they going to support this for PCs? What about on the Roku? How will anyone who uses Apple Sign In on the iPhone log in anywhere else?


Thank you for the reply! I think I've landed on implementing a local login strategy as well.


The addresses are only generated from the "Sign In With Apple" workflow that a developer has to enable in the first place, so it wouldn't make any sense to do that and then reject the addresses.


No, you're clearly correct. But Apple pushing this does give it a sense of legitimacy and blocking signups from this service might just cause less signups than actually forcing people to use their real address.

If Apple makes this extremely user friendly and quick to use than blocking it will cause a loss of signups.


Devils advocate:

‘Error: We love Apple and anonymity but we require a real email address to prevent fraud and to properly secure your account. Please enter your real email address.’


Presumably Apple won't let just anyone put the "Sign in With Apple" button on their website, or will at least have a method of blocking bad actors.


Then you get kicked out of the App Store.

(potentially)


This sounds like a way to get your app rejected for abusing APIs.


In an app I agree. On a website signup however..?


It would work roughly the same way. Integrating an OAuth provider like this requires registering an application with revokable ClientIDs, so Apple can technically pull them just as easily as they can pull Apps.

(It remains to be seen if they'll put in the legwork to actually police these things, though)


This is going to be a tough sell to your marketing dept I think.


It's usually the marketing department asking for e-mail addresses in the first place.


Is it though? Think about zuckerberg's "dumb fucks" quote.


> ‘Error: We love Apple and anonymity but we require a real email address to prevent fraud and to properly secure your account. Please enter your real email address.’

GDPR would probably want to know specifically why you need someone's real email address.


Companies could absolutely disallow / block it.

However they most likely won't for the same reason that people who are upset about Apple's 30% App Store cut still develop apps for iOS: they have their customers spend far more on average than other phone / OS users.


So a company would put a sign in with Apple button in their app, but disallow you from using it?


Won't pass review.


But in return for that, the services that choose to employ this will get a soft guarantee that the person signing up is unique/real. Its a way to get real-name/real-id with some amount of privacy.


Apple IDs cannot guarantee a real or unique user - users can have multiple accounts (some users will create a second account by mistake, others have a separate work account, etc), users can share accounts (especially ones tied to generic email addresses), and there are people selling app store reviews, so some bad actors definitely have a lot of accounts.


Thanks for your comment. I used the word soft guarantee, which is meant to encapsulate those caveats. Maybe I should have used a better term since I guess people were confused as to what it meant.


Facebook is trending downwards and privacy concerns with Google are trending up.

Critical mass might be achieved where if you don't include Apple Sign-In you might lose more users than whatever benefit you see from having more identifiable personal information.


They surely can do whatever they want, they can definitely choose to deny service to users that are traditionally high spenders and limit the fake accounts to professional scammers that use account farms from Asia.


Yes. Back when Google+ oauth launched, "sharing user identity info" was the carrot that incentivized developers to build the integration. Otherwise, devs preferred Facebook so they could get user info.


Sure, they really could. But for me, it could be a reason to pick Lyft over Uber for example. I hope they add support to the App Store description, that would really help filter apps.


Is that block a recent thing? It might be different as for my on GSuite account I can add the name+addon@mydomain.com - it might just be a difference between the "public" Gmail system vs the Gsuite Gmail system. In which case, my question is completely invalid and feel free to ignore ;)

Note: This comes from my own developer account having 3 name+addon@ accounts live, and working with things like ApplePay etc for testing.


Developer with a name+addon@gmail.com Apple ID here. No idea what OP is talking about, I was able to generate my Apple ID and sign up for the dev console no problem.


Apple now strips the +... part when you create an ID. So if name@gmail.com is already in use, name+addon@gmail.com will be refused with the message that name@gmail.com is already an Apple ID.


My Apple ID is email+something@gmail.com and it works.


It will be a battle of public relation.

If Apple users use Apple Sign-In en masse then any services which blocks it will face harsh negative publicity. If enough people use it then services will have no choice but to acquiesce.


they can block it but when you have 90million people using it, why would you?


This is a huge move. Apple striking at the core of Facebook's play to own your identity, which they had with Facebook Connect but have completely fudged out with countless breaches of user privacy and trust. I used to be the biggest fanboy of facebook connect, but now I have to say: Go Apple.


Apple ID as SSO, iMessage Profile, Memoji, and Apple Pay. Apple is near FB Messenger parity, now that it functions as an account for external services. It's an extremely strong move on Apple's part, especially considering how close to it they have been for a while. They sure like taking their time sometimes.


They're close to parity with a giant exception that it's not available to the overwhelming majority of Facebook users.


True, but Facebook’s overwhelming majority of users is completely irrelevant now that their brand is irreparably tarnished. People will still use Facebook for a long time, but nobody other than a few diehards and people who work there want FB to own their identity. I believe that particular grand vision is dead for FB despite their user base.


No one is gonna buy an iPhone to "sign in with apple".

No one is gonna make a group chat on iMessage where half the people aren't able to join anyway.

Apple should release iMessage for Android.


people buy iphones to use imessage. an imessage group with non imessage people just turns into mms.


You can create/have an Apple account without any Apple devices, I believe.


Feature parity for most people, not userbase parity.


The ability to run on my phone seems like an important feature.


Are you their customer? Do you buy their products? If not, then no you're not important. Their business model is to serve their paying customers.


I own several Apple products. My 2015 MBP is my primary computing device outside of work. I am a paying customer, and this service is useless to me unless I replace every device I own with an Apple device. I couldn't do that even if I actually wanted to.


Many people use devices from several ecosystems.


I have an android and iphone but realistically how many people have one of each phone?


People don't use Windows and iPhone at the same time?

Or Mac and Android?

or Android and iPad?


The conversation was "The ability to run on my phone seems like an important feature."

Either you have an iPhone or you dont. Sure they might have an ipad and imac and an android phone. I suppose thats possible. But at that point, you are the exact kind of customer this business model is designed to get to switch over to the full ecosystem.

Are we really arguing if the "Sign in with apple" button will work on websites from chrome on windows? If apple wants to be an identity provider, their web sso will work everywhere. Or are we talking about iMessage, the flagship iPhone app, not working on android phones? Apple will lose more customers to Android, who only want an iPhone for iMessage, than they will gain.


We're talking at different levels. You keep repeating obvious facts everyone already knows as if they're novel, and I keep pointing about that all those facts clearly imply that Apple wants to make money off of you through abusive lock-in practices.

(I really doubt the sign in with Apple button is going to be available in Android apps. If you create an account with the button, it becomes ever so harder to switch to Android. How convenient for Apple.)

I don't think continuing this discussion is helpful. Have a nice day.


I agree, after making an account with the button, you are stuck with Apple forever. If the sign in id buttons are not cross platform, thats abusive lock-in.

The create account button might not be available on android apps, but hopefully the sign in sso buttons works. Maybe identity portability will become law someday, like cell number portability and being able to change your address at the post office.


Fb and G screwed themselves by: forcing users to submit real cell phone numbers (no forwarding numbers allowed) and real names. I’m laughing all the way to the apple oauth signup. So tired of G and Fb abusing users


Apple now requires 2FA for new accounts created on an iPhone and for 2FA they require a phone number.


but you can just go to icloud.com, sign up, and then type that into your phone. a pretty easy workaround.


Hmmm that’s annoying then.


From a privacy standpoint, yes, but from a Signal:Noise ratio, this is what made Fb usable for so long.


True. Apple definitely playing the long game here, effectively. When iMessage came out I totally didn't see it ever becoming a viable identity play. But with all these privacy concerns, now it feels like the one to beat.


How can I access iMessage from my Linux laptop?


There is an app you can use on a jailbroken ios device that turns it in to a relay/web server which allows you to use imessage on any device. I guess if you really wanted to use it you could just buy an ancient iphone and leave it always plugged in.


Not sure if that's possible. iMessage is a mobile first product, so presumably you need an iPhone to start using it. Then a Mac computer. It's definitely a closed system that works great if you buy into Apple's family of products, less great otherwise.


I know it's impossible. Since I don't have any Apple phones iMessage is useless for me. The vast majority of people in the world are similar to me.

Apple's products are not a play for anything. Their services are built for people with more money than sense.


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Yes they do https://bgr.com/2019/05/31/iphone-11-rumors-leaks-vs-android... AND https://www.digitaltrends.com/mobile/iphone-use-teens-2018/

>He works in IT at an unnamed company, and his team noticed something crazy: of the 500 employees at the company, only 8 of them chose to use an Android phone. Everyone else — all 492 of them — chose an iPhone over Android phones. It was because they didn’t want to be “green bubbles,” a reference to the fact that iMessage chats in the iPhone’s Messages app use blue bubbles while SMS chats are displayed with green bubbles. Forget all of the great advantages iPhones might offer, iMessage is the main reason all these people wanted an iPhone. 98% of the employees at this company went with Apple over Android, and for the majority of them, it was mainly because of a single service.

If people didnt "throw away the key" services like Google ID, Microsoft ID, and Facebook ID wouldnt exist. Centralized OAuth providers are here to say, even if a lot of us on HN dont like them. You want to get into your tshirtclub account after facebook locks your account, too bad!


>Sensible people do not deliberately handcuff themselves to trillion dollar megacorps and then throw away the key.

>Yes they do

>It was because they didn’t want to be “green bubbles,” a reference to the fact that iMessage chats in the iPhone’s Messages app use blue bubbles while SMS chats are displayed with green bubbles

Sorry, it seems to me like the story you're relating supports the point of the post you disagree with. Surely "sensible" people don't choose a phone on the basis of what color their messages appear as on other people's phones.

(I think there are sensible reasons to choose either platform. But the reason you're talking about here certainly isn't.)


Sensible people absolutely do choose a phone on the basis of how they're perceived by owning that phone.

Perception has value. You can rail against society all you want, but the reality is your peers make and break you.


I guess to each their own - I don't consider that sensible. Personally I've never been in an environment where it was common to judge others for the model of their phone, and complying with that level of control over my life and decisions, even for a moderate social reward, doesn't seem sensible to me.


If you've never dealt with this level of pettiness, signaling, and superficiality, then you've never operated at any meaningful level of power, unfortunately.


Google and Facebook IDs work on Android, Windows and Linux.


Apple doesn't care. (despite me thinking they should, their biggest growth was right after iTunes for windows.) They care about offering services to their paying customers, not anyone else. If you don't buy their stuff, they don't care about you. Compared to fb/Google who care about you to make you pay attention to ads, it's a refreshing twist.


Facebook/Google care about offering services to everyone on the planet, not just the richest that have more disposable income than most people have in lifetime savings. Compared to Apple that cares about you only to make you pay ever-increasing amounts of money to maintain membership in its closed ecosystems, and blocks off any sort of mixed-ecosystem use, it's a refreshing twist.


Tell that to your shadow profile


Turns out selling people’s information is quite lucrative.


I've been anti-Apple since I was a high school kid in the 90's. Those big colourful Mac's looked dumb. They're close to winning me over and I'm probably buying a new laptop within 12 months


I highly recommend buying a 2015 Macbook Pro, if you can find someone willing to part with theirs. Apple laptop hardware started going off the rails after they shipped that one with touch bar + keyboard shenanigans.


I have the previous generation hardware design as my personal laptop and a late-2019 macbook pro for work and I really don't hate the new one. I know some people have had some issues with keys getting stuck and what not, but I've actually had a pretty good experience with mine. I touch-type and I can type just fine on the newer keyboards. I would have liked to have a physical escape key, but besides that it's fine. I'm happy with the thinner and lighter design. The options of core i9 + 32GB of ram alone is worth getting one of the newer ones over a 2015 model.


Same, I own a 2014 15" and have a 2018 15" from work. I haven't had any keys break on the 2018 (yet...) and actually prefer the key travel on it to the 2014. The smaller size is an improvement and the dongle situation isn't a problem for my use cases. Not a fan of the keyboard layout and TouchBar, though.

If Apple let me spec a physical ESC key, inverted-T arrow keys, and native 1920x1200 point screen size @2x on the existing form factor I'd be VERY happy. Assuming, of course, the keyboard is actually reliable.


Ditto situation here. My work MacBook has been working great as well - the inability to charge my iPhone without a dongle has been frustrating but hopefully Apple switches out of lightning soon.

As for the ESC key, I rebound my Caps Lock key to Esc & Ctrl. Works great!


Ok, thanks. I know nothing at all about Apple hardware. It's still a very daunting decision to make. I like the ability to buy my own hardware, for desktops, and to build what I like at a cheaper price. Apple charges a premium but now I have more of an idea of what that premium will get me.

It would be a huge migration for me. Everything I own is tied to one of a few Gmail accounts. My photo history, my uni work in GDrive, my contact lists, my email history, everything about my entire online identity. I'm just increasingly fed up with how Google approaches privacy.


At my office every single one of the new macbooks (since about 3-4 years ago) has had the keyboard fail. Some of them have had the keyboard fail repeatedly after getting apple to fix it.

The ifixit tear down shows that the 2019 model has done nothing to fix the issue. I highly recommend the Dell XPS over a macbook pro. The form factor is very similar but the hardware is much more reliable and fixing it is way way easier as most parts can be replaced separately.


I own a 2016 Macbook Pro and 2018 Macbook Pro and I have to agree with the others in this thread: don't buy a modern Mac laptop. I really regret purchasing the 2018, my next laptop will probably a Linux based machine.

I recently switched to iPhone after using Android devices for many years to get away from Google and that was actually a purchase I can recommend. The Macbook Pro, not so much.


You can use everything gmail on Apple products. But, as he said, Macbooks 2015 were the top of their art, and it’s all going downhill now. Since 2014 they start to have kernel panics, since 2016 they have a failure-prone keyboard with no hardware “Esc” key. And it now costs 150$ for an external keyboard. Prices up, quality down, emojis in.


Moving to Apple/Mac has been amazing. The interface is just so much smoother. The UX is thought out with much more care than anything Google/Microsoft offer. And I don't feel like I'm selling my soul when I'm using an Apple product - a huge plus.


I have a Early 2015 MacBook Pro. I would not recommend it as a new laptop unless you're getting a significant discount on it, since it's starting to get old.


I agree it's not a perfect solution, and mine is starting to get old as well, but so far it's things that are replaceable (i.e. battery). And I still vastly prefer it to a 2018 MBP I had for a while and then sold at a heavy discount due to keyboard/touchbar/no Esc key/USB-C dongle hell. But if you don't care about any of that and just want the fastest CPU, it's not the best choice.


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