> It is not our experience that competing web browsers have typically offered enhanced privacy or security that would protect users as adequately as our WebKit protections.
Google pioneered the out-of-process architecture that Safari now uses, developed the Safe Browsing program that Safari also uses, drove the adoption of HTTPS, put pressure on misbehaving certificate authorities and shepherded certificate pinning and then Certificate Transparency, and found many vulnerabilities in WebKit through security research that Apple was not itself doing.
Moreover, on the desktop, Chrome and Firefox both have automatic update channels that allow them to push out security fixes much more rapidly than Apple's heavy OS updates. (On iOS, they would be limited by Apple's App Store approval process.)
All this to say, I'm skeptical of the suggestion that a Blink-powered Chrome for iOS would not "protect users as adequately as our WebKit protections."
>All this to say, I'm skeptical of the suggestion that a Blink-powered Chrome for iOS would not "protect users as adequately as our WebKit protections."
Maybe Google is excellent at updating their browser to address security issues, but Apple's concern isn't purely security. It's also privacy. And Safari's track record on privacy technologies is longer and better than everyone.
Furthermore, Apple sells integrated products. They don't sell operating systems, browsers, app stores, and NFC chips. They sell a finished good that incorporates all of those things and more. They take end to end responsibility for their products and it would be frankly uncharacteristic of Apple to have any other position than extreme self-reliance.
Microsoft didn't sell IE either, it too was once part of a package called Windows.
Apple has always maintained that the physical object is tied to its software and vice versa, on the other hand. They have no interest in running on the vast majority of mobile devices (android handsets control the majority of smartphone market share by a wide margin). The only exception to this is when Apple is selling services, in which case they let you run iTunes on Windows and Apple Music on Android. It's not like you can install macOS or iOS in any supported method on a non-Apple product.
The only possible argument is that iOS is not in a dominant position in the smartphone market thus Apple cannot exercise monopolistic powers. But people doesn't change their phone because of web browser engine since its prohibitively expensive for this purpose. The result is that an Android phone doesn't work as an alternative for iPhone, thus iOS can be defined as a sole market for browser products (in terms of monopoly of course). This could've been solved if Apple allowed installation of other OS in iPhone, but they've made their choice a long time ago.
Well, yes, that is the battlefield here: should the market in software, services, and media exist, or should consumers have to pick which vertical silo to use and then be unable to switch without prohibitive re-purchasing and setup costs?
The consumer just wants perfectly consistently browned toast, while not dying from electrical shock or setting her house on fire. She’s not really buying a toaster, she’s buying no-hassle toast.
If you allow that’s what an iPhone is, rather than a general personal computing device, Apple’s stance makes more sense.
> If you allow that’s what an iPhone is, rather than a general personal computing device, Apple’s stance makes more sense.
But the iPhone is _not_ a toaster. To characterize the consumer wants around an iPhone and its variable uses as akin to the near uniform customer expectation to have a toaster that doesn't burn their house down while doing its job is hard for me to accept.
If a customer is really seeking "no hassle toast" when buying a toaster, what is the customer buying in an iPhone? No-hassle phone?
If so, are we construing "giving the consumer the option of installing software on their own device" as a hassle? With something like a phone, I believe users have come to expect the ability to install software of their choosing on the device, which is very different from expectations of software installation for something like a toaster.
I have a mid 90s uneducated great grandmother who grew up and still is in a rural village in a poor country able to contact all of her great grandchildren and video chat with them for the past 7 years.
they could fix the bug iOS that allowed an app to escape it's sandbox. Exactly the same as every other OS including MacOS
one interpretation is they are claiming the are incompetent at securing iOS but somehow competent at securing Safari. Those seem like opposing statements. Either they are competent at both and so 3rd party browsers are fine or they are competent at neither and we need access to more competent browser teams.
I would like to believe they are competent and that their excuses are untrue. Otherwise we should go back to the world of no Firefox or Chrome because that same argument would apply to MacOS and Windows
Uhh... Mozilla Firefox anybody? If Apple cares about privacy so much then why don't they allow ad blockers on safari? I mean, even the Brave browser on iOS is better then Safari at blocking trackers and advertisements. Firefox also tells me how many trackers they have blocked and also give me the option to completely opt out of any telemetry data collection.
The design is more performant than holding each load up on a traditional browser extension's decision, and does not permit the content blocker to track your browsing history and then upload it somewhere.
It also conveniently allows Apple to get away with not providing a more flexible browser extension API while supporting the most common use case.
They do. I am running Crystal right now on mobile Safari. I also have ad blockers on desktop Safari as well.
Though you can get some ad blockers which do less.
Certainly I would say Apple is doing better on privacy than Google, but when it comes to the browser specifically, I don't think they're doing significantly better.
Google, for instance, pioneered Incognito mode (edit: nope, Safari beat them). They developed and deployed their privacy-preserving telemetry tool RAPPOR in Chrome a few years before Apple adopted the technology for anything. Chrome allowed you to configure DuckDuckGo as your default search engine pretty much from the beginning (as long as you did it manually), whereas Safari took years to allow it.
Safari has been slowly shutting out many forms of third-party extensions which are frequently for ad and tracker blocking. (To be fair Apple has a design that reduces the amount of trust you need to put in an ad blocker to see your browsing behavior, but it is far more limited, and likely sees far lower adoption.)
I do think Apple is prioritizing privacy-protecting features higher than Google is, so it would not surprise me to see Safari come ahead with features like Intelligent Tracking Prevention which conflict with Google's business interests.
I stand corrected.
> It added DDG as an option in 2014, while Chrome added it only this year.
There's a nuance here. Apple's list of search engines comes from a cryptographically signed file which only they can modify. Chrome allowed you to manually configure DDG, but omitted it from the pre-configured list of search engines that included Bing and Yahoo!.
https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3770958 is a fun trip down memory lane.
Which led to the FTC collecting a scalp for it.
Keep in mind that several of Congress' questions are asking whether Apple provides privileged access to favored partners.
Sure, you could have security auditing standards required for apps with certain functionality, including browsers, and apply them in a neutral manner across vendors. That might structurally favor larger firms, but wouldn't favor partners.
apple is blocking exec flag on mmap'ed blocks because of security concerns.
Malware _relies_ on that ability to avoid static analysis.
The block on allocating executing memory flows from the security concern, rather than security “spin” flowing from the allocation restriction.
How will the user know whether software is secure?
But you actually trust Google to protect people’s privacy?
They didn't objectively state that other entities aren't capable of it. They literally said they felt those companies wouldn't protect their users as well as them.
Per the article I shared, there ARE competitors to Apple that rival their privacy and security skills. Those competitors have helped Apple improve. It is an outright lie for Apple to say "it is not our experience..."
I get that my argument is mostly pedantic, but even as an "opinion" it only holds if Apple is delusional.
I don't get it: why hassle them over their underdog competitor? Laud them for daring to compete against the market leader. Focus the argument about the walled garden and right-to-repair instead.
Apple and Google should license the ability to create third-party app stores, or be compelled to do so. Perhaps that could come with terms on auditing apps and a process for resolving differences of opinion on whether an app is legitimate/safe/acceptable (with a standard like "poses a risk to device or owner's privacy/data").
Because they gave themselves an edge when competing against Google by not allowing Maps all of the same capabilities from start. And to do that, they abused their OS and store to block GMaps from having same capabilities as AMaps. Even today, GMaps isn't allowed to be the default maps provider.
No customer wishing for a healthy free market should approve of this.
The real problem was that Apple wrote the Google Maps app, and wasn't willing to cooperate with Google on it at all. Literally, they demanded some basic protocol specs and then wrote the app themselves. This led to several problems:
1. They refused to tell Google what changes they were making to their app, which led to:
2. Repeatedly screwing up their implementation in ways that very seriously threatened the stability of the entire Google Maps services (think: slamming the servers with way more traffic than any reasonable implementation should).
Apple love to claim the best results arise from integrating hardware, software and services. Well, guess what, that logic works in both directions: by preventing even basic cooperation between the Apple team writing the GMaps app, and the rest of the GMaps team, they created massive problems. Especially because at this time Apple engineering had no serious experience with large online services ... MobileMe was a disaster ... and so they kept making basic mistakes no Google team would ever make. They also refused Google's help to stop making them.
3. The GMaps team was much larger and better funded than the iOS team, so iOS rapidly fell behind the featureset available on Android and the web. Google attempted to fix this by writing their own GMaps app, which Apple then blocked on the grounds it was competitive with their own (this was back when they had this policy).
Basically the relationship was antagonistic from the start from Apple's side, and rapidly spiralled downhill as Google's own services accelerated away from what Apple was capable of.
The whole Apple schtick that Google was desperate to violate privacy or get telemetry is just an advertising attack angle: it shouldn't work on the sort of people who read Hacker News. Apple Maps is architecturally identical to Google Maps, after all.
I don’t think anyone involved in this from Apple still works there anymore, and it’s been 10-11 years now so probably not even Apple itself really knows all the details at this point. From what I’ve heard the same may be true at Google; these stories are basically folklore to the current crop of the Maps team there.
In any case, as I recall it, advertising data and location tracking absolutely were sticking points. It’s possible you weren’t part of those aspects or you just saw it differently than Apple did.
On the other hand, this was all before Apple had a public marketing campaign around user privacy. The antagonism in the relationship around Maps also predated any discussion with Google of location data or ads and it arose from Android. Jobs saw Android as an attempt to copy the iPhone, and this lead to mistrust of Google in all things.
With that perspective, maybe you can start to see the other side of it. Apple didn’t want to let slip any detail of upcoming iPhone features because the concern was about them being copied in Android. While the G Maps folks gave lip service initially to being separate from Android and the idea that features wouldn’t be held back from Apple to benefit Android (and this was true initially, eg with Street View), Apple folks didn’t believe that would last.
And I think it didn’t last. As time went on, the Apple perspective was that Google was asking for things that were anathema, just so Google could point to them and say this is why you aren’t getting vector data or nav, but only as a pretext in the larger war of being able to use Maps as a competitive advantage for Android.
It's unfortunate that Android became something of a self-fulfilling prophecy in this regard. It was created largely because of the experience of Maps trying to make mobile clients in a fragmented space with poor APIs (J2ME, Symbian, etc). Then Apple effectively took over the frontends of Google's most important services and in many ways did it much worse than the Maps team themselves did, but the popularity of the iPhone rendered much of their work useless. Google didn't at that time care about phones with the same burning passion Jobs did: Android was first and foremost a strategic play. Many Googlers, even senior Googlers, were happy to be seen using and praising their iPhones. But the inverse was also true: Jobs didn't care about Maps with the same passion that Brin & Page did. It should have been possible to forge a genuine collaboration, there were certainly no technical barriers.
Unfortunately Jobs' bizarre and self-destructive belief that the iPhone should effectively never have serious competition put both companies on the path to ultimate divorce. Users are still feeling the effects of that today. His paranoia about other companies copying them was also misplaced: as far as Maps were concerned the problem was rather the opposite; Google wasn't copying Apple's features, Apple was copying Google's features, but only after much pressure and negotiation!
Apple also had a schizophrenic attitude to advertising: their total refusal to integrate ads into iOS Maps meant that Google was destined to bleed vast sums of money on mobile maps forever, and the more popular the iPhone became, the more money they'd bleed. This was no strong principle as Apple tried to launch its own ad network which sucked and was quickly forgotten about, so it looked a lot like some sort of psycho "revenge" for Android - a project which had been initiated before the iPhone project itself had. Jobs seemed to believe that the moment he announced the iPhone Android should have been cancelled and anyone not willing to pay his steep prices abandoned to J2ME feature phones for good.
Very, very few companies would be willing to tolerate another company totally controlling the entire user interface of their online service, blocking their only revenue stream and in an environment with almost no cooperation (i.e. Google would find out about what features Apple had added at about the same time everyone else did). Although it was understandable in the very first versions of their Maps app were written in house whilst the APIs and product were still baking, it became less and less tenable with time. Separate apps was the obvious way to resolve that problem, but Apple forbade that too.
If I recall correctly the straw that broke the camel's back was actually social. Google at the time was desperately concerned about Facebook. They worried that Facebook was an existential threat to the popularity of their services because Facebook had social features and Google didn't. So it tried to add social stuff to everything. This wasn't about Apple at all, it was all about Facebook, but Apple point-blank refused to add any social features to their app. I don't know why not, probably they felt it was a poor use of resources (which it would have been), but that was what triggered Google to write their own frontend app which then got banned.
Up until that point Android had been seen to a large extent as a way to drag the rest of the phone industry into the post-iPhone age, rather than something specifically designed to go after Apple. There was no shame in senior Googler executives using iPhones. But Google saw the fate of Maps as a sign of the dystopian future awaiting them, in a world where Jobs controlled access to users with an iron fist. After that Android was ramped up significantly. It was in my view a huge strategic error by Jobs. Very few companies were able to make software competitive with theirs: Google was basically the only one. If Apple hadn't blocked Google from upgrading its services, it's very plausible Android would have pivoted more strongly into the budget/low end space Apple didn't care about anyway. Social-in-maps put paid to that idea and resulted in Android becoming an OS that is a match for iOS in every respect.
Google wasn’t giving Apple access to the Maps data for free. They were paying for it.
If Apple hadn't blocked Google from upgrading its services, it's very plausible Android would have pivoted more strongly into the budget/low end space Apple didn't care about anyway.
Android is in the budget/low end space. The average selling price of an Android phone is about 1/3 of an iPhone and Apple makes about 80% of the profit in mobile.
but that was what triggered Google to write their own frontend app which then got banned.
Google’s app was never “banned”. There were plenty of third party map apps when iOS 6 was introduced. iOS 6 was introduced in September 2012. Google Maps for iOS was released in December of 2012. Are you saying that Google wanted to release a separate maps app when Apple was still using Google maps before iOS 6?
Yes, and it's also in the high end iPhone competing space. We're not talking about prices here, we're talking about whether the devices have competitive specs and functionality.
Android dominates globally, even in the USA and on the top-end devices where Apple is strongest.
Are you saying that Google wanted to release a separate maps app when Apple was still using Google maps before iOS 6?
Yes, long before. We're going way back here.
Not really, the majority of Android phones are slower than iPhones. In fact, it wasn’t until 2018 that high end Samsung phones were faster in single core performance than the 2015 6S.
Android definitely doesn’t “dominate” on the top end by any definition - sales or profits.
Isn’t it a Pyrrhic victory to sell millions of devices and make no money from them? Of course we have no way of knowing how the Chinese brands are doing.
There is an existence proof that this wasn’t true. It wasn’t until the 3GS/iOS 3 that Apple allowed any app to have real time turn by turn directions. There were plenty of third party Maps apps that had turn by turn directions by iOS 4 in 2010. So Apple explicitly banned Google but allowed other Maps apps?
As for people making no money off of Android phones, come on, are you serious? That's completely delusional iOS fandom: Samsung alone makes around $2.5 billion a quarter off of their mobile division. The idea that Apple is the only one making mobile profits is bizarre and wrong, but also strange for another reason: why would customers want Apple to make huge profits? That's good only for Apple shareholders and bad for iPhone users, who have (as far as I recall) never seen prices fall despite the actual hardware becoming massively cheaper. Someone is a sucker here, but it isn't anyone buying or selling Android phones!
Since the integrated map apps didn’t have turn by turn directions, there were plenty of 3rd party apps that were in the App Store. I used MapQuest. This was during the iOS 4 era.
Apple had a policy that no maps app could use turn by turn directions until iOS 3 or 4.
I’m of course in no position to know the technical details of the Apple Maps/Google Maps spat. But the negotiations as far as licensing wasn’t happening on the engineering level - it was happening on much higher levels of the org chart. Are you sure you had the entire political picture?
I though Google already allows third-party app stores?
That simply won’t work.
>29. For each year since 2009, what is the total amount that Apple has accepted from
Google for the right to be the default search engine in Safari and in any other Apple
products or services? Please identify the amount accepted from Google in total and
broken down by each Apple product.
>Apple’s search agreement with Google generates revenue based on referral traffic through
the URL/search box on Apple’s Safari browser. Although Google search is set as the
default, this can be changed in settings on iPhone to another search engine, such as
Yahoo!, Microsoft Bing and DuckDuckGo. Consumers may also conduct searches on
search apps available through the App Store, searches performed on the web (through the
search engine’s web portal), or through virtual assistants like Siri, Cortana or Alexa that
are available to users on our platform.
Definitely a sneaky way to do it but it could be completely true.
This answer is misleading at best, bordering on lying. I define "browser" as inclusive of the engine used to render web pages.
They weren't asked these questions one at a time.
When it comes to uninstalling, they're talking about the engine, calling it a "core part of iOS".
When it comes to browsers, then yeah, the shell around the engine IS the browser.
> Does Apple take any actions to block consumers from seeking out or using repair shops that offer a broader range of repairs than those offered by authorized technicians? If yes, describe each action that Apple takes and the reason for doing so.
Apple does not take any actions to block consumers from seeking out or using repair shops that offer a broader range of repairs than those offered by Apple’s authorized technicians. Customers are free to obtain repairs from any repair shop of their choice.
If Apple blocks people from getting independent repairs, when why are there Apple authorized repair third-party repair shops?
This worked to effectively reduce the potential market position (in businesses and for consumers) of alternate OSes to Windows.
Of course, that's not the only thing MS did. The full report of the anti-trust case was pretty interesting. There were many things MS did beyond just the browser. They favored OEMs who exclusively sold Windows-based computers with lower OEM pricing, but if they attempted to use another OS then they were threatened with increased licensing costs (this was a large part of what killed BeOS's momentum).
While many people remember and focus on the browser, it was only one piece of the whole case. To draw a comparison, you'd need to demonstrate that Apple's Safari-only (or really Safari + limited WebKit-only) policy is taking advantage of its substantial market share (currently iOS is sitting at something like 55-57% market share in the US, so it isn't actually that substantial a lead) to harm its competitors. And you'd have to place that in the context of other abuses of market share position.
Instead they need to go through the App Store, driving up development costs (the Swift learning and/or contractors) and decreasing potential competition.
Huh, that one kinda surprised me.
Then in 2013 Apple started soldering/joining everything which made all the repairs more expensive.
Then in 2016 Apple had to start paying for the artificially expensive repairs themselves because of the butterfly keyboard fiasco, popping speakers, broken display cables etc.
They probably really have lost money but they don't mention it's their own fault and at this point it's really just tied to the free keyboard replacement program which ends in 1 - 2 years for the worst-affected models.
My wife's 13" MBP was destroyed by a 6oz coffee (while closed). That was a $3k mistake. If I had AppleCare+, it would have been 'repaired' for a total cost of $700.
All other big browser engines are open-source too, but let's not mention that bit.
If Congress wishes to pursue it, they have legal tools where cooperation is non-optional. The current conversation is part of the song-and-dance where Apple tries to avoid that by offering something resembling cooperation, but on their own terms. Many of the questions are meant to answer the question "if we conduct a probe for realsies, who will be the winner?" rather than the question-as-asked.
My guess is for questions asking for a specific number and that wasn't given, the details were submitted privately, but the ones that are just spinning an answer did not have private submissions.
The third sentence does not follow from the first two, and does not answer the question.
> For each year since 2009, what is the total amount that Apple has accepted from Google for the right to be the default search engine in Safari and in any other Apple products or services? Please identify the amount accepted from Google in total and broken down by each Apple product.
> Apple’s search agreement with Google generates revenue based on referral traffic through the URL/search box on Apple’s Safari browser. Although Google search is set as the default, this can be changed in settings on iPhone to another search engine, such as Yahoo!, Microsoft Bing and DuckDuckGo. Consumers may also conduct searches on search apps available through the App Store, searches performed on the web (through the search engine’s web portal), or through virtual assistants like Siri, Cortana or Alexa that are available to users on our platform.
I like how Apple answered exactly zero parts of this question :/
Is this not the same argument Microsoft made about Internet Explorer?
Penalties were dropped I think in the wake of September 11, 2001.
I think they did—at least, they answered the letter of the question, not the spirit of the question.
Q: what is the total amount that Apple has accepted from Google for the right to be the default search engine in Safari
A: $0, since Google doesn't pay Apple to be the default search engine. Instead, Safari "generates revenue based on referral traffic through the URL/search box on Apple’s Safari browser". So Apple gets a cut of Google's revenue, not a payment for being the default search engine.
Of course, that leaves open the possibility that Apple's cut of the revenue depends on whether they're the default search engine or not. I would guess it does.
The biggest challenge I have is the fact that I can't put a PWA (progress web app) in the app store.
Google allows you to do it in the play store. They even have a library (trusted web application) that you can use to bridge your web app to an android app and distribute it into the app store.
I DO appreciate that there are technical reasons why Apple and users would find this less than ideal but this is 90% due to apple being non-competitive.
I could even understand and have sympathy for Apple had a way to side-load 3rd party apps.
... but you can't even do that. Users have NO control over their phone and Apple has completely locked down the ecosystem.
They need to be broken up...
How would you even break up apple?
ref : https://techcrunch.com/2018/06/04/app-store-hits-20m-registe...
As long as users can choose different computers (PCs) and phones (Android) there is no monopoly problem.