eXtensions - Friday 3 June 2022
Friday Review: Looking Forward to WWDC; Side-loading, Jailbreaking and Mobile Banking T&C
By Graham K. Rogers
Apple is still releasing beta versions of the current operating systems and user updates will follow soon. Barring emergencies (security problems, bugs) we may see a couple of updates before the next main versions of each OS, taking us to 15.6 (or even 15.7) and probably macOS 12.5 with the next macOS update also bringing Shortcuts which some have found add considerably to productivity on iPads and iPhones. I have only tried a couple but these are a little quicker to create than using AppleScript or Automator, both of which are still installed on my Macs.
I will watch the WWDC Keynote on AppleTV although probably not live. It is late here and I prefer to watch slowly the following day after absorbing some of the main points posted by online sources. Spoilers in movie or TV reviews (or knowing the results of motorcycle racing beforehand) never worry me as I use these to anticipate the event.
I do want more from Apple for the iPad Pro, such as multiple user accounts, tethering and the ability to use a flatbed scanner, but I am not holding my breath. Rumors late this week suggest there could well be some changes coming to the iPad interfacing. It is probable that WWDC will still have a few surprises that the rumor peddlers have missed.
The iPad cannot match the Mac for web work with HTML as not all the links work, even though, thanks to iCloud, I work with the same folder structures. Federico Viticci & Friends on MacStories reports on WorldWideWeb, a Bonjour-driven web server from The Icon Factory that serves static files allowing users to examine the content they are working on. Any links, including images are available. As my web folder is on iCloud, only recent files would display until I used the Files app to download them to the iPad. Normally when I open any HTML file in Files images may not be available and some links do not work. This free app fixes that.
Over on Netflix I have been watching the latest season of Stranger Things and I am enjoying this more than the last season. It is split into 4 narrative threads involving different sets of characters and locations. I find the 1980s theme interesting as it brings back some memories of the time. I was in the USA from 1984-86.
In Part One of Series 4 the character, Max, is saved from the antagonist (Vectra) by listening to the music of Kate Bush (her favorite) and this has seen Running up That Hill back in the charts at Number One 40 years after it was released. Episode 7 of Series 4 saw a major revelation regarding the earlier massacre of the prodigies and we now know who Vectra is (or was). The series will resume on 1 July.
Also just arrived on Netflix is Borgen, The Power and the Glory, which is several years on from the previous Borgen (Castle) series. The title of the first episode is revealing: The Future is Female; although old power structures cling on with the discovery of oil in Greenland. The opening of Episode One may not suit all tastes as a whale is flensed. A related scene shortly after shows a young lady happily on her way to the event, indicating future cultural clashes between Greenland natives and Denmark.
As a note, Sherryl Sandberg, one of Zuckerberg's main lieutenants is to step down, Kari Paul (The Guardian) reports. I would have regarded this as a rat leaving a sinking ship, but she will still retain her seat on the board. The article also notes that Peter Thiel also recently jumped ship.
Apple and others are still under threat from proposed legislation that will allow sideloading, something which Apple is dead against, and I certainly do not want to avail myself of. Several experts in security, as well as Apple, have said that there are risks to users if this is allowed. As part of its campaign against this, Juli Clover (Mac Rumors) reports on this opening with, "The App Store prevented 1.6 million risky and untrustworthy apps from defrauding users in 2021, according to new fraud analysis data shared today by Apple. " The article also notes that "Over 800,000 fraudulent developer accounts were terminated" adding that "More than 170 million fraudulent customer accounts were deactivated, and 118 million attempted fraudulent account creations were rejected."
Patently Apple opens with a reminder of its recent report on Super Pumped which "illustrated the depths that a developer would go to get around Apple's Privacy Policies". The comments here on Apple's revelations take a slightly different angle and have some more depth than other outlines available online. That Super Pumped series was based on a book of the same title. As I cannot see Showtime here, I ordered the book and that is on the way so I can read about how Travis Kalanick and Uber tried to cheat on Apple. Throwing the App Store open as some legislators want would be throwing users to the wolves.
As I am not averse to reading these documents I scrolled through slowly and noticed an interesting condition that could be affected by side loading, something that I hope the EU and other legislative bodies does not impose on Apple.
This condition concerned jailbreaking the device. The bank - which checks the OS as part of its process - includes a condition that a jailbreak version of iOS, Root (Android modifications), or any other actions would allow the bank to suspend the service, adding "The Applicant acknowledges that he is at risk in using the Service if the operating system of the mobile phone or other communication device of the Applicant is incorrect, not up to standards or has been modified."
I am a bit negative on the sexist use of "he" here, as if females are not allowed to have their own accounts, but generally agree with the idea. No jailbreaks or side loading for me.
Graham K. Rogers teaches at the Faculty of Engineering, Mahidol University in Thailand. He wrote in the Bangkok Post, Database supplement on IT subjects. For the last seven years of Database he wrote a column on Apple and Macs. After 3 years writing a column in the Life supplement, he is now no longer associated with the Bangkok Post. He can be followed on Twitter (@extensions_th)
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