The Tracked-Or-Sold Edition Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Here’s How To Track The Smartphone Apps That Are Tracking You, by Glenn Fleishman, Fast Company

When it comes to websites, we have ever more sophisticated techniques at our disposal to block the ads that sometimes track our wanderings around the internet. But most of us spend much of our time these days in mobile apps that offer no transparency on how we’re being tracked or sold–nor tools for blocking that behavior.

We must rely on operating system makers–primarily Apple and Google–to promulgate guidelines to developers on legitimate practices when it comes to tracking behavior, asking for personal information, and transferring data to remote servers. OS makers are also responsible for enforcing those requirements. The rules in place are very broad, and except for abuses that can be quickly checked by in-house reviewers, come into play most often when users and researchers report violations.

Documentary Film Explains Why Apple Killed FCP7 - But Will It Be Anything More Than A Promo For Final Cut X?, by Mike Wilkinson, Fstoppers

There’s an interesting documentary in the works if you’re a video editor. With an obvious pun for the title, "Off the Tracks" interviews professional editors, trainers, and application developers to dig into why Apple made such a shift, when their existing app suite was already successful. I’ll provide some background, but also some editorial commentary below, as I feel like this documentary has potential to either be very interesting or completely pointless.


New iPhone Ads Educate Android Owners About Performance And Security, by Jeff Byrnes, AppAdvice

The latest Apple iPhone advertisements highlight performance, security, and contacts.

I Tried An App That Shows You What Furniture Looks Like In Your Home Before You Buy It, by Lucy Yang, Insider

Just because you find a table you love at IKEA, after all, doesn't mean it'll look great once it's in your cramped kitchen. And the last thing you want to do is buy an expensive item you can't return, especially if you did all the heavy lifting yourself.

That's exactly what Houzz set out to fix with its new augmented reality tool.


Disposable AppleScripts, by And Now It's All This

The uniformity that comes with a scripted solution is usually worth the effort, even when the script is run once and thrown away.

úNicode Is Hard, by Terence Eden

Over 30 years later and a modern receipt printer is still using IBM's code page 437! It just refuses to die!


Apple's Obsession With Fitness And Fashion Is Hurting The Apple Watch, by Pete Pachal, Mashable

But as the Apple Watch has evolved, it's become clear that Apple prioritizes some customers over others. When Apple unveiled the Apple Watch Series 2 last fall, the biggest upgrades were better waterproofing for swimmers and the Nike+ version for runners. The watch had always been a fitness tracker, but now it was doubly so.


That's all well and good, but health and fitness occupy just one part of the smartwatch experience. With their ability to bring alerts, maps and other useful messages to your wrist, smartwatches have an informational component that I'd argue has wider appeal to the broader iPhone-buying public. And, apart from the UI clean-up in watchOS 3, Apple has shown little interest in refining that side of the equation.

Bottom of the Page

Netflix has spoilt me. Not only do I no longer stand watching shows with commercial breaks, I can even barely tolerate shows that is structured with commercial breaks in between, even though I may be watching them without commercials.

(I do listen to podcasts with commercial breaks, though.)


Thanks for reading.