Apple Goes Big on AR and User Experience

Posted June 07, 2018

After recent news that Facebook provided "deep access" to smart device makers to access user data, and that the company also failed to report this information to consumers or the U.S. government, many are publicly voicing their displeasure with the actions of the social network company.

In the new edition of the iOS mobile operating system for iPhones and iPads and the macOS upgrade for Apple computers out in the fall, Apple is taking a pointed jab at the Facebook social media network.

Apple has unveiled new operating systems for its iPhones and computers with features created to thwart the use of secret trackers to monitor people's online activities.

Facebook also insisted firms like Apple did not abuse the access to information. Onstage, Apple's VP of software Craig Federighi described Safari's new anti-tracking features in unusually confrontational terms. "And so this year, we are shutting that down".

"It turns out these can be used to track you whether you click on them or not", Federighi said.

Apple will make it easier to developers to port iPhone and iPad apps to the Mac, but that doesn't mean a touchscreen Mac is coming out. Safari will share a "simplified" profile to thwart this, Apple said.

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Facebook's Like button is one of the more notorious trackers.

Apple, kicking off its annual developer's conference, appeared to be setting itself apart from Facebook, which has drawn the ire of privacy activists, and even showed how its software could prevent the social network from tracking users on Apple devices.

Siri Shortcuts allow users to integrate more third-party apps into the voice assistant's ecosystem. It was a clear reference to Facebook's Cambridge Analytica scandal.

Apple has put a premium on user privacy for years.

At the time, Marc Rotenberg of the Electronic Privacy Information Center called the disclosures "a giant surveillance warning label". "These partners signed agreements that prevented people's Facebook information from being used for any other objective than to recreate Facebook-like experiences", the firm said. Apple announced the features as part of improvements to Safari.

Finally, new data protections for the Mac will require apps to get user permission before using the camera and microphone or accessing personal data like user Mail history. Apple chief executive Tim Cook meanwhile told developers the "app ecosystem" developed by the iPhone maker will soon have delivered more than $100 billion to partners.