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Apple in Talks to Acquire Jay Z’s Tidal Music Service

The Wall Street Journal:

Apple is in exploratory talks to acquire streaming-music service Tidal, headed by rap mogul Jay Z, according to people familiar with the matter. Terms of the potential deal aren’t known. The talks are ongoing and may not result in a deal, these people said. Apple is exploring the idea of bringing on Tidal to bolster its Apple Music service because of Tidal’s strong ties to popular artists such as Kanye West and Madonna.

I don’t understand how Apple stands to benefit from purchasing Tidal.

Apple Patents Technology To Disable iPhone Cameras At Concerts

In the description of one of Apple’s new patents:

For example, an infrared emitter can be located in areas where picture or video capture is prohibited, and the emitter can generate infrared signals with encoded data that includes commands to disable the recording functions of devices. An electronic device can then receive the infrared signals, decode the data and temporarily disable the device’s recording function based on the command.

I really hope this is a patent Apple never, ever brings to life.

Android Nougat

This is why you don’t let the community choose your OS name. It should’ve been Nutella.

Taking The Headphone Jack Off Phones Is Stupid

Nilay Patel on the rumoured headphone-less iPhone 7:

Another day, another rumor that Apple is going to ditch the headphone jack on the next iPhone in favor of sending out audio over Lightning. Or another phone beats Apple to the punch by ditching the headphone jack in favor of passing out audio over USB-C. What exciting times for phones! We’re so out of ideas that actively making them shittier and more user-hostile is the only innovation left.

I could go into this topic in great detail, but I can’t really remember the last time I used the headphone jack on my iPhone. My Mac is a different story.

Brief Thoughts On iOS 10

With iOS 10, Apple has taken iMessage to the next level. In one update, it went from a basic app for messaging to a serious competitor to the likes of WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. I’m intrigued to see the type of iMessage apps which will be available at launch (I expect a ton of sticker packs).

Siri also got smarter with iOS 10. Now that it can tie into several different categories of third-party apps, I think there’s a whole new utility to Siri.

Sometimes it takes Apple a few attempts to get something right. With Notifications and Widgets, I think they may have finally made a breakthrough. Enhanced Notifications look fantastic – the ability to see more information when activating a notification. Having widgets in a second pane of the Notification Center never made sense to me. Now that they’re easily accessible with a swipe on the lockscreen, I may actually start using them.

There are many other new features I’m excited to try when iOS 10 is available this fall. Read up on all the changes here.

Brief Thoughts On macOS Sierra

Out of all the devices Siri is now available on, I may end up using it on my Mac most. There’s an awkwardness when using Siri in public which prevents me from using it most of the time. When I use my office Mac, this isn’t a problem.

There are way too many features for me to cover, but you can read about them all here.


Brief Thoughts On Watch OS 3

Watch OS 3 is, to me at least, an audible. As fantastic as the Apple Watch is hardware-wise, I’ve always found the software to be confusing and hard-to-explain. Most the changes coming to Watch OS 3 seem to be a reversal of prior mistakes.

I’m most excited about the speed improvements, the new ‘dock’ for accessing my favorite apps, and auto-unlock for my Mac. Read about all the other changes here.

Why That iMessage To Android Rumor Didn't Come True

Walt Mossberg:

When I asked a senior Apple executive why iMessage wasn’t being expanded to other platforms, he gave two answers. First, he said, Apple considers its own user base of 1 billion active devices to provide a large enough data set for any possible AI learning the company is working on. And, second, having a superior messaging platform that only worked on Apple devices would help sales of those devices — the company’s classic (and successful) rationale for years.

I was skeptical of this rumor from the very beginning.


What Is Differential Privacy?

Matthew Green on Differential Privacy, a big talking point from Apple at WWDC:

As an academic researcher and a security professional, I have mixed feelings about Apple’s announcement. On the one hand, as a researcher I understand how exciting it is to see research technology actually deployed in the field. And Apple has a very big field.
On the flipside, as security professionals it’s our job to be skeptical — to at a minimum demand people release their security-critical code (as Google did with RAPPOR), or at least to be straightforward about what it is they’re deploying. If Apple is going to collect significant amounts of new data from the devices that we depend on so much, we should really make sure they’re doing it right — rather than cheering them for Using Such Cool Ideas. (I made this mistake already once, and I still feel dumb about it.)
But maybe this is all too “inside baseball”. At the end of the day, it sure looks like Apple is honestly trying to do something to improve user privacy, and given the alternatives, maybe that’s more important than anything else.