Today in Apple history: Apple’s war with IBM commences


IBM PC 5150: The IBM Personal Computer
This unassuming IBM Personal Computer started the Apple-versus-PC feud.
Photo: Boffy B/Wikipedia CC

August 12: Today in Apple history: Apple's war with IBM commences with IBM Personal Computer launch August 12, 1981: The launch of the IBM Personal Computer ignites a long-running Apple-versus-PC rivalry.

Secure in the Apple II’s technical superiority over the new PC, Apple welcomes International Business Machines to the personal computing party in a full-page ad in the pages of The Wall Street Journal. Things won’t stay positive for long.

Today in Apple history: Cupertino fires back after Microsoft’s ‘Apple tax’ ads


Microsoft Windows
Microsoft ads take issue with Apple's premium prices.
Photo: Microsoft

April 16 Today in Apple history April 16, 2009: Apple hits back at Microsoft following an advertisement that criticizes Cupertino for failing to sell decent laptops for less than $1,000.

“A PC is no bargain when it doesn’t do what you want,” Mac PR director Bill Evans tells Bloomberg. “The one thing that both Apple and Microsoft can agree on is that everyone thinks the Mac is cool. With its great designs and advanced software, nothing matches it at any price.”

Ads might come to Apple TV+


Ads might come to Apple TV+
You might see this message soon on Apple TV+.
Photo: Apple/Cult of Mac

Although Apple TV+ is one of the few streaming services without commercials, the company is reportedly talking to media agencies about adding adverts to its shows.

If true, Apple is likely considering a cheaper ad-supported tier for TV+, not forcing all subscribers to watch commercials.

Germany investigates unfair advantages in Apple’s anti-tracking system


Facebook vs. iPhone App Tracking Transparency
There's more to App Tracking Transparency than meets the eye.
Photo: Apple/Cult of Mac

The German government is looking into whether Apple’s App Tracking Transparency system is designed to give Apple an unfair advantage in advertising.

The Bundeskartellamt doesn’t object to the iPhone-maker blocking tracking. But the agency points out that ATT doesn’t block Apple’s own advertising tracking system.

Ad firms share your location and online behavior 747 times a day


Advertisers pay to know your online behavior and location.
Advertisers pay to know your online behavior and location.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Google leads the way among ad tech companies sharing your online behavior and location with advertisers. It happens an average of 747 times a day in the United States and 376 times a day in Europe. That’s according to a new report from a civil liberties group.

Google and others use a process known as real-time bidding to help advertisers target you by behavior and location.

The group behind the report called such sharing “the biggest data breach” in the world.

Execs fretted over whether App Store ads were ‘at odds’ with Apple messaging


TikTok continues to dominate the App Store in 2020.
Apple sells ads through the App Store.
Photo: Kon Karampelas/Unsplash CC

Many people may be surprised to hear that while Tim Cook has often taken thinly-veiled shots at the targeted ad-supported business model of some rivals, Apple does itself sell targeted ads.

Although there is a bit more nuance to that, it can look like a contradiction, or even a bit of hypocrisy, from the outside. As emails highlighted during the current Apple vs. Epic legal battle shows, Apple employees also grappled with whether or not Apple should offer ads in the App Store — and whether this opposed Apple’s messaging.

App Tracking Transparency makes Chinese tech giant Alibaba worry


Alibaba is a giant in the world of e-commerce.
Photo: Markus Winkler/Unsplash CC

It’s not just U.S. tech giants that fear iOS 14.5’s new App Tracking Transparency feature. Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group, with a market cap of $646.84 billion, is supposedly very worried, just like Facebook.

A report from The Information says Alibaba invited half a dozen marketing execs to its Hangzhou headquarters to discuss how to react to the new feature, which stops apps from tracking users across websites and third-party apps.

Devs can soon pay to get their apps in App Store’s ‘Suggested’ section


App Store image
Apple's got a potentially huge new revenue stream in the works.
Photo: James Yarema/Unsplash CC

Apple is ramping up the advertising side of its App Store business, according to the Financial Times.

The company currently sells App Store ads, allowing developers to pay for top spots. But soon Apple will roll out another advertising spot for sale in the “Suggested” apps section. This will allow developers to more widely promote their apps, rather than having them show up only in response to certain search terms.

Facebook will try to convince iPhone users to let themselves be tracked


Your iPhone will soon offer a bit more privacy.
Facebook will try to talk users into hitting the “allow” button when asked if they can be tracked. Apple will add this pop-up to help users protect their privacy.
Graphic: Apple

Facebook is going to take a shot at persuading users to skip the “do not track” button that Apple will soon require iPhone application to display. The pop-up is designed to protect user privacy, but the Facebook app will offer its own pop-up screen explaining the benefits of targeted advertising before users are given the option to opt out of being tracked.

Apple forces Google’s iPhone apps to stop tracking users online


Millions in Britain wants $1000 each because they claim Google invaded their privacy
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Google’s iOS applications will comply with Apple’s App Tracking Transparency policy, according to a blog post from the company on Wednesday. That means these applications won‘t have to specifically ask users to permit the app to track them online.

Apple’s ATT policy hasn’t gone into effect yet, but it’ll give iPhone and iPad users more privacy. And it’s expected to cost advertisers billions.

Tim Cook will talk restoring faith in online advertising this week


Apple Q4 2020 earnings on Oct. 29: When it comes to Apple earnings, CEO Tim Cook seems to have a reality-distortion field of his own.
Tim Cook will talk privacy matters this week.
Photo illustration: Cult of Mac

Apple CEO Tim Cook will give a pro-privacy speech during the Computers, Privacy and Data Protection conference in Brussels this Thursday.

Cook will deliver his speech virtually from Cupertino. The talk will cover “enforcing rights in a changing world,” and will deal with boosting user confidence in online advertising, among other topics.

Facebook worries about what iOS 14’s user-tracking alerts will mean for digital ads


Facebook owns 4 of the top 10 apps of the past decade
iOS 14 could be bad news for companies that rely on digital ads.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Facebook is concerned that one of the big new features in iOS 14 will hurt the social networking giant’s ad-targeting business model.

As reported by CNBC, Facebook CFO David Wehner said Thursday that Apple’s new feature for the upcoming operating system, which allows users to see how activity is being tracked across apps and websites, will make things tough on Facebook ads.

How to use ‘dot’ glitch to skip paywalls and watch YouTube without ads


This quick trick lets you dodge YouTube ads.
This quick trick lets you dodge YouTube ads.
Photo: Szabo Viktor/Unsplash CC

Adding a single character to a URL can let you bypass some websites’ metered paywalls and watch YouTube videos without having to endure those annoying ads.

The simple hack — typing a “dot” immediately after the “.com” in a site’s URL — doesn’t work on every single website out there. But it does give you an advertisement-free pass to many of them.

Huawei’s latest deceptive ads try the same old camera stunt


Weibo post busting Huawei for misleading ad
Huawei needs to have more confidence in its smartphone cameras.
Screenshot: Huapeng Zhao/Weibo

The cameras in Huawei smartphones are class-leading. Yet, the company was caught again using a photo shot with a DSLR in an ad to promote pictures produced with their handsets.

Best, of all, the gaffe was discovered by the winner of an iPhone photography contest.

Apple Arcade characters invade Apple’s homepage for fun promotion


Apple Arcade characters invade Apple's homepage for fun promotion
Cheeky new Apple promo is a lot of fun.
Photo: Apple

Apple Arcade got a publicity boost over the weekend when Apple transformed the prime real estate of its U.S. website into a fun ad for the gaming service. The promo playfully incorporates animated Apple Arcade characters — including Sega’s Sonic the Hedgehog — into the usual publicity shots for devices like the iPhone 11.

Dashlane Super Bowl ad points the way to ‘Password Paradise’ 


Dashlane Super Bowl ad 2020: Without a proper password manager, things look mighty grim.
Without a proper password manager, things look mighty grim.
Image: Dashlane

This post is brought to you by Dashlane.

Dashlane’s first Super Bowl ad gets mythic to evoke the nightmare that is trying to manage your passwords without a proper tool. The unmistakable message: Without Dashlane — the official password manager of Cult of Mac — you’re basically doomed to internet purgatory.

Why Apple is right to keep ads off Apple TV+ [Opinion]


Why Apple is right not to have ads on Apple TV+ [Opinion]
Apple's not planning to make Apple TV+ into a billboard for other companies.
Photo: Paweł Czerwiński/Unsplash

According to Tim Cook, users won’t see any ads on Apple TV+ anytime soon. Or ever.

“For the TV+ business, we feel strongly that what that customer wants is an ad-free product,” Cook said during Tuesday’s record-breaking Apple earnings call. Considering how much money Apple could rake in from advertising, that’s leaving a lot of cash on the table. But it’s also completely the right thing to do.

Apple is hugely successful blocking advertisers from tracking you


Apple: Keep Out, privacy
Apple’s Intelligent Tracking Prevention protects your privacy by keeping advertisers for following you around the web.
Photo: Apple

Apple skillfully protects user privacy by preventing advertisers from tracking everyone. Companies buying ads are less interested in anyone using Apple’s Safari browser because advertising agencies can’t use cookies to build profiles on those users.

Apple ad revenue could hit $11 billion a year by 2025


How are Apple Originals looking on your TV?
Photo: Roku

The money Apple earns from advertising could rise to a whopping $11 billion a year by 2025, one analyst says.

Cupertino currently rakes in around $2 billion a year from ad revenue. The recent launch of Apple TV+ provides an opportunity for that to skyrocket over the next six years.

But will Apple really take advantage of it?

Apple reveals new way to stop ads from tracking you


Safari is about to get a big privacy boost.
Photo: Apple

Apple revealed this morning that it has new plan to stop online ads from tracking internet users across the web.

With some new technology that will soon be implemented in Safari, Apple thinks it has found a way to give both advertisers and privacy advocates what they one. It’s called Privacy Preserving Ad Click Attribution and even though the name is lame, it could be a game changer.

Apple celebrates Ramadan and 4K video on the iPhone XS


Apple Ramadan
The meaning of Ramadan captured in 4K on the iPhone XS.
Screenshot: Apple/YouTube

Ramadan is a month of spiritual reflection for Muslims. Apple sought to honor the holiday with a 15-second “Shot on iPhone XS” spot featuring gorgeous video footage from two photographers from the Middle East.

Finding Balance is a series of sweeping landscapes around the United Arab Emirates. In each beautifully composed scene, people are reflected in water in the foreground to symbolize the self-reflection of the season.

Cannes Lions hails Apple’s creative genius for advertising


2019 Creative Marketer of the Year
Spike Jonze created Apple's most celebrated ad of 2018.
Photo: Apple

Apple has received virtually every award there is for advertising and marketing, but one announced this week caught the company by surprise.

The Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity announced it would award Apple Creative Marketer of the Year for 2019, a first for the company.

iPhone XR ads find smart ways of selling privacy and battery life


iPhone XR 1
Apple's latest ads are pretty darn great.
Photo: Apple

Apple’s latest iPhone XR ads focus on the superior battery life and privacy features of its more affordable (kind of!) iPhone.

Titled “Up Late” and “Inside Joke,” the two ads are just half a minute each. However, they do a good job of making their reasonably dry point in an entertaining, and human manner. Check them out below: