iOS 14.5 and iPadOS 14.5 bring an array of new features ‘next week’

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iOS 14.5 will debut before the end of April.
The wait for iOS 14.5 is almost over — it’ll be out before the end of April. The same goes for iPadOS 14.5.
Photo: Cult of Mac

Apple revealed on Tuesday that iOS 14.5 and the iPad equivalent will reach customers iPhones and tablets some time “next week.” These include a rush of new features, like unlocking an iPhone with an Apple Watch. And a controversial change that make it harder for apps to track users for ads.

To help make the launches possible, developers were given access to the release candidates for these upcoming operating system versions on Tuesday. They can both look for bugs and  test their own applications with the new OS versions.

The average smartphone app harbors 6 different trackers

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Privacy
Privacy has been a big deal for Apple for years.
Photo: Apple

Ahead of the launch of the new App Tracking Transparency iOS 14 feature, Apple on Wednesday published a report titled A Day in the Life of Your Data.

It details the “$227 billion-a-year industry” made up of websites, apps, social media companies, data brokers, and more who harvest user personal data for profit — and what Apple is doing about it.

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App Tracking Transparency will be part of iOS 14.5, iPadOS 14.5 and tvOS 14.5. It’s already showing up in betas.
Developers need to get their software ready for App Tracking Transparency. iPhone and iPad will soon prevent apps from tracking users without permission.
Graphic: Apple

China works to circumvent iOS 14.5’s App Tracking Transparency

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Your iPhone will soon offer a bit more privacy.
Apple is making it tougher for apps to track users.
Graphic: Apple

China’s state-backed China Advertising Association is already looking for ways to get around Apple’s upcoming App Tracking Transparency feature, the Financial Times reported Tuesday.

The organization’s approach reportedly involves something called a “CAID.” This can supposedly act as an alternative means of tracking users to the iPhone’s ad identifier, or IDFA. TikTok parent company ByteDance issued a guide for app developers that describes how marketers “can use CAID as a substitute if the user’s IDFA is unavailable.”

How to stop Apple from targeting you with personalized ads

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Ads everywhere
Apple targets users with personalized ads, too.
Photo: Jo San Diego/Unsplash CC

A French lobbyist group is accusing Apple of hypocrisy over new privacy measures in iOS 14, which make it harder for other companies to track users. Why? Because Apple also operates a feature called Personalized Advertising, which capitalizes on user data to display targeted ads within apps.

Want to stop Apple from targeting you with personalized ads? Here’s how you do it. (And everything else you need to know about the new complaint.)

Some Facebook employees question social network’s anti-Apple campaign

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Facebook logo
Facebook says it's standing up for small businesses.
Photo: Brett Jordan/Unsplash

Facebook argues that it is standing up for small businesses by challenging Apple on its pro-privacy measures. However, it appears that not all Facebook employees are buying the company line.

According to internal message board comments and audio obtained by BuzzFeed News, some Facebook employees think their employer is being a tad disingenuous with its public statements about working on behalf of mom-and-pop businesses.

Electronic Frontier Foundation springs to Apple’s defense in Facebook spat

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During the WWDC 2020 keynote, Apple doubled down on its commitment to privacy.
During the WWDC 2020 keynote, Apple doubled down on its commitment to privacy.
Photo: Apple

Digital rights group the Electronic Frontier Foundation called Facebook’s anti-Apple attack ads “a laughable [attempt] … to distract [users] from its poor track record of anticompetitive behavior and privacy issues” in an article published Friday.

Facebook lashed out at Apple last week with two full-page newspaper ads. The campaign targeted Apple’s new App Tracking Transparency feature, which fills users in on which apps are tracking them. Facebook claims the change will hurt small businesses by making it tougher for them to use targeted ads.