Controversial anti-tracking feature is about to go live in iOS 14

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Your iPhone will soon offer a bit more privacy.
With iOS 14.4 and iPadOS 14.4, applications will have to ask if they can track you.
Graphic: Apple

Apple seeded to developers the release candidates for iOS 14.4 and the iPad equivalent on Thursday. It’s probably the last step before a public release. Among other changes, these new versions will apparently give iPhone and iPad users the option to block third-party applications from tracking them.

Devs can also install watchOS 7.3 RC and tvOS 14.4 RC, which became available Thursday too. But macOS Big Sur 11.2 is still on Beta 2.

Facebook tells businesses new iOS 14 privacy feature will cause major harm

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By running anti-Apple ads in major newspapers, Facebook's taking its battle with Apple to the next level.
A new iOS feature could hurt Facebook and the companies that use the social network for advertising.
Photo: Thought Catalog/Unsplash CC

Facebook sent out a message to businesses recently pointing out how Apple’s new privacy features could hurt them by clamping down on targeted advertising.

It also claims that personalized ads that utilize user data to target individuals can coexist with user privacy online.

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privacy WWDC
Privacy is a big theme for Apple.
Photo: Apple

iOS 14 privacy tracking feature rolls out for iOS 14.4 beta users

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During the WWDC 2020 keynote, Apple doubled down on its commitment to privacy.
This is the latest implementation of Apple's privacy ambitions.
Photo: Apple

The iOS 14 privacy feature that lets users know which apps are tracking them — and how — has started rolling out for beta users on certain apps.

Apple first showed off the new privacy labels at this year’s virtual Worldwide Developers Conference. Apple asked that, starting early this month, developers submit information to Apple concerning the type of data their apps collect on users.

This data is then used to create nutrition label-type categories that let users easily understand how they are being monitored. It means that, the first time users open an app, they will be alerted regarding this information. This can be used to help decide whether to use a certain app or how to decide sharing settings.

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.

How to customize a game controller for iPhone or iPad

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How to customize a game controller for iPhone or iPad
Reconfiguring the buttons on an PS4 or Xbox game controller connected to an iPad or iPhone is easy. Here’s how.
Graphic: Cult of Mac

Serious gaming on your iPad or iPhone gets better with an external Xbox or PlayStation controller instead of a touchscreen. And Apple recently improved the experience even more by allowing you to reconfigure the buttons on your game controller.

Here’s how to customize what those all-important buttons do.

Apple quickly begins beta testing iOS 14.4, watchOS 7.3 and macOS 11.2 [Updated]

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iOS 14.4 beta 1, iPadOS 14.4 beta 1, watchOS 7.3 beta 1 and tvOS 14.4 beta 1
iOS 14.4 is just one of multiple Apple operating system updates now in beta testing.
Photo: Cult of Mac

Never one to rest on its laurels, Apple already seeded the first betas of iOS 14.4 and iPadOS 14.4. And that’s not all. watchOS 7.3 beta 1 and tvOS 14.4 beta 1 are also up for testing.

If that wasn’t enough, macOS Big Sur 11.2 is included in this rush of fresh pre-release versions, too.

iOS 14 adoption passes 80%, solidly outpacing iOS 13

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iOS 14 adoption. It’s a good thing.
Many iPhone users can’t resist the new features in iOS 14.
Photo: Apple

Four out of five iPhones released in the past four years run iOS 14, according to Apple. That’s despite the operating system version only being available for three months. And iOS 14 adoption is well ahead of where iOS 13 was at this point last year.

Nearly as many iPad users have upgraded to iPadOS 14.

Apple owes us a dedicated Apple TV+ app

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Apple owes us a dedicated Apple TV+ app
An updated Apple TV app makes it easier to find Apple TV+ original shows and movies. Slightly easier.
Photo: Cult of Mac

The Apple TV app tries to do too much. It tries to be too much. And this lack of focus damages the Apple TV+ streaming service. Still, a design change in iOS 14.3 and the iPad equivalent makes it just a little bit easier for subscribers to find Apple TV+ shows and movies.

The small tweak doesn’t go far enough, though. It’s only a tiny step in the right direction. What’s truly needed is a dedicated Apple TV+ app.