| Cult of Mac

Why you should never use the browser in Facebook and Instagram

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Why you should never use the browser in Facebook and Instagram
You can always count on Meta apps to suck up as much users data as possible.
Graphic: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The web browser that Meta built into the iPhone Facebook and Instagram applications can collect far more information about users than they probably realize. It can “track every single interaction with external websites,” according to a developer.

But users don’t have to stay in this sketchy browser. Leaving it is easy – here’s how.

Zuckerberg says Apple and Meta are battling over the internet’s future

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Apple versus Meta
The CEO of Meta says his company and Apple are in a "competition of philosophies and ideas."
Photo: Cult of Mac

Both Apple and Meta (formerly Facebook) are both building AR/VR headsets, but they’re going about it in dramatically different ways. Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg reportedly told Meta employees the two companies are in “a competition of philosophies and ideas.”

It’s possible the metaverse is the future of the internet. And Zuckerberg describes Meta as being a leader in creating an open metaverse with multiple companies working together, while he says Apple is creating its own closed version.

But Zuckerberg’s comments ignore another major philosophical difference between the twin companies. Apple believes in protecting user privacy, but Meta makes its money by collecting and selling information about users.

WhatsApp finally adds emoji reactions and features for groups

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At first, WhatsApp users will have just six emojis to choose from.
At first, WhatsApp users will have just six emojis to choose from.
Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

Looks like secure chat client WhatsApp just got a little livelier. Its long-promised emoji-based Reactions and newly developed Communities features for organizations rolled out on Thursday.

Users will have six emojis to play with to start. And in addition to new Communities, WhatsApp’s Groups functionality gets a revamp, too.

Apple accuses Meta of ‘hypocrisy’ for nearly 50% commission on metaverse sales

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Apple accuses Meta of ‘hypocrisy’ for nearly 50% commission on metaverse sales
Selling anything in Meta’s VR metaverse will cost developers quite a bit.
Photo: Meta

Facebook’s parent company Meta will claim almost half of the money third-party developers earn from sales in Horizon Worlds, the VR platform for Quest headsets. An Apple executive says that “lays bare Meta’s hypocrisy,” considering it has criticized Apple in the past for its 30% App Store fee.

Facebook Messenger adds a bunch of handy, Slack-like shortcuts

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Facebook Messenger shortcuts
It's now easier to send silent messages, GIFs, payments, and more.
Image: Meta

Facebook Messenger? Meta Messenger? Just Messenger? We don’t know what it’s supposed to be called these days. But we do know it just added a bunch of useful, Slack-like shortcuts that help you get things done faster.

You can use them to silently deliver messages without notifications, to find the perfect GIF, to send payments and more — all without having to fiddle around inside menus. And Meta says even more are coming later this year.

Facebook is still whining about Apple’s ‘harmful’ privacy features

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By running anti-Apple ads in major newspapers, Facebook's taking its battle with Apple to the next level.
Facebook is expected to lose $10 billion to Apple's changes this year alone.
Photo: Thought Catalog/Unsplash CC

Facebook parent company Meta is still bemoaning App Tracking Transparency, the “harmful” feature Apple introduced last year in iOS 14.5 to bolster the privacy of iPhone and iPad users.

The change is “making it harder and more expensive” for businesses to reach their customers, Meta said as advertisers reportedly slash their spending on Facebook and Instagram and turn to rivals like Amazon and Google instead.

Facebook warns it will lose $10 billion to iOS privacy protections in 2022

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Facebook loses to iOS privacy protections
How disappointing.
Photo: Dawid Sokołowski/Unsplash

Facebook parent company Meta has warned investors that it will lose around $10 billion in 2022 as a result of Apple’s bolstered privacy protections.

The company has been whinging about the improvements, which include App Tracking Transparency, since they were introduced in iOS 14. Its shares dipped more than 20% on Wednesday after it reported its latest disappointing earnings.

Apple hires Meta AR comms chief for its rumored headset launch

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Apple’s first AR/VR headset might look like ski goggles
Information supposedly leaking from Apple indicates the Apple AR/VR headset will look a lot like this.
Photo: RendersByIan

Apple reportedly hired Meta’s AR communications chief recently, a move that fits with Cupertino’s long-rumored plan to launch an augmented reality/virtual reality headset.

Observers expect Apple to unveil its mixed-reality headset sometime in 2022. And, according to Mark Gurman’s Power On newsletter, Apple is forming a team to handle the hardware’s launch and marketing. Part of this appears to be the hiring of Andrea Schubert, chief of communications and public relations for AR at Meta, the company formerly known as Facebook.

Why The Wearables Revolution Won’t Be Like Smartphone ‘Dogfight’

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post-259465-image-7a72e7c05111ced1633518a5b4ebc6f8-jpg

A new book called Dogfight: How Apple and Google Went to War and Started a Revolution by Fred Vogelstein revealed the mechanism by which Apple influenced the direction of Android — shock and awe.

Yes, the introduction of the iPhone changed the direction of smartphones. But I don’t think it’s going to happen again in the wearables market. Here’s why.