WWDC 2018: Apple puts privacy buttons in Safari amid Facebook spat

Apple Watch at the Apple Store

Apple Watch at the Apple Store

When the new version of Safari is released later this year, it will present limited information to advertisers about the type of device you are using. Designed in collaboration with Pixar, a new open file format, usdz, makes it easy to experience AR almost anywhere in iOS, including apps like Messages, Safari, Mail, Files and News, delivering powerful graphics and animation features. Summoning the keyboard will also take less time, and so is accessing the camera. From iPhone 5s, introduced in 2013, to the most advanced iPhone ever, iPhone X, iOS 12 brings performance improvements to more devices than any previous version.

But Apple's update seemed meant to clarify the rules around what are known as in-app purchases or micro-transactions, in which gamers can spend small sums of money inside games to buy tokens, extra lives or others so-called digital goods. Gone are the days where you need to repeatedly swipe away every single notification from the same app.

The New York Times reported on Sunday that Facebook struck deals with device manufacturers, including Apple, that gave them access to information on users and their friends without their explicit consent. Of particular note were new settings to help parents limits kids' screen times, which seemed like a direct answer to criticism made by two prominent Apple investors earlier this year that the company must do more to deal with the effect of its tech on children.

Apple has also issued new review guidelines for its lucrative App Store platform, after it moved to block plans by Steam, the biggest distributor of PC-based video games, to extend its reach into iPhones and iPads.


The latest privacy updates, among a host of others, were unveiled on the WWDC stage by Craig Federighi, Apple senior VP of software engineering, who said: "There can be a lot of sensitive data on your devices, and we think you should be in control of who sees it". As the limit approaches, users receive a notification from the app. This can be triggered with a custom Siri request, and it's somewhat similar in practice to what Samsung's Bixby can do with Quick Commands. Lego showcased how up to four players can interact with building sets in AR, and it's just one example on how developers can take advantage of the new tool.

In a post detailing IPT 2.0 on its WebKit developer blog, Apple security engineer John Wilander writes that Apple researchers found that cross-site trackers "help each other identify the user". It was a odd juxtaposition - just after announcing new features to help you use tech less, it introduced new ones to induce you to use tech more.

GROUP FACETIME. Up to 32 people can now engage in a Facetime call at one time. And it just came up with "Memoji", which lets you create an Animoji of yourself.

Mozilla is adding a number of new privacy features to its Firefox browser this year, and Brave Software - even more aggressive about privacy - is taking new measures to keep your online information your own. These include a ghost, tiger, koala, and...a Tyrannosaurus rex.

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