Apple is still tending its walled garden

Apple has released public betas for the next big Apple Watch and Mac software updates. On the Mac, Big Sur has a ton of visual differences that will grow on you, they make macOS look just a little more like iOS. It also does a weird new thing with links, which also makes the Mac feel just a little more like iOS, too. The link behavior popped up on Twitter yesterday, “If you are an Apple News Plus subscriber, clicking links to publications that are part of that subscription bundle will take you to the Apple News app instead of your browser.”

iOS 14 will do the same thing. If you are paying for Apple News Plus, this may be exactly what you want to happen. Instead of opening a page with a paywall, you just get the article you clicked on. Yes, the Apple News app itself is about as capable as Internet Explorer 3 compared to your browser with its tabs and such, but at least you do not have to go though a copy and paste dance.

The behavior is a little weird. If you click a link in Safari, it opens Apple News. If you click a link in Chrome, it stays in Chrome. If you click a link in some other app like Slack, it opens in Apple News — even if your default browser is Chrome. That is odd simply because it is not clear how Big Sur knows that it should redirect some websites but not others.

The point is that what happens when you click a link is inconsistent.

Maybe it opens a browser, maybe it opens Apple News. Apple is allowing you to uncheck an option for this in the preferences for the Apple News app, at least. The company is committed to creating the best experience for Apple News+ subscribers. This change offers subscribers seamless access to the content that is part of their News+ subscription right in the News app or publisher app, as well as providing publishers with increased engagement and revenue opportunities on Apple News.

News+ subscribers can set their link preference in their News settings. It means that publishers who do offer a direct subscription option will lose out on that chance with people going directly to Apple News, which pays much less. That is the thing about the decline of the web: suddenly it is a lot harder to ignore the transactions that happen when you click a link.

Anyway, there are much larger storylines you could plug this weird new link behavior into. There is the fear that Apple is beginning to compromise user experience in the name of its services revenue. There is the storyline that the company actively distrusts the web and would like more activity to happen inside apps than inside browsers. If browsers are used less, that means fewer intrusive ads (win), less tracking (win), and less money for competitors like Google (triple bonus!).

Sometimes a company’s incentives line up with its values.

It is also fair to just read it as Apple finding that its users are hitting paywalls when they do not need to because they are already paying for Apple News Plus. Clicking on a link with “http” in front of it should take you to a web browser, but that is just what people are used to. Nobody said links are the exclusive domain of the web. Preferring Apple News over the otherwise normal behavior for links makes the Mac work just a little more like the iPhone, where until iOS 14 the company rigidly controlled the default apps for everything.

Even in iOS 14, only the email and browser apps can be changed. The same “values and incentives” thing is coming for in-app ads on iOS 14. Third-party apps will need to ask users for permission to track on an app-by-app basis, but Apple’s own ad network apparently has a default opt-in for “Personalized Ads”. The company legitimately is a thousand percent less creepy than the rest of the app ad ecosystem, but that does not mean Apple itself will not benefit.

It is both. The subject of iOS has been at the center of another controversy. Apple has reasserted that cloud gaming services like xCloud and Stadia violate App Store guidelines. It provided a repeat of a statement it had given Mark Gurman this past March, saying that gaming services can absolutely launch on the App Store as long as they follow the same set of guidelines applicable to all developers, including submitting games individually for review, and appearing in charts and search.

Microsoft and Facebook issued fiery counter-statements, but Apple stands firm.

It values reviewing apps for content and security too much and its Apple Arcade incentives happen to align with those values. Of course, this could all just be a bunch of negotiation posturing as it was with Amazon. The company will not allow Stadia or xCloud on the iPhone or iPad anytime soon. Walls are only there because people built them. Microsoft and Facebook have actually lashed out at the company for restrictive App Store policies, which they say prevent them from releasing video gaming services on iPhones and other iOS devices.

Apple has numerous apps in the App Store that disperse games, including the main Facebook app. On the circumstance with Microsoft, the company’s standards indicate that app developers need to submit every video game separately for evaluation. Microsoft’s cloud video gaming service has a library of more than 100 titles. Facebook eventually managed to introduce an iOS version of its gaming app on Friday.

Facebook was forced to make a concession to bring it to the App Store. Facebook had to eliminate the capability to play video games immediately. The Facebook Gaming app, launched in Google Play in April, enables people to produce and stream live video gaming content and is seen as a rival to Amazon’s Twitch live-streaming platform. Unfortunately, Microsoft does not have a course to bring its vision of cloud gaming with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate to gamers on iOS via the Apple App Store.

Apple stands alone as the only general function platform to reject consumers from cloud gaming and game membership services like Xbox Game Pass.

And it regularly deals with gaming apps differently, using more lax rules to non-gaming apps even when they consist of interactive material. Microsoft was dedicated to bringing cloud video gaming to the iOS platform. Apple has its own video gaming service that takes on video game membership offerings from the similarity Microsoft, Google, and Nvidia, called Apple Arcade+.

The service includes a brochure of games from Konami, Ubisoft, and Lego. Microsoft once had its own Twitch-like video game streaming service called Mixer but recently chose to close it down, encouraging users to change over to Facebook Gaming. Microsoft likewise would no longer be providing a minimal testing version of the app on iOS. The platform Microsoft had actually developed for Apple devices just supported one game, which was due to the company’s App Store policies.

Microsoft now would be not able to launch its video game streaming service commercially on iOS due to these constraints. The iPhone maker has actually come under increased scrutiny over its App Store rules, which regulators are concerned for anti-competitive practices. It is the subject of an antitrust investigation from the European Union, and was questioned by United States lawmakers in a congressional antitrust hearing last month with CEO Tim Cook and in charges of Google, Facebook, and Amazon.

There is quite a lot of pressure building from various entities, and they are trying to develop customer awareness of the concerns included as a way to convince Apple to change its policies.

Microsoft is not the very first to deal with roadblocks in introducing cloud video gaming services on Apple devices. The company is ploughing its own course with privacy and how it wants to manage its community. Google’s Stadia and Nvidia’s GeForce have also found trouble with launching iOS variations of their apps due to the App Store’s standards. Unfortunately, Facebook needed to remove gameplay performance completely in order to get the company’s approval on the standalone Facebook Gaming app, suggesting iOS users have an inferior experience to those utilizing Android.

Facebook remains focused on building communities for the more than 380 million people who play games on Facebook every month, whether Apple permits it in a standalone app or not. Microsoft would be introducing its xCloud video gaming service as part of a membership service called Xbox Game Pass Ultimate on September 15. The app, which lets users leap into an Xbox game on their smartphone or tablet, will only be readily available on devices powered by Google’s Android mobile operating system, not the company’s iOS.

Every other year, Apple usually makes noteworthy cosmetic modifications to its iPhone to freshen up its look, much to the delight of anticipating consumers. However, the iPhone 12 will look similar to the iPhone 11. The only possible difference is that the iPhone 12’s edges will be somewhat bowed. On the other hand, the company is also speculated to totally revamp the iPhone’s design with flat edges (similar to the new iPads).

iPhone 12 may not feature EarPods or a power adapter.

Apple may not include its wired EarPod earphones in the iPhone 12 box. This would be a relocate to encourage people to buy the business’ wireless AirPods rather. The company has actually included EarPod earphones since the iPhone 5 release in 2012, so this would be a significant modification. AirPod and AirPod Pro earbuds are presently priced at $159 and $249, respectively.

The iPhone 12 will ship without a power adapter too. The factor is primarily expenses. By foregoing it, Apple can keep costs down while loading the phone with 5G components. It would likewise help lower freight expenses as the size of the packaging would shrink. iPhone 12 Pro’s reported colors include dark blue. The company will launch 4 new iPhone 12 designs in the fall of 2020: a 5.4-inch, 2 6.1-inches, and a 6.7-inch.

All of them will have OLED display screens. The present 5.8-inch size of the iPhone 11 Pro might be disappearing. The 5.4-inch and one of the 6.1-inch models will be the lower-end gadgets, presumably called the iPhone 12. Then the more expensive phones will be the other 6.1-inch and 6.7-inch iPhone 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max, respectively. Last year Apple introduced a midnight green color on the iPhone 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max.

Whether you like the shade or not, the color alternative in fact offered well compared to expectations.

This year there may be a possibility that Apple will release another brand-new color, navy blue, on the iPhone 12 Pro. This would be on trend because blue is both Pantone’s color choice for the brand-new year (“traditional blue”) and Shutterstock included “phantom blue” in its color projection for 2020. Could this be the new iPhone color? One of the more enduring rumors about the upcoming iPhones is that the company may introduce new screen sizes.

There is also speculation that the iPhone 12’s display screen will have a 120Hz revitalize rate which perhaps the iPhone 12 Pro may have a ProMotion display, which is currently featured on the iPad Pro. Most phones revitalize at 60 frames per second, or 60Hz. But other phones, like the Galaxy S20 and the OnePlus 8 Pro refresh at 120Hz. With a greater refresh rate, a phone feels faster and smoother when scrolling through things like web pages and apps.

With the possibility of brand-new display screen sizes, rumors that Apple will expand its iPhone line have actually been swirling around. Despite such interruptions, reports continue to swirl around the iPhone 12 phones, which we imagine will continue until they officially launch. In addition to maybe introducing 3D depth-sensing to its rear cams and brand-new screen sizes, speculation has actually arisen that the company will belatedly include a function in the iPhone that would make it competitive with its rivals: 5G.

This makes good sense considering its main competitor, Samsung, released numerous 5G phones this year, including the high-end Galaxy S20 phones and will announce more at its Unpacked event on August 5, like the Note 20.

Up until any of that occurs though, examine back frequently as we will continue to update it with the most engaging and possible rumors. iPhone 12’s release date might remain in October. Despite Apple’s largest maker, Foxconn, ensuring financiers it need to still make its fall timeline, the iPhone 12 could face hold-ups. This is because of the covid pandemic and its unprecedented impact on manufacturing and consumer needs.

Apple may wait until October to reveal the phone, which has to do with a month after the iPhone’s normal launch. This year, the company will project supply to be available a couple of weeks later than last year’s mid-September launch. And other iPhone models might introduce in different phases too. The company might introduce its 2020 iPhones in multiple phases.

Due to the pandemic tossing off production schedules, the two 6.1-inch iPhone models might launch initially, with the 6.7- and 5.4-inch versions coming later on. iPhone 12 price might be less expensive than iPhone 11. When the iPhone 11 debuted in 2015, its base model cost $699, which was $50 less expensive than 2018’s iPhone XR. This trend may continue, with Apple pricing the iPhone 12 at $649, the iPhone 12 Pro at $999, and the iPhone 12 Pro Max at $1,099.

Numerous reports are anticipating that Apple will include 5G connection this year.

More specifically, many anticipate the business to unveil three 5G phones and that Apple might use its own proprietary 5G antennas. There are a number of reasons why the business did not jump on the trend in 2019. The company typically is not the first to jump in on mobile trends, choosing instead to perfect an emerging technology prior to dedicating to it.

For instance, it was behind its rivals in making phones with 3G and 4G LTE connectivity when those networks just launched. This led to Apple’s previous partner of 5G modems, Intel, to ultimately leave the 5G phone modem service completely and the company later acquired Intel’s mobile phone modem business for $1 billion. iPhone 12’s video camera may have 3D depth picking up.

Since the iPhone X, more recent iPhones have front-facing cams that have 3D depth picking up. Called Face ID, this feature scans your face for unlocking your phone and licensing digital payments. It has been reported that Apple may take it up a notch and present that exact same system to the rear cameras. Experts anticipate 2 of the 2020 iPhones models to have a brand-new time-of-flight cam lens on the back of the phone.

The setup would resemble that of the current True Depth cam system used for Face ID on the front of the phone, other than it would utilize a slightly various kind of technology that could enable it to 3D map things from further away.

This would substantially enhance its electronic camera features like Portrait Mode to the next level. It is unclear how many of the new iPhones would be equipped with this function, if any. With Apple’s iOS 14 offered for public beta, we now know more about what the upcoming iPhone, and all the other iPhones compatible with the upgrade, can do. From widgets and app libraries to picture-in-picture, you can anticipate a lot of software as well as hardware upgrades to the iPhone 12, 12 Pro, and 12 Max.

Since the iPhone X, newer iPhones have front-facing cameras that have 3D depth picking up.

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