Plot Twist: Apple Also Has to Follow Google Play Store Rules

Google has updated its Play Store rules, saying that developers have to use Google Play’s billing system. From Daring Fireball:

Most reports are mentioning Spotify and Netflix here, but unless I’m missing something this policy change (or as Google claim, “clarification”) will also apply to Apple Music — the Android version of which charges users who sign up directly. The fact that Apple forces all subscription streaming services to use Apple’s in-app payments on iOS but doesn’t use Google’s on Android for Apple Music has been a source of much heckling.

I’m on the side of Apple in the Epic v Apple case, but if Apple has to follow Google’s similar rules for developers when it hadn’t already, simultaneously enforcing similar rules on its own side for developers, is hilarious to me. I hope that made sense.

Can iOS 14 Widgets Steal Your Keyboard Info?

After claims that iOS 14 widgets are up to no good, can they access your keyboard and act as keyloggers? First, as the developer of Widgetsmith says:

Leaving for a moment that I don’t think that is technically possible for a widget to read the keyboard. Widgetsmith was built from the ground up with complete privacy in mind and collects essentially no data about its users.

After using the app I wrote about this morning, Sticky Widgets, I’d say yes they can access your keyboard, because if not then Sticky Widgets would be unusable and you couldn’t type anything into them. Can they access the keyboard without user consent? Most likely not, as the quote continues: “Widgets use SwiftUI views to display their content. WidgetKit renders the views on your behalf in a separate process. As a result, your widget extension is not continually active, even if the widget is onscreen.”

Put Sticky Notes on Your Home Screen With ‘Sticky Widgets’

Many Mac users have fond memories of Apple’s sticky notes widget and you can replicate that experience with Sticky Widgets. It lets you add sticky notes on your Home Screen in two steps: 1) Add a Sticky Widget to your Home Screen; 2) Tap on the widget to edit it. This is one app you should download immediately, although you probably don’t need me to tell you that since sticky notes on the screen are so useful. With these widgets easily accessible and in my face, I no longer have to create a reminder for stuff to get at the store, and a reminder to remind myself to set the other reminder.

Fitness+: Can Apple See Off Big-Name Rivals?

The premium fitness subscription marketplace is an increasingly crowded one. Cult of Mac asks whether Apple’s Fitness+ offering can thrive.

Established players like Peloton and Adidas already have a significant head start. But Apple is in great shape to give them a run for their money. Fitness+ is a logical next step for Cupertino. The upcoming service plugs some significant gaps in Apple’s fitness offering while intelligently leveraging the power of its platform to gain an advantage… Apple Fitness+ aims to re-create the experience of a studio class at home by providing on-demand workout videos featuring trainers who show you what to do on screen. There are 21 trainers in total. (If you want to get to know them now, check out the Apple Fitness+ Instagram page, which includes links to each of their personal profiles). They look like a fun, talented and diverse team… Unlike Apple, Peloton offers live video streams as well as on-demand ones. During a live stream, the trainer can actually see your workout stats and even give you a shout-out to keep you motivated.

Windows XP Had a Very Mac-like Unused Theme

I remember when Windows 7 came out, there were lots of raised eyebrows and jokes that it looked rather a lot like Mac OS X. (“I’m a Mac… and Windows 7 was my idea.”) Of course, the rivalry and accusations of copying from both sides had begun long before that. The Verge reported that a leak of Windows XP code revealed some very Apple-like features in one theme. (Image credit: The Verge.)

A recent Windows XP source code leak has revealed Microsoft’s early work on the operating system and some unreleased themes the company created during its early XP development back in 2000. One is labeled “Candy” and includes a design that closely resembles Apple’s Aqua interface that was first introduced at the Macworld Conference & Expo in 2000. Although the theme is incomplete, the Windows XP Start button and various buttons and UI elements are clearly themed to match Apple’s Aqua. Microsoft never released its Aqua theme for Windows XP, and we understand it was used in early source code for the OS. Windows developers appear to have used the theme as a placeholder to build the theme engine for Windows XP.

That CPU is Hot! — Mac Geek Gab 835

Of course your Quick Tips for iOS 14, iPadOS 14, and watchOS 7 keep rolling in, and of course your two favorite geeks take pleasure in sharing them for you. But there’s more… there’s always more! This week, John and Dave dig into what’s making your CPU hot, what’s causing your CarPlay woes, and much, much more! Press play to enjoy learning at least five new things.

iOS 14 vs Android, App Library, Widgets, and Default Apps

Writer Nicole Lee is happy with iOS 14 features that are similar to Android, like widgets, default apps, and App Library. And she wants more of that.

But for me, the real star of iOS 14 is not quite so obvious (It’s so low-key that Apple didn’t mention it at its WWDC keynote). It’s the fact that, at long last, iOS now lets you pick your own default email and browser apps. This one feature, more than any other, is what I feel is a key factor in preventing me from switching to Android. That’s because, as an iOS user, it is not Android that I find attractive — it’s Google.

I’m trying to wrap my head around this argument. I don’t want to be one of those people who say, “If you’re not happy with iOS, then switch to Android.” But it doesn’t make sense to me that setting default apps would stop her from switching, considering Android had that all along. She goes on to say that she hasn’t bothered with iOS 14 widgets and that Android widgets don’t appeal to her. Okay, don’t use them?? Just like you’re not using iOS 14 widgets?? There’s more I have to say but this is running up against the length limitation of our Linked Teasers. Go read.

Would You Like a Flying Security Drone From Amazon?

On Thursday, Amazon’s Ring surveillance company revealed a security drone that flies around your house taking photos of everything, because what could go wrong in 2020?

The company’s promotional video highlighting the camera showed a burglar breaking into a home and getting spooked as the drone flew straight at him — “Oh, no!” he exclaimed — while the homeowner watched the encounter on his phone. “Oh, yes,” the ad proclaimed.

I know what you’re thinking. Yes, it’s a real product and not a parody from The Onion.

Watch Behind the Series ‘Tehran’ From Apple TV+

Apple uploaded a behind the series look at thriller “Tehran” on Apple TV+. It’s a new espionage thriller from “Fauda” writer Moshe Zonder that tells the thrilling story of a Mossad agent who goes deep undercover on a dangerous mission in Tehran that places her and everyone around her in dire jeopardy. The series is created by Moshe Zonder, Dana Eden, and Maor Kohn, and directed by Daniel Syrkin. Omri Shenhar serves as writer alongside Zonder. The series is executive produced by Moshe Zonder, Dana Eden, Shula Spiegel, Alon Aranya, Julien Leroux, Peter Emerson and Eldad Koblenz; and produced by Donna and Shula Productions in association with Paper Plane Productions, with the participation of Cineflix Rights and Cosmote TV. Tehran will premiere globally on Apple TV+ with the first three episodes on September 25, and new episodes will premiere weekly, every Friday.

Amazon’s Luna Streaming Game Service Works on iOS

Amazon’s newly-launched Luna streaming game service works on iOS…as a progressive web application. It’s not the same as a native app but it lets Amazon get around certain App Store rules.

Amazon said that Luna can support for gaming at a 4K resolution and 60 frames per second in “select titles.” It brought this up in relation to its Ubisoft gaming channel. This feature works like Amazon’s Prime Video channels. For example, I subscribe to PBS Kids for $5 per month on Prime Video to ensure I have plenty of content for my kids that goes beyond what the free PBS Kids app provides.