Here’s your daily tech digest, by way of the DGiT Daily newsletter, for Friday, February 1, 2019.
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Apple versus Facebook, and Google
At one point yesterday, it looked like the three biggest platforms and technology companies in the world had descended into a nasty-looking battle:
- Apple first revoked the ability for both Facebook from running internal apps for development and staff-only use, as reported in yesterday’s read, following a TechCrunch report about Facebook “Research” running incentivized monitoring apps.
- Then Apple also turned off the tap for Google, following another TechCrunch report of Google running something similar called Screenwise Meter although far less nefariously. (Also, Google wrote the words “we apologize,” unlike Facebook.)
- That worked the tech world up into a bit of a frenzy – just what would happen next?
- “When Facebook employees woke up on Wednesday morning, many found they could not perform even the most basic work tasks,” reported the New York Times.
Buuut… all the fun of potentially watching three of the tech giant five (Amazon and Microsoft seemingly remain in the good books for now) go at it, and the thrill of a potential corporate-monkey-knife-fight (The Simpsons), died out as fast as it came about.
- Within a few hours, and perhaps frenzied phone calls between Google CEO Sundar Pichai/Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, and Apple CEO Tim Cook, possible threats, possible bribes, or just professionals discussing the issues at large, it was confirmed that Apple had walked back its revoking of both Facebook and Google’s developer access.
- We don’t know what happened, and those details may not emerge for some time, or at all.
- Google and Facebook would have their own painful ways to impact Apple users, although it would all become very cut-off-nose-to-spite-face stuff.
- We do know Google and Apple are tied together in a myriad of ways, and dollars.
- All in all, it means Google suffered directly for less than a day, while Facebook’s time in the naughty corner was more like around 48 hours.
- In terms of what actually happened, Apple revoked the developer certificates for both Google and Facebook, and then issued a new developer certificate.
- That means that the apps that shouldn’t have been running on an iOS device, according to Apple’s rules, now can’t just be started up again.
- Although to be fair, Facebook did stop their iOS ‘Research’ app while Google also pulled its ‘Screenwise Meter’ app. (On iOS, but not Android.)
- But both Google and Facebook can again start pushing legitimate testing and development apps onto their corporate iOS devices, again.
- Thus, this chapter of the war is over.
- It’s possible to consider this as just a breach of terms of service and a natural response by Apple. Ho-hum.
- I would argue that underplays it significantly.
- Tim Cook has talked down about Facebook in the past and Mark Zuckerberg has not taken it well.
- Facebook said as much in November, officially (Facebook NewsRoom):
- “[…] Tim Cook has consistently criticized our business model and Mark has been equally clear he disagrees. So there’s been no need to employ anyone else to do this for us. And we’ve long encouraged our employees and executives to use Android because it is the most popular operating system in the world.”
- ‘Encourage’ might turn into a flat a no-iPhone-zone.
Huawei: 5G foldable phone this month
- This official teaser above, tweeted out and sent to media, follows an earlier report, where Huawei’s Richard Yu announced that the company has a 5G foldable lined up for MWC, the annual industry conference, in Barcelona, on February 24 (Android Authority).
Here’s everything else happening:
1. Has Samsung’s foldable phone made an appearance in this official video? (Android Authority)
2. Energizer’s upcoming phone lineup includes a few with pop-up selfie cameras (AA). Yes, Energizer is getting into smartphones, which could be expensive for that company if it doesn’t offer something amazing. Like incredible battery life. But if Apple and Samsung haven’t got there with their billions in R&D, what can Energizer really do?
3. Left your phone in the cold? Here’s how to fix it (AA).
4. Windows setup error messages will soon be much less useless (Ars Technica).
5. Uber adds public transportation options to its app (Engadget) – in Denver, Colorado for now. This could be huge.
6. Interpreting Amazon’s earnings release (Amazon Chronicles). Nice detail here.
7. How many .com domain names are unused? (singaporedatacompany.com)
8. Nintendo reportedly plans smaller and cheaper Switch for this year (Engadget).
9. Prisons across the US are quietly building databases of incarcerated people’s voice prints (The Intercept). Shocking.
10. The number of stoned dog-related emergency calls is up 765% (Mashable). Dogs are 10x more susceptible to THC, which is great for regulated treatments, not good if your pet eats your human-grade edibles.
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