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Thursday, September 16, 2021

App Tracking Transparency and Epic v. Apple are here and causing a stir

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Ios 14.5 App Tracking Transparency HeroSource: Christine Romero-Chan / iMore

While there was no big Apple announcement this past week, there has been a lot of hubbub around Apple and other big companies like Facebook and Instagram, as well as Epic. It’s been quite a whirlwind of a week, to be honest.

First off, iOS 14.5 introduced a new feature called App Tracking Transparency. This new feature lets you choose to allow apps to track your activity across the companies’ apps and websites. Companies like Facebook and Instagram can then use that information to give you a “personalized” feed of ads and sponsored posts you may be interested in. With iOS 14.5, apps must now ask for user permission to track, and users have the option of opting out. The argument against this is that you’ll still get ads and such, but they may be less relevant to your interests. But then again, I can only take so many advertisements for one product category, like dental floss or something. I can see both sides of the argument here.

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However, since the feature became available, I have chosen to opt-out of app tracking pretty much whenever I can. But it seems that companies like Facebook don’t like that and are now threatening to charge for access if you don’t permit them to track your data. I find this laughable, honestly. I would definitely not pay for Facebook, and I believe it’s an empty threat. It’s just a scare tactic to push people into giving them their data. I use Facebook primarily to keep in touch with family and friends that I don’t always talk to daily, and I really dislike seeing the same ads over and over. I can’t even recall the last time I actually bought something from those ads either because I research products before purchasing.

Like many other people, the moment Facebook or Instagram starts to charge me for access just because I don’t want to give them every little bit of info about me is when I look for alternatives and ditch them for good. Though I fear that it’ll be hard to convince others to move to a different platform, and if the other platform ever gets big enough, it may just become the next Facebook, and the cycle repeats itself. Ah, the circle of the internet.

This past week was also the start of the Epic v. Apple trial, which appears to be the trial that keeps on giving. So far, we’ve learned things like the fact that Epic would have accepted a special deal with Apple and that Apple had given Hulu some special access to the App Store API. I don’t have much additional input about this whole trial, but it sure is proving to be some great entertainment. It’s also nice to see some of the Apple dirt come out, like how Eddy Cue tried to bring iMessage to Android back in 2013. Can you imagine? That would have been great and solve some of the issues I have with SMS in Messages, but that’s a story for another day. As we continue to watch things unfold, just make sure you have that popcorn nearby.

Apple Watch Blood Glucose HeroSource: Christine Romero-Chan / iMore

In other Apple news, the rumor of a future Apple Watch with blood sugar and blood pressure measurements has popped up once more. I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again: if there’s going to be an Apple Watch with blood glucose monitoring, it’s an instabuy for me. I’m a Type 2, so having blood glucose monitoring in an Apple Watch would make my life so much easier instead of dealing with finger pricks or having to get a continuous glucose monitor (CGM) with an invasive patch. I’m holding out for this to be in the Apple Watch Series 7 (if so, it’ll definitely be the best Apple Watch in my books), but it might not show up until 2022. Still, if Apple could get this right, then I don’t care how long it takes — I’ll still buy it. Seriously Apple, make it happen!

Anyways, I think that’s a wrap for this week. Until next time!

- Christine Romero-Chan

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