Day: 26 October 2022


Updates are more frequently released software patches that help secure or enhance the current operating system and are designed to protect your device against security or privacy vulnerabilities. Updates use a second and sometimes a third number to denote increments. For example, iOS 15.1 is an update to iOS 15.

For upgrades of iOS, iPadOS, tvOS, and watchOS, a simple integer is used — for example, iOS 15 and iPadOS 16.1. […]

It is not a great sign when official documentation misuses the word “integer” in a sentence that immediately negates the previous paragraph’s explanation for how Apple differentiates software updates and software upgrades.

Graham Gilbert:

Apple has finally officially state their stance on the latest operating system is the only fully patched one. If you are running anything other than $latest you are likely vulnerable.

This has been indicated, though never confirmed, for years; it is now documented. Earlier this year, Apple gave iOS 14 about four months of extra support. Vulnerabilities in previous versions of MacOS persist for months after being patched in newer versions, if they are fixed at all.

The Economist:

The mushrooming of factories in southern India marks a new chapter for the world’s biggest technology company. Apple’s extraordinarily successful past two decades — revenue up 70-fold, share price up 600-fold, a market value of $2.4trn — is partly the result of a big bet on China. Apple banked on China-based factories, which now churn out more than 90% of its products, and wooed Chinese consumers, who in some years contributed up to a quarter of Apple’s revenue. Yet economic and geopolitical shifts are forcing the company to begin a hurried decoupling. Its turn away from China marks a big shift for Apple, and is emblematic of an even bigger one for the world economy.


The question is whether moving production physically out of China will be enough to avoid future crackdowns. Even as Apple makes more of its gadgets outside China, it is no less reliant on Chinese-owned companies to build them. Chinese manufacturers such as Luxshare, Goertek and Wingtech are taking an increasing share of Apple’s business beyond China’s borders.

It takes a long time to turn the big ship Apple. A year ago, China surpassed Taiwan as the location of most of Apple’s suppliers. But, as I wrote at the time, counting which suppliers are located where is not necessarily the best metric for whether the company’s dependence on China is deepening or receding. The Economist’s summary indicates device manufacturing is increasingly taking place outside China. If you are not super into human rights abuses, it is a good sign that Apple is diversifying. But, as I also noted last year, many of the suppliers with ties to forced Uyghur Muslim labour are deeper in the supply chain. They produce things like power supplies and internal cables. What does the future of sourcing those components look like for a company like Apple, with its unique scale and needs?

One more from Reuters today, this time by Mike Spector and Dan Levine:

Tesla Inc is under criminal investigation in the United States over claims that the company’s electric vehicles can drive themselves, three people familiar with the matter said.


As part of the latest probe, Justice Department prosecutors in Washington and San Francisco are examining whether Tesla misled consumers, investors and regulators by making unsupported claims about its driver assistance technology’s capabilities, the sources said.

Officials conducting their inquiry could ultimately pursue criminal charges, seek civil sanctions or close the probe without taking any action, they said.

Coincidentally, October 20, just last week, marked six years since Tesla appeared to show off its fully autonomous capabilities in a video later revealed to have involved a preplanned route made using a different version of the software — oh, and the car crashed while filming.

Spector and Levine repeatedly point out how difficult this case will be for prosecutors given Tesla’s various cover-your-ass statements in its presentations and software. What I see is Elon Musk’s dependence on weasel words and innuendo to claim greater capability when it suits the company’s marketing, then retreat to a more guarded position when legally compromising.

Even if prosecutors do not find evidence of criminal conduct, this is still an unethical practice. People have died while believing their Tesla was capable of driving itself. Media outlets who have unquestioningly parroted the company’s marketing should also reconsider how they cover these kinds of pre-announcements. Couching it in terms like “Musk said” is not good enough, nor is it a case where there are two equally-valid sides and readers should decide who to believe. We should expect better.

Sheila Dang, Reuters:

The reality, according to internal Twitter research seen by Reuters, goes far beyond the handful of examples of celebrities ghosting their own accounts. Twitter is struggling to keep its most active users – who are vital to the business – engaged, underscoring a challenge faced by the Tesla chief executive as he approaches a deadline to close his $44 billion deal to buy the company.


A “heavy tweeter” is defined as someone who logs in to Twitter six or seven days a week and tweets about three to four times a week, the document said.

I am not sure about you, but I do not like what this implies about how much time I spend on Twitter.

Apple has a uniquely loyal customer base, cultivated by spending the past twenty-odd years, in particular and continuously, carefully balancing its corporate priorities and users’ satisfaction. It has long prided itself on being an accessibly premium brand: not necessarily expensive, but definitely not cheap. It does not “ship junk”. It has expanded its range of pricing over time — iPhone models are available, in the U.S., for anywhere from $430 through $1,600. Some phones are available for less than $430, but they are often sad plastic affairs that are nowhere near as nice as an iPhone SE. You can quibble with individual parts of Apple’s product line, but nothing it makes would be shameful to be sitting on your desk.

Apple is increasingly leveraging its customer base to maximize individual spending on services, accessories, and accessories for those accessories, but it is its cautious yet determined rollout of ads that makes me most nervous. Apple is risking its dedicated customer relationships because competitors’ operating systems suck worse, and we got the latest taste of what we can expect beginning yesterday:

Apple today rolled out new ad placements in the App Store on the iPhone, allowing developers to advertise their apps in more places, including the main Today tab and in the “You Might Also Like” section at the bottom of individual app listings.

Just hours later, several prominent developers have complained about distasteful ads for gambling apps appearing in their own App Store listings outside of their control, including Marco Arment, Simon Støvring, and others. The issue was also highlighted in a tweet shared by MacStories editor-in-chief Federico Viticci.

Some users reported seeing shady ads in apps for kids and, in more than one case, sobriety apps. That last one is particularly inexcusable. I was unable to replicate it, though I was seeing ads for gambling apps in basically every other “You Might Also Like” section last night.

Whatever issue caused online casinos to dominate the App Store advertising marketplace appears to have been corrected. Today, I have mostly seen ads for games. Not good games — not the kind of games that top the charts and get amazing reviews — but more like the ones that are a thinly-veiled vehicle for heavy spending through in-app purchases. Sometimes I see ads for more legitimate apps, like’s, but I am more often subjected to the kind of questionable products I used to see in Flash banner ads in the early 2000s.

I cannot speak to how this feels for developers, other users, or Apple shareholders and employees. From my perspective, this experiment is not a promising development for the road ahead. It feels like a bait and switch: my loyalty in buying products that are better for me as a user is being tested because shareholders need to see more services revenue. Apple knows most people will not switch because it relentlessly promotes its own services across its systems or because there are ads for third-party apps all over the App Store — or, if as rumoured, it rolls out ads in Maps. But it will feel a little bit scummier every time I go to download an app or get directions.

I am not a business person. I am sure there are fine arguments to be made by armchair CEOs on Twitter about how this is a reasonable decision for bolstering the price of Apple stock or a minor aesthetic grievance for a device that mostly functions the same as it did last week. But I am equally certain a company does not improve customer satisfaction by ensuring no money is left on the table. There is barely competition among airlines, so they all charge you for the privilege of taking clothing to your destination in a suitcase. The lack of choice in operating systems means vendors can increasingly extract money from customers, happiness be damned. What are you going to do — switch to Android and Windows? Good luck.

It is not too late for Apple to simply stop.