And the backlash with the on device scanning has coming in ‘thick and fast’ with the situation now made worse now that the discourse has moved from technology enthusiasts online debating on how the technology could be expanded in the future by Apple (via pressure from governments) to now mainstream outlets, or to use an internet term ‘normies’,
Although Apple said that it is ‘more private’ because it doesn’t involve scanning every photo already uploaded in the cloud then it raises questions why the alternatives were looked into such as Rene Ritchie bringing up the idea of using a relay service where the photo is uploaded and scanned by a server before it goes through to the destination in much the same way that a mail server will scan email for viruses as it delivered. The other option is more direct, why not scan it on the server as it is uploaded? Better still, why not announce it and then request for feedback and don’t include it in the net release or any future releases until there is a solution that the experts and tech community can agree on? It has appeared to me that this decision by Apple has been the result of one of two things; the first being that the hard word was put on them by government where by they would sooner voluntary compliance but if need be legislation might follow which will be a lot more onerous or secondly the top management of Apple is an echo chamber and they’ve convinced themselves ‘the plebs’ will eventually quiet down once something else comes along to take the focus off them.
There is also an interesting treasure trove (link) about the goings on behind close doors which has come out in the Apple vs. Epic Games trial where, as part of the disclosure process Apple is having to disclose emails between executives. With the big focus on ‘big tech’, breaking up monopolies and anticompetitive behaviours, it’ll be interesting to see whether anything comes from this or whether this is a big show that is kept up until the public loses interest in it. As noted prior, if Apple insist on having the store being the only way to allow users to load applications onto their phone along with requiring that all payments go through their own payments system then they’re opening themselves up to regulation – and to think that all this could easily be dealt with if they implemented side loading with notarisation like they did with macOS. The likes of Apple might have had clout with politicians in the past but I think they’re going to quickly find that they’re now dealing in a new era – the political winds are blowing, Apple can either demonstrate some contrition and make changes voluntarily or quickly find that there is a solution handed down by politicians that goes well beyond simply a few tweaks to Apple’s AppStore business model.
As for me, I’ve been using Chrome for the last few months because I’ve found Safari completely unusable on YouTube. Just as I thought that maybe Apple had fixed the issue of video play back issues, that video will stop but audio will keep playing or vice versa, it appears that once again they’re rearing their ugly head. I love using macOS but Safari has become increasingly irrelevant as the web has become more sophisticated the problem is that Safari simply hasn’t kept up and when Apple do deliver support for an open standard then either it is too late, too buggy and/or castrated in some way because of some nebulous reasons that sound more akin to ‘the five standard excuses’ listed by Sir Humphrey Appleby in ‘Yes Minister’. It’s frustrating but there is no use getting worked up because Apple has made their decision in terms of crippling Webkit to ensure it doesn’t pose as a viable threat to their AppStore (see recent ‘boasting’ by executives at the growth of their services and you can see that as the upgrade cycles for phones become longer the more dependent they’ll be on pushing services hence their iCloud+.
When it comes to iCloud+, before I make any drastic changes I’m going to wait until there is the announcement towards the end of September, when Apple does their iPhone event, about what iCloud+ actually looks like such as the custom domain support that was mentioned, what iOS 15 and macOS 12 is like so then I can look at it when compared to the Pixel 6 and possibly a refresh of the Chromecast with Google TV (to support AV1 – the current one doesn’t support AV1). Things could be quite different when macOS and iOS are launched, there might be limitations with Safari but the annoying bugs might have been addressed by then so I’m going to keep an open mind so that a constructive comparison can be made.