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Big Revolution - An iOS awakening

Welcome to Tuesday's newsletter. Let's dive straight in... — Martin from Big Revolution
June 23 · Issue #753 · View online
Big Revolution
Welcome to Tuesday’s newsletter. Let’s dive straight in…
— Martin from Big Revolution

Big things you need to know today
  • Apple’s big WWDC event took place yesterday. iOS 14 was showcased, featuring homescreen widgets (more than a decade after Android), App Clips (for running mini-apps after scanning a QR code or NFC tag), new privacy features (more on these below), and lots more.
  • Goodbye OS X. The new version of Apple’s MacOS will be version 11 after nearly 20 years on version 10, and is named ‘Big Sur.’ It features an eyecatching visual overhaul.
  • Nintendo is backing away from mobile games because it can’t find a satisfactory business model that doesn’t damage its brand. Animal Crossing’s success on Switch has renewed the company’s confidence in its own platforms, Bloomberg reports [paywalled]
  • Apple and Basecamp have reached an detente over the Hey iOS app. The bug fix update has been approved, and Basecamp will see if Apple will approve a free-to-try version that expires after 14 days, unless you figure out on your own how to visit to buy a subscription. Not exactly consumer friendly! Also, Apple says developers are now allowed to challenge App Store rules.
The big thought
Apple's new app privacy display.
Apple's new app privacy display.
An iOS awakening
iOS 14 might just be the most exciting update to Apple’s mobile operating system in the past few years. iMore has a good roundup of what’s new, but the thing that stood out to me was the privacy information.
Billed as resembling nutrition labels on food packaging, Apple will now display the types of information an app collects about users. This is important, because as I’ve written in this newsletter in the past, mobile apps are something of a black box when it comes to adtech and user data tracking.
While web browsers increasingly block tracking cookies, and there is software you can use to easily see what trackers any site is running (indeed, Safari will be getting this as standard soon), apps keep that information hidden . If you’re lucky this data will be in an app’s privacy policy, but it’s not always easy to find, even if developers thought to put it there.
Beyond this basic information, there’s a new orange dot that appears in the corner of the screen when the microphone or camera is being used. Hopefully that will put an end to the debate about whether or not Facebook’s app is listening to you.
And iOS 14 also offers more fine-grained control over privacy. You can choose to only give an app access to your rough location, rather than specifically where you are, and apps will have to ask permission before they track you across other apps and websites through adtech tools and cookies.
When iOS 14 officially launches later this year, expect a lot of people to be very surprised just how much some of their favourite apps were doing behind the scenes without their knowledge. That free-to-play game you love might not be so appealing anymore.
One big read
A Startup Takes ‘Investing in People’ Literally. Not Everyone Approves A Startup Takes ‘Investing in People’ Literally. Not Everyone Approves
“Human IPO lets individuals sell their time on the open market. Its cofounders believe its valuation model is agnostic—but it may still reflect an unequal world.”
One big tweet
Now the Trump administration has placed strict new restrictions on visas and the status of foreign workers in the USA, the European tech scene sees an opportunity…
Imran Ghory
If you're a European based in the valley thinking about returning home, feel free to ping me and I'll happily intro/point you to the most interesting startups in your home country that you should be speaking to!
That’s all for today...
Back in your inbox tomorrow with more.
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