Aussie Mac Zone ~ Episode 348

Show 348 – August 17, 2020

Run Sheet ~ Zarn & Michael


Our Aussie Apple Ramblings 

Story 1

Trump says ‘whatever’ to Apple’s concerns that a WeChat ban could impact iPhone sales

9TO5Mac reported ~ Apple was among more than a dozen US companies to warn the Trump administration about the severe implications of banning WeChat from their platforms. President Trump is seeking to ban the app due to national security concerns, and during a press conference today, he offered a “rebuttal” to Apple’s argument.

During a press conference with reporters at the White House today, Trump was asked about the implications of the WeChat ban by Bloomberg correspondent Justin Sink. In his response, Trump doubled down on the national security concerns and said a simple “whatever” to Apple’s concerns:

Trump signed an executive order last week aiming to ban transactions between US companies and the Chinese companies behind TikTok and WeChat. The order will take effect in September, and Microsoft is working to acquire TikTok in the United States.

Apple and companies such as Disney, Ford, Intel, Morgan Stanley, UPS, and Walmart participated in a call with Trump Administration officials this week, warning that the consequences of this ban could be “severe.” In Apple’s case, WeChat is everything for iPhone users in China, and banning the app from the worldwide App Store could be disastrous for iPhone sales in China.

MS only thing is that Do Not have to ban WeChat and TikTok in China. Same as there are apps banned in China and available outside.

Lastly there is no worldwide App Store.


Story 2 ~ 

Facebook goes after Apple

AXIOS reports ~ Facebook is seeking to force a face-off with Apple over its 30% in-app purchase commission fee, which Facebook suggests hurts small businesses struggling to get by during the pandemic.

The big picture: Facebook has never publicly gone after Apple, a key strategic partner, this aggressively. Both companies face antitrust scrutiny, which in Apple’s case has centred on the very fee structure Facebook is now attacking.

What’s happening: Facebook said Friday that it will launch “Paid Online Events” for small businesses in 20 countries around the world to charge Facebook users to attend their classes, instructions and other events.

The feature could be useful for any small business or individual offering a service, such a preacher, musician, yoga teacher or cooking instructor.

Facebook asked Apple to either waive its 30% cut or let Facebook go around it and process event payments via Facebook Pay, in either case letting event hosts keep all the revenue they generate. Apple declined, according to Facebook.

“Really what we’re pushing on right now is to make sure all tech companies who can afford to do so join us in supporting small businesses,” Fidji Simo, head of Facebook App, said on a press call Friday.


Gaming #1 ~ 

The Apple / Epic battle has four possible outcomes, and Epic can’t lose!

~ update Google also removed Fortnite from the Playstore and Epic is also now suing them 

9TO5Mac reports ~ Regardless of who you think is right in the Apple / Epic battle, it’s hard not to admire the planning that went into the Fortnite maker’s surprise attack on Apple.

The company clearly knew exactly what it was doing. For the game company, there was really very little to lose … 

Fortnite is a massively popular freemium game. You can download it free of charge, but the company makes a fortune from in-app purchases. The game generated over $100M in its first 90 days and a month later was reported to have hit a cool billion dollars. It was still the top-grossing game this year.

Apple takes 30% of that revenue. (Google does the same for the Android version, though it is possible to sideload Fortnite and bypass the Google Play store.)

Epic wasn’t happy about Apple and Google taking such a hefty cut, so the company decided to take on the tech giants head-on. It offered a ‘direct payment’ option, offering in-app currency at a 20% discount for those who chose to buy direct from Epic rather than via Apple or Google.

That action was, of course, in direct violation of the terms of service of both app stores, and Apple responded exactly as Epic expected it to: by removing the app from the store.

The four possible outcomes (from six originally)

The Apple / Epic battle could go either way, but this is effectively a no-lose situation for the Fortnite developer. There were six possible outcomes when Epic started this:

      1. 1.Apple backs down and cuts a deal with Epic
      2. 2.The battle adds enough pressure that Apple reduces its commission for everyone
      3. 3.Apple offers a settlement before or during the trial
      4. 4.Epic wins its lawsuit

Apple is the party at risk here, not Epic

What’s notable here is that Apple would lose in five of the original six scenarios. Epic loses in none of them. The worst that could happen from Epic’s perspective is the ‘nothing changes’ scenario, in which case it simply shrugs, removes the direct payment option, and is back into the App Store.

It loses a bit of interim income, but that may well be balanced out (or more) by all the publicity generated by the case, and by creating goodwill from consumers who see the company as having made a valiant bid to stand up for the little guy.



Michael  Not taking sides here BUT

Apple and Google can charge what they like. It is there store!

We can choose not to buy an  Apple or Android Device.

And lastly “In App Purchases” in games are mostly a con!  It is basically a way to beat your friends to a level or the end.

If I am “In App Purchasing” to stop Ads, why make the game Free in the first place if you believe you can’t keep the game going without income?


Entertainment #1 ~ 

Apple may offer half-off CBS All Access and Showtime bundle for TV+

Apple is still looking for ways to promote its Apple TV+ streaming service. Its next attempt may be to offer subscribers a discounted CBS All Access and Showtime bundle. People familiar with the plans told Bloomberg the new bundle could launch as early as Monday. 

According to Bloomberg, Apple TV+ subscribers will be able to access CBS and Showtime channels in the Apple TV app for $9.99 per month. Typically, CBS All Access costs $9.99 per month, and Showtime costs $10.99 per month. Users will need to pay the $4.99 per month fee for Apple TV+, but they’ll still see a noticeable savings. 

If this launches on Monday, it will be the first Apple TV+ content bundle. Just yesterday, we learned that Apple is also considering an “Apple One” subscription bundle, which would package services like Apple Music and Apple TV+, plus add-ons like Apple Arcade, Apple News+ and iCloud storage.

Apple bundling its own services makes sense, but offering a bundle with outside services like CBS All Access and Showtime enters a different territory. It could bring tons of content to Apple TV+ subscribers, who may find the shows and movies on Apple’s streaming service to be a bit lacking.


Entertainment #2 –

Other Apple TV+ announcements

Apple TV+ greenlights “Harriet the Spy,” starring Golden Globe nominee Beanie Feldstein and Emmy Award winner Jane Lynch

Iconic children’s novel set to be adapted and animated for Apple’s Emmy Award-winning slate of premium originals for kids.

Set in 1960s New York when the original book was published, the new series will be voiced by a star-studded cast including Golden Globe and SAG Award nominee Beanie Feldstein, who will star as Harriet, a fiercely independent, adventurous, curious 11-year-old girl.

More than anything, Harriet wants to be a writer, and in order to be a good writer, you need to know everything, and in order to know everything, you have to be a spy!

Emmy Award winner Jane Lynch will voice the role of Ole Golly, Harriet’s larger-than-life, no-nonsense nanny. Additional voice talent includes Lacey Chabert as Marion Hawthorne, the ringleader of a group of smug, popular girls at Harriet’s school.

Apple TV+ to premiere highly anticipated espionage thriller “Tehran” globally on Friday, September 25

Apple today revealed that “Tehran,” the new espionage thriller from “Fauda” writer Moshe Zonder, will premiere globally Friday, September 25 on Apple TV+. The eight-episode series will premiere with the first three episodes, followed by new episodes weekly, every Friday.

“Tehran” tells the thrilling story of a Mossad agent who goes deep undercover on a dangerous mission in Tehran that places her and everyone around her in dire jeopardy.


Things coming in new OS’ ~ 

iOS 14: How to use the new iPhone alarms

9TO5Mac helps us ~ Among the more modest tweaks to the iPhone’s UI with iOS 14 is a redesigned Clock app. While it is nice to see the rotating dial replaced with a more efficient number pad, there are some confusing aspects to the new interface. Read along for how to use the new iPhone alarms in iOS 14 and where the Bedtime tab has moved.

The Clock app on iPhone with iOS 14 is simpler in some ways but also a bit counterintuitive in others. Below we’ll look at how to best use iPhone alarms as well where the Bedtime tab now lives and more.

How to use new iPhone alarms in iOS 14

  1. 1.Open the Clock app
  2. 2.Tap the Alarm tab at the bottom
  3. 3.Tap the orange “+” icon in the top right corner or hit Edit in the top left corner and tap an existing one to modify it
  4. 4.Use the number keypad at the bottom of the screen to enter your full alarm time (don’t tap the small orange time near the top, if you do, you’ll just be editing the hour)
  5. 5.You can leave out the 0 for hours between 1-9 (e.g. type 730 instead of 0730)
  6. 6.Don’t forget to check the AM/PM toggle (light gray box signals what is selected)
  7. 7.One way to opt-out of the interface is to use Siri to set your alarms

MS I have been using Mac OS Big Sur this week, without any glitches on my everyday computer.  I have not used it on the video production machine as I believe that OBS does not yet work with it.


Story 3 ~ 

Woolworths used $0 eGift cards as ‘identifiers’ for priority online delivery

Project set up in under a week by WooliesX.

Woolworths set up an eGift card program called “Kindness Cards” in six days as a way to identify and triage vulnerable customers for online shopping when coronavirus lockdowns hit Australia back in March.

The project, which was run by digital arm WooliesX, saw at least 22,000 cards issued to vulnerable customers via over 30 charity, government and corporate agencies.

Woolworths launched ‘Priority Assistance’ back in late March as a way to ensure vulnerable customers – such as the elderly, those with disabilities or those self-isolating – could order groceries online and have them home delivered.

Most of the 350,000-plus customers that used the service registered online and sent “supporting documentation about their circumstances”, which was then reviewed within 48 hours.

However, it has now emerged that Woolworths was able to approve the most vulnerable customers much faster through the issuing of specific eGift cards.

The eGift cards were used both as a validation method to identify and triage vulnerable customers accurately online, and as a payment mechanism.

“There is a $0 value, used as an identifier on Woolworths Online only; or $80 value, which is both an identifier and a gift card,” states one of the few online descriptions of the program.

“Both types allow Woolworths to identify and validate those eligible for priority access, and enable online access for those people who do not have a credit or debit card to use online.”

The eGift cards were issued directly to charities and government organisations via Woolworths’ SAP Hybris e-commerce platform.

To use the card, customers registered for the Priority Assistance service using a form powered by SAP customer data cloud.

Once approved, they could then place orders and receive contactless delivery via Australia Post – at a time when delivery windows were limited and regular online shoppers were unable to place orders.

The program was also extended to enable Australians to donate Kindness Cards to charities.

MS  “and that’s why I pick Woolies”


Good Things for when were Stuck Indoors


Story 4 ~

An awesome little video clip

No spoilers ~ except it is a video from a French Restaurant


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