Apple's best product is now privacy


717 points | by octosphere 221 days ago


  • richliss 221 days ago

    I'd switched to a OnePlus a few years ago and was delighted by the performance/cost.

    In the last few years the combined privacy invasion from:

    1. Google at the very heart of Android (and even Cyanogen/LineageOS with DNS, Google Play Services etc.) and everything I do on the phone. 2. OnePlus with sending data and telemetry back to China and being caught out multiple times after saying they respect the user. 3. Facebook with asking for/getting insane levels of permissions from Android for their apps.

    Has made me realise that Apple are the only option for anyone who cares about privacy and wants some simplicity.

    Sure I'd love for the ello (/e/) project to eventually take off and provide a real solution but in the meantime and for now Apple aren't showing any signs of wanting to (or needing to) exploit/sell my personal data.

    I'm degooglifying as much as possible and my tech friends are too after the recent scandals. Google's a company we will look back on in 50 years as being a blight on freedom.

    • elborro 221 days ago

      Sadly also Apple collects data on their users. Last year around 300TB a day on what users search for, which apps they use, how many times, where you click and navigate through the OS and in the apps, etc. :(

      • mkolodny 221 days ago

        Apple, along with Google and other companies, gives the government access to pretty much all of our data:

        • kyrra 221 days ago

          As far as I'm aware, none of those companies knowingly gave that information over to the NSA. In Google's example, the NSA had tapped their inter-datacenter fiber lines to steal the data. That's why all inter-datacenter traffic at Google is always encrypted now.

          • mrtksn 221 days ago

            Yep, that's why our data is a liability for them, thus they are trying to collect as less as possible.

            Which, is also the main argument of the OP for preferring Apple.

            • mkolodny 221 days ago

              Apple gives the government a backdoor into your iPhone. So I'd argue that you don't have privacy when you use an iPhone, period. Same goes for any smartphone, really.

              I'd guess that Apple really collects less data because they want to preserve your battery life, not your privacy.

              • clay_the_ripper 221 days ago

                Please provide a source or don’t post unsubstantiated comments.

                • mkolodny 221 days ago

                  That comment was based on the title of the article I linked to above: "Secret program gives NSA, FBI backdoor access to Apple, Google, Facebook, Microsoft data".

                  I assumed that PRISM data came from a "backdoor" it had to iPhones. There's no proof that PRISM data didn't come from a backdoor to iPhones. But there's no proof it did come from a backdoor either. So I'll take back that comment.

                  • mkolodny 221 days ago

                    "Snowden: FBI Saying It Can't Unlock iPhone is 'Bullsh'"


                  • asimpletune 221 days ago

                    Sorry, how has Apple given the gov’t a backdoor?

                    • Operyl 221 days ago

                      Sources? I hear this way too often.

                      • lev99 221 days ago


                  • garmaine 221 days ago

                    Important questions:

                    1. Do they share this data with people?

                    2. Is this data anonymized?

                    3. Is this data directly monetized, or otherwise give incentives to violate user privacy?

                    • grier 221 days ago

                      I'd argue that other questions around how the data is:

                      - handled

                      - available for access by employees

                      - retained, deleted, and stored

                      etc.. are at least as important for your privacy.

                      As someone who works in security, I am as concerned or more about the seemingly inevitable breach's impact on my privacy.

                      • fucking_tragedy 221 days ago

                        Apple is a business like any other, all it will take is for the right financial incentives for them to engage in data sharing if they don't already.

                        • jernfrost 221 days ago

                          There is a financial incentive to NOT share data because there is a demand in the market for privacy. Apple can pursue this market because they charge for hardware. Google had no way of making money on privacy because they don’t sell a physical product.

                          So it is simple: Apple has a choice. Google doesn’t.

                          • fucking_tragedy 221 days ago

                            > There is a financial incentive to NOT share data because there is a demand in the market for privacy

                            Where? I can't identify a single non-tech-oriented person in my life who makes phone purchasing decisions based off of vague notions like privacy.

                            In fact, I'd say that the market does not demand privacy, it is ambivalent to it. I don't agree with ambivalence, but I also don't see consumers making privacy-minded purchases, either.

                            • cm2187 221 days ago

                              As long as the money is flowing in. I don't think people will be buying $1500 smartphones in a recession.

                              • scarface74 221 days ago

                                Few people in America pay full price for the phone. All of the carriers offer zero percent interest payment plans as does Apple. Yes I know it’s paying the full price but psychologically, most people only care about the monthly amount.

                            • bryanrasmussen 221 days ago

                              Sure, but what do you think those incentives could probably be for a company that makes its living based not on data collection but selling physical products whose 'best product is now privacy' according to the post, and who are more profitable than anyone else?

                              • fucking_tragedy 221 days ago

                                Profit, pure and simple. Just because they're profitable, does not mean they will not seek other avenues of revenue. I won't pretend to be able to predict the future, but markets shift, and should Apple find themselves in less favorable position than the one they're in today, I'd have a hard time believing they wouldn't sell user data.

                                Google was once the "don't be evil" company.

                          • mitch3x3 221 days ago

                            This is something all businesses do. The issue is whether or not they sell that information.

                            • shawnz 221 days ago

                              Why is that "the issue"? There are many other problems with excessive telemetry besides data being sold to third parties. Besides, both Google and Apple claim that they don't sell telemetry data to third parties, so how is that aspect of the issue even relevant here?

                              • yalogin 221 days ago

                                Well, ok but Apple also

                                - does not use that data to sell stuff to you.

                                - don't have a reason to profile you and store those profiles constantly updated.

                                - don't have a reason to "follow" you across the web everywhere you go to update that profile.

                                Just having that profile on you makes a company a liability. C you trust a company that makes money solely based on the information they collect about you to make decisions that benefit you? or your privacy and security?

                                • Cyph0n 221 days ago

                                  Well, the question I always ask is who has more to gain (financially) from selling user telemetry: Apple or Google?

                                  • bryanrasmussen 221 days ago

                                    Any third party that would pay google enough for the data would probably be seen by Alphabet as a company ripe for disruption.

                                • starsinspace 221 days ago

                                  Do you have a source for this?

                                  • jpttsn 221 days ago

                                    I’d love to learn more

                                  • beefield 221 days ago

                                    > Facebook with asking for/getting insane levels of permissions from Android for their apps.

                                    Why then use the app in the first place? I mean, the mobile sites of fb are pretty much functional to me. (Admittably, I am happy to have no notifications on my phone outside sms and calls)

                                    • shmageggy 221 days ago

                                      They've been progressively gimping the mobile site for a while. Now you can't use messenger from the mobile site, for zero good reason as far as I can tell. They just want to force people into using the app where they can harvest more data.

                                      • sixstringtheory 221 days ago

                               still has messenger built in and doesnt take ages to load

                                        • rakoo 221 days ago

                                          Thanks so much. I've been using but they removed the messenger from there. I've been using messenger lite because it doesn't require as many permissions and is just so much lighter to use, but it lacks one of the most important things to me: gifs

                                          • parthdesai 221 days ago

                                            privacy, battery life and ram >>> gifs.

                                          • reaperducer 221 days ago

                                            In my experience, and return far less content than the full web page. And mbasic gets the least.

                                            There have been times when mbasic has shown me two items, and that's it. Switching to m returned more. But only going to the full www showed me everything going on.

                                            So now I restrict myself to using Facebook just one day a week. It's not as good as cutting Facebook off entirely, but it at least reduces some of its data gathering on me.

                                            • dwighttk 221 days ago

                                              You might do it on a big computer if you have one. I keep Facebook in a fluid instance on my Mac. About 3 times in the past few years I’ve wished I had my login on my phone to get an address for an event or something, but haven’t gone there since I can remember. I don’t really use messenger though.

                                          • rapnie 221 days ago

                                            Google (YouTube, Search) and LinkedIn are doing that too. Especially if you are also using FireFox. Subtle differences in functionality, things missing here and there. Still I am opting for the web versions with my privacy settings and Privacy Badger, etc. LinkedIn app has a builtin Chromium browser that you can't control and may have custom code additions.

                                            • gnicholas 221 days ago

                                              You can still go to and then request desktop version to get access to messenger. But this is annoying, and most people aren’t aware of workaround like this.

                                              • slow_donkey 221 days ago

                                                I regularly use the mobile site messenger - you have to request a desktop site with m.facebook and the overlay won't show.

                                                I suspect it'd be trivial to remove the overlay with CSS.

                                                • PascLeRasc 221 days ago

                                                  Have you tried Messenger Lite? I don't know about privacy implications of having it alone on your phone, no other FB apps, but it's quite good.

                                                • LeifCarrotson 221 days ago

                                                  I don't have a Facebook account. But the app is bundled with my 'unlocked' LG G5, and there's no option in the Play store to uninstall it. Only "update", which I refuse to do.

                                                  • richliss 219 days ago

                                                    I ended up not using the app but I know lots of non-tech people who are unaware and so carry on. That for me isn't great.

                                                    • bossx 221 days ago

                                                      +1 and even better: loads extremely fast and includes messenger.

                                                    • rqs 221 days ago

                                                      However, the most Apple's system is close sourced, meaning if they want to do something, you're still defenseless. There are no Eden now, you need to protect yourself.

                                                      People's will towards privacy is still weak, they don't know what those company could do with that amount of data. Ignorant, that's why those company keep doing what they do.

                                                      It's just like running a restaurant, as long as people can't see disgusting thing in their food, then everything will be fine and dandy, no matter how unhygienic the kitchen was.


                                                      • chakalakasp 221 days ago

                                                        Most good stuff is closed source now. It is what it is.

                                                        It boils down to trust. Do you trust Google? Do you trust Apple?

                                                        I trust Google to care very much about security. I also trust that they are gathering as much information as they can about me. Even as a paid customer. It’s baked into their business model.

                                                        I trust Apple to care very much about security. I also trust that they fundamentally believe in privacy and are not gathering large swaths of data about me, and are doing what they can to keep others from doing so if I play in their garden. It’s baked into their business model.

                                                        • rqs 221 days ago

                                                          > It boils down to trust. Do you trust Google? Do you trust Apple?

                                                          Why don't boil down even further? How comfortable you are when you put your own security on other people's hand? Do you trust others will protect you no matter what? Do you trust others will completely be honest with you no matter what?

                                                          I don't know about you, but for me, I always trying to figure out the detail of the thing that will be rely on, even it's just a door alarm. Only after that, I can then tell whether or not I trust it.

                                                          If I understand you correctly, I can say that your "trust" is actually a form of trade off: I want to use the awesome __________ Phone, so I can ______________. For that, I could take some shit from __________ as long as they don't ______________.

                                                          However, that just means you've convinced yourself to trust something, hardly anything else.

                                                          And speak of "business model", many company was cool and awesome when it's young. Things change.

                                                          So, if it's a question: Do you trust Google? Do you trust Apple? Both no. I kept my file encrypted when uploading to Google Drive, and I don't use iCloud at all. I have 16 different Google accounts and 3 Apple accounts, each for different things, and I replace most of then every two years (Or when Google start to ask me for my phone number).

                                                          My advise: Don't dip yourself into that situation when you have to make a choice like that.

                                                          • clay_the_ripper 221 days ago

                                                            To me it boils down to this. At some level, there is a point where you have to trust people/companies. I don’t have time to spend researching and installing custom software to protect privacy. I fully understand that there are people here who have the time to devote to that or want to spend time doing that, but it’s not practical for most people to really spend much time on it.

                                                            So, given that I have to trust someone (and for 99% of people on the planet this is also true) I choose to trust Apple.

                                                        • at-fates-hands 221 days ago

                                                          I did the same and now I'm feeling the same way.

                                                          Currently I'm running with an MS Lumia 950 and when necessary, I'll switch back to Android. I've completely removed all my social media apps on both phones.

                                                          The most recent reason I needed to switch back to my OnePlus 2 was because my hockey manager now uses Venmo to accept payment for the upcoming season. I was pissed when I found out Venmo won't allow you to process payments from your desktop account anymore. You are forced to download and install the Android app, and then send money that way.

                                                          It just feels so invasive. I felt like they were saying, "We can't get the data we want on your PC, so we'll force you to download and install the app, and in the process, give us the permissions we want to get to your data.

                                                          • fbis251 221 days ago

                                                            Can you expand on the Lineage OS DNS issues?

                                                          • anotherelise 221 days ago

                                                            There's at least one other company trying to provide a solution

                                                            • pasta 221 days ago

                                                              Sony + Sailfish OS could also be an option since support for Sailfish is official.

                                                              • adamduren 221 days ago

                                                                Have you checked out Facebook Lite and Messenger Lite? I haven't looked into it much but it's possible they request less permissions as the app is built to have limited functionalities.

                                                                • erythpplerainbw 221 days ago

                                                                  for anyone mentioning Facebook Lite & Messenger Lite: stop, stop using them right away, the 2 apps enable all permissions without asking (because Android is saying it needs to enable all for old apps, WHAT?) also on Android, you can't share a photo to Facebook Messenger without granting at least Storage permission or Photo permission (which is not the case on Instagram)

                                                                  • amaccuish 221 days ago

                                                                    oh wow, thanks for that!

                                                                  • briandear 221 days ago

                                                                    It’s still feeding Facebook the company and ultimately rewarding privacy-unfriendly business models.

                                                                  • urza 220 days ago

                                                                    Apple might offer better privacy than Google or Facebook now, but it can change easily because privacy is not their core product.

                                                                    I have high hopes for Librem 5 where privacy of user is the core product of the company.


                                                                    • ece 220 days ago

                                                                      You're not free until you're libre.

                                                                      • dredmorbius 221 days ago

                                                                        Purism and Tuxedo Computers are two otions for mobile, laptop, and desktop systems without preinstalled surveillance capitalism.



                                                                        (No association.)

                                                                      • tjoff 221 days ago

                                                                        Though I think apples "pro privacy" stance is likely just a happy accident I tend to agree.

                                                                        Either you choose a somewhat open platform, or you choose privacy. One would have thought/hoped that they were tightly coupled.

                                                                        As it is today I can not buy a phone without having a deep bottomless disdain for it. Not the hardware but the software. And I don't even expect that much.

                                                                        I have given up entirely, the slither of hope is that in the future we can decouple the smart in smart phone with the phone. A truly dumb phone that I can interface from another device, a device I have some control over that I don't have to sell my soul to.

                                                                        • lucideer 221 days ago

                                                                          > Either you choose a somewhat open platform, or you choose privacy. One would have thought/hoped that they were tightly coupled.

                                                                          I think this comes down to two things:

                                                                          If we define "polish" as: consistency+predictable UX+aesthetics

                                                                          1. openness involves interoperability, and polish is more expensive to achieve when interoperability is a requirement

                                                                          2. the primary market for polish tends to value exclusivity, which—while not entirely contradictory to openness—tends towards non-openness

                                                                          The combination of these two means that when you focus on polish you end up with a product line that is likely to be non-open.

                                                                          The fact that the primary market for polish also tends to be economically comfortable also conveniently leads to margins that allow for privacy, but I think this is just a happy accident.

                                                                          It's my belief that if we want a private + open platform we need to:

                                                                          - Accept very large sacrifices* in polish because doing both is only economically viable when catering to a market that doesn't want/need openness

                                                                          - Choose a different economic model where resources are available to do both simultaneously.

                                                                          * Also worth noting that sacrificing quality and/or UX can lead to less privacy given that privacy depends on security and security depends on both quality, and also on UX to prevent social attacks.

                                                                          • ISL 221 days ago

                                                                            I'd argue that the GNU/Unix text interface is open, interoperable, and highly polished. The key ingredient is time.

                                                                            Modern windowing systems are also very similar. A Windows 3.1 or early MacOS user would have no trouble using a computer today.

                                                                            Touch and phone interfaces will get there, too, as both software and culture evolve together.

                                                                            I can't wait for, and would love to support, the Debian of phone architectures. In past HN threads, it has been suggested to me that the real blocker for a good open phone OS is at the hardware/kernel level. That was the state of the hardware environment in the late nineties and early 2000s.

                                                                            Give it time, effort, and support, and a great and open OS will emerge.

                                                                            • danieldk 221 days ago

                                                                              I can't wait for, and would love to support, the Debian of phone architectures. In past HN threads, it has been suggested to me that the real blocker for a good open phone OS is at the hardware/kernel level. That was the state of the hardware environment in the late nineties and early 2000s.

                                                                              I would like to be that optimistic, but I am not. The PC has always been a fundamentally open platform and hardware has been supported by many OSes for a long time. When I was young, we would run MS-DOS, DR-DOS, OS/2 and Windows 3.x (which was strictly spoken not an OS). After 1994 I also ran Linux and BSD and I never had any real problems hardware-wise. There was a difficult time around the turn of the century with WinModems and printers that only supported Windows. But that was more of a temporary regression.

                                                                              • ISL 221 days ago

                                                                                I remember working hard for good graphics-card support and perpetually rolling my own kernels to support even year-old motherboards.

                                                                                The biggest blocker in our experimental labs for open-source software was always hardware drivers. These days, linux is extremely common and generally well-supported.

                                                                              • minkiu 221 days ago

                                                                                I agree with you mostly, but I think the OS is there (Linux) we just need more mainstream Open Hardware, and hopefully Librem 5 will be the one to push things forward.

                                                                            • AsyncAwait 221 days ago

                                                                              > Either you choose a somewhat open platform, or you choose privacy.]]

                                                                              Sadly yes, which is why I backed the Librem 5 and hope it pans out, the promise of an open platform that respects your privacy is a really compelling one right now.

                                                                              • emsy 221 days ago

                                                                                Same here. Whenever I get caught up in some religious phone OS war I say I chose the platform I hate the least. I wish I could love my iPhone, but there are so many things wrong with it which could easily be solved without compromising anything product wise.

                                                                                • aeontech 221 days ago

                                                                                  Can you give some examples? Things being broken in life is usually one or more of:

                                                                                  - lack of time to implement (this would be great but we have three people on a team, and five features to deliver...)

                                                                                  - lack of people who care enough and have the resources to fix it (this would be great, but manager has other priorities that are more important at the moment)

                                                                                  - conscious choice as expression of philosophy or style (like flat UI)

                                                                                  - conscious technical trade off (like on-device photo analysis)

                                                                                  What are some of the things you think are wrong and would be easy to solve? Openradar links would be useful too :)

                                                                                  • _jal 221 days ago

                                                                                    So, my single biggest daily aggravation: I turn off bluetooth/wifi frequently.[1]

                                                                                    There is no way to make the &%*#ing thing stop whining about lack of wifi - it literally waits until I'm trying to do something else to throw up a shitty dialog trying to annoy me into turning it on.

                                                                                    I turn connectivity off for a reason, and no, Apple does not know better in this instance. It is incredibly user-hostile and irritating, and I hope the engineer that wrote that code gets pink eye[2].

                                                                                    [1] I know, I'm a weirdo. Trying to explain how I'm Doing It Wrong will lead me to ignore you.

                                                                                    [2] I kid. It is really annoying, though.

                                                                                    • jaegerpicker 221 days ago

                                                                                      I don't think you are doing it wrong but in 90% of the cases that's on the app developer. The OS usually doesn't ask for wifi randomly but many apps do. They check for connectivity and if wifi isn't available they prompt the user. It's not hard code to write but it shouldn't be used often. I'm actually writing similar code right now but for a pretty good reason, I'm working a feature that might use the presence of a wifi network to indicate proximity to an IoT device.

                                                                                      • saagarjha 221 days ago

                                                                                        Presumably, you're trying to do something that requires a network connection when it prompts you? If that's not a case the behavior is likely a bug.

                                                                                        • 221 days ago
                                                                                          • colejohnson66 221 days ago

                                                                                            Under Settings > Wi-Fi, turn off “Ask to join networks”

                                                                                          • lern_too_spel 221 days ago

                                                                                            Above all else, I can't develop for my own device without rebuilding weekly.

                                                                                            I can't run real Firefox.

                                                                                            I can't route all calls through Google Voice.

                                                                                            I can't run CarPlay without a head unit.

                                                                                            I can't open all map links in my preferred maps app.

                                                                                            I can't create restricted accounts for my kids.

                                                                                            It's essentially unusable as a "smart" phone.

                                                                                            Any claims about privacy fall apart after investigation. Google will still get my location on iOS if I use Google Search, exactly as it does on Android.

                                                                                            • saagarjha 221 days ago

                                                                                              > I can't develop for my own device without rebuilding weekly.

                                                                                              Well, unless you pay, or use Swift Playgrounds.

                                                                                              > I can't create restricted accounts for my kids.

                                                                                              Does the standard set of restrictions not do what you want?

                                                                                              > Google will still get my location on iOS if I use Google Search, exactly as it does on Android.

                                                                                              You don't have to use Google…

                                                                                              • lern_too_spel 221 days ago

                                                                                                > Does the standard set of restrictions not do what you want?

                                                                                                Separate accounts have separate data, not just restrictions.

                                                                                                > You don't have to use Google…

                                                                                                That's the point.

                                                                                              • dpkonofa 221 days ago

                                                                                                >I can't route all calls through Google Voice.

                                                                                                This is on Google now. Apple provides ways for app developers to use the native phone UI now. If I set up my number with the Google Hangouts app, I can get calls from my Google Voice number via the Voice app or the native UI. You can't do this with the Google Voice app but I have a feeling that's because they haven't updated it to support this API.

                                                                                                • lern_too_spel 221 days ago

                                                                                                  I'm talking about calling out, not receiving calls, which doesn't require any support from the phone as Google Voice can forward to any phone number.

                                                                                                  • scarface74 221 days ago

                                                                                                    What do you mean you can’t call out on a Google Voice? You open the app and make the call.

                                                                                                    If Google Voice has Siri integration which has been around for awhile, you can say “Call X using Google Voice” and it will call using GV and activate the phone Bluetooth protocol if you are connected to your car’s Bluetooth system.

                                                                                                    • lern_too_spel 221 days ago

                                                                                                      I mean click on a phone number in my contacts app or on a web page and have the call go through Google Voice or dial in my default phone app and have the call go through Google Voice.

                                                                                                      • scarface74 221 days ago

                                                                                                        And it’s somehow harder to go to the Google Voice app and call especially when you can import your contacts?

                                                                                                        What’s the fundamental difference between clicking on Contacts and making a call and clicking on the GV app?

                                                                                                        If the GV app has been updated to take advantage of the latest APIs, calls to and from the GV app will show up in your call history along with the native dialer.

                                                                                                        If you like GV, why use the native contacts app at all? Any app that adds to contacts will automaticallly be added to GV.

                                                                                                        • lern_too_spel 221 days ago

                                                                                                          You entirely ignored the part about clicking on phone numbers in web pages. It's the same with any app. I should be able to use whichever contacts app I like, whether it is a unified contacts app, my LinkedIn contacts, my Facebook contacts, the maps application, etc. Any time I click a phone number to make a call, it should appear to come from my Google Voice number. Copying and pasting is horrible experience just to make a call.

                                                                                                          • scarface74 221 days ago

                                                                                                            Blame that on Google. If you use Chrome on iOS, they already give you a choice of which maps app to use and which mail client to use. There is no reason they couldn’t give you the choice of how to handle Tel links.

                                                                                                            If Google wanted to since they already have all of the apps, you could completely stay in the Google ecosystem on iOS - Browser, mail client, google voice, etc.

                                                                                                            • lern_too_spel 221 days ago

                                                                                                              I should be able to do it from any app as I stated earlier (not just Google's) just as I can on Android.

                                                                                                              • scarface74 221 days ago

                                                                                                                And have all of the security issues that go along with it....


                                                                                                                • lern_too_spel 221 days ago

                                                                                                                  You're grasping for excuses. There are security issues with running any app on your phone. A maps app could do nefarious things with your location. A browser app could do nefarious things with your browse history. That doesn't mean Apple blocks all third party apps.

                                                                                                                  If I trust a phone app enough to use its dialer, I should be able to route all calls through it. If I trust a maps app enough to use it manually, I should be able to set it to open for all address links. It really is that simple.

                                                                                                • jaegerpicker 221 days ago

                                                                                                  You can deny Google Search location services and iOS blocks far more tracking cookies than Android, so I don't think you can support that claims about privacy falling apart.

                                                                                                  • lern_too_spel 221 days ago

                                                                                                    You can also disable location in Google Search on Android, in addition to switching to entirely different search providers and assistants. On Android, you can block tracking cookies in all apps, not just the web browser — without having to "jailbreak" your phone (relying on a rootable security vulnerability) or even unlock the bootloader.

                                                                                                    For somebody who is seriously privacy-conscience, Android is strictly better.

                                                                                                    All claims about privacy appear to stem from using fewer Google apps by default. Those default apps (like Safari and Siri) are inferior to their Google equivalents for most users, and for the people who don't want to give Google information, Android users can choose to use non-Google apps as well (like Firefox and local assistants and maps).

                                                                                                    • jaegerpicker 221 days ago

                                                                                                      That's not at all were all the claims come from. You can block all ads without jailbreaking on iOS and iOS collections an order of magnitude less tracking data[0] than Android. Apple has pioneered the differential privacy algorithm's on top of that. Apple has a ton of features pointed at user privacy especially in the latest version of Safari. Android is in no way strictly better for privacy and saying so is irresponsible IMO.


                                                                                                      • lern_too_spel 221 days ago

                                                                                                        > You can block all ads without jailbreaking on iOS

                                                                                                        You can't block ads across all apps without running your own ad-blocking proxy, jailbreaking, or paying Apple for the privilege of building an ad-blocking app on your phone. You can on Android by just installing an app (one example:

                                                                                                        > and iOS collections an order of magnitude less tracking data[0] than Android.

                                                                                                        iOS collects the same data that Android collects. The difference is how much data the default apps collect that go to Google as I stated earlier. The Google apps are strictly better than the equivalent Apple apps for most users (maps, assistant, photos, mail, etc.). For the relatively fewer users who care more about privacy than about their apps doing things for them by knowing about them, Android has more and better options as well (Firefox, local apps, system-wide ad blocking, etc.).

                                                                                                        • sharcerer 221 days ago

                                                                                                          How has apple pioneered differential privacy. MS started it and Google has used ot before Apple ,even open sourced some portion of it,iirc. Google is also doing research in federated learning(ian goodfellow)

                                                                                                        • TheKarateKid 221 days ago

                                                                                                          > You can also disable location in Google Search on Android, in addition to switching to entirely different search providers and assistants.

                                                                                                          Nope. Google was caught collecting location data even when everything was turned off:


                                                                                                          They also made their settings very misleading:

                                                                                                          • lern_too_spel 221 days ago

                                                                                                            Your second link is about data collection that Google apps also do on iPhones. It doesn't happen if you use a different search provider or disable sending your location for Google searches, as I stated and you quoted.

                                                                                                            Your first link is about accidental collection that no longer occurs according to the article.

                                                                                                            • 221 days ago
                                                                                                      • emsy 221 days ago

                                                                                                        All valid point and I would add ignorance to it. They simply don’t know or care.

                                                                                                        I file radars when applicable, my gripes are more general:

                                                                                                        - No universal 3D Touch puts it in a weird spot. I like 3D Touch! Why not say we equip all models with 3D Touch, similar to when they made ips display the standard even for entry level MacBooks.

                                                                                                        -prohibiting self signed applications. You have all the right to keep Steam Link off your shop, but not off my device. And if I had the desire to install Alex Jones’ app I would like to do that. You’re not my mom Apple. I’m still hoping the EU will fix this at some point.

                                                                                                        -iTunes. I use it. It’s awful. If they would at least kill it off I’d know not to use it anymore.

                                                                                                        -Seriously lagging behind in standards like PWAs, wireless charging or NFC.

                                                                                                        -iMessage and Airdrop are awesome. Too bad I can rarely use them because the majority around me use Android.

                                                                                                      • bayindirh 221 days ago

                                                                                                        I'm asking this as a thought experiment, nothing personal.

                                                                                                        What if, fixing things the way you like breaks these features for someone else?

                                                                                                        • close04 221 days ago

                                                                                                          That's why it's great if these thugs come with an [ON|OFF] switch. Let everyone decide what they use but start with secure as default.

                                                                                                          • 221 days ago
                                                                                                            • glogla 221 days ago

                                                                                                              What would having headphone jack break?

                                                                                                              • arihant 221 days ago

                                                                                                                Two things:

                                                                                                                1. There's really no space for it, if you look at teardowns. So something took its place.

                                                                                                                2. It does give better water resistance. Google the water resistance tests between iPhones and others. The difference is night and day in real world performance.

                                                                                                                • dstryr 221 days ago

                                                                                                                  >> 1. There's really no space for it, if you look at teardowns. So something took its place.

                                                                                                                  This guy was able to add the headphone jack back into an iPhone ( The argument that there is really no space just isn't true.

                                                                                                                  • saagarjha 221 days ago

                                                                                                                    …by ruining the Taptic Engine, if I recall correctly, or by spending thousands of dollars on getting this to work. It's not like Apple just left a hole in that spot out of spite.

                                                                                                                    • dpkonofa 221 days ago

                                                                                                                      People who have some kind of weird hate for Apple always assume that everything Apple does is out of spite.

                                                                                                                      • saagarjha 221 days ago

                                                                                                                        Apple very rarely does things out of spite. And usually when that happens, it's a mistake rather than a conscious, malicious decision.

                                                                                                                    • dpkonofa 221 days ago

                                                                                                                      By breaking the seals that make the phone waterproof, removing a housing component, and breaking the Taptic Engine. He did nothing of the sort.

                                                                                                                    • noelsusman 221 days ago

                                                                                                                      The S9 has a higher waterproof rating than the iPhone X.

                                                                                                                      • harshalizee 221 days ago

                                                                                                                        1. No. Teardowns have shown nothing of that sort. It's a marketing decision to push people to buy $170 airpods. In fact, there's a very popular tech blogger's video where he successfully adds in a headphone jack[1] to his iPhone 8.

                                                                                                                        2. No. Samsung phones are far more water resistant than iPhones are with a jack on it. I would love to see your links to said research.


                                                                                                                        • matwood 221 days ago

                                                                                                                          > It's a marketing decision to push people to buy $170 airpods.

                                                                                                                          Earbuds that work with the iPhone come in the box (and prior to the just announced models even an adapter was included). I'm not sure how lack of a jack pushes someone to buy AirPods. Maybe it makes them think about buying bluetooth headphones over wired if they were already thinking about third party headphones? Maybe.

                                                                                                                          Also while you may disagree about the 'barometric vent', it was put in the space that the headphone jack would have taken.

                                                                                                                          As pictured above, you can see a piece of plastic sits behind the ingress protection (waterproofing!), right where the headphone jack would have been. And (update!) according to Apple it's a "barometric vent." Apparently adding all the waterproofing to the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus meant that it was more of a sealed box, and so to be able to have an accurate and working barometer, Apple used that space. The barometer is the thing that allows a phone to measure altitude, and Apple points out that on the iPhone 7 it can measure even minor changes like climbing a flight of stairs.


                                                                                                                          • freeone3000 221 days ago

                                                                                                                            I would rather have a headphone jack than a barometer.

                                                                                                                            • matwood 221 days ago

                                                                                                                              You may disagree how the space was used, but I wanted to point out that it was in fact used. The poster I responded to said tear downs showed it not used. Even the video given as evidence showed the guy taking out the vent as the first step.

                                                                                                                              • reaperducer 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                Wires are so last century. Bluetooth headphones have been available for at least 20 years. (I had a pair for my SonyEricsson m600c, and I'm not an early adopter.)

                                                                                                                                Knowing my altitude is something I need on at least a weekly basis. I'm OK with losing a port I haven't used in a couple of decades.

                                                                                                                                • astura 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                  I don't want to have to charge my headphones or have them run out of battery.

                                                                                                                                  • matwood 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                    And that's fine, but if you do anything active while wearing headphones, wireless is so much better. Even my cheap bluetooth headphones last 10 hours on a short charge (and tell me when they need to be recharged). I couldn't imagine going back to wires at the gym or while doing yard work. I do use a wired pair at my desk, but then why would I plug into my phone?

                                                                                                                                    And AirPods? If you keep them in the case between uses they should always be charged.

                                                                                                                                  • CamTin 220 days ago

                                                                                                                                    Out of curiosity, why do you frequently need to know your altitude? I don't think I've ever known my altitude except when driving past those "Welcome to Springdalevale, pop. 781. alt. 2,003 ft" signs you see when driving through small towns in mountainous areas.

                                                                                                                                    • 220 days ago
                                                                                                                                      • AndriyKunitsyn 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                        Nice, and I'm not OK with that :) I have no intention of having another thing that requires recharging, I've already got my phone. Glad to see different people needing different features from a phone, though.

                                                                                                                                  • scarface74 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                    No. Teardowns have shown nothing of that sort. It's a marketing decision to push people to buy $170 airpods. In fact, there's a very popular tech blogger's video where he successfully adds in a headphone jack[1] to his iPhone 8.

                                                                                                                                    How are people being "pushed" to buy Airpods when they can use any Bluetooth headphone, the headphones that come bundled with the phone, or use their own headphones with a $9.99 adapter that they have included up until yesterday?

                                                                                                                                    • AndriyKunitsyn 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                      Simple. There are multiple codecs in Bluetooth headphones, the most used one is proprietary aptX from Qualcomm. Apple has no problems licensing it for Macbooks and iMacs, but for iPhones they chose to reject Qualcomm, do their thing, and use AAC codec, which is supported only by small fraction of wireless headphones.

                                                                                                                                      So, if your headphones don't support AAC, they will (most likely) fallback to SBC encoding with a subpar sound quality. Don't want a subpar sound quality? Buy Airpods. Or Beats. Or some other overpriced thing that understands AAC. There was some 100 year-old industry standard regarding sound transmission, but apparently it's "obsolete" now, because Apple said so. And bundled headphones don't sound too good.

                                                                                                                                      The removal of headphone jack was purely a political decision to spite Qualcomm and screwing over Apple's customers.

                                                                                                                                      • scarface74 220 days ago

                                                                                                                                        So now it’s a bad thing that Apple chose to support an industry standard (AAC) instead of a proprietary Qualcomm only protocol?

                                                                                                                                        But if you aren’t satisfied with the Apple wired headphones, up until the 12th Apple bundle an adapter, you could choose any wired headphones you wanted. After the 12” it would be $9.99. It’s still not forcing you to buy AirPods.

                                                                                                                                        As far as Bluetooth, there are other non Apple/Beats Bluetooth AAC headphones. Nothing forcing anyone to buy them from Apple.

                                                                                                                                    • matt-attack 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                      > It's a marketing decision to push people to buy $170 airpods

                                                                                                                                      FWIW, my lack of headphone jack had nothing to do with me buying $170 airpods. The product sells itself. It literally felt like something out of the future when it launched. Opening and closing the lid makes me happy on a daily basis. I can't think of a better use for that $170. It's a product that is pure joy to use, and completely eliminates one of the biggest annoyance factor in my daily life: tangled headphones, and worse, that feeling on your ears when you accidentally tug earbuds that are in your ear. So frustrating!

                                                                                                                                      • dao- 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                        Re: water resistance – Sony is pretty good there too, but last time I plunged my phone, the headphone jack itself was acting up until it had dried out. I guess there's no way around that.

                                                                                                                                        Edit: Oh, and when I broke my older model with saltwater, they replaced it. Twice.

                                                                                                                                        • briandear 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                          They cost $160, but you can use the included headphones without buying anything.

                                                                                                                                      • 221 days ago
                                                                                                                                      • emsy 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                        It’s most often not features I want change but features I want to have in the first place: Proper PWAs, NFC, wireless charging (things Android has for an while now). Self signed apps.

                                                                                                                                    • octosphere 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                      Have you looked into CopperheadOS[1]? I would like to hear your thoughts on it. They even have a store where you can buy Pixel phones flashed with CopperheadOS. They're a bit pricey though ($1000+). I personally would rather flash it myself to save some money.


                                                                                                                                      • subway 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                        CopperheadOS is a very questionable choice these days. The author lost control of the company and was booted by the business tool.


                                                                                                                                        • ejo4041 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                          Anything new on that front that you have heard? I remember the meltdown but haven't heard anything since. Looks like the business guy is just continuing to sell what they had and then no updates ever. Once people get sick of that, maybe the company just goes away?

                                                                                                                                          • subway 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                            No clue. As I understand it, the author destroyed the signing keys, so updates aren't even possible. A fresh build with new signing keys would need to be flashed out of band.

                                                                                                                                            • aesh2Xa1 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                              The original author stated his intent to fork and resume the project under a new name and with a new device set, but probably still the Pixel line.

                                                                                                                                              • monocasa 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                Didn't the license prevent forks?

                                                                                                                                                • icebraining 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                  I think he claims he owns the copyright; if that's true, the license doesn't apply to him.

                                                                                                                                                  • monocasa 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                    That's a bold claim when he was being paid a salary to work on it.

                                                                                                                                                    • icebraining 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                      Was he? His claim is: "I have never had any employment agreement, copyright agreement, licensing agreement, NDA or even work contracts with Copperhead. There was a mutual understanding that I owned the code I was writing."

                                                                                                                                                      • dredmorbius 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                        Work for hire doctrine says he has aa very poor argument.

                                                                                                                                                        Work for hire is a statutorily defined term (17 U.S.C. § 101), so a work for hire is not created merely because parties to an agreement state that the work is a work for hire. It is an exception to the general rule that the person who actually creates a work is the legally recognized author of that work. According to copyright law in the United States and certain other copyright jurisdictions, if a work is "made for hire", the employer—not the employee—is considered the legal author.


                                                                                                                                                        • monocasa 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                          I can't think of a context where a judge looks at a salaried CTO commiting code to repositories with the same name as the company, in inarguably the core domain of the company, and shipped in the name of the company by said CTO, with nothing written down to the contrary and goes "oh yeah, that's totally his code, not the company's".

                                                                                                                                                          I think Daniel's in the process of learning that verbal agreements don't mean anything when the shit hits the fan. IMO that's what he gets for switching to a non copyleft license.

                                                                                                                                            • danvittegleo 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                              I made an alternative to CopperheadOS after it fell apart for those interested: Rather than providing random binaries of an OS to install on your phone, I've gone the route of creating a cross platform tool, rattlesnakeos-stack, that provisions all of the AWS infrastructure needed to continuously build your own personal RattlesnakeOS, with your own signing keys, and your own OTA updates. It uses AWS Lambda to provision EC2 Spot Instances that build RattlesnakeOS and upload artifacts to S3. Resulting OS builds are configured to receive over the air updates from this environment.

                                                                                                                                              • robotmay 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                That's very cool! It's a shame that I'm unlikely to own a Pixel device any time soon, but for those who do this looks really interesting.

                                                                                                                                              • jaegerpicker 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                Copperhead is a great idea! Biggest issues I had with it when I was looking at it was, lack of recent up to date hardware. The Pixel was a great phone but it's getting to be a pretty old phone, the pixel 3 will be out soon. Second and much bigger issue is the lack of apps because SO many Android apps require the google play services and if you enable that you lose the vast majority of the privacy benefits you gain from Copperhead and fdroid. If you don't use apps or just a few that support fdroid, then Copperhead might be a great choice.

                                                                                                                                                • Grazester 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                  "The Pixel was a great phone but it's getting to be a pretty old phone"

                                                                                                                                                  How so? I just upgraded to a Pixel 2 XL from a phone much older than the pixel, a Nexus 6. I would not have even upgraded so soon if I didnt up with one too many crack on my screen when it gave up.

                                                                                                                                                  • snaky 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                    > SO many Android apps require the google play services

                                                                                                                                                    It depends on definition of 'require'. Almost all apps 'require' it in app manifest file. But very many of them actually works perfectly fine with an absense of Google Play Services on device.

                                                                                                                                                • on_and_off 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                  I am a senior app developer and I love some of the features that come with a smartphone (google photos often feels like magic) but I have got to admit, I am tempted to just dump my personal phone and only have one in a drawer to work on.

                                                                                                                                                  • TACIXAT 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                    Yea, I'm thinking of ditching my sim card or living mostly in airplane mode with wifi. I don't want to be part of a system where even the cell phone carriers are selling my real time location.

                                                                                                                                                    • jstarfish 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                      You do realize location tracking via wifi broadcasts (not even AP association!) is a thing, right?


                                                                                                                                                      You'll be part of the system as long as you have a phone.

                                                                                                                                                      (...and as long as you have a face, if projections are to be believed.)

                                                                                                                                                      • TACIXAT 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                        Yea, it's pretty awful. Beyond that you also have to trust that the phone is doing what it says (not broadcasting wifi beacons when wifi is off). A faraday caged messenger bag has been on my list for stuff to make. I've also been trying to think of an acceptable mask to wear in public and I saw someone on my train home with a mirrored face visor. [1] No time soon, but good to keep in mind. License plates are pretty bad too, photography in public is legal, so anyone could set up a dense enough camera network and track you everywhere you go via license plate. The most obvious case would be governments processing the video / images from cameras on traffic lights.


                                                                                                                                                  • tomp 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                    > Either you choose a somewhat open platform, or you choose privacy

                                                                                                                                                    Huh? Isn't Linux (the original one, not derivates like Android) relatively private, while being completely open?

                                                                                                                                                    • gervase 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                      I think the parent was implicitly referring to smartphone platforms. Certainly Linux is both the most open and most private option for general computing, which is probably why the parent was lamenting the fact that privacy and openness (in smartphones) are not tightly coupled.

                                                                                                                                                      • wycy 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                        Sure, but on any decent phone, the only Linux you're going to get is Android.

                                                                                                                                                        • snaky 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                          What's wrong with openness of Android flavour of Linux, called AOSP? Yes, the hardware drivers are mostly binary blobs, but there are many binary blob drivers for PC and other hardware on Linux.

                                                                                                                                                          • 221 days ago
                                                                                                                                                            • rapnie 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                     Librem5 .. almost there.

                                                                                                                                                            • smileysteve 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                              Android itself is "open", but if you want to do much with it, you want it with Google Apps.

                                                                                                                                                              • snaky 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                If by 'to do much with it' you mean asking the weather by voice, then yes. Otherwise, F-Droid provides open-source alternatives for many apps, and then many apps from Google Play Market actually work fine without Google Play Services.

                                                                                                                                                              • MorrisofOrange 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                The discussion currently is about phones. You either have google's android which is open but sells your info or ios which is closed but private. Ive been saying for years we need a Linux for phones. I don't have the knowhow but I would gladly donate funds towards a system.

                                                                                                                                                              • rsync 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                "As it is today I can not buy a phone without having a deep bottomless disdain for it."

                                                                                                                                                                I feel the same way, but I don't feel negatively about it.

                                                                                                                                                                I have an iPhone and I treat it like a hostile/suspect device and that is working quite well for me.

                                                                                                                                                                Apple has no idea who I am - I have never even typed my own name into the phone. Apple doesn't even know my phone number as my "real" phone number is one I control and forward to the burner SIM (straighttalk) that is in the phone.

                                                                                                                                                                My actual phone provider (twilio) doesn't know who I am.

                                                                                                                                                                Straighttalk doesn't know who I am - they got an assumed name and email address. Same for the very, very few apps that I use.[1]

                                                                                                                                                                So unless Apple decides to acquire twilio and whatever verizon MVNO I am using this quarter and my credit card issuer, all they've got is Fakey McFakefake.

                                                                                                                                                                None of this was difficult, aside from building my own carrier inside twilio, but that was fun.

                                                                                                                                                                [1] Remember: VISA/MC do not verify names on purchases. The user interface strongly suggests that they do, but they do not - if you correctly enter your number/expiry/CVV/zipcode/etc., you can put in any old name you want. There is really no reason for any app to know your real name.

                                                                                                                                                                • singularity2001 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                  > Either you choose a somewhat open platform, or you choose privacy.

                                                                                                                                                                  That's a terribly wrong dichotomie

                                                                                                                                                                  • konaraddio 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                    It's true for smartphones. If you choose privacy AND open source then you're either making sacrifices or doing something "hacky". Most people want to have their mainstream apps available and don't want to learn how to install a new OS on an Android phone.

                                                                                                                                                                    • david-cako 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                      I.e., you wall yourself into your own garden that you aren't conceivably going to want to maintain and that no one cares to build apps for.

                                                                                                                                                                      iOS and Android are the choices. I say pick your poison. If a new choice comes along, I don't see any reason for the dynamics to be any different. People want high quality well-integrated electronics, and you only get that by being beholden to the manufacturer.

                                                                                                                                                                      • Yetanfou 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                        ...but those who do get more privacy than those who try to buy their privacy from Apple. In other words, Apple is an option for those who a) don't want to learn and don't have access to someone who can do the job for them, who b) trust Apple when they say they will guard their privacy and c) can afford to make these choices.

                                                                                                                                                                        By the way, the time when installing an alternative Android distribution on your phone was 'hacky' is past for many devices, several distributions offer OTA updates so it is perfectly possible to run a mostly-open device without ever having to do anything 'hackish'.

                                                                                                                                                                        As to whether an always-on radio beacon transmitting your location to the authorities can ever be seen as a plus in a privacy context remains to be seen of course, that is something which can not be fixed by either AOSP or Apple.

                                                                                                                                                                      • chc 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                        What are you proposing as the real-world alternative?

                                                                                                                                                                      • solatic 219 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                        > Either you choose a somewhat open platform, or you choose privacy

                                                                                                                                                                        Those who would give up essential Openness, to purchase a little temporary Privacy, deserve neither Openness nor Privacy. -Benjamin Franklin

                                                                                                                                                                        • Svoka 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                          I think it's a strong selling point they repeat for last 3 years on every chance they get. Like how everything is done on device, encryption, nothing is stored on cloud and so on.

                                                                                                                                                                          • floatboth 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                            Any custom Android builds without installing google play services (possibly with microG if you still want some services like push, but with a FOSS client) are a great option.

                                                                                                                                                                            Sure that's niche, not mainstream. But, like, xda-developers is pretty popular. To the point of people making subreddits for making fun of custom ROM users whining about things like VoLTE not working:

                                                                                                                                                                            • gvurrdon 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                              There's nothing on the market now that I'd actually like to buy.

                                                                                                                                                                              Apple do seem to have some respect for privacy at the moment, but it's still a phone that scans the user's face (far too creepy for me) or makes it difficult to restrict outgoing connections (I'm not keen on apps connecting to flurry, facebook and so on).

                                                                                                                                                                              • kilo_bravo_3 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                FaceID does not scan a user's face.

                                                                                                                                                                                Upon enrollment, the phone illuminates your face with a grid of dots, and creates a three dimensional depth map of your face from multiple angles.

                                                                                                                                                                                The results of that are stored in the secure enclave, and when an unlock is requested the device re-scans the face that is in front of it. If the two maps match "close enough" the phone is unlocked.

                                                                                                                                                                                You cannot recreate a face from the data, and the phone has no idea what you look like unless you actually look like this in real life:

                                                                                                                                                                                If you're worried about the very low resolution biometric map of your face being used to impersonate you, that can already be accomplished with just a couple of seconds of video, or a photograph and the only known defense against that is never venturing outside a secure perimeter into which camera lenses cannot see.

                                                                                                                                                                                • jaegerpicker 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                  iOS has fantastic support for ad blockers and network proxies that make it INCREDIBLY easy to block outgoing connections. In my experience it works far better than Androids version of that.

                                                                                                                                                                                  Face tracking for faceId you can turn off but I agree it can be creepy. So far it's been limited to only on the device and encrypted so I've been ok with it but that's obviously a very personal choice.

                                                                                                                                                                                  • gvurrdon 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                    There are some useful products but I wouldn't call it fantastic compared with my experiences on Android, e.g. where I can root the device and use a hosts file for system-wide blocking. VPN options are good there too, in my experience, though this may be another case of personal preference.

                                                                                                                                                                                    Adguard works rather well, but Apple doesn't seem too keen on their product:


                                                                                                                                                                                    Of course, there's ad blocking in Safari but tracker blocking in apps also concerns me.

                                                                                                                                                                                    As for the FaceID I would indeed turn it off and use a PIN, but it would be a bit of a faff; a fingerprint plus a means to quickly turn that off is quite convenient.

                                                                                                                                                                                    • leadingthenet 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                      Could you please provide an example of these proxies that one could use to block outgoing connections? I'm only aware of Ad-blockers that do so for incoming ones.

                                                                                                                                                                                      • kilo_bravo_3 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                        The only solution I have found is to run an OpenVPN server at home and stay connected to it constantly. I lose a microscopically-minuscule amount of battery life, and a few percentage points of WAN throughput but it is worth it.

                                                                                                                                                                                        I then have content rules on the firewall between the OpenVPN server and the Internet.

                                                                                                                                                                                        As an added benefit, this makes the monitoring done by all cellphone providers (not just Verizon!) irrelevant because all they see is a constant, 24x7 stream of encrypted traffic to the same IP address.

                                                                                                                                                                                        • jaegerpicker 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                          As said down chat Charles Proxy is the one that I use, mostly because I've used it on macOS for years and trust the developer. It works great and has turned up SO many apps doing gross things. There are others in the store but I've never personally used them.


                                                                                                                                                                                          Another that I have heard of but not used (your milage may vary and all that): Alice

                                                                                                                                                                                          You can also run a proxy on a server remotely and intercept all the network calls from your phone, something burp is common in the security industry. It's under your network settings, HTTP Proxy. It's more limited than an app like Charles that inspects all traffic but it's another option.

                                                                                                                                                                                          • pronoiac 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                            Not OP, but Charles Proxy came to mind:

                                                                                                                                                                                            I think it's come up here a few times, with various anecdotes about surfacing badly behaving apps.

                                                                                                                                                                                            • jaegerpicker 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                              Charles is the one I use but there are several in the App Store.

                                                                                                                                                                                          • nick_ 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                            Unfortunately Apple seems to have taken a couple steps back from supporting good ad-blocking tools. They forced AdGuard to cripple their iOS app to only allow DNS-based blocking instead of the superior local VPN blocking.

                                                                                                                                                                                            • scarface74 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                              You don't need an "app" to support VPNs. All they do is make set up somewhat simpler. iOS has built in support for VPNs. Once you have the configuration information, you can set it up yourself from settings.

                                                                                                                                                                                              • lern_too_spel 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                VPN is maybe the wrong word. He's talking about running deep packet inspection locally, which is possible on Android, instead of on a dedicated VPN server.

                                                                                                                                                                                        • briandear 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                          That face scan is on-device. And you can turn that off.

                                                                                                                                                                                        • taurath 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                          > Though I think apples "pro privacy" stance is likely just a happy accident I tend to agree.

                                                                                                                                                                                          Don’t underestimate the lure of ad money, even to a company as large as Apple. They realize the second you start taking ad money your customers are no longer your customers, but your product.

                                                                                                                                                                                          • riphay 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                            I think his point about the "happy accident" is that iAds failed and that's part of why Apple is now "pro privacy."

                                                                                                                                                                                            • nemothekid 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                              This seems backwards though. iAds failed because Apple was pro-privacy - iAds targeting features essentially didn't exist because they didn't collect any data.

                                                                                                                                                                                            • Scriptor 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                              Yep, the saying is generally that if you don't pay for something, you're the product.

                                                                                                                                                                                              But I've noticed that more and more, even when you do pay for something there's a good chance your data will still get sold.

                                                                                                                                                                                              • reaperducer 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                Yep. See also: Every credit card transaction you make.

                                                                                                                                                                                          • amatecha 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                            If you're curious about the reality of what actual privacy and/or security you are offered by Apple's products, you might be interested in Apple's guidelines for law enforcement requests. There's lots of info at and there are two PDFs at the bottom outlining their ability to provide user data in different situations.

                                                                                                                                                                                            They also summarize the security of iCloud services, delineated by "in transit" and "on server", here:

                                                                                                                                                                                            I wanted to actually call out one important detail in the latter link above: "iCloud secures your information by encrypting it when it's in transit, storing it in iCloud in an encrypted format, and using secure tokens for authentication. For certain sensitive information, Apple uses end-to-end encryption. This means that only you can access your information, and only on devices where you’re signed into iCloud. No one else, not even Apple, can access end-to-end encrypted information."

                                                                                                                                                                                            So, we can discern that anything you store on iCloud that isn't using end-to-end encryption can be accessed by Apple. This includes (but is not limited to) Contacts, Photos, Notes, device Backups, and everything you're storing on iCloud Drive.

                                                                                                                                                                                            • kmano8 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                              I started using cryptomator ( to encrypt iCloud files client-side. Has cross-platform apps, and works with Touch Id, so it doesn't come with the hassle of copying in a decryption key every time you need to access files.

                                                                                                                                                                                              • digianarchist 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                What about data retention? If I delete one of those things is it gone for good?

                                                                                                                                                                                                • amatecha 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                  I'm not sure. I couldn't find anything about how long data remains kicking around after you "delete" it. I assume anything I ever store on iCloud is stored permanently, _somewhere_, but who knows?

                                                                                                                                                                                                • airstrike 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Can't device backups be password encrypted?

                                                                                                                                                                                                  • amatecha 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Yeah, they can indeed. However, device backups are separate from storing your Photos, Contacts, etc. in iCloud. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                  • singularity2001 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Or set up a proxy server and count the thousands of https calls home (per minute). At least on mac startup.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  • gmiller123456 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Sorry to be so negative, but this is just BS. Short of a legally binding statement from Apple stating exactly what information they collect and who they sell it to, then you're just assuming they aren't collecting and selling your data. Of course their terms of service explicitly give them permissions to collect any information they want and sell it to anyone they want, which should be a big clue that they're doing it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    This article is solely about Apple making it harder for 3rd party apps and websites to track you. That's certainly a good thing, but the downside is that it just makes the data Apple has (or can have) far more valuable, which only increases the likelihood that they're collecting and selling a lot of data.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    This article is just one guy speculating about his thoughts, and he was possibly paid to do it by Apple. If Apple wants to make privacy a selling point for their products, they would no doubt seize the opportunity to do so very loudly. And, if it's not Apple saying it, then it's not legally binding.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    • wilg 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                      > If Apple wants to make privacy a selling point for their products, they would no doubt seize the opportunity to do so very loudly.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      They have definitely been doing this over the past four or five years and certainly claim they aren't selling your data:

                                                                                                                                                                                                      • gmiller123456 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                        That just raises the suspicion for me. That website is a far cry from "We don't collect your data, we don't sell any information about you". Instead, the closest they get is with the statement below:

                                                                                                                                                                                                        "Whether you’re taking a photo, asking Siri a question, or getting directions, you can do it knowing that Apple doesn’t gather your personal information to sell to advertisers or other organizations."

                                                                                                                                                                                                        That only applies to two things, taking a photo and asking Siri a question. It does not prohibit them from collecting the data for their own use. And does not prohibit them from selling analysis of that data.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        • sharkjacobs 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                          At the bottom of that page there are links to more information.


                                                                                                                                                                                                          > Your iOS device can collect analytics about your iOS device and any paired Apple Watch and send it to Apple for analysis. The collected information does not identify you personally and can be sent to Apple only with your explicit consent.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          You have to opt in to analytics collection when you set up the device and in Settings>Privacy>Analytics>Analytics Data you can examine or download everything which has been sent to Apple.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          If you take Apple at their word that they're only collecting what they say they are, they're not bad.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          • gmiller123456 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                            You do explicitly consent when you agree to the terms of service. Additionally, further down in the paragraph you quoted:

                                                                                                                                                                                                            "When it’s collected, personal data is either not logged at all, removed from reports before they’re sent to Apple, or protected by techniques such as Differential Privacy."

                                                                                                                                                                                                            And the fact that you can download the data unquestionably proves that it can be traced back to you. I think you're just seeing what you want to see, and aren't paying attention to all of the loopholes they create for themselves.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            • el_cid 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                              > And the fact that you can download the data unquestionably proves that it can be traced back to you.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Not necessarily.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      • jaegerpicker 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Apple has repeatedly and loudly talked about privacy up to and including Tim Cook saying the privacy is a "basic human right". Also it's quite easy to see what data is being sent from your phone, just hook it up to a proxy, ala Burp or Charles. It will dump all network communication from the phone and were it's going to. Here is a paper about the difference in data collection and how it's measured:

                                                                                                                                                                                                        • gehsty 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I think they make a point of this fairly regularly, double blind machine learning (apologies if this is the wrong phrase..) and also on device facial recognicitan - ie. not on apples servers (as in Google’s / facebooks case).

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I think it is highly unlikely to come out that they are selling company data. Look at all the comments that Tim Cook made about Facebook - that he wouldn’t be in that situation as it would compromise his morals etc..

                                                                                                                                                                                                          • saagarjha 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                            > Short of a legally binding statement from Apple stating exactly what information they collect and who they sell it to, then you're just assuming they aren't collecting and selling your data.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Does the GDPR not require this?

                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Svoka 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Their strong selling point is to protect data. Apple makes money on their devices and Appstore, not on your data, how does Google.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              • jodrellblank 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                If Apple wants to make privacy a selling point for their products, they would no doubt seize the opportunity to do so very loudly.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                At the recent iPhone / Watch launch event a few days ago, Apple COO Jeff Williams stood on stage with a single word backdrop "Privacy" and said:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                "At Apple we believe your personal information belongs to you, you should decide who you share your information with and who gets to see it. Period. All your (Watch) health and fitness data is encrypted on the device and in the cloud".


                                                                                                                                                                                                                That's not a legally binding statement from Apple stating exactly what they collect, but it certainly is Apple making privacy a selling point and doing so very loudly.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              • zahrc 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                At the start of my career (when I haven't been earning that much money) Android phones were easier to access, because they were cheaper. At first it baffled my mind at which scale Google is able to provide services for free, but the more experience I personally gained, the more I realised at which cost, my privacy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Answers to my questions why apple products are way more expensive, even compared to devices with similar features and hardware specs, remained pretty superficial "it's that way" or "apple is just better" weren't obviously satisfying. Blinded by my own conclusion that apple products just sell because of apple fanboyism I remained with google.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Now, in the year of 2018 were everyone is interested in your data im still pretty wishy-washy of getting an iPhone but recent news drive me towards it. But in the end it might be a decision between pest or cholera.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                • mercutio2 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The total cost of ownership for Apple products is, for some calculations, less than other products.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  It obviously depends a lot on how much you care about software updates, how gently you treat your device, etc. But if you’re the sort of person who buys a new phone every two years and sells your old phone, the resale value of the old phone tends to be high enough that the costs look about the same as reasonably comparable domestically available devices.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  If you’re buying your phone straight from China, or don’t care much about high-end phone features, your mileage may vary.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                • jaegerpicker 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I wish Privacy was a bigger deal to people I knew. Apple, despite it's faults, is doing really incredible work at raising the bar for privacy. I know so many technical folks who just shrug when privacy comes up. It's amazing to me that people can just seem to not care. I know that awareness is rising but so many people are willing to trade a little money for something they can never reclaim. It seem so short sighted.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Gorbzel 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    > I know so many technical folks who just shrug when privacy comes up.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Or as many in this thread do, preach complicated (and often broken in practice) processes and tooling that might theoretically protect ones data, but require Stallman's PC levels of configuration and not actually get anything done while Apple's UX does.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The fact that (for the moment) the top comments are all software engineers giving up and advocating for dumbphones is a laughable abdication of responsibility/competence/design.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • cortesoft 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Well, why should they care? I hear so many hypotheticals about why the privacy invasion is bad, but I have heard very few people give real examples of actual harm.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Most people aren't going to care about things until it effects them in some way.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • nyolfen 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        look at china’s social credit system

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • astura 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Can you explain China's social credit system? This is the first I've heard of it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • nyolfen 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            the state tracks your economic activity and personal behavior and habits and uses them to calculate something akin to a credit score, but which is used to restrict civil rights (travel, education opportunities, etc) if you are perceived as unreliable.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            > From the program, the Chinese SCS will be fully implemented starting in 2020 and will be made mandatory for every citizen. Once implemented, every citizen will be rewarded, or punished, on the basis of their behavior. Some types of punishments can be: flight ban, exclusion from private schools, slow internet connection, exclusion from high prestige work, exclusion from hotel, registration on a public blacklist.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • lederhosen 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Google left China, Apple crashes your phone when you get a Taiwanese flag (in China), who cares about privacy? Never Apple. Apple only cares about your money. If you care about privacy (I mean really care) use Replicant.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        (updated spelling)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • noelsusman 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          It shouldn't be surprising that people are willing to give up an abstract concept in return for tangible benefits.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • paulcarroty 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Apple delete apps which send telemetry to Chinese servers (2-3 days old news), Google don't care.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          So, Android devices sucks with privacy and cheap space to farming to other companies. Heard some Chinese companies sell phones with ad injections in default apps.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • jrockway 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            This seems awfully alarmist. There are a ton of apps that send telemetry to AWS servers in the US, and from there they could easily send the data back to China. Amazon doesn't care. Apple doesn't care about hosting your app's backend on AWS.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Network filtering isn't going to protect your privacy from anyone. If Apple (or Google) were really serious, they'd require app developers to have a privacy policy and have them post a bond in case they violate the policy. (They'd also need to audit every application backend to ensure that it's not sending data back to China.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Nobody would write apps with this sort of policy in place... so here we are. If you really think the Chinese government is out to get you, which is a very real concern, I would not use any apps on your phone. The app developers do not care about your safety, and neither does Apple.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • threeseed 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Apple will actually require all developers to have a privacy policy by October 3rd.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                              And having developers post a bond is logistically impossible to implement. Far better just to have Apple kick them off the store entirely. Which is what they do already.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • hanspeter 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Facebook has had a privacy policy requirement for all Facebook apps since they started their app platform.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                It's quite amazing that Apple has not added this simple requirement to their app store until now.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • 220 days ago
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • TheKarateKid 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  > Far better just to have Apple kick them off the store entirely. Which is what they do already.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Or if you're big enough like Uber, just get a firm warning and be told to stop doing whatever it is that's wrong.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • lern_too_spel 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    > Apple will actually require all developers to have a privacy policy by October 3rd.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    A year and a half after their more privacy-conscious competition but good progress:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    > And having developers post a bond is logistically impossible to implement.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Require a credit card at publisher signup. Explain it will be charged for violations.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • freehunter 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      >their more privacy-conscious competition

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I don't want to assume you're trolling, but this is literally the first time I've heard anyone ever say Google is more privacy conscious than Apple.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • lern_too_spel 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        That's the power of marketing for you. One required privacy policies while the other didn't. One asks before enabling AGPS data collection, while the other doesn't even let you opt out. One allows you to use on-device maps as default, while the other doesn't. One allows you to replace the default SMS app with Signal, while the other doesn't.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        When you think of a toxic hellstew of vulnerabilities, you probably don't think of Apple either, even though its App Store infected more users with malware than all its competitors combined.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • bobwaycott 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          You’re either being extremely disingenuous here, or are missing/leaving out some important and relevant details.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          The malware you’re referring to—XcodeGhost—was produced by compromised non-Apple copies of Xcode installers downloaded by (mostly) Chinese developers from non-Apple (Baidu) servers, who then produced iOS apps with the non-Apple Xcode. The modified copies of Xcode would inject malware into iOS app builds. The link you provided says nothing about actual numbers of end users with malware infections, much less that there were more users infected than all Apple’s competitors combined. It merely suggests potential number of users who could be affected if they installed known compromised versions of apps built with the non-Apple Xcode—and it provides no methodology for what these estimates of total potentially affected users is based on.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Privacy policies do nothing to actually protect user privacy. Facebook’s requiring of privacy policies hasn’t protected users or the company from multiple privacy fiascos.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          What GPS data collection are you referring to here? Apple-collected data stays on user devices. Third-party apps are granted permission (or not) to use location services however they see fit. Location services can be disabled entirely. What third parties do with your location data is between you and them, not Apple.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          iMessage being replaceable by Signal or any other app as a default messaging app says nothing about Apple’s commitment to user privacy. You are free to use Signal.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • lern_too_spel 220 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I am not being disingenuous. You simply don't understand what I said.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The best outside estimates show XCodeGhost infected at least 400 million users. That estimate is from knowing which apps were infected and using publicly available estimates for their users. Apple didn't say how many exactly (or even warn its users about the malware) because Apple only pays lip service to security for marketing purposes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            > Privacy policies do nothing to actually protect user privacy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            You disagree with Apple on this then.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            > What GPS data collection are you referring to here?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I told you exactly what data collection I was referring to there. Apple (not third parties) collects GPS data from user's phones to run its AGPS service. Unlike Android, which has an opt-in for this, Apple doesn't even let you opt out.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            > You are free to use Signal.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            But not as your default SMS app. Instead, you have to use Apple's closed source and unverified app.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • 221 days ago
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • rapnie 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    > Heard some Chinese companies sell phones with ad injections in default apps.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Don't need Chinese companies for that. When GDPR came into effect I received privacy policy msgs from adware (Foursquare) inside my standard Samsung Image Gallery. Not only Google, but Samsung as well is a horrible privacy nightmare.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • jstarfish 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      > Heard some Chinese companies sell phones with ad injections in default apps.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Yep. I bought a cheap tablet off of Amazon with the only use for it needing to be able to read digital textbooks at close to their equivalent physical size. This was back when tablets larger than 7" were crazy expensive. This one wasn't.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      It has so many ads injected into and between apps (full-screen popups on app change) that it's unusable for anything other than reading static content (which is luckily what I bought it for). Response time is on par with a 1st-gen Kindle.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I thought I'd be cute and implement DNS adblocking at the router level but that just causes crashes and hangs since they didn't see a need to implement a graceful failure mode for the ad callbacks.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • tracker1 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I see a lot of websites that should have graceful failures do the same... can't log into one of my banks, and make a car payment without disabling uBlock (chrome/desktop) or Brave (android).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        With the more recent changes in Firefox, I find the UX acceptable and may go through switching back... I've got a few things on google but may migrate out.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • hjek 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Well, at least you can easily get free/libre apps (without Chinese spyware) on Android with F-droid[0].

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        It would be more accurate to say that Google Play sucks.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • krn 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          > Heard some Chinese companies sell phones with ad injections in default apps.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Cubot is a good example[1]:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          "However, it was discovered that Cubot had removed the malware from the System UI package and hidden it under a new package,, disguised as the phone dialer. On further digging, it was discovered that the new package does not have any real function and it manages to evade any detection by antivirus apps such as NetGuard, that would detect the malware under System UI previously."


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • baki 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Or Dogee T5. It wakes you up at night with the noisy ads. terrible. It would be a quite good phone, but not. useless. One of the adwares is in the wireless update system app, others I don't remember already where are they exactly, but in system apps.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • JVIDEL 220 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Those are bottom of the barrel brands and the specs are pretty bad.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              The only thing they have is low prices.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • krn 220 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Umidigi[1] could also be added to the list, even though the phones are quite impressive on paper.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • philipov 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Yeah, like Lenovo which sells laptops with preinstalled adware and MitM attacks.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • joering2 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Good point but they still make best laptops IMHO. I "eat" so many Toshibas, Sonys, Acers, even two Macs with Windows 7 on it...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              The nice thing is they still give you drivers even to Windows 7.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              When I get new Lenovo laptop, I immediately throw away their drive, put a bigger one and install Windows 7 from scratch.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • snaky 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            You can install XPrivacy [1] on your Android device. You cannot do that with Apple device.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • scarface74 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              You don't need to. Unlike early versions of Android and apps that still link to older versions, with iOS, you have never had a list of permissions you had to accept before launching the app. The app ask permission when you need a feature and you can deny it the permission. After it asks once (three times?), it will never ask for the permission again and you have to go to settings to enable the permission.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • drdaeman 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                You have a point but are also mistaken. XPrivacy does way more granular access checks than Android or iOS provide. The downside is, it's not casual user-friendly.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                With XPrivacy you're able (or used to be able - I'm not sure if it works on recent Android versions) control things like how apps can use WebViews (e.g. what URLs they are allowed to open there), or whenever app is allowed to read or write (all separately) clipboard data. Etc etc.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • scarface74 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I’m looking at a list of permissions here:


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Most of these permissions either require individual consent after you run the app (and can be revoked in settings) or aren’t allowed under any circumstances.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The exceptions I see are:


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Internet access (you can block cellular internet access on iOS and 3rd party keyboards can be blocked from allowing any network access)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Prevent links from opening in a view - depending on which type of web view that an app uses, the native content blocking framework that third party ad blockers use for Safari also work in the WebView. For instance, the ad blocker I have installed works with Feedly - my RSS reader.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The only sensor I think that can be blocked is the GPS.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • snaky 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    XPrivacy is not about blocking, it's about faking.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    PrivacyGuard in LineageOS is about blocking.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • scarface74 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      How is “faking” it better than just not allowing it all? iOS Developers have had to handle being denied permissions gracefully since 2008.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • DrJaws 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        some apps don't work if the permissions are blocked. With xprivacy you can tell them

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        My phone number is 000 000 000 and my email is

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        and they work fine then

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • scarface74 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          And iOS doesn’t need that bandaid. App developers have been developing with the expectation that their apps could be denied permissions they request since day one.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • drdaeman 220 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Except for stuff that iOS doesn't ask and even implement a permission for. Like UIDevice.identifierForVendor.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • DrJaws 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Yes, you have more privacy with xprivacy, but at the same time, for running it, you need root access and install xposed, so you get +10 points for privacy and -5000 for security

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • snaky 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Do you have a root access on your Linux PC? Does it add -5000 for security?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • DrJaws 219 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I have and I don't give access to root to my software. Also on my linux computer I can patch the very same moment there is a vulnerability, on my phone I can only patch security fixes when the manufacturer wants and only usually for 1 or 2 years.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Also, have you really audited the code of xposed and xprivacy to see that there isn't any single security flaw that expose your whole phone?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • lenkite 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Android !== OnePlus

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • jacksmith21006 220 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Using Project Fi in China: Say goodbye to VPNs - Android Authority


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Apple removes VPN apps from the App Store in China

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • duxup 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I'm tempted to move from Android to an Apple phone partly for that reason.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I'm tired of the endless android situations where an app seems to be able to do whatever regardless of permissions... and permissions can't really be managed anyway. I also don't belive Google will ever get a handle on those permissions / privacy, they just don't care to.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  It doesn't help that google killed the nexus line and now we have pixels that are premium priced anyway so I may as well consider Apple where I didn't before.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The camera is also a big deal to me so a lot of the "hey it's not a pixel but" options just don't do it for me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • taurath 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The ability to install an ad blocker natively on the default browser is the reason I switched, and cannot stand androids anymore (after 5 android phones previously).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • lern_too_spel 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      You can install system-wide adblockers on Android. This is not possible with iOS without running a separate proxy server like pi-hole.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • taurath 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        If you jailbreak it iirc though

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • lern_too_spel 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          No "jailbreak" required on Android. Just implement the VpnService API.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • saagarjha 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            You can do this on iOS as well, but not for App Store apps.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • lern_too_spel 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              So if you rebuild every week or pay Apple a yearly fee for the privilege of blocking ads on your own phone.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • saagarjha 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Unfortunately your only option is to pay Apple, since you cannot develop VPN extensions on a free account.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • glhaynes 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  It's surprising to me that an easy-to-use set of scripts to do this for you hasn't popped up (to my knowledge). When Apple initially offered the "zero cost but you have to rebuild every week" solution, I was sure there'd be an idiot-proof solution to make that seamless within a few days.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • saagarjha 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Cydia Impactor can do this on-device, IIRC. But you still need to launch the app.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • noisem4ker 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          On Android, you can set Firefox as the default browser and configure uBlock as an add-on.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • david-s 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          What are you using to block ads?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • bjoli 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Edit: this actually became a bit off topic..

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I say this as an old apple fanboy. The apple products are by far the best privacy wise, but I recommend against them anyway. I like Mac os, but feel I can't pay apple any more money.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I have repaired enough phones and computers to recommend people to not use apple. Unless you there is a class action lawsuit they won't extend warranty, even for obviously faulty products.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The last 2 years I have fixed more than 5 broken macbooks that Apple refused to fix for less than $400 with 10 minute solder jobs, and I'm just a hobbyist helping friends. Two of them were fixing issues that Apple had already "fixed" by doing what could be called the worst solder jobs of the century (one was actually just using a rubber pad to push a chip in place instead of doing a proper resolder. According to the guy linked later in this post this was apples official fix :( :( :( ...)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Don't take my word for it, though:


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • duxup 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I really haven't had much better support on my boot loop 5x... granted I love the 5x's size and form factor.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • bjoli 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Manuy manufacturers have followed apples lead (soldered SSDs and batteries and devices that won't open).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I wouldn't go for those devices either. The Nexus 5 (not s. I don't know that one) is very easy to open and replace parts in (at least as far as phones go),but finding someone that can properly diagnose it and fix it can be hard.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • duxup 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I duno, it's not like android devices were known for long warranties and service before apple... many were lucky to get a major firmware update at all...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • bjoli 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Of course not, but for bigger brands and popular models repair shops can actually keep official parts in-store, something that Apple don't allow (even for apple stores).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I am not saying that andoid is all roses, but many devices are still realpairable even though things are going in the wrong direction.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                When an iPhones warranty is up, apple has been trying their hardest to make fixing your device impossible.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • shiado 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Apple was added to PRISM in 2012 and we have no reason to believe the programs they have been required to cooperate in have been dismantled, if anything we should assume they have been strengthened.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • richliss 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          This is true but let's face it if the 5 Eyes want to spy on you then you have massive problems - one person trying to defend against the state is an absolute fantasy. It's Google/Facebook/OnePlus/Samsung spying on me for commercial gain that I can do something about.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • lostlogin 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            New Zealand is one of the 5 eyes, so you can pretty much ignore our capabilities. Unfortunately the other eyes make up for that, and then some.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • fucking_tragedy 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              The surveillance infrastructure is there for use by intelligence agencies, but that doesn't mean that they have exclusive access.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              If you break message encryption for the government, the incentive to mine or sell that data still exists for a profit-driven entity.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • 221 days ago
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • singularity2001 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Yes, people must not forget this!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                iPhone is certainly not a private device, just an order of magnitude less 'chatty' than google.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • lawnchair_larry 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The problem with this is you (and most people) have no idea what PRISM actually is. It’s not what you think, but unfortunately the ham-fisted government doesn’t understand that is why they need transparency here. Unfortunately, they believe that discussing the nature of PRISM will cause terrorists who plot attacks over Google Hangouts (for example) to go dark, and that is the one and only priority that they have.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • jccalhoun 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I have a hard time getting worked up about getting tracked online. I'm looking at Facebook's suggested groups right now. I've been on facebook since around 2013. The groups they try to suggest to me are:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  one for a game I play that I used facebook to log into. Makes sense.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1st edition advanced Dungeons and Dragons. I haven't mentioned Dungeons and dragons and haven't played it since the mid 1980s

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Grindr aesthetics. I am hetero so I'm not sure what this is.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Indy Nostalgia. I live in Indiana so I guess that is somewhat relevant.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Hearthstone Australia. I live in Indiana and I don't play Hearthstone.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  A few days ago I was talking about this with a friend and looked and facebook had suggested I join a group for progressive Asian-American Christians. I am not Asian-American or a Christian.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  If this is the best they can do with 15 years worth of data then I don't think I have too much to worry about.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • apo 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Future you may rue the day you ever let Facebook's tentacles down your throat.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The data being collected about you is permanent. It can be combined with other data to shine spotlights into your life you thought were off limits forever.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The data can also be used to distort what really happened through careful editing of the record.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    This is just beginning.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Scriptor 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Remember that that's just the interface they present to you. It's entirely possible that they simply haven't put much effort here and no one's worked on improving those models.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      However, what they present to advertiser could be completely different, since that's where the money is.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • lostlogin 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        And that’s just the start. Cambridge Analytica comes to mind instantly, but what other nasties are lurking about down there?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • sampo 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I buy running shoes from Amazon. The next 4 weeks Facebook and Reddit and random websites show me nothing but ads for running shoes. I already have my shoes, don't need another pair, thank you.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Am I a minority, not being a serial shoe shopper? Or is whatever machine learning those companies are running really that simplistic?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • samatman 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          The shoe market has 'whales' who spend a double-digit percentage of a median income on shoes every year.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          That said, no, it's really that simplistic. Amazon will do the same thing for vacuum cleaners, and vacuum cleaner whales do not exist, as far as I know.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • rifung 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I've had this happen to me many times before. My assumption was always that they can see that you looked for running shoes but not that you bought them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • enraged_camel 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            It's worth noting that using adblockers and similar gizmos will significantly limit the amount of data these companies capture about you, and will therefore drastically reduce the relevance of what they show you.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            However, the overwhelming majority of Internet users don't use blockers, and are tracked wherever they go. Not just on the Internet, but in many places in real life too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • fady 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The author makes a few good points. Let's not forget though that Android OS still is waaaay more customize-able, and can be made more secure than iOS. Passcode on boot? Yes. I can choose what I want on my phone. I can choose to root my phone, just like a computer, with android, I can have full control of everything. Apps, defaults, kernel, etc.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Now, having said all that, for the average grandma I would also recommend an iPhone. Android OS/play store/xda is still the wild west, and you can be compromised easier, if you don't know what you're doing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • TracePearson 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Making android more secure than iOS is out of reach for the vast majority of people. Most android devices sold don't even get regular security updates.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • decebalus1 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Sorry, but I don't buy it. I believe this is just effective marketing which is exploiting the current Facebook, Google, Microsoft privacy discussions.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Apple doesn't care about privacy, it cares about money and will continue playing this record from now on. The main reason why they did not go on the user data gathering/selling is mainly incompetence. They were just so far back in terms of user tracking that they just went 'fuck it, we'll consider this a feature now'.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Also, let's not forget they are part of PRISM (which they lied about).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Just wait for iphones to start declining in sales (and they will) and have the privacy talk again.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • unethical_ban 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I don't "trust" Apple, but they have been hyping security and privacy as a competitive advantage for several years now. Their business model is selling hardware and support, not in advertising and data.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • saagarjha 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                > Apple doesn't care about privacy, it cares about money and will continue playing this record from now on.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                But it seems like people are willing to pay a premium for privacy. So why can't Apple care about both?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • fucking_tragedy 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  There's a lot of money to be made by both selling a premium product and selling data.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Pandering to the security-minded doesn't scale well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • acangiano 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I'm switching back to iPhone as soon as the new ones come out in part because of their pro-privacy stance.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • toasterlovin 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  They're out. Order away!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Edit: I guess maybe not in your country yet.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • acangiano 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I'm in Canada so it's available for pre-order. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • whyagaindavid 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Sadly, I do know that some HN-hackers may have qualms about money and comparison but the title could be extended to have "... for the rich".

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  It is increasingly a bubble for the rich to super-elite not necessarily for the average citizen.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • sebular 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Not that I see the logic in comparing the cost of an iPhone to Mark Zuckerberg buying buffer properties, but the cheapest new iPhone you can buy on is the iPhone 7 for $449, and that's without doing any price hunting. It's an entirely functional phone that has all of the same privacy features as any other iPhone, and it offers similar performance to other phones at that price.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Furthermore, there are plenty of people who live near the poverty line that will be buying an iPhone XS Max this year. They deserve privacy just as much as anyone else, and if they're deciding between spending a disproportional amount of their income on an iPhone or the latest Galaxy Note, the correct advice in terms of privacy would still be "buy an iPhone."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • saagarjha 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      And I'm sure the $349 iPhone SE is still being sold until stock for that runs out.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • neya 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Sorry, iOS is a closed source OS and nobody can verify what's exactly happening under the hood, this article is shallow and unverifiable. I disagree that Apple's product is privacy without being able to verify that there isn't some code that's processing my personal info. Nobody here can prove or disprove it without access to the source code.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • fpoling 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Have you looked at the source of Linux kernel or Chromium? Can you really tell what is going there without spending years working with it? Most likely you cannot. Moreover, as never ending stream of bugs indicates, neither engineers that work on the code can tell what the code does precisely.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Open source is very nice for tinkering, less so for security assurance. For the latter sound architecture is essential, and one can understand that without having the source for all the components.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • kgwxd 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The fact that a single person couldn't possibly fully understand a complex system is all the more reason to get more eyes on it. Besides, security is not the same as privacy, There's a huge difference between spotting where a network connection is being created, what data is sent and where to vs completely understanding an entire code base and spotting cleverly obfuscated code or low level bugs.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        With closed source, only employees get to see the code, their goals align with the company. Open source, anyone can see it and raise stink about things they don't like on behalf of all users. It only takes 1 person for all users to get the benefits.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Granted, open source doesn't prevent all privacy issues, MS still does telemetry in OSS projects, sometimes not even allowing to opt-out, and they just ignore the countless complaints, and enough people still use it. Such is the state of the world I guess. But imagine one day MS decides to say they're no longer collecting telemetry but they've actually put in some cleaver code that looks like it does one thing but actually sends telemetry data. Getting caught doing that would be a way bigger PR issue that would, hopefully, cause far more users to completely stop trusting them, even if all their code was open source. I don't expect companies that want to stay in business for long would attempt such a thing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • fpoling 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          There are literally thousands of eyes that look at kernel sources. Google even pays 1e5 usd if one finds exploitable bugs in their code. Yet security-related bugs stil pop up regularly.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Even to prove things formally source is not that essential. One stil needs to know details how code is translated into the machine instructions. But then to show, for example, absence of code path that copies user location into network packet one may analize machine instructions.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • 220 days ago
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • LMYahooTFY 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          This is, not so simply, wrong.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Open software means that it can be audited by more than just the authors and/or owners.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          It's not about this philosophical discussion that "you" haven't gone through every line of code yourself.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          It's the difference between trusting one party of people who are keeping secrets from you, or trusting a diverse group of people who are not keeping secrets from you.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • scarface74 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            How well did that work for the HeartBleed bug that was part open source code for over a year and a half?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • LMYahooTFY 216 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Are you trolling...?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              It was discovered by two independent parties which otherwise would likely not have happened at all....?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Did you read about Bullrun?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • jl6 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Sound architecture and open source are both necessary. A good design convinces you it’s intended to do the right thing. Open source allows you to verify that it’s doing the right thing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            True, code audits are rare. But open source software is at least in principle verifiable.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • saagarjha 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Open source only provides slightly more protection over closed source. The real issue is that if you're paranoid, there really is no way to verify that the device is doing what you want it to do: sure, maybe the OS is open source and you've verified that, but how do you know what you have on your device matches the source code (fun fact: the source code posted online for macOS and iOS differs from what's on the device, since Apple strips out references to unreleased products). Even if you're looking at the machine code itself pulled from the device, you have no guarantee that the processor is executing them faithfully.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • jl6 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Sure, so you also need open source hardware, reproducible builds, and a verifiable supply chain. You need openness and transparency end to end. Nobody’s achieved that to date, but that has got to be the goal.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • bhj 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Reading the source code is not the only way to determine software's behavior, and few can read every line of every piece of software we run anyway.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • inapis 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              You can? Just monitor the network traffic. Should be very easy on Wifi. Might not work if they’re using HSTS for iCloud.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              That said there’s still blackbox hardware when it comes to the baseband. All devices which I’m aware of come with binary blobs for the baseband. So in that sense there’s no truly open mobile device.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • gmiller123456 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Monitoring network traffic isn't going to help if that traffic is encrypted in transit. You can see data is going out, and to which IP address, but you can't really determine what's going out. You're not really going to be able to distinguish spyware from checking for updates unless there's an unreasonably size of data being sent up.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • inapis 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Uhm you can? As I said if they’re not using HSTS or Certificate pinning you just need to use an MITM proxy like Charles or mitproxy with a trusted certificate. You might not be able to intercept traffic for FAANG apps but for a vast chunk of apps it should be easy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • saagarjha 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    You can drop traffic you find fishy, though.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • scarface74 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Everything that makes Android "Android" to most people includes a lot of closed source Google parts and binary blob drivers. Google has been closing up more of Android over the years.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • kodablah 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    That has nothing to do with the comment you're responding to.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • saagarjha 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      It has everything to do with that comment, since the obvious point being made was that "Android is open"–to which the poster responded with that Google's services, which the majority of Android users use, are not.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • guitarbill 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    There's a lot of security research going on. Stuff like that can and is found without source code access. And the fewer number of iPhone models benefits Apple here, simply because there's less to cover (compared to the number of Android devices).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • jaegerpicker 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      A huge portion of iOS/macOS is open source (nearly as much as Android) and anyone can verify what it's doing. Darwin is the kernel and underlying libraries. It's heavily based on FreeBSD and is available to download and read.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • decebalus1 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        That means absolutely NOTHING in this context. I can base my product on some Linux distro and add just about the right tracking libraries. It is closed source proprietary software, period.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Also, this [1]. They definitely do have tracking. Please point me to the source code for this.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • floatboth 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          > nearly as much as Android

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          nah. AOSP is actually a full OS. All the GUI stuff and whatnot is open source.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Apple only publishes the kernel sometimes. Not nearly as much.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          > heavily based on FreeBSD

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Not that heavily. There is a mix of Mach and various BSDs in there, but also a lot, a looooot of custom Apple weirdness on top.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • scarface74 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Sorry, iOS is a closed source OS and nobody can verify what's exactly happening under the hood, this article is shallow and unverifiable.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Are you able to verify all of the closed source parts of Android -- not AOSP the actual Android implementation with Google closed source apps that most people use? What about the binary drivers?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • jamesgeck0 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            What about access to network traffic?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • bunderbunder 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              iOS is closed source, yes. From my perspective, so is every other mobile OS.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I'm not going to take on the effort involved in manually installing my own firmware that'd been built from verified sources. You could argue that's simple laziness on my part, but, for the fast majority of people, they simply lack the ability to do otherwise. So, while I can read some version of the Android source code, I still can't be sure of exactly what code is actually running on my device. I have to place some trust in the vendor.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              So, who would I rather trust: The company that took the risk of publicly standing up to the US Government over a privacy issue where even public opinion was at best only arguably on their side, and that boots 3rd parties off of its platform if they're caught trying to siphon users data without permission? Or the company that happily collaborates with surveillance states, makes most its revenue by engaging in surveillance capitalism, and encourages other companies to do the same?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              That said, if anyone wants to see about bringing FirefoxOS back to life, that'd be cool.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • colechristensen 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              The thing holding me back from iPhone is the inability to buy content from non-apple sources.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • saagarjha 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                You mention "content", which presumably includes digital media–all of which you can totally buy anywhere else and load on your phone, or use an app to purchase on-device. The only thing you can't get from a non-Apple source is software (well, normally, that is. You can still sign apps yourself and sideload them on your device).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Canada 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  If you pay Apple a hundred bucks a year for the privilege and accept the fact that you can only receive push messages from your own server.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • saagarjha 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    > If you pay Apple a hundred bucks a year for the privilege

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    You can do this with a free account, just with some restrictions on what types of API you can use.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • felix_nagaand 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Pretty sure you also need to resign the app fairly frequently which is a nonstarter for many.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • colechristensen 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    >use an app to purchase on-device

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    That's the issue. You can't.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Can I buy an audiobook on the Audible app? No.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Can I buy a book/movie/show/etc on any Google Play app? No.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Am I willing to buy on websites or using a laptop or different advice instead of my phone because Apple? No.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • dwighttk 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I don’t know about google play, but you can buy kindle books on the device in Safari.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • colechristensen 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        That, to me, is unacceptable.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • scarface74 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          It’s an unacceptable to go to a website? Especially in the case of Amazon, you probably already have a credit card on file.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Everyone bemoans the “walled garden” and not being able to buy apps anywhere except for the App Store. Now here is a case where you can buy content using the “open web” and that’s not good enough?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • colechristensen 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The credit card is on file in my Audible app too as with the rest of them on android. I'm not sure if the third party apps are explicitly banned from selling or if they just refuse to pay the Apple tax, I'm not interested.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Having to explain to my mother that the chromecast she got for christmas would only work on her phone if she first went to a website to buy a movie we wanted to watch and then opened the app to play, I feel like I am living in a bizarre parody.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I don't want to deal with that needless hoop jumping and my mother just won't do it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • scarface74 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Apple sold audio books through Audible for over a decade and you could sync your purchases back and forth. They were forced to stop because of regulators.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              But as far as your mom being confused. Isn’t confusing enough to use a Chromecast that requires a phone with a TV instead of using a remote?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I can’t possibly see how it would be a better user experience to have to use a phone to control a TV than to be able to use native apps and a remote.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              If you are going to stay in the Android ecosystem, at least get something like the Nvidia Shield.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • ecnahc515 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        You can, it's just that most companies don't put that into there iOS version of the app because Apple takes a cut of all in-app purchases.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • jernfrost 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      It is a controlled platform which has pros and cons. The Apple way gives more security, privacy and better user experience. The downside is higher prices, less flexbility, reduced choices.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      One of the reasons I can stomach it is that while Apple is an enclosed garden they tend to use rather standard formats on things so you usually have a way of getting your data out should you leave the garden.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I find that more problematic with the Microsoft world which uses much more MS specific formats which are often binary or hellishly complex to decipher or reverse engineer.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • throw2016 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Totalitarianism is not built in a day. You don't wake up one day to find yourself in dystopia.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      At the moment the capabilities are being built in bits and pieces, like the frog being boiled, and once the capabilities are there they will be used and abused. You don't even need imagination to see this, even a basic acquaintance of human nature and history is enough.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The current generation of software folks have dropped the ball and sold out completely. There is a feeding frenzy of creepiness, stalking people accompanied with denial, apologism, dilution and posturing. If you are going to question the value of privacy or diminish the danger of surveillance you might as well question democracy and human rights. This is what apologism does, reduces discussion to basic first principles.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      This is what greed and money does to people, and why regulations and rule of law is required to cement and reiterate the values a society subscribes to.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • satysin 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        With how Microsoft has ruined Windows and having awful experiences with several Windows based laptops this year (XPS 15, Surface Book 2, ThinkPad X1 Carbon) I decided to switch to a MacBook Pro two months ago when the 2018 models came out.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I haven't been this happy using a computer in a long, long time. Yes this MBP cost me about £800 more than an equivalent Dell or Lenovo but damnit it just works so well. There is no frustrating corner cutting like I found on so-called 'premium' laptops from Dell, Lenovo and Microsoft such as panels with backlight bleed, poor audio, wifi issues, etc.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        It has been so good that today I did something I haven't done in over a decade. I pre-ordered an iPhone Xs Max. I don't have any real functionality issues with Android but I am happy to be getting away from Google.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Now I just need to find a reliable alternative to G Suite and I can be Google free!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • HiHelloBolke 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Moreover it's interesting to see how Apple is marketing durability with new iPhones... some of this is a byproduct of their environment strategy, i.e to reuse parts and thus generate less waste and perhaps is economically sound in the long run. But as a consumer, when you are spending that much money, you are going to decide on durability rather than how environmentally friendly it is - although for apple both mean same thing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          When the market is already saturated with smartphones, the new features and technology in each new release have become incremental. Also it's easier to do much more with the software.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Adding more hardware in a already complex, miniaturized device is difficult and may take more than the 2 year cycle...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • kodablah 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Unless you're Chinese or expect Apple to be clear and transparent about their privacy principles when forced to go against them. Apple's best product is the pass given to them by the media.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • clay_the_ripper 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Apple is still a profit seeking corporation. Given that they could be like google and mine you for every cent, but don’t, is a pretty big tick in their column. Aim for progress, not perfection.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • fucking_tragedy 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                It's less of a big tick, and more of a big question mark, where the question is "how, or when, are they going to exploit this massive untapped resource they're sitting on?"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • ElBarto 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                China is now Apple's largest market for iPhones.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Proof that iPhones do not hinder the Chinese government one bit.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • jaegerpicker 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  If Apple wants to sell in China they have to play ball with the Chinese government, I don't like it but I'm not sure I can blame Apple for it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • sybhn 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  As someone once said very eloquently on this forum: Apple is a consumer product company and makes money selling you products, while others (Google, Facebook, etc) are ad platforms companies making money selling you as a product. It's in Apple's best interest to keep your data safe and confidential, unlike other internet giants. When i had to chose a online photos storage provider, the choice was clear, for that very reason.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • cheeseomlit 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I don't buy it, they're a provider for the PRISM program.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    They put on a big show about unlocking a phone for the FBI and all that, but I'm inclined to think it's all just theater to give people a false sense of security

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Illniyar 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Is it though? Is there any reason to believe that a significant amount of people buy Apple products because they believe it to be more private?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      My impression is that the vast majority of users don't care about privacy - no matter how much privacy apple adds to their product, it's becomes moot the moment you are active from facebook, or use google products - which practically everyone does.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • miaklesp 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        What's the point of having the 'fastest processor on the market' if you are completely locked down?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        - no background tasks, OneDrive experience sucks

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        - file system experience sucks, cannot save file in one app and open in another

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        - no alternative browsers

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        - no apps like Termux, or other emulators

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        It's a joke!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        What are you going to do with this 'fastest processor'? Make photos of food for Instagram?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • djrogers 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          > - no background tasks

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Completely false - there are many types of background tasks an app can perform.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          > OneDrive experience sucks

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Obviously this is subjective, but OneDrive can integrate at the file system level and be treated as a first-party file provider. If MS makes that suck, that’s not on apple.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          > - file system experience sucks, cannot save file in one app and open in another

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Also completely false. The Files app/framework includes not only locally created and managed files and iCloud, but also incorporates third party file storage like Dropbox and OneDrive.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          > - no alternative browsers

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Also false

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          > - no apps like Termux, or other emulators

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Plenty of apps to get you on an SSH or serial terminal - Prompt and GetConsole are my gotos, but there are tons.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          It really sounds like you read a list of half-true iOS complaints from 2010 and regurgitated them here.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • miaklesp 220 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Can I do the following workflow on iPhone:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. navigate to a download link in browser, download the file

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. change file extension to zip, and unpack it to a folder

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            3. open one of the extracted .docx files and open in Word

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            4. save it as a PDF file

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            5. go to Mail app and attach the PDF file

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Is the $1000 phone with the 'fastest processor of the market' capable to do this?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • fstanis 220 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              With like 6 different apps, you can.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • godelski 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          The data they link to is pretty interesting[0]. In [1] there is an interesting chart. On page 578 (next page has the chart the article refers to, this is the table for it) it shows that from 1980-2014 the top 0.001%'s post-tax income growth grew 616%, the top 1%'s grew 194%, top 10%'s 113%, and the middle 40% grew 49% (full population grew 61%). They also compare this to the growth from 1946-1980, where the growth was more evenly spread out. The top 10% had growth rates that were multiples of their pre 1980 growth rates, while everyone below the 10% had fractions.



                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • kbumsik 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Well, only iOS is, not all Apple products. It bothers me a bit that the high security/privacy of iOS is automatically applied to all Apple products in the article.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The notorious High Sierra proved more than enough that the macOS engineers develop __zero__ security in mind.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • maxxxxx 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Their product is privacy until it isn't. As long as we only have dominant platforms dominated by huge companies we are at risk. I hope there will something Linux for phones that is a real alternative.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • jmfayard 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Hypothesis: Apple's best product is now privacy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Testing the hypothesis: if that was true that all those new iPhone do not matter that much, Wall Street analysts would take a hard look at what is the gross margin of the Apple's new best product (privacy) and Apple stock price would take a serious hit.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Looking at the evidence: AAC stock price is super high

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Alternative hypothesis: some people will buy Apple products for tribal reasons, no matter what the quality over price ratio is, and find a rationalization after the fact to justify it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • sjwright 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Best product ≠ most popular product

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • randomsearch 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    When plenty of smart people are doing something you’re not, there’s often a good reason why. Rather than dismiss it as “tribal” did you buy or borrow an iPhone or ask them why?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I’ve used a bunch of Android phones at work and a bunch of iPhones.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    If you’re a hacker who wants to mess with their phone, want customisation, or don’t have more money, then an Android makes sense.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Other than that, buy an iPhone. You’ll spend more time getting things done, more things will “just work”, and it’ll break less often and have fewer bugs. The design is great, the aesthetics of the X are wonderful.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    And then there’s privacy. Apple are hammering it because (a) Tim Cook sees it as a priority, for rather obvious reasons, and (b) it’s a competitive advantage that Google will never be able to counter unless they stop basing their business on adverts. Good. Let’s hope they hammer it more and more and force google to change. Android in its current spyware form is not a good thing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • jmfayard 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Well obviously there are a lot of smart people using iPhones and even more smart people using Android phones.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Anyway in my opinion the biggest problem of smartphones by far is that we use them too much and mindlessly. The brand of the smartphone is mostly irrelevant, it's using it smartly that counts

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • 221 days ago
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • morsma 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      As a very long time Android user (since HTC Hero), I've recently switched to the IPhone for the exact same reason. I was a big fan back then, but lately I'm starting to be put off by Google, for instance the late reveal of mettling in the US election etc. At least you gotta give Google for partially admitting it by removing the "Don't be evil" motto back in 2015. It's only MS, Apple or open source here from now on...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • bestnameever 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        OGoogle supposedly removes your personal information when you delete it from their myactivity website.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I'm guessing a very small percentage of people do so but it's pretty helpful if you care about your privacy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • amatecha 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          In terms of privacy, Apple seems so far ahead of the industry it's practically shocking. I paid the invoice from Namecheap for a domain renewal last night and when downloading the receipt, I noticed a network call to Facebook[dot]com. Turns out it was hitting some telemetry API and logging my order ID, session token, transaction ID, and other stuff like my screen resolution and who knows what else. Like... what?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • jaski 209 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I totally agree, now that I'm getting screwed by Redmi. Redmi is spilling ads all over the phone... in the useless but compulsory widgets screen, in the video app, in the gallery, in the messaging app, in the memory cleaner app, in the screenshots app, you name it. It's getting nauseating.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • taurath 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              All companies that are dependent on ad money have cognitive dissonence, in that most “care” about their users but the users are not their customer anymore. They eventually revert to only providing enough value to keep users, or try to lock in users via monopolies or legal means so they can spend resources on ad technology or enablers of them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • amelius 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I just wish the EU would step in and demand that all hardware is actually owned by the person who buys it, so we didn't have to root devices in order to get some privacy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Apple hardware is nice, but also expensive. Further, a lack of options is a bad thing. Apple is now basically monopolist in the space of privacy-respecting smartphones.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • pyman 219 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The article is very clear:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Apple’s business model doesn’t rely on monetizing user data. Google, on the other hand, has a business model built around advertisers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  In other words, Apple has a choice when it comes to selling your data, Google doesn’t.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I’m not going to talk about Facebook because it’s just a website, like MySpace, and doesn’t sell hardware.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • devy 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I agree with the assessment in the article. Having said that, I wonder if it's possible to port iOS to run on Android devices? In other words, how different is Apple's custom designed silicon vs. Qualcom and others ARM design?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • vinylkey 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Their choices in hardware make it hard for me to switch.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Since the new hardware announcements this week I'm scrambling to find a new iPhone SE to switch to from Android. I want privacy, but I also want a small phone with a proper headphone jack.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • dvfjsdhgfv 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The problem here now we have a choice between a bit open phones tracking all your activities and a more closed platform that values privacy more. That's very far from ideal and a new player could bring a lot of fresh air here.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • vinceguidry 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Call me when people stop buying phones and start buying privacy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Maybe I'm being unnecessarily snarky, but is it really too much to ask for a business journalist to be able to tell the difference between a product and a feature?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • elborro 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Sadly also Apple collects data on their users. Last year around 300TB a day on what users search for, which apps they use, how many times, where you click and navigate through the OS and in the apps, etc. :(

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • alexanderdmitri 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I know with Android that companies like Verizon install a "super cookie" that cannot be removed without rooting the device. Does anyone know if this is the case with iOS as well?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • ben1040 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The Verizon "supercookie" is an HTTP header they add to your traffic. They do it via deep packet inspection, not anything on the device, and it affects iOS as well. After they got caught doing this they added the option to opt out at the account level.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • saagarjha 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Many Android phones come preloaded with carrier software, yes, and this isn't the case on iPhone. But I'm not sure if this is the "super cookie" you're talking about.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • ggm 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Remember folks: the Chinese don't share your personal data with the five-eyes governments. All the western snooping software does.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  So who do you trust more with your personal data and why?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • znutarr 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I've been using this app from Secure messaging

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • 220 days ago
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • srg0 220 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Isn't Apple hosting iCloud on Google infrastructure? Technically if I didn't trust G, I wouldn't trust A either.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • izietto 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          What about using Tor browser? I think it's more important than the points listed in the article

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • 221 days ago
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • aj7 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              It’s true. And it’s also a risk for Apple.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • DyslexicAtheist 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                the sad reality in many vulnerable parts of the world is Apple products are financially out of reach

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • znutarr 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I've been using this app for safe communications. Http://

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • chad_strategic 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I'm sorry, but I don't even have to read this article, to know this is nothing more than propaganda.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Full Disclosure: I work at the NSA

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • idrios 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I'm glad privacy is a valued feature and wish it were the norm.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      But more importantly, I come to HN to learn news or tools for programming. Less of this sponsored content and more "Show HN: Here's how I used computer vision to make a robot throw spoons only and specifically at my roommate, Tom."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • woah 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        There’s a whole show hn tab

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • octosphere 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          > I come to HN to learn news or tools for programming. Less of this sponsored content

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          How is it sponsored? HN is not just about programming, but if it's programming you need there are communities like Lobsters[1] which are heavily biased towards programming.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Privacy issues are always going to crop up in tech, and especially now more than ever with IoT devices and the proliferation of smartphones.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • exodust 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            But this article is not about privacy issues. It's about "how fantabulous and oh-so worth the higher price, Apple products really are".

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • ceejayoz 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              "Privacy is worth a price premium" is "about privacy issues", isn't it?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • exodust 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Nope. It's about a price premium being worth it when that price is connected to an Apple product.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • ceejayoz 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The author finds privacy to be worth a price premium.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The author argues Apple's making the right privacy decisions, and as such they don't mind Apple's price premium.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • exodust 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    That author states in opening paragraph: "Apple offers better products and solutions than its competitors." And how as a "tech writer" they always recommend Apple products. Nothing to do with privacy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The article is not about privacy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • ceejayoz 220 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Yes, if you stick to the first paragraph of an article, you'll often miss its main point. Scroll just a little down:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      > I now believe the best product Apple offers is intangible, yet far more valuable than a flagship smartphone. The best product Apple has–and the single biggest reason that consumers should choose an Apple device over competing devices–is privacy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • adnan_pirota 220 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Stop promoting iSheeps pleaaasseeee

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • saudioger 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            no it's not, it's iphones you dummy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • dang 218 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Please don't post unsubstantive comments here.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • ataturk 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Apple will blow it. The allure of statism is far too great for these button-down corporate assholes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • adnan_pirota 220 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Why do you post iSheeps stuff and what's even more put it as first news!!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • jacksmith21006 220 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Campaign targets Apple over privacy betrayal for Chinese iCloud ...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Google instead packed up and left after China government tried to access private Gmail data.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • djsolnok 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Wow this author is a total idrone. I'm not saying Google is better, in fact some of her points may even be correct. They probably do collect less personal data than an Android device. The question is are you willing to pay in on average at least $200 more for a phone? I'm not that's for sure.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • eveningcoffee 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      ... and deleting your movies.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I am not sure we can trust them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • vesak 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Deleting the movies the don't have the rights to distribute anymore? How could they legally do that?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • tannhaeuser 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Apple could market their pro-privacy stance more aggressively, or at all. As it is, they could change it at any time. For example, if market conditions are changing, selling access to Apple's valuable user base should be extremely tempting for compensation. If OTOH they emphasize their privacy stance with all their marketing prowess, this certainly will make mainstream consumers consider "privacy" a value in itself.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • toasterlovin 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          FWIW, they highlight privacy as a feature wherever applicable during their live events.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • singularity2001 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            They probably can't market their pro-privacy stance more aggressively, because otherwise people would call them liars when the next Snowden appears.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • aphextron 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The whole “low power mode” debacle was such a perfect example of this. Android permissions management is an insecure disaster. It’s something that would have been physically impossible to do on iOS.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • chooseaname 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I am not sure about LPM on ios being remotely enabled, but they can remotely disable apps. And they have a patent on remotely disabling the camera.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • pjmlp 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Sure, Apple just slows down the whole OS instead.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • woah 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  They decided that battery life was more important than performance to most people. I suspect they are right about this.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • suprfnk 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    It wasn't battery life, it was stability. The day Apple brought out the feature toggle for you to choose whether you wanted to throttle your device or not, I turned the throttling off. The phone was as fast as when I got it again.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    That same day the phone crashed, a first in a long time, because apparently the power draw was too high for the battery. Imagine if, instead of throttling, they had phones crashing left and right. I think throttling was the right choice, but they could have been more transparent about it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • sf_rob 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      My Pixel that crashes randomly whenever I'm below 15% battery makes me wish that Google would have made the same choice (I'm certainly making some assumptions).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • chooseaname 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        They could have chosen to better match the battery with the power needs of the phone. But, they chose form over function instead.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • macintux 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Batteries get old. I'm not sure what Apple can do about that.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • CaptSpify 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            They could build longer lasting batteries. Load testing your product is manufacturing 101

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • chooseaname 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              That wasn't the issue...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • saagarjha 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Uh, yeah it was. Older batteries couldn't support the peak power draw, so Apple responded by throttling the CPU if necessary. Unless you have something to share?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • chooseaname 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Look back through the issue. People started getting throttled within the first year when they still have 90+ percent capacity left. That's not an "older" battery.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • macintux 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Citation? Apple's official statements seem to correspond to anecdata that the problems went away after a battery replacement.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • chooseaname 221 days ago


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • macintux 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I'm going to buy anecdata that backs up a reasonable explanation from Apple over anecdata alone.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • chooseaname 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          No, they decided to control the narrative so that people don't call it what it is, a defect.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • geophertz 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I wouldn't trust apple for multiple reasons: * because they agree (or at least help) censorship in china it shows that they do not care about the user, they do what is best for them and if that is sharing data with anyone they will do it. It don't understand why apple would help a governments with bad intention in china and not the rest of the world. * secondly if they really want to protect your privacy why don't they open source some parts of their systems and let people build it (compile) themselves. eg: the T2 chip could be a backdoor, who can prove it's not?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • runjake 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Some things to keep in mind:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        - Once upon a time, we all rallied around Google and it's "Don't be evil" mantra and Google seemed privacy-focused. Then that went away.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        - Apple marketing is currently hyping privacy, but they still collect a staggering amount of telemetry from devices. They still hold a lot of our data that is not encrypted at rest. Some day, their touted stance on privacy will change.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • denzil_correa 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          > but they still collect a staggering amount of telemetry from devices. They still hold a lot of our data that is not encrypted at rest.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Here's one data point which says otherwise [0].

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          > As insightful as it was, Apple's treasure trove of my personal data is a drop in the ocean to what social networks or search giants have on me


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • amatecha 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Apple walks the walk, Google talked the talk. That simple.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • runjake 217 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Back in the day, Google walked the walk, too. Until they stopped.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • fatjokes 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I feel like people are blaming the tech companies for their own flaws. As Homer Simpson once said: "It's easy to blame ourselves, but it's even easier to blame Flanders."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The targeted ads and (fake or not) news are not what's "threatening democracy". It's an ignorant populace that doesn't know how to evaluate credibility of news sources, or open themselves to multiple viewpoints (e.g., you can read Fox News and the NYTimes!)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Bad politicians were able to get elected long before the Internet came along.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Personally, I love the benefits of Google's ecosystem. It's handy. I use Facebook, but only for Messenger and events. I resist the urge to read the news on my feed. Apple's products are nice but Siri is garbage and I like the cloud.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • exodust 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              > "...we live in a commercial surveillance state. Well, unless you use Apple’s products."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              The cringe train is arriving at the station.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              > "When you pay that extra money for an Apple product, you’re not just buying better industrial design or more advanced underlying tech–you’re buying the right to keep more information about yourself to yourself."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              All aboard the cringe train.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              This article could have been written by a bot, instructed to talk favorably about Apple and privacy. Tech journos are funny when they expose their brand crushes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • on_and_off 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I work on a mobile app .. we probably have hundreds (maybe thounds?) of tracking tags for everything you can do in the app.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                We have the exact same tracking on iOS and Android

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • 221 days ago
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • randomsearch 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Cool. If you let us know the app I won’t install it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    If you’re invasively tracking users, you should stop doing so.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Gorbzel 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Name the app.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • on_and_off 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Honestly, that's pretty much any app I have ever worked on.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The mobile industry has moved long ago to a model where the app is a service and analysts look at user data to determine how the app is used.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • singularity2001 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Regexp "[a-z]*"


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • kjullien 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Ha. I strongly disagree, for many reasons. The main one being that they have such terrible software devs (sorry but lately every Apple release was a fiasco) that they couldn't possibly have a "safe" and "private" environment, not intentionally obviously, but they keep showing their lack of concern and involvement time after time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • toasterlovin 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        FWIW, they recently deployed a new filesystem to 1 billion devices with a software update. I'm pretty sure that qualifies them as a competent engineering organization.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • kjullien 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          So in your opinion APFS ins't a failure that barely worked for about half a year after it's public release ?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Caused problems for almost every software where a patch was needed by the devs (namely docker, sure you could find more examples).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I actually had to reformat my drive because Disk on a APFS formatted drive could not handle bootcamp correctly on release and it foobared my entire drive.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          To their credit they get it right when you give them some months and a userbase of millions of people. I simply wish they did all that before they actually publicly release their latest botch and enable it by default on every device.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • toasterlovin 221 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Believe me, if APFS was a huge disaster, it never woulda left the front page of this website. Instead it was all griping about RAM and keyboards on the MacBook Pro.