I was minding my own business this morning when I checked Facebook and got an interesting iPad-related blast from the past. Thanks to this Memory that showed up today, I was reminded that I was working in Marion, NC on a Building Automation System upgrade on July 9, 2011. I was doing a little work offsite at a local coffee shop when I took the photo above. After over two weeks out of town and 4 days in a row cooped up in my hotel room working on this upgrade, it was time for some new surroundings.
Photo Source: Apple via YouTube
A couple of days ago, Apple released a new Ad entitled Privacy on iPhone- Private Side, which takes a lighthearted approach to bragging about the company’s current all-in approach to user data privacy.
Spotify has decided that running to the EU and crying in public on their blog (which I refuse to link here. If you want to see it, use Google) is the best course of action to protect themselves from the big, bad Apple. In case you can’t tell, I do not care for their arguments or any that currently relate to Apple and anti-trust laws as they stand today. As you can also probably tell, I won’t be voting for Elizabeth Warren in 2020, either. I’ll have more on her insanity in a future post.
I like the fact that Apple has taken a pro-privacy stance in recent years. Considering how the rest of the big tech giants treat users and their data, it is a positive to have some type of check against that power. However, I don’t have any illusions about what Apple is doing. It is very simple. They don’t need to monetize our data, while their primary competitors do, so their stance on privacy has nothing to do with any altruism on their part. It is a position of convenience. A bat they can swing at the high, hanging privacy fastball that companies like Facebook and Google hang right over the plate for them.
I make no bones about the fact that I’m an Apple fan, and have been for years. I don’t claim to be objective when talking about them, or about tech in general. However, I know enough to take a step back from time to time. There is a difference between being a fan of a company and their products, and being a shill.
Sure, I can stray too far over that line at times, as many tech bloggers do. It is easy to be a fanboy, at times. However, I understand one very important fact that keeps pulling me back where I need to be: There is nothing to be gained from blind love and devotion to Apple, because they don’t love me back.
Whew. We had WWDC three weeks ago, right into new iPads and the iOS 11 Developer Beta, and now the Public Beta yesterday with more news still coming fast. With lots of changes to to iOS 11 still to come and the new iPhone still on deck, there will still plenty more to last until the Fall, as well. Let’s get right into some of the notable news from the last week or two.
The screenshot above is of the advisory popup dialog you get when you’re about to sign in with your Facebook account in the iPad Settings app – to link your Facebook account more seamlessly throughout iOS.
Here’s the big catch though: the dialog above lets you know that signing in will do this:
Download your Facebook friends to the Contacts app and keep their information up to date.
For me, that’s a deal breaker right away. I don’t want all my Facebook friends chucked into my Contacts app. Partly because the last time I recall using some clever app that brought Facebook friends into my address book it made a huge mess – resulting in contacts with wrong phone numbers and similar issues.
Also, there are a lot of my Facebook friends who I really only ever communicate with via Facebook. Old friends who live half a world away for example. For most of them, I don’t know their phone number or sometimes even their email address. I talk to them via Facebook messages or maybe an occasional Skype call. Contacts to me is a place for family, friends, work colleagues, numbers for frequently used services and so forth.
I know this clearly a ‘first world problem’ type complaint and not worth getting knickers in a twist over, but I wish Facebook would make this optional – as Twitter does with a similar sort of feature. Then those who find this useful could go ahead and bring their Facebook friends into Contacts; and people like me could agree to sign in to Facebook – because I can’t at the moment.
Update: My mistake on this on; I didn’t read the fine print properly. As a few people have pointed out in the comments, you can disable the Contacts sync (and Calendar sync) once you sign in – with just a quick tap on toggle buttons. Apologies for my error on this.