Big Tech &
Apple’s WWDC Highlights: Death of iTunes and $6,000 Macs (5 minute read)
Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference is over, and as expected, iTunes is no longer. It has been split into separate apps that will focus on each of its core functions. New features that demonstrate the iPhone’s focus on privacy were demonstrated at WWDC, showing how the operating system restricts apps from collecting user data. The Apple Watch will have its own store, suggesting that in the future the Apple Watch may be able to function without an iPhone. iPad OS was also announced, with improvements aimed at capturing a larger laptop user market. Users will now be able to multitask the same app in two windows, as well as plug in external hard drives.
Justice Department reportedly authorized to investigate Apple under antitrust rules (1 minute read)
The US Department of Justice has been given the green light to investigate Apple for potential antitrust violations. Google is also currently under scrutiny by the DOJ for antitrust violations in its advertising and search businesses. The Federal Trade Commission has also recently been authorized to investigate Facebook and Amazon. Apple is currently facing investigation in the European Union over its music streaming service. It will have to face an antitrust lawsuit brought on by iPhone app buyers. Apple is one of the companies that Senator Elizabeth Warren says should be broken up as they own both the products and the platform that the products are sold on.
Tesla Pickup truck to cost less than $50,000, ‘be better than F150’, says Elon Musk (3 minute read)
Elon Musk revealed more information on Tesla’s upcoming pickup truck on a podcast over the weekend. Musk aims to ensure that the truck is affordable and is aiming for a start price of $49,000 or less. The futuristic design of the truck may not be for everybody. Musk compared the changes in the new design to the difference between the horse-drawn carriage and the car. His aim is to create a truck that is a better truck than a Ford F-150 and a better sports car than a standard Porsche 911. The teaser image released at the launch of the Model Y was revealed to be the design of the front of the Tesla pickup truck.
A group of big banks plans to launch its own digital currency within a year (1 minute read)
UBS and 13 other large financial firms around the world have joined together to create their own blockchain-based digital currency. They have partnered with a blockchain startup called Clearmatics, who will create the utility coin. Very few details have been revealed about the token, and it is unclear what the banks mean by the coin being ‘blockchain-based’, as a network controlled by and open only to banks is not really a blockchain, according to purists. The Financial Times describes the collaboration as more of a market infrastructure project.
Programming, Design & Data Science
SwiftUI is a method of building user interfaces across all Apple platforms using Swift. It uses declarative syntax, so developers can easily state what the UI requirements are. Xcode 11’s design tools work seamlessly with SwiftUI, so changes are displayed immediately in the preview as soon as code is typed. It also works in reverse, so code is updated as soon as design elements are changed in the preview.
Emu (GitHub Repo)
Emu is a high-level programming language for GPUs that is designed for embedding in Rust. A single procedural macro is provided for writing functions, which then translates the functions into low-level code to be run on the GPU when compiled. Other features such as built-in mathematical and physical constants, unit annotation, and implicit conversion are also available to make programming GPUs more accessible.
Apple introduces ‘Sign in with Apple’ to help protect your privacy (2 minute read)
Apple’s new ‘Sign in with Apple’ function will potentially replace the need for users to sign up to apps with their private information by allowing them to use their Apple IDs. Users will be able to generate random ‘relay’ email addresses for signing up with apps, which means that their personal information is never revealed to the app, and users can easily opt out of communications with the app by deleting the temporary email address. All apps which require sign-on will be required to implement this new feature, which will begin beta testing later this year.