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How Social Media Has Changed Civil Rights Protests

  • June 18, 2020

But the status quo does more harm than good. It’s annoying to iPhone users, makes developers angry and risks getting Apple in trouble with regulators.

How about a middle ground: Give people multiple ways to pay.

What if people had the choice to pay for things in iPhone apps with either their Apple account or another payment method of the app maker’s choosing?

It would be easier for you to buy a Netflix subscription in the iPhone app with your fingerprint or face scan connected to your Apple account. If you do that, then Apple would get to take a slice of Netflix’s sales.

But Netflix could also let you create a new account and hand over your credit card details to Netflix. In that case, Netflix would keep all the money. This is similar to the approach on Android, where app makers have the option to let people pay them directly and not share revenue with Google.

This split-the-baby approach might not end all the fights about what Apple allows in its apps. I bet it would resolve a lot of disputes, though, and it would make many apps a bit less confusing for all of us.

  • What a mess: My New York Times colleagues looked into England’s system of humans and technology for tracking down people who had been exposed to the coronavirus. The results so far have not been promising, with some virus hunters filling their days with internet exercise classes and a government virus-tracking app hampered by fears about technical glitches and data breaches.

  • Soon every tech company will have a coronavirus-fighting product to sell: Verily, a Google sister company, is introducing an employee virus testing and health analysis service for businesses, my colleague Natasha Singer writes. She points out that many tech companies are now pitching products that promise to help businesses function safely during the pandemic. Some of these offerings may be ineffective or creepy — or both.

  • Yes to the Marie Kondo test for technology: A researcher of “smart cities” advocates for banning technologies that contribute to the perpetual surveillance of citizens, including facial recognition, ubiquitous cameras and predictive software. “Think of it as Marie Kondo, but for technology. Does this thing contribute to human well-being and/or social welfare? If not, toss it away!” he writes in OneZero.

This child is enjoying television’s hottest new drama: “Washer,” followed by an all new episode of “Dryer.”

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