Apple unveils new privacy features, digital IDs and changes to FaceTime.

Apple unveils new privacy features, digital IDs and changes to FaceTime.

Apple once again took on the vast digital advertising industry on Monday and unveiled a number of changes to protect the privacy of iPhone users and strengthen its position as a gatekeeper between consumers and the rest of the industry. digital.

Apple said new iPhone software slated for release this fall, called iOS 15, will add a so-called app privacy report that tells users what data apps are collecting about them. The report will be displayed when an app has accessed sensitive parts of the device, such as the photo album, contact list, or microphone. Google announced a similar feature for Android devices last month.

Apple also said its Mail app would now better protect the identity of users of people who email them and block the ability of marketers to know if a person opens an email.

Apple also introduced a new service that hides users’ Internet traffic from Internet service providers, much like Virtual Private Network, or VPN, services sold by a number of other companies.

The technology routes a user’s Internet traffic through computer servers designed to conceal the identity and location of the user. Such technology has been used to bypass government firewalls that censor the internet, like in China, and it’s unclear how Apple’s service would work there. The service would be available to people who pay extra for Apple’s iCloud data storage.

Apple’s privacy policy has put the company in conflict with some big rivals, especially Facebook, which rely on collecting data about people to better target ads. Despite protests from parts of Silicon Valley, Monday’s announcements show Apple has doubled its privacy features.

Yet the company’s public privacy brand is also undermined by its operations in China, where it endangers the data of its Chinese customers and helps the government censorship operation to appease authorities there. -low, The New York Times reported last month.

Apple on Monday also announced new features designed to make the iPhone the only item someone should take with them when they leave home. Apple once allowed people to pay for items in stores and go through subway turnstiles with iPhones. Now he’s trying to move government ID cards to devices. Apple said people could soon scan their driver’s licenses to use digital versions of the ID, which will be accepted in some participating states and at airport security checkpoints in the United States.

Apple is also trying to replace the physical keys. The company said it made it easier to use digital keys to unlock the doors of homes, offices and hotels. Hyatt Hotels plans to use the technology at more than 1,000 properties starting in the fall, Apple said.

Apple is also significantly developing FaceTime, its video conferencing service. For over a decade, FaceTime was an app exclusive to Apple users. But it will soon be open to web browsers, which will also allow non-Apple devices like Android phones to participate in FaceTime calls.

Apple is adding a host of features that FaceTime callers can use together in a group session. A group on a video call will be able to listen to music or broadcast movies together. They can also use certain apps together, like a delivery app to take turns adding food to an order before they meet.

The new mobile operating system will also add text recognition capability to the iPhone’s camera, making it possible to automatically transcribe a photo of handwritten text into typed text or a photo of a billboard with a number. phone number to allow you to dial that phone number.

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