Bloomberg: Apple planning to change course, allow third-party app stores and more – Six Colors

Bloomberg: Apple planning to change course, allow third-party app stores and more – Six Colors:

The usually well-sourced Mark Gurman at Bloomberg with the scoop:

Software engineering and services employees are engaged in a major push to open up key elements of Apple’s platforms, according to people familiar with the efforts. As part of the changes, customers could ultimately download third-party software to their iPhones and iPads without using the company’s App Store, sidestepping Apple’s restrictions and the up-to-30% commission it imposes on payments.

If this pans out, it’s not only a groundshaking change to a major chunk of Apple’s Services revenue, but also a 180-degree change to what has been probably the most contentious element of the company’s business. Apple hasn’t, of this writing, confirmed the plan.


Apple advances user security with powerful new data protections – Apple

Apple advances user security with powerful new data protections – Apple:

Apple today introduced three advanced security features focused on protecting against threats to user data in the cloud, representing the next step in its ongoing effort to provide users with even stronger ways to protect their data. With iMessage Contact Key Verification, users can verify they are communicating only with whom they intend. With Security Keys for Apple ID, users have the choice to require a physical security key to sign in to their Apple ID account. And with Advanced Data Protection for iCloud, which uses end-to-end encryption to provide Apple’s highest level of cloud data security, users have the choice to further protect important iCloud data, including iCloud Backup, Photos, Notes, and more.

The below is a nice touch… I dig it!

Apple introduced two-factor authentication for Apple ID in 2015. Today, with more than 95 percent of active iCloud accounts using this protection, it is the most widely used two-factor account security system in the world that we’re aware of. Now with Security Keys, users will have the choice to make use of third-party hardware security keys to enhance this protection. This feature is designed for users who, often due to their public profile, face concerted threats to their online accounts, such as celebrities, journalists, and members of government. For users who opt in, Security Keys strengthens Apple’s two-factor authentication by requiring a hardware security key as one of the two factors. This takes our two-factor authentication even further, preventing even an advanced attacker from obtaining a user’s second factor in a phishing scam.

[Making security easy is really hard. That 95% is pretty amazing outside of corporate you-don’t-have-a-choice settings. Allez!]