Counting this pithy intro, today's Login is 1,427 words/< 6 min. read.
Screenshot from Apple's WWDC 2019 webcast
Regulators are increasingly policing Big Tech's privacy violations while also investigating the same companies for anticompetitive behavior.
Now Apple has thrown them a curve ball: It's leveraging its platform's market power to help users protect their privacy.
Driving the news: The new "Sign In with Apple" service, announced Monday, aims to offer apps and websites a privacy-protecting alternative to using Google or Facebook as a means of authenticating user logins.
The catch: Apple will require iOS app developers that offer Google, Facebook or any third-party authentication to also offer Sign In with Apple.
What they're saying: Apple defends the move as a benefit to both consumers and developers, noting that it's collecting no new data and only mandating the authentication be an option.
Yes, but: Critics say that Apple may not be capitalizing on user data today, but its good intentions shouldn't be a justification for insisting its feature be used in order to offer an app on the platform it controls.
The big picture: Sign In with Apple wasn't the only Apple move this week in support of protecting customer privacy. The company also announced...
The other side: Apple this week also reversed an earlier position that limited choice in the name of protecting users.
The bottom line: In most cases and for many consumers, Apple's stricter privacy protections will be welcome. But given Apple's total control over what apps iOS will run and what features they offer, it's also important to keep an eye on how Apple wields that power.
Craig Federighi unveiling iOS 13 at WWDC 2019. Photo: Apple
By the end of its developer conference keynotes, Apple often has users drooling for all the ways their existing iPhones will be better with the next version of the operating system.
This year, though, the changes seemed more modest than in years past.
Why it matters: IPhone sales have already been struggling as users keep their devices longer and most people who can afford a high-end smartphone have one.
Yes, but: The more Apple uses software upgrades to improve all iPhones, the less incentive existing owners have to invest in new phones.
Details: There are changes to be sure (full list here), including...
My thought bubble: There just didn't seem to be a killer feature — the kind of thing that made me want to download the beta onto my everyday phone as soon it was available despite warnings not to.
Flashback: Standout features seen in Apple's past annual iOS releases...
Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios
So it's only fair that we also put ourselves under the microscope. And, while we aren't a tech giant, we do collect information like other media companies.
1. How Axios gets information: Axios currently makes money primarily through advertisements on its website and newsletters.
2. How Axios uses data: Your data is primarily used to deliver Axios services you've signed up for, like newsletters.
3. What Axios doesn't do with your data: Axios does not track your location, or track your activity on sites not owned by Axios.
4. What you can do: If you don't want Axios to collect any data about you, you can...
Go deeper: Read the rest of the series.
Axios' Kaveh Waddell has details on a new software startup going after the hardest problems in robotics: the weird and always changing real-world scenarios that trip up robots today.
What's new: The company, Robust.AI, boasts an all-star roster and has raised a seed round from Playground Global, based in Palo Alto where it's also headquartered.
What they're saying: "Right now, robots can only work in very limited environments," Marcus tells Axios. "They’re not very flexible — they’re more like automation than they are like autonomy."
The bottom line: Robust.AI hopes its new, hybrid approach can leapfrog it over legions of failed robotics companies.
I already had one picked out, but it will have to wait. Kudos to Ellen Huet for this gem of a caption.