UK Regulators Call Google’s Search Engine Deal With Apple a ‘Significant Barrier’ for Competitors

Google pays Apple to be the default search engine on Apple’s Safari web browser on iPhones and Macs, which causes a “significant barrier to entry and expansion” for rivals in the search engine market, said the UK Competition and Markets Authority in a report released today (via Reuters).


The relationship between Apple and Google impacts Microsoft’s Bing, Verizon’s Yahoo, and independent search engine DuckDuckGo. Apple allows users to set these search engines as their default in the Safari settings, a privilege the search engines pay for, but Google Search remains the default on a new device.

Apple received the “substantial majority” of the $1.5 billion (1.2 billion pounds) that Google paid to be the default search engine on various devices in the United Kingdom in 2019, according to the report.

“Given the impact of preinstallations and defaults on mobile devices and Apple’s significant market share, it is our view that Apple’s existing arrangements with Google create a significant barrier to entry and expansion for rivals affecting competition between search engines on mobiles,” the regulators wrote in the report.

UK regulators believe that enforcement authorities should be provided with a range of options to address the arrangement between Apple and Google to provide a more level playing field for other search engines.

Apple could be required to provide “choice screens” that would let users decide which search engine to set as default during device setup, or could be restricted from monetizing default search engine positions, a move that Apple said would be “very costly.”

Apple and Google have never confirmed exactly how much Google pays to be the default search engine on Apple devices in the UK, the United States, and other countries, but it’s rumored to be in the billions.

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Safari in macOS Big Sur Works With 4K HDR and Dolby Vision Content From Netflix on Newer Macs

WWDC20 Rumor Report Card: Leaked iOS 14 Features, Arm-Based Macs, and More

WWDC was held online this year, but it was still packed with announcements, including iOS 14, iPadOS 14, macOS Big Sur, watchOS 7, tvOS 14, and Apple confirming its long-rumored plans to transition to its own custom-designed processors for future Macs. Sadly, there was no sight of a redesigned iMac, but that is still on the table for later this year.
With so many rumors shared every week, it …

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Apple Releases Safari Technology Preview 109 With Upcoming Safari 14 Features

safaripreviewiconApple today released a new update for Safari Technology Preview, the experimental browser Apple first introduced four years ago in March 2016. Apple designed the ‌Safari Technology Preview‌ to test features that may be introduced into future release versions of Safari.

‌Safari Technology Preview‌ release 109 is the first version built on the new Safari 14 update included in macOS Big Sur. It supports Safari Web Extensions imported from Chrome, Firefox, and Edge and converted using Xcode 12, plus it adds the Privacy Report feature that shows the trackers that Intelligent Tracking Prevention is blocking.

Tab previews are available so you can preview tabs to find the one you’re looking for, and tabs also support favicons by default. In Safari 14, Adobe Flash is no longer supported.

‌Safari Technology Preview‌ will also now notify users when a saved password in iCloud Keychain has been in a data breach, and Web Authentication using Touch ID has been implemented, as has support for PIN entry and account selection on external FIDO2 security keys.

Along with these major new features, the update introduces bug fixes and feature improvements for Web API, CSS, Web Animations, SVG, IndexedDB, Scrolling, Layout, Media, WebRTC, Back-forward Cache, JavaScript, Editing, Accessibility, Apple Pay, Web Inspector, and Web Driver.

The new ‌Safari Technology Preview‌ update is available for macOS Catalina and ‌macOS Big Sur‌, the newest version of the Mac operating system that’s set to be released this fall.

The ‌Safari Technology Preview‌ update is available through the Software Update mechanism in System Preferences to anyone who has downloaded the browser. Full release notes for the update are available on the Safari Technology Preview website.

Apple’s aim with ‌Safari Technology Preview‌ is to gather feedback from developers and users on its browser development process. ‌Safari Technology Preview‌ can run side-by-side with the existing Safari browser and while designed for developers, it does not require a developer account to download.

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First Look: macOS Big Sur With Redesign, Safari Updates, New Messages App and More

Apple on Monday unveiled macOS Big Sur, the newest version of macOS that’s going to be released in the fall. Named after Big Sur, California, renown for its scenery, the new update features a fresh, clean design along with some useful new features.

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We went hands-on with ‌macOS Big Sur‌ in our latest YouTube video, giving MacRumors readers a first look at what the new software looks like.

macOS hasn’t had a major interface overhaul for some time now, and ‌macOS Big Sur‌ is a welcome change, refining and improving on the existing design for a new look that’s both fresh and familiar.


The menu bar is now more translucent and better blends with the wallpaper, and it’s more customizable. There’s a dedicated Control Center that provides access to WiFi, Bluetooth, AirDrop, Do Not Disturb, display brightness, volume level, and more, and you can customize it to your liking.

The Control Center is a major quality of life improvement in macOS, putting most of the settings and controls that you need just a click away while also streamlining the menu bar. Also new to the menu bar is a revamped battery icon that brings back the reading of how much time remaining you have on a battery charge, something that was removed way back in macOS Sierra.


Apple also added a whole new battery usage section to System Preferences so you can see how your battery has drained over the last 24 hours or the last 10 days.


Next to the Control Center, there’s an upgraded Notification Center with new widgets that can be accessed by clicking on the right side of the menu bar. The new widgets look similar to the widgets in iOS 14, and are now available in multiple sizes and with a fresh design. Widgets are now grouped by app, which makes incoming notifications much easier to parse.


Throughout the operating system, Apple has added more rounded and refined corners, full-height translucent sidebars for apps, and redesigned icons. Icons for Apple apps are all now rounded square-shapes, for a neater Dock, and buttons and controls for apps appear when needed and disappear when not needed to put more focus on content.


Nothing in ‌macOS Big Sur‌ looks wildly different and there’s nothing to relearn, but it does offer up a clean design that’s a refreshing change of pace. Notably, a lot of the sounds in macOS have been refreshed, and Apple even brought back the startup chime that many Mac users have missed.


Safari received a major overhaul with a new customizable start page. You can choose your own wallpaper and choose what’s displayed on the page, picking from options like frequently visited sites, Siri Suggestions, Reading List, iCloud Tabs, and more.


Apple is adding better support for extensions, which can be downloaded from a dedicated section of the Mac App Store. Extensions can be installed for every site, a single site, or a single site for a limited amount of time, giving you more control than ever over what extensions can do and see.


Privacy was a major focus in ‌macOS Big Sur‌, as usual. Along with the deeper controls over extensions, Apple has added a Privacy Report and Privacy button that provide details on the trackers that different websites are serving up so you can see the data a website is attempting to learn about you.

Safari has a built-in translation feature that can automatically translate entire websites written in seven different languages, which is a handy option that will let people abandon add-on translators. Safari is also faster than ever, with Apple adding performance and efficiency improvements.

Messages for Mac is now a Catalyst app, which means that it adopts many of the features available in the iOS version of ‌Messages‌. It supports all of the new ‌iOS 14‌ ‌Messages‌ features like pinned conversations, mentions, and inline replies.

It also now works with some older functions like Message Effects, and there’s a new Memoji creator so you can create Memoji and share Memoji stickers through the Mac ‌Messages‌ app. An all new search interface also makes it easier to find links, photos, and text from older conversations.


Like ‌Messages‌, Maps has been updated to bring its functionality more in line with Maps for iOS. Cycling directions and routes with EV vehicles are available, as are Guides, a new feature for finding awesome spots to visit around you.

Maps now supports Look Around, it works with indoor maps for the first time, and Maps for Mac can be used to view shared ETAs so you can keep track of when friends and family will arrive at a location from the desktop.


The Photos app has new editing capabilities like a new Retouch tool, Home app improvements allow for face recognition for cameras, AirPods feature faster and more efficient automatic device switching, ‌Siri‌ can answer a wider range of questions, and there are some improvements coming to the ‌Mac App Store‌ that will make it easier to view and understand privacy policies.

There are tons of other smaller changes in ‌macOS Big Sur‌, and we’ll cover those in future videos and in our macOS Big Sur roundup, which will be updated with a full feature list later this week.

Big Sur is available for developers at the current time, but Apple also plans to make a beta available for public beta testers in July. ‌macOS Big Sur‌ will see a fall release alongside ‌iOS 14‌, iPadOS 14, tvOS 14, and watchOS 7.

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Face ID and Touch ID Logins Coming to Websites With Safari Web Authentication API

Apple allows Touch ID and Face ID to be used in lieu of a password to access sensitive apps like those for banking or password management, and in the future, Face ID and ‌Touch ID‌ will also be able to be used for authentication purposes when logging into a website.


Apple outlines the feature in a WWDC20 engineering session called “Meet Face ID and ‌Touch ID‌ for the web,” which covers how web developers can use Face ID and ‌Touch ID‌ on their websites with the Web Authentication API.

An initial login on a website that supports the feature will require a username, passcode, and two-factor authentication code to be entered, but after that, Face ID or ‌Touch ID‌ can handle the login process. Signing in this way will require users to click on the sign in button, after which Safari will ask for confirmation. With the confirmation, a Face ID (or ‌Touch ID‌) scan is done, and the user is able to log in.

Apple says Face ID and ‌Touch ID‌ authentication is beneficial because it’s frictionless, simple, and secure. The online session described it as “phishing resistant.”

But more importantly, it is Phishing-resistant. Safari will only allow public credentials created by this API to be used within the Web site they were created, and the credential can never be exported out from the authenticater they were created in as well. This means that once a public credential has been provisioned, there is no way for a user to accidentally divulge it to another party. Cool right?! This is the overview of the Web Authentication standard.

Apple has been testing similar website sign-ins with ‌Touch ID‌ and Face ID using iCloud since July 2019. When you visit ‌iCloud‌ on the web on an iPhone or iPad, you can sign right in with a Face ID scan without the need to enter a password.

Additional detail about the feature, including instructions on how web developers can enable it, can be found in the full video along with the accompanying resources.

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Apple Adds WebP Image Support in Safari 14

See How the Apple Watch Ejects Water in Slow Motion

The Apple Watch, which can be worn while swimming and doing other water-based activities, has a neat feature that’s designed to use the speakers to eject water, protecting the internal components.
The Slow Mo Guys, known for science and technology-related videos that take advantage of slow-motion cameras, today took a look at how the Apple Watch water ejecting feature works, featuring it up…

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Apple Previews Big Update to Safari on Mac, Featuring New Privacy Tools, Built-in Translation, Improved Tabs, and More

Apple today during its WWDC keynote unveiled macOS Big Sur, which comes with a big update to Apple’s native Safari browser.


Tabs have been redesigned to make navigating with Safari faster and more powerful by showing more tabs onscreen, displaying favicons by default to easily identify open tabs, and giving users a quick preview of a page by simply hovering over the tab.

A new Privacy Report button in the toolbar gives users insight into how sites are using their connection, and which trackers have been blocked. Users can choose when and which websites a Safari extension can work with, and tools like data breach password monitoring never reveal users’ password information.


Extensions support for Safari is adopting new standard, so users can bring over extensions from other browsers. Users can also give extensions access just for a day, on a certain website, or for every website. In addition, the Mac App Store has a new extensions category that includes editorial spotlights and top charts.


Meanwhile, native-translation capabilities are now built into Safari, and the browser can detect and translate entire webpages from seven languages. There’s also a customizable Start Page with background image support that extends to Reading List and iCloud Tabs.

Aside from features, Safari is getting faster. Apple says it now loads frequently visited sites an average of 50 percent faster than Chrome.

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New Safari iOS 14 Features Could Include Voice Search, Improved Tabs, and Guest Mode

Apple has several new features for its iOS Safari browser in the works, including voice search, translation integration, improved tabs, a “guest mode” option, and new iCloud Keychain functionality.


Bloomberg reporter Mark Gurman rounded up the new features in development in a tweet, while making it clear that there was no guarantee that they would be revealed at this week’s WWDC.

Rumors of new Safari features have been trickling out ever since a leaked version of iOS 14 began circulating earlier this year. Notable among those rumors, Apple is said to be adding ‌iCloud‌ Keychain warnings whenever a password is reused as well as the ability for ‌iCloud‌ Keychain to generate two-factor authentication codes.

Elsewhere, a built-in language translation feature would allow users to translate web pages without using a third-party app or service. The translation option is expected to be available for each website that’s visited, but an automatic translation feature will also be able to be turned on, similar to Chrome’s automatic translation.


Apple is also working to bring full Apple Pencil support to Safari in iPadOS 14. Specifically, Apple may be planning to add full support for ‌‌Apple Pencil‌‌ input on websites, which would allow it to be used for drawing and marking up. This feature would be limited to ‌‌iPadOS‌‌ 14 as the ‌‌Apple Pencil‌‌ does not work on iPhones.

It’s important to note that the leaked version of ‌‌iOS 14‌‌ that’s been floating around the internet is an early version of the software. Apple’s development plans may have changed since then, but we’ll hopefully learn more when Apple’s WWDC kicks off on Monday morning with a live stream.


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Apple Releases Safari Technology Preview 108 With Bug Fixes and Performance Improvements

Apple Releases Apple Watch Sport Bands in New Summer Colors

Apple today updated its Sport Bands designed for the Apple Watch with new summer colors that include Seafoam, Vitamin C, Linen Blue, and Coastal Gray.
The new bands, which are priced at $49 each like other Sport Bands, can be purchased from Apple’s online store and the bands should also be in Apple retail stores that are open in the near future. The bands are available in both 40 and 44mm…

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Safari in iOS 14 Might Include Built-In Translator, Full Apple Pencil Support

Apple is planning to add a built-in language translation feature and full Apple Pencil support to Safari in iOS 14, according to details found in a leaked version of ‌iOS 14‌ by 9to5Mac.


Safari’s built-in translation feature would allow users to translate web pages without using a third-party app or service. If such a feature comes to ‌iOS 14‌, we can probably also count on it coming to the next-generation version of macOS as well.

The code suggests the translation option will be available for each website that’s visited, but an automatic translation feature will also be able to be turned on, similar to Chrome’s automatic translation. Apple also appears to be testing translation options for other apps, such as the App Store, allowing users to do things like read reviews in other languages.

Apple’s translations are powered by the Neural Engine and may work with or without an internet connection.

As for the ‌Apple Pencil‌, Apple may be planning to add full support for ‌Apple Pencil‌ input on websites, which would allow it to be used for drawing and marking up.

Earlier this year, MacRumors discovered new PencilKit features that will allow users to handwrite text in any text input field using the ‌Apple Pencil‌, with the handwritten content then converted into standard text.

The code also indicates Apple is working on a kind of “Magic Fill” feature that will let users draw a general shape in an app and have it filled in by the operating system.

The leaked version of ‌iOS 14‌ that’s been floating around the internet is an early version of the software and it’s not clear if Apple’s development plans have changed or if some features might be delayed due to the global health crisis.

We’ll find out what we can expect in ‌iOS 14‌ on June 22, which is when Apple’s virtual WWDC event is set to kick off.

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