Casey Newton, writing at Platformer:
Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger are back.
The Instagram co-founders, who departed Facebook in 2018 amid
tensions with their parent company, have formed a new venture to
explore ideas for next-generation social apps. Their first product
is Artifact, a personalized news feed that uses machine learning
to understand your interests and will soon let you discuss those
articles with friends.
I lucked into an invitation from a friend. I’m square in the bullseye of the Artifact target audience, as both an inveterate news junkie and a huge fan of Systrom and Krieger’s original Instagram. Newton:
Users who come in from the waitlist today will see only that
central ranked feed. But Artifact beta users are currently testing
two more features that Systrom expects to become core pillars of
the app. One is a feed showing articles posted by users that you
have chosen to follow, along with their commentary on those posts.
(You won’t be able to post raw text without a link, at least for
now.) The second is a direct-message inbox so you can discuss the
posts you read privately with friends.
I’ll give it some time, but at the moment, it’s a disappointment. The articles they show come directly from publishers’ websites, but because Artifact isn’t a web browser, per se, there’s no ad filtering. It’s just ads ads ads, interrupting seemingly every single article, every couple of paragraphs. This same “man, I miss ad blockers” feeling strikes me when I use Apple News too, but Apple News articles have way fewer ads, and better ads, than what I’m seeing so far in articles I read in Artifact. “Like Apple News but worse” is not a good elevator pitch.
To be clear, these aren’t Artifact’s ads. They’re the ads shown on the original web pages. But because the article design on most news websites sucks, the article design for most of the content in Artifact sucks. Update: Another annoyance: Because Artifact is using a custom web view rather than Safari’s embeddable view controller, you don’t get password autofill. I happily pay for subscriptions to over half a dozen sites, but I don’t know the passwords for any of them, because I rely on autofill from iCloud Keychain in Safari or Safari’s embeddable view controller. In some ways Artifact feels like it’s just a subpar web browser with decent suggestions for what to read.
Instagram was an instant sensation because it was obviously such a premium experience. Great photos, with cool filters (which filters were necessary to make phone camera pictures look great a decade ago), a simple social concept, all wrapped in a great app. Artifact does feel like a nice app, but the reading experience, at least today, is anything but premium. It feels cheap. And the social aspect isn’t there yet.
iFood, Brazilian largest food delivering app evaluated at USD
5.4 billion, was accessing his location when not open/in use,
bypassing an iOS setting that restrict an app’s access to certain
phone’s features. Even when the reader completely denied location
access to it, iFood’s app continued to access his phone’s
We got intrigued: how was iFood getting away with this?
An educated guess was revealed by iOS 16.3 release notes,
launched on January 23th. Apple mentions a security issue in Maps
in that “an app may be able to bypass Privacy preferences”. It’s
CVE-2023-23503, submitted by an anonymous researcher and, so
far, “reserved” in CVE’s system — which means details are pending
to be published.
Via Dan Goodin, who asks:
I wonder how long this vulnerability was in effect. There may have
been massive amounts of location data that was collected without
users suspecting a thing.
If the iFood app was really doing this, why is it still in the App Store? If circumventing location privacy by exploiting a bug doesn’t get you kicked out of the store, what does? My hope would be that iFood wasn’t doing this maliciously. But if they were, that should be a one-strike-and-you’re-out violation.