Apple’s Privacy Initiative

Apple’s focus on privacy in keeping customer’s data safe has increased and I am loving it. I believe that data privacy should be every digital citizen’s right. It’s exhausting that other companies, websites and software apps attempt to get as much of my personal information to line their pockets.

New features are coming to the Apple ecosystem such as Apple Mail, Siri, iCloud and app tracking this year. When we receive an email there is almost always a 1×1 size pixel hidden in the footer that can track IP addresses, when you open to read, location and other identifying info. In Mail, Apple is getting a feature called Mail Privacy Protection. With this I can hide my IP address, block read receipts and more.

ICloud+ , the new VPN-like Private Relay that will encrypt all data. Goodbye cookies and trackers. iCloud+ users will continue to enjoy the Hide My Email feature that generates a random email address to help prevent tracking and companies selling your data. Example: hello@chrisdenbow.com will read as WiUf31DV339FXX@privaterelay.appleid.com. The next website will use a different random address that Apple will generate for me. Neat. Reader mode in Safari means no more ads or annoying pop-ups blocking your reading or viewing.

App tracking ruffled a lot of feathers in the advertising community, especially Facebook. With App tracking, Apple gives us the option to block a telltale device ID that cookies and trackers can grab and identify you and your browsing habits. No thank you, I’ll just activate App tracking and deny them every time. This denies data abusers like Facebook, Google, Amazon most of your browsing habits so they won’t track you.

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First image, no ads displayed. Second image in Reader mode.
Signing in to an account with my Apple ID

Mail Privacy Protection, iCloud+, are coming soon to iOS 15 while others like App tracking, Hide My Email, Reader, Sign In with Apple ID are all available now. I downloaded the beta version of iOS 15 on my devices because I wanted those features as soon as possible and I am loving them.

Apple’s privacy initiative is a great benefit to anyone who values their data and browsing history.

Apple One

Another new product was just released that combines all of Apple’s services in one, cost-saving bundle for me. I opted for the $30 a month, everything package which includes the soon-to-be released, Apple Fitness service. Paired with an Apple Watch it will automagically track your workouts and display stats on screen.

All six services work out to $5 each and includes Apple Music, TV, Arcade, News, Fitness and 2 TB of iCloud storage.

Apple Watch Series 6

I’ve been wearing an Apple Watch for the past three years starting with the series three and recently upgraded to the series 6.

I’ve been holding off on purchasing a new Apple Watch and making the most of my Series 3 the last couple of years. As this things usually go, the 3 started to run out of storage space quickly and there are new features being released with each iteration. So a week after it was released, I upgraded to the Series 6 Space Grey Aluminum 44mm with cellular capabilities.

I’ve been wearing it for almost a month and there is a lot to like about it.

The first difference is the upgraded dual-core S6 chip on the A13 Bionic processor used in the iPhone 11. So it is absolutely faster than my series 3. With the always-on display, I’m averaging about 16 hours of battery life. Less than the previous watch, sure, but there is a lot more going on under the hood too.
Also new is the always-on altimeter to track elevation changes and compass- great for hiking.

A new sensor in the 6 that can measure blood oxygen levels is pretty neat. It works by shining infrared LEDs onto the blood vessels in your wrist and measuring the amount of light reflected back. The Apple Watch then calculates the color of the blood, which indicates how much oxygen is present (bright red blood is well oxygenated). It does this in the background, and can also be trigged using the new Blood Oxygen app.

New watch faces allows me to customize and personalize. I prefer a classic chronometer as a standard and for special occasions I can switch to something more whimsical.

The Watch is designed specifically for your health and has even saved lives with the built in EKG meter. It will prompt you to breathe, stand up after periods of sitting, and remind you that yes you can walk a specific amount of steps per day. Two new exercises include a sleep tracking app and hand washing apps (timely feature during the pandemic.)

Is the Apple Watch Series 6 Worth the Upgrade?

If you have the Series 3 and lower, then yes, absolutely. If you have the 4 and up, not so much.

As with my recent iPhone 12 Pro upgrade, this new series 6 Watch is future-proof. There is not too much more that Apple can do to upgrade more than the current device so I will enjoy this one for quite a long time. And did I mention the design is gorgeous?