Traditionally at WWDC every year, Apple blogger John Gruber gets a chance to sit down with one or more Apple executives on his podcast The Talk Show for an interview on the week’s announcements. This year, Gruber is joined by Apple executives Craig Federighi and Greg Joswiak to go in-depth on iOS and iPadOS 15, new privacy features, and much more.
One of the features announced at WWDC is called Mail Privacy Prevention, which helps protect your privacy by preventing email senders from learning information about your Mail activity. During the interview with Gruber, Apple marketing SVP Joswiak explained that this new feature is part of Apple’s focus on giving users “transparency and control” when it comes to privacy:
“Most users had no idea whatsoever that that email that they were opening was not only telling the sender that they opened, but also sending back their IP address. Which again, allowed them to potentially add that to other activities they were doing online. For us, it’s just that straight forward. We want transparency and control.”
Federighi explained too that in addition to the iCloud Private Relay feature that’s coming as part of iCloud+, there’s a new feature built-in to Safari to mask your IP address from trackers. This feature is available to everyone who uses Safari, regardless of whether or not they’re an iCloud+ subscriber:
“There’s a use built-in now to Safari, whether or not you use iCloud+, where your contact to known trackers occurs through the relay. You contact CNN.com, say, and let’s say CNN.com includes references to known trackers and they attempt to do accesses. Safari by default, as part of Intelligent Tracking Prevention, now uses the relay to make sure your IP address isn’t going out in those tracker requests. That’s for everybody using Safari.
Then, with iCloud+, you have this additional level of all your other traffic on Safari goes through the multi-hop relay.”
Gruber also asked Federighi about why iCloud Private Relay is different from a traditional VPN. Federighi explained that it comes down to Apple’s two-hop technology:
“With iCloud Private Relay, we use a two-hop solution that ensures no single entity, not even Apple, sees both who you are and what you’re browsing. There’s one hop of encryption that goes to Apple, where where you’re going is encrypted. We forward that to someone else, who now doesn’t know who you are, but they do know where you’re going, and they route the traffic. So both of the hops have different’ information and they aren’t joined together.”
Regarding the new multi-tasking interface in iPadOS 15, Federighi gave a really interesting answer on how Apple focused on giving users “bread crumbs” in the interface this year to make things more discoverable:
“When we did the previous round of multitasking, it was also the time when were really bringing drag and drop pervasively to the system. So a bunch of things were converging for us, where we were bringing out the dock where you could access apps and we were doing drag and drop as something felt could become a dominant way of interacting with iPad. So we leaned really heavily on that, but you’re certainly right that drag and drop is essentially a hidden capability. There’s nothing there that’s saying “drag this here to do that.”
This year, we really were focused on saying, “let’s make sure there are those breadcrumbs at every state of the operation.”
There were some cases in our old design where you could do something in one direction essentially and then the trip back, there was like a break in the symmetry. It was like hard to get back out in the way you’d expect. We were able to clear all that up.
And we also introduced this new idea for us called the shelf, which gave you a place if you were working on something, had a window up there, that you could drag a draft down there and get back to it later. Something we only found in experience is at some point I’d open up a couple of Safari separate spaces or windows. Or I’d open up long Mail messages I wanted to read in separate windows. Then, they were out of sight, out of mind. I’d just completely lose track of them. The shelf plays this great role, you launch Safari, it’ll show you the last Safari window you accessed, but it’ll also show you at the bottom all the other ones you have open. Again, it’s a visual bread crumb, presence of mind about what’s there.
Finally, quite honestly, this is something we’ve wanted to do for like four years now. In the multitasking overview where you see all your apps in the grid, just being able to manipulate the pairing, it’s one of those things you can see it, why not just be able to do it right there in the overview. I think that’s really powerful.”
Finally, on some of the recent pushback Apple has gotten from developers amid the Epic lawsuit, scams on the App Store, and more, Federighi said:
“Quite honestly I’m baffled by it. As I hope you know, I and my team and everyone I deal with Apple, believes that there is an absolute symbiotic relationship. What my teams work on all year long are platforms for developers. Honestly, I don’t get it. As you say, it’s an interesting time and there’s a lot of funny stuff in the air. Nothing’s changed over here, I can say that. We do love our developers and they’re a huge part of why we do what we do everyday here. It’s honestly a little bizarre, some of what I’ve read lately. I hope it turns out to be a minority viewpoint because it’s certainly notfounbed in reality.”
“And if we were here in person, we’d have that conversation with Marco as well,” Joswiak added.
The full interview, which was shot remotely because of the virtual WWDC this year, is available to watch on YouTube in full. Check it out below. Craig Federighi also sat down with a handful of other YouTubers for short-form interviews, which we rounded up here.
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