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06.14.16 | 2:49 pm

Will differential privacy keep your data safe?

Hackers and cryptography experts took to the Internet this week to fiercely debate whether Apple's "differential privacy" will be enough to ensure data privacy for individual users. 

Apple software chief Craig Federighi took to the stage at WWDC to announce new forays into advanced technology to learn more about its users and automate tasks. How would it keep your data private? Differential privacy, meaning evaluating trends while keeping data anonymous. 

Some experts have praised Apple on taking these steps. But others say that it's far too early to say, and that they haven't seen the technology in action. More on the debates here. 

06.14.16 | 2:00 pm

They made a comic book out of Apple’s App Review Guidelines, and it’s pretty damn cool

The comic makes the guidelines a lot more fun to read, that's for sure. It was put together by MadeFire and features the work of five different graphic artists–one for each guidelines section. The book was announced and distributed to developers at Apple's conference Monday afternoon.  You can view and download the whole thing here.

06.14.16 | 7:00 am

Craig Federighi apparently doesn’t think a friend request from Taylor Swift is a big deal

While showing off some of the new features of iOS 10 at Monday's WWDC, Federighi quickly dismissed a Facebook friend request from Taylor Swift. But don't feel bad for Swift, this is just another joke from everyone's favorite WWDC presenter, who loves to put easter eggs in his presentation. To see the friend request diss, jump to the 52:55 mark in the WWDC keynote

[Screenshot: Apple]

06.13.16 | 8:58 pm

Apple (app) Design Awards winner: Streaks

The concept behind Streaks is that once you set good habits or goals ("practice cello" or "feed cat") and start making progress on them, you'll want to continue your "streak." 

The Streak app, which runs on iPhone and Apple Watch, uses bold orange and black colors and large, simple design themes to convey a feeling that achieving the goals is easy. On the Watch, there's a small complication on the face that tells you your progress. 

Apple gives Apple Design Awards to apps with great usability, strong design, obvious innovation, and cool technology.

06.13.16 | 8:20 pm

Apple Design Awards winner: 3D4Medical Complete Anatomy app

3D4Medical's Complete Anatomy Lab is an iPad app that uses motion, hi-res body scans, and a layering function to show thousands of features of the human body to medical students–without overwhelming them. What makes the app special, according to the Apple judges, is the intense attention to detail in the illustrations used. The app also makes impressive use of layers to overlay various nerve, muscle, and tissue elements on the body frame. 

06.13.16 | 7:54 pm

Apple showed these two videos during WWDC keynote today

WWDC is all about firing up developers, and sometimes videos help in the cause. 

The first one that Apple showed on the big screen highlights the new Home app, the expanded Siri, and new functionality in iMessage:

The second video features young coders embracing Apple's Swift programming language:

06.13.16 | 5:07 pm

No, Apple didn’t just validate the mindfulness app space 

At WWDC, Apple announced a new mindfulness app called Breathe. As a company spokesperson explained on stage, the app is designed to help relieve stress by coaching users through timed breathing sessions and set up reminders to relax. 

Apple is far from the first to develop an app for mindfulness. On its app store, hundreds of app makers make similar claims about helping users deal with stress and anxiety. But are they really making a difference? Harvard psychiatrist John Torous says Apple's interest in the space doesn't—and shouldn't—serve as any kind of validation for the bulk of these apps, which aren't clinically validated:

It is premature to say the mindfulness app space is well validated at this time. Recent studies looking at commercial apps raise serious concerns and there is little evidence for the efficacy of such apps.  These companies are very bold in their claims, and very quiet when things don't work. 

06.13.16 | 4:00 pm

Craig Federighi: 5 things you need to know about Apple’s software chief 

Craig Federighi, aka "Hair Force One," was this year's standout speaker at Apple's WWDC conference, according to Fast Company readers. But little is known about Federighi, beyond the hair and the dad jokes. Here are the five things you need to know. 

1. He is Apple's first software chief in charge of both Mac and iOS. In October 2013, Federighi inherited the tough task of running both the Mac and iOS teams. According to a Wall Street Journal report, it wasn't easy for Federighi to build consensus between engineers on both sides. 

2. He makes fun of Apple. In 2014, he poked fun at Apple's obsession with design. "Check out that trash can. That is a gorgeous trash can. You wouldn't believe how much time we spend crafting a trash can," he dead-panned on stage at WWDC.

3. He loves heavy metal. Federighi is a huge fan of the Canadian rock band Rush and has even name-dropped them on stage.

4. He worked for Steve Jobs at NeXT. After college, Federighi worked for Steve Jobs' computing company NeXT before it was acquired by Apple. He joined Apple post-acquisition, but quickly jumped to software company Ariba. He was recruited back to Apple in 2009.

5. He wants to make coding cool. He told Mashable in 2015 that coding is "fundamental to literacy in the future." 

06.13.16 | 3:13 pm

Apple’s top execs gather for massive photo op 

As soon as Tim Cook finished up today's keynote at the Worldwide Developers Conference, many of his top executives, managers and employees joined him on stage.

[Photo: Harry McCracken]

06.13.16 | 3:10 pm

The top three dadcore jokes at WWDC

1. Siri: "Have I ever told you your filin' is so stylin'?"  

2. Craig: "How do you like being on a Mac?" Siri: "Pretty awesome. Lots of space. Aluminum unibody walls. And no complaint about the lack of Windows."

3. That Apple Pay for Mac photo gag:

06.13.16 | 2:55 pm

Apple makes new Swift Playgrounds coding tool for kids free

A new app called Swift Playgrounds is the "absolute best way to teach everyone to code," Apple CEO Tim Cook said at Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference.

The app lets anyone with an iPad solve coding puzzles in a game-like environment, based on Apple's Swift language, and grow to write more sophisticated code, like playful physics simulations, using a new specialized coding keyboard. The tool will be available in the App Store for free this fall. 

"We believe coding should be a required subject in all schools," Cook said.