Apple Daily Report: Apple joins the Thread Group (and more news)

Since Steve and I can’t cover everything, at the end of each week day, we’ll offer this wrap-up of news items you should check out.

While Apple’s extent of involvement in the group is unclear at this point, the company is now listed as a “member” on The Thread Group website.

Thread Group.jpeg

Apple has debuted a "Friends Mix" on Apple Music. he playlist, found in the "For You" tab and updated every Monday, includes 25 songs that friends are listening to. It isn't yet appearing for every Apple Music subcriber, but people are highlighting the addition on Reddit and elsewhere.

In July, the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce sent letters to Apple and Google parent company Alphabet with 16 multi-part questions about how the companies handle customer data. Apple has responded responded to the letter, reiterating the company's belief that "privacy is a fundamental human right" and that it purposely designs its products and services to minimize its collection of customer data.

Reading teachers across North Carolina, from kindergarten to third grade, will get iPads from the state this school year in an effort to track and improve student reading.

The Pentagon is banning deployed personnel from using fitness trackers, smartphones, and potentially even dating apps that use geolocating features that could reveal the user's location. The ban — which affects iPhone and Apple Watch users — was announced in a Pentagon memorandum issued Friday and signed by Deputy Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan.

West Virginians serving overseas will be the first in the U.S. to cast federal election ballots using a smartphone app, a move designed to make voting in November's election easier for troops living abroad. But election integrity and computer security experts expressed alarm at the prospect of voting by phone, and one went so far as to call it "a horrific idea."

EU regulators are planning to study if there's a need for action in the push for a common mobile phone charger following a lack of progress by phone makers towards this goal.