Apple Privately Advocates for Developer Adoption of Subscriptions

Kif Leswing reports for Business Insider on a meeting Apple held with select app developers last year where the subscription model was pushed:

An Apple representative said at the meeting that paid apps represent 15% of total app sales and is on the decline, according to a person who was there who did not want to be identified to maintain their relationship with Apple.
[…]
The message was clear: successful apps now focus on getting regular engagement from their users, not one-time sales. For developers, that meant embracing the subscription model.

If you focus on paid apps, instead of subscriptions, Apple warned, your business will eventually hit a cap.

This report comes hot on the heels of Apple’s recent quarterly earnings report, during which Tim Cook shared, “Paid subscriptions from Apple and third parties have now surpassed 300 million, an increase of more than 60 percent in Continue reading “Apple Privately Advocates for Developer Adoption of Subscriptions”

Signify Introduces New Indoor and Outdoor Lighting Options

Signify (formerly Philips Lighting) has been steadily expanding its Hue lineup of smart lighting products for some time now. Best known for its LED light bulbs, which support HomeKit and other home automation systems, the company also offers a wide range of lamps and light fixtures designed to accommodate a wide range of environments. As previewed for The Verge, the most recent expansion of its product line expands its smart lighting options both inside and outside the home.

Outdoors, Signify announced weatherproof light strips that come in 7-foot and 16-foot models for $89.99 and $159.99. Inside, Signify has added the Ascend collection, which incorporates Hue bulbs and a uniformly-shaped light cover that is offered as a tabletop lamp ($129.99), pendant fixture ($179.99), sconce ($99.99), and floor lamp ($179.99). In addition, Signify introduced the Being pendent ($249.99), a ring-shaped ceiling fixture, the simple Continue reading “Signify Introduces New Indoor and Outdoor Lighting Options”

Mixing and Matching Devices and Services Has Advantages in a Highly Competitive Tech World

Competition among companies like Apple, Google, and Amazon has led to a vast array of high-quality device and service choices for consumers. However, numerous options cause some people to pick one company and go all-in on its products and services for simplicity, while others remain on the sidelines waiting for a winner to emerge.

Bryan Irace suggests a third path that mixes devices and services from multiple vendors:

Just as the lack of deep Google and Amazon integrations on iOS hasn’t stopped most of us from using the Google Maps and Kindle apps on our iPhones, mixing and matching devices and services from different vendors can be a completely viable strategy depending on your particular home and familial needs. Of course, there are downsides – heterogeneous setups are more complicated, redundant, and inconsistent – but what you lose in simplicity, you gain in flexibility and optionality. And I hate to Continue reading “Mixing and Matching Devices and Services Has Advantages in a Highly Competitive Tech World”

Vanity Fair Previews Lisa Brennan-Jobs’ Book ‘Small Fry’

The troubled relationship between Steve Jobs and his daughter Lisa has been recounted before. Next month, though, Lisa Brennan-Jobs’ memoir ‘Small Fry’ will be released. The book is a first-person account of her childhood and the period leading up to Steve Jobs’ death in 2011. The Vanity Fair excerpt includes anecdotes of visits by Steve Jobs to Brennan-Jobs when she was a child:

We skated the neighborhood streets. Trees overhead made patterns of the light. Fuchsia dangled from bushes in yards, stamens below a bell of petals, like women in ball gowns with purple shoes. My father and mother had the same skates, a beige nubuck body with red laces crisscrossed over a double line of metal fasts. As we passed bushes in other people’s yards, he pulled clumps of leaves off the stems, then dropped the fragments as we skated, making a line of ripped leaves behind Continue reading “Vanity Fair Previews Lisa Brennan-Jobs’ Book ‘Small Fry’”

The Case for Low Power Mode on MacBooks

Marco Arment has revisited MacBook Pro battery life tests that he first ran in 2015 to see how his new 2018 13-inch MacBook Pro with a 2.7 GHz i7 processor and his 2015 2.2 GHz 15-inch MacBook Pro would fare under similar conditions. In 2015, Arment used an app called Turbo Boost Switcher to disable Turbo Boost on his laptop. This time around, he replicated disabling Turbo Boost on his 2015 MacBook, but on his 2018 model, he also limited the laptop’s power consumption using Volta.

Based on the results Arment concludes that:

the gain in battery life is about as large as the loss in heavy-workload performance. That’s a trade-off I’d gladly make when I need to maximize runtime.

The best bang-for-the-buck option is still to just disable Turbo Boost. Single-threaded performance hurts more than with wattage-limiting, but it’s able to maintain better multi-threaded performance and Continue reading “The Case for Low Power Mode on MacBooks”

Logitech Purchases Blue Microphones to Better Serve Gamers, Podcasters, and More

Logitech is expanding its lineup of tools for content creators by acquiring the popular microphone company Blue. From Blue’s announcement post:

Logitech has announced plans to acquire Blue Microphones—and we are super excited about it! Blue’s mission is to help our users find and amplify their voice by making the coolest microphones on the planet, and we’re going to keep doing exactly that. With Logitech’s vast resources behind us, we can be supercharged. We can be better, stronger, faster…

The union of the companies makes a lot of sense, as each creates gear in overlapping domains like gaming, YouTube, and podcasting.

We both have strong brands in the gaming market. We make the most popular streaming mic, they make the most popular streaming cam. And we both want to put excellent, high-performance gear on every desktop.

Blue also makes professional-level microphones for musicians, but to most consumers the company Continue reading “Logitech Purchases Blue Microphones to Better Serve Gamers, Podcasters, and More”

Steve Jobs Interview Covering the First Month of the App Store Released by The Wall Street Journal

One month after the App Store debuted, Nick Wingfield of The Wall Street Journal sat down with Steve Jobs to see how it was going. Today, The Wall Street Journal released a full transcript and audio of the interview on their site. The interview is behind the Journal’s paywall, but it’s worth a read or listen if you have access to it.

At the time of Jobs’ conversation with Wingfield, there were over 1500 apps on the Store, and Jobs estimated around 50 were being added each day. According to Jobs, of the 1500+ apps on the App Store:

27% of them are free, leaving 73% paid. Of the paid apps, over 90% are under $10.

Jobs put the numbers in perspective by comparing them to iTunes downloads:

Users have downloaded over 60 million apps from the App Store in the first 30 days…. That is 30% as big as Continue reading “Steve Jobs Interview Covering the First Month of the App Store Released by The Wall Street Journal”

Connected, Episode 202: It Could Just Be Ghosts

Federico and Stephen are joined by John Voorhees to talk about MacBook Pro throttling, HomePod rumors and answer some listener questions.

A fun episode of Connected this week with a discussion about how we use our HomePods and what’s going on with the 2018 MacBook Pros. You can listen here.

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→ Source: relay.fm

Apple Releases Software Fix to Address MacBook Pro Throttling

Jason Snell, writing for Six Colors:

After a week of controversy following the posting of a video that claimed the new 15-inch MacBook Pro could experience massive slowdowns, Apple on Tuesday acknowledged that the slowdowns exist—and that they’re caused by a bug in the thermal management software of all the 2018 MacBook Pro models. That bug has been fixed in a software update that Apple says it’s pushing out to all 2018 MacBook Pro users as of Tuesday morning.

Here’s the official Apple statement, furnished to Six Colors by an Apple spokesperson:

Following extensive performance testing under numerous workloads, we’ve identified that there is a missing digital key in the firmware that impacts the thermal management system and could drive clock speeds down under heavy thermal loads on the new MacBook Pro. A bug fix is included in today’s macOS High Sierra 10.13.6 Supplemental Update and Continue reading “Apple Releases Software Fix to Address MacBook Pro Throttling”

iMessage Business Chat Continues Slow Rollout, Adding Multiple New Brands and Supported Platforms

Apple launched iMessage Business Chat earlier this year as part of iOS 11.3, but at the time only a select few companies were signed on to support the feature. Four months later, we’re now starting to see the next Business Chat partners go live. Sarah Perez reports for TechCrunch:

In addition to Dish becoming the first TV provider to support Business Chat, Apple says it has also added four other brands, Aramak, Four Seasons, Harry & David, and American Express, in addition to five new technology platforms businesses can integrate with.

To this point Business Chat has primarily been deployed as a customer support solution, but with these new companies comes more diversity in how the feature is being used. In particular, I’m intrigued by what Aramark is doing with Business Chat as a customer service tool. Perez writes:

Aramak is piloting a 10-game “Brew2You” program at Citizens Continue reading “iMessage Business Chat Continues Slow Rollout, Adding Multiple New Brands and Supported Platforms”

iFixit Tests MacBook Pro’s Keyboard Membrane

iFixit ran more tests and took a closer look at the keyboard membrane that was added to the 2018 MacBook Pro released last week. It turns out, the membrane is one sheet of die-cut silicone with tiny cutouts to allow keycaps to connect to the butterfly switches beneath.

To test how well the new design holds up against dust, iFixit sprayed a new MacBook Pro with a dusting of paint additive. They then tore apart the notebook and found:

Lo and behold, the dust is safely sequestered at the edges of the membrane, leaving the mechanism fairly sheltered. The holes in the membrane allow the keycap clips to pass through, but are covered by the cap itself, blocking dust ingress. The previous-gen butterfly keys are far less protected, and are almost immediately flooded with our glowing granules. On the 2018 keyboard, with the addition of more particulate and some Continue reading “iFixit Tests MacBook Pro’s Keyboard Membrane”

Connected, Episode 201: An Internal Fortnite

Federico bought an iPod touch, Nest and Instapaper both have new bosses and the world is finally getting the leg emoji it deserves.

On this week’s Connected, I also shared a status update on my iOS 12 review and the apps I’m using to put it together. You can listen here.

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→ Source: relay.fm

Sharecuts

Fun new project by iOS developer extraordinaire Guilherme RamboSharecuts is a (so far, beta and invitation-only) directory to browse and install custom shortcuts created by other users. Sarah Perez has more details at TechCrunch:

But by the time iOS 12 releases to the public later this fall, Sharecuts’ directory will be filled out and a lot more functional.

The premise, explains Sharecuts’ creator Guilherme Rambo, was to make an easily accessible place where people could share their shortcuts with one another, discover those others have shared, and suggest improvements to existing shortcuts.

“I was talking to a friend [Patrick Balestra] about how cool shortcuts are, and how it should be easier for people to share and discover shortcuts,” says Guilherme. “He mentioned he wanted to build a website for that – he even had the idea for the name Sharecuts – but he was on Continue reading “Sharecuts”

AppStories, Episode 70 – Apps for Managing Big Projects

On this week’s episode of AppStories, we discuss the apps we use to manage large projects like the MacStories and AppStories coverage of the App Store’s 10th anniversary and Apple’s fall OS releases.

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→ Source: appstories.net

After Two Years with Pinterest, Instapaper Regains Its Independence

From Instapaper’s blog:

Today, we’re announcing that Pinterest has entered into an agreement to transfer ownership of Instapaper to Instant Paper, Inc., a new company owned and operated by the same people who’ve been working on Instapaper since it was sold to betaworks by Marco Arment in 2013. The ownership transfer will occur after a 21 day waiting period designed to give our users fair notice about the change of control with respect to their personal information.

We want to emphasize that not much is changing for the Instapaper product outside the new ownership. The product will continue to be built and maintained by the same people who’ve been working on Instapaper for the past five years. We plan to continue offering a robust service that focuses on readers and the reading experience for the foreseeable future.

Following Pinterest’s acquisition of Instapaper almost two years ago, there was Continue reading “After Two Years with Pinterest, Instapaper Regains Its Independence”

iOS 12 AR Quick Look Demos

I recently came across a demo of AR Quick Look, an iOS 12 feature that allows apps to present 3D and AR previews for objects built using the new USDZ file format. Shopify, the popular e-commerce platform, is going to take advantage of AR Quick Look to let customers preview items in their surroundings directly from Safari, contextually to the shopping experience.

Here’s Daniel Beauchamp, writing on the Shopify AR/VR blog:

For the past three years, Shopify has been exploring how AR / VR will change the way consumers shop. Last year, we showed how Apple’s ARKit could be used to provide compelling AR commerce experiences. The main complexity was that ARKit needed to be run in an app. This meant that Shopify merchants looking to offer these experiences had to have their own unique mobile apps that customers would need to download.

With iOS 12’s AR Quick Look, Continue reading “iOS 12 AR Quick Look Demos”

iOS 12 AR Quick Look Demos

I recently came across a demo of AR Quick Look, an iOS 12 feature that allows apps to present 3D and AR previews for objects built using the new USDZ file format. Shopify, the popular e-commerce platform, is going to take advantage of AR Quick Look to let customers preview items in their surroundings directly from Safari, contextually to the shopping experience.

Here’s Daniel Beauchamp, writing on the Shopify AR/VR blog:

For the past three years, Shopify has been exploring how AR / VR will change the way consumers shop. Last year, we showed how Apple’s ARKit could be used to provide compelling AR commerce experiences. The main complexity was that ARKit needed to be run in an app. This meant that Shopify merchants looking to offer these experiences had to have their own unique mobile apps that customers would need to download.

With iOS 12’s AR Quick Look, Continue reading “iOS 12 AR Quick Look Demos”