I’m not sure what has gotten into Apple recently, but they seem to have developed an aversion for including power adapters with products that require power adapters.
The reason for not including it in the new iPhones is supposed to be environmental. I don’t fully believe that, but I’ll let that one slide for now.
The fact they remove the power adapter from already existing products, without altering the price, tells you that it’s not fully environmental reasons.
But when you think that one of the biggest features of the new iPhones is MagSafe, you would expect that a lot of people will be purchasing a MagSafe cable. That MagSafe cable costs £39. It also doesn’t come with the required 20W power adapter. That comes separately at a cost of £19. So, £58 for a cable and power adapter which is meant to be the new way of charging your phone.
When looking into the Watch charging options, I came across the Apple Watch Magnetic Charging Dock, which I had completely forgotten about. Released in 2015, it’s essentially the charging disc of the Watch charger, but at a 90° angle, on top of a small circular base. And that will set you back £75. It requires the old 5W power adapter, and that will cost you another £19. So all together, it costs £94 for an Apple branded Apple Watch charging dock.
Coming soon is the MagSafe Duo charger, a small foldable case which contains a typical MagSafe wireless charger, and a magnetic Watch charger. To use this charger, you use a single Lightning to USB C cable, plugged into the 20W power adapter. Except again, the power adapter doesn’t come in the box. Alongside the £129 it costs for the charger, you will again need to spend another £19 on the power adapter, bringing this solution to £148.
I’m not sure if Apple is trying to make this a new normal, where products that require power adapters simply do not come with them. But to me, it seems absolutely ridiculous.
I’ll start with the fact that I’ve not been the Apple Watch’s biggest fan for a while. I’ve used a Series 0 and Series 3, but for quite a few months I’ve been watch free.
In my ideal scenario, I’d like Apple to offer a smart band instead of a full watch. But I’ve come to terms that it’s probably not going to happen any time soon. And in a weird U-turn, I ended up ordering a Series 6 yesterday in size 101.
The watch I ordered was a 44mm Space Grey Aluminium one with a Charcoal Braided Solo Loop. And it was because of a few reasons:
- The new blood oxygen sensor. Maybe not impressive on its own, but I think having that and the heart rate monitor, the health/fitness capabilities will increase massively.
- watchOS 7. I haven’t had a good look at watchOS 7 before this event, and I was really surprised to see how good it was. Especially the new watch faces. (Matt Birchler has a great review on watchOS 7).
- Going back to work. A big reason why I stopped wearing the watch was because of the lockdown, and that I was no longer commuting to work anymore. Well, I’m going to have to start again soon, and I used my watch a ton while on the way or at work.
- The new straps. The new Loop and Braided Loop straps are really nice. I found it really annoying that the buckle of the Sports Loop always dug into my wrist, so that’s definitely a good thing.
- It’s a decent upgrade. As my last watch was the Series 3, the changes over the past three years have added up to become quite a large improvement. So I’m just generally interested in what an Apple Watch can do for me now.
A lot of people have been crying out for a single Apple subscription for quite some time now, and we’ve finally got one. It’s totally the right time for such a bundle. Especially with the new Fitness+ service coming soon. As Apple have been able to create three different plans with up to six different services.
I think the way they’ve split the plans make sense. One for the user that wants the fundamental services of music, television, and games. The same but for families. And one big plan for people that simply want everything. And they’re all topped off with different amounts of iCloud storage.
The iCloud storage probably won’t be one that draws people in, but I think people will definitely see the benefit of the extra storage once they use it.
I’m not sure what I’m going to be doing myself regarding Apple One. Because right now I pay for Apple Music, tv+, and 200 GB of iCloud storage. The 200 GB costs £2.49 a month, tv+ costs £4.99 a month, and I still somehow get student discount, so I pay only £4.99 for Apple Music. A total of £12.47. Less than any of the Apple One plans.
Maybe if I lose the Apple Music discount, then it would make sense. But I’d also have to pay extra for higher iCloud storage. I was hoping that I could use a bundle to try out News+, but £29.95 seems a bit much for my usage. Because I certainly won’t be using Fitness+, and I’ve already cancelled my Apple Arcade subscription because I wasn’t playing any of the games.
The new Apple Watch Series 6 is here (I’ve already ordered mine). But before I write up my thoughts on everything that was announced, I thought I’d play around with the sizes for the new watch straps, seeing as the new Solo Loop and Braided Solo Loop come in 9 sizes (Although the size guide has 12?). Mainly because I wanted to see if I see any interesting trends, but also, why not?
So it turns out that it’s not as simple as having a representative “Apple” size for a range of measurements. Instead, there are ranges for every strap size, and also one specific millimetre-precise measurement for every strap size that has two “fits”. A precise fit, which they say is for active lifestyles, and a relaxed fit for everyday use. They always recommend the precise fit.
Here are how wrist sizes relate to the new strap size:
|Wrist Size (cm)||Strap Size|
|12.6 ≦ 13.1||1|
|13.2||Precise (Recommended): 1 Relaxed: 2|
|13.3 ≦ 13.7||2|
|13.8||Precise (Recommended): 2 Relaxed: 3|
|13.9 ≦ 14.3||3|
|14.4||Precise (Recommended): 3 Relaxed: 4|
|14.5 ≦ 14.9||4|
|15.0||Precise (Recommended): 4 Relaxed: 5|
|15.1 ≦ 15.6||5|
|15.7||Precise (Recommended): 5 Relaxed: 6|
|15.8 ≦ 16.3||6|
|16.4||Precise (Recommended): 6 Relaxed: 7|
|16.5 ≦ 17||7|
|17.1||Precise (Recommended): 7 Relaxed: 8|
|17.2 ≦ 17.7||8|
|17.8||Precise (Recommended): 8 Relaxed: 9|
|17.9 ≦ 18.4||9|
|18.5||Precise (Recommended): 9 Relaxed: 10|
|18.6 ≦ 19.1||10|
|19.2||Precise (Recommended): 10 Relaxed: 11|
|19.3 ≦ 19.8||11|
|19.9||Precise (Recommended): 11 Relaxed: 12|
|20 ≦ 20.6||12|
As you can see the sizes span from 12.6 cm to 20.6 cm. But the Loop Solo and Braided Loop Solo only come in sizes 3 to 12, so the sizes are actually from 13.9 cm to 20.6 cm. If your wrist is smaller or bigger, you’re going to have to find another strap.
While that data is interesting (and maybe useful), I wondered if I could find anything else from the data. So I flipped the columns and simplified the data to represent a precise fit as being inclusive in the relevant sizes.
|Strap Size||Wrist Size (cm)||Range (cm)|
|1||12.6 ≦ 13.2||0.7|
|2||13.3 ≦ 13.8||0.7|
|3||13.9 ≦ 14.4||0.6|
|4||14.5 ≦ 15.0||0.6|
|5||15.1 ≦ 15.7||0.6|
|6||15.8 ≦ 16.4||0.7|
|7||16.5 ≦ 17.1||0.7|
|8||17.2 ≦ 17.8||0.7|
|9||17.9 ≦ 18.5||0.7|
|10||18.6 ≦ 19.2||0.7|
|11||19.3 ≦ 19.9||0.7|
|12||20 ≦ 20.6||0.7|
To be honest, I didn’t see anything useful here. But I did work out that the first two sizes have a range of 0.7 cm, the next 3 sizes have a range of 0.6 cm, and the latter 7 have a range of 0.7 cm. I had a theory that the bigger the strap is, it makes sense that it would be able to stretch to a larger size. But I was expecting to see a higher variability.
Apple’s next event is just around the corner and seeing as it’s very much expected that the event will focus on the Apple Watch. Which, alongside journalists, is suggested by the name of the event, ‘Time Flies’.
The Apple Watch has certainly been a strange product for me. I had the very first model, and absolutely loved it. I eventually bought a series 3, and I was certainly still enjoying using it. But that all changed at the start of this year, when I stopped wearing it completely. I tried to start wearing it again recently, this time with no notifications, or third-party apps, but it still wasn’t a product that I wanted in my life anymore.
But for a while now, there has been a similar product that I’ve had in mind, that I would like from Apple. And that would be a smart band. Not a smartwatch. There are tons of smart bands available now, and they all have their own collection of features, whether it’s fitness tracking, receiving phone calls, listening to music, etc. But I want one from Apple. Partially because I’m a big fan of Apple products, but also because I’m heavily invested in the ecosystem. And any other smart band might have the features I want in principle, but it probably won’t ever be as integrated as something that Apple could make themselves.
Essentially, I want an Apple Watch, but without nearly everything that comes with the Apple Watch. I don’t want a big screen, third-party apps, notifications, or ability to make phone calls. Ideally, the benefit of this product would be that it wouldn’t be directly used. I want a device that acts as a constant health and fitness sensor, and feeds that data back to my other devices, whether it’s directly to my iPhone, or even with its own connect to iCloud.
In total, these are the features that I want this ideal product to have:
- Takes form as a strap/bracelet, that’s around the same size as a typical smart band.
- A small display used to show time, date, and maybe a few small health metrics such as heart rate.
- Ability to upload data via nearby devices, or via a WiFi connection.
- Long battery life.
It could be that this product is so “basic”, that there’s no reason why Apple would create such a device. But there’s certainly a market for it. Call it the Apple Watch Mini, or the Apple Watch Strap for all I care. I just want a smart band, that’s designed and built by Apple, that works perfectly with my other Apple devices.
Apart from that dream device. I can’t say I’m that excited about anything else from the event. Unless they give hints about the next iPhone or do something unexpected of course. There’s a lot of rumours regarding a new iPad, but my mind is set on a new iPad Pro, so I assume I’ll have to wait a little longer for that.
Simply, I want Apple to allow third party payments in apps. This does not have to turn the App Store into some sort of hellscape where card details are stolen on the regular and no one wants to buy anything anymore because it’s so bad.
E-commerce has grown a ton over the last decade, and it’s grown almost as much in the past 6 months all over again. People buy things online all the time, and modern tools allow merchants to collect that data securely. I’d love to see that come to the App Store, but in ways that only Apple can do.
I like everything he proposes here, especially a “PaymentKit” API, which would allow some form of conformity to a standard, while offering a greater level of freedom to app developers. Mainly because other payment platforms would be able to offer their own options as SDKs to app developers, giving them and the end customers more choice.
Just adding this framework wouldn’t mean an immediate fix to the issue regarding payments inside apps. However, it would lay the groundwork needed for a more competitive marketplace. And with more competition, there will be an incentive to offer a better solution for developers and customers.
Remember my theory that Google has grown bored with Android and doesn’t really care about it? That’s me talking about phones, which, in general, Google does care about insofar as they know that billions of people spend hours per day every day using them. With wearables Google never even cared in the first place, except for making goofy demo concepts like Google Glass. The customers who bought Wear OS devices care about them; the company that designed them clearly does not. If they cared, how could it be that you can’t listen to Google’s music platform on Google’s wearable platform?
He goes on to mention that it’s actually bad for the Apple ecosystem, since there’s no real competition. And even as someone who has stopped wearing an Apple Watch, I still agree that there is no real other worthy alternative.
I don’t think it’s just smartwatch market where Apple seems to be miles ahead of the competition as well. You just need to have a think about what the real options are for a tablet computer. Nothing else even comes close to iPad.
Furthermore, I think the problem is even bigger than just the smartwatch and tablet market. Because when you think about smartphones, there’s only two major players. Which means there’s no real need for innovation anymore, all you need to do is match and/or slightly out do the other player. I really want a third player to join the smartphone game, and have a real go at it. But then again, I can see why they wouldn’t. Apple and Google have both got massive head starts, and ecosystems already exist for both platforms. Sure, Android is bigger than just Google, and there are loads of companies creating their own Android phone. But that still doesn’t provide any real competition.
If you’re interested in Apple, or you simply follow tech news, then you’ll probably be aware of the rumour that Apple may not include a power adapter and EarPods in the box with the 2020 iPhone models. If you’re somehow in the weird intersection of not following iPhone news, but do read this my blog, then I’d recommend Sam Byford’s piece on The Verge as a brief introduction.
I’ll prefix everything in this post with the fact that this is just a rumour. So while it’s getting a lot of attention, it’s not official. Therefore every reaction to this is purely based on a hypothetical situation.
My opinions on this rumour are predominantly based around the potential lack of power adapter in the box. Not specifically because I don’t care about EarPods. I mean, I don’t care about EarPods. But that’s not the reason I see them as two separate scenarios to be discussed. The obvious distinction is that you need to be able to charge the iPhone to be able to use it, and EarPods are an optional accessory.
I haven’t used EarPods since I got a copy of the very first AirPods. In fact, the pair of EarPods that I got in my most recent iPhone two years ago, the EarPods went straight to my girlfriend. Who incidentally is starting to think about making the switch to AirPods as well. So while my sentiment is more than likely clouded my by own bias, I don’t think not including EarPods with every iPhone is a big deal. Simply because they are not required for typical use, and I bet a lot of people don’t use them at all. And that could also be for a few reasons, maybe they don’t need EarPods because they have a third-party option already, or maybe they already have a pair from their last iPhone, or maybe they just don’t use earphones at all. Nevertheless, I would assume that the people that really want to get a new pair of EarPods when they get a new phone, would most likely be willing to purchase them separately. Or that the amount that would mind, wouldn’t be a large enough of a percentage to matter.
The power adapter, however, is a completely different story. Because without one, you wouldn’t be able to use your phone after the battery ran out. Sounds pretty stupid, doesn’t it? Imagine paying a huge amount for a phone, only to find out that you need to buy a power adapter separately. That’s going to get you some bad press. And surely a lot of confused and angry customers. It certainly sounds like a case of Apple being greedy.
However, that reaction would most likely only be the case if Apple didn’t include a power adapter in the box, but offered no reason why, and let customers pay extra for it. And like most situations, there would probably be a lot more nuance that can’t be captured by a headline.
Because let’s face it, most people that buy the iPhone probably don’t need another power adapter. And in a lot of cases, it will be left in the box, which obviously means unnecessary waste. In Dieter Bohn’s piece on The Verge about the situation, he quotes an interview in 2018 between Nilay Patel and Steven Yang, the CEO of Anker, where Yang estimated the level of waste from smartphones that include a charger in the box:
[Say] every smartphone has a charger with it. We had 1.5 billion smartphones that shipped last year. … That’s only for phones. When we have tablets, laptops, power drills, [and more], we estimate a total of four billion chargers (were shipped last year). We estimate about 300,000 tons of e-waste just from these in-box chargers.
So there’s the environmental angle that Apple could push, which to be honest is something that Apple likes to do. But I still think that if they simply said “Most people don’t use the power adapter that we include in the box, so to reduce waste we’re not giving you one”, then they will still get a ton of bad reviews. And for a CEO that loves his “customer sat”, I’m not sure if he would do that. Or at least, I don’t think he would do something as simple as explaining it was better for the environment and leave it like that.
I think the general angle will be on reducing waste, but in my opinion, there are a few different potential benefits:
- Obviously, the lack of EarPods and power adapters means less waste for people that wouldn’t use them.
- If the box contains just the iPhone (and all the paperwork), then the box can be really small. That’s a good win for waste reduction, but it also benefits the logistics side of things as more boxes will be able to fit in a smaller area.
- This may or may not be passed down to the customer, but the costs would be reduced. Meaning higher margins, or lower prices.
- This is just a thought, but maybe by not including a pair of EarPods in the box, if they do decide they want a pair of earphones/headphones, they may decide to buy something more upmarket. Maybe a pair of AirPods, or even a pair of Beats. The same could also apply to power adapters.
There’s also one more thing that probably isn’t a real benefit to anyone, but I think it makes things simpler. Well, maybe more so for the EarPods. Because if you buy an iPad or Mac, you don’t get a pair of EarPods. I’m not sure if that thought process works regarding the power adapter but is certainly takes the product to it’s most essential form (Apart from going as far as removing the need for a power adapter, but I’ll get to that later).
Alongside the potential benefits, there are also potential drawbacks:
- First-time buyers will need to purchase a separate power adapter.
- Even current iPhone owners that are buying a new iPhone may need a new power adapter or EarPods, so they are in the same situation as first-time buyers.
- Damage to Apple’s reputation. They’re already thought to be a greedy company by some, and the products are expensive. So this will only make that worse.
- If people have to purchase a separate power adapter and earphones, then that purchase might not be made through Apple. Meaning they lose out on potential revenue.
I’m sure there are more pros and cons to the potential situation, but that’s what’s in my mind. And to be honest, my first reaction to it was a negative one. It seemed like such a fundamentally stupid idea that you could buy a smartphone, and have it not come with a power adapter in the box. Because at the face of it, it’s absolutely a dumb thing to do.
Having said that, I then read other articles about it, including M.G. Siegler’s, and also watched MKBHD’s video, and my mind started to change. I decided to step back and truly take a look at how Apple could deal with the situation, and I’m starting to think that’s there’s a potential to do it well. So I’ve come up with a few things that I think Apple could do to make the best out of it, some of them better than others. They won’t be able to do them all, but maybe just one of them, or even a mix would be beneficial.
Reduce the cost. Simply subtract the retail price of the EarPods and a suitable power adapter away from the cost of an iPhone, and have them available as optional extras on the product page. This one would be difficult to see on its own though, seeing as by subtracting the retail price would be reducing the margins of the iPhone. So it would have to be part of a bigger story about reducing the cost of an iPhone or adjusted slightly to make it possible.
Offer a discount for a power adapter or earphones/headphones. Probably the most obvious idea. But, essentially if Apple wants to sell the iPhone as a device-only package, by offering a discount on EarPods or the power adapter that would have typically come in the box, then at least customers have a less annoying solution if they really wanted one of those. Then the message becomes a bit more friendly, and not as if the decision is purely about trying to make customers pay full price for every accessory.
Don’t change the default configuration but let customers “opt-in” to not having EarPods or a power adapter included. This way no-one is negatively affected. In fact, it only benefits people that don’t want these “extras” and would be happy for them not to be included in the box. Although this would make logistics more complicated, as there would need to be flexibility for the product to come with different things in the box.
Have different configurations of each iPhone. In a similar vein to the previous idea, Apple could have multiple “default” configurations of each iPhone. If they did it this way, you probably wouldn’t be able to have all four options (with/without either EarPods or a power adapter), so it might just be that you get the iPhone as we expect, and a “device only” option.
Differentiate based on the model. One way to try and please more people is to decide on a model-by-model basis. It just allows for slightly finer control and has a chance to give more people a better default. My first thought was that maybe the base iPhone would just be the device, but maybe the “Pro” model would include EarPods and a power adapter. However, I can imagine it wouldn’t be as simple as that. Seeing as you might find that customers that opt for the more expensive model, might also have their alternatives, so you’d be benefitting the wrong side. I’m sure Apple would have more data on this, so if for example they knew that the majority of customers for a certain model threw their power adapters away, then they could make the decision specifically for that model. It has the potential to be messy. But one example that I think may work, is singling out the cheaper model, which right now is the iPhone SE, and having the “main” set of iPhones device only.
Go full-on configurable. One way to ensure each customer gets what they want is to let them configure every part of it. So instead of having one default configuration for the iPhone, or even just having the option to include a power adapter or not. What if, when you went to buy an iPhone, you could choose from the usual model, colour, and storage size, expand that to audio, charging, and maybe even a few other types of accessories. For example, Apple wouldn’t be removing EarPods, they would simply be letting you choose from having nothing, EarPods, AirPods, Beats, and maybe select third-party options. The same applies to charging as well, maybe you don’t need another power adapter, but at the same time, you might want to buy a 5w charger, a fast charger, or even a Qi charger. So instead of the story being Apple removing things from the iPhone box, it becomes a story about Apple giving customers more freedom and flexibility to choose what’s right for them.
After thinking about all of these ideas, and potential ways Apple could handle the situation, I’m not 100% certain what I would do. As it stands now, I think the best solution is to lean into the idea around letting users personalise their iPhone package, and making everything configurable. But that would need to be coupled with discounted options for things like EarPods and power adapters.
However, I am aware that if I was in charge of this decision at Apple, then I’m sure I would have totally different motives behind the decision. For example, if it was to increase the margin on the iPhone, to reduce electronic waste, or even because they want to encourage more people to make the switch to Qi or AirPods. But as I don’t know Apple’s motives, I can only offer an outside perspective on the situation.
It all changes though if the iPhone didn’t need a power adapter, or at least what we expect as a power adapter, a cable and a plug. What if the iPhone only charged via a Qi-compatible For example, what if the iPhone had no ports? And you had to have a Qi-compatible charger. Then it would be a whole new set of circumstances to deal with. And maybe all of this is simply preparing people for that future. But that debate will have to wait another day.
Apple has recently licensed fonts from type foundries such as Commercial Type, Klim Type Foundry and Mark Simonson Studio to be used as system fonts on Mac OS Catalina. But since these fonts are an optional download, many users of Mac OS X are not even aware they have access to them for free.
To see and install these optional fonts, open the FontBook application and switch to “All Fonts”. Browse the font list and you will see lots of font families that are greyed out—either because they were deactivated or they weren’t downloaded yet. If you right-click on a font or font family that wasn’t downloaded yet, you see an option to download the individual font or entire family.
Who would have thought there was essentially “hidden” fonts in Catalina? I certainly wouldn’t.
Today Apple released what is essentially a COVID-19 update for iPhones. iOS 13.5 includes several features specifically designed for our current global pandemic, including exposure notifications, mask detection for bypassing Face ID, and a new prominence setting for FaceTime, along with a nice new Apple Music sharing feature optimized for Instagram Stories. With WWDC and iOS 14’s reveal only a month away, this is likely the last major update to the current OS release cycle.
This update is no doubt going to be known as the COVID-19 update, simply because of the exposure notifications. But seeing as we don’t have an app that supports that currently here in the UK, it’s really just the “Apple Music x Instagram” update for us. Which is totally fine with me. Because I really like how it’s been done, and it looks great!
Front Page Tech host and leaker Jon Prosser today shared several alleged details about Apple’s rumored augmented reality glasses, including an “Apple Glass” marketing name, $499 starting price, prescription lens option, and more.
- The marketing name will be “Apple Glass”
- The glasses will start at $499 with the option for prescription lenses at an extra cost
- There will be displays in both lenses that can be interacted with using gestures
- The glasses will rely on a paired iPhone, similar to the original Apple Watch
- An early prototype featured LiDAR and wireless charging
- Apple originally planned to unveil the glasses as a “One More Thing” surprise at its iPhone event in the fall, but restrictions on in-person gatherings could push back the announcement to a March 2021 event
- Apple is targeting a late 2021 or early 2022 release
This product has been rumoured for years now, and it’s interesting to hear that they were apparently planned to be announced this year along side the next iPhone announcement. So they’re starting to feel like a possibility.
I used to think that this was a product that I would avoid. But to be honest, if they do cost around $499, and I can get my prescription lenses, then I think I would get them.
You can watch Jon’s video from his Front Page Tech channel to hear the rumours directly.
I was chatting with Andy Nicolaides recently about task managers (as you do), and he was telling me how he tried using Things again after my recent article about how I use the app, and he said it didn’t work for him and he’d gone back to using Reminders. He also mentioned how he sometimes feels like his preference for using stock apps for as much as possible might be keeping him from enjoying some great third party apps. As someone who tends to prefer third party apps, Andy and I are approaching things from completely different angles.
That said, there are some definite advantages to using stock apps and I wanted to give those reasons a quick shout out here.
There are certainly quite a few benefits of using third-party apps on your device, but as Matt points out, there’s a whole load of value in using what comes installed by default.
I’ve actually slowly using more stock apps/services recently, such as Reminders, Notes, and Mail. In the past, I’ve used third-party options for all three of these, but I seem to always come back to Apple’s built-in apps.
Reminders is one I’ve switched back to the most recent, with me coming from using Things for quite some time. I just found that I wasn’t doing anything special in Things, and although I appreciate the design, I don’t particularly hate the design of the Reminders app either. And I actually like a few things about it more than Things:
- The price – Things has always seemed a tad expensive for me. So much so, I never actually got around to purchasing the macOS version. Which I think is a big reason why I was never fully invested.
- Syncing – I’m not sure why, but Things didn’t feel like it had reliable syncing for me. But on the other hand, Reminders seems instant.
- Apple can support new technologies faster, simply because they control the app. Which is a benefit for me as I use the beta versions on my personal device regularly, and I’ve noticed that third-party apps don’t always work that well on the major version betas.
- As it’s tied into the system, I get the added benefit of the data being available in other apps like GoodTask and Agenda.
If you like Matt’s piece on the value of stock apps, then you’ll probably also like it’s companion article “The Case for Using Third Party Apps“.
I know Apple marketing is great but we need to have a little chat about the Magic Keyboard because I think they may have sold you a lie. You see, despite it being pretty great the keyboard Apple sold you isn’t really magic.
I am not sure what you expected to happen when you attached a keyboard complete with backlight keys and a trackpad to an iPad but it was never going to turn it into a Mac. The way that some people have spoken about the keyboard seems that they expected some kind of OTA update once you connected it, and that the iPad all of sudden wasn’t an iPad anymore.
Greg talks a lot of sense here about the situation with the iPad. Where a huge number of people use it, enjoy using it, and get a lot done on it. However, there are people that try to use it, discover it isn’t for them, then tell the rest of the world that it’s not good for anyone.
It’s pretty huge, and they go against nearly every point they made. I’m hugely biased as I’m an Apple fan, but to me, everything they said makes a lot of sense.
Here are some of the sections that I found the most interesting:
What Spotify is demanding is something very different. After using the App Store for years to dramatically grow their business, Spotify seeks to keep all the benefits of the App Store ecosystem — including the substantial revenue that they draw from the App Store’s customers — without making any contributions to that marketplace. At the same time, they distribute the music you love while making ever-smaller contributions to the artists, musicians and songwriters who create it — even going so far as to take these creators to court.
That’s a dig at Spotify already, and they also go a bit further than their complaints, by mentioning their relationship with artists.
One thing that surprised me, was their response to Spotifys claims about Apple restricting them from platforms such as the HomePod or Apple Watch:
- When we reached out to Spotify about Siri and AirPlay 2 support on several occasions, they’ve told us they’re working on it, and we stand ready to help them where we can.
- Spotify is deeply integrated into platforms like CarPlay, and they have access to the same app development tools and resources that any other developer has.
- We found Spotify’s claims about Apple Watch especially surprising. When Spotify submitted their Apple Watch app in September 2018, we reviewed and approved it with the same process and speed with which we would any other app. In fact, the Spotify Watch app is currently the No. 1 app in the Watch Music category.
That all sounds like Spotify have actually been working with Apple successfully already.
They then went into detail on the number of free apps in the App Store, how different apps make money while Apple not taking a cut (free, ad-supported, external subscriptions, and physical good sales). They turned this at Spotify by stating that only a small fraction of their subscriptions are going through their payment platform, and that their target is to reduce that to zero. So in effect, reducing their contribution to the platform to zero.
They end with a statement about what it means to music, and also how Apple’s approach is to help grow opportunities for artists, businesses, and every person with a big idea:
We share Spotify’s love of music and their vision of sharing it with the world. Where we differ is how you achieve that goal. Underneath the rhetoric, Spotify’s aim is to make more money off others’ work. And it’s not just the App Store that they’re trying to squeeze — it’s also artists, musicians and songwriters.
Just this week, Spotify sued music creators after a decision by the US Copyright Royalty Board required Spotify to increase its royalty payments. This isn’t just wrong, it represents a real, meaningful and damaging step backwards for the music industry.
Apple’s approach has always been to grow the pie. By creating new marketplaces, we can create more opportunities not just for our business, but for artists, creators, entrepreneurs and every “crazy one” with a big idea. That’s in our DNA, it’s the right model to grow the next big app ideas and, ultimately, it’s better for customers.
We’re proud of the work we’ve done to help Spotify build a successful business reaching hundreds of millions of music lovers, and we wish them continued success — after all, that was the whole point of creating the App Store in the first place.
This is going to be really interesting to watch play out. Especially the EU court case.
There is one thing that I agree with Spotify on, and that’s the 30% cut Apple take. But I wouldn’t class that as being anti-competitive, as it’s a rule for the entire App Store. I just want it to be lower.
In general, I’m against Spotify on this one. I was unsure on a few things after the complaint was published, on things like the App Store rejections, their claim that Apple dismissed their Apple Watch app proposals, and Apple apparently not letting them on the HomePod. Apple cleared a lot of this up. And while both sides of the argument will include biases, I feel that Apple have quashed a lot of Spotifys claims.
I just received some good news in an email from Apple. They’re finally reopening their Covent Garden store on the 26th October.
Come and see our brand-new space. Explore a wide range of inspiring Today at Apple sessions taking place every day. And learn new skills in everything from photography to design, music and more.
Join us to see just how far your creativity can take you.
They’ve got some interesting events already lined up:
- Photo Walk: Capturing Covent Garden
- Performance: Joncan Kavlakoglu
- Kids Hour: Draw Along with the Moomins
- Business Exclusive: Perfect Your Creative Pitch with Hubbub
Maybe I’ll have to start looking at going to some of them. I haven’t been to any events at an Apple store yet.
As usual, Apple can’t seem to keep things secret anymore. Leaks are now emerging of the new iPhone XS that will be announced at the event on the 12th September.
I have completely mixed feeling about it this time. It’s a real shame that some of the surprise from the event has been somewhat spoiled. I don’t mind a few bits of information being leaked, but when it’s marketing images of a new product, it feels like someone has really screwed up.
Some people will surely point the blame at the people like 9To5Mac that make these things public, but that’s their job, to release interesting news. And it will certainly interest a lot of people.
I’ve read one article from 9To5Mac which includes an image of the iPhone XS, with new sizes and colour, and I’ve seen a few photos of a new Watch face, but I’m going to try and stay away from anything else. It will be pretty hard, seeing as I follow a lot of blogs that will cover it, and it will be all over Twitter, but I’ll manage.
Guilherme Rambo, the main investigator of Apple related leaks nowadays, said that a lot of information is coming from some test streams that Apple clearly didn’t think people were watching:
Streaming tests started early this year, and with some very good testing material pic.twitter.com/DFyEa9yUVa
— Guilherme Rambo (@_inside) August 30, 2018
Apple just can’t seem to keep it in their pants anymore.
I would like to note that I won’t be writing about these leaks, or sharing other links to anything else that may come out. I don’t hold anything against anyone that reads, shares, or does anything with the information. I’ll just try and wait until the official announcement.
I started a note a while ago to list out the things I want in the next iPhone, but there’s honestly not much that I can think of. I may really want these things, but there’s not many of them.
Just for some perspective, I’m currently using an iPhone 7 Plus, and I’m still really happy with the device. But I got it on release day, so after two years I think I’m due an upgrade. However, taking into consideration the improvements made in the iPhone X, there are just a few things I’d like the next model (whatever it’s going to be called) to improve upon.
The first has to be the battery. I don’t really ever get a full days use out of a single charge, but I do understand that I am a bit of an edge case. I use my phone a lot, whether it’s at work when I’m using it as a test device, or when I’m travelling and I’m constantly taking photos. I would like the battery life to be great for all types of users, not just when it’s new, or for someone who uses it less than me.
Following on the photography side of my iPhone use, I wouldn’t mind the camera getting a bit better. It’s a pretty good camera, and I get some good shots, but I don’t think there has been any major leaps in a while. I know this isn’t a great metric to use as a comparison, but the iPhone 6 had a 12MP camera, and so does the iPhone X. Sure, quite a lot of other things have changed, and the lens makes a lot of difference on it’s own. But I would like to see an aperture lower than f/1.8, improvements to macro photography, and general improvements to sharpness.
One thing that I expect to see, and I kind of really need in my next device, is the ability to use Face ID in any orientation. I’m still unsure about facial recognition, seeing as how reliable and fast Touch ID is, and the fact the iPhone X has to be in portrait for it to be unlocked would be pretty annoying. But with the rumours of this coming to the iPad, I don’t see why the next iPhone wouldn’t also receive it. Maybe even the iPhone X could retroactively gain support for this as well.
My next wish is something I’ve been wanting for a long time now, and it’s a reason why I’ve been tempted to buy a Google Pixel before, colourful hardware. In the past, Apple have offered multiple colour options for quite a lot of their products, the early iMacs, iPods, the iPhone 5C, and of course the Apple Watch straps. I really want a phone that isn’t just a boring slab of monochrome, (I don’t accept the gold options, and the RED edition takes ages to be launched). Why not something with a bit of character? What about adding a few accents to the side buttons like the Pixel, or going for whole colour changes, like the rumoured orange version (😍). And I don’t want any interesting options to be relegated to the cheaper models. I remember when I purchased a 5S, I really wanted the design of the 5C so I could get a bright colour for once, but I wasn’t going to buy one with old hardware. With a $1 trillion market cap, you’d think there’d be room for some more colour options for arguably their main product.
To round up my wishes, there’s just one more thing (yeah, I wrote that) I want Apple to include. Nothing big or extravagant, just a USB C to Lightning cable in the box as standard. The USB C market clearly isn’t as big as Apple predicted it would be by now, and I’ve written about how the iPad could improve this, but another push would be if the iPhone connected via USB C.
Anyway, I’ll sit back with everyone else, and await what device we’re all going to be purchasing.
If you were upset about Apple’s photo printing service no longer being available from the Photos app, you’ll be glad to know that the partner they used, Mimeo, now offer these identical services themselves.
“This is a real opportunity for us to expand our successes as a prominent Apple Photos extension since the beginning,” said John Delbridge, CEO, Mimeo. “We are really excited to see an increase in demand from countries like Australia and Japan in addition to our strong US customer base.”
It’s no longer integrated into the Photos app by default, but there is now the Mimeo Photos app, that will make the service available from Apple’s Photos app.
It’s a long read, probably just over 10 minutes, but it’s yet another perspective at Steve’s life that not many would know about.
I can’t quote any single piece from it, I would end up including everything. All I can do is say – make sure you read it in it’s entirety.
With all the nostalgia of the early App Store and iOS SDK days, Frederik Riedel tweeted about his experience developing iRedstone:
When I created iRedstone, I had no idea what object oriented programming was. I had no idea what a ViewController was. It was all in one UIView. But it worked. You don’t have to be an engineer to create apps.
— frederik 🧗🏼♂️ (@frederikRiedel) July 10, 2018
After he tweeted that, other developers started quoting it, and sharing their experiences. Frederik has compiled a great collection of them over on his blog.