Apple Inc. plans to fund original podcasts that would be exclusive to its audio service, according to people familiar with the matter, increasing its investment in the industry to keep competitors Spotify and Stitcher at bay.
Executives at the company have reached out to media companies and their representatives to discuss buying exclusive rights to podcasts, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the conversations are preliminary. Apple has yet to outline a clear strategy, but has said it plans to pursue the kind of deals it didn’t make before.
Slowly but surely, the podcast space is splintering, much like the video space.
In the video space, properties like Marvel, Pixar, Star Trek, Star Wars, The Office, Friends, etc., are all getting hidden behind walled gardens, like Disney+ and CBS Online.
Watch for podcasts to do the same over time. With funded podcasts outstripping indie podcasts that depend on withering advertising dollars, aggregating into well funded walled gardens.
To be clear, I’m not faulting anyone from going down this road. If this is true, seems a smart, competitive business move by Apple. More an observation that this particular evolution is as inevitable as the tides.
The FaceApp app has gone viral over the last day or so, especially on Twitter, with people sharing pics of themselves, and others, as they’ll look when they get old.
The pics are fun, the viral nature harmless, but there are a few questions:
How does FaceApp gain access to your photos even if you mark access to your photo library as “Never”?
Does FaceApp upload those photos to their servers? And what happens to those photos after FaceApp hands you back your aged version?
Matthew Panzarino does a great job exploring and explaining these issues. Personally, I think someone at FaceApp should lay all this bare in a blog post, avoid turning all this viral exposure into a black eye.
One point Matthew makes that stands out to me:
While the app does indeed let you pick a single photo without giving it access to your photo library, this is actually 100% allowed by an Apple API introduced in iOS 11. It allows a developer to let a user pick one single photo from a system dialog to let the app work on.
An app can let you pick out a single photo, even if you mark access to photos as Never. This strikes me as a decision made long before privacy was even a consideration, left in place over the years as privacy moved to the forefront.
As Panzarino points out, maybe it’s time to reconsider that option.
In our quest to provide the best experience for local searches, earlier this year we announced that we’re now using Apple’s MapKit JS framework to power our mapping features. Since then, we’ve been continually working hard on further enhancements and we’re excited today to show you some new improvements.
Read the linked press release to learn all the details but, in a nutshell, this is a big leap forward for DuckDuckGo and mapping.
And, at least in my local area, this pushed it a little bit past Google Maps. There’s a pizza place a few blocks away that opened about a month ago. It’s on DuckDuckGo (because Apple Maps) and it is not yet on Google Maps.
Small sample size, I know, but it makes privacy respecting DuckDuckGo more of an equal browsing choice for me.
To celebrate World Emoji Day, Apple is previewing a selection of new emoji coming this fall, revealing the newest designs that bring even more diversity to the keyboard, alongside fun and exciting additions to popular categories of food, animals, activities and smiley faces.
In a major update to the Holding Hands emoji typically used to represent couples and relationships, users will now be able to select any combination of skin tone, in addition to gender, to personalize the people holding hands, opening up more than 75 possible combinations.
Representation. Normalization. This feels like a giant step forward to me. The ability to represent your relationship, to have that be seen as a normal part of the whole, is a powerful gift. Well done.
Bare Bones Software, makers of BBEdit, is one of my favorite software companies — in fact, I’ve been using BBEdit for more than 20 years. BBEdit has just been updated to 12.6.3, and is available in the Mac App Store as a subscription! Same great features. Same user experience. You can subscribe in the Mac App Store or purchase perpetual licenses directly from Bare Bones Software. Also, you can still get great merch, including Classic and Rebus T-shirts, enamel pins, and more in their merch store!
I came home this evening to find my house had been broken into.
TV – Gone
Bluetooth Speaker – Gone
Wifes work Laptop (HP) – Gone
DSLR Camera – Gone
Logitech Headset – Gone
Computer bag – Gone
But my MacBook Pro 15″ on the other hand? They literally took it out of my computer bag and left it on my desk alongside my iPad and Apple TV.
Why not take the Apple gear? Of course, this could just be a hoax, but set that possibility aside and consider the possibility that this is real.
Is it possible that the reputation of Apple gear as trackable, the strength of iCloud locking/deactivation/tracking as a security measure is affecting the theft of Macs, iPads, and iPhones? Interesting.
First things first, it’s amazing to me that the very first iPod debuted in October 2001.
Think about that timing for a moment. This was a bit more than a month after 9/11 and the shock was still palpable. A difficult time to command public attention and roll out a new product, to say the least.
The video embedded below does a nice job showing off the difficulties of working with really old gear, from port incompatibilities to replacing dead batteries on a device that was not meant to be easy to open.
I know it’s a lot to ask, but I’d really love to see a video connecting that original iPod to an iPad running iOS 13. Hey, I can dream, right?
John Gruber starts off with the story about Bill Gates calling out his approach to the smartphone market his greatest mistake ever. But he then moves on to thoughts on how Microsoft, more than any other factor, saved Apple at a time when Apple really needed saving.
Terrific read, great food for thought. Can’t help but wonder if Apple, with Steve Jobs and the iMac, would have still managed the improbable rise without that support from Microsoft.
The Executive Producers of the coming Apple TV+ show For All Mankind pulled together this homage for the 50th anniversary of the moon landing.
I am really looking forward to both Apple TV+ and For All Mankind in particular. Of all the shows Apple has so far revealed, For All Mankind seems like the one with the biggest potential. Fingers crossed.
All of the plaudits for Jony Ive begin with how he and Steve Jobs saved Apple with the iMac. No doubt about it: that instantly recognizable shape became an icon, and led to thousands of imitations using translucent colored plastic, often in that same Bondi Blue, to show that they were part of the late-90s vibe. In a sense, the iMac was a triumph of packaging: the components inside were pretty straightforward. If Apple had put them into a beige box, the company would now be a historical footnote.
The quote often attributed to Einstein is “everything must be made as simple as possible, but not one bit simpler.” I think the trouble was that Ive often ignored the second part of that advice in the pursuit of refinement.
This is actually a fair take on Jony Ive designs that are considered by many to be mistakes, triumphs of form over function.
My favorite part is the section called “The strength of compromise”, which highlights things gone right, compromises that yielded greatness.
Linus (of Linus Tech Tips) continues to pursue his goal of building the fastest Mac in the world. He thought he had it, releasing his mega-Hackintosh on the very day Apple announced the new Mac Pro. Unlucky that.
But he perseveres, bringing on a friend to help up the technology. Entertaining and ubergeeky.
This year I sat in the WWDC keynote, hearing the undertones, and realized that Apple is upping its privacy game to levels never before seen from a major technology company. That is, beyond improving privacy in its own products, the company is starting to use its market strength to extend privacy through the tendrils that touch the Apple ecosystem.
Rich does a nice job digging into Apple’s privacy moves, focusing on Sign in with Apple, Intelligent Ad Tracking Prevention, and HomeKit Secure Video.
From the end:
The global forces arrayed against personal privacy are legion. Advertising companies and marketing firms want to track your browsing and buying. Governments want to solve crimes and prevent terrorism whatever the cost. Telecommunication providers monitor all our Internet traffic and locations, just because they can. The financial services industry is sure our data is worth something.
Any list of big companies has to include Google, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft and, of course, Apple. Daunting to think how critical your personal data is to the money-making equation for those first three.
Daunting that on this list, Apple stands alone as a guardian of your privacy.
After much discussion, some anticipation and some disappointment, “robot umpires” have finally made its way into professional baseball.
On Wednesday, the independent Atlantic League, which is a partner of Major League Baseball, debuted the electronic strike zone during its All-Star game, making it the first American professional league to do so.
Home plate umpire Brian deBrauwere wore an earpiece that was connected to an iPhone in his pocket. The earpiece relayed balls and strikes after receiving it from a TrackMan computer system utilizing a Doppler radar and deBrauwere called them as he received them .
Because the system is still in its infancy, an umpire is needed behind home in the event that the system fails to pick up a pitch, registers a pitch totally incorrectly or fails altogether.
It’s only a matter of time before this technology enters the mainstream and is used in the big leagues. I think that will be a shame because one of the joys of baseball is that human element of a really bad umpire.
Dave and I wrapped up our thoughts on the new MacBook updates this week, and talked about an old iPhone Dave found in a drawer. We also looked at things Apple could do with the Apple Watch and iPad to help people with disabilities, which is a very personal topic for Dave.
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Even if you know of these features, there’s no substitute for seeing them in action, especially useful if you’ve not yet made the leap into the iOS 13 beta. Jeff Benjamin does a great job showing each of these off.
Bee populations are struggling and this genius design hopes to help solve that problem and bring bees into the tiniest spaces. All you need is about 2 feet x 2 feet and some spare cash and you’ve got yourself a beehive.
As you’ll see in the video (worth watching), the design means you won’t need any special gear to handle the hive and harvest honey, and it appears safe for kids, too.
I’ve got some interest and experience in commercial real estate, so this article drew me in on several levels. Big picture, though, is the thought of someone, someday, buying this space. Would they tear down the building and build something denser, with no regard for the art of Apple Park’s design?
Or, will some future company move in, take the space as is? Or will Apple Park’s future be more the stuff of science fiction, with future civilizations puzzling over the perfect roundness of this long ago artifact?
According to sources familiar with the matter, Amazon has quietly outpaced subscriber additions versus its more well-known competitors. A report by the Financial Times claims that Amazon Music Unlimited subscribers have grown by about 70% in the last year.
Apple Music is said to be at a 60 million paid subscribers, Spotify at 100 million, and Amazon at about 32 million.
Spotify has done this with no hardware to leverage. Apple Music, obviously, has the iPhone and Apple Watch, with HomePod a small slice of the hardware listens.
Amazon has no phone, but Echo devices are a huge access point.
Will Apple pursue Amazon’s Echo, build out the HomePod space with more Siri access devices priced to compete with Echo?
To me, in the home, Amazon has an advantage, with low-priced Echos a Trojan horse for Amazon Music. Outside the home, on the road, Apple has the advantage, with iPhones, Apple Watch, and CarPlay all working in harmony to support the ecosystem.
Bottom line, I think it’s a matter of time until Spotify feels the squeeze from both sides.
This is an interesting story. It’s not about Apple Watch, and it’s from three years ago. Watch the video, embedded below.
At the heart of the story is a Gizmo smartwatch, specifically designed for kids. It sells for about $170.
What I find interesting about this watch is its incredibly simple design. It lets a child make and receive phone calls, but only to and from a specified list of phone numbers, a list that their parents set up and edit.
There’s a location tracker, presumably only available to their parents. And there’s a geofence, alerting parents when the watch leaves a specific location. So if the fence is set up to the grounds of a child’s school, the parents receive an alert if the child leaves that area.
There’s more to the Gizmo, but you get the idea. Now on to my point.
I’d like to see Apple add a mode like this to watchOS. All of the capabilities above exist already in watchOS. Imagine a starter Apple Watch with these limitations, perfect for a child, but also perfect for an elderly user, or for someone with limitations that might make it difficult to navigate the full watchOS.
And, while we’re at it, how about a similar, limited version of iPadOS? One with very large icons, and customizable. Boot it, and the only icons that show up are the ones it is set up with. And each of the icons can drive an editable shortcut. The shortcut might make a phone call to a specific person. Or send a text message. Or anything.
My mom is legally blind, and all the existing solutions in the Apple ecosystem are too complex for her to manage. She feels cutoff, but she’s smart, and eager for some solution she can manage. A limited Apple Watch or iPad would be a real blessing for her.