Apple and the Emmys

Apple is celebrating its 18 Emmy nominations on the homepage of its web site.

Apple’s Human Rights Policy

Tim Cook:

“At Apple, we are optimistic about technology’s awesome potential for good. But we know that it won’t happen on its own. Every day, we work to infuse the devices we make with the humanity that makes us.”

Apple published its Human Rights Policy and it’s worth a read. I believe that Apple is serious about the policy and treating everyone equally, but they also have to follow the laws of each country they operate in. That’s a tough balancing act.

The Dalrymple Report: Apple silicon Macs, Amazon and jetpacks

I can’t wait to get my hands on an Apple silicon Mac, regardless of the configuration. Dave and I talk about the potential for the machines in this week’s show. We also look at the counterfeit problem at Amazon, and the possibility that someone in a jetpack was seen 3,000 feet in the air by airline pilots.

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Apple is giving developers subscription offer codes this year

Later this year, you’ll be able to acquire, retain, and win back subscribers with subscription offer codes: unique, alphanumeric codes that provide free or discounted prices for auto-renewable subscriptions. Provide your one-time use codes digitally or offline at physical events, alongside products, and more. Customers on iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 and later can redeem offer codes on the App Store, through a one-time code redemption URL, or within your app if you’ve implemented the presentCodeRedemptionSheet API.

Great idea!

Russian law aims to cap App Store commission at 20%

A Russian lawmaker submitted draft legislation on Tuesday that would cut and cap the commission on the sale of mobile applications by tech giants Apple and Google.

The bill, submitted to Russia’s lower house of parliament by lawmaker Fedot Tumusov, stipulates that commissions on the sale of applications be capped at 20%. Apple currently collects a 30% commission on sales in its App Store.

This is absolutely ridiculous to me. The law would also require the sellers to pay one-third of their commission to a “special training fund.”

EVH releases a new 5150III 15W head

A crossbreed between the LBXI and the LBXII, the seductively dark stealth LBX-S blends the Green “clean” channel with the Red “full burn” channel for a sonically diverse soundscape — from pristine cleans that soar to that sizzling modern Brit sound with high-gain attitude.

Armed with four JJ ECC83S (12AX7) preamp tubes and two JJ EL84 power tubes, this easy-to-carry lunchbox head also includes dual-concentric gain and volume controls for precise and independent control of each channel, as well as shared EQ presence and resonance controls.

I love these lunchbox type heads. I have an Orange and a Mesa Boogie, but I wouldn’t hesitate to add in an EVH into he mix.

Apple TV+ unveils three new documentaries

Apple TV+ today unveiled a first look at a trio of documentary series that celebrate humanity and the wonder of the natural world, premiering globally this fall. Led by a star-studded lineup of narrators, including Oscar and Golden Globe winner Olivia Colman, Golden Globe winner Tom Hiddleston and Golden Globe nominee Paul Rudd, each new Apple Original will showcase never-before-seen footage, groundbreaking technology and dynamic storytelling.

All three look wonderful.

iOS 14 anti-tracking feature hurting Facebook’s ad revenue

Facebook today warned advertisers that Apple’s upcoming anti-tracking tools could cause a more than 50 percent drop in Audience Network publisher revenue due to the removal of personalization from ads within apps.

In a blog post, Facebook said that it does not collect the identifier from advertisers (IDFA) from Facebook-owned apps on iOS 14 devices, as Apple added a feature that requires users to agree to ad tracking to prevent cross-app and cross-site tracking used to provide targeted ads. Facebook says that it’s not a change that it wants to make, but Apple has “forced this decision.”

I’m sure Facebook posted this message hoping for sympathy from the public. All I have to say is thank you, Apple!

Fortnite’s new season won’t be available on iPhone, iPad, or Mac

Epic has confirmed it will not be releasing its upcoming Fortnite season, Chapter 2: Season 4, for iOS or macOS, saying the ongoing antitrust feud with Apple over in-app payment processing and other App Store disputes has blocked it from issuing updates and new installs on Apple devices.

I think Epic expected the judge to issue an order forcing Apple to put Fortnite back in the App Store before the launch of the newest season. That didn’t happen. I don’t think Epic is going to like the way this plays out.

Apple TV+ and augmented reality

In the new feature, elements of a TV show, like characters or objects, would be displayed on a viewer’s phone or tablet and integrated into the surrounding environment, according to people familiar with the project. For example, someone watching a moon-walking scene in the Apple show “For All Mankind” might be able to see a virtual lunar rover on their device’s display, seemingly perched atop their living room coffee table. The option would serve as bonus content akin to the director commentary or trailer that accompany a movie download and would be accessed from Apple’s TV app on the iPhone or iPad.

The AR feature is expected to debut next year, ahead of an Apple headset in 2022 that will be built around augmented and virtual reality, said the people, who asked not to be identified because they weren’t authorized to discuss the plan publicly. A release of the TV+ feature had previously been set for later this year, but the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on software development and film production impeded that goal. Apple could ultimately decide to scrap the plan, the people said. An Apple spokesman declined to comment.

This may be fascinating for users of Apple TV+ and will most definitely bring AR to more people, but I’m still waiting for the app or service that will bring AR to the masses.

Apple Maps launches in-house ratings

iOS 14 beta 6 includes new UI that lets users recommend a place with a thumbs up or thumbs down. The rating system can differentiate between categories, so users can rate the quality of purchased products in a shop highly even if they didn’t get the best service. At least at this early stage, the rating UI is only visible for a small subset of all POIs on the map.

I really dislike Yelp—I don’t trust the reviews and it seems like a system that is abused a lot. Apple is also trying to prevent abuse of its system.

Apple is using on-device machine learning to present POI rating opportunities when it sees that someone has visited a place several times. The company will also be doing some checks to try and prevent abuse, such as only accepting ratings from people that have physically visited the place.

I like that. Of course, that’s the way it should be, but not always the way it’s been. This system may not be perfect, but they are taking steps to ensure it’s not abused.

Final Cut Pro X updated with workflow improvements

Today Apple is updating Final Cut Pro X with powerful new features designed to enhance remote workflows and speed up editing for content creators. Improvements in creating and managing proxy media provide editors with portability and performance when working with large resolution formats, or when collaborating remotely. New social media tools automate video cropping in square, vertical, and other custom sizes for popular social media platforms, and new workflow improvements enhance the versatility and performance of Final Cut Pro — making the Mac stronger than ever for all video editors and motion graphics artists.

I wondered about the social media video cropping in a high-end tool like FCPX, but it makes sense these days—everyone is posting video to their networks, even studios. Apple also said they updated Motion and Compressor as well.

Apple celebrates national parks’ 104th birthday

In celebration of the US National Park Service’s 104th birthday, on August 25, Apple today is introducing new ways for customers to support America’s parks — in person or from home. A new Apple Pay donation program, Apple Watch Activity Challenge, and special content collections give people the chance to experience the parks and learn more about what makes them an incredible national resource. These collections will be available in the Apple TV app, Apple Music, and the App Store.

From August 24 through 30, Apple will make a $10 donation to the National Park Foundation for each purchase made with Apple Pay on apple.com, in the Apple Store app, or at an Apple Store in the US.

This is great, cheers Apple.

Apple signs deal for Keira Knightley drama show

Colette and The Imitation Game star Keira Knightley has found her next period drama – an adaptation of Sarah Perry’s novel The Essex Serpent for Apple TV+.

The Essex Serpent follows newly widowed Cora, played by Knightley, who, having being released from an abusive marriage, relocates from Victorian London to the small village of Aldwinter in Essex, intrigued by a local superstition that a mythical creature known as the Essex Serpent has returned to the area.

I’m a big fan of period dramas, so this one interests me. Again, Apple is showing its willingness to sign a variety of shows to Apple TV+.

The Dalrymple Report: Cameras, Bundles, and shows

Many people are very happy with the camera on the iPhone, but some people want a little more. Dave purchased a new camera recently and we talk about some of the things he’s dealing with. We also touch on the new Apple TV+ Channel bundle and a couple of the TV shows that are coming out on the service.

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Apple will not make exception for Epic in App Store

The App Store is designed to be a safe and trusted place for users and a great business opportunity for all developers. Epic has been one of the most successful developers on the App Store, growing into a multibillion dollar business that reaches millions of iOS customers around the world. We very much want to keep the company as part of the Apple Developer Program and their apps on the Store. The problem Epic has created for itself is one that can easily be remedied if they submit an update of their app that reverts it to comply with the guidelines they agreed to and which apply to all developers. We won’t make an exception for Epic because we don’t think it’s right to put their business interests ahead of the guidelines that protect our customers.

Good, there should not be an exception for Epic.

Apple expands its independent repair program to cover Mac

Apple Inc said on Monday it had expanded a program that provides parts and training to independent repair shops to cover its Mac computers.

Apple initially launched the program last year, but it only covered iPhones, the company’s biggest-selling product. Mac users previously either had to use Apple or an authorized warranty service provider to get fixes with parts directly from Apple.

This is going to make a lot of independent repair shops very happy.

Apple TV+ adds Showtime, CBS All Access bundle

Beginning today, Apple TV+ subscribers in the US can take advantage of a unique benefit — access to a bundle of CBS All Access and SHOWTIME for only $9.99 per month after a seven-day free trial. By subscribing through Apple TV channels, customers can watch content from all three services online and offline, ad-free and on demand, only on the Apple TV app. Through Family Sharing, up to six family members can share the subscriptions to Apple TV+, CBS All Access, and SHOWTIME using just their personal Apple ID and password.

I mention that this was a possibility last week and here it is. I’ll be adding this to my Apple TV+ channels today.

Facebook claims Apple is hurting small businesses

Facebook wants Apple to waive its 30 percent fee taken from in-app purchases or let Facebook process event payments with Facebook Pay, both of which Apple has refused.

“We asked Apple to reduce its 30% ‌App Store‌ tax or allow us to offer Facebook Pay so we could absorb all costs for businesses struggling during COVID-19. Unfortunately, they dismissed both our requests and SMBs will only be paid 70% of their hard-earned revenue. Because this is complicated, as long as Facebook is waiving its fees, we will make all fees clear in our products.”

Facebook is just a creepy company that does everything it can to take advantage of its users for profit. It’s laughable that Facebook is making these claims against Apple.

Epic to sue the local mattress store, and the ice cream cart guy

Not that bad yet, but they did add Google to the list of lawsuits.

Epic Games has filed suit against Google over alleged antitrust violations, just hours after seeing Fortnite dropped from the both the Google Play Store and iOS App store and filing a similar lawsuit against Apple. Epic’s complaint alleges that Google’s payment restrictions on the Play Store constitute a monopoly, and thus a violation of both the Sherman Act and California’s Cartwright Act.

Epic’s hit game Fortnite was removed from the Google Play Store earlier today.

Apple lands spy romance movie starring Idris Elba

Idris Elba and Simon Kinberg have teamed up for a yet-to-be-titled spy film, which after an intense bidding war, has landed at Apple.

Elba will star and produce the film, which is described as a “spy movie with romance” set in Africa. Kingberg and Audrey Chon, president of Kinberg’s Genre Films will produce. The film’s script comes from Travon Free, best known for “Black Monday” and “The Daily Show”.

I love spy movies, and I really like Idris Elba, so this should be a great movie for me. This film also shows how Apple is going after a variety of shows and movies instead of focusing on just a couple of genres.

The Dalrymple Report: Apple bundles, Apple News+, and Surface Duo

Rumors are circulating that Apple could offer bundles, combining some of its popular services. Dave and I talk about what we like and don’t like about the bundle, as well as how it affects certain services, like Apple News+. We also talk about the Surface, and catch up on a little hockey and personal news.

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Uber and Lyft: What is work

Om Malik:

Uber and Lyft, in response to a California court ruling that all drivers must be reclassified as employees with benefits, are threatening to quit doing business in the state. Putting the news, and the legal posturing of Uber and Lyft aside, the judgment and its possible impact on other gig-economy companies that rely on independent contractors will be a quagmire. But it raises more profound questions that go far beyond these startups, and our society.

Admittedly, there are many more questions than answers right now.

Apple to bundle CBS All Access and Showtime on Apple TV

Starting as early as Monday, Apple TV+ subscribers will be able to access both the CBS and Showtime channels in Apple’s TV app for $9.99 per month combined. CBS All Access and Showtime normally cost $9.99 and $10.99 per month respectively, so the deal would be a significant savings.

Now that is a good deal. If Apple does this, I will add this bundle to the Apple Channels I already purchased, and I’ll feel great about the price. Basically, I’ll be paying for Showtime and getting CBS for free, which is about how much it’s worth.

The Dalrymple Report: Phil Schiller, iMac, Astronauts and Disney+

Apple’s Phil Schiller stepped down from his senior vice president role and is now an Apple Fellow—Dave and I discuss how important he was to the company over the years. We also look at the new iMac, the astronaut landing and how Disney+ is being unfair to its customers.

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Phil Schiller now an Apple Fellow

Apple on Tuesday announced that longtime senior executive Phil Schiller would become an Apple Fellow. Greg Joswiak (Joz) will take over Schiller’s role of senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing at Apple.