Opinion Stories June 10

AAPL: 98.83

-0.82
Stock Chart

Novelists and app developers have a lot in common. An author puts a lot of work into writing a novel, but when it’s finally published it’s competing with millions of other books out there. Unless you’re a big-name writer, most people will never even get to know that yours exists.

You can try to be creative with your marketing. For example, I did a Kickstarter campaign for my first novel, 11/9, and included the opening scene of The Billion Dollar Heist at the end of it to drive sales through to that. But it’s impossible to compete with the big publishing houses.

The same is true of small-time app developers. Your app may be the greatest in the world, but it steps out into a world that already has around 1.5 million iOS apps and where nobody has ever heard of yours. And with Apple now allowing successful companies to buy even more App Store visibility through search result ads, it can only get tougher for the little guy.

Which is why I think Apple could usefully learn from a new model being used for books by Amazon …

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Opinion Stories June 7

AAPL: 99.03

0.40
Stock Chart

Mac Podcasts app concept 

Yesterday in my WWDC wish list I included a request for pulling Apple’s podcast player out of iTunes and promoting it to a dedicated app on the Mac just like it is on iOS. iTunes in its current form can be a mess as a music player, but at least that tries to be its primary function; being a good podcast player is hardly the focus of iTunes. Aside from removing part of the bloat from iTunes, promoting podcast playback on the Mac to its own app would solve several existing problems.

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In an opinion piece a couple of weeks ago, I described the way I hope the rumored touch-panel will be used: dynamic content available to app developers to create one-touch shortcuts. Effectively you’d get similar benefits to a physical keyboard skin but for every app. Check out that piece first if you haven’t already read it so I don’t need to repeat the same points here.

Of course, there are potential downsides to that too. At present, I’m used to being able to adjust the volume or play/pause music, for example, just by pressing a key. My fingers know where those keys are, so it’s very easy to do. If the standard functions were overwritten by apps, it would become a fiddlier process to do things we currently take for granted.

So here are a few thoughts about how Apple might give us the best of both worlds – and the somewhat provocative view that the touch-panel might still be a good thing even if it turns out to be nothing more than a gimmick …

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9to5toys 

Opinion Stories June 3

AAPL: 97.92

0.20
Stock Chart

It’s been a rough couple of days for Apple’s services. Apple Music took a lengthy hit on Wednesday with subscribers being signed out, then a widespread outage hit multiple services including iCloud on Thursday for several hours. All this during a quarter when Apple is selling itself to investors as a services company, not just the iPhone company, but these outages are way too common.

And it’s not just services. Apple had to re-release iOS 9.3.2 for the 9.7-inch iPad Pro, a minor bug fix update that bricked the company’s latest tablet for a lot of customers. Mistakes happen but it’s Apple’s response after everything is resolved that bothers me…

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Opinion Stories June 2

AAPL: 97.72

-0.74
Stock Chart

Yesterday, well-respected venture capitalist Mary Meeker released her annual Internet Trends Report. Inside the over 200 slide PowerPoint were some interesting numbers relating to the continuing battle between iOS and Android. As we reported last night, Meeker’s report showed iOS continue to decline in marketshare, while Android continues to gain. In many ways, the current split between Android and iOS in terms of market share and unit shipments is very similar to the split between Mac and PC shipments and marketshare. And it’s been a long time coming for Apple.

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Earlier today Apple announced the start of their annual Back to School promotion for 2016. This year eligible purchases of a Mac, iPad, or iPhone will come bundled with a pair of wireless Beats headphones. This is reminiscent of last year’s Back to School promotion, save for the fact that during this year’s promotion for the wireless headphone is the default and doesn’t require an extra $100 expense. The small, but obvious connectivity choice signals a new direction in which Apple wants its customer to think.

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9to5google 

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