The discussion touches on Schiller’s management of App Store and Apple’s developer ecosystem, Swift adoption and his thoughts on voice-only assistants like the Google Home or Amazon Echo. Whilst Schiller would not gave any praise to its competitor’s products, he did say that these kind of devices are convenient in some situations …
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The NDTV interview appears to have taken place in early April and only published today. This means that Schiller’s comments about the voice assistant products come before the rumors broke that a Siri Speaker product is imminent, with a potential WWDC debut. It’s important to be aware of the context.
In a previous interview, Schiller largely panned the idea of voice-only interfaces pointing to the need for a screen to display content and provide the best user experiences. In the new NDTV chat, Schiller repeats these same points but points to places where voice-only experiences are convenient, such as when driving.
Obviously, he doesn’t confirm the existence of an upcoming Apple competitor in the home AI space or anything, but he doesn’t miss an opportunity to backhandedly criticize the Amazon Echo and Google Home:
Well, I won’t talk to either one specifically, [I] don’t want to. My mother used to have a saying that if you don’t have something nice to say, say nothing at all.
The interview notes the recent changes to the App Store models for developers and asks about the possibility of introducing upgrade pricing; Schiller took over management of all of Apple’s App Stores in late 2015.
Schiller says that the reason they haven’t implemented upgrade pricing so far is that is actually more complicated than people realise and isn’t sure if it would make sense to end customers. Schiller says that upgrade pricing is a strategy from the days of shrink-wrapped software and not ‘part of the future we are going’.
He says that he thinks most developers are better served by a subscription model. However, Schiller said that they continue to talk with developers and have an open mind about it (i.e.: if enough people want upgrade pricing, they will consider adding it in future). For the time being, they prefer to prioritize development of other App Store features.
NDTV also ask Schiller about the response to Swift, Apple’s new programming language. Schiller says the release has been better than what they imagined with ‘incredible adoption’. He directs developers to follow along with the WWDC conference for more details on Swift’s evolution and future direction — testing that there is a ‘lot to come’.
He also points to Swift Playgrounds as a huge success, enabling children to learn and schools to teach programming with a free/cheap curriculum that is easily accessible.
Schiller says that getting kids excited about making software before they grow older and become subject to social pressures will also improve diversity.
He thinks that the world will see a larger diversity of people entering programming fields (across gender, ethnicity and economic backgrounds) if passion for coding can be imbued whilst they are young.
You can read the full interview on the NDTV Gadgets360 site. Much of what Schiller discussed is expected to play a significant role at WWDC; stay tuned for all those announcements when the conference kicks off on June 5.
This is the same event where Apple will unveil the next major versions of its operating system; iOS 11, macOS 10.13, tvOS 10 and watchOS 4.