In a wide-ranging interview with ABC News, Apple CEO Tim Cook addressed the iPhone battery controversy. Apple implemented a software update to improve device stability when batteries degrade. The consequence of that change typically results in lower processor performance to improve battery performance behind the scenes.
He hypothesized that when Apple released software updates to slow down older devices in older models to keep up with the new features, people may not have been "paying attention" when they explained what it was.
"Maybe we weren't clear," he said. "We deeply apologize for anyone who thinks we have some other kind of motivation."
Cook the focus was on the "user experience," and the code was released to prevent the probability of an unexpected restart while using the phone.
In addition to the lowering the price of the batteries for certain phones, last month Apple will release software to allow people to see how healthy their batteries are, saying "all batteries age over time."
Apple provides low-level details of changes in software updates, so technically he's correct that people didn't notice. Apple doesn't typically make efforts to highlight changes unless it's a major new feature, but Apple should have done a better job anticipating this would be an issue and did a better job informing customers. I'm surprised that Apple would be caught off guard here. There have been grumbling for years that Apple intentionally slows down device performance with software upgrades that coincide with new devices. I would think anything around this subject should raise a red flag.
Anyway, the new software features seem to address the situation. It's unrealistic to expect batteries to last indefinitely, so people shouldn't be upset at having to get a replacement if their device is giving helpful information on its status. I think though Apple needs to reduce the price of battery replacement from the normal $79. Either cut its profits on the service or figure out a more economical way to swap batteries to require less labor.
Apple announces 5-year plan for investments, hiring
Apple today announced a new set of investments to build on its commitment to support the American economy and its workforce, concentrated in three areas where Apple has had the greatest impact on job creation: direct employment by Apple, spending and investment with Apple's domestic suppliers and manufacturers, and fueling the fast-growing app economy which Apple created with iPhone and the App Store.
A major announcement by Apple. The company has taken criticism for its foreign manufacturing and tax avoidance policies. This announcement is presented to directly address these criticisms and tell its story.
In the announcement, the company states it will open a new campus for customer support, repatriate foreign holdings, make significant investments in domestic manufacturing partners, and hire 20,000 new workers, among other initiatives.
Kristen Wiig to star in upcoming Apple series
The Hollywood Reporter:
In a competitive situation with multiple outlets bidding, Apple has landed a 10-episode comedy series executive produced by and starring the Saturday Night Live grad. The project, inspired by Curtis Sittenfeld's upcoming short-story collection You Think It, I'll Say It and produced by Reese Witherspoon's Hello Sunshine banner, is the tech giant's first scripted comedy pickup.
Witherspoon has two other series in the works with Apple. One she is starring in with Jennifer Aniston and another as a producer. Apple has been racking up scripted and unscripted programming likely for an unannounced new direction if not a new service. To date, Apple's original programming has been bundled with Apple Music. Apple could continue to add value to its music service making it more of a media service like Amazon Prime, or it could be planning a new video service like Netflix.
The Office actors do FileMaker Pro promo
If you're not using FileMaker Pro, you might have forgotten it's still around. FilerMaker, Inc, is a subsidiary of Apple but gets pretty much no attention in the company's marketing and advertising. New 30 second and 3-minute promos appeared on FileMaker's YouTube channel featuring some cast members from the sitcomThe Office. The video somewhat humorously portrays a fictional beat farm using FileMaker Pro.
YouTube changes creator program requirements
YouTube announced it is changing the minimum requirements for earning review on videos. The new threshold is to address issues over the past year.
we're making changes to address the issues that affected our community in 2017 so we can prevent bad actors from harming the inspiring and original creators around the world who make their living on YouTube. A big part of that effort will be strengthening our requirements for monetization so spammers, impersonators, and other bad actors can't hurt our ecosystem or take advantage of you, while continuing to reward those who make our platform great.
The new threshold requires creators to have at least 1,000 subscribers and clocked over 4,000 hours of watch time over the past 12 months. YouTube didn't indicate how many channels will be affected, but they did state said that 90% of those affected made less than $2.50 in the past month.
With the volume of content uploaded every minute, YouTube struggles to monitor content. Applying arbitrary cutoffs should help, but likely people will game the system like previous efforts and these thresholds will have to be revisited again.
Apple and CES
We would go to CES and remark at how Apple's dominance loomed over the show. Vendors of all shapes and sizes were rushing to be a part of the Apple ecosystem. Apple's ecosystem was front and center with everything from iOS apps, to accessories galore for iPhone and iPad, and even companies looking to copy Apple in many ways. The last year or so, things have dramatically changed, and that change is further evident at this year's CES.
I've gone to several MacWorld Expos over a span of a decade-plus when it was active. Once Apple pulled out of the show, it seemed the show shifted to CES, in particular with the iOS boom. CES's iProducts zone (formerly iLounge) surpassed any MacWorld Expo I attended. At least in terms of the number and diversity of exhibitors.
That all started shifted three or four years ago I think. At one point, the iProducts area was out of space and I was told booth space was competitive. Year after year it got bigger, then, suddenly it shrunk. Part of that could be the ebb and flow of a gold rush around a booming Apple ecosystem. Now that the growth is leveling out, there aren't as many exhibitors paying big bucks to showcase their stuff. At the same time, the automotive area, which used to sit next to the iProducts area, started growing. As cars became smarter, CES became more important to car makers. I was told pressure was placed on the zone and now it's moved to another hall. Also, some exhibitors that had booths in the zone in the past became got grouped together in new areas around wearables, fitness, drones, etc.
Bajarin suggests a lot of oxygen has been taken up by Amazon Alexa. That may be true, but I think there are a lot of factors at play. One of the biggest could simply be that the ecosystem has grown up. Another is CES continues to get bigger as it expands to other facilities and is ever changing.
Matias announced new wired Mac keyboards
Matias has long produced specialized and premium keyboard for Mac users. Usually, the devices are unique in some way or utilize mechanical keys vs mushier electronic keys. It appears, however, the newest keyboards announced this week aim to replace the standard wired Apple keyboard with a twist. Apple has gone wireless for its keyboards, so Mac users must look elsewhere for a secure input device with USB plugs and will never run low on batteries.
The RGB Backlit Wired Aluminum keyboard looks very similar to the old Apple designs, but comes in both silver and space gray aluminum, plus adds colorful backlighting. The keyboards also have the standard Apple keyboard key layout.
The keyboards are available now and retail for $99.
Report: Safari privacy controls expected to reduce ad revenues
iOS 11 and macOS High Sierra introduced a new feature called Intelligent Tracking Prevention that aims to reduce the digital footprint of users with online advertisers. The most lucrative advertising tracks people as they search and visit pages and present ads based on their online activity.
It was expected this was likely to hurt advertising performance. Based on the report it seems the number is round 20% reduction in overall revenues.
Advertising technology firm Criteo, one of the largest in the industry, says that the Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP) feature for Safari, which holds 15% of the global browser market, is likely to cut its 2018 revenue by more than a fifth compared to projections made before ITP was announced.
With annual revenue in 2016 topping $730m, the overall cost of the privacy feature on just one company is likely to be in the hundreds of millions of dollars.
Report: Jimmy Iovine says he has no plans on leaving Apple
Variety reports Iovine told the publication and a group of music executives he has no plans to step away from Apple. The comments follow rumors that Apple Music's dealmaker was stepping away in August. The speculation apparently was based on Iovine's maturing stock options and contract terms.
"My contract is up in August, but the funny thing is, I don't have a contract. I have a deal, and certain things happen along that deal. The bottom line is I'm loyal to the guys at Apple. I love Apple, and I really love musicians. That's why those articles annoyed me, because it had nothing to do with reality. It made it out to be all about money."
Apple working on additional parent controls
Apple received shareholder groups Jana Partners LLC and the California State Teachers' Retirement System with concern over potential consequences over screen time. As apps and services become increasing designed to appeal to addictive-type responses, the group feels greater controls should be available for younger users. Apple responded by outlining existing restrictive controls and a commitment for new features in future updates/products
Apple statement via iMore:
We began delivering these controls for iPhone in 2008 with the introduction of the App Store, building on what we'd learned from offering similar features for the Mac a few years before iPhone was introduced. We also have a long history of curating our content platforms to make sure they are free of offensive material, such as pornography, and clearly labelled so parents can determine if an app, movie or song is age-appropriate. Of course, we are constantly looking for ways to make our experiences better. We have new features and enhancements planned for the future, to add functionality and make these tools even more robust.
We think deeply about how our products are used and the impact they have on users and the people around them. We take this responsibility very seriously and we are committed to meeting and exceeding our customers' expectations, especially when it comes to protecting kids.