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Apple March 2019 announcements

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I have a more simple and prosaic complaint: I would perhaps have replaced my family MacBook Airs (or is that MacBooks Air?) with newer computers some time ago, if they came with larger SSDs at a reasonable price, or allowed me to replace or insert an NVME drive.
I know from experience that the 128gig is too small for my uses, and 256gig barely enough. Apple may be proud that their SSDs are super-fast, but I'd be happy with the speed of standard NVME sticks. And right now, as it has been for ages, larger drives are still far too expensive.
MacBook Air models prior to the very latest may have their SSDs replaced. See here:

 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
Apple's marketing show yesterday felt incomplete for such a major strategic shift.
CNBC said:
Apple made its most important announcement in years on Monday, but critical details were strangely absent
If Apple Version 1 was the Macintosh computer, and Apple Version 2 was mobile hardware from the iPod and iPhone through the Apple Watch, then Apple Version 3 would include a variety of subscription services with recurring revenue.

That's the vision Cook has been selling to investors on earnings calls for two years now and became more urgent last quarter as iPhone sales slowed in China. Apple shares recovered from that news and are up about 20 percent for the year but are still down more than 10 percent from the stock's peak last August.

Monday's event was supposed to be the big coming-out party for this services vision.

But if Apple v.3 is going to change the way investors value Apple, they'll need more answers than Cook gave Monday. Apple was so sparse on key details around its video and news services that it felt like Apple had rushed the event or was waiting on a critical deal that never came through.
 


David, I'd love to "do a Hackintosh", if I knew how, so any sort of link with appropriate hardware choices would be appreciated. As my apps of choices are cross-platform, the "PC" could always run Windows, and I'd manage.
TonyMacX86.com is a great place to learn about Hackintoshes. They have buying guides if you want to build your own. I was reluctant to simultaneously build a computer and figure out how to install macOS on it. Fortunately there are also many guides on how to install on OEM systems. I chose an HP 8300 Elite SFF, as they were being retired by businesses and readily available for cheap (this was late 2017), and there were great step-by-step guides.

For $134 I got an i5 3570, 6GB RAM, 500GB hard disk drive system. Copious bays and ports have allowed me to upgrade at will. I did have to buy a video card (Nvidia GT 710 for about $40), as the integrated graphics on my chip aren't supported, and a WiFi card (again, onboard chip not supported.) Audio was a work in progress then (since fixed), so I got a cheap USB to SPDIF adapter (I was using the optical out of my iMac previously). So it's a mix of things working and not working.

However, if you would be comfortable opening a Power Mac or Mac Pro to add memory or swap a drive, nothing hardware-wise was difficult. As far as installing macOS, I followed a guide step by step, and it was a piece of cake. I honestly was surprised at how easy it was.

I've since gone from El Capitan to Sierra to High Sierra and have Mojave installed, but have not transitioned over yet. I have a 3.5" -> dual 2.5" hot swap dock installed in the front drive bay, so I can easily swap systems (I don't actually hot swap, but I don't have to open the case). System updates are fairly straightforward, although it usually takes a few days for Nvidia to update their drivers. (I'm not sure of the details, but I believe I used to have to have Nvidia drivers but native support was added - maybe in High Sierra - and remains in Mojave.) I just wait a few days for the authors of the guides I used to post their experiences.

Currently I have two 500GB SSDs and 24 GB of RAM installed. When I transition to Mojave, it's on a 1TB SSD, so I'll be back to one drive. All told, I'd guess I've spent between $500 and $1000 and a fair amount of time; but I have a system that I can easily change to suit my needs.
 


David, I'd love to "do a Hackintosh", if I knew how, so any sort of link with appropriate hardware choices would be appreciated. As my apps of choices are cross-platform, the "PC" could always run Windows, and I'd manage.
Barry:


There are step to step instructions for different builds depending what you need. My last one is an i7-8700K overclocked at 5GHz. It beat the Geekbench specs of all but the very top iMac Pros.

It was almost easy to build. Follow the guy called Pastrychef; he has set by step instructions with explanations of what you are doing. If you get the same motherboard he has in the latest build, it is a breeze - he gives you all the software for booting macOS.

I was wary at the beginning, but now I'm super happy. Superfast, I have two NVMe drives that scream, Radeon RX580 driving 3 monitors, all the Apple stuff, AirDrop, unlock with Watch, iMessages, all just works.

The only thing that worries me is when Apple will decide that macOS will be dependent on a T2 chip. But considering the massive installed user base, I think it will be many years (if ever).
 



They buried this part of the upgrade to Apple Pay Cash: As of yesterday, March 25th, credit cards are no longer supported in Apple Pay Cash, only debit cards. Guess you are supposed to go get the Goldman-Sachs Apple card or lump it. Bight move, Apple - makes Apple Pay Cash pretty much useless.
Apple Pay Cash is not Apple Pay. Using a credit card for Apple Pay Cash would mean you are borrowing money on credit to fill it. One of the primary 'features' Apple is trying with Apple Card is to get people to stop using so much debt, not to increase it. A cash account backed by real cash is only what it should have been if the primary goal is responsible spending (and it is probably a lower-cost transfer for the bank so they don't have to charge a fee on something else to make it up).

I'd be surprised if the Apple Card would let you borrow for cash. Apple is giving "cash" back on everything and no late fees - borrowing cash would be something that would probably not work well for them or Goldman Sachs after it scaled up. One significant way to reduce fees is to stop people from doing things in the first place that will get them into trouble later.

The "free" money to fill Apple Cash instead of pulling from the bank account via debit card would come from the cash back features. If Apple/Goldman Sachs can get people to use this as the primary card to make all purchases, that cash account will fill with a substantive amount. However, those likely will not be large purchases - e.g, $10's or $100's, not $1,000's. A large group of people transferring large amount of money they don't have is why credit cards have high interest rates and fee structures to cover the much higher risk profile that entails.

Apple Pay folks will still be able to spend way over their limit, but settling up that bill would be outside of Apple's payment system or their risk profile.
 


Thanks, Michelle (and Mike). If I get frustrated, I can always run Windows 10 and continue to use my Lightroom license. (So, be afraid, Apple... be very afraid.)
I have the same frustrations with a Mac/Lightroom combo being the most difficult thing to deal with potentially changing. Yet, equally disconcerting is looking into the future - still running Lightroom v6.x - perpetual, baby!

Frankly, computer technologies lost their shine and productivity about 9 years ago. Now it should be clearer and clearer for people to see that it's all about control - for the sake of locking down a steady income stream for all (commercial) parties involved and has zero to do with productivity. Frankly, I'm disenchanted at the state of it all.
 


Any Mac design that can't be easily opened for RAM upgrade or a hard drive swap should be abandoned. Any reasons why this can't be done are simply excuses used to justify designs that are not insanely great but just insane. Oh, one more thing: Jony Ive, you're fired.
Thank you for putting this so succinctly. This is the very reason I haven't bought any new Macs in some years. And then there's the obscene price.
 


... I am surprised that they don't offer 128 GB for the 27" models, since 32 GB SO-DIMMs exist (the ones Apple puts in Minis that are BTO with 64 GB), but maybe the SO-DIMMs used on the Mini aren't compatible with the CPUs used on the iMacs.
I don't think it is a compatibility problem as much as who is going to buy them. To take an 8GB Mini up to 64 GB, it is $1,000 at Apple's site. That is roughly $500/DIMM (two). To take a 8GB iMac 27" up to 64 GB, it is, surprise, surprise, $1,000. That is roughly $250/DIMM (four at 16GB/DIMM). If Apple were consistent and sold the 32GB DIMMs at the same price, it would be $2,000 to get to 128 GB. Quick check at iMac Pro... yep, $2K to 128 GB (never mind starting from a much higher baseline).

Personally, at triple-digit GB capacity, RAM not having ECC is hard to match up to having data that has value. It shouldn't be an 'exclusivity' option for Intel processors that grow their max capacity up into that range - AMD's Ryzen has ECC as an option at this mainstream desktop product level.
 


Oh, Apple employees definitely read MacInTouch, to the tune of thousands of accesses per month (e.g. from 17.58.103.206).
host 17.58.103.206
206.103.58.17.in-addr.arpa domain name pointer 17-58-103-206.applebot.apple.com.

Apple said:
About Applebot
Applebot is the web crawler for Apple. Products like Siri and Spotlight Suggestions use Applebot. It respects customary robots.txt rules and robots meta tags, and it originates in the 17.0.0.0 net block.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
host 17.58.103.206
206.103.58.17.in-addr.arpa domain name pointer 17-58-103-206.applebot.apple.com.
Apple said:
About Applebot
Applebot is the web crawler for Apple. Products like Siri and Spotlight Suggestions use Applebot. It respects customary robots.txt rules and robots meta tags, and it originates in the 17.0.0.0 net block.
That's really interesting, since robots.txt should be blocking Applebot, if what Apple says is true, yet it's still hitting macintouch.com tens of thousands of times....

I guess Apple won't mind if I start hitting apple.com with similar bots that we also could create?
 


Applebot is the web crawler for Apple. Products like Siri and Spotlight Suggestions use Applebot. It respects customary robots.txt rules and robots meta tags,
That's really interesting, since robots.txt should be blocking Applebot, if what Apple says is true, yet it's still hitting macintouch.com tens of thousands of times....
Which raises a question. If Apple is receiving billions from Google to place Google search in Apple's devices/software, and Siri reports Google results, and Apple's former connection of Spotlight "local" search to Bing has been replaced by connection to Google, why's Applebot knocking on Ric's door, or, for that matter, any door?
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
A "cockpit" error, but for what it's worth, I subscribed accidentally to News+ on my iPhone. I was trying not to, but I hit the home button, and that purchased the subscription without intending to.

I know it's possible to unsubscribe, but I've been hunting for the place to do that unsuccessfully for a while now.
 


Why does Target give me a 5% discount for using its store card, but Apple Card will only give 3%? And why, for Apple purchases, is it cash back after taxes and instead of a discount off the retail price?

Also, will the Apple Card exclude the typical MasterCard or Visa extra benefits, such as price protection, warranty extension, purchase assurance, auto rental insurance, travel accident insurance?

Will the only interface to the account be via the iPhone, i.e. no website? Would that mean no integration with financial portals and applications (like, Quicken)?

How do you use an Apple Card to buy your first Apple device?

Apple says you can use the physical Apple Card for merchants that don't accept Apple Pay. But I've seen just in the last week merchants whose iPhone attached credit card readers weren't working, so they were entering the credit card numbers by hand -- numbers which the physical Apple Card doesn't have. This means you'd need to carry your card and iPhone, just in case you need to show the credit card number (and hope the merchant accepts that as proof).
 


Apple's marketing show yesterday felt incomplete for such a major strategic shift.
I started yesterday to write a post with essentially the same observation as Ric's. The lack of specifics in Apple's announcement(s) reminds me of Google's recent unveiling of its Stadia streaming gaming service - few details, no definite date or price. Long on wow, short on how.

There was a time when tech journalists called out such announcements as vaporware. That's a role now being played by stock analysts:
CNBC said:
 



Ric Ford

MacInTouch
On Apple News+ I see that FourFourTwo is a good example of bad iPhone layout - it's just large, fixed pages you have to scroll around to see. A bunch of other magazines have similar awkward page presentations.

Bloomberg is $34.99/mo. on Apple News (with a 30-day free trial).

ESPN on News+ has some text problems with missing spaces between words.

A Rolling Stone story has a garbled texth%ml mess in the middle.

How much fundamental sense does Apple's model actually make, when it seems to be built on putting paper pages into an Apple app, instead of just using standard web formats that are designed for flexibility across mobile, laptop, desktop and TV screens.
 


I know it's possible to unsubscribe, but I've been hunting for the place to do that unsuccessfully for a while now.
You don't expect them to make it easy, do you? At least you apparently don't have to actually call to cancel, like some services I have had in the past.
 


David, I'd love to "do a Hackintosh", if I knew how, so any sort of link with appropriate hardware choices would be appreciated. As my apps of choices are cross-platform, the "PC" could always run Windows, and I'd manage.
It is much easier than it used to be; virtually formulaic if you stick with known hardware that others have had success with. The tools and information you need can be found at tonymacx86.com.
 


Why does Target give me a 5% discount for using its store card, but Apple Card will only give 3%? And why, for Apple purchases, is it cash back after taxes and instead of a discount off the retail price?

Also, will the Apple Card exclude the typical MasterCard or Visa extra benefits, such as price protection, warranty extension, purchase assurance, auto rental insurance, travel accident insurance?

Will the only interface to the account be via the iPhone, i.e. no website? Would that mean no integration with financial portals and applications (like, Quicken)?

How do you use an Apple Card to buy your first Apple device?

Apple says you can use the physical Apple Card for merchants that don't accept Apple Pay. But I've seen just in the last week merchants whose iPhone attached credit card readers weren't working, so they were entering the credit card numbers by hand -- numbers which the physical Apple Card doesn't have. This means you'd need to carry your card and iPhone, just in case you need to show the credit card number (and hope the merchant accepts that as proof).
Michael, thanks for providing me with all the reasons why whatever interest I might have had in the Apple Card have completely vanished. My AmEx and Southwest Visa are both useful and accessible.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
I know it's possible to unsubscribe, but I've been hunting for the place to do that unsuccessfully for a while now.
I finally found it, cleverly hidden:

News app > Following tab > scroll to bottom > Manage Subscriptions

Alternatively, running iTunes, you can:
  1. Choose Account > View my Account
  2. Sign in with your Apple ID credentials
  3. Scroll to the bottom of Account Information
  4. Find Subscriptions
  5. Click the Manage button
I also looked for subscription management in both iCloud and Apple Store Account on the web but to no avail.

I subsequently found this Apple Support article, which describes various procedures you can follow:
Apple said:
View, change, or cancel your subscriptions
Manage your subscriptions in Settings on your iOS device, iTunes on a Mac or PC, or on Apple TV.

On your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch
  1. Go to Settings > [your name] > iTunes & App Store.
  2. Tap your Apple ID at the top of the screen, then tap View Apple ID. You might need to sign in with your Apple ID.
  3. Scroll to Subscriptions, then tap it.
  4. Tap the subscription that you want to manage.
    If you're being charged for a subscription, but you don't see it in your list of subscriptions, it might be billed through someone other than Apple. Learn what to do if you still can’t view your subscription.
  5. Use the options to manage your subscription. You can choose a different subscription offering, or tap Cancel Subscription to cancel your subscription. If you cancel, your subscription will stop at the end of the current billing cycle.1
    If you don’t see an option to cancel a particular subscription, then it's already canceled and won't renew. If the subscription recently expired, you should see an expiration date. If you recently canceled the subscription, you should see the date through which you'll have access to the subscription. ...
1. If you cancel a subscription during a free trial period, you might lose access to content immediately.
 





Also, will the Apple Card exclude the typical MasterCard or Visa extra benefits, such as price protection, warranty extension, purchase assurance, auto rental insurance, travel accident insurance?
I have been wondering very much the same. Apple was very tight lipped on such. Since the Apple Card is not due until Summer we will have to wait for the details. However, I am doubtful Apple will be throwing in any "free" warranty extensions for their hardware purchased on their own credit card when they can charge you for the same.

For comparison, at Costco, assuming you can find a configuration you want, you would not only pay slightly less than the full retail price at Apple, but you would also get 2% back on your purchase with the Costco credit card and a free second year of warranty no matter how you paid.
 


Why does Target give me a 5% discount for using its store card, but Apple Card will only give 3%? And why, for Apple purchases, is it cash back after taxes and instead of a discount off the retail price?
The 5% vs 3% is simple enough, I think. Target has a crazy high profit margin, which is why they can run periodic 30%-off sales, or 20%-off-if-you-do-this-tomorrow sales, etc. Apple also has crazy high profit margins, but they intend to keep ’em! The only real discounts for Apple stuff are in the refurb section... Costco and academic discounts give you a little bit (the academic discount mainly applies to upgrades, e.g. adding software or expanding RAM), and the 2% on your credit card helps, but Apple doesn’t give much away any more.
 


In the mid-90s, Apple and CitiBank teamed up on a card. My recollection of the details is very fuzzy, but I remember that you could accumulate a percentage of purchases toward the purchase of Apple products. I took advantage of it with my own purchases, and my employers also let me buy stuff for work using the card, for which they reimbursed me. After a couple of years, I had accumulated enough to get a hefty chunk off the cost of my Power Mac 7600 and 20” MultipleScan monitor. I was disappointed when they phased out that card.
 



I'm on a desktop, so copy-pasta is easy:
Exactly, thanks. Also, for the first few weeks I was reading the site, I thought they only supported build-your-own systems. The OEM builds tend to be in the OS version build guides. For example, if you wanted to run High Sierra you'd look in:

The guide I used to install Mojave is:

It definitely takes a bit of effort to figure out the best system for your needs.
 


A "cockpit" error, but for what it's worth, I subscribed accidentally to News+ on my iPhone. I was trying not to, but I hit the home button, and that purchased the subscription without intending to. I know it's possible to unsubscribe, but I've been hunting for the place to do that unsuccessfully for a while now.
I started receiving notifications from AnandTech (Huawei). They said (many emails with two people) they have 300,000 subscribers and are unable to unsubscribe anyone. Nothing like AnandTech or Huawei appears in my Notification panels in System Preferences or Apple News (or anywhere on my Mac!). So I think Apple News must have subscribed me, so I've had to disable all notifications from Apple News.

Can you believe people capable of engineering a smartphone are incapable of engineering an unsubscribe option?
 



It just occurred to me that I do not believe anything was said during the segment of Apple's presentation regarding the Apple Card about the long-running program Apple has had with the BarclayCard. Will Apple continue with both? Will those with the BarclayCard automatically receive the new Goldman-Sachs-backed Apple Card? There are a great number of details left to be answered.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
Don't let Apple tell you it isn't in the advertising business and that you're not a product being profiled, packaged and sold for profit as part of its "services" business.
Apple said:
Apple Search Ads
Choose keywords and audiences for your ads.​
Set your own bids and budgets.​
Pay only when a user taps on your ad.​
View detailed reports of all key metrics.​
Measure value and manage at scale with APIs.​
Apple said:
Advertising & Privacy
... Ads that are delivered by Apple’s advertising platform may appear in the App Store on iOS, Apple News, and Stocks.

The following contextual information may be used to serve ads to you:
  • Device Information: Your keyboard language settings, device type, OS version, mobile carrier, and connection type.
  • Device Location: If the Location-Based Apple Ads system service is enabled, then your location may be used to serve you geographically relevant ads. Your device location is not stored by Apple’s advertising platform and profiles are not constructed from this information.
  • Searches in the App Store on iOS: When you search in the App Store on iOS, your query may be used to serve you a relevant Search Ad.
  • Apple News and Stocks: The type of article you read is used to select appropriate ads.
Additionally, to ensure ads are relevant, Apple’s advertising platform creates groups of people, called segments, who share similar characteristics and uses these groups for delivering targeted ads. Information about you is used to determine which segments you are assigned to, and thus, which ads you receive. To protect your privacy, your information is used to place you into segments of at least 5,000 people.

In Apple News and Stocks, the topics and publications associated with your News identifier, and the publications you allow to send you notifications are used to assign you to segments. No segments are created from search terms in the App Store.

In the App Store on iOS, Apple News, and Stocks, the following information may also be used to assign you to segments:
  • Account Information: Your name, address, age, and devices registered to your account. Information such as your first name in your Apple ID registration page, or salutation in your iTunes Account may be used to derive your gender.
  • Downloads: The music, movies, books, TV shows, and apps you download.
  • Activities in Other Apps: App developers, subject to their own privacy policies and applicable laws, may provide information regarding your in-app purchases and activities such as game level completion.
  • Advertising: Your interaction with advertising delivered by Apple’s advertising platform.
  • Other Segments: For specific advertising campaigns, advertisers may match information they have about users with Apple’s information to create segments, which must contain at least 5,000 people. Advertisers can use an Advertising Identifier, or other information they have about users, such as a phone number or email to match users to segments on Apple’s advertising platform. During the match process, these identifiers are obscured to limit personally identifiable information being disclosed. To choose which segments they match users to, Advertisers may use information they have from interactions with users. This information is acquired and used subject to the Advertisers’ own privacy policies....
Haymarket Media Group said:
Apple signals greater role for ad revenue as iPhone sales drop 15%
... Revenue from the iPhone – the company’s main revenue stream – declined 15% year on year to $51.98bn (£39.66bn) for the quarter ending 29 December 2018 (Apple's fiscal 2019 first quarter).

However, total quarterly revenue from all other Apple services grew 19% to $10.88bn. This includes subscriptions to Apple Music and Apple Pay, but also search ads on the App Store. Apple is planning on doubling its services revenue to more than $100bn by 2020 (up from $41bn for 2018).

In a call with investors, the company’s chief financial officer, Luca Maestri, pointed to a growing percentage of Apple users paying for more than one service, as well as "an advertising business in our App Store".

Mentioning advertising in a dialogue with investors is significant for Apple, which has prided itself in selling hardware rather than relying on ads like Google and Facebook.

Apple does not break down revenue for search ads, but it is reportedly worth $500m and set to grow to $2bn by next year.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
I just cancelled my Apple News+ subscription a day after signing up, as it just highlighted everything I dislike about the new Apple, from confusing user interface design to bugginess to style over substance to manipulation to mediocrity, Ugh. Done. :-(

(On the plus side, it was simpler to find the cancellation option in the macOS News app than it was in the iPhone News app.)

Are others finding Apple News+ more appealing than I did?

Ultimately, it just seems cluelessly stupid to me, distributing mostly fixed-size paper page images in an app that's supposed to work across screens from small iPhones to large TVs. There's no sense that this Apple app is in any way an appropriate medium for distributing that content to these types of devices, let alone something innovative or compelling in the tradition of great Apple products of the past.
 


Apple's marketing show yesterday felt incomplete for such a major strategic shift.
I, too, felt Apple missed the mark with these announcements, for such a major strategic shift.

To me, the credit card was the "big" headliner innovation in the "Showtime" announcements. I feel that might become quickly popular, especially in large metro areas where Apple Pay is already accepted. (My sense is that a lot of people older than 20-something really don't understand Apple Pay, or even the Wallet app. I think the new Apple Card might help break through for that older group. And it might help promote Apple Pay by merchants in areas other than big cities.

In the TV segment, I agree it felt like Apple failed to land some big deal it had hoped for. The Apple TV software innovation for me was the single-sign-on (Apple ID) giving access to multiple services/accounts. That seems like a really useful idea, if it works. Better than what Amazon has done (because we still have to log on to individual subscriptions through Amazon). But, at least initially, Apple will have to produce some pretty blockbuster content to successfully steal business from Netflix. (I wonder if Apple tried - but failed - to just buy Netflix, or to buy "into" it for its own Apple service?)

The News Plus announcement was really what Apple News should have been at the start a couple years ago. Seems strange to me that, despite Apple's successful snare of the NYTimes for its iPad apps early on, News Plus does not (apparently) include subscriptions to the NYTimes. At the moment, News Plus just looks like a desperate move by magazines to stay afloat by selling digital subscriptions through Apple's news service. Somehow, I doubt that will succeed. But the magazine world has nowhere to go but up.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
In addition to the other issues with Apple News+, there's this problem:
The Verge said:
Apple’s news subscription service doesn’t have a lot of news
,,, if Apple News is supposed to be the digital equivalent of a newsstand, there’s still a big piece missing: newspapers. Apple News Plus includes access to more than 300 magazines, from highbrow journalism like The New Yorker to mass-market celebrity fare like People. But the service was only able to enlist three major newspapers — The Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, and the Toronto Star. It’s a strange weak point in the service, and one that could seriously jeopardize Cook’s goal of building an all-in-one location for reading news.

If you look at the project’s origins, it’s no surprise the service skews so heavily toward periodicals. Apple News Plus inherits the majority of its content from the app Texture, known as the “Netflix of magazines,” which Apple acquired this time last year.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
To me, the credit card was the "big" headliner innovation in the "Showtime" announcements.
I had the same feeling, although I'm not sure yet how the interest charges and cash back and detailed terms will shake out - haven't got the details - but it looked good, and better security features seem like something we could use.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
The Verge digs into Apple's App Store game issues and how they play into the Apple Arcade project:
Chaim Gartenberg said:
Apple Arcade wants to slay the free-to-play monster iOS helped create
Apple has created a monster. Free-to-play games have taken over the iOS App Store almost entirely, creating a marketplace that is dominated by scammy timers and cheap monetization schemes, one that no amount of quality game design, curation, and promotion have been able to fix. But now (after years of profiting off this system), Apple is here with the alleged cure: Apple Arcade.

... While developers are cautiously optimistic that Apple Arcade could turn the tide toward premium gaming, there are still a lot of unanswered questions about how it’ll work, how much it’ll cost, what Apple’s cut will be, and what revenue splits will look like. There are also concerns that the service could cannibalize paid game sales in the future, or create a higher barrier of entry for less established developers at the expense of elevating established, known brands. None of this is particularly a problem for Apple — it takes a 30 percent cut of all purchases on the App Store, whether they be extra lives in Candy Crush or full game downloads of Alto’s Odyssey.
 


On Apple News+ I see that FourFourTwo is a good example of bad iPhone layout - it's just large, fixed pages you have to scroll around to see. A bunch of other magazines have similar awkward page presentations.
On daringfireball.net there is a mention of this web story that iterates through all the magazines in News+:
Federico Viticci said:
A Complete List of All the Magazines Available for Apple News+ in the U.S. (So Far)
... To create this list, I manually opened each magazine and annotated whether its latest issue was using Apple News Format or the standard, PDF-like format. Magazines that support Apple News Format are labeled with "(ANF)" in the list. The split between Apple News Format magazines and standard magazines is fairly even: 125 magazines are using the richer Apple News Format in their latest issue, while 126 of them are relying on traditional PDFs (likely the format the old Texture service was using).
How much fundamental sense does Apple's model actually make, when it seems to be built on putting paper pages into an Apple app, instead of just using standard web formats that are designed for flexibility across mobile, laptop, desktop and TV screens.
The publishers probably have at least a role here as much as Apple does. Standard e-book format is EPUB (not really generic HTML). Apple Books (iBook) uses EPUB as a baseline. Apple News format uses JSON as a baseline.

A major factor here is probably how easy it is to do a 'save as' into something JSON-like from the favorite editor that each publisher uses, versus 'save as PDF'. In the second case, that is the lowest common denominator across all editor applications. It probably will never completely disappear, since it is the most cost-effective option for a magazine that isn't making much money (export once and put it into all the distribution options). In the JSON case, just because it is flexible doesn't mean a particular layout is going to scale well across all possible viewers. (As with sending stuff to a high-end printer, some tweaks are probably necessary that have to do with the quirks/features of the specific printer.)
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
I'll just post this without comment while biting my tongue...
Sean Hollister/The Verge said:
Once again, Apple isn’t following its own advertising rules
The Apple News Plus subscription screen is the latest example of a double standard

Why won’t Apple follow its own rules? That’s the question running through my mind right now, as I write a post for The Verge about how — for the fourth time in four months — Apple is promoting its own content in ways that are forbidden to Apple’s own developers.
 


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