The Important-Part-Of-Lineup Edition Friday, October 20, 2017

Apple CEO Tim Cook: Mac Mini Will Be 'Important Part' Of Future Product Lineup, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

MacRumors reader Krar decided to email Apple CEO Tim Cook to get an update on the Mac mini and he received a response. Cook said it was "not time to share any details," but he confirmed that the Mac mini will be an important part of the company's product lineup in the future.

Windy City Update

Apple's Retail Chief On Chicago Store: 'We Are The Live Version Of Apple Music', by Corilyn Shropshire, Chicago Tribune

"We totally redid the entire plaza, putting stairs on the inside and outside. We’ve never done this before. The pavilion is totally glass, all the way around. From Michigan Avenue, you can see all the way through it to the river. The reason for all the stairs is that we wanted it to be so transparent, it looks like the pavilion becomes one with the plaza. We are the live version of Apple Music, we are the live version of that app store. There are tens of thousands of app developers in Chicago, they now have a place to come and show the city what they’ve done, even help teach the city."

Five Things To Look For At Chicago's New Flagship Apple Store, by Corilyn Shropshire, Chicago Tribune

Apple is opening its new flagship store in Chicago on Friday evening. Here are 5 things to look for when you get there.

We're Still Arguing About That 30%

Facebook And Apple Can’t Agree On Terms, So Facebook’s Subscription Tool Will Only Launch On Android Phones, by Peter Kafka, Recode

The hang-up with Apple stems from the company’s rules about subscriptions sold inside apps on its iOS platform. Apple takes a cut of up to 30 percent of subscription revenue from “in app” sales.

And even though Facebook’s plan calls for users to sign up for subscriptions outside of its apps, on publishers’ individual web sites, Apple officials consider that an “in-app” purchase, since the impetus for the transaction kicked off inside Facebook’s app.

Publishers Are Caught In The Crossfire Of The Facebook-Apple Fracas, by Lucia Moses, Digiday

The current fracas over subscriptions might frustrate Facebook, but it’s the publishers that increasingly depend on subscriptions as their lifeblood as Facebook and Google soak up most of the digital ad revenue growth that will feel the actual impact of it.


What Are Mobile AI Chips Really Good For?, by James Vincent, The Verge

In both Huawei and Apple’s cases, the primary use of their shiny new hardware is just generally making their phones... better. For Huawei that means monitoring how the Mate 10 is used over its lifetime and reallocating resources to keep it from slowing down; for Apple that means powering new features like Face ID and animoji.

Having computing power dedicated to AI tasks is neat, sure, but so are other features of high-end handsets — like dual camera lenses or waterproofing. Boasting about AI chips makes for good marketing now, it won’t be long before it just becomes another component.


The Apple Watch 3 Is Awesome, by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, ZDNet

Not only has the Apple Watch integrated well into my day-to-day life (I'm loving the deep dive that it allows me to date into data such as my sleep, workouts, and such), but it's also worked flawlessly in that time. In fact, it feels much more solid and reliable than my iPhone 8 does.

Ulysses 12: Writing On iOS Has Never Been Better, by Ryan Christoffel, MacStories

Bolstered by Apple’s recent focus on evolving the iPad platform, Ulysses 12 is primarily an iOS release; while the Mac version gains some improvements, it clearly isn’t the centerpiece here. Ulysses on iOS gains drag and drop support, multi-pane editing, streamlined library navigation, and image previews – all of which make an already powerful writing tool even better.

Cortana For iOS Gains New Look, Faster Reminder Creation And Improved Performance, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Today's iOS app update introduces a revamped look that Microsoft says offers a simpler, better user experience. It's easier and faster to create reminders using the new interface, and there's a redesigned profile and settings page for managing preferences.

It's About The Journey, Not The Destination In Wheels Of Aurelia, by Christine Chan, AppAdvice

While I like to think I have an interesting life, I know that it's not the case, as much as I'd like it to be. Fortunately, there's always video games that allow me to live the life I've always dreamed of having, because there's so much variety in what I can achieve in a digital medium. When the news of Wheels of Aurelia hit my inbox, I became intrigued because I've always wanted to go on a road trip, but the opportunity has never really come up for me. Now I can kind of live that life thanks to this interactive novel.

Bottom of the Page

The Mac mini has to be an important part of Apple's product lineup. It serves many functions that cannot be performed well by either the iMac, MacBook, or iPad.

But I do expect the price of future Mac minis to be higher than what it is now. Apple is not looking at the Mac mini as the lowest-priced entry point into Apple's ecosystem for new customers. The iPad serves that function now. The Mac mini has to be looking for other purposes in life.


There is an important reason why Apple is so insistent on that 30% cut; Apple's inflexibility in this matter minimizes loopholes that app makers can exploit. (But then, WeChat.)


Apple created iTunes for the music industry. The company has also created iBooks for the book-publishing industry. Why isn't Apple creating anything for the newspaper and magazine industry? Seems to me after the Newstand failure, apps do not seem like a good solution, right? Or does Apple has wild ambitions for the Apple News app that it hasn't show us?


Thanks for reading.