The Strategy-101 Edition Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Apple’s Middle Age, by Ben Thompson, Stratechery

First, as a general rule, challengers pursue interoperability while incumbents strive for incompatibility. This is Strategy 101: seek to fight battles where you have the greatest advantage. When Apple was making the iPod, it’s advantage was a superior device; making that device interoperable with Windows let Apple fight the portable music player battle on its terms. Today, though, Apple already has dominant market share: better to make its devices exclusive to its ecosystem, preventing rivals from bringing their own advantage (superior voice assistants, in the case of Alexa and Google Assistant) to bear.

Secondly, the high-end smartphone market — that is, the iPhone market — is saturated. Apple still has the advantage in loyalty, which means switchers will on balance move from Android to iPhone, but that advantage is counter-weighted by clearly elongating upgrade cycles. To that end, if Apple wants growth, its existing customer base is by far the most obvious place to turn.

What I Learned From Watching My iPad’s Slow Death, by John Herrman, New York Times

I’ve lost plenty of devices before, but this death feels different. When my old iPad is powered down, it seems practically new; when I turn it on, it feels instantly old. Tap the familiar YouTube app, and I am met with a pregnant pause: one, two, three, app. Ditto for the App Store, Podcasts, Netflix and e-books. Newer games are often out of the question, which wouldn’t bother me much if Safari, the web browser, wasn’t constantly overwhelmed by complicated pages. My attempt to install an alternative browser ended with this message: Firefox requires iOS 10.3 or later. My old iPad stopped getting updates in the 9s. I wouldn’t say my old electronics always aged gracefully, but their obsolescence wasn’t a death sentence. My old digital camera doesn’t do what some new cameras do — but it’s still a camera. My iPad, by contrast, feels as though it has been abandoned from on high, cut loose from the cloud on which it depends.

It hasn’t been used up; it’s just too old. A pristine iPad from the same era, forgotten in a storeroom and never touched, would be equally useless. The moment it came online, it would demand to be updated; as soon as it was, it would find itself in the same grim predicament as my device, which has been at work for half a decade.

Apple Abruptly Pulled Telegram Last Week When It Learned App Was Serving Child Pornography, by Zac Hall, 9to5Mac

According to an email shared by a reader that includes a response from Phil Schiller who manages the App Store, Telegram was abruptly pulled when Apple learned that the app was serving child pornography to users.


Similar to Apple’s iMessage, Telegram offers a secure messaging feature that relies on end-to-end encryption for protecting the privacy of messages sent between users. This means the illegal content was likely not simply media being shared between users but more likely content being served up from a third-party plug-in used by Telegram.

Within hours of Telegram being pulled, the secure messaging app returned to the App Store with fixes in place to prevent the illegal content from being served to users.

Why I Decided To Install Messenger Kids, by Sarah Perez, TechCrunch

If you will give your kids a smartphone one day, shouldn’t you teach them how to use it, too? Shouldn’t that include messaging and social media? Shouldn’t you teach them while they’re still young enough to listen?

Facebook’s new app is one of the only messaging apps that exists to protect kids, and one of few that could scale.


Lire RSS Client Adds Deeper iOS 11 Drag And Drop Support, by Federico Viticci, MacStories

I highly recommend lire if you've been looking for an RSS client that looks modern and native to iOS 11; and if you subscribe to a lot of feeds or peruse RSS as part of your daily work, I suggest you play around with lire's new drag and drop features alongside other iOS 11 apps.

Limerick Musician Amps Up Strum Skill With New App Smash Guitar, by Fintan Walsh, Limerick Leader

The interactive app, which has three levels of difficulty - beginner, intermediate, advanced - improves users’ technique by stroking the iPad screen to specific pattern and maintaining a constant rhythm.


Apple, Google CEOs Demonstrate True Leadership With This Simple, Free Action, by Catherine Clifford, CNBC

Of course, it is well within these CEOs best interests to brag about their teams as investors are listening, but there is a greater lesson to be had: It's good business to say "thank you" to employees. It doesn't cost anything and the return is potentially very large.

According to a 2013 survey from jobs website Glassdoor, more than half of respondents say they would stay longer at a company if they felt they were more appreciated by their boss. And 81 percent of survey respondents say they are motivated to work harder when their boss shows appreciation for their work, which is more than twice the 38 percent of employees who say they are motivated to work harder when their boss is demanding and 37 percent of employees who report being motivated to work harder because they are worried about losing their job.

Apple Is Sending Some Developers Ad Spend And Install Details For Other People’s Apps, by Jon Russell, TechCrunch

An issue at Apple appears to be resulting in app developers getting emails of ad spend and install summaries for apps belonging to other developers.

Bottom of the Page

There are more than enough audio content coming into my iPhone that I can enjoy not a second of silence 24/7.

And if one isn't too picky, I can have the same amount of video content on my iPhone.

And that's why I'm picky.


Thanks for reading.