The Not-Lucrative Edition Wednesday, September 26, 2018

The Temptation Of Apple News, by Will Oremus, Slate

Launched to rather tepid fanfare three years ago, Apple’s mobile news app has recently surged in popularity and influence, if publishers’ traffic figures are any indication. Sources at several news outlets say they’ve seen their audience on Apple News multiply in 2018 alone. Some now say it has become one of their top traffic sources, alongside Facebook and Google. At Slate, which disclosed its data for this story, page views on Apple News have roughly tripled since September 2017, and the app recently surpassed Facebook as a driver of readership.


There is, of course, a catch. Whereas Facebook sent hordes of readers from its news feed to publishers’ websites, Apple tends to keep them inside its app. And so far, publishers have found that’s not a lucrative place to be. Although it’s been two years since Apple partnered with NBCUniversal to sell ads inside the app, several sources at media outlets told me that they’re seeing little to no ad revenue from Apple News.

The problem, publishers say, is that Apple doesn’t sell many ads within the app—not nearly as many as you’d find on most websites—and it doesn’t make it particularly easy for publishers to sell their own. Apple News doesn’t support some of the common ad formats or systems that dominate ad sales on the web, and not all media companies find it worthwhile to develop and sell custom ads just for Apple News. (Those that do can keep all the revenue or they can let Apple sell them, in which case Apple takes a 30 percent cut.) As Matt Karolian, the Boston Globe’s director of new initiatives, told me, “The juice ain’t worth the squeeze.”

Safari Is Suggesting Conspiracy Sites And Fake News In Its Search Results, by Charlie Warzel, BuzzFeed

Apple's Safari, one of the internet's most popular web browsers, has been surfacing debunked conspiracies, shock videos, and false information via its "Siri Suggested Websites" feature. Such results raise questions about the company's ability to monitor for low quality information, and provide another example of the problems platforms run into when relying on algorithms to police the internet.


Apple removed all examples of the questionable "Siri Suggested" sites provided to it by BuzzFeed News. The company had not provided comment at the time of publication, nor had it answered questions about why Siri offered such suggestions in the first place.

Apple iOS 12: Is It The Most Secure iOS Ever?, by Martin Gontovnikas, Auth0

We’re really impressed with Apple’s new iOS 12 security features. Not only are they making the operating system more secure, they’re making security easier to use. That combination is one that security experts are always after. Be looking for "A new iOS update is now available" as iOS 12 will be released soon.


Capturing A Miniature World With iPhone XS Max And Depth Control, by Michael Steeber, 9to5Mac

To put the cameras in my iPhone XS Max to the test, I visited Milwaukee’s Mitchell Park Horticultural Conservatory, famous for its domes replicating three unique climates. With tiny, delicate plant life and bright sunlight streaming in, I reasoned it would be the perfect place to push the limits of the iPhone’s improved depth capabilities and Smart HDR.

Yale And August Launch New HomeKit-Compatible Smart Keypads, by Mitchel Broussard, MacRumors

Yale and August announced that they are teaming up for a new line of Keypad Smart Locks that combine Yale's secure lock hardware with August's app and cloud-based connected software.

Microsoft Whiteboard Is Now Available For iOS; Web App In Preview, by Rich Woods, Neowin

What makes it particularly interesting is that different users can collaborate on the same whiteboard from anywhere. The app has since been made available on Windows 10, and now you can use it from your iPhone or iPad.

VMWare Fusion 11 And Pro Ships With Full Mojave, 18-core iMac Pro, I9 MacBook Pro Support, by Malcolm Owen, AppleInsider

VMware has released new editions of its Fusion 11 and Fusion 11 Pro virtualization software for running Windows applications on macOS, with the latest version featuring Metal-powered Direct3D 10.1 content support, updates to the user interface, and other additions.

Chrome 70 Will Allow Users To Opt-out Of Controversial Automatic Sign-in Feature, by Tim Hardwick, MacRumors

In addition to the change, Google says it will update the Chrome interface to make a user's account sync state more obvious. In addition, Google says the way Chrome handles authentication cookies is also going to be tweaked to make sure they don't hang around once the user has successfully signed in.


Apple Rolls Out TestFlight Public Invite Links To Make It Easier For Developers To Distribute iOS App Betas, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

Apple is rolling out a new TestFlight feature which enables developers to share a public URL for an app beta. Customers can simply open the link on their iPhone or iPad and automatically enroll into the beta testing group through the TestFlight app.

Workaholics On The Reality Of A 120-Hour Work Week, by Quinn Myers, Mel Magazine

In short, stop working so goddamn hard. Sitting more than eight hours a day at the office is already ruining your ass; any longer than that, and you’re seriously putting your mental and physical health at risk.

But if you’re so blinded by the job that a serious dip in your own health won’t convince you to ease up, remember that the erratic behavior all that work inspires is equally bad for your company (you know, the thing you care about more than your own well-being). Here again, we turn to Musk: After a recent bizarre appearance on Joe Rogan’s podcast — no doubt a byproduct of not sleeping, not eating and not having a life (no matter all that news about Grimes) — Telsa’s stock price dropped six percentage points.

Understanding How Process Impacts Outcome Can Help Avoid Useless Meetings, by Cate Huston, Quartz

Management is full of mechanics that could easily become process performances. One-on-one meetings. Feedback cycles. Team meetings. Retrospectives. These are not inherently useful activities (and I’m sure we’ve all been in some of these that felt extremely pointless). They are useful only in service of some kind of outcome.

The key is to consider the outcome as you design the process, and to pay close attention to the behaviors that emerge as you introduce the process. Behaviors are the link between processes and outcomes—processes encourage behaviors that create outcomes.


Why Apple Didn’t Try To Disrupt Credit Cards With Apple Pay, by Emma Hinchliffe, Fortune

“When we thought about Apple Pay, we thought, there are a lot of payments out there that our customers already love and trust,” Jennifer Bailey, Apple VP of internet services and Apple Pay, said Tuesday morning during Fortune‘s Brainstorm Reinvent conference in Chicago. “We don’t sit around and think about, ‘what industry should we disrupt?’—we think about, ‘what great customer experiences can we develop?'”

Plus, getting a bank charter would have put Apple in regulatory territory—and “we don’t want to be regulated,” Bailey said.

How Apple Thrived In A Season Of Tech Scandals, by Farhad Manjoo, New York Times

If Apple’s more deliberate business becomes the widely followed norm, we could see an industry that is more careful about tech’s dangers and excesses. It could also be one that is more exclusive, where the wealthy get the best innovations and the poor bear more of the risks.

Why Zuckerberg Asserted Control, Instagram’s Founders Chafed, by Mike Issac, New York Times

No one thing led to their decision to part ways with Facebook, which acquired Instagram for $1 billion in 2012. But little things added up over time: disagreements over tweaks to their product, staffing changes and how over the last year Mr. Zuckerberg asserted more control over their business, which had essentially operated independently inside Facebook.

Within the last few months, they had decided it was time to leave, according to a dozen current and former Instagram and Facebook employees, all of whom spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak for the company.

Bottom of the Page

I've rearranged my iPhone's home screen again. Now, I have one row of folders, three rows of apps, and three more apps in the dock.

(Every few months, I'll get annoyed with how I arrange my apps on my iPhone. I hope Apple will surprise me, pleasantly of course, with a new Springboard at the next WWDC.)


Thanks for reading.