Perhaps it takes a critic like Spotify, another platform that arguably acts as an unfair gatekeeper, to highlight unfairness in Apple’s gatekeeping. It’s the companies that depend on Apple and are big enough to truly compete with it that are best positioned to critique it, since they have so much to lose if it abuses its power. But right now, Spotify’s position is that it would like to keep more money from subscriptions while denying more of it to artists. It’s too bad that this nascent critic of Apple’s power hasn’t spent much time examining its own.
On other platforms, Apple's services have to compete fairly. Why shouldn't the same be true on its own? Apple's apps will always have an advantage over the competition in that they're preinstalled — this is why more people use Apple Maps than Google Maps on iOS — but beyond that, shouldn't Apple Music, Books, and other services be judged solely on merit? Spotify thinks so, and I think that's right.
"We believe the most significant financial risk to Apple would come from a forced requirement to allow first party and other third party payment processing from within apps," the note read. "This would create competition for subscription and in-app payments that would likely drive the current 30% rate Apple collects down substantially."
That Spotify would bring this complaint to the European Commission makes sense, and not just because Spotify is based in Europe. Antitrust regulators there, led by Margrethe Vestager, have been far more aggressive in cracking down on anticompetitive practices in recent years. In 2017, Vestager's office slapped Google with a $2.7 billion fine after finding that the search platform unfairly directed consumers to its own shopping platform over the competition.
Following the Apple Music launch on Amazon Echo speakers in the US, Apple Music is now available on the Amazon Fire TV as well. The Apple Music skill can now integrate with Alexa on Fire TV, so you can ask your TV to play Apple Music with your voice.
The new features in Preview don’t add much value, one change is actively bad, and Apple introduced a handful of bugs.
Then all of a sudden, I’m sitting on my couch in an apartment at UC Berkeley and there are pictures coming up on the screen of my PowerBook 160. (They were in grayscale because the PowerBook’s screen didn’t support color, but still—they were pictures.) There were underlined hyperlinks you could click on to go to other pages. It was, even by the standards of a couple years later, unbelievably primitive—but also fundamentally recognizable as the web. The internet was never, ever the same.
In every field of human endeavor, from reconstructive facial surgery to the simulation of air flowing past a jet’s wing, billions of tiny, discrete elements stand in for an inherently smooth and analog reality. It all began with the computation of pi. Pi represents a mathematical limit: an aspiration toward the perfect curve, steady progress toward the unreachable star. It exists, clear as night, with no end in sight.
So, you want Apple to do all the hard work to make your business model workable on Apple's platform, and how much are you willing to pay Apple for all their hard work? $99 per year?
Which is a better name, Safari or Cyberdog?
Thanks for reading.