The Shoehorned-Without-Consideration Edition Tuesday, November 5, 2019

The Worst Part Of Apple TV+ Is The TV App, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

Apple has made very few changes to the TV app design and feature set to accommodate the TV+ launch. TV+ is shoehorned in as just another source of content with very little consideration. With other streaming services, if you want to commit to their world and explore everything they have to offer, you can just open the dedicated app and never touch the TV app. With TV+, that’s simply not possible.

Can Apple Become The Google Of Television?, by Josef Adalian, Vulture

But Apple’s definition of success won’t be measured simply by how many eyeballs it attracts for its new shows over the next year or two, or even how many people sign up for the service. It doesn’t just want to make enough good programming to get people to pay a $4.99 monthly subscription fee. Instead, a key part of its overall strategy is to use its flashy originals as a billboard for Apple’s bulked-up TV app. Much the way Google moved early in the internet age to establish itself as the dominant power for web search, Apple wants to become the home page for video — the place people go to discover, buy, and watch everything streaming, anywhere, whether it’s a show, a movie, or a network. And while it hasn’t said so yet, many experts think the company’s bigger plan is to combine several or even all of its media-centric offerings — music, gaming, news, photo storage, TV — into one big monthly subscription bundle, assuring Apple gets your money even in years you don’t buy a new iPhone or laptop.

Apple Doesn’t Need To Win The Streaming War, by Dallas Lawrence, VentureBeat

Apple’s strategy is markedly different from nearly every other player as it focuses on doing what it does better than anyone else in modern history: building a consumer friendly, sticky ecosystem that leverages a massive installed base and unmatched consumer loyalty.

Security Matters

Lasers Can Seemingly Hack Alexa, Google Home And Siri, by Sean Keane, CNET

Smart speakers have long been linked to privacy issues and hacking concerns, but researchers discovered an unexpected vulnerability -- lasers. A team based in Tokyo and the University of Michigan said they could take over Amazon's Alexa, Google Assistant and Apple's Sir by hitting the devices' microphones with beams of light.


The lasers basically trick the microphones into making electrical signals as if they're hearing someone's voice, they noted. A hacker could seemingly use this method to buy stuff online, control smart home switches and remotely unlock and start a car that's linked to the speaker.

Coming Soon

Adobe Previews Illustrator On iPad, Shipping In 2020, by Michael Steeber, 9to5Mac

Like Photoshop on iPad, Adobe says it is reimagining Illustrator from the ground up for a touch-first experience. That includes considering the unique capabilities of the Apple Pencil, which will be a key tool for illustrators in need of precision. [...]

Illustrator on iPad as it exists today closely resembles Adobe Fresco and Photoshop on iPad with a toolset tailored to the unique needs of vector illustration work. Adobe is working on a few core concepts for the initial release, and will build from that foundation.

Microsoft’s New Office App For iOS And Android Combines Word, Excel, And PowerPoint, by Tom Warren, The Verge

Microsoft is unveiling a new Office app for iOS and Android today. While the software giant has had separate versions of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint available on both iOS and Android for years, this new Office app is designed to combine them into a single download. You’ll be able to access recent documents in the app or even create new ones using the ability to scan text or tables from your phone.

Outlook For Mac Gets A New Design And Big Performance Improvements, by Tom Warren, The Verge

Microsoft is bringing some much-needed improvements to its Outlook for Mac app. Starting this week, Outlook for Mac beta testers (in the Fast Ring) will be able to access a new design that comes with some significant performance improvements.


Hands-on With Aero, Adobe’s New AR Creation App, by Michael Steeber, 9to5Mac

What is Aero? It’s hard to describe. Aero is a way to view your Photoshop documents in augmented reality. It’s a platform for creating interactive scenes with 3D objects. It’s a tool for publishing USDZ files. Aero is whatever you want it to be. Augmented reality is still a new frontier, and nobody is sure what the best use for it is yet, not even Adobe. But by releasing Aero, they’re hoping to guide the conversation.

Apps We Love: Sleep Cycle, by Mike Schmitz, The Sweet Setup

In addition to giving you a picture of your sleep patterns and making sure you get enough sleep cycles (the average person needs 5), Sleep Cycle can also help you wake up feeling well-rested.


Apple, Amazon, And Google Are Distributing Apps And Goods From Chinese Companies Abetting Human Rights Violations, by Rosalind Adams and Ryan Mac, BuzzFeed

BuzzFeed News’ findings underscore, however, the extent to which the technology industry’s leading companies continue to work with entities that supply surveillance software and cameras to watch over one of the world’s most persecuted ethnic minorities. BuzzFeed News counted hundreds of products from Dahua and Hikvision, which manufacture security system equipment, and iFlytek, a voice recognition and translation company, on Amazon, eBay, and Overstock. Apple and Google also collectively distributed more than 100 apps from the three Chinese companies on the Apple App Store and Google Play, the main marketplace for Android software.

“We know that these companies are amongst the suppliers of the surveillance regime in Xinjiang and the whole spectrum of incarceration,” said James Millward, a professor at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, of Hikvision, Dahua, and iFlytek. “It points out how difficult it is to try to pressure China on these issues.”

Apple: Putting Its Efforts Where The Money Is, by Dan Moren, Macworld

In looking at Apple’s most recent financial quarterly results, you can learn a lot about the company’s strategy by seeing where the company is doing well. As chief financial officer Luca Maestri pointed out on the call, Apple’s primary investments have traditionally been in research and development, and it’s a good bet that it will focus many of those funds on areas that are growing.

Bottom of the Page

Today, I have to explain to someone that with the subscription to Apple TV+, you do not get to watch everything in the Apple TV app for free.

(Here in Singapore, the Apple TV app 'only' consist of iTunes movies and one miserable Smithsonian Channel in the Apple TV Channels section, besides Apple TV+.)

(No, I do not remember, before the launch of Appel TV+, if Apple was labeling this as Apple TV Channels or Apple TV Channel.)


Thanks for reading.