The Bit-of-a-Pickle Edition Wednesday, February 5, 2020

One Very Bad Apple, by Vicki Boykis

So, here we are, in 2020, with Apple in a bit of a pickle. It’s becoming so big that it’s not prioritizing security. At the same time, it needs to advertise privacy as a key differentiator as consumer tastes change. And, at the same time, it’s about to get canclled by the FBI, China, and Russia.

And while it’s thinking over all of these things, it’s royally screwing over the consumer who came in search of a respite from being tracked. And what is the consumer doing? Well, this one in particular has limited ad tracking, stopped iCloud backups of messages, and has resumed her all-encompassing paranoia.

Apple’s News Service Business Chief Departs After Slow Start, by Mark Gurman, Bloomberg

Liz Schimel, the outgoing executive, joined in mid-2018 after serving as the president of international business at magazine publisher Conde Nast, said people familiar with the move who asked not to be identified discussing personnel matters. At Apple, Schimel oversaw relationships with advertisers and news publishers.

Apple, Just Bundle News+ Already, by M.G. Siegler, 500ish Words

Yes, this is a little sad from a writer/former reporter perspective. But it’s reality. Facebook is starting to subsidize the news and other content, Apple can too via News+. And it can be goodwill for their users as well.

Stuff Update Adds Native Mobile Browser Support For Android And iOS, by Amber Neely, AppleInsider

Those accessing iCloud from their mobile browsers can now use Photos, Notes, Reminders, and Find iPhone via a browser without having to switch to "desktop site."

StaffPad, A Stunning Windows Music Writing App, Is Now Available On iPad, by Tom Warren, The Verge

Handwriting recognition for music notation is the big selling point of StaffPad. That’s now being complimented with new sound libraries that let you play your score with the realism of a full orchestra, and a separate free Reader app that anyone can use to play a score on Windows tablets and the iPad.

Zagg’s New iPad Folio Brings Quality Keyboard At Budget Price, by Ed Hardy, Cult of Mac

This clip-on accessory wraps around the front and back of the latest iPad to cushion the tablet, and the case is covered in a fabric material that protects from dings and scratches.


Can Software Leaders Use Metrics Without Damaging Culture?, by Dan Lines, LinearB

You can use metrics without damaging your culture. It turns out that it’s not the insane tightrope walk many make it out to be. Choose the right metrics, incentivize the behavior that helps your entire team, and be empathetic when you share metrics with your team.


iPhone App Makers Questioned In U.S. Antitrust Probe Of Apple - Sources, by Diane Bartz, Reuters

A source familiar with the Justice Department’s investigation said a handful of app developers had been contacted in what is the first indication of what officials are pursuing involving Apple since the investigation was revealed by Reuters in June.


The company was accused in lawsuits last year of abusing its clout in the app market. In one case, the U.S. Supreme Court gave the go-ahead last May to an antitrust lawsuit that accused Apple of forcing consumers to overpay for iPhone software applications.

Bottom of the Page

Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, and Apple Music are all available (mostly) all over the world. Apple News+? Not so much. If Apple has problems getting newspapers and maagzines -- especially those that have global appeal -- on board, maybe Apple should just expand this to include books from the major and local publishers.

Personally, I don't see any value in bundling Apple News+ into any of the other services. It is not really compatible with watching television, playing games, or listening to music. Bundling Apple News+ with, essentially, a Kindle Unlimited service, now that's a deal.

(Go buy Scribd, Apple.)


Thanks for reading.