The Marginal-Tax-Rates Edition Thursday, November 19, 2020

App Store Small Business Program Will Reduce Commission To 15 Percent For Developers Earning Up To $1 Million Per Year, by John Gruber, Daring Fireball

These odd incentives could be eliminated if Apple applied the commission more like marginal tax rates, where you never lose money by earning more income. I would suggest tweaking these rules so that each year, developers who qualify for the program would get the 15 percent commission until they reach $1M in revenue, then get charged 30 percent for sales over that threshold. Let developers stay in the Small Business Program even as their sales grow.

Apple Is So Huge It Doesn’t Know What “Small” Is., by

However, the revenue limit that Apple has set for this program seems pretty arbitrary and pretty low. A million dollars sure seems like a lot of money at first blush and I’m sure that’s why they chose it. Indeed, it certainly is a lot to a solo indie developer or a very small team. However, it is surely not a lot of money for a small business that employs more than a few people to build software.

Coming Soon

Custom App Icons On Home Screen No Longer Route Through Shortcuts App In iOS 14.3 Beta 2, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

As Reddit users discovered after installing yesterday’s beta, launching an app through Shortcuts on the ‌Home Screen‌ in iOS 14.3 pops up a banner at the top of the display, but the full Shortcuts app no longer opens, so there’s less of a delay when using a custom icon to launch apps.


iPhone 12 Mini Review: The King Of Small Phones, by Samuel Gibbs, The Guardian

I strongly urge anyone considering the iPhone 12 mini to think about whether it really has all the screen they need for everything they do on a phone in 2020. But if it does, then the iPhone 12 mini is wholly unrivalled as the king of small phones.

Pixelmator Pro 2.0, by Agen Schmitz, TidBITS

Pixelmator Pro 2’s entirely Metal-powered editing engine can use the unified memory architecture of Apple’s M1 chip to speed up image editing greatly, and the app’s Core ML-powered features can now use the M1’s dedicated Neural Engine for speedier machine-learning processing (up to 15x faster for ML Super Resolution).

M1 Macs Can Now Run Windows Apps And Games Through CrossOver 20, by Filipe Espósito, 9to5Mac

CodeWeavers announced that CrossOver 20 now works on Apple Silicon Macs, which means that the new M1 Macs can run Windows software right on macOS.


Google Releases New Version Of TensorFlow Optimized For macOS Big Sur, by Kyle Wiggers, VentureBeat

According to Apple, the new macOS fork of TensorFlow 2.4 starts by applying higher-level optimizations such as fusing layers of the neural network, selecting the appropriate device type, and compiling and executing the graph as primitives that are accelerated by BNNS on the CPU and Metal Performance Shaders on the GPU. TensorFlow users can get up to 7 times faster training on the 13-inch MacBook Pro with M1, Apple claims.


Following Protests, Apple To Allow Peanuts Specials To Air On PBS, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Apple’s decision to air the specials on PBS comes following a petition from Peanuts fans unhappy with Apple gaining rights to the Peanuts content through its partnership with Wildbrain.

Apple Announces Second Annual Apple Music Awards, by Apple

Apple today announced the winners of the second annual Apple Music Awards, recognizing the best and boldest musicians of 2020 and their enormous impact on global culture. The Apple Music Awards honor achievements in music across five distinct categories, and winners are chosen through a process that reflects both Apple Music’s editorial perspective and what customers around the world are loving most.

Apple To Pay $113 Million To Settle State Investigation Into iPhone ‘Batterygate’, by Tony Romm, Washington Post

Apple will pay $113 million to settle an investigation by nearly three dozen states into the tech giant’s past practice of slowing customers’ old iPhones in an attempt to preserve their batteries.

[...] States led by Arizona, Arkansas and Indiana soon opened a probe of the matter, and on Wednesday, they secured a financial penalty and legal commitment from Apple to be more transparent in the future.

Bottom of the Page

The app store is getting just a bit too complicated for developers, I think. There are so many uncertainities -- will my app get approved? will my update get rejected? will I make much less money next year just because my super-duper upgrade got lucky this year?

Apple should strive to reduce uncertainities. Why not just take 15% for the first million from all apps?


Thanks for reading.