Summary of “General Magic: Oral History of the Influential Tech Company”

In other words, General Magic pulled the technological equivalent of a working iPhone out of its proverbial hat-a decade before Apple started working on the real thing.
The Macintosh wasn’t a computer-it was a program to make things move in front of Steve’s eyes, the way a real computer would move them, but it didn’t have the underpinnings of a general operating system that allocates resources and keeps track of them and things like that.
I think a big part of spinning General Magic out of Apple was this idea that it was too big even for Apple, right? Apple couldn’t deal with this thing.
AT&T became the fourth investor in General Magic on par with Sony, Motorola, and Apple.
Marc Porat: Andy and Bill demoed a Magic machine, which was in a format like an iPhone, and they said, “So this is what we are going to ship next. It is a phone, and you can see all the Magic Link icons on it, and let me show you how it works.” They go through contact the manager, the telephone, sending e-mails the works.
Amy Lindburg: General Magic was the kind of company where a guy who is going to be a billionaire in a couple years didn’t even rate a window cube.
Michael Stern: So Pierre came to me when I was the general counsel in 1994 and said, “I’ve created this little electronic community. I’m getting people to talk to each other about trading tchotchkes. We’re creating traffic on the network and getting people into a community. That’s kind of in our sweet spot, isn’t it?” That was General Magic’s thing: the whole notion of electronic community.
He was at Silicon Graphics when SGI was the most respected company in Silicon Valley, at General Magic when Magic was the company of the moment, and at Netscape during its IPO. He ran Google’s search division – the entire thing.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Why Apple Music is finally starting to win Spotify’s game.”

Last Thursday, Digital Music News reported that Apple Music overtook Spotify in paying subscribers in the United States.
Apple Music is becoming the platform of choice for more serious music fans.
The company’s previous success with iTunes showed that it could guide the music industry into a new digital waters, but in the digital-downloads era Apple didn’t face a competitor like Spotify.
Music Business Worldwide observed that when North Carolina rapper J. Cole released his latest album KOD in May, the album in the first day hit 64.5 million streams in the United States on Apple Music compared to only 36.7 million streams on Spotify-a nearly 30 million gap between the two platforms, despite Spotify’s overall user-base advantage.
The world of pop music is skewing heavily toward rap, which at the moment is the area where Apple Music is seeing the most success.
The power of its playlists can influence taste, but as Apple and Spotify get closer in listenership, it raises the question of which audience is more desirable: engaged or disengaged? Each new streaming milestone Drake breaks first on Apple Music makes a strong argument for pushing toward engaged listeners.
Apple Music got first dibs on Drake’s record-breaking 2016 album Views, while the rapper is now the avatar for the paid music streaming era.
Spotify built an impressive music platform, but by courting music’s more passive listeners; Apple Music is happily reaching-and billing-music’s most dedicated fans.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Can an apple cider vinegar a day keep the doctor away?”

It’s a new twist on “An apple a day” which has caught the imagination of health-conscious millennials, celebrity food bloggers and A-listers such as Jennifer Aniston, Katy Perry and Victoria Beckham.
Apple cider vinegar is enjoying a huge revival in the UK as a kitchen cupboard staple, hailed by the “Clean-eating” generation as the latest wonder ingredient which can be knocked back daily as a general tonic.
Already a cult product in the US, its new-found popularity on this side of the Atlantic is giving an unexpected boost to the UK apple industry, where reliance on imported fruit has led to hundreds of traditional varieties gradually disappearing.
Practising what he preaches is entrepreneur William Chase, who describes his own apple cider vinegar as “a modern take on a legendary product”.
The founder of Tyrrells crisps and Chase Vodka has now moved into a sphere that he calls “Fit foods”, launching his own Willy’s apple cider vinegar – manufactured on his Herefordshire farm – last year.
“We are using tiny crab apples which would otherwise have been wasted, and among 48 apple varieties from our 300-year-old orchards. We have 50 acres but we need to make more cider to meet demand, so we are looking for other farms with older orchards to help provide us with the apples we need.” Chase, who was criticised by trading standards for the health claims he made on his launch labelling, says he has lost two stone and reduced his own cholesterol as a result of regular consumption.
The grocery chain Waitrose reports that sales of the products are up more than 60% year-on-year, with Willy’s ACV and Aspall’s Apple Cyder Vinegar leading the charge.
Mel Leyshon, editor of the Healthy Food Guide, admitted there were many unsubstantiated claims for apple cider vinegar, “One of them being that it can help you lose weight, but there are no studies to prove this. But drinking a glass of diluted apple cider vinegar before a meal may help fill you up so you eat less. A better idea is to get into the habit of eating more salads with a light dressing made using apple cider vinegar – that way you can get your five a day, too”.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Apple’s AirPods and Live Listen are a revolution for the hearing impaired”

In the near term, they could revolutionize how people with hearing loss interact with the world.
Last month, it was reported that Apple would add Live Listen, a feature that allows people to hear conversations in noisy settings, to AirPods later this year.
It uses the iPhone as a mic and connects to Apple-certified hearing aids to amplify hearing.
When the next version of Apple’s key mobile software, iOS 12, is released, AirPod users will have access to the feature, though it’s recommended that those who require hearing aids still use them and not simply rely on AirPods for clarity and amplification.
Embraced prototype assumption that hearing details is affirming and empowering.
Son: my mom hears all deets of Nats plays!!!! She’s here for this!! https://t.
An estimated 15% of the American adult population has hearing loss but less than one-third of those who could benefit from hearing aids, actually use them, in part because of cost.
Smartphones, more specifically listening to audio at too high levels, are estimated to put over 1 billion young people at risk for hearing loss, according to the World Health Organization.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Isn’t it time we declared our independence from bloatware?”

Google’s Photos app is so thirsty for any images I generate with my phone that it will ask me if I want to automatically back up new folders I create.
Candy Crush Saga on Windows, the News Republic app on HTC phones, and the Oath bundle that Samsung preloads on Verizon Galaxy S9s all serve corporate interests before those of the user.
Oath CEO Tim Armstrong, speaking to Reuters, leaves no doubt about it: “This gets ads one step closer to being direct to consumer. You can’t be more direct than being on the mobile phone home screen and app environment.”
I’ve reviewed flagship LG phones with as many as 54 carrier-imposed bloatware apps, accompanied by carrier branding on the box, a carrier splash screen integrated into the boot-up sequence, and even a carrier-specific home screen theme.
That’s the thing: if everyone in Korea is used to seeing a thicket of carrier apps and nonsense preloaded on their phone, if no one is showing consumers a better option, they just accept it as an unhappy status quo and get on with life.
Google’s Pixel phones are hard to find in stores, but they also present a version of Android that is far worthier of a user’s trust than the typical, overly inquisitive Android OEM variation.
Revelations about Facebook’s negligence with user data, Android OEMs outright lying to their users about software updates, and the recent bizarre example of Samsung phones spontaneously texting photos to random contacts have raised the requirement for trustworthiness as well as high specs from a device maker.
Roid OEMs have tiny profit margins and pressure from carriers – what’s Microsoft’s excuse? I have some sympathy for Android phone makers, who are faced with microscopic profit margins and a shortage of their own software expertise.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Apple is rebuilding Maps from the ground up – TechCrunch”

After a rough first impression, an apology from the CEO, several years of patching holes with data partnerships and some glimmers of light with long-awaited transit directions and improvements in business, parking and place data, Apple Maps is still not where it needs to be to be considered a world class service.
“Since we introduced this six years ago – we won’t rehash all the issues we’ve had when we introduced it – we’ve done a huge investment in getting the map up to par,” says Apple SVP Eddy Cue, who now owns Maps in an interview last week.
In addition to Cue, I spoke to Apple VP Patrice Gautier and over a dozen Apple Maps team members at its mapping headquarters in California this week about its efforts to re-build Maps, and to do it in a way that aligned with Apple’s very public stance on user privacy.
If, like me, you’re wondering whether Apple thought of building its own maps from scratch before it launched Maps, the answer is yes.
Apple would begin layering on living location data, high resolution satellite imagery and brand new intensely high resolution image data gathered from its ground cars until it had what it felt was a ‘best in class’ mapping product.
The new Apple Maps will be the first time the data collected by these vans is actually used to construct and inform its maps.
This is obviously by design as it wants to impress upon me as a journalist that it’s taking this very seriously indeed, but it doesn’t change the fact that it’s evidently built in from the ground up and I could not find a false note in any of the technical claims or the conversations I had. Indeed, from the data security folks to the people whose job it is to actually make the maps work well, the constant refrain is that Apple does not feel that it is being held back in any way by not hoovering every piece of customer-rich data it can, storing and parsing it.
One of the special sauce bits that Apple is adding to the mix of mapping tools is a full on point cloud that maps the world around the mapping van in 3D. This allows them all kinds of opportunities to better understand what items are street signs or stop signs or speed limit signs.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Apple is ordering so many shows, with nowhere to show them”

Apple has already begun releasing its own projects: it released Planet of the Apps and Carpool Karaoke last year on Apple Music, but its big slate of original content is expected to begin rolling out as early as March 2019.
To prepare for that, the company has greenlit or begun developing an impressive slate of projects: so far, Apple has signed a multiyear deal with Oprah Winfrey to develop new shows, ordered a pair of children’s shows from the creators of Sesame Street, a reboot of the science fiction anthology show Amazing Stories, a Hunger Games-style dystopian show called See, a series from La La Land director Damien Chazelle, a thriller series from M. Night Shyamalan, a space drama from Battlestar Galactica creator Ron Moore, a drama about a morning show starring Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston, and an adaptation of Isaac Asimov’s classic science fiction novel Foundation.
While we have dedicated platforms from heavy hitters like Amazon Prime, Hulu, and Netflix, as well as exclusive systems such as Stargate Command and CBS All Access, Apple has yet to announce exactly where any of these announced shows will debut.
While Planet of the Apps and Carpool Karaoke both debuted on Apple Music, that platform isn’t really suited for video, and Bloomberg Businessweek reports that these new shows won’t be debuting on that service anyway.
Apple’s done well for itself when it comes to its own forays into streaming subscriptions; Apple Music recently surpassed 40 million paying subscribers, putting it on the path to eclipse Spotify in the US later this year.
The obvious goal here is to entice customers to Apple’s closed ecosystem of hardware with its own content, selling subscriptions to its shows to encourage people to watch on their iPhones, iPads, and/or Apple TV, much like Apple Music and the App Store encouraged people to invest in those products.
With such a long list of shows on the way, Apple is going to have to debut a platform that’ll allow it to stand up to the likes of Netflix.
Apple has an advantage here: it’s a well-established name with a solid track record, but even with that track record, it’ll come down to the quality of the shows that it produces.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Apple Tries to Stop Developers From Sharing Data on Users’ Friends”

Apple Inc. changed its App Store rules last week to limit how developers use information about iPhone owners’ friends and other contacts, quietly closing a loophole that let app makers store and share data without many people’s consent.
The phone maker didn’t publicly mention updated App Store Review Guidelines that now bar developers from making databases of address book information they gather from iPhone users.
When users install apps and then consent, developers get dozens of potential data points on people’s friends.
In the years following the launch of the App Store in 2008, contact-list abuse surfaced from time to time, and in 2012, Apple added a way for users to explicitly approve their contacts, photos, location information, and other data being uploaded by developers.
Balancing user privacy with the needs of developers has helped the company build a profitable app ecosystem.
Apple said last week that developers have generated $100 billion since the App Store launched.
“They have a huge ecosystem making money through the developer channels and these apps, and until the developers get better on privacy, Apple is complicit,” said Domingo Guerra, president of Appthority, which advises governments and companies on mobile phone security.
Last week, Apple banned apps from contacting people using information collected via a user’s contacts or photos “Except at the explicit initiative of that user on an individualized basis.” Developers must also provide users with a clear description of how the message will appear to the recipient before sending it.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Kayla Itsines’ Sweat app will rake in $77 million this year – TechCrunch”

At Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference this week in San Jose, the company brought in one of the fitness app industry’s superstars, Kayla Itsines, co-creator of the BBG and the Sweat app – which will pull in $77 million USD this year – to lead a morning workout for around 200 conference attendees.
Kayla and Tobi wanted to reach even more people, so they turned to the App Store.
The team launched the Sweat app in November 2015, but it got a big refresh – almost a full relaunch – early last year, with three to four times the amount of content.
Today, the Sweat app is a one-stop shop for fitness programs for women, featuring not only Kayla’s own content, but other trainers’ programs as well, across areas like yoga, pregnancy and gym workouts, for example.
Not all of Sweat’s users are turning to the app instead of the gym – can also can be a companion for those who want the assistance of a personal trainer in a gym environment, but don’t want to pay the hundreds of dollars they tend to charge.
These days “Well over a million” people use the app on a monthly basis, out of 30 million total app downloads, Tobi tells TechCrunch.
In U.S. dollars, that’s around $76.75 million – not bad for a fitness app that never took in outside capital.
The current app leverages Apple Watch’s visual interface to give video cues, and it added audio cues to the iOS app so the trainers can talk to you as you work out – much like an in-person trainer would.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How do Apple’s Screen Time and Google Digital Wellbeing stack up?”

Apple and Google are both adding new dashboards, with options for more zoomed-out perspectives on how you’re spending your time, along with more granular views of how often you’re using individual apps – down to the minute.
Google does offer a separate app called Family Link that can do many of the same time-monitoring and app-blocking tricks, but it’s a separate app that parents have to go out of their way to install and enable, not something that’s built into the OS. Google and Apple are both updating their Do Not Disturb and notification features to put more options back in the hands of users, too.
While Apple is expanding the scope of Do Not Disturb to include location-based or event-based triggers, Google is making its version more powerful.
Information or action Overall, one could probably say that Google is taking a bit more of a brute force approach with its Digital Wellbeing program, whereas Apple’s approach is a bit more tilted toward simply supplying information to the user so they can make better decisions themselves.
Both are beta pieces of software, so there’s a very real chance that Apple and Google may make huge changes to how these features work by the time they’re released in the fall.
At the end of the day, Apple and Google are taking some real, introspective strides here when it comes to giving users information about how they use their phones.
Yes, there are certainly cynics who may feel that Apple and Google’s efforts are disingenuous – after all, these companies have always wanted to ensure that users, hardware sales, and, most importantly, profits go up ahead of anything else.
At least Google and Apple are starting to think about the problem.

The orginal article.