Apple used to carefully curate its App store, helping developers gain visibility and customers find what they needed.
These days, ads have become intrusive and knock-off apps are cluttering up the user experience.
In prioritizing revenue over serving its customers, Apple is becoming the very thing it used to mock.
The App store is, sadly, no longer the jewel of Apple's ecosystem. These days, it seems to be more about maximizing Apple's revenue than serving customers or helping developers flourish.
It hasn't always been this way. Ask just about any Apple executive what makes Apple special and the answer will almost always be Apple's ecosystem — the company's (formerly) unique position of creating both the hardware and the software with tight integration. One of the lessons Apple learned from the Mac in the 90s is that the best hardware and software doesn't matter all that much without apps.
That used to mean that developers — the people who make those apps — were the most important part of any platform. (Remember former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer's famously sweaty chant: "Developers! Developers! Developers!" )
Applications are what led users to a particular hardware platform and kept them there.
Thus, the App store was born to deliver iPhone's beautiful hardware and elegant operating system thousands of apps, created by programmers running their own app businesses. Apple carefully curated the apps it gave prominent display, helping the best developers gain visibility and helping users find the best choice for their needs — with Apple taking a modest 30% of all sales for their efforts maintaining the store.
Now, after 15 years of iPhones, I find the App store to be an imitation of its former self.
The first issue I have is with ads that are becoming more and more intrusive. I don't mind ads in general, but the way Apple is using them in the App store has become really annoying. For example, when I'm searching for an app, I'm bombarded with ads for other apps, and sometimes even for products that are not related to what I am looking for.
The second issue I have is with apps just taking up space. The App store hosts all manner of apps that, in my opinion, push junk. I think an egregious accurate example was when gambling apps appeared in the "you might also like" section when some people searched for gambling addiction recovery apps. Apple paused those ads last month after a developer outcry went went viral, the Verge reported.
But I remember when Apple founder Steve Jobs boasted that the lack of ads was part of Apple's ethos. "No ads. We build products that we want for ourselves, too, and we just don't want ads," Jobs said back in 2011.
While Apple does have App store guidelines that say it will reject copycat apps, developers also often complain about knock-offs of their well-known, original apps that bubble to the surface via ads, such as those that mimic popular games.
In October, a game developer tweeted about their experiences with lookalike apps, and after that tweet went viral Apple suspended the app the developer pointed out. Apple also settled a lawsuit in September from a keyboard app developer, as AppleInsider reported. The developer had gone to great lengths to try to show how copycat apps slipped through Apple's app review system.
This is an ongoing frustration for legit developers who now have to pay in order to make sure their stuff isn't buried beneath other stuff — including copycat apps — that Apple ads expose to users.
Look, as a holder of Apple stock, I appreciate that Apple, driven by the ever-hungry demands of Wall Street, is using ads to increase revenue. Apple is a for-profit enterprise, after all. But as a longtime Apple customer, what I mourn are the days where the need for revenue didn't trump the need to serve customers.
Remember back in 2010 when Apple founder Steve Jobs barred all fart apps because they offered no value to users and demeaned the ecosystem? "If it sounds like we're control freaks, well, maybe it's because we're so committed to our users and making sure they have a quality experience with our products," Jobs said.
Look at any of Apple's new devices: For the most part, they're kind of boring. An iPhone 14 looks a lot like an iPhone 13, which in turn looks a lot like iPhone 12. Whatever new features that exist are pushed only to the "Pro" classes of devices, which also carry the highest price tags and the highest profit margins.
In October, as the world braced for a recession, Apple hiked prices on some of its most popular services such as Apple TV+ and Apple Music. There's an Apple tax on everything coming from Cupertino, whether it's price increases, only the most expensive devices getting the latest features, or the App store, which looks for revenue anywhere it can find it.
The real problem for Apple is that Apple is no longer the only game in town for users. Want to see hardware innovation? Look no further than a Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 that folds from tablet to smartphone. Want to see tight integration of hardware/software/services? Look at the Pixel 7, Pixel Watch, and Pixel Buds Pro. You'll also see the latest innovations not just on a Pixel 7 Pro but on a modestly priced Pixel 7. You'll also find apps that were exclusive to Apple now available to Android users as well.
The biggest challenge that these alternate platforms face isn't facing off against Apple's technology. It's facing off against Apple's juggernaut marketing machine.
But the irony is that Apple is becoming the very thing it used to mock going back to the Apple vs. IBM days. Or as Mel Brooks so elegantly stated "We mock the things we are to be."
Michael Gartenberg is a former senior marketing executive at Apple and has covered the company for more than two decades at Gartner, Jupiter Research, and Altimeter Group. He can be reached on Twitter at @Gartenberg.
The thoughts expressed are those of the author.
Disclosure: The author owns Apple stock.
Read the original article on Business Insider
Elon Musk attempted to shame Apple into advertising on Twitter Monday, but only ended up getting mocked by the site’s users over his lack of understanding of free speech and successful persuasion techniques.
It seems Apple isn’t advertising as much on the social media platform since Musk took it over last month ― and neither are other major corporations.
In fact, 50 of the top 100 advertisers have either announced or seemingly stopped advertising on Twitter, according to Media Matters For America, which noted that “these advertisers have accounted for nearly $2 billion in spending on the platform since 2020, and over $750 million in advertising in 2022 alone.”
One reason for the post-Elon exodus may be the fact that racial slurs have soared on the platform since Musk purchased it, despite assurances from the platform that it had reduced hateful activity, the Associated Press reported.
Since many people use Apple computers, iPhones and iPads to post tweets, Musk thought Twitter was a natural place for the tech giant to advertise.
However, his approach at convincing the tech giant to restore its advertising seemed like an attempt to shame it into advertising:
“Apple has mostly stopped advertising on Twitter. Do they hate free speech in America?”
It should be noted that the First Amendment says nothing about advertising on social media, it only guarantees that one won’t get arrested or charged just for engaging in nonviolent speech.
Although Apple hasn’t responded to Musk’s tweet, many Twitter users did. And they used the occasion to both brutally mock the tech mogul and to school him on what free speech really is.
One person suggested that “free speech” wasn’t really Musk’s concern, but that the tweet was “a preemptive shot” in case Apple yanks the app from its App Store because Twitter is violating the terms of service.
Another tweet Musk posted later in the day suggested that may be the case.
Astropad today announced an update to the Astropad Studio app, which adds support for the Apple Pencil hover feature that Apple introduced with the new M2 iPad Pro models. Astropad Studio is designed to allow you to draw on your Mac using your iPad, so the hover gesture can be used with the macOS software on the iPad.
Astropad says that users have been asking for Apple Pencil hover support for years, and it is one of the last features that Wacom tablets offered that the iPad did not. With the hover option, the iPad serves as a more feature rich Wacom alternative for digital artists.
The update adds 3D gestures for panning, zooming, and rotating the 3D canvas, along with support for new default shortcuts. There are also a range of new Magic Gestures that use combinations of tap, touch, and the Apple Pencil to trigger actions. Per-app custom gestures are available, so users can set up different gesture sets for apps like Photoshop and Blender, and there is a new one-finger tap gesture.
Astropad Studio is currently offering a 30 percent discount off annual subscriptions with the promo code FESTIVE. Subscriptions are priced at $70/year. Astropad's Luna Display software has also been updated with Apple Pencil hover for the M2 iPad Pro models.
San Francisco, Nov 4 (IANS) Tech giant Apple has added a News integration for regional weather stories to the Weather app in the beta release of iOS 16.2.
With this feature, users will get to see updates on the weather in their area, i.e. users will find a link to an article in the Apple News section that will show the updates on weather conditions in their areas.
According to 9to5Mac, there are no settings to turn off News integration in the current beta, and Apple does not currently allow users to choose which data tiles are displayed in its weather app.
If the user deletes the News app, the 'Open in News' links are still there and functional. When a story is tapped, the web version of that story is found at the Apple News URL.
Weather isn't the first app to receive cross-pollination from specific syllabus in Apple News. Apple's Stocks app presents relevant business stories from Apple News based on which companies you follow, according to a report.
Meanwhile, last month Apple's iOS 16.2 beta released an update that will allow users to send a report to the company when Emergency SOS has been unintentionally triggered.
As reported by 9to5Mac, Apple's iOS 16.2 beta now asks users for feedback when cancelling Emergency SOS mode. A notification appears that opens the Feedback Assistant so Apple can receive data about what happened.
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Apple enterprise management firm Jamf Holding Corp. today announced a new integration with Amazon Web Services Inc. that helps companies elevate their security posture.
Announced at AWS re:Invent 2022, the new Jamf AWS integration is pitched as increasing organization security through improving threat prevention measures and reducing the risk of data breaches. The integration does so while simplifying security controls and allowing AWS Tested Access users to define a set of policies or criteria in Jamf that allow end users and their devices to gain access to internal services on AWS.
The integration with AWS Tested Access allows organizations to verify that devices are managed and meet an acceptable risk threshold before providing access to sensitive or critical internal services. Customers can define flexible policies that align with their organizational requirements and overall level of security risk tolerance.
In one example, a customer may want to only allow managed devices that originate from a specific internet protocol address range, have a certain device risk score present, or have a minimum operating system version. The integration allows customers to go deeper with management and security, bringing together Jamf Pro, AWS and the Jamf Trust app.
“We are excited to continue working with AWS… to help our joint customers increase organizational security while simplifying security controls,” Dean Hager, chief executive officer of Jamf, said in a statement. “With this integration, organizations can use the AWS infrastructure they have invested in, empower users with the devices they love and depend on security workflows that IT and security teams trust.”
The new AWS Jamf integration is not the first time Jamf has worked with Amazon on combined services. Jamf announced in April that it was working with AWS to create a streamlined and powerful workflow to manage and provide an added layer of security to Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud Mac instances at scale.
The combination leverages the power of Apple and AWS to take the concept of zero-touch deployment “further than before.” Seven months later, Jamf customers are provided with trusted access to virtual Mac computers in a similar manner to physical Macs. Doing so provides flexible resource allocation to organizations relying on Mac for their business’s critical components.
Jamf, which was floated in an initial public offering in 2020, was more recently in the news in September when it debuted new features for managing Apple Inc. devices in the enterprise. The set of features enables enterprises to maintain and secure their employees’ Apple Inc. devices more easily.