In the table below, I’m comparing the features of the three alert types on iOS: Timers, Alarms, and Reminders. Included in the comparison is how certain features work (or don’t work) on the iPhone, iPad, Watch, Mac, and HomePod.
While the numbers are crazy high and obviously good for Apple, I wonder where all the money people are spending on apps is coming from? And what isn’t getting the money anymore now that it’s being spent on apps?
During this year iOS users will be spending about $100 million per day for Apps.
Maybe this is part of the answer?
I’ve made comparisons before with the app business being bigger than the film industry (and much bigger than the music industry.) This was considering Android revenues and iOS combined as “app revenues”. As of this year the App Store alone will overtake Global Box Office revenues.
Scrolling through the top selling apps on the iOS App Store today, it seems like a healthy mix of lifestyle, productivity, and utility apps. The games section is a similar mix of big publishers and indie games all in the $1 – $10 range – Minecraft continues to be the top selling iOS game, which is interesting now that Microsoft owns Minecraft. 15 years ago if I’d told you that Microsoft would have the top selling game on any sort of Apple software store, you’d think I was nuts on many levels.
The top grossing charts are full of free apps that offer in-app purchase or subscription options that Apple gets a cut of: Netflix, Tinder, and Pandora are the top 3. Candy Crush Saga is #4, and YouTube rounds out the top 5. To give an idea of scale, Minecraft, the top paid app at $9.99CDN, is down at #33 on the top grossing list.
It makes me sad that a great Mac developer like Panic couldn’t make Transmit for iOS work at the scale of the App Store in 2017. There’s obviously a ton of money pouring into the App Store economy – I just hope developers don’t have to race to the bottom of the quality scale in order to make it in 2018.
Privacy continues to suck on the web. Luckily browser makers have finally started to take the user’s interests to heart. From The Guardian via MacStories: No tracking, no revenue: Apple’s privacy feature costs ad companies millions:
Internet advertising firms are losing hundreds of millions of dollars following the introduction of a new privacy feature from Apple that prevents users from being tracked around the web. Advertising technology firm Criteo, one of the largest in the industry, says that the Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP) feature for Safari, which holds 15% of the global browser market, is likely to cut its 2018 revenue by more than a fifth compared to projections made before ITP was announced.
I don’t have any sympathy for an industry that’s gotten tremendously rich off trying to track people on the web, whether they want it or not. It’s not like they learned their lesson when Apple first released ITP – they just tried to figure out a way around it:
Initially, many advertisers believed they had found a technological way around some of the restrictions put in place by ITP. Criteo, which took advantage of that loophole, had initially expected revenue to drop by only 9-13%, the company said. But in December, Apple closed that work-around on its mobile devices as part of the iOS 11.2 update, causing the ad-tech firm to update its projected impact to its current estimate of 22% “relative to our pre-ITP base case projections”.
A Modest Proposal
If you follow this link to my business site, I should be allowed to:
- Know how many people visited my site via that link.
- See what pages are popular over time on my site and using my own data on Lemon Productions extrapolate that people who come from ChrisEnns.com tend to visit these kinds of pages on Lemon Productions.
- See how long people tend to stay on a given page on my site.
What I should not be allowed to do is then track that person when they leave my site. And then show that person ads on other sites based on the pages they visited on my site.
It’d be like going into Canadian Tire, talking to a sales person about a car battery, and then as you’re leaving the sales person slips a chip in your pocket so they can track you as you head over to Best Buy and while you’re looking at a new TV there, Canadian Tire is able to show an ad for a car battery on the TV you’re in front of. Which is going to start happening soon enough anyway.
Can’t we just go back to trying to write/create great stuff that attracts readers/watchers/listeners because it’s great and not because they were coerced, manipulated, and badgered to visit?
Perhaps as a counter point to yesterday’s critique of Apple’s HomePod development – if Apple’s engineers are too busy coming up with ways to save people’s lives with the Apple Watch and have to sacrifice dev time on a talking speaker, I’m generally ok with that:
To calculate heart rate and rhythm, Apple Watch’s sensor uses green LED lights flashing hundreds of times per second and light-sensitive photodiodes to detect the amount of blood flowing through the wrist. The sensor’s unique optical design gathers signals from four distinct points on the wrist, and when combined with powerful software algorithms, Apple Watch isolates heart rhythms from other noise. The Apple Heart Study app uses this technology to identify an irregular heart rhythm.
This kind of stuff, more than checking my calendar or Twitter, is what will convince me to buy and start wearing a watch.
Mark Gurman, writing for Bloomberg, thinks Apple is 3 years behind Amazon because they’re focused on the speaker and not the assistant. Filled with lots of information “according to people familiar with the situation”, Why Apple’s HomePod Is Three Years Behind Amazon’s Echo seems written to inspire anger from Apple zealots particularly considering the HomePod hasn’t actually been released yet. Not to mention that nightmare inducing animation accompanying the article.
As someone who is way outside the knowledge of what’s going on inside Apple, a lot of the points have a ring of truthiness to me.
The Apple engineers jokingly accused one another of leaking details of their project to Amazon, then bought Echos so they could take them apart and see how they were put together. They quickly deemed the Echo’s sound quality inferior and got back to work building a better speaker.
I can totally see Apple mocking the sound quality of the Echo or Google Home and think that’s the main selling point of a device like this. It’s like they learned nothing from the iPod Hi-Fi experience. It sounded great but nobody wanted to buy an overpriced speaker – no matter how great it sounded.
But the Siri team was told that the HomePod was about music and quality sound, one of the people said. Yes, the speaker would be voice-activated but it wouldn’t be positioned as a personal assistant.
I hope they recognize by the time it ships that the assistant is as important as sound quality.
The Echo is a truly standalone product at the center of an ecosystem. The cloud-based operating system has made it easy for developers to create thousands of skills or voice-activated apps. By contrast, the HomePod is essentially an extension of the iPhone, like an accessory. When someone asks the HomePod to open a third-party app, the request won’t go directly to the cloud, as with the Echo, but to an iPhone.
The iPhone is to Apple as Windows was to Microsoft. Maybe it’s a stop-gap until these devices are powerful enough to not have an iPhone connected in some way but Apple’s method of requiring everyone to have their own iPhone (or iOS device) gets in the way of a lot of opportunities.
What’s more, Apple has limited the kinds of apps to messaging, to-do lists and notes. If Alexa is the beating heart of the Echo, Siri is almost an afterthought.
But we’ll see what the device is capable of when it actually ships in 2018.
Right now, for Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals Amazon has the Echo on for $99CDN, regularly $129. Apple’s HomePod will likely be $399 – $450CDN.
This is the part I believe the least:
Testers dropped the speaker from various heights and even threw it in a room with young kids.
There are no kids allowed at Apple. Nobody there in management has any idea how to build software for families.
This is a great comparison video because they’re not out to prove the iPhone X is better than the Panasonic GH5 – they state they use both in their own productions – but just show the footage and let you see for yourself. Video via iPhoneinCanada.ca:
It’s an interesting time for videographers where a $1,529CDN phone can compete with a $3,290CDN camera. The portability of an iPhone X alone makes it a very compelling choice vs all the gear of a traditional video camera rig.
I’ve been researching camera options for an upcoming project and the budget definitely doesn’t allow for GH5 level gear – but $1,500 certainly would be in the ball park. This comparison video makes it compelling to just pick up an unlocked iPhone X.
Plus when they compare making phone calls, checking Twitter, or sending an email – I bet the iPhone X wipes the floor with the GH5. 😉