Friday Morning News
Subscriptions on the App Store are great and all, except when they aren’t. As explained by John Gruber, uncertainty around what kinds of apps will be approved for subscriptions appears to be casting doubt on whether the move is an overall positive change for the App Store. Apple’s written statements on its website say that only content and services will be eligible for subscription pricing, meaning that your pro-level app with hundreds of development hours on the clock might not be.
Spotify has its own criticisms about subscriptions, too. Spotify’s global head of corporate communications and policy told The Verge that subscription pricing makes no difference to the fact that Apple continues to insert itself between developers and their customers, meaning that developers aren’t able to pass on savings or discounts to long-term customers due to lacking the visibility of who qualifies as a long-term customer.
Further criticism levelled at subscription pricing from Macworld’s Jason Snell says subscription pricing takes away consumer power. Instead of being able to choose when to pay for a new app, consumers are now locked into paying for software they may hardly ever use, or face losing out on being able to access the apps at all. If this subscription lockout happens with things like Office 365, you can bet it’ll happen with iOS and Mac apps, too.
MacStories clarifies the situation on new territory pricing and subscription price tiers. Previously, developers had to create entirely different apps if they wanted to price their apps in different countries, with the exception of a few countries that had “alternate” pricing tiers (including Australia). The new changes mean that developers can charge different prices per territory — which can either be a good or a bad thing.
Apple’s subscription pricing website added fuel to the macOS rebrand fire, with “macOS” listed alongside iOS, watchOS and tVOS. Apple has since updated the page to read Mac OS X, but there’s a great chance we’ll see a name update at this year’s WWDC.
Six Colors continues their great WWDC wish list series with their Apple Watch wish list. Apps on the Apple Watch are mostly a wash at this point, and perhaps they will remain that way even after a hardware update, but there’s plenty of other interaction methods on the Apple Watch that are worth exploring.
An Apple TV/tvOS wish list tells us about all the stuff that it would be nice to have for Apple’s home entertainment box. A darker interface would be easier on the eyes in dark environments, picture-in-picture would match a feature found on iOS, and some kind of interactive programming guide for live content would make finding content easier. Plus, you know, there’s still no real reason to buy the 64GB version of the Apple TV.
Siri now responds if you ask about WWDC, although none of Siri’s responses give away any clues about what else Apple will be announcing next week.
Google’s new Motion Stills app makes motion-stabilised shots of your Live Photos, turning them into easily-sharable GIFs and movies. It’s pretty cool, and definitely worth checking out if you have an iPhone 6s.
Apple is creating so much clean energy that it has formed an entirely new subsidiary, Apple Energy LLC, to sell electricity back to the grid.