Monday Morning News
In a statement addressing Spotify’s claims from last week about the unfairness of the App Store, Apple tells us how it is. Apple says they don’t block updates or access to products like Spotify claims they do, and Spotify wants to have all the benefits of a free app without being free. All of Apple’s points are worth reading, but as TechCrunch points out, Apple addresses Spotify’s claims without mentioning their demands. In a masterclass of sidestepping the issue, while Apple is quick to point out inaccuracies in Spotify’s argument, it’s also not admitting any wrong, either.
John Gruber of Daring Fireball says some part Spotify’s argument is predicated on the notion that a digital music streaming business is in the same vein as physical services like Uber or Deliveroo, which doesn’t add up. Gruber also says that Apple not allowing apps and services who opt-out of in-app purchases to advertise their paid-for offerings elsewhere, like in a web browser, feels wrong. Meanwhile, The Verge points out how Apple is framing Spotify as a bad actor in saying that the company is suing songwriters, even though the truth is a little more complicated than that.
Variety reports Spotify has already responded to Apple’s statement. Spotify says "every monopolist will suggest they have done nothing wrong and will argue that they have the best interests of competitors and consumers at heart", which mean it’s time to grab your popcorn, because it’s so on. Now all we need is Apple and Spotify to end up in and out of court for the next decade, and maybe then we’ll have a story worthy of Apple vs Samsung. Apple vs Qualcomm looks like a storm in a teacup by comparison.
In a post on Apple’s US newsroom, Apple tells us about the results of Stanford Medicine’s Apple Heart Study. Over 400,000 participants from all 50 US states took part in the study of Apple Watch irregular heart rhythm notifications, with 0.5% of participants receiving an irregular heart rhythm notification and having a follow-up conversation with their doctor as a result.
Apple SVP of Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller guested on the Accidental Tech Podcast this weekend. Talking to Marco Arment, John Siracusa, and Casey Liss, Schiller discussed WWDC history, the aim of the developer-focused conference, and how Apple are making WWDC more accessible to developers who can’t attend in person. Not a bad idea, given that WWDC attendance has been lottery-based for a number of years now.
Speaking of Apple events, Ars Technica summarises everything that we’re likely to hear and see at Apple’s March 25th event next week. There’s no confirmation that Apple will be live-streaming the event (yet!), but all eyes will be on Apple as they announce news and video subscription services, with new hardware being more of a question mark than anything else.
New rumours reiterate claims this year’s iPhone will feature three rear-facing cameras on some models. A larger, square-shaped camera bump will be needed to house the cameras, which will lead to the least-flush iPhone design yet. I’ll be interested to see how Apple markets three rear cameras, though.
A US federal court has found Apple guilty of infringing on three Qualcomm patents, ordering the company to pay Qualcomm US $31 million. The patents themselves are related to power consumption and boot-up times of iPhones sold between mid-2017 and late 2018, which correspond to the iPhone 8/8 Plus and iPhone X. I would expect that Apple to appeal the decision, sending both companies back to the courts.
Well-loved Apple software development company Panic are working on something new. They’ve given up the Coda name to someone else, so their brand-new, fully native web development editor for the Mac will be called something else. It looks great, from the screenshots they’ve shared, and I, for one, will look forward to buying it when it comes out.
Apple’s latest ad says privacy matters. There’s plenty of ways we can have physical privacy already, so you should be able to have some semblance of digital privacy too, right? Right.