ldstephens

Opinion

In the last few weeks I've written rants here and here about Apples advertising plans. In reporting by MacRumors “Developers, customers, and critics of Apple have all voiced disapproval of the company's plans to expand its ads footprint in the App Store. Reports also suggest Apple plans to introduce ads in Apple Maps and Apple TV+.”

“A new report has revealed internal disagreement within Apple, causing some employees who work on the company's ads business to raise concerns that showing more ads to iPhone users ruins the premium experience that's been long offered to its customers.”

Koni17: “These revenue driven decisions are slowly destroying the differentiators that made iOS competitive in comparison to Android. What used to be a deciding factor for going with iOS (fewer ads and tracking, more security, etc.) is becoming a moot point. The Apple employees can only voice their concerns for so long until revenue hungry management overrules them. Sad to see Apple going in this direction.”

#Apple #iPhone #News #Opinion

Casey Newton, on Platformer Musk discusses putting all of Twitter behind a paywall

But all of that could be a prelude to the biggest change of all: charging most or all users a subscription fee to use Twitter.

The other day, I wrote that “I’m not a big fan of social media platforms. I’ve only had one account. Twitter! And Over the years my relationship with the platform has been on again off again. Today I'm on Twitter with a very narrow use case. I use it to market my blog and posts. I follow app developers of apps that I use to keep up with the latest information about their apps. And last for breaking news. That’s it! So, how will Twitter change for me? Probably not that much, but we’ll see?”

So, after saying all that, would I pay a subscription for Twitter? If the subscription is 99 cents, I'm in. If the subscription is $1.99, maybe. Anything over that, no. Of course, that's assuming the platform doesn't totally go to shit.

#Rumor #Opinion #News

It’s a done deal. Elon the shit-poster is now the owner of Twitter.

I’m not a big fan of social media platforms. I’ve only had one account. Twitter! And Over the years my relationship with the platform has been on again off again. Today I'm on Twitter with a very narrow use case. I use it to market my blog and posts. I follow app developers of apps that I use to keep with the latest information about their apps. And last for breaking news. That’s it! So, how will Twitter change for me? Probably not that much, but we’ll see?

Nick Heer “Unlikeable as I find Musk’s public personality, weasel words, and many of his projects, I am cautiously hopeful private ownership will permit the company to right itself. Given the track record of its new owner, I am not expecting many of his proposed massive changes to materialized.” It appears that Elon won’t want to fuck it up too much in light of the financial pressure that he is under.

The New York Times

But he will face pressure from the banks that lent him $12.5 billion for the deal to begin repaying his debt. The cost of repaying those loans could run as high as $1 billion a year, financial analysts said.

“He has less public pressure, but he has a lot of private pressure from the banks to make the payments,” Mr. Quinn said of Mr. Musk. “Like almost every other private-equity take-private, he’s going to need a manager who is very focused on operations, being lean and being able to pay the bills on a day-to-day basis.”

Mr. Musk also took about $7.1 billion from equity investors to push the deal through. He may also face pressure from those investors, who might expect him to take Twitter public again at some point so that they can recoup their investment.

Elon Musk said in a note Thursday that Twitter must be “warm and welcoming to all” and not a “free-for-all hellscape” in order for it to reach its full potential.

Well, welcome to hell, Elon.

#News #Opinion

MacRumors

Starting today, developers can now advertise their apps in the App Store’s main Today tab and in a “You Might Also Like” section at the bottom of individual app listings in all countries except China. Ads are already beginning to appear in these places, and as usual, the ads have a blue background and an “Ad” icon so they can be identified.

​[…]

And with the “You Might Also Like” section, developers are now able to promote their apps at the bottom of other apps’ pages.In a tweet, legal expert Florian Mueller argued the “You Might Also Like” ads are “another means of increasing the effective app tax rate, forcing developers to buy ads on their own app pages in order to avoid that others steer customers away from there.”

Look, I think what Apple is doing here is total bullshit. We pay a lot of money to use Apple products. Why should we have to see ads so they can make more money? The ads in Apple News are so obnoxious that I refuse to use the app. And what about the fucking ads I see every time I search for something in the App Store.

And Apple allowing ads in “You Might Also Like” at the bottom of another app's page is just flat-out wrong.

In the end, I guess we don’t have a choice, but it sure pisses me off!

#Opinion #Apple #iPhone

I started using Things 3 for task management five years ago. Even though Things was working perfectly for me, I wanted to check out Apple’s Reminders with its recent improvements.

So for the last 90 days I have been using Reminders plus GoodTasks to see if it could replace Things. The conclusion that I have come to is that I can.

But I’m going back to Things, and here’s why. I prefer the Things UI. It’s more compact and easier to read. I also use Things quick entry on Mac and link to tasks in other apps. Neither of these features are available in Reminders. Michael Truskowski, “There are many reasons to stick with Things, some of which are difficult to put in to words (there is a feeling to how it works).”

“Reminders is great, and the new update gives it some much needed new life. Most people will probably be very happy with it. But Things still goes several steps further. Where Apple has hit a nice balance for users with simple needs, Things fulfills so many more needs, while being truly delightful to use in a way Apple has not nailed down yet.”

#Apps #Productivity #Opinion

9to5Mac

Below we’ll focus on how it works to Remind Later with Mail on iPhone.

[…]

​Interestingly, when you use Remind Later with Mail, the email that’s scheduled for a future reminder is actually sent to the trash folder.

This makes no fucking sense. What happens to that email and reminder when you empty the trash?

Look, I use this feature fairly regularly in a different app. In that app, an email with a reminder is moved to a folder called Snoozed. If I happen to empty the trash in that app my email and reminder aren’t affected.

Apple needs to fix this before this feature goes live for everyone.

#Opinion #Apple #Apps

iA Writer has been in my writing toolbox since 2017. It's not an app that I use every day but often. So next week we're going to get version 6. What I'm most interested in seeing is what the payment model will be. Will it be a one-time purchase with a paid upgrade as it has always been or a subscription? I'm guessing both options will be available.

#Apps #Opinion

Casey Newton points out “that Sandberg held many roles at Facebook over the years, and helped guide it through several tumultuous periods. In conversations with people who worked closely with her, though, there were really only two distinct eras in Sandberg’s time at Facebook. They fit neatly, into two seven-year periods.”

“From 2008 to 2015, Sandberg played a critical role in Facebook’s rise. Coming from a top business job at Google, she gave the young company a credibility among advertisers that it previously lacked. Mark Zuckerberg trusted her with functions that he viewed as less critical to the company’s success than the product and growth teams on which he spent more of his time.”

Shira Ovide, writing for the New York Times

Sandberg spearheaded a plan to build from scratch a more sophisticated system of advertising that was largely based on what she had helped develop at Google. Ads on Facebook were tied to people’s activities and interests on the site. As at Google, many advertisers bought Facebook ads online rather than through sales personnel, as had been typical for TV or newspaper ads. Later, Sandberg cultivated new systems for Facebook advertisers to pinpoint their potential customers with even more precision.

Google and Facebook transformed product marketing from largely an art to a sometimes creepy science, and Sandberg is among the architects of that change. She shares in the credit (or blame) for developing two of the most successful, and perhaps least defensible, business models in internet history.

All the anxiety today about apps snooping on people to glean every morsel of activity to better pitch us dishwashers — that’s partly Sandberg’s doing.

“The second era, from 2016 on, looked very different.”

Shira Ovide, writing for the New York Times

Sandberg was also partly responsible for Facebook’s failures during crucial moments, notably when the company initially denied and deflected blame for Russia-backed trolls that were abusing the site to inflame divisions among Americans ahead of the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

[…]​

Sandberg initially said publicly that Facebook played little role in the organizing of the Capitol riot on Jan. 6, 2021. That wasn’t quite true. As my colleagues Sheera Frenkel and Cecilia Kang reported, people used Facebook to spread misinformation about election fraud, which fueled anger among the protesters. Some rioters used Facebook to openly discuss the logistics of the attack ahead of time.

In their 2021 book, “An Ugly Truth,” Sheera and Cecilia wrote that to Sandberg’s detractors, her response was part of a pattern of trying to preserve the company’s reputation or her own rather than do the right thing.

Sandberg was also among those responsible for Facebook’s delayed or insufficient initial response in 2018 about news reports that a political consulting firm, Cambridge Analytica, was able to harvest personal information on many millions of Facebook users.

Sheryl Sandberg is leaving behind a mixed legacy for her time at Facebook. I applaud her for her work advocating for women. On the other hand, I deplore her for her partnership, in crime, with Zuckerberg making Facebook the shit hole that it is today. The final chapter of her legacy is yet to come. Let’s see how it turns out?

By the way, Mark it’s time for you to join Sheryl in leaving Facebook/Meta. It’s the end of an era and time for a new chapter.

#Linked #Opinion #Facebook

Lauren Thomas, writing for CNBC

Effective June 1, the price of Peloton’s all-access subscription plan in the United States will go up to $44 per month, from $39. In Canada, the fee will rise to $55 per month, from $49. Pricing for international members will remain unchanged, Peloton said. The cost of a digital-only membership, for people who don’t own any of Peloton’s equipment, will still be $12.99 a month.

John Gruber

Hey, prices go up. Inflation is running high. OK. But raising the prices only for people who already paid for Peloton’s premium-priced hardware and not for people on the digital-only plan doesn’t pass the sniff test that this is about the cost of content creation. If it were really about content creation costs, they’d raise subscription prices for everyone, or, only for the people who haven’t also purchased Peloton devices that cost $2000 or more.

It’s not like $39/month was cheap. It seems transparently obvious that they’re just soaking their best and most loyal customers — the ones whose hardware purchases have tied them to Peloton. (Unsubscribe and your bike or treadmill still works, but the display becomes useless.)

Peloton is making big changes to satisfy shareholders. In the process, they’re pissing-off their loyal customers, me included. As a Peloton owner, I’m in full agreement with John’s observations regarding the price increase.

Here’s what I would like to see happen:

  1. Grandfather all existing bike customers into the current all-access price of $39.
  2. Raise the all-access price to $44 on all new bike customer who are buying the bike at the reduced price.
  3. Raise the price on all digital-only plans.

#Linked #Opinion

Samantha Subin, writing for CNBC

“I invested in Twitter as I believe in its potential to be the platform for free speech around the globe, and I believe free speech is a societal imperative for a functioning democracy,” Musk wrote in a letter sent to Twitter Chairman Bret Taylor and disclosed in a securities filing.

According to Musk, the social media company needs to go private because it can “neither thrive nor serve” free speech in its current state, Musk wrote.

“As a result, I am offering to buy 100% of Twitter for $54.20 per share in cash, a 54% premium over the day before I began investing in Twitter and a 38% premium over the day before my investment was publicly announced,” he wrote. “My offer is my best and final offer and if it is not accepted, I would need to reconsider my position as a shareholder.”

I said this was going to get messy. If Elon does buy Twitter and take it private, it will be interesting to see how Twitter changes. I’m guessing it’ll be for the worse.

#Linked #Opinion