The Missing-Excitement Edition Friday, January 6, 2017

Apple’s HomeKit Is Still Working On The Basics, by Jacob Kastrenakes, The Verge

Apple never shows up to CES, but the last couple years, it’s still managed to have a quiet presence through HomeKit. That’s true this year, too, but it’s been really quiet, failing to drum up anywhere near the excitement of something like Amazon’s Alexa. [...]

What HomeKit continues to miss is the kind of excitement that’s popped up around Amazon’s Alexa — a voice assistant, but also a tool for controlling and automating the home. There’s an argument to be made that Apple’s slow and steady approach, and eye toward security, is valuable. The smart home remains a niche market is still in very early stages when it comes to functionality.

Smashed Records

Record App Store Results Reported By Apple, by John Voorhees, MacStories

Apple announced today that the App Store smashed records in 2016 and on New Year's Day. App developers earned $20 billion in 2016, up 40% from 2015. In addition, on New Year's Day Apple set a single-day App Store record when customers spent $240 million on apps.

Apple's Not A Services Company Yet, by Shira Ovide, Bloomberg

But put another way, it's not so impressive. The App Store revenue growth rate didn't budge even in a year that featured the debut of one of the biggest app hits in history with Pokemon Go, new apps for the Apple Watch and Apple TV and what Apple said was a 90 percent jump in App Store revenue in China. And from fiscal 2013 to the most recent one, Apple's revenue from the App Store and its other internet services rose 52 percent -- nearly the same rate as its much larger iPhone business.

DOS On Mac

macOS Malware Freezes Your Computer By Opening Multiple Email Drafts, by Justin Luna, Neowin

A new malware designed for computers running macOS has recently been seen launching denial-of-service attacks on users by creating multiple email drafts, which ultimately causes the computer to slow down and become useless. [...]

The malware is distributed via usual spam emails which pretend to be from tech support. Malwarebytes Labs found that the emails come from two email addresses: and However, it is not exactly known if there are any other spam emails distributing the malicious software.

The Business of Making Money

No One Wants To Pay $9.99 For Your Remixes, by Adam Satariano, Bloomberg

“It is virtually impossible to run a streaming-music service as a profitable business,” says Mark Mulligan, a former dance club DJ who’s the founder of industry analyst Midia Research. “The model is still broken.”

Why Medium Failed To Disrupt The Media, by Leonid Bershidsky, Bloomberg

There is no way to disrupt this the way Uber is disrupting the taxi business: Writing to which people will subscribe is not a commodity. It's rare and expensive, and it's not about good software or buzzwords like "network effect." That will probably be the next revelation for Williams as he retraces the steps of "legacy" publishers.


YAZIO – Your All-in-One Personal Fitness Trainer, by Appolicious

With so many health and fitness apps available on the App Store, finding one which is tailored to your specific needs is difficult. For instance, the fragmentation of the various features means that users who wish to track calories must download an app for that while another app would be used to track fitness activities. Furthermore, other apps would have to be downloaded in order to suggest healthy meal plans. The list continues as more functions are desired by the user where each individual app is used for only one specific task. To combine all of the various tasks together in an integrated package, YAZIO Calorie Counter, Diet & Nutrition Tracker makes the entire health process from counting calories to losing weight easier.

Vine To Officially Shut Down And Transition To New ‘Vine Camera’ App On January 17, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

The company says that the Vine Camera app will allow you to make 6.5 second looping videos and post them directly to Twitter or save them to your camera roll. The app won’t support sharing to the Vine community as we know it, instead functioning essentially as an offline creation-oriented app.


Apple Chief Tim Cook Declines Invite To Oireachtas Committee, by Pat Leahy, The Irish Times

In a reply received by the committee this week, Apple executive Claire Thwaites has written on Mr Cook’s behalf to say that he had been advised not to appear.

“Given the sensitive nature of the investigation and the timing, we have been advised not to undertake any other direct activities, which could potentially prejudice future outcomes. It is on this basis that we are unable to appear before the Committee on this occasion,” Ms Thwaites wrote from Apple’s London office.

Senator Slams Apple For Removing NYT App From Chinese iPhones, by Josh Lipton, CNBC

Senator Tom Cotton, R-Arkansas, slammed the company in a statement today for being, in his words, "complicit in Communist censorship of an American newspaper." [...] Cotton's contention that Apple's defense "ring[s] hollow" refers to the company's decision to challenge a U.S. court order last year to assist the FBI in unlocking an iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino terrorists.

Apple Confirms Plans For First South Korean Retail Store In Seoul, by Mikey Campbell, AppleInsider

Apple published a total of 15 retail job listings to its corporate website today seeking candidates for the Apple Store Leader Program, business managers, Genius Bar staff and marketing, among other positions.

As expected, the job postings seek employees for an outlet in South Korea's capital of Seoul. The city also happens to be the hometown of Apple ally and competitor, Samsung.

Apple History: Acorn, A Virtual Click-wheel-based OS Which Lost Out To iOS, Shown In Its 2006-era Glory, by Seth Weintraub, 9to5Mac

The OS, which was devised in the iPod’s heyday, was based on a virtual click-wheel that was put on the touch display. A set of menus is navigated with the touch much like one would using an iPod of the time. In the era of multi-touch the idea seems quaint but when everyone is using iPods, the UI makes a lot of sense as a small step rather than the giant leap to iPhone OS, what eventually became iOS.

Bottom of the Page

We now have iPhone case with batteries. And AirPods box with batteries. Maybe in 2017, we shall also see iPad covers with batteries, as well as laptop bags with batteries?


Thanks for reading.