The Paid-Services Edition Thursday, May 18, 2017

'Musicians Taught Me Everything. Without Them, I'm Working On The Docks.', by Tim Ingham, Music Business Worldwide

"The most important thing for labels is to make the paid services compelling and entertaining. And don’t make free services as good as the paid services."

"Is that not obvious?!"

Google I/O

Google Assistant Arrives On iPhone, by Emil Protalinski, VentuerBeat

At its I/O 2017 developer conference today, Google announced Google Assistant is coming to iOS today as a standalone app, rolling out to the U.S. first. Until now, the only way iPhone users could access Google Assistant was through Allo, the Google messaging app nobody uses.


Apple has API restrictions on iOS, so Google Assistant can’t set alarms like Siri. I can, however, send iMessages for you or start playing music in third-party apps like Spotify. And of course you can’t use the Home button for Google Assistant, so you’ll need to use the app icon or a widget.

Smart Reply Is Coming To Gmail For Android And iOS, by James Vincent, The Verge

Google is using its machine learning prowess to respond to emails for you. The company’s Smart Reply feature (which debuted on its Inbox email app back in 2015 and is also available on Android Wear and Allo) is coming to Gmail on iOS and Android, as announced by CEO Sundar Pichai on stage at Google I/O this year.

Smart Reply scans the text of an incoming message, and suggests three basic responses the user can tweak and send. The feature is rolling out in English first, and will be available in Spanish “in the coming weeks,” with other languages to follow.

The 30% Loophole

Apple Takes Risk By Telling Chinese Chat Apps To Disable 'Tip' Functions, by Tim Hardwick, MacRumors

Apple has told several Chinese social networking apps to disable their "tip" functions to comply with App Store rules, according to executives at WeChat and other companies.

The tip functions in Chinese messaging platforms are free to use and allow people to send authors and other content creators monetary tips through transfers to mobile wallet accounts. However, according to The Wall Street Journal, Apple has decided that tips are equivalent to in-app purchases – similar to buying games, music, and videos – therefore Apple is entitled to a 30 percent cut of every transaction.

Note To Self

The Joys Of Texting Myself, by Rachel Miller, The Awl

My friend Nicole keeps track of her favorite public bathrooms by texting herself. Genius, I thought. Convenient, simple, obvious! Delightfully self-reflexive! That was the first I ever heard of texting yourself, and I felt like I’d been let in on a big secret, maybe even the ultimate Hack, but without the binder clips and toilet paper tubes appearing where they don’t belong.

The best self-texting scenarios seem practical at first: Why not use a thing you already open five thousand times a day to quick-jot notes and reminders? It’s like having a notebook in your pocket, minus the pen, and even less complicated than Notes. The process is simple. But like most simple things, it’s deceptively straightforward, and the real benefits only surface after a few rounds.

Here’s how it works.


Todoist Launches A Deep Integration With Google Calendar, by Romain Dillet, TechCrunch

After hooking up your Todoist account with Google Calendar, your tasks are going to show up in your calendar if they have a due date. If you also entered a specific time of the day, you’ll see an event in your calendar. Recurring tasks will create multiple events.

Logitech's HomeKit-Compatible POP Smart Button Now Available In Apple Stores, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

The Logitech POP Smart Button is designed to allow any smart device in the home to be controlled through the push of a button, allowing things like lights to be activated without the need for a smartphone.


The Case Of The Stolen Source Code, by Panic

Last week, for about three days, the macOS video transcoding app HandBrake was compromised. One of the two download servers for HandBrake was serving up a special malware-infested version of the app, that, when launched, would essentially give hackers remote control of your computer.

In a case of extraordinarily bad luck, even for a guy that has a lot of bad computer luck, I happened to download HandBrake in that three day window, and my work Mac got pwned.

Long story short, somebody, somewhere, now has quite a bit of source code to several of our apps.

Bottom of the Page

Things from the iPod era that I missed:

a. A physical play/pause button.

b. Autofill (for streaming music).

c. An iTunes app that I know how to use.


Thanks for reading.