Welcome to our weekly Apple Breakfast column, which incorporates all of the Apple information you missed final week in a helpful bite-sized roundup. We name it Apple Breakfast as a result of we expect it goes nice with a Monday morning cup of espresso or tea, nevertheless it’s cool if you wish to give it a learn throughout lunch or dinner hours too.
Breaking out of the walled backyard
Final week’s Apple Breakfast mentioned Apple’s quiet admission that it’s going to should make adjustments to the App Retailer in response to EU laws. Following years of grandstanding on the evils of sideloading and the benevolence of its stewardship, Apple seems to have lastly acknowledged that it could have to loosen up its iron grip on iOS app distribution.
This week? We’re going to crank issues up a notch, as Apple prepares to offer strategy to an much more essential ingredient of its so-called “walled backyard.”
Cupertino is nice at numerous issues, however the firm’s superpower is locking in customers. That is all the way down to the walled backyard, that sticky ecosystem of Apple merchandise that in numerous methods encourages you to purchase different Apple merchandise and discourages you from shopping for something from rival firms. For those who purchase an iPhone, you’re extra seemingly to purchase a set of AirPods as a result of they work so effectively with it, which in flip implies that when it comes time to get a brand new smartphone, you’re much less prone to change to Android. Apple’s merchandise all work higher with each other than they do with competing gadgets… which you’d in all probability count on, besides to not this extent. No person else runs a walled backyard that traps clients wherever close to as successfully as Apple.
The star of the present in that walled garden-the prize-winning rose, if you’ll–is iMessage, as a result of its stickiness impacts different individuals in a type of contagious unfold. In case your mates have iPhones and spend their time speaking over iMessage, you’ll need to have the ability to take part; an Android consumer can be a part of a bunch chat with iPhone customers however received’t get the complete set of options (movies get compressed, for instance, whereas reactions don’t work correctly) and, famously, will seem as an out-group-signaling inexperienced quite than a blue bubble. iMessage peer strain is a big a part of the rationale why, within the US, an astonishing 87 p.c of youngsters personal iPhones, approach past the system’s international market share.
I heard that stat, by the best way, in an fascinating video final week by Marques Brownlee, who was discussing Nothing’s latest transfer to deliver iMessage to Android. Fascinating the concept could also be, however there are many caveats. The brand new Nothing Chats app, basically a re-skin of the prevailing Sunbird app, makes use of a financial institution of Mac servers as a bridge to help you entry your Apple ID’s iMessages on an Android handset. However that comes with a bunch of safety considerations: your Apple ID might be compromised if somebody hacks Sunbird’s servers, and in reality, Nothing has already pulled the app from the Play Retailer to repair a number of concern. And as soon as it comes again, there’s each probability that Apple will squash the entire thing.
However then once more, possibly Apple received’t trouble. As a result of greater information emerged later within the week: Apple goes to deliver RCS to the iPhone. That is momentous stuff and excellent news for everybody… besides Apple itself.
RCS is a really interoperable messaging normal, and including it to the iPhone will make it a lot simpler for homeowners of the system to message their Android buddies; typing indicators, learn receipts, uncompressed pictures… nearly every thing will work higher. The Android customers will nonetheless present up as inexperienced bubbles, however aside from that they need to slot in seamlessly.
As I say, then, excellent news for iPhone customers and Android customers alike. However it will cut back the peer strain on youngsters to purchase the identical model of smartphone as their buddies, and subsequently the effectiveness of iMessage as a gross sales device for Apple gadgets. And you may wager your backside greenback that Apple solely gave approach on this long-requested change after a lot wailing and gnashing of enamel.
In different phrases, as with USB-C on the iPhone and various cost strategies on the App Retailer, the corporate solely gave in as a result of regulators have been about to pressure its hand. This additionally implies that, as with self-repair, Apple will do its greatest to implement the adjustments in as unhelpful a approach as doable, and doubtless as late because it probably can. Not out of spite, however to maintain piling the fertilizer on that valuable walled backyard.
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Podcast of the week
Apple sells quite a lot of Macs with simply 8GB of unified reminiscence. That’s not sufficient in as we speak’s tech world. We’re speaking about how this causes an issue and what customers want to pay attention to when purchasing for a Mac, on this episode of the Macworld Podcast!
You possibly can catch each episode of the Macworld Podcast on Spotify, Soundcloud, the Podcasts app, or our personal web site.
The rumor mill
Apple’s 2024 iPad bombshell: A bigger Air, OLED Professional, no extra Lightning mannequin.
Dan Moren explains how AI might take iOS 18 and macOS 15 to the following degree.
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Software program updates, bugs, and issues
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iOS 17.2 beta 3 is out now with the Journal app and many new options and adjustments.
And with that, we’re completed for this week’s Apple Breakfast. For those who’d prefer to get common roundups, join our newsletters. You may also observe us on Fb, Threads, or Twitter for dialogue of breaking Apple information tales. See you subsequent Monday, and keep Appley.