All posts by Jan Dawson

Episode 55: Pokemon Go Prospects, Facebook Live Video

Our News Roundup this week covers Amazon’s Prime Day, Twitter’s recent deals and experiments around professionally produced live video, and Microsoft’s announcement of Surface as a Service.

Our Question of the Week is “What do the economics of the mobile gaming industry tell us about the future of Pokemon Go?” The game has burst dramatically onto the scene, and already provided a nice boost for Nintendo’s share price, but past experience suggests massive hits can be short-lived in the mobile gaming market. We discuss the potential hurdles and challenges for the game, and for Nintendo as it finally embraces the mobile gaming market. We also talk about the implications for augmented reality.

Our third segment is about Facebook Live Video and how it’s been used in recent weeks for some harrowing footage very different from what it was originally conceived to do, and in contrast to the type of live video Twitter is now pursuing. We talk about the responsibilities that come with such power for Facebook, and the benefits to society from the increased openness the technology brings.

As always, we wrap up with our Weekly Pick, which is an app recommendation from Aaron.

Programming note: we’ll be taking a two-week break while Jan is on vacation, but we’ll be back the first week of August.

As usual, you’ll find some links to related content as well as other ways to listen to the podcast beneath the embedded Soundcloud player below.

We invite listeners to submit questions for subsequent weeks in the comments below, on Twitter (@jandawson@aaronmiller), or via email (jan at jackdawresearch dot com). We also have a dedicated Podcast Twitter handle at @BDPcast.

As ever, you can also find the podcast on iTunes, in the Overcast app, or your own favorite podcast app. Here is the RSS feed for the podcast if you want to add it manually to your app of choice.

Show notes:

Here are some useful links relating to this week’s episode:

Please leave us a comment or get in touch via Twitter to give us feedback. We’d love to hear from you. Also, we’d love it if you would leave a review of the podcast on iTunes.

Episode 54 – Apple Watch Sensors, Tesla Crash

Our News Roundup this week covers three topics: BlackBerry killing off its Classic device (though refuting reports that it’s killing the BlackBerry 10 OS); Comcast and Netflix reaching a deal to put Netflix on Comcast set top boxes; and a report that the new iPhone will start at 32GB rather than 16GB of onboard storage. As usual, we discuss the ins and outs and implications of each of these stories in the opening segment.

Our second segment is our Question of the Week, which this time is “What new health sensors should we expect in Apple Watch 2 this fall?” and by implication is also about how the health and fitness aspects of other smartwatches might evolve in the coming months and years. Although Aaron’s initial response is simply “not much”, the rest of the conversation focuses on the challenges of trying to gather health and fitness data from the wrist, the potential for Apple-made and third-party extensions to the Apple Watch (and iPhone), and the potential for doing more behavioral analysis with the sensors and other features already in these devices.

Our third segment is a discussion of the recently-released news about a fatal crash involving a Tesla with the Autopilot mode engaged, and the fallout from that news in recent days. Though we discuss the details of the crash briefly, we spend more time on the broader implications for the development of autonomous vehicles and the challenges of convincing people to trust these technologies. We wrap up the episode with our Weekly Pick, which this time around is a movie recommendation from Jan.

As usual, you’ll find some links to related content as well as other ways to listen to the podcast beneath the embedded Soundcloud player below.

We invite listeners to submit questions for subsequent weeks in the comments below, on Twitter (@jandawson@aaronmiller), or via email (jan at jackdawresearch dot com). We also have a dedicated Podcast Twitter handle at @BDPcast.

As ever, you can also find the podcast on iTunes, in the Overcast app, or your own favorite podcast app. Here is the RSS feed for the podcast if you want to add it manually to your app of choice.

Show notes:

Here are some useful links relating to this week’s episode:

Please leave us a comment or get in touch via Twitter to give us feedback. We’d love to hear from you. Also, we’d love it if you would leave a review of the podcast on iTunes.

Episode 53 – Apple in India, Facebook News Feed Changes

Our News Roundup this week covers three topics: Microsoft’s announcement that Windows 10 now has 350 installations; Twitter’s addition of stickers to photos shared through the platform; and Amazon’s new strategy for selling third-party Android phones with ads on the lock screen.

Our Question of the Week is “How is Apple doing in India, and how can it do better?” It builds on research Jan has been doing over the last few weeks on what Apple might do to boost its fortunes – and specifically the iPhone’s fortunes – in India. We talk about the unique characteristics of the Indian market, and how it’s different from China; the state of the smartphone market in India; Apple’s current position there; and four major themes around how Apple can accelerate growth and increase its addressable market there.

Our third segment covers the changes Facebook announced to its News Feed algorithm on Wednesday, the reasons for the move, and the likely implications for users, for publishers, and for Facebook. As usual, we wrap up with a Weekly Pick, this week two items recommended by Aaron.

I want to briefly thank all those who helped me in my research for this episode and my weekly Techpinions column, which also went up today on the same topic, including Shibesh, Harshil Shah, Sudeep Mishra, Sascha Pallenberg, Viranch Damani, Varun Krishnan, Nitin Alabur, and others. Your help and insight is much appreciated.

As usual, you’ll find some links to related content as well as other ways to listen to the podcast beneath the embedded Soundcloud player below.

We invite listeners to submit questions for subsequent weeks in the comments below, on Twitter (@jandawson@aaronmiller), or via email (jan at jackdawresearch dot com). We also have a dedicated Podcast Twitter handle at @BDPcast.

As ever, you can also find the podcast on iTunes, in the Overcast app, or your own favorite podcast app. Here is the RSS feed for the podcast if you want to add it manually to your app of choice.

Show notes:

Here are some useful links relating to this week’s episode:

Please leave us a comment or get in touch via Twitter to give us feedback. We’d love to hear from you. Also, we’d love it if you would leave a review of the podcast on iTunes.

Episode 52 – Differential Privacy, macOS Sierra Reviews, iPhone 7 Reports

We returned to our usual format this week, kicking things off with a News Roundup, and including a Question of the Week and Weekly Pick.

Our News Roundup covered three topics: Instagram’s release of user numbers, including 500 million monthly active users and 300 million daily active users; Tencent’s acquisition of a majority stake in Supercell for $8.6 billion; and BlackBerry’s earnings.

Our Question of the Week is: “How can differential privacy make my life better?” Aaron did a bunch of homework on this concept, which Apple introduced to many of us at WWDC last week but has actually been around for much longer. He tells us what differential privacy is, what some of the real-world applications are, and the benefits and limitations of this approach. We’ve included some links to some of Aaron’s reading material in the show notes.

Lastly, we discussed some other topics relating to WWDC which we didn’t get to last time or which have emerged since last week’s episodes, including the reviews of the macOS Sierra release which came out this week, and reports from the Wall Street Journal that Apple’s next iPhone will largely stick to the iPhone 6 and 6s form factor while ditching the 3.5mm headphone jack. We wrapped up the episode with our Weekly Pick, this week a recommendation from Jan.

As usual, you’ll find some links to related content as well as other ways to listen to the podcast beneath the embedded Soundcloud player below.

We invite listeners to submit questions for subsequent weeks in the comments below, on Twitter (@jandawson@aaronmiller), or via email (jan at jackdawresearch dot com). We also have a dedicated Podcast Twitter handle at @BDPcast.

As ever, you can also find the podcast on iTunes, in the Overcast app, or your own favorite podcast app. Here is the RSS feed for the podcast if you want to add it manually to your app of choice.

Show notes:

Here are some useful links relating to this week’s episode:

Please leave us a comment or get in touch via Twitter to give us feedback. We’d love to hear from you. Also, we’d love it if you would leave a review of the podcast on iTunes.

Episode 51 – Themes from WWDC 2016

This episode is entirely devoted to covering the 2016 edition of Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC), which we previewed last week. Rather than go through chronologically, as we often do with these episodes, or even by product/platform, we felt it might be more interesting to pick up on four big themes from this event and discuss those, incorporating a lot of the biggest announcements in the process. The four themes are:

  • Openness, or loosening the reins – which includes the new Siri, iMessage, and Maps extensions; making Apple’s apps deletable; and the new lock-screen UI for VoIP apps
  • AI and deep learning and pushing back against the narrative that Apple is behind – including advances in Siri, Photos, QuickType, and the concept of differential privacy
  • Things that should have happened sooner – or, as Aaron named this segment, “Finally” – watchOS 3 and its new app and dock model; single sign-on and the Remote app for tvOS; the Home app for setting up and controlling HomeKit devices; Siri on the Mac; the Apple Music redesign; and split-screen view for Safari tabs
  • Reinforcing the ecosystem – including Auto-Unlock; the iCloud Universal Clipboard; Apple Pay on the web; Siri on the Mac; and iCloud syncing of the Desktop and Documents folders.

We spent the bulk of the time talking about these themes, but spent a little time up front talking about the structure and tempo of the event, and a little at the end debating the magnitude of these year’s announcements. The topic of WWDC will likely spill over in some form into next week’s episode too, as we didn’t cover all the major news in this episode.

As usual, you’ll find some links to related content as well as other ways to listen to the podcast beneath the embedded Soundcloud player below.

We invite listeners to submit questions for subsequent weeks in the comments below, on Twitter (@jandawson@aaronmiller), or via email (jan at jackdawresearch dot com). We also have a dedicated Podcast Twitter handle at @BDPcast.

As ever, you can also find the podcast on iTunes, in the Overcast app, or your own favorite podcast app. Here is the RSS feed for the podcast if you want to add it manually to your app of choice.

Show notes:

Here are some useful links relating to this week’s episode:

  • Apple’s WWDC site, with all videos from the conference
  • Episode 33 (iMessage as a Platform), something we discussed earlier and was featured in a big way at this year’s event
  • Episode 50, our WWDC preview episode from last week.

Please leave us a comment or get in touch via Twitter to give us feedback. We’d love to hear from you. Also, we’d love it if you would leave a review of the podcast on iTunes.

Episode 50 – Our First Year, WWDC Preview

This week’s episode marks the one-year anniversary of the first episode, with both episodes offering previews of Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC). It’s also episode 50 (we skipped the weeks of Christmas and New Year).

Given the anniversary, we thought it would be fun to do a little retrospective of some of the things we’ve covered on the podcast over the past year, and so we made that another topic of discussion on the latest episode. There’s now a permanent page on the site where you can easily see a full listing of past episodes, so you can easily browse them. But we spent some time highlighting some of our favorite episodes from the past year, as well as discussing the past year in consumer tech. Links to the episodes we mention are below in the show notes.

If, for whatever reason, you don’t feel like reminiscing with us, you can skip to 21:20, when we start talking about this year’s WWDC. Specifically, we talk about Siri and digital assistants in general, something Jan’s been asked about a bunch in the lead up to WWDC by reporters. Secondly, we talk about iMessage and the prospects for iMessage as a platform, something we discussed in Episode 33. We also talk through iOS getting more pro features, what we might see in tvOS and watchOS, Apple Music, the App Store changes announced this week, and the fact that we’re unlikely to see any new hardware announced.

As usual, you’ll find some links to related content as well as other ways to listen to the podcast beneath the embedded Soundcloud player below.

We invite listeners to submit questions for subsequent weeks in the comments below, on Twitter (@jandawson@aaronmiller), or via email (jan at jackdawresearch dot com). We also have a dedicated Podcast Twitter handle at @BDPcast.

As ever, you can also find the podcast on iTunes, in the Overcast app, or your own favorite podcast app. Here is the RSS feed for the podcast if you want to add it manually to your app of choice.

Show notes:

Here are some useful links relating to this week’s episode:

Please leave us a comment or get in touch via Twitter to give us feedback. We’d love to hear from you. Also, we’d love it if you would leave a review of the podcast on iTunes.

Episode 49 – State of the Smart Home, Mary Meeker’s Deck

This week’s News Roundup covered three topics: Microsoft’s deal with Xiaomi to share patents and pre-install Office and Skype on Xiaomi devices; rumors of a new 5K display from Apple; and a new EU Code of Conduct on policing hate speech signed by major American tech companies. We discuss the ins and outs of each of these stories and their implications.

Our Question of the Week is “What’s the state of the smart home, and how will it change?” This topic builds off a recent piece Jan wrote for Techpinions which was syndicated to Recode, titled “The Smart Home is Stuck“, in which Jan argued that the most high-profile element of the smart home market – the retail purchase, self-install segment, is stuck at the early adopter phase. However, we also discuss the other major segment in the market, which is the service-based alternative, which sees devices professionally installed and managed, and charges monthly service fees rather than a one-off device purchase fee. This part of the market, exemplified by companies like Vivint, AT&T, and Alarm.com (through a white label model) is performing much better. We talk about how this situation might change over time, some of the other dynamics, and potential future innovations in the space.

Our third topic is a discussion of analyst Mary Meeker’s most recent slide deck, which provides a 200-slide overview of major trends in the internet and related fields, and was presented at the Code Conference this week. We focus on three of the trends she identified – ad spend, cars and technology, and China – and discuss each of these in some detail.

We wrap up with our Weekly Pick, which is something of a follow-up to an earlier recommendation from Aaron.

As usual, you’ll find some links to related content as well as other ways to listen to the podcast beneath the embedded Soundcloud player below.

We invite listeners to submit questions for subsequent weeks in the comments below, on Twitter (@jandawson@aaronmiller), or via email (jan at jackdawresearch dot com). We also have a dedicated Podcast Twitter handle at @BDPcast.

As ever, you can also find the podcast on iTunes, in the Overcast app, or your own favorite podcast app. Here is the RSS feed for the podcast if you want to add it manually to your app of choice.

Show notes:

Here are some useful links relating to this week’s episode:

Please leave us a comment or get in touch via Twitter to give us feedback. We’d love to hear from you. Also, we’d love it if you would leave a review of the podcast on iTunes.

Episode 48 – Consumer Tech in Africa, Apple & AI

We’re back to our usual format for this week, with a News Roundup, Question of the Week, and a third topic, plus a Weekly Pick.

Our News Roundup covered three topics: Spotify’s financials, which Jan wrote about earlier in the week; Microsoft’s decision to exit the consumer smartphone market; and Twitter’s planned change to the 140-character limit. Our Question of the Week piggybacks off Aaron’s recent trip to Ghana, which is one of a number of trips he’s made there over the last nine years. The question is “What’s the state of consumer technology in Africa?” and we spent a good amount of timing doing a deep dive into this topic, based not just on Aaron’s personal observations but on additional research (see the show notes for a couple of good sources).

Our third topic this episode was Apple’s efforts in AI, and a narrative that seems to have emerged recently about a perception that Apple is behind in AI, and that this will be problematic for the company. We talk about the pros and cons of this argument, how it relates to Siri specifically, and how Siri might evolve at this year’s WWDC. Lastly, we have our Weekly Pick, which is actually a double recommendation from Jan this time around.

As usual, you’ll find some links to related content as well as other ways to listen to the podcast beneath the embedded Soundcloud player below.

We invite listeners to submit questions for subsequent weeks in the comments below, on Twitter (@jandawson@aaronmiller), or via email (jan at jackdawresearch dot com). We also have a dedicated Podcast Twitter handle at @BDPcast.

As ever, you can also find the podcast on iTunes, in the Overcast app, or your own favorite podcast app. Here is the RSS feed for the podcast if you want to add it manually to your app of choice.

Show notes:

Here are some useful links relating to this week’s episode:

Please leave us a comment or get in touch via Twitter to give us feedback. We’d love to hear from you. Also, we’d love it if you would leave a review of the podcast on iTunes.

Episode 47 – Apple in Asia, Google I/O Announcements

Aaron is finally back from his travels in Africa, and so we returned to something more like our usual format this week. We kicked things off with a News Roundup, with two of the topics concerning Apple in Asia. We first discussed Apple’s investment in Chinese ride-sharing service Didi, and what that’s really about, and then talked about Apple’s smaller but still significant investments in India, also announced this week. Lastly, we discussed Microsoft’s sale of its feature phone business to Foxconn.

Our main topic this week, though, was Google’s I/O developer conference, and the announcements it made there. We kick things off with a discussion of the Google Home device and the Google assistant that will power it but also exist elsewhere. We next discuss the two new communications apps from Google – Allo and Duo – and whether they’re likely to help Google’s position in this space (spoiler: probably not). We also discuss Android N and the thinking behind moving up the preview release earlier this year, Android Wear, and especially VR and Google’s Daydream initiative. Lastly, we talk about the fact that Android apps will soon be able to run on Chrome OS.

As usual, you’ll find some links to related content as well as other ways to listen to the podcast beneath the embedded Soundcloud player below.

We invite listeners to submit questions for subsequent weeks in the comments below, on Twitter (@jandawson@aaronmiller), or via email (jan at jackdawresearch dot com). We also have a dedicated Podcast Twitter handle at @BDPcast.

As ever, you can also find the podcast on iTunes, in the Overcast app, or your own favorite podcast app. Here is the RSS feed for the podcast if you want to add it manually to your app of choice.

Show notes:

Here are some useful links relating to this week’s episode:

Please leave us a comment or get in touch via Twitter to give us feedback. We’d love to hear from you. Also, we’d love it if you would leave a review of the podcast on iTunes.

Episode 46 – Christopher Mims Interview

As a reminder, Aaron is still out of the country for one more week, working with students and fellow faculty on various projects in Ghana, Africa. He’ll be back for next week’s episode.

In the meantime, this week’s episode is an interview with Christopher Mims, tech columnist at the Wall Street Journal, which he joined in April 2014. Christopher writes about a whole range of tech-related topics for the Journal, and we discussed three recent columns of his in particular. The first of those columns was published this week, and talks about what governments can learn from the tech industry, and cites the example of Estonia, which has successfully embraced this new way of working. The second column we discussed was last week’s, which was widely shared and generated quite a bit of discussion, and argued that there’s a bubble in the tech industry. Lastly, we discussed a column from the end of March, in which Christopher argued that the iPad Pro wasn’t quite ready to replace PCs for most people yet. Up front, we also talked a little about how Christopher got to where he is today, and in-between talking about the specific columns we also talked a little bit about what his job is like. Our thanks to Christopher for being a guest this week – it made for a very interesting conversation.

As usual, you’ll find some links to related content as well as other ways to listen to the podcast beneath the embedded Soundcloud player below.

We invite listeners to submit questions for subsequent weeks in the comments below, on Twitter (@jandawson@aaronmiller), or via email (jan at jackdawresearch dot com). We also have a dedicated Podcast Twitter handle at @BDPcast.

As ever, you can also find the podcast on iTunes, in the Overcast app, or your own favorite podcast app. Here is the RSS feed for the podcast if you want to add it manually to your app of choice.

Show notes:

Here are some useful links relating to this week’s episode:

Please leave us a comment or get in touch via Twitter to give us feedback. We’d love to hear from you. Also, we’d love it if you would leave a review of the podcast on iTunes.