Category Archives: Apple

Week 91 News Roundup – Apple tidbits, Google Home Multi-user, Netflix Earnings, S8 Reviews

Earlier this week, we did our Question of the Week episode, which covered the Facebook F8 announcements, so this News Roundup episode covers some of the other big news for the week:

  • Several Apple news tidbits, including a set of environmental announcements, hires of satellite experts from Google, the purchase of a music documentary at the Tribeca Film Festival, web embedding of Live Photos, and purported shots of the chassis for the next iPhone
  • Google Home announcing multi-user support, as well as two announcements relating two Amazon Echo and Alexa
  • Netflix Q1 2017 earnings
  • Samsung Galaxy S8 reviews, which came out this week, and news that Google Music will be the default music service on the devices.

As always, you’ll find links to these stories and other things we discussed underneath the SoundCloud player embedded below.

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:

  • News stories we covered (Tech Narratives links):
    • Apple’s environmental news:
      https://www.technarratives.com/2017/04/20/apple-makes-big-environmental-push-for-earth-day/
    • Apple hires Google satellite execs:
      https://www.technarratives.com/2017/04/21/apple-hires-google-satellite-execs-likely-for-mapping-or-broadband/
    • Apple acquires a music documentary:
      https://www.technarratives.com/2017/04/20/apple-acquires-first-movie-at-tribeca-film-festival/
    • Apple enables web embedding of Live Photos:
      https://www.technarratives.com/2017/04/20/apple-enables-web-embedding-of-live-photos-for-developers/
    • Google Home multi-user support:
      https://www.technarratives.com/2017/04/20/★-google-home-now-recognizes-multiple-users-by-voice/
    • Amazon opens Lex platform to all developers:
      https://www.technarratives.com/2017/04/19/amazon-scales-alexa-back-end-by-opening-lex-voice-and-text-service-to-all-developers/
    • Amazon bans most ads in Alexa Skills:
      https://www.technarratives.com/2017/04/21/amazon-bans-almost-all-ads-in-alexas-third-party-skills-apps/
    • Netflix reports Q1 2017 earnings:
      https://www.technarratives.com/2017/04/17/netflix-reports-q1-2017-gains-5m-subs-makes-first-profit-internationally/
    • Galaxy S8 reviews:
      https://www.technarratives.com/2017/04/18/samsung-galaxy-s8-reviews-say-hardware-is-great-software-not-so-much/

Please leave us a comment or get in touch via Twitter to give us feedback. We’d love to hear from you. You can reach the individual hosts on Twitter (@jandawson@aaronmiller), or via email (jan at jackdawresearch dot com). We also have a dedicated Podcast Twitter handle at @BDPcast. And we’d love it if you would leave a review of the podcast on iTunes or in your podcast app of choice.

Week 90 News Roundup – Spectrum, Apple R&D, Uber Finances, Bixby Delay, LeEco

There won’t be a Question of the Week episode this week as we’ve both been busy. Here is this week’s News Roundup episode, in which we cover the following five topics in quick-fire order:

  • Spectrum news including the conclusion of the FCC’s spectrum auction and AT&T’s proposed purchase of Straight Path
  • Two pieces of news about Apple R&D efforts: it appeared on the California DMV’s list of companies with permission to test self-driving cars on public roads, and CNBC reported that it’s been working on glucose monitoring technology for several years
  • Uber released some of its finances for 2016 to Bloomberg, while The Information reported on a Lyft-hacking program called Hell Uber used to run, and the company’s PR head left
  • Samsung announced that its Bixby voice assistant won’t ship with the Galaxy S8 and S8+ when they’re released next week in the US
  • LeEco announced the end of its bid to acquire Vizio and the killing off of its EcoPass content service, and was also reported to have fallen far short of its revenue targets in the US last year.

As always, you’ll find links to these stories and other things we discussed underneath the SoundCloud player embedded below.

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:

  • News stories we covered (Tech Narratives links):
    • FCC spectrum auction: https://www.technarratives.com/2017/04/13/t-mobile-dish-and-comcast-among-big-winners-in-fcc-spectrum-auction/
    • AT&T buys Straight Path: https://www.technarratives.com/2017/04/10/att-buys-straight-path-in-1-6-billion-deal-for-5g-arsenal-bloomberg/
    • Apple self-driving cars license: https://www.technarratives.com/2017/04/14/apple-receives-permission-to-test-autonomous-vehicles-in-california/
    • Apple glucose monitoring story: https://www.technarratives.com/2017/04/12/apple-has-been-working-on-glucose-monitoring-technology-for-diabetes-for-five-years/
    • Uber shares finances with Bloomberg: https://www.technarratives.com/2017/04/14/uber-shares-partial-flattering-financial-data-for-2016-with-bloomberg/
    • Uber’s Hell program: https://www.technarratives.com/2017/04/13/uber-had-a-program-called-hell-designed-to-undermine-lyft/
    • Uber PR head leaves: https://www.technarratives.com/2017/04/11/uber-comms-head-rachel-whetstone-is-departing-recode/
    • Samsung Bixby voice delay: https://www.technarratives.com/2017/04/11/samsung-says-bixby-voice-assistant-wont-ship-with-galaxy-s8-axios/
    • LeEco Vizio deal falls through: https://www.technarratives.com/2017/04/10/leecos-acquisition-of-vizio-officially-called-off-variety/
    • LeEco US sales fall short: https://www.technarratives.com/2017/04/10/leeco-is-said-to-miss-u-s-sales-forecasts-plan-more-job-cuts-bloomberg/
    • LeEco kills off content subscription: https://www.technarratives.com/2017/04/14/leeco-kills-ecopass-video-streaming-and-services-subscription-plan/

Please leave us a comment or get in touch via Twitter to give us feedback. We’d love to hear from you. You can reach the individual hosts on Twitter (@jandawson@aaronmiller), or via email (jan at jackdawresearch dot com). We also have a dedicated Podcast Twitter handle at @BDPcast. And we’d love it if you would leave a review of the podcast on iTunes or in your podcast app of choice.

Week 89 News Roundup – Apple GPU and Mac, Comcast Mobile, Facebook Content, Samsung Results

Here is this week’s News Roundup episode, which is a solo effort from Jan as Aaron is traveling. This week, we cover:

  • Two unusual announcements of future plans from Apple: its intention to build its own GPU, and its roadmap for pro Macs
  • Comcast’s announcement of its wireless service, Xfinity Mobile
  • Facebook’s testing of a tab surfacing recommended content not shared by your friends
  • Samsung’s preliminary financial results for Q1 2017.

As always, you’ll find links to these stories and other things we discussed underneath the SoundCloud player embedded below.

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. You can reach the individual hosts on Twitter (@jandawson@aaronmiller), or via email (jan at jackdawresearch dot com). We also have a dedicated Podcast Twitter handle at @BDPcast. And we’d love it if you would leave a review of the podcast on iTunes or in your podcast app of choice.

Week 87 News Roundup – YouTube boycott, Samsung Bixby, Twitter subs, Apple news

This is the first of our new News Roundup episodes, which will usually appear on Fridays and discuss several of the week’s top tech news stories. This week, we cover:

  • Advertisers in the UK and now the US boycotting YouTube and to some extent Google more broadly over ads appearing next to undesirable content
  • Samsung’s pre-announcement of its Bixby virtual assistant, which will ship with the Galaxy S8 smartphone it’s expected to announce next week
  • Twitter testing a paid subscription service for power users, apparently built around Tweetdeck and costing $20 per month
  • Apple releasing a new, cheaper, 9.7″ iPad and a video creation and editing app called Clips, and its acquisition of Workflow.

As always, you’ll find links to these stories and other things we discussed underneath the SoundCloud player embedded below.

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. You can reach the individual hosts on Twitter (@jandawson@aaronmiller), or via email (jan at jackdawresearch dot com). We also have a dedicated Podcast Twitter handle at @BDPcast. And we’d love it if you would leave a review of the podcast on iTunes or in your podcast app of choice.

Week 87 QotW – Apple Pricing Strategy

As we announced last week, we’re embarking on a change in the format of the podcast, and from here on out you’ll see two episodes from us weekly, with each encapsulating one of the segments of the old format – the Question of the Week, and the News Roundup. The News Roundup will generally go up on Fridays so that we can capture the week’s news, while the QotW episode will probably go up earlier in the week.

Here, then, is this week’s Question of the Week (QotW) episode, which answers the question “Is Apple undertaking a new low price strategy?” This assertion has been in the news lately, with analyst Neil Cybart penning a piece arguing that Apple Watches and AirPods are underpriced and several people arguing this week that the new iPad is another sign that Apple is going downmarket. In our episode, Aaron evaluates these assertions and brings in some of Apple’s pricing history in order to answer the question of whether we’re seeing a departure from Apple or whether something else is going on.

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 85 – Uber’s Ethical Vacuum, Mac vs PC

This week’s News Roundup covers the Wikileaks CIA leak on device hacking and the misreporting that’s been happening around it this week; two “fake news” stories – Facebook’s commencement of its flagging of fake news and Google’s failure to surface true news in its search snippets feature; and reports that Nest is working on some new smart home gear.

Our Question of the Week is “Can Uber be saved from itself?” Uber has been through the ringer the last few weeks as a result of a set of mishaps largely of its own making, but there’s also a long history of questionable, immoral, and illegal behavior as well as poor treatment of both employees and drivers at Uber. Aaron walks us through the ethical shortcomings that lead to behavior like this, and how Uber could change for the better, based on experience from other companies and his expertise as an ethics expert.

Our Third Segment is a conversation about the narrative that seems to be emerging about Windows PCs gaining on the Mac and to some extent becoming “cool” based on a few recent articles. We have a brief discussion about how much of this is real and how much of it is confined to a narrow set of users who happen to be influential.

Our Weekly Pick is a TV show recommended by 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 84 – AWS and Outages, MWC Announcements

This week’s News Roundup covers YouTube’s announcement of the appropriately named YouTube TV service, which will offer a bundle of broadcast and cable channels from four major companies for $35; rumors that Apple would replace the Lightning connector on iPhones with USB-C in the fall; and Snap Inc’s debut on the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday.

Our Question of the Week is “What is AWS and why are so many people so dependent on it?” Naturally the prompt here is this week’s AWS S3 outage, which caused many sites and services to go down for several hours on Tuesday. We talk through what AWS is, the major products and services that are part of it, how big this is, and the details of Tuesday’s outage, in terms of both the causes and the impact, and whether it’s healthy that so much of the Internet depends on one company.

Our Third Segment is a discussion of some of the phone announcements made at Mobile World Congress this week, from Nokia, BlackBerry, Oppo, LG, and Motorola, and what they tell us about the state of the smartphone market.

Our Weekly Pick is a life hack of sorts recommended by 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 82 – Original Video Content, Snap’s S-1 Filing

We’re back to our usual format this week. Our News Roundup kicks off with a couple of US wireless stories – Verizon Wireless reintroducing unlimited plans, and T-Mobile reporting its results. Next up, we discuss Apple joining the Wireless Power Consortium, and what it might mean. And lastly, we discuss Facebook’s announcement that it’s working on an app for TV boxes like the Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV.

Our Question of the Week is “Who is investing in original video content and why?” The topic has been in the news this week with Apple showing off trailers for two new original series that will be part of Apple Music, and YouTube star PewDiePie being dropped from its original content lineup after making some anti-semitic videos. We discuss who’s investing in this area, why, and what they’re spending, as well as whether it will all be worth it.

Our Weekly Pick is a musician recommended by 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 81 – Business and Politics, News Roundup

We have a slightly different format this week – Jan lost his voice and so we took out the third segment we usually have and spent a little more time on the Question of the Week, where Aaron was going to be doing most of the talking.

Our News Roundup covers three news items as usual. First up: Oculus’s decision to close 200 of its Best Buy demo areas for VR, which some have taken as a sign that VR is fizzling. Second, we talk about Apple’s recent hiring of a former Amazon Fire TV executive, and what it might mean about Apple’s ability to sign content deals. And thirdly, we discuss Android Wear 2.0 and the new LG smartwatches which launched this week, and what they suggest about the state of the smartwatch market and wearables more broadly.

Our Question of the Week is “What role should businesses play in political and social change?” This topic has been in the news recently with many tech companies weighing in on the Trump administration’s recent executive orders on immigration, but it also has a long history. Aaron talks us through some of the history, the pros and cons of corporate intervention in politics, and the evidence about whether such intervention is actually effective or not. This isn’t a political discussion per se, but we do touch on some current and past political issues.

Our Weekly Pick is a TV show recommended by 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 80 – Tech Narratives, Apple Earnings

A quick note: we had an glitch at Aaron’s end, which dramatically reduced the quality of his side of the audio, so he sounds like he’s on the other end of a phone line rather than using a high powered mic. We’re not sure what happened, but it wasn’t fixable, unfortunately. Our apologies, but things should be back to normal next week.

The three topics in our News Roundup this week are pretty diverse. We start with Fitbit’s preliminary earnings, which were below guidance and triggered layoffs at the company, undermining the company’s argument that its recent slowing growth is temporary. Secondly, we discuss the Comcast-Roku partnership which puts Xfinity TV on Roku as an app as a potential replacement for a set top box, with some significant caveats. Lastly, we talk about Slack’s launch of Enterprise Grid, a more sophisticated version of the app for larger, complex enterprises.

Our Question of the Week is “What are narratives in tech and where do they come from?” We talk about the prevalence of narratives in tech news – the stories that get woven around companies and trends in the industry, and which often take on a life of their own, limiting companies’ ability to shape people’s perceptions. We use this topic as a jumping-off point for talking about Jan’s new website, Tech Narratives (www.technarratives.com), which aims to evaluate these narratives and put the day’s tech news in context.

Our third segment is a review of Apple’s earnings for the December quarter. We discuss individual product lines like iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Watch, but also talk about broader issues like the extra week in the quarter, currency headwinds, the potential for finally repatriating some of Apple’s overseas cash in 2017, and what’s really going on in China.

Lastly, our Weekly Pick is a children’s book 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:

  • News Roundup:
  • Question of the Week:
  • Aaron’s Weekly Pick was The Wild Robot, by Peter Brown (Amazon affiliate link), a children’s book Aaron has been enjoying with one of his sons recently (and which, he revealed later on Wednesday, has an emotional ending).

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.