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.

Episode 45 – Music Industry Interview

As we said last week, Aaron is out of the country for the next couple of weeks on a trip to Ghana, in Africa. As such, we’re switching up the format of the podcast a little in his absence. This week, that means you get an interview between Jan and Ryan Wright, who was formerly SVP, Global Marketing at Sony Music, and who is now CMO at music startup Kobalt. Our conversation kicked off with a brief history of Ryan’s career in the music industry, which included launching the Backstreet Boys in Korea and working with other artists such as Britney Spears and Michael Jackson. Ryan also explained what he does at Kobalt, which is a tech startup that helps labels and artists (and others) get their money from all the many parties that pay to play their music. We then talked for quite a while about how the industry has evolved over the last 15 years, and where it’s likely to go from here, including the rise of streaming and whether ad-supported streaming is good or bad for the industry. Thanks to Ryan for his time this week, and we look forward to another interesting conversation next week.

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 44 – Apple March 2016 Quarter Earnings

For the next few weeks, we’re going to be messing with our usual format as Aaron will be traveling. This week, the only topic was Apple’s earnings for the March quarter. The first twenty minutes or so are mostly Aaron, who had just a brief window before heading to the airport, and the second twenty minutes are just Jan sharing his take on the earnings report and riffing off his two posts on the blog this week. Aaron also explains at the beginning why he’s heading off to Ghana for two and a half weeks.

Over the next couple of weeks, while Aaron is away, Jan will be having conversations with guests instead, so the format will be different from usual, but we’ll still have an episode for you each week.

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 43 – EU Android Antitrust Action, Tech Earnings Roundup

Our three News Roundup topics this week were:

  • China’s blocking of two Apple content services
  • Apple’s MacBook update
  • Uber’s settlement with drivers.

Our Question of the Week is “What should we make of the European Union’s antitrust action against Google?” We discuss the EU’s process for investigation these allegations, the specifics of the allegations against Google, and whether they hold water. We also talk about the parallels and differences with regard to the EU’s case against Microsoft roughly 15 years ago. And we talk about the likely outcomes of this case.

Our third topic is a review of tech earnings over the past week, focusing particularly on Alphabet, Intel, Microsoft, and Netflix. We discuss the common thread of mobile disruption overhanging several of the results, as well as Netflix’s coming price increase and its international expansion.

As ever, we wrapped up with a Weekly Pick, this week a gardening tool 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 topics:
  • Jan’s blog post about the EU’s Android Mistake, which also has links to the three relevant documents from the EU itself
  • Jan’s follow-up post focused on the relevant market definition
  • Aaron’s Weekly Pick this week was a weeding tool made by Fiskars – you can buy it on Amazon here.

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.