Mike Becky

Tag Archive for ‘MacRumors’

Apple Further Explains Why iGBA Was Removed From App Store ➝

Joe Rossignol, reporting for MacRumors:

Notably, Apple confirmed to us that emulators on the App Store are permitted to load ROMs downloaded from the web, so long as the app is emulating retro console games only. Apple also said it had approved iGBA’s functionality, before learning that it was a knockoff app, suggesting that Game Boy emulation is permitted on the App Store, but the company has yet to share any other examples of retro game consoles.

I learned about iGBA on the App Store when Retro Game Corps published a YouTube short highlighting it. I was going to write about it here on Monday and discovered that it had been removed.

I’m happy to learn that there wasn’t a mixup in app review and that emulators are allowed. I think there’s some question about what Apple considers to be “retro” emulation, though.

My suspicion is that Apple isn’t going to make an explicit decision on this and will, instead, rely on their policy of restricting access to JIT to limit what their hardware is capable of emulating.

Without access to JIT, current emulators that are available through sideload are only able to emulate up to PlayStation, Nintendo 64, and Sega Saturn for home consoles and PSP and some Nintendo 3DS for handheld consoles.

Regardless, though, I look forward to seeing more emulators make their way onto the App Store.

➝ Source: macrumors.com

Apple Cancels Electric Car Project ➝

Juli Clover, writing for MacRumors:

Apple’s Chief Operating Officer Jeff Williams today told approximately 2,000 employees working on the ‌Apple Car‌ that the project was canceled, and the information reportedly came as a surprise.

They had two thousand people working on this thing? Seriously?

➝ Source: macrumors.com

Prime Video to Include Ads Next Year, Amazon Offering Ad Free Option for $2.99 a Month ➝

Coincidentally, prior to this news, my wife and I had a conversation about whether we could cancel Amazon Prime. The only feature we actually use is Prime shipping — we don’t use their music service, video service, or anything else, just the shipping.

I have a feeling we could get along fine without it.

As for Prime Video and streaming services in general, the cost-benefit equation has seen a sharp decline in recent years. I’m so glad I made the decision to build my own media library in Plex and eliminate our reliance on these streaming services.

➝ Source: macrumors.com

iOS 17.2 and tvOS 17.2 Kills TV Show and Movie Wishlists ➝

Juli clover, writing for MacRumors:

In the iTunes Store app on the iPhone and iPad, and the separate iTunes TV Shows and iTunes Movies apps on the ‌Apple TV‌, there were options to add TV shows and movies to a dedicated wishlist when browsing, which consumers used to save the content for later and watch for sales.

The wishlists did not transfer over to the ‌Apple TV‌ app with these updates, so some customers who had compiled long watch lists are unable to access those curated lists or copy them over to a new location. Some users are able to open up the iTunes Store app on iOS devices and tap on the hamburger button in the upper right corner to see their wishlists, but this does not appear to be working for everyone. Those who compiled lists on the ‌Apple TV‌ appear to have no way to access them.

I’ve also noticed that there is no option to view a preview of TV show episodes in the TV app either, which was available in the dedicated iTunes TV Shows app.

A warning on this would have been nice, but I hate that they’re doing it regardless. If I want to browse TV shows or movies to purchase on my Apple TV, all the iTunes Store content is commingled with media that’s only available on streaming. Even if you stick to the “Store” section, you’ll see plenty of movies and shows that require Apple TV+ or another streaming app and subscription to view.

➝ Source: macrumors.com

Apple Removes TV Show and Movie Purchases From iTunes Store App in iOS 17.2 ➝

Juli Clover, writing for MacRumors:

With the launch of iOS 17.2 and iPadOS 17.2, Apple made a server side change that removes the option to purchase and access TV shows and movies from the iTunes Store app.

Attempting to access the TV Shows and Movies sections in the app directs users to the Apple TV app instead. “iTunes Movies and Your Purchases Have Moved,” reads the app’s message. “You can buy or rent movies and find your purchases in the ‌Apple TV‌ app.”

Lame. I don’t even have the TV app installed on my devices.

➝ Source: macrumors.com

Disney+ and Hulu Merging Into Single App, Beta Coming in December ➝

Merging the apps makes sense from a business standpoint — it will give them more opportunities to promote the subscriptions to users that only have one or the other.

But I suspect they will go beyond that — I’d take this as an early signal that Disney+ and Hulu’s existence as separate subscriptions isn’t long for this world. It seems inevitable that they’ll eventually be merged.

If you’re still paying for subscriptions like this, I’d suggest setting up a Plex server and spending the equivalent of a streaming subscription each month on purchased media — be it DVDs and Blu-rays to rip or digital downloads that you can strip the DRM from.

Start building up a library of content that you own to eventually opt out of this whole subscription nonsense.

➝ Source: macrumors.com

Reddit’s API Pricing

Apollo on iPad

I’m going to share, what I expect to be, a controversial opinion about the new API pricing from Reddit. Not because I’m some big fan of Reddit — I follow a single subreddit through RSS and only do so because that same information isn’t easily digestible from anywhere else.

I would prefer that everyone leave Reddit and move to the open web for distributed, open source, community-run alternatives. We’ve allowed the current crop of social media companies to overstay their welcome. We should have all moved on from Reddit, Twitter, Facebook, and the rest of the bunch years ago.

But — brace yourself — I don’t think Reddit’s new API pricing is catastrophic for the third-party app ecosystem.

We can quibble about whether or not developers need to pay their “fair share” and what exactly “fair” would be in this context, but it seems to me that you can still build a third-party Reddit client that is economically feasible with this new pricing. But these third-party developers would need to charge more than they currently do.

We’ll look at Apollo here since that’s the app I’m most familiar with and the one that’s received the most attention throughout this within my circle.

Christian Selig, writing on Reddit about the API pricing:

Apollo made 7 billion requests last month, which would put it at about 1.7 million dollars per month, or 20 million US dollars per year. Even if I only kept subscription users, the average Apollo user uses 344 requests per day, which would cost $2.50 per month, which is over double what the subscription currently costs, so I’d be in the red every month.

Based on the $20 million per year in API fees number and the average per user per month cost of $2.50, that puts Apollo at about 666,000 active users.

How much was Apollo charging for the app, you may ask? According to Juli Clover at MacRumors:

Right now, Apollo Pro is a one-time $4.99 fee that unlocks additional features, and Apollo Ultra is an even more premium tier that costs $12.99 per year.

I’m not a fan of subscription pricing, generally, but this seems criminally underpriced for what the app is providing. It’s a far better experience than what you get from Reddit themselves and a significant discount compared to Reddit Premium — which is $5.99 per month or $49.99 per year.

So what if Apollo charged $6 per month — the same as Reddit Premium? Taking out $2.50 for Reddit’s cut and about $1.80 for Apple’s, that would give Apollo about $1.70 per user per month.

If every existing user paid, that would be about $1.1 million per month in earnings after Apple and Reddit’s cut.

If only a third of those users paid, that would be over $350,000 per month.

I don’t know what the operating costs are for Apollo and, in an ideal world, perhaps Reddit’s fees are a bit higher than they should be. But my back of the napkin math tells me that it’s totally feasible to develop a third-party Reddit app and make enough money from it for a small team to earn a reasonable living.

But to do so, Reddit’s essentially forcing third-party developers to charge at least as much per month as Reddit’s own premium subscription. From Reddit’s perspective, this makes total sense. Why would they want third-party apps to provide a better experience at a lower cost than Reddit’s own offering?

Now this isn’t to say that third-party developers should just put on their big boy pants, pay the new fees, and end the boycotts. By all means, continue with the boycotts, try to convince Reddit to lower their API fees as much as possible, and move as many communities to the open web as you can.

But don’t say that the new pricing makes it impossible to build a third-party app. Because that’s not true. It would just require pricing apps so they’re more in-line with Reddit’s own offering.

Apple Services Except iCloud to Stop Working on Some Older Software Versions ➝

I wonder if this will mean I’ll no longer be able to download content from iTunes on my old Mac Mini running Sierra. Which is currently the easiest way to legally obtain movies and TV shows for my Plex library after running it through some DRM-removal software.

➝ Source: macrumors.com