Tag Archive for ‘Phil Schiller’

Phil Schiller Explains Steam Link App Rejection ➝

John Voorhees, reporting for MacStories:

We now have a better idea of the reasons behind the Steam Link rejection thanks to an email message from Phil Schiller, Apple’s Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing, to a MacStories reader, the authenticity of which we have verified.

According to Phil Schiller’s reply, the Steam Link app violated “a number of guidelines around user generated content, in-app purchases, content codes, etc.” The good news is that apple is continuing to work with Valve to fix these issues and hopefully the app will be available soon.

Thoughts on a Potential Echo Competitor

Rumors of an Apple-made Echo competitor have been around for nearly as long as Amazon has been selling their voice assistant devices. Last year, The Information claimed that Apple had been working on a Siri-powered smart speaker since 2015. Here we are, a year after The Information’s piece, and the current crop of rumors are pointing toward this year’s WWDC as a possible announcement venue.

Ming-Chi Kuo, writing for KGI Securities, as quoted by MacRumors:

We believe there is an over 50% chance that Apple will announce its first home AI product at WWDC in June and start selling in the [second half of 2017] in order to compete with the new Amazon Echo models to be launched […]

We expect Apple’s first home AI product will have excellent acoustics performance (one woofer + seven tweeters) and computing power (similar to iPhone 6/6S AP). Therefore the product is likely to be positioned for: (i) the high-end market; (ii) better entertainment experience; and (iii) higher price than Amazon Echo.

I think it’s worth pointing out that Kuo believes Apple’s Echo competitor will be positioned to compete with “the new Amazon Echo models to be launched”. Just eight days after KGI Securities published this note to investors, Amazon unveiled the Echo Show — a new smart speaker device with a built-in display. Perhaps this is the device that Apple is aiming to compete with.

Adding fuel to the fire, Phil Schiller, in an interview with Gadget360, was asked about the Amazon Echo and Google Home. He wouldn’t speak to either device specifically, instead choosing to discuss the category as a whole. While Schiller did admit that there were times when an entirely voice-controlled interface was useful, he emphasized the importance of a display for many tasks:

First of all, there is a lot of talk in the industry about voice-driven assistants and we believe deeply in voice-driven assistants that’s why invest in Siri, but there is interest in a voice-only assistant, where there is no screen, and we think it’s important to that there are times when it’s convenient to simply use your voice when you are not able to use the screen. For example, if you’re driving [and] you want Siri to work for you without having to look at the screen, that’s the best thing. Or maybe you’re across the room, and you want to ask Siri to change the song you were listening to – you don’t have to walk over and back [and you can use Siri instead].

So there’s many moments where a voice assistant is really beneficial, but that doesn’t mean you’d never want a screen. So the idea of not having a screen, I don’t think suits many situations.

If Apple plans to announce a Siri-powered smart speaker at WWDC — and I think they will — it has to feature a touch screen display. And in an attempt to one-up Amazon’s Echo Show, I believe Apple’s Siri-powered device will feature a fully-functional version of iOS that’s capable of running all of the same software as the iPad or iPhone. One of Apple’s greatest strengths is the iOS ecosystem — a never-ending supply of developers building some of the most innovative software of our time.

A touch screen device that’s built on iOS seems like a no-brainer, but the bigger question is, what will the Siri-powered speaker actually look like? Will it be similar to Amazon’s Echo Show — an iMac-like iOS device? Or will it be two components — a dock with high-quality speakers and beam-forming microphones alongside an iPad Mini-sized tablet.

I would prefer Apple to favor versatility and portability in their design and opt for a Siri-speaker with multiple components. Give me a device that, when docked, can be fully operated by voice — for use while cooking or doing dishes — but can also be removed from the dock and carried into the dining room for light reading while I enjoy a cup of coffee.

I want the ability to browse for recipes on the tablet’s touchscreen while I’m streaming podcasts from my iPhone to the device’s speaker dock. I want to use my voice to start playback of the latest episode of Silicon Valley and have that viewing reflected in the TV app on my Apple TV and iPad. I want a an Echo-competitor that feels fully entrenched in Apple’s ecosystem — something that syncs with my iCloud account, can run all of the same applications as my iPhone and iPad, and leverages services like FaceTime, the TV app, and iMessages.

I think this is something Apple can deliver. Maybe they can’t do everything in 1.0. But if they can ship a sizable portion of these features by the end of the year, I’ll be the first in line to buy one.

The Talk Show With Phil Schiller and Craig Federighi ➝

From the show notes:

Recorded in front of a live audience in San Francisco, John Gruber is joined by Phil Schiller and Craig Federighi to discuss the news from WWDC: WatchOS 3, MacOS 10.12 Sierra, iOS 10, and more.

I tried to watch the show live, as it was recorded Tuesday night. Unfortunately, the stream kept going down and I ended up having to find a stream on Periscope to see it to the end. But the video and audio quality were piss poor, at best, and I missed a big chunk in the middle while I was searching for a bootleg stream.

Luckily, John Gruber has now published a video of the episode which I’ll be watching later tonight.

The New App Store ➝

Faster review times, subscription pricing, and search ads — all of which would be huge news on their own — are all coming to the App Store. I think these changes will be good overall. The faster review times give developers a little more assurance that bug fixes will go live in a timely manner and search ads will help developers find a steady stream of new customers. I’m still a little lukewarm on the subscription pricing change, though.

My biggest fear is that developers will ask too much for their apps and I’ll be forced to pay an unreasonable monthly fee in order to continue using them. In an ideal world, for me at least, developers of high-quality productivity apps will charge a yearly fee at a price point similar to what they charge to purchase the app today.

I’m excited to see how these changes play out, but I expect they’ll result in a more healthy ecosystem for developers and users alike. And with announcements like this coming the week before WWDC, it feels like we’re in for one hell of a keynote. Phil Schiller even referenced this at the beginning of his call with John Gruber:

We’ve got a bunch of App Store/developer-related announcements for WWDC next week, but frankly, we’ve got a busy enough keynote that we decided we’re not going to cover those in the keynote. And rather, just cover them in the afternoon and throughout the week.

I’m really glad Phil Schiller was put in charge of the App Store.

Five Years of Mac App Store ➝

Graham Spencer, writing for MacStories:

Apple has let the Mac App Store stagnate and become a second class citizen to the iOS App Store and too many developers are leaving or avoiding the Mac App Store. When important apps leave the Mac App Store, it makes the store as a whole less enticing and customers have one less reason to open the Mac App Store.

Just how often do you open the Mac App Store?

The good news is that Apple might already be taking steps to improve the Mac App Store by putting Phil Schiller in charge of its operations. But Graham’s right, the only time I ever open the Mac App Store is when there are updates available for software I already own.

Regarding Phil Schiller and the Mac App Store ➝

John Gruber:

Putting Schiller in charge might be particularly good news for the Mac App Store. One story I’ve heard — third-hand at best, so take it with a grain of salt — is that it was Schiller who personally pushed for the creation of the Mac App Store, and that he convinced Steve Jobs to go ahead with it. (Jobs, so the story goes, thought the Mac didn’t need an App Store — that the existing means of distributing apps was good enough.) I think Schiller has a personal interest in seeing the Mac App Store succeed.

Seeing as how Schiller is often the one who announces new Macs on stage at Apple events, I’ve always thought of him as “the Mac guy” on Apple’s executive team. So, it wouldn’t surprise me if he was the one who pushed to bring the App Store to the Mac.

Apple Names Jeff Williams COO, Phil Schiller Now in Charge of App Store ➝

From Apple’s press release:

Apple today announced that Jeff Williams has been named chief operating officer and Johny Srouji is joining Apple’s executive team as senior vice president for Hardware Technologies. Phil Schiller, senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing, will expand his role to include leadership of the revolutionary App Store across all Apple platforms. Apple also announced that Tor Myhren will join Apple in the first calendar quarter of 2016 as vice president of Marketing Communications, reporting to CEO Tim Cook.

Phil Schiller taking over the App Store is what has me excited about this executive team shakeup. The service always felt like a rudderless ship, but I think Schiller’s the kind of person that could make the right changes and improve the experience for users and developers alike.

The Talk Show, Live with Phil Schiller ➝

A delightful intro by Merlin Mann and Adam Lisagor, the first appearance of an Apple executive on an independent podcast, and insightful discussions on software stability, iOS 9, privacy, the 16GB storage size, the tradeoffs associated with device thinness, the MacBook’s single USB port, and more. Phil spoke very candidly in this interview and was willing to answer any question thrown at him, even the ones that you wouldn’t expect him to. If you only listen to one podcast episode today it should be this one, it’s an absolute must-listen.

Update: John has also published a video edition of the episode on Vimeo.