Archive for September 11, 2015

Friday, September 11, 2015

Apple/Google Hiring Lawsuit Finally Settled

John Ribeiro:

A court in California has approved a $415 million settlement between tech workers and Intel, Google, Apple, and Adobe Systems, who were accused of conspiring to prevent the poaching of each other’s employees.

The final approval has, however, reduced significantly the sums to be paid to lawyers and the class representatives who had initiated the court action.

Previously: Apple/Google Hiring Lawsuit, Settled.

Update (2016-03-18): Ashley Nelson-Hornstein:

Cook uses the book as a platform to defend his friend against Isaacson’s portrayal. In fact, there are two full pages of consecutive quotes that read like a soliloquy, without narrative structure. A curious moment also occurs when Cook explains Jobs’ part in the lawsuit against Silicon Valley companies, for their secret and illegal agreement not to poach senior employees from one another. Cook says in part “…I don’t think he was thinking about saving any money. He was just very protective of his employees.” I was surprised to hear such a patriarchal sentiment from the CEO of Apple.

Lyft Goes Swift

Harry McCracken:

A bit over a year after Apple’s announcement, it was ready with an all-Swift version of Lyft. The company believes that it’s the largest app to make the move, both in terms of lines of code and number of users.


By June, nearly every iOS developer was working in Swift; on average, it took two or three weeks for any given engineer to be up, running, and comfortable.


Swift code was also far more compact than Objective-C, which made it easier to understand and manage. Over the years, the original version of Lyft had ballooned to 75,000 lines of code. By the time the company was done recreating it in Swift, they had something that performed the same tasks in less than a third of that.


“One of the challenges of doing something like this is, you don’t really have a viable gradual rollout strategy for iOS,” says Lambert. “Android has a little bit of a leg up there, where you can do a 1%, a 5%, a 10% rollout. With iOS, basically, it’s live or it’s not, which puts a lot of the burden on the engineering team. Everyone who has auto-update turned on on their phone will have it within an hour.”

Macworld UK Ends Print Magazine

Karen Haslam (via Jon Seff):

It's sad to wave goodbye to a medium that's in our hearts, but with now the most viewed Apple-focused media website in the world we think it's time to retire the print edition so the team can focus entirely on digital.

But this isn't the end of Macworld as a magazine. Far from it. None of your award-winning Macworld editorial team is leaving and the good news is that in addition to keeping the website up-to-date with news, the team will continue to produce Macworld magazine as a digital edition, available to read on your iPad.

I’m not sure I believe the “most viewed” claim. In any case, it’s good that, unlike with the US Macworld, no one is being laid off.

Getting a New iPhone

John Gordon:

Among other issues, Apple has longstanding problems with their customer identity infrastructure and how it intersects with their device registration, DRM rules, and messaging systems. Under iOS 8, for example, there appear to be 4-5 different authentication channels for Apple products even when a user has only one AppleID.

Which is why, in the course of moving the kid’s iPhones around, I made a list of the steps I take when deactivating an old iPhone (for sale, disposal, or migration to the backup stack).

Derek Kessler:

The complication comes from AT&T naming the plans with numbers that don’t match the months you’re paying — they’re the number of months after which you can trade in for an upgrade So while the Next 12 plan divides your payments over 20 months, you’ll be eligible to trade in for an upgrade after 12 months. See? Not that confusing.


With all Next upgrades it’s a trade-in — it’s rent-to-own. You’re paying equity into the phone, and you can trade it in for a new phone partway through, or you can keep paying and in the end the phone is yours.


A 2-year contract will cost about $50 more [than Next] over the long haul, but that the phone is still yours at the end after putting $500+ into it makes the old way of doing things mighty tempting.

  • If you plan to update your phone frequently, purchase on the Next 12 plan. It has the lowest cost to upgrade (either by waiting the requisite 12 months or waiting at least 2 moths and paying off the remaining balance to 12) of any of the Next plans (Next 12: 60%; Next 18: 75%; Next 24: 80%), and while you’ll pay more per month, you’ll pay less per phone.
  • If you plan to upgrade every other year, don’t bother with the Next 24 plan and go for the traditional 2-year contract. It costs you about the same over 2 years, but in the end you get to keep your old phone instead of having to trade it in. Or you can trade it in for an additional rebate. Yes, it feels weird to be recommending you buy on contract, but the match checks out.

However, it looks like you can’t buy an AT&T phone with a 2-year contract from Apple’s online store. You don’t want to get the 2-year contract if you aren’t going to upgrade when it’s over, because you’ll still be paying an extra $15/month for nothing.

Update (2015-09-11): Whitson Gordon:

But I always wondered whether it was more cost effective to sell your old phone early, while it still had value, or run it into the ground. Which saves you more money in the long run?


Looking at those numbers, it seems that it’s most cost effective to sell your phone every three years or more, but just by a nose. Doing so will save you around $100 (plus tax) over the course of six years on Swappa. If you use my Cragslist numbers, it comes out closer to $160. Even more interestingly, selling your phone every year and every two years is pretty darn close to equal. So if every three years is a bit too long for you, you might as well upgrade every year and have the latest and greatest!


Most of this math hinges on one very important fact: you should sell your phone using a site that doesn’t take a bunch of extra fees.

Update (2015-09-12): Josh Centers and Adam C. Engst:

It took us hours to sift through the carrier sites to put together these lists, and frustratingly, it’s difficult to make exact comparisons, due to the carriers offering differently sized data plans. Nonetheless, here are our conclusions.

Update (2015-09-25): Lloyd Chambers:

A year ago I wrote What does an iPhone 6 Plus cost?, in which I showed how no matter what you do, AT&T will nick you. There exists no good deal; all deals are variations on the same pricing in which you end up paying in full for the phone (or more), one way or another.

Update (2015-10-14): Adam Fields:

“Because the iPhone Upgrade Program isn’t tied to a single carrier, you don’t need a multiyear service contract. If you don’t have any carrier commitments, you’re free to select a new carrier or stick with the one you have.”


Except - that’s not the case. As Apple has now revealed on their LTE specifications page, the two phones are not cross-compatible. The AT&T phone works on AT&T and only on AT&T. The “everything else” phone doesn’t work on AT&T at all. And by “works”, I’m talking about LTE service. It’s 2015 - you can’t say that a flagship iPhone (or any recent iPhone for that matter) is really functional without LTE service.