Archive for May 18, 2018

Friday, May 18, 2018 [Tweets] [Favorites]

The Developers Union

Brent Simmons, Jake Schumacher, et al.:

We believe that people who create great software should be able to make a living doing it. So we created The Developers Union to advocate for sustainability in the App Store.

Today, we are asking Apple to commit to allowing free trials for all apps in the App Stores by the tenth anniversary of the App Store this July. After that, we’ll start advocating for a more reasonable revenue cut and other community-driven, developer-friendly changes.

See also: AppleInsider, Wired.

Update (2018-05-18): Brent Simmons:

Some of the press coverage about The Developers Union uses words like “angry” and “fed up.” These aren’t accurate characterizations at all. Nobody’s mad here!

But here‘s the deal: Apple controls the App Store and its economics. The system could be set up better to support high-quality apps, by indies, that last for years.

Update (2018-05-19): See also: Hacker News, MacRumors, The Verge.

Update (2018-06-02): Becky Hansmeyer:

My app, Snapthread, is a utility. In general, utilities aren’t great candidates for subscription pricing. So while devs do have the option to offer a free trial for their subscription-based apps, the only way to offer a trial experience for paid upfront apps is to implement some type of in-app purchase to unlock full functionality or upload a separate, “lite” version to the store. There’s really no good way for non-paying users to experience your app in its full glory without significant compromises.

Max Seelemann:

The freedom of offering re-trials on major releases. Bought with just a few months of engineering work

Basic Questions About Google Duplex

Dan Primack:

When you call a business, the person picking up the phone almost always identifies the business itself (and sometimes gives their own name as well). But that didn’t happen when the Google assistant called these “real” businesses[…]

John Gruber:

The way the people answered the phone in these recordings was one of the first things that made me suspicious that these examples were either significantly edited or outright fakes. Plus, the salon only asks for a name (and only a first name at that). No phone number, no checking if the client has a request for a certain stylist.

Nick Heer:

Google CEO Sundar Pichai insisted three times that these calls were real, but these discrepancies should be answered. If these calls were edited, even just to remove the business name to limit publicity, Google hasn’t said. Very strange.

Joe Cieplinski:

But if I had to guess: Google made a real phone call, but to someone who had been prepped to follow a very specific script. That way, they were sure to get the responses they wanted. Not so much a complete fake as a contrived circumstance that didn’t demonstrate how this app would behave in the real world.

See also: John Gruber.

Update (2018-06-02): John Gruber:

But Pichai also said “This will be rolling out in the coming weeks as an experiment.” On the one hand, that makes me feel like maybe I am off my rocker for being so skeptical. Why in the world would Pichai say that if they weren’t at a stage in internal testing where Duplex works as the recordings suggest? But on the other hand, if they are that close, why haven’t they invited anyone from the media to see Duplex in action?

[…]

The headlines last week should have been along the lines of “Google Claims Assistant Can Make Human-Sounding Phone Calls”, not “Google Assistant Can Make Human-Sounding Phone Calls”. There’s a difference.

Update (2018-06-28): John Gruber:

Google has finally done what they should’ve done initially: let a group of journalists (two groups actually, one on each coast) actually listen to and participate in live Duplex calls.