Archive for January 12, 2023

Thursday, January 12, 2023

Favoring Apple Maps Services

Joe Rossignol (Reddit):

A free Business Connect tool announced by Apple today allows businesses to customize their location card in the Maps app with a brand logo, images, and other key information, such as special promotions or seasonal menu items at a restaurant. Businesses can also highlight various actions, such as ordering groceries via Instacart, making a dinner reservation via OpenTable, booking a hotel at, and more.

Adam Chandler:

This is a timely announcement because just yesterday, I recorded a video of what I consider a very crappy experience that’s new to this version of iOS available today. The experience of researching a place you’d like to go and then going back to do a different search takes multiple clicks. It’s also not human friendly how you clear the floating tile, nor is it clear what all of these guides are doing and why there are hundreds of them.

Some of my gripes with Maps on iOS 16:

Pushing the App Store on me both the jump to install Yelp or apps of the POI like CVS/WalMart/Shell/Subway, etc when I’m just trying to find a place to get fuel for my car

If I’m seeing the arrival time to a place (you have to route there to see this), I have to tap 6 times to get back to the search window.


The very slow animations of zooming and panning around the map.


Big City Things, algorithmically deciding what to show me. […] Google Maps shows you everything if you zoom in to maximum zoom but Apple doesn’t

This is a pet peeve of mine, too. He links to several TomTom apps that “have zero advertisements or any tomfoolery that makes getting from point A to B difficult.”


Update (2023-01-13): Nick Heer:

It took me a while to find any Guides for Calgary — where I live — because there is no way I can see to search for them. In addition to the random assortment suggested on the search card, there is a massive list sorted by creator, and select cities can be found on an Explore card — but Calgary is not one of those cities. However you might see Guides listed on the results card if you search for a city. That is, if I want to find suggestions for great pasta spots in Calgary, I need to search for the city I live in and then scroll down the card to find relevant guides. I find that unintuitive, to say the least.

Right now, Guides in Maps feels like an unrealized marketing idea instead of a user-facing feature which means it is, as Chandler writes, more intrusive than helpful.

The Tyranny of the Churn Equation

David Smith (Mastodon):

As you can see there is an asymptotic point in this for many configurations where your revenue hits a ceiling that you can’t escape from. This level is the manifestation of the “weight” of your churning users growing over time.


I share this concept in the hopes that it will serve as an encouragement to other developers out there who are working on subscription apps and finding they are reaching a ceiling in revenue where they can’t seem to break free.


I will say that based on paying around with lots of configurations, improving your retention rate appears to be much more important to long term income than sign-up rate. Relatively small changes there can have huge cumulative impacts.

Microsoft Acquires Fungible

Kyle Wiggers:

In December, reports suggested that Microsoft had acquired Fungible, a startup fabricating a type of data center hardware known as a data processing unit (DPU), for around $190 million. Today, Microsoft confirmed the acquisition but not the purchase price, saying that it plans to use Fungible’s tech and team to deliver “multiple DPU solutions, network innovation and hardware systems advancements.”

“Fungible’s technologies help enable high-performance, scalable, disaggregated, scaled-out data center infrastructure with reliability and security,” Girish Bablani, the CVP of Microsoft’s Azure Core division, wrote in a blog post.

Via Nick Heer:

I think that means Bertrand Serlet is joining Microsoft. Yes, that Bertrand Serlet, in case you got your Bertrands Serlet mixed up and, for some reason, decided to call him “a former Apple software engineer” instead of “the Microsoft Aero fan”.

Apple Transparency Report to Include App Takedowns

Filipe Espósito:

The Financial Times reported on Wednesday that Apple assured activist investors earlier this month that it will discuss why it removes certain apps from the App Store for greater transparency. This follows the removal of many apps from the App Store in countries such as China and Russia.


Today’s report claims that Apple will now say how many apps each country has asked to be removed from the App Store, and whether these requests are based on legal violation and whether Apple has agreed to them. The company will also inform its investors how many apps have been removed for violating App Store guidelines in each country.


Update (2024-05-01): Jesse Squires:

Apple does not have a laudable record when it comes to cooperating with authoritarian governments. Below is a brief history of events that I have been tracking so far.


Poor App Rejection Communication

Stammy (February 2022, via Matthew Bischoff):

Want to learn iOS dev & build your first, simple app? Don’t. Apple will just call it spam.

App Store called @StocketaApp spam (was going through testflight review)


The App Store called me on the phone 🤯🙏

They said the wording in this notice was unhelpful as the issue was not actually design related.

The real issue stemmed from how I was migrating to an Individual Dev account from a Business acct & there were temporarily 2 Stocketa apps

Ryan Jones:

Just imagine if you didn’t have 50k followers though.

Sam Rowlands:

Been writing Mac apps since ’94.

In 2019, Apple called me a spammer, while trying to launch a v2 product.

They pushed me to adopt IAP & combine several apps into one, replacing an existing app with this new bundled version.

Never again, two years of life wasted.

Joe Cieplinski:

Nothing bugs me more about app review than the language they use during rejections. Almost never clear. 9 times out of 10, it’s just a cut and paste from the guidelines with no further explanation.

Zach Waugh:

The 30% gets so much focus, but this is the real problem with the App Store. Until Apple allows alternate means of distribution, they shouldn’t reject any apps except for malware/scams. Who cares if only 10 people find it useful, or it’s the 100th entry in a crowded category?