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Inside Apple

Inside Apple (May 21st, 2019)

$AAPL (12:34 PM EDT May 21): $187.45 (+2.38%) // More info

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1. Apple issued a press statement about Apple News+ today that says — between the lines — that the service is not yet good enough. “Hundreds of people at Apple, across editorial, engineering, marketing and design teams, are working to make Apple News+ the best experience for people,” SVP of Internet Services Eddy Cue says. This statement adds to a genre of apologies-disguised-as-promotion that Apple deployed heavily after the launch of its last paid subscription service, Apple Music. Apple does tend to get its services right over time; even Apple Maps, which necessitated a full-blown apology, has begun to beat Google Maps on features. — 9TO5MAC

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2. Three mobile chip engineers hired by Google to create in-house hardware, including two hired from Apple, have left the company. Apple’s strategy of building as much of its hardware itself as possible has allowed it to dominate in device profits and margins. Google seems to be interested in switching to a more Apple-like strategy after years of letting OEMs worry about hardware. These departures signal a lack of progress. — THE INFORMATION (paywalled)

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3. Former Apple creative director Ken Segall revealed that Steve Jobs wanted Apple to make a credit card as early as 2004. He wanted customers to earn “iPoints” on their credit card purchases that could be redeemed in the iTunes Store. Longtime Apple commentator John Gruber has griped that the credit card business is a new and concerning direction for Apple since news about the plans leaked in February, but apparently Apple Card has much deeper roots at the company than Gruber gave it credit for. — KEN SEGALL

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4. The White House says it will grant temporary exemptions to new trade rules forbidding U.S. firms from selling technology to Huawei. Following the news of the rollback, the stock market has reversed some of Monday's losses. The Trump administration is trying to send a message to China that it’s serious about negotiating more favorable trade agreements, but Monday’s stock market drop seems to indicate that too many U.S. companies do too much business with Huawei to cut them off just to make a point. — WALL STREET JOURNAL

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5. Apple’s new arrangements to sell hardware directly on Amazon has been devastating for small businesses who sold refurbished Apple products on the third-party marketplace. For years, resellers have been refurbishing Apple devices and selling them on Amazon. When Apple moved in six months ago, new rules have made it much more difficult to qualify to sell these inexpensive ways into Apple’s ecosystem. Now old devices are piling up and independent businesses are shutting down. — THE VERGE

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6. Health Canada has approved the electrocardiogram and irregular heartbeat notifications on the Apple Watch Series 4. These health features launched on the then-new watch in the U.S. in December, and Canadian users have been eagerly awaiting regulators to approve them. Six months later, the Canadian launch appears imminent. — MACRUMORS

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7. Federico Viticci has published his magnum opus of life as a pro iPad-first user, including criticisms of the state of the platform and hopes for its future (which could arrive at WWDC in two weeks). — MACSTORIES

8. The renowned device teardown and repair experts at iFixit wrote an in-depth story about Apple’s Taptic Engine — the thing that makes the iPhone vibrate — and how far ahead of the competition it is. — IFIXIT

9. Google Glass still exists, and version 2 of its enterprise-focused relaunch came out Monday for $999. — BLOG.GOOGLE

10. Apple Pay has launched in Hungary and Luxembourg. — MACRUMORS

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Jon Mitchell has been a tech journalist since 2010. He covered Apple, Google, and the societal effects of social media for the storied blog ReadWriteWeb (now ReadWrite). He co-hosts Internet Friends, a podcast about life online with occasional lengthy digressions into Apple news. He’s the author of In Real Life: Searching for Connection in High-Tech Times from Parallax Press. He has recently, reticently returned to Twitter at @ablaze.

Editing team: Kim Lyons (Pittsburgh-based journalist and managing editor at Inside) and David Stegon (senior editor at Inside, whose reporting experience includes cryptocurrency and technology).

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