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I am indifferent to the plight of Snap almost to the point of neglecting my duties as a tech journalist, but the $380 price point for Spectacles 3 sure is interesting. That takes Spectacles out of an AirPods-like price category — <$200 for an impressive but limited wearable — into an Apple Watch-like <$400 price category. The thing is, Apple Watch is extremely capable. Spectacles are a crappy camera on your face. What strikes me about this as an Apple-watcher is that it sets Apple up to price its own eventual AR face wearable as a real computer, which it will be. Somewhere in the bowels of Apple Park, the Marcom team is high-fiving.
What are your thoughts about glasses or other eye wearables for AR? Do you want them? Hit reply and share your thoughts.
1. The Trump administration delayed tariffs on phones, tablets, and laptops yesterday, but Apple Watch and bands, AirPods, HomePod, batteries and battery cases, and desktop Macs will still be taxed starting Sept. 1. The new tariff will impose a 10 percent cost on these goods. It’s more likely that Apple would eat the (hopefully temporary) cost on these less expensive and/or less popular devices than it would be for iPhones, but it still seems equally likely that Apple would pass the cost on to consumers as a line item. — BLOOMBERG
2. Apple and Spotify are working out their differences so Spotify music and podcasts can be first-class citizens in Apple’s ecosystem. Contrary to what Spotify has said, many of its problems in Apple’s walled garden are its own fault, since it has, thus far, refused build support for features like Siri integration and AirPlay 2 as some sort of punishment for Apple’s platform restrictions. Antitrust pressures seem to have forced the issue, though, and the new SiriKit features this year will make integration much smoother, so negotiations to get Spotify better integrated into the Apple ecosystem are making headway. — THE INFORMATION (paywalled)
3. Snap has announced version 3 of its Spectacles sunglasses, adding a second HD camera and a $380 price point more than double that of the previous version. The pricing is definitely the most interesting news, and not in a good way. Snapchat’s core demographic is high school and college-age people who don’t exactly have $400 to burn on a pair of sunglasses with cameras on them. Snap’s reasoning is that they need to “invest” to get the tech right before they can get the price down. When Apple launches glasses at a comparable price point that are actual computers, though, it’s hard to see where Spectacles will fit in the market. — THE VERGE
4. Ecosia, a German search engine that takes strong corporate privacy and environmental stances, has rejected Google’s closed auction to get on the list of default Android search providers in Europe. The EU fined Google $5 billion last year for bundling its services on Android in an anticompetitive fashion, and as a remedy, Google came up with the idea of auctioning off spots on a list of search engine choices presented to Android users during setup. Ecosia contests that taking money for this is actually still “unethical” and “monopolistic” behavior. — VENTUREBEAT
5. The new, much better Apple Maps data has rolled out in the northeastern U.S., covering Washington, D.C., Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York, Massachusetts, and Maine. The update improves the terrain and road detail of the maps as well as search results and place data. Apple plans to cover the whole U.S. by the end of the year, and 11 new countries and territories are currently being surveyed. — MACRUMORS
6. Spotify’s detailed analytics dashboard for podcasters is out of beta. Spotify says there are over 450,000 podcasts in its catalog, and 100,000 signed up for the analytics beta. Spotify’s closed, proprietary service makes it much easier to track listening data than the open web-based technologies standard in podcasting, which Apple pioneered in its podcast directory and apps. Apple benignly neglected its podcasting services for a long time, but Spotify’s moves have spurred Apple into action with its own analytics tools and rumored exclusive shows. — THE VERGE
7. Apple has expanded its contactless student ID card pilot to 12 more universities. The Wallet app on iPhone and Apple Watch can now be used for contactless entry or payment via student ID at these schools. Up next: digital drivers’ licenses and government IDs. — MACRUMORS
8. The FAA has banned the previous-generation MacBook Pros recalled due to fire hazards from airline flights. If you have a pre-TouchBar 15-inch MacBook Pro made from September 2015 to February 2017, make sure to check the serial number. — REUTERS
9. If your Apple ID is locked for fraud, even if you’re a victim of a scam, you’re frozen out of Apple’s services, and it’s an ordeal to get back in. This is a grueling story that will make you question the wisdom of committing to any one closed tech ecosystem. — QUARTZ
10. Inside Apple reader Gabe Goldberg invites you to the 2019 Summer Virtual Technology Conference (VTC33). It’s an online, totally free conference put on by the Association of Personal Computer User Groups. Registration closes at 11:59 p.m. ET on Aug. 16. — APCUG
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.
Editor: Bobby Cherry (senior editor at Inside, who’s always on social media).