Joe Cieplinski on Apple's New App Store Ad System

Joe Cieplinski on Apple's New App Store Ad System:

The Ned Stark argument goes that since the customer was searching for my app by name, I deserve that sale. I did whatever work I did to get my name out there enough for someone to search for me, so that customer is mine by right.

Sorry. Doesn’t work that way.

The ad placed above me is a competing app. One of three things will happen when potential customers see it:

  • They will ignore the ad, as many people have been trained to do.

  • They will look at the ad, investigate the other app, then find that they want my app after all, because that’s the one they heard was best.

  • They will look at the competing app, decide it’s better, and buy it instead of mine.

Joe couldn't be more right here. I think the heartburn most indies have is that the game is becoming a more pay to play system. The golden app store days of putting out a great product solo and drumming up some traffic with some free marketing are slowly going away. But that's the natural progression of any maturing market. The classic example is the gold rush. The more people that came, the less gold there was and the more expensive/difficult it became to find gold. 

If I were opening a hamburger restaurant in my town, you’d better believe I’d be placing billboards in the vicinity of every McDonald’s, letting those potential customers know there are better burgers a few blocks away. If not, I’m passing on a prime opportunity to reach my target audience.

I want one of those Cieplinski Burgers. But seriously, the good news is that with app store ads, you can now pay to get your superior product noticed by people searching for the massive apps. Being successful in most businesses is half about the quality of trade or industry you are in and the other half about business. This is a great opportunity for indie developers to reach a larger audience that was not there before. And a even better opportunity to show you can truly build a finely crafted higher quality app than your competitors. 

In the end, Apple will make a ton of money off of this so it's here to stay. Better to see how you can play your cards then complaining about them.

Quincy Larson - Live Asynchronously

A medium article by Quincy Larson, a teacher at -  Live Asynchronously:

Last year I turned off all my notifications. I stopped booking meetings. I started living asynchronously.

Now instead of being interrupted throughout the day — or rushing from one meeting to the next — I sit down and get work done.

I work a lot. I communicate with hundreds of people a day. I collaborate extensively. But I do so on my own terms, at my own tempo.

I completely agree that more people, teams, and companies need to utilize asynchronous communication. However, I do believe there is a balance and I'm not sure I'd be happy if all my employees turned off notifications. That being said, talking more throughout your company about when a communication needs to be synchronous is super important. Especially in an engineering weighted field, asynchronous communication should be the default. A 5 second, "Hey, talk to me when you're done" distraction can kill 30 mins to an hour of productive time in the flow and be highly frustrating to the person you distracted.

What's New with iPhone 7

If you missed the Apple Event yesterday and want to get a great detailed summary on what's new with iPhone 7 then iMore's summary is for you.

Rene Ritchie, Editor-in-Chief from iMore, begins:

iPhone 7 once again takes the familiar and puts a completely new spin on it. That starts on the surface, with new finishes like (matte) black and jet black, but goes all the way down to the the silicon with the new A10 Fusion chipset and Apple's first custom wireless chip, the W1. Add to that a re-imagined Force Touch Home button, a new camera with optical zoom and depth of field affects, wide gamut color from capture to display, booming stereo speakers, more and better LTE, water resistance as good as the original Apple Watch, and the list goes on and on.

The big news this year isn't just what's there, though, it's what isn't.

I definitely like the new (matte) black finish much more than the glossy jet black. I really don't think the loss of the 3.5mm analog jack is that huge of a deal. Sure, another adapter to use/lose for a year or two until you buy new headphones compatible with Apple's new wireless chip. We've experience this with both the change from the 30-pin connector to lightning and then on MacBook's going to a single USB-C port. People make a fuss and then it's history. Honestly, as long as they come out with wireless high-end headphones that can compete sound quality wise with current 3.5mm analog jack headphones like my B&O H6s then it's really a win.

However, I think Rene really sums up upgrading to iPhone 7 or not for the normal iPhone customer that bought an iPhone 6, 6s or SE below:

Most people need a compelling reason to upgrade their phones more than once every second or third year. With iPhone 7, the big driver is the camera. If you want everything that new sensor has to offer — especially the new dual-lens sensor in the 5.5-inch model — then you want iPhone 7.

If you're still on an iPhone 6, the combination of last and this year's updates make for a compelling upgrade, like you're going from running to flying. If you're on an older iPhone, from walking to flying.

Exactly, my thoughts. The new camera on the iPhone 7 plus is the main reason I'm upgrading this year. The speed and battery bump is great, I'll take it. However, for a fixed-lens (dual lens here) point and shoot camera, I'm not sure there will be a better one on the market at this price point. If you instinctively grab for your pocket, every time you see a beautiful moment and don't have your interchangeable lens camera on you then this will be well worth the upgrade cost.


Apple's Best iPhone Camera Ever - Coming Soon

Rene Ritchie talking on how Apple does camera:

As shown on 60 Minutes, Apple has a team of several hundred people working on the camera system. They look at hundreds of thousands of images of every scene type, in every scenario, to ensure everything from the sensor to the processor to the software is making the right decision every step of the way.

The goal is to capture an image as true-to-life as possible, with colors as natural as possible, and to make sure it looks accurate not just on the iPhone’s display, but on your friend’s or family member’s phone, on a computer’s display or a television’s display, and on any prints you may choose to make.

The software including what Apple gets out of the Bayer CMOS sensor has to be the reason the iPhone can truly begin to compete with almost any fixed lens digital camera on the market today. If you shoot on auto settings all the time, then it may be the best camera on the market for you. Obviously, it's hard to compare any fixed lens camera to an interchangeable lens camera but the convenience, compactness, and output of the iPhone definitely places it in a category of its own.

Rene quoting Lisa Bettany, renowned iPhone photographer and co-founder of Camera+:

The one major hurdle of the iPhone camera has always been the fixed aperture which hinders our creative control. I’d be thrilled to see adjustable aperture in the next iPhone version.

She hits this nail on. While it may not come in the iPhone 7, it's definitely the gap that needs to be closed to really unlock the ability to create certain types of photography. That being said, the images are pretty darn sharp for a f2.2 fixed aperture lens.

It'll be interesting to see what news there is on Wednesday.