We just packed up an Airbnb that we have been living in for three months in Los Angeles and are heading back east.
This is a photo of my carry on luggage as I was packing it this morning.
That is an AppleTV and a Sonos Connect in between my “shaving kit” and my sneakers.
I brought these two devices out west and connected the AppleTV to the one TV in the Airbnb and I connected the Sonos to the receiver that powered the in ceiling speakers in the main living space in the house.
Even if the Airbnb had come with an AppleTV and a Sonos device, I would have swapped out theirs for ours for the length of our stay because these two devices have all of our services pre-confgured on them and we are logged into all of the services.
The most common caller on my Android phone is Scam Likely. I am sure that most of you are in a similar situation.
Last week we were driving and two calls came into The Gotham Gal’s phone which was bluetoothed into our car and she declined both. I asked her why she did that. She said they were likely robo calls. I told her that they looked to be legit numbers to me. Later on she found out that both calls were from people she knew, but for some reason those names were not showing up on the car dash and so she declined the calls.
That led to a discussion of why spam filtering for email has gotten so good and robocall filtering for phone calls is still not great. I brought up the great work the email industry has done over the last twenty years with email signing
The mobile app stores, in particular, have always seemed to me to be a constraint on innovation vs a contributor to it.
Spotify has a huge user base and brings in billions of dollars of revenues every year but it has a challenging business model. Let’s say that 70cents of every dollar they bring in goes to labels and artists. That seems fair given that the artists are the ones producing the content we listen to on Spotify. But if they also have to share 30cents of every dollar with Apple, that really does not leave them much money to build
The Gotham Gal wanted to get a new laptop. Her late 2015 Macbook has started to fade on her.
So yesterday we made a visit to the local Apple Store and checked out the options. We looked at the Macbooks, the Macbook Airs, and we also looked at the iPad Pros. We debated the choice and she ended up deciding to go for the iPad Pro. We work with a few people who have iPad Pros and love them. And she noticed how much I am using and enjoying my Pixel Slate.
One of the most interesting things about these hybrid tablet/laptop devices is that they run operating systems that are designed for the tablet or phone. They are touch devices like our phones vs mouse devices like our laptops.
A good example of this is how I do email on my Pixel Slate. I could run Gmail in the
The lack of a biometric login (face or finger recognition) is a real limitation for me with the PixelBook because you have to use your Google login to unlock the device and I’ve got a very strong password on my Google account.
So when the Pixel Slate came out and offered fingerprint login, I bought one. I got it this week and have set it up and started to use it at work.
One feature of the Pixel 3 that I really like is the return of wireless charging, something earlier Google phones had but went away.
I bought a Pixel Stand and set it up where I charge my phone when I come home.
I just place my phone on the stand and it charges. No cords involved.
You can set up all sorts of cool things like a screensaver of your recent photos and photo albums, Google Assistant so you can ask your phone questions when it is charging, and a display of your upcoming appointments.
I am still playing around with the right choices for me but I think there is a lot of interesting things one can do with this charging stand
I quite like it and just got one for my office too.
With the new version of Android comes intelligence around mobile notifications.
If you tend to swipe away notifications from a particular app, Android eventually asks you this:
I told Android to keep showing these project updates to me even though I tend to swipe them. I like to see these but don’t often click on them.
I would say that most of the time, I select “Keep Showing” but some of the time I do choose “Stop Notifications.”
I love the idea of a smart operating system that learns how you want to use it and adapts to that versus forcing you to do the configuration manually and that is where Google is clearly going with Android.
You can really see it in the latest version of the OS.
Apple and Google’s duopoly on mobile operating systems give those two companies incredible power in the market and one of the most obvious places to see that power is the 30% tax they take on transactions that happen in their app stores. For subscriptions the tax is 30% in year one and 15% on the renewal.
Typically transaction fees on payments are 5% or lower with the credit card networks being the obvious comparison at roughly 3%.
But Apple and Google are able to charge 5-10x what a typical payment system charges because of their dominant market position and because the economics of acquiring a customer and renewing that customer in their ecosystem is so strong.
While it is hard to stomach the 30% number, it is the case that many companies have done the work to look at their acquisition and retention numbers in and out of these environments
Shares of Alphabet are up nearly 4% and hit a new all-time high, as could helped drive revenue growth faster, Apple analysts are gearing up for next Tuesday, and Verizon stock rose on its earnings beat and higher forecast.