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Jony Ive’s Promotion to Chief Design Officer Now Official, Alan Dye and Richard Howarth Assume Vice President Roles

Alan Dye (VP, User Interface Design), Jony Ive (Chief Design Officer) and Richard Howarth (VP, Industrial Design)

Alan Dye (VP, User Interface Design), Jony Ive (Chief Design Officer) and Richard Howarth (VP, Industrial Design)

Jony Ive's promotion to Chief Design Officer at Apple, first announced in a profile of Ive by Stephen Fry in late May, came into effect yesterday. Alongside Ive's promotion, and also telegraphed in Stephen Fry's article, Alan Dye and Richard Howarth also assumed their respective new roles yesterday as Vice President of User Interface Design and Vice President of Industrial Design.

All three promotions were made official yesterday with an update to Apple's Leadership page. You can read the updated profile pages for Jony Ive, Alan Dye and Richard Howarth.

In Stephen Fry's article from May, he asked Ive why he gave up control to Dye and Howarth:

When I catch up with Ive alone, I ask him why he has seemingly relinquished the two departments that had been so successfully under his control. “Well, I’m still in charge of both,” he says, “I am called Chief Design Officer. Having Alan and Richard in place frees me up from some of the administrative and management work which isn’t … which isn’t …”

“Which isn’t what you were put on this planet to do?”

“Exactly. Those two are as good as it gets. Richard was lead on the iPhone from the start. He saw it all the way through from prototypes to the first model we released. Alan has a genius for human interface design. So much of the Apple Watch’s operating system came from him. With those two in place I can …”

[via MacRumors]


Apple Conspired with Book Publishers, Appeals Court Confirms

The US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit today upheld 2-1 the 2013 verdict that found Apple and major publishing companies conspired to fix e-book prices.

As noted by Fortune, Apple's argument that the Department of Justice was misguided to target Apple when Amazon was dominant didn't convince the majority:

That argument, however, appears to have carried little sway with Judge Livingston who argued that Apple and the publishers could not rationalize their behavior on the grounds they were challenging Amazon:

“Plainly, competition is not served by permitting a market entrant to eliminate price competition as a condition of entry, and it is cold comfort to consumers that they gained a new ebook retailer at the expense of passing control over all ebook prices to a cartel of book publishers,” Livingston wrote.

There's no doubt that this is a complicated issue, fraught with many valid but opposing arguments. Ultimately though, I can't help but agree with the end result and this section was particularly persuasive to me, from page 98 of Judge Livingston's judgement (courtesy of The Wall Street Journal):

Because of the long‐term threat to competition, the Sherman Act does not authorize horizontal price conspiracies as a form of marketplace vigilantism to eliminate perceived “ruinous competition” or other “competitive evils.” Indeed, the attempt to justify a conspiracy to raise prices “on the basis of the potential threat that competition poses . . . is nothing less than a frontal assault on the basic policy of the Sherman Act.” And it is particularly ironic that the “terms” that Apple was able to insist upon by organizing a cartel of Publisher Defendants to move against Amazon — namely, the elimination of retail price competition — accomplished the precise opposite of what new entrants to concentrated markets are ordinarily supposed to provide. In short, Apple and the dissent err first in equating a symptom (a single‐retailer market) with a disease (a lack of competition), and then err again by prescribing the disease itself as the cure.

Apple could still appeal the decision to the Supreme Court, but it is not a certainty that the Supreme Court would agree to hear the case. In response to today's ruling an Apple spokesperson issued this statement to Fortune:

“Apple did not conspire to fix ebook pricing and this ruling does nothing to change the facts. We are disappointed the Court does not recognize the innovation and choice the iBooks Store brought for consumers. While we want to put this behind us, the case is about principles and values. We know we did nothing wrong back in 2010 and are assessing next steps.”

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Apple Releases iOS 8.4

Apple's new Music app.

Apple's new Music app.

Apple has released iOS 8.4 today, bringing a redesigned Music app with Apple Music support, audiobook listening features for iBooks and CarPlay, and iBooks Author textbook support on iPhone.

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Early Impressions of Apple Music from Re/code and Mashable

Apple Music and the Beats 1 radio station launch today in just a few short hours. But Apple yesterday gave Re/code and Mashable an early look at the new service and they've just published their first impressions.

Walt Mossberg at Re/code writes:

Apple has built a handsome, robust app and service that goes well beyond just offering a huge catalog of music by providing many ways to discover and group music for a very wide range of tastes and moods.

But it’s also uncharacteristically complicated by Apple standards, with everything from a global terrestrial radio station to numerous suggested playlists for different purposes in different places. And the company offers very little guidance on how to navigate its many features. It will take time to learn it. And that’s not something you’re going to want to do if all you’re looking for is to lean back and listen.

Christina Warren of Mashable also got an advance preview:

It's hard for me to over-stress how much I like For You. From the very beginning, the recommendations in playlists and albums that the app showed me were dead-on accurate, reflecting my various musical interests.

Straight out, I was given a recommendation of a Taylor Swift love ballad playlist and albums from The Kinks, Sufjan Stevens, Elliot Smith, The Shins, Miguel and Drake. So basically my musical brain.

Jim Dalrymple also got a chance to interview Apple's Eddy Cue and Jimy Iovine:

Jimmy shocked me a bit when he said, “Radio is massive.” I considered radio to be like magazines—steadily going downhill for the last decade or so. However, Iovine said that 270 million people in America still listen to radio, adding jokingly, “I didn’t think there were that many people that had a radio.”

Cue and Iovine explained that the problem with radio was not the fact that people didn’t like it, but rather that too much advertising and radio station research into what songs were popular was flawed. Songs that weren’t popular right away were pulled, based on research, so you listen to the radio and hear the same songs all the time.

As Cue pointed out, Technology limited the ads, but it also eliminated the DJ, something many people enjoyed.

Update: USA Today also got an early look:

Not all the artists whose music is available for purchase in iTunes are also available for streaming, most notably The Beatles: "There always some folks to come later that we would all like," Cue says. "Over time I certainly would expect the Beatles to be there." Of course if you own the Beatles music it can reside next to the on-demand tracks in the library.


Igloo: An Intranet You’ll Actually Like [Sponsor]

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Try Igloo for free with up to ten of your favorite coworkers. Igloo, an intranet you’ll actually like.

Our thanks to Igloo for sponsoring MacStories this week.




Lisa Jackson Promoted to Vice President of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives

Lisa Jackson was yesterday promoted to the role of Vice President of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives at Apple. In a memo to Apple employees, obtained by The Washington Post, Tim Cook writes:

There's much more to do, not just on the environment, but on other issues we value such as human rights, education, and accessibility of our products to those with physical or developmental challenges. Apple can and will play an important role in each of these areas. Already, we are actively working with 114 schools in the U.S. through our ConnectED program. We are putting more accessibility tools in the hands of our wonderful app developers. And we have made our voice heard on public policy issues that affect us including clean energy and equality. These issues are critical not only to us, but to our customers, our shareholders, and in the communities where we all live and work.

So I've asked Lisa to lead our work in these areas and to take on a broader role as vice president of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives. Lisa will apply her passion and her unique skill set to integrate teams across Apple and make our impact even greater. As part of her new role, Lisa will also take over management of our worldwide Government Affairs function. Lisa already interacts regularly with governments around the world so she is a natural for this new role leading our public policy teams.

You can read Tim Cook's full memo at The Washington Post.

Jackson joined Apple two years ago, taking the position of Vice President of Environmental Initiatives after serving as the head of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for four years. Jackson accompanied Tim Cook and Eddy Cue on a recent trip to China last month.

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NYT Now: Your Guide to the News [Sponsor]

Do you spend too much time searching social feeds looking for reliable news? Never know what's important and worth reading? Head to the App Store and download NYT Now for free.

NYT Now is the fastest way to get caught up with the news, with headlines and story summaries that get readers caught up quickly. Designed for iPhone and on-the-go consumption, NYT Now offers a selection of the best articles from The New York Times, as well as stories from around the web curated and hand-picked by a team of NYT editors. NYT Now even includes a daily Morning Briefing, designed to prepare you for the day ahead.

I've been using version 2.0 of NYT Now for a while now, and I find it to be a fantastic way to find a curated collection of news and interesting articles. The app is completely free with no need to pay a subscription and no cap on the number of articles you can read – it's free and unlimited.

The app itself has cards that indicate what an article is about and a sharing menu that supports iOS 8 extensions and even the ability to share articles with image previews on Twitter. NYT Now offers a great mix of NYT content and editorial picks from the web: I've been discovering and saving articles through NYT Now, and I appreciate the variety and balance of topics and authors presented in the app on a daily basis.

Head to the App Store and download NYT Now or visit nytnow.com to learn more. Remember, it’s now completely free to download and use.

Our thanks to The New York Times for sponsoring MacStories this week.


Igloo: An Intranet You’ll Actually Like [Sponsor]

Igloo is a social intranet. It’s built with easy-to-use apps, like shared calendars, task management, file sharing and more. It’s everything you need to work better together, in one very configurable cloud platform.

With Igloo’s responsive design, your intranet already handles a range of devices, it will even work on your iPhone 6 or 6 Plus right from the start. It’s customizable, responsive, and lets teams work better together. Sharing files, coordinating calendars, providing status updates, and managing projects — almost everything you can do on your desktop, you can do on your phone.

We all struggle with productivity. We are constantly pressured to accomplish more, and to do it quicker. There is no one definitive way to accomplish that, and we have all devised our own little method to make things work. At Igloo, we think your way is the best way, we just want to support you, and make your way better.

Try Igloo for free with up to ten of your favorite coworkers. Igloo, an intranet you’ll actually like.

Our thanks to Igloo for sponsoring MacStories this week.