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Neil Cybart on ‘Apple Playing Offense at WWDC’

Neil Cybart has an astute take on Apple’s announcements at WWDC 2015. The overall assumption that Apple is always making strategic moves for the future is quite apparent in new technologies like HomeKit, HealthKit, and Search.

I particularly agree with Cybart’s observations on News:

Apple’s News app isn’t so much a competitive jab at Facebook, but instead a hook for grabbing people’s attention. Apple’s description of the new app is quite clear: “News conveniently collects all the stories you want to read, from top news sources, based on topics you’re most interested in - so you no longer need to move from app to app to stay informed.” With News, Apple is trying to keep our attention just a little bit longer. Take a look at Facebook’s Instant Articles and Snapchat’s Discover to see what the war over attention is leading to. Technology companies are trying to shift commoditized news into a differentiated service meant to keep you within their properties.

This type of attention-holding strategy isn’t new. In brick-and-mortar retail, Walmart includes various stores within its stores, such as vision centers, fast food restaurants, and medical clinics in an effort to get you inside a Walmart. Similarly, Facebook wants people to spend more time within its apps by offering additional services, like news.

I don’t view Apple as necessarily trying to rethink news or put other companies out of business. Instead, it is looked at as a tool to enrich the iOS platform while maintaining a closer relationship with the user.