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Yet More App Store Search Ads

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Sami Fathi:

Until now, Apple has offered developers two ad opportunities on the App Store: in the Search tab and within the Search results page.

Chance Miller:

First and foremost, there is a new advertising slot coming to the “Today” homepage of the App Store.

[…]

The second new advertising placement is coming directly to product pages themselves. This means that developers will now be able to place ads on the product pages for other apps. This spot is located at the very bottom of the product page, beneath the banner section that shows other apps by that developer.

Nick Heer:

This coverage sounds a little too fluffy to me — too much like it came directly from Apple. It is hard to know for sure because, while this news was reported by several Apple-focused publications including 9to5Mac and Apple Insider, not one of them acknowledged its sourcing. As of writing, this news has not landed on Apple’s Newsroom, or in the news feeds of its Developer or Search Ads sections, nor does it appear on the App Store advertising info page. All three Apple-focused publications also cite in their coverage a corporate presentation to advertisers each says it “obtained” in May claiming 78% of App Store search volume came from devices with ad personalization disabled. Curious.

Paul Haddad:

Coming next year “Download Ads” instead of downloading the app you want, the App Store will randomly download the highest bidding app.

Tim Sweeney:

You worked hard to build a great app. You registered a trademark. You signed up to Apple demands for 30% of your revenue as the sole way to reach iOS users. How does Apple reward you?

They front-run searches for your trademarked app name, and place ad results above the result for your app.

But now, there’s more: Apple will litter your own app page with ads for competing apps. And keep all the ad money for themselves.

Sebastiaan de With:

Apple shouldn’t get into the ad business. Pushing ads in their platform opposes to their goals and core values, and will only erode user trust.

Are the relatively minor profits worth the price of bad experiences and lost goodwill?

Your core values are what you do on an ongoing basis, not the talking points that you broadcast or what you did 20 years ago under different leadership.

Florian Mueller:

Yesterday it became public in Colombia that Apple is--I kid you not--claiming a human rights violation and invoking Article 8 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights because of Ericsson’s preliminary injunction in Colombia over a 5G patent. Nowhere on the 48 pages of the motion did I find a human rights violation in the sense in which most reasonable people would understand it. All I found was a bunch of run-of-the-mill appellate arguments. […]

Interestingly, Apple has just been warned against being sanctioned by the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas over a “misuse” of court rules. They brought an emergency motion instead of a regular motion.

Previously:

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sirshannon
7 days ago
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"Your core values are what you do on an ongoing basis, not the talking points that you broadcast"
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Behind the Design: Odio

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Max Frimout is an audio engineer for Odio, and it’s his job to transport you and your ears to a different world.

From his home studio in the Netherlands — stocked with keyboards, instruments, and a tangle of wires and boards more suited to a ‘50s B-movie than a cutting-edge audio app — Frimout creates the inventive 3D soundscapes that helped Odio secure its 2022 Apple Design Award.

“I want to create a different sensation in the space around me,” says Frimout. “Sometimes that can be airy and comforting; sometimes it’s way sweeter than I am, or more melodic than I imagine. In the end, it has to be interesting — but also easy to ignore.”

With Odio, you can immerse yourself in an existing soundscape, or customize one to your liking by moving each element around your head.

With Odio, you can immerse yourself in an existing soundscape, or customize one to your liking by moving each element around your head.

Like Frimout, Odio strikes a perfect balance between cutting-edge tech and artistic resolve. The app employs a mesmerizing mix of Spatial Audio and head-tracked audio to conjure up its chill AR soundscapes, which can be everything from a rushing forest waterfall to a buzzy digital atmosphere. “Turn on your soundscape, put in your AirPods, and you’re there,” says the app’s designer, Roger Kemp.

But you’re no passive listener in these realistic realms: You can manipulate every soundscape within the app through a clever system of sliders that help you reposition sonic elements — like a babbling river, dreamy whale song, or wash of digital static — around your head. Want the waterfall behind you? Just slide the arc backward. Want to hear the crisp, calming sizzle of Frimout’s digital artistry above all else? Bring that arc control to the center.

The Odio team (from left): Mees Boeijen, Roger Kemp, Max Frimout, Rutger Schimmel, and Joon Kwak.

The Odio team (from left): Mees Boeijen, Roger Kemp, Max Frimout, Rutger Schimmel, and Joon Kwak.

Odio is geared to two different audiences, says Kemp, who co-founded Volst, the app’s Netherlands-based studio. “We have people who say, ‘I just want to zone out, get into the flow, or sleep better… But we also have creators who want to make this their own.”

From the very beginning, Volst sought to make Odio work well for both groups. “We try to make it so everybody, with a little effort, can work on the app,” says Kemp. “The bare essence is basically a blank canvas where the artist and listener can do whatever they want with a soundscape.”

Kemp didn’t start out as a designer. He initially went to school for architecture in the Netherlands, then spent the ‘90s building websites and CD-ROMs — where he found a shocking number of similarities. “You navigate through a building, and you navigate through a website or an app,” he says. “You have an entrance and an exit. You have different rooms, views, and features. It’s the same with an app.”

“There’s a lot of overlap between architecture and software development,” says Volst studio founder Roger Kemp.

“There’s a lot of overlap between architecture and software development,” says Volst studio founder Roger Kemp.

Kemp spent eight years in the Bay Area before returning to the Netherlands to explore a career as a freelancer. “A lot of it was fun, but some major projects got really frustrating,” he says. “I wanted to work on something meaningful, and after a while I thought, ‘I might as well put all this energy into my own company.’”

Odio was partly the product of serendipitous timing. Joon Kwak, a design student from South Korea who had created a spatialized sound app in Unity for his graduation project, reached out to Kemp for a consultation. “We’d been looking for projects in the visual audio realm, and we loved it. Within two or three weeks, we had a working concept demo of a spatial environment where you could move sounds around.” Kemp stops to laugh. “That was the easy part.”

We thought, ‘What if we have musicians compose their own environments?’

Roger Kemp, Volst founder

The hard part was all the other apps doing the same thing. “We thought, ‘If this is so easy, there must be other apps like it.’ And there were!” says Kemp. “That’s when Max came along and said, ‘OK, how do we make something really special out of this?”

Frimout, who knew Kemp and others from the local nightlife scene, had the idea to focus less on nature sounds — the chirping birds, crackling fires, and rushing winds that tend to populate ambient sound apps — and put the emphasis instead on human creativity. “We thought, ‘What if we have musicians compose their own environments?’ Why not create a new platform for artists to publish their work?” says Kemp. “That’s when it all clicked.”

Frimout says his soundscapes have to be both interesting and “easy to ignore.”

Frimout says his soundscapes have to be both interesting and “easy to ignore.”

Frimout already had a bit of experience with spatialized audio. In addition to his music work, he’s studying electroacoustic composition at the Institute of Sonology in the Hague. Appropriately enough, he spoke with us from what he calls the “most advanced wavefield synthesis system in the world,” surrounded by boxes that contain 26 tweeters and two subwoofers — a massive setup designed to recreate big spaces in a smaller one. The place is full of archaeological recording equipment too — it has its roots in a Philips lab that played home to early experiments with electronic music.

Frimout, one of the app’s five composers, begins creating his Odio soundscapes on instruments or analog equipment in a manner that’s not too different from his day (well, night) job. Start with a base, create a mood, build on it, patch it all together. The only difference: the 3D configuration.

That patching is done in Logic Pro, with which he can position the channels in real time and test the results on his AirPods Max. “That’s how I look around to see how it feels three-dimensionally,” he says, rotating his head around for emphasis, “and it’s where I start to play around.” The results are effects and flourishes with names like “synthetic water,” “moving chords,” and “filtered drone,” all of which can be muted, amplified, or rotated as the user sees fit.

Frimout created his “Wow!” soundscape in Logic Pro — and tested the results on his AirPods Max.

Frimout created his “Wow!” soundscape in Logic Pro — and tested the results on his AirPods Max.

Inspiration comes from anywhere. Listen close and you can hear analog touches — like Frimout’s largely unrecognizable harp, Heartbreak. (“It’s just three chordal structures,” he says with a laugh, “but they’ve been processed and processed and processed.” ) The Institute is full of vintage equipment from the ‘50s, ’60s, and ‘70s that can be used to conjure up abstract, weirdly nostalgic riffs and fuzzes and sounds. “I like to take some of these ideas from the past and translate them,” he says. “Basically, I fiddle around until I hear something I like.”

The app is also a visual feast, with each soundscape accompanied by ever-shifting original art and cutting-edge visuals inspired by something as analog as it gets — the humble album cover. “They’re small books!” Kemp says. “With all their artwork and lyrics, they were a complete package. We thought, ‘Well, why not approach it that way? Why not have a visual artist work with a composer to create that complete package?’”

The final design — like every Odio soundscape and feature — is the result of significant back and forth, a strategy Kemp calls “ping-ponging the design.” “We’ll work on something for a few days, then take it to the whole team for a critique,” he says. Sometimes it takes one step; sometimes it can be four or five. “But in the end,” he says, “we get a result everybody likes.”

The prototype for the soundscape “Atlantis” (left) and the finished version (right).

The prototype for the soundscape “Atlantis” (left) and the finished version (right).

To be fair, Kemp wasn’t initially sold on that approach. “I thought this would be really hard!” he says. “People could be critiquing your work before it’s even finished. But we’ve found that it speeds up the procress tremendously. And we’ve been doing it now for three or four years.”

Odio publishes new soundscapes every month; their artist roster includes composers from Germany, Korea, and elsewhere. The plan is to keep expanding — partly because that’s what Kemp is cut out to do.

“The most challenging part of design for me is knowing when to stop, when to leave something alone and stop tinkering with it,” he says. “I always think, ‘Maybe if I change the color or stroke width, it’ll be better. But at a certain point you have to stop because the project is done. It’s published.”

He pauses to laugh. “But I still go back to designs and try to tinker. And the team tells me, “No! Don’t do it! It’s done!”

Learn more about Odio

Download Odio from the App Store

Behind the Design is a weekly series that explores design practices and philosophies from each of the 12 winners of the 2022 Apple Design Awards. In each story, we go behind the screens with the developers and designers of these award-winning apps and games to discover how they brought their remarkable creations to life.

Explore more of the 2022 Behind the Design series

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sirshannon
7 days ago
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Tech bro proposes to disrupt political parties with totally proactive new paradigm

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Andrew Yang is announcing a new political party formed by the joining with two Republican has-beens that will be half Simpson and a third Bowles:

On guns, for instance, most Americans don’t agree with calls from the far left to confiscate all guns and repeal the Second Amendment, but they’re also rightfully worried by the far right’s insistence on eliminating gun laws. On climate change, most Americans don’t agree with calls from the far left to completely upend our economy and way of life, but they also reject the far right’s denial that there is even a problem. On abortion, most Americans don’t agree with the far left’s extreme views on late-term abortions, but they also are alarmed by the far right’s quest to make a woman’s choice a criminal offense.

Every single Unity ’08 ’12 ’16 ’20 ’24 op-ed uses this framework: compare some unpopular fringe left-wing position held by virtually no Democratic legislators with an unpopular position Republicans on the Supreme Court think is required by the Constitution, and conclude that both parties are equally radical. (Remember how every six months Tom Friedman would write a column wondering why no political party in America was willing to offer Barack Obama’s agenda to the voters?)

And now, for people feeling nostalgic for Ralph Nader’s favorite non-sequiturs, here you go!

Some call third parties “spoilers,” but the system is already spoiled.

CHECKMATE LIBS! Please support our vanity ratfucking campaign to put more Republicans in office in exchange for absolutely nothing.

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sirshannon
9 days ago
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"compare some unpopular fringe left-wing position held by virtually no Democratic legislators with an unpopular position Republicans on the Supreme Court think is required by the Constitution, and conclude that both parties are equally radical. "
fxer
13 days ago
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new album dropping: Vanity Ratfucking Campaign
Bend, Oregon
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Instagram Walks Back Its Changes for Now

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Casey Newton with the scoop:

Instagram will walk back some recent changes to the product following a week of mounting criticism, the company said today. A test version of the app that opened to full-screen photos and videos will be phased out over the next one to two weeks, and Instagram will also reduce the number of recommended posts in the app as it works to improve its algorithms.

[…]

“For the new feed designs, people are frustrated and the usage data isn’t great,” [Adam Mosseri] said. “So there I think that we need to take a big step back, regroup, and figure out how we want to move forward.”

[…]

But Instagram will temporarily reduce the amount of recommended posts and accounts as it works to improve its personalization tools. (Mosseri wouldn’t say by how much, exactly.)

My own Instagram use went to near-zero after I received these changes. I am surely not representative of the wider Instagram user base, but it does not surprise me that enough people found it revolting to affect the company’s metrics. What I do find notable is the intensity of the backlash: people hated this sudden shift of how the platform looked and worked.

Ashley Belanger, Ars Technica:

Despite all the negative feedback, Meta revealed on an earnings call that it plans to more than double the number of AI-recommended Reels that users see. The company estimates that in 2023, about a third of Instagram and Facebook feeds will be recommended content.

Meta’s earnings call was yesterday, and Instagram announced today that it was reverting the most recent round of changes, so the timing on this may be inaccurate. I would not bet on seeing fewer posts in your feed over the long term from accounts you do not follow; these changes are still coming, just later.

But look at the past few weeks of Meta news and it seems like the company has zero idea of what to do or why people use its products. It made drastic unlikable changes to Instagram; its leadership is panicking over TikTok; its latest public demonstration of its metaverse future is embarrassing and its educational value is less justified than the VR headset in a thirty year old Simpsons clip. Do these decisions look like the product of a focused company that has near-term goals for its future and innovative ideas beyond that? I am not saying Meta is dead in the water, but it sure looks like it is struggling to define what its future looks like for the next few years.

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fxer
10 days ago
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If meta is making a correct bet on the, uh, metaverse, I’ll eat my own ballsack
Bend, Oregon
sirshannon
10 days ago
So I’m not the only one that is enjoying the idea of this stupid idea sinking them?
dreadhead
10 days ago
I saw something comparing meta to Yahoo and that could not be funniier.
sirshannon
10 days ago
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"The company estimates that in 2023, about a third of Instagram and Facebook feeds will be recommended content."
fancycwabs
9 days ago
Who knew that 33% recommended content would make Instagram 100% unusable?
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The Carrier Bag Theory of Fiction

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Hello, lovely Patrons—

I'm always talking about Ursula K. LeGuin's essay, The Carrier Bag Theory of Fiction, and recently found myself recording it for a special human in my life. "Why not," I thought, "also share it here?" and so that's exactly what I am doing.

I hope you enjoy being read to. I know I do. If you'd like to read along at home, you can find the full text of the essay here.

Thank you all, always, for being along for this ride—especially at times like these when there's too much life happening to leave room for writing coherent things online. These last six weeks have been truly overwhelming, but I'm still here, exhausted and giddy and sad and grateful. I'm looking forward to writing and drawing about it more soon.

Big hugs to you all, take care of yourselves.

L






Download audio: https://c10.patreonusercontent.com/4/patreon-media/p/post/68023587/16aa9c6a958d4d6caa43fc5334a86b54/eyJhIjoxLCJwIjoxfQ%3D%3D/1.m4a?token-time=1658448000&token-hash=kC1x5HGnAAq4axRWpkTqHHCM_DYHmBHt0kcNpEJqWuY%3D
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sirshannon
27 days ago
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The Famous Dog Image

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mommy milky

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sirshannon
28 days ago
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Shit. I have meme rot
jlvanderzwan
28 days ago
Doesn't everyone? Even language is at it's core a meme if you take the classical definition of it
jlvanderzwan
28 days ago
Culture too
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