Apple Introduces the iStick 📧

The EU puked up the carrots, so Apple uses their Intelligence...

I had something else all written here but then the news broke that Apple would not be releasing their AI features in the EU. I repeat: Apple is not going to roll out their much anticipated, much hyped, and much talked-about AI features in the EU. Why? Because payback is a bitch, that's why.

Okay, that's perhaps not entirely fair. But only because Apple doesn't seem exactly close to launching their 'Apple Intelligence' features anywhere in the foreseeable future. Some elements may come later this year, but it sounds like most will be coming next year. So that makes this a relatively easy stick to swing.

And make no mistake, this is a stick. Apple (reluctantly) tried to feed the carrot to the EU, giving into some of the DMA changes they required. That clearly wasn't good enough for the body. So now the sticks are coming out.

“We are concerned that the interoperability requirements of the DMA could force us to compromise the integrity of our products in ways that risk user privacy and data security,” Apple said in a statement.

I had been wondering if Apple wouldn't consider breaking out a different stick: pulling out of the EU entirely. Or at least, with certain products. Such a move, which would also clearly hurt Apple in terms of sales, would probably change the EU's tune on at least some of the matters rather quickly, one imagines. This is less of a nuclear option, but a savvy move by Apple nonetheless.

And it's not just Apple Intelligence:

The other features not coming they say are iPhone mirroring and SharePlay Screensharing.

The iPhone mirroring lets you use your device virtually on your Mac display and have full control over it. SharePlay Screensharing lets you screenshare from an iPad or iPhone to another and control the other device remotely for technical support.

iPhone Mirroring, in particular, looks like a winning feature in the new version of macOS, Sequoia. Now it will be a winning feature, just not in Europe.

Thankfully, as someone who lives in the UK, this seems to just apply to actual EU countries. And so in at least one regard both Apple and the people of over here can cheers Brexit.

Apple’s decision to halt the roll out of its new features in the EU will mean consumers in all 27 of the bloc’s nations, including the likes of France, Germany, Spain, and Italy, won’t have access to the company’s ambitious new turn to artificial intelligence technologies for now. The software is due to launch elsewhere this fall, and will only work on a subset of Apple’s devices and just in American English.

That last bit is important here too. Apple was always planning to launch Apple Intelligence as English-only to start. And so again, it's a relatively easy move to not roll it out in several countries where English is not the first language. Perhaps if the EU changes their tune, we may yet see such features in the EU down the road...

“Gatekeepers are welcome to offer their services in Europe, provided that they comply with our rules aimed at ensuring fair competition,” the European Commission said in response to Apple’s plans.

Let's see if the Apple consumers in the EU start storming those gates from the other side...

🍺
🌍
Sent from London, England

Briefly...

What Willie Mays Meant – It starts off with "The Catch" and goes from there. I also didn't realize that during the "Shot Heard 'Round the World" he was in the on-deck circle in his Rookie of the Year season. Mays matter-of-factly blamed the wind at Candlestick Park as the reason he didn't eclipse Babe Ruth's homerun record (before Hank Aaron eventually broke it) and would anyone not believe him? Also the fact that he missed essentially two prime seasons because he enlisted in the Army during the Korean War. He came back and won the MVP the next year.

A First Look at Venu – Janko Roettgers was able to get a look at a still-in-development version of the new sports streaming service from Disney/Fox/WBD. It looks – like a sports streaming app. It seems to have all the features you'd expect – which is still more than Apple's Sports app can say – but the biggest questions remain: will they showcase games that are current but are not being shown via one of their streaming partners – i.e. on a different network, like CBS? If it's only to be a partial sports hub, I'm still confused by the strategy here. And there's still no word on pricing, which will obviously matter a lot as well. Also still problematic: the fact that no one is going to know how to pronounce the name, it's "venue", not "vee-new". So I almost would have gone with camel-casing, venU, but that may have made it seem focused on universities. It's just weird.

Why House of the Dragon Changed Its Opening Credits – I think we were all surprised when the second season premiered this week with an entirely new opening. It's good. Not as good as the original Game of Thrones opening, of course, but few things are. It's better than the one they used for the first season of Dragon, which was a little too literally bloody. But who am I kidding? All you need is that song. If you have the song, you can have any visual opening you want. Still, this post breaks down the new opening.

AIs Are Coming for Social Networks – Alex Heath digs into Butterflies, a new social AI product from a team that came out of Snap. You create AIs and "they" then post content based off of the persona you bestowed upon them. This is weird, interesting, and inevitable all in one. I wrote about "Bots Thanking Bots" nine years ago – using an image from Her, naturally.


⭕️ The Inner Ring ⭕️

The following are the columns sent to paid Spyglass subscribers this week – sign up here for full access and future emails...

Of Tadpoles and Tentpoles
A 10 step plan to save the movie theater business

The business, as we all knew it, is over, even if Hollywood refuses to admit it...

AI DIVINE
NVIDIA becomes the most valuable company in the world

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Quotable...

“AI is still a big theme but if you can’t demonstrate evidence you’re getting hurt. Just saying ‘AI’ 15 times is not going to cut it any more.”

-- Stuart Kaiser, head of US equity trading strategy at Citi, on the trend of AI-as-vaporware (or worse) as some of the investment hype, at least in the public market, starts to slow (NVIDIA aside, of course).


Some Thoughts On...

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🍿 Inside Out 2's strong opening weekend...

📚 A startup that wants to pair an AI chatbot with reading...

🔺 A new Zelda game where you actually play as Zelda...


Quickly...


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Apple’s End Around Emoji
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Some details on how Apple's forthcoming AI 'Genmoji' will work...

With AI, is Apple Getting the Vapors?
Dancing with the ‘vaporware’ devil…

With all this AI "coming soon", Apple runs a risk usually associated with competitors...

The Problem *Was* Jon Stewart
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Apple hired Jon Stewart to be Jon Stewart, then pushed him away for doing that...

The Talk Show in 3D!
This is exactly how the Vision Pro should be used…

A great use case and showcase for Vision Pro -- at last!

Netflix Sets Up Shop In Department Store Carcasses
Netflix House knows no chill

Netflix goes big in retail -- literally, in old shopping mall department stores...

More Like ‘Vision No’
A second Vision Pro may be on hold, at least for now

Apple is solely focused on getting the "cheaper" Vision Pro to market for now...

The Vision Pro No
The questions mount about the viability of Apple’s Next Big Thing™

With that focus fully shifted, can Apple do what it takes to salvage the device?

The Envy of Everyone
A 2017 profile of Jensen Huang is even more incredible in 2024

This profile set the stage for NVIDIA's rise to most valuable company status

‘OpenAI Original’
Technically, Ilya Sutskever’s new startup is called ‘Safe Superintelligence’ but come on, this is anti-OpenAI.

Oh look, another attempt to make a "safe" OpenAI...


One Arcology Thing...