This is a weekly newsletter of what I've seen in tech and mobile and thought was interesting. I work at Andreessen Horowitz. See more or subscribe at
My blog posts

Presentation: the state of US tech funding. Link

Podcast: location. Link

The (lack of) app store metrics. Link

What are you afraid of? Link

Industry news

Apple held its annual WWDC developer conference last week, with two and a half hours of new software announcements. As expected, a new version of the OS for the watch will allow native apps, and there were the usual incremental improvements to MacOS and iOS. There were a few notable announcements within iOS and two new products. Within iOS, Apple has added deep linking and app search. A link will load the content within the app if it's installed and on the web if not, and all content can be indexed and exposed within the local search. Apple showed an example of messages within LinkedIn and listings in AIrBnB both showing up in search. This is a very obvious move against web  search: both Apple and Google are chiselling away at the list of ten blue links, trying to move the results away from the web and also trying to suggest those results before you ask. 

On the iPad, Apple has added split-screen multi-tasking (rather like Windows 8) and made a range of small changes, to try to boost the use of the iPad for productivity. Link

Apple News is an iPad and iPhone app that aggregates news from the web, using both RSS feeds and content put into the Apple News format by publishers, with a discovery and recommendation engine on the front. Apple will let you follow titles or topics and it will curate articles for sections (it is hiring human editors) and recommend new stories based on what you read. Publishers can sell their own ads or use Apple's iAd - there is no mention of subscription or iTunes payments. Meanwhile, Apple has abandoned Newsstand, the mostly failed attempt to support stand-alone magazine and newspaper apps. This looks rather like the mostly-stalled news aggregator apps that launched on the iPad a few years ago. But it's also simple and clear and solves a real underlying problem - how do you discover and subscribe to great content? It's buried in Facebook and RSS was never mass-market. We'll have to wait and see what the execution looks like. Link

Apple Music is the ambitious announcement: an attempt to return music to the strategic value it had for Apple before streaming made DRM libraries irrelevant. And like News, it's centred on curation and editorial rather than algorithms and raw search. So, there's a standard streaming service for $10/month of $15 for a family pan with up to 6 people - but also a live 24 hour global streaming radio station with star DJs,  a set of hand -curated but automatically suggested playlists and recommendations, and a channel for musicians to publish content. This is an attempt to provide a single place that does everything around music well, on top of the commodity streaming library, but more fundamentally, to solve discovery with manual curation at scale - unfashionable in tech and very Apple. Reactions are very mixed - is this middle-aged men in untucked shirts trying to impose their vision of what the youngs should do, or is this addressing big unsolved problems? Link

Apple is hiring editors for Apple News. Link

Apple will implement explicit support for ad blockers in Safari for iOS. Ironic, given it also launched an ad-supported content product. Link

Square is launching an NFC/Apple Pay Reader. Link

Facebook abandonned a plan to build satellites to serve internet to uncovered areas. Reality collides with vision. Link

Apple, like Google, now has its own fleet of cards driving roads to build its own 'ground truth' for maps. Maps are PageRank for the real world, and when you have close to $200bn of cash, there are plenty of ways to spend it. Link

Uber claims to be doing pretty well in China. Link

Blog posts

Lefsetz on Apple Music (the reliably cynical view). Link 

BusinessWeek - what is code? Link

Snapchat's advertising plans. Link

Google's Android One initiative to expand its presence in cheap, low-end Android, seems to be failing to get traction. Link

Apple's push to localize for China. Link


US ebooks market - 1/4 of total trade volume and flat for the past few several years. Link

Facebook Messenger passed 1bn downloads. Link
This is issue 115, sent on June 16, 2015.
Forward to Friend
Read Later
Copyright © 2015 Benedict Evans, All rights reserved. To stop receiving updates, you can unsubscribe. Is this email not displaying correctly? View it in a browser.