Hey, @Lyft, why so spammy all of a sudden?

I used Lyft one time a few years ago, and have kept the app on my iPhone in case I want to use it again.

A couple of days ago, I started getting ads from Lyft through iOS notifications.

This is annoying because I have the iPhone configured to only receive urgent notifications. I get notifications for phone calls, the Breaking News app, the Messages app, Facebook Messenger, and that’s about it. Not email, not Twitter, and certainly not ads from a company I used once a few years ago, but not since.

So now I’ve deleted the Lyft app from my iPhone, which is I’m sure what the Lyft marketing guys wanted me to do. Good job, Lyft marketing guys!

RIP slide to unlock

The classic ‘Slide to Unlock’ iPhone gesture is gone from iOS 10

Susie Ochs, Macworld: “I’ll really miss Slide to Unlock, which I stopped using 18 months ago anyway.”

It was “the first bit of iOS we ever saw.” It “got audible gasps of amazement at the original iPhone’s unveiling.”

The iPhone was the first real smartphone. Sure, there were predecessors — the Palm Treo, for example; I had one and loved it. But the iPhone was a vast advance and made smartphones mainstream. So that slide unlocked an era.

And that demo was Steve Jobs’s last great product introduction.

Apple sued Samsung claiming slide to unlock was proprietary; a judge threw the lawsuit out on its keister.

WWDC rumor roundup

What to Expect at WWDC 2016

I’d be very interested in a Siri SDK to allow developers to integrate Siri into their apps.

I might be interested in Siri on the Mac, though a keyboard and trackball work very well for me, so it’s hard to imagine switching. It would be more interesting if I could type queries to Siri – which, come to think of it, Apple has already been doing with Spotlight updates.

Proximity unlocking the Mac using the iPhone would be very nice. I’ve tried third-party utilities that did that, but they proved unreliable.

I like very much the idea of Apple implementing security features in iOS and iCloud that are so tough that even Apple can’t break them.

iMessage for Android? Sweet. Would love to bring my Android friends onto my iMessage network. On the other hand, would Android users use an Apple app? Probably not.

[Juli Clover – MacRumors]

Good news about the Apple App Stores

The New App Store: Subscription Pricing, Faster Approvals, and Search Ads [John Gruber – Daring Fireball]

Among the changes: Apple is throwing open the doors to allow developers to charge subscription pricing.

That’s a big step forward for two reasons: It will allow developers to implement a try-before-you-buy model with App Store apps, same as on downloadable Mac or Windows apps.

I’m a guy who likes to try new apps, and that can be an expensive habit when the apps are only available in the App Store. For example, last week I dropped $10 for the Mac version of the Airmail email app, as well as $5 for the iOS version, because you really need to try that app on every device to give it a fair workout. After a few days, I decided Airmail is not for me (performance too slow). $15 down the drain. Ouch. Be nice if I could try it for 30-90 days, then decide whether to pay to keep using it, as is typical for downloadable desktop apps.

Hell, it would be nice if I could try an app for an hour. Or a half-hour. Or 15 minutes. Long enough to give it a workout and decide whether it’s worth staying with.

The other reason to be encouraged by these changes is that it provides developers with a way to get off the creeping-featuritis treadmill. Because the way pricing works now, developers need to come out with a new version every now and then to get users to pay for an upgrade. So the developers start adding useless features to get people to upgrade. Now, developers will have the option to say, “This app is done. Nothing more I need to do with it,” and continue to offer support and minor upgrades for new versions of the OS. I guess developers could have done that before — charge for support and compatibility upgrades separately — but perhaps the market would not have stood for it.

And of course it’s a way for developers to make more money. That’s nice, but honestly I’m not all that concerned with how much money OTHER PEOPLE are making.

Tick tock

Apple is said to be extending iPhone refreshes to once every three years – Martyn Williams, Macworld

Apple has previously been on a tick-tock cycle with the iPhone. Even-numbered years it makes big breakthroughs in design. Odd-numbered years it refines the previous year’s design, with phones that look identical to the previous year’s version but have faster guts.

In 2014, Apple came out with the iPhone 6, which was its big phone, and the 6 Plus, which was its REALLY big phone: Last year, faster versions of the same.

Now Apple is reportedly going from a two-year to three-year cycle, as phone hardware innovation gets harder to achieve.

I’m like many Apple enthusiasts, on a two-year upgrade cycle for my iPhone. And I’ve already been thinking about skipping this year, even without any hard information on what the 2016 iPhone will look like.