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A Moment of Clarity Regarding the Raison d'Etre for the App Store
 
John Gruber, writing at DaringFireball: Feel free to file Google's release this week of an update to their iPad Gmail app with support for split-screen multitasking under "better late than never," but this is so late it borders on the absurd. It's like the difference between showing up fashionably late and showing up a week after the party. Split-screen multitasking was introduced for the iPad back in 2015 with iOS 9. Five years to add support for a foundational element of the iPad user experience. And an email client is near the top of the list of the type of apps where someone would want to use split-screen. Five years. Google makes a lot of software with terrible user experiences for users who have poor taste. Their iOS software, in particular, has for the most part never suggested that it was designed by people who like -- or even use -- iOS. It's the blind leading the blind. But yet the Gmail app is currently the number one free app in the Productivity category in the App Store. On the surface, it's tempting to blow this off. To each their own. Whatever floats their boat. Who cares if millions of iPad users are satisfied using an email client that is a poor iPad app, so long as actual good iPad email clients are available to those who do care? But what about those stuck using the Gmail app not because they want to, but because they have to? Who can help them but Apple? I worry that it's not tenable in the long run to expect Apple to continue striving to create well-crafted -- let alone insanely great -- software when so many of its users not only settle for, but perhaps even prefer, software that is, to put it kindly, garbage. There have always been popular Mac and iPhone apps that are objectively terrible apps -- where by "popular" I mean much-used, not much-loved. But what made Apple users Apple users is that they complained vociferously if they had to use a terrible app. Word 6 was a sack of dog shit Microsoft dropped off and set aflame on Mac users' porch, but we all knew it was a flaming bag of dog shit, and even those of us who didn't even use Word were angry about it because it was an insult. I worry that this sort of "Who cares, it's better than nothing" attitude has seeped into Apple itself, and explains how we wound up with barely modified iPad apps shipping as system apps on the Mac. But more than anything I worry that this exemplifies where Apple has lost its way with the App Store. What exactly is the point of running a strict approval process for apps if not, first and foremost, to ensure that they're good apps? An iPad email app that doesn't support split-screen multitasking for five years is, by definition, not a good app. I'd like to see all the vim, vigor, and vigilance Apple applies to making sure no app on the App Store is making a dime without Apple getting three cents applied instead to making sure there aren't any scams or ripoffs, and that popular apps support good-citizen-of-the-platform features within a reasonable amount of time after those features are introduced in the OS. I don't know exactly how long "reasonable" is, but five fucking years for split-screen support ain't it.

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Apple Releases iOS 14, iPadOS 14, and tvOS 14 To Public Beta Testers
 
Apple today seeded the first public betas of upcoming iOS 14 and iPadOS 14, and tvOS 14 updates to its public beta testing group, two weeks after first providing the updates to developers after the WWDC keynote.

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Microsoft Brings Android OS Development for Surface Duo In-house With Movial Acquisition
 
Microsoft is forming a team internally under the Microsoft Devices division that will handle the development of the Android OS for Surface Duo going forward. Windows Central: According to my sources, up until now, Microsoft had contracted the OS work out to third-party vendors such as Movial, who had the expertise required to bring Android to life on Surface Duo. Movial is a software, services, and design engineering company that was working closely with Microsoft on Surface Duo during its prototype and development stages. Microsoft has now acquired the local operations of Movial in Romania, Taiwan, and the USA, and is bringing on-board all the Movial employees that were working on the Surface Duo as full-time employees at Microsoft. Microsoft is not acquiring Movial as a whole. Movial will continue to operate as a standalone company, with employees at its headquarters in Finland remaining at Movial. SeeNews reports that Movial's Iasi office will become Microsoft Romania's fourth research and development center, as it on-boards 60 employees from Movial in that location.

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InternetNews.com News Recent news from InternetNews.com

IT Earnings Way Up at Job Site Elance
 
Google App Engine, HTML5, search engine optimization and social media marketing are among the fastest movers on Elance's list of hot job opportunities available online.

Say What? The Week's Top Five IT Quotes
 
Google Wave crashes, fighting to keep mainframe skills alive, beware the Outernet and more.

GPL Enforcement Notches Another Victory
 
The license at the heart of many open source projects is amassing a winning record when it comes to successfully pursuing enforcement lawsuits.