Explaining Continuity: The Tech Tying iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite Together

Andrew Cunningham:

Apple’s developer documentation doesn’t go into much depth about passing voice calls through your iPhone to your Mac or iPad, but the preview site indicates that both devices will need to be on the same Wi-Fi network (having a Mac hooked to wired Ethernet will also probably work, but it's safe to assume that more homes are wireless these days). Unlike Handoff, the feature doesn’t appear to use Bluetooth at all, and unlike AirDrop, it doesn’t require your device to support peer-to-peer Wi-Fi connections. Unlike so many of the other Continuity features, this one looks like it should work fine even if you’re using an iPhone 4S with an iMac or MacBook Pro from 2007.

Given what we know about how it works and about other features being added to iOS 8, the ability to take and make phone calls from a Mac or iPad is likely an extension of the voice over IP (VoIP) capabilities that power FaceTime Audio in iOS 7 and OS X 10.9.2. Rather than sending voice over the Internet between two Apple devices, it appears to be communicating between two devices on your local network to deliver voice calls. Look at the official screenshots Apple has released to promote the feature, and you'll notice that Apple even uses the same kind of pop-up notification UI in Yosemite for both iPhone and FaceTime Audio calls.

I cannot wait for a deep dive on this technology once iOS 8 and Yosemite are released.

Sponsor: Photo Book Flip for iPad

Photo Book Flip instantly turns the photos on your iPad into a beautiful photo book with a single tap. Unlike most photo apps that only let you browse photos one at a time, Photo Book Flip lets you flip through your photos in variety of layouts, so you can enjoy them in a delightful and different way.

How is Photo Book Flip different?

Photo Book Flip is not your ordinary photo book creator app. Every time you choose a set of photos, the app intelligently lays out photos into minimalist templates inspired by photo-centric magazines like Kinfolk. So every time you create a photo book, it’s going to be a different experience even with the same set of photos.

Photo Book Flip also works nicely with Apple’s Photo Stream. This means all the photos you take on your iPhone, you can use Photo Book Flip on your iPad to make them into a photo book with just a tap.

Lastly, we think the best part of Photo Book Flip is that it takes the hassle out of creating beautiful photo books for you to enjoy.

A sneak peak at what’s coming up.

We are hard at work polishing and making this app better. There are lots more features to come and here’s a preview:

  • Sharing features: Email, tweet, or post to Facebook individual photos as well as pages in your photo books.
  • Full screen photos: Tap on any photo to see it in full screen view.
  • More templates: We’re gradually adding more templates for more layout variations.
  • Flickr and Facebook Support: The feature we’re excited about the most! Create photo books from photos in your Facebook and Flickr account.

As you can see, lots of exciting features are coming to Photo Book Flip! Find it on the App Store and make sure to sign up for updates on our website.

Why I Like Overcast

Most of you have heard that Overcast for iPhone was released last week. It's a podcast app from Marco Arment. It's been much anticipated since it was announced last September. Here is why I like it (after a few days of full time use):

  1. Simple
    The interface is simple, but still powerful. It's easy for new podcast fans to use, but also powerful enough for the hardcore fans. The new playlist section makes it easy to organize shows without much effort. I have one playlist that groups my 2 favorite shows at the top regardless of what else is on there. While it doesn't yet support streaming, I've always been one to download shows to save on my data plan.

  2. Saves me time
    I love smart speed feature. It's probably the feature that is the key differentiator over other podcast apps. It seeks to speed up the show by eliminating near silence from track.

It's free to download, but there is a $4.99 IAP if you want to unlock some great features.

Cellular downloads
Variable playback speed
Smart Speed
Voice Boost
Per-podcast effects settings
One-by-one playback option
Sleep timer
Unlimited number of playlists
Unlimited episodes shown in playlists

If you want a more detailed review, check out Macstories.

The Problem With Chromebooks

Tablet Academy:

And finally, mobility. This is increasingly important.Its very difficult to pull out your Chromebook at the bus stop and do five minutes of quick work on the hoof…the devices are just too big, and getting them connected would most likely be a challenge. Not so with a tablet device…

Whilst there might well be a place for Chromebooks in education, we are becoming increasingly convinced that this will be limited. They are not disruptive devices, that’s for sure, being limited to a substitution role at best. We do think the IDC paper ignores these three points, concentrating as it does on the supposed reduced maintainance time and increased levels of productivity due to quicker loading and up-time.

Are Chromebooks the device for 100% of schools? Probably not. They have a niche, though. If you've got an upper school (8-12) with Google Apps, Chromebooks make a nice option. In some ways, Chromebooks make great laptop replacements where you still need laptop functionality. The question probably isn't iPad vs Chromebook. It's probably Chromebook vs a traditional laptop.

Sponsor: Photo Book Flip for iPad

I wanted to thank Photo Book Flip For iPad for sponsoring Chambers Daily this week.

Photo Book Flip lets you experience your photos in a delightful and different way. Like what physical photo albums do, they created this app to celebrate the wonderful memories and moments in everyone's life. You can download it on the App Store at a limited-time introductory price of $0.99 and learn more on their website.

Staying Safe On Public WiFi

I've become more and more paranoid about using WiFi that I don't manage. Because of that, I always use a VPN when I am using WiFi other than at my house, my work, or my inlaws. While I am using OpenVPN with a 3rd party VPN service, I don't recommend that for most people because it is a lot more complicated to setup. I highly recommend Cloak for folks wanting a really easy to use VPN service for Mac and iOS. It's dead simple to setup and they have various kinds of plans for the sporadic user vs the power user. One of the things that makes it really easy to use is that you can set it up to automatically connect if you are connected to an SSID other than ones you put as your "safe" networks. This means that when you walk into Starbucks, it will automatically connect and you won't have to remember activate it once your connect to WiFi.

They offer a 5 GB plan for $2.99 per month or an unlimited plan for $9.99 per month. If you use IAP purchase through the iOS app, you can prepay for the year for $99. They also have a weekly pass option through IAP that is handy if you just need it for a conference, etc. Your Mac, iPad, and iPhone can all share the same account and data bucket. Security is something we should all take seriously, but Cloak makes it easy and inexpensive.

Download Cloak on the App Store.

Tim Cook On Enterprise Software

9to5Mac through the WSJ is reporting that Tim Cook said that 80% of our work should be on an iPad.

There’s no reason why everyone shouldn’t be like that. Imagine enterprise apps being as simple as the consumer apps that we’ve all gotten used to. That’s the way it should be

With the iPad, it's not about doing more spreadsheet work on the back porch. It's about the simplification of computing. I support 100+ Macs every day. I see the pain points people have with tradtional computers. The iPad solved that. The goal of technology should be to allow people to do things they couldn't previously do. The iPad allows a novice user to do great things without worrying about why they have the same voicemail downloaded 40 times.

Enterprise applications are known for being complicated and not user friendly. This is because companies are often selling to people who aren't the ones using the software. The iPad forces companies to rethink how software works. It's a completely new environment for users and developers.

Sponsor: Photo Book Flip for iPad

Photo Book Flip for iPad

Six months ago I was reading Kinfolk, a culture and lifestyle magazine with lots of beautiful photos. Flipping through it was a really delightful experience. Then it came to me, what if I could flip through my own photos as if they were a beautiful photo magazine, say on my iPad? And even better, what if I didn’t have to organize and layout the photos?

And that was the beginning of Photo Book Flip. After five months of design and development, the app has finally come to life.

Photo Book Flip instantly turns the photos on your iPad into a beautiful digital photo book with a single tap. Inspired by photo-centric magazines like Kinfolk and beautiful cookbooks like Mast Brothers Chocolate and Blue Bottle Craft of Coffee, the page layout features a minimalist design to spotlight your moments. And just like the iBooks app, as you flip each page, you’ll also see what’s behind the page as if it was a real book.

We think Photo Book Flip lets you experience your photos in a delightful and different way. Like what physical photo albums do, we created this app to celebrate the wonderful memories and moments in everyone's life.

Find it on the App Store at a limited-time introductory price of $0.99 and learn more on our website. We think you’re going to like it. Please check it out, and let us know how we can make it better.

Sponsored via Syndicate Ads

A Desk of iPad

Ben Brooks:

That’s not to say that I won’t benefit from a laptop, or that an iPad is the best tool, but that the iPad did everything exceedingly well. I loved it. Not enough for everyday just yet, but when I know I have a busy day in meetings, I’m now going to leave the laptop behind.

I still need more than an iPad, but that gap is going to close tightly once apps start taking advantage of the new features in iOS 8. And I can hardly wait for that.

The only thing I do need is a bigger screen for the iPad. I’ve always wanted a larger iPad, but perhaps someone can figure out a way to make an iPad functional on a bigger screen (meaning the larger screen needs touch, or something of that ilk). Mostly I think a 12-13” iPad would make me drop a laptop completely, perhaps with just one family computer at home for those odd ball tasks.

When people force themselves to use the iPad for more than consumption, they find ways to get their work done. Are there compromises? You bet. As Ben finds, there are also plenty of gains to be had. There are always compromises with any device selection. I feel like the iPad is a great choice for power and portability.

Curbi - Parental Controls for iOS

I posted about this a few months ago, but I wanted to mention it again. If you have had kids that have an iOS device, I highly recommend you subscribe to Curbi. I interviewed one of the developers on the most recent episode of Out of School and I highly recommend you listen to learn more about it. It's only $50 per year for 5 devices. It does a lot of interesting things to allow you to have control over when you kids can access certain kinds of content. It also blocks adult content by default. It works over LTE and WiFi and does not require a special browser. It works at the device level rather than inside of a browser.

Particulars, System Information On Your Desktop

Fraser Hess launched his new Mac app last week that is called Particulars.

Particulars displays system information about your Mac on your desktop. It shows computer name, model, CPU, RAM, OS version, Server version, current user, uptime, disk space and network configuration.

Particulars provides up-to-date information and dynamically changes when your system changes. For instance, if you switch Wi-Fi networks, Particulars shows the new network configuration immediately.

Particulars does not replace your desktop background image and is responsive to changes in your screen or space layout. It does not require any scripts or need any complex setup.

Particulars supports many disparate network configurations including IPv6, manual addressing, multiple addresses, captive portals, PPPoE, and VPNs.

It's only $1.99. You can't beat that. You can purchase it on the Mac App Store.

On LAUSD's Failed iPad Program

Howard Blume:

Los Angeles school district officials have allowed a group of high schools to choose from among six different laptop computers for their students — a marked contrast to last year's decision to give every pupil an iPad.

Contracts that will come under final review by the Board of Education on Tuesday would authorize the purchase of one of six devices for each of the 27 high schools at a cost not to exceed $40 million.

In the fall, administrators, teachers and students at those schools will test the laptops to determine whether they should be used going forward.

What they learn will affect the future of an ongoing effort to provide computers for all students in the nation's second-largest school system.

"The benefit of the new approach is clear," said Los Angeles Unified school board member Monica Ratliff, who chaired a panel that reviewed the technology effort. "Why would we treat all our students — whether they are a first-grader or a high school freshman — as if they all had the same technology needs? They don't.... To have a one-device-fits-all approach does not make sense."

At the time, officials stressed the advantages of managing only one device and cost savings from a bulk purchase.

The rollout of the iPads last fall at 47 schools, however, was beset by challenges, controversy and some mistakes.

Students immediately deleted security filters so they could freely browse the Internet. The district recalled the devices at several schools and some students never saw them again. Distribution of the devices quickly fell behind schedule. Senior staff also incorrectly characterized terms of the contract — saying, for example, that the district owned the curriculum. Instead, the contract purchased a three-year license and the materials were incomplete during the first year.

The brand new approach is very clear. They have zero clue what they are doing. They completely botched their iPad deployment. I'm not blaming their IT department, because I don't know what happened. I do know that they didn't follow best practices at the time. They wanted to lock down the iPads, but they didn't install the main security profile through Apple Configurator. Yes, I know that was probably not practical, but that was the only way to make a security profile where the user couldn't remove it. In the recent months, Apple has released the Device Enrollment program. This allows you to accomplish what LAUSD was trying to do without having to touch each iPad. The initial failure of their iPad program was due to just the inability to follow Apple's guidelines. This was a big enough contract that Apple likely worked hand in hand with them. I have full faith that Apple told LAUSD that what they were doing would not work. While I believe that locking down an iPad to essentially a curriculum-based device does nothing to address a culture change or digital citizenship, that's a story for another day.

From an IT perspective, not standardizing on one piece of hardware is a recipe for disaster. You have to deal with various types of hardware, manufacturers, drivers, bugs, etc.

How well the various devices function will be examined by both staff and outside reviewers. Curriculum from three different vendors also are being tried: Pearson; McGraw-Hill/StudySync; and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

"Let's see what works from letting the people in the field — the teachers, the students and the parents — tell us what works," said Thomas Rubin, a consultant for a committee that oversees the spending of school-construction bonds.

Why don't we just let parents pick out cleaning materials? Let's also let students pick out their own textbooks. You are essentially saying that your technology department does not have the ability to make the correct decision.

It wasn't a perfect process. The curriculum, for example, was hard to assess in a process akin to speed dating, said one participant.

The laptop options impressed Carolyn McKnight, the principal at East Los Angeles Performing Arts Magnet, one of five schools at the Torres complex. Two chose the Lenovo Yoga Touch, two the Microsoft Surface Pro 2 and the last, a Dell Latitude E7240.

A few other campuses chose Chromebooks.

"The Surface is really sexy, but I was concerned about the detachable keyboard, about students losing or breaking it," McKnight said.

Pick one horse and ride it. If you like Surface 2 Pro, standardize with it. I love iPads, but I'd rather see someone go all in on a Surface deployment instead of a crapshoot of devices.

How To Free Up Space On iOS

I don't have hard data to prove this, but Apple probably sells more 16 GB iOS devices than they do another other size. In 2014, 16 GB is becoming less and less manageable. Apps are getting bigger, we are consuming more media, and we are taking more photos. Time and time again, I've gotten calls and emails asking how to free up space on an iOS device. This is often a complex question. I want to run through some ways that you can deal with this issue if your phone gives you the dreaded out of space alert when you go to take a photo.

Delete Apps
This is where I start first when dealing with this problem. Is your iOS device full of games and other apps that you never use? Take a moment and cull through them. You can always re-download them for free in the future. If you travel 2-3 times a year, do you really need the Delta app? Games can easily push 1 GB in size and deleting games you are finished with is a really easy way to free up some space. I've even gotten rid of a lot of shopping apps. Thanks to iCloud Keychain, it's actually faster for me to use the Amazon.com website on my iPhone than it is to use the app. The app requires me to re-enter the passcode before making a purchase where iCloud Keychain fills it in automatically on the website.

Offload Your Camera Roll
If you've followed me anywhere on the internet, you know this has been my suggestion for a while now. 1080p videos and high quality iPhone photos will eat up your free space. Upload them to Dropbox or Google Drive and empty your camera roll. iOS 8 will allow apps to delete your photos after uploading them somewhere (with your permission), but until it's released you will need to manually do it. If you have a Mac, you can use a built in app called Image Capture to delete them in bulk.

Delete Local Music
We all love to have music to listen to, but it can eat up a lot of space. iTunes Match is really helpful when it comes to managing your music. It's $25 per year, but it gives you the ability to mirror your iTunes library in iCloud. You start the process on your Mac, and it scans your library. As it scans, it matches your library with the iTunes catalog, and makes them available to stream or download on your iOS devices. If it can't match it, then it will upload it. If you download music from iTunes Match, you can start to fill up your phone again. You can swipe on a song to delete it. You can also go into the Settings app and go to General > Usage to mass delete everything that is downloaded.

Delete and Reinstall Apps
I've noticed that a lot of the apps I use regularly seem to grow in size. This includes Tweetbot, Google Drive, Droplr, Dropbox, etc. I know that it comes from caching content so it can load faster. iOS is suppose to clean these periodically, but in my experience, it can take quite a while. Since most of the apps I am referring to have online components, you can simply delete and re-download them. One it's downloaded, you can sign right back in. They will grow back in size as times goes on, but you can simply repeat the process. This is especially helpful if you are on vacation and are needing to make room for some extra photos and videos.

Delete iMessages
iMessages can actually begin to eat up free space if you never delete them. If you get a lot of picture messages, your iMessage cache can quickly grow in size. If you don't need an iMessage thread, then delete it. You can use DiskAid to export a thread if you need to archive it.

Use PhoneClean
This app was recommended to me on Twitter. Had I just simply come across this app from searching the web, there would be no way I would have used it. It seems too good to be true. It cleans a wide variety of aspects of your phone as well. There will be a little work afterwards to get your iPhone as it was before. I had to login to a few of my apps and Castro had to re-download my podcasts. Using this app gave me a few GB of storage back. I highly recommend it.

Using the above tips should help tide you over till you upgrade your phone again. Next time, move up to a 32 GB device (I am going with a 64 GB).

Here is a bonus tip after you free up some space:

Delete and Re-upload iCloud Backups
Every few months, I will delete my iCloud backup and start it over again. I just deleted a 1 GB backup, and it was around 400 MB on the next initial backup. Why is this? I imagine it has something to do with your camera roll and other caches.

On iCloud Photos

Most of you probably know that Apple announced iOS 8 yesterday. One of the things I was most excited to hear about was an upgrade to iCloud Photos.

With iPhone, people are taking more photos and videos than ever. As photo collections grow, so does the desire to store them all safely and still access them whenever and wherever. That’s where the new Photos app and the new iCloud Photo Library come in.

This is definitely a step in the right direction. The Photos app will store original resolutions of your photos and videos in iCloud. They also announced that a Mac version of the new Photos app would be coming in early 2015. Along with these announcements, they are going to be modifying the iCloud storage payment tiers:

  1. 5 GB for Free
  2. 20 GB for $.99/month
  3. 200 GB for $3.99/month
  4. Plans up to 1 TB will be available

I really think that 20 GB should have been the free tier and do away with the $.99/month pricing. After credit card fees, how much is Apple really be making here? Apple products are premium products and they have the margins to cover it. While people reading this article understand that $.99 is cheap for 20 GB, a lot of regular people will just not pay any amount of money for it. They will just use up their 5 GB and then nothing else will be uploaded or backed up. When they drop their phone in the pool, they will still be upset that some of their photos aren't backed up. Google offers 15 GB for Google Drive as the starter plan. We can argue about business models all day long, but the bottom line is that things like automatic backup with a ton of storage for free helps sell devices. Selling devices is how Apple makes its money. We are getting the same free space as when iCloud launched in 2010. Outside of the free tier, the other plans are priced well, though.

As with everything Apple does using networked services, the devil is in the details. Although I am a big fan of folder based organization, I can see where iCloud Photos will take the headache out of the process for most people. The big question is that will it work 99.99999% of the time?

Some other questions I have (regarding the Mac aspect of it):

  1. What about importing from my DSLR on the Mac? How will that process work?
  2. What about my existing library?
  3. What are the export options?
  4. Can Time Machine/Backblaze backup this library as well?

Once iOS 8 is released and we see more of the final details, I will update my Photo Management book with additonal thoughts.

A Rundown of Photo Stream Alternatives

When it comes to syncing data across our devices, we’ve largely “arrived.” If you predominately use all Apple or Google apps and services, then most of your data and documents are synced through those first-party services. And if you use 3rd-party apps and services (such as the aforementioned ComiXology, Kindle, Audible, et al.), many of them provide their own syncing with apps available on all our devices.

One of the last major hurdles for syncing across all our devices and computers is with photos and home movies.

I wrote an article for The Sweet Setup on the "state of the union" when it comes to managing your photo library amongst multiple devices. I worked hard on the article, but I am hoping Apple makes it irrelevant at WWDC.

Click here to read it.

Content As A Service

Alan McGlade:

Steve Jobs Was Wrong -- Consumers Want To Rent Their Music, Not Own It

It's taken me a while to wrap my head around services like Rdio, Spotify, and Beats. I saw the value in them, but they didn't appeal to me. Why would someone want to rent their music? Here is what I finally realized. We've always rented music. We've always rented movies. We've always rented games. The purchasing system has just changed.

Let's look at movies. When I was growing up, we rented VHS tapes from Blockbuster or purchased them from a local retailer. Do I have any of those now? Even if I did have them, I would still need a VHS player. Even if I had a VHS player, I'd need a TV with S-Video or RCA inputs. The TV I bought recently only has HDMI. Did I own the VHS tapes I purchased? Sure, for a time. They are useless to me now. Even outside of the lack of playability, I wouldn't get to enjoy the HD versions. Our VHS copies didn't last forever. New technology came along, and we paid to get new copies.

Let's look at games. I purchased a lot of games growing up. I owned a NES, Genesis, Dreamcast, N64, PS1, PS2, GameCube, and Xbox. If I had kept all my systems and my games, would I still be able to play them? Some of them would probably still be working, but a lot of them would have died off by now. I paid $50 for a game, but that didn't promise me a lifetime of enjoying that game. I played it for a season and then I moved on.

We've actually been doing it with music for years. How's that tape collection working out for you? What about that CD collection? Can you play that in your new Mac that doesn't have a CD player? Even digital media has a shelf life. We've moved from 128k songs from iTunes with DRM to 256 AAC iTunes songs. Do you think this is the end for digital music quality? As time goes along, formats will change and devices will change. You might own a lower quality version, but what about the new HD format that goes along with those fancy new bluetooth headphones that someone is probably working on? You'll want to upgrade to new copies of your favorite albums.

Content as a Service (CaaS) is the future. I think Netflix really primed the pump for people being willing to pay for a monthly content access fee. At $9/mo, you get a decent back catalog of movies, a really nice TV show inventory, and a really nice selection of kids shows. Why do I care about owning a movie that I'll watch one time? Why do I need to own season 3 of Breaking Bad? I'll probably watch it 1 time. CaaS is also key for discoverability. In my testing of the Beats Music service, I've discovered some new artists based on some of the recommendations. I probably would not drop $10 on an album that Beats recommends to me, but I'll certainly add it to my library and listen to it later. I know that if I hate it, I am only out a little time. With Netflix, if a movie stinks, I can turn it off. If I rent it from iTunes, I'll be out the $5. A-la-cart pricing for media basically kills discoverability. People will go with what is safe when they are having to make a conscious decision about what to buy.

I've been starting to read comics in the past few weeks and one of the things I've discovered is that comics are expensive. Some new releases on ComiXology are $4.99 for a comic that will take me 20 minutes to read. If the series is on issue 20, I know that it would take me $100 to catch up on top of the ongoing fee for new issues. I signed up for Marvel Unlimited and was given access to a large digital library of comics. At $9.99/month or $69/year, I can read as much as I want without fear of going broke.

If the CaaS model spreads to every industry (books, first run movies, etc), you won't have to worry about missing out on new formats or features. Your monthly fee gives you access to that.

As content creators, we like to think that our work stands forever. Sadly, it doesn't. New content comes along and replaces it. People simply want to be entertained. Whether its new music, new movies or new comics, people want entertainment. Subscription based pricing allows for better discoverability, the ability to catch up on old content without spending a fortune, and hopefully more fans of our work. At the time, Steve Jobs was right when he said consumers want to own their music. Like everything in life, things have changed. People now want a buffet of content for a reasonable monthly fee.

BitTorrent Sync For Photo Management

In my quest for the perfect photo management software (RIP Everpix), I decided to give BitTorrent Sync a try over the weekend. Unlike Google Drive, Dropbox, or PictureLife, there is no third party cloud component. BitTorrent Sync is an app that you run on your computer that makes the folders you select available on other devices using the BitTorrent protocol (hey, there is a legal use for BitTorrent now). They have apps for the desktop and for mobile. There is no login system, but it uses a secret key to connect your clients together. For the mobile app, the desktop client can display a QR code that shares the secret key.

What BitTorrent Sync does well:
1. Free
2. Unlimted to the size your hard drive
3. Secure
4. Easily backed up using normal backup methods (Backblaze, Time Machine, etc)

Unfortunately, The photo experience on mobile is terrible. There are no thumbnails without downloading the photo first. This fact alone makes it a non-starter for multi-device photo management.

ComiXology, Apple, And Control Of The Customer Experience

Unless you've been under a rock for the past few weeks, you know what has happened with ComiXology, iOS, and Amazon. If you haven't, you can read this article to get caught up. TidBits also has a nice write up. I've been sitting and pondering this situation for weeks now and have gone back and forth on my feelings. Let's set the stage for the process/problems.

  1. Apps can use Apple's IAP mechanism and sell digital goods inside of an app. Users can use their iTunes login to process this payment. Apple keeps 30% of the purchase price.
  2. Amazon does not use IAP for its Audible app (ironcically, iTunes gets it's audiobook content from Audible), Kindle app or Amazon Video app.
  3. To purchase Amazon digital goods, users must vist the website and purchase them. Once you go back to said app, you can download the content you previously purchased.

Why doesn't Amazon want to use IAP? I think it's multiple reasons.

  1. Their digital products likely don't have a 30% margin to give away. Amazon runs its entire operations on razor thin margins. Amazon, for the most part, is a middle man in the content distrubution. Apple is in the same boat.
  2. They want credit cards on file. According to Horace Dediu, Apple has a lot more credit cards on file than Amazon. Amazon wants your default behavior to be to visit Amazon.com. If you have to visit Amazon to buy Amazon digital goods, you are more likely to buy other things. The more invested you are in Amazon's ecosystem, the more likely you are to buy their hardware. The more hardware you buy, the more likely you are to keep buying other things. The cycle continues. On a side note, ComiXology comics are still purchased through the ComiXology website. I imagine this will remain the same, but at some point you probably will merge your ComiXology account with your Amazon one. This is how it happened with Audible. Audible still has its own website and catalog, but you login and purchase items through your Amazon account.

An idea has been tossed around that should Apple make deals with certain companies for reduced IAP percentages. I think I agree with it. I think it should be based on volume, though. You might be thinking, "that isn't fair to the little guy!" In all forms of business, there are volume discounts. At my school, I pay less per iPad than you do when I buy them in bulk. When I buy iOS apps in bulk, I get a 50% discount (if the developer opts into the education discount). Apple pays less for iPhone screens than you could buy them. Volume discounts are just a reality of doing business.

Others have said that Apple should allow Amazon to sell its books directly through their app and bypass the IAP system. I do not agree with that. I think that is a slipperly slope. It would certainly be fine for Amazon and other major companies, but it would be a disaster for developers who are a bit more "scammy". Imagine if the Candy Crush folks weren't required to follow Apple's policies for prompting for passcodes when purchasing digital goods?

Let's imagine Apple did decide to work with Amazon and offer IAP at the cost of processing a credit card transaction. Would Amazon use IAP? Probably not. Amazon no longer sees itself as a retailer. It sees itself as a platform. Platform owners wants to control the entire experience. This doesn't come down to IAP percentages, but rather control of the customer experience.