Cold Takes

(Originally published on Cold Takes, my newsletter — more about it here.)

Happy Friday. Getting this out a little bit earlier today. But still not early enough, undoubtedly.

Fridays have always been a bit of an enigma when it comes to posting on the internet. On one hand, everyone seems to peace out early — or at the very least is actually doing work to end the week, so most publications’ traffic plummets around 1pm or 2pm local time (which means San Francisco bloggers don’t have much time to get news up before New York is gone). On the other hand, so many companies use Friday to dump bad news, and said bad news is often newsworthy. So it’s not a completely dead day.

Not sure where I’m going with this. But it’s something I think about every Friday if I’m considering writing. Get it out early. Or save it till Saturday.

5ish Links

Feels like a solid review from Jacob Kastrenakes. There’s a weird dichotomy these days where even though the macOS (née OS X) updates feel smaller in scope — certainly in user-facing features scope — the reviews people write about them keep getting longer and longer. I don’t know about you, but I don’t need to read 25,000 words about the latest OS iteration (Kastrenakes clocks in at roughly 2,500 words, by my count — much more reasonable). We’re all going to install it anyway. It’s (slightly) better and free. Free-as-in-beer. What’s the decision?

When it comes to the actual OS, of note:

“The bigger problem? The setting to enable auto-unlock is entirely hidden. You have to activate two-factor authorization in order to even see the setting, and it turns out, enabling two-factor involves jumping through quite a few hoops. (Did you know that Apple has a virtually identical security feature called “two-step authorization”?) Perhaps Apple wanted to use this feature to nudge people toward better account security, but if so, it probably should have done a better job of making people aware it exists; instead, you’ll have to Google for a tutorial.”

This is one of the great new user-facing features of Sierra (assuming you have an Apple Watch). But it’s almost comically hard to figure out how to enable.

Speaking of useful reviews, here’s Matthew Panzarino with a look at the forthcoming iPhone 7 Plus “Portrait” mode (not to be confused with holding your phone in portrait mode, which has thrown me off in reading about it a few times). This is especially useful because the feature is still in beta, so it answers the “should I update to the beta build?” question, if you were lucky enough to get an iPhone 7 Plus (mine, like many folks, is stuck in a storm somewhere in the South Pacific — be careful, iPhone 7 Plus, don’t rush, get here safely).

Importantly, Panzarino also shows us what the feature looks like in side-by-sides.

By the way, the answer seems to be to hold off until the feature is a bit more polished. I’d probably just wait for it to hit the release build of iOS — presumably in a few weeks.

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Two dogs up from the poker table…

It’s pretty staggering when you scroll through Netflix’s offerings now just how many of them are Netflix original programs. I would have never expected this to happen so quickly. And it seems like this is going to accelerate.

This is obviously great news for the creators of such content. This is the absolute golden era. Between Netflix and Amazon, you now have two new power players in addition to the more traditional folks. And, of course, Hulu, Google, Apple, and others are likely waiting in the wings to enter this game as well.

Still unclear how sustainable all of this is, but as a consumer, I’m happy.

Bittersweet, but it feels inevitable at this point that Twitter will have to sell. My only hope is that whomever buys it lets it run largely autonomously. But who knows, feels like it could go either way in that regard… And that’s terrifying. Struggles aside, I still love Twitter — it’s probably the service I still use the most on a daily basis. I would be devastated if it went away. But I’ll just be pissed off if someone ruins it.

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Have a Good Weekend

See everyone in your inbox next week. Also, thanks to everyone who reported the HTML tags that creeped into the update yesterday. Blame the dark arts that is copy & paste. ✌️

(Originally published on Cold Takes, my newsletter.)

Written by

General Partner @ GV (née Google Ventures). In past lives I wrote at TechCrunch, VentureBeat, and ParisLemon. A man of few words. Except when writing. 🍻

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