Emulators are taking over the App Store | The Vergecast

Emulators are taking over the App Store | The Vergecast

Intro (00:00:00)

  • The Vergecast podcast discusses displays and technology.
  • David Pierce hosts a Netflix show called "Just Sounds with David Pierce" where he describes sounds.
  • Alex Cranz and David Pierce introduce the topics for the episode.
  • Emulators have become available on various app stores around the world.
  • Google has reorganized its Android team.
  • Meta has launched a significant AI initiative to compete with ChatGPT.
  • Sony has announced the next generation of its MicroLED TVs.
  • The hosts will conduct lightning rounds of news and discussions.
  • David Pierce will present a segment called "Headline Blitz" where he rapidly shares headlines related to TikTok.
  • The hosts express hope for a potential lightning round sponsor in the future.

Emulators on the App Store (00:02:40)

  • Emulators are now allowed on the Apple App Store due to new European regulations requiring alternative app stores on iOS devices.
  • The first emulator released on the App Store, called Delta, quickly became the number one app, indicating significant demand for emulators.
  • Despite the demand, the gaming industry has largely ignored emulators, considering the interested group small and irrelevant.
  • Emulators offer a superior gaming experience compared to original hardware, with better controls, portability, and compatibility with modern devices.
  • Apple's decision to allow emulators on the App Store creates competition for its own software and highlights the iPhone's potential as a gaming platform.
  • The legality of emulators is a complex issue, with parallels to Napster and mp3 ripping, and may require legal revisions to address this emerging area.
  • Nintendo consoles are generally easier to emulate compared to others, while Xbox 360 emulation is still limited.
  • Sony has made PS1 and PS2 games available on current consoles and cloud services, but there's potential for a subscription service to access PS1 games on iPhones.
  • Apple's review process for emulators is highly specific, giving the company broad discretion to control what is allowed on the App Store.
  • Emulators are gaining popularity on the App Store, raising concerns about copyright infringement and the effectiveness of Apple's review process.
  • Apple's App Store is often flooded with low-quality imitations of popular apps, filled with ads and posing security risks.
  • Apple's attempts to maintain strict control over the App Store have been criticized, as the company struggles to effectively manage the vast number of apps available.

PSA regarding speakers on the subway (00:28:52)

  • Passengers on the subway were disturbed by a woman watching a horror movie on full volume, prompting a discussion about the etiquette of playing media in public spaces.
  • Apple maintains strict boundaries on the content allowed in its App Store, with Tim Cook reportedly against allowing pornographic content.
  • Rumors suggest that Apple may introduce additional app stores, including professional ones and a platform for innovative ideas.
  • Riley, the creator of AltStore, managed to quickly launch an alternative app store, possibly with assistance from Tim Sweeney of Epic Games.
  • Emulators are gaining popularity on the App Store, enabling users to play retro games and access software previously unavailable on iOS devices.
  • Apple's stringent App Store regulations have restricted the availability of emulators and certain software, but this may change in the future, potentially allowing a wider range of emulators and software.
  • Potential emulators that could become available include Windows 95, Commodore 64, and ScummVM, which would enable users to play classic point-and-click adventure games like Monkey Island.
  • Emulators could also allow users to run non-Creative Cloud versions of software like Photoshop on an iPad, providing more flexibility and options for creative work.
  • The expansion of the acceptable software library on the App Store through emulators could lead to a surge of innovative software that is not monetized through micropayments or ads.
  • The Vergecast hosts criticized the recent movie "Steve Jobs" and plan to invite Matthew Von onto their podcast "Decoder" to discuss decision-making processes at Apple and suggest improvements.
  • Google has undergone an organizational chart change.

Google combines Android and hardware teams (00:38:15)

  • Google is merging its hardware and Android teams under Rick Osterloh to accelerate AI development and integration across its platforms and devices.
  • The reorganization aims to address concerns about Google's competitiveness in AI following the success of rivals like ChatGPT and the rapid rise of AI.
  • Despite challenges such as hallucination and limitations of current AI models, Google feels pressured to keep pace with AI advancements.
  • AI's significance is widely debated, with some comparing its impact to that of fire, the internet, and automation revolutions.
  • Companies are heavily investing in AI to avoid being left behind, even though its full potential is yet to be realized.
  • Recent AI developments have been mostly negative, with failures, controversies, and inaccuracies dominating the headlines.
  • Google is shifting its focus from the metaverse to AI, similar to Meta's pivot, aiming to unify its teams and create a vertically integrated hardware, software, and services ecosystem.
  • Google's DeepMind and Google Research have merged, raising concerns about the CEO's satisfaction with the merger.
  • Google's partners, like Samsung, are sensitive about potential favoritism towards Google's own devices, recalling past tensions and Samsung's desire for its own operating system to reduce dependency on Google.
  • Despite tensions, Samsung remains reliant on Android due to the lack of viable alternatives for smartphone manufacturers.
  • Samsung's recent promotion of Gemini features suggests an increased reliance on Google for AI development rather than reducing it.
  • Google is exploring options beyond Android, including Harmony OS and middleware, to address challenges in the Chinese market.
  • Google aims to streamline its product offerings and prioritize AI development to become more focused and faster.
  • Meta is competing with ChatGPT by introducing AI products across its platforms, but user-generated AI content currently outperforms Meta's own AI tools.
  • The AI landscape is dominated by four major players: Google, Microsoft, OpenAI, and Meta.

Nilay really wants to talk about new Sony TVs (01:05:00)

  • Mini LED TVs are becoming more affordable and offer similar black levels to OLED TVs but with higher brightness and faster refresh rates, making them better for gaming.
  • Sony's new Bravia XR TVs feature built-in calibrated modes for streaming services and support 80 Mbps pure stream on Bravia Core, which is only available on Bravia TVs.
  • Samsung's Frame TV is gaining popularity despite its mediocre display quality due to its matte screen and art store, posing a potential threat to streaming services.
  • Sony TVs feature ATSC 3.0 tuners, enabling new technologies such as pausing and skipping live local news and shows on NBC Universal's Peacock.

Lightning Round (01:19:48)

  • TikTok is introducing new features like TikTok Notes and in-app event ticket purchases while facing potential restrictions and divestment due to a proposed bill in the US House.
  • President Biden is considering a six-month delay of the TikTok ban.
  • TikTok is implementing measures to restrict users who repeatedly post problematic content on the "For You" feed.
  • Project Texas, aimed at creating a US-based version of TikTok, is encountering challenges and may not be as substantial as initially thought.
  • Twitch and Spotify are incorporating TikTok-inspired features like a "For You" feed and remixing capabilities.
  • TikTok's attempts to sell products through the app are becoming increasingly aggressive and unusual.
  • AI-generated content on TikTok can be strange and nonsensical, leading users down unexpected paths.
  • Boston Dynamics' new version of the Atlas robot has unsettling human-like movements, sparking discussions about the need for hair on robots to reduce creepiness.
  • Samsung is requiring executives to work a six-day week due to disappointing financial results, aiming to instill a sense of crisis and improve performance.
  • Samsung is expected to introduce innovative products this year, including 3D TVs, curved screens, AI-powered devices, and potentially reviving the Galaxy Note with two styluses.
  • The Vergecast team acknowledges exceeding their usual time limit but plans to extend future episodes to six hours based on listener feedback.

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