MyAppleMenu - Mon, Jun 15, 2015

Mon, Jun 15, 2015The Decentralized-Architecture Edition

All In

Google On Apple: The End Is Near, by Mike Elgan, Computerworld

Because Siri and Google Now will get better over time by integrating apps and services controlled by Apple and Google, respectively -- and because we'll rely more on those virtual assistants -- users will be discouraged from using Google services on Apple hardware.

Because Apple is actively working to replace Google services for OS X and iOS users -- and integrate Apple's alternatives into Apple's operating systems -- Apple users will be increasingly discouraged from using any Google products at all.


Popular Podcast App Instacast Now Discontinued As Parent Company Vemedio Runs Out Of Money, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

In an email sent to paid members, Martin Hering says that all of Vemedio’s products will be ‘discontinued’, with Instacast being the most well known app affected by this. The company says they will keep the servers up for as long as possible so current users will not be left with non-functional apps immediately.

I am not familiar with Instacast, so I'm probably sprouting nonsense here, but a podcast client should not require a corresponding server in order to work. Sure, the app will not be getting new features and bug fixes if the company is no longer around, but the whole architecture of RSS and Podcasting is designed to be decentralized and the podcast client should continue to work.


The Innovators: The App That Allows Patients To Track Their Illnesses, by Shane Hickey, The Guardian

David Bedford suffers from Parkinson’s disease and can sometimes forget to take one of the five different pills he needs to keep the condition in check. Worse, when he makes half yearly visits to the hospital for a check-up, he cannot remember the details of his daily routine.

Three years after he was diagnosed with the disease, he now uses a mobile phone app to remind him when to take the medication and to act as a diary of how his illness affects him. This attention to detail means that daily log is available before the short meetings he has with his consultant every six to nine months.

Paragraphs Review: Good, Clean Fun For Bloggers And Note-Taker, by Michael Simon, Macworld

One of the newest entries in an increasingly crowded field, the very plain text editor marries minimalism with meticulousness, carving out a very nice concept built around a a clean, smart workspace. Serious writers will undoubtedly be frustrated by the lack of features, but for notes and short blog entries, Paragraphs proves to be a worthy client.

Revisions Wrangles Your Dropbox Files, by Michael E. Cohen, TidBITS

Revisions is a Mac utility that watches your Dropbox folder and keeps track of what is going on in it. Click its menu bar icon and you can see a timeline showing all the activity that has taken place in Dropbox, starting with the most recent.

GraphicConverter 9.7, by Agen G. N. Schmitz, TidBITS

The release adds support for browsing the Photos for Mac database.

Math iPad App Created By Virginia Tech Researchers Quickly Exceeds Expectations, by Augusta Free Press

Hotel Upgrade App Helps Spot The Extra Perks When Booking A Room, by Jen Leo, Los Angeles Times


Secret Projects Diary #1: Post-WWDC Notes, by Brent Simmons, Inessential

This series — which will probably last a long time — is my attempt at writing about things without actually announcing what they are. I’ve decided I can eat this cake and still have it.

I can't wait to see what Mr Simmons is cooking up.

App Indexing Will Fix App Search, But Google And Apple Are Using It Differently, by Nate Swanner, The Next Web

While Google wants developers to let it index app information wholly, Apple is cautioning developers against that.

How A Keyboard Changed What I Look For In An Editor, by Avdi Grimm

Until you use it for a while, and then you start wondering why you didn’t recruit your feet for help years ago. It’s not like they had anything better to do all this time. Sewing machines have foot pedals. Cars have foot pedals. Airplanes have rudder pedals. Why not computers?


Here Are The 2015 iPhone Photography Award Winners!, by Rene Ritchie, iMore

2015 saw thousands of shots submitted to the iPhone Photography Awards from over 120 countries around the world. Each shot was entered into one of 19 different categories, including: abstract, animals, architecture, children, flowers, food, landscape, lifestyle, nature, news & events, other, panorama, people, portrait, seasons, still life, sunset, travel, and trees. That covers an amazing range of life and experience, and the photographers really took advantage of it.

The Redistribution Game For News, by Frédéric Filloux, Monday Note

No doubt: We’re heading towards a new phase of massive re-intermediation, of reshuffling the layers between the news producers (traditional media houses or pure players) and readers. This raises important questions: What will publishers gain or lose in the process? Will they end up handcuffed to a cluster of gatekeepers or will they reap decisive gains for their business model.

Who becomes the dominant player in this new structure?

Apple News And The Open Web, by Daniel Jalkut, Bitsplitting

Whether it’s music, apps, podcasts, or, coming very soon, syndicated blog content, you’d have to be a fool not to try to get your work into their customer-facing channels. In the case of podcasts, and as it seems with “News,” doing so means providing a feed that points to content you own and which you store on your server. If Apple turns out to be a jerk about it? We can count on other apps and services rising to consume the content in a comparable or improved manner. That’s the way the web works.

Competition And Partisanship, by Lukas Mathis, Ignore The Code

The more competition, the better the products. The worst thing that could possible happen to each one of us would be for our favorite company to win, and for everybody else to stop competing.

Chinese Hackers Circumvent Popular Web Privacy Tools, by Nicole Perlroth, New York Times


Having said what I've said about the decentralized nature of podcasting, I have to also say that I use Twitter, a centralized micro-blogging platform that has caused a lot of people a lot of grief.

For now, all I have to say is I can't wait to see what Mr Manton Reece is doing.


When I am tired or stressed out at work, I'll take the bus home. I'll trade off with a longer commute over a shorter but more crowded and stressful commute via the subway.

Fun With Unicode

Which Unicode Character Should Represent The English Apostrophe? (And Why The Unicode Committee Is Very Wrong.), by Ted's Blog

For godsake, apostrophes are not closing quotation marks!

Parting Words

Byte's 1994 special report on software bloat revealed that Lotus 1-2-3 had ballooned to an appalling 5MB of space.

— Harry McCracken (@harrymccracken) June 15, 2015

Thanks for reading.