MyAppleMenu - Dec 2015

Thu, Dec 31, 2015The All-The-Small-Ways Edition

With Taps On The Wrist, Apple Watch Points To The Future, by Michael D. Shear, New York Times

But after eight months, I’m convinced that people will eventually view a smartwatch as an essential purchase. And waiting endlessly for the “next great thing” means missing out on all the small ways that the watch already can improve your life. So unless you want to be one of those people who hang on to their BlackBerrys forever, go ahead and get one. You won’t regret it.

Why The Apple Watch Will Be The Most Accurate Way To Ring In The New Year, by Rhiannon Williams, The Telegraph

Apple built its own Network Time Protocol (NTP) servers at various locations to ensure the delivered time is as close as possible to Stratum One accuracy, the time server which keeps the Apple Watch within microseconds of Stratum Zero devices - the highest possible quality for time references.

Once the time reaches the Apple Watch, the team worked to ensure it remains accurate, he says. Each device uses a temperate controlled crystal oscillator to counteract the natural drift that clocks and watches tend to experience over time.

Twitter Updates Its App

A First Look At The New Twitter For Mac, by Jason Snell, Six Colors

Overall, the new design is airy, with a lot more white space than the previous version. That’s not a bad design direction, except… two-thirds of the Macs out there in the world are laptops, so making the Twitter app more spacious seems like a mistake.

Twitter For Mac 4.0, by Federico Viticci, MacStories

But the problem is – it looks like Twitter shipped a ton of bugs and regressions in this release, while still missing some of the latest additions for mobile platforms and the web.

Twitter’s Updated Mac App Wasn’t Made By Twitter, by Casey Newton, The Verge

Development of the Mac app was outsourced to a third-party developer, said Jonathan Wight, a former Twitter employee, in a tweet. The Verge confirmed that the app's development was outsourced with other people familiar with the matter. One of those people said the developer is Black Pixel, a well-regarded digital studio based in Seattle.


How To Collaborate On Documents Using iWork And, by Kirk McElhearn, Macworld

When you want to collaborate with someone on a document or project, Apple’s offers collaboration features that can make it easy to work with others. Whether you just want friends or colleagues to make comments on your documents, or whether you are creating documents with others, you can use Apple’s iWork apps (Pages, Numbers, and Keynote) and to streamline this process.

Here’s a look at how you can collaborate with, the features it offers, and what’s missing.

Quiver 3: A Notebook That Adapts To How You Work, by John Voorhees, MacStories

Quiver [...] bills itself as programmer's notebook, but it has evolved into much more than that. At the highest level, Quiver uses an organizational metaphor like Evernote, with individual notes organized into notebooks. But it's at the note level where things get interesting.

Hands On: Wunderlist 3.4.0 (OS X, iOS), by William Gallagher, MacNN

Remarkable To Do app for sharing tasks.

Curiosity: A Contextual Wikipedia Reader, by Jake Underwood, MacStories

Billed as "the easiest way to discover and learn about the world around you," Curiosityis a Wikipedia reader for the – well – curious. By pulling location data from the user's iPhone, Curiosity provides a map with the locations of nearby points of interest and displays the corresponding Wikipedia pages. Sometimes, it's a city or county page; in other instances, it can be an interesting landmark, school, or business.

Microsoft Made A Selfie App For The iPhone, by Nick Statt, The Verge

Unambiguously called Microsoft Selfie, the product is designed to improve photo qualities like color balance, skin tone, and lighting for the most shareable shot possible.


Apple Pressured By Investor For Racial Diversity In Senior Ranks, by Laura Colby, Bloomberg

Apple Inc. shareholders could make history next year by deciding whether the company should be forced to increase the number of non-white executives and directors, with a vote on a proposal the iPhone maker has tried to squelch.

A resolution submitted by an investor who lives in New York and London would require Apple to put more “people of color” in such high-profile roles to increase diversity. Apple told the Securities and Exchange Commission that it believes it doesn’t have to include the proposal in its proxy materials, contending it’s an attempt to “micromanage” recruitment. Apple also said that while it’s trying to attract minorities, “the company has no power to ensure that its recruits will accept offers.”

What Do You Call A Reckless Texter?, by Ben Zimmer, Wall Street Journal

What to call someone who simultaneously walks and texts is still an open question, however. But with new studies showing that the hazards of walking-while-texting are on the rise, you can bet you’ll be hearing more of these new labels in 2016.

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I hope you've enjoyed my little web site / link blog this year. Onwards to 2016, one more year closer to the Y2038 Problem.


Thanks for reading.

Wed, Dec 30, 2015The Artistic-Ways Edition

Apple Has Art Tips For A Budding Ansel Adams Or Pablo Picasso, by Steven Musil, CNET

To help amateurs shoot more like the pros with their iPhones, Apple is hosting in-store, hands-on workshops next month that will teach consumers at all skill levels how to use a variety of apps to capture images more creatively.

"We'll help you try out various accessories and techniques -- like long exposure for light trails, using Time-lapse to show progression, or getting up close with nature using a macro lens," Apple said in a statement. "Then, we'll explore artistic ways to adjust and edit your photos, so you can create a work of art, find your style, or just improve your skills."


Using Apple Notes, by David Sparks, MacSparky

Apple Notes is cleaner and, in my opinion, generally a better experience overall for Mac and iOS users. Moreover, because it's an Apple product, it's got hooks all over the Mac and IOS operating systems making it seriously easy to put data inside it.

Why Is iCloud Storage Occupying Space On My Hard Drive?, by Glenn Fleishman, Macworld

The reason I was confused is that I’ve spent so much time writing about and testing this stuff that I forget it doesn’t always make sense to folks who just usethe technology.

Breaking Up With Apple Music, by By J. D. Biersdorfer, New York Times

If you have reached the end of the free three-month trial period of the Apple Music streaming service and find it is not for you, you can cancel your subscription (and monthly bill for it) in your Apple account settings.

Smart Kitchen Scale Takes The Math Out Of Cooking, by Sarah Spigelman Richter, Mashable

People who like to bake are either great at math or love details. The constant measuring, weighing and re-setting kitchen scales drives the rest of us berserk. That's why something like the Drop scale is really appealing.

Programming BB-8: Our Best Christmas Present Gets Better, by Jason Snell, Six Colors

Tickle is built to let you program robots, including BB-8. And not just basic Logo turtle movements. Tickle has access to numerous hardware features on BB-8.

Microsoft Cortana (For iPhone), by Michael Muchmore, PC Magazine

Cortana for iPhone's strongest suit is that she works in sync with Cortana on Windows 10 PCs, saving you from having to enter pertinent personal details separately on each device. Another strength is that Cortana can show you relevant info without your having to say anything. But the convenience of Siri, which is always accessible at the press of a button, and its ability to start and instruct apps to do specific things and to create full messages, are undeniable and appealing advantages on iOS devices.

Ring In The New Year With The Times Square Official New Year's Eve Ball App, by Joseph Keller, iMore

The app presents an on-going countdown to 2016, which is customizable to your timezone. You can also watch the ball drop live on New Year's Eve.


Apple To Pay €318 Million Following Italian Tax Fraud Investigation, by Owen Williams, The Next Web

Following an investigation by the Italian tax office, Apple has been fined €318 million ($347 million USD) for moving funds to Ireland in order to avoid paying tax.

Boy, 7, Racks Up Massive £4,000 Bill Playing Dinosaur Video Game On His Father's iPad - Including £1,500 In Just One Hour, by Kalhan Rosenblatt, Daily Mail

Apple finally agreed to refund Mr Shugaa for the charges Faisall made on the Jurassic World game, but told him it could take up to ten business days.

'£4,000 to Apple is just a drop in the ocean. If they have proper finance team surely they can refund it to my account,' Mr Shugaa said.

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I agree with what people are complaining, but I bought the Remote Loop with my Apple TV, and I didn't have a problem telling which side up for the remote.


Thanks for reading.

Tue, Dec 29, 2015The Willfully-Ignored Edition

Steve Jobs Explains Apple’s User Agreement, by Jacob Brogan, Slate

With iTunes Terms and Conditions: The Graphic Novel, artist R. Sikoryak aims to achieve the impossible: to make us read a document that virtually all of us have willfully ignored. Sikoryak’s recently completed book, published serially on Tumblr, contains the entirety of Apple’s iTunes terms of service, spreading its 20,000-odd words out over 94 pages, each styled after the work of a different comics artist.


Whink Review: Full-Featured, Easy To Use Writing App Hits All The Right Notes, by J.R. Bookwalter, Macworld

Nearly as versatile as Evernote but without the feature bloat, Whink is a versatile, well-designed app for writing or typing stylish notes with minimal effort.

Kool Tools: Pixelmator For IOS 2.2, by MacTech

Pixelmator for iOS, now optimized for the super-sized tablet, takes full advantage of its built-in features and technologies and allows users to create and edit images on the large 12.9-inch display with fast processing. With Apple Pencil support and over 50 specially tailored brushes, users have more control over the look of a stroke and can paint more intuitively than ever.

Hands On: Fluid 1.8.4 (OS X), by William Gallagher, MacNN

Simple but excellent tool makes websites into apps.

Turn A Mac Mini Into A Media Server With Plex, by Kirk McElhearn, Macworld

It’s advantageous that Plex’s server be always on, so you can start watching your movies and TV shows without having to boot your Mac. If you have a large media collection, you may want to use a Mac as a dedicated device to run Plex. The Mac mini is a perfect candidate for this. Plex doesn’t need a lot of horsepower to manage and stream your media, unless it transcodes video. (If you do have a lot of videos that need transcoding, a NAS might not be a good fit for Plex.)

In this article, I’m going to tell you how you can set up a Mac mini as a dedicated Plex server. You can, of course, use that Mac mini for other things, such as using it as a file server, or for Time Machine backups.


Answering The Question: Should Managers Code?, by Rafe Colburn,

So I’ve been working out a rule of thumb that captures how a manager (or would-be manager) should think about programming as part of their job, if that job is managing one of the teams that ultimately reports to me. That rule is:

A manager actively avoids creating situations where their coding is necessary for the success of the project.

Swift Bracing, by Erica Sadun

It’s a shame then that the language has adopted 1TBS over Allman when the latter exposes scope so beautifully and the former can be quite hard to follow, especially with respect to complex declarations that include external and internal labels, default values, and other complicating features.


2015: Apple's Year In Beta, by Nilay Patel, The Verge

But 2015 wasn't a year in the groove for Apple — it was a year of big, risky bets that need time to play out. But the rest of the industry isn't sitting still — and some of these bets will come due in 2016.

It's Hard To Poop On Vacation, by Mollie Bloudoff-Indelicato, The Atlantic

By one estimate, as many as 40 percent of people experience constipation while they’re away from home, due partially to their gut bacteria’s reaction to the change of setting.

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I really do enjoy having Apple Music on my iPhone. But that is only I realise, just like many others did so, that the key is not to integrate Apple Music with your own music. So, one fine day, I deleted all my music from iTunes, and life became much better musically.

(Before that, I too have songs that have wrong meta-data, downloading for offline listening often don't work, and adding songs to My Music may eventually end up with the wrong songs.)

The other thing I realise is that I should be listening to albums and not playlists. I don't find the curated playlists all that interesting, and the UI of Apple Music really gears towards albums.


I'm listening to The Nutcracker this morning, and every time I listen to this, the images in my head always come from Fantasia.

Which is my way of saying: I do wish the new Disney / Pixar can tackle a follow-up to Fantasia 2000 someday.


I need to figure out how I can also listen to the music that I do own on my iPhone.


Thanks for reading.

Mon, Dec 28, 2015The Firsthand-Investigation Edition

The Secret To Finding The Best Mobile Apps: Try Everything, by Nick Statt, The Verge

In an era of free services and near-instant downloads, it often costs us nothing but our time and a little bit of effort to experiment with half a dozen products before settling on the one we're most comfortable with. And nothing is ever perfect. No matter what we read, or how many stars or good reviews something has, it takes a firsthand investigation to see if it's perfect for you.


I Can't Imagine Using My Computer Without This App, by Tim Stenovec, TechInsider

For the past few years, I've been using an app called f.lux. And I can't imagine using my computer without it.

How To Lock Down Your iPhone Or Family iPad And Make It Safe For The Kids To Use, by Jeff Parsons, The Mirror

There are basically two different ways to do this. Guided Access lets you lock your iPhone or iPad to a single app - which is perfect for just handing it to your kids for a car journey or Christmas afternoon.

Alternatively, you can use Restrictions lock down the entire gadget and make it safe to be left completely with your children.


China Passes Antiterrorism Law That Critics Fear May Overreach, by Chris Buckley, New York Times

In the end, the approved law published by state media dropped demands in the draft version that would have required Internet companies and other technology suppliers to hand over encryption codes and other sensitive data for official vetting before they went into use.

But the law still requires that companies hand over technical information and help with decryption when the police or state security agents demand it for investigating or preventing terrorist cases.

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I wish for an alarm clock that, when I wake up in the middle of the night, will just tell me one of the following status: 1) go back to sleep, 2) might as well wake up now.


I woke up in pain in the middle of the night this morning: Muscle cramp in both of my legs, and it lasted for quite a few seconds. Fortunately, I was able to get back to sleep right after that, or I'll be grumpy for the entire today due to the lack of sleep. (I'm grumpy for other reasons.)

I was having a nightmare just before having that cramp. Yes, true nightmare. I were doing SQL statements in the sleep. (Occupational hazard?)


Thanks for reading.

Sun, Dec 27, 2015The Sharing-The-Code Edition

Open Source Software Went Nuclear This Year, by Cade Metz, Wired

Open source software—software freely shared with the world at large—is an old idea. A guy named Richard Stallman started preaching the gospel in the early ’80s, though he called it free software. Linus Torvalds started work on Linux, the enormously successful open source operating system, in 1991, and today, it drives our daily lives—literally. The Android operating system that runs Google phones and the iOS operating system that runs the Apple iPhone are based on Linux. When you open a phone app like Twitter or Facebook and pull down all those tweets and status updates, you’re tapping into massive computer data centers filled with hundreds of Linux machines. Linux is the foundation of the Internet.

And yet 2015 was the year open source software gained new significance, thanks to Apple and Google and Elon Musk. Now more than ever, even the most powerful tech companies and entrepreneurs are freely sharing the code underlying their latest technologies. They recognize this will accelerate not only the progress of technology as a whole, but their own progress as well. It’s altruism with self-interest. And it’s how the tech world now works.

Now Playing In Your Headphones: Nothing, by Lindsay Mannering, New York Times

When we wear headphones, it is a signal to everyone that we’re shut off, unavailable and, much like napping adults, absolutely not to be bothered. Our ear shields are barriers against barbaric city attacks like catcalls, construction or unwanted conversation from a friendly co-worker who just has, like, a super quick question “if you just have two seconds.”

We’re commuting, running errands and running departments under the polite assumption that no one knows our secret (and apologies to anyone this is outing): the headphones are on, but nothing’s playing. Bye bye, “This American Life.” The podcasts and the music have died, and this’ll be the day that we acknowledge the lie.

Does The Future Of Japanese Music Depend On Streaming Services?, by Jun Morikawa, Japan Times

When music consultant Mikiro Enomoto asked a class of Kyoto Seika University students how they listened to new music last year, he reckons 80 percent of them mentioned YouTube or YouTube-linked sites. When he asked the same question to this year’s class, almost all of them said they don’t bother looking for new music anymore.

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Gremlins is the best Christmas movie ever made. No question.

— CLINT ECKER (@CLINT) December 27, 2015


Thanks for reading.

Sat, Dec 26, 2015The Not-Always-Connected Edition

Use Timed Access Control To Restrict When Devices Can Connect To Your Apple Base Station Wi-Fi, by Glenn Fleishman, Macworld

Worried that your teen or tween is spending all night unwired to her or his iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad? Want your always-on Internet of Things device to be not-always-connected? While Mac OS X has timed access controls that let you specify during which hours a computer account may be used as well as a cumulative daily limit, iOS devices lack such options so many years into development, and only some third-party equipment lets you set active hours.

But if you have a network of all Apple Wi-Fi base stations, you can set timed access in a manner that sticks for wirelessly connected hardware. The Access Control option only lets you choose days of the week and times of the day to block usage, but it’s effective.

Is Blocking Device Necessary On Wi-Fi With A Password Set?, by Glenn Fleishman, Macworld

A reader finds a hidden feature, a bug, and a quandary in using Timed Access Control with Apple's Wi-Fi gear.


Notability: A Powerful, Yet Simple Note-Taking App, by Mallorie Deaton, Today's iPhone


Swifty Target/Action, by Mike Ash

Cocoa's target/action system for responding to controls is a great system for Objective-C, but is a bit unnatural to use in Swift. Today, I'm going to explore building a wrapper that allows using a Swift function as the action.

After 500,000 Apps Built, Bizness Apps Launches Apex, A New White-Label App Builder, by Fitz Tepper, TechCrunch

The new platform was built with the goal of shortening total development time, and will combine design, app building, and marketing all into one web-based platform. Essentially, Apex contains everything someone a web professional needs to quickly build interactive apps for clients.

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Yesterday's unboxing day, so today is, of course, boxing day.


Thanks for reading.

Fri, Dec 25, 2015The Baked-Halo Edition

In 2015, Apple’s Ecosystem Got Larger (And Harder To Leave) Than Ever, by Andrew Cunningham, Ars Technica

With those new platforms and the updates to old ones, Apple is building on the platform work it's been doing since it launched iCloud back in 2011. As it broadens and deepens the links between its existing platforms and builds brand-new ones, it makes it more and more appealing for people with Apple products to buy other Apple products. Apple has benefitted from a “halo effect” since the iPod’s heyday, when the popularity of its music players convinced more people to buy Macs. Now the halo has been intentionally baked into all of its products, hardware and software, and the lineup is much larger than it was a decade ago.

Living With: The Apple Eco-System, by William Gallagher, MacNN

Here's the thing: I occasionally feel this stuff is over-familiar, I am sometimes weary of it, yet at usually it fills me with actual pleasure -- and I struggle to imagine ever swapping to something else.


Hands On: Sidefari 1.1 (iOS), by William Gallagher, MacNN

Utility gets you two Safari websites on screen.

Enso For iOS Finds New Music With Swipes, by Thorin Klosowski, Lifehacker

There are all kinds of ways to discover new music these days, but if you prefer a more active approach, Endo makes finding new music as easy as doing Tinder-esque swipes.


How To Get Rich In Tech, Guaranteed., by Startups And Shit


Apple Wants Samsung To Pay Another $180 Million For Copying Its Design, by Nick Statt, The Verge

Apple is demanding Samsung pay an additional $180 million in the companies' long-running patent dispute. The request comes less than two weeks after Samsung finally agreed to pay Apple $548 million in accordance with the original verdict. But now Apple says it's owed additional money for interest and supplemental damages related to five phone models sold after 2012, when Samsung was first found guilty of infringing Apple's patents.

These Beatles Albums Still Can't Be Streamed On Spotify Or Apple Music, by Chris Welch, The Verge

But if you're a big Beatles fan, you might notice that several things are missing from today's big album drop. I expect it's only a matter of time before these releases follow the big ones to streaming, but for now, you've still got to buy them from iTunes if you want digital copies. Let's go over what's not yet on Spotify or any of the other eight services that now offer The Beatles.

How The Internet Of Things Limits Consumer Choice, by Bruce Schneier, The Atlantic

In theory, the Internet of Things—the connected network of tiny computers inside home appliances, household objects, even clothing—promises to make your life easier and your work more efficient. These computers will communicate with each other and the Internet in homes and public spaces, collecting data about their environment and making changes based on the information they receive. In theory, connected sensors will anticipate your needs, saving you time, money, and energy.

Except when the companies that make these connected objects act in a way that runs counter to the consumer’s best interests—as the technology company Philips did recently with its smart ambient-lighting system, Hue, which consists of a central controller that can remotely communicate with light bulbs. In mid-December, the company pushed out a software update that made the system incompatible with some other manufacturers’ light bulbs, including bulbs that had previously been supported.

Things To Celebrate, Like Dreams Of Flying Cars, by Paul Krugman, New York Times

True, I’m still waiting for flying cars, not to mention hyperdrive. But we have made enough progress in the technology of things that saving the world has suddenly become much more plausible. And that’s reason to celebrate.

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My Christmas meals today: Youtiao + Coffee for breakfast, Ramen + Iced Lemon Tea for lunch, and Mee Pok + plain water for dinner.

I hope you've had a wonderful day too.


Thanks for reading.

Thu, Dec 24, 2015The Sexy-Filters Edition

This Is The Australian Summer As Seen Through An iPhone, by Jenni Ryall, Mashable

Bushfire season has kicked off, terrifying storms have swept through cities and masses of people are flocking to the beach to escape heatwaves. The wild Australian summer has officially landed.

When the hot season starts, iPhone photographers are never far away, capturing the extremities of the Australian landscape with sexy filters and a touch of slo-mo. From dust-filled fields to glassy oceans, these Australian new-age photographers are making waves Down Under with their slick shots.

A Screenshot Is Worth A Thousand Words, by John Voorhees, MacStories

Screenshot apps tend to fall into one of two categories: managers and editors. On iOS, screenshot management apps dominate, likely because until Apple added a 'Screenshots' album to the Photos app with iOS 9, there was no good way to separate screenshots from snapshots of family and friends. On the Mac there are fewer apps, but their feature sets tend to be deeper.

The screenshot app market intrigues me. Although most apps address one of a couple basic problems, execution varies widely and there are gaps in functionality, especially on iOS. As a result, the screenshot app category is somewhat fragmented, but in a good way, leaving room for interesting solutions from clever developers.


Greeting Card Shop 3 Review: Mac Design Software Bulks Up On New Features, by J.R. Bookwalter, Macworld

Whether you want to design and print your own cards at home or create an impressive collage to share online, veteran Mac software maker Chronos makes it not only possible but downright easy to do.

Hands On: NetSpot 2.4 (OS X), by William Gallagher, MacNN

What it does is map out your office or home and give you a clear view of where the best and the worst wifi reception is.

Focus Is An Easy And Intuitive Manual Camera App For Your iPhone, by Kevin Raposo, Knowtechie


Apple Renews Security Certificate Used By Third-Party Apps And Safari Extensions, by Harish Jonnalagadda, iMore

Apple mentions that devs need not recompile or resubmit apps following the change, although any updates rolled out after February 2016 must include the new certificate. The upcoming change will not have any bearing on iOS users, but Mac users on El Capitan will need to switch to version 10.11.2.

Medical App Design For Clinicians: How To Make Sure Your App Actually Works, by Scott Pearson, iMedicalApps


Apple Pay Seeks Growth In Asia, Europe After Slow U.S. Adoption, by Olga Kharif, Bloomberg

After a sluggish start in the U.S. since its debut more than a year ago, Apple Pay is ramping up in markets where people are more comfortable with so- called contactless payments. The service, which lets consumers pay in an app or by tapping their iPhone on store terminals, will be introduced next year in China, Hong Kong, Singapore and Spain.

Apple is counting on its brand recognition as it enters markets that are further along than the U.S. in all things mobile payments, particularly in advanced technologies needed to accept them in retail outlets. Still, it won’t be easy. The iPhone maker will compete with local banks and Internet companies that already offer the service -- not to mention Samsung Electronics Co., the world’s leader in smartphones.

Apple Quirk Lets Pirates Build A Giant Store Of Fake iPhone Apps, by Jose Pagliery, CNN

According to Proofpoint, vShare pirates managed to get their hands on several Apple enterprise certificates, using them to create a vShare app.

The vShare app is itself a portal to an app store of its own.

On vShare, the most frequently downloaded iOS apps are nearly all free, pirated versions of top paid apps on the real iTunes App Store.

Merry Christmas

Thanks for reading.

Wed, Dec 23, 2015The Thirteen-Studio-Albums Edition

Beatles Music Joins Streaming Services, by Leo Kelion, BBC

Spotify, Apple Music, Google Play, Tidal and Amazon Prime Music are among nine services that will offer the band's tracks worldwide. [...] The deal involves rights to stream 224 songs from the original 13 studio albums released in the UK as well as "essential" collections including Past Masters.


Alternatives To Apple’s Wi-Fi Base Stations, by Glenn Fleishman, TidBITS

If you don’t need specific AirPort-only features and are willing to brave Web-based router administration and a steeper learning curve, you have a couple of alternatives that cost substantially less and offer capabilities Apple doesn’t include and likely never will.

Hands On: Copied 1.1.1 (iOS), by William Gallagher, MacNN

Copied 1.1.1 for iOS -- and its companion Mac app,Copied 1.1.0 - have been updated with a couple of extra goodies but that's not why we're revisiting the topic for a second Hands On. The real reason is that we are the ones who've had an upgrade: when we first tried Copied we could see all the benefits, we could appreciate the app and we both could and did recommend it. However, we also thought that if you already had a clipboard manager for iOS there was no advantage to switching over to this. We were wrong. Ditch whatever you're using now and go get Copied.

A Better Finder Rename Is A Useful Tool For Creative Pros, by Dennis Sellers, Apple World Today

A Better Finder Rename is great for creative professionals, digital photographers, web masters, music collectors, audio specialists, users who need to transfer files from Windows or UNIX, as well as for other Mac users who routinely deal with large numbers of files. You know who you are.


Automate To Save Mental Energy, Not Time, by John D. Cook

Automation can be like a battery as well as an investment. Putting energy into batteries is a bad investment; you’ll never get out as much energy as you put in. But that’s not why you put energy into batteries. You put energy in while you can so you can use some of that energy later when you need it.


Apple Starts Offering Proxy Access To Give Shareholders More Power Over Board Of Directors, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

This move on Apple’s part allows for its shareholders to have an increased say in control of the board of directors and candidates competing for a spot on the board.

Apple Wins Complete Victory In Class-Action Lawsuit That Claimed iMessage Was Rigged To Not Deliver Texts To Android Phones, by Jim Edwards, Business Insider

Apple has won a complete victory in a lawsuit that claimed the company wiretaps Android users by intercepting, and then failing to deliver, texts sent from iPhones to Android phones.

Why You Should Always Buy The Men’s Version Of Almost Anything, by Danielle Paquette, Washington Post

The New York City Department of Consumer Affairs compared nearly 800 products with female and male versions — meaning they were practically identical except for the gender-specific packaging — and uncovered a persistent surcharge for one of the sexes. Controlling for quality, items marketed to girls and women cost an average 7 percent more than similar products aimed at boys and men.

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I didn't use to be this way. However, as I am getting older, I'm becoming more of a worry-er. Maybe that's what other people mean when they say we all get more conservative when we get older. But I do think, for me, it is more than that. Any forced changes in my daily routines that is ever so slightly significant caused me to worry constantly, conjuring some of the worst possible potential outcomes.

Which is my long-winded way of saying that I couldn't sleep last night.


Thanks for reading.

Tue, Dec 22, 2015The Contains-Ambiguities Edition

Apple Raises Concerns Over UK's Draft Surveillance Bill, by Gordan Corera, BBC

Aspects of these issues have been voiced by Apple and other companies before. But one of the key concerns about the new legislation is that it contains ambiguities.

Get Work Done

Daylite 6 Review: Excellent For Creating, Managing, And Keeping Business Opportunities, by Jeffery Battersby, Macworld

Daylite, Marketcircle’s contact, schedule, project, and sales management program, is designed to help you stay on top of everything your business is doing. It’s purpose is to keep you focused on two objectives: Tracking new business opportunities and following through on what you promise to current and potential customers.

Living With: Scrivener, by William Gallagher, MacNN

Scrivener's makers call it a writing studio and I'm not sure that's a great description as I'm not sure what it means. Yet I completely understand why they want to find a new term for it, why they don't want to call Scrivener a word processor. If you look at it as a word processor, you're automatically comparing it to Word and Pages. Apple's Pages is easier to use and Word's got more features than should exist in heaven or on earth, so Scrivener loses out in both directions. The areas where it wins, though, are big enough and important enough that Scrivener customers regularly become evangelists.

Practice+ Makes Perfect, by Jeff Byrnes, AppAdvice

Serious musicians need tools that can help them practice and perform at their best, without the utilities getting in the way. This was often hard to accomplish in the past, since multiple tools, such as a metronome and tuner, would clutter up the music stand. An all-in-one app, Practice+, combines all of the most important things a musician needs into a single, intuitive title.


Workflow Launches Support For Bursts, Live Photos And More, by Joe White, AppAdvice

Workflow, the smart app countless iOS device owners (including myself) use to get work done each and every day, is now better than ever thanks to the release of a brand new update. In particular, two new actions are available inside the automation application: Get Latest Bursts, and Get Live Photos. These, as you’d expect, source the most recent bursts or iPhone 6s-generated Live Photos from the Photos application, and pass them into the next action in the workflow.

Astropad Update Transforms iPad Pro And Apple Pencil Into A First Class Mac Graphics Tablet, by Zac Hall, 9to5Mac

With the latest version of Astropad, it can now recognize Apple Pencil’s tilt feature which the app turns into accurate brush simulations on the Mac. Apple Pencil, of course, supports pressure sensitivity, and Astropad is now using a custom pressure curve to make use of that. The update also adds advanced stroke tuning with Apple Pencil so you only see what you intend to draw and not accidental marks.

Obscura Camera 2.0 Brings New Pricing Model, Photos Extension And More, by Dan Thorp-Lancaster, iMore

Obscura Camera, a solid camera app that gives you access to some advanced controls for your photographic adventures, has received an update to version 2.0, bringing a Photosextension, an improved photo browser and more.

It’s All In The Cards With Relevant – The Missing Home Screen, by Sandy Stachowiak, AppAdvice

What is the easiest way to see your weather, calendar, breaking news, stock information, and what’s going on nearby? Do you have an app that shows all of this to you in one spot plus a whole lot more? Check out Relevant – the missing home screen that gives you customizable cards to flip through for the sites, services, and apps you use most.

Airflow Sends Just About Any Video To Chromecast Or Apple TV From Windows Or OS X, by Thorin Klosowski, Lifehacker


How To Solve Tabs Vs. Spaces Forever, by Brent Simmons, Inessential

I wrote most of my code in an outliner for eight years (when I was working on UserLand Frontier). And I miss it every day. Writing code in an outliner is the exact opposite of horrible. It’s marvelous.

Why Are Projects Always Behind Schedule?, by Priceonomics

The dataset of SketchDeck projects contains 70,000 hours of projects through our on-demand service. When we first started, we found that setting simplistic timelines – adding up median completion times for each step in your project – consistently underestimated how long projects would take. In fact, creating a timeline based on median completion times underestimates the actual project timeline 67% of the time.

A misunderstanding of statistics might be a huge part of why projects are alway late at your company.

Swift Proposal For Default Final, by Michael Tsai


The Problem With Technological Ignorance, by Samuel Arbesman, Slate

We need to popularize this concept of how sophisticated technological systems are constructed. Only then will those building microchips be appreciated in the same way as those working with precise tools that allow for the placement of a miniature watch gear.

When we take microchips or really any complex technology for granted, as monolithic commodities, we lose some of the wonder we should have for them. What’s more, we lose sight of how incredible it is that we have gotten to this level of complexity at all.

Rendering The Food Of The Future, by Julian Spector, The Atlantic

The commercial meat industry is wildly unsustainable, ecologically speaking, and the UN has estimated that food demand will increase 70 percent by 2050. To keep the world’s ever-growing population fed, we’re going to need somealternate sources of protein to go mainstream.

One group is using the humble meatball as a vehicle to explore what the future of food could look like. The creative team at Space10—a “future-living lab” in Copenhagen sponsored by the company that franchises IKEA—decided to visualize this transition by making and photographing “meatballs” composed of eight viable meat substitutes.

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I've been using the iPhone 6 for quite a few months already, and the position of the sleep button still gives me frustration on a regular basis.


Thanks for reading.

Mon, Dec 21, 2015The Back-Door's-For-Everybody Edition

What's Next For Apple?, by CBS

The technology giant's CEO, Tim Cook, addresses issues concerning his company -- including encryption technology, corporate taxes, and manufacturing products in China.

Tim Cook: Americans Shouldn't Have To Choose Between Privacy And Security, by Hope King, CNN

"If the government lays a proper warrant on us today then we will give the specific information that is requested. Because we have to by law," said Cook. "In the case of encrypted communication, we don't have it to give. And so if like your iMessages are encrypted, we don't have access to those." "There have been people that suggest that we should have a back door," he added. "But the reality is if you put a back door in, that back door's for everybody, for good guys and bad guys."

Cook also stated that making the encryption debate about a tug of war between privacy and national security is an "overly simplistic view." "We're America," he said. "We should have both."

The iPhone's Camera Is So Good Because 800 People Are Working On It, by Chris Welch, The Verge

"There's over 200 separate individual parts" in the iPhone's camera module, Townsend said. Then he demonstrated how Apple simulates various conditions to test out the camera's performance, from sunsets to lousy indoor lighting. "We can simulate all those here," Townsend said. Apple's competitors certainly conduct many of those same tests, but the sheer size of Apple's camera team shows you how high up on the priority list it's risen. Apple has built entire ad campaigns around the iPhone's camera, and always makes it a point to highlight improvements with each new iPhone revision.


No Recovery Drive? Three Alternatives Are Available To You., by Topher Kessler, MacIssues

When some problems such as hard drive corruption occur on your Mac, or if you need to perform account maintenance such as resetting passwords or fixing account permissions, then you will need to use the tools that Apple includes on the hidden Recovery drive that is part of OS X. However, in some cases such as for RAID arrays, you may not have a recovery partition, in which case there are several alternatives you can use, even if you are limited by your internet connection.


Many Taylor Swift Fans Have Issues Streaming 1989 World Tour On Apple Music, by John Callaham, iMore

The official Apple Music Help Twitter account has been flooded with complaints similar to this one: "I have been trying for 3 hours to play #1989WorldTourLIVE and have only got 20mins in because of constant freezing! help!"

The Year We Started Buying Phones Like We Buy Cars, by Brian Barrett, Wired

The key difference between how people bought phones then and now is consumers know what a phone really costs. That knowledge could have transformative effects on your relationship with the device you rely on most.

Ericsson And Apple Sign Patent Deal, Settle Litigation, by Olof Swahnberg, Reuters

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Here's an elaboration of that last thought. Mathematicians are insane. Q.E.D.

— Steven Wittens (@unconed) December 20, 2015


Thanks for reading.

Sun, Dec 20, 2015The Administrative-Work Edition

Why Do I Have To Call This App ‘Julie’?, by Joanne McNeil, New York Times

Dag Kittlaus, who helped create Siri, has said the app gets its name, in part, from a woman he knew in Norway. Cortana was named after a feminine artificial intelligence agent in the video game franchise Halo, and Microsoft even hired the same voice actress for its service. Founders of two virtual assistant apps said they were inspired by helpmates on TV: Dawn gets its name from Don Draper’s assistant on “Mad Men,” and Donna after an assistant on “The West Wing.” It seems like developers decided on Julie, Amy and Clara only because these are common women’s names. These products, representing new technological possibilities, play into old stereotypes about what gender is best suited for administrative work.


Taylor Swift’s 1989 World Tour Film Now Available Exclusively On Apple Music, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

The 1989 World Tour film was filmed primarily in front of 76,000 fans during her stop at ANZ Stadium in Sydney on Nov. 28. The film features the entire performance of Swift’s show that night, as well as a variety of other footage.

The Health-Care Games, by Lynn Curwin, Truro Daily News

Jarad Nichols and Jason Crow, game development students at the Truro campus, helped with development of iCare Adventure during a co-op placement with EverAge Consulting.

"This asks the children things like what hurts, so that they can be diagnosed," said Crow. "They can also watch videos and play games on it so it keeps them entertained, alleviating any stress or fear they might be feeling."

CauseNetwork Lets Shoppers Donate, Retailers Look Good, by Aaron Gregg, Washington Post


Apple's Slow App Store Slowness Has A Silver Lining, by Laura Mandaro, USA Today

"While a little Draconian, it's helpful to keep a standard of quality across the apps. It's a little frustrating sometimes, but overall it ends up with a much more consistent user experience," said Jeff McConathy, vice president of consumer engineering for real estate service Trulia, which has had an Apple mobile app since 2008 (It doesn't have an app for Macs, instead directing users to its website.)


Secret Code Found In Juniper’s Firewalls Shows Risk Of Government Backdoors, by Kim Zetter, Wired

Regardless of the precise nature of the VPN backdoor, the issues raised by this latest incident highlight precisely why security experts and companies like Apple and Google have been arguing against installing encryption backdoors in devices and software to give the US government access to protected communication.

“This is a very good showcase for why backdoors are really something governments should not have in these types of devices because at some point it will backfire,” Prins says.

Consumer Electronics Competition Is Shifting To The High End, by Jan Dawson, Re/code

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Dear designers -- not all designers, but you know who you are -- you do realize that footer and infinite scrolling web sites do not mix well together, right?


Thanks for reading.

Sat, Dec 19, 2015The Political-Crap Edition

Apple CEO Calls Overseas Tax Rap "Political Crap", by CBS

Cook was agitated when reminded by Rose that many in Congress believe Apple is engaged in a scheme to pay little or no taxes on $74 billion in overseas revenue. "That is total political crap. There is no truth behind it. Apple pays every tax dollar we owe," he says. "We pay more taxes in this country than anyone," he tells Rose.

Tim Cook Calls Notion Of Apple Avoiding US Taxes 'Political Crap', by Reuters

Rebecca Lester, assistant professor of accounting at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, thought Cook’s colorful language might reflect frustration about the lack of movement on tax reform in Washington.


OneDrive For iPhone And iPad Adds Offline File Support And Spotlight Search For iOS 9, by John Callaham, iMore

"You can now keep files offline to read them anytime, even when you aren't connected to the Internet."

New App Is A 21st-Century Walkie-Talkie, by Jonah Bromwich, New York Times

The app, built mainly by a group of former Spotify employees in New York, is a voice-messaging tool. You hold down a big circular button, record a message and send it to a contact, also demarcated by a friendly circle. That’s it. [...] And yet the app is a pleasure to use, with an intuitive design and an eye-pleasing color scheme. I have big, clumsy fingers and don’t particularly like to text. With Roger, I can easily press a button, record a quick message and shoot it off to my girlfriend, who is based in Boston, when I don’t have time to call.

Musicality For OS X Adds Support For More Music Services, by MacTech

The app lets you take control of over a dozen popular music websites including Pandora Radio, Google Play Music, Spotify, and more.

Opening .Zip Files On An iPhone, by J. D. Biersdorfer, New York Times


Naturally Final Classes In Swift, by Erica Sadun

Contempt Culture, by Aurynn Shaw, The Particular Finest

I repeated this pattern for a really long time, and as I learned new languages and patterns I’d repeat the same behaviour in those new environments. I was almost certainly not that fun to be around, a microcosm of the broader unpleasantness in tech.

At least, until I got called on it.


Yesterday’s Technologies, Today’s Problems, by Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols, Computerworld

So, while I like the idea of “if it’s not broke, don’t fix it,” a lot, when it comes to business technology it’s just plain foolish. Keep your old systems to play with, but don’t, please don’t, keep them in production. You’ll regret it if you do.

The Long, Incredibly Tortuous, And Fascinating Process Of Creating A Chinese Font, by Nikhil Sonnad, Quartz

An experienced designer, working alone, can in under six months create a new font that covers dozens of Western languages. For a single Chinese font it takes a team of several designers at least two years.

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I’m a little behind in my Star Wars, but I really hope Luke and Leia end up together.

— Mary Beth Hefferton (@damselesque) December 18, 2015


In related news, watching Star Wars: A New Hope on the Disney Channel here in Singapore is not a good experience. I'm not sure whose country has this stupid regulation, but the "PG" rating sign stays on the screen throughout the entire movie.


Thanks for reading.

Fri, Dec 18, 2015The Chinese-Network Edition

Apple Partners With China UnionPay To Bring Apple Pay To China In 2016, by Graham Spencer, MacStories

Apple today announced a partnership with China UnionPay, which will see Apple Pay available to Chinese customers as soon as early 2016. China UnionPay operates the Chinese inter-bank network and develops the UnionPay Card network – and its role in China is somewhat analagous to that of Visa and Mastercard.

Apple Pay, Samsung Pay To Duel In China Next Year, by Steven Musil, CNET

Christmas Promotions

Apple Names Jeff WIlliams Chief Operating Officer, Phil Schiller Now In Charge Of App Stores, by John Gruber, Daring Fireball

Schiller taking over the App Stores is very interesting — and is definitely a shake-up that seemingly wasn’t widely known internally until today’s announcement.

Tim Cook Promotes “Tim Cook’s Tim Cook” To Tim Cook’s Old Job, by Dan Frommer, Quartz

Jeff Williams has been promoted to chief operating officer. Williams, who has played an increasingly public role, had been senior vice president of operations, in charge of things like Apple’s supply chain and the Apple Watch.

As Apple's New Marketing VP, Tor Myhren Rides In On A Wave Of Ad Industry Success, by Roger Fingas, AppleInsider

Apple's new VP of Marketing Communications, Tor Myhren, comes from one of the behemoths of the international advertising industry, where he was responsible for a number of well-known and award-winning campaigns.

Williams, Schiller, Srouji: What Apple's New Executive Titles Really Mean, by Rene Ritchie, iMore

Just like Jony Ive was given all of design, Craig Federighi all of software engineering (pre-Kevin Lynch and Apple Watch), and Angela Ahrendts all of Apple Store, Phil Schiller has now been given all of App Store. There's a clear, unified leader at the highest levels.

That's why, while today's announcements may seem ceremonial, they're really far more functional. And staying functional is critical to Apple's ongoing success.


Hands-On With Adobe Post: New Photo App Creates Instagram-Worthy Graphics, by Caitlin Mcgarry, Macworld

Annoying watermark aside, Adobe Post is a fun app that perfectly slots into the portfolio of social media-adjacent tools that give your photos extra oomph, like VSCO Cam, Instagram’s Layout, and Flipagram. Every aspect of your Post creation can be changed, even after you save it to your Camera Roll. And if you don’t want to change anything but the text, you can do that, too.

How My iPhone Is Helping Me Get Healthy Again, by Brian Sutich, The App Factor

Getting healthy is a long road, and for many of us that road will never end, but technology can truly help us achieve our short and long term health goals.

Web Tools: A Web Inspector For iPad, by Alex Guyot, MacStories

Web Tools is a new app from developer James Finley of Ergo which aims to create a Safari-style web inspector for iPad. I've tried other solutions for getting the source of web pages via iOS, but, at least on iPad, I haven't seen any come close to being as well designed and implemented for the iPad's bigger screen.

Microsoft Translator Now Lets You Carry On Conversations In Seven Languages, by Steven Sande, Apple World Today

The latest version lets you and another individual engage in a conversation as long as you're speaking Mandarin Chinese, English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese or Spanish.

Stringify Your Life By Taking Control And Automating Tasks, by Sandy Stachowiak, AppAdvice

Very similar in concept to the IFFFT apps like IF, Stringify makes ordinary tasks simple and automatic. And, the fact that it works with both physical and digital items makes it a wonderfully, useful app.

Looping And Reversing Live Photos As GIFs With Lively 2.0, by Federico Viticci, MacStories

Lively was one of the first utilities to enable exporting of Live Photos to GIF shortly after the iPhone 6s was released. Today, Tiny Whale has launched Lively 2.0 with new options for video trimming and GIF generation, and it's a lot of fun.


Realising The iPad Pro’s Potential, by Philip Miller and Philip McDermott, Bloomberg

Last week, Bloomberg announced an updated Bloomberg Professional app for iPad Pro and iOS 9. The launch of new operating systems and connected devices impacts productivity and creativity, and at the same time, presents enormous opportunities for developers.

Below is an inside, behind-the-scenes look at some of the main challenges we faced and how we addressed them. For example, how do you optimize an app for a specific environment without having access to the device? How do you test implementation? How do you know if the architecture is flexible enough?

A Codebase Is An Organism, by Kevin Simler, Melting Asphalt

Here's what no one tells you when you graduate with a degree in computer science and take up a job in software engineering: The computer is a machine, but a codebase is an organism.


'60 Minutes' To Highlight Apple's Secret Design Studio, Retail Store Of The Future In Upcoming Episode, by Harish Jonnalagadda, iMore

Jony Ive will give Charlie Rose a look inside "Apple's secret design studio" in an upcoming episode of 60 Minutes that will be aired on Sunday, December 20 at 7:30PM ET & 7PM PT on CBS. Rose's tour of Apple's "store of the future" with retail chief Angela Ahrendts will also be highlighted on the show.

Norway Wants To Move Its Border 20 Metres Left – So It Can Give Finland A Mountain, by Adam Barnett, The Independent

A social media campaign launched by Bjorn Geirr Harsson, a retired employee of the Norwegian Mapping Authority, suggests Norway could shift its eastern border 20 metres (66 feet) so that the Halti mountain peak could become part of Finland.

The proposal was intended as a gift to celebrate the 100-year anniversary of Finland's independence in 2017.

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Will Apple ever find a way to input Chinese characters on the Apple TV?


Thanks for reading.

Thu, Dec 17, 2015The Big-Virtual-Hug Edition

Meet Koko: The Social App Where You Don't Have To Pretend To Be Perfect, by Rachel Rabkin Peachman, Glamour

The app, called Koko, allows you to reveal your stress to other users, and in return receive peer support to help you calm your mind. Think of it as a big virtual hug.

How it works: Log in anonymously to post about what's stressing you out, and within minutes, other users will respond with helpful insights and alternative perspectives. For instance, you might post: “I’m nervous about the job interview I have this afternoon. I am feeling completely inadequate.” Fellow users can view your post, and if they choose, they can click, “Help Rethink This” to offer up a less negative way to view your problem.

Pigment Brings Adult Coloring Books To iPad Pro With Apple Pencil Support, by Federico Viticci, MacStories

Today, Pixite is launching Pigment, an adult coloring app for iPhone and iPad that, however, is best enjoyed with the closest digital equivalent of a physical book: an iPad Pro paired with an Apple Pencil.


New ResearchKit App Will Help Track Concussions, by Dennis Sellers, Apple World Today

Researchers at NYU Langone Medical Center will begin testing whether a new free mobile app for iPhone and Apple Watch can help those with concussions better track their symptoms during the critical six weeks following their diagnosis. (A concussion is a mild form of a traumatic brain injury caused by a blow to the head or the body that shakes the brain inside the skull, which can damage brain tissue and disrupt brain function.)

Copied: A Full-Featured Clipboard Manager For iOS 9, by Federico Viticci, MacStories

Copied is a fast, dependable clipboard manager for iOS with excellent iCloud sync and system integrations. The app simplifies the arguably clunky process of archiving copied content from iOS and third-party apps into a lightweight database, offering extensions and shortcuts that only take a few taps and seconds of your time. Thanks to iCloud and clipboard sync, Copied makes clippings available everywhere almost instantly, and it's the best implementation of pure iCloud push sync I've seen on the platform.

Momentum Brings Eye Candy To New Browser Tabs, by Adam C. Engst, TidBITS

Created by a small team of designers and developers who talk about making “software that has a real impact on the human condition” and “weaving culture, history, and the milk of human emotion into modern app design,” Momentum turns every new browser tab into a picture of a spectacular landscape from the 500px photography site, subtly adding useful little widgets around the edges. The photo changes every day, and I’ve never seen one that wasn’t absolutely gorgeous.

Review: Sugr Cube Is A Music Streaming Box Of Tricks, by David Nield, Gizmag

There's a glut of wireless speakers out there at the moment, but the Sugr Cube scores highly both for its looks and its effortless control system. Audio performance is very impressive if not quite market-leading, and it manages to hold its clarity no matter how loud you want to go. While the software isn't perfect yet, that's easier to fix than bad hardware design, and the Sugr Cube team seems committed to keeping the updates coming in the future.


Apple Redesigns Mac In Business Webpage, Says It’s A ‘Brand New Day For Business’, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

“Organizations everywhere are realizing the potential that Mac brings to their employees by giving them the freedom to use the tools they already know and love,” Apple touts on the new webpage. The refreshed Mac in Business site replaces one that was seriously outdated, still referencing Yosemite and advertising the features from that release as brand new.

The First Spotlight Interface Is Still The Best, by Riccardo Mori

I like the ‘new’ Spotlight interface that was introduced in OS X 10.10 Yosemite. The big search field in the centre of the screen, the clearer way search results are displayed, it’s undoubtedly better than before and going in the right direction from a visual standpoint, but the interface of the Spotlight window still isn’t as flexible, clear and usable as it was under Mac OS X Tiger; and the speed and responsiveness are nowhere near Spotlight’s performance under Tiger to Mavericks — at least on Macs equipped with hard drives. If your Mac has an SSD, your experience has probably been more satisfying than mine.

Christmas Music: The 10 Biggest Holiday Playlist Mistakes, by Philip Michaels, Six Colors

I say this because I’ve been at this for a dozen years — as long as Apple has made buying a la carte music as simple as tapping on a Buy button — and the holiday music section of my iTunes Library is a horror show. Should a panel ever be convened to examine musical crimes against humanity — and under President Huckabee, I put the possibility at even money — I will probably be called as an expert witness and, even more probably, will be first against the wall for my history of regrettable downloads.

The difference between you and me is that I’ve learned from my mistakes, and I’m here before you today to serve as a warning against following my regrettable lead. Think of me as Jacob Marley offering a chilling warning to all of you Scrooges out there. Instead of being bound by the heavy chains I forged in life, I’m lugging around a metric ton of 99-cent downloads I’d just as soon be able to return for store credit. Mark my horrible errors in judgment, and make sure you don’t repeat them.

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I do wonder how long will Apple keep the trailers page up and running.


Thanks for reading.

Wed, Dec 16, 2015The Smaller-Specialized-Tools Edition

How Adobe Is Reimagining Photoshop For The Mobile Era, by Harry McCraken, Fast Company

"The iPad 1 came out," recalls Lance Lewis, a senior computer scientist who has been with the company for two decades. "In my my mind, it was like, ‘Oh my gosh, this is going to transform the industry.' I wanted to do everything I could to be part of mobile.’"

What wasn't instantly obvious, however, was exactly how to translate Photoshop into an experience that made sense on the iPad and other mobile devices. In 2011, Adobe released three "Photoshop Touch" iPad apps—Eazel, Color Lava, and Nav—which were complements to Photoshop in its full-strength form rather than stand-alone tools. Then in 2012, it introduced an app called Photoshop Touch, which took a smallish subset of desktop Photoshop’s features, stripped out most of their advanced features, and rejiggered the interface so it worked with touch input.

This year, the company started all over again. It discontinued development of Photoshop Touch—which was available for iPhones and Android devices as well as iPads—and announced that Photoshop's future on the iPad and other mobile devices would henceforth involve smaller, specialized tools rather than anything that retained Photoshop's traditional everything-and-the-kitchen-sink flavor.

Why The Great App Unbundling Trend Is Already In Trouble, by Jared Newman, Fast Company

One of the main justifications for app unbundling is that it reduces complexity and brings greater focus. But if the alternative is having twice or three times as many apps on the home screen, that’s not really any simpler.

"The argument of wanting to have discrete entry points that represent every bit of functionality that I would want to access is less about how things are packaged and more about how easy they are to access," says Javier Soltero, Microsoft’s corporate vice president of Outlook. "And proliferation of icons is just not a good thing."


IBM And Apple Enterprise Partnership Reaches 100 App Goal, by Ron Miller, TechCrunch

The 100 apps cover the gamut of 60 professional roles across 14 industries and include iPhone, iPad, iPad Pro, Apple Watch and even Apple TV apps, Katharyn White, Vice President of IBM and Apple Partnership for IBM Global Business Services told TechCrunch.

Verticals include government, healthcare, telecommunications, transportation, insurance and many more.

Apple, The Enterprise IT Company, by Robin Harris, ZDNet

Windows is never going away -- that isn't the point. But just as cloud providers have allowed CFOs to fact check CIO insistence on traditional enterprise vendors, Apple's enterprise partners have given the company the credibility to penetrate business.

Expect Apple to continue adding enterprise-friendly features to iOS and OS X. But its focus on providing the best user experience will remain, because that is what makes it successful in the enterprise as well.

Smiley Face Login

Don’t Make The Same Mistake As This Guy And Set Your Password As An Emoji 💁, by Owen Williams, The Next Web

Turns out, OS X doesn’t like it if you use an emoji password, as you’re banned from entering an emoji password on the login screen so the poor guy was locked out of his computer.


Apple TV 2015 Review: The New Zealand Edition, by Sarah Hendrica Bickerton, The App Factor

This isn’t really Apple’s fault though. This is just the media landscape us smaller countries live in, a combination of legacy international laws not dealing with a 21st century media context, and no incentive for anyone to really do anything about it.

Slack Aims To Become A Control Panel For Your Job, by Farhad Manjoo, New York Times

What if you could run your whole job from a messaging app? Imagine doing your expenses or requesting human resources forms through a simple chat interface, or using an instant message to respond to customer complaints or to start a conference call with your colleagues.

That’s the future envisioned by Slack, the fast-growing group-messaging start-up.

MiMedia Review: Not Quite The Personal Cloud You've Wanted, But It's Close, by J.R. Bookwalter, Macworld

I really like where MiMedia is headed, and how content is organized and shared. The software lacks the ability to edit photos and the current pricing isn’t particularly competitive, but otherwise worth a look for those seeking a user-friendly, media-centric cloud.

Popular E-Book Reading App Shelfie Now Provides Audiobooks, by Jeff Byrnes, AppAdvice

If you have a huge library of physical books and would prefer to have electronic copies of them, Shelfie by BitLit is a terrific app. You just snap a picture of your bookshelf, and Shelfie identifies which of your titles have electronic copies available. Then, you can download those e-books for free or at heavily discounted prices. Making the app even better, Shelfie has recently announced a partnership with Findaway to bring audiobooks to the app.

Microsoft Makes Sharing Content On Skype For iOS Easier, by Aldrin Calimlim, AppAdvice

Beautiful Astronomy App Solar Walk 2 Arrives On The Apple TV With A New Update, by Brent Dirks, AppAdvice

Google Play Books Makes E-Reading Easier On The Eyes With Night Light, by Aldrin Calimlim, AppAdvice

Offline Pages For Mac 1.0 Saves Entire Websites For Offline Browsing, by MacTech


Deep Swift Integration Coming To iCloud And OS X, Says Apple's Craig Federighi, by Roger Fingas, AppleInsider

Apple is beginning to bake Swift into some of its core software, instead of simply supporting it in third-party apps, senior VP of Software Engineering Craig Federighi said in a podcast interview.

Nuance Wants To Build The Power Of Siri Into Every App, by Jacob Kastrenakes, The Verge

Nuance is the company behind the language detection software that powers Samsung's S Voice and, supposedly, Siri as well. It's now opening up that technology to all developers — big and small — allowing them to bake it into their apps.


Apple Shuts Down Analytics Company Topsy Two Years After Its Acquisition, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

When the acquisition was originally revealed, many speculated that Apple would use Topsy’s data from social media and integrate it into services like iTunes Radio, so it’s more than likely that some of Topsy’s technology is being used behind the scenes for Apple Music and Beats 1.

Think Like A Statistician – Without The Math, by Nathan Yau, Flowing Data

The other day I was trying to think of the last time I did an actual hypothesis test or formal analysis. I couldn't remember. I actually had to dig up old course listings to figure out when it was. It was four years ago during my first year of graduate school. I did well in those courses, and I'm confident I could do that stuff with a quick refresher, but it's a no go off the cuff. It's just not something I do regularly.

Instead, the most important things I've learned are less formal, but have proven extremely useful when working/playing with data. Here they are in no particular order.

Ideas Are Cheap...

... so why am I running out of ideas?


Thanks for reading.

Tue, Dec 15, 2015The Wrangling-Windows Edition

One Screen Or Two: Why It’s Better (Or Worse) To Have Multiple Displays On Your Mac, by Kirk McElhearn and Rob Giffiths, Macworld

If you work with multiple applications on your Mac, you find yourself confronted with managing many windows. Most people use a single Mac and struggle to organize their windows, but some people use their Mac with a second (or even a third) display.

Macworld contributors Rob Griffiths and Kirk McElhearn have different approaches to wrangling all those windows. Rob uses two displays, and Kirk uses one, leveraging Spaces to keep his apps under control. Here’s how they each manage apps and windows.

Do Computers Need Pressure-Sensing Screens?, by Adrienne Lafrance, The Atlantic

So we’re only just beginning to see what pressure-sensitive screens will mean for how people use phones. And a lot of that is because developers are still figuring out what to do with the technology.

Apple's Directions

Apple Buys Former Chip Fab In North San Jose, by Nathan Donato-Weinstein, Silicon Valley Business Journal

It's unclear what Apple will use the facility for, but marketing material from the listing agent, ATREG, says: "Well suited for prototype, pilot, and low-volume manufacturing, this facility is capable of producing a wide array of products at multiple technology nodes ranging from 600nm to 90nm, with the bulk of production from 350nm to 180nm."

Apple Opens Secret Laboratory In Taiwan To Develop New Screens, by Tim Culpan, Bloomberg

Apple Inc. opened a production laboratory in northern Taiwan where engineers are developing new display technologies, according to people with knowledge of the facility.

The Apple building in Longtan has at least 50 engineers and other workers creating new screens for devices including iPhones and iPads, the people said, asking not to be identified because the details aren’t public. Apple has recruited from local display maker AU Optronics Corp. and Qualcomm Inc., which used to own the building, the people said.

Talking Via iPad

Hillmorton High School Deputy Principal Retires After 46 Years, by Jody O'Callaghan,

The disease may have taken his voice, but the sprightly 72-year-old has adapted to the challenge in the same way he has the decades of changes in education.


The geography teacher kept his remaining senior class informed of his condition, and used booklets, his iPad, and help from another teacher to communicate in the final weeks.


Facebook Is Killing Photo Syncing, Asks Users To Download Its “Moments” App Instead, by Sarah Perez, TechCrunch

The company has now announced it will soon discontinue support for photo syncing, and is instead asking users to download the Moments app through a pop-up notification that appears at the top of the News Feed. That means if you want to continue to access photos you’ve privately synced from your phone, you’ll no longer be able to find these in a separate album on Facebook – you’ll need to download a new application.

Add Just The Right Touches To Your Photos With Photone, by Sandy Stachowiak, AppAdvice

From monotone to color tone filters and effects, bringing out the best in your photos is easy.

Hands On: Cardsmith 1.0.1 (OS X), by William Gallagher, MacNN

It's easier than Illustrator but it's not point, click, print, send: there is some work to be done here and many options for finely placing and adjusting both text and images. You could dart through this knocking out a card in a few minutes but you can also get rather lost and absorbed in using it.

Pandora’s New Thumbprint Radio Is A Personalized Listening Experience, by Brent Dirks, AppAdvice

The streaming music service has just launched Thumbprint Radio. As suggested by the name, the unique station is inspired by each listener’s previous thumbs up choices.

Tableau Gets Native iPhone App With Latest Version, by Enterprise Apps Today

Google Maps For iOS Gains Up-To-date Gas Prices, Popular Business Hours, by Cam Bunton, 9to5Mac


Swift String Cheat Sheet, by Keith Harrison, Use Your Loaf

The Swift String API is hard to get used to. It has also changed over time as the Swift language and the standard library have developed. Those answers you found on Stack Overflow that worked with Swift 1.2 may not work as expected (or at all) with Swift 2. On the plus side I am finding the Apple documentation to be helpful (see bottom of the post for links). So for my future reference and hopefully to help others also struggling here is my still growing list of String code snippets.

Local Teen Creates iPhone Game App, by Clayton News Daily

The game is an homage to retro Nintendo- and Game Boy-type artwork and a love for things zombie. “I wanted to bring two popular franchises together,” said Robinson. “This was my inspiration.”

Plan To Throw One Away, by Gareth Rees

This is a software development story from early in my career. The company in question went bust eighteen years ago, so it’s probably safe to tell the tale now.


Apple Gifts Retail Employees With Apple Music Subscription, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Apple last week provided all of its employees with urBeats earphones from the Beats by Dr. Dre product lineup as part of an annual holiday gift, and today iTunes chief Eddy Cue told Apple employees they would also receive a free nine-month subscription to Apple Music.

Samsung Asks Supreme Court To Take Up Its Apple Patent Case, by Ina Fried, Re/code

In its appeal of the case, Samsung maintains that the jury in this case wasn’t — and in most design patent cases isn’t — given enough information about how to understand the patents.

The Government Wants Access To Smartphones. What You Should Know, by Christie Smythe, Bloomberg

The industry says encryption and other barriers are there to protect your personal data from falling into the hands of hackers or snoops -- or, some say, the government itself.

“Weakening security with the aim of advancing security simply does not make sense,” the Information Technology Industry Council, which represents 62 of the largest tech companies in the world, said in a statement.

Bottom of the Page

Overheard in a FedEx Kinkos: "Daddy, what is faxing?"

— Joanna Stern (@JoannaStern) December 13, 2015


Thanks for reading.

Mon, Dec 14, 2015The Robot-Or-Not Edition

Ten-Year-old Girl With Rare Liver Cancer Who Is Too Sick To Go To School Uses A ROBOT To Make Sure She Never Misses A Class, by Hannah Parry, Daily Mail

Ten-year-old Peyton Walton, from Montgomery County, Maryland, was recently diagnosed with a rare, and particularly aggressive type of liver cancer.

The youngster was started on a course of chemotherapy, followed by several rounds of radiotherapy in New York as she battled the disease.

But now the keen student has been able to return to her Montgomery County school in Maryland, if not in person, thanks to a special robot which she has named Peyton's Awesome Virtual Self, or PAVS for short.


Swift To Release Concert Tour Exclusively On Apple Music, by Mesfin Fekadu, Associated Press

Taylor Swift is releasing a live concert special from her star-studded "1989 World Tour" exclusively on Apple Music.

The pop star announced Sunday, on her 26th birthday, that she will release the "The 1989 World Tour LIVE" on the streaming platform on Dec. 20. It will not be available for purchase, but it is free for streaming for Apple Music users.

Apple Gets A Giant Taylor Swift Concert Exclusive (Because It Paid Taylor Swift), by Peter Kafka, Re/code

Apple also gets the ability to use Swift’s name and likeness in promotions at its stores, where it will have big displays as well as Taylor Swift-branded iTunes gift cards for sales; Swift is also going on Apple’s Beats 1 Radio tomorrow to talk about the concert with Zane Lowe, Apple’s chief DJ.


SpamSieve 2.9 Review: A Must-Have Spam Filter For Your Mac Email Client, by Kirk McElhearn, Macworld

Filtering spam on my Mac makes my life easier, and SpamSieve is so accurate and so easy to use, that it's one of my 10 essential Mac utilities.

Try PhotoWall+ For The Apple TV To Liven Up Social, Corporate Events, by Dennis Sellers, Apple World Today

The app lets you stream a “wall” of photos on your television set using the Apple TV. If your guests or family members are snapping photos (and, with everyone packing a smartphone these days, you know they are), they can post ‘em on the big screen for everyone to see.

Patina For Mac OS X, by MacTech

Mac users in search of a simple drawing app now have an appealing option in a polished but low cost app called Patina. Developed by a California company called Atek, Patina echoes the simplicity of Microsoft Paint, the widely used go-to drawing tool for generations of Windows users.

BBC iPlayer Goes Live On New Apple TV In The UK, by Eric Slivka, MacRumors

The BBC today launched its BBC iPlayer app for the new Apple TV in the United Kingdom, bringing the popular streaming service from the UK's public broadcaster to Apple's set-top box for the first time.

Channel 4 Brings Catch-Up Subtitles To iPad And iPhone App, by Seenit


How To Make Your App Zoom To The Top Of The App Store, by Jessica Hullinger, Fast Company

"We were very excited about the ranking," says Azadeh Jamalian, Tiggly’s cofounder and chief learning officer. And rightfully so. With more than 40,000 new apps released into the app store each month, landing one of those coveted top spots is no accident. For Tiggly, it was the result of a lot of hard work and strategizing.

Moving The Washington Post To HTTPS, by Will Van Wazer, Washington Post

In June of this year, the Post announced that we were switching our site to be HTTPS by default, starting with the homepage, the National Security section and the technology blog, The Switch. Since then, we’ve moved over all remaining sections and parts of our site. Today, more than 99% of our traffic is redirected to HTTPS.

The launch was the culmination of about 10 months of efforts, touching not just every technical team in our engineering department but all divisions of the Post.

The challenges we faced in this migration weren’t strictly technical in nature. We knew exactly what we had to do at each step but we faced challenges in the following areas: infrastructure, advertising, and newsroom.


2015: The Year Windows, OS X And iOS Became Naggy And Annoying, by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, ZDNet

Even Apple has resorted to nags. A company that was once renowned for the beauty and simplicity of its platforms and applications has succumb to the temptation of using their platform to deliver marketing messages. I've seen nags to upgrade to El Capitan, nags to give Safari a chance, nags to sign up for Apple Music, and even nags to buy a new iPhone 6s.

Give me a break!

Apple’s Irish Tax Deal Faces Further Scrutiny By Brussels, by Christian Oliver, Jim Brunsden, and Vincent Boland, Financial Times

While Irish authorities had expected the case to be concluded soon, they have instead been sent bulky sets of supplementary questions, meaning it will be difficult to reach a final verdict until after the 2016 election, which is expected as early as February.

Cinema Apps That Help Bypass The Popcorn Lines, by Brook Barnes, New York Times

The largest multiplex chains in North America, AMC Theaters and Regal Entertainment, are rolling out technology that allows customers to preorder and prepay for food and drinks from the comfort of their smartphones. The goal is to significantly reduce that pinch point — the time moviegoers spend waiting in line at the concession counter.

Let’s Outlaw Math, by Jean-Louis Gassée, Monday Note

When, as is the case today, organizations use encryption technology for which there is no backdoor, we have safety. Once Golden Keys are forged (unintended pun, I promise), some will fall into the wrong hands. There’s no need to be sarcastic about possible government ineptitude or carelessness in large organizations: Experience shows us that backdoors get broken, especially when the payoff is large enough in financial or strategic terms.

The Quantum Computing Era Is Coming… Fast, by John Naughton, The Guardian

Processors that use the strangeness of quantum mechanics are reportedly achieving much greater problem-solving speed than standard computers – but what will the effect on security be?

Bottom of the Page

So, this morning, I wanted to give money to an e-commerce shop. The site required me to sign up for an account. And to sign up for an account, there's a CAPTCHA. Of which I've spend probably more than a dozen times before the CAPTCHA accepted what I've typed. And then the payment gateway refused to load when I checkout, and I've tried both Safari and Chrome browsers.

So, I didn't part with my money this morning.


Thanks for reading.

Sun, Dec 13, 2015The Fight-The-iHunch Edition

Your iPhone Is Ruining Your Posture — And Your Mood, by Amy Cuddy, New York Times

Ironically, while many of us spend hours every day using small mobile devices to increase our productivity and efficiency, interacting with these objects, even for short periods of time, might do just the opposite, reducing our assertiveness and undermining our productivity.

Despite all this, we rely on our mobile devices far too much to give them up, and that’s not going to change anytime soon. Fortunately, there are ways to fight the iHunch.

Parking App Gets Ticket Punched, by Jordan Graham, Boston Herald

The app was a tremendous success, Walsh said. More than 17,000 users paid tickets through the app, and an average of 2,100 tickets were paid each month. The city gave out an average of 108,000 tickets each month in fiscal year 2014, according to the city.

But in September, when Apple released iOS 9, an update to its operating system for mobile devices that comes on every new iPhone and analysts say is used currently on about 70 percent of iPhones, the app needed technical changes that the TicketZen team did not have the resources to complete.

Betting On The Wrong Horse, by Wincent

In this blog post I've told a story of how I made a series of technology choices over a lengthy time frame (almost 20-years, which if you convert to "dog years" gives you well over a century, which is about how long this feels on a technological time scale). At each point I endeavoured to make an "optimal" decision, one that would give me the most benefit at an appropriate price. I was wary of lock-in effects, and only regretfully allowed them into play as a calculated risk in the name of angling for the right cost-benefit trade-off.

Still, no matter how hard you try, over this kind of time scale, and sometimes even over much shorter ones, you'll find yourself in the situation of having to revise, undo, or remake your decisions. This is the stuff of life in the internet age, I guess. Just keep on doing your best: things generally work out all right in the end.

Here's How The Top iPhone Apps Are Using 3D Touch, by Jacob Kastrenakes, The Verge

Of course, it's not entirely fair to knock developers for not immediately changing their product roadmaps to support a new feature that's only accessible to a small portion of their users (and hey, there are a lot of apps that haven't even added Quick Actions yet). Still, there are some easy basics that they could choose to add support for, without spending time developing a strange or novel use. That's because Apple didn't make 3D Touch a total free-for-all: instead, it introduced the concepts of "peek" and "pop," which let you preview ("peek at") a photo, website, or some other content in a pop-up and then fully open ("pop into") that app with a light and then hard press.

Today’s Butlers Are Trading Silver Trays For iPads, by Robert Frank, New York Times

When Graham Lefford started working as a butler in 1989, his daily tasks usually involved planning formal dinners and carefully arranging the daily breakfast tray with coffee and a newspaper.

But on a recent afternoon, Mr. Lefford had to tackle a more modern butler problem: a giant TV screen that had failed to descend from the ceiling. He spent nearly an hour troubleshooting the electrical system, testing the drop-down motors and scrolling through the multimedia TV controller before finally rebooting the home’s universal software interface to get the screen to pop down.

Bottom of the Page

Just finished the book "Fates and Furies." Because I knew about the plot device which the author has deployed, my brain was working overtime during the first half of the book, trying to imagine what could possibly be in the second half of the book.

I'm not sure if that's a good thing.


Thanks for reading.

Sat, Dec 12, 2015The Excessive-Drain Edition

Here's What Makes Apple's Battery Case So 'Smart', by Rene Ritchie, iMore

Your iPhone knows when it's connected to the case rather than a plug so it's smart enough not to start any backups, networking, background tasks, "always listening" Siri on iPhone 6, or other processes that cause excessive drain.

The Curious Case Of The Curious Case, by John Gruber, Daring Fireball

In every other way, Apple’s Smart Battery Pack wins: it’s all Lightning, so any Lightning peripherals you have will work, and there’s no need to pack a grody micro USB cable; it supplies more than enough additional power to get you through an active day; its unibody design makes it much easier to insert and remove the phone; and it feels much better in hand.

Classical Tunes

Apple Releases iTunes 12.3.2 With Improved Browsing Of Classical Music In Apple Music, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

The update adds support for works, composers, and performers when listening to Classical music in Apple Music.

Ask The iTunes Guy: iTunes Artwork, iOS Music Backgrounds, Larger Fonts In iTunes Store, by Kirk McElhearn, Macworld

Occasionally, I get a number of questions that cover related topics around the same time. Lately, I’ve been getting a lot of questions about seeing things in iTunes, and on iOS. One is about seeing artwork for different songs. Another is about seeing the names of songs in the iOS Music app, which isn’t always easy. And the third is about the small font size in iTunes; I offer a workaround that can make it easier to read these tiny texts.


Readdle's Spark Has Just Become An Even Better Alternative To Mailbox, by ALdrin Calimlim, AppAdvice

The new version of Spark introduces customizable snoozes, allowing you to adjust the times at which you’d like the emails you want to act on later to return to your inbox.

Dragon Anywhere Initial Impressions, by David Sparks, MacSparky

While it may not be worth it if you only use it occasionally, if you dictate a lot, it’s at least worth consideration.

Bloomberg Professional App Updated For iPad Pro, by MacNN

It allows users to receive customized price and news alerts, monitor events and markets, view charts, research securities, send and receive messages, use IB and more.


My First Swift “Hello World” Application On Cloud Foundry, by IBM


Why Tim Cook's Chromebook Jibe Was About Apple, Not Google, by Jane McCallion, ITPro

To see this as sour grapes is to miss the point.

Save The Planet. Eat Ugly., by Caroline Chauvet, New York Times

Tapping into a growing international movement to sell and consume food deemed too visually unappealing to make its way to market — whether undersize apples, pug-nose peppers or misshapen Camembert — Mr. Chabanne runs a campaign called Gueules Cassées, which translates into Ugly Mugs.

Bottom of the Page

It's all you bloggers fault. Now, every iPhone battery case looks ugly to me.


Thanks for reading.

Fri, Dec 11, 2015The Tool-Of-Protest Edition

A Protest App Rises To The Top In Taiwan, by Paul Mozur, New York Times

In a sign of the political mood in Taiwan, the top free application in Apple’s App Store there for much of last week wasn’t a mobile game or a social network, but a tool of protest.

Named Bingdela — after a Taiwanese phrase associated with overturning a table in rage — the software allows users to check whether food or drink products are associated with Ting Hsin International, a conglomerate that last year was the center of a food safety scandal involving its cooking oil.

Doing Things

The Hit List GTD App Hits It Big With iPad Support, 3D Touch And More, by Aldrin Calimlim, AppAdvice

The new version of The Hit List indeed boasts full support for Apple’s tablets, including the recently released larger-than-large iPad Pro. The Hit List for iPad seeks to bring some of the power of The Hit List for Mac into iOS, allowing you to manage your tasks and lists in a variety of ways with ease and simplicity.

Unibox Tries To Fill The Gap Left Behind By Mailbox, by Jeff Byrnes, AppAdvice

A new entry to the field of choices comes to us in the form of Unibox, an app that organizes your email by person so you can quickly find every exchange you’ve ever had with that individual.


Google Updates Photos And Wallet Apps For iOS With New Features by Aldrin Calimlim, AppAdvice

Similar to Apple’s iCloud shared albums, shared albums in Google Photos enables you to share albums with your friends and family so that all of you can see their contents and even pool more photos and videos into them — ideal for gathering images from an event like a birthday party, or simply for collaborating with people on collecting everyday memories.

Overflow Allows You To Organize And Free Up The Mac OS X Dock, by Dennis Sellers, Apple World Today

You can place the Applications folder in the Dock, but some folks will find it easier to use Overflow from Stunt Software because, with it, you view only what you want, not everything in the Applications folder.

GoPro Updates iOS App With Streamlined Design And Apple Watch Integration, by Mitchel Broussard, MacRumors

The new Apple Watch features will give users access to a GoPro camera's controls, letting them preview their shot, toggle between capture modes, begin and end recording, and even add HiLight tags to important moments in a video.

Instagram Updates Boomerang With iPad Support And More Features, by Aldrin Calimlim, AppAdvice


I’m Harping On This, by Brent Simmons, Inessential

But these days we’re smarter: we use protocols. There’s no reason Folder and File should descend from the same class — they’re almost entirely different, and inheritance is a pain to deal with, so we use protocols instead.

And we’re happy. It works great.

Until you realize that, in Swift, you can’t do this.


Dealing With Inexplicable Apple Error Messages, by Adam C. Engst, TidBITS

Again, if you’re seeing these errors, you’re not alone, you’ve done nothing wrong, and you can’t do anything to resolve the problem. Your best course of action is to shrug, move past the error, and get on with your day. I sincerely hope Apple’s engineers are working to fix these problems, minor as they are, so they stop wasting our time and smudging Apple’s reputation for quality software.

Apple Advertising iPhone 6s To Older iPhone Owners Through App Store Popups, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

If a user browses the App Store, perhaps updating apps, with an iPhone 5s or earlier device, a modal popup may appear over the top of the view promoting the iPhone 6s as a ‘ridiculously powerful’ upgrade. Users are directed to learn more or ‘upgrade now’ which takes them to the Apple Store app to buy the new phone directly.

Mozilla’s Newest App Perfectly Captures The Ethical Dilemma Of Ad-Blocking, by Brian Fung, Washington Post

Whomever you think is to blame for the sorry state of Web browsing, content blockers have a kind of ratcheting effect: Once you turn one on, chances are you won't see the kind of high-quality ads that might convince you to turn it off again. It also involves the risk that you'll miss whatever advertisers or publishers come up with to make the Web better again.

Bowe Bergdahl Case At Center Of ‘Serial’ Season 2, by Richard A. Oppel Jr. and John Koblin, New York Times

Sergeant Bergdahl recounted his experience publicly for the first time in the premiere episode of the second season of the podcast “Serial,” which was released at 6 a.m. Thursday. In interviews with the screenwriter Mark Boal, he explained in his own words why he had left his base in June 2009, an action that prompted a manhunt involving thousands of troops and led him to spend nearly five years in brutal captivity under the Taliban.

His odyssey ended in May 2014, when the Obama administration swapped him for five Taliban detainees at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, a deal that was heavily criticized by Republicans.

Happiness Doesn't Help You Live Longer, by Julie Beck, The Atlantic

“I think the interesting implication is we’ve got very few things that really matter as far as health is concerned,” Peto says. He names smoking and obesity as two things that are very good predictors of mortality. But unhappiness, it seems, is not at all on their level.

Bottom of the Page

What the "trying to reinvent email" kids just don't seem to understand is that all anyone wants is Pine. Or maybe Elm. That's all. 💌

— Rick Turoczy (@turoczy) December 11, 2015


Thanks for reading.

Thu, Dec 10, 2015The Get-It-On-And-Off Edition

Tim Cook Defends Apple iPhone Smart Battery Case, Says It's Not A 'Hump', by Samuel Gibbs, The Guardian

“You know, I probably wouldn’t call it ‘the hump’,” said Cook – immediately making it forever known as a the hump. He said it’s so obvious because Apple considers the battery to be a backup device, something that you might need occasionally, not all the time.


“If you make this solid all the way across, in order to get it on, you’d find it very difficult to get it on and off,” said Cook. “So the guys had this great insight to put the bend in along with making it a smart case.”

Tim Cook: Apple Won’t Make The “Test Machines” Taking Over Classrooms, by Molly Hensley-Clancy, BuzzFeed

“Assessments don’t create learning,” Cook said in an interview with BuzzFeed News Wednesday, calling the cheap laptops that have proliferated through American classrooms mere “test machines.”

“We are interested in helping students learn and teachers teach, but tests, no,” Cook said. “We create products that are whole solutions for people — that allow kids to learn how to create and engage on a different level.”

Noise Makers

Auxy’s Awesome iPad Music-Making App Comes To The iPhone, by Michael Calore, Wired

At heart, it’s a typical loop-based song-builder—using touch controls, you lay out rhythm patterns and melody samples on a grid. If you’ve used Ableton Live, a sample sequencer, any loop-based music creator, then you can easily just start fiddling with Auxy and get some nice results. But what makes Auxy stand out from the scores of other music-making apps is a smarter and simpler design that makes building a song not only easier, but more beautiful too.

Djay Pro Launches On iPad, Built For iPad Pro, by Federico Viticci, MacStories

Algoriddim launched djay Pro for iPad today, the latest version of their award-winning DJ software for iPhone, iPad, and Mac. The new version (which I played around with over the past couple of days) has been built with the iPad Pro in mind, with tons of design changes and new features for the new platform.

Pandora Now Playing On The New Apple TV, by Dan Thorp-Lancaster, iMore

TuneUp Helps Tune Up A Messy iTunes Library, by Dennis Sellers, Apple World Today


Millions Of Teens Are Using A New App To Post Anonymous Thoughts, And Most Parents Have No Idea, by Moriah Balingit, Washington Post

Millions of teenagers in high schools nationwide are using a smartphone app to anonymously share their deepest anxieties, secret crushes, vulgar assessments of their classmates and even violent threats, all without adults being able to look in.

The After School app has exploded in popularity this school year and is now on more than 22,300 high school campuses, according to its creators. Because it is designed to be accessible only to teenagers, many parents and administrators have not known anything about it.


Subtle Change Makes iOS 9.2 App Switcher Easier To Use, by Kirk McElhearn

When you swipe now, one window slides out of the way, but the stream of windows stops on the next one, instead of continuing, potentially past the window you want to tap. It’s as if the windows snap into position as you swipe.

Boxy Is A Google Inbox Desktop App For Mac That Doesn’t Suck, by Owen WIlliams, The Next Web

Boxy is the first sort-of-native-app wrapper for Inbox by Gmail I’ve seen that actually does a good job of making it feel like a real desktop app.

Hype HTML5 Creation Tool Updated To Version 3.5, Adds A Variety Of Features, by Steven Sande, Apple World Today

Cortana Now Out For Android And iOS, With Bonus Features For Cyanogen, by Peter Bright, Ars Technica

The Cortana app looks essentially the same whether on Windows 10, Windows 10 Mobile, iOS, and Android; search box at the bottom, hamburger menu on the top left, and information cards. Those cards can show appointments, track packages, give you weather information or the latest sports scores, and so on. Cortana requires a Microsoft Account to use, and will sync your various interests and settings between all Cortana-enabled devices.


'A Delicate Balancing Act': The WSJ City Approach To Mobile News, by Catalina Albeanu,


Are Regulations Weakening The Power Of Medical Tech On The iPhone, Apple Watch?, by Fox News

A former Food and Drug Administraton official contends the agency's oversight is getting in the way of Apple's ability to develop medical products on its iPhone and Apple Watch. In a post this month on American Enterprise Institute website, Dr. Scott Gottlieb argues that the company has worked to avoid FDA oversight, limiting the potential of its health-related offerings.

Why Apple Walked Away From TV (For Now), by Peter Kafka, Re/code

So while the price of the individual channels that Apple wants to package has been an issue, it’s the composition of the package itself — which channels go in and which don’t make the cut — that is just as important to both Apple and the programmers, according to sources.

Forget E-Books, This May Be The Real Future Of Reading, by Jeremy Olshan, Marketwatch

The rise of audiobooks isn’t just about the quality of the performance but the fact that many readers prefer the experience to text. “For a long time the industry treated audiobooks as a subsidiary format, but now we’re seeing it’s become a primary format for many — and has been for some time,” Kaufman said.

Bottom of the Page

Apple Case. So heavy. Bump more uncomfortable than ugly. But iPhone is 96% at 6:53 PM. Conclusion: vacation use only

— Cabel Sasser (@cabel) December 10, 2015


Thanks for reading.

Wed, Dec 9, 2015The Remote-App Edition

Mega-Apple Update Day Brings Upgrades To OS X, iOS, WatchOS, And tvOS, by Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica

Available for devices going back to the iPhone 4S, iPod Touch 5th generation, and iPad 2, this iOS update includes a few minor improvements for Apple Music. [...] The Mac software update is about stability rather than new features.


Available only for the fourth-generation Apple TV, tvOS 9.1 lets users control Apple Music with Siri, and use Apple's iOS Remote app to control the device.

Apple Says iOS 9.2 Fixes Unresponsive iPad Pro Issues, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

Apple acknowledged the problem in a support document on its website, stating that it was "investigating" the issue, and has now updated that support document to reflect that "iOS 9.2 or later" should prevent the issue from occurring again.

Security Update 2015-008 (Mavericks) And 2015-005 (Yosemite), by Agen G. N. Schmitz, TidBITS

In particular, the two Security Updates address multiple memory corruption issues in ImageIO, OpenGL, CoreGraphics, and CoreMedia Playback, as well as a memory corruption issue related to the handling of iWork files — all of which could lead to arbitrary code execution.

Apple Updates Its News App To Make It More Like A … Newspaper, by Peter Kafka, Re/code

Apple’s update for its iOS app, which begins rolling out today, has two components. Only one of them will be visible to regular users: Apple’s editors will curate a list of “top stories” they’ll display for all of the apps’ users, at least a couple of times a day.

That’s a change in philosophy from this fall’s launch, when the app was supposed to highlight stories based on each of its users’ tastes and reading behaviors.

TV Plans

Apple Says These Are The Best Apple TV Apps Of 2015, by John Paczkowski, BuzzFeed

“What we’re seeing with the new Apple TV is to me very similar to what happened with gaming on the iPhone,” Cue said. “When we first announced the iPhone, we didn’t tout it as a gaming device. But games became a huge part of iPhone, because it turns out that a lot more people than just hardcore gamers love games. We expanded the market. I think the vast majority of people around the world probably aren’t looking to buy an Xbox or PlayStation. But that doesn’t mean they don’t enjoy playing games. I think Apple TV expands the gaming market to those people.”


“We’re working on a new Apple TV remote app that will give you the full functionality of the Siri Remote on your iPhone,” Cue said. “We’re hoping to ship that in the first half of next year.”

Apple Shares New 'The Future Of Television' Apple TV Ad, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Apple TV Billboard Campaign Begins Featuring Content Including 'The Simpsons', by Mitchel Broussard, MacRumors

Leslie Moonves Talks Apple TV, Ad-Free Version Of CBS All Access, by Cynthia Littleton, Variety

Referring to Apple’s hotly anticipated, but long-delayed, plans to offer a tier of channels subscribers could stream for a monthly fee, Moonves said, “They’ve had conversations on it, and I think they pressed the hold button.” His comments were the most definitive indication in quite some time that Apple’s bid to compete with pay-TV companies has stalled; the Cupertino, Calif.-company has yet to comment on the venture beyond indications from CEO Tim Cook that the TV business is “broken.”


Apple Releases Lightning To SD Camera Reader With USB 3.0 Speeds On iPad Pro, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

Apple has released a new Lightning to SD Card Camera Reader with support for up to USB 3.0 speeds on iPad Pro, and USB 2.0 speeds on all other iPad and iPhone models.

Apple Publishes Best Of 2015 App Store Lists For iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch, And Apple TV, by Federico Viticci, MacStories

Early this morning, Apple unveiled the 2015 edition of their annual Best of App Store lists – a collection of the best apps and games released on the App Store over the past 12 months. This year, in addition to iPhone, iPad, and Mac apps, Apple has added editorial picks for the newly launched watchOS and tvOS platforms, highlighting the best apps and games released by third-party developers on Apple Watch and Apple TV.

Apple’s New $99 iPhone Battery Case Doesn’t Measure Up, by Lauren Goode, The Verge

From a purely technical standpoint, the Smart Battery Case doesn’t offer as much extra battery life as competitors do. So in order to justify its $99 price point, it has to be “smart” in other ways. It has to build upon on existing Apple designs, and it has to utilize the iPhone's software. It does all of this. But I'm not convinced this is the best case. [...] The case works just fine with Apple’s EarPods, but most other headphones I tried didn’t fit with the case on. They’d probably work with an extender, but Apple doesn’t supply one with the case.

Duet Turns Your iPad Into A Monitor Running iOS And Mac Apps Together, by Thomas Ricker, The Verge

Version 1.2 lets you dedicate any iPad or iPhone display for use as a second monitor. Or you can allocate two-thirds of the display for Mac apps if you own an iPad Air 2 or iPad Pro, while the other third can be used for your favorite split-screen iOS apps.

Alien Skin Introduces Exposure X For Mac OS X, by MacTech

It’s a digital imaging app designed to helps photographers quickly organize, edit, and enhance their photos. Exposure X streamlines routine tasks and gives photographers a set of software tools for developing photos.

Do You Learn Something New Every Day? With Know Fast You Can, by Sandy Stachowiak, AppAdvice

Almost everyone can spare just a few minutes each day to watch a short video. And, that is how Know Fast works. Every day you will be notified that your video is ready. So, pick a category, watch your video, and learn something you did not know yesterday.

Focus By Firefox Wants To Give Privacy Control Back To iPhone And iPad Users, by Charlotte Banks, GeekSnack

In a move to secure a better spot for itself in the mobile ecosystem, Mozilla has just released an ad-blocker for the iPhone and iPad called Focus by Firefox.

Aldiko E-Reading App Is Now Available For The iPhone, by Michael Kozlowski, Good e-Reader

Aldiko for iPhone allows you to download thousands of open sourced e-books for free and allows you to import in your own EPUB and PDF files. The app is compatible with Adobe DRM, so you can import in your purchases from other online bookstores.

Spice Up Your Shared Events With GIFs And Photos Using Raft, by Sandy Stachowiak, AppAdvice


Tim Cook Joins The Cerebral Palsy Foundation For 'Just Say Hi' Campaign, by Joseph Keller, iMore

The campaign encourages people to interact with those with disabilities in the same manner they would with anyone else. Cook appears in a short video for the campaign, speaking once again about the importance of inclusion.

Apple Executive Seeks A Touch Of Chic At Retail Stores, by Katie Benner, New York Times

Ms. Ahrendts “is shaving off some rough edges and completing our sense that the Apple Store is a premium experience,” said Jan Dawson, an analyst at Jackdaw Research.

Her role in bringing in the Phantom also gives a glimpse into how Ms. Ahrendts has been operating within the world’s biggest company. Since joining Apple, the 55-year-old executive has been relatively quiet publicly. But she moved swiftly and nearly unilaterally on the Phantom, showing how she can push for the products that will shape the store experience.

Apple Plans March Apple Watch 2 Event, 4-Inch ‘iPhone 6c’ Possible, by Mark Gurman, 9to5Mac

Spotify Considers Allowing Some Artists To Withhold Music From Free Service, by Hannah Karp, Wall Street Journal

A Bookshop Where Everything Is Recommended, by Mimi Vu, New York Times

His concept was to present collections of volumes handpicked by various creatives — including Tilda Swinton, Michael Stipe, Lena Dunham and Edmund White — in response to the question, “If you were stranded on a desert island, which ten books could you not do without?”

Bottom of the Page

Dear Apple, when will I get more dynamic wallpapers for my iPhone?


Thanks for reading.

Tue, Dec 8, 2015The One-Less-Cable-To-Carry Edition

Apple Releases First Battery Case To Eat Third-Party Accessory Makers’ Lunch, by Romain Dillet, TechCrunch

In a surprise move, Apple just announced an external battery case for the iPhone 6s. Named the iPhone 6s Smart Battery Case, the battery extends the battery life of your iPhone 6s by up to 25 hours. The new accessory is available in black and white for $99 starting today.


Like third-party battery cases, Apple uses a Lightning male port at the bottom to plug your iPhone. You can charge the case using a traditional Lightning cable — most third-party batteries rely on a microUSB cable, so that’s one less cable to carry around. Apple’s accessory also works with the iPhone 6 and it looks like there isn’t a 6 Plus and 6s Plus version. [...] Oh! And the case has passive antennas built into it for good measure, ensuring that the extra hardware strapped onto your phone doesn’t chip away at your cell performance.

Apple's Smart Battery Case Is So Ugly It's Almost Sarcastic, by Michael Rundle, Wired UK

Accessories And Toys

The Rise And Rise Of Headphones: Why The Set You Buy Isn’t Just A Question Of Sound Quality, But Identity, by Rhodri Marsden, The Independent

It's pretty safe to say, however, that the headphones flying off the shelves this Christmas say a little more about us than the pair Cliff Richard was sporting in Milton Keynes 34 years ago. Today, headphones don't just give us a “head full of music”; they reinforce our identity both inwardly, through any number of infinite digital jukeboxes, and outwardly, through bespoke, 3D-printed earpieces, leatherette earpads, metallic detailing and distinctive silhouettes. We're often told that the technology we buy reflects who we are. In the case of headphones, we've started to believe it.

The New King Of Toys, by Logan Hill, Medium

In re-imagining vintage slot car racing, Anki set the bar for 21st century play: make it a phone app, use plenty of AI, and don’t forget laser warfare.

Open For Business

Apple Retracts Comment That It Was First Major Open Source Company After Criticism, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

Last week Apple’s open sourcing of Swift naturally saw the spotlight thrown over Apple’s open source pages. This included a paragraph that claimed Apple was “the first major computer company to make Open Source a key part of its strategy”. Unsurprisingly, this riled some members of the developer community as being disingenuous and untrue So Apple has since changed the text to retract the rather outlandish statement with something a bit more muted.


Apple Maps, Once A Laughing Stock, Now Dominates iPhones, by Associated Press

Apple fixed errors as users submitted them. It quietly bought several mapping companies, mostly for their engineers and other talent. Recently, it added transit directions for several major cities, narrowing a major gap with Google. Apple Maps is now used more widely than Google Maps on iPhones. "They really did a great job in a short amount of time," said Alex Mackenzie-Torres, a former Google Maps manager who's now with competing transit app Moovit.

Apple Raises iTunes Match And Apple Music Library Matching Limits To 100,000 Tracks, by Erik Slivka, MacRumors

Eddy Cue has confirmed to MacRumors that Apple has indeed "started rolling out support for 100k libraries."

An iPad App For Lean-Back Lightroom Organizing, by Lori Grunin, CNET

Ctrl+Console is a small company that makes iPad-controller apps for desktop applications like Final Cut Pro and Premiere Pro. The company has just launched a sibling app, Lightroom Sorter, which it hopes will resonate with photographers ranging from newbies to experts.

PowerPhotos 1.1 Review: Now With Library Merges, Album Copy, And Search Across Libraries, by Glenn Fleishman, Macworld

PowerPhotos is an extremely useful addition as an enhancement for any Photos user trying to perform tasks that fall outside of Photos restricted purview. With the addition in Photos 1.1 of merging libraries and copying images and albums across libraries, it’s become invaluable for long-time iPhoto and Aperture users trying to make sense of moving forward. And its utility features—including identifying duplicates, multi-library and metadata searching, and other bits and pieces—show the ongoing worth of having it your arsenal.

Knotable Hits iOS So You Can Share Notes Even On A Boat, by John Biggs, TechCrunch

“When everyone on the team is working in different places, different times, different topics…the solution isn’t an infinite conference call or hangout or chat stream. A better solution is places to park and develop your thoughts where others can see and add-on.”

Experience Literature In A New, Interactive Way With iClassics, by Sandy Stachowiak, AppAdvice

Card Smith Lets You Make And Share Greeting Cards With OS X, by MacTech

Google Launches Reminders To Bring To-Dos Into Calendar Mobile Apps, by Jordan Kahn, 9to5Mac


Apple To End One To One Group Training On Dec. 17, Launch Streamlined Reservation Page, by AppleInsider

After phasing out One to One personal training memberships earlier this year, Apple is slowly winding down services for existing members, recently announcing an end to Group Training and reservation page tweaks.

Dropbox Kills Mailbox, An App It Bought For $100M, by Klint Finley, Wired

As it refocuses on business customers, Dropbox said today that it’s shutting down two of its once-marquee consumer-oriented apps: the photo gallery app Carousel and email client Mailbox.

The good news is that your Carousel photos aren’t going anywhere—they’ll still be stored in your Dropbox, where they’ve always been. Dropbox is even working to integrate some of Carousel’s functionality into the core Dropbox app interface. Mailbox users, however, will have to find a new email app by February 26, 2016, when the service that the Mailbox apps depend on will shut down.

Something Big Is Brewing At Apple's Elk Grove Campus, by Mark Anderson, Sacramento Business Journal

Construction work quietly underway at Apple's campus in Elk Grove is for a major expansion that could mean several thousand new jobs, city officials say. The company is converting a 134,000-square-foot warehouse into a logistics operation. That move, along with addition of 1,450 parking spaces beginning last summer, points to many more employees, said Darrell Doan, the city’s economic development director.

The Best Books I Read In 2015, by Bill Gates

I just looked over the list of books I read this year, and I noticed a pattern. A lot of them touch on a theme that I would call “how things work.” Some explain something about the physical world, like how steel and glass are used, or what it takes to get rid of deadly diseases. Others offer deep insights into human beings: our strengths and flaws, our capacity for lifelong growth, or the things we value. I didn’t set out to explore these themes intentionally, though in retrospect it make a lot of sense since the main reason I read is to learn.

Can We Sync Up?

I uses Evernote to keep notes and track my to-dos. One of the reason I chose Evernote is that the service is cross-platform -- with apps available on the three platforms that matter to me: Mac, iOS, and Windows. (I didn't enjoy the web version.)

Unfortunately, the three different apps on the three platforms are just different enough to trip me whenever I use them. I hate to say this, but I do wish Evernote adopt a more iTunes-like attitude: look and behave the same on the different platforms.

Just don't pull a QuickTime Player.


Thanks for reading.

Mon, Dec 7, 2015The Set-Off-A-Spark Edition

Apple Turns Stores Into Classrooms, by Sean Coughlan, BBC

The technology firm is using its 468 stores as bases for tutorials in the annual "Hour of Code" project.

Craig Federighi, one of Apple's top executives, says he wants to "set off a spark" in young learners. He also wants to dispel the geeky image of "solitary" computer programmers, saying "it's an incredibly creative medium, not unlike music".

Amex Deal With Apple Shows Unfair Advantage: MasterCard, by Shaun Drummond, Sydney Morning Herald

MasterCard says American Express's deal to be the first to roll out Apple Pay outside the US and Britain is evidence of the lack of regulation of Amex compared with Visa and MasterCard, whose fees are capped. [...] He said Apple Pay launching in Australia with Amex proprietary cards was a symptom of its ability to charge merchants much higher fees than Visa or MasterCard and therefore having much fatter margins to share with Apple, which has been demanding a cut of the fees paid to banks before allowing them onto Apple Pay.

A spokeswoman for American Express rejected Mr Grobler's comments. [...] "Issuers make their own choice about where they put their revenue and banks have some serious revenue that they could play with as well."


How To Ease Move From A Mac To iPad, by Rob Pegoraro, USA Today

Marvel At The New Features In Version 5.0 Of This Popular Prototyping App, by Aldrin Calimlim, AppAdvice

Marvel lets you design apps right on your iOS device by turning sketches and mockups into tappable app prototypes. This allows you to share and pitch your ideas in a more interactive way than the conventional PowerPoint presentation or the clunky email attachment.

Quick Hit: Soundtwirl App, by Jason Shadrick, Premier Guitar

The Soundtwirl app for iOS is a fun way to get some valuable practice time in when all you have is your iPhone or iPad. At its core, the app provides some good backing tracks in a variety of styles, tempos, and keys. The handy mixer interface allows you to pull out bass, drums, keys, or guitar.

Quickly And Easily Create And Manage Twitter Lists With Listomatic, by Aldrin Calimlim, AppAdvice


An Aptitude For Apps, by Wong Li Za, The Star

“I told him since he liked Apple so much, why not go through tutorials on YouTube and find out how to create an app,” recalls Lim, a technical manager in a multinational company in Penang. (Although Lim has an IT background and taught Wern Jie HTML and web programming, app programming is completely new to the 40-year-old.) Wern Jie did just that, learning the basics of the Swift programming language within a week and developing a few simple apps like the Rock, Paper, Scissors game, a flashlight and calculator.


Hey Siri, Don’t Trivialize My Timer, by Daniel Jalkut, Bitsplitting

I’ve been more irritated by this cuteness after years of using the feature and, I suppose, the frequency with which I set one and three-minute timers. It’s mostly a passing exasperation for me, but it strikes me as an example where emotionally charging a software interaction is a risky proposition.

Yuma School District To Look At iPad Security, by Rachel Twoguns,

Losses Point To Bleak Future For Music Streaming Services, by Robert Cookson, Financial Times

The future appears bleak for companies whose sole business is music streaming. An increasing number of investors and people in the record industry expect that digital music distribution will be dominated by a few large, cash-rich technology groups — in particular, Apple, Google and Amazon.

Bottom of the Page

"Cross-platform" has gone from meaning "runs in both Windows 95/98 and Windows NT" to "runs in both Mac and iOS, and maybe Android."


Thanks for reading.

Sun, Dec 6, 2015The By-Design Edition

Can’t Put Down Your Device? That’s By Design, by Natasha Singer, New York Times

Mr. Hochmuth, the co-author of the “Network Effect” project, said he was hopeful that market forces would eventually inspire sites and apps to explore more varied designs and user interfaces.

“I think something will actually change — the question is where will change come from?” he said, noting that the organic food movement started with small producers, not the mass-produced food industry. Online services that give users more options and control, he concluded, “may not come from the incumbent players.”

Smartphones Bring Solace And Aid To Desperate Refugees, by Alessandra Ram, Wired

Many refer to the exodus from Syria as a “modern migration.” It’s an apt description, given the role technology—and apps in particular—play in the largest mass migration since World War II.

Master Of The House: Why We Should Fight For Truly Private Spaces, by Thomas McMullan, The Guardian

“I wonder about our immediate response to things, be it a massacre in Paris or a relationship breakup – I wonder if the first thing that we think is the thing that we really think. Whether we’ve lost the ability to go away, sit down in the dark without anything blinking and ask what we really think about this, instead of going, ‘What should I think about this? How can I phrase it in a pithy 140 characters?’ If we’re losing that ability I don’t know what that means for democracy. I don’t know what that means for politics. I don’t know what that means for healthy relationships, rhetoric, discussion, ideas, art.”

The Morning Man Alarm Clock App: A Sexy Wake-Up Call, Christy Choi, South China Monring Post

Each night, users select the nationality of the man who will be waking them up.

Bottom of the Page

My phone wants to autocorrect ewok into eWorld, and it’s been nearly twenty years Apple, it’s time to let go.

— James Thomson (@jamesthomson) December 6, 2015


Thanks for reading.

Sat, Dec 5, 2015The Gravitational-Conditions Edition

British Astronaut Decides To Run The London Marathon From Space, by Esat Dedezade, Stuff

A specially modified treadmill, combined with a harness which will simulate up to 80% of his bodyweight, will allow Peake to run along in similar gravitational conditions to Earth, while an iPad with the free RunSocial app will let him track his progress against other runners, in real time.

How An iPad Is Changing Education At Susquenita High School, by Rachel Bunn, Penn Live

In Kyla Falzarano's classroom, some kids show her their homework on notebook paper, while others hold up their iPads.

In Kathy Kisner's classroom, students are typing on their iPads, developing characters a final creative writing project.


Apple Quietly Increases iTunes Match And iCloud Music Library Limits Above 25,000 Tracks, by Kirk McElhearn

The company has not made any announcements yet, but I have heard from several people who have finally been able to add more than 25,000 tracks to their iTunes Match and iCloud Music Library libraries.

Numerous Carmakers Finally Embracing CarPlay With 2016 Models, by MacNN

Thumbs Up For Duet Display, by David Sparks, MacSparky

There is a wonderful little application called Duet, made by some former Apple engineers, that lets you connect your iPad to your Mac and turn the iPad into a second screen. I’m now doing this often.

Putting Apple Pencil To Work With Evernote, OneNote And Notability, by James A. Martin, CIO

More specifically, I wanted to draw circles around, and arrows pointing, toward text and images within documents, to call them out for myself, colleagues and friends. In other words: I wanted to use old-school markup in a high-tech way.

Take Your iPhone Photography To New Levels With MaxCurve, by Jeff Byrnes, AppAdvice

MaxCurve is a professional photo editor with a comprehensive set of tools for editing curves and other aspects of your images.

Apple TV Gets An App For Over-The-air Channels (With The Right Hardware), by Jared Newman, TechHive

Users of the new Apple TV can now watch live over-the-air channels directly through the set-top box, provided they’re willing to spend another $100 or more on additional hardware.

MileCatcher Traffic Takes The Hassle Out Of Trip Tracking, by Sandy Stachowiak, AppAdvice

Microsoft Runs My iPhone. Here's Why, by Nancy Gohring, Fierce CIO

Podcasting From Inside A Browser With Cast, by Jason Snell, Six Colors

If You Return A Tech Gift This Christmas, Make Sure You Erase All Your Data First, by Mark Hachman, PCWorld


Run Swift In Your Web Browser And On Your iPad’s Web Browser, by Erica Sadun

Today, IBM introduced an online 2.2 Swift Sandbox. John Petitto writes, “We love Swift here and thought you would too so we are making our IBM Swift Sandbox available to developers on developerWorks.”

Bottom of the Page

Steve Jobs sometimes I think about how you didn't want third party apps on the iPhone and maybe you were right

— Cabel Sasser (@cabel) December 5, 2015


Thanks for reading.

Fri, Dec 4, 2015The Apache-2.0 Edition

Apple Open-Sources Swift, Posts The Language To GitHub, by Andrew Cunningham, Ars Technica

Swift is being released under an Apache 2.0 license, which is incidentally the same license Microsoft used when it open-sourced a big chunk of its .NET framework last year. The project is hosted on GitHub and includes the compiler, the LLDB debugger, the REPL command-line environment, the standard and core libraries, and code from supporting projects. New to Swift (and also open source) is the Swift Package Manager, described as an “early-stage project” that will serve as a repository for Swift modules and will evolve with input from the community.

Craig Federighi Talks Open Source Swift And What’s Coming In Version 3.0, by Andrew Cunningham, Ars Technica

“The Swift team will be developing completely in the open on GitHub,” Federighi told Ars. “As they’re working day-to-day and making modifications to the language, including their work on Swift 3.0, all of that is going to be happening out in the open on GitHub.”

So instead of getting a big Swift 3.0 info dump at WWDC 2016 in the summer and then digging into the Xcode betas and adapting, developers can already find an “evolution document” on the Swift site that maps out where the language is headed in its next major version.

Apple And IBM Made A Brilliant New Move To Infiltrate Large Businesses, by Julie Bort, Business Insider

That’s the part that has IBM developers so excited, says John Ponzo, IBM fellow and the CTO for IBM MobileFirst partnership with Apple.

“Swift has currently been just been a device side story,” Ponzo says. But by making it usable with Linux, programmers can use Swift to develop server apps.


Apple Bundling $60 Apple Music/iTunes Gift Cards With Most Beats Headphones And Speakers, by Zac Hall, 9to5Mac

Capitan Grocery Shopping List Review: Shared Grocery Shopping Lists For The Whole Family, by J.R. Bookwalter, Macworld

Grocery shopping for an entire family can be a daunting task, with requests for favorite items spread across handwritten notes on the refrigerator, text messages, and easily-forgotten verbal reminders. Now there’s an app that helps everyone get on the same page—or at least on the same list.

The New Yahoo Messenger App Is Great For Drunk-Texters, by David Pierce, Wired

The big question Bonforte’s team tried to answer is, what do people want in a Yahoo messaging app? You’re not going to beat WhatsApp as a texting replacement, and, oh yeah, people still like texting just fine. The team landed on the idea that people like sharing photos, and like chatting in groups. Many groups, of different sizes, all at once. Everything came out of that. “We even think of one-to-one chats as just small groups,” Bonforte says.

Pedometer++ 2.3 Steps Up Apple Watch Support, by Dan Moren, Six Colors


Where Siri's Offensive Dictionary Definition Came From, by Karissa Bell, Mashable

If the definitions are coming from Oxford, which it appears they are, both Apple and Google are likely using Oxford's Dictionaries API, a software layer that allows app developers to tap into the company's dictionary data. By using Oxford's API though, developers are forced to rely on the data Oxford University Press provides, which may not be updated at the same time or fashion that it updates its other databases.

Five Years After Patent Trial, Samsung & Apple Reach $548M Settlement – But It’s Not Over Yet, by Ben Lovejoy, 9to5Mac

While the two companies are mostly in agreement, Samsung says that it reserves the right to claim reimbursement should any subsequent legal finding affect the validity of the award.

Apple Music Giving Former Beats Subscribers Month Grace Period To Migrate Libraries, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Beats today has sent out an email to former subscribers informing them that all of their content, playlists, music, and preferences will be safe until January 19th, 2016.

Bottom of the Page

I love that Apple kept all of their git history when open sourcing swift.

— Max Weisel (@mxweas) December 3, 2015


Thanks for reading.

Thu, Dec 3, 2015The Truly-Native Edition

Doing Real Design Work On An iPad, by Kohi Vinh, Subtraction

What will get us to truly viable workflows on iPad is not replicating what came before, but rather newer, better, more elegant ways of working that are truly native to the platform. We’re not quite there yet today, but we’re on our way.

The Best iPad Pro Art Therapy Apps For People Who Can’t Draw, by Elissa Loi, Stuff

The iPad Pro accessory still a great tool even if you’re severely lacking in the art department - or at least it is when paired with these creative apps. Best of all, they’re wonderfully therapeutic, so you'll be rewarded with both beautiful artistic results and a whole lot of chill after using them.

Code Away

Apple Announces 2015 'Hour Of Code' Workshops For Students, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

Apple has announced that it will once again be participating in "Hour of Code" this Computer Science Education Week on December 7-13, hosting free workshops and special events for kids ages six and up at Apple Retail Stores throughout the U.S. and around the world.


How To Send A Mac To Apple For Repair, by Adam C. Engst, TidBITS

For the last few months, my 2012 13-inch MacBook Air has been suffering from terrible battery life, and whenever I clicked the battery icon in the menu bar, I was greeted with a “Service Battery” message. Since the MacBook Air is sealed, the only option was to get Apple to repair it, and with the nearest Apple store over an hour away, I opted to send it in to Apple’s remote repair service. It was an interesting experience, and if you’ve ever wondered how you would go about it or what it’s like, here’s my story and some important recommendations.

How To Maximize Screen Real Estate In OS X, by Topher Kessler, MacIssues

While you can organizing windows on your screen and streamline your workflow to reduce clutter, nothing beats having a large workspace on which to open apps and view numerous windows of your files. For any Mac there are several approaches you can take to increase this and get more work done, or at least have more area on which to put your clutter.

Withings Home Review: New Apple TV App And Baby Monitor Features Make A Solid Camera Even Better, by Eric Slivka, MacRumors

The Withings Home is a 5-megapixel HD camera with a 135-degree field of view, night vision, sensors for motion, sound, and air quality, and more. Acompanion iOS app makes it easy to control the camera, receive alerts, and monitor video, audio, and other data from the Home.

Artsy Has New Content And Is Ready For Miami Art Week, by Sandy Stachowiak, AppAdvice

The app lets you view and purchase gorgeous, inspiring works of art from locations all over the world. With over 300,000 artworks displayed you can see items from galleries in London, England and Paris, France and museums in Tokyo, Japan and New York, New York. Browse through current auctions, shows, and fairs and contact locations right from within the app.


Twitter Announces Digits For tvOS To Simplify The App Login Process, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Following in Facebook's footsteps, Twitter today announced plans to make some of its Fabric developer toolkit available for tvOS apps. Developers will be able to integrate Twitter's Digits feature into apps, allowing end users to securely sign into tvOS apps using SMS verification.


Is Innovation To Blame For Inequality?, by Richard Florida, The Atlantic

As a result, it makes little sense for mayors and business leaders to try to cope with inequality or affordability by clamping down on innovation or tech culture. It is innovation that creates the dynamism that generates overall wealth and underpins economic mobility. What we need instead are strategies that stoke the engine of innovation, while improving the conditions of those lagging behind.

Transformation At Yahoo Foiled By Its Leader’s Inability To Bet The Farm, by Farhad Manjoo, New York Times

Marissa Mayer wasn’t hired to do the safe thing. She was picked to be bold, and so far, she has failed.

Bottom of the Page

Any freelancers want to write about the state of bug-based nutrition for Ars? Warning: you will have to eat bugs.

— Nate Anderson (@NateXAnderson) December 2, 2015


Thanks for reading.

Wed, Dec 2, 2015The Bottom-Of-Plastic-Bucket Edition

iPhone-And-bucket System Helps Doctors Pinpoint Inner Ear Problems, by Jonah Comstock, MobiHealthNews

It’s hard to imagine a better blend of high tech and low tech than an iPhone stuck to the bottom of a plastic bucket. But that combination is exactly what the diagnosis of vestibular conditions in children calls for, according to physicians at Boston Children’s Hospital, who recently validated the technique in a paper published in the International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology.

Health Care: Internet Use Is Good, But Much More Needed, by Steve Wildstorm, Re/code

It’s not surprising that the ResearchKit efforts are focused on some of the dominant conditions. It’s a likely place for relatively quick gains. The provisions that make the sharing of information through public but secure networks offers an even greater advantage.

I don’t know if Apple finds much business out of this, but it is a big and important deal. To the extent they can push for better communication of health care information of all sorts while maintaining security, it is an even better gain.

Taking Care Of Your Photos

Declutter Your iPhone's Image Library With PhotoPanda, by Jeff Byrnes, AppAdvice

PhotoPanda uses its own algorithms to evaluate your photographs, determining which ones are duplicates, too dark, or too blurry. It also detects selfies and screenshots, putting them within their own category so you can deal with them separately.

On1 Photo 10 Review: From Suite To Sweet: Photo Editing App Does It All, by William Porter, Macworld

No other single app in active development for Mac OS X provides the range of features found in On1 Photo 10: competent file management tools, outstanding editing tools including support for compositing in layers; and support for just about every export and sharing option you can think of, including, in On1’s PhotoVia, a drop-dead easy way to get your masterpieces over to your iPhone or iPad.

Leaving The Store

Sketch Is Leaving The Mac App Store, by Federico Viticci, MacStories

Sketch is, quite possibly, one of the most popular image editing apps for professionals who use Macs nowadays, and it's yet another high-profile departure from the Mac App Store.

In The Shadow Of Two App Stores, by Rene Ritchie, iMore

No app is entitled to exist and there are certainly no guarantees for success. Yet the App Stores have always felt at least partially designed to givie apps a better shot, especially indies. To open up trusted distribution to everyone.


How To Use Any Remote Control With Your Apple TV, by Christopher Phin, Macworld

The trick here is to pick one of the modes (languages, in our analogy) of your remote control and then teach the Apple TV to understand the commands it’s issuing. This latter process sounds complicated—as anyone who’s learned a foreign language will attest—but the Apple TV makes it easy.

Daylite 6 For Mac And iOS, by Brett Terpstra, MacStories

The task management features of Daylite have also expanded. The constraints of the previous Pipeline/Activity Set features have been augmented by a "Task Lists" feature, allowing free-form creation of task lists that might not be assigned to a linear timeline, with complete control over ordering, a new entry interface, and additional fields for time, location, estimated time, and other details. There's also a new "Smart Filtering Bar" for viewing tasks by details such as assigned team member, category, or keyword.

1Writer: The App That Answers All Your Text Editing Needs, by Ian Betteridge, Alphr

The killer feature for 1Writer is its automation capabilities.

Hands On: Citymapper 5.12 (iOS), by William Gallagher, MacNN

The Levelator 2.1.2 Works In El Capitan, by Adam C. Engst, TidBITS

Understanding “Optimize Mac Storage” In Photos For Mac, by Jason Snell, Six Colors


iOS Onboarding Without Signup Screens, by Sebastian Kreutzberger, Medium

… or how to use the user’s built-in iCloud account for secure, invisible authentication, including code example in Swift 2 at the bottom.

The 100-Hour Rule, by Leo Polovets, Coding VC

I'd like to propose the 100-Hour Rule: "For most disciplines, it only takes one hundred hours of active learning to become much more competent than an absolute beginner."


Apple Shares New 'Ridiculously Powerful' And 'Hey Siri' iPhone 6s Ads, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Apple tonight shared two new iPhone 6s ads on its YouTube channel, highlighting the Hey Siri feature and the speed of the device at tasks like opening messages, browsing Safari, using Messages, playing games, and using the camera.

Apple Turns Its Logo Red Again In Honor Of World AIDS Day 2015, by Jared Dipane, iMore

Microsoft Ad Calls For Truce With Apple, If Only For The Holidays, by Maureen Morrison, AdAge

The spot, which will air on TV Dec. 3, features Microsoft store employees -- along with a Harlem children's choir -- singing "Let There Be Peace on Earth" in front of Apple's store on 5th Avenue in New York. It was created by Microsoft's agency, McCann's M:United.

London Pensioner Successfully Sues Apple For Wiping Honeymoon Photos From His Phone, by Tom Marshall, Evening Standard

A pensioner who sued Apple for wiping his treasured honeymoon snaps from his phone has been awarded £2,000 after winning the court case.

A Letter To Our Daughter, by Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook

We Asked An Ornithologist To Factcheck Angry Birds–And The Results Might Surprise You by Jess Zimmerman, Atlas Obscura

As it turns out, the central premise—beef between the birds and pigs—holds water. Sometimes, birds and pigs really are enemies.

Leaving A Universe Of Dents

When I die, I believe I'll just die. Gone. Poof. So, realistically, I don't care what happened after I die.

But, when I die, I wish to be forgotten. I don't wish to have anyone remember me, or the work that I've done. I don't wish to be identified, and I don't wish to leave marks bearing my name.

Let the dents (if any) that I've made in this universe speak for themselves. Let them work their magic in their quiet ways, and not announce who made the dents.

If I do get to be reincarnated into a future life, I don't want that future person/animal/whatever to know that I exist.

If I do get to be reincarnated into a past life, I will not leave any notes to my current self. (Well, if this kind of reincarnation actually happens, my plans is working perfectly thus far, because I haven't receive any notes yet in this life.)

And if I do get to be reincarnated into all lives, then everything is moot, right?


Thanks for reading.

Tue, Dec 1, 2015The Fully-Recognized Edition

Apple CEO Tim Cook To Receive Robert F. Kennedy Center Award, by Dawn Chmielewski, Re/code

The Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice & Human Rights will present Cook with its Ripple of Hope Award on Dec. 8 in acknowledgment of his work on behalf of social change. [...] The Apple executive has become an outspoken advocate for workplace equality, arguing that businesses benefit when their workers feel fully recognized.

A Little Recommendation

A Comprehensive Guide To The iTunes Affiliate Program, by John Voorhees, MacStories

The iTunes Affiliate Program is not a silver bullet, but the beauty of the program is that it is simple at heart both conceptually and in its implementation. Take fifteen minutes to sign up, and once you have your affiliate token, start pasting it at the end of every iTunes URL you post.

Cloud Update

Adobe Releases Big Updates To Photoshop And A New 3D Character App, Fuse, by Jackie Dove, Macworld

On Monday, Adobe announced a huge update to Photoshop CC 2015, its flagship image editor, which now hooks into its new 3D character creation app called Fuse CC.

Hands-On: Adobe’s New Fuse CC Lets Beginners Take Baby Steps Into 3D Modeling, by Jackie Dove, Macworld

Photoshop has featured 3D workflows for years, but significant challenges for designers remain. With its recent purchase of 3D specialists Mixamo, Adobe has turned its attention to realistic 3D character models, the kind designers are working with more and more. The result is Fuse CC (Preview), a new desktop app that lets anyone easily build animated human models for composite images, layouts, concepts, and artistic projects.


Can The MacBook Pro Replace Your iPad?, by Fraser Speirs

There has been a lot of talk in recent weeks about the MacBook Pro and, in particular, whether it can replace an iPad Pro for getting real work done.

Hands On: Reeder 3.0 (iOS), by William Gallagher, MacNN

If you like to read and in particular you like to read news, then get this. If you've already seen the light and are a user of Reeder 2 then take the free update and enjoy it.

The Momento 3 Journal Brings Video Support And Enhanced Feeds, by Sandy Stachowiak, AppAdvice

For journal writing, capturing moments, and reliving memories, Momento is a terrific app and this new version just makes it all the more robust. The interface is super simple to use and the flexibility brought by the new features makes it great daily diary app.

Curio 10 Released, by MacDrifter

The hardest part of reviewing Curio for Mac is explaining what it is. It's like a light-box for information. Or maybe it's a bulletin board of data. Or maybe it's a mind mapping application that's also a rich content organizer. None of these convey exactly what Curio can do. And now version 10 is out and it adds even more, which makes a direct comparison to another tool even more impossible.

DayMap For Mac OS X Revved To Version 2.1.1, by MacTech

It offers a way of organizing and scheduling projects and tasks in a visually intuitive Project Outliner and Weekly or Monthly Scheduler.

Typeeto Lets You Use Your Mac Keyboard On Your iPhone, iPad, Or Apple TV, by Jeff Weisbein, BestTechie

Put Save As Back On The File Menu, by Adam C. Engst, TidBITS

A recent reader comment reminded me that just because a solution to a problem has existed for some years doesn’t mean it’s necessarily well known. Randy Spydell asked, in essence, why the File menu has a Duplicate command instead of the traditional Save As command. Implicit in his question was “and is there any way to bring back Save As?”


Microsoft Takes Wraps Off PowerApps Mobile-App Creation Service, by Mary Jo Foley, ZDNet

PowerApps -- codenamed Project Kratos -- is designed to allow business users and developers to create custom native, mobile, and Web apps that can be shared simply across their organizations. Microsoft officials announced the opening of the invitation-only PowerApps preview and are demonstrating PowerApps running on iOS, Android, Windows and the Web during the opening day of the Convergence EMEA conference on November 30.


Q&A With Apple Exec About News App, by Brian Stelter, CNN

"News organizations today have lots to worry about: Each of them has to worry about building their own apps, the interfaces, the user experience." Particularly for local news outlets that can't afford their own apps, "This gives them an opportunity to focus on what they do really well, which is the journalism part, and let us handle the technology piece of building the apps and distributing them."

Here Comes Apple Music For Sonos, by John Paczkowski, BuzzFeed

Sonos said Monday that Apple’s new streaming music service will debut on its wireless speakers before the end of the year. Apple Music will become available as a public beta on Sonos starting December 15 with general availability to begin in early 2016. [...] Sonos will let people access Apple Music’s For You, My Music, New, and Radio — basically everything but “Connect,” a social feature intended to link artists with their fans.

Touch ID Is The Gift That Keeps On Giving, by Matt Asay, ReadWrite

Faster than a card swipe and easier for those of us that can hardly remember what to do with a pen, Touch ID-enabled Apple Pay is inevitable, even if you haven't yet succumbed.

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I miss the seasons. Especially autumn.

(Meanwhile, I'm sweating like mad here in Singapore.)


Thanks for reading.