The Pods-Everywhere Edition Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Headphones Everywhere, by Amanda Petrusich, New Yorker

Certainly, headphones are an obvious method of exercising autonomy, control—choosing what you’ll hear and when, rather than gamely enduring whatever the environment might inflict upon you. In that way, they are defensive; users insist upon privacy (you can’t hear what I hear, and I can’t hear you) in otherwise lawless and unpredictable spaces. Should we think of headphones, then, as just another emblem of catastrophic social decline, a tool that edges us even deeper into narcissism, solipsism, vast unsociability? Another signifier of that most plainly American ideology: independence at any cost?

It turns out that observers have been fretting about headphones—and the disconnection they facilitate—for decades.

Catch 'Em All

Pokémon Go For iOS Update Addresses Google Account Privacy Issue, Here’s How To Fix It, by Greg Barbosa, 9to5Mac

Today’s update puts a focus on improving the account process for users including fixing the Google full account access scope issue. Users should also no longer have to re-enter their credentials after they’ve been forcefully logged out, and the some issues with crashes should be resolved as well.

‘Pokémon Go’ Creator Closes Privacy Hole But Still Collects User Data, by Nathan Olivarez-Giles, Wall Street Journal

Like other apps, the game actually collects far more information than the name and Gmail address it gets from your Google account. “Pokémon Go” tracks your phone’s location while you’re playing the game, your IP address and the webpage you most recently visited before playing the game, according to Niantic’s privacy policy.

The app uses a Google map of your city and GPS location data to place you in real-world locations where virtual Pokémon creatures can be captured in the app.

BBB Issues Warning About 'Pokemon Go' App, by KSLA

Although the game can be a blast, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) is warning players and parents to be aware of some nuances that go with GO.

I Was A Normal Person With A Life. And Then I Started Playing Pokémon Go., by Chelsea Hassler, Slate

I didn’t want to believe in the power of Pokémon Go. I grew up in a Nintendo household, playing hours of Zelda and Earthbound and GoldenEye; I spent my tween years carrying around a Game Boy on which I alternated between the red and blue versions of Pokémon, conspiring to take down Professor Oak. Still, when I first heard murmurings that a new Pokémon game was turning hordes of adults into Exeggcute-chasing zombies, I told myself that I was immune. As it turned out, I wasn’t.

Read 'Em All

The Best News Aggregation Service: Nuzzel, by Joe Caiati, The Sweet Setup

At its core, Nuzzel places news in front of you based on how often a link is being shared on social media. Your interactions with the app are based on how you tailor it. You can use it for its push notifications, email digest, in-app experience, or all three.

If you connect Twitter and Facebook, Nuzzel can become very powerful based on who you follow. Though, it’s worth noting that if you wanted to use Nuzzel logged-out, it can be just as functional, but may require more set up time at the beginning.


Lifelogging App Instant's Chatbot Shows You Just How Addicted You Are To Your iPhone, by Harish Jonnalagadda, iMore

The feature analyzes your iPhone usage trends and gives you a daily overview of time spent on particular apps, places visited, sleeping and fitness activity, and so on.

Fun New iOS App Is Like Karaoke For Movie Fans, by David Pierini, Cult Of Mac

An in-app teleprompter feeds you your lines from scenes from a selection of classic films, you record your part and then invite members of ROLR community to be your co-stars.

SuperSync Is A Fine Tool For Managing iTunes On A Mac, by Dennis Sellers, Apple World Today

With it, you can retrieve a song from a laptop, play or download a song from a home computer while at the office, upload a new album from the road, or back-up an entire music library on a new computer or network drive.


Apple’s Swift Playgrounds Can Help You Learn To Code, But It’s No HyperCard, by Adam Banks, Ars Technica

Perhaps the biggest restriction of Swift Playgrounds is that it can’t produce finished apps. "It’s possible kids would be put off not being able to make a ‘real app’," Hill said, although he admitted "this could be the first step towards that." Bishop agreed that like many other learning tools, Swift Playgrounds was "simplified, limited in scope, and won’t satisfy the need that all learners have at some stage to create a real product." Although projects can be exported to Xcode on the Mac, this requires a whole new set of skills. "They’ll need more lessons as soon as they enter Xcode," he warned.


Open Casting Call Posted For Apple’s ‘Planet Of The Apps’ Reality TV Show, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

The casting call is looking for app creators who have a vision to “shape the future, solve real problems, and inspire change within our daily lives.” “We can really tell their stories as we explore how apps are developed and created and incubated,” Silverman says.

Apple and the producers say the program is more than just a reality show, however, as developers featured will receive mentorship from “the world’s best experts in tech and entertainment.” Developers who make it to the final round of the show will also meet with venture capitalists who will be investing up to $10 million, though Apple says developers are not required to take the money or give up any equity in their apps. Finally, apps featured in the show will also receive prime placement in the App Store.

Why Did Google Get Rid Of The Company Behind Pokémon Go?, by Mark Bergen, Recode

Niantic Labs, the company that built the game, was formed inside the search giant but spun out on its own last fall with the formation of Alphabet. The reasons why are very particular to the gaming company — but they also reveal some hurdles Google faces in its new experimental corporate anatomy.