The Pokémon-Boost Edition Thursday, August 4, 2016

Apple's App Store Has Paid Over $50 Billion To Developers, by Jacob Kastrenakes, The Verge

Cook notes that "monthly billings" — likely in-app subscriptions — were at an all-time high in July as well, and that's likely to help the App Store continue to hit new payment milestones at a rapid pace.

Apple’s App Store Just Had Its Best Month Ever — And It’s Probably Because Of Pokémon, by Kif Leswing, Business Insider

One reason why the App Store might have had a banner month is Pokémon Go, the mobile phenomenon that much of the world has been playing all month.

Apple Focuses On App Monetization In Latest Developer Insights Installment, by AppleInsider

Home improvement startup Houzz is the focus of Apple's latest Developer Insights series, which highlights the impact mobile apps, and Apple Pay integration in particular, have on creating a successful monetization model.

Equity And Diversity

Apple Improves Pay Equity, Increases Hiring Of Minorities In 2016 Diversity Report, by Jordan Kahn, 9to5Mac

In its latest Diversity report released today, Apple highlighted an increase in the hiring of women and underrepresented minorities and also said it’s working to improve pay equity among employees.

Rev. Jesse Jackson Says Apple Is ‘Setting The Pace’ Around Diversity And Inclusion, by Megan Rose Dickey, TechCrunch

“At this point, Apple is setting the pace,” Rev. Jesse Jackson told me over the phone. “Apple’s ahead of the pack (in tech) but behind national standards. They must continue and not slow down.”

Using Protected Data

Apple’s New Privacy Technology May Pressure Competitors To Better Protect Our Data, by Tom Simonite, MIT Technology Review

Privacy experts are cautiously hopeful that Apple’s move could force other tech companies to adopt an idea that is seen as a gold standard in academia, but gained little traction among tech companies.

“It’s exciting that things we knew how to do in principle are being embraced and widely deployed,” says Aaron Roth, an associate professor at University of Pennsylvania who has written a textbook on differential privacy. “Apple seems to be betting that by including privacy protections, and advertising that fact, they will make their product more attractive.”

Security Matters

Snitches Get Stitches: Little Snitch Bugs Were A Blessing For Malware, by John Leyden, The Register

Unfortunately, it was trivial for a malicious app to bypass Little Snitch's network monitoring mechanisms, says security researcher Patrick Wardle.

Wardle is a former NSA staffer who heads up research at infosec biz Synack. He also discovered a heap overflow bug in Little Snitch's kernel extension code, which could be exploited by an installed application to gain administrator-level access via the security software.

Replacing Your Boss

The Beginner’s Guide To Freelance, by Zara Safdar, Medium

I can’t be unique in wishing this kind of skill was taught in schools and universities. If there’s an educator reading this, I hope you make some magic happen, but in the mean time I’ll be here to share what I’ve learned on the job as a freelance designer. This article is for total beginners and is based off worries from my first freelance contract. It was a doozy designing an app from scratch while I was learning the latest techniques in university, but I’m glad I took the plunge. I learned a ton on the go, and even got a little spot in Buzzfeed for it (Team Bliss). Now I freelance regularly outside of my day job, and I’m currently working as solo designer on an app to gamify the act of learning Mandarin.


Apple Music For Android No Longer In Beta, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Apple today updated its Apple Music app for Android to version 1.0.0, officially dropping the app's beta status and announcing its full release.Apple Music is one of the first Apple-branded apps that Apple has brought to Android devices.

Astropad 2 Turns Your iPad Into A Mac Drawing Tablet W/ New Software Features & A Fresh Look, by Zac Hall, 9to5Mac

Astropad is a clever app that lets you use your iPad as a drawing surface for Mac software like Photoshop. Today Astropad 2.0 is available as a free update for current customers and includes new improvements, better software compatibility, and a new look.

'Strava' Running And Cycling App Updated With Real-Time Safety Feature, by Tim Hardwick, MacRumors

The developers of popular running and cycling app Strava have announced a new safety feature for premium members that lets users broadcast their location in real time to friends and family.

Modern Atlas, Your Travel Companion, by John Voorhees, MacStories

Whether you’re planning a trip, wandering around a new city, or just armchair traveling, Modern Atlas has a wealth of information and stunning photography that's presented in a beautifully-designed app.


Keep Earning Your Title, Or It Expires, by Derek Sivers

Holding on to an old title gives you satisfaction without action. But success comes from doing, not declaring.

Disrupting Traffic

Rethinking The Bus Shelter, by Jessica Leigh Hester, The Atlantic

The bus shelter is probably one of the most pitied—and ridiculed—pieces of urban infrastructure. By default, it’s often frustrating, as riders squint down the road, looking for headlights that always feel slow to arrive. At its most humble, it’s downright depressing, nothing more than a slab of concrete and a metal sign. This month, Streetsblog is pitting some of the particularly lackluster hubs against each other in a bracket to determine America’s sorriest bus stop. The competition is, unfortunately, fierce.

But it’s that same womp womp factor that offers the potential to reimagine these spaces—to infuse them with personality, and to cast them as creative solutions to problems specific to the communities they serve.

Why Singapore Is The Perfect Place To Test Self-Driving Cars, by Mimi Kirk, The Atlantic

Though Delphi already has self-driving cars operating in Silicon Valley and is working on more pilot programs in North America and Europe, Singapore makes a particularly good testing ground for automated vehicles. Its manageable size (it’s about three-and-a-half Districts of Columbia), flat terrain, warm weather, and well-kept roads provide about as simple of an urban landscape as one could ask for.

Bottom of the Page

I don't think, in my lifetime, I will be able to own and 'drive' my own car without learning to drive, getting a driving license, and doing the actual driving. But I'm glad that it is likely my grandkids' generation will not have to learn driving at all.

I've never bothered to learn and get a driver license myself because a) buying a car in Singapore is ridiculously expensive, b) I never have the interest nor desire to drive anything to anywhere.


Thanks for reading.