The No-Watering-Down Edition Thursday, April 19, 2018

Users Don't Want iOS To Merge With MacOS, Apple Chief Says, by Peter Wells, WAToday

"We don't believe in sort of watering down one for the other. Both [The Mac and iPad] are incredible. One of the reasons that both of them are incredible is because we pushed them to do what they do well. And if you begin to merge the two ... you begin to make trade offs and compromises.

"So maybe the company would be more efficient at the end of the day. But that's not what it's about. You know it's about giving people things that they can then use to help them change the world or express their passion or express their creativity. So this merger thing that some folks are fixated on, I don't think that's what users want."

Text First, Act Later

Drafts 5 Launches With Tagging, Workspaces, Advanced Scripting Functionality, And Much More, by Josh Ginter, The Sweet Setup

Drafts struck a chord with users with its quick capture and fast process workflow. Drafts opens to a blank note and a cursor ready for text. After hammering out your idea, you can quickly process that draft with one of its built-in actions or with any of the hundreds (thousands?) of downloadable actions in Drafts’ Action Directory. After awhile, Drafts becomes the starting point for many users’ muscle memory.

Greg Pierce’s jack-of-all-trades app has officially reached version 5, bringing with it a slew of improvements, a range of new designs and features, and an entirely different revenue structure. Thanks to Drafts’ new scripting features, Drafts is sure to be the backbone of many iOS automation processes in the years to come.

Drafts 5: The MacStories Review, by Tim Nahumck, MacStories

The feature set that has been created for Drafts 5 gives new life and intriguing possibilities going forward. With tags, I organize my drafts like I would files on a traditional personal computer and use Workspaces to create different projects I might be working on. With actions and the powerful new scripting features, I save or act upon those drafts to expand the capability of the app.


When you combine Workspaces and Action Groups to create powerful modules to work within, adding syntax highlighting elements and using focus mode to concentrate on your text, Drafts becomes the ultimate productivity tool. I write, journal, program, manage and create task and calendar entries – and so much more – all within a single app simply by changing my modular environment. I don't need to have a ton of different apps for these different tasks, which saves me money spent on subscriptions. It also eliminates the mental friction of where I need to begin – all my text starts in Drafts.

Big Update For Drafts, by David Sparks, MacSparky

You can do simple things with your text, like send it along to another text editor, send it as a message or email. You can also go deep down the rabbit hole.

One thing I love about Drafts is using it to send an email. This way, I don’t have to go into my email application and get tempted away by the siren song of the inbox. Instead, I write and send the relevant email and then get back to work.

Thirty-two Goodbyes

QuickTime Player 7: Goodbye To Apple’s Brushed-metal Dinosaur, by Jason Snell, Macworld

Will I get by when QuickTime 7 dies? Sure, between HandBrake, alternate players, and dedicated audio and video editing apps, I will still be able to do everything I do with that tool now. But in many cases it will be messier, take more time, and generate output of lower quality.

Is Apple About To Kill The SuperDrive On Macs?, by Jonny Evans, Computerworld

Apple’s DVD Player is one of these 32-bit apps, even though notes around the software claim it was last modified in the most recent macOS release — despite the version number being unchanged since 2015.

This modification failed to extend to 32-bit support. And that’s bad news because it means an essential software component used by thousands of Mac users to watch video on their machines has no future.


Writing On My iPad At Home, by Jason Snell, Six Colors

So I replaced the Mini Tactile Pro with the Matias Laptop Pro, a Bluetooth mechanical keyboard with a silver-and-black style that fits in pretty well with my iPad and its stand. Until I find something better—let’s face it, I appear to be collecting mechanical keyboards—this is my preferred writing environment when I’m away from my desk.

A Beginner’s Guide To Taking Great Video On Your Phone, by Terry Sullivan, New York Times

What do such improvements in video quality allow you to capture? In theory, a good video. But that can mean many things: Good on a technical level? Or, perhaps, a clip that’s simply fun to watch? First, let’s explore some of the basic elements that make up good video.

Vulse App Brings Gestural And Touch Effects To Guitar, by Charlie Sorrel, Cult of Mac

Vulse is a neat app for musicians. More specifically, it’s for guitarists. The app has been around for a while, but got a big old update this week that makes it worth a new look. The idea of the app is that you stick your iPhone onto your guitar, just below where you strum the strings, and then use a combination of wild flailing and screen-stroking to apply crazy effects on the fly.


Why The Solutions To The Digital Attention Crisis Will Emerge From Google > Apple., by Andrew Murray Dunn, Medium

Ultimately, Apple’s business model, design philosophy and culture of perfectionism render the firm ill-positioned to solve the problem anytime soon.


Why iPhone Notifications Need An Overhaul, by Dieter Bohn, The Verge

Apple seems to believe that I shouldn’t go in for all that. Notifications are fundamentally distracting, so I think Apple’s solution is to convince us to stop giving them so much attention. Turn them off, let them float by, don’t worry about reaching “notification zero” (so to speak). My colleague Vlad Savov called it “an endless scrolling list of puffy notification clouds” and I think that’s apt. The result of this philosophy, I think, is that the tools Apple provides for dealing with notifications are blunt instruments. But I also think it’s the wrong philosophy. Some notifications are actually super important, but they’re too easy to miss in that endless pile of clouds.

Welcome To The App-i-fication Of Friendship, by Amanda Palleschi, The Outline

Washington City Paper, which reported on the first official MealTribes gathering, described the start-up as “cashing in on millennials’ obsession with the shared economy,” likening it to an “Uber or Air BnB for food and chit chat.” But MealTribes is capitalizing on something else, too: the so-called “loneliness epidemic” we’re all supposedly experiencing as urban millennials, though we’re way too cool to admit it. Like the New York-based, seder-centric OneTable, which bills itself as a supper club for people in their 20s and 30s looking to build a “seder tradition,” MealTribes offers an avenue for what Gold would later describe to me as a more “authentic” way of connecting.

But can a one-off gathering of strangers really translate into friendship? Dating apps, after all, were designed to make it easier to find people to date and hookup with; they’re now blamed with killing dating by giving us too many choices. Will friendship-driven startups face the same fate, destined to become a recipe for fleeting, non-committal connections?