Google One Launches with New Cloud Storage Tiers

Breaking out from the Google Drive moniker, Google has launched a set of new cloud storage tiers under the branding Google One. The new name makes sense, since Google Drive storage formerly encompassed space allotted to a wide swath of Google products, such as Photos, Docs, and Gmail, as well as files actually stored in Drive. Now Google One fills the role of covering your storage needs across all Google products and services, which I think will be less confusing. It’s a pattern that follows Apple’s own iCloud branding, where iCloud storage covers a variety of Apple services like Photos and Mail, with iCloud Drive just one of those services.

Along with the organizational change, Google One introduces revised pricing and storage options:

Third-Party Twitter Clients Remove Features as API Changes Loom

The latest chapter in Twitter’s contentious relationship with third-party developers is coming to a close. In April 2017, Twitter announced plans to eventually deprecate certain parts of its API that third-party apps rely on.

Fast forward one year to April 2018, roughly 10 weeks before the scheduled API transition of mid-June. Twitter’s new API still hadn’t been made available to third-party developers. The Iconfactory, Tapbots, and other makers of Twitter clients created a website called Apps of a Feather…Stick Together to explain how the looming changes would affect customers. The ensuing uproar among users caused Twitter to delay the API transition until tomorrow, August 16, 2018. Although Twitter has not flipped the switch on the changes yet, apps like Twitterrific and Tweetbot have already taken steps to deal with the changes.

Continue reading “Third-Party Twitter Clients Remove Features as API Changes Loom”

Game Day: Holedown

It’s not often that a game grabs me and won’t let go the way Holedown has. Once I started playing, I couldn’t stop. I have the iOS 12 Screen Time reports to prove it. Even when I’d burned through all of the game’s levels reaching the final endless one, I kept coming back for more. Holedown has very quickly earned a spot as one of my all-time favorite iOS games.

Like most great mobile games, Holedown is simple. The game is a little like Breakout turned upside-down with a dash of pinball added. Each level begins on the surface of a planet. The object is to bore a hole through to the planet’s core by launching balls that bounce off of obstacles that advance up the screen with each turn you take. If the obstacles reach the surface without being cleared, you have to start over and try again with

Continue reading “Game Day: Holedown”

Apple Privately Advocates for Developer Adoption of Subscriptions

Kif Leswing reports for Business Insider on a meeting Apple held with select app developers last year where the subscription model was pushed:

An Apple representative said at the meeting that paid apps represent 15% of total app sales and is on the decline, according to a person who was there who did not want to be identified to maintain their relationship with Apple.
[…]
The message was clear: successful apps now focus on getting regular engagement from their users, not one-time sales. For developers, that meant embracing the subscription model.

If you focus on paid apps, instead of subscriptions, Apple warned, your business will eventually hit a cap.

This report comes hot on the heels of Apple’s recent quarterly earnings report, during which Tim Cook shared, “Paid subscriptions from Apple and third parties have now surpassed 300 million, an increase of more than 60 percent in Continue reading “Apple Privately Advocates for Developer Adoption of Subscriptions”

‘Unlock 1Password’ Is the Latest Training Course from The Sweet Setup

The Sweet Setup has been on a roll lately with developing video training courses for some of the best iOS and Mac apps the App Store has to offer. Following similar deep dives into Things, Day One, and Ulysses, today they’re launching a new course called ‘Unlock 1Password.’

1Password has long been considered the premier password management solution on Apple platforms, but many users may only scratch the surface of what it can do, or they’re simply hesitant to trust it with their most secure data. ‘Unlock 1Password’ takes users of varying experience levels into account, covering key features of the app, an overview of the product’s security levels, ways it can be used alongside iCloud’s own Keychain feature, and more.

In total, the course includes a whopping 14 videos, all of which can be downloaded for offline viewing if you’d like.

  1. Overview of 1Password Continue reading “‘Unlock 1Password’ Is the Latest Training Course from The Sweet Setup”

RapidWeaver 8 Debuts Redesign, New Responsive Themes, Unsplash Support, and Improved Plug-In Management

RapidWeaver by Realmac Software got a significant update today. Starting from scratch or with one of over 50 Themes, RapidWeaver allows users to create highly-customized websites by offering a wide array of tools and properties that can be tweaked. The app also supports third-party plug-ins and Themes that can be used to extend the app even further.

RapidWeaver may remind you a little of iWeb, but the similarities end with the drag and drop, template-driven approach. The depth of RapidWeaver goes well beyond what iWeb could do before Apple discontinued it.

Continue reading “RapidWeaver 8 Debuts Redesign, New Responsive Themes, Unsplash Support, and Improved Plug-In Management”

Apple Removes iOS 12 Beta 7 Over-the-Air Update

Close on the heels of reports that Apple had pulled Group FaceTime from iOS 12 beta 7, complaints about the beta’s sluggish performance began to surface. One of the first was from Guilherme Rambo who posted a short video on Twitter demonstrating how slowly the App Store app launched under the beta:

Rambo also predicted Apple might remove the beta, which it did a short time later:

The latest iOS 12 beta is no longer available as an over-the-air update via the Software Update section of the iOS Settings app. However, IPSW files for the beta, which can be installed via iTunes on a Mac, are still available from Apple’s Continue reading “Apple Removes iOS 12 Beta 7 Over-the-Air Update”

Group FaceTime Pulled from Initial iOS 12 Release

Apple has removed Group FaceTime chat from the latest iOS 12 developer beta. The feature, which was debuted at WWDC and described as being able to handle up to 32 simultaneous users will come later this fall according to Apple’s beta release notes:

Group FaceTime has been removed from the initial release of iOS 12 and will ship in a future software update later this fall.

This delay isn’t the first time that a feature announced at WWDC has been moved to a later point release of a major iOS update. Last year, AirPlay 2, Messages in iCloud, and Apple Pay Cash all missed the initial release of iOS 11.

I’m not surprised Group FaceTime needs more time. I haven’t used it extensively, but in a late July test with four participants, it was clear that it had a long way to go before it was ready for Continue reading “Group FaceTime Pulled from Initial iOS 12 Release”

Serial Reader Adapts Books for the Smartphone Age

Our Internet-driven society has seen a decline in book reading, though not necessarily a decline in reading altogether. Despite book readers being less common than in past decades, we all do a fair amount of reading each day on our smartphones – reading messages from friends, or tweets, emails, Facebook posts, notifications, articles, and so on.

Personally, I’ve always enjoyed reading books, and I continue to read them regularly – though not as much as I’d like. However, I also read an abundance of emails, tweets, messages, and articles every day. A day may pass with me not reading a book, but that never happens with the likes of email and messages. Part of the reason my Internet-driven reading habits are more consistent than my book reading habits is that I have to read those things to do my job. But there’s another reason too: email and Slack demand my Continue reading “Serial Reader Adapts Books for the Smartphone Age”

Turn Touch: Beautiful Control [Sponsor]

Simplify your smart home with a gorgeous wooden remote control. The Turn Touch combines natural mahogany and rosewood, a simple, elegant design, and sophisticated control of your smart home devices that is as good-looking in your home as it is useful.

The Turn Touch features just four buttons, but with taps, double taps, and tap-and-hold, the device puts an astonishing range of control at your fingertips. The Turn Touch is tough too. It’s constructed from dense, durable woods that stand up to shocks, drops, and dirt. What’s more, the Turn Touch is always on, ready to make the most of your smart home devices.

The Turn Touch works with a long list of smart devices. Control your Mac or iOS devices, Hue lights, Sonos speakers, WeMo devices, smart thermostats, and much more. Configuring the Turn Touch is simple from an iOS device or Mac, and once it’s set up, the Continue reading “Turn Touch: Beautiful Control [Sponsor]”

Signify Introduces New Indoor and Outdoor Lighting Options

Signify (formerly Philips Lighting) has been steadily expanding its Hue lineup of smart lighting products for some time now. Best known for its LED light bulbs, which support HomeKit and other home automation systems, the company also offers a wide range of lamps and light fixtures designed to accommodate a wide range of environments. As previewed for The Verge, the most recent expansion of its product line expands its smart lighting options both inside and outside the home.

Outdoors, Signify announced weatherproof light strips that come in 7-foot and 16-foot models for $89.99 and $159.99. Inside, Signify has added the Ascend collection, which incorporates Hue bulbs and a uniformly-shaped light cover that is offered as a tabletop lamp ($129.99), pendant fixture ($179.99), sconce ($99.99), and floor lamp ($179.99). In addition, Signify introduced the Being pendent ($249.99), a ring-shaped ceiling fixture, the simple Continue reading “Signify Introduces New Indoor and Outdoor Lighting Options”

Mixing and Matching Devices and Services Has Advantages in a Highly Competitive Tech World

Competition among companies like Apple, Google, and Amazon has led to a vast array of high-quality device and service choices for consumers. However, numerous options cause some people to pick one company and go all-in on its products and services for simplicity, while others remain on the sidelines waiting for a winner to emerge.

Bryan Irace suggests a third path that mixes devices and services from multiple vendors:

Just as the lack of deep Google and Amazon integrations on iOS hasn’t stopped most of us from using the Google Maps and Kindle apps on our iPhones, mixing and matching devices and services from different vendors can be a completely viable strategy depending on your particular home and familial needs. Of course, there are downsides – heterogeneous setups are more complicated, redundant, and inconsistent – but what you lose in simplicity, you gain in flexibility and optionality. And I hate to Continue reading “Mixing and Matching Devices and Services Has Advantages in a Highly Competitive Tech World”

Anchor Launches Listener Support, Helping Podcasters (and Itself) Get Paid

As an app and service, Anchor is a compelling product that I’m personally a big fan of. It’s the best way to podcast from an iPad, the most mature and accessible platform for new podcasters, and it includes innovative features like transcribed video generation for sharing clips on social media.

My one area of hesitation with Anchor has been its business model. The service is entirely free, and the company has never before shared its plans for any sort of monetization strategy. Today that changes, however, as Anchor is launching a Patreon-style listener support feature.

Starting now, any Anchor podcaster can choose to activate listener support for their show, which enables listeners to sign up for automatic monthly payments of $0.99, $4.99, or $9.99 to support the show. The implementation here is important, and Anchor is making it very accessible: a podcast support link will be Continue reading “Anchor Launches Listener Support, Helping Podcasters (and Itself) Get Paid”

Newton Mail to Shut Down Service September 25th

Newton, which began life as CloudMagic in 2013, will shut down its email subscription service on September 25, 2018. According to the company’s CEO, Rohit Nadhani:

We explored various business models but couldn’t successfully figure out profitability & growth over the long term. It was hard; the market for premium consumer mail apps is not big enough, and it faces stiff competition from high quality free apps from Google, Microsoft, and Apple. We put up a hard and honest fight, but it was not enough to overcome the bundling & platform default advantages enjoyed by the large tech companies.

CloudMagic was relaunched as a subscription email service and renamed Newton in 2016. According to Nadhani’s post, the company, which offered iOS, Mac, Android, and Windows versions of its email client, served over 4 million customers, 40,000 of whom signed up as paying subscribers.

In anticipation of the shutdown, the company Continue reading “Newton Mail to Shut Down Service September 25th”

Logitech Announces New Wireless Qi Charger

Logitech has announced that later this month, it will debut a wireless Qi charger called the Logitech Powered that the company designed in collaboration with Apple.

The charger delivers 7.5W of power, is vertically-oriented, and will work with the iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and X, which sit in the charger’s U-shaped cradle. Logitech says that the iPhone doesn’t need to be precisely placed in the dock to charge. An iPhone will also charge even if set in landscape mode across the top of the cradle. Although Logitech’s press release says the Powered will be sold for $69.99, its website currently offers the charger for pre-order for $79.99.

I’ve been using a vertical Qi charger for about a month and love how well it works with Face ID, which makes it easy to check something quickly on my iPhone when I’m at my desk. Although it’s on the Continue reading “Logitech Announces New Wireless Qi Charger”

Instapaper Relaunches Premium Service as a Paid Subscription and Returns to the EU

When Instapaper Premium was introduced, it was a paid subscription that added several advanced features to the service. Later, the app and service were purchased by Pinterest, and Instapaper Premium was made available for free to all users.

Last month, Instapaper announced that it was separating from Pinterest and becoming an independent company. Today, Instapaper, which turned 10-years-old this year, outlined a plan for sustaining the service for the next 10 years. At the heart of Instapaper’s plan is a return to a paid subscription model. Premium features – full-text search, unlimited notes, text-to-speech playlists on mobile devices, speed reading functionality, removal of ads on the web, and the ability to send articles to Amazon’s Kindle reader – will only be available going forward for a $2.99/month or $29.99/year. Currently, subscriptions are available via the web only, but the company plans to add an In-App Purchase to the Continue reading “Instapaper Relaunches Premium Service as a Paid Subscription and Returns to the EU”

Apple Rolling Out New Friends Mix to Apple Music Subscribers

Source: @CristianRus4 on Twitter

Source: @CristianRus4 on Twitter

Apple Music subscribers on Twitter and Reddit are beginning to report that a new algorithmic mix has begun showing up in the ‘For You’ section of Apple Music. First noticed on the r/AppleMusic subreddit, the mix includes a collection of songs to which people you follow through Apple Music’s Friends feature are listening.

Further details emerged on Twitter, where it’s been reported that the Friends Mix includes 25 songs and is updated every Monday.

As of the publication, the new mix is propagating through Apple’s system so you may not see it in the For You section just yet. 9to5Mac says that the mix is not tied to iOS 12 or macOS Mojave, which is in line Continue reading “Apple Rolling Out New Friends Mix to Apple Music Subscribers”

Castro Adds iCloud Drive Sideloading and Chapter Playback Pre-Selection

Supertop has released another solid update to its podcast player, Castro. In today’s update, Castro adds file sideloading for Plus subscribers, significantly adding to the app’s utility as general purpose audio player. All users can pre-select the chapters of a podcast they want to play too.

For plus subscribers, the update adds a ‘Castro’ folder in iCloud Drive. Add an MP3 or AAC file into the ‘Sideloads’ folder, and it shows up in your Castro inbox (or wherever else you designate in settings) ready for playback.

Adding audio to Castro is equally simple on a Mac or iOS device. On a Mac, open the Finder and drag in the audio files you want to add. On iOS, use the Files app to add files to your Sideloads folder from any file provider like Dropbox, Box, or Google Drive.

Once added, audio files show up in your Castro Inbox by default

Sideloading a draft episode of AppStories and deselecting chapters for playback.

Continue reading “Castro Adds iCloud Drive Sideloading and Chapter Playback Pre-Selection”