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”

‘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”

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”

Apple Announces Apps and In-App Purchases Will Be Removed from its Affiliate Program October 1st

Apple has announced that apps and In-App Purchases will no longer be part of the iTunes Affiliate Program effective October 1, 2018. The iTunes Affiliate Program pays a commission from Apple’s portion of the sale of apps and other media when a purchase is made with a link that contains the affiliate credentials of a member of the program. Anyone can join, but the Affiliate Program is used most heavily by websites that cover media sold by Apple and app developers.

This isn’t the first time Apple has had this part of its affiliate program in its crosshairs. In April 2017 Apple gave participants in the program 6-days notice that it was reducing commissions on apps from 7% to 2.5%. The angry fallout caused Apple to issue a face-saving ‘clarification’ that the change would only apply to In-App Purchases.

What I said then holds true today:

With ad revenue Continue reading “Apple Announces Apps and In-App Purchases Will Be Removed from its Affiliate Program October 1st”

Apple Q3 2018 Results: $53.3 Billion Revenue, 41.3 Million iPhones, 11.6 Million iPads Sold

Apple has just published its financial results for Q3 2018. The company posted revenue of $53.3 billion. Apple sold 11.6 million iPads, 41.3 million iPhones, and 3.7 million Macs during the quarter.

“We’re thrilled to report Apple’s best June quarter ever, and our fourth consecutive quarter of double-digit revenue growth,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “Our Q3 results were driven by continued strong sales of iPhone, Services and Wearables, and we are very excited about the products and services in our pipeline.”

Continue reading “Apple Q3 2018 Results: $53.3 Billion Revenue, 41.3 Million iPhones, 11.6 Million iPads Sold”

Kano Announces Harry Potter Magic Wand Coding Kit

With three children, I’ve looked at many products over the years that are designed to make learning to code fun and engaging for kids. Of all the things I’ve tried, one of my favorites is a build-your-own computer kit from Kano. The kit is a kid-friendly Raspberry Pi with tiny, bright orange wireless keyboard.

The Pi runs a Kano-skinned version of Linux with a bunch of activities for kids ranging from Minecraft mods to simple building block-style JavaScript programs that abstract away the language’s syntax but makes it available just under the surface as kids become more comfortable with coding. It’s an excellent kit that strikes a good balance between learning and fun.

This week, Kano announced a new Harry Potter-themed magic wand. Kids build the wand, which contains an accelerometer, gyroscope, and magnetometer, and then use an iPad, Mac, PC, or Android tablet to program magic spells straight from Continue reading “Kano Announces Harry Potter Magic Wand Coding Kit”

Apple Releases New App Design Resources for the Mac and Apple Watch

As tweeted by Mike Stern, Apple’s Platform Experience and Design Evangelism Manager, Apple has updated its AppKit design resources with a comprehensive set of UI elements for making Mac apps. The UI elements come in both Aqua and the Dark Aqua variants for designing Dark Mode Mac apps.

The update, also announced on Apple’s developer news website, includes new watchOS UI elements too, including ‘dozens of new UI elements for watchOS apps, watch face templates for designing complications, a color guide, and new text styles.’

The design assets are available to download in both Photoshop and Sketch formats from the Resources section of Apple’s Human Interface Guidelines website. Continue reading “Apple Releases New App Design Resources for the Mac and Apple Watch”

Nike Training Club Debuts on Apple Watch

Over the last year it’s become far too common to hear about a popular app dropping support for the Apple Watch – fortunately, today the opposite is happening: Nike Training Club has added an Apple Watch app for the first time.

Nike Training Club is a workout app containing over 180 different training sessions to choose from. The app offers guided instructions to help you complete your workout, along with activity data to see your exercise track record. It’s a really solid, well designed app that gives you the tools needed to hit your workout goals.

The new Apple Watch app for Nike Training Club is merely a companion to the iOS app. You can’t start workouts directly from the Watch, so despite the Series 3 model’s cellular capabilities, you’ll need to have your phone nearby at all times.

Despite its limitations, the Watch app can still be very useful Continue reading “Nike Training Club Debuts on Apple Watch”

AeroPress Timer for iPhone, Now with Custom Recipes

One of my favorite iOS kitchen utilities, AeroPress Timer ($4.99 US), has updated to version 3 with a complete rebuild and new functionality.

AeroPress Timer is an iPhone app that steps you through the stages of coffee making with an Aerobie AeroPress. Each step, Pour, Stir, Steep, and Plunge, has its own countdown timer. Once you get into the world of AeroPress, there are a hundred different variations and precise recipes for making different types of coffee, so it’s a handy guide.

The app has always had a great selection of AeroPress recipes, but the biggest, baddest new feature: you can now create and add your own recipes. You can also favorite recipes, add notes, and there’s a new visual grind size guide accessible from any recipe.

This update did lose Apple Watch functionality, which is a bummer, but the developer plan to have it back soon.

AeroPress Timer Continue reading “AeroPress Timer for iPhone, Now with Custom Recipes”

Tom Gruber, Co-Founder of Siri, Retires from Apple

The Information reports that Tom Gruber, Apple’s head of the Siri Advanced Developments group, has retired to pursue personal interests including photography and ocean conservation. Gruber joined Apple as part of the company’s acquisition of Siri in 2010 along with his co-founders Dag Kittlaus and Adam Cheyer, who previously left Apple in 2011 and 2012 respectively. In addition to Gruber, The Information reports that Vipul Ved Prakash, Apple’s head of search, has left the company. Apple confirmed both departures to The Information.

Siri, which Apple incorporated into iOS in 2011, has been through recent leadership changes as it has fallen behind voice assistants like Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant. In 2017, Craig Federighi, Apple’s Senior Vice President of Software Engineering, took over Siri’s oversight from Eddy Cue. Just this past May, Apple hired John Giannandrea, Google’s former Chief of Search and Artificial Intelligence to be Apple’s Chief of Machine Continue reading “Tom Gruber, Co-Founder of Siri, Retires from Apple”

Microsoft Releases Cross-Platform Skype Update and Announces Call Recording and Other Features

Microsoft has released version 8 of Skype for the desktop, which features a redesign inspired by the app’s mobile clients. The update, which is available on Mac, Windows, and Linux, replaces version 7, which will no longer work after September 1, 2018.

The update includes 1080p video calls with screen sharing for up to 24 participants. Twitter-style ‘@mentions’ have been added too. Mentioning someone by name preceded by the ‘@‘ symbol sends them a notification. Microsoft has also added a media gallery. Clicking on ‘Gallery’ in a conversation opens a panel on the right side of the Skype window with links, files, and other media that has been shared. Finally, users can share files, photos, and videos of up to 300 MB by dragging them into a conversation.

Microsoft also updated Skype’s iOS apps. The update to the iPad version of Skype is noteworthy because it’s been about a Continue reading “Microsoft Releases Cross-Platform Skype Update and Announces Call Recording and Other Features”