On this week’s episode of AppStories, we discuss the process of creating Federico’s story, Beyond the Tablet: Seven Years of iPad as My Main Computer and some of the topics from the story; later, we are joined by Brian King who worked with Federico on the introductory animation and 3D-rendered images throughout the story.
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Panic, well-known for its thoughtfully-designed Mac and iOS apps, has announced that it’s entering the hardware market with a portable gaming system called the Playdate, which will ship in early 2020 and cost $149. This isn’t Panic’s first foray into the game industry. With the release of the hit indie game Firewatch in 2016, the company became a game publisher. Later this year, Panic will publish the highly-anticipated Untitled Goose Game on the Nintendo Switch. Still, creating hardware is something altogether different for Panic.
The Playdate is a diminutive handheld device with hardware and software features that distinguish it from any other handheld on the market. The bright yellow handheld system is just 74mm × 76mm × 9mm, which is roughly three inches square and a little thicker than an iPhone XS.
Much of the app’s UI is similar to the version released around this time last year, but now, the app’s icon can be changed between eight neon-themed Apple logo icons. There are also fourteen new animated iMessage stickers included many drawn from the artwork the company used for the initial WWDC announcement and the invitations sent earlier today. In years past, pins were distributed to attendees at check-in for the conference and during sessions that resembled stickers from the app.
In mid-March Apple announced that WWDC 2019 would take place the first week in June, and today the company confirmed that, following past tradition, the keynote for that conference will take place on June 3 at 10:00 am Pacific.
Apple is expected to unveil the latest versions of its major operating systems at WWDC, including iOS 13, watchOS 6, and macOS 10.15. We may also see hardware products announced too, like the long-anticipated modular Mac Pro. A live stream for the keynote has not yet been confirmed, but it remains likely since WWDC is one of the prime Apple events of the year.
The 15-inch MacBook Pro now features faster 6- and 8-core Intel Core processors, delivering Turbo Boost speeds up to 5.0 GHz, while the 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar features faster quad-core processors with Turbo Boost speeds up to 4.7 GHz.
Apple says that the new 15-inch MacBook Pro with an 8-core processor is up to two times faster than the previous top-end quad-core model. To put that performance in perspective, Apple claims that:
Music producers can play back massive multi-track projects with up to two times more Alchemy plug-ins in Logic Pro X.
3D designers can render scenes up to two times faster in Maya Arnold.
Photographers can apply complex edits and filters up to 75 percent faster in Photoshop.
Today, Federico published Beyond the Tablet: Seven Years of iPad as My Main Computer, a comprehensive evaluation of the advantages and shortcomings he’s experienced using an iPad as his primary computer. Weighing in at around 50,000 words, Beyond the Tablet rivals Federico’s annual iOS reviews in scope and depth of coverage. As a result, it felt appropriate to release the same sort of extras for this story that we’ve provided for iOS reviews.
I have a long, rocky relationship with time tracking. For years I tracked my time because I had to; clients were billed by the hour. I hated the tedium of it. A big part of that was because I didn’t have access to time tracking apps. Instead, I kept track of my time in a notebook or a plain-text document. When I left that job, I celebrated, figuring that I’d left time tracking in my wake. I was very wrong.
No sooner had I started writing and podcasting full-time than I found myself tracking every minute that I work again. There was a difference this time though. I was doing it for myself to ensure I spent my time wisely; no longer was I just feeding the back-end to an invoicing system.
Time tracking helps me weigh the value of the time I spend on every project, identify inefficiencies in
Nearly 11 years into the App Store, it isn’t often that an app surfaces that does something unexpected which no one else seems to be doing, but Perfect Tempo by developer Open Planet does precisely that. The app is a simple utility designed for musicians and dancers who want to slow down or speed up music without affecting its pitch and loop it as they learn a song. Other apps have similar functionality that I’ve covered before, but what makes Perfect Tempo unique is that it can slow down and speed up streamed Apple Music tracks, which other apps can’t do.
On this week’s episode of AppStories, we share our thoughts on the latest iOS 13 app rumors reported by Mark Gurman and 9to5Mac and other features and updates we’d like to see Apple implement this year.
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When I first covered Snapthread early last year, you could tell where it was headed. The app was conceived initially by developer Becky Hansmeyer as a way to combine Snapchat videos. By last January though, the app had evolved into a general-purpose solution for quickly and easily stitching together Live Photos, still photos, and short videos that could be shared on any social network or directly with friends and family. With version 2.0, which is out today, Hansmeyer has refined the existing user experience, added useful new functionality without complicating the app, and leveraged the iPad to create a more versatile video creation tool that works equally well for quickly sharing your creations on social networks as it does with small groups of friends and family.
The core functionality of Snapthread hasn’t changed, so if you’d like to learn more about how to combine Live Photos, still images, and
Earlier this week I had the opportunity to sit down with Khoi Vinh, Principal Designer at Adobe who leads its Design Practices group and author of Subtraction.com. Vihn, who was in Chicago to speak at the HOW Design Live conference, talks about how Adobe is using Adobe XD to integrate UX and UI design and prototyping into the product creation process for everyone from freelancers to big companies. He also discusses designers’ role in addressing the problems social media is facing, how artificial intelligence is beginning to play a role in design, and his podcast, Wireframe.
(The following has been condensed and edited for readability.)
Tell me a little bit about what you’re working on at Adobe these days.
Craig Hockenberry of The Iconfactory has an in-depth look at the challenges developers, designers, and marketers will face bringing their iOS apps to the Mac. Although Marzipan may make it possible to simply flip a switch in Xcode to build Mac and iOS versions of an app simultaneously, it’s unlikely to be that simple in practice. As Hockenberry notes:
that build setting is just the first step on a long and complicated road. Good interaction doesn’t come for free.
That’s because user interactions are different between iOS devices and Macs and driven by multiple factors including differing input devices, screen sizes, and individual UI elements.