The Initial Charge Linked List


Ulysses 2.6 ➝

Mike Bates, on Ulysses 2.6:

I’ve been part of the TestFlight group that’s been using the beta throughout it’s development cycle, and it’s a terrific update to what I’d call my favorite app. […]

The app is what I consider to be the best writing environment for the most people. It’s well-designed, well-equipped with features, is customizable to fit your liking, is developed by an attentive & small(er) team, and all gets out of the way when you need to get down to writing.

I’ve been in the Ulysses beta group for several months, as well, and couldn’t have been happier with this update. I still use my own workflow for publishing to WordPress, but I’m excited about trying Ulysses’ native solution soon. From the sounds of things, it’s incredibly well thought out and offers all of the features I need for my own unique setup.

The iPad’s Dark Days Are Over ➝

Neil Cybart:

After a tumultuous multi-year stretch that included massive unit sales declines, declining average selling prices (ASPs), and deteriorating margin trends, the iPad business has turned a corner. The combination of improving upgrade fundamentals, less severe iPad mini sales declines, and a stronger iPad lineup with the iPad Pro and accompanying accessories have positioned the iPad category that much closer to stabilization. The worst is likely over.

Great analysis from Cybart on the iPad sales decline. And I agree with him — the iPad’s dark days are likely over.

Dropbox Paper ➝

A neat new collaboration tool from Dropbox. It supports embedded files, task lists, automatic code formatting, and more. This looks like a great product.

Making a Case for Letter Case ➝

John Saito, writing on Medium:

If you’re an Apple user, you’ll notice a lot of title case throughout their products. That’s because Apple’s design guidelines recommend title case for many UI elements, including alert titles, menu items, and buttons.

If you’re a Google user, you’ll see a lot more sentence case throughout their products. And that’s because Google’s design guidelines recommend sentence case for almost everything.

I prefer Apple’s approach.

Fully Functional Lightning EarPods Shown Off ➝

Mitchel Broussard, writing for MacRumors:

Today, MobileFun posted a video of a working pair of Lightning EarPods, and the overall look of the accessory appears more in line with Apple’s design than any of the previous leaks.

The housing around the lightning connector looks a bit longer than I would have expected from Apple. But I expect something that looks a lot like this to be in-box alongside the next iPhone in a month or two.

Why I Think Apple Watch 2 Will Be a Big Leap ➝

Abdel Ibrahim, writing for WatchAware:

With watchOS 3, Apple rethought much of the user interface to make what is slow hardware feel much faster. That’s a huge step for those of us who currently own the Apple Watch. But when I think about the next-generation Watch, I think Apple will address a lot of the issues that make the Watch feel so first-generation. In fact, I think the Apple Watch 2 will be as big of a leap if not bigger than the iPad 2 was to the original iPad.

In the next iteration of Apple Watch, I expect thinner hardware, new bands, and a new system-on-a-chip with more memory, a faster ARM processor, and more robust wireless features. I don’t think we’ll see any differences in battery life, though. Apple hit the nail on the head with the Watch’s battery life and I don’t expect an improvement on that front for at least two more years. Introduces Track, Follow, and Notifications ➝

Préshit Deorukhkar, writing on Medium:

Ever wondered how your Homescreen has evolved over time? What if you could go back in time and see which apps you were using a month ago? Well, now you can.

You can now browse all your Past Homescreens on the site. All the screenshots that you’ve uploaded since you signed up here are available for your perusal. So go ahead, take a trip down memory lane.

This is the feature I’ve been most excited about since relaunched in June. I expect the service will become my default upload location when I want to share my home screen.

But the team didn’t stop there, you can now follow your favorite users (like me) and receive email notifications when someone you follow posts a new screenshot.

My Evolving Home Screen ➝

Stephen Hackett:

In addition to how hilariously small old iPhones seem compared to my 6S Plus, the thing that jumped out at me the most is how little turnover there is over time in apps and their placement.

I wrote about this last year and it continues to hold true — my iPhone home screen has seen infrequent changes and there are rarely new app categories added. And even today, my current layout’s roots are clearly planted in the iPhone’s original home screen from 2007.

Apple and the Gun Emoji ➝

Jeremy Burge, writing on Emojipedia:

🔫 Pistol emoji has changed from a realistic-looking gun in iOS 9.3 to a bright green toy water gun in the iOS 10 beta.

In the history of running Emojipedia, I have never seen an emoji change so poorly received.

I’m not much of an emoji user — I believe the one above is only the second I’ve ever published on the site. I find them difficult to interpret and often have to ask my wife whether someone’s being sarcastic or serious, that’s why I typically avoid using them. But changes like this aren’t helping matters.

There are too many instances where the water gun and the pistol could mean completely different things within the same context. I understand why Apple would want to do this, but I don’t think it’s the right move. Unfortunately, you can’t put the toothpaste back in the tube. Once you go with a realistic-looking gun, you can’t just change it to something with an entirely different tone. I suspect this move will result in a lot of uncomfortable situations when an iOS 10 user is communicating with someone on an older version of iOS.

’Start Working on Something‘ ➝

Matt Birchler:

The secret to making new, interesting things is really just to start working on something. For most projects this means starting with something that’s not that original, but in the course of making that thing, you may actually spark an original idea. Some of my best articles on this site have come from me just starting to write and then deleting the first 1,000 words because it wasn’t until that point that I realized what I really wanted to talk about.

I couldn’t even begin to count the times that I’ve had this exact same experience.

Recode Media With Peter Kafka and Guest, Brian Lam ➝

A great interview from late June, with Brian Lam, discussing The Wirecutter, Gizmodo, and the infamous iPhone 4 situation.

Today Weather, Beautiful Weather Forecasts ➝

A great new weather site from my buddy Matt Birchler. From the announcement on his weblog:

Today Weather is a unique weather site that I built to fill a niche that was not properly served before. Specifically, I wanted a weather site that was fast, easy to use, great at hyper-local forecasts, and looked good on all screens. Shockingly, this doesn’t seem to exist yet. Most weather sites you go to are full of useless information, clickbait articles, garrish ads, and most don’t even look that great. Today Weather is an attempt to address all those sins.

I’ve been using Today Weather over the past few weeks after Matt offered me beta access. The site’s lightweight, fast, well-designed, and reliable. It has quickly become my favorite weather forecasting website.

You Know What? Fuck Dropdowns ➝

An incredibly entertaining session from SXSW by Eric Campbell and Golden Krishna.

Bluetooth Headphones Are Annoying ➝

On the heels of my piece from yesterday on how Apple will transition to wireless headphones, here’s a great piece by Lauren Goode from early last month:

You have to charge them. And pair them. Late for a conference call you need to dial into? Hold on — you need to jam your Bluetooth buds in your ears and pair them to your phone if you’re not already paired. Got a sudden burst of motivation to work out? Sorry, no music — headphones are dead. (Substitute “work out” for “play video games”; same thing.) A plastic three-button remote is a poor substitute for an entire phone interface when it comes to controlling music, answering phone calls, or using Siri. Some Bluetooth headphones even have the remote-control functions built into the earbuds themselves — which means every time you try to adjust your earbuds, you inadvertently skip a song.

I can’t wait to see how many of these complaints Apple is able to tackle when they inevitably release their own, Apple branded, Bluetooth headphones.

Why Your Phone Dies When It Claims to Have Battery Left ➝

Tons of interesting information from Mark Smirniotis regarding the battery percentage indicators on our devices. He uses simple analogies and explains the process in plain English — it’s a great read.

Tumblr to Introduce Ad Platform ➝

From the Tumblr Staff weblog:

On Thursday, we’re going to introduce ads on Tumblrs, so that later this year people can start making money from their blogs.

Tumblr is a place where brilliant, creative, funny, impossible people shape culture. Some of you have even turned your passions into jobs: book deals, music careers, paid gigs with the Creatrs program. Now, (soon!) that opportunity will be available to any eligible Tumblr—poet, musician, fan artist, and misfit weirdo memelord alike.

It’s fascinating that a service as old as Tumblr has gone this long without an advertising platform. The service is nearly ten years old and features one of the most vibrant communities on the Internet. I would have expected something like this shortly after their acquisition by Yahoo in 2013. But here we are, three years later, and it’s just now launching.

iOS and Patience ➝

Ben Brooks:

Using iOS full time takes patience, but don’t misconstrue that as a statement that things are not as easy, or fast, as on a Mac. Patience because iOS requires you to retrain your natural instincts of how you should go about things on a traditional computer.

This perfectly encapsulates my thoughts on using an iPad, rather than a Mac, as a primary machine. The key point is that most tasks require a different set of tools and a new way of thinking in order to accomplish. Claiming that things are strictly easier or strictly better on iOS is a fallacy, they’re just different.

Perhaps you prefer to use OS X to get your work done because you’re more comfortable with the tools — that’s fine. But arguing that one platform or another is better suited is just foolish. I like iOS more because it fits my lifestyle and offers tools that I typically enjoy using more than their desktop counterparts. And that shouldn’t impede your enjoyment of OS X — there’s no reason we can’t both coexist harmoniously.

I do think most iPhone and OS X users should give the iPad an honest try, though. It might not work out for you, but at least you’ll know for sure rather than passing judgement based on hearsay. And who knows, maybe you’ll find a few tasks that you actually end up preferring to do on the iPad.

iPhone 7 Rumored to Come in New Space Black Option ➝

Chance Miller, writing for 9 to 5 Mac:

Today’s report also again mentions that the iPhone 7 will come in a new black color option, similar to that of the 2013 Mac Pro. The report says that the release of a black iPhone 7 is “highly likely.” We reported last month on this possibility, likening the color to the Space Black Apple Watch.

Apple has expanded the iPhone color options over the past few years, but space gray is still the only variation that features a black front. I’m glad that this could be changing soon.

SwiftKey App Leaks Email Addresses and Phone Numbers ➝

Cara McGoogan, writing for The Telegraph:

A British keyboard app that uses artificial intelligence to predict the next word you want to write has suspended part of its service after users reported receiving predictions meant for other people, including email addresses and phone numbers.

After installing SwiftKey on a new device, one user was shocked when the app suggest she use a stranger’s email address. Another reported getting predictions in a language they’d never spoken.

Thankfully, the ability to sync the app on new devices has been temporarily disabled. But this certainly leaves me questioning whether it’s worth the risk to use third-party keyboards at all.

Design Doesn’t Scale ➝

Stanley Wood, Spotify design director, outlines how the company managed to get all of their designers on the same page to add consistency across platforms.

Challenges of Getting a Product Made in the U.S.A. ➝

Gregory Schmidt, writing for The New York Times:

It was craftsmanship rather than the bottom line that motivated Brian Holmes when he decided in 2010 to start a business and went looking for a manufacturer. He and his wife, Kari, started Pad & Quill, a company based in Minneapolis that makes high-end cases and other products for the iPhone and other Apple products.

This is a great profile on the founding of Pad & Quill. I’ve never owned any of their products but I’ve been aware of the company for quite sometime and always admired their work.

Possible Apple Lightning-to-Headphone Adapter Surfaces ➝

Mitchel Broussard, writing for MacRumors:

As shown in the pictures shared today, the adapter’s cord appears short and visually similar to that of Apple’s current adapters sold on its website, including the USB-C to USB and Thunderbolt to Gigabit Ethernet accessories. The Lightning plug does not appear to fit particularly well into its sheath, but it’s unclear if it might be an incomplete part, damaged during disassembly, or simply a knockoff product.

The legitimacy of this particular adapter seems sketchy to me, but if Apple does release a product like this, I expect it will look very similar.

One Billion ➝

Tim Cook:

Last week we passed another major milestone when we sold the billionth iPhone. We never set out to make the most, but we’ve always set out to make the best products that make a difference. Thank you to everyone at Apple for helping change the world every day.

Remember when the iPhone was first announced and Steve Jobs talked about the iPhone capturing 1% of the handset market? At the time, that would have been about 10 million units. I think it’s safe to say that the iPhone exceeded all of our expectations.

Sonic Mania ➝

Timothy Seppala, writing for Engadget:

From the trailer below, Mania looks unapologetically old school, replete with chiptune music and the series’ trademark hyper-colorful pixel-art style. Three playable characters are on tap (Sonic, Tails and Knuckles) and in addition to a new move like the drop dash and new levels, Mania will apparently put a couple of twists on old stages as well.

This sounds like the kind of game I can get excited about. I was a huge fan of Sonic the Hedgehog 2 and Sonic & Knuckles growing up and I wouldn’t mind reliving those memories with this.

Pokémon Go Isn’t the Solution to Nintendo’s Problems ➝

Chris Kohler, writing for Wired:

You can attribute the fluctuations to irrational exuberance on the part of investors, as Nintendo doesn’t publish Pokemon Go. It co-owns the rights to the franchise, and holds stakes in Go publishers Niantic and The Pokemon Company, so it is surely making some money from Go. But nobody knows how much. More to the point, Nintendo didn’t create the game, and so its existence doesn’t suggest that Nintendo’s management finally “gets it.”

I think this piece paints a gloomier picture of Nintendo’s future than I’d prefer. But I agree that we shouldn’t be treating Pokémon Go as the beginning of Nintendo truly understanding the mobile marketplace. The reality is that Nintendo had little —likely zero — to do with Pokémon Go’s development. My assumption is that this the game’s success will teach them that it’s okay to release some of their franchise games on iOS and Android, but I don’t expect the flood gates to open just yet. Things will probably get a lot worse before they get better.

Disable Find My Mac by Resetting NVRAM ➝

Adam Engst, writing for TidBits:

In essence, Apple stores the Find My Mac data in NVRAM, which is good for keeping it around even if the hard drive is removed, but bad in the sense that it’s easy to reset NVRAM — just restart while holding down Command-Option-P-R. A quick test confirmed the problem in OS X 10.11 El Capitan, and nothing has changed in the public beta of macOS 10.12 Sierra.

The only way to prevent this is to set a firmware password.

Backup and Restore in Ulysses ➝

Alisdair Daws:

Ulysses handles backups automatically. (My iPhone asked if I wanted to correct that to automagically. I was tempted.) The default setting is for Ulysses to keep hourly backups for the past 12 hours, daily backups for the past 7 days, and weekly backups for the past 6 months. You can also make a backup yourself at any time.

I’ve used Ulysses everyday for months and had no idea it was keeping Time Machine-like backups of my work. But I’m not surprised to hear that this feature exists — this type of attention to detail is the reason I chose it as my primary writing app.

Firefox to Start Blocking Flash Content in August ➝

Sebastian Anthony, reporting for ArsTechnica:

Firefox will begin retiring Adobe Flash on August 2 with the release of Firefox 48. In 2017, probably with Firefox 53, Flash plug-ins will require the user to actively click-to-play.

First we learned that Google Chrome was going to begin phasing out Flash later this year and now Firefox is following in their footsteps. This is a trend I can get behind.

Taking a Closer Look at iOS 10’s New Lockscreen ➝

Mike Bates takes a deep dive into iOS 10’s new Lockscreen — comparing it to previous iterations and discussing the easy access to common interactions.

Twitter Now Lets Anyone Request a Verified Account ➝

Nick Statt, writing for The Verge:

Starting today, the company will let users request a verified account on its website by filling out a form with a verified phone number and email address, a profile photo, and additional information regarding why verification is required or helpful. In defining who will get approved, Twitter still says “an account may be verified if it is determined to be of public interest.” Prior to today, Twitter tended only to verify public figures, brands, and people in media, politics, sports, business, and other high-profile sectors.

That line about “public interest” is going to keep normals from having verified accounts. Hell, they won’t even give the checkmark to Federico Viticci. This is definitely a step in the right direction, but I hope they continue to lower the barrier to entry.

Apple Begins Rolling Out iTunes Match With Audio Fingerprint to Apple Music Subscribers ➝

Jim Dalrymple:

Apple has been quietly rolling out iTunes Match audio fingerprint to all Apple Music subscribers. Previously Apple was using a less accurate metadata version of iTunes Match on Apple Music, which wouldn’t always match the correct version of a particular song. We’ve all seen the stories of a live version of a song being replaced by a studio version, etc.

Using iTunes Match with audio fingerprint, those problems should be a thing of the past.

It makes no sense that they launched Apple Music with the vastly inferior metadata matching system. I’m glad it’s finally being fixed, but this shouldn’t have been a problem to begin with.

Opera Browser Sold to a Chinese Consortium for $600 Million ➝

I was a huge fan of Opera in the mid-2000s, but I probably haven’t touched the browser in over five years. I’m not surprised they had to sell — the writing’s been on the wall for a while. There just isn’t much room for them when Chrome and Firefox make up nearly 90% of the market.

The New Glif, a Tripod Mount for Smartphones ➝

From the Kickstarter page:

Almost 6 years ago, we launched the Glif, a tripod mount for the iPhone 4, on Kickstarter. The response to our campaign was incredible, and it allowed us to build our company, Studio Neat. Since then, we have released several updates to the Glif, but we are back where we started, on Kickstarter, to launch the best version yet.

I love the quick release mechanism and multiple tripod mount locations. This is such a brilliant piece of kit.

How Apple Could Improve Family Sharing ➝

Jason Snell, writing for Macworld:

Family Sharing feels very much like a version 1.0, a first crack at the idea that people with their own Apple IDs also have intermingled real lives that should probably be intermingled digitally. Nearly two years after the release of iOS 8, however, not a whole lot has changed in the realm of family sharing. And it’s got some glaring deficiencies that really need to be addressed.

Jason runs down a few features that Apple could add to improve Family Sharing. And his list includes the one feature I want most — family photo libraries. It doesn’t make any sense that my wife and I have to maintain two separate libraries. It makes ordering prints, creating photo albums, and working on other creative projects significantly more difficult. I hope Apple fixes this soon.

Netflix Launches Flixtape, ‘Mixtapes’ for Movies and TV Shows ➝

Sarah Perez, writing for TechCrunch:

Just in time for the weekend, Netflix today announced the launch of a new service called Flixtape, which the company describes as a way to make short playlists of your favorite Netflix titles. “It’s like a mixtape, but for Netflix,” the site explains. The new tool lets you create these lists based on a genre or theme of some sort, then share them with friends or family over text message, email or social networks like Facebook and Twitter.

This is one step closer to the feature I asked for a couple years ago — genius playlists.

Goolge Erases Writer and Artist’s Weblog Without Warning ➝

Mazin Sidahmed, writing for The Guardian:

Two weeks ago, writer and artist Dennis Cooper was checking his Gmail when something peculiar happened: the page was refreshed and he was notified that his account had been deactivated – along with the blog that he’d maintained for 14 years.

This is why I advocate for a reduced dependence on services controlled by others. And, at the very least, keep regular backups.

IDC Estimates That Macintosh Sales Slipped at Nearly Twice the Market Rate ➝

Nick Heer:

Apple’s sales decline is an 8.3% reduction compared to the year-ago quarter. Given that the most recent Macintosh news — the discontinuation of the Thunderbolt Display notwithstanding — was a spec bump of the MacBook, this is completely unsurprising. MacRumors’ own buyers’ guide shows a “Don’t Buy” indicator below every Mac except the MacBook.

I think the reduction in Mac sales can be primarily attributed to the recent lack of updates. Once Apple starts refreshing the lineup, sales will bounce back.

Fixing Media Controls in watchOS 3 ➝

Matt Birchler:

My solution is pretty simple, and is a combination of watchOS 2’s glance as well as iOS 10’s new Control Center. Instead of having a Now Playing app on the watch, why not bake those controls into the watch’s Control Center? Swipe up on your watch face currently brings up Control Center, so just add the ability to swipe right on Control Center to bring up media controls.

For some reason I thought this was a feature of watchOS 3, but as it turns out, that’s not the case. Count me in with Matt, though, I hope Apple adds this before the final release. It’s a better implementation than forcing users into their dock and would bringfurther uniformity to iOS and watchOS.

Here’s What Apple Really Meant to Say Today About Its Plans to Sell Web Video ➝

Peter Kafka, on the Hollywood Reporter’s interview with Eddy Cue:

Again, this doesn’t square with Apple’s longstanding efforts — led by Cue — to deliver a skinny bundle. I asked Apple to explain the cognitive dissonance, and they referred me back to the Hollywood Reporter piece.

So now that we’re done with that exercise, I’m going to suggest that there are some things Cue would say differently if he were speaking to someone privately, instead of in an on-the-record interview.

Kafka offers his thoughts on what Cue would have said if he was speaking more candidly, and I think it’s spot-on.

At ARM’s Length ➝

Jesper discusses the options Apple has for transitioning their Mac lineup to ARM processors.