It seems odd and I’m not sure how well it would interact with some application’s gestures. It seems like there could be conflicts that would cause confusion.
The Initial Charge Linked List
Peter Kafka, reporting for Re/code:
Because many of the details of Prime Music have been previously reported (BuzzFeed already noted that the service won’t have songs from major labels until they’ve been out for six months; the New York Times and the New York Post have already noted that the service won’t include anything at all from Universal Music Group, the world’s biggest music label) there isn’t a lot more to say.
John Gruber on a possible Apple TV with games:
I think there’ll be just one model, $99 (or even less). The only upsell for gaming would be optional controllers […]
Games are just apps. There’s no more reason to make a games/no-games split with Apple TV than there is to make an apps/no-apps distinction with the iPhone.
I think the Apple TV will remain at $99 and there will be just one model. Apple will sell gaming controllers separately for $29-49 and I expect developers would be able to develop multiplayer games giving Apple the opportunity to sell multiple controllers to each Apple TV owner.
The only question that I still have is whether Apple would decide to sell a bundled version of the Apple TV that came with one controller at a reduced price (and by reduced price I mean the bundle would cost less than the combined price of one Apple TV and one game controller). I think that Apple would manage to upsell a lot more buyers this way, but I don’t think they would like to introduce the frustration that would occur when a buyer of an unbundled Apple TV comes back in the store to purchase a controller.
Why should someone who decides they want to play games later on be “punished” by having to pay a higher price than someone who knew they wanted gaming at the initial purchase?
Neat new service that’s now available as a public beta. It aims to solve the problem of sharing photos with friends and family that don’t have Instagram or Facebook accounts.
Once you’re signed up you simply add the hashtag #kidpost to photos you’d like shared. Once per day the Kidpost service will send an email to your chosen loved ones so they can see all of the hashtagged photos you’ve recently shared.
(Via Shawn Blanc.)
Nintendo is releasing a Mario Bros. level creator game. There was no release date or pricing announcement, but whenever it hits shelves I’m sure it’s going to sell a lot of consoles.
The first amazing, forehead-smacking innovations with iOS 8 won’t come from us: they’ll come from people who are coming to iOS development from this point forward, never having known a world with the old restrictions.
If you’re interested in iOS and Mac development, I think there’s never been a better time to learn than now.
The teaser video shows people interacting with what is most likely Amazon’s rumored smartphone offering. Back in April, BGR published information about the device stating that it will have “a custom 3D interface unlike anything we have seen before on a smartphone.”
I’m interested. But, I don’t expect to be blown away.
Ars Technica has compiled a list of Macs that are compatible with Yosemite. Also worthy of note, is that the iPhone 4S and later are compatible with iOS 8.
Michael Steeber from 9 to 5 Mac spends some hands-on time with Notification Center and Spotlight in OS X Yosemite.
It’s always interesting to see what John Gruber is thinking about the night before an Apple keynote. It doesn’t seem like he has much more information than any of us do regarding Apple’s announcements for tomorrow (as he reminds us, Apple’s “double-down on secrecy” seems to still be in full effect).
I’m thinking along the same lines as John on the possibility of an updated Apple TV. More because I want one than because Apple needs to release one. I agree with John that the next Apple TV is likely to have an SDK released alongside it that would allow developers to create games and media apps for the platform. And, I can’t think of a better place for Apple to announce a new developer platform than WWDC.
The Verge’s Jacob Kastrenakes runs down what to expect from tomorrows WWDC keynote. I’ll only be able to watch the first 30-45 minutes of tomorrow’s keynote (which Apple is live streaming this year). But, I’m excited to see what Apple has in store. I’m ready for Apple to give us some new software to play around with.
Great changes to OpenDNS. I don’t use it personally because I’ve always had problems with streaming video when using a DNS server that isn’t my ISP’s default. But, if you’re currently using OpenDNS expect to see the changes within four days.
Peter Welch wrote something amazing. I suggest you read it.
Great piece by Josh Constine on TechCrunch:
Whether you call it a side menu, navigation drawer, or a hamburger, hiding your features off-screen behind a nondescript icon in the corner is usually a poor mobile design choice. Interaction theory, A/B tests, and the evolution of some of the top apps in the world all support the same thesis: The hamburger button is bad for engagement, and you should probably replace it with a tab bar or other navigation scheme.
I don’t use many applications that utilize the hamburger button, but every one of them bugs me. Adding an additional tap to reach a menu that should be persistent obscures users from features that they would likely use if it was always in front of their face.
Really neat accessory that uses the iPad’s camera to track Osmo tiles and other objects for interacting with Osmo’s Doodles, Words, and Tangram applications. Currently preordering for $49 and shipping this fall.
To answer John Gruber’s question regarding HP: August 17, 2011, the day HP released the Pre 3. Which was also the day before HP announced that they were discontinuing all webOS devices.
Rene Ritchie, in a part of his iOS 8 wants series:
If Apple implemented battery shaming on the iPhone and iPad, then whenever my phone was unusually warm or ithe battery was dropping unusually fast, I could simply open Settings, tap General, tap Usage, scroll down, see exactly which app or apps were causing the problem, and kill them just to watch their power drain die.
Just above this added feature I’d like to see a toggle button for “Show battery percentage when below 20%.” I typically prefer to have the battery percentage hidden, but when my battery is getting low I need to keep a closer eye on its usage. The first thing I do when I get that 20% warning is jump into usage settings and turn on the battery percentage indicator — I wish I had the option to show this information when it’s most important to do so.
12-inch display, multi-position kickstand, 9-hours of battery life, pricing starting at $799, with preorders starting tomorrow morning.
I don’t see anything in this product that would make me want to buy it. If I was an artist that worked digitally the Surface Pen features might be compelling. But, I’m not. And, I’d rather spend my money on an iPad.
Peter Cohen, writing for iMore:
Hiding the Users directory is a little more strange. If you use your Mac exclusively and haven’t set up any additional user accounts, this may not be a big deal. But if you’re working on a shared Mac and occasionally need to access the other user directories on your computer (say, to copy files between users), this can create a real problem.
I don’t have any multiple-user-computers in my house, but I can imagine that the Users directory disappearing could be extremely irritating for those type of computer owners.
Peter’s instructions on how to unhide the Users directory are very easy to follow — your essentially one Terminal command away from getting your Users directory back.
I would really love to have CarPlay in my car. But, I’m not sure if going to the trouble of purchasing and installing an aftermarket system is really what I want to be doing. Maybe I’d feel better about it if the NEX system’s interface wasn’t so god-awful looking when you weren’t using CarPlay.
(Via The Loop.)
Unfortunately the game will only be available for Playstation 3 and 4. I would love to see Harmonix work on a version of Amplitude for iOS. I was a gigantic fan of Phase for the iPod which was very similar to Amplitude but used the music from your iPod as the base for your gameplay.
John Paczkowski, writing for Re/code:
Sources familiar with Apple’s plans tell Code/red that Tim Cook will not use WWDC to unveil Apple’s mythical wearable device. Nor will he use it to show off a new Apple TV, or even preview the new software the company is developing for it.
I was hoping that Apple would have some interesting Apple TV news at WWDC, but it looks like this year’s developer conference is going to be all about iOS 8 and OS X 10.10.
Phil Schiller in Apple’s press release:
With MacBook Air starting at $899, there’s no reason to settle for anything less than a Mac. Macs have never been more popular, and today we’ve boosted the performance and lowered the price of MacBook Air so even more people can experience the perfect everyday notebook.
Better battery life and faster processors. This is a great update.
I’ve been using the new Samsung for about three weeks, and while I do think it is the best Android phone you can buy, it sure isn’t the best phone on the market. By just about every major measure you’ll care about, from speed to design to ease of use to the quality of its apps, Samsung’s phone ranks behind the iPhone, sometimes far behind. If you’re looking for the best phone on the market right now, I’d recommend going with the iPhone.
The only things the S5 has “over” the iPhone 5s is Android and a larger screen. I don’t care or want either one of those things.
Brian Fung, writing for the Washington Post:
The deal will add Netflix as an app to certain set-top boxes nationwide on RCN, Grande Communications and Atlantic Broadband. It gives subscribers of those companies the ability to watch the Netflix content they would otherwise be able to get only on their PCs, tablets, and phones, or with a third-party set-top box.
I’m not sure why a cable company would give customers a stepping stone into cord cutting. It’s great for customers, but I’m not sure if it’s the best strategy for the longevity of their business.
Twitter became a lot less useful to me once they removed RSS feeds from their API. I used to have a simple workflow that allowed me to favorite tweets in my timeline on Twitter that I wanted to reference later. The favorited tweets would then show up in Fever where I was subscribed to the favorites RSS feed.
I finally have that workflow again after following the steps outlined by Amit Agarwal. I suggest skipping the video — the four step process listed below it is much quicker to follow than the video is.
Apple is now offering their OS X Beta program to the public. Anyone with an Apple ID can sign up to have access to beta builds of OS X.
In my younger years I would have jumped at the opportunity to install the bleeding edge version of OS X on my MacBook. But, at this point I’d rather have things that just work rather than struggle with buggy software just to have a few features before the rest of the world.
Daniel Eran Dilger, writing for AppleInsider:
Building its own security software meant that Apple and its developers were no longer captive to the external development issues and eccentricities related to the OpenSSL open source project, which despite its critical importance and broad use by the industry, was being funded through donations and was, incredibly, maintained by a very small team of just four core developers.
Interesting piece about Apple deciding to build their own cryptography API.
Kara Swisher reports on Marissa Mayer’s attempt to convince Apple to switch iOS’s default search engine from Google to Yahoo. I don’t think I’ve ever used Yahoo search full time at any point in my life, and I don’t think Apple will go for it.
BGR got their hands on a prototype of Amazon’s upcoming smartphone. “Set to debut in the coming months,” the smartphone runs a highly customized version of Android and features a 3D interface that uses infrared cameras in all four corners of the screen to track face movement.
When Strategy Analytics was telling the world that Samsung sold nearly 2 million Galaxy Tabs in six weeks, the truth was that it took Samsung all of 2011 to sell half that many in the U.S., its single biggest smartphone market.
What an embarrassment.
Josh Ong, reporting for The Next Web:
Fedor Indutny, a core member of the node.js team, has proved that it is in fact possible for an attacker to sniff out the private SSL keys from a server left exposed by the Heartbleed bug. The proof came in response to a challenge from CloudFlare that called on the security community to grab the keys from a demo server.
If there was ever a doubt in your mind, this proves that the Heartbleed bug is the real deal.
(Via Daring Fireball.)
Stephen Hackett, regarding the recent rumors of a 12-inch MacBook Air:
Apple’s got a history of trying to ship Macs without fans — think iMac G3 and the G4 Cube — but nothing recently. The MacBook Pro with Retina display ships with asymmetric fans, and the new Mac Pro uses one large fan, but a modern Mac with no fan seems almost impossible.
I’m not sure about “impossible.” However, it does seem very unlikely in a notebook computer. But, Apple’s never been one to ignore things that seem impossible or unlikely.
I do disagree with Stephen when it comes to the size of notebook computers. He currently uses a 13-inch MacBook Air which he says “takes up a sizable amount of desk/lap space” and previously owned an 11.6-inch Air which he believed to be too small for him.
I’ve used an 11.6-inch MacBook Air since Apple released their mid-2011 models and I’ve absolutely loved the size. I can’t think of one reason over the past two-and-a-half years that I’ve had for wanting a bigger screen. If there is anything I’ve ever wanted more of it’s battery life, but I purchased my Air before Apple bumped the 11-inch’s battery up to nine hours — mine is rated at five.
Notebook size does have an affect on what size battery Apple is able to fit in the computer. But, I think that when you start talking about battery life above eight hours the differences are negligible for most users (including me). There could be benefits in releasing a 12-inch notebook rather than an 11-inch but I’m not sure what those would actually be.
If Apple releases a 12-inch MacBook Air I’m sure it will be a great product, but I’m not convinced that the size will be the best feature.
Automattic is a company to watch. They don’t typically garner headlines, but they make great web services and products and every once in a while acquire companies that are doing neat things.
The developers of Threes speak on all of the recent rip-offs of their iOS game. I can’t imagine how it would feel to work for over a year on an iOS game, only for it to be cloned en masse and for some of those clones to be more popular than the original.
HBO put the first episode of Silicon Valley on their YouTube channel earlier this week. I finally had a chance to watch it last night and it’s very good. This is the kind of show that makes me miss having cable.
Microsoft’s CarPlay competitor. I’m not sure why car manufacturers would build this into their vehicles when Windows Phone only takes up about 3% of the market.
Sean Hollister, writing for The Verge:
According to documents obtained exclusively by The Verge, Google is about to launch a renewed assault on your television set called Android TV. Major video app providers are building for the platform right now. Android TV may sound like a semantic difference — after all, Google TV was based on Android — but it’s something very different.
Everybody’s in the set-top box business.
Microsoft has been playing a lot of catch-up lately.
(Via Daring Fireball.)
Dave Smith reviews the Amazon Fire TV for ReadWrite:
Unfortunately, the device doesn’t live up to its own hype. Perhaps Amazon’s homegrown solution was a bit premature and its ambitions too lofty, because while Fire TV can do almost everything, little of it is done right.
Dave wasn’t happy with the device. He talks about how quick the user interface is but also points out that the voice search functionality only works for Amazon’s own video content.
Perhaps it was rushed to market.
Mark Gurman, back in January, details updates to the Apple TV that his sources expect to see this year. Mark also points to Phil Dzikiy’s reporting on iLounge that games will be coming to the Apple TV. At the time Phil believed that the release for such an update would come in March or earlier. But, it would make more sense for an announcement such as this to take place at WWDC where they’re speaking to developers interested in making games for the device.
Maybe Amazon pushed the Fire TV out the door because they knew Apple was going to be announcing something big for the Apple TV soon.
Required reading for anyone even mildly interested in where wearable computing could be going.
Andrew Kim, taking a trip down memory lane:
It was 2006. Apple was dominating the mp3-player market and so far ahead of the competition that it wasn’t funny anymore. Apple pulled a classic Sony move and introduced the unbelievably compact iPod nano a year before. To annoy everyone even further, they also launched what is arguably the best iPod in history, the 5th generation iPod. So what was there to do for Apple? Build a speaker for the iPod of course.
There’s some beautiful photography in this piece talking about the iPod Hi-Fi — one of Apple’s few blunders over the past decade. Like Andrew, I’ve always had a fondness for the device. I never owned one — it was a bit too expensive for me — but I always wanted one. I even spent a brief period of time contemplating buying a used one on eBay after they were discontinued.
Every barcode scanner device reminds me of the CueCat. The Dash does seem a lot more useful, but I can’t help but wonder if this is really more convenient than searching for and ordering the item on your smartphone.
Apple is changing the way they’re selling WWDC tickets this year:
Developers can apply for tickets via the WWDC website now through Monday, April 7 at 10:00 a.m. PDT, and tickets will be issued to attendees through random selection. Developers will know their status by Monday, April 7 at 5:00 p.m. PDT. There will also be 200 Student Scholarships available, giving students around the world the chance to earn a free ticket.
From the press release:
Crackle and NBCUniversal Television & New Media Distribution today announced an exclusive, multi-year content licensing deal to stream feature films from NBCUniversal’s rich film library on the free, ad-supported streaming service. Beginning today, Crackle users will instantly have access to several new premium library feature films, with more than 140 new library titles rolling out over the next three years.
It’s always a good when more good quality content becomes available to cord cutters.