The Initial Charge Linked List

 

Clips Is Fun to Use ➝

Steven Aquino:

For as much as video has eluded me, there’s no denying Clips is fun to use. There’s a playfulness about it that makes me want to open the app and explore its depths. Clips is well-polished (more on the UI later) and more obvious (to me) than something like Snapchat. Whereas Snapchat’s features and layout feel completely alien to me, Clips has a decidedly straightforward feel to it that I grok instantly. This isn’t to say the interface is perfect, but that I feel more or less comfortable with Clips is a critical aspect of why the app has appeal. I’m drawn to it because it’s approachable.

My wife and I spent this past weekend visiting family in Pennsylvania. During our trip, we shot a lot of video with the Clips app. We made silly five second joke videos, one minute videos documenting our afternoon playing miniature golf, and everything in between. My admiration for this app has not subsided since I first launched it ten days ago — Clips is fantastic.

‘Apple Podcasts’ ➝

Jason Snell, on Apple rebranding the iTunes Podcasts Directory to “Apple Podcasts”:

Looking at the larger picture, though, I have to assume that this is one part of a long, inexorable de-branding of iTunes. It proved to be a brand that was capable of having all sorts of non-tune-related things stuffed inside of it, but it was always an awkward fit and at some point it needed to be addressed.

The bigger question is what happens on the desktop, especially the Mac. Will the iTunes app finally be replaced? I discussed the long, painful history of iTunes with Allen Pike on the Úll Radio podcast this week in Ireland, and it couldn’t have been more clear to both of us that Apple needs to rethink the entire thing. But the question is, does Apple have the will to allocate the resources to create new Music, TV, and Podcast apps for macOS?

The end of iTunes is inevitable, but why is it taking Apple so long to begin the process of unbundling its features into standalone apps?

This type of question seems to be cropping up a lot lately.

Getting Free HBO With Your AT&T Unlimited Plus Account Without Paying for DirecTV Now ➝

If you’re interested in AT&T’s free HBO deal, but don’t want to pay for DirecTV Now, it is possible. And Thaddeus Hunt does a great job of running through the steps necessary to make it happen. From his piece on the subject:

There was still the elephant in the room though – how do you get a login account for a video service without paying for another subscription?

The good news is that you can, but it sure as hell isn’t obvious.

I’ve been on AT&T’s true unlimited data plan since the iPhone launched in 2007. That is, until just a few days ago when my wife and I switched to this new Unlimited Plus plan. It was mostly financially motivated — over the past year or two the old unlimited plans went from $30 a month to $40. All told, moving to this new plan should save us about $25 on our cellular bill.

Having the Unlimited Plus plan also means that we can finally use tethering on our iPhones — a feature that has been around for years, but AT&T never enabled it for unlimited data customers. On trips with questionable Wi-Fi access, I’ll now be able to share my iPhone’s data connection with my iPad, which reduces the likelihood of me ever owning an iPad with cellular connectivity to nearly zero.

Before signing up for the new plan I made a list of a small handful of question and called AT&T for some clarification. The biggest question I had was about the free HBO that they had been advertising — will I have to subscribe to DirecTV Now in order to receive it?

I had the same experience as Thaddeus — the representative lied, telling me that I had to subscribe to one of AT&T’s video services in order to receive the free HBO deal. Disappointed, I ended up switching my plan anyway — I really wanted access to tethering and the cost savings was just too high to ignore.

After mentioning the decision on Twitter, my buddy Matthew Lanier walked me through the process of signing up for DirecTV Now without having to pay for a subscription. I still can’t believe how terrible AT&T’s messaging has been about this deal, but I’m glad to have some new features tied to my cellular service and save some money along the way.

Workflow Team Has No ‘Further Updates Planned’ ➝

Benjamin Mayo, writing for 9 to 5 Mac:

Via iGeneration, it seems that the Workflow app is in maintenance mode and unlikely to gain any new features in the foreseeable future. According to an email reply a user received from Workflow support, there are no ‘further updates planned’ for the automation app although they will continue to maintain its existing functionality — presumably with occasional bug fix releases.

I had unreasonably high hopes that Apple would continue to develop the Workflow app into something much more powerful than it is today. But unfortunately, that doesn’t appear to be the case. We shouldn’t expect anything more than bug fixes going forward.

I don’t think most Workflow users will turn to alternatives anytime soon, though. Primarily because there aren’t any other good options. Launch Center Pro and Pythonista immediately come to mind, but one of them is too underpowered while the other has a high barrier to entry.

The last remaining hope for iOS power users is that the team behind Workflow are currently working on a replacement, built from the ground up within Apple, that will ship before Workflow no longer functions. We won’t be seeing any new features until then, but as long as what we have now continues to work, I think it’ll turn out okay.

TotalMount for Apple TV ➝

I bought this mount for the Apple TV in my bedroom a few weeks ago. It was a snap to set up with everything you need to accommodate a variety of television sets and mounting situations. Just a few minutes after unboxing, the Apple TV was adhered to the back of my television — out of sight and no longer taking up precious space on our dresser. This is a great product.

The iPad Turnaround Is Coming ➝

Jean-Louis Gassée:

Without fanfare, new iPads were announced last week. There were no changes to the Pro devices, but the standard line was simplified: No more Air, just plain iPads, with a slightly lower $329 starting price (or $309 at the Education store).

This was preceded by a new advertising campaign. Neatly and cleverly done (a matter of opinion of course), the newer iPad ads have a point of view that conjures Apple’s attitude during the early-80’s PC wars […]

Apple’s World Wide Developer Conference is just a couple months away; new hardware will emerge in the Fall. Perhaps I ought to stick to predicting the past, but there [are] too many signs pointing to more muscular iPads taking business away from conventional PCs.

The iPad turnaround is coming.

I’m very bullish on the future of the iPad.

Twitter Is Unifying Their API Platform ➝

Andy Piper, writing on Twitter’s weblog:

Later this year, we’ll be launching a new developer experience that combines the free and easy access of the standard REST and streaming APIs with the enterprise-grade power and reliability of Gnip. The goal is to create an integrated Twitter API platform that serves everyone, from an individual developer testing a new idea to Twitter’s largest enterprise partners. This will simplify and strengthen our developer platform so that anyone building with us can confidently create and scale their applications, products, and businesses.

I believe developer relations is a crucial component to the long-term sustainability of Twitter as a business. I just hope they manage to make this happen without pissing off too many developers.

Why Pro Matters ➝

Sebastiaan de With, writing on Medium:

Without a truly top-tier workstation, Apple will miss out on a huge segment of digital creatives that can craft the future of human-machine interaction — something way beyond tapping a piece of glass. It would lack a Mac workstation with the raw computing power to prototype VR and AR interactions, build game worlds, simulate complex models and render the effects of tomorrow’s great feature films all the while offering those same creatives a platform to create for its own mobile devices.

The build up to the above quote is absolutely fantastic — running through a brief history of how professional Mac users helped Apple get to where they are today.