Linked List Archive

The Initial Charge Linked List is a collection of notable links and brief commentary, with entries regularly added throughout the week.

On Subscription Apps ➝

Josh Ginter:

The fact is that there is a finite appetite to pay for apps (it’s called a “market”). Each person will have a threshold for what they’re willing to pay for apps and services in a given year. Each app and service is vying for a larger piece of that pie. And subscriptions eat into that threshold much, much quicker than one-off $4.99 purchase prices.

Said another way, we’re testing the boundaries of app price elasticity here.

Developers are experimenting with subscription pricing because it seems like a good way to bring some predictability to their revenue. And it gives them an opportunity to try and earn a bit more from each individual customer. The problem for users is that many of these subscriptions are priced much higher than what we’ve become accustomed to.

But those low, single transaction prices were not sustainable for developers. If you want these types of well-designed apps to continue, a few dollars for life just isn’t going to cut it. Perhaps the new pricing is too high, but it will take a few years of experimentation before everyone settles in on what the market can bear. In the meantime, if you feel the need to complain, at least be kind about it. Developers get a lot of flack when they change pricing models and there’s no reason to pile on.

➝ Source:

Introducing Voice Boost 2 in Overcast ➝

Marco Arment, on the recent major update to Overcast:

Since Voice Boost is mostly about high-quality volume analysis and loudness normalization, I went straight to the top, implementing the ITU BS.1770–4 standard that gives us the LUFS measurement seen in high-end audio editors. […]

Voice Boost 2 normalizes all podcasts to –14 LUFS — a level I chose because it closely matches the volume of Siri and most iOS turn-by-turn navigation voices, so when you’re listening to a podcast while driving, navigation interruptions are less jarring.

Most professionally produced podcasts are already mastered to similar volume levels, so Voice Boost 2 won’t overcompress them with aggressive processing — it’ll only apply as much correction as necessary to make them all the same volume.

I never used Voice Boost prior to this update, I just didn’t like how it sounded. But this update is absolutely fantastic, I forget I’m even using Voice Boost at all. When I toggle it, though, I can really hear the difference — especially on podcasts with lower production quality.

➝ Source:

Is RSS Just Giving Your Site Away for Free? ➝

Matt Birchler, referencing a recent CSS-Tricks article on whether having an RSS feed is giving your content away for free:

It all comes down to what you want more, people to read your articles or people to click on your articles. If you write to pay the bills and you need ad revenue to put food on the table, go for it, I get it. If you run a business that needs revenue to pay your writers, I get that too! But if you’re a solo writer doing it for fun (and either zero or little money) then I’d really think twice about restricting your RSS feed in any way.

Absolutely. Unless you’re making a serious amount of money from ads, there’s little reason to restrict how readers access your content. And that additional freedom that RSS provides helps build trust with your readership — they won’t feel like they need to jump through hoops to read your site and will respect you more because of it.

➝ Source:

A Low Cost iPhone Could Be Coming This Spring ➝

Mark Sullivan, reporting for Fast Company:

Several publications and a few analysts have already predicted that Apple will announce a new sub-$500 iPhone, which may be called either the iPhone SE 2 or the iPhone 9. My own sources near the iPhone supply chain tell me that parts production for the new phone is now ramping up.

One source believes the new phone will likely sell at $399, roughly the same price as the first iPhone SE.

This would be well timed for my in-laws, who are looking to purchase their first smartphone sometime in the next few months. A low-cost iPhone seems like the perfect device for them.

➝ Source:

One Switch, a Must-Have Mac Utility ➝

Josh Centers, writing for TidBits:

We’ve seen many narrowly focused menu bar apps that turn features on or off, like Amphetamine to keep your Mac awake, but One Switch promised to do so much more that I installed it immediately. It was everything I had hoped for.

I’ve been using One Switch since I first heard about it a handful of months ago. It’s a great little utility app and I use it all the time.

➝ Source:

The Folks at Basecamp Announce an Email App ➝

I’ve tried just about every email app available for iOS and none of them is delightful to use. That’s in contrast to my favorite Twitter client, my favorite podcast app, music player, and so on — I love to use these apps.

At the moment, I use Spark for email. It’s the best of the bunch, but it’s far from great. I hope this upcoming app introduces some excellent features and a slick design that makes me excited about an email app again, which is a feeling I haven’t felt since the launch of Sparrow.

➝ Source:

Eero Lays Groundwork for HomeKit Router Support in Latest Firmware Update ➝

Christopher Close, writing for iMore:

It appears that HomeKit router support may be hitting the scene soon, as the latest update to eero Wi-Fi routers is exposing the system to the Home app. The eero firmware update, version 3.18.0 was released earlier today, and while it doesn’t specifically mention HomeKit support, we can confirm that it is showing up for the latest generation eero Wi-Fi system, released late last year.

The update shipped early last week, but I just now had a chance to read this story. I can confirm that my Eero Pro is showing up as an available device when you start the Home app’s “Add Accessory” flow. There isn’t a way to actually add it, though, because the Home app asks for a HomeKit code that doesn’t exist. But it certainly seems like they’re laying the groundwork for a release that’s coming very soon.

➝ Source:

Varys for Plex ➝

A nifty little utility app that lets you monitor your Plex server from your iPhone or iPad. It can display current activity, user stats, top played media, and more. It offers a lot of the same functionality as Tautulli without the clunky setup process. You simply install it from the App Store, authenticate with Plex, and you’re good to go.

Some features require a $3.99 in-app purchase, but I think it’s more than worth it.

➝ Source: