Federico Viticci on Why the iPad Became His Main Computer


iPad Air 2 Review: Why the iPad Became My Main Computer – MacStories

I’m lucky enough to be able to use my iPad as my main computer on a daily basis. For the past three months, I’ve only been using my Mac to record podcasts on Skype twice a week, download torrents, and follow an Apple live earnings call. I’ve gradually removed many reasons why I needed a Mac and I’m now enjoying better results on a computer that has a high-res display, weighs less than a pound, and is constantly connected to the Internet over 4G with a battery that lasts 10 hours.
The iPad Air 2 has allowed me to eschew the physical constraints of a computer that isn’t as portable as I’d need it to be. My type of work allows me to do most of my computing on an iPad, and, while I realize that it’s not for everyone, the iPad is the computer for me, and I expect the apps and workflows that are still Mac-only to fade over time and transform into new iOS experiences, just as they’ve done over the last three years. The software innovation that is taking place on iOS and the App Store is unparalleled, and I have personally witnessed how iOS has evolved and changed my work routine since 2012.

As Myke Hurley said in this week’s episode of ‘Connected’, Federico Viticci by writing this piece has convinced me more than what Apple has been doing lately on the long term practical uses for the iPad. Fantastic piece.

Upcoming Photos App for Mac

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Apple have this week released a preview to developers of their upcoming Photos application which is intended to replace iPhoto to take advantage of iCloud Photo Library and new API’s including the UXKit framework.

Released in 2002, iPhoto has been the non-power user’s go to photo management solution for storing, handling and viewing your photos. Over time and subsequent releases, iPhoto has lapsed into becoming a confusing, slow and unsatisfying experience made worse by it’s incompatibility with Apple’s recent iCloud Photo storage solution. In the same way that iTunes has become a bloated, slow experience to use due to both of these apps sharing similarities in how they are responsbible for managing large amounts or photos and music respectively. Every time these apps are opened, there is always a delay whilst the app looks for and compiles a local search on your Mac for it’s content. The ever increasing amount of photos it has to manage inevitably causes a slow down over time which results in a frustrating experience for the user.

Photos for OS X

I would presume Apple looked at these issues and instead of updating iPhoto to make it compatible with the iCloud features, they took the opportunity to completely re-write the app instead which would mean they could make the app faster, simpler and more lightweight. Having your photos predominantly stored in iCloud would mean the photos are not stored on your computer hard drive which would in turn speed up (depending on your internet connection speed) access to your photos. 

Making changes to your photos on your computer by editing, cropping etc., and having them automatically update those changes on your other devices via iCloud is fantastic and the way it should be for connected apps and devices. 

 The Verge have a good piece including more details on how it will work here.

 Christina Bonnington previews Photos for Wired.com;

I got the chance to go hands-on with the new desktop software and found that overall, Photos is a vast improvement over iPhoto, and the new editing tools make it extraordinarily easy to transform a photo from “OK” to “Wow.”

The first thing I noticed about Photos is how straightforward the interface is. It very much takes its cues stylistically from the iOS Photos app, especially in how it organizes your library. The app opens with all your shots grouped into Moments and Collections, just like in iOS. 

David Pogue writing for Yahoo!;

Even in its pre-public-beta version, Photos is fast, slick, and very easy to learn and navigate

Photos for Mac is long overdue but will be gratefully received – the preview has been released to developers this week and a public release is due “This Spring”.

Microsoft reportedly scoops up beloved calendar app Sunrise


Microsoft reportedly scoops up beloved calendar app Sunrise | Cult of Mac

What’s better than buying one of the most beloved calendar apps for mobile? Buying two of them.
After snatching up Acompli in December, Microsoft has reportedly acquired Sunrise, another popular calendar app on iOS and Android.

Microsoft paid close to $100 million for Sunrise, according to TechCrunch. That seems like quite a high number for such a small startup with a free app, but Acompli cost Microsoft $200 million.

Sunrise offers a unique take on the calendar experience by tying in all kinds of helpful services, like Facebook Events, Google Maps, weather forecasts, LinkedIn profiles, and more. Google Calendar, iCloud, and Exchange accounts are supported.

Sunrise is a great calendar app for iOS that Federico Viticci over at MacStories likes as well. I personally prefer Fantastical for it’s simplicity and design but Sunrise is right behind Fantastical in design and functionality. Considering how Microsoft merged their mail app Outlook with Acompli recently, it will be interesting to see Microsoft and Sunrise merge. I like this new Microsoft – beginning to have taste.

Tweetbot for Yosemite Coming Soon

Tweetbot mac

Tapbots have teased that their long awaited update for Tweetbot on the Mac is due soon. The new version will take advantage of OS X Yosemite’s design aesthetics.

Screen Shot 2015 02 05 at 14 59 17

Tweetbot is currently my favourite Twitter client due to its simplicity and stability. Also, when syncing your unread/timeline across your devices, I have found that Tweetbot’s implementation of this feature is more reliable than say Twitterrific’s implementation of this.

Smarter Coffee: The World’s First Wifi Coffee Machine

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Smarter – the makers of iKettle – the world’s first wifi kettle, which I reviewed here, have announced their next innovation – Smarter Coffee. Smarter says;

Our heartfelt apologies go out to all the hard-working baristas across the world; sadly your days are numbered because the hot drink heroes that brought us the iKettle have now invented Smarter Coffee – the world’s first WiFi coffee machine. 

No more faffing about with that French press, everything is controlled with a few gentle smartphone gestures. This futuristic appliance makes delicious coffee straight from bean to cup, grinding and brewing it in one fell swoop. 

Best of all, it grinds and brews “on demand”, so whether you’re sipping solo or getting a whole round in for your sleep-deprived co-workers, you won’t waste a single bean. With the included Smarter Carafe you can brew a generous 12 cups at once and there’s even a function on the app that lets you send and receive drink requests from other users. Genius. 

How do you like yours? Smarter Coffee not only gives you the option to decide how coarse your beans are ground, but also lets you choose the strength of your coffee so that it’s tailored to your personal tastes – pleasantly subtle as a light afternoon pick-me-up or super strong to subdue the effects of last night’s reckless indulgences. 

Just like its tea-focussed predecessor there’s a Welcome Home mode so your cuppa is ready for you the moment you step through the front door, and thanks to the Wake Up mode you can literally wake up and smell the coffee every, single, day. 

Using the same software and functionality of their iKettle software, coffee lovers now have a dedicated wifi and smartphone enabled coffee machine for programability. It costs £149.99 and you can pre-order here.

Aaron Sorkin’s Steve Jobs movie finally gets a release date


Aaron Sorkin’s Steve Jobs movie finally gets a release date | Cult of Mac

We’ve been waiting nearly three years to get a glimpse of Aaron Sorkin’s Steve Jobs biopic, and while filming is just getting underway in California, Universal Pictures has finally announced when we can expect to see it on the big screen.
Steve Jobs will will be released on Friday, October 9, 2015, according to reports from CNBC and Business Insider’s Jon Erlichman. The movie will star Michael Fassbender in the lead role of Steve Jobs with the plot divided into three separate keynotes at for the original Mac, the NeXT computer, and the first iPod.

Fassbender was recently spotted in his Steve Jobs’ garb on set, and while he doesn’t really look that much like Steve Jobs,  he’s surrounded by a star-packed supporting cast that will certainly garner some Oscar buzz.

The movie was originally being produced by Sony Pictures, but the studio dropped it after Christian Bale, Leonardo DiCaprio and director David Fincher bailed on the project. Universal Pictures has taken over and speed tracked to release in time for Oscar season. Filming has already wrapped up at Jobs’ parents garage, and De Anza college where the Flint Theater got an 80’s makeover for the filming of the Macintosh keynote.

Fassbender is good choice although from the early photographs leaked it would appear Kutcher as Jobs last year wins the resemblance award if not the quality.

Twitter CEO on Twitter Abuse


Twitter CEO: ‘We suck at dealing with abuse’ | The Verge

Twitter CEO Dick Costolo is taking personal responsibility for his platform’s chronic problems with harassment and abuse, telling employees that he is embarrassed for the company’s failures and would soon be taking stronger action to eliminate trolls. He said problems with trolls are driving away the company’s users. “We suck at dealing with abuse and trolls on the platform and we’ve sucked at it for years,” Costolo wrote in an internal memo obtained by The Verge. “It’s no secret and the rest of the world talks about it every day. We lose core user after core user by not addressing simple trolling issues that they face every day.”

I’m frankly ashamed of how poorly we’ve dealt with this issue during my tenure as CEO. It’s absurd. There’s no excuse for it. I take full responsibility for not being more aggressive on this front. It’s nobody else’s fault but mine, and it’s embarrassing.We’re going to start kicking these people off right and left and making sure that when they issue their ridiculous attacks, nobody hears them.

Twitter really needs to find a solution to this problem and soon. Charles Arthur listed potential solutions and possible drawbacks back in 2013 and nothing has changed since.

Nest shows how much money its learning thermostat potentially saves


Nest shows how much money its learning thermostat potentially saves (Infographic) | 9to5Google

Google-owned programmable thermostat company Nest today published a blog post in which it breaks down exactly how much money using a learning thermostat can save. The post, and the included infographic cite “two independent studies” and claim that using a Nest saves customers approximately 10-12% on heating bills and 15% on cooling bills. In total, that’s an average of $131 to $145 a year.