Pastebot for Mac Beta →

August 31, 2016 · 21:49

Tapbots:

We have been wanting to do a full blown Pastebot for Mac long before we first released it on the iPhone. Paul wrote a fantastic little utility app called PTH Pasteboard Pro on the Mac which I had always wanted to rewrite as a Tapbots app, but we were just too busy with iOS. After the release of Tweetbot 2 for Mac, it only made sense to have Todd start on Pastebot for his next big project. So we are very excited to release Pastebot for Mac…as a public beta.


Leaked ‘iPhone 7 Plus’ Packaging Indicates Lightning EarPods and Lightning 3.5 mm Adaptor Bundled in the Box →

August 31, 2016 · 18:13

Benjamin Mayo:

An interesting image is making the rounds today: a photograph of a purported packaging insert for Apple’s upcoming new phone. If the photo is to be believed, Apple will indeed be calling its larger new phone the ‘iPhone 7 Plus’, with the ‘iPhone 7’ name being taken by the 4.7 inch sibling.

It also indicates that Apple will be bundling Lightning EarPods in the box with every iPhone 7, as a consequence of the missing 3.5mm headphone jack. More interestingly, the leak suggests Apple will also be including a Lightning to 3.5mm Headphone Jack adaptor as a bundled accessory.

Surprising that they’re adding the dongle. I guess it would be to lessen the expected wave of hate. All of this assuming it’s not a fake image of course.


Geekbench 4 Is Out →

August 31, 2016 · 09:18

John Poole:

I’m excited to announce that Geekbench 4 is now available. You can download Geekbench 4 for Windows, macOS, and Linux from the Geekbench website. You can also download Geekbench 4 for Android from Google Play, and Geekbench 4 for iOS from the App Store.

Geekbench 4 is currently free on iOS, so grab it now if you don’t want to pay.


Vesper Open Source Plans →

August 31, 2016 · 09:16

Brent Simmons:

We plan to do all of the below by the end of 2016, but we can’t make promises. (Life may intervene.)

Q Branch’s existing open source code — DB5 and QSKit — will be moved to my personal GitHub account. I will continue to maintain DB5 (I continue to use it). QSKit will not be maintained, but will be made available as historical artifact.

We will make Vesper for iOS, Vesper for Mac, and Vesper’s JavaScript sync service open source on my personal GitHub account. This code will also be provided as historical artifacts: they’re not intended as active projects. They’re also not intended as examples of how to write apps these days.

The licenses will be public domain or something roughly as non-restrictive. However: the name Vesper and the app icon remain the property of me, Dave, and John. If you build anything based on this code, you must pick a different name and different app icon.

I wonder if anyone will try to use this to build their own ‘Vesper’… What am I saying? Of course they will. Question is: will it be any good?


iPhone 7 Available in Five Colours? →

August 30, 2016 · 19:20

Joe Rossignol:

The website now believes the new glossy black option will be part of a five-color lineup, including Gold, Rose Gold, Silver, and Space Gray. It previously said the new color will be a “much darker” variant of Space Gray that is “close to black, though not quite black,” and mockups of what an iPhone 7 in that color could look like, including the one above, quickly surfaced around the web.

I’d actually prefer more colourful options than another monochromatic variant. Red with white front please.


Tim Cook’s Message to the Apple Community in Europe →

August 30, 2016 · 13:55

Tim Cook:

As responsible corporate citizens, we are also proud of our contributions to local economies across Europe, and to communities everywhere. As our business has grown over the years, we have become the largest taxpayer in Ireland, the largest taxpayer in the United States, and the largest taxpayer in the world.

Over the years, we received guidance from Irish tax authorities on how to comply correctly with Irish tax law — the same kind of guidance available to any company doing business there. In Ireland and in every country where we operate, Apple follows the law and we pay all the taxes we owe.

The European Commission has launched an effort to rewrite Apple’s history in Europe, ignore Ireland’s tax laws and upend the international tax system in the process. The opinion issued on August 30th alleges that Ireland gave Apple a special deal on our taxes. This claim has no basis in fact or in law. We never asked for, nor did we receive, any special deals. We now find ourselves in the unusual position of being ordered to retroactively pay additional taxes to a government that says we don’t owe them any more than we’ve already paid.

The Commission’s move is unprecedented and it has serious, wide-reaching implications. It is effectively proposing to replace Irish tax laws with a view of what the Commission thinks the law should have been. This would strike a devastating blow to the sovereignty of EU member states over their own tax matters, and to the principle of certainty of law in Europe. Ireland has said they plan to appeal the Commission’s ruling and Apple will do the same. We are confident that the Commission’s order will be reversed.

Very precise and to the point.


Apple Ordered to Pay Up to $14.5 Billion in EU Tax Crackdown →

August 30, 2016 · 12:16

Dara Doyle:

Apple Inc. was ordered to repay a record 13 billion euros ($14.5 billion) plus interest after the European Commission said Ireland illegally slashed the iPhone maker’s tax bill.

When you go to a store and get a deal, if the store screws up, it pays the difference to whomever. Why should Apple be the one to pay and not Ireland itself, for not adhering to EU tax laws?


Apple Is Working on iPad Upgrades and Refreshed Mac Lineup →

August 30, 2016 · 08:34

Mark Gurman:

Apple Inc. is developing new features for the iPad to cater to professional users, along with new Mac laptops and desktops, according to people familiar with the matter.

Upcoming software upgrades for the iPad include wider operating-system support for Apple’s stylus accessory, while hardware performance improvements are also in development, according to the people. The refreshed Mac hardware line includes new versions of the iMac desktop, MacBook Air laptop, and a 5K standalone monitor in collaboration with LG Electronics Inc., in addition to a thinner MacBook Pro laptop.

The one thing that surprised me is that mention of a new MacBook Air. I thought they were basically dead, especially now that there’s a MacBook in the lineup, with a much better screen.


42 mm Apple Watch 2 May Have 35% Larger Battery →

August 29, 2016 · 08:20

Joe Rossignol writing for Macrumors:

A purported photo of a larger 334 mAh lithium-ion battery destined for the Apple Watch 2 has surfaced on Chinese microblogging service Weibo, foreshadowing expected battery life improvements coming to the wrist-worn device.

The battery is allegedly for the 42mm model, which currently has a 246 mAh battery, suggesting the next-generation 42mm model could have a 35.7% larger battery. The photo does not provide any clues about potential battery life improvements coming to the smaller 38mm model, which is currently equipped with a 205 mAh battery.

I’m most curious about any design changes. Obviously the screen will remain more or less squarish, but will the addition of GPS and various other new sensors allow for it to be thinner? I just hope the bands will be interchangeable with the original Apple Watch.


Clarkson, May and Hammond’s New Car Show ‘impressive’ →

August 28, 2016 · 11:38

BBC Radio 5:

A select group of journalists has been allowed to see the first clips from Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond’s new car show “The Grand Tour”.

Jonathan Holmes, writer for the Radio Times, described it as “impressive” and at times it was almost “breathtaking”.

However, he did add that there was a “slight concern” that Hammond, Clarkson and May could end up like “kids on Halloween” now that there are fewer restrictions on use of language.


Jony Ive Is Making People Uneasy →

August 27, 2016 · 09:44

Neil Cybart:

Some think Apple’s design-led culture doesn’t fit within today’s changing tech landscape. Others think Apple is running out of ideas. Instead, the opposite is true. By doubling down on design, Apple is placing a rather large bet. Apple executives think design will continue to allow Apple to remain focused on the customer experience. It is this customer experience focus that will then keep Apple relevant and able to ride the technology waves like no one has done before. It all comes back to Jony and the ID philosophy that is guiding Apple. If you have doubts about Apple, you probably are uncomfortable with Jony’s vision for the company.


Import Your Vesper Notes Into Ulysses →

August 27, 2016 · 09:41

Götz Fabian:

A few days ago, the creators of the notes app Vesper announced to end its development and eventually shut down the sync server. Being in this industry ourselves, we can understand that making this move isn’t easy, and we’re sorry for both the developers and the Vesper users who grew fond of the tool. If you’re a Vesper user and considering Ulysses as a future replacement, this post is for you. To ease migrating your notes from Vesper to Ulysses, we’ve created a small tool which lets you do exactly that.


Apple Reportedly Working On Social Video Editing App →

August 26, 2016 · 09:03

Mark Gurman reporting for Bloomberg:

Now Apple is starting to develop a video sharing app that allows users to record video, apply filters and drawings to the media — much like Snapchat does — and send it to contacts or via existing social networks such as Twitter Inc., according to the people familiar with its development. The software is currently being designed to be used mostly with one hand and with the intention that video could be shot, edited, and uploaded in less than 1 minute, the people said. At least one of the prototype designs for the app would shoot video in an Instagram-like square shape, one of the people said.

The goal behind the project’s development is to offer simple video editing with tools that appeal to the generation of users growing up with Snapchat and Instagram, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the plans are private. Snapchat told investors in April that more than one-third of its daily users create their own photo-and-video “Stories” of their daily lives. Apple’s current plan calls for its project to become a stand-alone app, presumably as a download via the App Store, but the company may decide to package the functionality into the iPhone’s existing camera application, the people said.

First of all, many people have reported that Apple is working on their own version of Snapchat or Instagram Stories and this does not seem to be the case from what I read of Mark’s report.

I imagine that this is an offline tool for creating content which can then be posted to existing social networks, because if you need an app to view the content, I don’t think people will switch — they already have Snapchat, IG, Facebook, and Twitter. The mentioned apps are also available on Android. Should Apple go down the path of making their app required to view content and not offering an Android app, I don’t see it getting off the ground.

This is a similar problem to Apple News, which is not only restricted to iOS, but also to regions — whenever I see a link on Twitter or elsewhere, and I click it, I get a ‘this news item is not available in your location’ message, which has led me to just stop clicking on the links. Months of this kind of behaviour have taught me to avoid them altogether.

The app is being developed in the same Apple department that developed Final Cut Pro and iMovie software, according to the people.

I use Final Cut Pro. It does almost everything that I need, but I do wish it would improve at a faster pace. It just seems as if Apple has abandoned their pro tools.

Apple is striving for a 2017 release, the people said, adding that the project could be killed if it doesn’t meet the company’s timetable and expectations.

I wonder it this means it will be released with iOS 11 or whenever it’s ready. Linking it to iOS release cycles would be a mistake, since an app like this wouldn’t get updated as often as it should. I’m also worried that it will be basically abandoned in time, when the team gets pulled to do different projects. These are my worries mostly based on Apple’s historical behaviour.

Separate from its video sharing app, Apple has developed and tested multiple social-related features for its iPhone and iPad operating system over the past year that have yet to be released, according to people familiar with the matter. One system that has been tested and still may launch in the future is a bolstered version of the “proactive assistance” functionality.

The proposed enhancements are designed to more effectively connect users with their contacts, one of the people said. Apple’s goal is to make sharing and connectivity with contacts a system-wide feature, the people said. The company has also worked to consolidate communications between users into single panels. For example, two friends could be able to see all text messages, e-mails, and social network interactions between each other in a single window, one of the people said.

Now this sounds interesting. I was just looking for a conversation the other day with a friend — checked Twitter, Slack, Facebook, and I still didn’t find it. Turned out it was in Messages.


Tesla Model S P100D Introduced; 0-60 Times Make for Good Marketing →

August 25, 2016 · 14:17

The Tesla Team:

The Model S P100D with Ludicrous mode is the third fastest accelerating production car ever produced, with a 0-60 mph time of 2.5* seconds. However, both the LaFerrari and the Porsche 918 Spyder were limited run, million dollar vehicles and cannot be bought new. While those cars are small two seaters with very little luggage space, the pure electric, all-wheel drive Model S P100D has four doors, seats up to 5 adults plus 2 children and has exceptional cargo capacity.

The 0-60 time makes for surprisingly good marketing. In the real world, it’s meaningless for most people. Give me a Tesla, with an interior that matches today’s Audis, BMWs, and Mercs, make it slower (6 seconds to 62 mph is plenty fast), and increase range dramatically. When that happens, I won’t have any more reservations about the car. Oh, and put a set of good brakes on it please.


John Gruber Says Goodbye to Vesper →

August 24, 2016 · 08:28

John Gruber:

I really enjoyed working with Brent and Dave. When we were on a roll I could tell that we were doing good work, and it was fun. I’ve spent the better part of my career working solo. It was great to be on a team. I don’t remember who came up with the names “Q Branch” (I think that was Brent), or “Vesper” (I’m pretty sure that one was Dave), but in both cases, as soon as the name was proposed, the whole team said, Yes, that’s the name. That’s it.

With “Vesper” we were thinking things like beautiful, smart, clever, strong. In the end, the name was more apt than we knew, because it also carries heartbreak.

John also points out the mistakes they probably made while working on Vesper. Looking back on my years of using Vesper, he’s probably right. It’s a good example of how your love for your product can blind you from the seemingly obvious.

Even though I had absolutely nothing to do with Vesper, I am very sad that the app is now officially dead. It’s still on my home screen and though I haven’t been using it for a while, it did provide a very specific function in my workflow. One that I will miss greatly. There aren’t many apps out in the world with which I had developed something more than just a passing fancy. Truly, there are only two pieces of software that I can say that I loved. One of them is Tweetbot [iOS / Mac], which will keep me pinned to iOS for as long as it exists — I already dread the day when Tapbots call it quits — and the second is Vesper [iOS]. While Tweetbot completely replaced my need for the official Twitter app, I as hoping Vesper would do the same for Evernote and Notes. Unfortunately, it didn’t and seeing how sad this whole situation makes me, I can only imagine the pain that Brent, Dave, and John are going through.

Cheers, Vesper. We had a good run, you and I.


Microsoft Invented the Tablet Market →

August 22, 2016 · 22:25

Matt Weinberger:

It’s not all sunshine and roses for Surface, though: Despite booking $4.1 billion in Surface revenue last quarter, and despite the fact that the Microsoft Surface basically invented the market that Apple is now carving out for itself with the iPad Pro, Microsoft is still lagging behind Apple in so-called hybrid-tablet sales overall.

Wait, what?


Todd Was Wrong About the iPad Pro →

August 22, 2016 · 22:23

Todd Haselton:

I’m quick to criticize new products, our readers know that all too well, but I was wrong about the iPad Pro.

Respect.

I personally know a few people who totally trashed the iPad until the day they spent some time with it and got it. They then went and got one for themselves.


Samsung Note 7 Delivers Embarrassing Real-World Performance →

August 22, 2016 · 15:22

Eric Hulse:

We have four units within our staff, and every one of our new Notes suffer clear performance issues, sometimes consistently and other times infrequently. The worst hiccups and stutters – or delays – happen only every now and then, but the phone itself is simply slower than its competitors at nearly every action. We have tested the application launch times, both hot and cold, of the Note 7 under the same conditions as our other devices and found it trailing behind not just other Snapdragon 820 phones like the OnePlus 3 and HTC 10, but also the year-old Nexus 6P running on Android’s latest preview. Considering that Samsung packs the cream of today’s processing power with its UFS 2.0 storage, LPDDR4 RAM and the Snapdragon 820, we can begin to entertain the notion that something went wrong with Samsung’s implementation.

Read the whole piece before you buy a Note 7.


Apple iPad Pro 10,5″ Rumour — It Could Adopt the 12,9″ UI →

August 22, 2016 · 14:42

Benjamin Mayo:

Apple is going to shake up the iPad lineup in a big way in 2017, according to securities analyst KGI Ming-Chi Kuo. Next year, Apple will reportedly release three new iPads, a 12.9 inch iPad Pro 2, a low cost 9.7 inch iPad and — most interestingly — a new iPad Pro with a 10.5 inch display, a new screen size for Apple’s tablet range. With a diagonal increase of just 0.8 inches over the 9.7 inch iPad, its unclear at this stage what will justify the introduction of another SKU.

I had my doubts about this rumour until I started crunching numbers. The current 9.7″ iPads have around 264 PPI, while the Minis have 326 PPI (which is the same as the 4.7″ iPhone). If you take the resolution of the 12.9″ iPad Pro of 2732 x 2048 px (it also has 264 PPI) and shrink it down to 10.5″, you get approximately 326 PPI. This could mean that the 10.5″ iPad Pro would get the slightly larger UI of the biggest iPad in the lineup, together with the better virtual keyboard and more room for two apps side by side.

I currently use the 12.9″ iPad Pro because the UI allows for more, due to its higher resolution — using two almost-full iPad 9.7″ apps side by side does make a difference. If Apple packages the experience in a smaller form factor, I’ll be standing in line on day one, waiting to get one as soon as possible.


Vesper and Q Branch Are Shutting Down

August 22, 2016 · 09:53

It’s Monday morning and the first news of the day that I read is that Q Branch is shutting down and so is their app — Vesper. I have been using Vesper for a few specific tasks since it debuted back during the iOS 6 days. I still remember it was one of the first apps to look pretty damned good after Apple changed their design language in iOS 7. It was also one of the first apps to be ready for the 4.7″ and 5.5″ iPhone screens.

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