Free Bjango App Icon Templates →

January 27, 2016 · 08:23

Bjango:

A comprehensive set of app icon templates for Photoshop, Illustrator, Sketch, and Affinity Designer. The templates cover Android, iOS, OS X, Apple TV (tvOS), Apple Watch (watchOS), Windows, Windows Phone and web favicons. Where possible, they’re set up to automate exporting final production assets. All free and open source, released under the BSD license.


App Store Deals — 26/01/2016 — Last Day of ‘Get Productive’

January 26, 2016 · 11:29

If my calculations are correct1, today is the last day that you can get the apps from Apple’s ‘Get Productive’ offer for 50% off. I also added a few more recent discounts to the list below.

I use many of the apps listed personally. I cannot imagine life without 1Password for example. I recently purchased Affinity Designer and actually found it to be better for my needs than Adobe Illustrator. Copied is a wonderful Mac and iOS combo to keep your clipboard organised. I’ll soon be incorporating Drafts into one of my workflows — it’s a great app on its own too. PCalc… well, there are calculator’s, and there’s PCalc — I interviewed James Thomson, the person behind it, a while back. Anyway… you should find something great below — most of it is really high quality work.

1Password – Mac – Productivity – €49.99 > €24.99
Affinity Designer – Mac – Graphics & Design – €49.99 > €24.99
Amount Plus – iOS – Productivity – €1.99 > €0.99
Astropad Graphics Tablet – iPad – Productivity – €19.99 > €9.99
Carbo – iOS – Productivity – €7.99 > €3.99
Clear – iOS – Productivity – €4.99 > €1.99
Clear – Mac – Productivity – €9.99 > €4.99
Copied – Mac – Utilities – €7.99 > €3.99
Copied – iOS – Utilities – €0.00
DaisyDisk – Mac – Utilities – €9.99 > €4.99
Deliveries: a package tracker – iOS – Utilities – €4.99 > €1.99
Desk MD – Mac – Productivity – €14.99 > €12.99
Desk NT – Mac – Productivity – €9.99 > €5.99
Desk PM – Mac – Productivity – €19.99 > €9.99
Drafts 4 – iOS – Productivity – €9.99 > €4.99
Due – iOS – Productivity – €4.99 > €1.99
Duet Display – iOS – Productivity – €15.99 > €7.99
Genius Scan+ – iOS – Business – €6.99 > €2.99
iA Writer – Mac – Productivity – €19.99 > €9.99
iTranslate – Mac – Productivity – €9.99 > €4.99
Magnet – Mac – €4.99 > €1.99
Mail Designer 2 – Mac – Graphics & Design – €29.99 > €14.99
Moleskine Timepage – iPhone – Productivity – €4.99 > €1.99
Notability – Mac – Productivity – €5.99 > €2.99
Numerics – iOS – Business – €9.99 > €4.99
PCalc – iOS – Utilities – €9.99 > €4.99
PCalc – Mac – Utilities – €9.99 > €4.99
PDF Expert 5 – iOS – Productivity – €9.99 > €4.99
Prizmo 3 – Scan, OCR – Mac – Business – €49.99 > €24.99
Prizmo – iOS – Productivity – €9.99 > €4.99
Screens VNC – Mac – Utilities – €29.99 > €14.99
Things – iPad – Productivity – €19.99 > €9.99
Things – iPhone – Productivity – €9.99 > €4.99
Things – Mac – Productivity – €49.99 > €24.99
Yoink – Mac – Utilities – €6.99 > €2.99

  1. They aren’t — you have two full days and a bit to make your purchase.

iPhone 5SE Reported to Have Faster A9/M9 Chips →

January 25, 2016 · 18:18

Mark Gurman:

Because the iPhone 7 will include a faster chip potentially known as the A10 processor, Apple likely does not want its new 4-inch iPhone to fall two processor generations behind in just six months. Another benefit of the M9 chip from the iPhone 6s is always-on Siri activation. This feature allows a user to say “Hey Siri” and launch Siri on their iPhone without the device being plugged in. Given the large performance leap, we are told that the “5se” will likely replace the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus in the iPhone lineup this fall when the iPhone 7 is introduced. This means that Apple’s fall 2016 iPhone lineup will likely be the iPhone 5se, iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, and the future iPhone 7 and 7 Plus (or what Apple ends up calling the next-generation devices).

While the ‘5SE’ sounds nostalgic to me, it suggests the phone is three generations behind the iPhone 7 — or rather will be. Reportedly.


Daniel Details How to Use Drafts and Workflow for iOS →

January 25, 2016 · 16:27

Daniel Wallace:

If you liked my post about blogging on an iPad, and the best writing programs available on the iOS App Store, here’s a little more.

In my first post, I assumed that you were writing an essay-type post, full of big ideas, in which prose came first, and the links and quotations came second. First you wrote, and then, when you had finished writing, you went back and cleaned up the piece, got it ready for the web.

That’s why I began the piece talking about writing apps on the iPad, great programs like Ulysses and Drafts.

But, of course, not all blogging is like that. Sometimes we are responding to another person’s post, or want to connect a few different arguments; sometimes we just want to fire off a quick piece that’s nothing more than a link, a quotation, and a comment.

In theory, these sorts of posts would be a slog to compose on an iPad. You’ve got to select text on a web page, copy it into your text editor, go back, select links, copy them over, HTML or Markdown those links up, and then send the post to your blog. It’s a lot of bother for a quick response. But with the new capacities of iOS9, the best iPad (and iPhone) apps are getting better and better at speeding up the process for you.

Why should a short post take you a long time to write, when it doesn’t have to?

I’ve been meaning to incorporate the excellent Drafts for iOS [App Store] into my workflow for over a year now, for more automation. Daniel’s post, which details how he uses Drafts, has given me an excellent idea — to expand my workflow even more, to publish linked or regular posts, with quotes from the clipboard or Drafts, and mash it up all together in Workflow [App Store], without leaving Safari.

Hopefully my plan will be actually possible to execute…


AnandTech’s Apple iPad Pro Review →

January 25, 2016 · 11:39

Joshua Ho, Brandon Chester & Ryan Smith for AnandTech:

The iPad Pro is arguably the first tablet that I personally want to even consider buying. It isn’t perfect by any means, and there is still a lot of work to be done – seemingly fitting for a first-generation Apple device – but for the first time in a long time it feels like the broader tablet market is advancing once again. If you want a proper tablet that can replace pencil and paper with a keyboard for extended typing sessions, I have no problem recommending the iPad Pro. If you’re hoping for a laptop that can also double as a tablet, I suspect that the Surface Pro 4 will remain the right choice for you.

Having tested both the iPad Pro (which I bought) and the Surface Pro 4 (which I didn’t), I found that the former is a great tablet and can function as a laptop replacement for many, while the latter is a good laptop, which can be used as a tablet, albeit a bad one due to issues with Windows and the lack of quality apps.

P.S. Autocorrect is giving me a hard time today…


Updated Apple Watch in March; New Apple Watch and OS in September →

January 24, 2016 · 13:12

Mark Gurman:

Apple plans to announce new Apple Watch models in March. The new lineup will be similar to the September 2015 Apple Watch revision, bringing a series of new band color options to the Apple Watch lineup. We are also told that entirely new bands made out of new materials are in development in addition to partnerships with firms beyond Hermes.

Quite frankly, I’m surprised that partnerships with other accessory makers are so slow to come to market. I was expecting more than just Hermes to be available by now.

Mark also reports that a second generation Apple Watch will ship in September instead of March. This would indicate a longer period between updates than the typical yearly cycle, which I’m all for. The Apple Watch is not an iPhone — it doesn’t need yearly updates. What it needs are substantial updates which will make a bigger difference to regular consumers.

In the meantime, I can’t wait for new the bands and perhaps even that black Milanese Loop to complement my Space Black Steel Watch.


4-Inch iPhone Will Reportedly Be Called ‘iPhone 5se’ →

January 24, 2016 · 13:02

Mark Gurman:

The new device is internally codenamed “N69,” but the launch name will likely be the “iPhone 5se.” The “se” suffix has been described in two ways by Apple employees: as a “special edition” variation of the vintage 4-inch iPhone screen size and as an “enhanced” version of the iPhone 5s. Indeed, the upcoming “5se” features a design similar to 2013’s flagship but upgraded internals, software, and hardware features that blend the old design with modern technologies from the past two iPhone upgrades.

Mark also provides a list of upgrades over the 5S, which includes confusing statements. If the chamfered edges indeed go away in favour of curved glass (as seen on the newer iPhones), will the back edges also go away? Or will the design change more than is evident, so that everything is more consistent?

Gurman also reports that the 5SE will have an Apple A8 and no 3D Touch, but it will have Live Photos. That is not unheard of, since they can be easily viewed on iPads and Macs, but what about the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus? Will these also receive this feature with an iOS update?

I’m curious as to what will happen to the lineup when the iPhone 7 comes out too. Will the 6 and 6 Plus be discontinued, or will they still be sold at a lower price point? It will be interesting to see what Apple does, as they introduce a new line-up this Autumn.


Netflix Starts Blocking VPNs, Proxies, and Other Unblocking Services →

January 22, 2016 · 14:16

Sebastian Anthony:

Last week, on January 14, Netflix said that it would begin cracking down on customers who use VPNs, proxies, or other “unblocking” services to view content that shouldn’t be available in their country. The move is almost certainly to appease copyright holders and broadcasters. Way back in 2014, Sony Pictures accused Netflix of “semi-sanctioning” piracy by allowing “illegal subscribers” to view geoblocked content.

The first report of Netflix blocking a VPN comes from uFlix, an Australian VPN service that charges AUD$2 (£1) per month for the ability to view Netflix content from around the globe…

Still working fine for me. There are a lot of proxy, VPN and SmartDNS providers out there — hopefully some will remain to let us watch content we’re paying for, wherever we are in the world.


Google Paid Apple $1 Billion to Keep Search on iPhone →

January 22, 2016 · 09:43

Joel Rosenblatt writing for Bloomberg:

Google Inc. is paying Apple Inc. a hefty fee to keep its search bar on the iPhone.

Apple received $1 billion from its rival in 2014, according to a transcript of court proceedings from Oracle Corp.’s copyright lawsuit against Google. The search engine giant has an agreement with Apple that gives the iPhone maker a percentage of the revenue Google generates through the Apple device, an attorney for Oracle said at a Jan. 14 hearing in federal court.

I assume DuckDuckGo isn’t. It also doesn’t track you. You can set it up as your default search engine on iOS and OS X.

Update

For those of you wondering how much this influences Apple’s finances, Horace Dediu has a nice illustration.


DPreview Interviews Fujifilm Execs →

January 21, 2016 · 10:52

Barney Britton:

Last week, Fujifilm announced several new products including two major new cameras – the X-Pro2 and X70. DPReview was at the launch event in Tokyo where we made time to sit down with two senior Fujifilm executives – Mr. Toru Takahashi and Toshihisa Iida. As well as the new cameras, we also spoke about Fujifilm’s long-term ambitions, which cameras sell best in which countries and Samsung’s apparent exit from the camera market.

After reading the interview, I can see how they’re passionate about their products. And it explains my feelings about Fuji, which I wrote about yesterday, too.


Apple Opening Europe’s First iOS App Development Center in Italy →

January 21, 2016 · 08:59

Apple Press Release:

Apple® today announced the creation of Europe’s first iOS App Development Center in Italy, to give students practical skills and training on developing iOS apps for the world’s most innovative and vibrant app ecosystem.

The iOS App Development Center, to be located at a partner institution in Naples, will support teachers and provide a specialized curriculum preparing thousands of future developers to be part of Apple’s thriving developer community. In addition, Apple will work with partners around Italy who deliver developer training to complement this curriculum and create additional opportunities for students. Apple expects to expand this program to other countries around the world.


The New Fuji X-Pro2 and Why It Will Probably Be My Next Camera

January 20, 2016 · 14:09

I was a Nikon D700 user until recently, having made the switch from Canon in 2009. There were multiple reasons for this. At the time, the D700 was a much better full frame camera than the 5D. The former was basically a smaller pro body with a few features cut to lower the price, while the latter was a Canon 20D with a large sensor. Everything about the D700 was better, including the glass that I was lusting for. My main reason for making the switch was the Nikkor 14-24 f/2.8G — a zoom lens sharper than many primes. I sold (still selling the lenses) my whole kit recently and switched to my Fuji X100T, which my wife got us a few months ago.

Continue reading →


Apple Watch Hermes Available to Purchase Online This Friday →

January 20, 2016 · 12:11

Maria Bobila:

Mark your calendars for this Friday, Jan. 22. Instead of having to visit a select boutique in a major city like New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco or Miami for an Apple Watch Hermès, you’ll be able to easily shop for one online at both Hermes.com and Apple.com. The entire collection will be available for purchase, which includes three styles of handmade leather straps: the “Single Tour” or loop (starting at $1,100), the “Double Tour” ($1,250) and the “Cuff” ($1,500). Each style comes with a brand-exclusive, customizable watch face.

I tried the ‘Cuff’ on in Paris and I instantly loved the leather band, even though it’s not my style — it just oozed of luxury. If you know where to look, you’ll be able to get the band itself for a fraction of the price, but please note that the quality of the leather scales comparably.


App Store Deals — 20/01/2016 — Lots of Amazing Apps

January 20, 2016 · 08:51

Today’s App Store Deals is amazing — many of my favourite tools are discounted. I usually suggest paying the full price for software, especially if it’s from small software houses or indie devs, since this will help them update the apps in the future and release new versions. But if money is an issue then this is your chance to get some great software for half the price.

1Password – Mac – Productivity – €49.99 > €24.991 →
2Do – iOS – Productivity – €14.99 > €7.99
2Do – Mac – Productivity – €49.99 > €24.99
Affinity Designer – Mac – Graphics & Design – €49.99 > €24.992 →
Amount Plus – Unit Converter – iOS – Productivity – €1.99 > €0.99
Astropad Graphics Tablet – iPad – Productivity – €19.99 > €9.993 →
Calendar 366 Plus – Mac – Productivity – €6.99 > €1.99
Clear – Tasks, Reminders – iOS – Productivity – €4.99 > €1.99
Clear – Tasks, Reminders – Mac – Productivity – €9.99 > €4.99
Copied – Copy and Paste Everywhere – iOS – Utilities – €0.004 →
Copied – Copy and Paste Everywhere – Mac – Utilities – €7.99 > €3.995 →
DaisyDisk – Mac – Utilities – €9.99 > €4.996
Deliveries: a package tracker – iOS – Utilities – €4.99 > €1.997 →
Drafts 4 – Quickly Capture Notes – iOS – Productivity – €9.99 > €4.998 →
Due – Reminders, Countdown Timers – iOS – Productivity – €4.99 > €1.99
Duet Display – iOS – Productivity – €15.99 > €7.99
iA Writer – iOS – Productivity – €9.99 > €4.999 →
iA Writer – Mac – Productivity – €19.99 > €9.9910 →
iTranslate – translator & dictionary – Mac – Productivity – €9.99 > €4.99
Moleskine Timepage – iPhone – Productivity – €4.99 > €1.99
Notability – Mac – Productivity – €5.99 > €2.99
Noteshelf – iPad – Productivity – €7.99 > €3.99
PCalc – The Best Calculator – iOS – Utilities – €9.99 > €4.9911 →
PCalc – Mac – Utilities – €9.99 > €4.9912
Screens VNC – Mac – Utilities – €29.99 > €14.9913 →
Things – iPad – Productivity – €19.99 > €9.99
Things – iPhone – Productivity – €9.99 > €4.99
Things – Mac – Productivity – €49.99 > €24.99
Yoink – Mac – Utilities – €6.99 > €2.99

Cheers!

  1. Probably the best password manager; can’t live without it.
  2. A nice alternative to Adobe’s offerings. Bought it recently and I don’t regret it one bit.
  3. Use your iPad as a tablet for your Mac. Supports iPad Pro and Pencil.
  4. Started using Copied recently, since my other manager stopped working. Great app, worth every cent. Syncs over iCloud. Not on sale — included in the list because it’s a great companion to the Mac version.
  5. A great add-on to the iOS version. Syncs over iCloud.
  6. Love it.
  7. I use this for all my tracking needs.
  8. One of the great ones.
  9. A great alternative to Ulysses.
  10. A great alternative to Ulysses. Didn’t I say that already?
  11. James isn’t bragging — it really is a great calculator.
  12. Still great.
  13. I use this to connect to my Mac from my iOS devices. Works perfectly.

American Game Developer Freed From Iranian Custody After Four Years →

January 19, 2016 · 22:23

Kyle Orland:

Hekmati, who was born and raised in the US, was first imprisoned in August 2011 after he purportedly confessed to high-level espionage for the US government. According to the confession, Hekmati’s company, Kuma Reality Games, was working with the CIA to release “games with the aim of manipulating public opinion in the Middle East. The goal of the company in question was to convince the people of Iran and the people of the entire world that whatever the US does in other countries is a good measure.”

This isn’t a movie plot. Sounds like one though. There’s so much we don’t know…


Donald Trump Says He Will Get Apple to Build Hardware in the US →

January 19, 2016 · 13:57

T.C. Sottek:

Speaking at Liberty University today, Trump escalated his rhetoric on Apple’s overseas manufacturing, and claimed somehow the US would reclaim those jobs in the future. “We have such amazing people in this country: smart, sharp, energetic, they’re amazing,” Trump said. “I was saying make America great again, and I actually think we can say now, and I really believe this, we’re gonna get things coming… we’re gonna get Apple to start building their damn computers and things in this country, instead of in other countries.”

In the voice of ‘Pinky and The Brain’: And then he’ll try to take over the world!


Suicide Pact →

January 16, 2016 · 20:53

Julia Medew:

They lived their lives well, and on their own terms.

Now their daughters waited on the beach. Their greatest fear was not that their beloved parents would die, but that they – or worse, one of them – would not. The Shaw sisters trusted their parents and had faith in their plan but they were still aware of the many things that could go wrong. What if the drug their mother had buried in her garden for fear of a police raid had lost its potency? What if one of them survived to be accused of killing the other?

An extremely sad story, but it’s worth reading.


French Government Rejects Crypto Backdoors →

January 16, 2016 · 20:52

Glyn Moody:

Speaking on behalf of the French government, the deputy minister for digital affairs Axelle Lemaire has rejected an amendment to the new “Law for the Digital Republic,” which called for computer companies to provide backdoors to encrypted systems.

A sensible decision, which is surprising considering the bullshit politicians have been saying lately.


Matthew Panzarino’s Sources Indicate Apple Watch 2 Is Not Coming in March →

January 16, 2016 · 12:55

Matthew Panzarino:

Several things that I’ve heard (from several sources) indicate to me that we won’t see a new hardware model of the Apple Watch in March. Design partnerships, accessories, that kind of thing maybe but not a “Watch 2.0” with a bunch of new hardware features like a camera. I could be wrong, of course, but I’ve heard enough to put it out there.

As a consumer, I’m fine with the Watch being on a two-year cycle. As a fan of the product, I’m curious as to what’s coming next. Having said that, I don’t think incremental updates are the way to go — I’d prefer to see substantial improvements between generations.


Microsoft Is Bringing Its Windows Phone Keyboard to iOS →

January 16, 2016 · 12:53

Tom Warren:

One of my favorite features in Windows Phone is its truly excellent keyboard. It’s far more accurate and easy to use than the default iOS keyboard and many Android alternatives, but you’ve had to use Windows Phone to take advantage of it so far. Microsoft is planning to make its Word Flow keyboard available on other platforms, starting with iOS.

The problem with iOS third-party keyboards is that they mostly suck due to the system’s restrictions. And they’re usually even worse for foreign languages.