Nilay Patel Bought His Mom a Chromebook Pixel →

February 2, 2016 · 21:31

Nilay Patel:

We were off to the races. It’s a month later and she loves the thing. It’s not fighting her, or asking her to learn anything new, or foisting complicated new products on her. There are no apps to update, and no new versions of the OS to install every year. It’s just Chrome, doing its thing. And because it’s still a thousand-dollar laptop, it’s incredibly fast. (Apparently the secret to making Chrome run really well is to totally dedicate a 2.2GHz Core i5 and 8GB of RAM to it.)

I’ve used a Pixel for a few weeks and even reviewed it — it truly is an amazing little computer, certainly much better in its second iteration. What I don’t still quite understand is why it requires a Core i5 and 8 GB of RAM to run as well as it does. It shouldn’t need it.

When we talk about laptops still being popular and important, we tend to talk about things like the precision of the mouse and the power and flexibility of a desktop operating system. We talk about all the things they can do better than a phone or a tablet. We talk about more. But it’s worth talking about the power of technology that strives to do less — much less. The thousand dollars I spent on a Pixel didn’t buy my mom crazy extensibility, or the ability to run powerful apps like Photoshop or Excel. It didn’t even buy her that much storage. But it did buy her a beautiful, well-designed product. And most importantly, it bought her focus, and the ability to spend her time using her computer instead of trying to learn how to use it.

That’s a lesson I think Steve Jobs would have liked very much.

I believe that Steve understood the concept quite well — please don’t take this as putting words in his mouth; that’s not my intent. I am referring to a product you can actually buy, which most certainly ticks the ‘focus’ box. It’s called the iPad. While probably not best suited for Nilay’s mom, you can’t beat the focus a single window into the internet gives you. That’s probably why I get so much done on my iPad Pro, with or without an external keyboard.


Copy.com Is Dead (or Will Be on May 1, 2016) →

February 2, 2016 · 12:38

Copy & Cudadrive Team:

We are announcing today that the Copy and CudaDrive services will be discontinued on May 1, 2016.

Copy and CudaDrive have provided easy-to-use cloud file services and sharing functionality to millions of users the past 4+ years. However, as our business focus has shifted, we had to make the difficult decision to discontinue the Copy and CudaDrive services and allocate those resources elsewhere.

This sucks. I currently have 720 GB of space in Copy.com, of which I use about 1 GB for a very specific purpose. Oh, I didn’t pay a cent for all that space — referral bonuses only — but I am not abusing it either. Then again, I always had a feeling they’d go down shift focus sooner or later. Time to start utilising my OneDrive, where I have 1 TB of storage.

P.S. If you want to get a OneDrive account and want some free storage, we’ll both get some if you use this link when creating yours.


Day One 2 for iOS and Mac, Rewritten From the Ground Up, Launching on 4/02/2016 →

February 1, 2016 · 11:13

Paul Mayne on the Day One blog:

Over the past two years we’ve been working towards a major new version of Day One, using the somewhat awkward-sounding “Day One 2” as its name.

To support Day One 2’s new features, we ultimately rebuilt the app from the ground up, all the while staying true to Day One’s original simplicity. Rebuilding an app as seasoned as Day One is no small task. What I’d hoped would be a year-long effort has taken twice that… but we feel it’s been worth the wait.

Day One 2 will be a new app on Mac and iOS with two headlining features: multiple journals and multiple photos per entry. It will remain a paid app and be priced at $9.99 for iOS and $39.99 for Mac. We will provide a 50% discount to both apps during the first week of its debut. Day One Classic (v1) will continue to be maintained as needed and is compatible with Day One 2 when using Day One Sync.

I have been a Day One user since 2012, if I recall correctly, and continue to love what the team has built. I’m glad they’re coming out with a paid update, which is technically a completely new app, and that they’ll continue to support the older version. I’ll be purchasing the new one as soon as it comes out, although I sort of wish I could pay full price for it straight away, as I know I won’t be able to hold off for a full week. I also like their bold decision to keep the price pretty high, going against the tide.


Sanmay Ved Was the Owner of Google.com for One Minute →

February 1, 2016 · 09:06

Eduardo Vela Nava for Google Security, recalling a past incident:

You may have read about Sanmay Ved, a researcher from who was able to buy google.com for one minute on Google Domains. Our initial financial reward to Sanmay—$ 6,006.13—spelled-out Google, numerically (squint a little and you’ll see it!). We then doubled this amount when Sanmay donated his reward to charity.

It always surprises me when huge companies forget something which seems to obvious. Then I remember that errare humanum est.

I do sometimes wonder what would have happened if in an alternate universe, Ved actually retained the Google.com domain, and set something of his own on it.


Apple’s El Niño →

February 1, 2016 · 09:01

Dr. Drang:

If sales don’t improve with the iPhone 7, I’ll be willing to believe we’ve reached “peak iPhone.” Until then, the only problem I see is that the iPhone 6 was too successful.


iPad Air 3 Rumoured to Get Smart Connector, Four Speakers and More →

February 1, 2016 · 09:00

Chance Miller:

The first thing you’ll notice in the image below is that there appears to be a cutout for the Smart Connector. Apple first introduced this connection with the iPad Pro, using it for a more stable and reliable connection for things like keyboards. This case leak suggests that Apple plans to add the Smart Connector to the iPad Air lineup with the March revision.

Another change is that the camera cutout on the back of the case appears to extend further down, perhaps hinting that the iPad Air 3 will gain support for rear camera flash, a feature the iPad Pro does not have. Finally, the leaked images appear to show holes for four speakers, a change that was first reported earlier this month.

With more power efficient internals, Apple could go with a smaller battery to make room for the speakers. If I recall correctly, I already got more than 12-13 hours of battery life from my iPad Air 2, hence they should have room to manoeuvre.


The Rule of Thirds — a Rookie Mistake →

January 31, 2016 · 14:12

Tavis Leaf Glover:

If new artists start with the grid of dynamic symmetry instead of the rule of thirds, they’ll be able to later take advantage of the diagonals, which they can create rhythm with… by posing the model, or applying paint strokes. The available diagonals within the rectangle will limit the number of directions you use, called a gamut, which will create a more powerful composition…rather than the spokes of a bicycle tire.


iPad Air 3 Rumoured to Have 4K Display and 4 GB of RAM →

January 29, 2016 · 10:01

Siu Han & Alex Wolfgram for Digitimes:

The new 9.7-inch device will reportedly come equipped with a 4K resolution panel and up to 4GB in RAM, in addition to improved battery life.

I’m betting on no change in the display’s resolution — there is no reason to go 4K apart from watching 4K movies, and that’s hardly a compelling reason. First of all, battery life would take an enormous hit. So would GPU performance. I don’t see them doing this — there are just too many downsides.

Still on the fence regarding RAM — it could go either way.


Apple Developing Long-Range Wireless Charging for iPhone →

January 29, 2016 · 09:57

Tim Culpan:

Apple is exploring cutting-edge technologies that would allow iPhones and iPads to be powered from further away than the charging mats used with current smartphones, the people said, asking not to be identified as the details are private. The iPhone maker is looking to overcome technical barriers including loss of power over distance with a decision on implementing the technology still being assessed, they said.

Don’t expect this technology this year. I wouldn’t bet on 2017 either.


iPhone 7 Plus Likely to Have Dual-Lens Camera →

January 28, 2016 · 11:11

Tim Hardwick:

To that end, Kuo expects a 2-3x optical zoom function to feature in Apple’s iPhone 7 Plus. However, owing to supply chain constraints on dual-camera modules, the KGI analyst expects the larger handset to come in single-camera and dual-camera versions.

I doubt Apple would ship two different versions of the iPhone 7 Plus — they prefer their line-ups to be as simple as possible. I could imagine a scenario where the iPhone 7 has a regular lens, while the 7 Plus gets the new dual-lens setup — this would correlate with OIS being present on the 6/6S Plus, but not on the 6/6S. Having said that, if such technology was to be used by Apple, I’d expect it in the 7S / 7S Plus.


Meet the New Porsche 718 Boxster and Boxster S →

January 27, 2016 · 16:00

Alex Kierstein:

The rumors were mostly true. Porsche had already confirmed that the Boxster and Caymans would receive a “718” appended to their badges, in honor of their famous mid-engined racecar of the 1950s and ’60s, but the mechanical details were left up in the air. We were almost certain both would be powered by turbocharged flat-fours of a couple of displacements and outputs, and now we can confirm that this is the case. Porsche has revealed the official specs for the 718 Boxster, which will go on sale in Europe this April

Finally a beautiful car, and I don’t even mind the 4 pots. I’m still so disappointed about what they did to the 911 (991), that the Boxster/Cayman models are actually more attractive now.


Apple Financial Results — FY Q1 2016 →

January 27, 2016 · 15:12

Apple PR:

Apple® today announced financial results for its fiscal 2016 first quarter ended December 26, 2015. The Company posted record quarterly revenue of $75.9 billion and record quarterly net income of $18.4 billion, or $3.28 per diluted share. These results compare to revenue of $74.6 billion and net income of $18 billion, or $3.06 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter. Gross margin was 40.1 percent compared to 39.9 percent in the year-ago quarter. International sales accounted for 66 percent of the quarter’s revenue.

Apple sold:

  • 74.7 million iPhones (74.47 million in FY Q1 2015)
  • 16.1 million iPads (21.42 million in FY Q1 2015)
  • 5.31 million Macs (5.52 million in FY Q1 2015)

Use a GoPro With Periscope →

January 27, 2016 · 14:45

Periscope:

We’ve seen people put their phones in some precarious situations — they’ve been taped to drones, tied to balloons and submerged underwater. Creativity always finds a way, but we wanted to make it a little bit easier. Today, you can broadcast from your GoPro HERO 4 directly to Periscope for iPhone. Keep that phone safely tucked away.

This is awesome.


Photographer Banned From North Korea for These Photos →

January 27, 2016 · 13:14

Michael Zhang:

Photographer Éric Lafforgue has spent years traveling the world to shoot documentary photos for well-known publications. He was even given rare access to North Korea, where he shot thousands of photos showing citizens and government officials going about their daily lives.

After his 6th trip to the country in September 2012, however, Lafforgue was banned by the government for the photos he was sharing online.

Worth seeing.


The 2015 Panic Report →

January 27, 2016 · 08:38

Cabel Sasser:

As always, thank you for being a Panic customer, and a Panic fan. Thank you for allowing us to run this company making neat things that you hopefully like. And thanks for giving us the chance to do what we love every day. I hope that our journey can also kind-of feel like your journey, because you’ve been with us every step of the way.

These guys and their software always make me smile. Thank you Panic for that.


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.