The guys behind 1Blocker for iOS and macOS are launching 1Blocker X tomorrow, with support for many more rules by combining several content blockers into one app — this rewrite took them 6 months, which is why I completely understand their need to make back their investment. Salavat Khanov wrote up all the new features of 1Blocker X on their blog — it’s an interesting read — and now that I finally understand how it works under the hood, I’m upgrading tomorrow, when the app goes live. You can pre-order it today though…
★ 1Blocker X — $4.99 / €5,49 / 23,49 PLN →
I wrote a short piece on why I loved Alto’s Adventure so much a few months ago:
These weeks were incredibly taxing, ultimately driving me into severe depression, which took me over two years to shake. I did find one way to keep sane at the time, during those long hours in the halls of the hospital my mom was in — by playing Alto’s Adventure [iOS / Android] when my stress levels were particularly high or there was just nothing else to do. I would completely lose myself in the wonderfully calming music, various sound effects, and flowing gameplay, while skiing down the slope of the endless in-game mountain. At one point Alto’s Adventure was the only experience that would calm my frayed nerves.
I don’t know what I would have done without this wonderful game, but I would like to deeply thank the team behind it — Snowman — for their efforts. They will always have a special place in my heart.
This was partly done in anticipation of Alto’s Oddysey — the sequel to that fantastic title. Well, it’s up for pre-order today, which I did, and I can’t wait until February 22, when it’s scheduled for release.
★ Alto’s Odyssey — $4.99 / €5.49 / 23.99 PLN →
Cabel Sasser, from Panic:
Hello. Here’s an update on Transmit iOS that I promise will not use the words “sunset” or “journey” […]
Transmit iOS made about $35k in revenue in the last year, representing a minuscule fraction of our overall 2017 app revenue. That’s not enough to cover even a half-time developer working on the app […]
My optimistic take: we hope that as iOS matures, and more and more pro users begin to seriously consider the iPad as a legitimate part of their daily work routines, Transmit iOS can one day return and triumph like it does on the Mac.
This is terrible news. I don’t often use Transmit iOS, but when I do, I love it and wish I had reason to use it more often.
I’ve been meaning to write about Alto’s Adventure for the past few years, but never got around to it. This beautiful iOS game was my sole way of attaining peace in a time of huge personal turmoil.
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I still use RSS for following authors, journalists, writers, and sites or blogs that I want to read.
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James Thomson is currently celebrating the amazing history of his scientific calculator:
25 years sounds like a really long time. A quarter of a century sounds even longer. Yet, that is how long it has been since PCalc 1.0 was released […]
PCalc was my first ever application. I started writing in the summer of 1992 and it took me around six months to get it into a state where I was happy to show it to the world. Some of that code still runs today, deep at the heart of the machine.
That is both amazing and terrifying.
This means that both the iOS and Mac versions are on sale — down to $0.99 from the usual $9.99.
If you need a really good programmable calculator, do one of two things:
- wait for the sale to end and buy it at full price (it’s totally worth it)
- buy it now, go into the About screen, and drop a few coins into the Tip Jar
Wishing you as many more years of PCalc as you want James!
P.S. Don’t forget to play the AR game hidden in the About menu!
There are many reports to the YouTube customer support account on Twitter complaining about battery drain when running the app on iOS 11. The company is apparently ‘actively working to fix this’.
The YouTube app appears to have some bugs on iOS 11, affecting all iPhones and iPads, causing the devices to run very warm when watching videos.
This is happening on my iPad Pro 10.5”, but it doesn’t get warm at all — the battery drain is through the roof though. Using YouTube through Safari solves this problem though.
This is yet another example of third-party libraries, plugins, or add-ons, which do things they aren’t supposed to:
DJI has removed a third-party plugin called JPush, which was introduced in March 2016 for iOS and May 2017 for Android. We implemented the plugin as a way to push notifications when video files are successfully uploaded to DJI’s SkyPixel video sharing platform. JPush assigns a unique JPush ID to each user and informs SkyPixel of this ID when the user chooses to upload a video. After uploading is complete, SkyPixel sends the user’s unique JPush ID back to the JPush server, triggering an “Upload Complete” notification on the user’s DJI GO or DJI GO 4 apps. By using JPush’s third-party plugin, DJI has allowed users to multitask while uploading large video files to SkyPixel occurs in the background of their app.
As a third-party company, JPush only needs to send and receive a minimal, narrowly-defined amount of data in order for this function to work properly. Recent work by DJI’s software security team and external researchers has discovered that JPush also collects extraneous packets of data, which include a list of apps installed on the user’s Android device, and sends them to JPush’s server. DJI did not authorize or condone either the collection or transmission of this data, and DJI never accessed this data. JPush has been removed from our apps, and DJI will develop new methods for providing app status updates that better protect our customers’ data.
I still don’t quite understand how and why developers and companies would choose to go down this route without a detailed check of what the used third-party code does precisely. Laziness, I guess.
(…) we also believe that Apple and Google should do more to prevent this sort of behavior. They should set — and aggressively enforce — clear App Store rules forbidding the sharing of location data for any purposes not directly relevant to the app’s core functionality. If an app is caught breaking this rule, it should be removed from the store. This won’t stop all abuse, but it would, at the very least, put many of these data monetization companies out of the business of tracking where you go.
I completely agree and have much respect for the DarkSky team for their declarations. Especially since Adam also posted many examples of companies, such as Reveal Mobile, contacting them and offering to pay for their data. In the meantime, AccuWeather’s response on the matter was a non-answer.
Popular weather app AccuWeather has been caught sending geolocation data to a third-party data monetization firm, even when the user has switched off location sharing.
AccuWeather is one of the most popular weather apps in Apple’s app store, with a near perfect four-star rating and millions of downloads to its name. But what the app doesn’t say is that it sends sensitive data to a firm designed to monetize user locations without users’ explicit permission.
Delete this crap and never install it again.
I’ve spent many months of development on Overcast’s Apple Watch app, especially implementing standalone “Send to Watch” playback. Unfortunately, I now need to remove the “Send to Watch” feature.
I tried it once, soon after it debuted in Overcast. The transfer of a single podcast episode was so slow, that I never bothered again. Apple needs to fix the Watch’s biggest bottleneck.
From Ulysses’ FAQ:
What happens after my subscription or trial ends? Can I still access my texts?
Definitely. Ulysses is in read-only mode, meaning you can still access all your sheets and export them using any export format.
I strongly believe that to alleviate concerns over “renting software” instead of owning a copy, Ulysses (in this example) should still be fully functional when a user ceases paying their subscription, but it would stop receiving updates and new features. If a developer was feeling extra generous, they could support new OS versions and security updates.
Ulysses for Mac and iOS embraced the subscription model yesterday — Marcus Fehn detailed everything on their blog, while Max Seelemann explained the reasons behind the decision on Medium.
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Dave Teare, writing about 1Password Memberships:
1Password is what it is today because we all love working here and have fun helping our customers. We are completely self-funded, independent, have turned down all offers from venture capitalists, and our board of directors consists entirely of people who work on 1Password and help customers directly each and every day.
I love indies who make it work, without outside help. That is what we’re doing with our publishing business, and it’s not easy.
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Cultured Code has finally released Things 3 for iOS and macOS — the next edition, rewritten from the ground up, of one of the most popular GTD systems for iPhone, iPad and Mac. I have been using it for the past day or so, hence I cannot make any solid statements at this point in time, but I was a long-time Things 1.0 user, right up until my tasks overwhelmed me and it was easier to delete the app than to actually complete everything that I had jotted down in it. I’m hoping that this time I’ll make it work — Cultured Code really seems to have the UI down pat and while not perfect, it fits my needs. I do have a few niggles that I will address in the future, but nothing truly major. Having said that, Things 3 is not cheap, but they do have a launch sale going currently — each app is 20% cheaper and there are a few days left to pull the trigger. I can’t say that I’m a fan of their pricing methods (I would prefer a single, universal iOS app, even if it cost more), but if you need a well thought out GTD system for a single user, give Things a try (there’s a trial of the Mac version of the app).
★ Things 3 – iPhone – $7.99 (20% launch sale) →
★ Things 3 – iPad – $15.99 (20% launch sale) →
★ Things 3 – Mac – $39.99 (20% launch sale) →
Rob Griffiths and Peter Maurer:
Tonight we received notice that Moom is in violation of US patent number 8434019, Apparatus and method for positioning windows on a display. Yes, someone has patented positioning windows on a screen via a grid. Given we’ve been notified of a patent violation, we have no choice but to remove Moom from sale, effective immediately.
Sometime patents make sense. Most of the time however, they don’t. This is as absurd as you can imagine anything can be.
This is not a ‘pure acquihire’ in that Workflow — not just the talent — is being purchased in this deal. This makes sense and I’m glad to see it because Workflow itself was a prime meat example of how to find a need in the iOS ecosystem, tackle it in an interesting way and execute it with cleverness and attention to honoring the platform. Simply put it’s super smart, really well designed and works very well.
Wow! This is something I did not expect.
I use Workflow every single day and I just hope it won’t go away and will continue to be updated. I actually just used it to create this post.
Magic Variables mostly remove the need to manually save variables. They leverage Workflow’s Content Graph engine to automatically keep track of variables in the background, allowing you to access them at any time with the ability to change their type (format). It’s a novel idea, and it’ll take a few minutes to fully grasp, but it’s drastically superior to Workflow’s old variables. Magic Variables will change how you build workflows.
I started using the new Magic Variables this morning, trying to rework one of my older workflows. The one which I am in fact using to create this post. Thanks to the new system, I’m down to 6 steps instead of close to 20. There are two huge benefits: quicker workflow creation and much more readable workflows.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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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I bought a bunch of adblockers for iOS when they came out last year. After repeated experiments, I stuck with 1Blocker — it was extremely fast, very good at dealing with trackers (which I care about most), and streamlining my mobile experience. The latter is probably the most important, since it really helps conserve data when roaming — why would I want to download a 1 MB webpage and 9 additional megabytes of trackers, when I can just download that 1 MB?
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One question I’m asked on a regular basis is “What apps are you using to mark up and annotate your images?” A few years ago, I would have told you that it wasn’t an easy task on iOS and you were better off using a Mac app, such as Napkin. Luckily, that not only isn’t the case anymore, it’s actually easier to mark up and annotate images on iPhone nowadays.
PointOut [App Store] is my tool of choice. Ally has some more suggestions though, if you’re looking for more.