BitTorrent Sync 2.0

I used version 1 of BitTorrent Sync for many months, and started using version 2 as soon as it reached beta. Having used BitTorrent Sync regularly, I now find Dropbox to be incredibly slow, especially when syncing large files or even a large number of files. In some ways, BitTorrent Sync version 2 feels like the version they really wanted to make (akin to the iPhone 3GS or the second-generation MacBook Air).

From the official announcement:

We’re now ready to take the beta tag off and deliver a final product. All of the core functionality we introduced in version 1.4 last August still exist in 2.0, letting you securely share folders across all platforms, with visibility into who has access. A bunch of new functionality has been added, from enhanced user interfaces across desktop and mobile platforms to a new certificates-based security model with even greater control and ease-of-use.

Version 1 was good, but version 2 is great. How great? I plan to drop my paid Dropbox account when it expires, not just because BitTorrent Sync is cheaper, but because it’s so much better.

BitTorrent Sync has often attracted critics who complain that it isn’t open source. That’s true, it isn’t. For those who demand such things, other options exist. If you like building things from source, Java, or pre-alpha software, good luck and Godspeed. However, if you prefer to avoid those things, and are more interested in design, features, stability, usability, and an app you can use today (instead of something that seems like it might be good someday), I highly recommend BitTorrent Sync.

All of its new pro features are available for free for 30 days. After that, they will cost $40/year (that’s “per person” not per device). Don’t want to pay? BitTorrent Sync’s free version is still faster option than Dropbox, with no storage limits, and no limits on file sizes or transfer speeds.

Get BitTorrent Sync for Mac, Windows, Linux and FreeBSD. (Mobile apps for iOS, Android, Windows Phone, and Amazon Kindle Fire should be available later today.)

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Life After Cancer: How the iPhone Helped Me Achieve a Healthier Lifestyle

I've been struggling to get back in shape after chemo.

Since being diagnosed with Hodgkin Lymphoma (Stage IV) in late 2011, my life changed. Beyond the psychological and emotional consequences of how cancer affected me, my family, and my relationships, it is undeniable and abundantly clear that cancer took its toll on me from a physical perspective.

Last year, I decided to regain control of my body, my life habits, and my health. I started tracking everything I could about my activities, my exercise routine, the food I ate, and the time I spent working with my iPad instead of walking, sleeping, or enjoying time with my family. Since then, I've made a decision to not let cancer and its consequences define me any longer.

I want to be healthier, I want to eat better, and I want to take the second chance I was given and make the most of it. What started as an experiment has become a new daily commitment to improve my lifestyle and focus.

And it wouldn't be possible without my iPhone.

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‘Becoming Steve Jobs’ Is a New Book about Steve Jobs That Arrives March 24

A new book about Steve Jobs, authored by Brent Schlender and Rick Tetzeli will arive later this month on March 24th. Titled 'Becoming Steve Jobs: The Evolution of a Reckless Upstart into a Visionary Leader', the book promises to answer the question of how the exiled Steve Jobs managed to return to Apple and 'become the most effective visionary business leader of our time'.

Drawing on incredible and sometimes exclusive access, Schlender and Tetzeli tell a different story of a real human being who wrestled with his failings and learned to maximize his strengths over time. Their rich, compelling narrative is filled with stories never told before from the people who knew Jobs best, and who decided to open up to the authors, including his family, former inner circle executives, and top people at Apple, Pixar and Disney, most notably Tim Cook, Jony Ive, Eddy Cue, Ed Catmull, John Lasseter, Robert Iger and many others. In addition, Brent knew Jobs personally for 25 years and draws upon his many interviews with him, on and off the record, in writing the book. He and Rick humanize the man and explain, rather than simply describe, his behavior. Along the way, the book provides rich context about the technology revolution we all have lived through, and the ways in which Jobs changed our world.

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Automatic: Your Smart Driving Assistant on Your Smartphone [Sponsor]

There’s a mountain of data inside your car waiting to be unleashed, and all you have to do is plug in a quick little connector and download a mobile application.

Automatic is a smart driving assistant that plugs into your car's data port and lets you connect your smartphone (either iPhone or Android) with your car. By  talking to your car’s onboard computer and using your smartphone’s GPS and data plan to upgrade your car's capabilities, Automatic will allow you to easily diagnose your engine light, never forget where you parked your car, and save hundreds of dollars on gas.

Automatic learns your driving habits and gives you suggestions through subtle audio cues to drive smarter and stop wasting gas. Thanks to a map view available on your phone, Automatic can display a trip timeline after every driving session, showing you how you're doing with a Drive Score; the app can even track local gas prices and tell you how much you're spending.

In case of engine problems, Automatic can decipher what the "check engine" light means and show you a description of the issue with a possible solution. And thanks to a feature called Crash Alert, Automatic can detect many types of serious crashes and automatically alert local authorities as well as your loved ones when you can't.

Automatic is currently available in the US for iPhone and Android devices, with a 45-day return policy and free shipping in 2 business days.

MacStories readers can go to automatic.com/macstories to get $20 off and buy Automatic at just $79.99. For more information, check out Automatic's website.

Our thanks to Automatic for sponsoring MacStories this week.


Apple Highlights ‘Shot with iPhone 6′ Gallery on Apple.com Homepage

People take incredible photos and videos on iPhone 6 every day. And here are some of our favorites. Explore the gallery, learn a few tips, and see what’s possible with the world’s most popular camera.

Apple has launched a 'Shot with iPhone 6' mini-site today. The iPhone 6 truly has an incredible camera, which is extremely portable and has a large selection of apps (which Apple also highlights). Great shots.

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Connected: The Color of Myke’s Eyes

This week, the boys discuss the iOS setup process and the possibly-confusing nature of the Apple Watch’s multiple variations before Stephen and Federico share their thoughts on the iPhone 6 Plus.

This week's Connected has some of my early thoughts about the iPhone 6 Plus I'm trying (plus the usual follow-up and news commentary goodness). You can listen to the episode here.

Sponsored by:

  • Warby Parker: Glasses should not cost as much as an iPhone.
  • Sanebox: Clean up your inbox and spend less time on email.
  • Harry's: An exceptional shave at a fraction of the price. Use code CONNECTED for $5 off your first purchase
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Virtual: Alto’s Adventure, with Ryan Cash

This week Federico and Myke get excited for some upcoming game releases, and speak with Ryan Cash, from Snowman, about their game 'Alto's Adventure'.

On this week's episode of Virtual, we interview Ryan Cash of Snowman about the excellent Alto's Adventure (my review) – the making of the game from concept to early demos, pricing, player feedback, and more. You can listen to the episode here.

Sponsored by:

  • Squarespace: Build it Beautiful. Use code INSERTCOIN for 10% off
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Tapbots Relaunches Website, Working on Tweetbot 4.0 for iOS

The fine folks at Tapbots have relaunched their website today, focusing on the apps they're currently selling on the App Store as well as details on upcoming updates. From their blog post:

Welcome to the new tapbots.com! We hope this long overdue refresh is a better place to stay up to date with our apps. Our goal this year is to not only ship updates on a more regular basis, but also provide more insight into what we are currently working on. So lets get on to the important bits of information.

With the refresh, Tapbots has pulled Convertbot from the App Store (its core functionality is built into the newly released Calcbot 2), removed Pastebot, and set Weightbot free.

On the homepage, Tapbots confirms that a major update to Tweetbot for iOS (version 4.0) is in the works with iPad and landscape support, a redesigned profile view, and more. Tweetbot 3.0 was a fantastic take on Tapbots' Twitter client (and it stacks up well to other Twitter apps on iOS) and, between this and Tweetbot for Yosemite, I'm excited to see more Tapbots software in 2015.

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