viticci

Federico Viticci – 7066 posts on MacStories

http://www.macstories.net/ – @

If you listen to The Prompt and you've ever wished you could express your appreciation for the show in a very visible way, well, we now have t-shirts.

We’re excited to announce the world’s greatest t-shirt. With a two-sided color design and printed on black, it celebrates the culture surrounding Apple and a community that’s bigger than any country or accent. We’ve been testing the design for a while now, and we really like it.

All orders and shipping are being handled by Teespring, so there’s no doubt about the quality of the product and the service. The best part? They’ll be at your door well in time to pack for WWDC.

Get yours on Teespring today, and you'll have it by WWDC.

Brenden Mulligan has an interesting post on various ways to ask users for permissions to access photos, contacts, and notifications on iOS. Brenden and his team experimented with different user flows and designs for Cluster, and what they ended up using seems like a good balance to me: there are multiple dialogs, but they're often contextual and they explain to the user how data will be accessed before making a decision.

The “trick” of showing a custom permission dialog before the real iOS one seems to be a common trend these days – I've seen it in Facebook Messenger and other apps, and the general idea is that the user will be prepared when iOS will pop up the permission dialog to grant access to private data. There are many ways to approach this problem (dialogs integrated with welcome tutorials, custom dialogs with screenshots, etc), but I agree that making permission-granting contextual to a user-initiated action is much better than a deluge of permission dialogs on an app's first launch.

This week, Federico, Myke and Stephen reflect on their input into the world of dental healthcare, then move on to discuss Dropbox’s recent news, shake-ups in Apple’s design department and the WWDC lottery system.

For more on Carousel, see my thoughts on the app – I like its browsing experience a lot, but it needs more options for uploads and folder-based structures. Get the episode here.

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Apr
11
2014

Reeder 2 for Mac beta

Nine months after being pulled from the Mac App Store following the Google Reader shutdownReeder for Mac, Silvio Rizzi’s popular desktop RSS client, is back with a public beta that offers a glimpse at the app’s new service integrations, refreshed design, updated gesture navigation, and new features that will come in the final version.

During the beta stage, Reeder 2 for Mac will be free to download from Rizzi’s website.

The Reeder 2 beta builds on the design foundation of the old Reeder for Mac and the latest Reeder for iOS to offer a mix of new functionalities and tweaked layouts that should be familiar to both audiences. In July 2013, Rizzi pulled Reeder for Mac from the App Store due to the discontinuation of Google Reader (the RSS service that powered Reeder 1.0) as he couldn’t ship compatibility updates in time for Google’s deadline and preferred to jump directly to a 2.0 update that, however, is taking longer than expected. Originally announced for Autumn 2013, Reeder 2 for Mac still isn’t feature complete according to Rizzi, but he’s confident that the public beta should provide a solid preview of the changes he’s been working on while also serving as a way to gather feedback for what will become a paid app on the Mac App Store. (more…)

Let me be clear. Steve was not some mercurial ogre or cartoon autocrat. He was just very, very busy. He didn’t have time for “yes men,” the easily frightened, or those who didn’t know what the fuck they were doing or talking about.

In that way, he wasn’t different from any other executive. At least those with good sense.

Steve expected excellence. Which is why he so often got it.

Fantastic collection of stories about Steve Jobs and working at Apple by Don Melton (an extended, unified version of what first appeared on The Loop Magazine).

If you read one thing today, make it this one.

Cult of Mac’s Luke Dormehl posted a look behind the scenes of Monument Valley, one of the most unique and beautiful iOS games I’ve played this year. There are photos of early sketches and an interview with Monument Valley designer Ken Wong, which includes this important quote about movies and game design:

A lot of games make too much sense,” Wong says. “Their makers try and emulate movies, for example — wanting to look like Star Wars or The Godfather. Games can be so much more. The titles that excite us the most here at ustwo are the ones where you get to do really strange things. It doesn’t have to make sense. That’s where Monument Valley came from conceptually.

Apr
9
2014

Carousel

Carousel, a new gallery app released today by Dropbox, aims at providing an integrated solution for all photos and videos stored in a Dropbox account, unifying them in a single interface that automatically sorts files by time and location. As someone who relies on Dropbox and a custom workflow for photo backup, management, and viewing, I followed today’s announcements with curiosity and anticipation – the company’s previous photo products weren’t the most advanced or versatile ones on the App Store, but they showed an interest for turning Dropbox into a cloud-based Camera Roll, which is where Apple is struggling with its confusing Photo Stream.

I’m still exploring various possibilities for my photo management workflow (I played around with Everpix, Loom, Picturelife, Unbound, and many other services and clients) and Carousel offers an interesting take on the problem: it’s photo and video archival based on Dropbox storage, but it’s also a separate iOS app with sharing options that include messaging and public links on the web.

I took Carousel for a spin[1] this afternoon, and I collected some first impressions below. They’re not exhaustive, but I believe they’re fairly indicative of the app’s current state and limitations. (more…)

Alongside Carousel, today Dropbox also announced an update to Mailbox for iOS and showed the first screenshots of a Mailbox beta for OS X. In Mailbox for iOS, Dropbox is introducing a feature called Auto-Swipe, which will let the app learn a user’s patterns for archiving, deleting, or snoozing emails containing certain addresses or subjects and try to perform the same action automatically in the future:

Today, we’re proud to announce a new service built directly into Mailbox that learns from your swipes and snoozes to automate common actions. Mute that thread you don’t care about, snooze messages from your friends until after work, and route receipts to a list — automatically. We call this service Auto-swipe.

According to a post on the Mailbox blog, Auto-Swipe is made possible by the service’s new infrastructure, likely helped by resources made available by Dropbox (the company was acquired by Dropbox in March 2013). In a feature story at The Verge, Ellis Hamburger has shared details on how Auto-Swipe will work and even integrate with Mailbox for Mac:

If you want to manually archive any thread for good before waiting on Mailbox’s suggestion, you can open it up, and then tap and hold on the archive button. Similarly, if you keep snoozing your Groupon emails until after work, or your club soccer emails until Friday afternoons, Mailbox will notice your actions and offer to do them for you for incoming emails of those kinds. Or you can manually invoke action by tapping and holding on the snooze button. The goal is to remove all the clutter you didn’t even know existed — the messages that you assumed needed to stay in your inbox because they showed no signs of stopping.

Mailbox for Mac will sport a design inspired by the popular iOS app, with support for quick gestures and snooze (two of the app’s marquee additions to classic email) and a clean widescreen layout to manage accounts and lists. The Mailbox Mac app isn’t available today, but Dropbox is letting users apply for a beta invitation here.

At a press event held in San Francisco this morning, Dropbox announced Carousel, a new dedicated gallery app that combines all of a user’s photos and videos from all connected devices in a single interface. Carousel will be available both as an iOS and Android app, separate from the main Dropbox client but based on the same storage space.

During the event, Dropbox CEO Drew Houston announced that the company has now 700 employees and over 275 million users, who rely on Dropbox to store a variety of personal and work files, documents, and media. With Carousel, Dropbox allows users to look at photos and videos stored in their accounts, which are automatically sorted by time and location: large thumbnail previews group related items together by location, while a timeline scrubber at the bottom allows users to quickly navigate through time to view and select old photos.

According to Dropbox, Carousel is faster than Apple’s built-in Photos app when dealing with hundreds of files even though they are stored in the cloud, and not on a user’s local device. Carousel is built with sharing in mind: the app makes it easy to select multiple photos and send them to another person directly from the app alongside a message; the recipient can then view the full-resolution photos, and optionally save them to Carousel.

Dropbox has long enabled users to automatically upload new photos from their devices through the official Dropbox client, but Carousel marks the company’s debut into the photo and video management space with a dedicated app that’s been specifically created for upload, management, and sharing outside of the Dropbox client.

From the Dropbox blog post:

It combines the photos in your Dropbox with the photos on your phone, and automatically backs up new ones as you take them. Carousel sorts all these memories by event so you can easily travel back in time to any photo from any date. And unlike other mobile galleries, the size of your Carousel isn’t constrained by the space on your phone, which means you can finally have your entire life’s memories in one place.

Carousel will be available for free on the App Store later today. We’ve embedded the official promo video below.
(more…)