Amazing work by Kyle Lambert (he should be familiar to MacStories readers). Kyle only used a finger and an iPad Air for a photorealistic portrait that took 285,000 brush strokes and over 200 hours of work.
Conrad Stoll has an interesting article on developing for the M7 chip in the latest iOS devices and adapting an app to the motion information returned by the API:
I was already well into developing Runtime when the iPhone 5s was announced and we learned about the new M7 “motion co-processor” from Apple. There have already been a few good articles talking about what the M7 does and how we believe it works, but essentially from a developer’s perspective the M7 provides a great way to track a user’s steps and type of activity while they are moving. Instead of writing about what the M7 is or how it works, I wanted to write about what its like to use as a developer.
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MindNode makes mind mapping easy. Mind maps are a visual representation of your ideas, starting with a central thought and growing from there. This allows you to brainstorm and organize your thoughts in an intuitive way, so you can focus on the idea behind it.
MindNode 3 for iOS was just released and it comes with a completely new user interface designed for iOS 7. New features like MyMindNode – a service that allows you to embed your MindMaps on any website – and iCloud folder integration mean sharing your documents between all your devices has never been easier.
I’ve been using MindNode for years and I’m a fan of version 3.0 (my review). What I like about MindNode is that Smart Layout makes it easy to build large maps without having to worry about rearranging nodes, and the beautiful new default theme on iOS 7 looks great on the iPhone and iPad. In the new version, MindNode also supports keyboard shortcuts on the iPad: this allows me to create a map in a few minutes like on my Mac while retaining the iOS app’s handy Inspector menu. I rely on MindNode to organize topics for my longer articles and reviews, and I highly recommend it.
MindNode 3 for iOS is available on the App Store.
Last night, I started getting an error in iTunes for Mac every time I tried to sign in to browse the Store or download app updates — “The iTunes Store is temporarily unavailable”. I looked everywhere and tried every trick in my arsenal, including an obvious restart of my Mac and even Keychain First Aid. I eventually found an Apple support document but that didn’t help either.
This morning I came across this discussion on Apple Support Communities and followed the instructions provided by Jerome Colas on September 30, 2013. I don’t know if this is a new problem with Mavericks or Safari 7, but it worked for me, so check it out if you’ve been having the same issue lately.
Smart take by Diego Petrucci:
The misconception is that because most people don’t actually understand PCs/Macs, they do not have serious needs. That is wrong. People don’t do serious stuff on their PCs because PCs are incomprehensible to them. They just don’t work as they would expect. So they end up giving up and stop trying.
With iPads, though, they «get» computing. They notice that they can do stuff that was almost impossible (by their own standards) to do with PCs. They can make music (even if it’s just for fun), they can share boring blurred photos with their family members, they can look for skin problems with apps that recognize rushes and stuff like that. With time, their needs evolve. Doctors do doctory stuff with apps that understand patterns when dealing with uncommon diseases, housewives cross-check discounts on multiple apps and use notifications to be alerted when deals start, and so on. And yes, this is not my imagination, I’ve actually seen people do this stuff and these are real-world examples.
We (myself included) often refer to “normal” people, but we rarely reflect on just how empowering iOS devices have been for everyone. Diego makes some good points.
As I discussed on The Prompt, I also believe that, eventually, any iPad user – no matter the label you want to give them – will stumble across evident limitations of iOS. This is normal because iOS is still relatively young (especially after the iOS 7 reboot), but it'd be wrong not to bring attention to those issues.
This week, Federico returns with lots to say to Stephen and Myke about working on the iPad.
I'm back, and we had a great discussion about wanting more from the iPad and Apple's approach to increasing the functionality of iOS. Get the episode here.
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- Squarespace (use code TALLYHO11 for 10% off)
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Michael D. Shear compares Apple’s Pages to Microsoft Word at The New York Times. Before you begin yawning and close the tab, let me say that I liked the angle Shear used – instead of pointing out the advanced features that Apple removed (what I have also done), he considers Pages for normal people who don’t care about AppleScript and are typically fine with the basic formatting tools.
This bit about iCloud struck me as relevant:
The new version of Pages introduces an all-new sharing option, powered by the company’s iCloud service, that works remarkably well. Type in a person’s email address, click send, and that person receives a link to your document. When the link is clicked, the document opens in a web browser that looks like a fully functioning Pages application. (My mom didn’t even notice the difference.) The recipient doesn’t have to have Pages installed or have an iCloud account. It even makes Mac-PC sharing easy. The new version runs just fine in Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome or Safari on a Windows PC.
This is a solid point (emphasis mine). People like Shear’s mom and my folks don’t know the differences between “native” and “web” apps. Pages is Pages. Will they notice it’s Pages in the browser with a URL? Probably, but I guess a good percentage of people will just call it “Pages” or “the shared Pages”.
Here’s to hoping Apple will iterate on the web product quickly – the ease of sharing a document is indisputable, but it needs to be reliable and better integrated with every version of “Pages”.
On the same day that Tapbots launched Tweetbot 3.2 with a dark theme, developer Silvio Rizzi released Reeder 2.1, which brings several fixes and changes to the app introduced in September, plus themes — including two dark ones.
The new theme switcher in Reeder 2.1, located in the style menu of the article viewer, allows you to switch between four themes: White, Light (the original one), Dark, and Gray. Choosing a theme is a manual operation, and the dark ones should help users who have been asking for a background easier on the eye while reading at night. I’m especially a fan of the Dark theme, as it’s not completely black — it’s a darker version of the original Reeder sepia hue. (more…)