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Twitter for Apple TV Updated with Periscope Global Map

Twitter has updated its Apple TV app with an interesting new way to view Periscope videos from around the world. The feature is called Global Discovery, and it was announced in a tweet earlier today.

Once you open Global Discovery in the Twitter app, you'll be presented with a zoomed out view of Earth. The face of the planet is scattered with various pins representing different Periscope streams that are currently live. It's a clever way to discover live videos from radically distant parts of the world. I enjoyed being able to easily hop between Periscopes from areas in the U.S. and others in Asia, on the other side of the world.

Navigation in Global Discovery is limited to four options: you can scroll around the face of the globe, move from pin to pin (and thus video to video) on the planet's surface, and zoom in or zoom out. Switching between these options can be done at any time using the Siri Remote's Play/Pause button.

Global Discovery is a nice evolution of the Map view found in Periscope's iOS app, and one that takes advantage of the big screen to great effect.


Dash Returns to the iOS App Store

Last fall, Dash, a popular iOS and macOS developer documentation app by Kapeli, was pulled from Apple’s Mac and iOS App Stores amid allegations of fraudulent reviews and Kapeli’s Apple developer account was terminated. Since then, Kapeli has continued to sell Dash for macOS outside the Mac App Store. With no way to sell the iOS version of the app outside the iOS App Store, Kapelli open-sourced the code for the app.

According to Kapeli, open sourcing Dash for iOS has led to numerous people submitting it to the App Store in violation of its GNU GPL license. In an attempt to slow down the rate of copycat apps appearing to the App Store, Dash’s developer, Bogdan Popescu, announced in a blog post today that he created a personal developer account with Apple and submitted Dash for iOS to the App Store. The app was approved and is now available as a free download in the App Store.


IFTTT Launches Powerful Applet Tools in New Maker Tier

Last November IFTTT, the popular web automation platform, introduced powerful applet tools to its Partner tier of users. The Partner tier was not designed for the average user though, and was therefore cost prohibitive to most. But today, IFTTT announced that some Partner benefits are becoming accessible to a broader base of users with a new Maker tier. This tier is free, but it must be signed up for to gain the new applet tools.

One of the most significant privileges granted to users on the Maker tier is the ability to create applets with more than two actions. Previously applets could only have one 'If' and one 'Then' action each, but Makers can now create applets that have multiple 'Then' steps. So you can set up an applet that triggers based on one thing, then takes several different actions because of that initial trigger. Applet building in this way more closely resembles the power of a service like Zapier. Makers can also modify applets using JavaScript filter code, unlocking a range of new possibilities such as the ability to cause an applet, or particular applet actions, to run only at certain times of day.

Another benefit of being a Maker is that you can build applets for any service on IFTTT, whether you have an account with that service or not. Previously, actions could only be used in an applet if you had a connected account tied to that service or device, but that's no longer the case. This ties in well with another Maker benefit: public profile pages. Each Maker will have a public profile for sharing all of their applet creations.

Creating applets using the Maker tools must be done on the web; the IFTTT iOS app does not currently provide access to any Maker tools, and it is unclear if that will change in the future.


Connected, Episode 143: Super Sleuthing

Stephen has launched a membership, Apple wants people to switch from Android and future hardware is starting to leak. Then, a roundup of the services we use to keep our companies running smoothly.

A fun episode of Connected this week with an interesting look at the web services we use for work at the end. You can listen here.

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Apple Introduces Swift Curriculum for High School and Community College Students

Apple introduced a new year-long app development curriculum today for community college and high school students that is available as a special collection on the iBooks Store. The free-to-download course, which is an extension of Apple’s existing Everyone Can Code curriculum for kids in grades K-12, teaches students how to build fully-functional apps using the Swift programming language. In the fall, six community college systems that serve over 500,000 students will offer the new course.

Tim Cook explained why Apple has created the development course:

“We’ve seen firsthand the impact that coding has on individuals and the US economy as a whole. The app economy and software development are among the fastest-growing job sectors in America and we’re thrilled to be providing educators and students with the tools to learn coding,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “Community colleges play a critical role in helping students achieve their dreams, and we hope these courses will open doors for people of all ages and backgrounds to pursue what they love.”

Swift Playgrounds has proven to be a powerful teaching tool with over 1 million downloads since it was introduced. In addition, over 1,000 schools in the US plan to teach using Apple’s Everyone Can Code materials in the fall. The extension of Everyone Can Code to older students should make the entire program even more attractive to educators than before.


1Password Adds ‘Travel Mode’ Feature for Added Security While Traveling

AgileBits has announced a new 1Password feature launching today that travelers will appreciate. Rick Fillion shares the details:

Travel Mode is a new feature we’re making available to everyone with a 1Password membership. It protects your 1Password data from unwarranted searches when you travel. When you turn on Travel Mode, every vault will be removed from your devices except for the ones marked “safe for travel.” All it takes is a single click to travel with confidence.

1Password is home to some of the most sensitive information in its users lives, so a feature like Travel Mode seems like the perfect way to better safeguard that information when traveling. AgileBits has made its implementation extremely easy as well, with a simple login to 1Password.com to enable or disable the feature.

Though the benefits for individuals are clear, Fillion highlights Travel Mode's usefulness in a business setting as well. He shares that administrators of 1Password teams have the option to mark team vaults as "safe to travel" or not, allowing companies to keep business information as secure as possible when their employees travel.

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IKEA’s Low-Cost Smart Lights Will Support HomeKit

Earlier this year IKEA announced a collection of low-cost smart lights under the Trådfri name. At the time, it was unknown whether the lineup would be compatible with existing smart home platforms, such as Apple's HomeKit. Today MacRumors shared new details announced in a Swedish press release:

IKEA said in its press release that HomeKit support is in the works... IKEA plans to retrofit the new functions via a software update to the Trådfri Gateway and Trådfri app. In addition to HomeKit, the update will also make IKEA's smart products controllable through Amazon Echo and Google Home.

Perhaps the most significant barrier to wider smart home adoption thus far has been cost. While IKEA's Trådfri offerings will certainly not be able to compete with the prices of traditional lighting, their cost will be easier to swallow than that of competing products.

Additionally, news that the lights will support not only HomeKit, but Alexa and Google Home as well, set IKEA's products up to be strong contenders in the smart home market when they launch later this year.


Snapchat Adds Collaboration to Stories

New sharing options are rolling out today for Snapchat that allow friends to collaborate on Stories together. From Snap's website:

Today we’re announcing a new way to create custom Stories – about anything, with any of your friends, even for a specific location! It's perfect for a trip, a birthday party, or a new baby story just for the family.

You decide who can add to the Story and who can view it – you can also choose to Geofence the Story to a location.

Stories have always been a personal medium, so expanding into shared Stories is a significant move. While it would potentially cause headaches if a shared Story could be added to by any friends, the custom controls over who can add to it and the location they have to be in should alleviate those concerns.

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Screens 4.0 for macOS Adds Curtain Mode, Drag-And-Drop File Transfers, Touch Bar Support, and More

Screens 4.0, which was released today, is a complete rewrite of the screen sharing app from the ground up that adds features previously available only in the iOS version as well as some exclusive macOS-only features. What’s made Screens my favorite way to connect to a remote Mac is that it has managed to abstract away the complexity that accompanies many VNC apps. That hasn’t changed with Screens 4.0, which is even easier to use and more versatile than before.

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