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Scrivener 3 for macOS Is More Flexible and Powerful Than Ever for Long-Form Writing

Many text editors are just that – text editors. They take a document-focused approach to writing that centers on creating text. It’s an approach that works for most kinds of writing. However, long-form writing is a different animal altogether that benefits from a project-based approach that also includes tools for planning, organizing, researching, and tracking. Today, Literature and Latte released version 3.0 of Scrivener for macOS with a long list of new features that cements its spot as one of the premier project-focused apps available on the Mac for long-form writing.

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HabitMinder: The Healthy Habit Reminder and Tracker [Sponsor]

Forming good habits can be hard, but if you do, it can change your life. HabitMinder makes it easier to form new, healthy habits than ever before.

Each goal you set in HabitMinder has a dedicated screen. There are so many built-in habits that you’re likely to find one that suits your needs, but you can set up your own too. Next, personalize your habit by picking from dozens of colors and hundreds of icons. To stay on track, set reminders for yourself, so you never forget about your new goal.

From HabitMinder’s Today view, you can swipe left on a goal to reveal quick actions, so you can get in, log a habit, and get out in seconds. HabitMinder has a widget and an Apple Watch app too. When you want to see where you stand, check the Statistics screen for an overview of your progress.

Up next for HabitMinder is iPad support and iCloud support. HabitMinder has a pure black mode coming for iPhone X users too.

Habits are hard to form but can lead to meaningful change like Sally Rooney’s recent story in The New Yorker of how her fainting spells were cured by tracking her water intake with our other app, WaterMinder. So whatever your goal, download HabitMinder today to get started.


Special Offer: Sign up for our newsletter with this link by December 1, 2017 and you’ll be entered to win one of 25 promo codes to create an unlimited number of habits in HabitMinder.

Thanks to HabitMinder for sponsoring MacStories this week.


Lookmark Now Tracks App Updates

Lookmark is a bookmarking and monitoring service for iTunes content. It’s an excellent way to save apps, movies, books, and other media for later. Users who purchase a subscription can also use Lookmark to track price changes for apps, which is useful for bargain hunters. Today, Lookmark released an update that pushes the app further into the realm of app monitoring that started with price tracking. Now, users can also track when iOS and macOS apps are updated on the App Store and Mac App Store.

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Following Spotify Playlist Curators Around New York’s Live Music Scene

In an otherwise boring conversation about some press release or another, a Spotify PR person mentioned to me that an artist who had a big hit on the platform’s Fresh Finds playlist was discovered when one of the curators just happened to see them play a show in Bushwick. I was as surprised as anyone really can be by an email from corporate PR.

Fresh Finds is one of Spotify’s prized products, a weekly playlist crafted from a combination of two different data inputs: it identifies new, possibly interesting music with natural language processing algorithms that crawl hundreds of music blogs, then puts those songs up against the listening patterns of users their data designates “trendsetters.” What’s going to a show in Bushwick have to do with it? I had visions of a bunch of suits using their business cards to get into cool shows for no reason other than to feel like Vinyl-era record execs for a night. It seemed extremely redundant, and more than a little like posturing. Why bother?

“It's basically their job,” I was told. Okay but, excuse me, how is that a playlist curator’s job? To find out, I asked if I could tag along with on a few of them on their nights out. I did not expect the answer to be yes, mostly because I thought it should be obvious that my intention was to point out how weird the whole thing was.

But the answer was yes. So, for three weeks, I went with Spotify playlist curators to live performances in Chinatown, Bushwick, and an infamous club on the Lower East Side. I got dozens of half-answers to the question: Why are you here?

Fascinating story by Kaitlyn Tiffany for The Verge on how Spotify is sending curators to live music shows – a process that, according to the company, informs the platform’s tastemakers on what later ends up in popular playlists. As she argues, it’s easy to imagine how Spotify may be planning a lot more behind the scenes.

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Apple Delays HomePod

Apple issued an official statement to TechCrunch and other news outlets today saying that the release of the HomePod would be delayed until 2018. Originally announced at WWDC in June with a promised ship date of December 2017, Apple’s statement says the HomePod will be released in ‘early 2018,’ and the smart Siri-enabled speaker will be available initially in the US, UK, and Australia.

The full text of the statement made to TechCrunch is as follows:

“We can’t wait for people to experience HomePod, Apple’s breakthrough wireless speaker for the home, but we need a little more time before it’s ready for our customers. We’ll start shipping in the US, UK, and Australia in early 2018.”


Apple Posts ‘What’s a Computer’ Video Promoting the iPad Pro

In a new video posted on YouTube called ‘What’s a Computer?’, Apple follows a girl as she leaves home on a bicycle and travels around a city with her iPad Pro. Set to ‘Go’ by Louis the Child, the girl uses FaceTime to chat with friends, marks up a screenshot of her chat, and sends it via Messages. Later she’s seen writing a report in Microsoft Word. In the middle of writing, she sees a praying mantis, swipes up to access the Dock, and takes a quick photo of it.

In the next scene, the girl draws with Procreate using the Apple Pencil. Later, she’s seen sitting in a park taking notes on ‘Bugs in the City’ using GoodNotes, and then reads a Wonder Woman comic book on the subway ride home. The video ends in the girl’s backyard. She’s lying in the grass typing away on her iPad Pro. When a neighbor asks her what she’s doing on her computer, the girl replies ‘What’s a computer’ making the not-so-subtle point that an iPad Pro is more than enough computer for many tasks.


“A Path That Leads to Failure”

Jony Ive, talking about the removal of the Home button on the iPhone X in an interview with TIME:

How does Apple decide when it’s time to move on? It’s not a decision to get rid of an existing technology as much as it’s a willingness to accept that what’s familiar isn’t always what’s best. “I actually think the path of holding onto features that have been effective, the path of holding onto those whatever the cost, is a path that leads to failure,” says Ive. “And in the short term, it’s the path the feels less risky and it’s the path that feels more secure.”

As someone else put it 7 years ago – “sometimes you just have to pick the things that look like they’re going to be the right horses to ride going forward”.

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Apple Encourages Developers to Update to watchOS 4

In a short note to developers on its Developer News and Updates site, Apple is encouraging developers to:

Take advantage of increased performance, new background modes for navigation and audio recording, built-in altimeter capabilities, direct connections to accessories with Core Bluetooth, and more. In addition, the size limit of a watchOS app bundle has increased from 50 MB to 75 MB.

The carrot of new functionality comes with something of a stick as well. After April 1, 2018, watchOS 1 app updates will no longer be accepted and all updates must be native apps built with the watchOS 2 SDK or later. New app submissions must be built with the watchOS 4 SDK.


Apple Fixes iPhone X Bugs with the Release of iOS 11.1.2

Not long after the iPhone X was released, there were reports that the screens of the devices became unresponsive when the temperature dropped rapidly. That issue along with ‘an issue that could cause distortion in Live Photos and videos captured with iPhone X’ were fixed in iOS 11.1.2, which was released a short time ago.

iOS 11.1.2 can be downloaded by going to Settings ⇾ General ⇾ Software Update.