Yesterday as Federico was putting the finishing touches on an in-depth review of iOS and iPadOS 14.5 that we will publish next week, he discovered something interesting: Apple Music is in the process of establishing a presence on Apple News. The content added to Apple News so far is limited, but it appears that the company is in the process of enhancing both services by connecting them in a way that is reminiscent of the way it brought Apple News to the Stocks app with iOS 12, but so far, also different.
A Music and News integration has been on Federico’s wish list ever since iOS 12. As he imagined in his iOS 12 review:
Using Apple News as a content provider for Stocks is fascinating as it could be applied to a variety of other Apple services in the future. Imagine, for instance, if Music news became part of the Music app and if you could read interviews and album reviews on an artist’s page.
It’s an idea that he returned to in 2019:
and that we have discussed repeatedly on AppStories.
Today, Apple unveiled a new monthly editorial feature for Podcasts called Spotlight, which showcases up-and-coming podcast creators. The first podcaster featured is Chelsea Devantez, whose show Celebrity Book Club debuted late last year and discusses the memoirs of celebrity women.
Spotlight can be found in Podcasts’ Browse tab and is accompanied by ‘Editors’ Notes’ where you usually would see the show’s description. As a result, those editorial notes are available in third-party podcast apps too.
In an announcement by the podcast’s publisher Stitcher, Apple’s Global Head of Business for Apple Podcasts, Ben Cave said that “Apple Podcasts Spotlight helps listeners find some of the world’s best shows by shining a light on creators with singular voices.” I’m glad to see Apple Podcasts continue to evolve and expand its discovery tools. Apple has been instrumental in the growing popularity of podcasts for years. However, the company’s role as editorial curator of shows and creator of its own content is a more recent development. Like features the company has rolled out for Apple Music in recent years, Spotlight is the sort of thing that doesn’t need to be held until an OS update, allowing podcast fans to take advantage of it now.
Benjamin Mayo, reporting for 9to5Mac:
Apple has recently updated its App Store Preview pages for stories to allow users to view the full content of stories from inside their desktop web browser. App Store stories have always been shareable as links, but the web version was just a title and a navigation link to ‘open this story in the App Store’.
Between August 9th and August 11th, Apple has upgraded the experience and now includes full imagery, app lists and paragraphs copy in the web version. This means you can access the same content online as you would be ale to find in the native App Store experience.
Historically, App Store editorials could only be viewed inside the App Store itself, whether on an iPhone, iPad, or Mac. Anyone not using an Apple device would thus be unable to view such stories, even if they had the appropriate link for them. Now, however, every App Store editorial can be read in full on the web. iOS devices still default to opening stories in the App Store, but you can now open a story’s link in Safari on the Mac, or in browsers on non-Apple devices.
Apple still doesn’t let you initiate app downloads from the web, so while you will be able to see preview pages for apps from a browser, to start a download you’ll need to visit the App Store or Mac App Store.
During the WWDC keynote today, Apple announced a redesigned Mac App Store, elements of which leaked this past Saturday in a 30-second Mac App Store preview video for Xcode 10. The video was discovered by Steve Troughton-Smith:
Unlike the iOS App Store, the Mac App Store has never included preview videos, which indicated additional Mac App Store improvements were likely.
Those suspicions were confirmed during the keynote this morning when Apple revealed an ambitious redesign of the Mac App Store. The update takes several cues from the iOS App Store, implementing lessons learned from that store’s successful update in iOS 11.
Ole Zorn’s Editorial was the text editor that completely reimagined how I could work from iOS. While I have since moved to Ulysses as my primary text editor, I still use Editorial almost daily for its unique Markdown automation. Editorial’s combination of Python scripting and visual workflows for plain text editing is unparalleled and there’s nothing else like it on the App Store.
After a couple of years without updates and a long TestFlight beta period, Editorial has been updated for iOS Split View and the 12.9-inch iPad Pro. There are other changes (the workflow editor has been moved to the accessory panel and the Python editor now opens in a separate tab), but, overall, it’s still the same Editorial you know and love, updated for the latest iOS devices. I’ve been using the beta version of Editorial 1.3 for several months now – being able to keep Editorial next to another app is great for editing and research, and moving back and forth between a document and a workflow is easier.
As for everything else, my coverage of Editorial 1.0, 1.1, and 1.2 still stands; Editorial is the text editor for iOS power users thanks to its excellent automation features, advanced Markdown editing, and TaskPaper integration. As I wrote in November, I still edit all my longform stories in Editorial. Despite the paucity of updates, I love the app as it’s a shining example of pro software for iOS.
If you haven’t played with Editorial in a while, now’s a good time to check it out again (the app is also available at a discounted price of $4.99).
If I had to pick one iOS app I couldn’t live without, that would be Editorial.
Developed by Berlin-based Ole Zorn, Editorial was the app that reinvented text automation in 2013 and that pushed me to start working exclusively from my iPad. Editorial is a powerful Markdown text editor that combines visual Automator-like actions with a web browser, text snippets, Python scripts, and URL schemes to supercharge text editing on iOS with the power of automation. I spend most of my days writing and researching in Editorial, and my workflow depends on this app.
Editorial also has a slow release cycle. Zorn likes to take his time with updates that contain hundreds of changes: Editorial 1.1, released in May 2014, brought an iPhone version and custom interfaces, making Editorial feel like an entirely new app. The same is happening today with Editorial 1.2, which adds support for the latest iPhones, iOS 8 integration, custom templates, browser tabs, folding, and much more.
Editorial 1.2 with iOS 8 support is launching right after Apple’s announcement of iOS 9, but the wait has been worth it. The new version builds upon the excellent foundation of Editorial 1.1, and the enhancements it brings vastly improve the app for users who rely on its automation features and Python interpreter.
Rather than covering every single change, I’ll focus on the 10 new features that have most impacted the way I get work done with Editorial on a daily basis.
In need of a project to learn on, I decided to take a Python script I wrote last year for connecting to a server and manipulating files over FTP (File Transfer Protocol) and build a User Interface for it.
I continue to be amazed by the breadth and versatility of Editorial’s UI module. I can’t wait to see how iOS 8 and extensions will fit with Editorial’s automation and workflow creation features.
Since my review of Editorial 1.1, I’ve been keeping an eye on the workflow directory and I’ve come across some great UI workflows worth linking to.
- Crop Image: “Custom UI to crop images and save the output to the Camera Roll” (More details by Philip Gruneich in his blog post. I love this idea.)
- Move Line: “Indent, outdent or move line up/down using arrows in popover UI”
- Sidebar Notes: “Shows a “Notes” sidebar next to the document (on iPhone, it’s shown in an accessory panel instead of a sidebar)“
- List Folder: “Shows a popover with a list of files in a configurable folder”
Editorial users are coming up with amazing ideas to enhance the app, and I can’t wait to see what Ole does with extensions on iOS 8.
Editorial developer Ole Zorn has created a workflow showing how the new Editorial can tag parts of speech in text to highlight lexical classes like nouns, verbs, adjectives, and more.
linguistictagger module is a new Python addition in Editorial 1.1 and it’s reminiscent of the part of speech highlighting found in apps like Phraseology and Writer Pro. In Editorial, you won’t get any editing features, but the basic syntax highlighting will still come in handy to understand how you write when reading a document in the Syntax preview.
Also from Zorn, check out two UI workflows to display a sidebar for Wikipedia and a Markdown preview while writing in the text editor.