John Voorhees

1740 posts on MacStories since November 2015

John, MacStories’ Managing Editor, has been writing about Apple and apps since joining the team in 2015. He also co-hosts MacStories’ podcasts, including AppStories, which explores of the world of apps, MacStories Unwind, a weekly recap of everything MacStories and more, and MacStories Unplugged, a behind-the-scenes, anything-goes show exclusively for Club MacStories members.

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Everyday Robots Releases A Two-Part WWDC 2021 Developer Special

Everyday Robots, a podcast by Jonathan Ruiz, released a two-part episode today featuring developer reactions to WWDC. Ruiz’s guests include Becky Hansmeyer, Frank Foster, Marc Aupont, James Thomson, Zack Becker, Kim aka kaydacode, Ish Shabazz, Christian Selig, and Jeff Rames.

In a year without an in-person WWDC, it was fun to hear which of the announcements this year excited developers and what they felt was missing. I always enjoy Apple’s keynote, and there are a lot of additional details in the WWDC sessions, but there’s nothing like getting a sense of both the big announcements and practical everyday updates that developers are excited about to get a sense of where apps will be headed in the fall.

Both episodes are available on the Everyday Robots website and on Apple Podcasts:

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Apple Podcasts Channels and Subscriptions Launch

Podcast channels and subscriptions are now available as part of the new Apple Podcasts Subscriptions service first announced in April. As Apple explains in its press release:

…listeners in more than 170 countries and regions can purchase subscriptions for individual shows and groups of shows through channels, making it easy to support their favorite creators, enjoy new content, and unlock additional benefits such as ad-free listening and early access, directly on Apple Podcasts.

As we previously covered on MacStories, when a listener subscribes to a show, the page in the Apple Podcasts app is updated with subscriber content and a badge confirming for the listener that they’ve subscribed. Channels, which are collections of subscription-based and free podcasts, are incorporated into Apple Podcasts’ search, recommendation, and sharing functionality. After a listener has subscribed to two or more channels, a new row called ‘My Channels’ appears in the Listen Now tab to facilitate browsing them.

The company’s press release spotlights a long list of shows that are participating in Apple Podcasts Subscriptions. There’s a wide variety of podcasts represented, which makes the press release a good place to start if you’re looking for a channel or subscription to explore. Of course, channels and subscriptions are front-and-center in the Podcasts app too, and I’ve found it easy to find and understand what shows offer.


2021 Apple Design Award Winners: The AppStories Interviews

Federico and I had the pleasure of interviewing four of the twelve 2021 Apple Design Award winners for AppStories. The awards, which were announced by Apple last Thursday, recognized an app and a game in each of the following categories for their outstanding designs: Inclusivity, Delight and Fun, Interaction, Social Impact, Visuals and Graphics, and Innovation.

For today’s special episode, which is the official kick-off of our Summer OS Preview Series of stories and AppStories episodes, we spoke with the following ADA winners:

  • Winston Chen, the developer of Voice Dream Reader, which won an ADA in the Inclusivity category
  • Esther Huybreghts, Mathijs Demaeght, and Melissa Cash from Pok Pok, the developers of Pok Pok Playroom, which won an ADA in the Delight and Fun category, and we covered when it launched
  • Brian Mueller, the developer of CARROT Weather, which won an ADA in the Interaction category and has been covered often on MacStories
  • Maria Sayans and David Fernandez Huerta from ustwo games, the creators of Alba: A Wildlife Adventure, which won an ADA in the Social Impact category

All four interviews are fantastic conversations that reveal common threads of thoughtful design, innovative approaches that feature the latest Apple technology, and a deep understanding of their users.

Thank you to everyone for taking the time for the interviews, Apple for helping arrange them, and as always, thank you for listening to AppStories. We hope you enjoy the episode.


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AppStories, Episode 226 – Three Features That Set iOS 15 Apart

This week on AppStories, we cover the three features that will sell iOS 15 to most users: Focus Mode, SharePlay, and Live Text and share some of our recent audio gear purchases for lossless streaming and AirPlay. We also took questions from listeners who watched us record the episode on Instagram Live.

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  • DEVONthink – The one place for storing and working with all your documents, snippets, and bookmarks.
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  • Pillow – Sleeping better, made simple.

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MacStories Unwind: WWDC Recap: OS Overviews, Shortcuts on the Mac, Spatial and Lossless Audio, and Apple Design Awards

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Sponsored by:
* Daylite – The CRM with Apple Fans in Mind.
* Raycast – Goodbye Spotlight. Hello Raycast.

This week, Federico and John look back at all of the WWDC announcements and coverage at MacStories, AppStories, and the Club, plus news about spatial and lossless audio, and game and music Unwind picks for the weekend.

MacStories

Club MacStories

  • MacStories Weekly
    • Coming Saturday, a WWDC themed issue for Club members.

AppStories

Unwind Picks


You can follow all of our WWDC coverage through our WWDC 2021 hub, or subscribe to the dedicated WWDC 2021 RSS feed.



2021 Apple Design Awards Given to Twelve Developers

The annual Apple Design Awards were handled a little differently this year. On June 1st, the company, for the first time, announced finalists in six categories: Inclusivity, Delight and Fun, Interaction, Social Impact, Visuals and Graphics, and Innovation. For each category, Apple picked six finalists for a total of 36 ADA contenders.

As a part of sessions held at WWDC today, Apple announced the 12 winners, an app and game in each category:

Inclusivity

App Winner: Voice Dream Reader

Apple picked Voice Dream Reader as the winner for the app Inclusivity ADA for its use of VoiceOver technology. The app is a text-to-speech reader that can turn any document or ebook into audio.

Game Winner: HoloVista

In the game Inclusivity category, Apple chose HoloVista, a game where you explore a mysterious mansion, filled with secrets you need to uncover.

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