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Connected, Episode 276: Symbiosis, Osmosis, Whatever

On this week’s episode of Connected:

The boys kick of 2020 with a lot of follow-up including clarifying what being a Chairman means, a challenge for the Upgradies and a debate about the iPad Air, then conversations about LaunchCuts and Twitter’s iPad app.

You can listen below (and find the show notes here).

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Connected, Episode 276

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Defining Apple’s Decade

Benjamin Mayo of 9to5Mac has published an excellent journey down memory lane of Apple’s last decade:

Apple entered the 2010s just as the iPhone began to explode in popularity. The iPhone became the most successful consumer product, ever. Sales surged for another five years and still make up a majority of Apple’s revenues. However, we exit the decade with the iPhone making up a smaller portion of Apple’s business than ever before, as the company diversifies into strong lineups of wearables, tablets and services offerings.

But nothing is a simple straight line. Apple had to graduate through the passing of its founder, juggle relationships with an ever-expanding list of consumer and professional market segments, and adapt to the public attention and scrunity that only comes along as a consequence of being the biggest company in the world. This is a decade in Apple, on one page.

Mayo’s first Apple product was an iMac in 2010, so the timeframe of the decade lines up with his own initial interest in Apple, leading all the way to today, when he’s one of the most prominent Apple reporters. I always enjoy reading Mayo’s perspective on Apple, so it was especially fun getting to hear his personal takes of the biggest moments of the company’s past decade. If you want to spend time basking in the nostalgia of Apple’s last 10 years, Mayo’s story is a great way to do that.

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AppStories, Episode 144 – Getting More Out of Safari for iPadOS

This week on AppStories, we discuss the sort of sophisticated web apps that can be used with Safari on iPadOS 13 and share a bunch of tips and tricks based on Apple’s latest updates to Safari.

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Stephen Coyle on the Reduced Bluetooth Latency of AirPods Pro

Stephen Coyle has followed up on previous tests he conducted on Bluetooth latency of AirPods. This time, he tested the AirPods Pro using the iOS system keyboard, his rhythm game Tapt, and a shotgun microphone, to measure the delay between triggering a sound on an iPad Pro and playback through the Apple’s wireless earphones and other Bluetooth headphones.

As Coyle explains, latency affects certain use cases, such as user-triggered UI sounds like the keyboard, accessibility features like VoiceOver, and game sound effects, more than others. While delayed keyboard clicks may merely be annoying, delayed VoiceOver responses are a serious usability issue for people who depend on the feature.

What Coyle discovered was that the the latency of the AirPods Pro is substantially less than the original model of AirPods. As Coyle puts it:

If it’s possible for the trend line to continue in the same direction, the next generation or two of AirPods will be very exciting. Not being a VoiceOver user, I’m unsure how much AirPods Pro improve its user experience in real terms, but I think this general trend can only be for the good. Similarly, for mobile gaming and general user experience, this trend means that what is, in my opinion, the primary downside of Bluetooth earphones may be gradually disappearing.

I found Coyle’s comment on using AirPods Pro to make and edit music intriguing too:

Their status as the lowest latency Bluetooth earphones notwithstanding, the AirPods Pro make for a deeply unsettling experience when using them as monitors to play piano in Logic Pro; there’s still far too much delay to make for a comfortable experience (and I’m not alone in thinking similar). They are, however, just about usable when editing music or video, and shaving a few dozen more milliseconds off this each generation would fast make them a preferable option over wired earphones.

As someone who edits podcast audio regularly, I’ve never considered using AirPods Pro because I’ve assumed that the latency would be a roadblock. What Coyle’s test show is that it’s time to rethink old assumptions whether it’s the role of AirPods Pro in accessibility features like VoiceOver, audio production, or gaming. As Apple reduces the latency of its wireless earphones, the use cases for them will only expand further, which is exciting.

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Twitter Rolling Out Redesigned iPad Interface

Chance Miller, writing for 9to5Mac:

Twitter is rolling out an update to the official Twitter for iPad app that brings a much-needed interface redesign. With today’s update, Twitter for iPad now better takes advantage of the added screen real estate available on the iPad.

As first noted by _Applesfera_, Twitter for iPad now features a multi-column view that allows you to see quite a bit more information. Up until now, Twitter for iPad featured a single timeline of content, surrounded by white space on either side. This led to a lot of wasted space, particularly in landscape mode.

With this redesign, Twitter for iPad now looks and behaves more like the Twitter web app. The menu bar has moved from the bottom to the side of your timeline. On the other side of the timeline, you’ll now find trending topics and other dynamic content.

I’m intrigued by this redesign because, for the past several years, the Twitter app for iPad has offered one of the worst designs on the platform, with an oversized iPhone layout that took no advantage of the extra screen real estate provided by the iPad Pro.

Looking at these early screenshots, I don’t love that Twitter is using the additional column for trends and search options – I’d rather have a customizable column (à la Tweetdeck) to display any kind of Twitter content. It would be great if the extra column could also show tweets from search results: for the past several months, I’ve been using a saved search to check out a complete timeline of my mentions; in theory, I should be be able to view my timeline and mentions at the same time by virtue of having two columns on iPad. Unfortunately, I think Twitter is just going to replicate the web app’s layout and use the additional column for search filters and trends (example) – tweets will always be displayed in the main timeline. If you compare the current Twitter web app running in Safari for iPadOS to the screenshots of the iPad app’s redesign, you’ll notice that they’re essentially using the same layout.

It looks like Twitter is A/B testing this redesign for now, and I don’t have it yet. I’m going to reserve judgement until I can actually play around with it, but if my interpretation is correct, this won’t bring true multi-column support to Twitter for iPad. Sadly, the original, groundbreaking, Loren Brichter-designed Twitter for iPad is still a distant memory.

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Connected, Episode 274: 2019 in Review: The Date of November Came in September

On this week’s episode of Connected:

2019 was a wild year, complete with the death of AirPower, the announcement of iPadOS, the release of the iPhone 11 and the return of the Mac Pro. This week, Stephen, Federico and Myke revisit the headlines that made this year so hectic.

You can listen below (and find the show notes here).

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01:52:11

Connected, Episode 274

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Connected, Episode 273: Come on, Guys, Let’s Go to the Station

On this week’s episode of Connected:

Stephen and Myke are joined by John Voorhees to talk about the new Mac Pro, then Federico reflects on the 5th anniversary of Shortcuts.

You can listen below (and find the show notes here).

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01:35:31

Connected, Episode 273

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