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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Apple posted a series of five short videos to YouTube today encouraging consumers to switch to the iPhone. The spots, which are each just 16 seconds long, take place on a two-tone stage. The left side of each set is a plain gray color and represents ‘your phone.’ The more colorful, right-hand side of the stage is the iPhone.
The ads make the case that:
- It’s easy to move your photos from another phone to the iPhone;
- Moving to the iPhone from another phone is straightforward;
- The iPhone is faster than your current phone;
- Your privacy is protected by the iPhone; and
- Switching to get a better music experience is simple.
None of the ads have any dialogue. Instead, they use humorous skits and music to make each point.
You can check out all five spots after the break.
Nike has announced a new collection of "Day to Night" Apple Watch bands going on sale soon. The four new Nike Sport Bands match up with the designs of a collection of Nike shoes: the Nike Air VaporMax Flyknit "Day to Night" collection. This marks the first time Nike has directly paired Watch bands with a shoe line.
The "Day to Night" collection celebrates runners whenever they choose to run – at twilight, sunset and everything in between. Each of the colors is inspired by a shade of the sky, from dawn to dusk, and allows runners to – for the first time – make a statement by matching their Apple Watch Nike+ bands to their footwear.
Each band will be priced at $49.00 when they go on sale next month. They'll be available from nike.com and select Nike retail stores on June 1, and shortly thereafter from apple.com, Apple Stores, and other retail partners.
What if you had someone to go through your email and find just the important messages? SaneBox does exactly that. Once set up, it leaves your important messages in your inbox and moves the rest to a SaneLater folder for reviewing later. That initial inbox purge is powerful because it reduces your inbox to a manageable number of messages. With additional training to tell SaneBox what’s important to you, it only gets better at dealing with your daily deluge of messages.
There’s much more to SaneBox than shuffling unimportant messages into a designated folder, though. If there’s something you never want to see ever again, send it to the SaneBlackHole, which is much easier than unsubscribing to unwanted messages.
You can also set up SaneReminders by sending messages to an address that sends a reminder to you at a later date if the recipient of your message hasn’t responded after a certain amount of time. Or forward messages to SaneReminders to have it pop back into your inbox at a later date when you are ready to deal with it.
SaneBox works on top of your existing email setup. There’s no particular app to download or new email account to set up. It all works server-side so you can use any email client you want.
Sign up today for a free 14-day SaneBox trial to take back control of your email. MacStories readers can receive a special $25 credit automatically by using this link to sign up.
Our thanks to SaneBox for sponsoring MacStories this week.
Early last year, James Rath, a young filmmaker who was born legally blind, created a video about the impact Apple products have had on his life. That video caught the attention of Apple:
In the ensuing months, Rath’s YouTube career has taken off and he’s become a strong advocate for the blind.
To mark Global Accessibility Awareness Day, Tim Cook spoke with Rath and two other YouTubers, Rikki Poynter and Tatiana Lee about accessibility. Cook and Poynter, who is deaf, discussed closed captioning and how accessibility is a core value at Apple. Lee talked to Cook about the Apple Watch and its ability to track wheelchair use. Rath and Cook explored the history of Apple’s commitment to accessibility and the democratization of technology. The interviews follow the release of a series of videos made by Apple spotlighting the accessibility features of its products.
The interviews, which were filmed in the courtyard at Apple’s Infinite Loop campus are available after the break.