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SaneBox

Clean Up Your Inbox Today (and Keep It That Way Forever)


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Clean Up Your Inbox Today (and Keep It That Way Forever) with SaneBox [Sponsor]

What if you had someone who would sort through your email and find only the important messages? That is exactly what SaneBox does. After you set it up, SaneBox 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 the 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 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.



Sega Forever Brings Sonic and Other Classics to iOS

Sega has been out of the hardware business for a long time, but still, has some of the most beloved video game franchises around. Today, Sega began releasing classic Sega games under the banner Sega Forever.

The first titles released are Sonic the Hedgehog, which was already available on iOS, Comix Zone, Altered Beast, Kid Chameleon, and Phantasy Star II. The games, which are standalone downloads, are free and include ads that can be removed with a $1.99 In-App Purchase. The Sega Forever website indicates that the next title in line for release is Virtua Tennis Challenge, which is currently $4.99 on the App Store and hasn’t been updated since 2013. For iMessage sticker fans, each game also includes a handful of animated stickers of game art.

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Snap Map Brings Location Sharing and Global Discovery to Snapchat

A new feature is rolling out to all Snapchat users today called Snap Map. From the camera screen inside Snapchat, pinching two fingers together will bring Snap Map into view. The map consists of two main pieces: it shows you friends' locations (if they have location sharing activated) and it serves as a place to discover Stories from people all around the world.

The location sharing piece includes some very simple controls. You can choose to not share your location at all, which is called 'Ghost Mode,' or you can either share it with all your friends or a selected assortment of them. The app makes it easy to share your location only when you want to – in the upper right corner of the screen, there's a settings menu that includes a toggle to activate or deactivate Ghost Mode. While your friends are sharing their location, their Bitmoji will appear on the map and you can tap them to zoom in on their location and access a convenient chat box.

The Story discovery aspect of Snap Map appeals more to me personally, as it makes viewing other Stories from significant places or events fun and easy. Discovery appears to revolve around the collaborative Stories feature introduced just last month, with shared Stories that center on an event rather than a particular person. Scanning the map, you'll find Stories for things like baseball games, concerts, visits to national parks, and even significant news like natural disasters. It works well both as a way to see what events your friends may be attending, and as a way to explore different activities from all around the world.


John Markoff Interviews Original iPhone Engineering Team Members and Scott Forstall

Last night, the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California hosted a two-two hour interview program. The event was split into two parts. The first half is an interview moderated by John Markoff who spoke with former iPhone team members Hugo Fiennes, Nitin Ganatra, and Scott Herz about the development of the original iPhone. The three engineers recount what it was like to be recruited to the secret project and detail the team’s efforts to bring the phone to market.

The second half of the program, which begins at about 1:07:00 in the video below, is a one-on-one interview by Markoff of Scott Forstall who led software development for the iPhone. The interview with Scott Forstall is his first public comment about the iPhone and Apple since he left the company in 2012 and covers a broad range of topics from early iPhone prototypes to demonstrating the iPhone to Cingular, the first carrier to offer the phone.

Both interview segments are full of entertaining anecdotes about the iPhone’s development and well worth watching by anyone interested in what it took to create the iPhone. Forstall is particularly engaging as a storyteller displaying the same enthusiasm and excitement that he used to show onstage at Apple keynotes.


Apple Posts Two Videos Highlighting Photos Memories

Apple posted two videos highlighting the Memories feature of its iOS Photos app. One, called ‘The Archives,’ is part of Apple’s ‘practically magic’ series of videos and features an elderly man creating a film called ‘Together.’ When the man pulls a photograph out of a cabinet with dozens of drawers, it comes alive with a short snippet of video like a Live Photo.

After gathering a cart-load of photos and film, the man begins the laborious process of splicing them together into a film. The heartwarming spot captures the time, care, and attention needed to painstakingly create a movie from analog photos and videos, making the unstated point of how easy it is to do the same thing in Photos.

The second spot is in stark contrast to the first. It demonstrates the three steps to using Photos’ Memories feature:

  1. Open the Photos app
  2. Go to the Memories Tab
  3. Choose a Memory

The two spots, which both feature Memories called 'Together,' are a clever one-two punch intended to convey how simple Photos has made it to create photo and video montages that once would have taken hours of work.


Niantic Gives Pokémon GO Gyms a Makeover and Adds a New Raid Battle Feature

Niantic announced a major update to Pokémon GO today, including new gym gameplay mechanics and a feature called Raid Battle. Gym gameplay has been modified with a focus on how gyms are defended by controlling teams. Each gym will have six permanent slots, each of which must be populated by a different Pokémon.

Niantic is adding a new motivation system too. Over time and the course of battles, Pokémon will lose motivation, making them easier to defeat by rival trainers. Pokémon that lose all of their motivation will leave the gym and be returned to their trainers the next time they are defeated in battle. To maintain motivation, teams that control a gym can feed their Pokémon Berries, which should increase player interaction with the game.

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Control Any Computer from Your Mac or iOS Device with Screens [Sponsor]

Screens by Edovia makes it easy to control any computer from a Mac or iOS device no matter where you are in the world. Whether you left an important file on your home computer that you need while you’re at work, or have a relative thousands of miles away who needs tech support, Edovia’s Screens app for Mac and iOS has you covered.

Screens is as secure, fast, and reliable as it is easy to set up and use. Not only is the connection to your remote computer secured end-to-end, but Screens includes Curtain Mode, which obscures the screen of your remote computer so no one walking by it while you’re connected can see what’s on your screen. Screens can also handle multiple displays attached to your remote computer, showing them all at once or just the ones you choose to view. If you provide tech support for friends and family, Screens makes that process simpler too by offering a free download that anyone you are helping can use so you can take control of their computer as you troubleshoot their problems.

Edovia has a great limited-time deal for MacStories readers. Use the coupon code MACSTORIES at checkout to save 20% off on the macOS version of Screens. You can also go to http://edovia.com/macstories to have the coupon code automatically applied to your purchase.

Our thanks to Edovia for sponsoring MacStories this week.


Twitter Launches Redesigned UI Across iOS, Web, and Other Platforms

Announced in a blog post earlier today, Twitter has a major update to its iOS app and other platforms rolling out to all users starting today.

The new design is inspired by Twitter’s Android client – and while that detail scared me at first, using the updated iOS app for a few minutes allayed all my fears. This is a clean, beautiful redesign that brings few drastic alterations, and instead focuses on lots of nice polishing touches.

The most significant change to the iOS app is the existence of a new sidebar menu that pops out from the left side of the screen. This menu provides a quick way to switch between different accounts, and also lists your Following and Follower counts, navigation buttons to access your Profile, Lists, created Moments, and Settings, as well as a handy toggle to switch Night Mode on and off. Everything in the sidebar is clear and well organized, with plenty of breathing room; my initial impression of this new menu is entirely positive.

Outside of the sidebar menu, the rest of the app feels very familiar, but with a variety of small tweaks that improve the overall experience.

  • The reply icon has changed to a speech bubble, purportedly to create less confusion for new users.
  • With your Profile now available from the sidebar, that leaves only four main navigation tabs: Home, Search, Notifications, and Messages. They all have fresh new icons that look great.
  • Safari View Controller is now the default viewer for opening links. For a long while Twitter had been testing Safari View Controller with some groups of users, but making it universal is a welcome, long-overdue change.
  • Reply, Retweet, and Like counts will update in real-time as you use the app.
  • A variety of visual improvements, such as updated typography that includes the use of bold headers for different sections, rounded avatars, and more.

There’s more to explore, but that covers the bulk of changes.

Overall, I am a big fan of this redesign. The changes add up to a freshly improved, yet still familiar Twitter app, and my fear that it would too strongly resemble an Android app were unfounded. It may closely resemble Twitter for Android, but this still feels very much like an app that belongs on iOS.

Twitter says the changes are rolling out over the next several days, so it’s possible you may not see them yet. Twitter for iOS is available on the App Store.