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Twitterrific 6 Brings Media Enhancements, New Themes and Display Customizations, and More

It’s been nearly seven years since Twitterrific 5 launched on the App Store, and so much about Twitter has changed since then. One major shift is the seismic increase in media shared on the platform; as our devices and data speeds have gotten faster, so too have the amount of GIFs, images, and videos we share online grown. While Twitterrific has certainly done its fair share of adapting for the times in previous updates, adding improved media controls and the like, today Twitterrific 6 introduces the most significant updates for the app’s media experience to date. There’s a new GIPHY integration, autoplaying videos and GIFs in the timeline, and a lot more. Added to that, users can now customize their Twitterrific experience in fresh ways thanks to additional themes, icons, and a new font.

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All the Little Details of How ‘Sign In with Apple’ Works

Sarah Perez of TechCrunch has assembled an excellent, in-depth walkthrough answering key questions about how Apple’s upcoming authentication service, Sign In with Apple, will work:

From a security perspective, Apple offers a better option for both users and developers alike compared with other social login systems which, in the past, have been afflicted by massive security and privacy breaches.

Apple’s system also ships with features that benefit iOS app developers — like built-in two-factor authentication support, anti-fraud detection and the ability to offer a one-touch, frictionless means of entry into their app, among other things.
[...]
Despite the advantages to the system, the news left many wondering how the new Sign In with Apple button would work, in practice, at a more detailed level. We’ve tried to answer some of the more burning and common questions.

Perez addresses questions regarding what information a developer receives when a user chooses Sign In with Apple, whether it’s possible to use the authentication service on Android devices, when an app will and won’t be required to use Sign In with Apple, and more.

Despite some controversy regarding how strongly Apple is pushing this new secure login option, if it works as advertised, Sign In with Apple could be one of the upcoming OS features that has the biggest societal impact in the long run.

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Initial Thoughts on iPadOS: A New Path Forward

When I published my Beyond the Tablet story a few weeks ago, I was optimistic we'd get a handful of iPad-related features and optimizations at WWDC. I did not, however, foresee an entire OS designed specifically around iPad. And the more I think about it, the more I see iPadOS as a sign of Apple's willingness to break free from old assumptions and let the iPad be what it's best at: a portable computer inspired by the Mac, but based on iOS.

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Dialog Season 1, Episode 3: A Conversation with John Gruber (Part 2)

Today, we published the second part of our Dialog interview with John Gruber of Daring Fireball. You can find the episode here or listen in the Dialog web player below.

Like Federico, John Gruber was one of the first people I thought of when we began planning this first season of Dialog about writers and writing. Daring Fireball was an inspiration for me too, but in a slightly different way.

I first met Gruber in 2012 at the first Úll conference in Dublin, Ireland, where he was a surprise speaker. That was before I built my first iOS app or was writing or podcasting. I went to Úll on a lark to get a closer look at the iOS developer community I'd been following as I started to teach myself Objective-C. By the end of three days chatting with Gruber and other writers and developers at Úll, I knew I wanted to be part of that scene, creating my own apps. It would be almost three years before I launched Blink, my first app that drew any attention, and five before I could quit my old job, but that's precisely why this second part of our interview with Gruber resonated with me.

Daring Fireball started like many indie businesses: as a labor of love that Gruber wrote on the side while working another job. The site didn't earn enough to make it a full-time job at first, but over time it grew, and Gruber was faced with a choice. Daring Fireball had reached a point where it had a shot at supporting him and his family, but not unless he quit his day job, which he did.

In the latest installment of Dialog, we continue our conversation about the difficulty of making it as an indie writer online today. Gruber discusses how his priorities have shaped Daring Fireball, the audience for whom he writes, and maintaining the site's relevance long-term.

Of course, no interview with Gruber would be complete without talking about Markdown. Although we nearly forgot to ask about it, I'm glad we did because it's not easy to remember that Markdown, which debuted 15 years ago, took a while to catch on. Markdown's human-readable syntax may not have clicked with writers on the web in 2004, but as more people who didn't have experience with HTML started their own websites, Markdown gained momentum. Today, it's used on all sorts of platforms and in text editors, blogging tools, and even Apple's own Xcode IDE.

As we conclude our first Dialog interview, I want to thank John Gruber for taking the time to be our first guest on Dialog. Next week, we'll begin a two-part interview with singer-songwriter Frank Turner, who we caught up with as he passed through Madison, Wisconsin on tour last month. I'm excited to share those episodes for a couple of reasons. First, it was a personal thrill to interview Turner, whose music I love. Second, while the conversation is a departure from what you likely hear on a lot of your favorite tech podcasts, there are fascinating parallels between John Gruber's writing on Daring Fireball and Turner's songwriting, which is precisely what we'd hoped for when we began this season.

Finally, thanks for listening. If you missed the first part of our interview with John Gruber you can listen to it here, and you can subscribe to the podcast here. Also, if you're enjoying the show, please take a moment to rate it in iTunes or recommend it in Overcast to help others discover it.


WWDC Podcasts: A Roundup of Episodes with Apple Special Guests

If you enjoy podcasts and Apple, your queue of episodes to check out has likely been bursting full since WWDC kicked off last Monday. So many great shows have been published with analysis and impressions of Apple’s announcements, but one thing that's been particularly special is the number of podcasts that have featured guests from Apple over the last week. Here’s a roundup of episodes with Apple employees that you shouldn’t miss out on.

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Apple Is Listening

Marco Arment, from Marco.org:

It’s hard to tell when Apple is listening. They speak concisely, infrequently, and only when they’re ready, saying absolutely nothing in the meantime, even when we’re all screaming about a product line as if it’s on fire. They make great progress, but often with courageous losses that never get reversed, so an extended silence because we’re stuck with a change forever is indistinguishable from an extended silence because the fix isn’t ready yet.

But there has clearly been a major shift in direction for the better since early 2017, and they couldn’t be more clear now:

Apple is listening again, they’ve still got it, and the Mac is back.

Excellent summary of the general feeling I’ve gathered coming out of WWDC last week. Apple’s reputation for secrecy makes it hard to tell if they hear the community’s concerns, and for a time the evidence signaled that they didn’t. That’s clearly changed, however, as the last couple years have demonstrated; WWDC’s myriad of goodies for every platform was simply the latest confirmation that Apple is listening, and they care.

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Ulysses: The Ultimate Writing App for Mac, iPad, and iPhone [Sponsor]

Ulysses is a powerful text editor for the Mac, iPad, and iPhone that packs an extraordinary depth of features beneath a simple and clean interface. The app's Apple Design Award-winning UI allows you to concentrate on your writing distraction-free with the confidence that when you need them, Ulysses’ pro tools are just a click or tap away. Also, because Ulysses syncs using iCloud, you can get your writing done wherever you happen to be and whichever device you are using.

Under the hood, Ulysses has all the functionality needed to manage and produce all of your writing projects. The Library sidebar is perfect for organizing a large number of documents into groups that can be nested. The app also features writing goals, powerful search and filtering options, support for keywords, in-line images stored locally or remotely on a server, and much more. Ulysses is constantly being updated with new features too. Recently, the iPad version added a split view, which allows you to view and work on two documents at once. Publishing to a Ghost blog was also recently added, and you can export your final product in a wide variety of formats including, plain text, Markdown, TextBundle, rich text, DOCX, ePub, HTML, and PDF, or publish to a WordPress or Medium blog.

Ulysses is a free download on the App Store and Mac App Store, so you can try it before deciding whether to subscribe for $4.99 per month or $39.99 per year. Students can subscribe for six months at a time for $10.99. However, Ulysses has a special deal just for MacStories readers. For a limited time, use this link to learn more about Ulysses and get the first year of an annual subscription for $19.99, a 50% discount off the usual price.

Our thanks to Ulysses for sponsoring MacStories this week.


Surveying Apple’s Latest Accessibility Work

Steven Aquino, writing for TechCrunch:

Although much of the conversation around what Apple announced revolves around iPadOS and Project Catalyst, based on what I’m hearing on podcasts and seeing in my Twitter timeline, Voice Control definitely is a crown jewel too. Nearly everyone has praised not only the engineering that went into developing it, but also the fact that Apple continues to lead the industry at making accessibility a first-class citizen. Myke Hurley said it best on the Upgrade podcast following the event, the weekly show he co-hosts with Jason Snell, when he said Voice Control is something Apple doesn’t have to do. They do it, he said, because it’s the right thing to do for every user.

Aquino interviewed Sarah Herrlinger, Apple’s Director of Global Accessibility Policy & Initiatives, about three major new accessibility features: Voice Control, Hover Text, and pointing device support. While the iPad enthusiast in me is all about those pointing devices, Voice Control is a tremendously exciting technology that I hope has ramifications for the future of Siri.

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