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Twitter Now Allows Images, Videos, and GIFs in Quote Tweets

Chris Welch of The Verge, reporting on a new Twitter feature rolling out today:

Beginning today, Twitter users can add images, videos, and GIFs to their retweets / quoted tweets. The company is rolling out this new feature across Android, iOS, and Twitter’s mobile website; it’s not on desktop quite yet, however. Adding media to a retweet works just like you’d expect: tap the “retweet with comment” option and then choose the image or GIF icon in the toolbar.

This feature is long overdue for the service, and Twitter’s design implementation appears solid. Displaying media when quoting a tweet that doesn’t have any seems like it wouldn’t have been particularly hard, but the real challenge is in media tweets quoting media tweets. Twitter’s solution works well: when a tweet containing media is quoted, and you add media to your retweet, the original tweet’s content is condensed to fill a space that’s not much bigger than before, ensuring timelines don’t get too cluttered with endless stacks of media tweets quoting media tweets.

Left: Twitter, Center: Tweetbot, Right: Twitterrific

Left: Twitter, Center: Tweetbot, Right: Twitterrific

Presumably, third-party apps like Tweetbot and Twitterrific will be granted the ability to create quote tweets with media as well. Currently, each app has its own way of displaying these tweets: in tweets with media that quote more media, Tweetbot shows the original media, while Twitterrific shows that of the retweet; however, Tweetbot does display both forms of media when viewing a tweet’s Detail screen.

In addition to bringing media retweets to more platforms, it sounds like Twitter has some other enhancements already in the works for the new feature, such as increased interactivity with quoted tweets.

Twitter already enables you to tap media thumbnails in quoted tweets to load that media in full, so it will be interesting to see what other interactivity the company plans to add in the future.

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Kernel Review: Modern Movie Tracking

Most of the apps I cover for MacStories relate in some way to productivity, a theme that extends to the apps normally dominating my iPhone’s home screen. Writing and note-taking apps, task managers, communication apps, and tools like Shortcuts all help me get things done each day. However, sometimes what I want from my phone isn’t a productivity tool, but an app that specializes in something related less to work and more to fun. For example, a movie tracker. Kernel is a new app that does just that.

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Arq: Trustworthy Backup [Sponsor]

Backups of your computer’s files have to be trustworthy. If you can’t trust your backups, they’re not really backups.

The reason Stefan created Arq Backup for the Mac back in 2009 was because he couldn’t find an online solution that felt like real backup. Most online backup providers were and continue to be vague about where the data are stored, how durable the storage is, and how sustainable the business model is.

Arq does everything it can to provide a completely trustworthy backup solution.

Why should you trust Arq?

  • Arq is open. It stores versioned, de-duplicated backup records in a format that’s documented.
  • Arq is private. Backup records are encrypted with a password that only you know. The password never leaves your computer, and your data is encrypted before ever leaving your computer.
  • Arq gives you control. Your backup data is stored in your own cloud account, SFTP server, or NAS.
  • Arq verifies. Arq periodically makes sure the contents of the objects at the destination match the contents of your files on disk.
  • Arq notifies. You’ll get a notification when there’s an error.

Do you like having total control over your data? Do you want to maintain your privacy? Then Arq is for you!

Download a free 30-day trial of Arq today and rest easy knowing that your files are backed up and secure.

Our thanks to Arq for sponsoring MacStories this week.


A Mac Automation Schism

Thoughtful take by Jason Snell on the recent discussion around the idea that Shortcuts may be coming to the Mac and what that could mean for macOS automation. Snell imagines a scenario where Quick Actions, introduced last year with Mojave, could act as a bridge between old-school Mac apps and a new breed of Marzipan apps compatible (in theory) with Shortcuts only:

Something funny happened in macOS Mojave. Apple actually brushed off some very old Mac OS X technology, Services, and gave it a rebrand as Quick Actions. Quick Actions are commands you can find in Quick Look previews, the Finder’s new Gallery view, and on the Touch Bar. Some are pre-built by Apple, but users can add their own by saving Automator actions as Quick Actions.

I have no idea what prompted Apple to bubble up Automator actions into more places in the macOS interface with Mojave, but Quick Actions strikes me as a pretty good companion to Siri Shortcuts. Imagine a scenario where apps originating on iOS can support Siri Shortcuts via the same methods they use on iOS. Now imagine that Siri Shortcuts can also use Quick Actions as a source for potential commands. Quick Actions are contextual, those old-school Mac apps can bring their own Quick Actions to the party, and users can build their own Quick Actions to do whatever they want. It would be a simple way to bridge the gap between the two different app types that Mac users will be using together, at least for a while.

As I argued on Connected a couple of weeks ago, I'm intrigued by the idea that a Mac version of Shortcuts could have built-in bridges for old automation tools (shell, AppleScript, Automator, etc.) to at least trigger those scripts from the new app. Quick Actions would be a great fit for this; in fact, I find the whole idea of Quick Actions is well suited the Files app on iOS as well.

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Connected, Episode 241: 123 Twitter Client Doesn’t Work

Stephen returns order to the podcast after two weeks away, Myke reads some Hex color codes and Federico turns on his hype machine.

Some interesting discussions about apps and using Twitter on this week's episode of Connected. You can listen here.

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Highlights from the Six Colors Transcription of Apple’s Q2 2019 Earnings Call

Where better to get a little 'color' on Apple's earnings than from a full transcript of the company's earnings call with Wall Street analysts published by Six Colors? As in the past, Jason Snell has transcribed Apple's presentation to Wall Street analysts along with the question and answer session at the end of the call. Here are a few of the highlights:

The iPad made a strong showing in China with Cook reporting that:

For iPad, we were very happy to return to growth in Greater China, while generating strong double-digit growth in each of our other geographic segments. Our great iPad results were driven primarily by strong customer response to iPad Pro.

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Apple Q2 2019 Results – $58 Billion Revenue

Apple has just published its financial results for Q2 2019, which is the company’s holiday quarter. The company posted revenue of $58 billion. Apple CEO Tim Cook said:

Our March quarter results show the continued strength of our installed base of over 1.4 billion active devices, as we set an all-time record for Services, and the strong momentum of our Wearables, Home and Accessories category, which set a new March quarter record,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “We delivered our strongest iPad growth in six years, and we are as excited as ever about our pipeline of innovative hardware, software and services. We’re looking forward to sharing more with developers and customers at Apple’s 30th annual Worldwide Developers Conference in June.

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HomeRun Launches Advanced Daily Routine Feature for Complications and Siri Face

HomeRun 1.2 was released today from developer Aaron Pearce, the latest evolution of the Apple Watch app for controlling HomeKit scenes from your wrist. Its last big update introduced the ability to create custom complications on the Watch, which was a fantastic addition because it enabled users to implement the complications that work best for them personally. Today’s update extends the theme of user customization and programmability, but takes it to a whole new level – exceeding anything I’ve seen from another Watch app before now.

Version 1.2 of HomeRun revolves around one main feature – daily routines – which takes a couple different forms. In each manifestation, however, daily routines equip users to program which actions the app surfaces on their wrist during the course of a normal day.

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