THIS WEEK'S SPONSOR:

Daylite

The CRM with Apple Fans in Mind


Apple Announces September 14 Event

As first reported by Myke Hurley of Relay FM, Apple has announced a media event for September 14, 2021 at 10:00 am Pacific. The event will be streamed online.

Based on widespread speculation, Apple is expected to introduce its new lineup of iPhones. A new iPad mini and redesigned Apple Watches are possible too. It’s been several months since the M1 iMac was introduced, so we could see new Macs too. In addition to hardware, Apple will likely show off the upcoming versions of its operating systems and announce release dates for each.


Apple’s Fall OS Updates Promise Deeper HomeKit and Entertainment Integration

Apple’s fall OS updates will include a variety of HomeKit and home entertainment features. Unsurprisingly, some of those changes can be found in the company’s Home and TV apps, but this year, those apps only tell part of the overall story. To get the full picture, you need to zoom out from the apps, where you’ll find an interesting mix of new smart home device and entertainment features sprinkled throughout each platform.

Let’s start with HomeKit devices. This year, many of the changes coming to Apple’s OSes relate to two important categories: video cameras and door locks. Controlling both types of devices will become easier this fall, thanks to deeper integration with the upcoming OS releases.

Read more


Quill: Messaging to Make Your Team Better [Sponsor]

Quill is the messaging app and service that puts you, your time, and your focus first so you and your team can work together better.

With Quill, you’re in control of what messages you see and how much you see. That helps you stay focused and on task without constantly being interrupted. At the same time, though, Quill makes it easier than ever to get involved in the conversations and decisions that need your input.

Quill accomplishes all this by focusing conversations around threads instead of channels. You don’t need to follow a channel to be part of a thread. You can join one simply by starting a thread or being mentioned in one. It’s a simple, elegant solution that keeps conversations from getting mixed and muddled together. You can also decline to follow threads in the channels you do follow to cut down on the noise.

Push notifications are off by default for all channels and threads. Instead, events show up in the Activity Feed. Get caught up whenever works best for you instead of being interrupted and distracted. Of course, when something is truly urgent, you can send a priority mention, and the recipient is sent a push notification immediately.

When you see a thread you want to follow in the Activity Feed, you can follow it right then and there. You can also retroactively create a thread, split one thread into two, quote messages, move direct messages to public channels, and a whole lot more. Quill’s unique approach and features make it perfect for individual productivity while also facilitating remote collaboration among distributed teams.

To learn more and try Quill for free, visit quill.chat today. Messaging has never been more easy and natural.

Our thanks to Quill for sponsoring MacStories this week.


MacStories Unwind: Reminders Smart Lists, Building Calliope, and ‘Reader’ Apps Get Web Links

0:00
20:11


Sponsored by: Tinderbox 9 – The Tool For Notes. Visualize, Analyze, and Share Your Ideas

This week on MacStories Unwind:

MacStories

Club MacStories

  • MacStories Weekly
    • A PDF shortcut from Federico
    • John reviews The Clock
    • Rod Christiansen’s desk setup
    • A Tempo giveaway

AppStories

Unwind


Apple to Allow Reader Apps to Link to Account Management Pages on the Web in Early 2022

Apple has resolved an investigation by the Japan Fair Trade Commission by agreeing to allow ‘reader’ apps to link to websites to set up and manage an account with the app’s provider beginning in early 2022. The agreement reflects a loosening of existing App Store Guidelines and will be applied worldwide, but it’s also narrow.

First, the agreement is limited to what Apple refers to as ‘reader‘ apps. In App Review parlance, these are apps like the Netflix or Spotify apps, which “provide previously purchased content or content subscriptions for digital magazines, newspapers, books, audio, music, and video.’

Second, the developers of ‘reader’ apps can only share ‘a single link to their website to help users set up and manage their account.’ That language suggests, for example, that users could follow a link in the Kindle app to manage their Amazon account and perhaps initiate Kindle book transfers to an Apple device, but it seems to preclude the Kindle app from offering a catalog of books with links to a product page in a web browser. However, the press release does suggest a link could be used to set up a subscription to digital content like Netflix or Comixology Unlimited.

Third, the agreement doesn’t address videogame streaming services, which Apple does not consider to be ‘reader’ apps. Streaming games fall under a separate section of the App Review Guidelines, which require each game to be submitted to App Review.

The changes announced to end the Japan Fair Trade Commission investigation only affect a narrow category of apps and will only provide a single link out to the web. However, the agreement is a sign that the legal and regulatory scrutiny around the world is beginning to force Apple to change how it runs the App Store. With the number of pending lawsuits and investigations that remain outstanding worldwide, I expect we’ll see more of this sort of adjustment to App Store practices in the upcoming months.


Reminders’ Smart Lists Put Unprecedented Control in the Hands of Users

A couple of years ago, Apple transformed Reminders from a simple checklist-style task manager into something far more robust. It was a surprising but welcome update that made the app a good choice as the sole task manager for many users. Reminders is back with more surprises this year, including tagging and Smart Lists features, which I didn’t expect. Both new features work together to make it easier than ever to manage your tasks in Reminders, which by itself makes this year’s update to Reminders worth checking out. However, the update may indicate something broader too: that Apple is more receptive to providing users with greater control over how they use the iPhone and iPad’s stock apps, an exciting possibility that I hope comes to pass.

Tags are brand new to Reminders and probably the most surprising addition to the iOS and iPadOS 15 versions of the app. Tags aren’t anything new to task management apps in general, but user-defined tags haven’t historically been available in Apple’s iPhone and iPad apps.

There's a new Tag Browser in Reminders and multiple ways to add new tags.

There’s a new Tag Browser in Reminders and multiple ways to add new tags.

The design of Reminders’ tagging system makes it easy to get started. When you add a new task, there’s a field just below Notes for adding tags. Just start typing a name for your tag, and when you tap the Space bar, hit return, or type a comma, a hashtag is added to the beginning of the tag, and it changes to Reminders’ purplish accent color. Sorry, no spaces are allowed in your tags.

Read more


Building Calliope: A Technical Journey Through MacStories’ Big Software Project

Last week the MacStories team launched Project Calliope, an enormous new software project that we’ve been working on tirelessly for the last year. If you’ve been following along, you’ve heard us describe Calliope as a CMS; but from a software-engineering perspective, it’s actually a whole lot more. While we introduced Calliope as the foundation of our all-new Club MacStories and AppStories websites, we have much bigger plans for the new platform going forward. This is the foundation for the next generation of MacStories, from the website itself to many special projects in the future.

We’re extremely proud of what we’ve created here, and as the sole developer of Calliope, this post will be my deep dive into the more technical side of the project. Fair warning: this will be easier to follow if you’re a software developer (particularly a web or back-end developer), but I’ll be doing my best to give understandable explanations of the technologies involved. I also just want to talk about the journey we took to get here, the challenges we faced along the way, and the factors that drove us to this particular set of solutions.

Read more


AppStories, Episode 238 – The Complexity of Defining Great Modern Mac Apps

This week on AppStories, we explore the many ways Mac apps can be made today and how the frameworks, along with design choices and other factors are redefining the landscape of apps on the Mac and what constitutes a great Mac app.


On AppStories+, John teaches Federico about the Arnold Palmer, a thank you to AppStories+ subscribers, plus Federico explains an ingenious collaborative editing workflow he created around Quick Note.

We deliver AppStories+ to subscribers with bonus content, ad-free, and at a high bitrate a day early every week.

To learn more about the benefits included with an AppStories+ subscription, visit our Plans page, or read the AppStories+ FAQ.

Permalink

Relay FM’s Third Annual Fundraiser for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital Is Underway

Recently, Relay FM, which was founded by our close friends Stephen Hackett and Myke Hurley, kicked off their annual fundraiser for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital to help combat childhood cancer. This year’s third annual fundraiser has already raised over $70,000 with a goal of $333,333.33, and we’d love it if MacStories readers would join us in supporting this cause.

You can make a donation by visiting here.

If you’re a MacStories reader, there’s a good chance you have listened to one of the shows Federico co-hosts on the network or have another favorite, in which case you may have already contributed. However, if not, please do consider donating.

St. Jude plays an important role in the fight against childhood cancer, treating kids and doing research with other medical facilities around the world. Your donations help ensure that families aren’t charged for treatment, travel, housing, or meals, so their sole focus is helping their child get better.

Relay FM will be raising money for St. Jude through the end of September with the highlight of the drive being Podcastathon, an eight-hour extravaganza featuring special guests from your favorite Relay FM shows. Mark your calendar for Friday September 17, 2021 from Noon to 8 pm Eastern US time to watch Podcastathon, which will be streamed at twitch.tv/relay.fm.

Thanks in advance for checking out Relay FM’s fundraiser for St. Jude and to all who donate.