Reeder got me into reading RSS feeds on my iPhone several years ago. The app isn’t updated often these days, but developer Silvio Rizzi always makes sure to release updates that support the latest Apple hardware and iOS versions, which I appreciate. Reeder is as smooth and elegant as the day it came out (specifically, version 2 in 2013), and today’s 3.1 update is a welcome one as it brings support for iOS 11 and the iPhone X.
There are no new features in this version, but I recommend trying it out on an iPhone X if only to look at the “pure black” theme on the device’s OLED display. It’s glorious. I’m looking at Reeder now as I’m reading some articles in bed, and I can’t tell where the display and the bezels meet. I wish more apps would implement dark themes like this on the iPhone X. And as always, it’s great to see that Reeder is still around.
Jeremy Burge at Emojipedia explains what’s happening when iOS 11.1 replaces the letter 'I' with an 'A' followed by '⍰':
What's really going on is that the letter "I" is being appended with an invisible character known as Variation Selector 16 when auto-correct kicks in.
This VS-16 character is intended to be used to make the previous character have emoji appearance. When used in conjunction with the letter "I" it displays in some apps as "A ⍰".
The correct behaviour should be to ignore the invisible variation selector if the previous character doesn't have an emoji version.
The bug, which was a hot topic on Twitter over the weekend, only affects some users. Until a software update is issued by Apple to fix the issue, the company recommends setting up a text replacement rule that replaces a capital ‘I’ with a lower case ‘i’ as a workaround.
The combination of iOS 11 and iPhone X is pushing developers to reconsider many of their interaction paradigms and interface affordances that predated the Super Retina display and drag and drop. In a span of two months, iOS 11 made custom implementations of multiple item selection and reordering effectively obsolete, while the iPhone X now requires apps to embrace its display and novel status bar design.
Overcast 4.0 is a good example of how Apple's biggest releases of the year impacted apps that needed a lot of work to be updated for the iPhone X and iOS 11. Released today on the App Store, Overcast 4.0 bears no groundbreaking additions to the experience; instead, developer Marco Arment focused on design refinements and simplifying the app's navigation, modernizing Overcast's appearance and flow while bringing smaller enhancements to the listening and browsing experience.
There are some notable changes in this version – drag and drop is present, albeit in a limited fashion – but Overcast 4.0 is primarily aimed at foundational improvements and laying the groundwork for the future. Despite this "Snow Leopard approach", however, heavy Overcast users should still find the many optimizations as well as the "by popular demand" tweaks more than welcome.
Ahead of the iPhone X’s launch on November 3rd, Apple today released iOS 11.1, the first major update since the OS’ debut in September. While iOS 11.1 doesn’t sport noteworthy enhancements to the iPad’s multitasking and drag and drop experience – arguably, the marquee functionalities of version 11.0 – it still contains welcome additions and fixes for every iPhone and iPad user.
Gladys, developed by Pavlos Tsochantaris, is one of the shelf apps we've been covering on MacStories since the release of iOS 11 and, as I wrote last week, the one I've been using on my two iPad Pros. Not only does Gladys implement many of the ideas I would have liked to see in a native shelf for iOS 11, but the app has gone beyond my expectations with the ability to save multiple data types for dropped items, as well as a file provider extension to view all your saved items in iOS 11's Files app.
With today's version 1.1, Gladys is also gaining a permanent spot on my iPhone's Home screen (which I shared in Issue 100 of MacStories Weekly for Club MacStories members). Gladys is now a universal app for the iPhone and iPad, and it can sync items across devices thanks to built-in iCloud integration. In my early tests with the app, everything worked as expected: CloudKit-based sync is fast and reliable, with changes made on one device (such as a link dragged from Safari into Gladys on the iPad) propagating in less than two seconds to the other.
As we've seen with the release of iOS 11, the emerging market of shelf apps for iPad has proven to be a fun playground for developers to figure out how to enhance the system's drag and drop experience. We've published two stories on our favorite shelf apps released so far (here and here), and I'm keeping an eye on new developments every week. One of the most recent updates is Workshelf 1.1, which has gained a new icon and refreshed interface (thankfully, the original blue background is gone) as well as welcome tweaks to in-app previews and shelf management.
Workshelf, developed by Ross Kimes, is one of the more power user-oriented shelf apps thanks to its support for multiple shelves and raw file representations. In version 1.1, Workshelf can import documents from the Files app, it comes with new sorting options, and it lets you open URLs from an item's detail page. This feature remains one of my favorite touches of Workshelf: in addition to viewing all the "flavors" of an item dropped in the app (such as a link and an image for a JPEG dragged from Safari), you can also tap & hold a specific file representation to drag it out of Workshelf.
I've been using Gladys on my iPad for the past few weeks (another shelf app that offers a variety of advanced features, plus a Files provider extension), but I'm going to give Workshelf another try.
Last month after iOS 11’s launch I pulled together a roundup of iPad apps belonging to a whole new category of apps. Dropped, Workshelf, The Shelf, and Scrawl Pouch all launched as manifestations of Federico’s dream for a drag and drop-powered temporary holding place for content on the iPad. If you’re unfamiliar with this concept, here’s how I described it in my last shelf roundup:
The need for a shelf springs from the addition of drag and drop to iOS 11. It’s not always practical to drag content directly from one app to another; sometimes you know you’ll need that content soon, but you’re not ready to drop it elsewhere yet. Additionally, in some situations you may wish to drop the same data into multiple places over a short period of time, and it can be cumbersome to re-open the data’s source app to pull it out multiple times. A shelf can solve these problems: it serves as a temporary resting place for anything you know you’ll need quick access to soon. In this way it can serve a role similar to the macOS desktop, which is commonly used as a temporary holding zone.
While all the apps I originally highlighted continue to fill this role well, several additional quality apps have launched that bring new things to the table in this young category of apps.
Following just a few days behind Pixelmator for Mac, which recently received support for HEIF and editing files stored in Apple Photos, Pixelmator for iOS was updated today with the aforementioned HEIF support – Apple’s new file format for images in iOS 11 – as well as drag and drop support on iPad.
Drag and drop enables, as you might expect, moving images and graphics out of or into Pixelmator. Dropping images into a work in progress will import them all as new layers. Depending on the size and number of images you’re dropping, there may be a brief delay before they appear in your working document, but overall this action works well. When it comes to dragging content out of Pixelmator, you’ll need to do it with a single layer at a time – once you’ve lifted a layer, you can’t use drag and drop to pick up any additional layers. In a document containing many different layers, this can be fairly limiting, but there is a type of workaround: you can merge layers together in the sidebar to then drag the newly merged layer out of the app as a single image. Unfortunately, this only solves the problem if you want both layers permanently combined into one when dropping them elsewhere.
This layer merge technique is the only way I’ve discovered to drag a final image, containing multiple layers, out of Pixelmator and into another app – if you don’t want to first merge all layers together, you’ll have to use a more traditional data transfer technique like the share sheet. I would have liked to see drag and drop enabled within Pixelmator’s main image browser for moving a completed image out of the app, or for importing photos into the app to edit later. Currently, long-pressing an item from the image browser simply engages rearrange mode.
One nice side effect of drag and drop support is that when dealing with layers that don’t fit inside your canvas – such as an image you’ve dragged in that’s larger than the canvas itself – previously it was difficult to easily determine how large the full layer was. But now, grabbing the layer and watching it lift from the screen will provide a view of the full image, regardless of canvas size. Once you start dragging the layer away, it will shrink into a smaller drag preview, but until that move is engaged, the lifted image will be shown in full.
Despite its limitations, drag and drop support in Pixelmator is definitely great to have; before today I have tried several times to drag images into the app only to remember I couldn’t do that yet. Perhaps when the upcoming Pixelmator Pro arrives on the iPad, it will include a richer implementation of drag and drop. Until then, I’m grateful to have one less app limiting my iPad drag and drop experience.
Drag and drop is a natural fit for a note taking app like GoodNotes. The app excels as a way to capture handwritten or typed notes, but one of its greatest strengths is the ability to combine notes with other media, which drag and drop makes easier than ever.
GoodNotes has one of the best ink engines of any note taking app I’ve used. You can choose from a preset selection of ink colors and line widths or customize them to suit your taste. There’s a highlighter tool for marking up your notes or other documents too. The lasso tool lets you select notes and other on-screen elements to move them on the page or, in the case of handwritten notes, convert them to text.