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by Jason Snell & Dan Moren

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Linked by Jason Snell

A social-media site that actually rejects misinformation

As YouTube struggles with a pedophile scandal while rejiggering its algorithm to stop promoting conspiracy theories, and Facebook continues to be Facebook, you’d think that perhaps all social-media sites are just helpless in the face of the darkest parts of the human psyche. But Julia Carrie Wong of The Guardian reports that Pinterest has some clear guidelines and approaches to wipe out misinformation:

As pressure mounts on Facebook to explain its role in promoting anti-vaccine misinformation, Pinterest offers an example of a dramatically different approach to managing health misinformation on social media.

“We’re a place where people come to find inspiration, and there is nothing inspiring about harmful content,” said Ifeoma Ozoma, a public policy and social impact manager at Pinterest. “Our view on this is we’re not the platform for that.”

…In the case of vaccines, the fact that scientists and doctors are not producing a steady stream of new digital content about settled science has left a void for conspiracy theorists and fraudsters to fill with fear-mongering propaganda and misinformation.

Pinterest has broken search results and used image filtering to wipe out anti-vaccine misinformation on its service. It stands in contrast to Mark Zuckerberg’s continued mealy-mouthed statements about Facebook being a free market of ideas, in which ideas includes stuff like Holocaust denial.

Pinterest’s solution isn’t perfect, but at least they’re trying. Which is more than we’ve seen from Facebook and Google.


By Dan Moren

Simple sleep tracking with Shortcuts

Sleep Timer

I found myself curious recently as to whether I was getting enough sleep. There are, of course, a bunch of different ways to track sleep on your devices, including many third-party apps. Apple itself has even added a Bedtime feature that lets you remind yourself when it’s time for bed, and set an alarm for when to get up, then logs the time in the Health app.

Having tried that for a while, there were a few things that frustrated me about the approach. The goal of the Bedtime feature is to have you go to bed and get up at the same time, and that’s not something that I can always control. It’s very inflexible and prescriptive in a way that I found annoying, to the point that I eventually just stopped using it.

What I really wanted was for iOS to be a bit more intelligent. For example, it could realize that when I turn off my bedside light (which is a HomeKit-compatible Philips Hue bulb) I’m going to bed. And then, when I pick up my phone in the morning it could log that I’m awake, and store the resulting information in the Health app.

Alas, that functionality doesn’t exist. So I made it myself using a pair of Shortcuts.

The Bedtime shortcut, which can be triggered via the Shortcuts widget or Siri, sets the Good Night scene, turning off my bedroom lights, and then stores the current time in a text file in iCloud Drive.

The I’m Up shortcut, which I manually trigger when I wake up in the morning, reads the bedtime from that text file, gets the current time, and logs both into the Health app, along with calculating the difference between the two and providing a notification about how long I slept. 1 (Although the Get Time Between Dates action in Shortcuts sadly only lets you choose hours or minutes, and, in the former case, rounds it off.)

These Shortcuts are pretty simple, but they get the job done. On the off chance that other people are looking for something similar, I’ve included links above. The only alterations you’ll have to make are the HomeKit scene you want to set for Bedtime, if any. (You can also change the location or name for the bedtime text file; just remember to change it in both Shortcuts.)

Sleep well!


  1. When you log Sleep Analysis, it lets you choose whether this should be recorded as “Awake”, “In Bed,” or “Asleep.” Given that I can’t detect my sleep state, I went with the middle option.  ↩

[Dan Moren is a tech writer, novelist, podcaster, and the Official Dan of Six Colors. You can email him at dan@sixcolors.com or find him on Twitter at @dmoren.]


Dan Moren for Macworld

What Apple can do to take Apple Pay to the next level ↦

Oftentimes, new technologies can seem like solutions in search of problems. And while Apple isn’t above those kinds of moves, it also often finds itself ahead of the curve, pushing technologies with a lot of potential before the world at large is ready for them.

Apple Pay has, since its introduction, tended toward the latter. It’s a system that offers real tangible advantages over the status quo; the ability to pay with your iPhone or your Apple Watch offers not only more convenience than paying with a physical card but also bestows much needed security on every transaction. It’s become more and more popular, but there are still lots of places where you can’t yet use it.

Of course, much of Apple Pay’s adoption isn’t entirely under Apple’s control. Some retailers still need to update the hardware or software on their point-of-sale terminals, and the makers of some of those payment systems may have to add Apple Pay compatibility as well. While the recent addition of major chains such as Target and 7-11 help, Apple Pay still hasn’t trickled down to every local shop in my neck of the woods.

Adoption’s just one part of the equation. Even without Apple Pay being ubiquitous, there’s still room for Apple to improve what its contactless payment system offers.

Continue reading on Macworld ↦


Podcast

Clockwise

Clockwise #282: Party Popper Dealy-Bob

This week, on the 30-minute tech show where you can hear the gears grinding, Dan and Mikah are joined by special guests Allison Sheridan and Kevin Clark to talk about improving Apple’s emoji discoverability, getting bogged down in finding the perfect tool for a task, vintage tech (and vintage games) we’d like to pick up where we left off, and the default app we’d redesign in iOS 13. Plus, a special Red Planet-themed bonus question.

Episode linkMP3 (29 minutes)


Linked by Jason Snell

Gurman: Marzipan roll-out a three-year process

Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, who has been reporting on Apple’s “Marzipan” project to unify the application platforms of the Mac and iOS for years, has a new report today detailing the planned timeline of the effort:

Later this year, Apple plans to let developers port their iPad apps to Mac computers via a new software development kit that the company will release as early as June at its annual developer conference. Developers will still need to submit separate versions of the app to Apple’s iOS and Mac App Stores, but the new kit will mean they don’t have to write the underlying software code twice, said the people familiar with the plan.

In 2020, Apple plans to expand the kit so iPhone applications can be converted into Mac apps in the same way. Apple engineers have found this challenging because iPhone screens are so much smaller than Mac computer displays.

By 2021, developers will be able to merge iPhone, iPad, and Mac applications into one app or what is known as a “single binary.” This means developers won’t have to submit their work to different Apple App Stores, allowing iOS apps to be downloaded directly from Mac computers — effectively combining the stores.

This all makes perfect sense—that iPad apps are the easiest to convert to the Mac, that iPhone apps would follow, and that ultimately the goal is to allow developers to generate a single binary that would run on any device Apple makes.

Apple has said repeatedly that the Mac and iOS aren’t going to merge together, but since last year’s WWDC it’s been clear that the overall goal is to provide a common app platform across the operating systems. (What will make Macs different, presumably, will be their ability to also run traditional Mac applications that have more capabilities than iOS apps do.)


By Jason Snell

Wish List: Whole-home AirDrop

Expanding AirDrop support might complicate security, but you can already scan for devices in a crowded café or conference.

When I first started using a Mac, there wasn’t built-in file sharing—you copied files onto a floppy disk and walked them to a different computer, a process delightfully known as “sneakernet 1.” But the ’90s were an exciting time for more than just grunge music, and the Mac finally got built-in file sharing with System 7, so you could find a Mac, connect to it, see its shared folders, and drag things in and out within the Finder.

This is a file-sharing model that has largely remained intact through all the changes in the Mac platform. To this day I can open a browser window, find a local Mac, give it a password (or log in as a guest), and view a subset of its files as if it were an external disk on my Mac.

But something funny happened back in 2011: Apple introduced an entirely different approach to exchanging files between devices, one that it added to iOS a few years later: AirDrop. Unlike the old approach of mounting a shared folder or volume, this was modern Apple’s take on solving the problem of exchanging files.

AirDrop’s interface is simpler, because you don’t mount any volumes—you just exchange individual files. (AirDrop’s still a drag-and-drop process on the Mac, but on iOS it’s all done out of the sharing interface.) AirDrop is simpler than setting up file sharing and more elegant than emailing yourself or a family member a file (and waiting for it to make the round trip up to your mail server and back down). It bypasses the complexities of your local network and connects directly via Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.

Over the years, Apple has continued to improve AirDrop. In the last year I’ve completely abandoned my old method of transferring large files (mostly audio stuff for podcast projects) between my Mac and my iPad. I previously attached a cable and used the file-sharing features embedded clumsily within iTunes. Now I just use AirDrop. When I AirDrop giant audio files to my iPad, the transfers are fast and iOS does exactly the right thing, offering to open the files in any compatible app, including Ferrite, my podcast editing app of choice. It couldn’t be easier.

Well, that’s not right. It could be easier. When I complete a podcast project I want to transfer the archived Ferrite project file to my Mac, where I can file it away for backup and long-term storage. AirDrop’s an easy way to do it—but only if I’m within 10 or 15 feet of my Mac Mini server, which lives in a corner of my garage. I end up walking into the garage and standing by the server until the AirDrop concludes.

This got me thinking: AirDrop is well established and easy to use and, especially on iOS, a far better alternative to traditional file sharing. (Let me also point out that Apple has refused to support traditional file sharing access in iOS, though you can get to it via a third-party app such as FileExplorer.) So why not expand it to include cases where devices are on the same local network but not within close proximity?

What I’m advocating is an extension of AirDrop that doesn’t just search for devices that are nearby, but also offers devices that are AirDrop-capable and reside on your local network. I can appreciate that the transfers might not be as fast and that there are security issues that would need to be worked out, though I’m not sure the security aspects are more complicated than using AirDrop at a crowded conference or café. Apple has already built in layers of permissions, including the ability to only transfer files to your own Apple ID or the Apple IDs of people you have added to your contacts list, and a requirement that you accept all file-transfer requests from other people.

The other day my daughter needed a few big media files that were stored on my iMac. I told her to walk her MacBook out into the garage and stand there while we transferred the files. It seemed utterly unnecessary. Why couldn’t she go back to her bedroom and get the files across our local network? Why should I set up file sharing on my iMac for a one-off file transfer?

With AirDrop, Apple has come up with a simpler way to pass files around. In doing so, it’s made traditional file sharing seem old and fussy. So my modest proposal to Apple is to take AirDrop and expand its powers. Let people in homes and offices use it to drop files to each other, even if they’re not fortunate enough to be sitting right next to each other. Apple, you did your job and you did it well—I’ve utterly embraced AirDrop. But now I want more.


  1. We used an add-on product called TOPS to move files around our local network at my college newspaper office. ↩


Jason Snell for Macworld

It’s time for Apple to get back into the smart home in a big way ↦

Apple’s current strategy in the home tech market is a bit murky. It launched the HomePod and Apple TV 4K in 2017 and HomeKit support seems to have become much more widespread lately, but it also killed the AirPort line of products and has stood by as competitors like Google and Amazon snap up companies like Nest and Eero.

This past week we learned that the company has hired a new head of home products, which makes me ask the question: What exactly does Apple expect Sam Jadallah to do? Is his job to make deals with HomeKit partners and make the HomePod more successful? Or is this the sort of thing that happens when a company shifts gears because it’s realized that its old strategy wasn’t working?

There are no end to the opportunities for Apple in building more devices for the home. It just has to decide if it wants to compete in that market, or write it all off. I’m increasingly coming to believe that Apple needs to do more, not less, in building home products.

Continue reading on Macworld ↦


Podcast

The Rebound

The Rebound 226: The Rerebound

This week on the most irreverent tech show not yet ripped off by a pale imitation, we recap this past week’s all-Rebound-host Mario Kart tournament, with some surprising revelations. Plus, a rundown of one analyst’s reports on what Apple has in store for the coming year, a look at Huawei’s latest shady doings, and the problem with pockets, both small and large.

Episode linkMP3 (44 minutes)


By Jason Snell

A week of podcasting with only an iPad Pro

Equipment hooked up
Recording Liftoff from the spare bedroom at my mother’s house in Arizona. (The little blue box is a mute switch.)

Last week I took a trip during which I needed to record three podcasts (Liftoff, Download, Six Colors Subscriber Podcast) with guests who would be participating via Skype. I almost took my trusty old MacBook Air with me, but I decided to see if I could figure out a way to replicate the bulk of my home recording setup without requiring a Mac.

In the past, I’ve done something similar using the Audio-Technica ATR2100-USB, a microphone that can output a digital signal using USB and an analog signal via an XLR cord simultaneously. The problem is that the last time I tried to use the ATR2100-USB with my iPad Pro, it didn’t return my own voice into my ears, making me unable to judge the sound quality of my own microphone. After years of having my own voice return to me, I strongly prefer not to record unable to hear my own voice. (I use in-ear headphones that largely shut out audio from the outside world, so the experience of speaking while not hearing yourself is even more profoundly weird than it would be with leaky earbuds.)

This time I wanted it all, or at least as close to all as I’m able to get with iOS in the mix: A pristine recording of my own voice, that same high-quality microphone audio also flowing across digitally to my podcast guests via Skype, and the ability to hear both my guests and myself at the same time.

I made it work with the addition of one box to my usual iPad workflow. Here’s what I did:

A flowchart.

First, I plugged an analog XLR microphone into my Zoom H6 recorder. That solves the “get a pristine recording of my own voice” problem. But how to get that audio out of my Zoom recorder and into my iPad Pro? If I plug my headphones into the Zoom, I’ll be able to hear myself but not my guests. If I attach the Zoom to the iPad, I can relay my audio—but the Zoom is unable to record audio when it’s being used as a USB audio interface.

Second, I need to route my microphone audio out of the Zoom to a device capable of transferring it to my iPad Pro (and also transferring the voices of my panelists from the iPad back to me). Any standard USB audio interface should be more or less capable of that, and so I used mine—the Sound Devices USBPre2. The trick was how to connect the Zoom to the USBPre2. Fortunately, the zoom has a Line Out port on its front, and the USBPre2 has a line-in port on its side, and I happened to have the right cable (minijack on one side, stereo RCA on the other) to connect the two of them in my random drawer of audio cables.

Third, I attach my USB audio interface to my iPad Pro. (I used a USB-B to USB-C audio cable for this, but an old-school cable will also work with an adapter.) I haven’t yet met a USB device that my iPad Pro is incapable of powering by itself, so the USBPre2 worked just fine. I also attached my headphones to the USBPre2, so I could hear myself and my guests.

That’s it! I could launch Skype, press record on the Zoom, and record a podcast. My guests heard my high-quality microphone audio, I could hear them, and I could hear myself (with no noticeable latency). The only thing I’m really missing is the ability to record my guests’ audio too, as a backup, but I chose to live dangerously and speak only to people who know what they’re doing when it comes to recording for a podcast.

The final step was one that I’ve described before, namely using an external Wi-Fi box to transfer my audio files back to my iPad for editing. This workaround remains until the day where Apple decides to let iPads see external storage devices directly. Then it was off to Ferrite to put the podcasts together after the participants sent me their files and I imported them into Ferrite. (As an added bonus, in a recent update, Ferrite has gained the ability to split multi-track QuickTime audio files into their component tracks. Ecamm’s Call Recorder for Skype uses this approach and until Ferrite was updated, I’d have to use a Mac to split those audio files in two. No longer.)

And that’s it! It’s not pretty, it’s two more boxes than I’d otherwise bring, and I refuse to weigh the difference in boxes and compare it to the weight of my 11-inch Air. The important thing is that I was able to travel with my iPad and no Mac and have more or less the same podcast experience that I have when I’m sitting at home at my iMac.

[Don't miss all our podcasting articles.]


Podcast

Upgrade

Upgrade #233: Let’s Start a Rumor

A 16-inch MacBook Pro? A 6K Apple external display? Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has dropped the first detailed report of Apple’s 2019 hardware plans, and Myke and Jason take turns dissecting them and wildly speculating about possible features. Also we ponder what a services-themed Apple event might look like, which is a lovely discussion until someone mentions Drake.

Episode linkMP3 (1 hour, 14 minutes)


Jason Snell for Tom's Guide

Analyzing Apple’s March 25 event ↦

It looks as though Apple will hold a special event next month unlike any it’s held in recent memory, according to multiple reports. At the center of the stage won’t be new Mac, iPhone, or iPad hardware, but a new collection of subscription services.

This rumored March 25 event has probably been inevitable for a few years now, ever since Apple called out the importance of services revenue to its corporate growth. The most reliable source of growth at Apple the last few years has been in services, powered largely by the App Store, along with Apple Music, Apple Pay, and iCloud.

With its new services, Apple is planning on using its stature in the tech world, the size of its customer base, and its staggering cash flow to insert itself in markets that are undergoing rapid transformations. And while Apple’s not going to beat Netflix or Amazon Prime overnight, Tim Cook could always unveil a bundle that ties together video, music, news and more that could further shake things up.

Continue reading on Tom's Guide ↦


Linked by Dan Moren

What part of the UK/Ireland are you from, based on linguistics

I’ve always prided myself on being conversant with many terms from the English spoken in Ireland and Great Britain, having read a lot of books and watched a lot of movies and TV from those countries while growing up. 1

However, this quiz in the New York Times has revealed the sad truth: my ability to pass for a native of those countries is limited not only by my lack of a reliable accent, but also my mishmash of terms from all across the countries. While I can recognize a lot of the words and expressions here, I can’t put them together into a single consistent profile, which the quiz correctly pegged.

Folks in the U.S., however, should check out the author’s similar quiz from 2013, covering our own country. I found it scarily accurate, as it identified not only where I was from, but its second-place guess was where my mother grew up and much of my extended family is from. Language is endlessly fascinating.


  1. And, of course, I lived in Scotland for six months during college, which really brought home the old “two people separate by a common language” chestnut. ↩


Dan Moren for Macworld

Three hurdles Apple’s rumored news service will have to overcome ↦

Apple’s plans to launch a subscription service for news are, by this point, an open secret. Just under a year ago, the company announced its acquisition of existing magazine subscription service Texture, which Apple executive Eddy Cue quickly revealed would be folded into the existing Apple News app.

Since then, the news service has mostly been absent from the limelight, generally taking a backseat to the more prominent news leaking out around Apple’s upcoming video streaming service. But as recent reports have started to filter out that the news service and TV service may be announced by Apple at the same event in March, combined with rumors about the revenue split between Cupertino and its periodical partners, the news service is suddenly back in the front seat—as are the challenges that it will face when it eventually sees the light of day.

Continue reading on Macworld ↦


Linked by Dan Moren

Why some publishers are going for Apple’s 50/50 split

Great take from Recode’s Peter Kafka, as always, on why magazine publishers specifically are willing to swallow Apple’s 50-percent revenue split:

And some publishers are happy to do it, because they think Apple will sign up many millions of people to the new service. And they’d rather have a smaller percentage of a bigger number than a bigger chunk of a smaller number.

In the words of a publishing executive who is optimistic about Apple’s plans: “It’s the absolute dollars paid out that matters, not the percentage.”

In short, newspapers that have a thriving subscription business—like the Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, and New York Times—are understandably not thrilled, since they’re pulling in customer revenue already. But many magazine publishers specifically haven’t been as successful at turning readers into paying customers, so they’re falling back to a time-honored strategy of, yes, hoping to make it up in the volume of new customers that Apple will bring in.


Podcast

Clockwise

Clockwise #281: Developers Need to Feed Their Pet Chickens

This week on the 30 minute tech show that gives 60 Minutes a run for its money, Dan and Mikah are joined by special guests Aleen Simms and Casey Liss to discuss Apple wanting 50 percent of publisher revenue for its news subscription service, where exactly all the App Store money is going, what Amazon wants with Eero, and transformative technology that seems underwhelming by today’s standards. Plus, a Valentine’s Day-themed bonus topic.

Episode linkMP3 (29 minutes)


Linked by Jason Snell

Report: Apple services roll-out planned for March 25

John Paczkowski of BuzzFeed News, a pretty reliable reporter on this stuff, says Apple is planning a roll-out event for March 25:

Sources tell BuzzFeed News that the company plans to hold a special event on March 25 at the Steve Jobs Theater on its Apple Park campus. Headlining the gathering: that subscription news service that has been all over the news today. Unlikely to make an appearance: next-generation AirPods, or that rumored new iPad Mini.

Sources described the event as subscription-services focused, but declined to say anything about Apple’s stand-alone video streaming service, which is also rumored to debut in 2019. Earlier this year, the Information reported that Apple had told studios and networks to be prepared for an April launch.

If this event is at the Steve Jobs Theater it will mark the first time Apple has used the theater for a media event outside of the last two iPhone launches. I’d been wondering if they were going to continue the pattern of finding other venues (in other cities) to complement the annual iPhone roll-out at Apple Park, but this would break that pattern. To be honest, I’m a little surprised Apple isn’t planning to embrace Hollywood and do this event in L.A., but the Steve Jobs Theater is a pretty great venue its own self.

I’d assume the main announcement of this event will be Apple’s forthcoming video service, with the news subscription service (and, presumably, a subscription bundle) as an additional item on the agenda. After the reports this week about the terms of the proposed news service—as someone who spent a couple decades in print publishing covering Apple, Apple’s reported terms are both unsurprising and completely bananas—I am not at all confident that the service will be particularly impressive at launch. (Never count out Apple, but the News service may take a lot of time and many tweaks to get right.)

I’m not at all surprised at Paczkowski’s report that hardware will not be on the agenda. Can you imagine Jennifer Anniston being introduced after the demo of a new iPad Mini? Neither can I. I’m also not sure we’ll need to wait till March to see new AirPods, given that existing AirPods stock is drying up. Maybe it’s a hiccup in the supply chain, or maybe we’re witnessing the shifting of gears. It seems to me that Apple doesn’t need a media event to release some new AirPods.


Jason Snell for Macworld

Now is the time for Apple to re-think its retail priorities ↦

Federico Viticci said it best on the Connected podcast last week: The departure of Angela Ahrendts as Apple’s retail chief is a Rorschach test. One’s reaction to the news will reveal a lot about one’s feelings about the current state of Apple’s retail stores.

I’ve seen a lot of criticism of Ahrendts featuring aspects of the Apple Store experience that actually preceded her. No, she didn’t invent the where’s-the-line, where-do-I-stand set-up that completely breaks everything we ever learned about how to behave in a retail store. (Under her tenure the approach was modified, not discarded—and in recent years I’ve noticed a more aggressive positioning of employees at the front of stores to intercept new shoppers and put them in the right place.)

Continue reading on Macworld ↦


Podcast

The Rebound

The Rebound 225: Now We Play Putt-Putt For Real Money!

This week, on the irreverent tech show that will always be your Valentine, we discuss Amazon’s purchase of Eero, Kashmir Hill’s attempt to cut the major five tech companies out of her life, Apple’s naming of a new product marketing head for VR, Angela Ahrendts leaving Apple, and, of course, OUR PICKS.

Plus, tune in for our Rebound-host Mario Kart TOURNAMENT, live this coming Sunday, February 17th at 7pm Pacific/10pm Eastern. More information to come.

Episode linkMP3 (42 minutes)


By Jason Snell

Finding my way around iOS roadblocks

As I wrote earlier this month, I ended up finishing my Six Colors Report Card story on the Mac because I ran into several roadblocks when I tried to finish the project on my iPad.

The point wasn’t that these tasks were impossible on the iPad, but that they were inconvenient enough—requiring me to research a bunch of apps or figure out workarounds or write scripts—that I was better off just going back to my Mac and doing the work there, primarily in BBEdit and Numbers.

I complained about not being able to do grep searches in my iOS text editors of choice, and while that’s true, several people pointed out that there are iOS apps that are capable of them, most notably Coda by Panic and Textastic Code Editor 71 I own both of these apps and while I don’t like writing articles using them—they’re development tools more than writing tools—they absolutely support grep and I will use them in the future when I need to do pattern-matching searches on iOS.

Textastic
I wouldn’t want to write in Textastic, but it greps well.

I also lamented the lack of BBEdit’s Sort Lines feature in any of my chosen iOS text editors. I still don’t have an answer for this, though I get the distinct sense that if I spent a few hours teaching myself a bit more JavaScript I could figure out how to write some scripts for 1Writer that would do the trick.

The biggest impediment to finishing my work on the iPad, though, came from the fact that I needed to generate a bunch of charts in Numbers—and they use a non-default font, Proxima Nova, that wasn’t installed on my iPad. How do you install extra fonts on the iPad?

It turns out, there’s a way—just a spectacularly inelegant one. Several apps will do it, taking font files transferred from the Mac and wrapping them in custom configuration files, then emailing them to yourself, at which point you can install them via the Settings app. I tried the free iFont 2 and it worked perfectly. Installing via the same kind of custom configuration file you’d use to install VPN software or to opt in to one of Apple’s beta-testing programs is not intuitive in any way, but with the help of iFont, I was able to get my charts to display on my iPad identically to how they display on my Mac.

Behold, Proxima Nova in Numbers on iPad.

This is perhaps my final lesson from this process 3: That I can work around most, if not all, of the roadblocks that iOS places in front of me. It might take an app I’ve never heard about, a feature of an app I rarely use, or hours of hacking together scripts based on code samples found in Google searches, but I can probably make it work. That’s not necessarily an endorsement—in the end it was far easy for me to go back to the Mac, where I’ve assembled all the tools I need to do my job over more than two decades. It’s a reminder that as appealing as working on my iPad is, there are still rough areas that I’m much more comfortable handling on my Mac.


  1. Hat tips to chanomie and Dave. ↩

  2. Thanks to iFont developer Cameron for pointing it out, and to Donkey for pointing out Anyfont. ↩

  3. Or not. Posting this story was delayed because all of my Shortcuts for resizing and uploading images broke in the latest iOS update. ↩


Linked by Dan Moren

Report: Apple offering 50/50 split in its magazine service

AdAge’s Garrett Sloane:

Apple’s upcoming Spotify-style magazine subscription service, an offering with all-you-can eat access to dozens of publishers, will only pay the media partners 50 percent of the revenue, according to two senior publishing executives from different companies with knowledge of the deal.

Obviously, this information is coming from publishing executives, who have good reason to be ticked off. Apple taking 50 percent of revenue is absurdly high, even more so because Apple is looking to hold on to the golden goose, by not sharing customer data with the publications.

There’s been a lot of talk recently about whether the 70/30 split in the App Store is still equitable, and Apple has provided exceptions: for example, developers who get customers to subscribe to their app or service can get an 85 percent share after the customer’s first year.

That makes a 50/50 even more ridiculous, especially because of the potential long-term effects, as Tech Crunch’s Matthew Panzarino pointed out:

Apple News is already providing a huge amount of traffic to news sites, but that isn’t bringing money with it. Offering the publications a meager 50 percent of subscriber revenue sure seems like Apple’s giving them the short end of the stick.