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Apple Watch Revisited

Apple Watch Revisited

Nice post by Casey Liss that pretty much mirrors my thoughts and experiences with the watch. I also love my watch, and primarily use it for checking the time, weather, and notifications, as well as setting timers and making sure I stand up once in awhile. Nothing groundbreaking; just little improvements here and there. Also, it’s the most comfortable watch I’ve ever worn in my life, so it’s got that going for it as well.

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Relay FM Memberships

Relay FM – Membership

With a few exceptions, most of my favorite podcasts are on the excellent Relay FM Network. Today Relay announced a membership program offering bonus content, a newsletter, and 15% off in their store. Although you can sign up to support the network in general, I decided to support one particular podcast that I’ve been enjoying, called Under the Radar by Marco Arment and [Underscore] David Smith. While I know Marco and David are more successful than I’ll probably ever be, I really like their show and want them to keep making it for a long time!

 

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iPhone 6s Accessibility

The Accessibility Of The iPhone 6s

I finally got around to reading Steven Aquino’s review of the iPhone 6s for TechCrunch, and it’s really quite good. For instance, I had no idea this setting existed:

Beyond the individual accessibility features, Apple has added global 3D Touch settings to the Accessibility preferences (Settings > General > Accessibility > 3D Touch) on the new iPhones. Users are able to adjust the pressure sensitivity of the display in three increments: Light, Medium, Firm.

Steven also mentions how he needs to have his iPhone’s screen set at maximum brightness as a matter of accessibility. I have the opposite problem: my eyes are easily strained and at night, I could actually use a setting that’s dimmer than the lowest setting. For Steven’s sake (and many others, I’m sure), I hope Apple will either A) find a way to consume less energy at max brightness or B) consider changing their “good enough” battery life benchmark to something slightly more robust. For people like me, I wish Apple would allow apps like f.lux in the App Store.

However, as I’ve mentioned before, if you have a developer account, there are some apps on GitHub that can allow you to adjust the brightness below the minimum level as well as adjust the color temperature of the screen. My favorite of those apps is GoodNight. The reason I bring it up in the context of Steven’s post is that Steven mentions how much he’s benefited from Quick Actions. GoodNight lets you assign one Quick Action function to either change the color temperature, adjust the brightness, or adjust the RGB color values to a custom setting. When you select the Quick Action, the app launches, enables/disables the adjustment, and then closes itself. Pretty nifty!
 
Update: I didn’t know about this setting either!

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iPads in Music Education

iPad and Technology in Music Education

If you are at all interested in learning or making music with your iOS device(s), definitely check out this blog by Paul Shimmons. He updates it constantly with new music app reviews and also notifies readers of any app sales/price drops. If anything, it will give you an idea of the price point for these types of apps: often between $5 and $20.

I’d also encourage you to read this iPad Pro review from Scott Dawson’s daughter. She writes about how the larger screen size is great for reading sheet music. The post includes a video of her playing the piano and using a foot pedal to turn the virtual pages on her iPad.

 

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WordPress Mac App

WordPress Gets a Mac App

In addition, WordPress.com is now powered by a new front-end called Calypso which the company has made completely open source.

This site runs on WordPress, as do six other sites that I’ve set up for small non-profits in my local community. It’s really handy to have one central place where I can go to view their stats and make sure all of them have up-to-date plug-ins—a process that used to take forever as I’d have to sign in to each site’s individual admin dashboard.

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Intro to Guard & Defer

guard & defer

For some reason, this is the first explanation of Swift 2.0’s new guard and defer statements that makes perfect sense to me! It was written by Nate Cook over at NSHipster and is worth a read if you still find yourself confused about how best to use these new language features.

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Saving the iPad

Saving the iPad

Good thoughts from Jared Sinclair on how Apple can elevate the iPad from a position of uncertainty and confusion to a position of strength. Developers have been asking for improvements to the app submission/review process for years in the hope that Apple might take steps to improve the overall economy for pro-style software on iOS. Jared’s suggestion that Apple create a iPad-only fork of iOS is important as well, since the iPad is now the only device in Apple’s line-up without its own specialized version of the operating system.

My mom loves her iPad. I know lots of people that do. They tend to use it for web browsing, reading, and photo viewing. However, if that’s all that Apple wanted the iPad to be, then the iPad Pro would not exist.

Unfortunately, that’s all the iPad ever will be if Apple does not listen to the pleas of what I believe to be the majority of its independent third party developers. If Apple continues to turn a deaf ear to these issues, many talented developers will be forced to throw in the towel, and we will all be worse off because of it.

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Finishing a Game

You Won’t Finish Your Game

This community post over at Gamasutra really resonated with me, as I’ve started and given up on more projects than I can remember. In fact, that’s why I haven’t posted here in so long: I’ve been caught in the endless cycle of “start a project” -> “hate the project” -> “abandon the project” -> “become demoralized & mope” -> “repeat.” The moping part is what takes the longest, honestly.

I would really, really like to make a game. It’s something I’ve wanted to do since I was a kid. I have an idea for a game, but I’ve already hit some bumps while trying to create a prototype and it makes me want to quit. But I won’t. Not this time.

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Petz Hexing

Lost to Time: Gaming’s Forgotten Petz Subculture and the Women Who Shaped It

I wrote about Petz hexing back in March and about how it gave birth to a unique modding community comprised primarily of women. However, Jessica Famularo over at The Mary Sue was able to put much more time and effort into creating a truly excellent article about it. As an 11-12 year old, Petz really ignited my interest in HTML and furthered my already growing fascination with computer software and virtual pets in general. It’s great to see someone else drawing attention to the impact it had on women and young girls in the 90s and early 2000s.
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Apps for Love

Love (by Brent Simmons)

Could the do-it-for-love era — with the creative freedom that that brings — bring us back to the days when we downloaded apps that weren’t from Facebook and Starbucks and Funded Company X, and we told our friends about our exciting finds?

I hope. I have hope.

Great post. I have hope too, and am looking forward to making my next app (out of love, of course).