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Goodbye Blogsy

Blogsy is no longer in the App Store

The news of Facebook shutting down Parse yesterday has understandably taken over the conversation in developer circles; however, I also wanted to point out this sad news. Blogsy was one of the first iPad apps I ever downloaded and although the interface looks super dated now (kinda iOS 6-ish), it was really the only iOS blogging app that could even come close to meeting my needs for WordPress.

We tried to come out with a new version of Blogsy (Blogsy II) which would work with the latest version of iOS. Unfortunately, due to the changes in iOS, Blogsy II would become sluggish and basically unusable after dragging in only a few media items (photos or vidoes).

There is still a need for a quality WordPress blogging app on iOS. In particular, I need one that can upload images to WordPress’s media library (including GIFs, which is currently not possible w/the official app). It needs to support different post formats, allow me to edit HTML, and support code insertion plugins like Crayon Syntax Highlighter. Such an app will probably never exist, but a girl can dream, right?

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iTunes Affiliate Kimono

Opening the iTunes affiliate komono

Dr. Drang helpfully reports his earnings from the iTunes Affiliate Program. I signed up for the IAP a couple of months ago and have earned a grand total of $2.23. Someday, I hope my blog can get enough traffic to reach the $24/month average that Dr. Drang has achieved!

At the moment, however, this blog gets about 1,000 monthly views—over half of which are due to a popular question on Stack Overflow that links to it. Guess I just gotta keep writing!

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App Store as an Economy

The App Store as an Economy

Good post by David Barnard:

For years, developers have petitioned Apple to allow paid updates and timed trials, and to change other App Store policies. But Apple has made very few meaningful changes to the sorts of policies that would empower developers to experiment with new business models, build more innovative apps, and better assess and manage business risk.

At some point, something’s gotta give…right?

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Your First Project

The First Project Trap

I really identified with this post by Ben Burnes:

A beginner’s skill level is years behind where they’ll need to be to create something with the level of detail and quality they often desire. This leads to a dangerous cycle of never being satisfied with the progress you’ve made and being reluctant to release anything publicly.

It’s not easy to accept that my first game is going to be rubbish compared to what I might create in the future, especially when I feel like I’m working so hard on it and learning so much.

But the truth is that I have a looooong way to go and this first effort will not be my best work. However without it, my best work will never become a reality! So, I keep on keeping on.

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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.