Screenshots, Shots, Shots, Shots, Shots…

M.G Siegler:

Having now read over a bunch of the early walk-throughs of the first beta of iOS 11, I think there is one feature — amongst the many — that rises above the others for me: enhanced screenshots.

To be clear, the screenshots themselves aren’t enhanced. But the ease with which you can do useful things with such an image after you take one in iOS 11 is a massive, massive upgrade. And I suspect it may ignite the usage of mobile screenshots even further.
Up until now, the screenshot has almost been a hidden functionality. Yes, anyone can do it, but it’s not exactly like Apple gives you a tutorial when you first get an iPhone. And it’s not exactly like the power-plus-home button combo is natural. But because this has been the standard with the iPhone from the beginning (even with the move of the power button to the side from the top), the knowledge has seemingly been passed down like an ancient ritual amongst a tribe. And now we see a lot of people taking screenshots of things within iOS and sharing them throughout the web.

For one prime example, just follow a few athletes on Twitter and see how they choose to share a statement to their followers… It’s seemingly almost always a picture of the iOS Notes app shared as a tweet payload. In other words, they’re sharing a screenshot.

With iOS 11, while the tactic to take a screenshot is seemingly the same (though you can now easily take a screen recording which you could not do before), the functionality after you take the shot is so much better.

Now, after the screenshot is taken, you immediately will see a thumbnail of the shot in the lower left portion of your screen. From here, you can tap to edit the shot and/or quickly share it. While such functionality was highlighted during the WWDC keynote for the iPad Pro, it works with an iPhone with iOS 11 too. And it looks perfect.

I don’t know about you, but I take screenshots left-and-right. And I do this both for archival purposes, but also to be able to share something quickly. The problem is that right now, “quickly” means taking the shot, quitting whatever you’re doing, opening the Photos app, opening the screenshot, editing it, and then finally sharing it. In bulk, over time, this is tedious. The new workflow is so much better.

Not only can you open the screenshot immediately now, but again, you can edit it right away. And not only can you do something like crop it, you can actually mark it up in a very simple way. This is not that easy to do right now, and requires several taps. And it’s far beyond what an average iPhone user would ever do.

I take a lot of screenshots so this can be a handy feature to have.


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WWDC 2017 — Some Thoughts

Steven Sinofsky:

Many of us have been using the dev builds of iOS 11 and MacOS High Sierra this week. I wanted to share some thoughts on what I think are some of the important advances.

I have attended WWDC for many years, sometimes as a partner (working on Office), sometimes as a competitors (working on Windows), and sometimes just as an interested developer (grad school). There are always a range of emotions coming out of the event. In this era of massively global Apple, every event is galactic in scale yet it is super important to keep in mind that this is still their developer conference.

My view is that iOS is the healthiest developer ecosystem right now. For sure a big part is because the most revenue is accruing directly to developers, but just as important is the reality that the most valued targets for advertising and commerce are also using Apple devices. Together these create a vibrant and lively community of developers actively working on updates and new apps. An even more important reason for me is the unprecedented scale of customers and ability for Apple to deliver new software APIs to developers that will make it to 100’s of millions of devices in short order.

While the ecosystem might be the most robust right now, we also know how quickly the landscape can change. That is why the importance of how Apple evolves software that takes advantage of their market position is so critical. I believe this WWDC had some incredibly interesting developments in this regard.

I won’t cover everything of course, but wanted to point out what I think are the most interesting innovations or opportunities for developers engaged in the platform. Think of this as the trip report I would bring back for the team, after using the software for a week.


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Apple makes major podcast updates

Jason Snell:

Users will be able to download full seasons, and the Podcasts app will know if a podcast is intended to be listened to in chronological order — “start at the first episode!” — or if it’s more timely, where the most recent episode is the most important.

I’m excited by these changes because, yes, some of my podcasts are seasonal and are best consumed from the first episode onward. I’ll be adjusting my own podcast feeds to take advantage of Apple’s extensions as soon as it makes sense to do so.

The other big news out of today’s session is for podcasters (and presumably for podcast advertisers): Apple is opening up in-episode analytics of podcasts. For the most part, podcasters only really know when an episode’s MP3 file is downloaded. Beyond that, we can’t really tell if anyone listens to an episode, or how long they listen — only the apps know for sure.


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A history of Taylor Swift’s odd, conflicting stances on streaming services

Taylor Swift’s entire catalogue is back on Spotify. Her first three albums haven’t been available since November 2014, and her October 2014 release 1989 has never been on the service before today. It’s the end of what has inarguably been the biggest, messiest controversy of the paid streaming era, and my colleague Micah Singleton has plenty of thoughts on how it happened and what it means for the music industry.

But I’m also interested in what this decision means for Taylor Swift. Not as a pop star or Katy Perry’s nemesis (happy album release day, Katy!) or a lightning rod for controversy — but as Taylor Swift the economist, the moralist, and the vague symbol for artists’ rights.

To put Swift into some context I think is often ignored, she’s not just one of the biggest pop stars in the world: She’s also its most successful, prolific, and recognizable contemporary songwriter. That’s a designation she’s proven she cares about. She can make hundreds of millions touring as an A-list performer, but it still makes sense that a prodigiously talented young woman who was written off for years on the basis of her diaristic songwriting and frivolous interest in glitter would transition into adult pop stardom in part on a platform of business savvy and semi-empowering rhetoric about the value of her own labor.

She’s uniquely positioned to speak authoritatively on this issue as a public-facing brand and a behind-the-scenes creative. Though, that doesn’t guarantee that her stance on streaming is logically sound.

My 9 year old will be happy that she can listen to Taylor Swift on Spotify again at least.


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Apple’s new iMac Pro costs $5000, but is it overpriced?

PC Gamer:

As far as specifications go, the iMac Pro is a pretty beefy PC, and in all the right places. It’s got one heck of a CPU, and a yet to be announced AMD Radeon Pro Vega 56.

Apple says that the $5000 base price for the new iMac Pro is a good deal, comparing its new computer to similar systems, specifically HP, which Apple said would have costed you $7000 for a similar system.

But the old adage is that Apple computers are overpriced for what they are and that if you DIY, you can get an equivalent system for cheap. So let’s try it! We went to our friends at PCPartPicker and built a system that attempted to match the new baseline iMac Pro feature for feature, to see how much we would actually save:

Price out similar systems to the iMac Pro then come back about the price.


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The iMac Pro


Apple today gave a sneak peek of iMac Pro, an entirely new workstation-class product line designed for pro users with the most demanding workflows. The all-new iMac Pro, with its gorgeous 27-inch Retina 5K display, up to 18-core Xeon processors and up to 22 Teraflops of graphics computation, is the most powerful Mac ever made.

Featuring a stunning new space gray enclosure, iMac Pro packs incredible performance for advanced graphics editing, virtual reality content creation and real-time 3D rendering. iMac Pro is scheduled to ship in December starting at $4,999 (US).

But, most importantly, the iMac Pro is not the upcoming new Mac Pro:

In addition to the new iMac Pro, Apple is working on a completely redesigned, next-generation Mac Pro architected for pro customers who need the highest-end, high-throughput system in a modular design, as well as a new high-end pro display.


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iOS 11

Apple today previewed iOS 11, a major update to the world’s most advanced mobile operating system, bringing new experiences and hundreds of features to iPhone and iPad this fall.

iOS 11 is the biggest software release ever for iPad, with powerful multitasking features, the Files app and more ways to use Apple Pencil. Augmented reality is coming to hundreds of millions of iOS devices with a new platform for developers to build apps that let users place virtual content on top of real-world scenes. CoreML gives developers on-device machine learning capabilities so they can easily make apps that will predict, learn and become more intelligent.

Additional features include the ability to pay friends using Apple Pay, Do Not Disturb while driving to help users stay more focused on the road, even more intelligence and a new voice for Siri and new professional capabilities to Photos and Camera. iOS 11 is available as a developer preview today and will be a free software update for iPhone and iPad this fall.


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10.5-inch iPad Pro and an Updated 12.9 iPad Pro

Apple today introduced an all-new 10.5-inch iPad Pro and a new 12.9-inch iPad Pro, featuring the world’s most advanced display with ProMotion technology and incredible performance with the new A10X Fusion chip.

The new 10.5-inch model reduces the borders by nearly 40 percent to fit into an incredibly compact package that still weighs just one pound. Combined with powerful new iPad features in iOS 11 coming this fall, like the all-new Files app, customizable Dock, improved multitasking and deeper integration of Apple Pencil, iPad Pro gives users the ability to be even more productive and creative.

I still like the 9.7-inch iPad size, but I also enjoy using my iPad Pro for the bigger screen.

The 10.5 should be an interesting combination of both sizes.


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The Apple HomePod

Apple today announced HomePod, a breakthrough wireless speaker for the home that delivers amazing audio quality and uses spatial awareness to sense its location in a room and automatically adjust the audio. Designed to work with an Apple Music subscription for access to over 40 million songs, HomePod provides deep knowledge of personal music preferences and tastes and helps users discover new music.


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Pinboard has acquired Delicious

Pinboard has acquired Delicious. Here’s what you need to know:

If you’re a Pinboard user, nothing will change. Sad!

If you’re a Delicious user, you will have to find another place to save your bookmarks. The site will stay online. but on June 15, I will put Delicious into read-only mode. You won’t be able to save new bookmarks after that date, or use the API.


This is the fifth time Delicious has been sold. Founded in 2003, the site received funding from Union Square Ventures in 2005, and sold to Yahoo later that year for somewhere between $15-$30M.

In December of 2010, Yahoo announced it was ‘sunsetting’ Delicious, an adventure I wrote about at length. The site was sold to the YouTube founders in 2011. They subsequently sold it to Science, Inc. in 2014. Science sold it to Delicious Media in 2016, and last month Delicious Media sold it to me.


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