Censoring for Apple

Marco Arment:

No sensible developer should be worried about angering “Apple” by fairly expressing legitimate criticism.


There is no single “Apple” to anger, as the company comprises thousands of people across many different departments, all of whom can think for themselves. I’m sure some of them can’t take criticism well and may be vindictive — any large group of people will contain almost every personality type — but that’s not the attitude of any of the Apple people I’ve interacted with.

This has been my experience as well.

Everything Facebook announced at F8

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg kicked off the company’s developer conference today by saying the event, called F8, would focus less on product announcements and more on serving the developer community. And then he dove in and detailed a number of the social network’s new features, products, and updates.

Filters for iPhone

800+ filters, textures, vintage film recreations and visual effects. $0.99, everything is included. No in-app purchases. No gimmicks.

Download, download, download!

CocoaConf’s Yosemite Conference

Yosemite is a conference for Apple developers, designers, and enthusiasts. It will be held next Spring, in the heart of Yosemite National Park.

The conference is happening April 20-23 at the Yosemite Lodge at the Falls, in the heart of the Yosemite Valley. It’s almost sold out, but there are a few tickets left.

Nice Canadians

We experience Canadian nice as soon as we reach customs. The US border guards are gruff and all business. The Canadians, by contrast, are unfailingly polite, even as they grill us about the number of wine bottles we’re bringing into the country. One year, we had failed to notice that our 9-year-old daughter’s passport had expired. They, nicely, let us enter anyway. The niceness continues for our entire trip, as we encounter nice waiters, nice hotel clerks, nice strangers.

We are generally nice people.

CSS Animation 101

Many of the CSS animation links I post on the site come from Donovan and now he’s teaching a course. I signed up.

Instagram and an upset indie dev

Today, Instagram announced an app called Layout from Instagram. It’s described as “a new app that lets you easily combine multiple photos into a single image.” In 2012, I released an Apple Editors’ Choice app called Layout that lets you combine multiple photos into a single image. It was even named an App Store Best of 2012 app. Is it just me, or does it seem insincere for Instagram to release a similar app with the exact same name only differentiated by the inclusion of their company name? Do you think they’d be okay with me releasing an app called “Instagram from Juicy Bits?” Neither do I.

This happens way too often, but I don’t think there is a way to stop it.

iRig 2, the sequel to the most popular guitar/bass/instrument interface from IK Multimedia [Sponsor]


Now everyone can plug in their guitar, bass or other instrument and enjoy killer tone on their iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac or Android device — with the release of iRig 2, the world’s most popular guitar interface is now better than ever before. Revolutionize the way you make your music while on the go!

A digital rig with physical presence

With iRig 2, you’ll be able to enjoy IK’s full range of AmpliTube apps (the #1 app for guitar and bass players). It’s ready to go right out of the box. It comes with a powerful cross-platform suite of apps and software that includes free versions of AmpliTube for iOS, Android and Mac/PC. To use, just download your preferred version of AmpliTube for iOS from the App Store or for Android from the Google Play Store or from Samsung GALAXY Apps. Then plug your guitar or bass into iRig 2, plug your amplifier or headphones into your device and launch the app.

iRig 2 includes:

  • 1/4” instrument input for use with guitar, bass and other line level instruments
  • 1/4” amplifier output for use with an external amplifier without an adaptor
  • 1/8” TRRS output for use with iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac and Android
  • 1/8” headphone output
  • Compact and lightweight design
  • Selectable dual-mode switch: FX and THRU
  • Input gain thumbwheel for easy signal control
  • Comes with microphone stand Velcro strip
  • Comes with AmpliTube FREE and a full suite of powerful IK applications and software

Jim’s Note: I am a longtime user of IK Multimedia’s hardware and software. In fact, I have iRig 2 and I’m a big fan.

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Zakk Wylde to release “Book of Shadows Volume II” in 2016

“We are excited to announce that Zakk is entering the studio after this Unblackened Spring 2015 tour to record BOSII [Book of Shadows Volume II] which will be released early 2016, the 20th Anniversary of the original BOS, followed by a world tour to support that side of Zakk’s music,” Barbaranne said.

Book of Shadows is one of the best acoustic albums I’ve ever heard. I can’t wait for the follow-up.

Disney CEO kept Steve Jobs’ cancer a secret for three years

Walt Disney Co. Chief Executive Officer Bob Iger knew early on that Steve Jobs’s cancer had returned and kept it a secret for three years before it became public knowledge, a new biography of Apple Inc.’s late CEO reveals.

Iger learned about the illness less than an hour before Disney announced its 2006 agreement to buy Pixar, the computer-animation studio run by Jobs

This is going to be a very interesting book.

Iconic: A Photographic Tribute to Apple Innovation

My thanks to Iconic for sponsoring The Loop this week. Looking for a special gift for that mega Apple enthusiast in your life? How about the newest edition of an absolutely stunning coffee table book that features lush, beautiful photographs of Apple devices? ICONIC: A Photographic Tribute to Apple Innovation is Iconic uses vivid color and detail to document Apple’s journey in design, form and function—and looks back at over 35 years of Apple innovation. Four years in the making, the author captured over 150,000 photos of nearly every product Apple has made, including rare prototypes and even packaging. With a foreword from Steve Wozniak and The Loop’s own Jim Dalrymple and hundreds of amazing quotes from other Apple pundits—ICONIC is the ultimate coffee table book for every Apple fan, and the perfect gift for any Apple owner who ever wanted to explore and discover the true roots of their favorite iMac, iPod, iPad, or iPhone. With free global shipping, see the different editions and use the coupon code THELOOP on checkout for 10% discount.

Jim’s Note: In addition to writing the foreword for this book, I also own two and love them!

The truth about Apple Pay

From an article I wrote for Fortune:

The fact that none of these guys brought up or seemed at all concerned about cybertheft may tell you more than any headline that contains the words Apple, Pay and Fraud.

There’s too much fear-mongering going around these days.

Fantastical 2 for Mac teaser

On May 17, 2011 we reinvented calendaring; On March 25, 2015 we’ll reinvent Fantastical itself.

I’ll say this: you’re going to love this new version.

Winclone 5: Boot Camp cloning utility for OS X

Winclone 5 is the most complete solution for protecting your Boot Camp Windows system against data loss. Winclone is the most reliable cloning solution when migrating Boot Camp to a new Mac. The all new Winclone Backup feature provides scheduled, incremental snapshots of your files so you can retrieve earlier versions or accidentally deleted data.

Looks like a great utility if you have a Boot Camp partition.

PDFpen Scan+ 2.0 features touch-free scanning

Smile, the developer of productivity applications for Mac, iPad and iPhone, has released PDFpen Scan+ 2.0, a new version of their mobile scanning and OCR app for iPhone and iPad. This new version has a redesigned camera screen with auto-scan mode, which will take the scan, automatically crop, and assign editing presets—all without a tap.

I love Smile’s software.

iRig 2 unveiled

Just like its predecessor, the new iRig 2 plugs directly into the mini jack input of a mobile device. It lets musicians send an instrument signal to apps, such as IK’s AmpliTube, while also providing on-board output for real-time monitoring.

iRig 2 now comes with gain control, which lets users precisely adjust the input gain of their instrument to match their mobile device. This means that it can be customized to always provide the best sound, no matter what type of guitar, bass or line-level instrument or device is used.

Its new 1/4″ amplifier output, in addition to its traditional 1/8″ headphone output, allows iRig 2 to be plugged directly into a guitar amplifier or powered speakers without an adaptor. This helps to keep all cable connections tidy and organized.

A new FX/THRU switch allows iRig 2 to send either a wet or dry signal through the device. This means that guitarists can play live with an amplifier and use their mobile device with a tuner app, such as IK’s UltraTuner, or a recording app, such as IK’s iRig Recorder, to record a dry signal for further processing.

I’ve been an IK Multimedia user for many years. From the Mac to my iOS devices, the company’s software and hardware has always been close to my guitars and ready to go. I’ve been playing around with the iRig 2 and like what I’ve seen so far, especially with the option to adjust the input gain and go out to an amp or speaker. I’ll have a more full-featured review in the coming weeks.

Unscrupulous ads redirecting users to App Store from Safari

Website advertisement companies have found a way to circumvent the protections introduced in iOS 8 to stop users from being kicked to the App Store because of certain cleverly-coded JavaScript advertisements.

Ugh, watch the video. This would drive me crazy.


Cameron Moll:

I don’t know what to expect of Meerkat’s viability, permanence, or lasting utility. But if the hype is any indication, they’re ripe for acquisition. They’re also ripe for lawsuits and traditional media backlash, e.g. live-broadcasting televised events.

I feel like we are all in the same boat as Cameron with respect to Meerkat. We’re all fascinated, but we don’t know where it’s going yet.

The cost of an Apple TV streaming service

Neil Hughes, reporting for AppleInsider, quoted an analyst saying the price would be $30 and $40 per month.

A key factor in pricing, of course, is exactly what channels Apple’s service would offer. Reports have suggested that Apple is in talks with broadcast networks ABC, CBS and Fox, as well as other cable networks owned by Viacom and Discovery, though apparently talks have stalled with Comcast-owned NBC.

Of course, the stations are an important factor, but just as important are the hoops—or lack thereof—that I have to jump through. I don’t want commercials, I want to be able to fast forward and rewind, I want it all in HD, and I want to be able to watch an entire series anytime my little heart desires, on any device I desire. I understand that a new, ongoing series will come out on a weekly basis, and I’m okay with that.

If I can get something usable, I’d subscribe in a heartbeat.

One “major” corporate user bans Android devices

One major corporate user has banned Android devices on its network. “We simply cannot cope with managing the plethora of Android devices and apps on our network. We are happy to support iOS 8.x and Windows Phone 8.x – and apps from their stores but that is it!” This company uses a Symantec mobile management suite to control personally owned devices as well as access to company data and email.

There is no word on who the users is, but we do know that fragmentation has been a problem in the past. The fact that older versions of Android are not updated, and older devices can’t update to the newest version of the OS, causes some concern.

Apple removes app after allegations of fraud and false cancer claims

Apple has removed the award-winning healthy eating app The Whole Pantry from the App Store and its featured Apple Watch apps page amid allegations that its creator Belle Gibson committed fraud, according to The Sydney Morning Herald. The report states that Gibson is accused of making false claims about her cancer diagnosis and failing to donate thousands of dollars collected during fundraisers to charities.

This is just awful in every possible way.

DOJ could force Comcast to offer stations to Apple

Under the final judgement, Comcast must treat online video services as essentially equal to cable companies. Comcast is required to give those services access to the same NBCUniversal content that it sells to cable providers, under the same terms and conditions.

Additionally, if an online video service strikes a deal with one of NBC’s peers — such as CBS — Comcast is obligated to license “comparable” content at “economically comparable” rates. For example, if Apple’s new service were to carry first-run CBS programming, Comcast must makes its own first-run programming available at roughly the same rates as those negotiated between Apple and CBS.

It looks like there is some leeway there, but I didn’t realize the details of Comcast’s deal to buy NBC. That will piss them off.