Apple’s podcast analytics service is now in beta

At WWDC this year, Apple announced it would soon offer its own podcast analytics service for show creators who publish on Apple Podcasts. Today, that service has launched into beta, offering podcasters the ability to track unique devices and playback metrics for their podcasts, including when listeners drop off in the middle of a show.

This is great news. It only tracks iOS 11 on mobile devices, but people move to the latest iOS pretty quick on Apple devices, so that shouldn’t be much of a drawback.

Final Cut Pro updated for iMac Pro

Apple today announced a major update to its professional video editing app, Final Cut Pro X, with new features including 360-degree VR video editing, advanced color grading tools and support for High Dynamic Range (HDR) video. Optimized to take full advantage of the incredible performance capabilities of the all-new iMac Pro, Final Cut Pro users can now edit full-resolution 8K video for the first time on a Mac. Apple is also extending 360-degree VR video support to Final Cut Pro companion apps, Motion and Compressor.

Wow!

People hear differently

What you say is not nearly as important as what we hear.

We would all do well to remember this.

Apple updates Logic Pro X for iMac Pro

Apple released an update for its professional music software Logic Pro on Thursday, which adds support for the iMac Pro including support for up to 36 cores. You can download the update by going to the App Store on your Mac and checking for updates.

Amazon will sell Apple TV again

Amazon.com Inc will start selling Google Chromecast and Apple TV, which compete against its Fire TV, on its online store, an Amazon spokeswoman told Reuters on Thursday.

This is great news for Apple. Amazon is a huge reseller of products and it has a very strong brand—I would think a lot of people will go to Amazon to purchase Apple TV. Amazon Prime Video is also now available on Apple TV, so the two companies are mending the fences.

Leather Bumper Case for iPhone X

As a family company here at Pad & Quill, we draw on very personal experiences to make our products and this Traveler Leather Bumper Case is a great example of that. It all started when I came across my Dad’s old leather coin pouch…

That sounds like a great reason to make a product. We all draw on our personally experiences for inspiration.

Apple and Chicago bring coding opportunities to city’s students

Apple today announced that it is working with the city of Chicago to bring coding opportunities to Chicago’s nearly 500,000 students through a citywide expansion of Apple’s Everyone Can Code program.

The initiative in Chicago was designed in collaboration with the Mayor’s Office of Chicago, Chicago Public Schools, City Colleges of Chicago, local businesses and non-profit organizations.

I absolutely love these types of initiatives from Apple.

Apple makes new hires from Hulu, Legendary

Apple has hired two business affairs execs — Philip Matthys from Hulu and Jennifer Wang Grazier from Legendary Entertainment — for key roles on its expanding original entertainment team, Variety has learned.

All of these video-related hires are great news for Apple and its customers. My only question is will Apple allow all of these talented people to make great shows or will they interfere to the point where the shows just suck. We’ll see.

Advocates ready legal showdown with FCC on net neutrality

Net neutrality advocates said they are gearing up for a legal fight after abandoning attempts to convince the U.S. Federal Communications Commission to keep 2015 rules aimed at maintaining an open internet.

I haven’t heard from anyone that thinks net neutrality rules should be abandoned. I hope they win this fight and keep the rules in place.

Using AppleWatch with GymKit

GymKit, a feature built into WatchOS 4.1, enables seamless tap-to-connect tech. It’s like CarPlay, but for fitness machines.

That’s a great way to put it. I can’t wait to try this out.

Google launches two experimental photography apps for iOS

Today, we’re launching the first installment of a series of photography appsperiments: usable and useful mobile photography experiences built on experimental technology. Our “appsperimental” approach was inspired in part by Motion Stills, an app developed by researchers at Google that converts short videos into cinemagraphs and time lapses using experimental stabilization and rendering technologies. Our appsperiments replicate this approach by building on other technologies in development at Google. They rely on object recognition, person segmentation, stylization algorithms, efficient image encoding and decoding technologies, and perhaps most importantly, fun!

I know many photographers love to try new things, so you may want to check these out.

Apple offers pre-orders for apps

New apps on all Apple platforms can be made available for pre-order when you submit your app and metadata for review in iTunes Connect. When you opt in, you’ll choose a download release date that’s two to 90 days in the future. Once your app is released for download, customers are notified and it will automatically download to their device within 24 hours.

This is a wonderful feature.

Apple removes app after MyEtherWallet complaint

“This is NOT US,” MyEtherWallet said on Sunday from its official Twitter account.

The statement was a response to a tweet by someone identified as @ChrisLundkvist, who posted an image of the $4.99 app, dubbed MyEtherWallet, showing it was the third-most popular finance app in Apple’s App Store.

Good for Apple for removing the app so quickly. Clearly the developer tried to sell an app based on the reputation of another company. It’s awful when people do that.

Apple confirms it is buying Shazam

“We are thrilled that Shazam and its talented team will be joining Apple,” Apple spokesperson Tom Neumayr said in a statement to BuzzFeed News. “Since the launch of the App Store, Shazam has consistently ranked as one of the most popular apps for iOS. Today, it’s used by hundreds of millions of people around the world, across multiple platforms.”

Apple must have big plans for the technology. There are obvious uses, but I have a feeling we’ll see some cool things in the future.

Bitcoin primer

Bitcoin’s massive leaps and volatile swings have brought a lot of new people to the technology. We’ll explain what Bitcoin is, how Bitcoin works, how Bitcoin wallets work, and throw a mention in for getting free Bitcoins through faucets. If … Continued

YouTube to launch subscription music service

YouTube plans to introduce a paid music service in March, according to people familiar with the matter, a third attempt by parent company Alphabet Inc. to catch up with rivals Spotify and Apple Inc.

This will be a big thing for YouTube if they can convert a lot of the people that currently use the service for music—and there are a lot of them. I’m not convinced they can make those people pay for a service, but we’ll see. Considering many of the Google Play Music staff were moved to YouTube, it makes sense that they are going to cancel that service.

Thoughts on camera gear

I really enjoyed this article from Shawn Blanc. At a time when most of us are moving to the iPhone, he’s looking at the tech in actually cameras.

Oracle’s cloak-and-dagger war with Google

The story that appeared in Quartz this November seemed shocking enough on its own: Google had quietly tracked the location of its Android users, even those who had turned off such monitoring on their smartphones.

But missing from the news site’s report was another eyebrow-raising detail: Some of its evidence, while accurate, appears to have been furnished by one of Google’s fiercest foes: Oracle.

Oh my.

Stress

Right there on the corner of Brannan and Fourth Streets, there is a billboard advertising some marijuana brand, saying “Hello marijuana, goodbye stress.” It got me thinking about stress and what is that is making people stressed out? Also, what does it say about people living in this tech town — are we so stressed, because of work?

I really enjoyed this article.

Apple: Learning with Privacy at Scale

Gaining insight into the overall user population is crucial to improving the user experience. The data needed to derive such insights is personal and sensitive, and must be kept private. In addition to privacy concerns, practical deployments of learning systems using this data must also consider resource overhead, computation costs, and communication costs. In this article, we give an overview of a system architecture that combines differential privacy and privacy best practices to learn from a user population.

A new article from Apple’s Machine Learning Journal, which includes a link to a PDF with in-depth equations and other details.

Apple buys podcast search engine company

Apple is said to have bought Oakland’s audio tool developer Pop Up Archive, known for the audiosear.ch podcast search engine, in a move that could bolster the company’s own podcast service.

It will be interesting to see what Apple does with this technology to help its service.

iPhone X charging speeds compared

With the addition of both fast charging and wireless charging to Apple’s 2017 iPhone lineup, there are more ways than ever to charge your iPhone. Every method is different — some are faster and more expensive, while others are slower but more convenient.

Juli Clover did a good job with these tests.

MarsEdit 4

Browser-based interfaces are slow, clumsy, and require you to be online just to use them. Browsers are perfect for reading web content, but not ideal for creating it. If you’re serious about writing for the web, you need a desktop blog editor. If you’re lucky enough to have a Mac, nothing is more powerful, or more elegant than MarsEdit.

I absolutely love MarsEdit. Every post I write on The Loop goes through this app and has for many years.

AI and the randomness of a human mind

Om Malik talking about how a simple sound brought back powerful memories of his grandfather:

But to me, AI as we know it is nowhere close to having the intelligence of the human mind. I suspect my brain took random bits of metadata stored in my mind and constructed a good enough memory to bring a tear and a smile to my face.

That’s an interesting point. I can’t imagine that AI would be able to bring such an emotional response to something as simple as a sound that takes us back in time.

The Dalrymple Report: iPhone X cameras with Shawn King

Shawn joins me this week to discuss the iPhone X cameras and how it compares to traditional cameras on the market.

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Apple says illegal student labor discovered at iPhone plant

Smartphone maker Apple Inc and its biggest manufacturing partner on Wednesday said that a small number of students were discovered working overtime in its Chinese factory, violating local labor laws.

Many of the headlines surrounding this story seem to indicate that Apple was caught forcing students to work like slaves. The truth is, Apple has held the companies it works with to a higher standard than anyone else when it comes to helping the workers.