Time to Move Away from Dropbox

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Dropbox has been a loyal service to me, syncing files and folders across all my devices and platforms for years. The reliability has been faultless and not once did I ever see sync issues or conflicts of file(s) warning messages. I use the service for personal and work use but it has always bothered me that their pricing structure for the service was more expensive than their competitors even though Dropbox could justify the cost by pointing to reliability of sync.

Apple provide a storage sync service through every iCloud account and their current pricing structure for different levels of storage is more affordable than Dropbox but arguably, their syncing reliability has not generally had universal agreement in the industry plus crucially, iCloud didn’t offer a folder/file sharing feature that Dropbox did.

Last week at WWDC, Apple finally introduced iCloud folder sharing coming later this year and for me and I know for a lot of other folks, that was the final hold out of staying with Dropbox – a nail in the coffin, if you will for using the service.

To add a second nail to the coffin, this week Dropbox introduced an update to their service which Daring Fireball’s John Gruber called;

Now it’s a monstrosity that embeds its own incredibly resource-heavy web browser engine.

With more subscription services being introduced to consumers for streaming video, music and various other software, I personally feel it is nice to cross Dropbox off my paid-for subscriptions as now iCloud can finally replace it – at least for me that is and you might find it can for you too.

Apple releases new iPod touch featuring A10 Fusion chip

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Apple releases new iPod touch featuring A10 Fusion chip, 256 GB storage option – 9to5Mac:

Apple has just announced a new iPod touch featuring an Apple A10 Fusion chip. The new Touch looks the same as the previous generation, with a 4-inch screen flanked by large bezels and a non-Touch ID physical home button.

In addition to the new chip, the Touch comes in a 256 GB model for the first time. The 2019 iPod touch is available to order online now at $199 for 32 GB storage, $299 for 128 GB and $399 for the 256 GB configuration.

The iPod touch was last refreshed in 2015. That model did not support features like ARKit or Group FaceTime as the A8 processor was not powerful enough.

This means the iPod touch finally joins the Group FaceTime compatible device family with today’s update.

The Touch continues to lag behind the rest of the iOS lineup. Its chassis design has not changed since 2012, which means it lacks biometric authentication of any kind: no Touch ID, no Face ID.

Today’s processor bump update is doubly disappointing as it doesn’t even get the latest-gen A11 chip, just a measly A10.

Good to see an update to the iPod touch but slightly disappointing the new chip is the previous generation A10. Even the recently released iPad mini update got the current generation chip.

Apple’s New Pro Display

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Guilherme Rambo writing for 9to5Mac:

Known only as J290 by the people involved with its development, the new pro monitor will be a DCI-P3 display with support for HDR, auto-brightness, Night Shift and the True Tone technology, which can adjust the white point of the display to match the ambient light color.

A monitor that behaves like the iPad and iPhone with auto-brightness and True Tone sounds fantastic and puts the monitor above all the competition.

Viticci’s Seven Years of iPad as His Main Computer

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Federico Viticci writing for MacStories:

In this story, I will explore four different major areas of working on the iPad using iOS 12 system features, third-party apps, and accessories. I’ll describe how I optimized each area to my needs, explain the solutions I implemented to work around the iPad’s software limitations, and argue how those workarounds shouldn’t be necessary anymore as the iPad approaches its tenth anniversary.

Fabulously detailed piece on the iPad – it’s use cases, accessories, software, automation – everything from the industry leading iPad expert Federico Viticci. If you are new to iPad or looking to get one or who wishes to use it more, this is the kind of article you need to absorb and you will learn a great deal.

WWDC Keynote Confirmed for 3 June

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Apple Sends Press Invitations and Confirms June 3rd WWDC Keynote – MacStories:

Apple is expected to unveil the latest versions of its major operating systems at WWDC, including iOS 13, watchOS 6, and macOS 10.15. We may also see hardware products announced too, like the long-anticipated modular Mac Pro. A live stream for the keynote has not yet been confirmed, but it remains likely since WWDC is one of the prime Apple events of the year.

Apple Updates Its MacBook Pro Line with Faster CPUs and New Keyboard Mechanisms

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Apple Updates Its MacBook Pro Line with Faster CPUs and New Keyboard Mechanisms – MacStories:

It’s not unusual for Apple to release product updates shortly before a major event that don’t make the cut for the keynote presentation. Notebooks with faster CPUs fall squarely into that category. With the company’s annual developer conference just around the corner, today’s announcement is likely also be designed to try to satisfy one its biggest pro user groups that the company is trying to put keyboard issues behind it. However, only time will tell whether this version of the MacBook Pro’s keyboard is more reliable than prior iterations.

Apple now selling updated LG UltraFine 4K Display

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Apple is now selling an updated version of LG’s UltraFine 4K Display – The Verge:

The only monitor Apple sells directly through its website lives on, despite questions about its survivability over the past few months. The company today resurrected the UltraFine 4K Display, the one made in partnership with LG, as a 23.7-inch model with two new Thunderbolt 3 ports (as well as three vanilla USB-C sockets) around back. It costs the same as the previous 21.5-inch model: $699. But this one takes a hit on resolution, dropping down to 3840 x 2160 from 4096 x 2304. That said, with a pair of Thunderbolt 3 ports, you can now hook up an additional monitor or Thunderbolt 3 external drive if you like.

This monitor is for the latest iPad Pro and the USB-C MacBook line only. Despite my preference for curved monitors, this is still a fine display – glad to see Apple selling and promoting it.

iOS 12.3 and tvOS 12.3 now available with new TV app features

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iOS 12.3 and tvOS 12.3 now available with new TV app features – 9to5Mac:

Apple has released iOS 12.3 to everyone after six developer betas. Read on for a roundup of all the new features you’ll get with iOS 12.3.

In addition to iOS 12.3, Apple today is also releasing watchOS 5.2.1, macOS Mojave 10.14.5, and tvOS 12.3. The third-generation Apple TV 3 is also getting a new 7.3 software version.

Headlining today’s releases is the new TV application on iOS 12.3, tvOS 12.3, and Apple TV Software 7.3. The new TV app includes Apple TV Channels, a feature that simplifies streaming video subscription services by bringing them all into a single app. The billing is handled by Apple, and all of the content is hosted by Apple and viewed in the TV application itself.

At launch, Apple TV Channels supports the likes of HBO, Showtime, Stars, Cinemax, Epix, Smithsonian, Acorn TV, and more. As time progresses, we can expect more services to be added. Most of the services include free trial periods, as well.

Other changes in the new TV application include a refreshed interface with a focus on curation and personalized recommendations, as well as a new dedicated Kids section with handpicked content safe for viewers of all ages.

iOS 12.3 also features bug fixes and improvements for Apple News+, Apple Music, Apple TV Remote, AirPlay 2, CarPlay, and more. In conjunction with today’s update, Samsung has also debuted the TV application and AirPlay 2 support on compatible smart televisions.

In addition to iOS 12.3 and the Apple TV updates, Apple today is also releasing watchOS 5.2.1. That update will further expand the ECG and irregular heart beat notifications of Apple Watch to Poland, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Croatia, and Iceland.

Lastly, Apple is releasing macOS 10.14.5, which focuses primarily on bug fixes and performance improvements. The Mac won’t gain its own TV application until later this year with macOS 10.15.

With these releases now out in the open, attention will now shift to iOS 13, watchOS 6, tvOS 13, and macOS 10.15. Apple will officially unveil each of those updates at WWDC in just a few weeks.

Apple is planning big software updates for WWDC

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Apple is planning big software updates for WWDC, including iOS Dark Mode and iPad apps on Mac – The Verge:

Apple traditionally shows off updates to its iOS, Mac, and smartwatch software at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC). This year’s conference begins on June 3rd, and according to a new report from Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, the company has a lot planned.

New in iOS 13:

An official Dark Mode will be enabled from the Control Center. iOS users have previously had to use color inversion to achieve a sort of dark mode.

There’s a revamped Health app, with a new homepage for daily activity, a “hearing health” feature, and “more comprehensive menstrual cycle tracking.”

The updated Reminders app has a new main screen with four default options: tasks to be done today, scheduled tasks, flagged tasks, and all tasks. Gurman says the update “better competes with the several to-do list programs available on the App Store.”

The updated Maps app has easier options for setting frequent locations, creating groups of favorite locations, and navigating to suggested and past destinations.

The addition of profile pictures and display names in iMessages includes a dedicated menu for sending sticker versions of Animoji and Memoji.

Find My Friends and Find My iPhone will be combined into a single app. Previously rumored by 9to5Mac, it also suggested that Apple was working on a physical tag similar to Tile that would let users track the location of any devices — not just Apple phones and computers.

Native support to use an iPad as a secondary Mac screen will be introduced, which is similar to the functionality offered by third-party apps like Luna and Duet Display. This was also previously rumored by 9to5Mac.

There’s a selection of iPad-specific updates, including a better interface for multitasking and an updated home screen.

The big change in watchOS 6 will be downloading apps on the Apple Watch itself.

New in watchOS 6:

App Store access on-device means you’ll be able to update and install new apps without using the Watch companion app on the iPhone.

Transplanted apps from iOS include Voice Memos, Apple Books (for audiobooks), and the Calculator app.

New apps including Dose for pill reminders and Cycles for tracking menstrual cycles will be introduced.

New Complications (including ones for showing the battery life of hearing aids, rainfall data, and external noise) and new Watch faces (including one with extra-large numbers) will arrive.

New in macOS 10.15:

iPad apps on the Mac was previously rumored by Bloomberg. It reported that Apple will allow developers to create (essentially) a single app that runs on iPhones, iPads, and Macs. This process will need some work from developers, though, who will also have to submit multiple versions of the app to the iOS and Mac App Stores. Gurman says the feature will be expanded to iPhone apps “by next year.” Apple has already made iOS apps available on the Mac itself, including News and Stocks with macOS Mojave.

A new Apple Music app could be part of the rumored break-up of iTunes.

Apple iPad apps that will be initially available on the Mac include the Podcasts app and newly merged Find My iPhone / Find My Friends app. Apple’s Screen Time, Siri Shortcuts, and updated Reminders app will also be available on the Mac.

Apple second-quarter 2019 financial results

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Apple second-quarter 2019 financial results – Six Colors:

Apple’s quarterly results are in. The company posted revenue of $58 billion, down 5% from the same quarter a year ago. iPad revenue was up 22% and Services revenue was up 16%, but Mac revenue was down 5% and iPhone revenue was down 17%.