Time to Move Away from Dropbox

Linked, News, Opinion

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’s New Pro Display

Linked, Opinion, Uncategorized

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

Linked, Opinion

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.

Apple is planning big software updates for WWDC

Linked, News, Opinion

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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.

Reported iOS 13 Features Coming

Linked, Opinion

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iOS 13: Dark Mode, detachable panels, Safari and Mail, more – 9to5Mac:

Apple is expected to unveil iOS 13, the next major version of the iPhone and iPad operating system, at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference, which kicks off on June 3rd. Now, people familiar with the development of the operating system have shared exclusive details with 9to5Mac. Read on for new details about what to expect.

Dark Mode and Multitasking;

First, the long-awaited Dark Mode is finally coming to the iPhone and iPad with iOS 13. There will be a system-wide Dark Mode that can be enabled in Settings, including a high contrast version, similar to what’s already available on macOS. Speaking of macOS, iPad apps that run on the Mac using Marzipan will finally take advantage of the Dark Mode support on both systems.

There are many changes coming to iPad with iOS 13, including the ability for apps to have multiple windows. Each window will also be able to contain sheets that are initially attached to a portion of the screen, but can be detached with a drag gesture, becoming a card that can be moved around freely, similar to what an open-source project called “PanelKit” could do.

These cards can also be stacked on top of each other, and use a depth effect to indicate which cards are on top and which are on the bottom. Cards can be flung away to dismiss them.

Guilherme Rambo and Steve Troughton-Smith are well respected and trusted developers and their ability to poke around with source code lends huge credence to this report. Apparent cosmetic changes such as Dark Mode and improvements to the Reminders and Mails apps do not sound nearly as big when compared to the “multiple windows” for each app mention – can’t wait to see this in action. ”Many changes” sounds like big things are coming.

Should you buy AirPods 2 or Powerbeats Pro?

Linked, Opinion

Airpods 2 powerbeats pro

Should you buy AirPods 2 or Powerbeats Pro? Here’s how Apple’s truly wireless earbuds compare – 9to5Mac:

If you know that AirPods fit your ears and you value their small, versatile size and charging case, they are a great choice for truly wireless earbuds. They’re sleek and quick to charge, offer optional wireless charging, and are cheaper than the Beats alternative.

On the other hand, if you plan on exercising and doing anything that requires more than 5 hours of battery life, Powerbeats Pro are the way to go. They can last for up to 9 hours on a charge, and you can get nearly 5 hours of charge in 15 minutes.

Powerbeats Pro are also far more customizable in terms of fit, with four included ear tip sizes and adjustable earhooks. If color is important to you, Powerbeats Pro come in four unique colors: white, black, ivory, and navy. AirPods 2 only come in white.

Powerbeats Pro will be available in May for $250. AirPods, however, are considerably more affordable – especially if you opt for the version without the charging case. AirPods 2 start at $159, while the Wireless Charging Case bumps the price to $179.

Vlad Savov thinks the iPhone’s camera used to be a selling point

Linked, Opinion

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The iPhone’s camera used to be a selling point – The Verge:

There are many good reasons to own an iPhone: your social life might revolve around iMessage, you might value Apple’s emphasis on privacy, or perhaps you appreciate the quality of Apple’s displays and software experience. But the one thing that once exemplified Apple’s lead over the Android chasing pack, the iPhone’s camera, is no longer top of the list of reasons to want an iPhone. The iPhone camera has fallen behind, and it’s now something users tend to accept rather than anticipate.

Google came out with the Pixel camera in 2016 and raised the bar of expectation for mobile photography a couple of notches above the iPhone. HTC responded with the brilliant cameras in the U11 and U11 Plus. Then Huawei introduced a terrific night mode on the P20 Pro last year, besting the Pixel, only for Google to respond with Night Sight, which was a revolution for nighttime imaging. And now, Huawei has returned with an even better P30 Pro that steps ahead of Night Sight. Come the autumn, the Pixel 4 is likely to push us even further into the age of unbelievable computational photography.

Where is the iPhone?

The technology industry is fast paced with competitors working on new designs and technologies all the time that push each other to better not only  themselves but for their customers and with that in mind Vlad acknowledges that;

This could always be the quiet before the storm of new groundbreaking designs and innovations from Apple. I’ve been covering this company long enough to not be surprised by its ability to outdo everyone else when it really wants to. The AirPods, for instance, haven’t changed in large part because they were so far ahead of their time when they were first released.

One Week with Apple News Plus – Should You Subscribe?

Linked, Opinion

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One week with Apple News Plus: a messy but good-enough Netflix for magazines – The Verge:

A good article from Nick Statt over at The Verge, giving his thoughts after one week using the newly announced Apple News Plus:

For those on the fence, the question of whether to pay for Apple News Plus depends, primarily, on if you like reading magazines enough to fork over $120 a year for access to more than you’ll ever be able to reliably consume. Going one step further, how you like to have your news delivered will also greatly impact how valuable this service is to you. Do you prefer standard Apple News’ mix of algorithmic and human curation, or would rather manually select individual stories as you browse a collection, which is arguably what News Plus is better at?


The biggest question you have to ask yourself is whether you’ll actually use Apple News Plus and if it’s worth as much to you as, say, a Netflix or Spotify subscription, which are two services from which most consumers can more readily pull value.

And this:

I think it’s safe to say that for those who enjoy magazines, News Plus is a solid deal. If you’re content with just perusing individual issues as they get released, you’ll get your money’s worth if you read upwards of three or more publications per month. Since Apple is offering a free trial for the first month, it’s relatively easy to discover for yourself if this is a service you’ll really want to use in the long run.

Bradley Chambers on iOS 13 Potential for iPad



Comment: iOS 13 will be the most important release to date for iPad – 9to5Mac:

The challenge for Apple with iOS 13 on the iPad is keeping it simple, but also improving how it handles complex tasks that typically have been best served by macOS. If I was a product manager in the iPad group, I would be constantly arguing that the iPad needs to be able to do everything a Mac can do. Yes, they are different devices, but users should be able to pick up either one and get the same things done. It’s really time for the iPad lineup to get the same Pro upgrade with the software that the hardware has gotten in recent years. Tasks like file management have got to become easier. Mobile Safari has to be removed, and a desktop-class browser has to be added, and I will argue that the iPad needs to get trackpad/pointer support.

I really don’t ever see desktop-like trackpad control coming to iOS, other than the curser trackpad control it already has. iOS is built to be a touch-first operating system with legacy point control such as a mouse and trackpad not intended for by design. I would agree that Safari could always be improved on iOS especially when it comes to working in web apps like Google Sheets compared the macOS Safari version but there is a simplicity in mobile Safari that feels light and intuitive which again I feel is by design – applications need to adapt to the iOS – not the other way round. I believe Apple wants its iOS-generation of users to embrace working in iOS rather than trying to get it to work like how they are used to on macOS or even Windows for that matter even if that means the apps that Apple offer on both different operating systems require a learning to curve to overcome.

★ “The Apple TV 4K does everything”


The best streaming video player to buy right now – The Verge:

At $179, the Apple TV 4K is on a completely different pricing tier than Roku and Amazon. But if you’re willing to spend that much, in return you’ll get the most polished experience of any set-top box on the market.

The Apple TV 4K does everything; it supports 4K, Dolby Vision, Dolby Atmos, and HDR10. It’s the box we recommend if you want to take full advantage of all the features in a high-end TV. Apple’s iTunes store has an enormous vault of content that can showcase those features. The menus feel more modern and stylish than those on the Roku, and Siri is a little better at voice search than Roku’s system, too. App selection is equally as strong. The one asterisk is that YouTube won’t stream in 4K on the Apple TV because Apple doesn’t support Google’s preferred video codec.

Apple’s device is very powerful and lighting fast in day-to-day use. If you’ve gone in on the company’s HomeKit smart home ecosystem, the Apple TV acts as a hub and allows you to control those gadgets remotely when away from the house.

A good reminder that although higher in price compared to its competitors iterations, what you get for that money is the #1 streaming experience with all 3 major platforms (Netflix, Amazon Prime & iTunes) on 1 device.