The Write-An-App Edition Sunday, February 11, 2018

This Teenager Worried About Walking Alone, So She Created An App To Make It Safer, by Lori Aratani, Washington Post

Medha Gupta sometimes felt uneasy making the 20-minute walk from the corner where the school bus dropped her off to her home in Herndon, Va. — especially during the colder months, when it would get dark early.

Her mother had a suggestion: Write an app.

Divya Gupta was half-kidding, but Medha, a sophomore at Fairfax County’s Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, took the challenge ­seriously.

New Apps And Limitless Online Options Open Up Music For All, by Thomas Bruch, Journal Star

But before their respective jamming sessions begin, they both took one extra step — Caleb flipped off the cover of an iPad and booted up the Riffstation app, while Isaac positioned his iPhone on top of the soundboard to the right of this drum kit and started a multi-angle video of a drummer.

The Duhon brothers' set-up depicts a new form of music literacy, one that integrates the technology that has become part of everyday life into the process of learning a musical instrument. The easy access to thousands of online instruction videos, web-based music sheets and smartphone apps have been an asset to aspiring musicians, who are like the Duhons in that they are self-taught and have received minimal one-on-one instruction from teachers — whether it's piano, guitar or making beats for a hip hop song.

How Strava Got Me Into Bike Racing, by Christina Bonnington, Slate

I never thought of myself as competitive until, on my first ride tracked by Strava, a small yellow trophy indicated I was the fourth fastest woman to ride one particular segment in Golden Gate Park. Fourth place? I wasn’t even trying! A short time later, that fourth place became my first Queen of the Mountain. From there, I was hooked—QOM hunting became a hobby. My prework rides became longer as I wiggled and looped to discover new segments to steal. I might ride a hill casually at first, and then return the next day on the attack. Eventually, my co-workers convinced me that my efforts would be more fruitful on a road bike instead of my clunky commuter. I began to shed the weight I’d put on since college and found myself happier, healthier, and absolutely in love with bike life.

Pod News

HomePod’s Non-removable Cable Can Be Repaired For $29 USD Through Apple, by Jordan Kahn, 9to5Mac

Apple Store employees and authorized service providers have been provided with documentation to diagnose the issue for repair, requiring the device passes Apple’s usual Visual Mechanical Inspection screening to make sure the HomePod is otherwise in working order and hasn’t been tampered with by the user.

How To Trigger Siri On Your iPhone Instead Of HomePod, by AppleInsider

When you desire a bit of privacy, simply raise to wake a device and say "Hey Siri." A more direct method involves pressing the side or wake/sleep button on an iPhone or iPad to trigger the virtual assistant, which will interact with a user from that device, not HomePod.

Apple Talk

How Apple Is Paving The Way To A ‘Cloud Dictatorship’ In China, by Luo, Shi-hon, GlobalVoices

Apple says the handover is due to new regulations that cloud servers must be operated by local corporation. But this is unconvincing. China's Cybersecurity Law, which was implemented on June 1 2017, does demand that user information and data collected in mainland China be stored within the border. But it does not require that the data center be operated by a local corporation.

In other words, even according to Article 37 of the Cybersecurity Law, Apple does not need to hand over the operation of iCloud services to a local corporation, to say nothing of the fact that the operator is solely owned by the state. Though Apple may have to follow the “Chinese logic” or “unspoken rule”, the decision looks more like a strategic act, intended to insulate Apple from financial, legal and moral responsibility to their Chinese users, as stated in the new customer terms and conditions on the handover of operation. It only wants to continue making a profit by selling iPhone in China.

Apple Inc: A Pre-Mortem, by Dan Masters, Oh M Dee

The company’s marketing and engineering teams lack unity of vision, instead taking a throw-it-against-the-wall approach, and prioritising deadlines over delivering the very best product. This has resulted in unfocused product development and compromised products (the Apple TV being a further recent example).


Hands On: Ulysses 12.3 For Mac And iOS Aims To Be Where You Do All Your Writing, by Mike Wuerthele, AppleInsider

The trouble with Microsoft Word, Apple's Pages and apps like Final Draft is that they were built in a time when you printed everything out. Ulysses 12.3 for Mac and iOS is a text editor for today when you aren't sure where your printer is and you definitely can't remember when it last worked. It's for writers whose work is going to go online.

Best AirPrint Printers In 2018, by Luke Filipowicz, iMore

Although printers may seem like old technology in today's world, they still are a reliable way of obtaining a physical copy of documents, even if you are mostly using your iPhone or iPad for your everyday computing AirPrint capable printers will keep you printing with no problems. Here are some of our favorites!

Join Me In Playing This Addictive Block-sliding Game, by Vlad Savov, The Verge

There’s a surprising amount of depth and nuance to this game, whose difficulty escalates by feeding you a higher proportion of large and unwieldy blocks to coordinate.

Bottom of the Page

There should be a Squarespace for apps. It should be easy for small businesses and individuals to create an app for their customers. Apple shouldn't be too hang-up about Xcode be the one-and-only way to create apps. Let there be more tools for different people.


Thanks for reading.