Links of the Week (6/29/2020)

All the Apple links you need to wet your iOS14 appetite….

In our reactions webinar, Josh, Rose, Mike, and I discussed the new features of iOS, iPadOS, and macOS that we are most excited about, including some of of the biggest and most exciting features that didn’t get airtime during the keynote.

The folks over at the Sweet Setup know what they’re talking about.

WWDC 2020 Announcements Reaction, Thoughts on Apple Notes and iPadOS, and More – The Sweet Setup


Apple earlier this week confirmed that future Macs will boast Apple silicon as opposed to Intel-based processors. The transition away from Intel, which Apple categorized as “historic,” will take about two years and will start with new Macs set to hit store shelves later this year.

Crazy to think that this move could speed up these computer “Ferraris” even more.

Former Intel engineer sheds light on Apple’s decision to design its own chips


Apple Notes and Reminders are two of my most-used apps, and each has received significant updates in iOS and iPadOS 14. Though neither app’s improvements have been held up as tentpole features of this fall’s releases, Apple has nonetheless given noteworthy attention to making the user experience for each app better

​I’ve always wanted to use the native apps more, but they were never feature rich enough. Maybe this is the year.

Everything Changing in Apple Notes and Reminders in iOS and iPadOS 14


Apple debuted the trailer for the extravagant sci-fi series at its developers conference on June 22. Based on the 1951 book series of the same name by prolific American writer Isaac Asimov, Foundation tells the story of the fall of a vast far-future Galactic Empire. If the trailer looks a bit like HBO’s “Game of Thrones in space,” that is very much intentional.

I wasn’t sure if I was going to keep Apple Tv+ when my free subscription ran out…but if this is as promising as it looks…?

Honestly, my money is on Amazon and the Wheel of Time series they picked up. If you have read those books, those are ripe for a “next Game of Thrones” type show if it can be done right.

Apple is hoping “Foundation” can be its “Game of Thrones”

Behind the Curtain of Today’s Biggest Apple Leaker

Everyone has a story…his is fascinating.

I’ve been listening to the Cult of Mac podcast for quite a few years now. It’s one of the few podcasts out there that is funny, interesting, non-political, and I honestly feel like I could just hang out with the hosts.

They recently had Jon Prosser on their podcast. If you don’t follow the Apple world closely, he has been publishing some of the most accurate Apple leaks in recent memory. He has received a lot of good and bad press from it…as the apple writer world can be a bit possessive of their territory.

This podcast was interesting because he debuted some exclusive leaks…but it was more interesting because at one point Jon starts talking about his younger years and the incredibly hardships he dealt with in the death of his mother, his grandmother passing from cancer, being 19 and the legal guardian for his younger brother, and his drive to create a successful YouTube tech news channel called Front Page Tech.

I actually stopped working in my office and sat slack jawed at what I was listening to. (click on episode 441…his backstory starts about 30 minutes in but I’d encourage you to listen to the first 30 min too. episode 442 is interesting as a follow up)

#448 – We talk 14-inch MacBook Pro and a BIG Apple Maps update! (FIXED) The CultCast

This week: we've got more details on the 14-inch MacBook Pro, and Apple Maps gets a new feature that blows us away! Plus: we talk our two week impressions of iOS 14, and a major Hollywood film is coming to Apple TV+.  This episode supported by Easily create a beautiful website all by yourself, at Squarespace.com/cultcast. Use offer code CultCast at checkout to get 10% off your first purchase of a website or domain. Cult of Mac's watch store is full of beautiful straps that cost way less than Apple's. See the full curated collection at Store.Cultofmac.com CultCloth will keep your iPhone 11, Apple Watch, Mac Pro and iPad sparkling clean, and for a limited time use code CULTCAST at checkout to score a free CleanCloth with any order at CultCloth.co. On the show this week @erfon / @lkahney / @lewiswallace This week's stories Start testing exciting new iOS 14 features with first public beta After giving developers start testing iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 at WWDC in June, Apple on Thursday let the general public access pre-release versions too. 14-Inch MacBook Pro With Mini-LED Display Expected to Enter Production in 2021 Apple suppliers will begin competing to win manufacturing orders for new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models with Mini-LED displays in the first quarter of 2021, according to Taiwanese research firm TrendForce. Tom Hanks thinks having his new movie debut on Apple TV+ is an ‘absolute heartbreak’ Tom Hanks made a few not-so-flattering comments about the “Apple overlords” in an interview about his new World War II movie Greyhound. The film, which was originally supposed to launch in theaters, was pulled due to the coronavirus pandemic. Instead, it will premiere on Apple TV+ this Friday.
  1. #448 – We talk 14-inch MacBook Pro and a BIG Apple Maps update! (FIXED)
  2. #447 – Why people are ALREADY mad about iPhone 12…
  3. #446 – iOS 14’s best HIDDEN features!
  4. We react to all our favorite WWDC 2020 announcements!
  5. #445 – New Hardware! New Software! Let's Talk WWDC 2020

Best USB-C Hub for MacBook Pro

One hub to rule them all…

One of the reasons I waited so long to trade in my 2015 MacBook Pro was all of the glorious ports that it had. From the SD card reader to the HDMI port, it had everything that I needed in that department.

However, as I leaned more heavily in to my Vlog, I began to see the need to upgrade my Mac for speed, hard disk space, RAM, and more.

When Apple came out with the 16 inch MacBook Pro (MBP), it fixed all of the major gripes people had (keyboard, ports, battery life, speed) since the legendary 2015 MBP. It was time for me to upgrade…and upgrade I did.

The only accessory I needed was one hub to rule them all.

I jumped over to Wirecutter for the best recommendation and decided on this hub. It does the trick, feels and acts high quality, is incredibly portable, and has every port I will probably ever need.

If you are in need of a great USB-C hub for your laptop, I highly recommend this one.

Links of the Week (4/06/2020)

Mind mapping, a replacement app for Notes, and building your blog email list…

Shawn and Mike hosted a webinar to teach more about our Idea System and how to better use mind mapping.

They covered not only the basics of mind mapping, but also a handful of mind mapping workflow examples.

Idea Magic: How to Capture, Manage, and Develop Your Ideas (Video Replay) – The Sweet Setup


But two apps rise above the others as the true cream of the crop: MindNode, with a stunningly beautiful user interface, and iThoughts, with powerful features and impressive flexibility.

​I used MindNode extensively when I was in the thick of my Masters degree. Really helped me with outline is and structuring all those papers I had to write.

iThoughts vs. MindNode: A Comparison of the Two Best Mind Mapping Apps – The Sweet Setup


I can’t think of a single other notes app that looks as good as Noto. Appearance isn’t everything, but it sure is important, and Noto nails the look of what I consider a modern interface. It’s clean, elegant, and vastly superior to Apple Notes’ textured notebook style. And just look what happens when adding notes to folders.

I moved over to Noto from Apple Notes. It gorgeous.

Noto Review: Beautifully Modern and Versatile Note-Taking


Creating a newsletter for my blog has totally changed the blogging landscape for me. It’s my best blogging asset.

​One of these days I’ll explore doing this more in depth.

How to Create a Newsletter For Your Blog #GrowYourBlog Series

Links of the Week (3/09/2020)

Deep dive on my WP theme, mesh WiFi routers, and that company that raised their minimum salary to $70k a year…

I’m the Grinch who grumbles about every WordPress theme. Except one. After years of resisting change, I finally switched FilterJoe to a modern, responsive theme: Twenty Sixteen—the new default theme included with WordPress 4.4.

My only temptation has been to leave WordPress for a simpler and more writing-focused platform like Ghost or Medium. While WordPress was for blogging at first, it expanded over the years into content management and an online application platform. The original focus on blogging has been diluted, and WordPress themes often reflect that.

However, WordPress now offers Twenty Sixteen for modern blogging, and it is good.

In this post, I detail how Twenty Sixteen makes me comfortable with it as a wonderfully content-focused blog theme.

This is the Theme I am running right now. This guy nailed it in so many levels.

The Grinch who Changed to the Twenty Sixteen WordPress Theme


A few new opportunities have arisen recently, offering up an equally exciting opportunity to reassess my camera kit. Now, I have friends — knowledgeable friends, very wise friends — who have made it clear I have very little rational reason to make any changes. But want is a pretty significant factor, specifically when it comes to photography kit.

Many of us can identify with this.

First Impressions of the Canon EOS R, a Reader’s Setup, and More – The Sweet Setup


Amazon’s Eero routers are the first out of the gate with HomeKit support, which promises to provide greater security to your Internet-connected HomeKit devices.

The update, which appeared today via an update to Eero’s iOS app, walks users through the setup process of adding their Eero gateway to the Home app. Along the way, the Eero app explains that enabling HomeKit support allows Eero to firewall off each HomeKit device, so they only communicate with approved devices and services.

I bought an Eero mesh WiFi router when I moved to a bigger house. Totally worth it.

Eero WiFi Routers Add HomeKit Support


Remember a few years ago when the owner of a credit card payment processing company based in Seattle raised the minimum wage of his employees to $70,000/yr while taking a huge pay-cut himself and capitalists the world over, afraid of their beloved & apparently suuuuper delicate system collapsing from such madness, flipped out?

🤔

What Happened to the Company That Raised Minimum Wage to $70k/yr?

Links of the Week (2/24/2020)

Awesome apps, subscription pricing, and why site stats matter…

Last year when Apple Music Replay was introduced, Apple specified that the feature wouldn’t just serve as a year-end collection of your most-played music, but it would also become a weekly-updated playlist that you can enjoy throughout the year. Up until this weekend, however, the 2020 version of that playlist hadn’t yet been made available. Our Federico Viticci first discovered its debut on Sunday:

This article has a link to where you can find your own 2020 playlist. I love mine.

Apple Music Replay 2020 Playlist Now Available


Today I’m thrilled to announce the release of Dropzone 4.

Dropzone 4 is a big release not just in terms of the app itself but also the business behind it and how I plan to run Aptonic moving forward.

Great app just got powerful but also switched to subscription pricing. I don’t use a lot of the advanced features Dropzone 4 offers, but if you read my Setapp article from last week, you can try Dropzone 4 for free here.

Dropzone 4 Released « Aptonic – Blog


People ask me all the time if forever transaction business models are ethical. And I think the reason they ask me is because they’re dealing with subscription fatigue right now. A lot of people are really frustrated with subscription business models for a few reasons. The first reason is what I call product market fit. In other words a lot of companies build subscription models that aren’t very good business models requiring you to subscribe in order to access something that you only need one time, for example. Or bundling in a lot of stuff that you don’t want and then requiring you to pay for it. So a lot of people feel like hey, I used to love this product and now I have to subscribe to it and I have to pay more and I’m not getting what I really need. That’s the first problem and that creates a lack of trust between the individual and companies. The second thing is what I call subscription overwhelm which leads to subscription guilt which is they say something like this. I love this business model. I love this subscription. It’s really great except I never use it.

Speaking of subscription pricing, this article digs in to just that concept.

Is the ‘forever transaction’ business model ethical?


These sorts of stats do matter to me, because I want to see when and where people stop reading and understand how to keep people engaged with me. Not because I want to manipulate them and monetise them like the standard technology obsession. There is no attention economy here. I do want to build up a conversation with them and encourage replies to my posts.

​I’m slowly exploring SEO more and this blogger has the right mindset when it comes to why SEO and site stats can help make a blog/website better. Conversation. I love it when people comment and I get to converse with them on something we both find interesting.

When Site Stats Do Matter

Setapp: The ‘Netflix’ of Mac Apps

Ever want to try an expensive Mac app but not pay the full price?

I first heard about Setapp on a tech podcast. (if you’ve never listened to The Cultcast and are a mac/apple person I HIGHLY recommend it…very entertaining) I checked it out in it’s early days and decided that it wasn’t quite worth it for me. Even though I was constantly (and still am) on the lookout for an awesome new Mac application I didn’t want to pay the monthly subscription. I continued to pay for apps I found individually and write about them on my previous websites.

I had been writing on my last site for a year or two and had taken some time to write up some of my own serious reviews of Mac and iOS apps that I liked. Then, out of the blue, I was contacted by a representative from Setapp asking if I would like to check out the service for free if I was willing to write about it. Seeing as how this almost never happened to me, I gladly accepted.

Hopping over to the Setapp website for the first time in a couple years, I was flabbergasted by how many applications they had added!! I did some quick math and, with how many apps are moving to a subscription model anyways, I realized very quickly that Setapp would actually save me money because I use a TON OF APPLICATIONS that they cover in their Netflix type service!

Here’s a quick list of what I use that they offer:

SOME of the apps offered by Setapp
SOME of the Apps offered by Setapp

I’m not exaggerating with that list…and I know there are more apps with the service I haven’t even tried yet. All told, I probably could have paid the monthly subscription fee for Setapp for a year or two with how much I paid for all of those I bought on my own (including occasional upgrades).

Speaking of upgrades, Setapp gets you those application upgrades at no extra cost (from what I’ve seen).

If you’re interested, you can follow my affiliate link (it doesn’t add any extra cost) and try it out for free.

SETAPP – the Netflix of Mac Apps