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Overcast 4.2: The privacy update

Overcast 4.2 is out now . It enhances privacy in two major areas: Anonymous sync by default Overcast has offered anonymous sync accounts since 2014. They’re fully functional, but they lack email addresses or passwords, so they can’t log into the website. A login token is stored in iCloud so the account can be …

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Written by Marco Ament - - Aggregated on Friday April 27, 2018


Overcast 4.1 now available

Overcast 4.1 is now in the App Store with some small but nice new features. Smart Resume is actually two features: It jumps back by up to a few seconds after having been paused to help remind you of the conversation. It slightly adjusts resumes and seeks to fall in the silences between spoken words when …

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Written by Marco Ament - - Aggregated on Tuesday March 13, 2018


Defending your app from copies and clones

App developers sometimes ask me what they should do when their features, designs, or entire apps are copied by competitors. Legally, there’s not a lot you can do about it: Copyright protects your icon, images, other creative resources, and source code. You automatically have copyright protection, but it’s …

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Written by Marco Ament - - Aggregated on Thursday February 22, 2018


The end of the conference era

Chris Adamson notes a significant contraction in iOS and related conferences recently (via Michael Tsai ). Having attended (and sometimes spoken at) many of these conferences over the years, I can’t deny the feeling I’ve had in the last couple of years that the era of the small Apple-ish developer-ish conference …

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Written by Marco Ament - - Aggregated on Wednesday January 17, 2018


Fixing the MacBook Pro

Despite my love for the previous Retina MacBook Pro , I won’t be able to use it forever. The best laptop to ever exist should be in the future, not the past. There’s a lot to like about the new MacBook Pros, but they need some changes to be truly great and up to Apple’s standards. Here’s what I’m hoping to see …

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Written by Marco Ament - - Aggregated on Friday November 24, 2017


The best laptop ever made

Apple has made many great laptops, but the 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro (2012–2015) is the epitome of usefulness, elegance, practicality, and power for an overall package that still hasn’t been (and may never be) surpassed. Introduced in 2012, less than a year after Steve Jobs died, I see it as the peak of Jobs’ …

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Written by Marco Ament - - Aggregated on Tuesday November 14, 2017


The impossible dream of USB-C

I love the idea of USB-C: one port and one cable that can replace all other ports and cables. It sounds so simple, straightforward, and unified. In practice, it’s not even close. USB-C normally transfers data by the USB protocol, but it also supports Thunderbolt… sometimes. The 12-inch MacBook has a USB-C port, …

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Written by Marco Ament - - Aggregated on Saturday October 14, 2017


Overcast for iOS 11 coming soon

I’m sorry that I missed the iOS 11 launch for my fancy drag-and-drop update. It’s coming soon, but it’s not ready yet. In Hello Internet episode 4 , CGP Grey introduced a metaphor for work-life balance as four light bulbs — work, friends, family, and health — between which one can allocate 100 watts, total. So …

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Written by Marco Ament - - Aggregated on Friday September 22, 2017


Courage

Many Apple fans were amused when Phil Schiller explained the removal of the headphone jack on last year’s iPhone as “courage”. But that was nothing compared to what happened last week. For ten years, the iPhone looked like this: A rounded rectangle, bars on top and bottom, and a …

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Written by Marco Ament - - Aggregated on Monday September 18, 2017


Removing “Send to Watch”

I’ve spent many months of development on Overcast’s Apple Watch app, especially implementing standalone “Send to Watch” playback. Unfortunately, I now need to remove the “Send to Watch” feature. I’m sorry to the people who used it. While there weren’t many of you (about 0.1% of active users), I’ve heard from some …

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Written by Marco Ament - - Aggregated on Thursday August 10, 2017


Overcast 3: Design walkthrough

Overcast 3 is now available, and it’s a huge update, mostly in the design and flow of the interface. I’ve been working on it since last summer, informed by over two years of testing, usage, and customer feedback. I designed Overcast 1.0 in 2014 for iOS 7, and it was a product of its time: it used ultra-thin text …

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Written by Marco Ament - - Aggregated on Monday February 20, 2017


Automatically test your database backups

One of the issues of yesterday’s GitLab.com “database incident” is that most of their database backups weren’t being tested, and when they needed a restore, they discovered that most of the backup methods hadn’t been working. Untested backup methods that turn out to be missing or broken are extremely common. I …

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Written by Marco Ament - - Aggregated on Wednesday February 1, 2017


The future of computing

The quarterly results are in and Apple’s doing fine overall , but the iPad really isn’t, with another year-over-year decrease in sales. Apple and commentators can keep saying the iPad is “the future of computing,” and it might still be. But we’re starting its seventh year in a few months, and sales peaked three …

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Written by Marco Ament - - Aggregated on Tuesday January 31, 2017


State of Apple from two perspectives

Two of the best pieces I’ve read about Apple recently: Grading Tim Cook : The optimistic business-analyst take. Tim’s doing great and the products are pretty much fine. Apple Inc: A Pre-Mortem : The pessimistic customer take. There are big problems that aren’t getting better. They may seem at odds, …

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Written by Marco Ament - - Aggregated on Monday January 23, 2017


Ten years of iPhone

I’ll never forget watching the iPhone keynote live. 1 It was a cold Tuesday afternoon in New York. My hair was still brown. We were supposed to be working , but even David had to suspend his usual workaholism for a few minutes in awe of what we were seeing. Everything about the iPhone seemed impossible to …

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Written by Marco Ament - - Aggregated on Monday January 9, 2017