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Algoriddim » Why We’re Moving to Subscriptions
from Daring Fireball

Algoriddim:

After more than 8 years as a paid-for app, djay for iOS is changing. With the latest release, we are now offering a single universal app as a free download which offers everything you need to DJ, along with an affordable new monthly Pro subscription service with power user features, video mixing, music production tools, and most importantly, unlimited access to a large library of audio loops, samples, FX, and visuals.

It makes sense for Omni to add subscriptions as an option for OmniFocus, but it makes sense for Algoriddim to go all-in on subscriptions with this update to Djay. Until now they had like 6-7 SKUs for iOS, with different tiers and different apps for iPhone and iPad. Now they one universal app, with a free mode that is more functional than ever, and single paid subscription tier that unlocks everything. And they’re offering a substantial first-year discount to existing users of their paid apps. Simple, fair, and clear.

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ifttt  daringfireball 
yesterday by josephschmitt
Introducing Optional OmniFocus Subscriptions - The Omni Group
from Daring Fireball

Ken Case, co-founder of The Omni Group:

We think our current licensing model meets a lot of needs, and we will continue to offer this model for licensing our apps: we prefer for customers to view our apps as an investment, not an expense.

But our current model doesn’t cover every situation. It’s designed for software that you run on your own devices, where you can buy something from us and run it for as long as you wish (so long as you keep a compatible system around to run it). With this model, we still have customers running software they purchased from us 20+ years ago. (That’s a good investment!)

But as I mentioned in January’s roadmap, OmniFocus for the Web is a different sort of product. It’s a version of OmniFocus that runs on our computers, not yours. Running it on our computers means we have to maintain those computers, their network connections, power, and so on, as a constantly available online service, for as long as customers use the product. Running that service costs us money every month, so if we want the service to be sustainable we need an income stream which brings in money every month to cover those costs. In other words, this service model requires subscriptions — an arrangement where customers pay us money each month to keep the service going. […]

The OmniFocus subscription will cost $9.99/month, giving you access to the web service as well as OmniFocus Pro on all your Mac and iOS devices. If you’ve already invested in OmniFocus 3 and just want to add the web service, the cost for that will be $4.99/month.

I think it makes complete sense (and the pricing is very fair) for Omni to add subscriptions as an option. I can imagine, a few years from now, an Omni suite subscription, similar to Adobe’s Creative Cloud, that covers all of their apps on all platforms. Subscriptions are the way of the future for commercial software.

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ifttt  daringfireball 
yesterday by josephschmitt
www.washingtonpost.com
from Daring Fireball

Geoffrey Fowler and Andrew Van Dam, writing for The Washington Post:

Apple this year became a trillion-dollar company. But it also became the thousand-dollar company: Suddenly you need at least 10 Benjamins to get the best new iPhone or the big iPad Pro.

Apple has never made cheap stuff. But this fall many of its prices increased 20 percent or more. The MacBook Air went from $1,000 to $1,200. A Mac Mini leaped from $500 to $800. It felt as though the value proposition that has made Apple products no-brainers might unravel.

Here’s the nut:

Most technology products are commodities that go down in price over time. Apple has worked very hard not to become a commodity.

I don’t think most of the Post’s comparisons are fair. Apple’s prices are going up not because they’re raising prices for the sake of higher prices, but because they’re designing more expensive products. Stainless steel costs more than aluminum. OLED costs more than LCD. Two cameras are more expensive than one. The new Mac Mini is significantly more expensive than the old one, but it’s a very different product even though from the outside it looks very similar — the old Mac Minis were built using mobile components; the new ones are built with desktop ones. The Mac Mini has gone pro, and its prices reflect that.

Imagine if Apple Watch had started out with only the aluminum models, and the stainless steel versions hadn’t appeared until this year. Clearly that would be considered a new higher-priced product, not a higher price for the same product. Likewise, no one is arguing that Apple has significantly reduced Apple Watch prices because they’re no longer selling the Edition models.

You can certainly argue that Apple is making a strategic branding mistake by making more expensive products. But it simply wasn’t an option to sell the iPhone X/XS as it exists for iPhone 7 prices.

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ifttt  daringfireball 
yesterday by josephschmitt
Thoughts on (and pics of) the original Macintosh User Manual – peterme.com
from Daring Fireball

An old link from 2007 I stumbled across this morning, while looking for a link to Steve Jobs’s open letter on the original iPhone price cut. Worth a re-link for sure.

Peter Merholz:

I recently purchased an original Macintosh User Manual (thanks eBay!). I had seen one at a garage sale, and was struck by how it had to explain a total paradigm shift in interacting with computers. I figured I could learn something about helping make innovation happen.

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ifttt  daringfireball 
2 days ago by josephschmitt
Samsung angers hypebeasts by partnering with fake Supreme brand in China - The Verge
from Daring Fireball

Stefan Etienne, writing for The Verge:

Samsung is getting criticized by hypebeasts everywhere after it claimed to be collaborating with Supreme; in reality, it partnered with a Supreme rip-off. Samsung is actually partnering with a fake legal brand, a rival company based in Barletta, Italy, that beat Supreme NYC in a court case this summer regarding who can use the brand name in Italy.

Partnering with a legal rip-off company is one of the Samsung-iest things Samsung has ever done.

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ifttt  daringfireball 
3 days ago by josephschmitt
Apple Is Offering a 40 Percent Discount on iPhones. Here's Why Steve Jobs Would Hate It | Inc.com
from Daring Fireball

Peter Cohan, founder of Peter S. Cohan and Associates, writing for Inc under the jacktastic headline “Apple Is Offering a 40 Percent Discount on iPhones. Here’s Why Steve Jobs Would Hate It”:

How so? On December 2, Apple added a new banner to the top of its website advertising the iPhone XR for $449, $300 less than its official sticker price. The deal, noted with an asterisk and described at the bottom of the page, requires customers to trade in an iPhone 7 Plus, a high-end handset from two years ago.

O how mighty Apple has fallen!

To put it in perspective, the plunge in the iPhone gross margin has been precipitous. As I mentioned, In 2012, the iPhone had a 71 percent gross margin. Before the 40 percent discount, the iPhone X had a much lower gross margin of 48 percent — its price was $749 and the cost of the parts was $390, according to IHS Markit.

By discounting the price to $449, the iPhone gross margin drops to 13 percent.

I’m not even sure where to start here. First, it is indeed interesting that Apple is promoting the iPhone XR based on the $450 price with a trade-in of an iPhone 7 Plus. Does this signal that XR sales are weak? Does it run counter to the iPhone’s premium brand? Reasonable questions.

But did the iPhone have 71 percent profit margins in 2012. No, it did not. That’s nonsense. But as I wrote about Cohan six years ago, when he was calling for Tim Cook to be fired, “He’s like a stage magician doing a card trick who asks the audience, ‘Hey, everyone close your eyes for a second.’”

If you’re trading in an iPhone 7 Plus to get an iPhone XR for $450, you’re not just giving Apple $450. You’re giving them $450 and an iPhone 7 Plus. Apple refurbishes and resells traded-in iPhones; they don’t just toss them in the trash. Refurbished iPhone 7 Plus models are not cheap, either: $480/$570/$650 for 32/128/256 GB.

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ifttt  daringfireball 
3 days ago by josephschmitt
OUTLIER A Material Difference
from Daring Fireball

Hardcore quality clothing. Obsessively sourced raw materials. Built for performance, durability and movement. Do more and own less. www.outlier.nyc.

 ★ 
ifttt  daringfireball 
3 days ago by josephschmitt
Microsoft Putting Edge on Chromium Will Fundamentally Change the Web - Motherboard
from Daring Fireball

Owen Williams, writing for Motherboard:

One of the biggest problems today is that despite Chromium’s popularity, it’s really not very good on the resource front: it drains battery, hogs system resources and generally doesn’t play nice. This, largely, has been because Google and Chromium don’t own their own operating system (outside of ChromeOS), and don’t get exclusive access to low-level system APIs that Safari and Edge have enjoyed.

There’s a lot I disagree with in this piece, but this bit takes the cake. “Really not very good on the resource front” ought to be nominated for understatement of the year. Safari isn’t more efficient because it has “exclusive access” to system APIs. It’s more efficient because the WebKit/Safari team places a higher priority on efficiency than Chrome’s team does. It’s that simple.

This difference in priorities is why Google forked Chrome’s rendering engine from WebKit in 2013. Which, in turn, makes me wonder what the endgame will look like with Microsoft adopting Chrome. Is Microsoft really going to stick with Chrome, under Google’s ultimate control, or will they fork it, the way Google forked WebKit?

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ifttt  daringfireball 
3 days ago by josephschmitt
Proof That iOS Still Hasn’t Gotten Undo Right
iOS has a long way to go when it comes to the level of consistency and polish of macOS.

Personally, if I were designing an iOS drawing app I’d probably go the first route, and follow Apple Notes’s lead with “↺” and “↻” buttons. But to Procreate’s credit, they clearly know these multi-finger tap gestures are both unusual, not intuitive, and utterly non-discoverable, because the very first thing they do when you first launch the app is teach you about them. Think about that: iOS user interface conventions are so shallow, so widely and wildly inconsistent, that an app proclaimed by Apple as the very best of the year has to start, as the very first thing you see when you launch it, by teaching you how to use Undo. That’s a sad state of affairs.

Interesting point about the menu bar. The humble menu bar may be one of the most innovative and enduringly useful UI design patterns of all time.

I’m left even more impressed by the original Mac team who got so much of these things right early on. iOS is eleven years old now and it’s still struggling with UI design consistency or design leverage.

What it comes down to, I think, is that the menu bar has become a vastly underestimated foundation of desktop computing. Once heralded, the menu bar is now seen as a vestige. I’m not arguing that iOS should have a Mac-style menu bar. I’m simply pointing out that without one, iOS is an 11-year-old platform that is still floundering to establish consistent conventions for some basic features, let alone complex ones, that are simple and obvious on the Mac.

Imagine going back in time to tell a MacPaint user in 1985 that they’d have to learn how to use Undo in an Apple-award-winning paint app in 2018. That’s where we are.
ios  apple  design  patterns  ui  gui  daringfireball 
4 days ago by jefframnani
Mueller Briefs: Bad News for Trump, Manafort, and Cohen - The Atlantic
from Daring Fireball

Ken White, writing for The Atlantic:

The president said on Twitter that Friday’s news “totally clears the President. Thank you!” It does not. Manafort and Cohen are in trouble, and so is Trump. The special counsel’s confidence in his ability to prove Manafort a liar appears justified, which leaves Manafort facing what amounts to a life sentence without any cooperation credit. The Southern District’s brief suggests that Cohen’s dreams of probation are not likely to come true. All three briefs show the special counsel and the Southern District closing in on President Trump and his administration. They’re looking into campaign contact with Russia, campaign-finance fraud in connection with paying off an adult actress, and participation in lying to Congress. A Democratic House of Representatives, just days away, strains at the leash to help. The game’s afoot.

 ★ 
ifttt  daringfireball 
5 days ago by josephschmitt
Daring Fireball: Electron and the Decline of Native Apps
This isn’t about Chrome. This is about ElectronJS. Microsoft thinks EdgeHTML cannot get to drop-in feature-parity with Chromium to replace it in Electron apps, whose duplication is becoming a significant performance drain. They want to single-instance Electron with their own fork. Electron is a cancer murdering both macOS and Windows as it proliferates. Microsoft must offer a drop-in version with native optimizations to improve performance and resource utilization.
electronjs  microsoft  browser  daringfireball  swiftonsecurity 
6 days ago by dlkinney
Facebook Well Aware That Tracking Contacts Is Creepy: Emails
from Daring Fireball

Kashmir Hill, writing for Gizmodo:

Then a man named Yul Kwon came to the rescue saying that the growth team had come up with a solution! Thanks to poor Android permission design at the time, there was a way to update the Facebook app to get “Read Call Log” permission without actually asking for it. “Based on their initial testing, it seems that this would allow us to upgrade users without subjecting them to an Android permissions dialog at all,” Kwon is quoted. “It would still be a breaking change, so users would have to click to upgrade, but no permissions dialog screen. They’re trying to finish testing by tomorrow to see if the behavior holds true across different versions of Android.”

Oh yay! Facebook could suck more data from users without scaring them by telling them it was doing it! This is a little surprising coming from Yul Kwon because he is Facebook’s chief ‘privacy sherpa,’ who is supposed to make sure that new products coming out of Facebook are privacy-compliant. I know because I profiled him, in a piece that happened to come out the same day as this email was sent. A member of his team told me their job was to make sure that the things they’re working on “not show up on the front page of the New York Times” because of a privacy blow-up. And I guess that was technically true, though it would be more reassuring if they tried to make sure Facebook didn’t do the creepy things that led to privacy blow-ups rather than keeping users from knowing about the creepy things.

The Facebook executives who approved this ought to be going to jail.

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ifttt  daringfireball 
6 days ago by josephschmitt
Microsoft Edge: Making the web better through more open source collaboration - Windows Experience BlogWindows Experience Blog
from Daring Fireball

Joe Belfiore, VP of Windows at Microsoft:

We will move to a Chromium-compatible web platform for Microsoft Edge on the desktop. Our intent is to align the Microsoft Edge web platform simultaneously (a) with web standards and (b) with other Chromium-based browsers. This will deliver improved compatibility for everyone and create a simpler test-matrix for web developers.

This is really rather stunning news, especially when you think back to the browser war in the 1990s. And I don’t think it’s a good thing for the web.

David Heinemeier Hansson:

Sad to see Microsoft throw in the towel on their own browser rendering engine. The web doesn’t benefit when developers are encouraged to “just test in Chrome” through consolidation. We need a strong, diverse set of browsers. HANG IN THERE FIREFOX!

After Microsoft makes this switch, the only remaining major browser engines will be Chromium, Mozilla/Gecko, and Safari/WebKit.

 ★ 
ifttt  daringfireball 
6 days ago by josephschmitt
Google Allo to shut down in March, putting focus on Messages and Duo - CNET
from Daring Fireball

Almost unbelievable that Google still can’t get a messaging platform off the ground.

 ★ 
ifttt  daringfireball 
7 days ago by josephschmitt
iPhone XR Case - Clear - Apple
from Daring Fireball

Finally. I’ve got one coming — will report on it once I have it.

Also available today: Apple’s 18W USB-C charger that’s included with iPad Pro, for $29.

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ifttt  daringfireball 
8 days ago by josephschmitt
React Native Accessibility Is Pretty Bad - Taking Notes
from Daring Fireball

Doug Russell:

So I’ve been recently saddled with some React Native problems. […]

So I do what I always do, I fire up VoiceOver. I had read the docs for React Native when it was new. I knew they were aware of accessibility, so maybe it wouldn’t be too bad.

(You’ll be very surprised to learn it was quite a bit too bad.)

Some of the issues were specific to the project. They didn’t understand VoiceOver or how accessibility works in React, so I spent a bit of time fixing those problems before I got into the weeds.

Where I realized there were some tricky problems, and maybe some intractable problems, was when I dug into React Navigation. This is the library recommended (but not maintained) by Facebook for navigation in new projects.

Wrong-headed developers want to use cross-platform frameworks like React Native because they think it’ll save them time and resources, but if they want to do it right — and good accessibility support is most certainly part of doing it right — they’re making things harder on themselves. What they should admit openly is that they don’t care about doing it right, and in many cases are trying to cover up for the fact that they don’t know how to do it right.

 ★ 
ifttt  daringfireball 
8 days ago by josephschmitt
‎Donut County on the App Store
from Daring Fireball

Slogan: “Be a hole”, which caused me to read it twice. (Via the App Store’s Game of the Year story, which, I shit you not, you can’t read on a Mac.)

 ★ 
ifttt  daringfireball 
9 days ago by josephschmitt
Zip Into Shape With Linea • The Breakroom
from Daring Fireball

Clever new update to The Iconfactory’s iOS drawing app:

Simply draw a rough circle, square, rectangle, oval, or polygon and hold at the end. After a configurable delay, ZipShape will activate and transform your rough version into a clean, precise shape. It works with all of Linea’s drawing tools — including the new fill tool.

You don’t have to be perfect — after the shape is generated, there are transform handles you can use to tweak its final position and appearance. No rulers or stencils required!

Linea 2.5 adds a bunch of cool new features, but this ZipShape one is a real standout.

I’ve been impressed by Linea since it debuted, but I’m actually using it a lot more now with Apple Pencil 2. There’s a well-known photography adage that the best camera is the one you have with you. That’s why Apple Pencil 2 is so much better — it’s with me so much more often.

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ifttt  daringfireball 
9 days ago by josephschmitt
Samsung used my DSLR photo to fake their phone’s “portrait mode” - DIY Photography
from Daring Fireball

Dunja Djudjic, writing at DIY Photography:

Earlier this year, Samsung was busted for using stock photos to show off capabilities of Galaxy A8’s camera. And now they did it again – they used a stock image taken with a DSLR to fake the camera’s portrait mode. How do I know this, you may wonder? Well, it’s because Samsung used MY photo to do it.

Not only this is outright fraud, they did a terrible job in Photoshop doctoring the image.

Djudjic:

Sadly, it’s nothing new that smartphone companies use DSLR photos to fake phone camera’s capabilities. Samsung did it before, so did Huawei. And I believe many more brands do it, we just haven’t found out about it yet. I’m pretty sure that Samsung at least bought my photo legally, even though I haven’t received the confirmation of it. But regardless, this is false advertising.

It’s undeniable that smartphone cameras are getting better (and there are more and more lenses with every new phone). But, we definitely shouldn’t trust the ads showing off their capabilities, or at least take them with a grain of salt.

I know one brand that does not do this.

 ★ 
ifttt  daringfireball 
9 days ago by josephschmitt

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