Apps

Twitter Cuts Mac App

In an alleged move to make their user experience ‘consistent’ across all platforms Twitter have announced that as of 16th February the Mac app will no longer be available for download and not be supported at all 30 days hence (see img.1 for tweet).

(img.1)

(img.1)

Will this move happen across all platforms? In my view, of course it won’t, I feel it is entirely a move to force Mac users to transfer to Twitter’s web portal and save on investment in an operating system and community that has been vocal over the lack of action by the company regarding abuse towards many sections of the Twitter population. If Twitter were to have announced the removal of the Windows app at the same time the explanation may have been more credible.

I was always a fan of Twitter over Facebook for personal use and any projects I was promoting but with the levels of abuse rising, the unwillingness to open their newer features to third party apps (which despite this restriction are immensely better than the native app or the web portal) and now support for the Mac being eroded, it may be time to look for an alternative (maybe Micro.blog). The issue that arrises here is that one of the alternative services must become embedded in the general public’s consciousness before a wide audience can be reached, a thing Twitter has already accomplished and which, therefore, adds more complexity to completely discarding it.

The other worry with this move is how much further into the future will Twitter allow third party apps to have access, however, are there many non tech geeks realise there are apps such as Twitterrific or Tweetbot out there or are willing to pay for a Twitter client.

At the moment I would recommend to those who use a Mac and dislike the web portal to spend a little cash on either Twitterrific or Tweetbot and look at other social networking options, hopefully one of these will become a credible alternative.

iPhone Home Screen

We all have different ways of organising our apps and keeping what is important to us handy on our iPhone Home Screens and by way of introducing this new blog I thought sharing mine may be interesting. The screen shot below shows how my home screen looks today, however, it probably won’t be long before it changes.

Many people like to keep a minimal home screen or follow the latest trend of leaving the lower row empty but as you can see I don’t subscribe to either of these ideas. I like to have my most used and favourite apps in easy reach.

(img.1)

(img.1)

The screen shot (img.1) has some Apple default apps on the top row and I’m sure there is no need for me to explain what these are or what they do. My folder row comes next, the folders on my home screen only contain one page of apps, once again for quick access. My Personal folder contains two of my must have apps OmniFocus (for task management) I do also use Apple’s Reminders but mainly for shopping lists etc. and 1Password (my password manager that I could not live without). The Social folder is pretty self explanatory as are my News and Sport folders.

Next are some productivity utilities, I’ve used several note apps including Notebooks, Evernote and Bear but have now reverted to Apple Notes since it’s recent enhancements. Ulysses is a great writing app and is where many of the posts for The Mac Quad will start. Drafts is an app for quickly capturing small amounts of text and shipping them off to different places once you’ve decided where they need to be. Lastly on that row Scanner Pro is my favourite document scanning utility with excellent capture and export options.

Starting with Sky Go are some entertainment and video apps followed by Audible and Apple’s Podcasts app, two of my most used apps. I love audiobooks, being paralysed it is much easier to listen to audio than access a physical book or continuously be looking at a screen to use an ebook. I listen to many podcasts and after using many different podcast apps have settled on the native Apple one for about 6 months, maybe not feature rich but recently the sync to iTunes has been extremely stable and enables me to organise my podcasts on the Mac. The audio theme continues with the Economist app, my main news subscription, which includes a complete audio version of the printed edition. I think everyone is aware of Sonos while Radioplayer is predominantly for UK stations. Many people complain about Apple’s Music app but I find it easy to use and as an Apple Music subscriber fully integrated.

Lastly comes the obvious Phone, Messages and Mail apps, I’ve tried several third party email clients such as Airmail and Spark but despite it’s limitations find Mail the most reliable. My current calendar app is Fantastical which now boasts travel time.

I hope this gives some ideas for apps and it would be great to her from you about your home screens.