Archive for August 2018 - Page 1


    Apple Announces its September Event


    As has been the case since 2012 Apple has been holding its iPhone event in September. This year is no exception. Today Apple has sent out invitations for their September Event. This year's event is on September 12th. It will be held at the Steve Jobs Theater at Apple Campus 2. As with most Apple events, this one is at 10 a.m. Pacific Time. It will be streamed, so you can watch it live.

    I will be posting my predictions for what we might see sometime closer to the event date, so stay tuned.


    AirPort Express now supports AirPlay 2


    Today Apple pushed out a firmware update for the 2012 AirPort Express. The current version is 7.8. This firmware adds support for AirPlay 2. AirPlay 2 was added with iOS 11.4.1 and will allow you to stream the same audio to multiple rooms, or stream multiple items to different speakers. The latest firmware allows you to use the AirPort Express as an AirPlay 2 destination.

    It is important to note that this only applies to the 2012 AirPort Express, which supports 802.11n networking. This does not apply to the original AirPort Express. If the back of your AirPort Express looks like the one below, it will be able to support AirPlay 2.

    In order to update, you will need to use the AirPort Utility to perform the update on your AirPort Express.

    Even though Apple discontinued the AirPort line as of April, they are still supporting it for a few more years. It may not get many updates, but it is nice to see it getting some additional features.

    Source: MacObserver via David Chartier.


    Twitter and Third-Party Clients


    When Twitter launched about 12 years ago, it started off as an SMS-based service. Soon after its launch it became a website and it took off at becoming used by many members at South by Southwest (SXSW). The early users of Twitter helped define some of the many conventions that have become a mainstay of many social networks. A couple of examples of the items that have become standard are the @ symbol to indicate that you want to reply as well as the # for use as a hashtag to help identify a post for easier tracking.

    Another area where these long-term users have helped Twitter is through the creation of third-party Twitter clients. Initially Twitter was just a website and provided an API for developers to connect to. These third party Twitter clients have allowed for different experiences and this is where many of the features that are used everyday are developed. One particular third-party client, Tweetie, was purchased by Twitter and became the official Twitter app.

    Starting today, August 16th, 2018, many third-party clients will no longer be able to work as they had before. This is due to Twitter retiring a set of APIs that developers used to provide these features. A couple of the features that will no longer be available to third-party apps include real-time streaming, statistics, and instant direct messages.

    For most users, this may not be noticeable, but for there are times that these features, like real-time streaming, come in handy. For many users, the biggest reason for continuing to use a third-party Twitter application is the reverse chronological timeline, which the official Twitter app and website no longer offer. Along with this, third-parties offer apps for the Mac, which Twitter also no longer offers.

    What this will result in is that your timeline will only refresh every minute or two. Direct messages will also be delayed. For real-time events, which are often what Twitter is known for. All of these changes are designed to have people use the official Twitter client, which is makes sense given that there are ads in the official Twitter client, but not in third parties. However, these changes, along with others issues surrounding Twitter, has left many individuals questioning whether to continue to use the service or not.

    Personally, for me, I am not sure what the end result will be. It is hard to abandon the service all together. This is not only because it is the social media service that I use the most, but also because it is where my biggest following is, ergo it is where I have the biggest reach for things like these posts as well as advertising my apps and books. At the same time, it is not hard to think that some of these moves will ultimately going to end up pushing away the group of users who helped Twitter get to where they are today. I get that the "super users" make up less than one percent of Twitter's overall base, but without them, Twitter would likely not be where it is today.


    Apple Hits Milestone Valuation


    Normally Apple's quarterly results and financial related information is not posted to the site. This is because it is covered by a variety of sites like Six Colors and Dr. Drang.

    However, today marks a big day in terms of Apple financials. Today Apple has become the first company to pass a $1 Trillion market valuation. Additionally, they have not just passed it, but when the market closed it was still above $1 Trillion.

    Earlier in the day, if you were to use the Stocks app on your iPhone or iPad to look at the stock price, you would notice that the valuation indicated it was well above $1 Trillion, however this was an error.

    [caption id="attachment_53656" align="alignleft" ] Incorrect valuation[/caption]


    The reason for this error is that yesterday Apple announced an adjustment to the number of outstanding shares, 4,829,926,000 shares to be exact. This would mean that in order to reach a $1 Trillion valuation Apple would need to hit $207.05 to officially get to the magic mark. It is a sight to behold given that a mere 22 years ago Apple was facing the possibility of going out of business entirely. Here is the correct valuation amount.

    [caption id="attachment_53655" align="alignleft" ] Correct valuation[/caption]


    Apple iTunes Affiliate Program Changes


    Earlier this week Apple sent out an email to affiliate members indicating some changes that will be taking place as of October 1st. Here is the email that was sent:

    Thank you for participating in the affiliate program for apps. With the launch of the new App Store on both iOS and macOS and their increased methods of app discovery, we will be removing apps from the affiliate program. Starting on October 1st, 2018, commissions for iOS and Mac apps and in-app content will be removed from the program. All other content types (music, movies, books, and TV) remain in the affiliate program.

    This will have some impact on some websites who rely on affiliate links from iOS apps, Mac apps, and in-app purchases to run their business. At least there is some heads up on this. This has been preceded by Apple reducing the payout from 7% to 2.5%. So it was inevitable that this would be the case that these would be removed.

    I am not impact much by this because the website does not rely on affiliate links. I am curious to see how long the affiliate program lasts overall. I would not be surprised if it goes away in the future. It may take a couple of years, but it is possible that it will be stopped in the future.