Category: Link

RIP Popular Photography

DPReview:

The upcoming March/April issue will be the last, and as of Friday, March 10th, no new content will be published on PopPhoto.com. This news comes after the publication switched to a bi-monthly print schedule about six months ago. 

Sad (if unsurprising) news—I still read Popular Photography regularly via my local library’s digital magazine bookshelf. Photo (and photo gear) blogs may have eaten up a lot of the attention and readership that Popular Photography used to command, but I still appreciated the way a coherent editorial vision could be expressed through a monthly (and later, bi-monthly) issue.

RIP TextWrangler

Bare Bones, on TextWrangler’s future:

What you may not know is that last July, we released BBEdit 11.6. You can use this version unlicensed, forever, for free. Without a license, BBEdit now includes all of the features that TextWrangler offers, plus quite a few others. That’s right. You no longer have to pick between them.
If this sounds like TextWrangler will eventually be sunsetted, you’re right; it will.

FWIW TextWrangler was always my go-to text editor if I had to do a simple find-and-replace in a massive text file (like a SQL dump). Where Sublime and TextMate would choke and beachball, TextWrangler always came through. Good to see that an unlicensed BBEdit version carries the torch.

(Via 9to5Mac.)

Spotify Testing the Lossless Waters

Micah Singleton for The Verge:

Spotify is preparing to launch a lossless audio version of its streaming service, according to multiple sources. The offering, which is currently called Spotify Hi-Fi, will offer lossless CD-quality audio to users — similar to what Tidal offers in its Hi-Fi service.

I’m a Tidal Hi-Fi user, and I’ve been pretty happy with the service. I started out using Rdio, switched to Mog (then Beats, then Apple Music). The combination of Apple Music’s lower sound quality and baffling UI led me back to Rdio, then Spotify, and finally Tidal. I’d probably remain on Tidal even if Spotify offers a Hi-Fi tier—I actually find Tidal to be a more straightforward experience on both the desktop and iOS app. (YMMV, of course.)

Matt Gemmell on GoodNotes

Matt Gemmell with some, uh, notes on GoodNotes:

GoodNotes does an alarmingly capable job of recognising handwriting. It also does it in a very unfussy way: you don’t have to tell it to do anything; it just recognises handwriting all the time, and updates its recognised text whenever you edit pages. There’s no separate view or special interface. You just write stuff, and then you can search for it later, complete with on-page highlighting. When you export a PDF, you also get the recognised text embedded in it, so it’s searchable and highlightable there too.

I’ve written about the iPad and handwriting recognition before. I am very curious to see what iPad/Pencil announcements show up in March—I use my iPad Mini Retina daily and I wish it supported the Pencil just so I could properly evaluate some of these apps. (My current stylus is a Pencil by FiftyThree, which I find good for sketching but terrible for writing notes.)

(Via Ben Brooks.)

Marshmallow Run: Girl Scouts San Diego + Design Code Build

MacStories’ John Vorhees on a Kickstarter project to develop a programming/design curriculum for girls (well, everyone, really):

…the reward that’s most interesting is a programming starter pack for backers who pledge just $25. The starter pack includes character sprites and other game elements for building Marshmallow Run in Scratch.

Em and I spent part of last year following a Pixelnest Studio tutorial to build a simple shmup in Unity. I’m hopeful Marshmallow Run gets fully backed, because I’d love to try out the starter pack with Em.

The State of iBooks in Early 2017

Michael E. Cohen with a good post on iBooks: The State of iBooks in Early 2017. I still miss dearly-departed Readmill, but I’ve settled in ok with iBooks in terms of making my epub books available across all my devices.

I have experienced the same thing that Michael noticed with respect to iBooks “forgetting” his current place when switching devices:

Occasionally, iBooks forgets to bookmark my current place in a book so it opens to the wrong page on another device.

MacStories reviews Nebo

Over at MacStories, John Voorhees reviews the note-taking app Nebo. It looks like one of the first apps to finally bring one of my dreams to the iPad: handwriting recognition. Taking notes on the iPad has always been a source of frustration for me because it seems like converting handwriting to text should be one of the very first problems to solve. Nebo seems to be solving that problem, and more:

Converting handwriting to text is simple. Just double tap and the conversion is nearly instantaneous. The process is fast because Nebo is doing the recognition on the fly…The real-time recognition of your handwriting also means that you can perform searches of your handwritten notes without converting them to text.

Earlier this year Ben Brooks wrote about how the current crop of note-taking apps for iOS were missing some pretty big opportunities:

There are some promising apps, like Notability, Noteshelf, Notes Plus, Notepad+ — but they all have a fundamental flaw. For some reason each of these apps try harder to replicate what you would get from a paper notebook, than to take advantage that they are digital.

Brooks mostly focused his criticism on missing features like user customizable grids, shape identification, task lists, and detectable bookmarks/links. But I’d argue that handwriting recognition—which opens up handwritten notes to text search—is even bigger than all of those.