The iPad Air 2 | Tools & Toys →

November 10, 2014 |

Fantastic review by Josh Ginter, as usual. Beautifully written, masterfully photographed, and with the personal warmth that Josh so skillfully imbues into his pieces. I really enjoyed this one, and I’m sure you will too.

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The Not Too Smart Home →

November 10, 2014 |

What better way to celebrate the site’s birthday than by sharing a great article by Patrick Rhone:

I think there an increasingly prevailing notion that the internet, wifi, or some other new technology automatically makes everything better. That adding more technology means convenience or ease of use. It doesn’t. And, in many cases it means the exact opposite. It means one more point of failure or one more thing to manage or one more corporation to be beholden too. In many cases, sticking the internet into the middle of things makes them worse.

Exactly. Technology just for technology’s sake is never the right answer.

Patrick has been a huge source of inspiration for me since the very first day. Thanks to kind, generous people like him, the Internet is a better place.

Thank you, Patrick. For everything.

Let’s keep the words flowing.

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Five Years Old

November 10, 2014

Dear readers,

Today, Analog Senses turns five years old. I’d like to take a moment to thank those who have been reading since the very beginning, and to welcome the many of you that have recently joined. Without you, what I do here wouldn’t mean anything. From the very bottom of my heart, thank you.

These are interesting times for Analog Senses. A lot has changed since the early days, but my passion and dedication for this site have never been stronger. I’m convinced its brightest days lie ahead, and I’m deeply honored to have you along for the ride.

I can’t wait to see what the next five years look like.

My best,

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Our Magic, a documentary about magic — by magicians →

November 07, 2014 |

This documentary looks amazing. One of my closest friends is a magician, and through him I’ve learned to appreciate and love this beautiful craft. I can’t wait to see it.

By the way, seeing Juan Tamariz in the trailer made me feel quite emotional. He’s a living legend, a truly beloved icon in the world of magic. I remember I used to watch him perform unbelievable tricks on TV back when I was a little kid, and I was always enchanted by his character. A couple of years ago I finally got to meet the man — alongside my friend — and it was one of the most, well, magical experiences of my life.

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Dustin Curtis on Amazon's Echo Chamber →

November 07, 2014 |

It’s an echo chamber. They make a product, they market the product on, they sell the product to customers, they get a false sense of success, the customer puts the product in a drawer and never uses it, and then Amazon moves on to the next product. Finally, with the Fire Phone, customers have been pushing back. You can’t buy a phone and put it in a lonely drawer, never to use it again, like you would with a Fire Tablet. You can’t dupe your customers by selling them a shitty phone, because a phone becomes a part of its user’s identity.

It’s kind of uncanny how Amazon can be so good at retail, and so bad at consumer electronics, especially considering that both industries start off with a very similar premise: that success lies in the answer to the question, “what do people want?”

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In Green Company: Aurora over Norway →

November 06, 2014 |

Max Rive:

Explanation: Raise your arms if you see an aurora. With those instructions, two nights went by with, well, clouds – mostly. On the third night of returning to same peaks, though, the sky not only cleared up but lit up with a spectacular auroral display. Arms went high in the air, patience and experience paid off, and the amazing featured image was captured.

In Green Company


This is easily one of the most incredible pictures I’ve ever seen. I believe I just found my next iPad wallpaper.

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Lottery Tickets →

November 06, 2014 |

Fantastic essay by Richard J. Anderson:

Instead of success stories, I want to hear from people who failed, especially if they failed by doing the “right” thing. We have more to learn from those who lost the lottery than we do from those who won.

I’m also playing the lottery here. I like to think that every day I show up is like purchasing a new ticket and the more tickets I get, the better my chances of eventually winning. I’ve found this helps me a great deal in overcoming the uncertainty of not knowing if/when things will change.

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Why iOS 8's Extensions don't eliminate the need for in-app integration of 3rd-party services

November 06, 2014

Reeder’s iOS app, the excellent RSS reader by Silvio Rizzi, was updated today — hat tip to Federico Viticci — with support for the new iOS 8 Share Sheets, as well as support for the larger displays of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, among other features.

The way the iOS 8 Share Sheets work is by integrating with the new iOS 8 Extensions, which are services that 3rd-party apps can now offer to the OS, so that they become available to other apps. The way this works in practice is very simple: if you have Instapaper installed on your iOS device, for example, then you can use the Instapaper Extension to save articles from any other iOS app that supports the new Share Sheets.

Extensions are a great way to augment the capabilities of 3rd-party apps, and they were also meant to reduce redundancy. In many cases, this works very well: instead of having every 3rd-party developer implement 1Password integration in their apps, for instance, they can now use 1Password’s officially supported iOS 8 Extension. This saves every developer time and effort, and results in a better user experience, because the 1Password Extension is maintained by the developers of 1Password itself, and is therefore expected to work reliably and securely.

Previously, it was up to 3rd-party developers to implement individual in-app integration with each 3rd-party service they wanted to support in their apps. Reeder, for example, has long had built-in integration with several popular read-later services, such as Instapaper itself.

With Reeder’s iOS 8 update, this means Reeder users now have two different ways to send an article to Instapaper: they can use the app’s built-in Instapaper integration, or they can use the Instapaper Extension via the Share Sheet. This looks redundant, but there’s a catch.

In order to use the Instapaper Extension, the Instapaper app must be installed on the device. But what happens if you don’t want to have Instapaper on that particular device? What if, for instance, you browse through your RSS feeds on your iPhone but only read articles on your iPad? In order to do that using Extensions, you’d need to have Instapaper installed on both devices. Using Reeder’s built-in Instapaper integration, however, you’d only need to have it installed on the iPad, which is where you’re actually going to use it.

This is a perfectly reasonable use case, by the way. Users shouldn’t be required to install apps they don’t plan to use on an iOS device for the sole purpose of accessing their Extensions. With iOS devices becoming more and more storage-constrained at the low end, being selective about the apps you install is more important than ever.

iOS 8’s Extensions are the way iOS apps are expected to communicate with each other going forward, and all 3rd-party developers should support them. However, developers shouldn’t assume that Extensions will solve all of their needs, and as convenient as they are for certain use cases, they should not be seen as a complete replacement for in-app integration of 3rd-party services.

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