• Technology

    Apple's Small Business Program reframes their battle with Epic and Spotify

    Ben Lovejoy for 9to5Mac:

    Apple has removed a potent weapon used by big players like Epic Games and Spotify. These companies love to pretend they are speaking up for small developers, rather than protecting their own interests. When Apple charges the same commission to a one-person business as it does to a tech giant, that’s a persuasive angle to take. Apple has now robbed them of this PR weapon.

    This has been my biggest issue with the setup of the battle between Epic, Spotify, and Apple. Epic often talks of fighting for the smaller devs but the whole thing smells like a PR stunt to paint Apple as the big bad.

    To be clear, I absolutely think they’re right in regards to smaller devs being able to keep more of their money and grow but I believe these larger App Store devs true intentions are to help themselves avoid paying the 30% first and foremost. If they can help the smaller apps along the way, great. Without one (or several) of the heavy hitters speaking up, the smaller devs simply wouldn’t have enough leverage to get Apple to make a change like they have today.

    If that really was their goal? Great! Mission accomplished. From my understanding, this is a huge win for the vast majority of devs who use the App Store to make a living. Should the fight between Epic, Spotify, and Apple continue, which it likely will, it’s going to look a lot more like multi-billion dollar companies is trying to pay as little as possible for a resource that helped get them to where they are today.

  • Technology

    The M1 Macs ↦

    I chatted with one Apple employee who’d been using this hardware for months, and after it was unveiled, his daughter texted him to ask if the new MacBooks were faster than hers. “Much” was his one-word response. Then he texted again: “Much much.”

    As expected, a great review by Gruber. I’m trying to avoid grabbing an M1 MacBook Air but reviews like these that talk of ridiculous performance and battery life aren’t helping.

  • Technology

    Ubuntu Desktop is now available for the Raspberry Pi 4

    Ubuntu 20.10 Groovy Gorilla

    Jim Salter for Ars Technica:

    With 20.10 Groovy Gorilla, Canonical has added full desktop support for the Pi 4. Martin Wimpress, Canonical’s director of engineering for the Ubuntu Desktop, says this means the Pi is now a “first-class citizen.” Canonical guarantees the same level of integration, QA, and support from kernel to userspace that it does for an x86 PC.

    This is great news for Pi owners.

    Weird timing on this update as I bought a Pi 4 a few weeks ago and, while experimenting with the many Linux distros available for the device, I was disappointed to find the only option for Ubuntu was the Server version. After several days of experimentation, I returned to the Canonical website to find the desktop version of Ubuntu suddenly available to download.

    So, after several minutes of wondering how in the world I’d missed it only days earlier, I downloaded it, flashed it to my micro SD, and got the Pi up and running.

    So far, I’m getting solid performance out of the 4GB Pi running 20.10. GNOME chugs a bit occasionally but it’s far from unusable and I’m confident it’ll only get better with this new partnership between Pi Foundation and Canonical.

  • Technology Micro

    I ordered a HomePod mini this morning for our basement entertainment room. I’ve been really pleased with the quality of our original HomePod when connected to the Apple TV in our living room and I’m looking forward to seeing how the mini compares.

  • Technology

    Raspberry Pi 400: the $70 desktop PC ↦

    Raspberry Pi has always been a PC company. Inspired by the home computers of the 1980s, our mission is to put affordable, high-performance, programmable computers into the hands of people all over the world. And inspired by these classic PCs, here is Raspberry Pi 400: a complete personal computer, built into a compact keyboard.

    This is so cool. Interestingly enough, I just recently grabbed a Pi 4 and the matching keyboard and mouse a couple weeks ago but I’d love to pick up one of these 400 units and spin up some kind of side project with it.

  • Technology Micro

    Looks like we didn’t have to wait long for Reeder 5 after all. The new version is available now for iOS, iPadOS and macOS. Been playing around with it this afternoon and, like the previous versions, I love it.

  • Technology

    Reeder 5 coming soon

    Reeder 5

    I use Reeder every day to browse RSS feeds and keep up with news. Curious if a new version of the app was on the way, I checked the Reeder website only to discover that, yes, there is indeed a new version arriving “soon”.

    If you’re unfamiliar with Reeder, it’s an app by Silvio Rizzi that lets you follow RSS feeds via several cloud-based services or locally on device. If you’re unfamiliar with RSS, you should read this.

    The beauty of Reeder is just that: it’s a gorgeous, simple-to-use app that feels largely native on the iPhone, iPad, and macOS, and it integrates with several of the more popular read later services to keep your content organized.

    I’m really excited to see what Rizzi has in store for version 5.

  • Technology Micro

    If you use Apple Music and feel like getting social, link me to your profile. I’m trying to build out suggestions based on who I’m following. Here’s mine.

  • Technology

    Amazon announces Luna game streaming platform

    Brad Bennett for MobileSyrup:

    Overall, the company is promising more than 100 games at launch during the beta period, spread between the base Luna subscription and Ubisoft’s channel. Speaking to Engadget, Amazon said this will roughly be a 50/50 split between games from Luna Plus and the Ubisoft channel.

    This looks great, in particular Amazon’s leveraging of Twitch. I’m also happy to see them having taken some learnings from Google’s Stadia launch and clearly indicating this will be available initially as a beta with reduced pricing.

  • Technology Micro

    I’m really excited for the Micro.blog 2.0 update. In particular, the bookmarking and highlighting features. My current posting workflow involves several apps that I’m hoping to replace with what Manton’s adding. 🤞🏻