Apps April 7

AAPL: 108.54

-2.42
Stock Chart

It’s been almost 18 months since Reddit acquired the rights to the popular Alien Blue iOS app, stating then that it would be rebranded as an official client, but Reddit: The Official App finally made it to the U.S. App Store today. However, it is not yet available in all countries.

With the official Reddit app, you can:

  • Browse all of Reddit, wherever you are
  • Search and discover communities by topic or interest
  • Submit your own comments, images, links, and stories for others to view and discuss
  • Customize Reddit with themes (including night theme)
  • View in either compact view or card view
  • Stay up to date with your orangereds with Inbox: messages, comment replies, post replies, and mentions … 

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Apps April 6

AAPL: 110.96

1.15
Stock Chart

After resisting the temptation for several months, I finally broke down this week and bought an Apple Pencil. I purchased the initial iPad Pro back in November when it first came out, but sold it and switched to the 9.7-inch model last week, and so far I’ve been very happy with that choice. Figuring that I’ll probably stick with this size iPad Pro for at least a year, I decided the Apple Pencil would be a worthwhile investment. And I was right.

I was skeptical of the Apple Pencil when it was first announced, as I assumed it would just be the same as the tacky styluses third-parties had been making for years, but after using it I’ve realized just how wrong I was. The thing that I noticed very early on in my time with the Apple Pencil though, was how crazy good the palm rejection is. Writing with an Apple Pencil on an iPad Pro is nearly as easy as writing on actual paper. As a student, this is a huge factor for me when it comes to note taking, so I decided to dive a little deeper into the apps on iOS that are made for taking notes and are optimized for iPad Pro. Here are some of the ones I would recommend…

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It was perhaps unimaginable just a few years ago, but live streaming has become particularly popular thanks to apps like Meerkat and, most notoriously, Twitter-acquired Periscope. Not to be left out, Facebook joined the race last summer — albeit initially only for public figures via the dedicated Mentions app — and then pushed beyond earlier this year with the open introduction of “Facebook Live” in the US, a feature within the mobile app that allows anyone to live stream to their friends.

The experiment seems to be working well, and with the app update — which begins its rollout today — Facebook is adding a variety of features to enhance the Facebook Live experience; according to the company, adding a dedicated tab for finding live as well as archived video will “give you more ways to discover, share, and interact with live video, and more ways to personalize your live broadcasts”…

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9to5toys 

Apps April 5

AAPL: 109.81

-1.31
Stock Chart

Tim Cook’s pitch for the fourth generation Apple TV so far has been largely that “the future of TV is apps”, and this week yet another premium cable and satellite network is launching a standalone version of its network for cord cutters. Starz, which before now has required a traditional cable or satellite package for access, is launching a streaming version of its network for a monthly rate competitive to HBO and Netflix. The new Starz app is available on iPhone, iPad, and the fourth generation Apple TV for $8.99/month if you don’t have the network in your cable package. Also in the streaming space, we learned today that Twitter has emerged victorious is scoring the rights to stream 10 NFL “Thursday Night Football” games in the next season…

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At a time when so many Facebook posts comprise a photo and a brief comment, there’s one group of people who get rather left out of the picture: those who are blind and partially sighted. That’s a problem Facebook is fixing, starting from today. The iOS app now uses artificial intelligence to figure out the content of photos, and Apple’s VoiceOver feature to read aloud a description of them.

The Verge got a demo of the feature, which Facebook calls ‘automatic alt text.’

Automatic alt text, which is coming to iOS today and later to Android and the web, recognizes objects in photos using machine learning […] While still in its early stages, the technology can reliably identify concepts in categories including transportation (“car,” “boat,” “airplane”), nature (“snow,” “ocean,” “sunset”), sports (“basketball court”), and food (“sushi”). The technology can also describe people (“baby,” “smiling,” beard”), and identify a selfie.

Facebook said that there were two approaches it could have taken to the problem, and it chose the one it believed would be most successful …

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