The iPhone podcast app Castro has a lot more competition in the market nowadays since I first reviewed it back in 2013. Arguably, Castro is still the most visually appealing of the current crowd and the developers are currently working on the next major version of the app, Castro 2. In the meantime, the developers have released Castro 1.5 with some new features and a new pricing model. Following Overcast’s lead, Castro is now completely free for all to download. The company is moving to a patronage model.
Spotlight November 12
Spotlight June 8
As first predicted by 9to5Mac, Apple today announced a revamped version of ts Spotlight search software that will be included in OS X 10.11, called “El Capitan.” The new search system allows users to resize and move the Spotlight window, which presents new types of content.
Sports scores and other Siri data will be suppoted, and natural language search allows users to track down mail messages and documents easily. The search upgrades are also available in apps like Mail and Finder.
Spotlight May 6
Rumors that Apple might be creating its own search engine started doing the rounds last fall, when webmasters started seeing web crawler visits from IP addresses starting with 17 – the IP address block owned entirely by Apple. Apple has now officially confirmed in a support document that it is operating its own web crawler called Applebot.
Applebot is the web crawler for Apple, used by products including Siri and Spotlight Suggestions. It respects customary robots.txt rules and robots meta tags. It originates in the 184.108.40.206 net block.
While the wording is clearly intended to suggest that this is just business as usual, both the fact that Apple is running its own web crawler at all, and the somewhat vague wording, are interesting … expand full story
Spotlight April 14
Command-line fans will be happy today, as Nate Parrot’s Flashlight utility comes out of beta. Flashlight is a utility that enables you to carry out more than 160 different tasks just by typing commands into Spotlight – a kind of command-line Siri for the Mac. Functions include checking the weather, creating notes, adding calendar appointments, translating words, emailing files, sending messages, moving files, ejecting drives and performing image searches.
Apple seems impressed too: it has hired Parrot as an intern on its Spotlight team … expand full story
Spotlight January 9
Apple’s Mac operating system is generally considered to be secure, but German security researchers have discovered what appears to be an oversight in how OS X 10.10 Yosemite’s overhauled search feature, Spotlight, handles remote content loading in messages through the default Mail app.
As Ars Technica reports, Spotlight search on OS X Yosemite appears to be overriding Mail’s security feature that prevents content stored on remote servers like images from being loaded which spammers can use to track personal information including IP address and more. expand full story
Spotlight November 12, 2014
Spotlight, the search tool built into OS X, got a lot smarter in Yosemite – but one developer thinks it could go a whole lot further. He’s developed Flashlight, an app that extends the capabilities of Spotlight to include weather animations and Wolfram Alpha searches.
More interestingly, he’s intending it to act as an unofficial API other developers can use to add functionality to Spotlight … expand full story