Twitter and Third-Party Clients

When Twitter launched about 12 years ago, it started off as an SMS-based service. Soon after its launch it became a website and it took off at becoming used by many members at South by Southwest (SXSW). The early users of Twitter helped define some of the many conventions that have become a mainstay of many social networks. A couple of examples of the items that have become standard are the @ symbol to indicate that you want to reply as well as the # for use as a hashtag to help identify a post for easier tracking.

Another area where these long-term users have helped Twitter is through the creation of third-party Twitter clients. Initially Twitter was just a website and provided an API for developers to connect to. These third party Twitter clients have allowed for different experiences and this is where many of the features that are used everyday are developed. One particular third-party client, Tweetie, was purchased by Twitter and became the official Twitter app.

Starting today, August 16th, 2018, many third-party clients will no longer be able to work as they had before. This is due to Twitter retiring a set of APIs that developers used to provide these features. A couple of the features that will no longer be available to third-party apps include real-time streaming, statistics, and instant direct messages.

For most users, this may not be noticeable, but for there are times that these features, like real-time streaming, come in handy. For many users, the biggest reason for continuing to use a third-party Twitter application is the reverse chronological timeline, which the official Twitter app and website no longer offer. Along with this, third-parties offer apps for the Mac, which Twitter also no longer offers.

What this will result in is that your timeline will only refresh every minute or two. Direct messages will also be delayed. For real-time events, which are often what Twitter is known for. All of these changes are designed to have people use the official Twitter client, which is makes sense given that there are ads in the official Twitter client, but not in third parties. However, these changes, along with others issues surrounding Twitter, has left many individuals questioning whether to continue to use the service or not.

Personally, for me, I am not sure what the end result will be. It is hard to abandon the service all together. This is not only because it is the social media service that I use the most, but also because it is where my biggest following is, ergo it is where I have the biggest reach for things like these posts as well as advertising my apps and books. At the same time, it is not hard to think that some of these moves will ultimately going to end up pushing away the group of users who helped Twitter get to where they are today. I get that the “super users” make up less than one percent of Twitter’s overall base, but without them, Twitter would likely not be where it is today.

Apple Hits Milestone Valuation

Normally Apple’s quarterly results and financial related information is not posted to the site. This is because it is covered by a variety of sites like Six Colors and Dr. Drang.

However, today marks a big day in terms of Apple financials. Today Apple has become the first company to pass a $1 Trillion market valuation. Additionally, they have not just passed it, but when the market closed it was still above $1 Trillion.

Earlier in the day, if you were to use the Stocks app on your iPhone or iPad to look at the stock price, you would notice that the valuation indicated it was well above $1 Trillion, however this was an error.

Incorrect valuation

The reason for this error is that yesterday Apple announced an adjustment to the number of outstanding shares, 4,829,926,000 shares to be exact. This would mean that in order to reach a $1 Trillion valuation Apple would need to hit $207.05 to officially get to the magic mark. It is a sight to behold given that a mere 22 years ago Apple was facing the possibility of going out of business entirely. Here is the correct valuation amount.

Correct valuation

Apple iTunes Affiliate Program Changes

Earlier this week Apple sent out an email to affiliate members indicating some changes that will be taking place as of October 1st. Here is the email that was sent:

Thank you for participating in the affiliate program for apps. With the launch of the new App Store on both iOS and macOS and their increased methods of app discovery, we will be removing apps from the affiliate program. Starting on October 1st, 2018, commissions for iOS and Mac apps and in-app content will be removed from the program. All other content types (music, movies, books, and TV) remain in the affiliate program.

This will have some impact on some websites who rely on affiliate links from iOS apps, Mac apps, and in-app purchases to run their business. At least there is some heads up on this. This has been preceded by Apple reducing the payout from 7% to 2.5%. So it was inevitable that this would be the case that these would be removed.

I am not impact much by this because the website does not rely on affiliate links. I am curious to see how long the affiliate program lasts overall. I would not be surprised if it goes away in the future. It may take a couple of years, but it is possible that it will be stopped in the future.

iOS 12 and macOS Mojave e-books available for Pre-order

As has been the case in 2012, I have written a couple more books. Just like last year, I have written a couple of books. Also like last year there are two, one about iOS, tvOS and watchOS and the other about macOS.

In previous years I have published an iBooks version as well as an ePub. There is a slightly different approach this year, at least for my books on Apple. There is only going to be one version, ePub. The biggest reason for this that the ePub format that is produced by Apple’s Pages software can now do image galleries, which was the big reason for doing the iBooks version.

Similar to last year there will be paperback versions of the books, the order information for that will be forthcoming a bit later.

iOS 12 Book Cover

iOS 12, tvOS12, and watchOS 5 for Users and Developers delves into the changes and new features of Apple’s iOS-based operating systems.

Some of the changes covered include: performance improvements, privacy changes, grouped notifications, enhancements to FaceTime, improved photo features, suggested password enhancements and more. We will also cover some app updates, including changes to Activity, Stocks, News, Voice Memos, and Books.

There are also a bunch of new features like the new Siri Shortcuts which allows you to automate various tasks. Screen Time will let you gain insights into your, as well as your children’s, usage across all of your devices. If you like sending Animoji you will love the all new feature Memoji which allows you to customize an Animoji character however you would like. The new Live Listen will help those who may have a difficult time hear things more clearly. We will also dive into the new Safari password features which will help you use individual passwords on all of your devices.

For developers we dive into the Xcode Changes includes Dark Mode, Performance Improvements, changes around object libraries, and enhanced editing features. We will also dive into Grouped Notifications and how to provide threaded conversations. With Siri Shortcuts we will look at the different ways of adding intents. ARKit 2 is also covered which includes Quick Look and Persistence. For CoreML we look at how to improve model sizes with quantization as well as a brand-new framework related to CoreML, called CreateML. There are also two additional brand new frameworks, Natural Language and Network and we look at these as well. No Apple Developer book would be complete without looking at some of the changes that surround Swift.

There are some features for web developers as well which includes MapKitJS, MusicKitJS and ways to provide secure loading of remote content.

No matter your technical level, there is something for everyone in iOS 12, tvOS12 and watchOS 5 for Users and Developers.

You can pre-order the ePub from Apple for $3.99, or the Kindle version from Amazon for $3.99.

macOS Mojave Cover

Despite macOS being a mature operating system, the new version macOS Mojave (10.14) contains a bunch of new features. Some of the new features covered include Dark Mode, Screenshots & Markup, and the redesigned Mac App Store.

Besides the new features there are some major changes too including ones to Finder, Safari, and using unique passwords on each website. There are also four brand new applications that are coming from iOS. We look at these in-depth. These apps are Stocks, News, Home, and Voice Memos.

Server Administrators see some big changes with macOS Mojave and these are covered as well.

For Developers we cover Xcode changes include performance improvements, object libraries, editing enhancements, and code folding improvements. We look at implementing Dark Mode within your apps, Notarized apps, and implementing Finder Actions.

There are some new frameworks that are covered as well. These include the Network Framework, Natural Language, improvements to CoreML and a related framework called CreateML.

For web developers we cover MapsKitJS, MusicKitJS, and secure loading of content.

No Apple developer book is complete without a discussion of the changes around Apple’s own programming language, Swift. We cover some of the recent changes as well as some future ones.

You can pre-order the ePub from Apple for $3.99, or the Kindle version from Amazon for $3.99.

2018 MacBook Pro Thermal Bug

I did not write about this last week when it happened, because it appears as though there is a barrage of negative stories about Apple and with everything going on the world, who needs additional stories to get riled up about. Last week Dave Lee posted a video that showed that the Core i9 model of the 2018 MacBook Pro was throttling down its CPU under heavy loads. If you were to buy one of these computers, you would expect it to work really well, regardless of how much load the computer was under.

When the video was released many were skeptical that this was actually the case, and if it was indeed the case, that it was a design flaw with the MacBook Pro. It appears as though it is not a design flaw, but in fact it is a bug with the new 2018 MacBook Pros. Here is Apple’s statement:

Following extensive performance testing under numerous workloads, we’ve identified that there is a missing digital key in the firmware that impacts the thermal management system and could drive clock speeds down under heavy thermal loads on the new MacBook Pro. A bug fix is included in today’s macOS High Sierra 10.13.6 Supplemental Update and is recommended. We apologize to any customer who has experienced less than optimal performance on their new systems. Customers can expect the new 15-inch MacBook Pro to be up to 70% faster, and the 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar to be up to 2X faster, as shown in the performance results on our website.

This means that it is not the hardware itself that was the issue, but in fact it is software related. It is good to see that Apple took this seriously and found the cause of the issue. This bug affects the 13-inch models as well as the Core i7 and Core i9 15-inch models. It is highly recommended that you get the supplemental update to fix the issue. You can download it via the Updates tab in the Mac App Store, or by downloading it directly from Apple’s support page.

Via Six Colors.