iOS 13 and iPadOS 13 are huge releases. There is an all new Dark Mode, Apple’s new gaming service Apple Arcade, an all new way to control iOS and iPadOS with just your voice, some updates to Screen Time and changes around Maps, particularly on the iPad. We also cover the updates to the Camera, Photos, and Notes.

iPadOS is a new operating system from Apple designed specifically for the iPad. In this we cover the big updates to Safari and its Desktop-Class browsing, the ability to use your iPad as a second screen on your Mac using SideCar, some big changes with Files including the use of external storage, and changes to Swift Playgrounds.

For those Apple TV users there is an all new Control Center, some new video previews, updated screen savers and the ability to connect Xbox One and Playstation 4 Controllers to your Apple TV.

watchOS 6 goes on its own journey by going app independent. There are also some new apps for Audiobooks, a built-in calculator, voice memos, and all new Watch Faces. We also discuss the updates surrounding health and fitness including cycle tracking for women and an all new Noise app.

Developers will have some big changes with Swift 5 and the all new SwiftUI and Combine frameworks. Also covered are bringing your iPad apps to the Mac, the new PencilKit framework, CoreML 3, ARKit 3, and the all new Apple Sign-In . We also look at the improvements to Xcode, Diffable Sources, Natural Language Framework, and Core Data and CloudKit changes.

Tag: twitter

  • Twitter: 15 Years Later

    Twitter: 15 Years Later

    2007 was a big year for everyone technologically, but a lot of other things happened that year for me as well. Some of these items include:

    I thought it would be interesting to go back and look at how those events have had an impact, mostly on me, but on the wider technology world. I did not initially think about writing this post, because it did not occur to me, but in reality it should have. That topic is Twitter, so let us start with Twitter early on.

    Twitter logo from 2006 to 2010

    Early Twitter

    Twitter is not that old in terms of social networks. In fact Twitter itself is almost 16 years old. The first tweet written by twitter c-founder Jack Dorsey was written on March 21st, 2006. Twitter began as a service that you could use via text message. In fact, this was why Twitter was originally limited to 140 characters, to take into account any sort of difference in cellular carriers. The idea was to publish what you were doing while out and about, via text message, and then read what others had written on the web. Twitter starting in 2006 meant that this was before the iPhone, before smart phones becoming common place, and definitely before unlimited data on cell phones. However, this was right when many had unlimited text messages, so it was a good time to start such a service.

    Twitter started out as a place that comprised of mostly people into technology. This is because the service was shown off at South by Southwest, which is a combination technology and music conference. Twitter was conceived in the era of text messaging. This meant that Twitter was designed with text messaging in mind, and therefore was limited to 140 characters, which is the same as many SMS services provided by carriers.

    I happen to join Twitter on January 28th, 2007 at 7:59pm, so just about 15 years ago as this is posted. The time I signed up is well before the service really took off. I heard about it from Justine Ezarik on a podcast, and she was talking about the service. She has been on Twitter since July of 2006. Once Twitter had started to become popular, it began to encounter some issues. In particularly, Twitter had some issues with scaling and early twitter users remember, sometimes fondly, the ‘Fail Whale”.

    Twitter Fail Whale

    Twitter has since improved on this and the times that twitter has failures are few and far between these days, but it still does happen from time to time. Typically it is due to a larger problem, like DNS issues, and often affects many sites not just Twitter itself.

    Early in twitter’s life you could send and receive tweets via text message. This was a great way of interacting with the service while on the go, because some users did have unlimited texting plans, particularly after June of 2007 in the United States. This is because a new device, the iPhone, was finally available for sale.

    The iPhone increased the desire for third party apps. While there would not be any official app support until 2008, that did not stop people from creating apps.

    Third-Party Apps

    As mentioned earlier, Twitter was also accessible via text message, but Twitter has always had a website where you could see your timeline, send tweets, and send direct message to other users. The website was primary method of using the service early in its lifetime. While Twitter’s popularity was increasing over 2007 and 2008, it was not until the official release of the iOS Software Development Kit, or SDK, that third-party clients began to be created.

    While the web interface was the most popular way, there was a contingent of users who wanted to use Twitter while on the go and on their iPhone. In order to accommodate this desire, a bunch of third-party twitter clients were created.

    Om Malik had a blog post from December of 2008 that had a number of the third-party clients. Having looked at this list there were some that I completely forgot about.

    The ability to have third-party clients were made possible through Twitters APIs. This is because Twitter itself did not have its own app and actually wanted developers to create applications to access the platform. Some of the other early Twitter available at the time included:

    • Tweetie
    • Twitterific
    • Echofon
    • La Twit

    I remember purchasing Tweetie and using that for a while. Tweetie was such a good Twitter client that Twitter acquired Tweetie in April of 2010 to be used as the official Twitter client.

    While the early days of Twitter thrived on third-party Twitter clients, the service changed over time to put a lot more emphasis on the official Twitter app. Lately though, that approach has changed again that allows third-party to build comparable clients. No, they are not feature for feature the same, but many of the things that used to be exclusive to the official Twitter client have now become available for third-party apps to adopt if they so choose.

    Clients and services are not the only things that have changed, my usage of Twitter has significantly changed over the years.

    My Usage

    Twitter has changed significantly over the years, both visually as well as how I use it. Twitter initially began as a way of posting things about my day, Over time though that has changed to be more of a place where I get my news. That is not to say that I do not use Twitter for communicating with certain people, I definitely still do use it for that, but it not the primary focus.

    As time has gone on though, I ended up building some friendships with those on twitter. Some of those that I have followed early in my time on Twitter I still follow today. Beyond this, I have built up some friendships with those on Twitter. Some of these relationships are more recent than others, but none are more important than others.

    Conversely, with Twitter being around so long there have been those that are no longer around. Some because they passed away, but also some left of their own accord due to harassment, or just due to non-usage.

    In the early days of Twitter it felt a lot more like a giant group chat. The is because it was primarily used by early technology adopters, so you would be able to keep

    There are two features that came about organically, but are absolutely essential on Twitter today. These are mentions and retweets. Mentions on twitter were easily done by putting someone’s twitter handle somewhere in the tweet, typically at the beginning. If they were following you they would see the fact that you mentioned them and would be able to respond. Eventually Twitter added official support for mentions and Twitter would not be the same without them.

    Early in the life of twitter you could easily be a Twitter completionist, meaning that you would read all of the new tweets from everyone that you followed. There are some that still do this, but even I no longer do this. I do have a list where I try to read every tweet, but sometimes that is too much and I ma not able to do so.

    My usage has significantly shifted, particularly within the last few years. I used to be on Twitter a lot more than I am now, constantly interacting and keeping up with the latest developments around the world. Recently though, my twitter experience has been more of a “pop in see what is going on and pop out again”. It is no longer my “go to” when I pick up my phone or use my computer. I am not sure why this has changed, but it has.

    I have spent a lot of time talking about the early days of Twitter, let us look at where Twitter is today.

    Twitter Today

    Twitter Logo 2021

    Twitter is no longer primarily a place for just people interested in technology. Now it encompasses a whole range of interest in topics and Twitter has definitely become more mainstream.

    If you can think of a topic of interest to yourself, I am sure you can find people who share the same interest. This could be something like the NFL, College Basketball, current news, video games, a tv show, or just about any topic, there is a group interested.

    Each social network has its own unique function. Twitter’s function is where you can find information about breaking news. Some of the information may not be 100% accurate, but there is a lot of accurate information surrounding the news as well.

    Mentioned earlier is that Twitter began to move away from supporting third-party clients and instead opting to focus on their own app, to the extent that there was a great disparity between what features offered to third-parties and what the official Twitter app was capable of offering. The disparities were not just because third-parties did not implement features, but because they could not do so.

    Within the last year, at least as of this writing, Twitter has begun changing their stance on third-party clients and has started to offer a whole new API that provides many of the same features that are available in the official Twitter app. There are still some things not offered to third-parties, but this is slowly changing. I suspect there may eventually be feature parity between what third-party apps can offer and what the official Twitter app has, but it will take time.

    Closing Thoughts

    I am not on that many social networks. I have a Facebook account but I hardly use that anymore. I also have Instagram, but I just view stuff on there and do not post a lot. I also have a Mastodon account and have been trying to use that more, but I do not have many people that I follow, nor that follow me, on there.

    I do not have TikTok, nor Snapchat, nor any others. Twitter is by far the social network I use. It’s the one I have used the most and also the one that I get the most benefit from. As mentioned earlier, I have built up some really good relationships through Twitter, some of them are local, but most are not. It is not likely that I will stop using Twitter anytime soon, but it is possible that the way I use it may change, but only time will tell. You can, of course, follow me on Twitter if you want.

    Twitter header for @waynedixon as of January 28th, 2022
  • Twitter and Third-Party Clients

    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.

  • How I use Twitter

    I finished listening to Episode 3 of Analog(ue) on Myke Hurley’s Relay.fm. The topic was “Identity” and during the episode Casey and Myke were discussing Twitter and how some Twitter users all about the numbers. Hence, how some users define themselves by those they follow, or follow them, on Twitter. To some extent, I do this. While I do care about the number of people that follow me, because on some level we all do, it’s not how I use Twitter. I have been using Twitter for 2775 days, or just over 7 1/2 years. During that time, the way I use Twitter has changed.

    I originally used it as a way to indicate what I was doing throughout the day. If you look back at my first posts on Twitter, you would see this. A little over 2 1/2 years after joining Twitter, October of 2009, I started doing my “Daily Run Down” blog posts where I would summarize the news of the day in a list of links. I did this to garner more attention and share more on Twitter. I ceased the publication of my “Daily Run Down” articles on July 4th, 2013. Subsequently, the way I use Twitter has shifted again. Now I use it as a way to actually communicate and connect with people, not just as a broadcast medium.

    I have never been a 100% completionist when it comes to Twitter. In the beginning of Twitter, I was more so than I am now. I follow too many people (1,551 as of this writing). I usually consider Twitter to be like a party. I don’t usually know what happens before I arrived, and while I may hear about it during my current session on Twitter, I wasn’t there at the time. Likewise, I don’t know what happens after I leave. There are times that I will scroll back a bit to see what was said, and if the conversation is interesting enough I will try to trace it back to its start and read the entire thread.

    When Twitter introduced lists back in September of 2009, I immediately began grouping those that I follow, and sometimes those that I do not. Some of the lists are just categorizations, like “Chicago”, “Apps”, “Bloggers” and more. Yet, there is one private list that where I am a completionist. It is a list called “Friends”. This list is purely for those who I would, and in most cases do, consider friends. These are the individuals where I actually do care what happens and these are the individuals I interact with most often. If you’re on this list then I will very likely read everything you post. Yet, you will never know if you are on this list, because it’s a private list.

    I don’t have many “meat space”, or “real life”, friends. I only have a few. I make up for my lack of “real” friends by using Twitter. As mentioned before, I do consider many, if not all, of those on my “Friends” list, to be actual friends. You could say considering those I have never met to be friends, as an aspect to the introverted part of myself and to some extent this would be accurate. In general, I am not one who like parties (I don’t mind family parties most of the time). I don’t enjoy being the center of attention. Yet, strangely, I have no issues giving talks on things, provided it is a topic that I am well versed in. I tend to prefer staying out of the spotlight and at the edges of gatherings.

    Twitter is where I go to find news, do quick rants, and overall converse with people. Twitter fulfills that physical interaction, which was mentioned in Episode 3 of Analog(ue), that a vast majority of humans need to survive. While I do not use Twitter like most others, It does serve a purpose for me. The question becomes, how do you use Twitter? Do you only follow celebrities? Do you only use it to socialize with your closest “meat space” friends? However you decide to use Twitter, as long as it works for you, ignore others if they say “you’re doing it wrong”. Because what’s right for them, is not always right for everybody else.

  • Daily Run Down 06/30/2013: Morning Edition

    Here is this morning’s Daily Run Down.

    Social Issues/Human Interest

    General News

Politics

Obits

Science/Space

Financial

Gaming

Gadgets

Technology

Social Networking

Software/Apps

London/Britain/UK

Funny

Chicagoland

Total Number of stories: 23

Look for more news stories this evening.

  • Daily Run Down 06/26/2013: Evening Edition

    Here is this evening’s Daily Run Down.

    Big News

    General News

    International

    Politics

    Olympics

    Science/Space

    Financial

    Historical

    Gaming

    Gadgets

    Law

    Technology

    Internet

    Rumors

    Software/Apps

    Security

    Developer

    London/Britain/UK

    Funny

    Chicagoland

    Total Number of stories: 56

    Look for more stories tomorrow.

  • Daily Run Down 06/25/2013: Evening Edition

    Here is this evening’s Daily Run Down.

    Social Issues/Human Interest

    General News

    International

    Politics

    Health

    Science/Space

    Financial

    Historical

    Tips and Tricks

    Gadgets

    Law

    Technology

    Mobile

    Software/Apps

    Developer

    London/Britain/UK

    Personal

    Funny

    Chicagoland

    Total Number of stories: 49

    Look for more stories tomorrow.

  • Daily Run Down 06/20/2013: Evening Edition

    Here is this evening’s Daily Run Down.

    Recalls

    General News

    International

    Obits

    Health

    Science/Space

    Financial

    Historical

    Gaming

    Gadgets

    Law

    Patents

    Internet

    Social Networking

    Mobile

    London/Britain/UK

    Funny

    Chicagoland

    Total Number of stories: 44

    Look for more stories tomorrow.

  • Daily Run Down 06/20/2013: Morning Edition

    Here is this morning’s Daily Run Down.

    Recalls

    Social Issues/Human Interest

    General News

    International

    Politics

    Obits

    Science/Space

    Financial

    Historical

    Gaming

    Gadgets

    Law

    Patents

    Technology

    Internet

    Mobile

    Rumors

    Software/Apps

    Security

    London/Britain/UK

    Personal

    Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?

    Funny

    Chicagoland

    Total Number of stories: 82

    Look for more news stories this evening.

  • Daily Run Down 06/19/2013: Evening Edition

    Here is this evening’s Daily Run Down.

    Big News

    Recalls

    Social Issues/Human Interest

    General News

    International

    Politics

    Obits

    Health

    Science/Space

    Financial

    Historical

    Gaming

    Gadgets

    Law

    Technology

    Internet

    Social Networking

    Mobile

    Rumors

    Software/Apps

    Security

    Developer

    London/Britain/UK

    Personal

    Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?

    Funny

    Chicagoland

    Total Number of stories: 89

    Look for more stories tomorrow.

  • Daily Run Down 06/15/2013: Evening Edition

    Here is this evening’s Daily Run Down.

    Social Issues/Human Interest

    General News

    International

    Politics

    Obits

    Science/Space

    Financial

    Historical

    Gaming

    Gadgets

    Reviews

    Technology

    Social Networking

    Mobile

    Rumors

    London/Britain/UK

    Personal

    Funny

    Chicagoland

    Total Number of stories: 46

    Look for more stories tomorrow.