This week a favorite iPad app of mine disappeared. Well, first it stopped working, then it pretty much vanished. I’ve enjoyed using the Analytics Tiles app for years to keep track of statistics for this site and others that I’ve been involved with. It was even one of the picks in our roundup of the Best iPad Apps of 2013 – and I said this about in that post:
Website stats have never looked so beautiful. This app’s unique and clever tiles-based UI makes it a genuine pleasure to keep tabs on your site stats. Each tile on its grid represents a single Google Analytics report. With just a few quick, simple swipe gestures and taps you can scroll the tiles, switch between sites, change the color scheme for each of your sites, and add, remove and change the position of tiles. A brilliant and handy app.
Earlier this week, the aop stopped showing me stats – it just said ‘Oops’ on all its tiles. When I tried to look further at what was wrong the app showed a Google authentication error. I tried a couple of things and then figured a removal and reinstall might help. So I deleted the app and went to the Purchased section of the App Store to download it again. And it wasn’t there. I searched for it in the App Store as well – no results.
It looks as if, at least for now, Analytics Tiles for iPad is just gone. I’m guessing that maybe it’s ‘broken’ due to some change that Google has made in their Google Analytics service – but I could easily be way off.
Here’s hoping that whatever went wrong can be fixed, and that we soon see the return of this great little app.
Clear is free for 24h
Clear is a task manager centered around dragging and re-arranging your to-do list. There are no due dates, no tags, and no notes section (though I do miss the latter). All you do in Clear is choose a task list, then pull down to create a new task. It’s beautifully simple.
If that has piqued your interest, you’re free to try the app out for yourself, because it’s currently free for 24 hours. The developers at Realmac Software have made the decision to pull one version of the app, Clear+, from the App Store and leave the original Clear as a universal app. If that sounds a bit confusing, this letter from the developers should explain the situation.
However, the takeaway here is that there’s a great $5 task manager has gone free for the day. If iOS Reminders are a bit too cumbersome to create, and hardcore apps like OmniFocus or Things are too complicated, then Clear may be perfect for you.
With the recent release of Hangouts 2.0 I’ve been thinking about messaging services, and how convenient it is to have conversations syncing seamlessly across platforms. You start chatting on your Mac before you leave work, continue it on your iPhone as you head home, and then idly chat as you browse on your iPad in the evening. Hangouts isn’t the only service to offer that kind of experience of course. iMessage and Facebook also offer something similar.
iMessage promises that a fluid experience in theory, but the reality that it offers is one of inconsistent notifications, late message delivery, and duplicate chats with the same contact. I like iMessage well enough, but it is definitely inconsistent when it comes to syncing messages across multiple devices. Some messages are sent only to the iPad then appear hours later on the iPhone … and certain message simply never reach the Mac app, even after a restart.
Facebook is far more consistent in my experience, but it simply isn’t used for chatting by my friends and family. They use Facebook to post events or exhibit photos, but they don’t tend to sit and talk there. Instead, I’m more likely to find friends on (the newly acquired) WhatsApp, Kik, or LINE (which is huge in Japan, and capitalizes on insanely cute stickers). The unfortunate thing about these apps, however, is that they just aren’t on the iPad. Each of the app websites states explicitly states that iPads (or “iOS tablets”) are not supported by the service. I should state that the Kik and LINE iPhone apps can work on the iPad, but they aren’t universal apps, and LINE logs you out of your iPhone if you try to use the service on your iPad. It’s a sub-par experience all around.
It could be argued that the chatting services somehow revolve around phone numbers, and so a smartphone might be required for their use. However, LINE Messenger is available on OS X and Windows 7 + 8, with native clients on each of those desktop platforms. If it’s viable enough for companies to put time into making desktop apps, I’m honestly very surprised that we aren’t seeing more of these popular messaging services on the iPad. Even a simple blown-up version of WhatsApp or LINE on the iPad would be more useful than having nothing at all.
I can’t be the only one here who wants to message more on the iPad, can I? Or is chatting really an activity that most people feel is best left for smartphones, even in the presence of a tablet?
Private browsing is a very useful feature for the Safari browser app on the iPad and iOS. In private browsing mode your browsing history is not recorded. So, for example, if you’re secretly browsing around for a perfect birthday gift for your partner (who shares your iPad) and you don’t want them to see your searches you can just switch to private browsing to cover your tracks.
And it’s very easy to turn on private browsing and then swap back to normal browsing whenever you want.
– Open the Safari browser app
– Tap the + button near the top right of the screen, just to the right of the cloud icon.
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Well here’s a lovely little iPad rumor to consider this week – iOS 7.1 is said to be set for release any day now. Here’s the reason given by John Gruber at Daring Fireball:
Apple’s first iTunes Festival in the U.S. starts a week from today at SXSW in Austin. Apple is going to stream the performances to iOS devices using an app, but I’ve heard from a little birdie that the app requires iOS 7.1 (which explains why the app isn’t out yet). That means iOS 7.1 should ship any day now.
These shows start next Tuesday, March 11, right here in Austin. So perhaps a iOS 7.1 release on Friday?
iOS 7.1 is rumored to bring fixes for some of the crashing bugs and frequent Springboard resets that have plagued iOS 7 since its release.
I don’t fully understand why the iTunes Festival app requires an iOS update, as it has always offered a live stream plus highlights videos in the past as far as I can recall – but I’ll be quite happy if this rumor proves true and the app helps to push out the iOS 7.1 release.