I don’t tweet a lot, but I do check Twitter on a daily basis to catch up on news. I’ve used Tweetbot for years and have been very happy with it, but a recent convo with a friend got me to try the official Twitter app again â€” and I’ve been quite surprised by how good it has become. Twitter’s official app is in much better shape than Facebook’s own mobile app.
One of the first things I noticed in my return to Twitter’s app is how it treats links within tweets. Whereas Tweetbot will expand most links, Twitter seems to expand all of them. I’m liking this change right now because it makes my feed feel a little more rich, and an interesting hero image can compel me to visit a webpage more often than 140-character description.
The downside to this is that it can take a lot longer to scroll through my feed. The whole list is long because most of the people I follow will link to articles or images. I’ll have to see which I prefer over the long term: occasional bits of media and a lot of text, or a timeline that’s littered with text and rich media.
Now that I’ve had a few more weeks with the new tabbed Spotify interface, I’ve got a handle on what its strongest points are. Aside from the fact that Spotify has all of my friends and family (nobody in my circles used Apple Music), there are a lot of great little touches that make it a lot easier to enjoy music.
Ok, so that was fast. I can admit that. Just last week I wrote about how much better Apple Music had gotten with iOS 10, and my thoughts on the service itself haven’t changed all that much. However, my feelings about Spotify’s services changed quite a lot during this past week when they greenlit Spotify Premium for Family to go live in Canada. For $17 CAD (including tax), the plan can support up to six people at the same address. Spotify doesn’t seem to enforce this strictly, but that’s what the policy says, and it’s likely a part of the contract with music companies.
This is a big deal to me because it means I can now share music with my family, without having to link to YouTube. iMessage makes it very easy to share Apple Music songs, but I don’t know anyone else in my circle of friends or family that actually uses the service. Everyone else is on Spotify or Google Play Music.
Deus Ex GO is the latest in Square Enix’ series of puzzle games on their hit console properties. Like Hitman GO and Lara Croft GO, this Deux Ex port does a very good job of optimizing its controls and gameplay for a pickup-and-play mobile experience. It’s a satisfying enough experience to sit down on the couch and run through, but still bite-sized enough that you can finish a few rounds on your way to work.
All of the games in this GO series actually play very similarly, with a tick-tock style of turn-based gameplay. You move your avatar around the map one node at a time (tick), and any active enemies will always move in sequence with you (tock). It’s all about positioning yourself to move directly into an opponent, and keep yourself from walking into an oncoming patrol. There’s never any rush to the missions because you’re free to look at the board for as long as you like before moving. You can observe how each guard is going to patrol, and plan a path to pick them all off and get to your objective.
I don’t take nearly as many shots on my iPhone as I used to, but the ones that I do take are usually processed in Darkroom or RNI Films. I usually use the former because it streamlines the editing process so much, but there’s no denying that RNI films has some really gorgeous film filters of its own.
One thing that turns me off a lot of iOS photo editors are all the very fake extra effects that clutter up the actual filters. I don’t want to add fake sun flares, bokeh balls, or fake frames to my shots. I just want to be able to tweak the colours and tones, and then share them easily with other people. RNI Film simulations are based on real film stocks, and so you don’t have to deal with any fake extras being added to your images. What changes are the colours and tones. Once you have an image chosen, you can preview different films with a single tap. That tap can add a lot of pop to an image â€” so much so that I often don’t feel the need to spruce it up after that.
Splitting bills sucks, and it can range from irritating to downright awkward to remind someone they owe you a bit of money, and why that money is owed. I’ve dealt with this with friends and with my own girlfriend. Little meals here and there aren’t a big deal, but larger expenses like rent and electricity bills are not something you’ll just want to let slip. It’s good to have a sense of accountability, without having anyone feel like they’re being nagged.
I used to handle bills through a mix of Soulver and Money Pro (my current personal finance app), but a coworker recently introduced me to Splitwise, and it has been a great big smashing success for me. This is an app designed for splitting bills with groups of friends, or even a partner. My girlfriend and I share a few bills and the rent and we’ve decided against a shared chequing account for the interim, so we’ve been giving Splitwise a thorough test for the past few weeks.
It took a while for me to try Googleâ€™s Gboard because third party keyboards took a while to really become usable on iOS. Fortunately, the iOS 10 beta has been much better with third party keyboards, so Iâ€™ve been able to give Gboard a real shot over the past few weeks.
The biggest feature of this keyboard is its direct access to Google search. You can bring up a mini search bar from right within the keyboard in any circumstance, regardless of what app youâ€™re in.
When you’re setting up your new iPhone of the first time, you probably already have in mind at least a few apps you might want/need right away. Â This is especially true for users who have owned previous iPhone versions. Â However, maybe this year you’re buying your first iPhone and you’re not exactly sure where to start. Â Or, perhaps you are switching from another mobile platform, and you might be unaware of some stellar apps that are only available on iOS. Â This is where we can provide some guidance, and suggestions based on years of experience and trial and error from our own interaction with the App Store.