Cmd-Number Shortcuts For Safari 9

Daniel Jalkut:

If you’re a Safari user and you’ve updated to the Safari 9 or OS X 10.11 beta, you may have noticed a minor change in the default keyboard shortcuts for the app.

In Safari 8 and earlier, keyboard shortcuts combining the Command key and a number, e.g. Cmd-1, Cmd-2, Cmd-3, would open the corresponding bookmark bar item. So if you arranged your most-frequently-visited sites in the first few bookmark bar slots, you could easily jump to those pages by muscle memory thanks to these shortcuts.

In Safari 9, these shortcuts now switch to any open tabs you have in a Safari window. This will come as a surprise to folks who have gotten used to e.g. using Cmd-1 to quickly jump to e.g. Google News, or Yahoo Stocks.

I was happy to read that Safari is finally going to let you swap tabs with the same hotkey shorts as every other browser. It’s been a frustration for years to swap tabs in a different way from every other browser.

Now Firefox just needs top to drop the cmd/control+shift+P shortcut for private browsing, because you might not want to accidentally print out whatever you’re attempting to privately browse.

Goodbye, Android

Rightfully scathing article from Vice’s Motherboard’s Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai:

I’ve been antagonistic with Apple products ever since I was a teenager, when Apple used to try to shove its apps down my throat (cough iTunes cough) whenever I just wanted to watch a movie trailer on Quicktime. I never liked Apple’s walled garden and “we-control-everything” approach, and I particularly disliked Apple fanboys’ dumb “oh my god there’s a new iThing coming out” reverence and hysteria.

So when the original iPhone came out a few years ago, I swore in multiple heated discussions with friends and strangers that I’d never buy an iPhone. Since then, I’ve only owned Android phones. First a few HTC ones, now a Sony phone.

Well, I’m sick of it. And I’m ready to go to the dark side.

I love the Android users in the comments chiming in that rooting a device and installing a custom ROM is a reasonable thing to do for Android devices that receive no updates from their carriers and manufacturers.

The ability for devices to receive updates in a timely fashion is critical to having even the vaguest hint of security in our post-Snowden revelations world. Windows 10‘s silent update mechanism is a great step in that direction for end-user security. Google even does it for their Chrome browser. Everybody else needs to get on board with it.

Apple Music and Beats: 1

Apple’s streaming music subscription service, Apple Musicwas released last week in addition to the new streaming radio station Beats: 1 and other features in the new versions of Music on iOS and iTunes on Windows and Mac OS X.

I’ll admit that although I had tried Pandora and Spotify they’d never really stuck. Why not own my music and listen to the full albums I love instead of playlists? Why listen to ads alongside my favorite music?

The three month trial of Apple Music has made me a quick convert for now, at least. As well as the low price, $15 for six of my family members isn’t that much more than what I was paying for one Spotify subscription. The killer feature is that the music matching (previously available in iTunes Match) will let you bring in any music that isn’t available for streaming. No Beatles to stream? If it was in your iTunes music library before, it’s available through Apple Music. iTunes Match was the thing that finally let me stop syncing my iPhone to my laptop.

There’s something really strange about the new streaming  Beats: 1 radio station that launched alongside Apple Music. It’s good. 

Unlike most other internet radio stations, there are hosts. A revolutionary concept, I know, but it’s how they host that is so different. They don’t sound like pre-programmed chatter bots with dumbass names like Free Beer and Hotwings from radio planet twelve in the marketing galaxy.

The only part of Beats-1 that sounds pre-programmed are the rare advertising reads that are given by what sounds like a BBC presenter who usually says about five words before a track starts. Not between every track, so far it sounds like it’s once or twice an hour you might hear a few words. Way better than any of the terrestrial radio stations you might hear.

One particular program I heard on the launch night was enough to make Beats: 1 post-worthy. St. Vincent had put together a mixtape for an 11-year old named Piper (who won a contest) and what do you know, this is really good. Even St. Vincent’s banter with Piper is good. 

Earlier in the day there was still plenty of fine music to listen to. Some of which was new to me. The day-time (Pacific time) DJ’s has a more traditional radio jockey style, but almost no ads and it didn’t sound like it was ruined by the influence of the record industry. Awesome.

The ads that were there were voiced by a tonally inappropriate genericly British accented person which was a bit hilarious to hear him talking about some hotel chain for a half second with rap going on underneath.

The only downside to Beats: 1 is that the music was edited for radio with no explicit option when the old iTunes radio stations had an explicit language option. Beats: 1 is available to everyone who has iTunes on a Mac, on Windows, or on the iOS Music app, there’s no fee to listen to it.

Apple’s App Store Delisting Civil War Games

Tasos Lazarides:

If you’ve been watching the news recently, you’ll know of the huge debate in the U.S over the role of the Confederate flag in contemporary America. Many see it as a reminder of the many pre-Civil War injustices while others see it simply as a way to honor the soldiers who died for the Confederacy. Many large US companies, like Walmart and Amazon, have already banned the sale of any Confederate flag merchandise as a reaction to the recent events. Now, it appears that Apple has decided to join them by pulling many Civil War wargames from the App Store

All of the Wolfenstein games and their sequels had to be altered in order to be released in Germany due to laws in that country. It takes some of the fun out of virtually kicking Nazi ass in those games, but to be fair it does give game developers a chance to be more creative in the depiction of them.

It’s not difficult to see how an overreaction like this takes place after recent events and that overreaction could be corrected by removing any games that are truly hateful and offensive but Tasos’ article pulls an official quote from Apple that these American Civil War games won’t be allowed back in the App Store without removing or replacing the flags entirely. It just doesn’t make sense to pull games that contain those flags unless the games are white supremacist bullshit, which these American Civil War games aren’t.

Stores choosing to not sell literal confederate flags is reasonable. They can choose to sell or not sell anything they want. I’ll still be disappointed the next time I want to kick some confederate ass on my iPad during a long plane ride and these games either aren’t there or have been altered.

gfxCardStatus

gfxCardStatus is n open-source menu bar application that keeps track of which graphics card your dual-GPU (late 2008/2009 w/ 9400M/9600M GT, or 2010 i5/i7 w/ Intel HD/330M) MacBook Pro is using at any given time, and allows you to switch between them on demand.

via gfxCardStatus: menu bar gpu status monitor for os x / cody krieger – mobile, desktop & web developer.

Hook Champ Preview

Rocketcat Games has been running a pre-release adhoc beta of Hook Champ. It is an 8-bit style side-scroller with very simple touch controls.

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You’re an infamous adventurer that starts each mission by swapping out a fancy idol for a fake one, of course it never works and you’re left to run away with your treasure.

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Not from a boulder, but from something that seems like a more extreme version of chain chomp from Mario’s games.

The gameplay is more like Sonic. You’ve gotta hook onto the ceiling and various other objects that stick out from the background without stopping or that fellow will eat you.

Make it through a level picking up lesser trophies along the way and you can buy some awesome new hats before heading out on your next adventure.

I’ve enjoyed it so far, but you don’t have to take my word for it. Check out the video:

When it is released Hook Champ will have a 99¢ sale, down from the normal $3 price.

MLB At Bat 2009 Review (iPhone)

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I’ve been listening to MLB.app since the start of the season and as rocky as it has been for the fighting phils, the app has been great.

It streams audio from the Phillies home radio station, even though I’m in San Francisco.

It plays highlight videos from mlb.tv.

It costs $10 per season, whereas the streaming audio feature from mlb.com costs $15.

Most importantly, it gives you a box score and play-by-play text.

Overall, I’ve had few issues with At Bat. Mainly, I’d appreciate it if there were full streaming video of the game, but I suspect they’ll do that for next season and charge $10-$20 more for the app.

The lesser issue is with my connectivity. I live in SF and AT&T’s network stinks, but the inability (on the part of the app or the iPhone) to switch between edge/3G while streaming the in-game audio is terrible. I have to wake my phone up just to get it to realize it should keep trying to get signal.

If you are usually in a wifi-zone like I am, though, you’ll be fine. We’re lucky to have At Bat on the iPhone and it is a steal at $9.99. As far as I know there are no blackouts for the radio stream.

Check out the gallery after the break for all the screens. Then go buy it from the app store.

Continue reading “MLB At Bat 2009 Review (iPhone)”

Hoping to Make iPhone Toys as a Full-Time Job

The New York Times has an article up about the “iPhone Gold Rush”. It features iShoot developer Ethan Nicholas, and is pretty well written, go check it out. I’m not quite sure why it is in the fashion section, but at least it has some good sources. Like Ars Technica’s Erica Sadun.