iOS episode 680 Transcript

Please be advised this transcript is AI-generated and may not be word for word. Time codes refer to the approximate times in the ad-supported version of the show.

0:00:00 - Mikah Sargent
Coming up on iOS today, Rosemary Orchard and I, Micah Sargent, cover the App Store Awards finalists. Stay tuned Podcasts you love. From People you Trust. This is Tweet.

This is iOS Today with Rosemary Orchard and Micah Sargent, episode 680, recorded Tuesday, november 21st 2023. App Store Awards 2023. This episode of iOS Today is brought to you by Secure my Email. Secure my Email provides easy encryption for your current personal and business email addresses. Setup takes only minutes. You can start your free account or enjoy a 30-day free trial of a premium plan, no payment info required, and they have a special offer for Tweet listeners. Visit SecureMyEmailcom.

Slash Tweet and use code TWIT at checkout. And buy CashFly, delivering rich media content up to 159% faster than other major CDNs. Join CashFly, the world's fastest CDN. Your website visitors will love CashFly's lag-free video loading, hyper-fast downloads and friction-free transaction processing. Learn how to get your first month free at cashflycom. Slash Tweet. Hello and welcome to iOS Today, the show where we talk all things iOS, ipados, watchos, homepodos and all of the other TVOS. It's a show where we talk about Apple's operating systems, the devices that run on those operating systems, and try to help you make the most of those devices. I am one of the hosts aiming to do that Micah Sargent.

0:01:47 - Rosemary Orchard
And I am Rosemary Ocean, who is very excited, as always, to be here exploring all these fun things.

0:01:54 - Mikah Sargent
Yes, and today is a very exciting thing. We had a plan for what this episode is going to be, and that's because it's getting close in the United States to Thanksgiving as we record this show. It is in two days, and we tend to do an episode near the end of the year where we talk about holiday planning, because a lot of people have end of the year holidays that they do. We'll get to that, but what happened was the App Store editors the folks, the actual human beings that are members of the App Store, that work in Apple and work on the App Store. They are the group that are bringing you those weekly doses of new contents, telling you like what apps are worth checking out. When we did our plant episode last week yes, the little section where we showed what Apple had in the App Store for the different plants that collection was created by the App Store editors. Well, they're constantly looking at new apps and old apps and updates to apps, and they know what's new, what's great, what's awesome and, even more so, have access to information about what apps are incredibly popular, which ones are being used, and so each year, they award the App Store award to certain individual apps. And what's important to understand is that this is different from the Worldwide Developers Conference that Apple does, where there are awards given at that point. The awards given at that point, which we covered in the past. They tend to be for apps that make use of Apple's technologies in cool and specific ways. Okay, so in that case it's about, a lot of the times, kind of innovation. Or if Apple comes out with a new special feature for the iPhone and an app does a cool job of making use of that, comes out with some new software update that has some interesting methods of using your iPhone or iPad, the app uses those, then they get the award. These awards are for the apps that quote, deliver exceptional experiences and, in some cases, make a profound cultural impact. This has been going on. I didn't realize this. It seems like it's been a newer thing, so it just makes me feel old.

It's been going on for more than a decade that the App Store's editorial team has awarded these App Store awards each year and we have the finalists. So, of course, when it comes to finalists, you go from finalists to then final the people who are selected or the apps that are selected as the winners, and we wanted to talk about apps for iPhone and iPad this year. We may mention a game or two, but this is mostly about the apps. So let's talk about what some of these apps are, and I'll quickly kind of explain how Apple's App Store editorial team is recognizing these apps. It's for their excellence, their inventiveness and their technical achievement. The apps and games have helped users quote flex their creativity, challenge themselves and have fun with family and friends. App Store award winners will be selected from this year's outstanding group of finalists and will be announced in the coming weeks. So we don't quite have the winners of the selections yet, but we have the ones that are right there at the end of the race. So these are still some of the best apps, according to App Store editorial team.

So let's get into it. First and foremost is an app that regularly, I think, bugs me on my phone, but in a good way, and that is the app called AllTrails. Alltrails is an app that helps you find different hiking, biking and running trails nearby, so, for example, the Tomales Point Trail, which is at Point Reyes National Seashore. If I tap on this, I can learn first of all that it's a moderate trail, so it's got ratings based on how hard it is to hike. You get photos of what the trail kind of looks like while you're on it, what you might see along the way, including some animals some animals like these elk, I believe they are, given their white rumps and we can tap into the actual trail information. Even if you're not connected to service. You can download the map and make sure that you have the full trail and so that way, even if you are in the middle of doing it, you kind of don't know what's going on where you are. Is it really a hike, if you don't get lost? I kind of feel like that's part of it. But you've got the type of activity that you plan on doing If you're going to be hiking this trail or mountain biking this trail or God forbid, running this trail Lifeline information, which is a way to let your friends and family know that you are out on a trail, but also like, if you don't report in after a while, then that will let you know.

I love this. It's called the Wrong Turn Alert, so if you turn this on, then it will make sure that you stay on your planned route and let you know. Look, you're diverting from the way you're supposed to be going. You can get driving directions to the trail itself and get an overview of the trail as well. Now, along with the download of the map, you can actually see elevation with 3D maps with the Altrails Plus plan. So here you can see. It's kind of giving you a preview of what this looks like as you're hiking along. You can see the elevation happening and the way that you're meant to make your way up this trail. Super cool and, I think, helpful when it comes to understanding how you're meant to take the trail and what steps you're supposed to take along the way. So I find this information incredibly helpful. On the times that I've gone on a trail and it seems to be that when I don't use a hiking specific app those tend to be the times where I take a wrong turn or go down the wrong trail and then suddenly find myself adding three miles or something to the trail that I'm meant to take. So that's the Tamales Point trail that has interestingly, it's not a circle, it doesn't come back, so you hike out all the way and then you hike back. So just bear that in mind that there will be the return trip as well if you decide to do that A fantastic app.

I think that I know a lot of local friends who like to hike and they very much make use of this. Some people make use of the community features which give you more information, like new trails that are being created, for example. You can find friends in the app and be able to say oh, you know, you went on that trail, what did you think of it? People are posting the stuff that they've gone on nearby, but I think for the most part, the navigation features and the ability to download the map to your device and get those notifications saying oh boy, don't go that way. That's the wrong way. I find very, very helpful. Anything else you want to say about Altrails.

0:09:57 - Rosemary Orchard
I recommend it to a colleague at work who spent about three hours a couple of weekends ago stuck in a forest, literally, yes, afterwards literally walked around in a giant circle as they were attempting to take a shortcut back to the car, because it's in that direction and pretty much every human has one like slightly shorter than the other, meaning that if you just walk in what you think is a straight line, at some point you will go around in a circle and, yeah, went in a pretty big circle. So one of those things I'm going to have to recommend this.

0:10:28 - Mikah Sargent

0:10:28 - Rosemary Orchard
See what happens. Maybe you won't get lost next time.

0:10:31 - Mikah Sargent
Oh man, let's hope. So that is Altrails, and congratulations to the team who work on that app. For sure, alright, this next one, I think, is an incredibly empowering app and I know to be a very popular app, so I'm not surprised to see it here. Can you tell us a little bit about Duolingo?

0:10:54 - Rosemary Orchard
Yeah, so Duolingo is an app that is designed to try and help you learn another language. You can actually learn more than one language with it, and I am currently attempting to learn Greek. Now I've taken a couple of weeks off from my Greek lessons and I didn't get all that far in, but if I just start and I tap on this, then I'll earn 10 experience points, because everybody knows that the experience points are the best, and I have to translate the sentence. Now I don't have the sound on and I'm not going to make everyone listen to this, but I'm pretty certain that this is going to be Mark, so I'll check that. And I was right, because I am slightly familiar with the Greek alphabet already. And the idea is, as you go, you get a series of audio and reading things which, in when you put a language that's not using the Latin alphabet you're familiar with, can be a bit trickier to get to grips with, but it will ask you and teach you through pairing up sounds and words and things like that, and then, as you progress, to further lessons. I am not able to do that, so I have to tap on it now and then it will ask me to choose the correct letters for something that sounds like row in English, and that is that one up there. So as you continue, things will get progressively more difficult.

I'm still at the stage of learning what is pink, the carrot, and so on and so forth, and so I think it's going to be tocarotto. And I am right it is tocarotto. There we go. You can tell I've learned a little bit of Greek before, right, so it's not so difficult for me. But yeah, I find this to be really fun. You gain experience points. You have lives which you lose if you get things wrong.

I'm going to end my session there. It's okay, I'll come back and do it again later and you can score against other people who are also learning the same language. Now you can actually see exactly what is going to be in each unit. There's a little guidebook that it will tell you about, and you can scroll down and go ahead to a later stage if you're finding something a bit too easy. Now, when you first start learning a language, it will ask you you know about your level and your experience and so on, so you're not going to just get dumped into the beginner's end. But, as well as Greek, duolingo also has new horses from Mets and Music, which is really cool. But other languages it also supports German, spanish, french, italian, hebrew, japanese, chinese, russian, korean, portuguese, arabic, dutch, swedish, norwegian, turkish, polish, irish, danish, hindi, czech, esperanto, ukrainian, welsh, vietnamese, hungarian.

0:13:36 - Mikah Sargent
I love that Esperanto is still in there.

0:13:37 - Rosemary Orchard
I'll just be going on for hours here. There's even Finnish and Yiddish and Haitian, creole and Zulu. So if you want to learn some Zulu, why not? You know that could be a really cool thing to bust out at some quiz at some point. You know, a general knowledge quiz what is this word in Zulu? I know that I know what the word for character is in Zulu and yeah, there we go. But yeah, I find this is just really a fun as an adult, but also it's something that I would recommend to children as well. So if you've got kids in your family or a friend group who are learning languages, then the Duolingo owl is definitely a great accompaniment to any language learning.

0:14:21 - Mikah Sargent
I agree on it being great for both adults and children. I have used it for learning German and I'll be honest that I pulled away from it for a little while. But what was great is that every time I go back to it I get right back into it. They make it easy to do that, I think too, so when you're ready to kind of pick it up again. I think the variation of the opportunities to learn is also pretty cool. It's not just kind of one method of learning where you're just going what is this word, what is this word, but you're learning about the grammar, you're learning about all the parts of it, and it's a delightful app in terms of its animations and everything.

I'm not huge ever on like experience, point gain and all that kind of stuff. It doesn't really work for me, so it kind of gets in the way. But what I like about I guess what I'm saying is, even though it has those features, duolingo is good enough that I'm not bothered by the fact that it has all that stuff. That for me is just kind of like cruft. That's in the way. It's pretty cool hopping back into the app and starting to use it and remembering oh wow, that's still in my head. That tells me that it's actually working and it's doing what it's supposed to do. So, yeah, if you're thinking about learning a language and you don't have, classes or something Esperanto finish.

0:15:54 - Rosemary Orchard
They're all there. You know, klingon obviously is the most important language that you could possibly learn from this. Elvish is not present, which I'm slightly disappointed by. I would have thought that Elvish would have been there. You know where's all our Latokian fans.

But, they also, just as a note, do actually support this from people who don't speak English as a native language. So for Chinese speakers, you know, they've got Korean and so on and so forth, and Spanish and Italian and Czech speakers have got English, as have Dutch. Dutch people can also learn German and French. Pretty certain. Most people in the Netherlands will be fluent in English at minimum by the time they leave secondary school, even if when they say I'm not like, my English is absolutely terrible. I'm so sorry for my absolutely awful grammar. You know they're going, yeah, yeah, your English is definitely.

0:16:45 - Mikah Sargent
They just said it exactly how you said it, so it just sounds normal. You're like what do you mean?

0:16:50 - Rosemary Orchard
you're absolutely awful, and they probably said it with better pronunciation and inundation as well, just to be better.

0:16:55 - Mikah Sargent
Oh man, that's funny. Yeah, so that's let's do a lingo again Definitely check it out. Moving right along the last finalists in the iPhone app category hugely, just absolutely deserved, I think, and I wouldn't be surprised if this ends up being the winner of the App Store Award. It's an app called Flighty, and even as a person who does not travel too often, I think Flighty is fantastic. I think it's incredible because what's so great about it is it is plugged in to all of the right data streams, such that you get information even before sometimes the desk, while you're waiting for your plane, gets information.

It feels like I remember when I took a trip with some of the sales team to the podcast movement and we were all in the same flight and so I had all that information in Flighty and Flighty was updating me. Oh, our gate has changed. Oh, this, this is changing, oh, this has a delay. This is where we should enter, because this thing has changed. Here's where you should drop your luggage, if you have it. I mean, it's got so much information in it and it keeps you up to date.

And what Flighty does very well as well is much like Peacalc from developer James Thompson. It is constantly taking advantage of new technologies and features that Apple provides. So, shortly after the Dynamic Island was launched and the introduction of live activities came along, then we saw Flighty add live activities to the app so that way up in the top of your phone, you could see just a little bit of information about, like, when the plane was going to be leaving or whatever happened to be next that was going to pop up. It has these notifications that come into you so you know, like, when you're supposed to be checking in. You can see where your plane is, where it's going, how old your plane is.

I mean just so much information. And I found it helpful, even when I'm not traveling, if a friend is traveling or a family member is traveling, being able to keep track of their information, being able to pop in. Okay, this is what gate I need to pick them up from. And I remember a friend was coming to visit and I was able to tell them before they even knew hey, your gate changed for whenever you touched down. So they had that as soon as the you know they were where they needed to be.

0:19:45 - Rosemary Orchard
Knowing where your luggage is going to land that's the one for me and also getting things like these really cool maps of all the flights that you've done.

So I track all of my travel with Tripit because it'll tell me, like when I'm missing like a hotel or something which is kind of important. You don't want to turn up somewhere and be like, oh I don't have a hotel. That gets expensive quickly. But it can import from Tripit and sync with Tripit, which is really cool, so I can see all the flights that I've taken going back and forth around the world and see my statistics as well, which is, I've left the world 9.6 times that, bearing in mind I did used to fly for a living and travel for a living. So, yeah, I found it to be excellent. There's a couple of small European airlines that it really doesn't track, but then, at the same time, the airline doesn't have an app that allows you to track the flights either, and the airport doesn't have tracking information for the flight until it's about to take off.

So you know I can't fault flighty for that when nobody else seems to have the information either. So you know, in that sort of situation I'm just generally grateful that I get to my destination and it's the destination I was intending to get to, and I get there at approximately the right time. So yeah, I've found flighty to be truly excellent.

0:20:59 - Mikah Sargent
If you're not someone who travels regularly, you can buy a. It's basically a $5.99 pass that will give you access, you know, for a month of flighty. So that way, what flighty premium. That gives you all of the information and so you can kind of think of it as just a little add on to your ticket. You've got that extra information, you've got it available For folks who travel regularly. You'll probably want to get the you know, regular monthly subscription or the yearly subscription and really lock into it.

0:21:31 - Rosemary Orchard
But yeah, I think there is also a lifetime option which, for the folks who travel enough and I do genuinely know some of those people it's worth it. For most people it is probably not worth it because it is a significant multiplier of an annual subscription but at the same time, when you, when you fly that much, you, you want that. There it is, yeah, $250 for lifetime options.

0:21:54 - Mikah Sargent
Okay, yeah, oh, that's nice. So, yeah, if you pay $450 for the lifetime plan, then everyone in your iCloud family will also have access to it. The annual plan for you alone is $49. The annual family plan is $89. And then, of course, there's the kind of monthly subscription as well. So all good stuff. I think flighty is fantastic and, again, I wouldn't be surprised if it ends up being the winner. But we shall see who ends up taking home the iPhone App Store Award when that information rolls out. All right, let us take a quick break before we come back with more from the App Store Awards, this time looking at iPad apps. But I do want to take a moment to tell you about SecureMyEmail. Who are bringing you this episode of iOS today?

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All right, we are back from the break and now it's time to talk about the iPad app of the year finalists.

These are the apps that have gotten special attention from the App Store editors for being great apps on the App Store, this time for the iPad, and the first is a little app called Concepts. I think Concepts is a pretty sweet app that is for sketching and note-taking. It gives you this huge canvas that you can kind of zoom in or zoom out on and it is excuse me, it is a very, I think, creative-minded app, and by creative I mean professional creative. It has lots of the sort of color systems that graphic designers and textile designers and fashion designers use when they are creating products, and it has lots of tools for developers who are working on apps to sort of ideate an app for, perhaps, an architect who is thinking about a way to create a building or an interior design. I mean, that's what makes this so cool, is that this is it's called Concepts, because it's a place for you to put down your concepts. What do you have to say about Concepts, rosemary?

0:27:30 - Rosemary Orchard
I've used Concepts a number of times for doing things like doing room plans and things like that, because it just works really well for something like that where you might have images that you want to sort of add in and things like that. The fact that it's vector-based means that if you have an image and then you rescale it, or if you have a shape and you rescale it, it's not going to get all pixely and horrible, which you make it really big, and it's not going to kind of go blur and turn into a blob when you make it small. It'll be whatever the actual shape is. That's one of the reasons why I really love things like drawing out a room plan and sort of sketching out designs for things like that. I'm not saying that I'm good at that sort of thing far from it but I can pretend that I'm good at it by using an app that genuinely is used by people who work at Disney and so on, and folks who use this professionally do really love it and I find it to be incredibly useful.

0:28:28 - Mikah Sargent
Yeah, it's again, I think, a fantastic app. The editor's choice because it's received editor's choice a number of times says virtually limitless in its potential concepts, is the perfect home for ideas, big and small. Its infinite canvas is as capable for doodling as it is for diagramming, and support for layers and custom objects can transform a basic brainstorming into a detailed document. I think what I've always liked about concepts is that it doesn't feel intimidating. A lot of these apps that have this level of feature set end up feeling intimidating to me where it's kind of like what in the world? I feel like it's too, it's too complicated. I'm, you know, not creative or artistic enough to make use of this and it is this one I just. I feel welcomed, I guess, and it's just, it's a delight to use and I'm not surprised to see it again on this list, but also to have received so many different awards over time. Very cool. The next choice is one that I know will have folks who are in particularly like in our space in the sort of streaming space, but also in the general video creation space DaVinci Resolve for iPad. So DaVinci Resolve kind of got the I feel, the ball really rolling on being able to do video editing to a professional level on an iPad DaVinci Resolve. I think one of the reasons it's got the word resolve and it is because it is kind of color correction focused, but it's it's an editor and it's a color corrector in one tool. It helps you edit and color grade video.

That's what it's supposed to do, but it's made by the folks from Black Magic who make some other incredible products that we've talked about before on many a show, including some of the the little oh black magic, and now I can't think of what they're called. It's a little box and it's got external GPUs. No, it's not that it's, I can't think of it, but anyway it lets you plug in multiple HDMI sources and it's just a little thing. Yeah, it's like a little switcher, but I there's one that's kind of for the consumer market and for some reason it's not coming to me. Anyway, point is they make cameras, they make hardware for streamers and everything in between. We've used their tech in different productions that we've done. We were using some of their tech in what we do now.

Black Magic is very, very cool. It's Black Magic, but DaVinci Resolve, a solid app that maintains a really good record and ratings in the App Store for what it's able to do, and it works along with the rest of the tools that Black Magic provides. So what's great about it is if you use Black Magic Cloud, for example, then you're able to do the editing and kind of syncing to that. If you use the Black Magic camera app, which we used recently for a project that is still secret yes, atem, thank you, chicken head, the ATEM Mini. That's ATEM Mini. I have one of those and I use that whenever we were working from home a lot during the Panini, and so I had one of those set up to use.

And, anyway, great hardware, great software and you can just you can do so much with it. I think that's what makes it so cool. I don't know if you have much to say about that. You know we're not going to do a sort of tutorial on it. That's the other thing that's great about Black Magic design is that not only do they have tutorials and great videos for it, but because this is kind of a beloved company in the YouTuber space in particular, there are lots and lots of tutorials out there covering the Vinci Resolve.

0:32:47 - Rosemary Orchard
Yeah, yeah, it's a. It's a lovely app if you're looking for that sort of thing, and it's worth just kind of looking at what this is and how it works and watching all those fabulous YouTube videos that you know explains how it works, because it's really amazing to see that you can do all of this on an iPad.

0:33:04 - Mikah Sargent
And I'm going to let you pronounce this last one.

0:33:08 - Rosemary Orchard
Well, this last one is Prata Makeup. So some folks may have heard of a store over here in the UK called Prata Manger which is ready to eat, where you can grab stuff to go. This is Prata Makeup, so ready to make up, and it's a digital face chart. So the idea is it's a digital face chart, sort of like it's a notebook, but it's got faces in it and you can create faces and do makeup on them and so on and so forth. A lot of people in the reviews describe it as a game, which is absolutely a fun way of looking at it and the idea is kind of you can just figure out, like what makeup styles you want to do with something or you could do with something to play it out and and try it without needing a person or a model, head or similar, so that you can try it and you can do drawings with your finger, with stylus pens or with the Apple pencil.

They've been specifically recommended for use on iPad and when I played with this a little bit before, I definitely found it was a lot easier on the iPad just because you've got that bit more screen real estate, even though you could have a Pro Max iPhone the amount of screen space that you've got is definitely considerably more limited than on an iPad, but, yeah, it's free to download and give it a try, and then it is a subscription. But they do appear to be having a Black Friday sale, which is something that's worth mentioning to folks, that there could be Black Friday sales on for a lot of apps over this coming weekend, so it might be worth taking a look at all of that. Yeah, if you've ever fancy doing makeup on a you know digital model, then you should have a look at Pretta makeup and, quite frankly, I'm just impressed that anything has got more than 26,000 reviews Right. So four and a half stars like that's a lot of reviews. It's incredible. That's a very high number.

0:35:01 - Mikah Sargent
Yeah, so one of the things I didn't realize this makeup artists use, as you mentioned, face charts all the time. That's how they kind of like figure out what might look good together, how it might look on a particular kind of face. The app has in it a database of more than 700 beauty products. If yours exists outside of that, obviously, then you'll have to use other stuff. But having kind of that database is great because then you can kind of get an idea of what these products will look like. And then I don't know if we can go back to that.

But what was cool, they have this ring light feature and it is tied to the iPads accelerometer and the different sensors inside of the iPads so as you move the screen it changes the way that the light reflects on the skin and reflects off of the makeup. So you can kind of get an idea of how light responds to the designs that you're doing as well. So it takes it a little bit further than just a basic face chart by giving a little bit of depth but also an understanding of the way that light might play off of it. It's very clever and I think again, as you point out, that many reviews is wowza to maintain a 4.5 rating. So cool to see this in the top of the charts on the app store.

0:36:28 - Rosemary Orchard
Yeah, I'm also just gonna throw out a tiny sort of side mention. There's also Pretta template from the same people, which gives you sort of like a model of a person, with the idea being that you can draw clothing designs over the top of them and create fashion designs that way. So if you know somebody who's not into makeup but they're into fashion and so on and they want to practice drawing, pretta template is from the same folks and looks pretty awesome as well. To be honest, I've never tried it, but I'm definitely gonna be going off and playing with that. I need to have a couple of events coming up and I need to figure out my wardrobe for them, so maybe I should design something myself.

0:37:06 - Mikah Sargent
Very cool, very cool. Alright, a quick little rundown in the news, as this stuff kind of happened. So nothing the company that makes the nothing phone and a few other tech devices, announced that it was going to be partnering with a third-party company in order to bring nothing chats, an app that provided I message compatibility, so that if you were on Android, if you were using a nothing phone, that you could still use iMessage as a service. And the way that this works is, when partnering with the third-party company called Sunbird, what it would do is it would essentially have your there be a Mac mini server somewhere out in the cloud and that would be logged into your Apple ID and then you would be using that to be able to communicate. Here's the problem. We said this from the get-go. We talked about this on Ask the Tech guys.

Many tech journalists have said don't do this. It's a very bad idea because you're handing over your Apple ID information to a third-party and you don't know how, like what's going to happen. Since that happened, since the announcement of this, there were reports that Sunbird, the company that was doing this messaging system, was sending credentials over the internet unencrypted when you set it up to use it with your iMessage. So that means that your username and your password, without any encryption, were being sent over the internet and therefore could have been easily scooped and taken and used by anyone. Sunbird has since shut down this, this service and I think you know it got attention drawn to it because of nothing, and by nothing I don't mean because of nothing, I mean because of the company called nothing, and so you need to pick better names amen it's really difficult.

0:39:21 - Rosemary Orchard
Apple has nothing but nothing. It doesn't have Apple ID.

0:39:25 - Mikah Sargent
Yeah the scrutiny though they got put on, the company kind of brought it to the forefront and good, I think it was a good thing that that happened. But then, while all of that was going on nothing saying okay, actually we're not going to do this Apple made the announcement that it plans to adopt what's called RCS in the coming year. So Apple has announced that the rich communication services messaging standard will be something that the company reveal not reveals, but launches in a software update that's coming later next year and what it'll do is that it will kind of open up some of those iMessage features. They talk about location sharing, for example, but also, I think, just a comfort in knowing that your message has actually been delivered will come to Apple or, excuse me, we'll come, yeah, yeah, we'll come to between Apple and Android by way of RCS.

Now, while this is happening, there are a few things that it's important to understand. Apple has said that and this was in a quote from 9 to 5 Mac, who received a statement from Apple it is going to okay, here we go quote we will be adding support for the for RCS universal profile, the standard as currently published by the GSM association. So, while they are going to add RCS. Rcs, as it is currently published by the GSM association, does not have end-to-end encryption as part of the standard. That is something that Google, by way of Android, is doing on top of the RCS universal profile. So it's unclear if Apple plans to add that end-to-end encryption, given that it very clearly says the standard as currently published by the GSM association, because it would require more for Apple to do than just following that direct standard.

Now you've published, or posted rather the, the actual universal profile. I will have to link to that in the show notes, for sure for people who you know are pretty nerdy and want to kind of learn about more what that has to do. But basically, while we will see more features being added and more interoperability, it's not as if things are going to be as secure as if you were sending an iMessage to another person, and I think that's kind of part of it right that you continue to send iMessages. And as far as green bubbles and blue bubbles go, I don't think we're gonna see a change there, but I'm curious to your thoughts there, rosemary.

0:42:22 - Rosemary Orchard
Well, I think one of the things that greatly concerned me when it was first announced that the EU was looking at implementing legislation to say that somebody you know, apple and Android and so on have to support this, is that it's not actually supported by all carriers. So Googles, they're going yeah, do this, we want everybody to do this, make them do this. And there's a slight problem in that the universal profile doesn't actually have to be supported on 4G networks. It has to be supported on 5G, but it doesn't have to be supported on 4G, and there are plenty of carriers out there in the world that don't have 5G support. So I think it's gonna be an interesting step forward. I'm glad that Apple is going with the standard because, as we all know from that fabulous XKCD comic of there are 14 competing standards. Let's unify them. There are now 15 competing standards. Every time somebody tries to resolve problems like this, they end up creating a new standard. Google is already off doing their own thing. I think the right approach is to support the universal profile and then work with the GSM association to expand that support in a way that is actually supported by networks around the world, Because the thing that concerns me right now is that some folks are gonna not understand why sometimes this thing works and sometimes this thing doesn't work.

And previously it was a simple it's a blue bubble. I can do this with blue bubbles. That's a green bubble. I can't do that with green bubbles. We're not gonna have 50 shades of green, we're gonna have one shade of green and sometimes some things are gonna work and sometimes they're not, and it's gonna be an interesting ride for those folks as that progresses. I'm sure for most folks in the US and Europe they'll probably not really spot any differences because everything will just roll out and it will work for everyone. But there are plenty of other countries out there where not every network has 5G support.

0:44:24 - Mikah Sargent
All right. So, yeah, all of this rollout and how it's going to look precisely remains to be seen, so we'll have to keep an eye on things and as we know more, we'll share more, as is always the case. All right, before we head into Shortcuts, corner feedback and the rest of the show, let's take another quick break so I can tell you about our next sponsor. It's Cash Fly who are bringing you this episode of iOS today. Quite literally, for more than 20 years, cash Fly has held a track record for high-performing, ultra-reliable content delivery, serving more than 5,000 companies and more than 80 countries. Organizations consistently choose Cash Fly for scalability, for reliability and for unrivaled performance. Cash Fly's revolutionary storage optimization system ensures your holiday season remains jolly. This system creates private partitions dedicated entirely to your use, providing 100% bandwidth to ensure your content remains king. Keep your data and content primed closer to your customers, maintaining optimal speeds and ensuring quicker content delivery, no matter where your customers are. Let Cash Fly supercharge your images and watch your web content soar to new heights of efficiency and performance. You can jump on board with Cash Fly's smart image optimization service and give your audience the seamless, lag-free experience they deserve. By keeping your content on the edge. Cash Fly ensures that your delivery speed is instantaneous. You can add Cash Fly's video-on-demand cash layer to your mix, witness a transformative reduction in loading times and say goodbye to the buffering blues Immediately and permanently. Drive your cash hit ratio to 100% using Cash Fly's VOD cash.

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When you switch to Cash Fly With Cash Fly's Elite Managed packages, you will get the VIP treatment. Your dedicated account manager will be with you from day one, ensuring a smooth implementation and reliable 24-7 support when needed. Twit has been using Cash Fly for more than a decade and, honestly, we wouldn't have it any other way. So jumpstart your journey with Cash Fly with a complimentary first month, or give it a whirl with a free five-terabyte account. Simply go to cashflycom slash TWIT. That's cashflycom slash TWIT, and I can hear the music. It's time for Shortcuts Corner. ["shortcuts Corner"]. Welcome to Shortcuts Corner, the part of the show where you typically write in with your Shortcuts Corner requests and Rosemary Orchard provides a response. This week for Shortcuts Corner, we have a demo. Rosemary, take it away.

0:47:53 - Rosemary Orchard
Well, something that I have on my phone and I've mentioned it a few times and folks are immediately intrigued by this as an idea is rotation lock being disabled or enabled automatically based on various things. So I personally choose, in the control center on my phone, underneath the Wi-Fi icon, sort of the second block or second row of icons on the left, there's a rotation lock. I keep this on. So if I pick up my phone and I hold it in landscape, look, it's still portrayed on the screen. Now, some of this is down to iOS or specific apps, but in general, I just prefer to not have my phone rotate off to one side. If I place it down in a way that I can still see the screen, but it's slightly tipped to one side or something like that, and so it's like, oh, I should go into landscape. It's like, no, I didn't want you to go into landscape. That's not helpful. Everything's moved around. So I keep it in and locked to portrait. But this poses a problem with some apps. Like every software, I need to use jump desktop to connect to the Mac that I'm currently talking to you folks from, or when I open certain video applications. I would like rotation lock to be disabled. And so I have two very simple little automations here, and it's when any of three apps are opened or closed. And so I'll start with the first one, which is when any of three apps are opened. So I have, when I believe it's YouTube, jump desktop and Plex are opened, then I am going to run this shortcut immediately and I do not toggle, I do not have it show me a notification and all it does is it runs a very simple action. It says turn orientation lock off, and you folks have probably guessed it if you're thinking ahead, where I have exactly the same thing for when those three apps are closed, which is turn orientation lock back on. So if I open jump desktop, for example, it will turn orientation lock off. I can rotate my phone into landscape mode, get on with things you know it's not the best experience on a very small iPhone, but it's fine and then I close jump desktop and my phone goes back to being locked into portrait mode, which is perfect for me. So I'll show folks how to create this.

So in the shortcuts app, go to the automation tab and you tap on that plus in the top right to create an automation, and then you scroll down and you select app. And here is where you can choose your various apps. So if you want rotation lock turned off in a number of apps, you can just scroll and tap, or you can use that search function at the top and then, when you've done that, you tap down and then you want to change this from run after confirmation to run immediately. You probably want to turn off notify when run and then you tap next and then you have two choices. You can either select an automation which, if you've already got one made, you can just do that, or you can create a new blank automation and then you're looking for. It's called orientation lock and it's under the scripting action. So you're looking for the set scripting action and it comes up by default as toggle, orientation lock, which seems fine because it'll flip it off if it's on and on if it's off. Right, unless you've already got it on for some reason.

So I always tap on the toggle and I change it to turn and then, once I've done that, then I can say no, because I'm opening these apps. I want to turn it off, and I tap done, and then I would create exactly the same automation for when I close them. The difference is is what I, when I create the automation George's, do again. So I tap on the plus, I scroll down, I select apps, I tap on the is opened and then I tap on is closed. So I'm deselecting is opened and I'm selecting is closed instead. So you can have theoretically the same automation run when you open and close an app and just use the toggle.

But then things get very messy. If you had manually turned off rotation, look, for some reason, and you open an app and then it turns it off but you're expecting it, or turns it on but you're expecting it to be off, and all of those things it gets. It gets messy. As a bonus, I'm going to show folks also if you tap on a automation, at the top you've got automation and it should say something like run immediately or run after confirmation. If you tap on that, you can actually change this to don't run, which will disable it, and so then I'll see instead of when any of seven or power for many apps are opened and set orientation, look, it'll just say disabled. Or I can swipe on that row in the automation list and then delete it to clean up my automation list, and that can be very useful when you have created an automation, for example, to show a friend or some lovely listeners and watchers on iOS today how to do something.

The next morning at 9 or 7am you get a weird alarm going off that says peanuts. That's happened to me. Folks Don't ask me how it said peanuts. I genuinely have no idea where peanuts came from, but that happened a couple of weeks ago. I got an alarm at 9 or 7am on the Wednesday morning that just said there were peanuts. I was so confused but I tracked it back to it. I tracked it back to an automation I created for iOS.

0:53:11 - Mikah Sargent
Today I think I might have been testing something out before a show and like just run it or something I don't know Somewhere there's just a dry pan that once had boiled peanuts in it, but it's now just completely dry, with just peanuts sitting at the bottom of it.

0:53:29 - Rosemary Orchard
I don't know, maybe I was trying to set a time for 907 minutes, but that seems like a really long time to cook something for.

0:53:34 - Mikah Sargent
Oh man, that's fantastic yeah.

0:53:37 - Rosemary Orchard
But yes, that's how you can create a simple little automation like that. You can do similar things for doing things like adjusting your device volume and so on. That can be really useful if, say, for example, when you open the Instagram app, you always want the volume to be at a low level so it's not going to blast out silly songs that people have overlaid over stories. You can set volume and you're looking to set media volume rather than your ringtone volume for things like that. But yeah, have a little play with the open app and close app action and side of the shortcuts automations, because you can create some very useful little things there which can make a huge difference to your life.

0:54:17 - Mikah Sargent
Beautiful. All right, let's head over to feedback and questions. Nick, who I'm convinced might actually be Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, writes hey guys, I love the show. I noticed that you didn't mention OneNote by Microsoft. I've been using OneNote since I was a freshman to take and keep track of notes, not only for school, but for life. I have an entire notebook dedicated to recipes that I share with my family and friends. I have used it to plan vacations, collaborating on the notes in real time as we planned where we wanted to go. I also use it as a personal journal. Basically, I use OneNote to plan and keep track of most things in my life, and it is free. I can't recommend OneNote enough. It's free. It syncs across all my devices Windows, Mac and iOS. It lets me collaborate remotely and it's super easy to use. More people should know about this app. Sincerely, Nick, aka Satya Nadella.

No it is a listener, satya Nadella, there. That was actually not on purpose.

0:55:20 - Rosemary Orchard
Thanks for writing in, Nick. We do appreciate you and actually know your name, yes.

0:55:25 - Mikah Sargent
So, nick, thank you for writing in about that. I will say that the times that I've used OneNote, I have been very impressed with its capabilities, especially if you are bouncing between two operating systems regularly. If you do use Mac and Windows and have to jump between the two, onenote is a great way to make sure that everything is appearing in both places. You may remember that Microsoft Office first launched on the Mac before it came to Windows PCs, and I think there's something to be said for the quality of the Office Teams apps on macOS as they are now on Windows as well. So, yeah, that all in one app that you know is going to work across the different platforms, I think is not a bad choice, and, especially as Microsoft continues to add new AI stuff as well, I think you'll probably see some great new summarizing features that kind of thing that come to OneNote. So thank you, nick, for that reminder and yeah, folks, you may consider OneNote as one option for taking notes. Alrighty With that.

I think it's time for the next set of music, because let's go to the app caps. This, of course, is the part of the show where we place caps atop our heads to honor our app and or gadget picks of the week. These are the apps and or gadgets we are using now or have used for some time, or we just think are great, and we want to tell you about them, to share it with all of you. And, in capping off the show, we decide to honor this moment by putting things again on around over near our heads. Without further ado, rosemary, tell us about the delightful cap atop your head, the sister cap, and then tell us about your app or gadget pick of the week.

0:57:32 - Rosemary Orchard
So the cap atop my head, it's more of a hat. Well, I say it's more of a hat, it's a lot of foam. I'm hoping this is fire retardant, just in case. But so around the actual upper part of my head I've got a red and white sort of Czech or gingham style. And then above that, yeah, I've got a giant cheeseburger on my head. There's so there's some sesame seeds on the top of the bun. Those are kind of like a plastic-y print on there. Then inside we've got some white I think that's onion. Then we've got some red, which is tomato, a dark green I'm guessing that's pickle or something. A bright green lettuce, a very vivid shade of yellow.

That must be American cheese, definitely American cheese, and then a burger that looks like it's definitely been on the grid a bit. I think something left it's on on the 4th of July. I mean, it actually is like Brown in real life, but it's showing up black on camera here. But anyway, that's enough about my hat. I should talk about my AppCap, because my AppCap has a general recommendation for a company, but I have a small specific recommendation.

So eight bits dough, so eight, the number eight bits BIT dough, as in do all together make controllers and their controllers are supported by Apple, and so they have a number of different controllers. And if you need like a controller for, say, like an Apple TV or something, and you don't wanna like fork out for an Xbox controller or a PlayStation controller or a Nintendo Switch pro controller, cause you don't have any of those, but you'd like to try using an actual MFI controller with an Apple arcade game on your iPhone or your iPad or an Apple TV, then you should probably try eight bit dough. And they even do teeny, teeny, tiny ones Like this one it literally fits in the palm of my hand.

So this is the eight bit dough zero two, in a lovely shade of pink. It's even got a little wristlet here, so I don't drop it, like it's not thick enough to drop. But yeah, it fits into my hand. And then I've paired this to my iPhone, so I just need to press the start button to turn it on, and then this is an MFI controller.

So, I can pop into the settings on my iPhone, which I shall just do here and then I can go into general and then I can scroll down to game controller and I can see this is identifying itself as a DualShock 4. And if I tap on identify then it's a sort of flash the button there for me. But if I tap on this then I can change the default controls or I can specify them per game. So I happen to have Sonic on here. Of course, I've picked Sonic and I can change this so that instead of the B button, which is I can't remember what that is in PlayStation terms is that the square? Either way, I'm gonna leave it as it is, because I was doing okay in Sonic earlier and I'm gonna try and do okay again, and so I'm just going to switch my device around. Whoops, let's see. There we go. I have orientation lock on and that is causing a problem. There we go. I should add this one to my list. Oh, for some reason it's not showing up nicely on the screen. Okay, well, you'll get the idea If I just spend like two seconds playing this so I can select a character to play as.

So I'll select Sonic, obviously, and then I can just use the actual controls on this little eight bit dose, because trying to play something like this, you know, like traditional arcade games, it's a little bit tricky with, like a phone screen. So let's see, there we go. There's Sonic. I found Sonic perfect, cool. So now I have to run and I have to try and jump and I got some of the rings. Well done me, I didn't die. I'm gonna go ahead and do the same thing All the rings. Well done me, I didn't die.

1:01:31 - Mikah Sargent
And yeah, it's very difficult to do. You're playing this on hard mode because you can't even tell if there are enemies.

1:01:35 - Rosemary Orchard
Yeah, like I've literally got like a third of the screen around here, so this is problematic, but I'm doing okay so far. I used to be really good at jazz jack. I got back in the day, so you know that might. Oh, there we go, and now I'm losing all the rings everywhere. But yeah, this is honestly, it's just fun and I love the fact that this little controller can fit in your pocket.

And so they do a controller in a number of sizes. You don't have to get something as tiny and as unorganic as this, but I wanted this because it works with the iPhone, it works with the iPad, it works with the Apple TV. It'll even pair with like a stream deck and it'll pair with the analog pocket that I just kind of ordered last week by accident. So you know, I figure it'll work with all the things and it's just fun. It comes in a couple of different colors. It comes in this pink color, it comes in a sort of teal color and it comes in a yellow color as well.

And then they've got a bunch of other controllers and if you have like retro consoles around or something like a Raspberry Pi running simulators and so on, then you may want some of the more traditional Sega-style console controllers and so on, and you can get these from 8-bit Do and they will work. They're Bluetooth or 2.4 gigahertz with a dongle and they connect to all the devices. So definitely check them out. This controller here. Full retail price is about $17.99. Black Friday is coming up, folks, and Cyber Monday, so check out the deals, because I've definitely seen these even cheaper and they're already super cheap and it just recharges via my Korea's B. It's even got like the left and right buttons on there as well as like the A, b, x, y's and everything. It's great.

1:03:21 - Mikah Sargent
I honestly love it and I kind of like that it's using that dual shock profile because that means that it's going to be kind of more supported by the general operating system. Over on my side I am wearing very comfortable Ushanka. It's a winter hat. It has a Zephleps that can go up or down. It's called Ushanka and my app cap this week is from Moft, which I think you're familiar with the company Rosemary, and maybe you've shown off some different gizmos from them before. So they created a whole new set of MagSafe products.

This case doesn't fit my phone because it's for a non-Max iPhone 15 Pro. But what I like about this case from Moft is that it has the cutouts are nice and big so that you don't have to worry about, you know, the cable fitting. But more importantly, it has the machined buttons on the side, which is something that I like about the more premium cases. It's got on this side the action button and the volume buttons, but these are those machined. I would assume these are aluminum. That's what they kind of look and feel like. So that's the case, and it has the MagSafe connection right here as well. But they also have some different MagSafe little attachments that I don't again I'm looking at them that you can put onto the back of it.

1:04:57 - Rosemary Orchard
Oh, is that the tripod?

1:04:58 - Mikah Sargent

1:04:59 - Rosemary Orchard
I love that tripod. It's so good. I used to work the other day and everyone was absolutely amazed that I had a tripod with me.

1:05:04 - Mikah Sargent
Yeah. So this comes out from the end and inside you can see this little leather, that kind of will magnet. Here I'll kind of show you. So it comes out and then it magnets there and then you can set it at this level. But then you can also keep pulling and it even adjusts more because there's that second set. So that's kind of the try that they're talking about here, the three different spots. What's great about Moffat is that they are sized perfectly so that they can be vertical but also horizontal, so you can set it at all kinds of different angles.

And then, if you don't want just kind of the, this on the back, which again gives you the ability to kind of hold up your phone but I think also gives just a little bit more grip to it. They also have the Moffat. This is the wallet case and so again, thwacks to the back. When you pull out there's kind of an hourglass shape. When you pull this out it once again gives you a place to kind of set down your phone. But here is a space for cards so you can put cards into it as well. So it acts again as a wallet case that easily comes off but gives you the ability to place your phone how you want, or even if you I guess if you were kind of taking photos or something, this would make it just a little bit more grippy as well. And then the last thing that is included in this box is the Moffat.

Let's see what they call it, because I want to call it by its name. I think they call it. It might just be called the lanyard, but it is. I have one of those. Oh nice, yeah, so it is a device that lets you basically hold your iPhone out to your side. It's kind of like a sling. Yeah, they call it the phone lanyard, that's what it's called. It's a device that you can use to place your phone on your phone as well. So you can use this device. You have this little tab that's at the bottom and it's got 3M on the back, 3m sticky on the back, so you can stick it on the case that you already have.

Or if you use their case, then what you do is it goes into the phone and is kind of perfectly positioned at the bottom of it, and then this when you put the phone on, then it even provides, basically because it's perfectly positioned, such that it is kind of held against the phone quite well, and then it's got these kind of little loops at the bottom that come out of the case, just right, and then from there it's very easy to undo the clasps, to be able to take the case off of its little holder, so you can kind of undo it as you need to. Then you can clasp it back on and then sling it to your side. You put it over your head. I don't know why I couldn't think of that word. But also I think, rosemary, like yours, it has the case that you showed, or not the case, but the lanyard that you showed last week very adjustable, and so it's got all these kind of little features to make it fit a little bit closer if you'd like, and so you can have the full kind of lanyard look or have it a little bit closer to your body. It's very premium design, very well made, and gives you just another way, I think, to hold the case or hold your phone in a way that you might find more secure. They show on the page here somebody biking and you can see that the phone is easily on their side. They don't have to worry about it.

So I think it's worth checking out the different Mofft products that are available. Their MagSafe line also includes it's not with these, but it includes the MagSafe battery pack, so Mofft is actually making a battery pack itself. The accessories start at $29.99, and it's all part of their MagSafe origami collection. They call it the Origami EDC Everyday Carry so you can check out the. It's called the Snap Invisible Phone Tripod Stand is this thing that I showed you? And then the other thing was the Snap-On Phone Stand and Wallet, and then the case, of course, and the phone lanyard. So the Snap Phone case. So pretty neat little products that are well worth checking out Again, I think, the way that they're designed and the oh yeah. Yeah, you've got the case for the iPad.

1:10:06 - Rosemary Orchard
So this is a stand. This is actually on a Kobo. It's not even on an iPad, but it's an iPad-compatible stand and it's just a magnetic flat piece which, if I put it on the Kobo correctly, wouldn't actually be bigger than the Kobo, but then I can just fold it down to stand up. This is a Kobo ellipsa, to be clear, so it's a 10-inch chunky beast of a Kobo, but yeah, it would work on an iPad or whatever. And a bunch of their cases are compatible with this stand, which is really nice, and they're all lovely vegan leathers.

1:10:36 - Mikah Sargent
Yes, oh yeah, that's right, vegan leather. And then, by the way, this is how it looks when it's in tripod mode, so down there at the bottom, and it works in landscape too, for you to use your phone in standby mode on your desk. Oh, that's right, because we can turn it while keeping it in MagSafe. So there it goes.

1:10:52 - Rosemary Orchard
Yeah, it's great for doing landscape selfie type thing with the countdown timer or similarly. If you have plug-in power with you you don't have MagSafe power then you can still stand it up on that stand to get the nice effect of standby mode whilst your phone's plugged in, because obviously your phone needs to be plugged in to use standby mode on the always-on-screen models Delightful so that, folks, is my app cap for the week, Moffed Products.

1:11:21 - Mikah Sargent
And that brings you to the end of this episode of iOS Today. Thank you so much for tuning in. If you have questions, comments, concerns feedback, all that kind of stuff, iOS Today at twittv is the email you want to use. Please tune in live every Tuesday as we record this show at 12 pm Eastern, 9 am Pacific, 1600 UTC, by going to twittvlive. We do think the best way to get the show that was by going to twittvios. When you go to twittvios then you can subscribe to the show or follow the show, depending on the platform that you're using, and get it as soon as it's available. So after our wonderful Kevin puts it together and makes it look and sound all great, then it will download to your podcast app of choice. Again, that's at twittvios, available in both audio and video formats.

If you would like to help support this show and the many shows we make here at twit, consider joining Club Twit. When you do, you get a lot of great stuff. So it's not just you supporting us. We have so much great stuff for you. Prices start at $7 a month, $84 a year twittvslashclubtwit. When you join the club, you get every single twit show with no ads. It's just the content. You get access to the twit plus bonus feed that has extra stuff you won't find anywhere else behind the scenes before the show, after the show special Club Twit events, Wonderful stuff there, including our recent escape room in a box that we did, which was a lot of fun and we've gotten some great feedback on that. And you can also join us in the Club Twit Discord. It's a fun place to go to chat with your fellow Club Twit members and also those of us here at twit, but also to watch the shows. The kind of the behind the scenes stuff that's going on is now only available via Discord, so we'd love to have you join us for that as well. I say starting at $7 a month, not because it's a tiered subscription, but because some folks said, hey, can we give you some more money than just $7 a month? So we've made that a possibility, but if you pay $7, if you pay more, you're going to get all of that stuff, no matter what.

You can also get some great Club Twit exclusive shows. It's built into that subscription. You gain access to the exclusive untitled Linux show, Hands on Windows, which is a short format show from Paul Thorott that covers Windows Tips and Tricks. Hands on Mac, which is a short format show from Micah Sargent that covers Apple Tips and Tricks. Home Theater Geeks, which is a show from Scott Wilkinson that has everything to do with Home Theater interviews, questions answered, troubleshooting. I mean it's a fantastic show. It's packed with lots of great content and AI Inside, a show from Jason Howell that has lots of artificial intelligence content, including how to fade out a dog's bark in your audio. I don't know if that's actually one, but I'm going to have to talk to him about that. For sure, All of that's available at twittv slash club. Twit Rose Marie Orcher, do folks want to follow you online and check out all the great work you're doing? Where should they go to do that?

1:14:13 - Rosemary Orchard
In. The best place to go is rosemariorchercom, which has links to apps, boca Roads podcast someone, et cetera, and, of course, all the social media sites, and you can find me hanging out in the club twit discord in the live chat during the show, and I do try and keep an eye on the iOS today forum channel in there as well, which is another great place to post if you've got a question that you would like an answer to.

1:14:35 - Mikah Sargent
Wonderful. You can find me at Micah Sargent on many of social media network, or you can head to chiwawacoffeeci hua huacoffee, where I've got links to the places I'm most active online. Thank you so much for tuning in to this episode. Thank you for your support and we will catch you again next week for another episode of iOS Today. Bye-bye. 

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