iOS Today 684 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.

00:00 - Mikah Sargent (Host)
You are probably wondering, after listening to or watching two short episodes where we said there would be no more episodes of iOS today in this feed, why there's now an episode of iOS today in this feed. That is because we wanted to let you know that we are indeed moving to the club. You get this last, this final delicious taste of iOS today, but future episodes you're going to have to go to clubtwittvcom. Join for $7 a month, $84 a year or, if you want to, you can just subscribe to this show specifically for $2.99 a month. All of that at twittv slash club twit. Enjoy this final taste of iOS today before we head exclusively to the club. Bye.

This is iOS today, episode 684, recorded for Thursday, January 4th 2024. Our favorite apps of 2023. Hello and welcome to iOS today. I feel like I've just got so much room I can spread out because now we're here in the club. There are Velvet Carpets, there are Disco Lights, there are members only jackets and everything in between. Yes, this is our triumphant continuation of iOS today. All thanks to our awesome club twit members. Thank you so much for subscribing. I am one of the hosts of iOS today. My name is Micah Sargent.

01:49 - Rosemary Orchard (Host)
I am Bruce Rioschid and thrilled to find out that those Velvet Carpets are purple. Nobody told me.

01:55 - scott (Announcement)
I didn't realize I was missing out on purple Surprise.

01:58 - Rosemary Orchard (Host)
I've been lurking, but I just didn't realize they were purple. I was wearing the black and white glasses. It was a bad idea. So, yay, purple everywhere.

02:05 - Mikah Sargent (Host)
Woo, we love it. We love it. Yeah, and you know what? This is a time where we have the opportunity to talk about many of the apps that we used over the past year. Rosemary and I, of course, have gone through dozens upon dozens of apps that we have talked about, that we've recommended to all of you, and this gets to be our opportunity. The first episode of the year tends to be the opportunity where we get to kind of look back and say, look, these are the apps that we thought were great, that we enjoyed ourselves, that we think you'll like if you haven't heard of them, and everything in between, and kind of get a chance to talk about what we've used and what we like and why we like it. So I think, without further ado, we should get right into it as we kick off this very special first episode of iOS today in the club.

The first app that I want to talk about is an app that probably occupies almost as much time as my audiobook app. It is NYT Games. Nyt Games is the New York Times Word Games app. It also has Sudoku and it is a way to play a bunch of different word games, of course, including the New York Times crossword and many people's favorite wordle, as well as my favorite, which is connections. There are a number of different games that you can play, including Spelling Bee, letterbox, tiles and, as I mentioned, sudoku. But wordle many of you will be familiar with. In fact, here in the club we have a number of folks who regularly share their wordle scores and kind of talk about the wordle in the ClubTWIT Discord.

So that has been fun, as well as a game that I've mentioned quite often, which is the Connections app, or the Connections game rather, which is a bunch of words what is it? 16 words and they are displayed for you in tiles and you have to group them into categories of four just based on the words themselves. I've already solved the puzzle for today, so I don't want to show that in case someone hasn't and then it gets spoiled for them, so I won't tap on it, but it is. It's a lot of fun and it's what's great about it for me is that it's a delightful way to kind of get your mind to think differently, because sometimes the way that the words are grouped are based on how they look, Sometimes it's based on their meaning, Sometimes it's based on how they're pronounced, sometimes it can be based on the way that you add things to the word to determine how it might change. Just the other day I thought that one way that it might be grouped is by adding L-Y to the end of each of the words. I was trying to make that work. Anyway, it's a lot of fun and it really kind of challenges you to think outside of the box, as it were. But it's also the place where I do the daily crossword, and so every day the crossword comes in I think it's about 7pm here, pacific Time and I happily will open it up and do the crossword as quick as I can Sundays. You know, sometimes those crosswords take a little bit of time, but I've really been quite good about all of December. You'll see that I've completed all of the crosswords in December.

I just really like this app. It is a place for me to challenge my brain every day, but also to I don't know pass the time and have fun. And it's also been an opportunity to chat with some of my colleagues at work about the games that we all play together here in the New York Times Games app. It is available to download for free and it has some of the games are available to play for free. The most recent crossword will be available to you. You won't have access to the archive unless you're a subscriber, and it gives you the ability to subscribe within the app to the kind of digital subscription to be able to play and kind of unlock everything, or you can just play, you know, whatever today's is. So, yeah, even if you're not a New York Times subscriber, you can get this app and be able to use it. So that is my first pick NYT Games in the App Store. Rosemary, what's your first pick?

06:47 - Rosemary Orchard (Host)
Well, my first pick, micah, is all about reading, but I'm not talking about reading books. I'm talking about those things that you want to come back to and read later. But sometimes, sometimes we forget about them, and I have tried many patients and methods over the years. I've tried leaving open tabs in my browser. Never works, I don't go back to them. I've tried using the reading list built into Safari on iOS and iPadOS and MacOS and it's okay.

But I stumbled across Good Links a few years ago and this is one of my favorite ways to save things to read later. So the whole idea with Good Links is you're building a pile of Good Links for you to come back to. But it is a really lovely native iOS app so they've written it purely for iOS. There's a MacOS version as well and you can just share using the share sheet to get any you know articles into this and it will save them and just download them offline. But you can customize a lot of the details in this so you can choose your theme to have a different accent color. Of course, I've chosen purple. If you're more of a turquoisey fan you know sort of iOS today colors you can go with that. If you're a green fan, like Micah, you can go for green and it will change your app icon to match as well. And as well as this, you can also specify if you want a light theme or a dark theme all the time, or if you want it to match the system theme, which is what I'm doing. So when my iOS is in dark mode, good Links is in dark mode or I can adjust manually or based on system brightness. I can choose sepia and night as my various themes. So night is sort of dark grays and dark is more black, but then there's some more brightness to it. I'm just going to switch back to matching the system and go back to light and dark as my very, very simple but effective defaults. Now you can also choose how Good Links will mark articles as red, whereas if it's on open or manually, what its default browser should be.

So if you prefer to open things in Firefox and so on, you can do that. If it's going to open links, how is it going to open those links from an article? If you're browsing through something you save for later and you tap on a link in it, how do you want it to handle that? And in my case, I've set it to reader mode versus my default browser you can specify how your link list looks, so that overview of your articles that you've got, yeah, you can customize how that looks. You can also create custom actions.

This is so nerdy, I love it and so you can get URLs and all sorts of things and you can build like a URL scheme or something to save it out to OmniFocus or things or shortcut sepia and all sorts of apps. And then you can also and this is one of my favorite things, because it's just so simple just like you can swipe on emails in the mail app, you know left and right, you can swipe in good links as well, but you can customize what those swipes do. Yep, that's right. So you can use a short swipe right or left and a long swipe right or left to do different things. So I've got my set to toggling red, sharing, toggling, start and deleting, but you can change that if you like. And you can also choose whether or not you want badges on your app icon. And if you do want badges on your app icon, do you want a badge for every single article in good links or just your unread ones and also on that list for you. If you want a tally of unread things, you can customize your share extension. So I've got my set to quick save, which just means it will just save it automatically without asking me for extra tags, comments and so on and so forth.

And one of my favorite things here is Michael is just talking about New York Times and him having a digital or getting a digital subscription, which would mean that then you could log into the New York Times and read some of those articles online that might be paywalled. But usually if you try and save one of those paywalled articles into something like Good Links, it'll just show you need a subscription to read this article, but not with Good Links, because with Good Links, you can log into websites that require a paywall, that have a paywall, that require you to log in, and you can log in and then it'll still be able to download and save those, and this is just so useful for those sites that need that. It's also got an import. So if you want to migrate from, say, pocket or Instapaper, pinboard, raindrop, matter, good Links or browser bookmarks anything like that, you can, and honestly, I just really love this app.

It works well with tags and so on. So I can open something here. I can toggle it. So I'm right, I can toggle the start. I can, you know, go through and edit it to add as many tags as I want, mark things as red and so on, and just enjoy using an app that makes it really simple to save something in a 2B red pile. But you know what? I'm actually reading things I know with 782 unread articles, or 732 unread articles that are untagged even. It doesn't actually look like I'm getting through them, but I'm sure you've got tens of thousands of articles saved in here and I've worked my way through all of them, while they were saved in Good Links. That's just one of the reasons why I love it. So if you're looking for a simple place to shove your 2B red pile that's more powerful than just Safari's reading list, check out Good Links. It's $4.99 in the App Store.

12:03 - Mikah Sargent (Host)
Nice, all right. My next app that I want to mention is one that has gotten a lot of attention this year. It's ChatGPT, and ChatGPT is, of course, a service that's available online from OpenAI, and it is the Chatbot made by OpenAI that has access to GPT4. And they, of course, released an app in the App Store that lets you communicate with ChatGPT and prompt it for different responses, and over the course of the year this past year it saw many improvements and many additions, including the ability to have a conversation with ChatGPT. That was kind of an interesting way of using the service. It's not something that I've stuck with in the long term, being able to communicate with it that way, but what I have done is continued to use the app and have it for all sorts of things. So we've shown in the past Plant Identification apps with ChatGPT subscription and access to GPT4. You can end up doing a lot of that kind of stuff right from within the app. So here I have sent a photo of an Angel Wing begonia that is kind of newly sprouting, and I first just uploaded the photo and sent it without any context, and it says you've uploaded a photo of a plant. What would you like to know or do with this image. Can you identify the plant? And this already is quite interesting how much of a description it gave based on the photo it says. The image shows a plant with a tall stem and a single leaf sprouting at the top and another smaller leaf closer to the base. The larger leaf has a pattern that could suggest it's a begonia, specifically the type known as Angel Wing begonia, due to the shape and the spots on the leaves. However, plant Identification can be complex and I can't confirm this with absolute certainty. If you're looking for a precise identification, a local nursery or botanist could provide a more reliable answer, especially if the plant is common in your area. I just so happened to receive this plant from a botanist who did tell me it was an Angel Wing begonia, and so pretty cool that it was able to identify the Angel Wing begonia. From here. I could go on and say I could ask about care for an Angel Wing begonia, what type of soil should be used, basically, any information that I'd want to.

What's great about the app is that it supports all sorts of functionality. So here down at the bottom you can see or, if you're listening to this, and I'll describe that next to where you type in the message. You have three icons to the left. You have one for a camera, you have one for photos and you have one that's a file folder. The camera lets you take a photograph so that you could then take a photo of something and ask for context or whatever Photos. Lets you choose a photo from your photo library to add, and then the files button lets you upload a file. So if I had a PDF, for example, and I wanted to get a quick summary of everything that was in the PDF, I could share the PDF with ChatGPT. It would process and parse the PDF and then I could ask it questions about the PDF. On the right side you will see a pair of headphones. That is the communication button that lets you have a conversation out loud with ChatGPT. I'm not going to show that because we've shown it before on different shows, but also because it can take time, and so the delay, the lag, makes it not for a very good, I think, demonstration experience.

But what's great about this is that it bakes in all sorts of functionality that ChatGPT has. So before you'd kind of have to choose which route you wanted to go down If you were working with code, you would talk to one version of ChatGPT. If you were working with images, you would go to Dolly. If you were working with text, you would talk in ChatGPT itself. You'd have to add plugins at times. A lot of that has gone away, so I can, for example, just do this. I will say, create a 16 by 9 photograph, let's do illustration, actually Illustration of a cute gray Chihuahua listening to a podcast about Apple's iOS. Nope, that's Apple's iOS. We'll just go there.

Now, when I send this to ChatGPT, what's cool about it is ChatGPT takes my prompt and it then makes sense of the prompt that I have given it and turns it into a prompt that will get a better result from Dolly. So this is different from going to Dolly on its own, typing this in and getting a response. I have gotten far better responses and creations like this, which, of course, with text. It's not good at text. I think the only one that's good at text right now is Mid Journey, and that's only in the latest version. But look at this adorable Chihuahua listening to a podcast. It's so cute.

If I had typed that in online on Dolly, it would not look anything like this. It would look like a blob, because the prompts that it kind of gets from what I'm actually asking are so much better. And what's cool too is that I can say I like this, but I want it to look like it came from a comic book. No, no, no, let's do from a kid's picture book and let's see how it changes it. So it's going to actually take the seed of the original image and make adjustments to the image that I already had. So you'll probably notice that there are going to be some themes that are pretty similar with this next version of the photo. So we'll give it a second to generate here and then we will see what it comes up with.

And again, sometimes this can take a while, depending on when you're asking the system, because there are loads of other people also using the system at the same time, and so, oh, look at that, here's a cute little Chihuahua listening to Popped Casto, popped Casto, 16168. But don't worry, because they've got an LSE connection, so we're good. But again, in a very adorable photo, although maybe we'd talk to the Chihuahua about its listening technique, you kind of want to have those over your ears to listen. In any case, I think very cute, a lot of fun and I've been able to do not just the little toy stuff with it but also help me with all sorts of things. When I don't want to bug Rosemary about some automation or something, I might occasionally ask ChatGPT for help, and then I usually end up asking Rosemary and the solution is better.

But yes, that's ChatGPT available to download for free. But if you want to have access to all of the features, you do need to have an open AI account and subscription to be able to use that. It also provides in-app purchases. If you'd like to subscribe to the service from within the app, all right, let's keep moving along, because we've got a lot more to cover here. What's next on your list, rosemary?

20:10 - Rosemary Orchard (Host)
Well, next on my list is a simple one. I'm not going to spend too long talking about it, because we have mentioned it on the show before. This is Ivory for Macedon by Tapbots. So a lot of folks will probably use Tweetbot or something similar in the past to access Twitter. Twitter is no more, it's now known as X, but that means that when Twitter killed their API, a whole bunch of apps needed to find a new home and Macedon was becoming more and more popular. So a lot of those apps decided that they were going to try and pivot and link a new app for Macedon, and that's exactly what the folks at Tapbots, or creator of Tweetbot, did. They created Ivory, which, yes, it's a play on the whole mammoth thing, but it's very similar to Tweetbot. It allows you to interact with Macedon in a very familiar way. So you can tap on the trumpet to post, you can choose your post type, whether it should be public, a list of followers only mentioned people, only, what language it's going to be in and all of the things that you might expect and honestly, I like this because it does just work. I can favorite things in it. So this Picard management tip if anyone on your ship sees. Perfect. It means you aren't paying enough attention. Slightly sinister, but probably accurate and honestly, it's just a really nice way of interacting with some parts of the internet.

It's amazing how many apps have got accounts on here. So if I want to interact with Carat Weather, I can follow the Carat Weather app, which, of course, I'm already doing. It's Carat at Macedon Social. For anyone wondering, there's whole servers which are dedicated to indie apps and their developers, who have accounts on the server for those apps. So I'm really pleased to be able to be a part of the Macedon community and to enjoy this. I can also, of course, switch to the iOS Today account, which is iOS Today at Twitter Social, where we do track all of your feedback and so on that you send us, which I love that. We have that there and it's easy to switch between accounts. But even if you don't need to switch between accounts, if you would like to take part in the Macedon social network experience, then Ivory is a very enjoyable way to do it.

22:24 - Mikah Sargent (Host)
Nice. All right. The next one I'll mention is I don't know why they offer this for free. It's kind of ridiculous to me that it's available just for free to use Camo Studio from the folks at Camo. So I've been using Camo for a really long time on my Mac. It is the way that I, when I'm doing my shows from home, I use an iPhone as my web camera and it lets me use the full quality of the iPhone as my web camera running into my Mac. They made this year an app for iPad, so this is an iPad mini and it is a full featured streaming system.

On the iPad. You can see in the top right, I can change the frame rates, for example. So right now this is 1080p at 60 frames. You can go up to 4K at 30 frames, and right now I am talking into the iPad. Well, I'm speaking towards the iPad. This is the front facing camera Woooo, right there, and then behind is the camera that faces to the back. I can take that view and move it around on screen wherever I want to, and I'm doing all of this from the iPad. Like I cannot understate, this is an iPad mini. I'm using that. All of this is happening on. I can change if I want it to be an external video source. So, because this has USB-C, I could plug in a webcam and use that as the external video source. I could, for example, if I was using an M1 iPad or higher, which the 12.9 inch iPad that I have is able to do that then it will allow me to stream from other apps so I could have my front facing camera or the back facing camera no, it would be the front facing camera on me while I talk about an app similar to what we do here on the show.

You can do little enhancements like removing the background. This is all taking place on the iPad. It's not great, obviously, and not something that I would necessarily recommend, unless you had a really solid background. I could add some portrait mode. I could make the background very blurred or replace the background with something else. Add some filters if I'd like to make adjustments to, like boosting the green. In this case I'll not have any of those. I can spotlight the face so it really draws attention to your face.

You can also set on auto-framing. So with auto-framing, what it does is it makes adjustments to how you're showing up in the frame. Auto with Zoom will actually zoom in a little bit more or out, depending on how whoa now it's zooming in on Rosemary there, so I'll have it come back to me. You can rotate the. I mean, this thing is so powerful.

And on top of this you'll notice I've got these stream panels options. That is for anyone who's ever done any kind of streaming. You can basically plug in web addresses and those web addresses will have little icons and things that can show up on the screen. You can change your different scenes so you could have one where you've got like text on the side of the screen. I mean, there's so much that you can do. You can just record right here into the app. If you want to Broadcast to YouTube, twitch, trovo or to a custom location, record it to your photo library. Just incredible, and again available completely for free in the app store. If you don't have this, you should get it. It's so cool that it's available for anyone to download. So that's Camo Studio. All right, rosemary, tell us about the next one. I love this app. I've used it dozens of times and it has always been a nice time saver. Wank Ah.

26:11 - Rosemary Orchard (Host)
Ah well, you know that is the great thing about time. Time zones are a construct, a curious construct, which pretty much every programmer I know, including myself, doesn't enjoy working with for very good, many, many, many reasons. And I'm not going to get into them because, let's face it, we don't have three hours to see here. Let's sit here listening to me rant about time zones. They're difficult, they're annoying. Sometimes it's offset by half an hour or even just 15 minutes. Ah, frustrating. So if you wanna tell somebody, yes, it's at 9 am, who's 9 am, is that? If I say to Mike, sure, talk to you at 9 am. Well, is that 9 am my time or 9 am Mike's time? Cause 9 am Mike's time is 5 pm my time, except during those awkward couple of weeks a year where the US or the UK have already changed time zone to summer time or winter time and then everything's off by a different amount. It's so confusing, I hate it, and that's why Else when is one of my favorite apps. So Else when has essentially two modes. It has a copy, a time button for Discord where you can then paste something into Discord and it'll show people at the right time in Discord, localized to their time zone and there's also this handy dandy time list, which is probably what most of us will end up using most frequently, even though you know if you're in the CulpTwit Discord, then you should be using the time codes if you're talking 70 about a time, just to make sure that when you say 10 am, then actually that translates to whatever 10 am is their time. But yeah, what you can do is you can choose your time zones and you can add groups and so on. So if I was saying 5.31 pm GMT, then that would translate to 12.31 Eastern, 11.31 Central and 9.31 Pacific, and I can just copy this and I can just go somewhere else and paste it. It's simple. I can even use the share sheet to share this, so I could share this, for example, straight over to Ivory and post that on Macedon. Yeah, if you're doing like a live stream or something, that could be really handy, but yeah, I just really like this.

I love the fact that you can save groups. So if you've got a couple of different time zone groups you need to use on a regular basis, like I don't know, maybe one for your Dungeons and Dragons buddies, one for your work buddies or something like that Then you can save those so that you have the relevant time zones for each group of folks popping up. And yeah, I just really love this app. It's very simple, it's very easy to use and I can change the time as well. So, say, if I wanted to set the time to 6 pm, obviously my phone's using 12 for our time, so it's 1800. I can do that and it's just updated everything up here. That's it. Super simple, super effective. And now if I went and I copy one of these and I paste it into Discord, then, bam, that will actually be the right time zone for everybody who sees that and it's just very cool and simple. But when you need a list of times across time zones, yeah, it's a time saver, that's for sure.

29:14 - Mikah Sargent (Host)
Very nice. That's also when again available for free in the App Store. The next one I'll mention is one that not I mentioned that too long ago, but it ended up. I heard from a lot of people who really dug this app, so I wanted to bring it back again as a favorite app of 2023. It's an app called NUGEE N-E-W-J-I, and NUGEE is a way for you to make emoji on your iPhone. The way that this works is it gives you so Apple in iOS 17 made it easier for you to use stickers across the entire platform. You can end up peeling stickers and sticking them into different apps, especially messaging apps, or sending them as little images in different apps, and so with that, we saw a resurgence of, or a regrowth of, some apps that have existed for a while. But sticker apps and this is another generative AI app that lets you make little emoji. It's basically just purpose-built to let you create sort of emoji-themed images, so I could say make the king of all.

I bet you can guess what I'm gonna say next Chihuahuas and emoji, and I will choose make it, and whenever you download the app, get a certain number of credits. I believe it starts at 30. I'm down to 21. After that, you'll need to purchase new credits to be able to continue to make emoji, which makes sense. Again, this is using generative AI, so that's paying for access to the API, essentially for the developer, and also, just in general, paying the developer for creating the app. So we'll wait for that to be created and see how that turns out and if it's any good, and once that's done, then we'll move on from this.

So again, this is NUGi, available for free in the app store with a number of credits I believe 30 to start, maybe 25 to 30. And then, after that, you can buy credits, and here is an adorable little Chihuahua wearing a crown Indeed, it is the king of all Chihuahuas and then I can share that image elsewhere. I can add it as kind of a sticker and, if I wanted to, I could ask it to make others. I recently made a shark playing a guitar, it would appear, and also a Chihuahua holding an iPhone. So I seem to have a little bit of a theme going on. That's NUGi on the app store. What's next? Rosemary?

32:02 - Rosemary Orchard (Host)
Well, my next pick is related to the fact that after Twitter disappeared, there seemed to be lots of different social networks popping up and it was really difficult to keep track of who went where and make sure that when you shared something it went to all of them. And one of my solutions to this is microblog. Now, microblog is $5 a month to use, but the app is free to download and you do get a 14-day free trial when you use it. But the beauty of microblog is, when you post to microblog, you can actually choose where you want to cross post your post to. So I am posting to Macedon and Blue Sky and Pixel Fed whenever I post here. Now you used to be able to cross post to Twitter. Obviously, Twitter got rid of that. That was a microblog, that was Twitter, and you can't cross post to threads because threads doesn't have that support yet. Maybe it will not too distant future. We can but hope.

But what I really like about this is I can post here and I own my content as well. So if I decide later that I want to post under a different name or something, well, it's a domain name, so I can change that. I can buy a new domain and Twitter has several sponsors who will help you buy a domain name, and it's very simple to move things. So I can post images and so on as well, including very screenshots that I've taken, and I can interact with a bunch of people on here, too, using open standards which are just available to everybody. This is also how it can cross post to Blue Sky, because Blue Sky has an open API and Macedon Macedon has an open API as well that microblog can use. So when I post here, I know that it's posted on my site, but it's also posted on Macedon. It gets posted on Blue Sky too, and if it's got an image in, it gets posted on PixelFed, which is kind of like Instagram, but based on Macedon standards and activity pop rather than it being Instagram and private and closed. So, yeah, this is just another option for folks.

But if you want a very simple, easy to use website where you can post using a mobile app, there's also a Mac app. Integrates with things like MarsEdit on the Mac as well, which is really great blogging application for Mac OS that I highly recommend, and if this channel weren't iOS today, I'd spend 20 minutes talking about MarsEdit. But it is iOS today and suddenly MarsEdit is not yet available on iOS. Maybe it will be this year, who knows? Yeah, microblog is a very nice app, and if the app itself doesn't appeal to you, then well, manton Reese, who is the guy behind microblog, has worked with a whole bunch of other developers and created a lovely open API where other developers can and have created their own apps for microblog. So there's a whole bunch of them out there, including one for Manton himself called Sunlit, which is intended to be more of an image posting application, so something a little bit more Instagram like for microblog. So you still get those square images and filters and things like that, but without having to feed all that data to Facebook.

35:02 - Mikah Sargent (Host)
Nice, all right. The next one on my list another completely free app. It's called Landdrop and the reason that this one comes up for me is because, actually, in the last couple of months this app has come up more than it had in the previous months of 2023. Landdrop is a free and open source app that lets you kind of airdrop to any device it seems practically any device on your local area network. So if you've got a Linux machine, a Windows machine, a Mac OS machine, an Android device or an iOS device, all of those platforms can airdrop between one another using Landdrop. So what I've done is I have opened up Landdrop on my Mac and on my iPad so that I could show you that here in Landdrop I've got an iPad showing and a MacBook Air that's showing and at any time I could choose to share a photo. So I could say I want to send these two photos that are here and choose add, and then, now that I've selected those two files, I tap on the iPad, for example, and it sends those two files over my local area network to my iPhone excuse me to the iPad and it asks hey, there are some photos that are coming your way. Can it be sent. Are you okay with it being sent? And on my iPad it automatically shares those photos to the photo library, so I didn't even need to. They're not safe. I didn't have to save them locally in the app itself and not be able to save them directly to where I wanted them.

But this is really not meant for using personally between a Mac and iPhone and iPad. I've got airdrop for that. What it's for is when I've got a Windows machine and I want to get a photo from my iPhone over to the Windows machine quickly, or if I've got a Linux device booted and I'm working on a text document and I want to share that over to a Windows machine or the Mac, or want to take it to my iPad and be able to open it up in AI writer why is that no IA writer and edit that file there. Super easy to do, super quick, super simple and, again, free and open source, which is awesome. And that's Land Drop on the App Store.

But I recommend going to Land Drop L-A-N-D-R-O-P dot app because that will give you access to the other platforms where it exists so you can download it on Windows, linux, android, macos, ios. Super cool, so easy to do, secure. You know it's all right there locally on your network and encrypted. So very cool stuff land drop. All right, rosemary, tell us about your final pick for your favorite apps of 2023.

38:05 - Rosemary Orchard (Host)
Yeah, so my favorite, one of my final favorite apps for 2023 is Pixelmator, and this is an oldie bit of goodie, because I've had this installed on my phone for so long that I genuinely don't remember an iPhone that I haven't had this app installed on. Maybe not on my 3GS, but you know, it's been there for a very long time, and Pixelmator on iPhone and iPad is kind of like mini Photoshop, but on your iPhone or your iPad, and over the years it's just got better and better and better. It's a one-time purchase of $4.99 and they just keep making it better every single year. So I have an image here that I have screenshot it from the internet and it's just kind of a funny little thing of that's not my job. This is a story about four people named everybody, somebody, anybody and nobody. I'm sure if you google it you'll find it, but I screenshotted it and I didn't do a great job of cropping it. So over on the left, we've got a lot of white space. Over on the right, we've got very little white space, and I really think I could just tidy this up. So I'm going to select and I'm going to do a color selection on here. I'm just going to select that white area around the side and yep, it's just nailed it, selecting all that white area there, and I can delete that. And then what I could do now is I could actually just center this in the middle, or I can actually use the crop feature and it will actually, as I drag it in, it will snap to the edges where the transparency is, which is just really nice, and that works very well for what I'm trying to do here.

So, there we go, I've applied that, and then now what I could do is maybe actually what I should do is I should add another layer onto here. So I'm just going to add a new layer and I'm going to add a white layer and I'll just add that underneath or I'll drag that one on top. There we go, and I am going to paint it and I'm going to do a color fill with that opacity. But what I just want to do a second, is I'm going to tap on that gray and then I should be able to get a color that pretty much matches and just paint this to match. Oops, there we go. If I hide that layer, that will be a little easier to color fill that, and then I can show that layer, and if I hadn't accidentally painted that layer first, that would have gone so much better. Okay, well, let's just leave that alone for now and show this back up, because I'm a little bit of a cold so my brain's not working at 100%.

But then what I can do with this layer here is I can actually add some effects and I can do things like sharpening it to improve the text quality a little bit, just to make it a little bit easier to read. There we go, that's 200% sharpened. I think that's actually quite a bit better. And then when I go to save this out, I can either copy the image, I can save it to photos, or I can modify the original, so I don't have two copies of the same image stuck in my photos library, because you know, the duplicates feature in photos works great. But Pixelmators had this ability forever to modify the original picture and honestly, I just really love that. They are aware sometimes you want to modify the original, sometimes you do want to copy and that's built in.

There's a whole bunch of other features here. I've used this for creating little diagrams before you can retouch things by doing repairing or cloning, lightening and darkening, saturation, desaturation. When you do selects, there's selecting subjects. There's rectangular selection, electrical selection, free selection, magnetic selection, quick selection, color selection. You name it. When I said it's like a mini photoshop for your iPhone, I mean many, and that it's condensed down to fit onto your iPhone screen. It does so much, and the Pixelmator series of apps is truly well worth it, so I highly recommend checking out Pixelmator, that, of course, if you have an iPad, then there's also a Pixelmator photo, and if you've got a Mac, there's Pixelmator and Pixelmator Pro for Mac as well, all of which are fabulous apps that I highly recommend checking out. They are upfront, single purchase apps and you know it's quite difficult to come by those for some of this sort of thing nowadays, especially with this kind of quality, so I highly recommend giving it a go.

42:19 - Mikah Sargent (Host)
Awesome. All right, folks. That brings us to the end of our segment about the favorite apps of 2023. It's time to move along to the news. I wanted to mention, first and foremost, that the Apple Watch ban has been temporarily paused. So you may have heard from us or elsewhere that the Apple Watch had been banned for sale. Well, certain versions of the Apple Watch had been banned for sale in the United States, in particular, that was the Apple Watch series was at 9 and the Apple Watch Ultra. Those versions were banned for sale in the United States because they have the blood oxygen sensor in them, which was.

But there's basically a patent dispute going on. It's what it boils down to, and so this patent dispute resulted in a ruling that said that, hey, in the United States, apple has to stop selling this watch until these watches, until they figure out how to address the you know, patent dispute. Well, a group has said and let me remember which group this is the US Court of Appeals has said all right, we're going to figure out what's going on here and we may put an eventual pause on the ban of the import. That lasts for a while while this case keeps going on, but while we decide if we're going to do a longer pause. We're going to do a shorter pause that allows Apple to sell the Apple Watch in the United States once again. So on Wednesday the day after this was Wednesday, december 27th the Apple Watch started to be available for sale again on applecom and then also later available in Apple stores again. And, as Rosemary's reminded me of most importance, I did talk to Mark Gurman of Bloomberg on Tech News Weekly before we went on vacation holiday break and he pointed out something to me that was really shocking, that we talked about, which is that while that ban was going on, if you had an Apple Watch Series 9 or an Apple Watch Ultra 2 it would have to have been, I think, the Series 9 right, if you had one of these devices that had gone out of warranty and you tried to get it repaired, you would not be able to get it repaired because in almost every case, apple just gives you a new watch whenever they do a repair of the Apple Watch, and because they weren't allowed to sell anymore and weren't allowed to import anymore, then it meant that they could not do those repairs and would have to give you kind of a just hold on once we get this all figured out, then we'll be able to repair your Apple Watch, aka give you a new one, and so, while this pause is going on, apple is once again able to do these repairs and be able to assist users in that way. So know that the Apple Watch is again available for sale and will probably be for some time.

Before a larger decision ends up taking place, I wanted to mention a quick PSA for those of you in the United States who, because you're in the United States, have to do your own taxes, be aware that the Apple Card Savings Plan and this is thanks to 95 Mac, who pointed this out the Apple Card Savings option, which lets you basically take money from your Apple Card purchases, that is, was at one point, just kind of available as like a daily cash reward, and would kind of collect.

You could take that money and you could put it into a savings account, and if you put the money into a savings account, then you earn interest on that money that is in the savings account, and if you earn more than I believe, it's even just ten dollars it's a very small amount of money if you earn yeah, if you earn more than ten dollars in interest in 2023 from this Apple Card Savings account, you will be getting form 1099 INT.

That is the form that tells the IRS how much money you made in interest on your savings and up to this point, that wouldn't have been a factor. Now it is so be aware that you will get that form in the Apple Wallet app, so you'll probably get a notification. If you don't get a notification, make sure you go into the Apple Wallet app, you check the Apple Card Savings account and you get that 1099 so that you can report it on your taxes, which is funny and annoying because Apple also has to send that form to the IRS. So wouldn't it be great if it works like it does in the UK, where you just get a thing in the mail or however it happens these days that says, hey, this is what we see for what you've earned and what the taxes are you good with. That isn't that how it works?

47:43 - Rosemary Orchard (Host)
Roseberry, I think you told me that's how it works well, it really depends on who you are and whether or not you've got a business and other income coming in. But yeah, basically in the UK HMRC does all the work for you. It's a novel experience for those from the US, I'm sure, but yeah, it works really well. We pay slightly higher taxes but you know, we also have national health care. So, you know, probably a win-win for us, I guess you also have really good tea, hmm.

48:12 - Mikah Sargent (Host)
So the last, last bit of news I'll mention is that Microsoft's own app that runs on co-pilot or, excuse me, that runs on open AI, with, you know, some unique implementations is now available as an app on iPhone and iPad.

It's called co-pilot. You can get it in the app store. You can ask it questions. In fact, there's a photo of the app saying Someone saying what kind of flower is this, with a photograph of a flower, and then the Copilot is responding to say what kind of flower it is, which, of course, that is a bird of paradise. And then look in the next one, it's having it.

I feel like they watch iOS today. In the next one, they're generating photos of cute dogs talking into microphones. That's my brand, so you're gonna hear from me and there will be a ban on co-pilot. No, I'm just kidding, all right. So just be aware that app is available. You can download it on the app store. It is Available for free. If you have a Microsoft account, you can use it. So check out co-pilot on the app store.

All right, folks, without further ado, it is time for shortcuts corner and we're keeping the music right. Kevin Whoo, I Didn't warn him Welcome to short cuts corner, the part of the show where you write in with your shortcuts requests, and rose where your Should, our shortcuts expert provides a response. I want to say this really quick though, before we get into shortcuts corner if you have feedback and questions that is, that is, slush are not related to shortcuts there's a new place where you're gonna want to send those and that is a little show called ask the tech guys. It's a show that Leo Laporte and I, microsoft agent, host. On Sundays you can email us atg at twittv. You can call us 8887242884 during the week to leave a voicemail or on Sundays, during the show, you can actually join live to ask your question. You can also go to Call dot twit dot TV and you'll be connected to a zoom where you can ask a question. So if you have those kinds of non shortcuts questions, that's the new place where you will be asking those. But keep on keeping on with your shortcuts requests, because rosemary orchard is right here and Available to answer them.

So this one comes in from Chuck, who writes I never miss an episode of iOS today. That said, I have a shortcuts question slash issue. I created a simple shortcut that uses the Show remote control action to select the appropriate Apple TV based on the current room that I'm in using Occupancy sensors. The issue is that the shortcut doesn't reliably show the specified Apple TV and instead shows the last Opened Apple TV. I'm guessing this is a bug with this shortcuts action, but I wanted to confirm. I'm wondering if rosemary has run into this issue and found a workaround or a solution. Thank you, my friends, for all that you do with blessings, chuck, chuck, blessings right back. And thank you for Hopefully joining us here in club twit so you can check out the answer to your shortcuts corner request. So, rosemary, does this feel like a bug? Does this feel like something that could be solved? What's going on here?

51:40 - Rosemary Orchard (Host)
Well, I actually need a little bit more information from Chuck before I'm going to be able to fully answer this question, because it kind of depends on how the shortcuts been set up. So I have a shortcut here on my phone screen, which I should be showing you folks, which just has the show remote control action in it and it's showing me my bedroom Apple TV remote control, and if I run this then it'll open it, and it opens the remote app. Takes a moment Now, this is important. It takes a moment, but then it shows me the bedroom Apple TV. So I exit back out of here and then I go into this other action that I, or shortcut that I've created, where it says show remote control for living room TV brackets too, because I have a homebar pair in my living room, so they're living room, and for some reason this one even I've renamed it six times just loses living room Apple TV and goes back to being called living room. I've given up on it, it's fine, and if I run this, then it opens, the remote app, waits, and then it does also show me bedroom TV. Usually.

However, when I was playing around with this a little bit earlier, I actually noticed a little thing that could be done, which is called the wake Apple TV action. Yeah, so if I use wake Apple TV, I specifically wake the Apple TV before running this action. Now let's just go back in here and leave it so it's on, choose a TV and tell you what. Let's force quit that remote, just to be sure, okay. And then I'm gonna go into the bedroom one and I'm gonna add the wake Apple TV there. So last time I ran a shortcut to open the Apple TV remote, it opened, waited a little bit, was supposed to show me the living room, showed me the bedroom and I changed it. So this one, it's the wrong TV. Whoops, I'll just have to give it a moment. Some reason it always takes a little while to program these actions. I guess because it's scanning your whole network for Apple TVs, even though it literally just scanned it A second ago.

Yeah, okay, so I'm gonna run it for the bedroom one and it's woken it up and it's waiting choosing a TV and it is going to living room for me, and so I have a feeling check that this is probably a bug. But if you have this in something like your shortcut input or you're using a variable in the show remote control. That could also be to blame if that's somehow getting set incorrectly. So I have a feeling that what you're gonna need to do is Open the feedback app now. I have this in my control center because I'm running a beta. But if you're not running a beta, then you can go to Apple dash feedback co-on slash slash on your phone, or you can go to Apple comm slash feedback and file some feedback with them and tell them this ain't working right Because something is a little bit hinky there.

But if you are just having a problem finding your emotes, then I would like to take this opportunity to remind folks that in the Latest version of iOS there's not a fine button for those remotes, yep.

So I can tap on find and of course, obviously my living room is quite a way away.

So it's saying that my living room TV remote is far. That's not really surprised. My bedroom TV remote is a bit closer, but my arms are not long enough to reach all the way to my bedroom from my office. No, I'll have to not demo that right now, but you can use your phone to find your Apple TV remotes if they are the newer ones, which is such a godsend, because I might lose mine between my mattress and my headboard the other day and it took me a while to find it but I was able to with thanks to the find button on this. So yeah, sounds like Chuck needs to file some feedback there, but this does usually work. I find that it often gets stuck when both Apple TVs are awake or have recently been awake, but if they are both fully asleep and happen to sleep for a while like mine were right at the beginning of that Then it works fine. So yeah, it's something that needs to have some feedback felt against it.

55:36 - Mikah Sargent (Host)
Well, I know we will all Go to arms and make sure that happens. Folks Believe it or not, that is going to bring us to the end of this, our first new episode of iOS today in the club. If you have questions, if you have feedback, if you have any of that, you can email us iOS today at twittv. I want to once again thank you all so much for your support. It is because of club twit that we are continuing to be able to do this show and bring it to you each and every week, and so thank you so much for your contributions there.

Thank you so much for telling your friends and family and gifting iOS or gifting club twit as a subscription. I also want to mention that we do have a single show plan, so if you want to tell your friends about iOS today in the club now and would like to just get iOS today on its own, it's available for $2.99 a month, as opposed to that full Subscription. That will get you access to the iOS today feed in and of itself alone, so you can watch the show every week. It could be a great gift for a friend or family member who just got a new phone, iphone or iPad for Christmas or for another gift-giving holiday. In any case, thank you so much for tuning in, thank you for being members of club twit, and we will see you again next week for another episode of iOS today. Bye, bye.

57:01 - Rosemary Orchard (Host)
Bye, folks.

57:03 - Home Theater Geeks (Announcement)
Hey there, scott Wilkinson here. In case you hadn't heard, home theater geeks is back. Each week I bring you the latest audio video news, tips and tricks to get the most out of your AV system, product reviews and more. You can enjoy home theater geeks only if you're a member of club twit, which costs seven bucks a month, or you can subscribe to home theater geeks by itself for only $2.99 a month. I hope you'll join me for a weekly dose of home theater geekatude.


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