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Browsy 1.2 - Above and Beyond

Permalink - Posted on 2016-05-16 17:36

Almost a year ago, at the beginning of June, a few weeks before the release of Browsy 1.1, I started working on version 1.2 of Browsy. Throughout the year, I worked on a lot of different things for the app (and Sl's Repository in general) and today is the day to finally reveal this big update.

Browsy 1.2 goes above and beyond your iPhone with a ton of new features.

Here's everything about the new features:

New Views

The Reading View

Last year, right after the release of Browsy 1.0, Marky, the API originally created by Brett Terpstra to Markdownify the web, was moved here to Sl's Repository Ltd. I announced this move and promised some big improvements to Marky with the release of Browsy 1.1, and with Browsy 1.2 I'm proud to reveal the new Reading View, powered by Marky.
The Reading View allows you to read all of your favorite websites in a clean layout without any ads, menus or other content. Something that services like Pocket and Instapaper have been doing for years. But why read later when you can read now? Use the new Reading View or the Marky website, to read and share your favorite websites comfortably wherever and whenever you want, with different fonts and an optional dark mode.
You can also use the URL Scheme to open a URL in the reading view immediately, using browsy://?readq=(Your URL or Search Term).
You can dismiss the view with a tap on the X button or with a swipe from the top.

The Tabs View

Browsy now has support for multiple tabs. I don't really know what else can be said about Tabs, but I worked a lot on this feature and I hope you'll like it.

The Notes View

The New Notes View allows you to write quick thoughts, ideas and remarks you have while watching videos, reading and browsing and then allows you send that text to other apps.
The Notes view also includes an extra keyboard row that allows you to move the cursor with a swipe, select text with a two-finger swipe and move to the start or the end of the view with a double tap with two fingers on the edges of the row.
To hide the buttons on the Notes view, you can swipe right with 3 fingers. You can also dismiss the view with a swipe from the top if you hide the Close button.

New Settings

Disable Cache

From the start, Browsy was designed with Privacy in mind. Previously, due to the way Apple's WKWebView is built, cookies and other website data were cached while using Browsy, but were never accesible. Now with the new Disable Cache feature, you can disable the caching of this data for each tab.
With Disable Cache enabled, no website data will be cached and you'll be logged out of any website you log into.
Disable Cache is enabled per tab, meaning you can have one tab with the cache enabled and another with it disabled, enabling Disable Cache is not universal and does not change any tabs you already had open.

Recent Sites

Some users of Browsy asked for a way to make visiting frequently used sites quicker, so I thought how can I make it happen while keeping the users privacy, and the answer is Recent Sites.

It's completely optional and works by matching your Omnibar input with the last 100 websites you visited.

The Feedback Center

With Browsy 1.2, I wanted to create a way to allow users of the app to have a quick way to contact me and share feedback or send in support. Users could contact me via Email and Twitter before but the new Feedback Center, powered by Apptentive makes it more easier and simpler. The Feedback Center is just another way to get in touch, you can still use Twitter or Email if you would like.

Support for the latest and greatest

iOS 9 brought with it a lot of great new features. And now, Browsy supports each and every one of them. Here's the description of each of the new features taken from the Changelog.

  • The font used by the app has been changed to San Francisco, the new system font on iOS 9.
  • The app has been optimized for use with iOS 9’s iPad Multitasking features, you can now Slide Over Browsy for a quick browse, Use Browsy alongside another app with Split View and continue watching your video from Browsy in other apps with Picture in Picture.
  • Keyboard Shortcuts for every view, available with iOS 9. Long press the Command key on your keyboard to view all of the available shortcuts for the view you are in.
  • Spotlight Search - Search your Notes, Bookmarks and Recent Sites from your Home Screen on iOS 9.
  • 3D Touch - Open the Notes View, Bookmarks view, Start a search or visit a website from your clipboard straight from your Home Screen on the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, or use Peek and Pop to preview sites in the main view and the Bookmarks view.

While introduced with iOS 8, Browsy didn't have support for Handoff, but the wrong has been righted and now you can seamlessly move your browsing session between your iPhone, iPad and Mac.

More Improvements

Browsy's main web view, the heart of the browsing experience with Browsy received a few new improvements.
Now you can access websites that use authentication, view JavaScript dialogs, print websites, and also have a completely fullscreen experience by hiding every button (including the More button) with a 2 finger swipe. And when you encounter an iTunes link throughout the app, you will now be presented with a convenient in-app view that you can easily dismiss, instead of being sent to the iTunes or App Store app.
Also, Markdown Syntax in Markdownify is now highlighted with Prism and you can launch the app and go to the Bookmarks, Notes, Tabs or Settings directly using the new browsy://?view=(View Name) URL Scheme.

One More Thing...

The last new feature of Browsy is... Browsy for Apple Watch!

You can use the Watch app to remote control the iPhone app from your Watch, view your Bookmarks, or do a quick search online. You can also have the Watch speak your search results to you through your iPhone and use Handoff and the Force Touch menu to move between the Watch and your iPhone (Handoff also works with your iPad or Mac).

A use case that a little surprised me at first is with people using Browsy with an Apple TV for presentations or "kiosk mode". And I think the new Remote feature will be perfect for that.

What's Next?

Now with Browsy 1.2 released, I plan on releasing some other things I have been working on this year and also another app that is coming soon.
My plans for Browsy 1.3 currently include some smaller additions to the app, including Downloads support, but we'll see.
To help support the future of Browsy, I removed the In-App Purchases and made the app a paid app at 3.99$.
I really hope you'll enjoy Browsy 1.2, the Marky website and everything else I got in store.

You can download Browsy from the App Store for 3.99$ here. Or check the full changelog for the app here.

If you download Browsy this week (May 16-23), 20% of your purchase will be donated to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

And as always, if you require assistance, have questions, ideas, suggestions, feedback or something to say about Browsy or anything on the website, feel free to contact me via email, Twitter or App.net, Thanks for reading! :)


Browsy 1.1 - Your Browsing Just Got an Upgrade

Permalink - Posted on 2015-06-29 15:56

3 months ago, on March 23, I released Browsy, the smart fullscreen web browser to the world. And Today, after 3 months full of work, research, coding and testing, I’m proud to announce that Browsy 1.1 is now available on the App Store.

Browsy 1.1 is filled with a lot of new features and improvements that make the app so much better and more enjoyable. With the update, the app is no longer a nice addition to Safari, but a viable alternative. Like Safari, but without the Chrome.

Can’t wait to hear about all the new features? Then let’s dive right in :)

Safe and Sound

With Browsy 1.1, The app's address bar has been bitten by a radioactive duck and is now known as Omnibar, savior of the web! With supersenses that allow it to search the web for search terms (with DuckDuckGo) and mind control to allow him to search inside other websites without going to those websites first (with DuckDuckGo !bangs).

I’m the translations manager for the Hebrew language in DuckDuckGo and their privacy first policy is a perfect fit for Browsy.

With great power, comes great responsibility. To keep your browsing 100% safe and secure, 1Password is now fully integrated into Browsy and allows you to fill in your passwords across the web and also create strong new passwords with just 2 taps, It’s Incredible. The 1Password extension is available in the Share button if you have 1Password installed.

Browsy’s URL Scheme has also been updated to use the new Omnibar, and by using this scheme:
browsy://?q=<Your URL or Search Term> you can open websites or search the web from everywhere. Here’s a Workflow app workflow you can use as either an Action Extension or a standalone workflow/button to use the URL Scheme from everywhere. Get it here.

New Pinboard Bookmarks View

As I promised when I announced Browsy 1.0, Version 1.1 includes a new Pinboard Bookmarks view. Enter your username and API token and Browsy will show you all of your latest Pinboard bookmarks. Currently the Pinboard view is only showing a list of bookmarks, but Search and tags are planned for a future release.

Keep Screen Awake

Browsy 1.1 includes a new “Keep Screen Awake” setting that prevents the screen from closing while using the app. This feature is perfect when you want to work on your Mac or iPad and keep Browsy open on your iPhone for searching something quickly, or if you are reading something at night and iOS keeps dimming or closing the screen for you in the middle. It’s been especially useful for me during the WWDC keynote at the beginning of the month. I couldn’t attend the conference physically, so I had the live stream open on my Mac and Browsy on the iPhone and iPad for keeping up with Apple’s news stream and tech websites live commentary.

Marky

Browsy’s unique Markdownify extension is an invaluable tool for anyone writing with Markdown on iOS. In Version 1.0, Markdownify was using heckyesmarkdown.com to turn webpages into Markdown. I worked closely with Brett Terpstra, the amazing guy that created Heck Yes Markdown 1, and I’m proud to announce that Marky, the API powering heckyesmarkdown.com is now residing at Sl’s Repository Ltd. I’ve been working on improving Marky and making it useful for more than just Markdown writing, so stay tuned :)

In-App Purchases

Another promise I made on the 1.0 announcement, Browsy 1.1 includes new In-App Purchases that allow users that love Browsy to leave a Nice (0.99$), Great (2.99$) or Incredible (4.99$) tip and support Browsy’s future.

All income from the new In-App Purchases during the 1.1 release week (June 28 - July 4) will be donated to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital at Memphis. St. Jude are leading the way the world understands, treats and defeats childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases.

More Buttons

With the new bookmarks button, I needed to find a way to maintain the fullscreen premise of Browsy. After trying a few solutions, I created Browsy’s new “More" button, a button that controls the visibility of all buttons (currently just the Share and Bookmarks buttons, with more to come), with a tap. The “More” button can also be controlled, hidden or shown in the Settings view.

I really hope you enjoy all of the latest additions to Browsy :)

You can download Browsy from the App Store for free here.

And as always, if you require assistance, have questions, ideas, suggestions, feedback or something to say about Browsy or anything on the website, feel free to contact me via email, Twitter or App.net, Thanks for reading! :)


  1. And so much more. You can see all of his creations here.  


Browsy - the Smart Fullscreen Web Browser

Permalink - Posted on 2015-03-23 17:59

Browsy, Released on the App Store

The time has come. My latest app, Browsy, is now available on the App Store.

Browsy is a smart fullscreen web browser that allows you the browse the web without anything getting in your way.

I had the idea of a browser app for years now, but 2 months ago, when I got my new MacBook Pro, I had a lot of ideas for a browser merge into a single app idea.

  • I wanted my baby brother to have a distractions free video viewing experience, so that means no buttons.
  • A browser like the Editorial in-app browser, but that is more comfortable on the iPhone.
  • The Editorial in-app browser, with a share button.
  • A way to markdownify websites like nvALT does on my Mac.
  • A way to stream audio (like a live podcast stream) in the background while using another app (an IRC client, perhaps)
  • A browser that will allow me to quickly look at a website, or prototype I'm working on, on my iPhone or iPad.

I have been using the Frameless browser by Jay Stakelon, and it covered some of the things I wanted, but wasn’t perfect. So, as a test for my skills in Swift, I wanted to see if I can replicate Frameless, but with all the features I wanted. On February 12 I started working on it and I’ve finished and sent the app for review on March 2. And it was worth all the hard work.

So what does Browsy include?

The Fullscreen Experience

Once you load a webpage, everything else hides. There’s nothing except you, the webpage and the Share button. No status bar, navigation buttons or other unnecessary UI that gets in your way. Everything in the app has been made with accessibility in mind, with full support for VoiceOver.

Controlling the browser with Gestures

The Browser is controlled by gestures. Swiping up from the bottom of the screen, tapping with three fingers or shaking the device causes the address bar to show. And by swiping left and right, you can navigate your session history. You can also disable any of the gestures if they get in your way,

Playing Media

My mom often gives my brother her iPhone 6 Plus, with a video open on the YouTube app. We activate Guided Access, and my brother begins watching. Most of the time, he flips the device or clicks on something and we have to stop the video to get back to the video. With Browsy, once I load the website and press Play, nothing can interrupt my brother’s experience.

Browsy also includes Background audio support to allow audio you stream to keep playing while using other apps or while the screen is locked. Now you can listen to the live stream of your favorite podcast (for me that’s Connected), while using an IRC Client app (I recommend IRCCloud) to hang around in the live stream’s chat room.

Web apps like native apps

Despite being incredibly easy, most of the websites that include a custom website icon for their site, don’t make their website available as an independent web app. So when you add the site to the homescreen it becomes just a shortcut to the site on Safari. Now, people can experience any of their favorite sites as if they were native apps.

Previewing Framer Studio Prototypes

Preview and interact with HTML prototypes easily on your device. If Framer Studio is running on your Mac, Browsy can automatically connect to it and display your prototypes on the device. Great for Developers and Designers.

URL Scheme Support

Browsy includes the browsy:// URL Scheme, so you can open websites in the app from other apps, or integrate Browsy in your automation recipes in Launch Center Pro, Drafts, Pythonista, Workflow, Editorial, or other apps.

The Markdownify Action Extension

Thanks to the support of the amazing Brett Terpstra, I have created the Markdownify action extension that can turn *any webpage into Markdown.
You can use Markdownify everywhere that uses the iOS 8 share sheet to share URLs and receive a markdown version of the URL you used that you can send to any other app you want. I suggest using Dropbox’s “Save to Dropbox” extension with it if you store all your writing in Dropbox - It’s really handy.

*Markdownify uses heckyesmarkdown.com, so the output depends, among other things, on the HTML markup of the page you send. Check heckyesmarkdown.com for more details about it, although most websites should work.

What is the purpose of Browsy?

Browsy is not meant to replace Safari, but to provide you with it’s features to supplement it.
The Markdownify Action Extension in particular is alone a great addition to Safari that I think everyone writing in Markdown on their iOS device can find useful.

Everything sounds great. How much does it cost?

You can enjoy everything Browsy has to offer completely for free. The app’s price is Free, but includes In-app Purchases that allow you to send a tip if you like the app (There’s a 0.99$ tip, 2.99$ tip and 4.99$ tip). The “Tip Jar” IAP is not included in version 1.0 and will be added in the next release.

Wait, but what about it's future?

I know Browsy might be a little too simple, but I believe an app that does a few things really great is much better than an app that can do a lot of things poorly.
I believe that this first version of Browsy is a solid foundation for the future and I’m already hard at work on the next version of Browsy, including features like Bookmarks, with Pinboard integration an Omnibar (or Smart Search Field - a Unified Search and Address bar - it’s already in beta!) and more.
I really hope you enjoy using the app.

You can download Browsy from the App Store for free here.

And as always, if you require assistance, have questions, ideas, suggestions, feedback or something to say about Browsy or anything on the website, feel free to contact me via email, Twitter or App.net, Thanks for reading! :)


Disconnected

Permalink - Posted on 2015-02-09 21:31

Last month, I've started writing this article, I thought I should make it a "2014 Year in Review" sort of post - But my intention was to focus more on what I didn't do in 2014, what I wanted to do, and how I hope to change that in 2015.
But then I had a déjà vu feeling... I have been writing similar things in the past years the site is up.

“It's been a while since I posted on the site, and it's time to reveal what I have been working on.”

-Brand New, June 30, 2013

“For Year 3, I hope to have more time to write, develop and improve my existing creations. I haven't had much time lately, but I have big plans for Dropit and the site, and I also got a few other things in the works. I hope you will like all of these new things coming soon and thank you for being there and enjoying the site and my other creations :)”

-2.0, February 20, 2014

So I deleted the file for this post and thought: "How would I make this post different, so that you, my kind readers, read it and will be able to truly see my intentions for 2015?"
The Answer: by focusing not only on the what, and how to improve - sharing more the why and the background that led to it.

So to make it clear, this post is going to be about me looking back (both at Sl’s Repository and offline) at 2014, the ups, the downs, what I liked, what I didn't, what I plan for 2015 and how I intend to really make it happen.

The Why

As I revealed on my interview for The Sweet Setup, my day job 1 used to be as a Network Technician in an underground location where my iPhone and iPad don’t have reception most the time, and my development/writing time was usually over the weekends. I was interviewed at the end of June, and the interview was published on September 8.

I say "was" because on July, I was moved from my previous underground location to a different location which was closer to my home, above ground but still without reception.

Underground

I arrived underground on September 2013, where I met some of the most amazing people, who became like a family to me.
Some were older, some were younger but through my year, I found myself.
As Casey Liss wrote in his post "Falling in Love with Virginia":

“This trip changed everything for me. It allowed me to leave behind any preconceptions of Virginia. The trip showed me what Virginia really is: not only a truly magnificent part of the country, but also my home.

Humans are social creatures. We value being connected. That’s why we stare at our phones all the time; always seeking yet another connection. It’s only when we disconnect from everyone else that we can really connect with ourselves.”

Casey also mentions in his post how he considers himself a child of the northeast, and how he planned to "return to where he belongs - the northeast" after a few years.
My home is in the north of Israel and my workplace was in the southern center, 2-3 hours away 2. With every commute there, I fell in love with the place and the people. I connected with myself, even today, I feel like home when I'm visiting my friends underground, not just when I'm at my actual home.

My iOS Setup Underground

I couldn't bring my Mac to work, so I brought my iPad to work with me, with a special SIM that had reception, then when my iPad stopped reading the SIM, I bought a ZTE MF60 Router, and a SIM adapter to be connected underground.
I didn't have a lot of time, so I used my iPad to mainly reading RSS and Twitter, so when I get home, I will get right into writing and developing my apps.
Editorial and Drafts were also the apps I used extensively, for anything text related (even starting to write some posts if I had the time).
Even when I got home, I got used to the iPad-only setup, inspired by Federico Viticci who recently shared his review of 3 years of the iPad as his main computer. I used my Mac only for Developing apps and modifying the site's HTML and CSS. Also like Federico, I don't work from my desk, I work on the living room sofa - It's comfy and feels free.

The Move

On July 2014, despite efforts by me, my superior and his superior, due to medical concerns I was moved closer to my home.
While in a car the commute to the new place was just a 20 minutes drive, with public transportation, It could take more than 2 hours, which is insane.
The new place has zero work, it is a day job 3 and I really don't enjoy my time there. After getting home I was always exhausted, so I had zero motivation to do anything at first. By anything I mean writing, developing apps, reading Twitter/RSS - literally anything. I started playing World of Warcraft again 4 to spend my time. I love the amount of detail Blizzard puts into the game and it's lore, I like to refer to them as the Apple of games 5. They also published a documentary that gives a "behind the scenes" look into the game and it's history as part of World of Warcraft's 10 year anniversary.

The Change

Since moving, I keep fighting to return to my previous workplace and I also visit there whenever I'm around the area.
At the beginning of December, I was there for a whole week again,
But on my way there, my iPhone 5s took a dive into the toilet.
Away from home for the week, I was completely disconnected for a week.
When I got home I sent the phone to a lab after putting it in rice for the entire week. I started using an Android replacement phone, but being away from my iPhone, away from all the apps I use everyday, I started missing it all.
After 2 weeks I was told my iPhone can't be repaired. While waiting for the iPhone 6 stock to refill 6, I redesigned the website and started working on the Mac again. After 3 weeks with the Android phone I got my new Space Gray 64GB iPhone 6.

The iPhone 6

The iPhone 6 surprisingly felt like a bigger upgrade than I expected over the 5s. I'm not sure if it's because of the 3 weeks of using an Android phone, or the bigger and better screen, but it felt like a big change.
I didn't like the idea of bigger iPhone screens, and the iPhone 6 does sometimes feels less comfortable to hold, but after getting used to the new size (it took me about 2 weeks), there's no way for me to go back to the smaller size. And lastly, the battery is amazing. When I got my 5s I was very happy with it's battery, but the 6 is better and lasts even more.

2014 in Sl's Repository

What I Did

At first, when I saw the stats for 2014, I was surprised that 2014 was my most successful year yet.
But after looking back into each month, I understood why.
I think I did I fulfil my promise from last year (quoted above), In the first half of the year I did bring updates to Dropit, Rodeo Blue, SOS Weather 7, Version 2.0 of the Site and also published a lot of great articles, I'm especially proud of the Unread review.

What I Didn't

While I like what I did on the first half of the year, I'm disappointed I didn't make anything new in the second half of the year.
I'm going to make sure it won't happen again.

2015

Shortly after my iPhone 6 upgrade, I started writing the first draft of this post.
I also kept learning and experimenting with Swift 8.
For 2015, Year 4 of Sl's Repository, I will try my best to have a lot of great content available on the site alongside new Apps and creations I'm currently working on.
To make sure it does happen, I upgraded my Mac to a 13" Retina Macbook Pro 9.
My iPad is also showing signs of age, in a non-usable level. It's running iOS 8.1 and is prone to crashing, so I don't even try. I wanna upgrade it too, but buying my new iPhone 6 and my new Mac is kind of heavy on my bank account, so I'll make the upgrade in a few months, maybe alongside the Apple Watch :)
I'm going to make a longer review of my Mac and going back to using it for everything after my iPad-only setup, but there's one thing I wanna share right now - I'm missing Editorial. It's irreplaceable. I'm currently writing this on Byword on my Mac, but I am missing all of my Editorial workflows. Especially the Post to WordPress workflow, as I intend to publish this by copying and pasting to the WordPress Dashboard 10.
I hope you'll enjoy everything I got in store for this year :)

As always, If you have questions/ideas/suggestions/something to say about this post or anything else on the site, feel free to contact me via email, Twitter or App.net, Thanks for reading! :)


  1. More like a week job, since I used to be there most of the week (Sunday - Thursday), I slept and lived there. Work hours on Sunday and Thursday are flexible. 

  2. Israel is a small country. Driving from top to bottom takes about 8 hours. 

  3. I'm always home at noon. Work hours are 9:00 to 16:00. Thursday is shorter. 

  4. I played it from June 2008 to December 2011. I stopped playing to found Sl's Repository. 

  5. Blizzard and Nintendo, they just make completely different games. 

  6. The supply and demand in Israel was insane. There was no iPhones available in stock, with no ETA. Even after my carrier got the stock refilled, by the time their advertisement that it's available again appeared in the paper (after just 1 day), they already ran out of stock again. 

  7. You can find all of the changes to my creations on the Changelog. It's available on the Products page. 

  8. I learned the basics when Apple revealed Swift 1.0 at WWDC, but it's been updated to 1.1 since. 

  9. The high end one with 512GB of storage, 2.8 GHz Intel i5 Processor and 8GB of Memory. 

  10. I tried MarEdit and Blogo and they are both missing the features I want - I'm looking for a Poster for Mac sort of app, to manage posts and pages (separately), and publish new content easily with categories and tags in mind. Sorting options are optional. 


~Learning to Love Photo Management 2.0

Permalink - Posted on 2014-05-03 22:12

Yesterday, Bradley Chambers released version 2.0 of his book, “Learning To Love Photo Management”, where he discusses the best ways to backup and manage your photos.
In version 2.0, Bradley rewrote the book, updated the screenshots and also discuses Dropbox's purchase of Loom, Dropbox's Carousel and my Photo management solution of choice - Picturelife.
The book is only 2.99$, and is available on the iBooks Store and has a Kindle and PDF editions available on Bradley's Site - Chambers Daily.
Save yourself from losing all of your precious pictures - Learn to Love Photo Management Now.

Permalink


~Clear With Reminders

Permalink - Posted on 2014-05-03 21:48

Clear by Realmac Software, the app I use for my To-Do lists, has received a major upgrade this week with support from Reminders.

We’ve been busy working away on the next big update to Clear, and today we’re thrilled to announce that Clear with Reminders is now available on the App Store. Set a reminder, and Clear will remind you across all your devices as Clear for Mac also gets this new feature today as well!

Reminders didn't change the way the app works, or cluttered the interface, the app now includes a simple tappable bell that opens a custom made date picker that will send a push notification to the time you set.
The update also includes sound packs as in-app purchase, but they are free if you purchased Realmac's Clear+ earlier this year.
This update is a great new addition to an app I use all the time. If you haven't checked out Clear yet, you really should. It's 4.99$ on the App Store.

Permalink


+Spotify's Your Music

Permalink - Posted on 2014-05-03 21:27

Last month, Spotify updated their service and apps with a new look and a new way to manage your music called “Your Music”.
I tried Spotify again 1 after this new update, and it has come a long way since the last time I used it last year.
Playlists without a Collection was my major problem with the service, but with “Your Music”, Spotify now has a collection, and improved on various other areas. I also love the curation - At night the Browse section shows “Sleep peacefully tonight” with “Late Night” and “Sleep” playlists. When I'm in the car it shows “Playlists for Driving” or “Spotify On the Go” and when I'm sitting on the coach right now writing this, it shows “Saturday Night Playlists” or “Tommorow is a New Yesterday”. And the Mac app comes with support for musiXmatch, the app I use for my lyrics needs.
Spotify is a great looking app with nice features and I suggest you give it a try, it's free to shuffle.


  1. I used to use Spotify as my music streaming service in 2011, before I discovered Grooveshark, I kept an eye on it since, but it never actually returned to be my go-to music streaming service. 


~Picturelife

Permalink - Posted on 2014-04-26 21:02

Loom, the service I used to backup and manage my photos alongside Dropbox, announced that they have been purchased by Dropbox, 2 weeks ago.
I migrated my photos to Dropbox with Loom's export system, and you can too until May 16, 2014. You will be able to keep any extra space you purchased for a year and every space you earned if you are a free user. Loom has been integrated into Dropbox's new Carousel app and while Carousel is nice, I have started using a new service to manage my photos alongside Dropbox. Picturelife.
Picturelife is the best way to manage all your photos in one place. It pulls your photos from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Flickr, Dropbox and more services and the photos you upload with the mobile or desktop app and allows you to edit, manage and sort all of your photos in one place. For organization, it has smart albums, timeline (which allows you to edit the date if the photo if it's wrong!), tags (both Facebook style tags where you tag people's faces and Twitter style tags), captions, descriptions and powerful search. You can use either Picturelife's storage (first 5GB free) or you can use your own Amazon S3 Bucket. Other Picturelife users can send you pictures that you can save to your Picturelife and Picturelife allows you to share your pictures with just your family or friends with the Friends Stream and Family Stream, or you can share to social networks you connected to the service. And it has a Memories feature that shows you today (or this week) a few years back, which is really nice. There is a lot more I can say about it but I think you should try it yourself. You can also read more about it compared to Loom in this review by Bradley Chambers on The Sweet Setup. Create an account here and download the app from the App Store for free. It's the best photo management solution I have tried recently, and I plan on making a long review of it soon.

Permalink


~MacStories 4.0

Permalink - Posted on 2014-04-26 20:01

For MacStories 4.0, we wanted to get back to basics. We deleted the old design and codebase and decided to focus on what, ultimately, readers come to MacStories for: reading articles.

Earlier this week, Federico Viticci, one of my favorite writers, launched version 4.0 of his website MacStories. This is a complete redesign of a website I have been reading for a very long time with a delightful new reading experience.
If you haven't checked MacStories yet, now would be a good time.

Permalink


Dropit 1.3 and Other Updates

Permalink - Posted on 2014-04-26 18:15

I have uploaded an update to Dropit today and then I figured out - I haven't posted about the previous updates. In the last month (March - April) I have created a new script, an update to Rodeo Blue, 2 updates to Dropit, and I haven't posted about any of these changes.
So to right this wrong, Here are all the latest updates to all of my creations:

New

SOS Weather

Around the end of February, Dr. Drang published a Pythonista script to check the weather from Weather Underground. Like me, the good doctor didn't have a weather app he really enjoyed using. I have tried Check The Weather by David Smith, Today Weather by Savvy Apps, and also Perfect Weather by Contrast - but none of them really stuck with me. I also don't check the weather so much so I gave up trying to found one and checked the Notification Center's Today view when I wanted to know the weather. What I like about the Today view is that it's minimal. I am not overblown by pictures and information I don't need just “the weather now is X, the current temperature is Y, and the maximum temperature for today will be Z”. Sometimes there's also a “Tonight is gonna be cold with temperatures of X” or “chance of rain today”. That's all I really need to know. But what if I want to plan ahead? If I want to know what the weather will be like tomorrow or in a few days?
That's where SOS Weather comes in. A few after the Pythonista script, Dr. Drang published a new version of the script without Pythonista. This script acts as a CGI script in your server and when launched, fetches your current location and shows you the weather. I like the script for it's simple and minimal approach and it's details - Unlike the Today view, the script includes more information like sunlightand hourly forecasts. It also includes a daily forecast for the next 3 days.
But since I don't care about wind speed and pressure, and because I'm not in the United States I don't a have radar map for my location I have modified the script to use satellite maps, chance of rain data, humidity and more forecasts (for the next 10 days instead of 3). I have also made the script into a web app you can add to your home screen, changed the styling with a different font and also made a Hebrew translation to the script. I called it SOS Weather - SOS stands for Swimsuit or Sweater? and you can use it with your own server by downloading it here. (The Hebrew version is here.) I also made versions for Pythonista (English and Hebrew).

The Changelog

All the release notes for all of my products (apps, scripts, extensions or anything else ) will now appear on the Changelog available from the Products Page.

Rodeo Blue

I have updated Rodeo Blue with the buttons it was missing and it will now also automatically update itself if I release a new update. It's available here on Github.

Dropit

In September, I released Dropit, a Python script that uses Dropbox to allow you to listen to your music anyway you want, anywhere you are. In the release announcement, I wrote on my plans for the future of it. I wrote “Ability to trigger the script from your iOS Device” as one of the features I'm thinking of and on December, with Dropit 1.1 I have made the script run periodically so you have to rerun it, thus, a way to trigger the script from your device is no longer needed.

Dropit 1.2

Dropit 1.2, released in March, comes with the automatic running of the script improved 1 and scripts that you can configure as Startup services, so Dropit will start running after you start your computer. So all you have to do now is just add songs to the folder (even from your iOS Device with an app like Documents by Readdle, and the feed will be refreshed automatically.

Dropit 1.3

This week, I found out that Dropbox is now requiring a Dropbox Pro account (9.99$/month for 100GB of space) to enable your Public folder. If you already had a Public folder, it won't go away, but new users that want to use the Public folder can't enable it without upgrading their account. Since the script is offered to you for free, it doesn't make sense to make it work with Dropbox only. So in Dropit 1.3 I updated the script and you can now use it on any service that allows public sharing, for example Google Drive or Amazon S3. And if cloud services aren't your thing, you can use it with your FTP or WebDAV server. All you have to do is put your folder's link 2 in the settings file. If you want to keep using Dropbox, replace the public folder token with the full public folder link. Get the update here.

And that's it for now. I hope I will have more time to write in the coming months and I hope you will enjoy all of these new updates. As always, if you have anything you would like to say, I'm here for you and you can feel free to contact me.

If you have questions/ideas/suggestions/something to say about anything on the website, feel free to contact me via email, Twitter or App.net, Thanks for reading! :)


  1. The way it worked on version 1.1 was that the script would be relaunched every 10 seconds, and it made a situation where the script stopped running and stopped reopening after some time. In version 1.2 the script is always running, but refreshes the feed every 10 seconds, and it also includes a log to notify a successful run. 

  2. The public link to your folder. For example: In Amazon it will something like https://s3.amazonaws.com/dropit/ , for Google Drive it will look like https://googledrive.com/host/r4nd0m1etter5andnumbe7s/ and for your FTP it will look like a regular website address (http://slsrepo.com/).