Apple kicked off WWDC on Monday with a keynote address, and that keynote address started with a video. It's a "thank you note to developers," according to Apple, who posted the video on YouTube. What I thought was interesting was all the people describing developers, because each of them looked like a developer to me. To be fair I live in Portland so my sense of many things is a little warped, but if the end of the video said all those people actually were developers I wouldn't have been surprised. See for yourself below:
Bandojo, an iOS app from a team that includes Andrew Stone of Twittelator (and Videator, and Stone Design) fame, allows both musicians and non-musicians to explore and play music, regardless of experience. The software has over a dozen built-in soundscapes on top of which you can play one of a number of different solo instruments. You choose notes by simply tapping colored dots on a board that looks a little like a Twister mat. If you know solfege ("do, re, mi" etc) you can see what those intervals are, but the beauty is you don't have to know anything other than what you like to hear. As you find colors that sound good to your ear, you can use them in different places and at different spots (octaves, for those who care) along the board. You can even play notes simultaneously to make chords. Pretty much whatever you think, you can do. A few minutes with this is all it takes to completely grok it and you'll lose yourself and just be able to play. You can link up wirelessly with other Bandojo users and jam together or simply play on your own. A forthcoming Mac app will add even more collaboration options. Jam on!
MacStories has a very cool collection of WWDC 2014 themed wallpapers in case that's the sort of thing you enjoy. Silvia Gatta of Icons & Coffee put them together—she also did a set for WWDC 2013, and my favorite, the September 2012 Special Event wallpapers. I love my current iPhone lock screen, but the wallpaper behind my app icons might need updating. These wallpapers are available in Retina and non-Retina styles, for various dimensions of Mac displays as well as iPhones and iPads.
You may have noticed Jeff Gamet and I have been inordinately excited about OmniFocus 2 finally being released. If you listened to either of us go on (and on) and decided to pick up a copy for yourself, there are a few secret configuration options available to you, courtesy of Jeroen Sangers. It's a handy way to make a few small tweaks that can be super helpful, such as compact layout or hiding empty contexts. If you aren't afraid to go stomping through configuration files (which can end badly)—like the one shown in this image—check out the options available to tweak under the hood.
There's a lot to be discovered by putting some current day 6 to 13 year olds in front of a functioning Apple II from the 1980s and watch them try to operate it. The things that we adults took for granted when using our own Apple IIs back in those days utterly mystify a modern kid who's never known anything but iPhones, iPads with multi-touch and Macs with mice. This is a stellar presentation, filled with both delicious technical amazement as well as charming reactions by some very smart kids. It is OMG sensational. If only Art Linkletter could have lived to see this.
You may have heard a lot about Markdown, it’s a syntax for formatting documents in an easy-to-read way. One of the Masters Of Markdown is my friend Brett Terpstra, who builds tools like Marked and nvALT that help take advantage of Markdown and all it has to offer. Brett is what I like to call a SuperMegaSmartyPants, and now he’s offering to share those pants with you. OK, that came out wrong. Brett has teamed up with Peachpit Press for a Markdown chapter of the Learn By Video series. If you go to Brett’s site you can get a coupon for the video, and I highly recommend doing so if you are tired of trying to read raw HTML documents or you’re familiar with Markdown and just want to level up. Here's a screenshot from the video. It has a kitten in it to show you how cute it is!
I’m a huge fan of the Monkees, and have been for most of my life. Coming across this clip really entertained me because it is a fun intersection of three things I enjoy: The Monkees, Johnny Cash, and TV variety shows. There should TOTALLY be more variety shows. And by more I mean any. And Craig Ferguson should host one since Wayne Brady already has that other thing he does, and Craig will have free time in the near future. But I digress. Check out this clip of 75% of the Monkees hanging out with Johnny Cash. Watching them make him laugh was my favorite part, but I also got a kick out of seeing them all sing something together.
Walhub is a company that makes a nifty little product: An add-on for a light switch cover. It adds a couple of hooks, or hooks and a "keeper" for mail or a phone that’s charging. They’re available in both switch and rocker styles, so whatever you have you can upgrade your covers to add a convenient place to keep your keys/umbrella/mail. I’ve only just discovered these, but I am definitely looking to upgrade a few of the switch covers in my house. Since I have the rocker style, I can put one of these around either a switch or a power outlet, so basically anyplace in my house I want to add these will work well. As an added bonus, they were designed in California and made in Washington state, so for those who prefer to buy local, these are American made from beginning to end.
Remember Word Lens, the app in Apple's 'Powerful' ad that translated a sign in real time? Earlier this month, Google bought Quest Visual—the company that makes Word Lens—and on Tuesday, the search giant made the app a free download on the App Store. Even the in-app language packs are free. Word Lens works just like the commercial shows: Hold up the camera to some text, and have that text translated into another language as you stand there. It's the kind of app that borders on magic when you use it. However, snap it up quickly and back up often; Google is known for buying something cool that ultimately gets Old Yellered. Hopefully that won’t happen to Word Lens since it really is nifty, but with Google you never can tell. [via TUAW]
If you've had an iPhone ever since the original or the 3G, you might remember the original tones Apple used for the ringtones and alerts. They have evolved a bit over the years, and now someone has taken them to the next level: Remix! Via The Next Web, I have a new favorite version of those default sounds. YouTuber itsMetroGnome has turned them into music. It's certainly a different way to experience them, so check it out for a slightly different take on iOS noises. If you like it lots, you can head to his site (through the description in the video) and donate a little cash to the cause. What cause? 'Cause it's awesome.
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