Unread 1.2 »

Jared Sinclair:

The newest version of Unread is a big one. It adds support for Fever and NewsBlur. It has tons of new features, including a bad-ass image viewer and two unlocked (previously hidden) themes. I squashed a bunch of bugs, too. Now is the best time yet to try Unread.

The update is brilliant. If you haven’t tried Unread yet, you should.

Markdown Tables Generator »

This is definitely the most useful thing I’ve found in a long time. I’ve been looking for a CSV to Markdown tool for a long while. This site handles it brilliantly. Wish there was a way to donate to its creator.

Checkmark 2 »

The best thing going in location-based reminders just got a huge update. Location groups are especially killer.

✱ Everyday Carry

My friends Brad and Myke sent me down an endless pit of looking at “everyday carry” sites thanks to the latest episode of their excellent podcast. So I figured I would post my own. I know these things have run their course with some folks, but I’ve always been a fan of seeing what’s useful to others. So here goes…

  1. Keys with Kero lightning cable—Probably the most useful holiday gift I got. I use it every day.
  2. Koyono Slimmy Wallet—Seriously my favorite wallet ever. Super thin (I keep it in my front pocket) regardless of how many cards you put in it, within reason. It’s also incredibly durable. Mine is about 3 years old and looks like new.
  3. Ray-Ban “New Wayfarer” Sunglasses in matte black—These are actually kind of hard to find these days. Maybe they weren’t that popular, but they’re my favorite pair of sunglasses I’ve owned. A bit smaller than most Wafarers, which I prefer. Plus, I’m into matte anything.
  4. Field Notes “Pilsner” & Field Notes “Cold Horizon”—These are the best small notebooks around in my opinion. I always have at least two on hand. If I have my bag with me, I carry… enough.
  5. Pilot Precise V5 RT Extra Fine Point in black, Pilot Precise V5 Extra Fine Point in blue, and a plain old Accent Highlighter. I adore the Pilot V5. Perfect for everyday use.
  6. Mid-2011 MacBook Air i7—The best computer I’ve ever owned. I’ll be sad when it dies.
  7. Fitbit Force—Very cool fitness tracker. I like knowing how much I walk per day. I replaced smoking with walking during the day, and this helps me stay on track. Additional bonus: The battery is amazing. Lasts about 2 weeks.
  8. Buffalo MiniStation 1 TB Thunderbolt External Drive—Very reliable * knocks on wood * portable hard drive that is super fast for being a spinning disk. Thunderbolt for the win.
  9. iPod Classic 80 GB—The device that just won’t die. I bought this thing in 2007 and it still works just as well as the day I got it. I like being able to have my whole entire library in my bag.
  10. Apple EarPods—Are they great? No. But they’re better than average, and that’s fine for when I’m at work. Plus, they let just enough outside sound in that I can hear my desk phone ring.

Not Pictured: I generally use an Incase campus backpack, but depending on what I have to carry, that could change to a messenger or a sling. Also not pictured is my Space Gray iPhone 5s. I used it to take the photo. Duh.

Unread: RSS for iOS 7 »

I’ve got a quick-and-dirty on Unread over at Culture Milk. I adore the app. It’s the best RSS client for iPhone I’ve ever used.

For a deeper dive, check out Stephen Hackett’s piece:

While I find swiping-based UIs tiring in some apps, Unread is tuned in such a way that using gestures never feels like its slowing me down while navigating through items or folders. In fact, the gestures give Unread a playfulness about it I think embodies much of what Apple wants to see in iOS 7-era apps.

Or Federico Viticci’s:

There are no toolbars in Unread. The app is based on the premise that Mail-like layouts aimed at putting feed management in your face shouldn’t take away from content, which is a very Apple-like way of thinking. Articles take over the entire screen, and the app is adorned by beautiful typography that visually differentiates titles (condensed, bold) from feed names (red), author name and date/time stamp (italic, light gray) and body text (regular weight, black). Articles you’ve read are dimmed and hyperlinks are highlighted in red. The app has support for themes: by default, it comes with Day (my pick) and Night themes, and while more can be unlocked (with a system similar to Clear), they’ve all been balanced for the reading experience, making content understandable at a glance.

I’ll also be giving a few copies away today on Twitter at the Culture Milk account. My gift to you.

Dark Sky 4.0 »

Adam Grossman, at Forecast.io and Dark Sky:

Today we’re launching that app in the form of the all new Dark Sky. Completely rewritten from scratch, it sets aside the limitations of the web to become the weather app we’ve always wanted — and always wanted to build. It’s the culmination of over two years of work in figuring out how to display and organize weather data the right way. And it’s a full featured weather app — something we swore we’d never do — but it still remains true to its original focus on what’s happening right now, where you’re standing.

Wow. This looks like a fantastic update.

Pushpin 3.0 is in the App Store »

Pushpin is one of the most feature-rich Pinboard clients in the App Store. Version 3.0 hit last night and looks like a winner. Everything you would expect is there, including full-text search for those with a premium account. It’s a good time to be a Pinboard user.

Thoughts on Beats Music »

Nick Heer, with a good piece at Pixel Envy:

With so many paths to enable a solid music addiction, you’d hope that these would stand out above the others. And, indeed, I’ve found these recommendations to be a cut above the rest. You do still see boneheaded recommendations (People who like Queens of the Stone Age also like old Kyuss? How very wet this water is.) but it also throws out some pretty solid recommendations. As an example, I love Autechre, so it recommended a playlist of Leftfield music (the genre, not just the artist).

In addition, there are some really great playlists to introduce you to artists, so you can get an overview of their entire career. There are playlists with an artist’s influences: Arcade Fire apparently digs Springsteen and the Rolling Stones; similarly, there are playlists with artists who were influenced by a given artist: Radiohead apparently influenced Bloc Party and The XX. The home screen will feature any of these at a time, based on listening habits. Like any good recommendation engine, it gets better as it’s used more.

I agree with Nick. At first, I was kind of “meh” on the service, but after using it for a (very small) bit I have to say I really like it. The playlists are original, diverse, and spot on. I haven’t seen anything as good in terms of discovery, and that includes my beloved Rdio. I have to hand it to the Beats Music folks. Outside of some launch-day stumbling blocks, it looks good. Interested to see where it goes.

A Half-Million Dollar "Oops" »


The story linked above guesses that the cost to replace the glass will be $450,000, based on the bill for renovating the cube in 2011, when it changed from 18 panes per side to 3. Considering that each pane is made up of (I think) 5 layers of ~10’x32’ tempered glass laminated to each other, this cost does not seem surprising.


The New Mac Pro »

The incomparable Anand Lal Shimpi:

The new Mac Pro is a dramatic departure from its predecessors. The chassis is still all aluminum (with the exception of a plastic cover over the fan) but it features a dark anodized finish vs. the bright silver finish of its predecessors. It’s a glossy finish but the good news is that unlike a mobile device it’s pretty easy to ensure that the system remains looking clean. The surface of the new Mac Pro is also incredibly smooth. There’s a heft and quality to the design that is at odds with how small and portable it is. I’m hardly an art critic but I do feel like there’s a lot to appreciate about the design and construction of the new Mac Pro. I needed to move the system closer to my power testing rig so it ended up immediately to the left of me. I have to admit that I’ve been petting it regularly ever since. It’s really awesomely smooth. It’s actually the first desktop in a very long time that I want very close to me. It feels more like a desk accessory than a computer, which is funny to say given just how much power is contained within this tiny package.

You won’t find a more thorough review anywhere. Grab a full cup of coffee and hit the bathroom before you jump in.