iOS 10 is here »

And it’s a pretty great update. Loads of new goodies. I may be celebrating my next birthday before I get through them, but both Nick Heer and Federico Viticci’s reviews are worth your time. Now back to your regularly scheduled programming of me barely posting.

Associate: easy Amazon linking »

Associate is a new app from the good dudes at Squibner—makers of Blink.

At a glance, it’s very similar, but instead of working with iTunes, it untangles the nightmare of Amazon Affiliate links. I rarely use my Amazon affiliate account because it’s a pain. Associate makes these links incredibly easy to create.

Affiliate links are an easy way to generate a little bit of cash to keep sites like these. Especially for those who do a better job keeping up with theirs. I’m happy apps like this exist. Plus, John and his son Owen are good people. I like supporting good people. You can get Associate for $4.99 on the App Store.

Drafts: still my jam »

I’ve been redoing my Drafts setup lately, much like Gabe. He’s always an excellent source for some critical thinking about your setup. I don’t know where I stumbled across Tim Nahumck’s site, but he has some pretty amazing stuff of his own on the subject. Cheers to these guys.


Side note: Sorry for not putting anything on the site recently. It’s been a little busy. Rest assured, I’m still here. Maybe I’ll get back to this regularly, maybe I won’t. We’ll see!

Blink 2.0 »

John Voorheen of Squibner Software:

Blink 2.0 has a bunch of other cool features too, including side-by-side multitasking. I’m really excited about this one. Just as Blink 1.0’s action extension was its secret weapon letting users generate affiliate links from within Apple’s stores and third party apps, I think multitasking on the iPad is going to be big for Blink 2.0. No one likes to switch back and forth between apps and now, whether you are looking up media in Blink or via its extension from another app, having it next to your text editor makes it immediately more useful. Keyboard shortcuts will also make searching for media easier for iPad users who use an external keyboard and the ability to edit links in Blink’s extension enhances Markdown links because who hasn’t run into a title that is a little too long, especially App-Store-Optimized app titles like FancyKey for iOS 8 - Personalize your keyboard with cool Fonts, colorful Themes and beautiful Emoji Art?

So what’s next for Blink? Blink, which was conceived as a tool for bloggers to generate affiliate links (Blogger + Link == Blink), has started to become something more. The Apple Music and Apple Podcast App support are just the start. In a world where web advertising is in decline and being actively blocked as user-hostile, it has never been harder for creators to earn a living. Affiliate linking, by its very nature is not in your face and the barrier to entry is nonexistent — signing up takes all of five minutes, it’s free and it scales. Whether you share links with a handful of friends or run a web site with millions of page views an month, the iTunes Affiliate Program is an easy way to add a revenue stream that supports your blog, podcast, book club, or whatever. The point is that it’s not just for big web sites or developers, affiliate linking is for anyone who has ever recommended a good book or shared a playlist, podcast, or cool new game they discovered and can be part of any business model that includes linking to iTunes media.

We are at a unique moment in time where affiliate linking has the opportunity to take off as a respectful alternative to the gross, in-your-face mess that much of web advertising has become. But to take off, affiliate linking is going to require education and better tools on every platform. That is where Blink is heading.

Good software made by good people. I like Blink, and John is good people. You should grab a copy if you use affiliate links. Yes, that link was generated in Blink.

Dropbox File Requests »

Jason Snell, at Six Colors:

But the thing is, a lot of the people I work with have a free Dropbox account—meaning they’re limited to 2GB of Dropbox data. Sometimes that Incomparable Transfer Folder can get big—and some of them are so close to the Dropbox size limit that they’re not able to even join the shared folder, because it’ll push them over. And though I’m a paying customer, I can’t grant the rights to some of my storage space to members of my shared folders. That’s not how Dropbox works.

But a feature introduced by Dropbox in June is starting to change how I use the service. It’s called File Requests, and it allows me to create a link that I can give to anyone who needs to send me a file—whether they use Dropbox or not.

I feel like a dope, but I had no idea that this existed. I could use this in a ton of ways.

Twitter removes the stupid limit on direct messages »

Alex Kantrowitz at BuzzFeed:

Starting today, that limit is gone. You can now send Twitter DMs of up to 10,000 characters in length. Don’t worry, you can still send incriminating photos via DM and hope they don’t accidentally publish to all your followers, if that’s what you’re into.

Obligatory “finally.”

Blink 1.1 »

Gabe Weatherhead:

I reviewed Blink 1.0 back in March and I still think it’s excellent. Version 1.1 is out now and adds some nice new features. You can now include the “geo” code so that links work better for sharing across international borders. You can also now share Apple Music links so that they open in in the Music app instead of the Store app. I haven’t researched the difference between affiliate payouts but I mostly don’t care. I think it’s nicer to have them open in the Music app.

Gabe’s right, Blink is far and away the best way to work with iTunes affiliate links on iOS. Doesn’t hurt that it’s made by good people. Well worth the $5.

TapCellar—a power user's beer app »

My buddies, Gabe and Jeff, have a new app out for beer nerds and it’s a power user’s (drinker’s?) tool for sure. You can basically keep track of everything related to the beers you love—or hate, for that matter. Seriously, everything. And it’s only $4.99. Also, if you haven’t already, you should be listening to their new podcast. Great guys, making great stuff.

Regarding Continuity on older Macs »

MacRumors Forums:

Created by Dokterdok (based on instructions compiled by UncleSchnitty) and available on Github, the Continuity Activation Tool is designed to activate Continuity by doing a compatibility check, creating backups of original System drivers, and disabling a Mac-model blacklist in the Bluetooth code that prevents Continuity from working on ineligible Macs. From there, it also whitelists Mac board-ids within the Wi-Fi code to get the feature working.

The tool can be downloaded as a zip file from Github and is installed by double clicking the app and following the instructions provided on the screen.

The Continuity Activation Tool will enable Continuity on the mid-2011 MacBook Air and the mid-2011 Mac mini with no additional hardware required, as both of those devices include Bluetooth 4.0. That means installing the tool should get Continuity up and running on those machines in just a few minutes.

I’m not sure I’m willing to take the risk, but we’ll see. I really want to be able to use AirDrop on my 2011 MacBook Air.

Drafts 4 »

Alex Guyot, writing for MacStories:

This is Drafts though, an app that has been at the forefront of iOS automation since the field began. I should not have been worried. Released today on the App Store as a new, iOS 8-only, and Universal app, Drafts 4 is an evolution which boasts a huge number of improvements and represents a much needed shift in direction. With a UI refresh, a smarter and more accessible interface for building actions, a fantastic Share extension, a customizable extended keyboard, an enhanced URL scheme, and the intriguing introduction of JavaScript scripts for text manipulation, Drafts 4 is Agile Tortoise’s statement that they are ready for the challenges of a modern iOS.

Greg Pierce knocked it out of the park with Drafts 4. It’s an incredibly powerful tool, and even after using it for a couple of months, I’m still discovering things that make the app even better. You should absolutely pick it up.