Apple considered buying Time Warner

The Verge, reporting on an article in the Financial Times:

Apple’s Eddy Cue floated the idea of a massive acquisition of Time Warner during a meeting with one of the latter company’s executives. That’s according to a new report from the Financial Times, which claims that the meeting between Cue and Time Warner’s Olaf Olafsson took place late last year.

The idea never moved far enough along to warrant a meeting between Apple CEO Tim Cook and Time Warner boss Jeff Bewkes, however. Cue and Olafsson met to discuss potential inclusion of Time Warner’s channels in Apple’s oft-rumored — and reportedly paused for now — subscription TV service. The appeal of owning Time Warner (and thus HBO, all Turner Broadcasting networks, and Warner Bros) is pretty easy to see from that perspective.

I consider buying a lot of things, most of which I don’t.

Gemini 2 for Mac Review

When I first heard of Gemini, a Mac app which promises to find and remove duplicate files, I thought to myself – ‘how many duplicate files could I possibly have?’ Out of curiosity and lack of storage space, I installed Gemini 2 on my Mac and let it run. To my surprise, it found over 5GB of duplicate files to remove.

Gemini 2 is a no-frills app that does exactly what it promises. Upon launching the app, you’ll be asked to select the folders you’d like Gemini to search through. You can drag a specific folder – or you can even select your entire Home folder.

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Airmail 3.0 for Mac

My favourite email app for Mac just received an extensive (free) update with a bevy of new features including:

  • Smart Folders
  • VIP Support
  • Send Later Support (Gmail and Exchange)
  • Customizable Menu
  • Customizable Gestures
  • Calendar Integration
  • One-Click Unsubscribe
  • Asana/Trello Integration
  • .. and much more

I’ve using Airmail as my sole email client on both Mac and iOS for the past few months – and I love it. With these new features, it’s getting even better. Airmail is available on the Map App Store for $9.99.

 

What We Lose In A Streaming Music World

Richard Anderson on the downside to streaming music services:

It feels like the move to streaming music means we’re losing something. What happens to music that isn’t available on a streaming service? How will you explore the music of a surprisingly good opening band when they don’t exist in the library of Apple Music, Spotify, or TIDAL? So much music that has touched my soul, you can’t stream it for love or money. I had to seek it out on my own, pawing through used music bins, or going to shows. When there’s an all-you-can eat buffet for $9.99, what’s the incentive to order something that isn’t on the menu?

While services like Apple Music and Spotify have their place in the music industry, I still love my physical collection of music (both vinyl and in iTunes).

Google I/O 2016

Many exciting announcements from Google today. I’m particularly interested in Google Home. I was a potential Amazon Echo buyer until I found out they don’t ship to Canada.

Twitter to Stop Counting Photos and Links in 140-Character Limit

Bloomberg:

The social media company will soon stop counting photos and links as part of its 140-character limit for messages, according to a person familiar with the matter. The change could happen in the next two weeks, said the person who asked not to be named because the decision isn’t yet public. Links currently take up 23 characters, even after Twitter automatically shortens them.

About damn time.

Meet Gboard

Earlier this week, Google released an alternative keyboard for iOS:

With Gboard, you can search and send all kinds of things—restaurant info, flight times, news articles—right from your keyboard. Anything you’d search on Google, you can search with Gboard. Results appear as cards with the key information front and center, such as the phone number, ratings and hours. With one tap, you can send it to your friend and you keep the conversation going.

My initial reaction was – ‘I wonder how much personal data Google is gaining from this’ – but after reading their privacy statement, it appears they aren’t taking much:

Privacy

We know the things you type on your phone are personal, so we’ve designed Gboard to keep your private information private.

What Gboard sends to Google:

  • When you do a search, Gboard sends your query to Google’s web servers so Google can process your query and send you search results.
  • Gboard also sends anonymous statistics to Google to help us diagnose problems when the app crashes and to let us know which features are used most often.

What Gboard doesn’t send to Google:

  • Everything else. Gboard will remember words you type to help you with spelling or to predict searches you might be interested in, but this data is stored only on your device. This data is not accessible by Google or by any apps other than Gboard.

This doesn’t mean their privacy statement won’t change, but it does make me wonder why Gboard doesn’t sync with Google or send more user data. Maybe it was their decision, or perhaps, it was forced by the App Store review process.

Currently Gboard is only available in the US App Store.