Pandora has released an update for it’s Artist Marketing Platform. It includes Artist Audio Messages, Featured Tracks, AMPcast, and more as their marketing tools. You can check out the updated service here. If you’re interested in their how-to videos and more helpful tips, you can find those here.
After listening to episode 106 of Upgrade this week, it made me curious as to why Apple doesn’t have kiosks at airports to sell smaller items like their EarPods, soon to be released AirPods, adapters, chargers, and other accessories. How many times have you forgotten something as simple as a lightning cable or power adapter while traveling? Probably more than you’d like to admit. It would be convenient, and likely profitable, for Apple to put in some kiosks around airport terminals so people can stock up on those smaller accessories.
We see similar kiosks in airports, and malls already. Although, most Apple stores, at least ones near me, seem to already be in malls so there’s no need there. It feels like Apple is missing out on an opportunity here, small as it may be. Why let other stores/kiosks profit off of accessories that may bot be as good as the ones Apple offers for their own products? It would be interesting to see Apple implement this in the immensely busy airports like JFK, LAX, and SFO before just putting them in a ton of airports, a chunk of which are probably too small to even have kiosks or stores in them.
I’m not knowledgeable enough on what opening stores or kiosks entails, but it seems like something that would be worthwhile for Apple to consider. It’s been a while since I’ve been on a flight, but I don’t recall seeing anything like what I briefly described. Hell, they could even sell phones at the kiosks if they thought it would work.
The Ringer has officially launched their website. It’s great to see a ton of Grantland writers back on one site. Medium is a great publishing platform to team up with since they’ll provide a nice, consistent reading experience. Definitely check it out, there’s a ton of content up already. The site will be covering, sports, tech, pop culture, and more.
If you read anything today, it should be Federico Viticci’s article about mixtapes and discovering new music over at MacStories:
I’ve been jumping between different music streaming services for a few years now. Spotify keeps getting more popular and there’s a rumor that Apple is also working on a streaming service, but I use Rdio now. Rdio looks great: the company’s designers care about music, and the service is full of details and smaller features that make streaming songs enjoyable. I like that I can view my History so I can see what I’ve been into lately. It seems like I listen to Oasis when I’m resting at home and 2Pac when I’m doing chemo at the hospital. That’s an odd pattern.
My favorite aspect of Rdio is the focus on people. Not only can I discover playlists by other users with a beautiful interface – I can also see what’s trending among my friends and what they’ve been listening to. I subscribe to a few playlists and I regularly discover new artists thanks to people I follow. It doesn’t feel like Luca’s mixtapes (remember those CDs? Things are so much better now), but it’s nice.
I used to care about owning albums. I sometimes miss that sense of music ownership, and I wonder if Rdio’s going to be around forever. I like this service because they seem to know what they’re doing.
Overcast has been my podcast app of choice since it was first released. Today it received a 2.5 update with features such as a dark theme and file uploads available to patrons only. Needless to say, I quickly became a patron to use the dark theme. You can check out all of the details on the update here and download the app here.
Spark has just released an iPad version of the app, just in time for Mailbox to be shutting down. When Spark first launched for iPhone, I reviewed it here and it looked like a very promising replacement. Now Spark is on two platforms and they’ll likely begin working on a Mac version, which is something I definitely need and I’m sure many others do as well.
The app has been making some minor changes since it’s launch last year, along with a few big ones. You now have the ability to choose between a few background colors if you weren’t thrilled about only have one choice. The iPad app runs just as smoothly as the iPhone app and the sync process has been great. With the iPad app comes the addition of a widget that pops up on the left side, allowing you to view a calendar, attachments, and more. You can customize it to your liking and add more personalized options.
There seems to always be work that needs to be done with email clients and Spark has some competition now with Outlook and Airmail being some favorites and Polymail is a new app that is currently in alpha, waiting to be released. Spark is in a great spot right now and it will be interesting to see what they come up with for the Mac app and how they improve on iOS. You can get the app here.
Instagram is now allowing users to switch between multiple accounts without having to log in and out. Check out their help page for more information on it. This has been a long awaited feature and is great news for those in the entertainment industry looking to manage multiple accounts!
It’s been a while since I’ve done any recommendations. For those of you who may not know, I listen to a ton of podcasts. I’ve been using Overcast since it was first released. Unfortunately, I had the iPhone 4 still when the app came out and I wasn’t able to make use of the in-app purchase to pay Marco Arment for his hard work. Once I upgrade to the 5s, I immediately did so and did not mind paying $5 for a great app with great features. With the 2.0 version, Marco has decided to make the app free with all of the features. You can read about his reasoning here. Smart Speed is by far the best feature I’ve encountered in a podcast app. It cuts out unnecessary silences to make your listening time shorter. For an idea of just how many podcasts I listen to, I’ve saved over 240 hours using Smart Speed. I also love the Twitter recommendation feature. If you follow users who listen to podcasts in Overcast, the shows they recommend will show up in a nice feed and there are preset categories that allow you to easily discover new podcasts. If you need any more convincing, check out Federico Viticci’s review of the app over on Macstories. You can grab the app for iOS here.
On Wednesday, at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, in San Francisco, the company was in full force with its fall showcase, announcing a variety of new products including a very large iPad, a new version of its Apple TV set-top box, and, of course, a couple of new iPhones—the 6S and the 6S Plus. But what was most striking was not the newness of the products. Instead, it was the fact that we’d seen most of this film before: about ninety per cent of what Apple revealed has already been shown by Google, Amazon, Samsung, and Microsoft.
Mind you, this is not a new skill that Apple has acquired. In fact, some of the company’s biggest hits were simply a rethink or tweak of an old idea or two. The iPod wasn’t the first MP3 player, and Apple certainly didn’t create the first smartphone. The company also didn’t invent the first tablet, and when it introduced its new one this week, the main selling point was that Apple had enlarged an object that it had recently shrunk.
It’s nice to see Joshua Topolsky writing again after a brief break from his time at Bloomberg. His podcast, Tomorrow, is also a great listen if you’re interested.
Nuzzel is an app that took me a second try to really start using it on a regular basis. What the app does is connect with your Twitter or Facebook account and shows what news your friends have been sharing. You have quite a few options for how you can set the app up (which can be seen in the above photo). I generally keep mine on “News From Your Friends” and have it set at 2+ friends, which just means I’m seeing content that two or more people I follow have shared.
It really is a simple way to see what content is popular among who you follow on Twitter or your friends on Facebook and it’s earned a place on my home screen right above Tweetbot. You can grab the app on iTunes and on Google Play.