After a long hiatus, we’re back with a weekly news and deals update, along with some extras that’ll make our weekly news post the one you won’t want to miss. We’ve even thrown in the best longreads and podcasts from the world of tech, to give you something extra to add to your reading list this week. It’ll be brought to you weekly – each Thursday – by our writer Phillip Gruneich, and should be a great sidekick to our normal slate of reviews and roundups.
Grab some popcorn, then dive into this week’s best news, deals, and longreads!
News from the World of Apps
After the API changes that cut loose most of third-party developers, Twitter discontinues its support for the mobile and AIR versions of Tweetdeck to focus on their web and Chrome apps. Not long after we lost its official client for Mac, Twitter underlines its objective to funnel its users into their main website. They also dropped support for Facebook from their web app, making it only really good as an advanced Twitter app for managing multiple accounts online. It’s a disappointing – but not entirely unexpected – change. But at least for now, you can still use the TweetDeck native Mac app and web app, though it’s doubtful if the Mac app will be kept around much longer.
While one hand takes away, another one gives. App.net has embraced the orphan developers from Twitter, and has been prolific with its support of new app releases. Project Amy is one of the latest App.net apps, and it integrates the private message feature of App.net into the Messages app that ships with your Mountain Lion. If you’re interested in App.net, you should read our review of its newest client for Mac, Kiwi, and check out our Web.AppStorm articles about App.net to get more info about the service.
2013 kicked off with a wave of security breaches at several major services, like the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Twitter. Evernote, unfortunately, also became a target of the attacks. As a precaution, Evernote’s instigated a mandatory password reset, so if you’re using Evernote on your Mac, you need to login to the Evernote web app and reset your password. According to Evernote’s investigation, no stored content or payment information was accessed, however, the hackers still found their way to some users’ information, like email addresses and passwords.
Not only have web sites themselves been targeted so early this year, as several vulnerabilities have been found on Flash and Java, making it possible for your computer to be compromised by a Flash or Java applet on a site. The respective companies have quickly released updates to cover these major flaws, and Apple has already blacklisted older versions of the plugins in OS X.
In 2011, we learned of Steve Jobs’s attempt to purchase Dropbox. iCloud is the direct answer to the negative given by its creator, Drew Houston. More than a year after the release of Apple’s cloud service, Houston warned about lack of ways to manage your files on iCloud and the omen of a lock-in at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this week. Most of us are still using both Dropbox and iCloud, since they essentially serve similar yet different purposes, but only time will tell if Dropbox gets more like iCloud or iCloud gets more like Dropbox. The competition should be interesting to watch.
You probably heard about the case of a certain phrase completely blocked from iCloud emails. The issue is still not fixed and strikes even when the phrase is included inside zipped PDF files. It prompts a bigger problem question: who knows how many sentences are blacklisted by iCloud’s filter? Also, do we really want Apple – or anyone – censoring our emails without our knowledge?
It doesn’t matter how much Apple is criticized or its stock price falls, it’s still kept its reputation intact. The most profitable company in the last quarter of 2012 – yes, Apple - was ranked at the top of Fortune Magazine’s list of most admired companies, in front of Google, Amazon and Microsoft. That’s one ranking we sure agree with.
If you get excited about read-later services, there’s two new Mac apps that might be for you: ReadKit and Words App. ReadKit has been polished for some time, and just introduced new reading themes, monochrome or colored icons in the sidebar, and the option to automatically adjust the article width. Words App got a full new redesign, one that’s totally unique in the world of reading apps, and also has new responsive typography. Check our review of ReadKit and the older version of Words App.
The Best App Deals for Your Mac
This is quite the week for deals for your Mac, with 5 huge bundles – two of which with more than the usual share of awesome apps – and a number of apps on sale. And there’s even a few free apps in the mix. Hurry and grab them before the deals run out!
$4.99 -> Free
$2.99 -> Free
The Cave – $14.99 (NEW)
Meetings – $19.99 (NEW)
Name Mangler 3 − $9.99 (NEW)
Gemini: The Duplicate Finder –
$9.99 -> $4.99
Bundleecious Bundle (5 apps plus 3 months of Backblaze online backup) – $9.99
The Humble Bundle with Android 5 (6 cross-platform games) – Pay what you want
MacUpdate March 2013 Bundle (10 apps, including Parallels Desktop, DevonThink Pro, Prizmo, Motion Composer, and more) – $49.99
MacLegion Spring Bundle 2013 (10 apps – including Roxio Toast and LaunchBar – plus Trickster for the first 5000 purchases) – $49.99
Last but not least, we’ve got some extra links you might like to add to your Instapaper or Pocket for some weekend reading. Or, if listening is more your thing, we’ve got an interesting podcast episode you’re sure to love.
Did We Miss Anything?
That’s all the news, deals, and interesting links for this week, but if there’s anything you think we missed, be sure to let us know in the comments below. Otherwise, check back next Thursday for more Mac news, deals, and more!