Help Tala

Hey everyone, as many of you know, The Escapers is based in Australia, and in my (Garry) new home town of Warburton, Victoria, there is an assistance dog that needs some help.

Tala is an assistance dog helping her owner with symptoms of PTSD, and has been helping for years. Unfortunately Tala has developed problems with her hips and needs some surgery.
So The Escapers is chipping in to help, we’re running a 50% off sale on all our products, with 50% of the proceeds going to help Tala.
Just use the coupon code:
HELPTALA

On our online store, to get a bargain, and help Tala at the same time.
You can read more about Tala here:

Apple Music Vs Spotify : The Reckoning

So, I’ve gone back to Spotify, and I have my reasons….

I use a Blackberry, I can use Spotify on this, it’s probably the Andriod version, but who cares, it works.
Can’t get Apple Music on the Amazon App Store (the Blackberry doesn’t use Google Play.). This is kind of a deal breaker for me, my new car makes it real easy to play music through the headphone socket, so music on my phone has taken on a whole new importance, I don’t need to burn CDs anymore!
Spotify recommends better music for me, it’s not amazing, but it’s good enough.
The Apple Music UI isn’t great, but it’s generally better than Spotify, they are both poor in different ways. I find it remarkable that both companies are struggling with this.
My reasons probably only apply to me, and other wierdos who don’t use an iPhone.

Apple Music Vs Spotify

Until recently, I was a hardened Spotify user, I never even bothered to try Apple Music, not because I thought it was crap, but simply because Spotify was doing a decent job, so why bother…  Spotify had all my play lists, and although the recommendations were sometimes comically awful, I found some good music via it too (check out Augustines, brilliant.)

So Spotify seemed to start failed, I was getting garbled music, static, all sorts of strangenss, I though it was my Mac at first, but only Spotify was affected, so I decided to try out Apple Music.
First, the UI. Everyone talks about how bad it is. Yes, it’s pretty bad. It’s buggy and just damn stupid sometimes.
I’ll give you a simple example.
You’d think clicking ‘I don’t like this’ would get rid of that section… Nope. It doesn’t appear to do anything. I even tried restarting iTunes, it’s still there… 
It’s like iTunes is activly trolling me, like ‘Hey, I know you don’t like this stuff, but I don’t care, sucks to be you!’
However, at least Apple Music accepts the theory that there may be music I don’t care for. Spotify does not.
Apple Music is much, much more reliable. In fact, I don’t think a playback has failed once. This really surprised me, Apple services tend to take a while to get right, iCloud was just abysmal when it first appeared, it’s pretty solid now, Apple Maps was famous for testing the emergency stopping abilities of drivers. I really wasn’t expecting it be reliable, but it is, very much so.
Music recommendations are poor, but then I’ve not used for very long, so I guess it takes time to figure my tastes out, some of the recommendations are way, way, off though. Ronan Keating? Where the hell did they get that from. 
So far, Apple Music is better at recommending stuff I hate than stuff I like, it’s like a programmer mistook false for true. I’m not even joking. I think this will get better though, at least I can say I ‘Love’ a song, or ‘I don’t like this’, at the moment it feels like the buttons aren’t hooked up to anything, but the intent is there, and I appreciate that.
So far, it’s not really a matter of preffering Apple Music, I can’t say that I do, but Spotify is unreliable, so I don’t really have the option.

The Escapers go Wilde

We’ve just released our new app: Wilde, a brand new blogging app for WordPress.

We made Wilde because as much as we love blogging, sometimes we don’t love the web sites we have to use to write our posts.
Wilde supports all the usual blogging features such as editing posts, local and remote drafts, and we’ve also got some power features in there such as comment management, scheduling posts and support for the WordPress.com JSON API, which means we can provide first class support for blogs at www.wordpress.com.
Right now, the focus is on WordPress support, but if you have a favourite blogging service you’d like us to take a look at, just let us know!

The Best Thing at WWDC : Swift Playgrounds for iPad

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I’ve often lamented the demise of the home computer, or rather ‘home computing’. When computers were used to experiment, create, and discover. Computers like the C64, BBC Micro, and later machines like the Amiga, weren’t just hosts for web browsers, the C64 and BBC booted into BASIC, it wasn’t an add-on, programming defined those machines, that’s what they were for.

My first home computer was the Acorn Electron, it, like it’s contemporaries booted into the BASIC programming language, and you could create a game, or more likely, you’re own name repeated 10 times, but we had to start somewhere, so we did.
 
The modern computer in peoples homes is often an iPad, a portal to Facebook and YouTube, and rarely used for much more.
Swift Playgrounds could be the change that re-invents home computing, the iPad is accessible, affordable, and you’ve probably already got one.
John Gruber suggests that Swift Playgrounds may become the new Hypercard Stack. I really hope he’s right.