(You're reading all posts by John Brownlee)

About John Brownlee

John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his wife and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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Tweetbot 2 for Mac’s latest update pushes it ahead of Twitter

Tweetbot's new "quote tweet" functionality.

Tweetbot’s new “quote tweet” functionality.

Tweetbot 2 for Mac was a long awaited update to Tapbots’ fantastic Twitter app, bringing a host of new functionality and a flat, Yosemite-friendly redesign to fans. But it wasn’t exactly a finished release, as Macworld’s review makes clear.

But Tapbots is not a developer to leave things half-done. They have just released Tweetbot 2.0.1 for Mac, and it’s so ahead of the curve it supports a feature even Twitter hasn’t delivered on yet.

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Smashing Pumpkins’ Billy Corgan calls Apple Music a big Zero

The Smashing Pumpkins frontman thinks Apple Music is a big Zero for artists.

The Smashing Pumpkins frontman thinks Apple Music is a big Zero for artists.

Billy Corgan is an outspoken guy. The Smashing Pumpkins frontman turned semi-pro wrestler is known to speak out when he’s got an opinion, especially about politics. And he’s none too happy about what Apple’s been doing with Apple Music.

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Here’s the Apple Watch emulating a vintage 20 year old Mac

You won't believe what the Apple Watch can do now.

You won’t believe what the Apple Watch can do now.

The Apple Watch might not seem like it has the most powerful processor on the block, but it’s still an A5-caliber CPU, similar to the one shipped with the iPad 2, the original iPad mini, and the iPhone 4S.

That means the Apple Watch’s processor is still more powerful than pretty much every other CPU of the last forty years. And it’s certainly up to the task of emulating a vintage Mac, as this video abundantly proves.

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A beautiful, elegant app to check your iPhone’s battery on your Apple Watch

This is the simplest, most elegant app for checking your iPhone's battery on your Apple Watch.

This is the simplest, most elegant app for checking your iPhone’s battery on your Apple Watch.

We all know that the Apple Watch doesn’t exactly have great battery life. At best, it’ll get you through the day. But, of course, one of the big sells of the Apple Watch is that it’ll save your iPhone battery life, because you don’t have to pull it out as much.

Of course, then you end up in a Catch-22. Your Apple Watch depends on your iPhone to work properly, but without pulling out your iPhone, you can’t tell how much battery you have left, therefore risking both your Apple Watch and your iPhone crapping out on you in the middle of the day. If only the Apple Watch could tell you your iPhone’s battery level.

It can’t, but luckily, there’s an app for that. And it might be the loveliest one yet.

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Colorblind? This iPhone app tells you what color you’re looking at

Red Stripes tells color blind users what color they're looking at.

Red Stripes tells color blind users what color they’re looking at.

Color blindness is an extremely prevalent disability, especially amongst men: according to official statistics, 1 in 12 men are color blind (although women fare better, at a rate of only 1 in 200). These rates of color blindness are part of the reason why Google places such importance in their Material Design guidelines on designing with color blindness in mind. For example, by not relying on color alone to relay critical information within an app.

But no matter how well programmed an app is, it’s not going to help someone who is color blind see colors… or is it? Red Stripe is a new app by developer Michel Fortin that aims to do just that.

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Fallout Shelter dethrones Candy Crush Saga on App Store charts

Fallout Shelter

The nuclear holocaust has never been so adorable.

For years, King.com’s Candy Crush Saga has been one of the App Store’s top earners. The addictive match-3 game was considered the crowning success of the freemium app genre, and although the growth of Candy Crush Saga has been slowing over time, it still dominated the App Store’s ranking charts.

But there’s a new king in town. A post-apocalyptic king. Fallout Shelter, Bethesda’s adorable nuclear bunker sim, has dethroned Candy Crush Saga as the App Store freemium game to beat.

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This adorable 2-year-old is the cutest Pirate of Silicon Valley ever

Y'argh, me mateys. Talk about a true Apple fan.

Y’argh, me mateys. Talk about a true Apple fan.

Many babies these days have to wear an eyepatch to correct vision problems. That’s why the two-year old girl above, Layla Grubb, is wearing the best eyepatch ever: an ’80’s style Apple logo, pasted over her left eye. Talk about a Pirate of Silicon Valley!

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This talented Apple fan turned her portfolio into a beautiful paper MacBook

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Login to Eva Zar’s portfolio.

Most creative and designer types travel around with two things perpetually tucked under their arms: their portfolios, and their MacBooks. Vienna-based fashion designer Eva Zar decided to consolidate the two: her portfolio is a MacBook, at least in appearance.

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Napster’s Sean Parker is trying to create the Twitter of political opinions

Napster's Sean Parker is backing the Twitter for political opinions.

Napster’s Sean Parker is backing the Twitter for political opinions.

Sean Parker — the rogue Silicon Valley investor behind Napster, and a formative part of Facebook’s early development — has a new iOS app out. It’s called Brigade, and it’s got good election timing: it’s an app devoted to sharing and polling people on their political opinions.

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Jawbone wants Fitbit’s blood in court

Jawbone wants Fitbit's blood. Photo: Jawbone

Jawbone wants Fitbit’s blood. Photo: Jawbone

Once, Jawbone was king of the fitness tracking set. Then, after a series of missteps and disastrous, half-baked product launches, Jawbone’s popularity waned in favor of Fitbit.

Now, of course, the Apple Watch rules the roost, but Jawbone and Fitbit are still at war… and Jawbone just dragged it all into the courts.

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