9 stories
·
0 followers

Letterboxd 2.0 Brings iPad Version, Support for iOS Automation Apps

1 Comment

I've always been fascinated by Letterboxd, the popular service to catalog and rate movies you've watched, as well as share your appreciation for the art of film with other users in a social network-type environment. My problem, however, is that dedicating serious time to watching quality movies (instead of whatever is on TV) has mostly been an aspirational effort; I never truly attempted to make a list of films I want to watch and set aside a good chunk of time every week to enjoy them.

Among various "quality of life" improvements (which I briefly mentioned in this episode of Analog(ue) with Myke Hurley), earlier this year I decided to create an Airtable database with a list of movies I want to see, trying to tick one off at least every week. Since I started testing a beta of Letterboxd 2.0 for iOS last week though, I'm wondering if maybe now is the time for me to consider using a dedicated service to collect, rate, and discover movies.

Launching today on the App Store, the most notable change in Letterboxd 2.0 is the addition of a native iPad app. Based on the same principles and structure of the iPhone version, navigation in Letterboxd for iPad happens primarily via five tabs at the bottom of the screen; unlike the iPhone app, these tabs are labeled and easier to identify at a glance. Thanks to the larger canvas, every UI element in the app is bigger and more comfortable to interact with – which is unsurprising – but the Letterboxd iOS team also took the time to rethink how other controls should be laid out on the iPad's screen.

In the Profile page, for instance, links to open sections for films you've rated, your likes, and watchlist have been relocated to a sidebar; when you open a movie's individual listing, the iPad app shows larger cover art at the top, followed by a bigger movie poster than the iPhone version, with ratings and other actions grouped together on the left, leaving room for reviews and other useful information in the main view on the right.

One day, I'll be like Matthew. One day.

One day, I'll be like Matthew. One day.

As Letterboxd founder Matthew Buchanan wrote in a blog post:

In the 22 months since the launch of our iPhone app, we’ve consistently received the same feedback: please make this work on my iPad! We’re pleased to announce that today we’ve shipped Letterboxd 2.0 for iOS, a universal app with native iPad support that brings the richness of our community to the larger form factor.

This was no small task. Some screens from the phone app just made sense larger (browsing grids of popular films) or presented in a popover (sorting and filtering options), while others (like member profiles) required more of a rethink. The results are glorious—our Patron profile pages have never looked so good! With three iPad resolutions and two orientations to consider, we’ve concentrated our efforts on the most commonly used views in the app, and we’ll continue to refine ancillary screens in future releases.

While browsing the Letterboxd iPad app in full-screen feels good, I'm particularly happy to see the company has embraced modern iPad multitasking too. Letterboxd fully supports Slide Over, Split View, and basic drag and drop for text fields (such as the search one); I'm going to be using Letterboxd next to apps like Safari or iTunes when I'm browsing around looking for movies to add to my watchlist, and I'm glad I won't have to switch between multiple spaces to do so.

In addition to making the iOS app Universal, version 2.0 of Letterboxd has also adopted the x-callback-url protocol to support inter-app automation through URL schemes.

As detailed in the documentation available here, Letterboxd 2.0 supports three different actions: search (to perform a search on the service and filter by results by film, member, list, and other parameters), addToWatchlist (fairly self-explanatory), and log. With the latter, you can add a new entry to the app (either a review or a personal diary entry), pre-filling key details such as a movie's title, date, and review from other apps, sending a request directly to Letterboxd's compose window, which will populate each field based on what has been passed by the URL scheme.

A search for a movie that started in Drafts. After confirming a result, it will be added to your watchlist in Letterboxd.

A search for a movie that started in Drafts. After confirming a result, it will be added to your watchlist in Letterboxd.

For years, I've seen iOS users create workflows to log watched movies or archive reviews in note-taking apps that supported a rich URL scheme or web APIs, such as Day One (a popular choice for this task given its diary nature) or the aforementioned Airtable. With a URL scheme, Letterboxd can now be integrated with Drafts and Workflow on iOS, which opens up interesting possibilities as the log action supports HTML content in the review field. This means you could write a review in a Markdown environment like Bear and Ulysses, then use a workflow to convert it to HTML and send everything to Letterboxd, retaining formatting and content for other fields as well. The Letterboxd team has created some sample actions and workflows you can find here.

As I said above, I'm not a movie expert, but I want to discover and watch more movies in 2018. Letterboxd – which also offers two types of premium subscription on its website – is a thriving community with hundreds of thematic collections and excellent recommendations by movie aficionados who are passionate about this industry and art form. With an iPad version, Letterboxd now provides a rich and modern iOS experience that, hopefully, will help me grow my movie knowledge over the next few months.

Letterboxd 2.0 is available on the App Store.


Support MacStories Directly

Club MacStories offers exclusive access to extra MacStories content, delivered every week; it's also a way to support us directly.

Club MacStories will help you discover the best apps for your devices and get the most out of your iPhone, iPad, and Mac. Plus, it's made in Italy.

Join Now
Read the whole story
Spuzzy
23 days ago
reply
In search of a problem that doesn’t exists.
Share this story
Delete

Tip Jar: Groking Spotlight Settings in iOS

1 Comment

I still don't really understand some of the iOS settings but one, in particular, has always baffled me: Spotlight.1

Spotlight

By default, every app installed automatically gets indexed by Spotlight. That's not always great for search results. I find that many of my spotlight searches are contaminated by results from things I don't want to see. Through trial and error, I think I figured out the consequences of Spotlight settings. I could be wrong, but this is what I observe.

Enabling Spotlight for an app may mean that the app contents are indexed and searched in Spotlight. That means apps like Drafts and DEVONthink show their contents as part of the Spotlight search results.

Search Results

If I turn off the Spotlight indexing for an app (for example Deliveries), then the contents are omitted from Spotlight. Here's the rub though. Now if I want to quickly find the app, not the contents of the app, partial name matches don't work. I must type the full app name "deliveries" before Spotlight shows it. That's... non-obvious.

Useless Results


  1. Now called Siri and Search in iOS 11 

Read the whole story
Spuzzy
116 days ago
reply
Spotlight on iOS is really stupid now. Literally.
Share this story
Delete

The Outline: ‘Inside Apple’s Global War on Leakers’

1 Comment

William Turton has quite a scoop for The Outline:

A recording of an internal briefing at Apple earlier this month obtained by The Outline sheds new light on how far the most valuable company in the world will go to prevent leaks about new products. […]

The briefing, which offers a revealing window into the company’s obsession with secrecy, was the first of many Apple is planning to host for employees. In it, Rice and Freedman speak candidly about Apple’s efforts to prevent leaks, discuss how previous leakers got caught, and take questions from the approximately 100 attendees.

There’s some irony in a leaked recording of an internal briefing on stopping leaks.

This is news to me:

However, Rice says, Apple has cracked down on leaks from its factories so successfully that more breaches are now happening on Apple’s campuses in California than its factories abroad. “Last year was the first year that Apple [campuses] leaked more than the supply chain,” Rice tells the room. “More stuff came out of Apple [campuses] last year than all of our supply chain combined.” […]

In the years since Tim Cook pledged to double down on secrecy, Rice’s team has gotten better at safeguarding enclosures. “In 2014 we had 387 enclosures stolen,” he says. “In 2015 we had 57 enclosures stolen, 50 of which were stolen on the night of announce, which was so painful.” In 2016, Rice says the company produced 65 million housings, and only four were stolen. “So it’s about a one in 16 million loss ratio, which is unheard of in the industry.”

There’s a short (15 minute) podcast that accompanies the report, with Turton and The Outline’s Adrianne Jeffries. It’s worth a listen. (It doesn’t seem possible to link directly to a single episode of their podcast, so here’s a direct link for Overcast users.)

Read the whole story

Link: ‘Fuck Facebook’

3 Comments and 5 Shares

John Gruber has some choice words for Facebook and their desire to wall off posts and force you into their service in order to read it comfortably. It’s actually worse than he knows since he doesn’t use Facebook.

My wife was trying to show me something a friend of hers had posted on Facebook. A cute shiba inu or guinea pigs jumping over CGI pits of fire or some political thing or something. She had seen it earlier in the day and wanted to share it with me and she knows the best way to do that is just show it to me on her phone because, while I do have a Facebook account, I’d rather cut my eyelids off and eat them than log into it.

But she couldn’t find it. She scrolled and scrolled and scrolled but Facebook’s shitty algorithmic timeline just kept showing her crap it wanted her to see instead of what she wanted to see.

So, not only can’t you access Facebook content from outside of Facebook, half the time you can’t access Facebook content from inside Facebook, either.


∞ Permalink
Read the whole story
Spuzzy
266 days ago
reply
True story.
Share this story
Delete
2 public comments
MotherHydra
260 days ago
reply
I wanna see #fuckfacebook turn into a thing.
Space City, USA
thepyrate
266 days ago
reply
I have had the situation where I've seen some link I want to open but the next thing down looks interesting as well, I scroll down a bit, nah, I'll go back and open that link now, and the post that was literally RIGHT ABOVE the next post I scrolled to has disappeared. It's a mess and gets worse and worse to use as time goes on.
Hobart, Tasmania

On Giving a Shit

2 Comments and 4 Shares

Joe Hewitt, possibly in response to Dave Winer’s and my objections to Facebook today:

Seriously guys, nobody gives a shit about the open web. Only your clique.

A few thoughts:

  • Most people don’t care about “the open web” at the technical or political (and in my personal case, business) level that Dave Winer and I do. Most people, I’m sure, couldn’t even offer a cogent definition of what “the open web” means. Nor should they have to. They just know they can open a web browser, search for things, visit their favorite sites, and click links from one site to another. But I’ll tell you what: I bet most people think it sucks that stuff posted publicly to Facebook — like Marc Haynes’s lovely story about Roger Moore — can’t be searched by Google. And I bet they’d be pissed if they knew that it wasn’t a technical issue on Google’s side but simply a deliberate strategic decision by Facebook. People may not know what the open web is but they like it.

  • What a sad way to go through life, discouraging people from fighting for what they know to be both right and good for the world, simply because most people may not understand. “Just give up” seems to be Hewitt’s advice.

  • Joe Hewitt in 2009:

    The web is still unrestricted and free, and so I am returning to my roots as a web developer. In the long term, I would like to be able to say that I helped to make the web the best mobile platform available, rather than being part of the transition to a world where every developer must go through a middleman to get their software in the hands of users.

Read the whole story
Spuzzy
266 days ago
reply
Ouch...
Share this story
Delete
1 public comment
rtreborb
264 days ago
reply
Great quote from the archives

Apple’s ‘Differential Privacy’ and Your Data

1 Share

Andy Greenberg, writing for Wired, has a good explanation of differential privacy:

Differential privacy, translated from Apple-speak, is the statistical science of trying to learn as much as possible about a group while learning as little as possible about any individual in it. With differential privacy, Apple can collect and store its users’ data in a format that lets it glean useful notions about what people do, say, like and want. But it can’t extract anything about a single, specific one of those people that might represent a privacy violation. And neither, in theory, could hackers or intelligence agencies.

And:

Differential privacy, Roth explains, seeks to mathematically prove that a certain form of data analysis can’t reveal anything about an individual—that the output of an algorithm remains identical with and without the input containing any given person’s private data. “You might do something more clever than the people before to anonymize your data set, but someone more clever than you might come around tomorrow and de-anonymize it,” says Roth. “Differential privacy, because it has a provable guarantee, breaks that loop. It’s future proof.”

→ Source: wired.com

Read the whole story
Spuzzy
612 days ago
reply
Share this story
Delete
Next Page of Stories