The Next Track, Episode #133 – Desert Island Discs, Part 2

The Next Track Blue Flat Button2 400pxDoug and Kirk have made lists of their ten desert island discs, and, in part one of a two-part series, we hear Doug’s picks.

Listen to The Next Track: 133 – Desert Island Discs, Part 2.

Find out more, and subscribe to the podcast, at The Next Track website. You can follow The Next Track on Twitter at @NextTrackCast, to keep up to date with new episodes, and new articles from the website.

Why You Need SaaS Accounting Software for Your Startup

When you start making your first purchases for your startup, it’s easy to record them in an Excel or a Google Docs spreadsheet. You may be a spreadsheet whiz, or you you may have downloaded some free accounting templates on a website that helps people launch businesses.

Excel spreadsheets may pass muster for the first weeks, or even months, as you’re getting your business off the ground, but continuing to manage your books that way — and not using real SaaS accounting software for your startup — is simply the wrong thing to do. This is true especially when you seek investments or venture capital to grow your business; when you show potential backers your financials in a handful of spreadsheets, chances of errors are higher and it looks unprofessional.

There are certainly people who could maintain their financials for their SaaS startup in this manner. In these cases, they’d have to create very detailed spreadsheets with all the accounts and reporting elements of standard accounting. Spreadsheets like this would look a lot like accounting software, and the amount of time they’d take to set up — and verify — would be better spent on growing their business.

The disadvantages of using Excel for accounting for your SaaS startup is about a lot more than just the way figures look in a spreadsheet. There is so much that can be wrong in a spreadsheet that investors can’t take that sort of financial data seriously.

Read the rest of the article on The Startup Finance Blog.

Learn How to Use Apple Photos with Take Control of Photos

TCo Photos 1 0 Cover for EPUBGet to know Apple’s Photos app and how best to use it to import, manage, edit, and share your photos in Mojave and iOS 12. As the successor to Apple’s iPhoto and Aperture apps, Photos has a more refined interface and deeper connections to iCloud, and it runs faster. Following the expert advice of Jason Snell, publisher of Six Colors and former lead editor at Macworld, you’ll learn how to navigate Photos like a pro with Take Control of Photos.

In this book, you’ll learn how to:

  • Migrate your library from iPhoto or Aperture (Apple’s discontinued professional photography app) into Photos
  • Import photos from devices or memory cards
  • Use multiple Photos libraries
  • Navigate the Photos interface, including the sidebar and icons
  • View, edit, or disable Live Photos
  • Organize your library by using enhanced search features, adding metadata, building albums, and creating smart albums
  • Edit your photos using quick fixes like cropping, applying filters, and fixing red-eye and rotation problems
  • Use advanced editing techniques within Photos and edit using external apps like Photoshop
  • Manage your photo collection using the Memories and People features, and get summary views
  • Sync and share your photos with iCloud
  • View your photos on an Apple TV
  • Share your photos via social media, export them out of Photos, or turn them into slideshows
  • Create printed objects (such as books and calendars) from your photos using third-party services
  • Jason also highlights changes in Photos under iOS 12, including searching for multiple items at once, a For You tab, and an updated Import tab; plus changes in Mojave, including new keyboard shortcuts and the removal of built-in features for making calendars, books, and other printed materials (and alternative means of obtaining them).

Take Control of Photos, which is about the new versions of Photos that Apple released in September 2018, covers Photos for macOS version 4.0 in Mojave, as well as Photos in iOS 12 and tvOS 12.

Get Take Control of Photos.

Apple Doesn’t Care About Apps that Violate the Company’s Rules [Updated]

I own a Netatmo weather station, which I use to monitor the temperature in my garden, and in my office. This weather station uses an iOS app, which can send me notifications, such as when the temperature goes above or below certain thresholds that I set.

On black Friday, I received this notification:

Netatmo

This sort of notification is against Apple’s App Store guidelines; in section 4.5.4, about push notifications, these guidelines say:

4.5.4 Push Notifications must not be required for the app to function, and should not be used for advertising, promotions, or direct marketing purposes or to send sensitive personal or confidential information. Abuse of these services may result in revocation of your privileges.

So I contacted Apple’s iTunes Store support. Here’s what they replied:

Hi Kirk,

Thanks for contacting us. I can certainly understand your concern regarding this issue.

In this case, I would recommend you to contact the app developer as they are the creators if [sic] the app.

I would also like to inform you that, iTunes Store is just a store front where we sell the contents provided by the content provider.

It seems like Apple doesn’t care what an app does; you can probably report any type of violation and they won’t do anything about it. This is quite surprising, given their stringent guidelines for apps. But, hey, too much work, I guess.

Update: I replied to that reply, saying:

So you’re saying that an app that violates your App Store Guidelines won’t have any problem because you don’t care about it?

And I received a reply back:

Thank you for providing this information about an app that may be violating the review guidelines. We take these cases very seriously as we care about our customers and App Store. We have escalated the information you have provided to our App Review team. They will investigate the app using the information you have provided and follow up directly with the developer if the app is in violation to fix the issue. Please understand that we cannot provide you any updates on the investigation as we can only communicate with the developer of the app.

We thank you for the information and if you can provide anymore information to help with the investigation it will be appreciated greatly.

So it seems the first-level support doesn’t care, and that you need to be more forceful to get some action. This said, there is no easy way to report this sort of thing; you have to go to the app’s page and report a problem; and, of course, you can only do this on iOS since there is no longer an App Store in iTunes. I’ll post more info here if I hear anything back.

Intego Mac Podcast, Episode 58: New Security Features in iOS 12 and macOS Mojave

We take a close look at the great new security features in iOS 12 and macOS Mojave. We also answer a few reader questions, about the Activity Monitor app, about when to upgrade hardware, and whether “free” media sites are safe.

Check out the latest episode of The Intego Mac Podcast, which I co-host with Josh Long. We talk about Macs and iOS devices, and how to keep them secure.

The PhotoActive Podcast, Episode 26: RAW Power 2.0

Photoactive 400This week we’re joined by Nik Bhatt, former developer of Aperture and iPhoto at Apple and now a distinguished gentleman at Gentlemen Coders. Using his deep knowledge of how Apple’s raw photo editing engine works, Nik has just released RAW Power 2.0, an app for macOS and iOS. We talk about RAW Power’s unique features and learn some of the fascinating ins and outs of raw image processing.

Listen to PhotoActive, Episode 26: RAW Power 2.0.

Find out more, and subscribe to the podcast, at the PhotoActive website. You can follow The Next Track on Twitter at @PhotoActiveCast to keep up to date with new episodes, and join our Facebook group to chat with other listeners and participate in photo challenges and more.