App Recap: Bluelane, Originate, Twobird and Major App Updates

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In this week's App Recap, we've highlighted utility app "Bluelane," graphics and design app "Originate," and productivity app "Twobird" as three apps that are worth checking out. We've also compiled a list of apps that received major updates this week.


Apps to Check Out

  • Bluelane (iOS, Free) - Bluelane is an app that allows for easy sharing of a route and location with anyone. Those who have access to this data are able to track route progress in real-time through the web. While using the app, users can see current route information that includes distance traveled, time, elevation gain, speed information, and more. Although the app is free to download, some features are limited to subscribers of Bluelane Pro, which has options available in monthly, quarterly, and annual plans priced at $2.99, $6.99, and $19.99 respectively. Bluelane Pro features the ability to share routes in real-time, export routes to GPX, download maps offline, and more.
  • Originate (iOS, $4.99) - Graphics app Originate lets users create parallax art with up to five distinct layers at once. Once the play button in the top left corner of the screen has been pressed, tilting the device will show different angles of the art in which the layered images appear realistic. Additionally, users have the option to view their creations in AR. The app also contains an import feature that can be used to import and then edit other users' art. Originate features iCloud sync and is available on both iPhone and iPad, so art can be seamlessly stored across iCloud devices.
  • Twobird (iOS, Free) - The makers of popular note-taking app Notability have launched Twobird, which is an email app designed to help increase users' day-to-day efficiency. Users can create notes and set reminders right from the inbox. Notes can be customized to include checklists, tables, comments, and more. Another helpful feature is live collaboration, which allows for shared notes to be nested in an email so ideas can be grouped together. Although Twobird provides many collaborative tools and is simple to navigate, it is worth pointing out that the app can currently only be used by connecting an existing Gmail account.

App Updates

  • Google Photos - The Google Photos app was updated this week with a simpler and refined user experience with fewer tabs present at the bottom of the screen. The main photo grid will automatically both enlarge featured photos and play videos. The search tab, a feature that takes advantage of Google's artificial intelligence, allows users to search for photos that may or may not be labeled. In addition, the map view lets users search for photos based on the specific location in which they were taken.
  • Netflix - Netflix this week announced that its iOS app will soon let users remove shows and movies from their "continue watching" list. The feature has been long desired since the list currently updates with any content that has been briefly sampled or watched in its entirety.
  • Opera (Mac) - The Opera browser for Mac has been updated with Twitter integrated directly into its sidebar. To enable the feature, users can simply click the three-dot icon at the bottom of the sidebar and select Twitter in the Messengers section. The update also includes improvements to Workspaces, a new weather widget, and more.
Know of a great new app that we've missed? Let us know in the comments and we'll check it out for next week's App Recap.

Article Link: App Recap: Bluelane, Originate, Twobird and Major App Updates
 

4jasontv

macrumors 68020
Jul 31, 2011
2,383
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I wish Google would release a camera app that could capture all the data normally lost before a photo is taken. /s

Also, I don't think adding twitter is something apps should brag about.

I mean, I guess it's interesting that you can remotely collaborate on a single email, but when would I want this but not the robustness of a shared document editor. Is there some feature where the recipient knows what parts of the email were drafted by which person?

Originate is clever. I despise these plug-in apps, but the idea is solid. Looking at the other apps by the developer their designer is doing a great job. Dan should review the Aurora: Color Picker app that they also make. If that can accurately give me a hex code for a color I pointed my camera at I would be all over that.
 
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jlc1978

macrumors 68030
Aug 14, 2009
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I wonder how Twobird generates revenue? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
my guess is, given their privacy statement, they'll eventually make a pro version as an IAP. I like the idea and am testing it with my corporate Gmail based email. It works fine so far. I am a big Notability fan so am looking forward to seeing what they do with this app.
 

FloatingBones

macrumors 65816
Jul 19, 2006
1,284
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The Mac app The Levelator has finally been rebuilt as a 64-bit app and is available for free in the Mac App Store. This app can be used in the postproduction of a podcast when audio levers vary widely between various sources. It can also be used to boost the legibility of any voice audio recording (e.g., audio from a lecture).

Related discussion: Marco Arment's iOS app Overcast podcast player now performs a similar function in real time when playing podcasts. Marco recently described how his leveling Voice Boost 2 engine works in a blog post. This feature is tremendously helpful when listening to a podcast in a noisy environment.
 

shyam09

macrumors 68020
Oct 31, 2010
2,113
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I never knew Ginger Labs had another app. I really like Notability (it was my favorite note taking app before GoodNotes 5 was released; I switched because Ginger Labs was taking forever to bring new features to Notability), so I'll give Twobird a whirl and see how I like it.

I'm currently using Canary (but the experience has been poor, for example the start up is super slow (6-8 seconds); sometimes it lags while opening up emails). But I've all but given up and have Gmail for Gmail accounts; Outlook for outlook accounts. It works because I know which app I'm using for what account, but I'd rather have everything unified.
 

shauneba

macrumors newbie
Jun 29, 2020
1
0
London, UK
I have a new workouts app called Personal Best that I think some people might find useful. It’s works together with HealthKit to give you leaderboards and cool stats about your workouts. It’s my first app and I’m actively improving it every week.

It’s a free download with an inexpensive one-time IAP to unlock everything.

PS - apologies if self promotion isn’t allowed.
 

-DMN-

macrumors member
Jan 21, 2019
82
214
my guess is, given their privacy statement, they'll eventually make a pro version as an IAP. I like the idea and am testing it with my corporate Gmail based email. It works fine so far. I am a big Notability fan so am looking forward to seeing what they do with this app.
But until then, its creepy knowing they most likely collect the contents of your emails in some fashion.
edit: I can’t spell to save my life lol
 

jlc1978

macrumors 68030
Aug 14, 2009
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But until then, its creepy knowing they most likely collect the contents of your emails in some fashion.
edit: I can’t spell to save my life lol
Fair enough, but they do claim:

Will my information be kept private?
Yes. We will never use your personal data for anything; we only use anonymous analytics to improve the Twobird experience. For example, we may track the number of times a button is clicked to understand whether a particular feature benefits users. See our privacy policy for more info.


Their privacy policy allows for more data collection so such as:

Whenever you interact with our Services, we automatically receive and record information on our server logs from your browser or device, which may include your IP address, geolocation data, device identification, “cookie” information, the type of browser and/or device you’re using to access our Services, and the page or feature you requested. “Cookies” are identifiers we transfer to your browser or device that allow us to recognize your browser or device and tell us how and when pages and features in our Services are visited and by how many people. You may be able to change the preferences on your browser or device to prevent or limit your device’s acceptance of cookies, but this may prevent you from taking advantage of some of our features.

We may use this data to improve the Services – for example, this data can tell us how often users use a particular feature of the Services, and we can use that knowledge to make the Services interesting to as many users as possible.


and of course:

Business Transfers: We may choose to buy or sell assets, and may share and/or transfer customer information in connection with the evaluation of and entry into such transactions. Also, if we (or our assets) are acquired, or if we go out of business, enter bankruptcy, or go through some other change of control, Personal Information could be one of the assets transferred to or acquired by a third party.

So I guess the answer is we don't read you mail but do collect information beyond anonymized button presses.
 

-DMN-

macrumors member
Jan 21, 2019
82
214
Fair enough, but they do claim:

Will my information be kept private?
Yes. We will never use your personal data for anything; we only use anonymous analytics to improve the Twobird experience. For example, we may track the number of times a button is clicked to understand whether a particular feature benefits users. See our privacy policy for more info.


Their privacy policy allows for more data collection so such as:

Whenever you interact with our Services, we automatically receive and record information on our server logs from your browser or device, which may include your IP address, geolocation data, device identification, “cookie” information, the type of browser and/or device you’re using to access our Services, and the page or feature you requested. “Cookies” are identifiers we transfer to your browser or device that allow us to recognize your browser or device and tell us how and when pages and features in our Services are visited and by how many people. You may be able to change the preferences on your browser or device to prevent or limit your device’s acceptance of cookies, but this may prevent you from taking advantage of some of our features.

We may use this data to improve the Services – for example, this data can tell us how often users use a particular feature of the Services, and we can use that knowledge to make the Services interesting to as many users as possible.


and of course:

Business Transfers: We may choose to buy or sell assets, and may share and/or transfer customer information in connection with the evaluation of and entry into such transactions. Also, if we (or our assets) are acquired, or if we go out of business, enter bankruptcy, or go through some other change of control, Personal Information could be one of the assets transferred to or acquired by a third party.

So I guess the answer is we don't read you mail but do collect information beyond anonymized button presses.
Awesome thanks for the thorn response!
 

Clearychizmar

macrumors newbie
Jun 29, 2020
2
0
Hi everyone, Cleary here from Ginger Labs. Thanks for the interest in Twobird!

Privacy is of the utmost importance to us, we don't see or sell your personal data. The Twobird app communicates directly with Gmail. We don’t sync your email to our server. Our server requests a minimal amount of data for certain features like reminders and notifications, which would not function properly without it.

Regarding our business plan, @jlc1978 is pretty spot on. Twobird is free to use and we aim to keep it that way. In the future, we intend to offer premium plans. We'd love to hear any additional thoughts or feedback you may have (reach us at feedback@twobird.com)!
 

4jasontv

macrumors 68020
Jul 31, 2011
2,383
2,425
Hi everyone, Cleary here from Ginger Labs. Thanks for the interest in Twobird!

Privacy is of the utmost importance to us, we don't see or sell your personal data. The Twobird app communicates directly with Gmail. We don’t sync your email to our server. Our server requests a minimal amount of data for certain features like reminders and notifications, which would not function properly without it.

Regarding our business plan, @jlc1978 is pretty spot on. Twobird is free to use and we aim to keep it that way. In the future, we intend to offer premium plans. We'd love to hear any additional thoughts or feedback you may have (reach us at feedback@twobird.com)!
Points for joining the community. Welcome.

Can you expand on the thinking behind live collaboration? I am having difficulty appreciating how it would fit in with my workflow. Does it only work via the app, or is there a way for users who don't use your client to participate?
 

Clearychizmar

macrumors newbie
Jun 29, 2020
2
0
Points for joining the community. Welcome.

Can you expand on the thinking behind live collaboration? I am having difficulty appreciating how it would fit in with my workflow. Does it only work via the app, or is there a way for users who don't use your client to participate?
Hi! Of course! Thanks for your question. Twobird notes are a dynamic way to collaborate with multiple people. You can share these with non-Twobird users who will still be able to view, edit, and add to the note without signing up. Regarding your point about how Twobird could fit into your workflow, you can share notes inside email threads. They provide a quick and easy way to update and share ideas inside the context of your email conversations. You'll be able to see the presence (avatars) of other users who are editing the note in real time. Hope this info helps!
 
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