Linked List: August 27, 2009

App Store Rejection of the Week 

Convertbot 1.4 rejected for using a clock icon to represent “time”, even though the exact same icon was used for versions 1.0 through 1.3.

Mac OS X Automation 

My single favorite improvement in Snow Leopard is the overhaul to system-wide Services. Services were one of the best features of the NeXTStep OS, and while they made the transition to Mac OS X, they never seemed well integrated into the user interface. From 10.0 through 10.5, the Services menu was hidden away in a sub-menu of the application menu, and keyboard shortcuts were not user-configurable (and in fact, it was common for multiple third-party applications to define Services menu items with conflicting shortcuts). The Services system has been completely overhauled for Snow Leopard.

Mac OS X Automation is a great new web site devoted to AppleScript, Automator, and Services, with examples and tutorials from the one and only Sal Soghoian. Their write-up of the changes to Services in Snow Leopard is the best you’ll see, emphasizing four C’s: Contextual, Convenient, Configurable, Customizable.

Customizable is the best part. You can now create your own system-wide (or app-specific) services using Automator, AppleScript, and shell scripts. Check out the list of downloadable Automator services you can install (and modify).


New “buyers guide for kids and parents” from my friends Dan Benjamin and Larry Angell. Looks like a great resource for finding new toys.

Om Malik on the Size of the App Store Economy 

Interesting survey numbers from mobile ad network AdMob regarding the iPhone, Android, and BlackBerry app economies. The takeaway: people are happy to buy a lot of low-price apps for their smartphones, especially iPhone users. Free apps are the gateway to paid apps, and (no surprise here) the bestseller lists are the most popular way for users to find new apps.

Jesse Grosjean’s App Store Economics Experiment 

Grosjean reduced the price of his nifty WriteRoom iPhone notes app from $5 to free over the weekend, and has now raised it to $1, and he’s publishing the sales numbers.

Macworld’s Complete Coverage of Snow Leopard 

Lots of coverage, including Jason Snell’s review and Dan Moren’s look at the new built-in malware detector.

Nokia’s New Maemo Site 

They’re billing it as a full computer in a handheld. It’s hard not to see Symbian as implicitly deprecated.