Apple Music keeps getting more popular, Scanbot turns 7, and macOS 10.13.4 breaks some apps and accessories:
- Apple Music now has 40 million paid subscribers, showing solid growth and a lot of potential
- iOS paper scanning and storage app Scanbot has been great in the past, with the release of Scanbot 7 today it gets even better
- Oops. macOS 10.13.4 may have added eGPU support, but it also broke screen extender apps like Duet Display and Air Display, as well as USB DisplayLink monitors and docks
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This is Steve Sande for Apple World Today, and you’re listening to the AWT News Update podcast for Wednesday, April 4th, 2018.
Apple Music keeps getting more and more popular. Today, Apple’s content director in France, Steven Huon, sent out a tweet mentioning that the music service has reached 40 million paid subscribers. That number is about two million more than Senior Vice President Eddy Cue noted at a SXSW interview a few weeks ago, indicating that growth rates must be quite good for the service. During that interview, Cue noted that about 8 million people are using the service on the free trial basis, and noted that there are about two billion people in the world who could potentially be Apple Music subscriber — about a half billion customers access the App Store each week, and those customers are prime for subscriptions.
If you’ve ever wanted to go with the mythical paperless office, one of the best inventions ever is an app called Scanbot. It’s a scanning app that does away with the need to buy a scanner; you just hover your iPhone or iPad over a piece of paper, it’s scanned, then processed for optical character recognition that makes the scan searchable, and finally saved into a PDF file. Well, the developers came out with Scanbot 7 today, and it has some new features that make an already popular app even better. The app now has new filters that utilized machine learning optimization to make scans look whiter than the original with extremely sharp text. The filters are also adjustable — something that wasn’t available before. Scanbot 7 has a number of new themes, including a high contrast theme for vision impaired users. The team has added a new search function where tapping on location, date or a manual tag can find a document quickly, and the speed of the document creation has been improved. Annotations can be added to documents by drawing with a finger or using the iOS keyboard. Scanbot has been a personal favorite of mine and really does help me get rid of paperwork; it’s available for free with in-app purchases for OCR, PDF editing, and more.
The recent macOS 10.13.4 update caused some real issues for people who use screen extender apps to turn iPads into secondary Mac displays as well as those who use USB DisplayLink connected monitors. Duet Display and Avatron’s Air Display have experienced issues, with Duet Display’s developer saying that “Installing macOS release 10.13.4 will cause Duet Display to stop functioning after the OS upgrade. We have alerted Apple to this issue and are working hard to find a resolution. These features continue to work as expected in 10.13.3.” The issue with USB DisplayLink monitors and docks is serious — installing macOS 10.13.4 causes them to just stop working altogether. Other features with USB DisplayLInk, like sound and Ethernet connections, continue to work as designed.
That’s all the news for today - join me tomorrow afternoon for another edition of the AWT News Update.