Tech Cape Town

Everything about technology from Cape Town

Tag: Media

Why don’t iOS Content Blockers Work on my iPhone 5?

I have an iPhone 6 as well as a really outdated iPad 3. I don’t use my iPad that much so I don’t mind that it is a little slower. It is just a big Twitter machine to me.

Whilst playing around with a few content blockers on my iPhone, I thought I would see how they work on my iPad. As it turns out, none of them would install. Each one simply said “this device is not supported.”

I did a little bit of digging around and it looks like content blocking has been limited to 64-bit devices (iPhone 5S and later) for performance reasons.

This doesn’t mean that you can’t install one, it just means it will be a lot harder! You’ll probably have to find an open source one on GitHub and then download xCode and compile and side load it yourself. I’ll have a look at this and post a tutorial if it is feasible.

And after all that effort, you could possibly slow down your browsing even more by overloading your device’s old 32-bit processor.

I guess this is Apple’s not so subtle hint to upgrade…

Apple News Doesn’t Support Video Embedding

I’ve been keeping a close eye on the Apple News platform as I think it can be a great tool for publishers. At the moment, it pulls an RSS feed from my site (and any other site included on Apple News) and formats it nicely for the iPhone and iPad.

Earlier on this evening, I posted two articles with Youtube videos embedded in them. One was a Tim Cook interview and the other was that 5k iMac getting obliterated by an anti-tank cannon.

Shortly after I posted those articles, they both showed up in Apple news. Minus the videos. That is quite a big problem. Those articles are pretty shitty without the main video content. There was no indication that the video was missing, it was just gone.

Missing Video

So far I am loving Apple News but I feel this is quite an oversight at best. Lets hope that Apple has a solution to this sooner rather than later. They have indicated that they want to move away from pulling in feeds to publishers actually creating their content within Apple’s News Publisher section on iCloud. They could possibly have a solution once that happens.

Another interesting thing is that Apple offers no analytics on the views/reads you get through Apple News if your article is pulled from a feed. They also remove embedded adverts and have no way of monetising feed content. They have indicated that both advertising and analytics will be available when using News Publisher once it is released.

With most iOS content blockers blocking Google Analytics and no analytics info from Apple News, I wonder how many publishers will be seeing a dive in their analytics shortly?

As always, I’ll keep you updated…

Breaking News: Tech Cape Town is on Apple’s News App

I am pleased and honoured to announce that Tech Cape Town is live on Apple’s new News App.TCT on Apple News

As you update your iPhone to iOS9 over the next few days (or weeks, depending on your internet speed) you may notice that Newsstand is missing from your home screen. You probably missed this, who used Newsstand anyway?

It has been replaced by News. News is a Flipboard like app that connects to publishers to pull in content and present it in a nice way to users. Plus they’ll probably throw some advertising in for good measure.

When it was initially announced, I applied for Tech Cape Town to be included from launch and it was accepted. There seem to be a few issues with all the articles pulling through but I’ll be keeping an eye on that in the future. What is a massive product launch without a few hiccups?

If you can’t find the News App on your iPhone, chances are that it isn’t supported in your region. There is an easy fix, jump in to Settings and change your region to The United States.

Please do me a favour and go and follow/like Tech Cape Town in News if you think we deserve it.

VLC is coming to the new AppleTV

This is some very exciting news as it means that you’ll be able to play tons of different video formats on the new AppleTV. It’ll also be good news for those people with a large local collection of media. Apple seems to focus on the streaming aspect and this should cover the local media part.

VLC simply confirmed that they would be working on this in a blog post this week.

[VLC via Gizmodo]

Why Rig Your Own Online Competition?

Whether we like it or not we live in the social media age. Brands try to capitalise on this by hiring social media experts* to interact with their clients.

These so called experts then decide to run online competitions to drum up some support. You know the ones where you have to follow everyone on Twitter and like everything on Facebook and then you never win? Yeah, those ones. The fact that you have heard of these competitions must mean that they are working?

Well now some of the more cunning so called experts have come up with an even better plan. What if you ran the competition but only people with a massive social media following won? What if those “winners” then tweeted about “winning” and showing off their cool new prizes? What we’ve got here is questionable at best but NOT illegal. (As far as I can tell)

This wonderful scheme gives a brand all the free promotion a competition normally creates as well as an extra boost of promotion when the “winners” post about it. With the same cost equalling more publicity, I don’t blame brands for going for this approach. I blame the social media experts who spinelessly suggest this idea to brands.

In the South African context these are the same people bitching and moaning about “Jobs for pals” in the government and then hitting up their socially savvy friends asking them to win prizes without even entering the competition.

That’s not okay.

* A social media expert is someone who is smart enough not to use the c-word or refer to blowing up cripples in Afghanistan. Looking at you FNB. Oh and they also know a few people with a big social following that are willing to win competitions.

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