Sponsor: Find great Black Friday deals with MDM Deals

I’d like to thank MDM Deals once again for sponsoring BirchTree this week. It’s impossible to keep up with all the sales that happen on the App Store and iTunes stores, and MDM Deals makes tracking those deals easy. As their tag line suggests, they curate “fantastic deals on fantastic apps & movies”.

It’s Black Friday, which means everyone and their mothers are shouting about how great their deals are, but MDM Deals is doing a great job of filtering through the noise to find just the best deals.

A few deals I was happy to see were:

MDM Deals does this year round, so even after Black Friday is over you can still follow along for the best deals.

You can follow MDM Deals all over the web, including Twitter, FaceBook, Apple News, Micro.blog, or just plain old traditional RSS (and more).

Sponsor: Find great App Store and iTunes deals with MDM Deals

I’d like to thank MDM Deals for sponsoring BirchTree this week. It’s impossible to keep up with all the sales that happen on the App Store and iTunes stores, and MDM Deals makes tracking those deals easy. As their tag line suggests, they curate “fantastic deals on fantastic apps & movies”.

Black Friday is a few days away (or is it already “Black Friday”? It’s hard to keep up with retailers these days) and that means you’re probably on the look out for some deep discounts on apps, movies, and games. It’s hard to keep up with everything, which is where MDM Deals comes in.

A few deals I was happy to see were:

MDM Deals does this year round, so even after Black Friday is over you can still follow along for the best deals.

You can follow MDM Deals all over the web, including Twitter, FaceBook, Apple News, Micro.blog, or just plain old traditional RSS (and more).

NSShadowcat: An Apple Blog You Should be Following (sponsor)

My thanks to NSShadowcat (and the lovely Mayur Dhaka) for sponsoring BirchTree this month. At its core, NSShadowcat is a site that links to great content around the web, and sometimes ventures into really interesting original content.

WWDC is this coming week and you can bet NSShadowcat will be pushing out a ton of new content reflecting on the event. You should subscribe now so you don't miss a thing.

In the meantime you should check out this recent piece on why Swift Playgrounds should come to the iPad:

Playgrounds are a really really powerful medium for learning Swift. Nearly every Swift tutorial I’ve come across that didn’t need to be an iOS app, was explained through a Playground. One of the reasons (the one that stood out to me the most) for this is that Playgrounds allow you to add stylised text (headings, lists etc.) and the output for functions, inline with your code. So, if you call a function add(2,3), the live output, in this case 5, can be displayed right under the line where the function was called. The official Swift blog has some pictures for illustrations.

NSShadowcat: An Apple Blog You Want on Your Radar (sponsor)

NSShadowcat is a relatively new Apple webblog created by Mayur Dhaka and written in India. At its core, NSShadowcat is a site that links to great content around the web. Recently, Mayur has started to write more original content and I'm very happy to see him go in this direction.

NSShadowcat’s pieces talk about Apple, design, and opinions on current happenings in the tech space.

If you're like me, the vast majority of the websites you follow are US-based, and it's refreshing to get impressions from someone on the other side of the globe to help you see things with a little more perspective.

Check out NSShadowcat and subscribe today.

Oh, and that name: NSShadowcat? Just delightfully nerdy!

Television Time: Keep up to date with your favorite shows and discover new ones (sponsor)

Television Time is a great television show tracker for iPhone, and I'm happy to have the app as a sponsor this month. The app gets you in the door with a beautiful design and keeps you with some killer features that just work. Even if this app wasn't a sponsor, I'd tell you to go out and buy it.

Television Time has all the standard features you would expect from a TV tracking app, but my favorite feature (and one I haven't seen before) is that it can add your upcoming shows to your calendar so you can see them anywhere you view your calendar. This wasn't something I knew I needed until I had it.

It also has an Apple Watch app, which anyone who reads this site knows is going to get me really excited.

Television Time is available now on the App Store.

Television Time: Keep up to date with your favorite shows and discover new ones (sponsor)

Television Time is a great television show tracker for iPhone, and I'm happy to have the app as a sponsor this month. The app gets you in the door with a beautiful design and keeps you with some killer features that just work.

Television Time has all the standard features you would expect from a TV tracking app, but my favorite feature (and one I haven't seen before) is that it can add your upcoming shows to your calendar so you can see them anywhere you view your calendar. This wasn't something I knew I needed until I had it.

It also has an Apple Watch app, which anyone who reads this site knows is going to get me really excited.

Television Time is available now on the App Store.

Indian government exempts Apple from 30% local-sourcing (sponsor)

My thanks once again to NSShadowcat for sponsoring this month of BirchTree! Like I said last time, this site is absolutely worth your time. Author Mayur Dhaka takes on the tech news with a unique perspective to the tech news of the day.

This week Mayur wrote about the Indian government changing the rules for Apple:

Indian laws require a company to source 30% of its parts/raw materials locally. This helps safeguard interests of the country’s vendors. Since Apple manufactures only in China, they import their products into India and has heavy import-taxes levied against them. That’s the reason why, last year, the iPhones 6S commanded the highest price in India when compared worldwide.

There is more good stuff going up every day at NSShadowcat, so you might want to take the change to subscribe today.

NSShadowcat: A New Apple Blog You Want on Your Radar (sponsor)

NSShadowcat is relatively new tech blog created by Mayur Dhaka and it's off to a strong start. At its core, NSShadowcat is a Daring Fireball-style site that links to great content around the web. Recently, Mayur has started to write more original content and I'm very happy to see him go in this direction.

Recently, Mayur tackled Apple's "Let us loop you in" event and commented on the pricing of the iPhone SE in India:

I think the SE is going to be an excellent phone and absolutely crucial to Apple. China is a huge focus for Apple with the SE and I’m sure its price at $580 in India is a tough pill for them to swallow; they must be scrambling to get it down to around $450.

If you're like me, the vast majority of the websites you follow are US-based, and it's refreshing to get impressions from someone on the other side of the globe to help you see things with a little more perspective.

Check out NSShadowcat and subscribe today.

Oh, and what about that name: NSShadowcat? Just delightfully nerdy!

Google Now’s creepy condolences (sponsor)

My thanks once again to NSShadowcat for sponsoring this month of BirchTree! Like I said last time, this site is absolutely worth your time. Author Mayur Dhaka takes on the tech news with a unique perspective to the tech news of the day.

This week Mayur wrote about Google's tendency for creepiness:

This isn’t a violation but it sure feels like an invasion of an assumed personal space. Sure the informed Google Now user knows their email is being processed to know more about them but would they like it to go this far?

There is more good stuff going up every day at NSShadowcat, so you might want to take the change to subscribe today.

On the Challenges of Marketing Virtual Reality (sponsor)

My thanks once again to NSShadowcat for sponsoring this month of BirchTree! Like I said last time, this site is absolutely worth your time. Author Mayur Dhaka takes on the tech news with a unique perspective to the tech news of the day.

This week Mayur posted a good piece on the challenges marketers (and reviewers, for that matter) face when trying to present virtual/augmented reality products.

Obviously the message is ‘the Rift experience is jaw-dropping’, but how do you convey that to me across a screen? Show me a simulation of what using the thing might look like in a video? Maybe. But doesn’t watching a 2-D simulation on a screen inherently take away the experience AR/VR is selling in the first place? The best such a video does is make me curious to have a first hand experience.

You should take the time to read the rest of the piece and maybe subscribe while you're there.