One of the more popular posts to pop up in my Facebook News Feed last week was a friend's request for advice on whether he should quit Apple Music and just go back to Spotify. Seemingly everyone I knew had an opinion on the streaming services, ranging from "Apple Music is garbage" to "try Google Play Music instead." A healthy number of commenters had tried at least two services and decided which one worked for them. Yet a few people had seemingly stuck with the first company's product they'd tried, oblivious to the benefits and pitfalls of competing ones.
Photography website 500px has always straddled the line between being a portfolio service, a competitor to Flickr, and a marketplace. It's where photographers go to exhibit their work and maybe make a few bucks in the meantime. It's worked, too — the 500px community has grown to more than 6 million users since 2009. But today the company is releasing a completely redesigned iPhone app meant to attract new users with a much more modern, social experience.
Microsoft announced some huge news at its Build developers conference earlier this year, revealing that Windows 10 can run reworked Android and iOS apps. While developers were intrigued by the news back in April, Microsoft has kept the tools under wraps until today. In yet another surprise move, Microsoft is open sourcing its key porting tool for iOS to Windows apps. Previously codenamed Project Islandwood, the Windows Bridge for iOS enters preview today and all the source code is available immediately on GitHub.
There aren't many areas where Apple Maps has an edge over Google Maps, but one of them has been the inclusion of a night mode with darker graphics that are easier to read after sunset. As of yesterday, that advantage is gone. Google Maps has added a night mode to its iOS app, making the app automatically switch to a darker color palette when giving directions at night. It's a small but handy update that should make Google Maps more useable for people with iPhones. As for people on Android, they've had a night mode in Google Maps for years.
YouTube's forthcoming paid subscription offering is rapidly taking shape, and is expected to become available within the next few months, sources familiar with the matter tell The Verge. The company told creators of popular channels today that the offering, which does not yet have a name, is coming soon. It will offer ad-free videos as well as the ability to store videos offline on their mobile devices, for a price expected to be around $10 a month. It will also let creators put their videos behind a paywall so that only subscribers to the premium version can view them, sources said. (Bloomberg published a letter sent to creators today.)