Culture Programming

Marco Arment on Salary Ranges in Job Listings

> If you see a job listing that doesn’t specify a salary range, assume it’s so low that they’re embarrassed to include it, they don’t respect you enough to tell you, or their heads are so far up their asses that they think you should just be dying to work there at any salary, none of which bode well for employment there.

I agree 100%.[^fn1]

[^fn1]: My agreement applies to *all* job postings, but it is especially true with programming positions.

Apps Technology

Macro Arment announces his new podcasting app Overcast

Here are some notes that Marco included with the announcement:

Overcast 1.0 will be an iPhone app. I plan to get iPad support done relatively soon, but probably not for 1.0. I may never do a Mac app — that’s still up in the air, but definitely not for 1.0. And I have no plans to support Android — if you want an Android app, I hear Pocket Casts blows away everything else available, and they’re nice guys.

I have no plans to support video podcasts. That’s an entirely different medium with very different consumption habits, priorities, and needs. I can make a better app for audio podcasts by not supporting video at all.

I don’t plan to support streaming in 1.0, and may never add it. Overcast 1.0 will only play downloaded files. iOS 7’s background downloads, faster cellular networks, and larger-capacity phones have greatly reduced the need for streaming, and by not supporting it, I’m able to add some cool features and simplify a lot of the code and interface.

I give credit to Marco for determining what he thinks is the best solution for a podcasting app. Personally, I need a lot more from my podcasting applications than Marco is going to give initially,1 but Overcast might be a good fit for some people.

Relatedly, David Smith of Feed Wrangler just released a new podcatcher called Pod Wrangler which seems to have a similar approach to Overcast.2 If you are looking for a new podcatcher while Overcast is developed, it might be worth it to give Pod Wrangler a shot.3

  1. As I have stated many times, I am firmly entrenched in the Instacast ecosystem.  

  2. i.e. Fast syncing, no frills, reliable background dowloading, first version iPhone only, etc… 

  3. Federico Viticci wrote a review of PodWrangler over at MacStories if you want more information. 

Culture Internet

Marco Arment on the Post-Google Reader RSS Syncing

I agree with Marco on this:

> In the absence of major exclusive features or strong social lock-in, if you make a feed reader today, it better support multiple sync services. Conversely, if you’re making a service, it better have an API for third-party clients.

I hope Black Pixel is not seriously considering only using their backend[^fn1], it would mean a true “end of an era” for a widely used Mac app[^fn2].

[^fn1]: In fact, it would seem to me that they could end up making more money, with less headache, but just making clients for Mac and iOS that sync to various other services.

[^fn2]: I am making the assumption that people will not be content to just use Black Pixel’s ecosystem on everything.

Apps Culture Technology

Marco Arment Sells ‘The Magazine’ to Its Editor, Glenn Fleishman

Speaking of Marco, he has been busy.


Marco Arment on the iPhone 6 and Apple Pessimism

> Now, Apple pessimism is even stronger. No matter what they release and no matter how well it sells, they won’t win over the press, the pundits, the stock market, or the rhetoric. Not this year. They could release a revolutionary 60-inch 4K TV for $99 with built-in nanobots to assemble and dispense free smartwatches, and people would complain that it should cost $49 and the nanobots aren’t open enough.

I have a feeling you are going to see that paragraph quoted **a lot** over the next few days.

Culture Technology

Ben Brooks Interviews Marco Arment on Digital Publishing

A really good discussion between two of the people experimenting with pricing models in the digital space.


Marco Arment on Voting

Props to Marco for making a plea for American citizens to vote without making any partisan comments in any directions. Well done.


Marco Arment Releases The Magazine

> There’s room for another category between individuals and major publishers, and that’s where The Magazine sits. It’s a multi-author, truly modern digital magazine that can appeal to an audience bigger than a niche but smaller than the readership of The New York Times. This is what a modern magazine can be, not a 300 MB stack of static page images laid out manually by 100 people.

> The Magazine supports writers in the most basic, conventional way that, in the modern web context, actually seems least conventional and riskiest: by paying them to write. Since I’m keeping production costs low, I’m able to pay writers reasonably today, and very competitively with high-end print magazines in the future if The Magazine gets enough subscribers.

It looks promising. Federico Viticci has [an in-depth review at MacStores]( if you want more information.


Instapaper and 9to5 Mac

An interesting story. Matt Alexander provides both [before]( and [after]( reactions if you want a fuller picture of what happened and why it was important[^fn1].

[^fn1]: [Buzzfeed]( has the most detailed explanation, but it is probably overkill at this point


Marco Arment’s Response to Paul Haddad’s Post on Twitter

Stop what you’re doing and go read his last paragraph. Trust me. It’s hilarious.


Don’t Blame the Link Blog

Marco Arment sums up my feelings exactly:

> I’ve taken the link-blog format Gruber popularized and found my own way with it, and hopefully, that provides value and differentiation for readers.


Marco Arment on the Future of Twitter

Marco Arement adds to the growing concern[^ff] about what will happen to Twitter:

> A big question is whether Twitter will even give third-party apps the chance to display their “consistent experience” before cutting them off. I’m guessing they won’t.

> …

> Or, to use [Twitter’s language](, they’re about to break a lot of “the features that make Twitter Twitter.”

It’s going to be a sad, sad day when they cut off third party clients.

[^ff]: *See also,* [Mike Isaac]( and [MG Siegler](


Ben Brooks’ Response To Marco Arment’s Piece on the Mac App Store

Ben Brooks makes a great point that I had not considered:

> As for the worry of ‘low-traffic’, well Apple addressed that yesterday — ensuring that the Mac App Store will forever have high traffic: they made the Mac App Store the only place to get your OS updates for OS X, putting a notice in the Notification Center when you need to check for updates. Every Mac user will have to go into the Mac App Store from time to time, and I am certain many will click over to see what apps are featured. I can’t think of a better way to assure an app store of continued traffic.

Internet Technology

Marco Arment on the Mac App Store’s Future Irrelevance

Though I’ve seen posts that touch on the problems with Apple’s Mac App Store, this is the first one that tackles the issue head on:

> Apple’s stance seems to be pretty typical of them: comply with the new rules or leave. This usually works for them, but this time, they’ve made a critical strategic error: leaving is often a better option, or the only option, for the affected developers. Many of them have already left, and many more will.

His also addresses how this might harm iCloud’s adoption rate by developers:

> This even may reduce the long-term success of iCloud and the platform lock-in it could bring for Apple. Only App Store apps can use iCloud, but many Mac developers can’t or won’t use it because of the App Store’s political instability.

Really solid piece. Highly recommended.

Internet Programming

Macro Arment Expands on Talent Acquistions

The closing paragraph of Macro Arment’s [talent acquisition post]( yesterday was widely quoted:

> If you want to keep the software and services around that you enjoy, do what you can to make their businesses successful enough that it’s more attractive to keep running them than to be hired by a big tech company.

His follow-up piece today ends just as strong:

> It’s frustrating when a product or service you like goes out of business, and that’s effectively what happened here. Sparrow tried to succeed in an extremely difficult market, and apparently failed. Their customers supported their efforts up to this point, but there probably weren’t enough customers for them to refuse Google’s offer.

> Don’t blame Sparrow. Blame the terrible market for email clients.

As you can probably guess, the whole thing is worth a read.


Instapaper for Android

As reported on [The Verge](, Marco Arment has [launched Instapaper for Android]( Of course, the highlight of the article is in the comments. My favorites:

> Marco says please take your complaints about price and SHOVE ‘EM because you weren’t buying the app anyway.

> whatever happened to copying everything and placing it in your notes?? ppl are lazy.

> These “iOS only” developers need to stop pretending that their products are the holy grail with their “if you dont like it, dont buy it” attitude. There are some of us who really want them to succeed (former Instapaper user on iOS), but have been really turned off by their trolling.

> This is gonna bust. Pocket works fine and is free. This isn’t even properly designed.