The New Apple Pencil Gestures Are Pretty Bad →

December 17, 2018 · 09:17

Steve Troughton-Smith:

The new Apple Pencil gestures are pretty bad, accidentally invoked all the time; think I’m gonna disable it. Should have had a button.

I disabled mine. Turns out that I like to give my Pencil a single tap from time to time, which is more often registered as a double tap for some reason. Perhaps this happens when I move it around a little too vigorously, when preparing to use it, and the movement itself (with the shock of resting my palm on the iPad’s screen) registers as the first tap.


Shirley Wang’s Dad’s Friendship With Charles Barkley →

December 15, 2018 · 22:16

Shirley Wang:

When Charles Barkley’s mother, Charcey Glenn, passed away in June 2015, Barkley’s hometown of Leeds, Alabama, came to the funeral to pay respects. But there was also an unexpected guest.

Barkley’s friends couldn’t quite place him. He wasn’t a basketball player, he wasn’t a sports figure, and he wasn’t from Barkley’s hometown. Here’s what I can tell you about him: He wore striped, red polo shirts tucked into khaki shorts and got really excited about two-for-one deals. He was a commuter. He worked as a cat litter scientist in Muscatine, Iowa. In short, he was everyone’s suburban dad. More specifically, he was my dad.

“You know, it was obviously a very difficult time,” Barkley told me recently. “And the next thing I know, he shows up. Everybody’s like, ‘Who’s the Asian dude over there?’ I just started laughing. I said, ‘That’s my boy, Lin.’ They’re, like, ‘How do you know him?’ I said, ‘It’s a long story.’ “

Amazing story. Get a tissue ready. And #fuckCancer.


Horrific Tesla Customer Experience in Europe →

December 13, 2018 · 13:43

When asked what should my employee [do], left in the middle of the road, he answered “take a taxi”, and said he could not help me, and ended the conversation.

This is just the tip of the iceberg, read the whole thing. There are many other such examples in Europe. What’s worse, Tesla actively organizes test drives for Poles, inviting them to buy their cars in Berlin — I took part in one personally. They even went out of their way to collaborate with a Polish company to offer a simple way to lease their cars.

There’s more to being a “luxury” car maker than just selling expensive cars. Tesla obviously has a lot to learn and a long way to go.

via @janmazurczak


How to Open a New Safari Tab Next to the Current Tab, Instead of at the End of the Lot

December 13, 2018 · 10:36

John Gruber, on Daring Fireball, detailing how he got to change Safari’s behaviour to open new tabs next to the active tab:

If I have, say, 10 tabs open in a window and I’m currently using, say, tab 2, when I type ⌘T to open a new tab it feels like the rightmost end of the row of tabs is “way over there”, but what I want is the new tab to open “right next to where I am” — like what happens when I ⌘-click a link.

A few months ago I asked on Twitter if there was a secret preference in Safari that would change this to what I want — which is for new tabs to always open right next to the current tab. There is no such preference. I set about trying trying to figure out if this could be done using AppleScript, but I couldn’t figure it out.
Jeff Johnson figured it out, though, and was kind enough to share the solution and explain the rather ungainly syntax required.

John used FastScripts for this but I decided to try my luck with Keyboard Maestro…

Continue reading →


Your Apps Know Where You Were Last Night, and They’re Not Keeping It Secret →

December 12, 2018 · 10:07

Jennifer Valentino-Devries, Natasha Singer, Michael H. Keller and Aaron Krolik, for The New York Times:

More than 1,000 popular apps contain location-sharing code from such companies, according to 2018 data from MightySignal, a mobile analysis firm. Google’s Android system was found to have about 1,200 apps with such code, compared with about 200 on Apple’s iOS.

The most prolific company was Reveal Mobile, based in North Carolina, which had location-gathering code in more than 500 apps, including many that provide local news. A Reveal spokesman said that the popularity of its code showed that it helped app developers make ad money and consumers get free services.

Apple is a better proprietor than Google in this regard, but a lot more can and should be done to protect users.


Facebook Filed a Patent to Calculate Your Future Location →

December 12, 2018 · 10:03

Nicole Nguyen, for Buzzfeed:

Facebook has filed several patent applications with the US Patent and Trademark Office for technology that uses your location data to predict where you’re going and when you’re going to be offline.

Have you deleted your Facebook account yet?

In a statement, Facebook spokesperson Anthony Harrison said, “We often seek patents for technology we never implement, and patent applications — such as this one — should not be taken as an indication of future plans.”

Yeah… it really should in Facebook’s case.


My Photography (58) — Sunrise Somewhere Over the Alps, Kleinarl⁩, Austria, 2018

December 11, 2018 · 13:47

We had an early morning flight to Italy last week and I was sound asleep, minding my own business, when my wife brutally shook me awake and told me to look out of the window. I checked the flight log and this photo was taken somewhere above or close to the city of Kleinarl in Austria but I am uncertain which exact city is visible in the photo.

Shot with Sony A7R II + FE 28 mm f/2: f/2, 1/60 s, ISO 1600.


iCloud Drive Still Has Sync Issues in 2018

December 11, 2018 · 11:31

I still rely on Resilio Sync (formerly BitTorrent Sync) to sync my files between Macs, an iPad, and an iPhone. It works perfectly but I have been considering switching to iCloud Drive ever since I upgraded to the 2 TB storage option (please give me a cheaper 500 GB and 1 TB option Apple — I don’t need 2 TB at this point in time).

I was trying to transfer an edited photo from my iPad to my MacBook Pro a few minutes ago. I saved it to iCloud Drive and went to look for it on my Mac. Not there. I checked my iPhone and verified it was synced. So I restarted my Mac. Nope, nothing.

Want to know what triggered the sync process? I created a new folder in Finder.

Seriously, Apple?


Poland Is Europe’s Smog Capital →

December 9, 2018 · 12:06

Josh Gabbatiss, for The Independent:

Poland is Europe’s smog capital, home to 33 of Europe’s 50 most polluted cities. As delegates gathered in Katowice last week, data collected by the European Environment Agency revealed it was the second most polluted city on the continent. Its levels of particulate matter were twice as high as those deemed safe by the World Health Organisation.

Considering the toxic air, the mounting pressure to drop coal altogether and the dire climate warnings, it seems remarkable that Polish politicians are gripping on to fossil fuel with such tenacity.

What’s even more frightening is that normal people — not politicians — want us to use coal, because that’s what they heard our beloved government say is good for us (insert facepalm emoji here). I have personally seen and heard their arguments. Unbelievable.


The Quality of Apple Software and Marzipan

December 9, 2018 · 07:15

iKyle:

The quality of software Apple ships shows what Apple considers good enough quality. Including the marzipan apps in the released OS signals the state they are in now is officially good enough quality for macOS software as far as Apple is concerned. That’s worrying.

Steve Troughton-Smith:

They are absolutely ‘good-enough’. Apps updated day and date with iOS? With the complete, up-to-date featureset? This is leagues beyond what we usually get from Apple’s work on macOS. I am not worried about macOS actually getting software on par with iOS, because that’s a step up.

Personally I’m horrified at what these apps look like and how they function. They appear to be foreign entities among all the software designed for MacOS. Despite understanding Apple’s reasoning behind shipping them now and not when their backbone is ready, I cannot quite fathom who said: ‘Yes, this is good enough.’ Not at Apple in any case.

Apple chose their own path. Two separate operating systems, with their own look and feel, with some points of overlap. We’re in the middle of an evolution of both OSes, waiting to see where they’ll both end up. Maybe it’ll be better but it sure as hell feels that it’ll get a lot worse in the short-term.


HTTP Server on iPad via iSH →

December 9, 2018 · 07:09

Dandy Weng:

It’s definitely mind-blowing that you can set up a simple HTTP server on your iPad. All I need now is a more sophisticated Files integration so I can copy files into @iSH and edit them with another app to do some real work! Huge shout out to @tblodt.

iSH is amazing but… this shouldn’t be mind-blowing. iOS is 8 years old and based on MacOS — we should have been able to do this years ago (without jailbreaking).


Download Procreate’s Undo Gesture Project →

December 8, 2018 · 08:33

Procreate Team:

We think Procreate’s Undo gesture is one of the best things we’ve ever made. Apple highlighted it as an exceptional user experience when Procreate Pocket was lucky enough to win iPhone App of the Year 2018, and it’s one of our most beloved features. It’s simple, fast, and takes full advantage of multi-touch […]

Whether you’re one of our competitors, or in an entirely different field, please feel free to grab the project below. Take it, use it, and give your users the most instinctive Undo and Redo method available.


The Biggest Threat to the Mac →

December 8, 2018 · 08:08

John Gruber, on Daring Fireball:

The biggest threat to the Mac isn’t iPads, Chromebooks, or Windows 2-in-1’s — it’s apathy towards what makes great Mac apps great.

Apple’s own software quality is slowly going down hill over these past few years, as if they stopped caring. There are too many examples to list, but it’s long past due to sound an alarm. Even on iOS, Apple often fails to have updates for its own apps ready in time for new screen resolutions or features.


Apple Security Expert Jon Callas Moves to ACLU →

December 5, 2018 · 03:28

Joseph Menn for Reuters:

A senior Apple Inc security expert left for a much lower-paying job at the American Civil Liberties Union this week, the latest sign of increasing activity on policy issues by Silicon Valley privacy specialists and other engineers.

Jon Callas, who led a team of hackers breaking into pre-release Apple products to test their security, started Monday in a two-year role as technology fellow at the ACLU. Prior to his latest stint at Apple, Callas designed an encryption system to protect data on Macs and co-founded communications companies Silent Circle, Blackphone and PGP Corp. […]

Callas said he felt particular kinship with Google employees pressing to have more of a say in the company’s prospective deal to return to mainland China with a censored search engine.

“A bunch of people have in fact woken up and said ‘Where are we, where are we going?’” Callas said. “These employees are wanting more discussion and access to what’s going on.”

Callas said phone makers had improved security and he wanted to see progress continue and widen without companies succumbing to pressure to install back doors.

There could be a simple explanation for his choice but the elephant in the room is Apple in China.


Microsoft Is Building a Chromium-Powered Web Browser That Will Replace Edge on Windows 10 →

December 4, 2018 · 09:30

Zac Bowden:

Microsoft’s Edge web browser has seen little success since its debut on Windows 10 back in 2015. Built from the ground up with a new rendering engine known as EdgeHTML, Microsoft Edge was designed to be fast, lightweight, and secure, but launched with a plethora of issues which resulted in users rejecting it early on. Edge has since struggled to gain any traction, thanks to its continued instability and lack of mindshare, from users and web developers.

Because of this, I’m told that Microsoft is throwing in the towel with EdgeHTML and is instead building a new web browser powered by Chromium, a rendering engine first popularized by Google’s Chrome browser. Codenamed Anaheim, this new web browser for Windows 10 will replace Edge as the default browser on the platform. It’s unknown at this time if Anaheim will use the Edge brand or a new brand, or if the user interface between Edge and Anaheim is different. One thing is for sure, however; EdgeHTML in Windows 10’s default browser is dead.

Having used many different browsers over the years, Safari has always appealed to me most for a number of different reasons. Since it was discontinued on Windows a few years ago, I have defaulted to Firefox on my only PC (I still naturally use Safari on my Mac), especially since Mozilla appears to be pushing privacy hard, but I really wish Safari was still around. I tried and tested Edge a few times, but it never appealed to me much. Chromium would be my second choice and I’m curious what Microsoft will do with it.


My Photography (57) — Admiring the Sunset, Pizzo, Italy, 2017

December 3, 2018 · 11:10

We had just had something to eat and were getting ready to leave the beautiful city of Pizzo in the south of Italy, when we decided to go take a last look at the sunset before setting off for the airport. I had already stowed away my “big” camera and since there was a chilly wind, I did not want to bother going back to the car to get it. I did have my iPhone X on me though…

There was just something about the geometry, depth, gradients, and shadows that spoke to me — I really love this shot.

Shot with iPhone X @ 28 mm: f/1.8, 1/153 s, ISO 20.

Take a look at what the person below saw →


Apple iMac and MacBook Screen Defect Class Action Lawsuit →

December 3, 2018 · 10:49

Steve W. Berman and Jerrod C. Patterson:

iMac and MacBook owners have reported dark smudges and spots on the interior of the screens of their desktop computers as well as excessive slowness and break downs of their computers related to the lack of filter on Apple computers. The computer intakes air to cool its components, but with no filter, dust gets trapped inside. This affects the screen and logic board of the computer, leading to dust stuck behind the screen and gummed up motherboards, causing the computer to run slow and/or overheat.

According to many consumer reports online and across Apple’s support forum, the smudging substantially interferes with the functionality and use of the premium displays, especially for creative purposes such as photo editing, digital illustration and other activities requiring precise visual capabilities. The smudging often appears soon after purchase (but after Apple’s standard warranty period has expired).

When iMac owners raise the issue with Apple, Apple refuses to remedy the defect, forcing owners of affected iMacs to pay more than $500 to fix this screen defect, and even more if they wish to replace parts integral to the computer’s speed and performance.

I wholeheartedly support this, as my iMac had exactly the same problem. I sold it after having the screen replaced six times over a period od 3 years. Apple paid for the repair without question four times and I had to strong-arm them for the remaining two. I was delicately led to believe there would not be a seventh.

After an unofficial investigation in Poland, I found that every single iMac model since 2004 has exhibited this issue. Not every single iMac of course, but a decent percentage of every model. This has not been acknowledged or fixed by Apple since, nor are there are any repair programs.


Microsoft Will Reportedly Release a Surface Studio Monitor In 2020 →

November 30, 2018 · 10:13

Tom Warren, for The Verge:

Microsoft is reportedly planning to release a monitor-only version of its Surface Studio in 2020. “Microsoft will finally deliver a Surface monitor in the 2020 timeframe,” claims Brad Sams in Beneath A Surface, a new book detailing the history of Microsoft’s Surface efforts. While you might expect a regular PC monitor, in true Surface style it will have its own unique twist. Microsoft will reportedly swap to a modular design, which is something that Surface chief Panos Panay hinted at in an interview with The Verge recently.

Hurry up, and take my money.

Looking at Apple’s hardware decisions over the past few years, I’m already expecting that I won’t be buying the screen they’re planning to introduce with the Mac Pro next year. Seriously, this was my first thought on Apple’s upcoming product, which just goes to show how disappointed I am in their choices. Perhaps they’ll prove me wrong but I’m not holding my breath.


David Barnard Explains How to Game the App Store →

November 29, 2018 · 09:09

David Barnard:

I’ve been pestering Apple for years publicly and privately about the manipulation and outright scams going on in the App Store. Apple has made some progress here and there, but overall Apple’s strictness in some areas and hands off approach in others has disproportionately rewarded bad actors while stifling conscientious developers.

First of all, read the whole thing — some parts might shock you. These issues won’t be problematic to users aware of which developers are the good guys — there are quite a few out there — but the average consumer will have no clue which ones to trust. Apple really needs to crack down hard on the bad actors, cleaning out their own store of the garbage that has accumulated over the years.


Castro Is Now Part of Tiny →

November 27, 2018 · 22:14

On Supertop’s blog:

Castro has reached a size where the demands of running the business have been pulling us in too many different directions. We haven’t been able to focus as much on the core work of designing and building a product. Selling to Tiny gets Castro access to more resources, contacts and expertise. By growing the team we can specialize our roles to be more focused individually and get more done collectively. We can get back to what we’re good at and what we love doing.

This sounds promising.


Mac Mini Review — A Testament to Apple’s Stubbornness →

November 27, 2018 · 10:19

Peter Bright, for Ars Technica:

[…] the new Mac mini is a compromised box that’s engineered to be quite small. If you’re wedded to macOS, then it does the job well enough. It’s not bad as such, and it’s certainly a solid upgrade over the 2014 system. But there’s nothing this device particularly excels at, and there’s no real scenario where it leaps out at me as being the ideal, obvious choice. It’s the Mac you buy when you know you need to buy a Mac… and you’ve already ruled out all the other systems Apple has on offer.

After Apple’s appalling history in keeping the Mac Mini relevant and updated, people are applauding the new model. It does get a lot of things right, but imagine if the Mac Mini managed to fit just the following hardware inside its case:

  • the newer Core i9-9900K 8-core 16-thread (95 W) or the Core i7-9700K 8-core 8-thread (95 W) CPU
  • a single PCIe slot

Even if Apple decided not to offer user-accessible M.2 NVMe flash storage instead of its proprietary standard (and easily user-accessible RAM), people would go crazy for this machine. I can easily see this Mac instantly becoming one of the bestselling models ever. I know I’d get one.


Apple Resumes iPhone X Production in Face of Weak XS Sales →

November 22, 2018 · 23:06

Jon Porter, for The Verge:

Apple has resumed production of the iPhone X due to weaker than expected demand for its latest XS and XS Max models, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal. The move is allegedly due to an agreement made with Samsung to purchase a certain quantity of OLED screens. With this year’s OLED-equipped models failing to sell in the quantities needed to fulfill the terms of the deal, the report suggests that Apple is turning to last year’s model for a solution. Apple ceased selling the iPhone X in stores when the XS was first released.

If this turns out to be true, I’d be very surprised. Perhaps less so, if these phones only ended up in carriers’ hands, but this would be without precedent.


’The iPad and iOS Nowhere Near As Far Along As the Mac Was a Generation Ago’ →

November 20, 2018 · 08:35

John Gruber, on Daring Fireball:

But, I will object to one thing: the iPad feels like a young platform, yes, but it’s not young. It’s over 8 years old. Steve Jobs was still around to introduce it. When the Mac was 8 years old in 1992, System 7 had been launched and it was a very advanced platform, suitable for work of any kind. The new iPad Pro hardware might be the best consumer computer hardware ever made — the only rivals are the iPhone XS and XR. But software-wise, the iPad platform is nowhere near as far along after 8 years as the Mac was a generation ago. The iPhone is. But the iPad is not, and I don’t see how anyone can deny that.

Apple slowed down evolving iPadOS features in the beginning and then tried to speed them up as the hardware started to get better at a rapid pace, but the software team just can’t keep up. It’s still missing utterly basic functionality and I’m really hoping iOS 13 is a big one for the iPad. June is so far away though…


Google Photos for iOS Adds Portrait Mode Depth Editing to iPhones X, 8, and 7; Apple Photos Still Not Offering This Feature →

November 20, 2018 · 08:28

Michael Potuck, for 9to5Mac:

While Portrait mode depth editing arrived with the iPhone XS, XR and the 2018 iPad Pro, the feature isn’t available on iPhone X, 8 Plus, and 7 Plus. Today, Google is rolling out support for the feature with Google Photos for iOS.

It’s been argued that the iPhone X isn’t fast enough to support the editing of bokeh. I called it out after the keynote. Now Google is joining in, assisting users of “old” iPhones and bringing them functionality that Apple should have provided on day one.