Nexus, iPhone or Bust →

July 1, 2016 · 12:31

David Ruddock:

So, am I sitting here telling you buy a Samsung, or a Xiaomi? I mean, I’m not telling you not to. Both companies make good products. But of all the world’s smartphone makers, there’s only one that I truly know of that is all but wholly disinterested in selling you a phone: Google. Google wants to sell you a portal to advertisements. And cellular service (in America). And cloud storage. And email (with ads). And they want the experience upon the phone which you are served those ads to be good. Fast, simple, uncluttered, and enjoyable. Because if I hate my phone, I’m less likely to use it to consume those ads, and that would obviously be bad. Nexus phones have transformed from the developer and enthusiast bleeding-edge into pretty usable consumer devices. In fact, I pretty much exclusively suggest the 6P today, because it’s the only phone I can suggest in good conscience that is produced by a company that isn’t out to make money selling you a phone. Google even publishes end of life support dates for Nexus phones now – what other smartphone manufacturer does that?

Perhaps it’s cynical of me, perhaps it’s just me being risk-averse and boring, and perhaps it’s simply that I’m drinking the Nexus kool-aid. But I’m tired of reading about phones that don’t get updates, that are bogged down with sponsored bloatware, or that have all the customer support of a plastic spoon. I’m tired of having freaking trust issues with a smartphone. I want a decent phone with a decent warranty with decent software and support. And I’m willing to pay for that. I don’t want the best value at the expense of support. I don’t want the best support at the expense of affordability. I don’t even want the best phone at the expense of either of the previous two things. I just don’t want to feel like I’m getting screwed for the sake of a low price tag or a specification sheet. Increasingly, it feels like I don’t have many options that aren’t a Nexus.

Personally, I don’t have the time nor the desire to waste my time looking for a smartphone that might not frustrate me. That is the main reason I go with the iPhone — because it’s one less thing that I have to worry about.


App Store Deals — 1/07/2016

July 1, 2016 · 12:27

The big news today is of course Tweetbot 4 for iOS and Tweetbot for Mac — make sure to get them as soon as possible if you don’t want to pay the full price. They really are worth every penny.

Cloud Chasers – A Journey of Hope – iOS – Games – €3.99 > €0.99
CSV Split – Mac – Utilities – €2.99 > €0.00
Door Kickers – iPad – Games – €4.99 > €0.99
Dungeon of Madness – iOS – Games – €1.99 > €0.00
Empire – Mac – Games – €4.99 > €0.00
FACIE – iOS – Photography – €3.99 > €0.00
Goo Saga – iOS – Games – €4.99 > €0.99
Hidden Wonders of the Depths (Full) – iPhone – Games – €1.99 > €0.00
Hidden Wonders of the Depths HD (Full) – iPad – Games – €2.99 > €0.00
Hitman: Sniper – iOS – Games – €1.99 > €0.00
Into Mirror – iOS – Games – €1.99 > €0.99
Mimpi Dreams – iOS – Games – €1.99 > €0.00
NetSpot Wi–Fi Reporter – Mac – Utilities – €49.99 > €0.99
OddPlanet – iOS – Games – €3.99 > €0.00
SampleTank – iOS – Music – €19.99 > €0.00
Sketchpad – Mac – Graphics & Design – €2.99 > €0.00
Toca Builders – iOS – Education – €2.99 > €0.00
Tweetbot 4 for Twitter – iOS – Social Networking – €9.99 > €4.99
Tweetbot for Twitter – Mac – Social Networking – €9.99 > €4.99
VOX – Music Player for FLAC & MP3, SoundCloud, YouTube – iPhone – Music – €5.99 > €0.00
World Clock App – Mac – Travel – €2.99 > €0.00

Rogue Amoeba on macOS Sierra and Gatekeeper Path Randomization →

June 30, 2016 · 23:35

Jeff Johnson:

At their recent Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple announced macOS 10.12 (Sierra), the next major version of the Mac operating system. Sierra is scheduled for official release in the fall, and we’re hard at work on getting our software ready for it. For now, however, we recommend that if you can’t live without our software — which we love to hear! — you should stick with 10.11 (El Capitan) or lower. We’ll be releasing fully compatible updates for 10.12 as soon as possible. For more detailed information, please see our Status page.

I’d like to take a few minutes now to talk directly to fellow software developers about Sierra, specifically about a new Sierra security feature called “Gatekeeper Path Randomization” (GPR) that has serious implications for software delivered outside of the Mac App Store.

Apple Discontinues the Thunderbolt Display →

June 30, 2016 · 23:34

Rene Ritchie:

“We’re discontinuing the Apple Thunderbolt Display,” Apple told iMore. “It will be available through, Apple’s retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers while supplies last. There are a number of great third-party options available for Mac users.”

The only monitors I would consider buying today, while waiting for a future Thunderbolt Display, are NEC’s and Eizo’s better 4K options, which actually work in Retina mode.

Matt Gemmell the Writer – a New Chapter in His Life →

June 24, 2016 · 15:09

Matt Gemmell - Changer

Matt Gemmell:

Jutland, Denmark: a billionaire industrialist seizes control of a top-secret project that the European Defence Agency calls Destiny, manipulating it for his own ends.

Edinburgh, Scotland: physicist Neil Aldridge’s life is saved by an elite EU special forces team, codenamed KESTREL, drawing him into a race against time to prevent a disaster that will claim millions of lives.

As the chase leads to London, Amsterdam and beyond, Aldridge and his allies must battle a ruthless adversary: a trained killer with an unnatural ability, who seeks to hasten the cataclysm.

With time running out, Aldridge discovers that he and his enemy share an astonishing secret, which may be the key to salvation — or cause death on an unprecedented scale…

I’ve enjoyed many years of reading Matt Gemmell the software developer, but that aspect of his life was put to rest some time ago. Time to start enjoying his life as a writer, and as a sign of support, I will be reading his first book on both my iPad and Kindle.

iOS 10 Beta Released With Unencrypted Kernel →

June 22, 2016 · 08:32

Tom Simonite:

Why Apple has suddenly opened up its code is unclear. One hypothesis in the security community is that, as Levin puts it, someone inside the company “screwed up royally.” But he and Solnik both say there are reasons to think it may have been intentional. Encouraging more people to pore over the code could result in more bugs being disclosed to Apple so that it can fix them.

Jonathan Zdziarski, another iOS security expert, favors that hypothesis, because accidentally forgetting to encrypt the kernel would be such an elementary mistake. “This would have been an incredibly glaring oversight, like forgetting to put doors on an elevator,” he says.

Apple MacBook vs. HP Spectre →

June 21, 2016 · 23:32

Joanna Stern:

HP’s trackpad, on the other hand, feels claustrophobic. I also repeatedly encountered issues with it, including jumping cursors and unregistered clicks.

This doesn’t sound like much, but it’s a deal breaker for me. The keyboard and trackpad have to be perfect, and despite it being 2016, few laptops actually deliver a good experience in this regard.


App Store Deals — 21/06/2016

June 21, 2016 · 08:59

There are a few good apps to be had for a good price today. The most excellent Alto’s Adventure is a must have game, while Chameleon Run recently won an Apple Design Award. Make sure to take a look at Lara Croft GO too (also an Apple Design Award Winner). Oh, and TextGrabber seems to be one of the best OCR solutions — it supports over 90 languages (including Polish).

Alto’s Adventure – iOS – Games – €3.99 > €0.99
Arduino CC3000 Kit – iOS – Productivity – €4.99 > €1.99
Arduino Ethernet Kit – iOS – Productivity – €1.99 > €0.99
Arduino Yun Kit – iOS – Entertainment – €6.99 > €3.99
Black Space – iOS – Games – €4.99 > €0.99
Calling All Mixels – iOS – Games – €3.99 > €0.00
Chameleon Run – iOS – €1.99 > €0.99
Coldfire Keep – iOS – Games – €4.99 > €0.99
Duotone+ – iPhone – Photography – €2.99 > €0.99
Elemental Rage – iPhone – Games – €4.99 > €0.00
Elemental Rage HD – iPad – Games – €6.99 > €0.00
Enlightening X – Mac – Photography – €37.99 > €30.99
Exiles – iOS – Games – €4.99 > €0.99
Intro to Math – iOS – Education – €4.99 > €0.00
Lara Croft GO – iOS – Games – €4.99 > €1.99
Mixels Rush – iOS – Games – €2.99 > €0.00
Momento – Private Diary – iPhone – Lifestyle – €1.99 > €0.00
Note–Ify Notes – Mac – Productivity – €9.99 > €4.99
SkyLab Photo Editor – iOS – Photography – €2.99 > €0.00
Stellar Wanderer – iOS – Games – €4.99 > €1.99
TextGrabber – iOS – Productivity – €4.99 > €0.00
The Deer God – iOS – Games – €9.99 > €1.99
This War of Mine – iOS – Games – €14.99 > €2.99
Yoga Studio – iOS – Healthcare & Fitness – €3.99 > €0.00

Apple File System (APFS) →

June 20, 2016 · 22:41


HFS+ and it’s predecessor HFS are more than 30 years old. These file systems were developed in an era of floppy disks and spinning hard drives, where file sizes were calculated in kilobytes or megabytes. Today, solid-state drives store millions of files, accounting for gigabytes or terabytes of data. There is now also a greater importance placed on keeping sensitive information secure and safe from prying eyes.

A new file system is needed to meet the current needs of Apple products, and support new technologies for decades to come.

I can only imagine John Siracusa’s grin, smile or tension-releasing-sigh when he first heard of this news.


2016 Apple Design Award Winners

June 15, 2016 · 12:17

None of the winners disappoint and I can personally recommend Ulysses and Lara Croft GO. I use the former for my Markdown writing, while the latter is a great procrastination tool.

Dividr – iPhone – Games – €0.00
Linum – iPhone – Games – €0.00
djay Pro – iPad – Music – €19.99
Auxy Music Creation – iPad – Music – €0.00
INKS. – iOS – Games – €1.99
Lara Croft GO – iOS – Games – €4.99
Chameleon Run – iOS – Games – €1.99
Ulysses – Mac – Productivity – €44.99 – iPhone – Photography – €0.00
Zova – Personal Trainer – iPhone – Healthcare & Fitness – €0.00
Streaks – iPhone – Productivity – €3.99
Complete Anatomy – iPad – Medical – €0.00

People often say they want Siri to act more like a human being. I hope Apple sets the bar higher than that.

Dr. Drang

1Blocker icon hero

One Reason Why You Should Use 1Blocker for Mac & iOS

June 10, 2016 · 17:08

I bought a bunch of adblockers for iOS when they came out last year. After repeated experiments, I stuck with 1Blocker — it was extremely fast, very good at dealing with trackers (which I care about most), and streamlining my mobile experience. The latter is probably the most important, since it really helps conserve data when roaming — why would I want to download a 1 MB webpage and 9 additional megabytes of trackers, when I can just download that 1 MB?

Continue reading →

iMessage on Android to Be Presented at WWDC →

June 10, 2016 · 16:39


Apple will announce that iMessage encrypted text messaging is coming to Android users at WWDC next Monday at WWDC 2016, according to a source familiar with the company’s thinking.

This would be the one thing that would actually surprise me.

32 Million Twitter Passwords Leaked →

June 9, 2016 · 15:37


This data set contains 32,888,300 records. Each record may contain an email address, a username, sometimes a second email and a visible password. We have very strong evidence that Twitter was not hacked, rather the consumer was. These credentials however are real and valid. Out of 15 users we asked, all 15 verified their passwords.

Change your password.

Phil Schiller Calls John Gruber to Talk About the App Store →

June 9, 2016 · 15:36

John Gruber:

“We’re doing something a little different this year. We’ve got a bunch of App Store/developer-related announcements for WWDC next week, but frankly, we’ve got a busy enough keynote that we decided we’re not going to cover those in the keynote. And rather, just cover them in the afternoon and throughout the week. We’re talking to people today for news tomorrow about those things, in advance of WWDC, and then developers can come and be ready for sessions about these things, with knowledge about them before the conference. We haven’t done this before, but we figured, what the heck, let’s give it a try.”

So started my phone call with Phil Schiller yesterday.

More information from John. I love how the ‘new Apple’ communicates with people like Gruber and Dalrymple. And it surprises me every single time.

Phil Schiller Talks to Jim Dalrymple About Changes to the App Store →

June 9, 2016 · 15:34

Jim Dalrymple:

These are some major changes from the App Store team—more than we’ve seen in years from Apple. It’s a good sign that Apple is focusing so much attention on making the App Store better for developers and customers. We’ll have to see how it all works out in the coming months, but a focus on making things relevant, fair, and easier to use should pay off for Apple, its developers and the customer.

A nice set of changes overall, although I am worried that many developers will want to jump on the bandwagon, ultimately resulting in a failed attempt at the newly announced subscription model.

The Author Should Write the Headline →

June 7, 2016 · 08:39

Ken Segall:

Last week, I wrote an article for The Guardian with the above title. It was a question, not a conclusion, and I tried to offer a thoughtful opinion. Sadly, The Guardian chose to give it a click-bait headline that contradicted my point of view. So, for the record, here is the complete article as originally intended.

I read Ken’s article on the Guardian and my first thought was that he’s an asshole for that clickbait headline. And that the article itself did not even make one sensible argument for the statement in the title.

Now it’s clear what happened.

Drive a 4K Display at 60 Hz With the 2016 MacBook →

June 7, 2016 · 08:17

Jeff Benjamin:

The 2016 MacBook is capable of driving a 4K display at 60 Hz via a single USB-C cable. Such a feat is achievable via an easy-to-apply IOKit patch.
One of the great things about the new Intel hardware inside of the 2016 MacBook is that it’s capable of supporting 4K resolution at 60 Hz. The jump in refresh is a big deal, as anyone who’s tried to put up with running a 30 Hz refresh rate can attest to.

Operating at 30 Hz results in jerky and choppy cursor movement, and in some cases can induce headaches after prolonged use.

The good news is that it is possible to enable 60 Hz at native 4K resolution and 1080p (HiDPI/Retina) resolution on a 2016 MacBook. In fact, I just did so on the LG 27UD88 4K USB-C monitor that I recently reviewed. Watch the step-by-step process in our video tutorial for the details.

I don’t understand why this is even necessary, but at least it’s possible. I can confirm that using a 4K, or any display for that matter, at 30 Hz is impossible for in the long run. It should be also possible (I assume) to run the display @1.6x, which results in a 2560×1440 pt workspace, which is what I’m using on my Eizo.

LG’s USB-C-Enabled 4K Monitor Lends Single Cable Simplicity to 12″ MacBook →

June 7, 2016 · 08:12

Jeff Benjamin:

you’re looking for a 4K display that can be paired with your 12″ MacBook via a single USB-C cable, then your options are fairly limited. It seems that LG is one of the few display makers that has such a monitor available for sale.

LG’s 27UD88-W is a 27″ USB-C-enabled display. Its USB-C port allows MacBook owners to connect a single cable to drive the display, charge the machine, and facilitate data transfer.

This is actually quite cool. Too bad the colour’s not even close to that seen on the new Retina iMacs, but still. It does however need a hack to run at 60 Hz (see my next post).

The Talk Show Tickets Sell Out in Seconds

June 7, 2016 · 08:09

John Gruber tweeted this, on the hour:

One minute later:

Taking into account that it took him a frantic few seconds to type out that second tweet, and that he probably first stared dumbfounded at his screen that it went so fast, 15-20 seconds seems like a fair estimation.

Lottery anyone?

Best Apps to Mark Up and Annotate Images for iOS →

June 4, 2016 · 15:01

Allyson Kazmucha:

One question I’m asked on a regular basis is “What apps are you using to mark up and annotate your images?” A few years ago, I would have told you that it wasn’t an easy task on iOS and you were better off using a Mac app, such as Napkin. Luckily, that not only isn’t the case anymore, it’s actually easier to mark up and annotate images on iPhone nowadays.

PointOut [App Store] is my tool of choice. Ally has some more suggestions though, if you’re looking for more.

How to Avoid Clipboard Poisoning Attacks on the Mac →

June 4, 2016 · 14:56

Thomas Reed:

Graham Cluley drew my attention the other day to an issue that has apparently been known to some for years, but was new to me: clipboard poisoning, an issue where a website can replace what you think is on your clipboard with something else (…)

It turns out that there’s a possibility that this could lead to remote code execution. In other words, it could lead to someone else’s malicious code being run on your computer without your knowledge!

Once malicious code has been run on your computer, that code can download and install other processes, and in no time, your Mac has been pwned.

The key to this issue lies with any code that the user might copy from a website, then copy somewhere else in such a way that it is automatically executed. It turns out that this is possible with shell scripts pasted into the Terminal.

As an example, consider the following command, which is commonly cited as a way to make your Mac show hidden files:

defaults write AppleShowAllFiles TRUE; killall Finder

Read his full post for tips how to keep yourself safe.

via @qurczaq

No Apple Display With Integrated GPU at WWDC — Think Software for This Year →

June 3, 2016 · 08:21

Rene Ritchie:

There’d been some speculation on Twitter and rumor reports about Apple possibly introducing a display with an integrated eGPU. Theory being, it would take some of the graphical processing overhead off MacBooks and/or facilitate a single-cable connection that could drive 5K. It sounds cool, but I asked around, and it’s not happening at the keynote or any time in the immediate future.

So that’s that. I can’t wait to see the backlash from the internet that no new hardware will be introduced (reportedly).

BitTorrent Spins Off Sync App Into Separate Company →

June 3, 2016 · 08:14

Janko Roettgers:

saying good-bye to Sync, the file synchronization tool once pitched as an alternative to Dropbox and similar services. However, Sync isn’t being shut down: Instead, it is spun off into a separate company headed by former BitTorrent CEO Eric Klinker, Variety has learned.

Klinker’s new company Resilio will rebrand Sync as “Connect,” and apparently squarely focus on enterprise file sharing and synchronization needs. Klinker is being joined in his efforts by a handful of other former BitTorrent colleagues, including the company’s former GM of platforms Ilan Shamir.

I was about to get the paid version of sync to use instead of Dropbox. Not sure what to do now.