How to Create Safari Pinned Tab Icons →

December 22, 2015 · 08:00

Craig Hockenberry:

The recent release of Safari 9.0 brought a great new feature: pinned tabs. These tabs are locked to the lefthand side of your tab bar and stay in place, even when you open a new window or relaunch the browser.

The default behavior is to display the first letter of the site’s name on a color from the site’s theme. If you work on a site with a strong branding element, you’ll want to customize the icon on the pinned tab. Anthony Piraino and I have been working on one for the Iconfactory and would like to share some of the things we learned.

Personally, I went with John Siracusa’s approach and it worked fine. I had to use Affinity Designer though, Illustrator did not output a compatible file for some reason. I really should get around to making one for this site…

‘Consumers… Well… We’re Fucking Stupid’ →

December 21, 2015 · 23:21

Don Melton:

Anyway, Netflix is talking about the bitrates for their 1080p videos soon being as low 2000 Kbps for the simple stuff. That’s down from the 4300-5800 Kbps range they’re using now. And I’m sure they can do that on the low end without any perceivable loss of quality while streaming.

But can Apple and Amazon sell 1080p videos — averaging about 5000 Kbps now — at bitrates as low as 2000 Kbps — less than half that average size — without a perceived loss of value?

I don’t know. It’s hard to predict because consumers… well… we’re fucking stupid.

A very insightful and technical post about video and audio encoders, bitrates, and the future for Netflix, Apple and others.

An example would be TIDAL and their HQ uncompressed format, or whatever they’re calling it. I’m sure it’s great if you have the right equipment, young enough ears, and the ability to tell the difference. I still can, but just barely, and quite frankly the added overhead in terms of size (amongst other hurdles) is just too much of a hassle for me. The current iTunes/Spotify/pick-your-vice formats are more than enough, and if they flipped the switch overnight without telling anyone, I doubt many would notice. I know I wouldn’t.

App Store Deals – 21/12/2015

December 21, 2015 · 09:28

The discounts are really starting to roll in before Christmas. A few Apple Design Award winners can be found below too… I’ve included a few notes on the various apps that I use personally next to them.

Agent A: A puzzle in disguise – iOS – Games – €2.99 > €0.99 →
Alto’s Adventure – iOS – Games – €2.99 > €0.991
Blek – iOS – Games – €2.99 > €0.992 →
Broken Sword 5 – the Serpent’s Curse – iOS – Games – €4.99 > €0.99
Carmen Sandiego Returns – iOS – Education – €1.99 > €0.00
Clear – Tasks, Reminders,To-Do – iOS – Productivity – €4.99 > €1.993 →
Day One – iOS – Lifestyle – €4.99 > €0.994 →
Day One – Mac – Lifestyle – €9.99 > €6.995 →
DuckTales: Remastered – iOS – Games – €9.99 > €0.99
Fantastical 2 – iPad – Productivity – €9.99 > €4.996 →
Fantastical 2 – iPhone – Productivity – €4.99 > €2.995 →
FlightTrack 5 – iOS – Travel – €4.99 > €0.99
Gneo: To Do Task List and Calendar – iOS – Productivity – €9.99 > €4.99
Goat Simulator – iOS – Games – €4.99 > €0.99
Hitman GO – iOS – Games – €4.99 > €0.998 →
I am Bread – iOS – Games – €4.99 > €0.99
Leo’s Fortune – iOS – Games – €4.99 > €0.999 →
Notability – iOS – Productivity – €5.99 > €0.9910 →
PAUSE – Relaxation – iPhone – Healthcare & Fitness – €1.99 > €0.99
Procreate Pocket – iPhone – Entertainment – €2.99 > €0.99
Rogue Star – iOS – Games – €4.99 > €0.99
Scanner Pro – iOS – Business – €2.99 > €0.9911 →
Ski Safari 2 – iOS – Games – €1.99 > €0.99

  1. Probably one of my favourite games ever.
  2. Purchased, but haven’t yet had time to play it.
  3. Some people I know swear by this app.
  4. This is probably the best personal journalling app out there. Syncs with the Mac version and supports publishing to the internet.
  5. As above.
  6. Another fan favourite.
  7. As above.
  8. Waiting to find time to play this title.
  9. This one too…
  10. Great app, especially useful on the iPad Pro with an Apple Pencil.
  11. This is my go-to app for all my scan-to-PDF needs.

Apple on ’60 Minutes’ — Full Transcript →

December 21, 2015 · 08:50

Charlie Rose:

Tim Cook: Because it would cost me 40 percent to bring it home. And I don’t think that’s a reasonable thing to do. This is a tax code, Charlie, that was made for the industrial age, not the digital age. It’s backwards. It’s awful for America. It should have been fixed many years ago. It’s past time to get it done.

Charlie Rose: But here’s what they concluded. Apple is engaged in a sophisticated scheme to pay little or no corporate taxes on $74 billion in revenues held overseas.

Tim Cook: That is total political crap. There is no truth behind it. Apple pays every tax dollar we owe.

A few interesting tidbits inside for those of you who are interested in what goes on behind the scenes, including Tim Cook seemingly slightly frustrated over the constant accusations.

As a user, I’m glad he’s fighting our battle for privacy.

App Store Deals — 19/12/2015

December 19, 2015 · 22:08

A few good apps are discounted today. If you’re looking for a great minimalistic writing app with Markdown support, then you should take a look at Ulysses. It’s currently my go-to software for writing, on both iOS and Mac. Please note that the app is now iPad only and that the next update will add iPhone support for free. The Mac version [App Store] will not go on sale this year, so don’t wait if you need it now.

Update (22:18): Added both Baldur’s Gate and Icewind Dale to the list.

Autumn Dynasty Warlords – iOS – Games – €6.99 > €1.99
Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition – iOS – Games – €9.99 > €4.99
Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition – Mac – Games – €19.99 > €9.99
Baldur’s Gate II:EE – iOS – €9.99 > €4.99
Baldur’s Gate II : Enhanced Edition – Mac – Games – €19.99 > €9.99
CHRONO TRIGGER – iPhone – Games – €9.99 > €4.99
Civilization Revolution 2 – iOS – Games – €9.99 > €4.99
Fantastical 2 – iPad – Productivity – €9.99 > €4.99
Fantastical 2 – iPhone – Productivity – €4.99 > €2.99
FINAL FANTASY VI – iOS – Games – €15.99 > €7.99
Find–the–Line – iOS – Games – €2.99 > €0.99
Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition – iOS – Games – €9.99 > €4.99
Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition – Mac – €19.99 > €9.99
NBA 2K16 – iOS – Games – €7.99 > €3.99
Oceanhorn – iOS – Games – €8.99 > €4.99
Patterning – iPad – Music – €9.99 > €7.99
Sid Meier’s Starships – iPad – Games – €9.99 > €4.99
Small World 2 – iPad – Games – €6.99 > €0.99
Splendor – iOS – Games – €6.99 > €0.99
Surgeon Simulator – iOS – Games – €4.99 > €0.99
Ulysses – iOS – Productivity – €19.99 > €9.99
XCOM®: Enemy Within – iOS – Games – €9.99 > €4.99

BB8 Ringtones, Ready for iTunes →

December 19, 2015 · 11:15

David Sparks:

In my post-Star Wars bliss, I spent some time in Logic today creating a set of BB8 Ringtones from various BB8 audio snippets I found on the web. These are formatted for iTunes and ready to go. Enjoy.

This is awesome! You can find the zip file on David’s site.

Tom Warren Blasts Microsoft Lumia 950 XL in Review →

December 19, 2015 · 10:59

Tom Warren:

There’s no easy way to say this, but like the smaller Lumia 950, the Lumia 950 XL design is simply boring. It’s uninspired, plasticky, and looks like any other low-end Lumia that Microsoft has been churning out over the past year. If you’re someone that believes Windows Phone is dead, this is the casket you’d bury it in. It looks like a developer device, and feels like whatever talent was left at Microsoft from Nokia just gave up on designing anything pretty.


Star Wars — How It Impacted My Life & First Thoughts on
‘The Force Awakens’ [no spoilers!]

December 18, 2015 · 12:09

I first saw saw Star Wars when I was six or seven years old, which must have been around 1985 or 86. I watched it with a friend of mine, or so I remember. More than thirty years have passed since then, so some of what I recall might be heavily distorted. It probably is. What’s important however is that I still have specific scenes from the movie, and from that day, imprinted in my memory. Us sitting on the carpet in front of the TV. I was most probably completely oblivious to the world around me.

Continue reading →

App Store Deals — 18/12/2015 — A Lot of Great Discounts Today

December 18, 2015 · 11:53

Still haven’t had time to play most of what I purchased… so I bought a few more.

AmpliTube – iPad – Music – €19.99 > €9.99
AmpliTube – iPhone – Music – €19.99 > €9.99
Awesome Note 2 – iPad – Productivity – €4.99 > €2.99
Awesome Note 2 – iPhone – Productivity – €3.99 > €2.99
Bastion – iOS – Games – €4.99 > €0.99
Civilization Revolution 2 – iOS – Games – €9.99 > €4.99
FINAL FANTASY VII – iOS – Games – €15.99 > €10.99
Heroes of Might & Magic III – HD Edition – iPad – Games – €9.99 > €4.99
Hitman: Sniper – iOS – Games – €2.99 > €0.99
Infinity Blade II – iOS – Games – €6.99 > €0.99
Infinity Blade III – iOS – Games – €6.99 > €0.99
Infinity Blade – iOS – Games – €5.99 > €0.99
Lara Croft GO – iOS – Games – €4.99 > €1.99
Photo Editor Movavi – Mac – Photography – €14.99 > €0.99
Thomas Was Alone – iOS – Games – €4.99 > €0.99
Wizards and Wagons – iOS – Games – €4.99 > €1.99

Jeff Williams Named COO, Phil Schiller’s Role Expanded and More →

December 17, 2015 · 16:35


Apple today announced that Jeff Williams has been named chief operating officer and Johny Srouji is joining Apple’s executive team as senior vice president for Hardware Technologies. Phil Schiller, senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing, will expand his role to include leadership of the revolutionary App Store® across all Apple platforms. Apple also announced that Tor Myhren will join Apple in the first calendar quarter of 2016 as vice president of Marketing Communications, reporting to CEO Tim Cook.

“We are fortunate to have incredible depth and breadth of talent across Apple’s executive team. As we come to the end of the year, we’re recognizing the contributions already being made by two key executives,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “Jeff is hands-down the best operations executive I’ve ever worked with, and Johny’s team delivers world-class silicon designs which enable new innovations in our products year after year.”

Cook continued, “In addition, Phil is taking on new responsibilities for advancing our ecosystem, led by the App Store, which has grown from a single, groundbreaking iOS store into four powerful platforms and an increasingly important part of our business. And I’m incredibly happy to welcome Tor Myhren, who will bring his creative talents to our advertising and marcom functions.”

Alex Gollner Talks to Randy Ubillos About Final Cut X, Steve Jobs Mentioned →

December 17, 2015 · 11:00

Alex Gollner:

My idea was that Final Cut 7 should stay exactly as it was for about a year, and every time you bought a copy of X you got a copy of 7. They didn’t want to hear it. I knew 16 months before the launch that I was going to have a bunch of arrows in my back. I was going to be blamed for this big transition. It’s the Apple way of doing things: ‘Feet first, jump in!’

The very last conversation I had with Steve Jobs was right after the launch of Final Cut Pro X. I was getting ready to get on a plane to go to London to record the second set of movie trailers – we’d hired the London Symphony Orchestra [to perform the music that was going to be bundled with the next version of iMovie] – and Steve caught me at home: “What the heck is going on with this Final Cut X thing?” I said “We knew this was coming, we knew that people were going to freak out when we changed everything out from under them. We could have done this better. We should have. Final Cut 7 should be back on the market. We should have an FAQ that lists what this is all about.” He said “Yeah, let’s get out and fund this thing, let’s make sure we get on top of this thing, move quickly with releases…” and he finished by asking: “Do you believe in this?” I said “Yes.” He said “then I do too.”

App Store Deals — 17/12/2015

December 17, 2015 · 10:03

A few great apps/games are on sale today, including a few from the Best 25 Games & Apps of 2015 for iPhone & iPad list.

Card Crawl – iOS – Games – €2.99 > €0.99
Don’t Starve: Pocket Edition – iOS – Games – €4.99 > €2.99
Dropzone 3 – Mac – Productivity – €9.99 > €1.99
Gamebook Adventures 11: Songs of the… – iOS – Games – €5.99 > €1.99
PDFpen 2 – Highlight, Markup, Edit… – iOS – Productivity – €19.99 > €9.99
Prune – iOS – Games – €3.99 > €2.99
SimCity: Complete Edition – Mac – Games – €29.99 > €9.99
Sneaky Sneaky – iOS – Games – €2.99 > €0.99
Transistor – iOS – Games – €9.99 > €2.99

Geohotz Built a Self-Driving Car in His Garage →

December 17, 2015 · 09:51

Ashlee Vance:

With Hotz still holding the wheel, the Acura’s lidar paints a pixelated image on the dash screen of everything around us, including the freeway walls and other cars. A blue line charts the path the car is taking, and a green line shows the path the self-driving software recommends. The two match up pretty well, which means the technology is working. After a couple miles, Hotz lets go of the wheel and pulls the trigger on the joystick, kicking the car into self-driving mode. He does this as we head into an S curve at 65 miles per hour. I say a silent prayer. Hotz shouts, “You got this, car! You got this!”

The car does, more or less, have it. It stays true around the first bend. Near the end of the second, the Acura suddenly veers near an SUV to the right; I think of my soon-to-be-fatherless children; the car corrects itself. Amazed, I ask Hotz what it felt like the first time he got the car to work.

“Dude,” he says, “the first time it worked was this morning.”

George Hotz. The misfit. The rebel.

Kit Hinrichs’s Typography Calendar →

December 17, 2015 · 09:50

Terri Stone:

There are no illustrations or photos in the calendar, named 365. Type plays the starring role, with each month showcasing a different face. Numbered days of the month dominate the page, but look in the upper left-hand corner of the page and you’ll see a small block of text that quietly delivers information about the typeface, its designer, and contemporary technological influences.

Rumour: iPad Air 3 to Be Released in 1st Half of 2016, ‘unlikely to Have 3D Touch Because of Production Issues’ →

December 15, 2015 · 20:56

Seth Weintraub:

KGI’s Ming-Chi Kuo is out with a set of research notes today highlighted by ‘iPad Air 3’ forecasts. Notably, the newest 9.7-inch Apple tablet is expected to be released in the 1st half of 2016, perhaps at the March event we’ve pinned to include the Apple Watch 2 with a possible appearance of the 4-inch iPhone 6c. The bad news is that like the iPad Pro, the new iPad Air 3 isn’t likely to have 3D Touch, which is a big part of the new iPhone 6s/Plus experience, according to the analyst…

How the Star Wars Planets Stack Up Against Our Own →

December 15, 2015 · 09:10

Maddie Stone:

Chris Jones wanted to see how the planets and moons featured in the original Star Wars trilogy stack up against real planets in this galaxy. Turns out, many of them are quite comparable in size to places in our solar system. Endor is Mercury after a massive global cooling campaign, Hoth is Mars before all the water evaporated, and Bespin is a gas giant not so different in size from our Saturn. Yavin Prime seems to be in a class of its own, though—who knows—maybe it’s similar to one of those fabled brown dwarfs lurking in the far reaches of our solar system.

Skip straight to the comments below the article — gold!

John Gruber Scores Amazing Guest Interview on the Talk Show →

December 15, 2015 · 08:58

John Gruber:

John Siracusa returns to the show to follow up on Federighi’s segment on Swift. Other topics include Apple’s new Smart Battery Case for the iPhone 6/6S, and our mutual (and perhaps futile) desire to head into this week’s premiere of Star Wars: The Force Awakens knowing as few spoilers as possible.

Also, some guy named Craig Federighi is on before Siracusa.

Allyson Explains How to Take Great Long Exposure Photos with iPhone →

December 15, 2015 · 08:52

Allyson Kazmucha:

Long exposure photography lets you capture light trails, motion blur, and better low light shots. While the built-in Camera app doesn’t let you control shutter speed and light sensitivity, there are lots of apps available in the App Store that do

I get frustrated to no end by the fact that the iPhone can’t do real 30 second long exposures. This should be possible.