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?


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).


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.


Back to My Mac Will Be Removed In macOS Mojave →

August 22, 2018 · 11:05

I use Back to My Mac a few times a year and so far it has worked flawlessly. The problem with it going away is that when I use it, I really need easy access to files my desktop Mac, which I’ve probably forgotten to take with me. Screen sharing is not really a replacement and iCloud Drive won’t help me store 4 TB of archived data.

I guess I’ll just have to figure out an alternative before it goes away.


How to Install Python3 via Homebrew on macOS

July 20, 2018 · 12:25

I just had to install Python 3 on both Macs and the whole process had some issues, so this is what I had to do to get everything running correctly:

  • I assume you already have Homebrew installed; if not then follow the instructions here and then run the following commands…
  • brew update
  • brew upgrade
  • sudo mkdir -p /usr/local/Frameworks
  • sudo chown -R $(whoami) /usr/local/* if using bash or sudo chown -R (whoami) /usr/local/* for fish
  • brew install python3
  • brew link python3
  • brew doctor

That’s it.


Use True Tone on Your MacBook Pro →

July 15, 2018 · 14:43

Apple Support:

True Tone can also adjust these external displays when they’re connected to your MacBook Pro:

  • Apple Thunderbolt Display, using the Apple Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) to Thunderbolt 2 adapter
  • LG UltraFine 5K Display
  • LG UltraFine 4K Display

I assume this won’t function if you’re working in clamshell mode, but otherwise this is great.


How to Create a macOS Mojave USB Drive Installer

June 27, 2018 · 13:43

The macOS 10.14 Mojave public beta dropped yesterday and while some of you will go crazy and install it as your main OS, it is preferable to install it on an external drive for testing purposes only. While you can just download the installer as a developer or public beta tester and proceed to install it directly, creating an installation drive (e.g. on a pendrive) has its benefits, especially if you foresee the need to install Mojave more than once.

Continue reading →


Removed in macOS 10.14 Mojave →

June 8, 2018 · 14:15

Michael Tsai listed everything that’ll be disappearing with the release of macOS 10.14 Mojave (that we know of) and there are a few surprises in there. Firstly, I’m disappointed that subpixel antialiasing will not be around anymore, since a lot of people still don’t use Retina screens (especially when using external displays connected to their Macs). I’m also quite concerned about Safari Extensions getting deprecated, especially in regard to content blockers — I wonder if they have some soft of replacement planned. Oh — unsigned Safari Extensions are already completely axed.

Update on Safari Extensions

Support for .safariextz-style Safari Extensions installed from the Safari Extensions Gallery is deprecated with Safari 12 on macOS. Submissions to the Safari Extensions Gallery will no longer be accepted after December 2018. Developers are encouraged to transition to Safari App Extensions.


Apple’s Craig Federighi Talks About iOS Apps Running on macOS and Touchscreens on Macs →

June 5, 2018 · 23:34

Lauren Goode, interviewing Craig Federighi for Wired:

When addressing my question about whether iOS apps moving to macOS is a natural precursor to touchscreen Macs, Federighi told me he’s “not into touchscreens” on PCs and doesn’t anticipate he ever will be. “We really feel that the ergonomics of using a Mac are that your hands are rested on a surface, and that lifting your arm up to poke a screen is a pretty fatiguing thing to do,” he said.

Federighi added that he doesn’t think the touchscreen laptops out there today—which he referred to as “experiments”—have been compelling. “I don’t think we’ve looked at any of the other guys to date and said, how fast can we get there?” (It’s worth noting that Microsoft’s Surface laptop, which has a touchscreen and is considered a top MacBook rival, has received largely positive reviews.)

The Surface Pro’s and Surface Book’s weakest link is that they are poor tablets for users like me, but I can easily imagine a scenario where iOS (iPad) apps on a detached MacBook Pro screen would allow me to replace my iPad, while simultaneously allowing me to run full desktop software, such as Lightroom, should I need it.


macOS Has a Future →

June 5, 2018 · 01:04

Steven Troughton-Smith:

Apple ticked a whole lot of my macOS boxes this WWDC; now, finally, it’s clear that macOS has a future — not as a dead platform, but as a pro-focused extension of iOS. The two OSes can grow together, as one, without iOS sucking all the oxygen out of the room.

I’m more hopeful about macOS’ future than I was for the last two years or so. Apple still has a long way to go but the signs we saw today are positive.


macOS Screen Savers by Johansson Design →

May 11, 2018 · 10:29

Johansson Design is probably the only company currently creating new screen savers for macOS, and my goal is to create (post)modern, pop-culture inspired screen savers that can be both practical and used as a form of self-expression.

They are all free and there are at least two in there that piqued my interest. You can get them for free and can donate to the author if you want to.


John Gruber Has Further Details On Project “Marzipan” →

May 1, 2018 · 09:25

John Gruber, for Daring Fireball:

This “Marzipan” rumor got a lot of people excited. But Gurman’s report is so light on technical details that the excitement is based mostly on what developers hope it could mean, not what’s actually been reported. The less specific the rumor, the easier it is to project your own wishes upon it. And, oddly perhaps, we haven’t seen any additional rumors or details about this project in the four months since Gurman’s original report.

I’ve heard a few things, from first- and second-hand sources. Mostly second-hand, to be honest, but they’re all consistent with each other.

Firstly, the details John posted shed more light on iOS and macOS in the coming years.

Secondly, since this is in regard to Gurman’s “Marzipan” leak, Mark isn’t as credible as he once was:

Gurman doesn’t mention that the meeting was leaked to Gurman himself — the person who leaked this story was caught and fired.


Are External GPUs for Macs Viable in macOS 10.13.4? →

April 20, 2018 · 11:05

Samuel Axon, writing for Ars Technica:

We tested an eGPU enclosure with a Thunderbolt 3-equipped MacBook Pro, and found that, in most applications, performance didn’t disappoint. Unfortunately, we also found limitations and software support inconsistencies that prevent the Mac eGPU dream from being fully realized at this time.

This is an extremely tempting solution. I imagine my current setup changing from a Hackintosh and MacBook Pro 13” to just a MacBook Pro 13” with a eGPU setup and external monitor. There would be a few caveats: I’d need a 2 TB SSD in the MacBook, at least a 4K monitor, preferably supporting Display P3 (my current 4K Eizo is sRGB), and I’d want one of those new quad-core Core i7s from Intel. They’re already available but Apple hasn’t yet ingested them into the lineup.

That and a reliable keyboard — my MacBook Pro is currently in for service for a new one.


Tim Cook: “Users Don’t Want iOS to Merge With macOS” →

April 20, 2018 · 10:48

Peter Wells, speaking with Tim Cook:

“I generally use a Mac at work, and I use an iPad at home,” Cook tells me, “And I always use the iPad when I’m travelling. But I use everything and I love everything.”

Later, when I ask about the divide between the Mac and iOS, which seems almost conservative when compared to Microsoft’s convertible Windows 10 strategy, Cook gives an interesting response.

“We don’t believe in sort of watering down one for the other. Both [The Mac and iPad] are incredible. One of the reasons that both of them are incredible is because we pushed them to do what they do well. And if you begin to merge the two … you begin to make trade offs and compromises.

This is nothing new — Tim Cook already made this statement a few years go.

I spent many days working solely with a Microsoft Surface Pro 4 the quickest summary I can come up with would be: it’s a good enough notebook, but a terrible tablet, at least in comparison to the iPad. The one situation I really liked it in, was editing photos in Lightroom, where I could detach the keyboard and focus on using touch. The iPad on the other hand, which I use every single day since it came out in 2010, is a great tablet and not a very good notebook. I guess it all depends where you’re coming from — Windows 10, as a desktop operating system, hasn’t yet evolved to be a great mobile OS1, while iOS is the exact opposite, even though iOS 11 helped a lot in that regard.

We’re currently at these strange crossroads between the past and future, while everyone is trying to figure out how to go forward, but it appears they don’t yet know which turn to take.

  1. It’s not a stellar desktop OS at the moment either — they still haven’t figured out HiDPI.

All of Apple’s OSes Should Get Comprehensive Instruction Manuals

April 9, 2018 · 11:24

This is but one example of the hundreds, if not thousands, of hidden features inside iOS, macOS, watchOS, tvOS, and Siri. There are so many of these right now, that I don’t know a single person who would be aware of all of them. I read one of my own tips, which I published a few years ago, and was amazed that something like that was possible, and that I did not remember it1.

P.S. If you’re on macOS and don’t know the following keyboard shortcuts, make sure to memorise them — they’re really useful:

  1. I have since forgotten it again.

macOS May Lose Data on APFS-Formatted Disk Images →

February 19, 2018 · 13:31

Mike Bombich, creator of Carbon Copy Cloner:

This week we reported to Apple a serious flaw in macOS that can lead to data loss when using an APFS-formatted disk image. Until Apple issues a macOS update that resolves this problem, we’re dropping support for APFS-formatted disk images.

Note: What I describe below applies to APFS disk images only — ordinary APFS volumes (e.g. your SSD startup disk) are not affected by this problem. While the underlying problem here is very serious, this is not likely to be a widespread problem, and will be most applicable to a small subset of backups. Disk images are not used for most backup task activity, they are generally only applicable when making backups to network volumes. If you make backups to network volumes, read on to learn more.

Another day, another serious High Sierra bug.


Apple Delays iOS Features to Focus on Reliability and Performance →

January 31, 2018 · 12:34

Ina Fried, writing for Axios:

On the cutting board: Pushed into 2019 are a number of features including a refresh of the home screen and in-car user interfaces, improvements to core apps like mail and updates to the picture-taking, photo editing and sharing experiences.

What made it: There will be some new features, of course, including improvements in augmented reality, digital health and parental controls. In addition, Apple is prioritizing work to make iPhones more responsive and less prone to cause customer support issues.

This is a very good decision. iOS and macOS are currently very buggy and they are in need of care and polishing.

Also, I have not found a single reason to use AR yet.