MyAppleMenu - Feb 2015

Sat, Feb 28, 2015 The Two-All-Beef-Patties Edition

"Once, we ate Big Macs."

"Were they good?"

"No, not really. But they were ours."

Are you ready for a world without Big Macs?

Apple Watch Will Replace Your Car Keys, Says Tim Cook

Allister Heath, Telegraph:

Like millions of people, Tim Cook stopped wearing a watch a while back. The Apple boss no longer needed one: his iPhone told the time just fine. There was just one problem, as he readily acknowledges in his interview with The Telegraph: glancing at one's wrist can be a very useful way to find out information. It is less rude and less intrusive.

So Apple now wants to pull off something that no company has ever managed before: it wants to reverse a cultural trend that it had created itself. It wants us to start wearing a watch again.

Remember once upon a time when Apple fans complained that Apple didn't advertise enough about what the Mac can do? The first half of this article is bascially Apple listing what features of the Apple Watch.


“None of us should accept that the government or a company or anybody should have access to all of our private information. This is a basic human right. We all have a right to privacy. We shouldn't give it up. We shouldn't give in to scare-mongering or to people who fundamentally don’t understand the details.”

Photo: keys to your kingdom, by michael (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

My Work is Done Here

Leonard Nimoy - My work is done here by dm_5016e431a5d96


There’s nothing dramatically different about Vesper in terms of interface and interaction – you still collect text and images with smooth animations and the ability to add tags; the iPad counterpart builds on this tradition. You can view assigned tags in a sidebar on the left and add one image to each note; the main content area is obviously larger on the iPad; and, you can search notes by swiping down to reveal a search bar. Overall, though, it’s still the same Vesper, only on more devices and in more orientations.


Apple against Luxury

Andrew Pantyukhin, Medium:

What’s happening is another bastion of status is going down. Yes, Apple is not Robin Hood. The products are only currently accessible to just one or two billion people on the planet. But the vector is clear.

By the end of this year, a billion people on earth will be able to use and wear virtually exactly the same phone, laptop and timepiece that the billionaires and millionaires will be using and wearing — the best that money can buy.


Smartflash LLC aims to make Apple pay for using the patent licensing firm's technology without permission in devices not be included in the previous case, such as the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus and the iPad Air 2. The trial covered older Apple devices.

Parting Words

Thanks for reading.

Fri, Feb 27, 2015 The Everyone-Poops Edition

Diverse Poop Emojis. Finally. I can't wait for the internet's creativity to be unleashed.

Apple Announces Media Event for March 9

Jim Dalrymple, The Loop:

It is widely expected that Apple will use the event to give more details about the Apple Watch, which was introduced last September.

Well, a media event on a Monday. There goes another weekend for many Apple employees.


Apple's iWork for iCloud Goes Platform Agnostic, Open to Everyone


Apple on Thursday removed the beta tag from its Apple ID creation tool, granting anyone, on any platform access to access to the iWork for iCloud Web-based productivity suite.


The Ergo Pro has better-feeling keys, a more reliable wired connection, better function keys for Mac, and USB ports.

The Minus Sign

Ole Begemann:

But if you need to format negative numbers for display in your app, your text will look much more professional if you use the real minus sign. Fortunately, this is easy. All you need to do is create a string with the correct minus sign character and assign it to your number formatter’s minusSign property.


Brent Simmons, Inessential:

But I think we’re at the point — between the NSA, draconian workplace monitoring systems, social network data collection, and malware — that calling out spying and monitoring specifically as unethical is warranted.


Parting Words

Thanks for reading.

Thu, Feb 26, 2015 The Nothing-to-Say Edition

A Few Silent Men - You want the dialogue? You can't handle the dialogue. *

Why I’m Saying Goodbye to Apple, Google and Microsoft

Dan Gillmor, Medium:

Control is moving back to the center, where powerful companies and governments are creating choke points. They are using those choke points to destroy our privacy, limit our freedom of expression, and lock down culture and commerce. Too often, we give them our permission—trading liberty for convenience—but a lot of this is being done without our knowledge, much less permission.

In Steve Jobs’s eras as CEO, Apple reflected his character and qualities. That was thrilling in most ways, because he demanded something close to perfection. But then the underdog revolutionized mobile computing and became the winner—one day we all realized it was one of the planet’s most powerful, profitable and valuable companies. Apple became the kind of company I prefer not to support: control-freakish to a fault with customers, software developers and the press; and, I came to believe, even dangerous to the future of open networks and user-controlled technology.

While Apple is busy working on watches and television sets and self-driving electric cars that takes pictures of the streets, I do hope that Apple is really serious about privacy.

Apple has made good decisions, in my humble opinion, about privacy with respect to third parties. It chose not to give customer information up to app makers, no matter if they are one-person-developer or large corporations like New York Times or Conde Nast. iMessage and FaceTime are secured by encryption, according to experts, rather well. Customer information doesn't leave the phone in Apple Pay transactions.

However, Apple still does know a lot about its customers. The telcos do know a lot too. In a sense, of course they know a lot. Apple need to know about customers' purchases, for example, so that customers can re-download apps or share family purchases. Telcos need to know about customers, for example, so that they can, well, provide and meter connectivity. Can Apple work towards more privacy for customers in these areas? I am not a smart person so I really don't know if there are real obstacles that even Apple can't overcome... But, I do think there are different tradeoffs between security and privacy and convenience that Apple can make to enhance privacy for customers and freedom for developers, and I hope Apple is studying and building them.

See also this next news item when balancing between security, privacy, and freedom...

Apple and Google Still not Removing Dangerous Health App Being Used by Patients

Iltifat Husain, iMedicalApps:

There is sufficient proof in the comments section alone that patients are using these apps not for recreational purposes, but as medical devices, having the potential to lead to disastrous health consequences. Apple and Google shouldn’t allow developers to hide behind veiled disclaimers that try to prevent FDA regulation and liability if someone were to die. If an app even has the potential to be used as a medical device using sensors on a phone, it should be regulated in the appropriate manner.

Focus: A New Take on Feature Post


Sustaining complex misdirection required an editing tool that was just the opposite — clear, straightforward, and accessible enough that the directors could edit footage along with lead editor Jan Kovac. It needed to be fast so they could experiment with scores of alternate takes. It had to be flexible so they could easily move between cutting on Mac Pro in the edit suite and working with MacBook Pro on location. And it had to be robust enough to reliably organize and process 2K Apple ProRes 4444 footage from production through multiple stages of post.

After researching several workflows, Requa and Ficarra decided to cut their major studio feature entirely in Final Cut Pro X. The results were even better than they’d expected. The movie came in on time and under budget, and it played and looked just as they’d envisioned it. “We got exactly the film we set out to make,” says Requa. “What I love about Final Cut Pro X is that it allowed me to be involved with, and in control of, every aspect of making our film.”


  • Federico Viticci: Between Focus and Modern Family, Apple seems to be getting momentum back among professionals in the entertainment industry (at least in terms of public acknowledgment).


Facebook's mobile prototyping tool, Origami, has been updated to version 2.0 with plenty of new features that include code export, Sketch integration, and an iOS app.

Ambitious media-manager app views and organizes over 30 file types.


The iOS people never stopped laughing at the growing stack of test devices in all colors and shapes hogging our developer’s desk. We did hit a few bumps further down the road. Still, Android has come a long way from the unsightly UX and low quality device mess it was just three years ago. Here’s what we have learned on the way to the release of iA Writer for Android.


Parting Words

Thanks for reading.

Wed, Feb 25, 2015 The Deep-Thoughts Edition

Happy 65th Birthday, Mr Jack Handey.

Adobe vs. Apple: The Oscars Ad Shootout

Ken Segall's Observatory:

The thing is, when you’re paying millions to run a spot on the Oscars, you’re not just trying to send a message. You’re trying to create some buzz.

In this case, Apple made a pretty good ad. But Adobe made a really good one.

Are Apple's New 'Yellow Face' Emoji Racist?

Caitlin Dewey, Washington Post:

But hold your horses, Apple-haters: The yellow face has nothing to do with Asians, or with race at all. In fact, that bright gold-yellow color — a standard hue for emoticons since the AOL days — it intended to be ethnically neutral. As my colleague Abby Phillip explained in November, when emoji’s governing body proposed the new skin tones, they did it according to an actual, dermatological scale: It’s called the “Fitzpatrick scale,” and it was developed by a professor at Harvard Medical School in the ’70s to describe how different skin tones respond to ultraviolet light.

Forge Is an iPad Storyboard for Your Creativity

Serenity Caldwell, iMore:

I've long thought the iPad was perfect for rough storyboarding: It's not an artist's preferred medium for detail work, but it's portable, and easy to sketch on, and has plenty of storage space. Forge, built by the folks behind the Jot Touch stylus, invites you to explore a hundred different ideas and sketches in storyboard format, iterating and trashing and reinventing as you go. I've been testing Forge for months, and it's become one of my go-to tools for planning and messing around with creative ideas.

Outlook for iOS and Android Blocked by European Parliament

Loek Essers, IDG News Service:

The apps will send password information to Microsoft without permission and will store emails in a third-party cloud service over which the Parliament has no control, DG ITEC added in a message on the Parliament's intranet.

Apple's Packaging


Pointer Events Finalized, but Apple's Lack of Support Still a Deal Breaker

Peter Bright, Ars Technica:

Spec has support from Microsoft, Mozilla, jQuery, and sometimes Google. But not Cupertino.

Apple's Web?

Tim Kadlec:

Apple simply does not play well with other vendors when it comes to standardization. The same sort of things we once criticized Microsoft for doing long ago, we give Apple a pass on today. They’re very content to play in their own little sandbox all too often.


The new playgrounds are especially useful for educators. You can insert rich instructional content with paragraph headings, diagrams, and links to additional material alongside the interactive Swift code.

DOJ Is Right About Apple e-Books

Theodore A. Gebhard, Wall Street Journal:

The case was about agreements on a vital dimension of competition, namely price. It has long been a universally accepted proposition in both law and economics that agreements among competitors to set and regulate prices are anticompetitive. Thus, the court correctly found the agreements illegal. It is no justification that the agreements were intended to wrest control over the pricing of e-books from Amazon, the dominant player in e-book retailing.


Parting Words

Thanks for reading.

Tue, Feb 24, 2015 The Kopi-Kosong Edition

Strike while the iron is hot... or, drink more coffee before science changes its mind. The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee's 2015 scientific report gave the OK to drink 3 to 5 cups per day without any ill effects. But, you will do have to forgo adding milk or cream or sugar.

Speaking of science, may I interest you in some of my favorite science podcasts?

(By the way, do you know what is kopi-kosong?)

Photo: Black Coffee for Breakfast in White Porcelain Cup" by epSos .de (CC BY 2.0)

Apple Now Selling Updated World Travel Adapter Kit With Lower Price, No 30-Pin Cable

Juli Clover, MacRumors:

The new kit that Apple's selling no longer includes a 30-pin to USB cable, and rather than adding a Lightning to USB cable, Apple has instead opted to ship the kit with no cable and drop the price by $10.

Adds support for Brazil.

Work Under Way for Australian Rollout of Apple Pay

Canberra Times:

Locally Apple again declined to say if or when it planned to launch the service in Australia, but the underlying security foundations needed to make Apple Pay work are being laid locally.

According to Andrew Cartwright, senior vice-president and country manager for MasterCard Australia: "The MasterCard Digital Enablement Service is currently available to our Australian customers and we expect adoption of it across 2015 as new payment solutions develop."

How to Sell Music on iTunes, Make Money Selling Your Music Online

Nik Rawlinson, Macworld UK:

It’s open to anyone (although Apple retains the right to ‘approve’ each application), and as it forms the backbone of many national charts that means it’s finally possible for solo back-bedroom composers to score a number one hit.

Here, we’ll guide you through the process of signing up and encoding your music so it’s ready to go on sale.

Good luck.

This is Tim


Powerful file-finding app for searching your documents.

Let this app figure out what filters look best on your photos!

Apple Introduces New Crash Reporting Service for Developers in Latest Xcode 6.3 Beta


The new system compiles crash logs from apps submitted to the App Store and beta testing service TestFlight with debug symbols, aggregating the resulting data directly into Xcode as crash reports.

“Must Fix for Next Release”

Craig Hockenberry,

I think there’s an easy way to fix these minor transgressions that would benefit both parties: add a new kind of approval with strings attached. A “Must Fix for Next Release” state where the app can go into “Ready for Sale” but the issue remains in the Resolution Center. At that point, both the app reviewers and developer know that an issue has to be dealt with before it’s approved the next time.


Apple Adds 10 New Locations To Flyover Maps

iPhone Informer:

The new locations include Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Boise, Idaho in the United Sates, Venice, Italy, and other cities around the globe.

The Mac Facilitates Spying Too

Zit Seng's Blog:

Not only does the U.S. government have the privilege of intercepting any of your HTTPS connections and present valid, trusted, SSL certificates to you, the Japanese government and the Chinese government have the same privileges.

I cannot understand why Apple has facilitated the embedding of these government-linked Certificate Authorities in Mac OS X.

As others have pointed out, it is not easy for someone to pull such a stunt without being traced to directly.


Parting Words

Thanks for reading.

Mon, Feb 23, 2015 The When-That-Lady-Slit-Your-Throat Edition

For some of the actors and directors, not only did they failed to take home an Oscar statuette last night, they also have to pay income tax on $20,000 worth of astrology reading, $1,200 worth of L.E.D. light therapy, and things called "orgasm boosters" and "luxury condom."

Apple Airs Filmmaking iPad Ad Narrated by Martin Scorsese for the Oscars

Mark Gurman, 9to5Mac:

The new video advertisement is narrated with excerpts from notable movie director Martin Scorsese’s 2014 commencement speech at the NYU Tisch School of the Arts.

And, of course, now is a good time to re-watch my favorite Apple's Oscar advertisement: "Hello".

The iPhone 6 Versus the iPhone 6 Plus

Ben Brooks:

I used to brag that I could do all my work on my iPad with ease, and while that is more true today than ever, it’s also becoming very true for my iPhone, but not that small 6, you gotta get the plus. I feel sorry for people still using those puny iPhones.

Personally, I've always find it easy to understand the tradeoffs when selecting the different variations in Apple's products. iPod classic versus iPod nano. 11-inch laptops versus 13-inch laptops versus 15-inch laptops.

However, the iPhone 6 versus the iPhone 6 plus is one of those decisions that I find difficult to make.

Rivals Google and Apple Fight for the Dashboard

Aaron M. Kessler and Brian X. Chen, New York Times:

But nowhere is that obsession playing out more immediately than in the battle to develop the next generation of cars’ dashboard systems. In the coming weeks and months, dealerships around the country will begin selling vehicles capable of running Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, or both.

“Consumers have spoken,” said John Maddox, assistant director of the University of Michigan’s Mobility Transformation Center. “They expect to have coordination between their phone and their vehicle.”

If your product has a screen, and yet neither Apple nor Google is eyeing to add their software to that screen, that just means your product is already obsoleted.

The Best iPhone 6 Battery Case (So Far)

Nick Guy, The Wirecutter:

We’re expecting a flood of new models over the next few months and we’ll test those cases for this guide as they arrive. But if you need the extra juice right now, uNu’s DX-6 Protective Battery Case is the best value of the six we’ve tested so far. We reached this conclusion after more than 30 hours of battery testing on the only six finalists currently available. Not only is it the least-expensive certified case currently available, the DX-6 also provides a 120 percent charge—one full charge plus another 20 percent—to the iPhone 6 at a very fast rate, and it’s the lightest of the bunch by a few grams.


The Getting Things Done-inspired task management app adds Today and Share extensions (found in the iOS version of OmniFocus for iPad and iPhone), adds support for Find and Replace in actions (in addition to notes), enables you to share text from actions via the toolbar share button, reduces the minimum window width, and will attempt to use English relative date names when localized relative date names can’t be parsed.

Women Are Leaving the Tech Industry in Droves

Tracey Lien, Los Angeles Times:

Plenty of programs now encourage girls and minorities to embrace technology at a young age. But amid all the publicity for those efforts, one truth is little discussed: Qualified women are leaving the tech industry in droves.

Women in tech say filling the pipeline of talent won't do much good if women keep quitting — it's like trying to fill a leaking bucket.


Twitter's Dilemma

Matthew Panzarino, TechCrunch:

Over the past few weeks the company has been shipping a variety of new features, as it always does. But the particulars of those features had me curious about the decision making process for Twitter’s product.

Long awaited low-hanging fruit like group messaging features, tweet translation and native video on Twitter have all been shipped recently. As has the ability to ‘catch up’ on interesting tweets sent while users were away from the platform. And new versions of the homepage that are more welcoming are in preview for some users.

Crowd pleasers. Seemingly no-brainer products that took way too long to get out to users. Why now?


Most tweet-deleters, though, are not trying to protect themselves from a dark past. (After all, the worst gaffes often stand in the public record, no matter whether the original offending tweet got deleted.) Instead, they want their Twitter accounts to reflect their present states of mind and interests.


Parting Words

Thanks for reading.

Sun, Feb 22, 2015 The KCIA-from-Valencia Edition

Once upon a time, there wasn't a YouTube to make your videos go viral, but there was a Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson (sans writers) to show how you could sneak into the Oscars.

Enjoy your 87th Academy Awards tonight.

Prevent Your Mac Password from Being Bypassed

Matt Elliott, CNET:

One is a software-based encryption tool, and the other is a hardware-based encryption tool, both of which are built-in utilities of OS X. The software tool is a utility called FileVault, which you may already be using. The hardware tool is a firmware password you can set in Recovery Mode.

How Your iPhone Can Help Keep Your Financial World in Check

Geoffrey Goetz, GigaOM:

But when you get right down to it, you are the only one that can protect your own information. And simply balancing your checkbook once a month is not enough to ensure that your financial identity is secure. It all begins with understanding how consumer reporting agencies financial institutions and creditors see you as a consumer. You need to take the time necessary to make sure that they all know you as the consumer you think you are.



Parting Words

Thanks for reading.

Sat, Feb 21, 2015 The End-of-Downloads Edition

By end of March, you can no longer buy CDs at Starbucks. It's just like a subscription service now -- just pay a reaonsable price for coffee + music everytime you rent the product. (The music is in-store only, and coffee is in-body only for a little longer.)

FDA Opens the Doors for mHealth Apps

Kathleen Hickey, GCN:

The Food and Drug Administration earlier this month issued final guidelines on its oversight of mobile health apps, showing in its statement that it would generally take a hands-off approach to regulating development of new health app technologies.

In general, the agency made clear it would not regulate software apps that pose no threat to users if they fail. Medical apps that did pose a threat includes software that would “transform a mobile platform into a regulated medical device by using attachments, display screens, sensors or other such methods,” said the FDA.

Guardian 'Changed Iraq Article to Avoid Offending Apple'


The Telegraph can disclose that in July last year Apple bought wraparound advertising on The Guardian's website and stipulated that the advertising should not be placed next to negative news.

A Guardian insider said that the headline of an article about Iraq on The Guardian's website was changed amid concerns about offending Apple, and the article was later removed from the home page entirely.

Framed Review

Craig Grannell,

If there’s something iOS is becoming very good at, it’s blurring the boundaries between media, especially when it comes to narrative gaming experiences.


People who need more structure than Evernote or a spreadsheet can give them, but don't have detailed enough needs to warrant the time FileMaker Pro needs to learn.

We Have Graphs!



Parting Words

Thanks for reading.

Fri, Feb 20, 2015 The Le-Tits-Now Edition

Here are some epic as well as terrifying pictures for your viewing pleasure in the comfort of your warm, snow-free home.

(Or if you are in Singapore like me, a cool air-con room is a good place to be in too.)

But, if you do want to go out there, here are some iPhone tips on taking winter photographs from Ms Serenity Caldwell.

Apple Initiates Repair Program for 2011-2013 MacBook Pros With Video Issues

Juli Clover, MacRumors:

Apple has launched a repair program to fix MacBook Pro machines sold between February 2011 and February 2013 that have problems with distorted video, no video, or unexpected system restarts.


Spring Cleaning, or How I Fell in Love with 1Passord Vaults

TJ Luoma, MacStories:

If you have been using 1Password for awhile, chances are good that you have accumulated information in there which might be better off in an archive vault. You may have stored some information in there for other family members just in case they lost or forgot it. Or maybe you have a habit of collecting Gmail or Twitter accounts that you want to keep, but don’t log into frequently. All of these are good candidates to be moved into an archive vault.

Roaming Without My iMac, Without Stress

Jason Snell, Six Colors:

There was a time—the last time I had a dual-computer setup—when packing all the right files for my laptop was just as stressful as remembering to pack the right stuff in my suitcase. This time, there was no stress at all.

Microsoft Has Suddenly Gotten Serious With Mobile

Nick Wingfield, New York Times:

That reality has finally sunk in at Microsoft, and a new strategy is afoot. When Satya Nadella, Microsoft’s chief executive, took the top job at the company about a year ago, he signaled that the company’s priorities were shifting. Microsoft, he said, was in a “mobile-first, cloud-first world.”

Over the last several months, Microsoft has been taking up more and more space on my own iPhone’s home screen. I’ve installed mobile versions of its Office apps as well as OneDrive, the company’s answer to Dropbox, Google Drive and other cloud storage services.

Revealed: The Experts Apple Hired to Build an Electric Car

Jordan Kahn, 9to5Mac:

A couple things we learn from the hires: Evident by this long list of automotive experts, it’s clear Apple’s ambitions go well beyond just its iOS-based CarPlay in-dash system. Well beyond software too, as many of the names below are hardware engineers coming from Tesla, Ford and other notable automotive related areas. In fact, the majority of employees on this list that are reporting to team leader Steve Zadesky come from an automotive hardware background and many only joined Apple recently or around the time Cook reportedly approved the electric car project.



Popular web automation service IFTTT unveiled three new iPhone apps today, aimed at allowing users to set up their own custom shortcuts for notes, the camera, and buttons to quickly trigger recipes. The three apps, called Do Note, Do Camera, and Do Button, abstract some of the functionality from the full IFTTT service for a lightweight experience with an easier setup for popular use cases.



Super Fishy

The business of having different hardware vendor and software vendor building a single PC is an anomaly. Many years from now, we will look back and wonder why we ever asked ourselves whether Apple is a hardware company or a software company.

The latest evidence: malware by SuperFish, ruining Windows by Microsoft, in PCs made by Lenovo, with greed.

Parting Words

Thanks for reading.

Thu, Feb 19, 2015 The Year-of-the-Ram Edition

Today is the first day of the Chinese new year, and I am taking the day off. This has been a pre-recorded message.

Playboy Interview: Steve Jobs

David Sheff, Playboy, 1985:

Anyway, one of our biggest challenges, and the one I think John Sculley and I should be judged on in five to ten years, is making Apple an incredibly great ten- or 20-billion-dollar company. Will it still have the spirit it does today? We’re charting new territory. There are no models that we can look to for our high growth, for some of the new management concepts we have. So we’re having to find our own way.

Steve Jobs in 1994: The Rolling Stone Interview

Jeff Goodell, Rolling Stone, 1994:

I don't know. The Macintosh was sort of like this wonderful romance in your life that you once had — and that produced about 10 million children. In a way it will never be over in your life. You'll still smell that romance every morning when you get up. And when you open the window, the cool air will hit your face, and you'll smell that romance in the air. And you'll see your children around, and you feel good about it. And nothing will ever make you feel bad about it.

But now, your life has moved on. You get up every morning, and you might remember that romance, but then the whole day is in front of you to do something wonderful with.

Bill Gates and Steve Jobs at D5

Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg, All Things D, 2007:

There’s a lot of things that happened that I’m sure I could have done better when I was at a Apple the first time and a lot of things that happened after I left that I thought were wrong turns, but it doesn’t matter. It really doesn’t matter and you kind of got to let go of that stuff and we are where we are. So we tend to look forward.

And, you know, one of the things I did when I got back to Apple 10 years ago was I gave the museum to Stanford and all the papers and all the old machines and kind of cleared out the cobwebs and said, let’s stop looking backwards here. It’s all about what happens tomorrow. Because you can’t look back and say, well, gosh, you know, I wish I hadn’t have gotten fired, I wish I was there, I wish this, I wish that. It doesn’t matter. And so let’s go invent tomorrow rather than worrying about what happened yesterday.

百世岁月当代好 千古江山今朝新

Thanks for reading.

Wed, Feb 18, 2015 The Paper-Thin Edition

IBM has an one-atom thick graphene transitor? How long more before Apple changes MacBooks' unit of measurement for thickness from mm to atom? :-)

Troubleshooting Your Apple Products: The Last Word

Christopher Breen, Macworld:

I’ve found these three broad principles to be the most helpful.

Don’t panic.
Puzzle it out.
Have faith.


Just a note to say that I’ve left Macworld to work for a Cupertino-based technology company you may be familiar with.

Photo by Kohei Kanno (CC BY 2.0)

Making Music on iOS: Guitar Amps, Effects Apps & Hardware

Charlie Sorrel, MacStories:

That’s what we’re looking at today – iPad (and iPhone) guitar amp simulations, along with virtual effects pedals. And along the way, we’ll look at hardware to connect up your guitar to the iPad, and at some speaker options so you can actually hear yourself play.

Spoiler alert – the guitar world has taken a big turn towards the awesome.

A Nasty Surprise for the Blind Who Update Their iPhone

Stefania Leone, West:

Sometimes, unfortunately, new discoveries hide nasty surprises. Which is what happened to me when I realised that if blind or visually impaired people activate Voiceover on their iPhone or iPad using IOS 8.1.2, they cannot use a bluetooth keypad at the same time.

Leaving the Family


The app helps users recognise the warning signs of suicide and allows them to immediately connect to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

Popular task managing app Trello scored a pretty major update on iOS today. Version 2.7 brings a fresh new design, along with new features such as support for iOS 8's share menu, a new today widget, and Handoff support.

This is Tim

Indie Execs Voice Concern Over iTunes Store Changes

Ed Christman, Billboard:

While Apple remains tight-lipped about its plans for the interactive streaming service many expect to launch early this year, the company has made big changes in its download store in the last month, and label executives believe the moves are tied closely with whatever they are planning for its soon to be revamped Beats digital streaming service.

The changes appear to benefit the major labels at the expense of indies, leaving the indie label sector in a diminished showing compared to where they were previously inside the store. iTunes didn't respond to a request for comment.


Parting Words

Thanks for reading.

Tue, Feb 17, 2015 The One-Star Edition

A recent study showed that "diners who left one-star [restaurant] reviews... adopted the same phrases as trauma victims."

The follow-up study, obviously, should examine all the other one-star reviews in other kinds of businesses. I suspect you won't find the same pattern in Apple's App Store though, since customers aren't held hostages like in a bad restaurants. While app consumers can easily delete apps they don't like, diners will have to wait for the check in a bad restaurant in order to quit.

On a related note, thank goodness (for me) Apple shut down iReview a long time ago. :-)

The Price of Getting Apple's Attention: $12 Billion

Tim Culpan and Ian King, Bloomberg:

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. is locked in an investment duel with Samsung Electronics Co. to meet booming U.S. demand for Apple Inc.’s iPhone and other smartphones, benefiting electronics suppliers around the globe.

Taiwan Semiconductor, the world’s biggest custom-chipmaker, plans record spending on plants and equipment this year. It’s lavishing $12 billion on factories -- more than Intel Corp. has ever spent in a year -- to counter investments that Samsung is making to win chip orders from Apple, Qualcomm Inc. and its own handset division.

All Along the Apple Watchtower

Wall Street Journal:

Apple might have settled long ago as most corporations do, and that option might even have been cheaper than a protracted appeal. But the company is doing a public service by attempting to vindicate a legal principle and brake the growing abuse of court-appointed monitors and a crank theory of antitrust that will harm many more innovators if it is allowed to stand. If Apple prevails in the Second Circuit, it ought to sue Mr. Bromwich and attempt to disgorge the $2.65 million he has soaked from shareholders.


If you're a visual thinker, prone to doodling or sketching ideas using paper and pen, you owe it to yourself to check out Notability. It's easy to type with, easy to draw with, and easy to embed recordings with, making it a versatile and truly intuitive note taking app for the Mac.

  • Short for iOS Fills Your Idle Moments With Articles You Can Read in 10 Minutes or Less (The Next Web)
  • Hands On: InFocus Pro (iOS) (Amber Neely, MacNN)

Easy to use personal organizer app offers the right amount of features.


Thanks for reading.

Mon, Feb 16, 2015 The Number-Two Edition

The Shape of Things to Come: How an Industrial Designer Became Apple's Greatest Product

Ian Parker, New Yorker:

In recent months, Sir Jonathan Ive, the forty-seven-year-old senior vice-president of design at Apple—who used to play rugby in secondary school, and still has a bench-pressing bulk that he carries a little sheepishly, as if it belonged to someone else—has described himself as both “deeply, deeply tired” and “always anxious.” When he sits down, on an aluminum stool in Apple’s design studio, or in the cream leather back seat of his Bentley Mulsanne, a car for a head of state, he is likely to emit a soft, half-ironic groan. His manner suggests the burden of being fully appreciated. There were times, during the past two decades, when he considered leaving Apple, but he stayed, becoming an intimate friend of Steve Jobs and establishing the build and the finish of the iMac, the MacBook, the iPod, the iPhone, and the iPad. He is now one of the two most powerful people in the world’s most valuable company. He sometimes listens to CNBC Radio on his hour-long commute from San Francisco to Apple’s offices, in Silicon Valley, but he’s uncomfortable knowing that a hundred thousand Apple employees rely on his decision-making—his taste—and that a sudden announcement of his retirement would ambush Apple shareholders. (To take a number: a ten-percent drop in Apple’s valuation represents seventy-one billion dollars.) According to Laurene Powell Jobs, Steve Jobs’s widow, who is close to Ive and his family, “Jony’s an artist with an artist’s temperament, and he’d be the first to tell you artists aren’t supposed to be responsible for this kind of thing.”

Photo: "Jonathan Ive (OTRS)" by Marcus Dawes - Wikipedia:Contact us/Photo submission. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

We Know How You Feel

Raffi Khatchadourian, New Yorker:

Today, machines seem to get better every day at digesting vast gulps of information—and they remain as emotionally inert as ever. But since the nineteen-nineties a small number of researchers have been working to give computers the capacity to read our feelings and react, in ways that have come to seem startlingly human. Experts on the voice have trained computers to identify deep patterns in vocal pitch, rhythm, and intensity; their software can scan a conversation between a woman and a child and determine if the woman is a mother, whether she is looking the child in the eye, whether she is angry or frustrated or joyful. Other machines can measure sentiment by assessing the arrangement of our words, or by reading our gestures. Still others can do so from facial expressions.

Our faces are organs of emotional communication; by some estimates, we transmit more data with our expressions than with what we say, and a few pioneers dedicated to decoding this information have made tremendous progress. Perhaps the most successful is an Egyptian scientist living near Boston, Rana el Kaliouby. Her company, Affectiva, formed in 2009, has been ranked by the business press as one of the country’s fastest-growing startups, and Kaliouby, thirty-six, has been called a “rock star.” There is good money in emotionally responsive machines, it turns out. For Kaliouby, this is no surprise: soon, she is certain, they will be ubiquitous.

Find Friends on the Mac, Sort Of

David Sparks, MacSparky:

Turns out, you can find friends on your Mac from the messages app by tapping on the "Details" text button in the upper right corner.

Stuff for Your Computers

  • Withings Home Review: More Than Just a Smart Camera (Britta O'Boyle, Pocketlint)

The Withings Home is a lot more than just a smart camera - it's the complete home solution it claims to be. It's a camera, a video recorder, a night light, a speaker, a one-song singer, a picture story teller and it will even tell you when you've burned the toast. You can't really ask for too much more that that.

The Fantastic Apple Car

Jean-Louis Gassée, Monday Note:

Johann Jungwirth, the Mercedes Benz R&D exec that Apple hired last September, worked on infotainment systems, which makes him a natural for Apple’s work on CarPlay. The mystery vans are most likely part of the company’s Maps product.

Short Notes

Parting Words

Thanks for reading.

Sun, Feb 15, 2015 The Privacy-Я-Us Edition

Apple CEO Tim Cook Challenges Obama with Impassioned Stand on Privacy

Dominic Rushe, The Guardian:

Apple’s chief executive, Tim Cook, warned of the “dire consequences” in sacrificing the right to privacy in an impassioned speech on Friday as Barack Obama sought to repair a deep rift with the technology industry.

Cook’s remarks arrived as many in the tech community have expressed concerns about government attempts to weaken encryption – standards for protecting the privacy of data online. In the wake of revelations from the National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden, Apple and its competitors have moved to strengthen encryption and faced a backlash from government officials.


On the iPad: Why It Still Matters a Lot for Me

Patrice Brend'amour:

The iPad is a great device for everything in the middle. Steve said it best: it just feels much more intimate. It’s really, insanely great for consumption, and you can also get some work done where ever you are: on the couch, in the car, at Starbucks, on a bench somewhere …

It really feels magical. I know it sounds cheesy and fanboyish, but I just can’t phrase it any other way, because that’s what it feels like for me. And that’s the reaction I get when ever I lend it to someone who doesn’t own one yet. There’s this instant spark, that instant connection with the device and the content it’s presenting.

Zane Lowe Quits Radio 1: Presenter Heads for 'Exciting times' at Apple

Mollie Goodfellow, The Independent:

Zane Lowe, the award-winning Radio 1 presenter, said yesterday that he is quitting the BBC. Lowe, 41, who joined the station in 2003, will present his last weekday evening show for the station next month. He is leaving to join Apple, which is rumoured to be creating a new music streaming service.

Parting Words

Thanks for reading.

Sat, Feb 14, 2015 The Changing-The-Way-Cities-Are-Built Edition

How I Control My Mac with Automatic + IFTTT + Dropbox

TJ Luoma, MacStories:

More specifically, when I turn my car’s ignition on or off in the parking lot at my office, Automatic triggers an IFTTT recipe, creating a text file in a special Dropbox folder which is monitored by launchd[1] and runs a shell script depending on which file is created.

It sounds more complicated than it is. No, really.

How-To: Now's the Right Time to Swap Your Old iMac's Hard Drive for a Fast New SSD

Jeremy Horwitz, 9to5Mac:

Today, high-quality, capacious SSDs can be had for reasonable prices, and they’re surprisingly easy to install in iMacs. With limited expertise and only three tools, I swapped out my old hard drive for an SSD in roughly 30 minutes. Here’s how I did it, and what I’d recommend for you.

How to Share Your Location with iOS 8 (Without Creeping Yourself Out)

Glenn Fleishman, Macworld:

iOS 8 offers a host of ways to share your location with other people, some of which appear for the first time in this release. Each method of sharing brings with it a complementary control that lets you either disable it temporarily, stop sharing entirely to a given individual, or set a time-bounded limit.

No Hardware? No Problem: Apple's Web-Based iWork Goes Free For Everyone

Jared Newman:

Apple’s iCloud site now offers a way to create an account straight from the browser, providing access to web versions of Pages, Numbers and Keynote.

I'm a Mac and a PC: Virtualizing Windows on the Mac

Jason Snell, WinSuperSite:

If you want to just use a PC, you should buy a PC. But Mac users who need to rely on PC software have spent the last eight years not having to carry around two computer, and today's virtualization software makes it seamless to switch between the two operating systems. It's a great time to live on two platforms.

Stuff for Your Computers

If you need to make fast notes, if you want to write text and then worry about what to do with it later, if you just want to enjoy writing in an app, then Drafts is for you.

  • Ask the iTunes Guy: Deleting iTunes Radio, Death of the Old Info Window (Kirk McElhearn, Macworld)
  • 8 Apple TV Secrets Every iOS User Should Know (Jonny Evans, Comptuerworld)

 Car

The plot is thickening...

  • Marco della Cava, USA Today: The most high profile Apple hire associated with the theory is Johann Jungwirth, formerly the head of Mercedes-Benz's Silicon Valley research and development division, according to a report in the Financial Times.

  • Daisuke Wakabayashi and Mike Ramsey, Wall Street Journal: The Cupertino, Calif., company has several hundred employees working secretly toward creating an Apple-branded electric vehicle, according to people familiar with the matter.


  • Daniel P. Howley, LAPTOP: It’s no secret that late Apple CEO Steve Jobs was keen on bringing the company’s technology to the automotive world. In fact, according to longtime Apple board member Mickey Drexler, “Steve’s dream before he died was to design an iCar.” Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing, Phil Shiller, echoed those sentiments during the company’s copyright infringement trial against Samsung, saying there had been discussion of Apple making a vehicle.

The Only Computer That Really Matters: The Cloud

Simon Bisson, ZDNet:

You're going to be a Dropbox user, an iCloud user, a Google Drive user first and foremost. Pick up any device and at least some of your data and apps will be there, as soon as you log in to the computer that really matters: the cloud.

Oh Dear

Flash running in Javascript.

Parting Words

Thanks for reading.

Fri, Feb 13, 2015 The Return-of-Myst Edition

Apple Increases Size Limit of App Store Downloads to 4GB

Katie Marsal, AppleInsider:

The update allows developers to use more media in their App Store submissions and provide a more complete and rich user experience upon installation.

So developers can now build a better Myst.

(Downloading over cellular network is still limited to 100 MB, minimizing the chances of accidentally going over the telco's bandwidth limitations.)

It's Kind of Cheesy Being Green

Paul Ford, Medium:

The bubbles are a subtle, little, silly thing but they are experienced by millions of people. That amplifies that product decision into a unsubtle, large, sort-of-serious thing. The people who are tweeting negatively about green bubbles are following Apple’s lead. It’s speculative, but not totally speculative to say that Apple may be aware it’s leading this way—after all, Apple has done passive-aggressive product design before, like giving Windows machines on its network a “Blue Screen of Death” icon.

Interesting speculation, but I suspect this doesn't really affect purchase decisions too much. If you are not in the iPhone ecosystem, you don't see the green bubbles. And if your friends don't text you because you are not using an iPhone, then they are not friends anyway.

Workflow 1.1: Deeper iOS Automation

Federico Viticci, MacStories:

Workflow fits my routine like a glove. I've used it every day to automate aspects of my work that speed up how I write and communicate on my iOS devices. And with Workflow 1.1, released today on the App Store, its developers are further expanding the app's capabilities with powerful new functionality that includes filtering, better conditionals and image manipulation, URL expansion and deeper calendar access, and even the ability to open multiple links at once in a web browser.

Stuff for Your Computers

  • 3 Menu Bar Calendar Apps for OS X (Matt Elliott, CNET)
  • Apple Enables Two-Step Authentication For iMessages and FaceTime (Samuel Gibbs, The Guardian)
  • NBC Launches Extensive 'SNL' App Ahead of 40th Anniversary Special (Mitchel Broussard, MacRumors)
  • ESPN App Overhauled With New Look, iPhont 6/6+ & iPad Support, More (Zac Hall, 9to5Mac)
  • Fleksy Keyboard (for iPhone) (Max Eddy, PC Magazine)

Pay Once and Play

Short Notes

Parting Words

David Carr, a Journalist at the Center of the Sweet Spot by A. O. Scott, New York Times

Goodbye, Mr Carr.

Thu, Feb 12, 2015 The Little Penguins Edition

Little sweaters for little penguins. I hope your day is now brightened.

Aiming to Ease App Discovery, Apple Pairs with Pinterest

Mike Isaac, New York Times:

The product, called App Pins, aims to do the same thing for smartphone apps that Pinterest’s service has done for photos, recipes and many other types of websites. In short, the service is a type of digital corkboard that lets visitors save, or “pin,” items they like or places they want to go.

I could search for “health” on Pinterest and come across a fitness app that I may want to download. With App Pins, it takes only a few taps to download the app directly to my phone, without ever having to leave Pinterest to do so.

My Month as a HealthKit Patient

Marco Tabini, Macworld:

During my last physical, my doctor told me that it was time to start monitoring my weight and blood pressure, so naturally, I looked at this as an opportunity to try out HealthKit—something that I had been looking forward to ever since Apple introduced it with the launch of iOS 8. A couple months in, I’m here to tell you all about my little adventure in the land of smartphone-powered healthcare.

Four Little-Known Safari Tricks

Michael E. Cohen, TidBITS:

Here are some less-than-obvious tricks and techniques I’ve picked up in my explorations that can help solve problems and answer common questions.

Three Xcode Tips

Brent Simmons, Inessential:

In that bar right above the source code, at top left, is a little icon made up of four rectangles. Click it to pull down a menu that includes a Callers submenu.

Controlling Complexity in Swift or Making Friends with Value Types

Andy Matuschak, Realm:

Complexity is a really broad, but important term because we’re making software which doesn’t just exist at one time. It exists, say on one day, then requirements change a week later, or it exists for one release cycle and then your customers change. Change and complexity are enemies because complexity makes everything harder to change.

Why are Green Groups Unhappy with Apple's Big Solar Buy?

Pete Danko, Breaking Energy:

“We’re urging developers to do projects on degraded and disturbed land,” Delfino said, “and unfortunately, this project is on beautiful, open, largely intact land.”

“Clearly the number of rare, endangered and sensitive species that have been documented on the project site and the additional number of rare, endangered and sensitive species that have potential to occur on the site, makes this proposed project area unsuitable for solar development,” the groups said.

Apple CarPlay at Chicago Auto Show

Stuff for Your Computers

  • Starbucks iPhone App Updated With Apple Pay, Enhanced Menu, More (Zac Hall, 9to5Mac)
  • Hands On: DayMap 2 (OS X, iOS) - DayMap's core feature is this ability to show and to handle both your task list and your calendar at once. That's rare. (William Gallagher, MacNN)
  • Hands On: Shades (iOS) - Simple Tetris-inspired puzzle game boasts addictive play. (Amber Neely, MacNN)
  • How to Add Internet Accounts to OS X (and Why You Want to) (How-To Geek)

Apple's New Market

Ben Thompson, Stratechery:

In that respect, suppose Christensen is right: maybe in the long run everything Apple does will be modularized. However, if modularization wins in a mature market, that means – as Christensen says – that integration wins in a new one. And a new market is exactly where the iPhone is headed: Apple is on the verge of leaving the narrowly-defined smartphone market behind entirely, instead making a play to be involved in every aspect of its consumers’ lives. And, if the importance of an integrated experience matter more with your phone than your PC, because you use it more, how much more important is an integrated experience that touches every detail of your life?

Short Notes

  • Apple Confirms Aperture to be Removed From Mac App Store After Launch of Photos for OS X (Juli Clover, MacRumors)
  • Starting Today, Wireless Carriers Have to Unlock Your Phone (Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica)

Major wireless carriers in the US have promised to unlock customers' phones or tablets once they've paid off their contracts, beginning today.

Parting Words

Thanks for reading.

Wed, Feb 11, 2015 The Yes-You-Can Edition

Ethan Och is suffering from a muscle disease, and wanted to quit band. Naturally, his teacher Gina Christopherson has a different idea, one that involves an iPad.

Apple Will Invest $850M in California Solar Farm

Shara Tibken, CNET:

CEO Tim Cook on Tuesday said Apple is partnering with First Solar on its "biggest, boldest and most ambitious [renewable energy] project yet." The two companies will build a 1,300-acre solar farm in Monterey County in California.

The site will produce enough electricity to power nearly 60,000 California homes. It also is enough renewable energy for Apple's new campus in Silicon Valley, all of its other offices in California, all of its retail stores in the state and a data center, Cook said.


  • Tim Cook Speaks: Apple Watch, Apple Pay, and What He Really Thinks of Android (Caitlin McGarry, Macworld)

You’ll be in a meeting, and we have a lot fo employees now that are using the watch, so about 10 minutes before the end of the hour, everybody starts standing up. There’s just an enormous number of things [Apple Watch] will do.


Speaking of keeping track of your exercise, a just-published study showed that "smartphone aps are just as accurate as wearable devices for tracking physical activity." Someone -- maybe Apple -- should do a follow-up look with the Apple Watch.

Hands On: Paper (iOS)

Amber Neely, MacNN:

Paper markets itself to not just artists, but those who like to doodle, as well as those who might need to design hand-made charts, graphs, or technical designs. Because of this, Paper feels similar to drawing on paper.

Stuff for Your Computers

Monument Valley Is a Surreal Exploration through Architecture and Impossible Geometry


Eight team members from ustwo, the digital production studio behind the game, spent about 55 weeks making Monument Valley. Each chapter is unique, with distinct and separate puzzles, mechanics, story beats, and architectural styles. This creates a visually rich and compelling game, but is a quite involved process from early concept sketches to chapter development, testing, and completion.

Short Notes

  • The (Hard) Link Between Photos and iPhoto - That’s what the iPhoto import inside the Photos app does: It creates hard links to the contents of your iPhoto library inside the Photos library. (Jason Snell, Six Colors)
  • Building and Running .NET's CoreCLR on OS X (Frank A. Krueger, præclarum)

Wishlist of the Day

I wish I can tell iTunes Match to never ever remove any songs from my "Favorites" playlist on my iPhone even when my iPhone is running out of storage. Because when I am tired or exhaused or sad I want to listen to songs from my "Favorites" playlist. And when these songs are missing on my iPhone I will become even sadder and that's not a good thing.

Maybe I should get an iPod shuffle just to store these songs.

Let Me Tell You About My Operation

Parting Words

Thanks for reading.

Tue, Feb 10, 2015 The Not-Too-Bright Edition

You turn down the brightness level of your iPhone all the way down, and it is still so bright that you wake up your spouse just by catching up on twitter? In this Medium article, Justin Searls shows you how you can dim the backlight further by 'lightly abusing the accessibility settings'.

Swift 1.2 Features an Improved Compiler and Objective-C Interactions

Derek Kessler, iMore:

The Swift 1.2 beta features an improved compiler that's both more stable and more speedy, as well as new Objective-C (the programming language that pre-Swift iOS apps were built on) interactions for building more capable hybrid apps.

Computing for the Visually Impaired, Part 5

Mariva H. Aviram, TidBITS:

In the previous four parts of this series, I covered a variety of visual impairments that affect computer users, advice from eye care specialists, built-in accessibility features, and third-party accessibility apps. Now, in this final installment, I’ll explore hardware options, ergonomics, and new innovations in adaptive tech.

Stuff for Your Computers

  • Affinity Photo Is a New Pro Photoshop Alternative for Mac Users: Get It For Free (Michael Zhang, Petapixel}
  • "Silver" Brings Apple's Swift Language to the .NET and Java Worlds (Peter Bright, Ars Technica)
  • The EyePatch Case Protects and Polishes Your iPhone Cameras (Peter Cohen, iMore)

Why Every Photo Storage Startup Dies or Gets Acquired

Casey Newton, The Verge:

Perhaps more importantly, StreamNation is storing content on its own servers: a more difficult proposition than AWS, but apparently a much cheaper one. "Today Picturelife on Amazon is a huge monthly loss," Benassaya says. "Today PIcturelife, on our platform, is generating margin. And this is how you transform, just by making the right technological choice from the beginning." Picturelife will be six times cheaper to host on StreamNation’s own servers than it was on AWS, Benassaya says.

Storage is a commodity; storage on AWS or Azure is not priced as a commodity.

The Life, Death, and Rebirth of BlackBerry's Hometown

Kevin Roose, Fusion:

BlackBerry is still alive – it has 7,000 employees worldwide, trades at a market value of $5.25 billion, and turned a small profit last quarter – but most people here speak about it in the past tense. The company’s market value has fallen more than 90 percent from its peak, and it has less than a one percent share of the global smartphone market, having been reduced to rubble by Apple, Samsung, and other manufacturers years ago. President Obama still has his BlackBerry, but most other people ditched theirs a while back.

I came to Waterloo to figure out what the decline of BlackBerry has done to the community surrounding it. I wondered: is BlackBerry to Waterloo as GM was to Detroit?

Short Notes

  • Apple Controls Presentation in IBM Partnership as Salespeople Use Macs, Keynote to Push iOS in Enterprise (Neil Hughes, AppleInsider)

Parting Words

Thanks for reading.

Mon, Feb 9, 2015 The How-do-You-Spell-Apple-Watch Edition

There is no shift-option-k on the iOS, so what's a blogger to do when he or she need to type the Apple symbol? Rene Ritchie of iMore has a suggestion: keyboard shortcuts.

Now, I need to figure out how to do this on a Windows machine.

The Mysterious Case of the Unauthorized iTunes Store Purchases

Gelnn Fleishman, Macworld:

How did we make a purchase from a device we didn’t use? Then I realized the culprit: an Apple Remote.

Apple Touts iPad as Music Creation Tool in New Ad Featuring Elliphant

Daniel Eran Dilger, AppleInsider:

The new spot portrays Elliphant writing her song "All or Nothing" with the help of an iPad, and depicts Apple's tablet playing a role in recording, production, live performance and documentation, using the bundled GarageBand app along with third party titles including iMPC Pro, NanoStudio, Serato Remote and Manual Camera, all of which cost less than $15.

American Express Launches Apple Pay Spot Featuring Classic Ads

Ashley Rodriguez, AdAge:

The ad, called "Retrospective," brings back some of AmEx's classic spots, along with famous cardmembers like Jerry Seinfeld and Tina Fey for a mashup that draws on the brand's history.

Stuff for Your Computers

  • Drafts 4.1 and Merging Notes (Federico Viticci, MacStories)
  • Province, the Board Game, on iPad (Dave Caolo, Apple World Today)
  • Delete Specific Pages from Safari History in iOS (OS X Daily)
  • Hands On: Tidy Up 4 - Find and remove duplicate images, files and folders on your Mac. (William Gallagher, MacNN)
  • Doctor Who Game Helps Kids to Learn to Code (Matt Kamen, Ars Technica)

How Many Laws Did Apple Break?

Jean-Louis Gassée, Monday Note:

I have no trouble with the Law of Large Numbers, it only underlines Apple’s truly stupendous growth and, in the end, it always wins. No business can grow by 20%, or even 10% for ever.

But, for the other three, Market Share, Commoditization, and Modularity, how can we ignore the sea of contradicting facts? Even if we set Apple aside, there are so many “exceptions” to these rules that one wonders if these so-called Laws aren’t simply convenient wishful thinking, a kind of intellectual Muzak that fills an idea vacuum but has no substance.

Parting Words

Thanks for reading.

Sun, Feb 8, 2015 The Promised-Not-To-Be-Evil Edition

Review: OmniPlan

William Gallagher, MacNN:

We think OmniPlan is well-suited for anyone on a Mac who has to plan long or complex projects that involve other people or other resources, short of the highest-end project managers who need better agile support, or are committed to working across teams on Windows. If you want to brainstorm a project, use an outliner. For your own To Dos and projects, consider OmniFocus. For pulling together a project with Mac- or iPad-using colleagues and thinking big, this is what you're looking for. If you think OmniFocus is too powerful, this will leave you blinking.

Apple Is Still a Startup

Andrés Martinez, Time:

What’s most astonishing, given those numbers, is that Apple is far less ubiquitous than you might think. It has plenty of room to grow. Indeed, it may only be getting started.

I disagree slightly: The company is not itching to grow into markets that Apple is not in today. It is patiently waiting for the world to move into Apple's vision.

The Broken App Store

Richard Kim, Medium on the App Store's user rating system:

Of course I realize how much Apple has already done to get its developer environment to where it is now. Dealing with that many people building so many dumb things, and trying to prevent cheaters from taking over the system is an insane job. That being said, I think this is one component of the developer ecosystem that has to be addressed.

Short Notes

  • Don't Look Now, but Microsoft Has More than 100 iOS and Android Apps (Dan Frommer, Quartz)
  • FCC Goes All-In On Net Neutrality (Geoff Duncan, TidBITS)

Parting Words

Thanks for reading.

Sat, Feb 7, 2015 The Update-Version-Number-Swiftly Edition

Apple's New Swift Programming Language Takes Flight with Getty Images, American Airlines, LinkedIn, and Duolingo

Daniel Eran Dilger, AppleInsider:

Apple's new Swift programming language has only been available for a few months, but iOS and OS X developers from American Airlines, Getty Images, LinkedIn and Duolingo are reporting favorable impressions—ranging from increased productivity to fewer bugs in their shipping apps—as interest in the new language rapidly accelerates.

Okay, I really must find time to work more on learning Swift. I wonder how much time I can afford to not sleep at night...

There's No Need to Make Sense Out of Numbering Systems

Nobody's Listening

Jason Snell, Six Colors:

So who is the Audience? Take your pick. It can be Google News referrals. It can be loyal RSS readers. It’s chat-room jackals. It’s people you’ve never heard from, who will never email you and never Tweet at you and never buy your t-shirts but still listen to you faithfully, week in and week out. It’s all of them, and none of them. Welcome to the Internet.

Nobody reads my little link blog, so I don't worry about audience misinterpretating my words and suing me for ton loads of money.

UXKit Skepticism

So, the new Photo for OS X is apparently using a different, and private, programming framework that all Mac apps are using. Does this mean that a new programming framework is coming to the Mac?

Probably not, says Brent Simmons:

Partly it’s a matter of resources. AppKit exists, and people make great apps with it. It’s hard to imagine Apple wanting to support another UI framework for developers outside Apple.

And it’s hard to imagine Apple adding this complication. Choice of language is one thing — but add the choice of UI framework and it looks like the company is flailing around.

Parting Words

Thanks for reading.

Fri, Feb 6, 2015 The Yet-Another-X-Suffix Edition

The New Photo for OS X Is Almost Here

So, once upon a time, Apple announced iPhoto and Aperture for OS X are going away, and will be replaced by a new photo app, sometine in 'early 2015'. Well, the new app is here -- at least, a beta version for developers and testers. The final version will be ready in 'Spring 2015', but you can take a sneak peek...

Andrew Cunningham, Ars Technica:

As someone who primarily uses iPhoto for light-to-medium-sized image editing, Photos seems like a respectable replacement. If you're an Aperture user reading this preview, I imagine you might feel like Final Cut Pro users did when presented with Final Cut Pro X for the first time. If you want to be able to compensate for lens warping or to do basically any of the advanced stuff listed on the Aperture page, it doesn't look like that's what Photos is for. It may add features later and third-parties may create some useful Extensions to make it more powerful, but the core app is far more concerned with iPhoto users than with Aperture ones.

The best thing I noticed about Photos while I was using it (and trying to find where it had hidden all the stuff I need) is that it's fast and smooth.

Christopher Breen, Macworld:

I’ve had very little time with Photos but my general impression is that it hits a sweet spot for the casual-to-enthusiastic iOS and digital camera shooter. Its navigation is more nimble and, from what I can tell, its performance is significantly improved over iPhoto’s, which I found sluggish with large image libraries. And, scaling back to the big picture, it’s the first of the old iLife apps that shares a common experience among the Mac, iOS devices, and iCloud. All your photos, your most recent edits, wherever you are. It’s an app worth looking forward to.

Dan Seifert, The Verge:

But even more impressive than the new coat of paint is just how fast Photos is. iPhoto was often criticized for choking on large image libraries, but Apple says it built Photos to handle large and growing photo libraries, since people are taking so many more photos than they used to before. From our experience, it seems that Apple's efforts have paid off: the new Photos app effortlessly scrolls through thousands of photos, and you can quickly page through your collection, marking images as favorites. It supports all of the trackpad gestures you'd expect — two-finger scrolling, pinch-to-zoom, and rotation — and performance is really fast and smooth, at least with the demo photo library we tested on a new MacBook Pro.

David Pogue, Yahoo!:

Even in its pre-public-beta version, Photos is fast, slick, and very easy to learn and navigate (partly because it’s so stripped down).

Serenity Cladwell, iMore:

When can you expect to see Photos arrive on your own computer? What's changed from iPhoto? What's stayed the same? Read on.

Stuff for Your Computers

  • How to Make Photoshop CS5 Run In Mac OS X Yosemite: Fix for Java Runtime Error (David Price, Macworld UK)
  • New App Brings Gesture Controls to Apple's MacBook and iMac Range (Seenit)

What My Hearing Aid Taught Me About the Future of Wearables

Ryan Budish, The Atlantic:

If they follow the path of hearing aids, future generations of wearables will be more immersive, more complex, more difficult to troubleshoot, and more pervasive in their data collection. As long as we see wearables as toys or luxury goods, it is easy to write off these challenges. But there is a real opportunity for wearables to improve the lives of many in substantial ways just as they’ve improved my life since 1986.

Short Notes

  • Why Are Hospitals Using Apple's HealthKit? It's Simple (Darius Tahir, Modern Healthcare)
  • New Apple Photos App Contains 'UXKit' Framework (Jason Snell, Six Colors)

Parting Words

Thanks for reading.

Thu, Feb 5, 2015 The Sunrise-Sunset Edition

How long before Microsoft sunsets the Sunrise name, and just call it Outlook Calendar?

iPad Air 2 Review: Why the iPad Became My Main Computer

Federico Viticci, MacStories:

Three months after I bought an iPad Air 2 and three years into my iPad-as-a-computer experiment, I'd like to offer some thoughts on my current iPad setup and how the device has changed my computing habits.

Because not only do I know what the iPad is good for in my life – the iPad Air 2 finally let me replace my aging MacBook Air as my main computer.

Mail Pilot 2 for iOS Review: Gesture-Based Controls Tame Your Email Inbox

Nathan Alderman, Macworld:

Mail Pilot 2 looks sharp and brims with great ideas for managing your email. Like its Mac version, the app seems to have arrived without a few finishing touches—and once those fixes get made, it should become well worth owning for task-oriented users eager to tame their inboxes.

Stuff for Your Computers

Always On

Random Swift Things

Brent Simmons, Inessential:

More-familiar syntax will help more people get started, I think. But then you run into concepts that Objective-C doesn’t have to deal with (optionals, generics, and tuples, for instance) and concepts that Objective-C doesn’t have to deal with much (value versus reference semantics, functional design patterns, strict type safety). And you inevitably run into the issue of interoperation with Objective-C — which, obviously, isn’t a problem in Objective-C.

Apple's Health Tech Takes Early Lead Among Top Hospitals

Christina Farr, Reuters:

Fourteen of 23 top hospitals contacted by Reuters said they have rolled out a pilot program of Apple's HealthKit service - which acts as a repository for patient-generated health information like blood pressure, weight or heart rate - or are in talks to do so.

The pilots aim to help physicians monitor patients with such chronic conditions as diabetes and hypertension. Apple rivals Google Inc and Samsung Electronics, which have released similar services, are only just starting to reach out to hospitals and other medical partners.

Short Notes

  • Seriously, Stop Using Your Smartphone in Bed (Chris Taylor, Mashable)
  • Apple is Talking to TV Programmers About Its Own Web TV Service by Peter Kafka, Re/code
  • Why Apple Borrows When It's Rich? (Matt Krantz, USA Today)

Parting Words

Thanks for reading.

Wed, Feb 4, 2015 The Apple's Mystery Machine Edition

This Mac App Makes Saving Space on Your iOS Device a Snap

Christina Warren, Mashable:

Phone Expander is designed to make it easy for a user to easily save space on their iOS device by deleting cache files inside apps, easily remove large apps installed on the device, remove pictures or videos (backing them up to the desktop first) and soon, manage music on their devices.

Do note that this is still beta software, and you should use this software with the expectation that it will mess up your iPhones and iPads and you will have to restore the devices from backups.

How to Add Family Relationships to Siri

Lou Hattersley, Mac Life:

Siri is great fun to use, but it becomes even better when you let it know who your family members are. All you have to do is make sure each member of your family has an entry in the Contacts app, and then tell Siri about your relationship to that person.

GMT Bug Now Fixed for Google Calendar Users in iOS 8

Joe Rossignol, MacRumors:

Without installing a software update, several users on the Apple Support Communities, Google Calendar Help Forum, Twitter and MacRumors forums are reporting that calendar events are now syncing in the proper time zone on iOS 8.1.3 and earlier versions.

Stuff for Your Computers

Profitable and Uncopyable

Matt Richman:

Though Apple Pay will make Apple a ton of money, the strategic implications of the service are worth far more. With Apple Pay, Apple leveraged its business model, cultural influence, and customer base to enter arguably the most heavily-regulated international system on Earth in a way that everyone already in the system had a reason to like. This is an incredible accomplishment, and no other company could have done it.

Short Notes

Parting Words

Thanks for reading.

Tue, Feb 3, 2015 The Listen-to-People-Talk Edition

There are podcasts that have a lot of post-production effort, where the hosts speak perfectly and there are music and effects and such. There are podcasts that are just the exact same Skype call. And there's what Jason Snell do.

Evil Genius Daddy

I've been enjoying Dave Slusher's podcast for more than 10 years now, and the latest episode is really special for me.

Do have a listen.

Mac Help: Online Backups for Huge Archives

Peter Cohen, iMore:

In this edition we tackle the subject of massive amounts of personal data and how it can best be backed up.

Stuff for Your Computers

The Wallaby app (free) provides a unique service: It tells you which of your credit cards to use at different businesses to maximize your credit card rewards.

Computing for the Visually Impaired, Part 4

Mariva H. Aviram, TidBITS:

Identifying the problem is the first step in fixing it. The next step is to seek and implement solutions (or to invent them if they don’t yet exist). Now I will detail the visual accessibility features, guides, and third-party apps that are available. I’ll begin with what’s already at hand, built in to your Mac.

Hey Apple, Would You Please Rent the App Store to Amazon?

Larry Lessig:

But if I want to filter those 3,500 apps, to find apps possible relevant to a 5/6 year old, wanting an app in math or history or whatever, I’m given two ways to sort these 3,500 apps: Either by release date, or alphabetically (because of course either of those two is really really essential to picking a useful or appropriate App).

Or maybe Apple should buy Amazon. :-)

Short Notes

  • Apple to Convert Failed Arizona Sapphire Plant Into Data Center (Tim Higgins, Bloomberg)
  • Apple Boosts Size of Bond Deal to $6.5 Billion (Mike Cherney, Wall Street Journal)
  • No, Research Does Not Say that 'iPads and Smartphones May Damage Toddlers' Brains' (Pete Etchells, The Guardian)

Parting Words

Thanks for reading.

Mon, Feb 2, 2015 The Winter-Every-Day Edition

Okay, campers, rise and shine, and don't forget your booties 'cause it's cooooold out there today.

What HTML5 Video Means for PowerPC Browsers

Dan Knight, Low End Mac:

Each of these video formats has its pros and cons, with H.264 generally considered the most efficient, but with the drawback that it is not patent- or royalty-free.

I have been testing HTML5 video support on a variety of browsers supported by Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger and 10.5 Leopard on PowerPC hardware.

If you are still using PowerPC machines, this is a handy guide on how you can still watch videos on your trusted Macs.

Stuff for Your Computers

The keyboard-driven launcher also changes to a new method of loading URLs to sidestep an issue with OS X 10.10 Yosemite.

  • Remote Desktop 3.8 (Agen G. N. Schmitz, TidBITS)
  • First Look: The New OneDrive for Mac, iPhone and iPad (Galen Gruman, InfoWorld)
  • Odd Bot Out Is a Clever and Charming Physics-Based Puzzler That's Out Now on iOS (Aldrin Calimlim, AppAdvice)

Apple Airs Its First Ad for the Chinese New Year, Similar to U.S. 'The Song' Ad

Mark Gurman, 9to5Mac:

In the new ad, a granddaughter utilizes Apple software and hardware to convert a vintage audio recording to a format playable on an iPad.

Click here to watch the ad (老唱片) on Apple's web site.

Short Notes

The company’s size and international reach means it affects the lives of people across the world, from Shenzhen workers to Taylor Swift. Here’s how.

But Overcast Is a Platform (IMHO)

I just want to say that I disagree a little with the hosts of the latest episode of Accidental Tech Podcast, that in my humble opinion Overcast is a platform for podcast creators. It is an open platform, but a platform nevertheless. (Just like the different flavors of Linux.)

However, there are differences between Apple and an one-man company. Maybe good support is also difficult to scale down to an one-man company. I don't know why software like Fogbugz are not used to automate support, but perhaps this is an opportunity for someone to create something and make some money.

Parting Words

Thanks for reading.

Sun, Feb 1, 2015 The Gloom-and-Doom Edition

According to this report from Zero Hedge, 60% of retail sales growth in Hong Kong for the latest quarter was due to just one product: the iPhone.


Photo by Kamenyaks (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Hands On: Typed


Beautiful and rather serene word processor for Mac.

Hocus Focus Hides Inactive Apps Automatically

TJ Luoma, TUAW:

There are two kinds of people in the world: people who like a nice, clean virtual workspace, and John Siracusa. If you're closer to the former than the latter, check out Hocus Focus - a Mac menu bar app which automatically hides inactive apps.


TUAW Ceasing Publication on February 3, 2015 (Steven Sande, TUAW)

Steven Sande, TUAW:

We're probably the last tech site to report on our own demise, but we ask your forgiveness -- it's been a rough couple of days.

Good luck to everyone. All the best!

Super Sunday!

How's your Sunday shaping up so far? Do you see Sunday as part two of two happy and free days, or, like me, this is just eve of gloom-and-doom-Monday?

So, according to Lifehacker, to distract away my sadness, I should go find something fun for Sunday night. Anybody has any suggestions?

Parting Words

Thanks for reading.