MyAppleMenu - Apr 2015

Thu, Apr 30, 2015The Going-Down Edition

Selling iPads

I think this way of presenting the data makes the iPad’s situation much clearer. Sales are not “flattening”, nor are they “flat.” They were flat in 2013, but now they’re going down, and they have been for a year. What’s most interesting to me is how the upward trend, still very strong in 2012, just stopped dead in 2013. [...]

There’s no reason to get hysterical and start thinking the iPad will turn into the iPod, but iPad sales have been in this state for two years, and there are no outward signs of any change from Cupertino. I do wonder if the iPad has been starved of attention because of the iPhone (which must be tended to because it’s 70% of revenue) and the march to bring out the Apple Watch.


In The Cloud

Here's a guide to using iCloud Drive: how to save files to the cloud, access them from other devices, and use them even with apps that can't access iCloud.

When Developers Get Nightmares

Xcode provisioning nightmares are a real thing. Oh my god. Help

— Brady Archambo ✨ (@bradyy) April 29, 2015

When Daves Get Nightmares

Slightly unnerving.

— Dave Wiskus (@dwiskus) April 30, 2015


In addition to the basic, free option and Premium tier, the new Plus offering fits in between.

We liked the approach The Walk takes towards activity tracking. It's very easy to see how much or little one has moved in a 24 hour period, and the user is rewarded either way with progress along the path to unlocking the story.


I Named Mine "Unused"

Dear Apple, Wanted to say hi and remind you that everyone has a folder like this on their phone. Love, James

— James Kelleher (@etienneshrdlu) April 28, 2015


The new version of the runway map for Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport caused problems for pilots who had stored a previous copy of the map on an Apple iPad app used in the cockpit, according to an American Airlines spokesperson.

Pilots who attempted to access the Reagan airport map Tuesday night encountered a glitch when two versions of the same map were in conflict, the spokesperson said. American Airlines has alerted pilots to the problem and to a work-around to avoid future delays until the next update.

In its quarterly filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission Tuesday, Apple said it could be required to pay back taxes for up to 10 years if the European Commission rules against Ireland. “While such amount could be material, as of March 28, 2015 the Company is unable to estimate the impact,” Apple wrote.

A key component of the Apple Watch made by one of two suppliers was found to be defective, prompting Apple Inc. to limit the availability of the highly anticipated new product, according to people familiar with the matter.

Apple doesn’t plan a recall, because there’s no indication that Apple shipped any watches with the defective part to customers.

During Twitter's earnings call yesterday, CEO Dick Costello noted that the company would be partnering with Apple, bringing Tweets to Spotlight.

Parting Words

Next time a man harasses me on the street, I’ll act completely surprised that he can see me and I'll tell him that he’s dead we are all dead

— Annie Wu (@AnnieW) April 29, 2015

Thanks for reading.

Wed, Apr 29, 2015The Arm-Sleeve-Tattoo Edition

Will we see glances on the next iOS? You know, like little square tiles arranged on the Today’s View?

— HC (@myapplemenu) April 28, 2015

Nothing Between You And Your Watch

Will an arm sleeve tattoo prevent you from wearing the Apple Watch? If it's a solid color, perhaps.

More Than Music On Your Watch

Like all workarounds, it’s not very straightforward, and to be honest, a bit cumbersome, but if you want to listen to podcasts on your Apple Watch without an iPhone, this is currently your only option. In this post, we’ll show you how to sync podcasts with your Apple Watch.

It's not exactly the same, but it reminded me of the days of downloading podcasts episodes and syncing them to my iPod mini in the days before Apple added support for podcasting.


If you’re looking to quickly build a standalone webpage for a school report, newsletter, holiday highlights journal, or almost anything else, Slate is a terrific option. There are some hard limits to what Slate can achieve today, but for many projects it’ll be the easiest and best tool to use, and the result you get with very little effort is truly impressive.

TaskInsight features task list and timeline management with iCloud support on Mac OS X.

In order to make this work, I use Audio Hijack’s Time Shift block, which lets me pause and rewind the audio I’m capturing—TiVo style!—as I listen.


More importantly, however, passing is not a good strategy for the organization as a whole: not only does it involve an element of deception between colleagues, bosses, and subordinates, it also perpetuates the myth that those who are successful are also all wholly devoted to work. Yet, a critical implication of this research is that working long hours is not necessary for high quality work. The experiences of those men who passed show clearly that, even in a client service setting, it is possible to reorganize work such that it is more predictable and consumes fewer hours.

This rule that Watch apps that only tell time will be rejected has actually been enforced since Apple started accepting WatchKit submissions as many developers complained to find their apps had been rejected for this reason. The documentation change now formalizes this rule into an official policy.


“Some flights are experiencing an issue with a software application on pilot iPads,” American Airlines wrote on Twitter. According to various user reports, iPads went blank for both captains and copilots.

When One Model Arrives Before The Other

My husband stole my Apple Watch. @pennjillette

— Emily Jillette (@EmilyJillette) April 29, 2015


But I do think Cerf has a point, that we should take long-term data persistence more seriously. And persistence of access, not just shoving a tape in the attic to gather dust. Will anyone in the future much care? I’d like to think so. Even if we continue to screw things up, hopefully there will be someone left to be interested in what went wrong.

Parting Words

When people are nice in real life, but mean & insulting online, it is the real life persona that is fake.

— John Robinson (@johnrobinson) April 28, 2015

Thanks for reading.

Tue, Apr 28, 2015The Remembering-Titans Edition

Maybe the Apple Watch so aggressively dims the display is like Steve Jobs so aggressively ripped out the arrow keys in the first Macintosh?

— HC (@myapplemenu) April 27, 2015

This Sentimental Little Movie

That Titans team wasn't just playing football. They were making a statement about the human condition, the workings of the heart. I think, I feel, that Steve Jobs saw my sentimental little movie in this macro sense and realized it was a metaphor for much larger issues. And, I hope and pray that the Titans messages will carry forward and his legacy will grow even greater in years to come. For Jobs was a true Titan, in more ways than one.

Remember the Titans was the last movie Steve Jobs and Tim Cook watched together.

Seems Like This Apple Pay Thing Has Legs :-)

Apple Pay already supports cards from Visa, MasterCard and American Express, and with Discover, it will reach the overwhelming majority of cardholders in the U.S.

Best Buy’s decision is big news because the electronics chain was previously part of the coalition of companies working on the ill-received “Current-C” mobile payment system.

Quarterly Results

"We are thrilled by the continued strength of iPhone, Mac and the App Store, which drove our best March quarter results ever," said Tim Cook, Apple's CEO. "We're seeing a higher rate of people switching to iPhone than we've experienced in previous cycles, and we're off to an exciting start to the June quarter with the launch of Apple Watch."

Cook: It’s about giving customer something they want. Giving it with Apple’s classic ease of use. I think HBO in particular has some great content. We are marrying their great content and our great ecosystem. There is a lot [of] traction in there. Where could it go? I don’t want to speculate, but you can speculate… We’re on the edge of major major changes for media and I think Apple can be a part of that.



For me, the choice to use CrashPlan is partly a matter of its helpful features (notably local and peer-to-peer backups and flexibility in how files are restored) and partly a matter of economics—it gives me the most bang for the buck given my family’s backup needs. If you’re on the fence about CrashPlan (or any of the others), download a trial version, put it through its paces, and see for yourself if it meets your needs.

The different list views make the free version of better at organizing your task list than Reminders. And the ability to create subtasks, and add notes and attachments is handy.

By abstracting traditional UI complexities from an RSS reader to achieve a purity of text and images, Unread features an excellent reading experience on the iPhone and iPad with comfortable gestures that make the app feel natural, fresh, and useful.

If you want to encrypt your hard disk and have it truly help protect your data, you shouldn’t just flip it on; you should know the basics of what disk encryption protects, what it doesn’t protect, and how to avoid common mistakes that could let an attacker easily bypass your encryption.

I've been wanting to try travel with the Apple Watch since the company first introduced it. This weekend, I had the chance.

real-life photoshop, very cool

— Visual Idiot (@idiot) April 27, 2015


Apple Watch Astronomy face is wrong: N.Pole shown in darkness, tho it’s April. N.Pole should be getting sun 24/7 now.

— Stefan Geens (@stefangeens) April 27, 2015


Will we reach a point where, like some instances with phones, you have to leave your watch at the door?


"Yes, if Apple would ever come to us and would love to have our security, we could talk," BlackBerry CEO John Chen told CNNMoney. Has Apple already approached BlackBerry about collaborating on security? "I don't want to comment on that," Chen said.

Parting Words

Impossible to note without TMI, but: Apple Watch's "Time To Stand Up!" reminder is kinda weird when you're, um, using the facilities.

— Dan Frakes (@DanFrakes) April 27, 2015

Thanks for reading.

Mon, Apr 27, 2015The One-Way-Or-The-Other Edition

Also, has anyone written the thinkpiece titled "A Wristed Development" yet?

— Erika Hall (@mulegirl) April 26, 2015

As They Say On Usenet, YMMV.

Some users have found a notable improvement in iPhone battery life with the addition of an Apple Watch. This suggests the act of offloading notifications and quick interactions to your Apple Watch, could make your iPhone battery last much longer.

However, several other users have noticed a significant drain on their iPhone batteries in early usage with the Apple Watch.

I think what's happening here is that battery technology has improved to the point where a small difference in how one uses the device will significantly affect how long the battery will last.

More About Apple Watch:

Firstly, I think that you're going to want to take the watch off your wrist. Unless you're a very stationary and gesture-free speaker, it's going to be really obvious when you go to advance a slide with your Watch. Also, for the next few months at least, you're going to be That Speaker Who Controlled Their Presentation With Their Watch And Was A Bit of a Douche rather than the Speaker Who Was Awesome.

Hard Link

The MacBook landed in people’s hands—including ours at Macworld—in mid-April, and I’ve been purchasing and receiving review versions of adapters for several days. Here’s a rundown of what’s currently available and what it can do for you.

Always Be Prepared

In September 2014, while at the Stupeflix Paris office, Nicolas Steegmann got a call from Apple in Cupertino. Once the caller identified herself, Nicolas knew something up. The contact came after Stupeflix presentations to Apple’s team in Paris. In rather elliptic terms, Steegman’s interlocutor said it would be great if two members of the company, a developer and a designer, could be in Cupertino the next day. ‘They will have to stay at least two weeks’, she said. 48 hours later, the team was on Apple’s campus. They quickly found themselves in a windowless room and given a straightforward brief: Devise the coolest possible demo for your app. No more details, no promises whatsoever.

As you read on, you will realise that when the developer and the designer arrived at Cupertino, the demo slot was yet to be promised to them. More work was ahead.

Apple Pays

In the Apple antitrust misadventure, the demands of its special master long ago exceeded the escape velocity of logic and law. Yet now Michael Bromwich is making no fewer than 27 new ultimatums, and we’ll comment at the risk of providing another line item for his invoices. Allow us to explain.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the court-appointed monitor was charging Apple $1,100 + $1,025 + 15% per hour to read editorials in the Wall Street Journal.


From tinkering to travel, the newest preschool apps provide kids with fun ways to use touch to play in digital worlds.


After much struggling and some good advice, I’ve finally managed to get an Apple Watch App/Extension running on an actual watch. Here’s some follow-up to my previous post on code signing woes.


The change at Cedars-Sinai allows patients using HealthKit to integrate personal medical information with their patient files, giving online access to their doctors. Weight, blood pressure, steps taken, glucose levels and oxygen saturation levels are among the kinds of data monitored through HealthKit.

"We’re sorry for this inappropriate user-created content; we’re working to remove it quickly," Google's Mara Harris said in an e-mailed statement. "We also learn from these issues, and we’re constantly improving how we detect, prevent and handle bad edits." The vast majority of users who edit Google Maps provide "great contributions," Harris said.

A Tale Of Dry Ice, Thermos Flask, And A Canal

I looked at the flask with that awful sinking feeling you get when you realise you have created something which is inevitably going to explode at some point in the future, and there's nothing you can do about it.

Parting Words

I have two versions of a joke I just wrote. One is moderately amusing and clean. The other version is super-racist and hilarious. Sigh.

— Jon Rosenberg™ (@jonrosenberg) April 27, 2015

Thanks for reading.

Sun, Apr 26, 2015The Starting-Over Edition

The First Third-Party Apps Are Not That Good Yet

CNET editor Scott Stein learned just how easy it is to mess up on the tiny display of an Apple Watch as he demo’d the device on Periscope on Friday.


I imagine thousands of iOS devs running their apps on real Apple Watches for the very first time today...and then sighing and starting over.

— Andy Ihnatko (@Ihnatko) April 25, 2015

Just one day in, I already want to restructure the entire Overcast UI on the Watch.

— Marco Arment (@marcoarment) April 26, 2015

Watch Stuff

I’m an insufferable asshole, and I’m here to complain about my brand new $350 luxury watch that so far hasn’t lived up to my insanely high expectations, which I am publishing here on Medium using my 5k iMac.

The watch's first impression is not good at all.

Apple Watch Sport is the cheapest option to go for, but what exactly will you be missing over one that’s more expensive? Well, we took the plunge, picked up a few of them, and put together a helpful comparison video between these models…




Parting Words

Watch: “It’s time to stand up and move around for a minute.” Me: “Thanks, Watch. I got this!” *wanders into kitchen and eats chocolate*

— Stuart Gibson (@stuartgibson) April 25, 2015

Thanks for reading.

Sat, Apr 25, 2015The New-Experiences Edition

October: "OMG the 5s seems so small now! How'd I ever survive?" April: [pinkie pecks at wrist screen]

— megan quinn (@msquinn) April 24, 2015

It's Alive!

Now that the Apple Watch app store has launched, we’re finally getting an idea of what creative thinkers want to do with the smartest wearable around. No, the best early Apple Watch apps aren’t about a billion wrist-top notifications, and they’re not simply shrunken down smartphone apps, either. When developers get it right, they’re creating new experiences tailored to the Apple Watch’s postage-stamp-sized screen, and its convenient, always-visible position. They keep you informed, guide you on your way and help you achieve simple tasks.

Here are some of the best new uses for the Apple Watch available on Day One—and some cool apps that demonstrate them—along with some surprise apps that we did not see coming.

Hope you enjoy your new Apple Watch!

— Tim Cook (@tim_cook) April 24, 2015

Security Matters

As was the case with a separate HTTPS vulnerability reported earlier this week that affected 1,500 iOS apps, the bug resides in AFNetworking, an open-source code library that allows developers to drop networking capabilities into their iOS and OS X apps. Any app that uses a version of AFNetworking prior to the just-released 2.5.3 may expose data that's trivial for hackers to monitor or modify, even when it's protected by the secure sockets layer (SSL) protocol.

Made For iPhone

An Apple spokesman confirmed to WIRED that this was a mistake and the company has not changed its policy toward Pebble. The SeaNav update, and others rejected under similar circumstances, will be accepted, and the company does not plan to reject apps that support Pebble.

Pebble’s products, CEO Eric Migicovsky says, always have been certified as Made For iPhone—including the new Time and Time Steel. Even now, dozens of apps in the App Store mention Pebble; there are even a handful of third-party apps for managing and connecting to your watch.


The Justice Department decided, conceptually, to turn things around, and in economic jargon, to look at the other side of the “two-sided market.” That meant noticing that Comcast sells both Internet access to customers and customer access to the Internet. Stated differently, anyone who wants to reach one of Comcast’s customers—like Netflix delivering a film or Spotify delivering a song—has to go through it, and it alone. Looking at the deal this way forced the Justice Department to think about Comcast as something much more than just a regional cable company.

It Looks Like You Are Writing A Review

Surprisingly, Microsoft Office’s spell-checker recognizes the names of virtually every Game of Thrones character, major and minor alike.

It Looks Like You Have A Gold Watch

Parting Words

Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. Those who wear an Apple Watch Edition with a Sport band

— Federico Viticci (@viticci) April 24, 2015

Thanks for reading.

Fri, Apr 24, 2015The Remove-All-Mentions-Of-Pebble Edition


Apple opened the App Store for its Apple Watch Thursday, just ahead of the first shipments reaching customers who pre-ordered the new device.

Physical Hub

The early numbers show a glimmer of that promise: Within just four days of its release, MyHeart Counts, a cardiovascular-focused ResearchKit app designed by the Stanford University School of Medicine, was downloaded 52,900 times in the U.S. and Canada, with an unprecedented 22,000 people also consenting to participate in the study. Typically, that kind of participation might require a year's work and dozens of medical centers.

Already four other academic institutions—including Oxford University and Beijing's Tsinghua—have built apps using ResearchKit, which contains graphical templates for in-app electronic consent, surveys, and tasks. "By nucleating a group of researchers and by making ResearchKit open source in a way that allows that community to grow," said Shaw, "it’s possible to see the outline of a new ecosystem emerging."

Photo Cloud

Though there’s still room for improvement, several factors have come together to make online photo management finally work: faster Internet in many homes and on phones and the technology to secure and access gigabytes of personal data on the go.

Which software does it best? That depends on what kind of equipment you own, how many photos you take and how comfortable you are with storing photos in the cloud.


This week, I look at a few questions about managing an iTunes music library, dealing with liner notes, album artwork in WAV files, and correcting capitalization in song titles. I also suggest a way to download music from the iTunes Store with an old Mac.

Cufflink for Apple Watch is a platform for priority communications for up to five close personal connections, or links.


Apple’s guidance to resolve the issue, according to the developer, has been to remove all mentions of Pebble support from the app title, description, and other assets.


I’m not suggesting Apple invented computer vision or that it’s the first company to use it in mass production. But I think it is unusual for it to be used at Apple’s scale for the purpose of wringing every last bit of tolerance out of its products.

In addition to Final Cut, Ubillos was also responsible for the creation of both iMovie and Aperture during his time at Apple.

Jimmy Iovine and the major labels are conspiring to get rid of free. Not only the free tier on Spotify, but on YouTube too. Apple writes a check to the labels at 40 million subscribers for years, whether they reach that number or not, and everybody pays for music.

Parting Words

I'll be posting lots of photos from @cocoaconf when I get back home. But THIS was the view from my bedroom.

— Andy Ihnatko (@Ihnatko) April 23, 2015

Thanks for reading.

Thu, Apr 23, 2015The Relevant-And-Personal Edition

The Watch Era

"I think that we're on a path that Apple was determined to be on since the Seventies, which was to try and make technology relevant and personal. If people struggle to use the technology then we have failed," said Ive. "The consequences of that path? I don't know. Sadly so much of our manufactured environment testifies to carelessness - something that was built to a price point or a schedule. The products that we have developed describe who made them. I hope that people will like the watch and find it a beautiful item."

In further evidence of the smartwatch’s positioning as a fashion accessory, as opposed to a tech gadget, while the product may not be in Apple stores to purchase on its official release day of Friday, select destination fashion boutiques around the world have their own stock, and will be offering the watch for sale at the end of the week.

Still The Digital Hub

As with any complex app, one user’s bloat is another user’s favorite feature. Perhaps people need to simply let go of these complaints and understand that Apple did not write iTunes for them, but for hundreds of millions of people. To become more comfortable with iTunes, therefore, may require learning a bit more about how it works in order to master those features you use every day and ignore those you don’t.


The new Lightroom CC does add some new features, such as built-in HDR and panorama merge tools, facial recognition, a filter brush, and an improved slideshow builder. But more interesting is performance: Lightroom CC takes advantage of your computer’s graphics hardware to speed up the app in some welcome areas.


This article discusses the methods I used to start learning Swift with zero prior programming knowledge (aside from basic HTML/CSS). The exact order of the steps isn’t set in stone; it’s just the order I did them in and I'm thrilled with my progress so far.


I wish orientation lock had 3 states: 1. On 2. On except for fullscreen video. 3. Off

— Youssef Sarhan (@YS) April 22, 2015

There's a bug in Apple's iOS 8 that allows nearby attackers to send apps—and in some cases the iPhone or iPad they run on—into an endless reboot cycle that temporarily renders the devices useless, according to researchers who demonstrated the attack Tuesday.

More Watch Follow Up

Apple’s approach is more conservative energy-wise in both “on” and “off” states. Google’s leaves something informative on screen at all times.

Parting Words

The usual reliably practical advice from my local library

— Lissa Johnston (@trying2write) April 21, 2015

Thanks for reading.

Wed, Apr 22, 2015The Biggest-Mistake Edition

Moving Forward

The growth of online learning has thrown up new challenges for those with visual impairment as the learning tools are often not available. It’s also been a challenge for those working on making websites accessible to the visually impaired. It takes extra work and testing.

Now, the Animal Watch Vi Suite (AWViS) project based at The University of Arizona, is developing a math tutoring program for middle school students who have mild, moderate or severe visual impairments.

The impact of Apple on air travel extends beyond Apple’s iOS Passbook app – the company’s solutions are appearing across the air flight ecosystem.

Shot On You-Know-What

These atmospheric scenes have an almost painterly quality. They all feature in the photographer’s new book, #iPhoneOnly, and current exhibition at Hebden Bridge’s Snug gallery. Here he describes the thinking behind each shot.

So good.

Creating Apps In Simulation

To celebrate the arrival of the Apple Watch, we asked a few of our friends to share the most useful thing they learned building for Apple’s new platform.

Hey Siri!

No, Siri, I said "shiitake mushrooms"

— how now (@brownpau) April 21, 2015


I recently decided that I wanted to overhaul the way I deal with email pitches (new apps, hardware accessories, web services, etc.) and I set out to find a solution that would allow me to broadcast an email to my team without having to forward more emails.

One of the most significant additions to Lightroom is photo merging with support for raw image handling. Using advanced algorithms, users can combine multiple photos taken with different exposure settings to create high dynamic range (HDR) tapestries. Images output as DNG files that can be further tweaked in Lightroom's Develop nondestructive editing module.

The idea behind DSPO is people getting together to chat and share photos, but with a twist. The chat is in real time, but actually viewing the photos comes later.


The entire software world would do well to think in terms of “complications” not “features”.

— John Gruber (@gruber) April 21, 2015

Apple has created a simple programming paradigm that works in a number of contexts, one that takes the need to build a GUI almost entirely out of the developer's hands.

Apple is sending out invites to random registered developers, giving them the chance to buy an Apple Watch with guaranteed delivery by the end of the month.


Bringing the 18-karat gold Apple Watch Edition back to an Apple Store for a refund will require the device to be scrutinized under micro-inspection by Apple Store staff, according to sources.

Watch Follow-Up

The reason he writes that is that I suspect [John Gruber] has no idea that my Android Wear watch spends 95% of its life in ‘ambient mode’…which is all about black backgrounds for UI.

Parting Words

Apple's review team are on holiday, clearly 😜

— Steve T-S (@stroughtonsmith) April 22, 2015

Thanks for reading.

Tue, Apr 21, 2015The Speaking-Through-iPad Edition

Change The World

The iPad uses an app called Grid 2, which allows users who cannot speak themselves to select words and sentences that can be played through the iPad’s speakers.

Ian said: "It really is life changing for the children that need it. It’s so much more than just speech, it’s about be able to communicate with your friends, teachers, peers and family."

Security Matters

AFNetworking recently had a major security flaw. Due to lack of SSL cert validation, the proverbial coffee shop attacker could easily bypass SSL and see all your app's user credentials and banking data. We decided to track down apps that were still using the vulnerable version of AFNetworking and notify their developers so they could patch the flaw.

About 1,500 iPhone and iPad apps contain an HTTPS-crippling vulnerability that makes it easy for attackers to intercept encrypted passwords, bank-account numbers, and other highly sensitive information, according to research released Monday.

Freedom Versus Battery Life

I don’t expect Apple to open up watch faces to arbitrary designs, even when the full Apple Watch SDK ships later this year. If they do allow third-party faces, I think it’ll be through design partners hand-selected by Apple. (The Mickey face is arguably an example of this already.) The idea of fully-customizable watch faces is right in the sweet spot between the differing philosophies of Google (anything goes) and Apple (tightly controlled).

All Mac looks like a Mac. All iPhones looks like an iPhone. What makes an Apple Watch an Apple Watch? Not the honeycomb-like App screen, but the Watch Face. I highly doubt Apple will allow all kinds of watch faces to represent the Apple Watch.

(Oh, and we can squeeze in a bit more battery life if we design the faces a certain way? Bonus!)

P.S.: I will be a little disappointed if there aren't different watch faces for my iPhone's lock screen this fall.


When I let Photos upload as it wishes, my broadband connection is flooded in a manner I don’t think I’ve ever seen other synchronization software do. It grabs every available slot, making even downstream activities, like retrieving a webpage, become glacial or fail. Yes, even a few bytes of an website request are overwhelmed by the might of Photos.

TextBar is an awesome app which solves a problem that I have been struggling with for at least three years: “How can I put some text into the menu bar, such as the output of a shell script?”


Our goal as a programmer is to polish the product, not the code. If we wish to be effective in our role we must be addressing the features, not the tools. We need to understand the true source of value in our product.


When it comes to obsessively meticulous attention to detail, it seems Apple employees could learn something from Glenn Gould. At the company's internal Apple University — a somewhat secretive institution by reputation — professor Joshua Cohen delivers three-hour seminars on the late, great Canadian pianist to classes of 15 students.

After sharing its latest Environmental Responsibility report this morning, Apple this evening has added a new Earth Day 2015 section to the App Store. The section highlights content that contribute to environmental awareness, as well as apps that promote green living and going paperless.

Apple on Monday issued the 2015 edition of its Environmental Responsibility report, trumpeting attempts to reduce the company's contributions to problems like climate change and resource depletion, while admitting gaps in managing its carbon footprint.

The left-wing politicians want you to thank them for the watch instead of thanking Apple. And they want to seize a larger share of Apple’s profits in taxes so they can spend the money on things that are a lot less useful than Apple products.

Other People's Servers

Here’s a wakeup call to audio creators everywhere: SoundCloud does not recognize your fair use rights under U.S. copyright law. If your content contains any copyrighted material to which you haven’t secured the rights — even if you have a valid fair use claim — SoundCloud may take it down at any time.

Parting Words

So you're telling me there's no restaurant in D.C. called "West Wings"? Seems like a wasted opportunity.

— Mark S. Luckie (@marksluckie) April 20, 2015

Thanks for reading.

Mon, Apr 20, 2015The Poop-With-A-Wink Edition

Security Matters

Researchers from security firm Synack have determined that Apple's latest patch for the "Rootpipe" privilege escalation flaw remain mostly unfixed, even on OS X 10.10 "Yosemite." Ex-NSA staff member Patrick Wardle examined the new patch, and found a new path around Apple's security fix, leaving the computer unprotected from hostile users with physical access.


Exercising With Apple Watch

If you already planned on getting an Apple Watch, you’ll likely be satisfied with its built-in health-and-fitness features — unless you’re a hardcore runner, a water-sport enthusiast, or you’re really sold on the idea of sleep tracking.

Separated By A Common Language

When you send an emoji to someone, are you thinking about how it will be viewed? Because, it turns out, their meaning can completely change depending on platform. You could think you’re sending a poop with a wink but really be communicating that something serious — something that involves flies — is going down.


"Guided use of an educational app may be a source of motivation and engagement for children in their early years," said Susan B. Neuman, professor of childhood and literacy education at NYU Steinhardt and the study's author. "The purpose of our study was to examine if a motivating app could accelerate children's learning, which it did."

It's a free application that extends Spotlight's searching facilities and to give you quick access to different corners of your Mac. From the keyboard, you can search the web, start a phone call, email someone a file or shut down your Mac.


Research into brainstorming has a clear conclusion. The best way to create is to work alone and evaluate solutions as they occur. The worst way to create is to work in large groups and defer criticism.


Parting Words

Ordered a side salad with dinner at the pub last night...Was given a pot plant, some scissors and an empty bowl. Wow.

— BASTILLE (@bastilledan) April 19, 2015

Thanks for reading.

Sun, Apr 19, 2015The Eco-Friendly Edition

Planting Trees

In collaboration with Virginia-based nonprofit The Conservation Fund, the tech giant pledged an unspecified amount of money to buy 32,400 acres of forest in Maine and 3,600 in North Carolina. The agreement places a conservation easement on the land so that future owners are legally bound to preserve the woodland and employ eco-friendly practices for tree logging and replanting.

iPhone Solstice

We've reached the iPhone solstice. The calendar is now closer to a new iPhone release than the last release.

— Kent Goldman (@kentgoldman) April 18, 2015


Ta-da! Wait a minute, Xcode now refuse to compile you code!


The company made no comment last week on how how it will respond to the charges, but people familiar with its thinking said this weekend it sees Microsoft’s story as a warning about the dangers of getting bogged down defending a monopoly in rapidly changing industry.

Parting Words

Son, I want you to have this watch. The firmware is outdated, the OS is slow and it only runs Yelp, but it's been in our family for 3 years.

— Ludwig Kietzmann (@LudwigK) April 18, 2015

Thanks for reading.

Sat, Apr 18, 2015The Honest-Living Edition


Now, companies can utilize the smartphone space to make education a fun activity for kids, and what better way to teach kids exciting new things than with robots?

Rather than teach everyone to code, maybe it makes more sense to build tools that let some people side-step programming altogether? That’s what [Jannus is] trying to do with Hone, a piece of desktop software that allows designers to tweak the appearance of iPhone and Mac apps instantly and dynamically, without messing with code.

Second Chance

When Apple was at its worst, it did get a second chance. Ex-offenders are only looking for the same treatment. “Reviewing workers criminal history on a case by case basis …,” as Apple claims in its attempt to backtrack on a tragically flawed policy, is a start toward doing the right thing. But if Apple’s interest is to keep the community safe and prevent crime, it would not prevent people from earning an honest living.


Many users many have skipped the initial setup screens and missed that opportunity to import pictures and images into Photos from apps like Aperture and iPhoto. Fortunately, it’s very easy to add an iPhoto library into the Mac Photos app at any time.



The banks are open to an agreement, but they aren’t happy with Apple’s fee proposals and are concerned about security vulnerabilities like the ones that U.S. banks experienced as they rolled out the service, [people familiar with the matter] said.

Michael Bromwich, who became Apple’s monitor after it was found liable for conspiring to raise e-book prices, said in a report on Thursday that Apple objected to providing information and “inappropriately” attempted to limit his activities.

Too Much Feelings

From ‘family owned’ and ‘created with love’, to ‘hand crafted’ and ‘authentic’, food-packet rhetoric is now mainly in the business of selling nice feelings.

Vine Machine

Parting Words

This, everytime someone says "the cloud":

— Asher Wolf (@Asher_Wolf) April 18, 2015

Thanks for reading.

Fri, Apr 17, 2015The Homophobic-Answers Edition

OS X Update

Apple released a rare supplemental update to OS X Yosemite 10.10.3 that resolves a bug in a video driver that was causing some Mac owners to report startup issues or even full-blown kernel panics "when running certain apps that capture video," said the company.

Bad (Russian) Siri

Apple is refusing to explain how and why the Russian language version of its voice-controlled virtual assistant, Siri, provided homophobic answers to queries relating to gay or lesbian topics.

I wonder if this may be the start of the end of "cute" Siri responses.

Non-Smart Travels

My iPhone finds the most direct route to anything I wish to see, which is why I turn it off. Keeping it on would mean missing out on countless small streets and dead-ends, all those quiet, beautiful lanes and impasses with names I don’t remember.

But, of course, there is no wrong way of travelling.

Not-So-Smart Pay

This is far from an "end of the world" problem, of course. But it's funny to me that a gesture Apple intended to make paying for things easy — just wave your phone over the terminal! — unintentionally makes other actions more difficult.

Cost Of Putting Things In The Cloud

Dropbox seems the clear winner if you don’t routinely edit photos in Photos on different platforms, and Amazon if your intent is a central storehouse with access everywhere and at the lowest cost.

Apple can change this with a few keystrokes, such as halving its storage price. But as long as it has ecosystem lock in, it may feel its added value will keep its users paying.

Personally, I am still hoping Apple will lower its iCloud prices. Or maybe giving discounts when bundled with iTunes Match and the upcoming Beats streaming service.


Apple's showcasing the MacBook at its retail stores, but you can't just walk into an Apple Store (or anywhere else Macs are sold) and walk out with one — they're just not there. Online seems just about the only place to get one, and for that pleasure you'll have wait at least four to six weeks for it to ship.

You’ll still find all of your lists and collaboration features as easy to use as ever, but now you’ll be able to see an overview of all of your lists with the new grid mode.


Competition on the App Store has risen to a frenzied level.



The suspension is temporary as authorities revise the rules. It is unclear how regulators will change the rules, but industry officials say a new version — even if it avoids more contentious issues like forcing the disclosure of source code — will still be problematic to multinational tech companies.

Parting Words

Two scenarios: "We're home," by which they mean the Falcon (found again). "We're home," by which they mean Kashyyyk, and it's life day.

— Michael Heilemann (@Heilemann) April 16, 2015

Chewie, we’re home

— Cary (@barrysaunders) April 17, 2015

Thanks for reading.

Thu, Apr 16, 2015The It-Is-Done Edition

Leaving Siracusa County

Though Apple will presumably announce the next major version of OS X at WWDC this coming June, I won’t be reviewing it for Ars Technica or any other publication. [...] There is no single, dramatic reason behind this. It’s an accumulation of small things—the time investment, the (admittedly, self-imposed) mental anguish, the pressure to meet my own expectations and those of my readers year after year—but it all boils down to a simple, pervasive feeling that this is the time to stop. I’ve done this. It is done.

With this move, @siracusa guarantees 10.11 will have a new file system.

— Greg Koenig (@gak_pdx) April 16, 2015

Word on the street is that @siracusa is giving up OS X reviews in favor of 15,000 words on each Apple Watch band.

— Chris Hokanson (@chris_hokanson) April 16, 2015

Education Woes

"While Apple and Pearson promised a state-of-the-art technological solution for ITI implementation, they have yet to deliver it," David Holmquist, the school district's attorney, wrote in a letter to Apple's general counsel. [...] Holmquist said the district is "extremely dissatisfied" with the work of Pearson on its technology initiative to get computers into the hands of each of the district's 650,000 students.

Apple partnered with IBM to deal with businesses and corporations; me think Apple need to find a tech-savvy educational partner.

Questions For Photos

To Apple’s credit, the company did post an iCloud Photo Library FAQ, and it’s worth reading for several basic details. Unfortunately, that FAQ didn’t answer any of the questions I had personally, and judging by the email and comments we’ve received from readers, confusion over this feature is widespread. I’ve compiled a list of those missing questions, along with answers based on my own testing and research, and the experiences of others on the TidBITS staff.

Now, go ahead and shoot some photos.

Apple's "Shot on iPhone 6" ads are a great reminder to spend disposable income on travel, instead of Apple products.

— Marc Hedlund (@marcprecipice) April 15, 2015

Street Smarts

Getting around in London usually means diving into the murk of the London Underground train system. The Underground is usually faster than walking or the bus, but is also vast and confusing. MxData’s Tube Map [...] can help tourists make the most of this transport option.


[Pasquier] is also an élite money hunter. He started out casually picking up coins, bills, and dropped MetroCards. “But then I said, Be scientific, keep track of this.” From 1987, when he began recording his findings, through 2014, he retrieved a thousand nine hundred and twenty dollars and eighty-seven cents. From 1987 to 2006, he averaged about fifty-eight dollars a year. Then Apple introduced the iPhone, and millions of potential competitors started to stare at their screens rather than at the sidewalks. Since 2007, Pasquier has averaged just over ninety-five dollars a year.


The low cost mobile app goes free May 11 and, the company says, is part of ‘an ambitious plan to transform into a nimble, mobile-focused organization’.


If Apple had negotiated with retail banks to get access to their money-transfer infrastructure, Apple could have introduced Apple Pay as a disruptor, instead of as a reseller.

Painting International Orange

What Allan is wary about is the motion of the ocean. There's something about the way the waves undulate through the Golden Gate strait that can discombobulate a distant observer. "That water can actually throw you off a little bit," he says. "If you're having one of those days, you learn to focus on your work."

Parting Words

Every morning I copy my todo list to a new sheet of paper, free of tear-stains.

— Matthew Baldwin (@matthewbaldwin) April 15, 2015

Thanks for reading.

Wed, Apr 15, 2015The Selfie-Stick-Free Edition

The Difference Between Being Smart And Being Clever

The Watch, by Horace Dediu, Asymco

A maxim of the computing of the 21st century is that the closer the machine is to us the more we value it. It does not get rewarded for being fast but for being a companion. It does not get valued for features but for beauty. It does not get hired for power but for control. It does not get worn because it’s smart but because it’s clever.

Invisible Watch

And… I’ve started feeling phantom taps on my left wrist.

— John Gruber (@gruber) April 15, 2015

VoiceOver Getting Better

Small Changes, by Matt Gemmell

Previously, if you’d set VoiceOver to read the attributes when encountering a change, it would read all of the attributes - which was intrusive and annoying. [...] Now, though, VoiceOver sensibly only reads out relevant changes to the text attributes.

Conference Season

The Future Of WWDC Will Be Streamed Live, by Rene Ritchie, iMore

Over the least two years Apple and its events and worldwide developer relations teams have done everything they can to get those session videos posted just as fast as they can. This year, some of them will be streamed live.

Apple Increases Scholarships to Worldwide Developers Conference As It Seeks To Promote Diversity, by Dawn Chmielewski, Re/code

The National Society of Black Engineers, App Camp for Girls and La TechLa are among 20 organizations whose members would be eligible for a scholarship.

Apple Begins Revamping Music App Ahead Of Streaming Service Launch, Rumored For Just-Announced WWDC, by Billboard

WWDC 2015: Is It Finally Time For A New Apple TV?, by Grant Brunner, ExtremeTech

WWDC 2015 Will Not Be The Epicenter Of Selfie Sticks, by Zac Hall, 9to5Mac.

No selfie-sticks allowed in Moscone West. And no Google Glasses either.

AltConf 2015 Taking Place June 8-12, by Joseph Keller, iMore

Speakers include Brianna Wu, Laura Savino, and Brent Simmons.

The New MacBook

The 2015 MacBook Review, by Ryan Smith, Anandtech

As an 11” Ultrabook user I already have a fondness for the weight and size of the form factor, and as a journalist frequently carrying around a laptop to trade shows and meetings I particularly appreciate the reduction in weight. The regression in performance is unfortunate, but the combination of weight, battery life, the Retina display, and the keyboard in my mind more than make up for the performance the MacBook can’t offer.

MacBook Teardown Finds That Portability Comes At The Cost Of Repairability, by Harish Jonnalagadda, iMore

Redmond + Cupertino

Microsoft + iPhone, by Paul Thurrott

Long story short, iPhone is a great platform for apps, as we all know. But it’s also a great platform for Microsoft apps—it’s arguably the best mobile platform for Microsoft apps—as well. And that makes it a lot more interesting. And a lot more useful.

Microsoft Delivers iOS, Android Versions Of Delve, by Mary Jo Foley, ZDNet

Delve presents in card-like form information from Exchange, OneDrive for Business, SharePoint Online and Yammer enterprise-social networking components.


iPhone 6 Plus Review, by Federico Viticci, MacStories

I was wrong about the iPhone 6 Plus. [...] I've used the iPhone 6 Plus intensively, and I'll have to return it to Apple. But I really wish I didn't have to go back to my iPhone 6.

How To Import, Merge, And Consolidate Your Libraries In Photos For OS X, by Glenn Fleishman, Macworld

Redshift (for iPad), by Tony Hoffman, PC Magazine

As the iOS version of a longstanding desktop astronomy software program, Redshift (for iPad) is one of the better apps of its kind that we've come across. It combines a planetarium view, which shows the stars and constellations as they really appear in the direction your iPad is pointing, with the ability to send you on three-dimensional virtual voyages across the solar system and beyond.

BusyContacts Review: Keep Your Contacts Close, And Their Social Media Feeds Even Closer, by Jeffery Battersby, Macworld

MindNode: The Best Mind Mapping App, by Mike Schmitz, The Sweet Setup

HoudahGeo Adds Support For The New Mac OS X Photos App, by Mactech

Paper By FiftyThree Updated With Cloud Backup And Activity Center, by Aldrin Calimlim, AppAdvice


Apple’s Open Source ResearchKit Framework For Medical Researchers Is Now Available, by Zac Hall, 9to5Mac

Apple announced today that its new ResearchKit platform is now available to medical researchers as an open source framework. [...] The framework enables the medical community to use the iPhone to distribute actual medical and health research through ResearchKit-enabled apps.

Unmanaged, by Nate Cook, NSHipster

A reading of Swift's standard library shows a clear demarcation between the safety and reliability that Swift advertises on one side and the tools necessary for Objective-C interoperability on the other. Types with names like Int, String, and Array let you expect straightforward usage and unsurprising behavior, while it's impossible to create an UnsafeMutablePointer or Unmanaged instance without thinking "here be dragons." Here we take a look at Unmanaged, a wrapper for unclearly-memory-managed objects and the hot-potatoesque way of properly handling them.


Here, I fixed the WWDC15 logo. SourceKit FTW. #swiftlang

— Radek Pietruszewski (@radexp) April 14, 2015


Would Steve Jobs Have Liked The New Biography? I Don’t Think So, by Andy Hertzfeld, Medium

A reckless upstart can be a visionary leader — in fact, they’re usually the best kind. Of course Steve matured and gained wisdom and insight as he grew older — most people do. “Visionary leader,” the thing he purportedly became, is an apt description of his role on the Mac team in 1981.

Apple Buys Israeli Camera-Technology Company LinX, by Orr Hirschauge and Daisuke Wakabayashi, Wall Street Journal

Parting Words

me at a job interview

— priscilla page (@BBW_BFF) April 14, 2015

Thanks for reading.

Tue, Apr 14, 2015The Minimum-Happiness-Salary Edition

The Epicenter Of Change: WWDC15, by Apple

Apple Worldwide Developers Conference. June 8-12, San Francisco.

Apple Launches New Final Cut Pro X, Motion, And Compressor Updates, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Today's update also lets editors view up to four video scopes at the same time for better precision when color grading, and there are now improved Shape masks that can be applied to any effect and saved as a preset.


Singapore Businessman Trips Up Apple Watch Launch, by Chuang Peck Ming, Business Times

No Swiss watchmaker is known to have sold an "apple watch" since the trademark was granted - and companies cannot "squat" on trademarks indefinitely. If the case goes to court, lawyers think Apple is likely to prevail because it commands huge financial and legal resources.


Owner Of A Credit Card Processor Is Setting A New Minimum Wage: $70,000 A Year, by Patricia Cohen, New York Times

The idea began percolating, said Dan Price, the founder of Gravity Payments, after he read an article on happiness. It showed that, for people who earn less than about $70,000, extra money makes a big difference in their lives.

His idea bubbled into reality on Monday afternoon, when Mr. Price surprised his 120-person staff by announcing that he planned over the next three years to raise the salary of even the lowest-paid clerk, customer service representative and salesman to a minimum of $70,000.

Parting Words

Did I just hear the narrator of “Becoming Steve Jobs” audiobook pronounced the Pixar movie as “Wallet”?

— HC (@myapplemenu) April 14, 2015

(Honest. I rewind to listen again. That's what I think I heard.)

Thanks for reading.

Mon, Apr 13, 2015The Swift-Delegation Edition

Grey Matters App Aims To Help People Connect With Loved Ones Suffering From Dementia, by Rebecca Adams, Huffington Post

Through the app, caregivers can upload old family photos (or take a picture of a photo using the iPad) and pair each one with a line or two of text or recorded voice narration to provide context. Using photos as memory tools can improve dementia patients' social interactions and make equitable conversations more possible, according to research.

Ask The iTunes Guy: Help For Old-School iPod Problems, by Kirk McElhearn, Macworld

The popularity of the iPhone and iPad mean that most people who use iTunes have iOS devices. But we shouldn’t forget that there are still millions with non-iOS iPods, such as the classic, nano, and shuffle. In this week’s column, I address a couple of questions sent in by readers who use these “legacy” devices. I also look at questions about gaps not playing between songs, and devices authorized to download iTunes content.


How Delegation Works – A Swift Developer’s Guide, by Andrew Bancroft

For delegation to occur in software, you’d have a situation where one class (a delegator class) would give control or responsibility for some behavioral logic to another class called a delegate.

So how does one class delegate behavioral logic to another class? With iOS and Swift, the delegation design pattern is achieved by utilizing an abstraction layer called a protocol.

Short List

Someone should make a food app that connects to your bank account and only lists restaurants you can afford, could call it Welp

— shut up, mike (@shutupmikeginn) April 12, 2015


Rumor: Apple/Beats Paying Journalists To Write Copy For “Thousands” Of Curated Playlists Ahead Of Relaunch, by Eamonn Forde, Music Ally

Professional music writers are being paid – handsomely, it must be said, by music press standards – to deliver succinct contextual copy around pre-created playlists. They are delivering around 50 words per playlist as the company looks to stockpile thousands ahead of the anticipated relaunch in June. The playlists cover a variety of areas – introduction to particular artists and genres, deep cuts by classic acts, playlists for sports workouts (across a multitude of genres) and so on.


— I Am Devloper (@iamdevloper) April 12, 2015


How Pixar Solves Problems From The Inside Out, by Matthew Panzarino, TechCrunch

Inside Out is the story of a young girl named Riley who moves to San Francisco from the midwest with her parents. To some extent, the story is about how she adjusts and how her relationship to her family changes along with their locale.

But, in parallel, there is an internal story being told about her emotions — Joy, Sadness, Fear, Anger and Disgust. Emotions which influence how Riley feels, acts and reacts to events in her life — as reflected by some very clever construct building that I won’t spoil here. This dual story led to some sticky issues when it came to representing and differentiating them in ways that contributed to the story.

Parting Words

They're podcasting on The Big Bang Theory but I can't stop noticing their terrible mic technique.

— Steven Impson (@StevenImpson) April 12, 2015

Thanks for reading.

Sun, Apr 12, 2015The Adjunct-to-Other-Devices Edition

What Instagram’s New App Reveals About The Apple Watch, by Cade Metz, Wired

Coomans and crew are among the few outsiders who have built Watch software and actually tested it on the new device, which is slated to hit the market at the end of the month. Their experiences show just how different this device is, that it’s best used as an adjunct to other devices, and that the world’s developers will need a bit more time to determine just where the thing can be most useful. The trick, Coomans and his colleagues say, lies not just in reshaping existing apps for the device, but in trying to find entirely new applications.


Connecting to Power

<Connects backup to 12” MacBook to migrate> “You should connect to power to do this” <Looks at single USB-C port> <awkward silence>

— Dan Frakes (@DanFrakes) April 11, 2015

HBO Now On Apple TV Highlights Hypocrisy In Apple's 'No Porn' Rules, by Sam Oliver, AppleInsider

There's nothing wrong with porn, of course. The only thing wrong is Apple's double standard.


Parting Words

Apple Store Debugging.

— Cabel Sasser (@cabel) April 11, 2015

Thanks for reading.

Sat, Apr 11, 2015The Internet-Is-Slow Edition

The New Photos App

Photos For Mac’s Unrestrained iCloud Uploads, by Jason Snell, Six Colors

If you’re trying out Photos and wondering why your Internet is suddenly slow, now you know! Fortunately, Apple provides you with a way to pause the upload—a single button labeled “Pause for one day.”

Initial Thoughts On The New Photos, by David Sparks, MacSparky

After we've all made Apple the cloud services whipping boy for so long, I'm actually surprised more people aren't making a bigger deal about how stable Photos cloud sync is just a few days after launch.

Notes On Migrating From Aperture To Photos For OS X, by Fraser Speirs

Aperture And iPhoto Removed From Mac App Store Following Photos For OS X Launch, by Juli Clover, MacRumors


Dudes being chastised for hairy arms in Apple Watch photos: welcome to the wonderful world of hair-shaming. Ask any lady for a tour.

— Serenity Caldwell (@settern) April 10, 2015


Who's Winning The Internet Of Things Developer War? Apple And Google, by Matt Asay, ReadWrite

But the reality is that many Internet of Things developers don't yet self-identify as such. They're just mobile developers, waiting to be transformed into Internet of Things developers.

And Apple and Google are in the pole position to do so.

Looking Forward

I look forward to when shitty Apple Watch apps come out so I can say “Not on MY watch!”

— Gary Whitta (@garywhitta) April 11, 2015

Apple’s Slow, Subtle Build To New Products, by Jan Dawson, Techpinions

One of the things that has struck me this week as I’ve read the Apple Watch reviews, is the Apple Watch builds subtly on work Apple has done over the last several years in other products. Yes, the Watch is an entirely new product for Apple, but it wouldn’t be possible without some of the groundwork Apple laid elsewhere.

Apple And The Self-Surveillance State, by Paul Krugman, New York Times

I think wearables will become pervasive very soon, but not so that people can look at their wrists and learn something. Instead, they’ll be there so the ubiquitous surveillance net can see them, and give them stuff.


Parting Words

Timely graffiti.

— David Weiner (@daweiner) April 10, 2015

Thanks for reading.

Fri, Apr 10, 2015The Gaps-In-Arrow-Keys Edition

The MacBook Reviews Are Here (And Is Available For Pre-Order)

Review: 12-inch MacBook, by Jim Dalrymple, The Loop

Considering everything I did the day before and throughout the night, I was quite pleased with the way the battery performed. I honestly don’t think I could ask for much more from a battery than that. This type of battery performance has been consistent for me on a daily basis.

The 2015 MacBook Previews A Future That’s Not Quite Here, by Andrew Cunningham, Ars Technica

Despite its native resolution of 2304×1440, the MacBook’s screen looks like a 1280×800 screen rather than a 1152×720 one. Performance is good in 1280×800 mode but sometimes animations drop frames in 1440×900 mode with lots of windows open. Incidentally, 1280×800 is the screen resolution used by the white plastic MacBooks of yore; aside from that and the MacBook8,1 model identifier those laptops have very little in common.

The New 12-inch Macbook Is A Laptop Without An Ecosystem, by Jason Snell, Macworld

These changes help, but they don’t really offset the reduced travel. The MacBook keyboard’s better than I expected it to be—I was able to score 118 words per minute on TypeRacer using it—but it never felt particularly comfortable. If you’re not a keyboard snob, you may not even notice the difference, but if there’s any single feature that would make me reluctant to buy a MacBook, it would be the keyboard.

The redesign of the arrow keys really shook me–the up and down arrows are still half-height, but the left and right arrows are now full sized. It turns out that I used the gaps above the left and right arrow keys on prior keyboards to orient by feel, so I knew which arrow key was which. On the MacBook’s keyboard, there’s no longer a gap–and I kept having to look down to make sure I was tapping the up arrow key.

Apple MacBook Review: The Laptop of the Future Isn’t Ready for the Present, by Joanna Stern, Wall Street Journal

It’s nearly impossible not to be seduced by this MacBook’s beauty, its dazzling screen and perfect trackpad. But don’t give in. Like the original MacBook Air, introduced in 2008, there are too many key compromises—in battery life, speed and port access—for the early-adopter price.

Over the next few years, it will improve, and become an affordable, indispensable tool for life in the future. But here, now, in the present day, there are more practical slim, everyday laptop choices.

Hidden Backdoor API To Root Privileges In Apple OS X, by Emil Kvarnhammar, TrueSec

The Admin framework in Apple OS X contains a hidden backdoor API to root privileges. It’s been there for several years (at least since 2011), I found it in October 2014 and it can be exploited to escalate privileges to root from any user account in the system.

Apple has now released OS X 10.10.3 where the issue is resolved. OS X 10.9.x and older remain vulnerable, since Apple decided not to patch these versions. We recommend that all users upgrade to 10.10.3.

Almost All Apple Watch Models Sold Out, Applecare+ Pricing Revealed (update: Sold Out!), by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

All Apple Watch models in the US are now at minimum 4 – 6 week shipping estimates in less than six hours.


List Of Apple Stores That Will Carry The Apple Watch Edition At Launch, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

To check Apple Watch Edition availability in your local area, navigate to Apple's Find Locations website, click on Sales, use your current GPS-based location or enter another one, select Watch Edition from the list of all products, and click on the Go button.

The try-on experience is fantastic. The store rep was awesome. Let us handle all the watches and try everything out.

— Myke Hurley (@imyke) April 10, 2015


This Mom Is Coding iPad Apps To Help Her Autistic Child Explore The World, by Daniela Hernandez, Fusion

In late 2008, Sooinn Lee’s baby boy was having trouble hearing, eating and speaking. His doctors warned that he might have developmental delays in the future. Lee was distraught. Like any parent, she wanted to do anything she could to help him. As a developer who had worked in the gaming industry for 12 years, she wanted to use technology to do it.

Creators Of Apple Watch Apps Keep It Simple, by Daisuke Wakabayshi, Wall Street Journal

Creators of Apple Watch apps plan to offer quick nuggets of information or brief interactions based on a single tap. They’re placing a premium on immediacy and relevancy—often based on location—to anticipate a user’s needs. They don’t anticipate long sessions with their apps, but aim for a “get in and get out” experience.

Why The First Apple Watch Apps Will Suck, by Mark Wilson, Fast Company

The possibilities of wearing an internet-connected, location-aware computer on your arm seem endless. But the Apple Watch of today isn’t there yet. As developers have learned over the last seven months of building their own apps, there are heavy restrictions on just what they can do with the platform’s Apple WatchKit software development kit —a series of limitations that are likely connected to conserving battery and tightly controlling user experience. And that will severely limit the functionality and originality of the first Apple Watch apps we see.


Apple Rescinds Policy Against Hiring Felons For Construction Work, by Julia Love, San Jose Mercury News

"It recently came to our attention that, as part of a background check process unique to the Apple Campus 2 construction project, a few applicants were turned away because they had been convicted of a felony within the past seven years," the spokesman said in a statement. "We recognize that this may have excluded some people who deserve a second chance. We have now removed that restriction and instructed our contractors on the project to evaluate all applicants equally, on a case-by-case basis, as we would for any role at Apple."


Apple, Microsoft Buck Trend, Refuse To Block Unauthorized Chinese Root Certificates, by Joel Hiruska, ExtremeTech

Apple and Microsoft, however, have chosen to react differently, and pursued what might be called the middle road. Microsoft released a security update that invalidated certificates issued by MCS Holdings, but declined to take action against CNNIC. Apple’s list of trusted certificates [...] continues to show CNNIC as a trusted source, despite strong action from Google and Mozilla. It’s not clear if Apple ever trusted MCS Holding, as an page from January 6 does not show the firm as listed on Apple’s trusted certificate page.

Tech Reporters And Their Hairy Wrists, by Tom Coates, Medium

For some reason, my RSS feeder is full of frighteningly intimate, shallow depth of field pictures of tech journalists and their hairy wrists. It’s a bit grim, frankly.

Oh Ess Ex

Audiobook listeners of “Becoming Steve Jobs” who are happy of not having to see the MacWorld misspelling haven’t reach the Mac OS X chapter.

— HC (@myapplemenu) April 10, 2015


Parting Words

Feels like the future: sending this tweet from my watch.

— John Gruber (@gruber) April 9, 2015

Thanks for reading.

Thu, Apr 9, 2015The Professional-Photo-Pastures Edition

New Stuff From Apple

Apple Releases OS X 10.10.3: Photos App, 300 New Emojis, Spotlight Look Up, And Bug Fixes, by Mike Beasley, 9to5Mac

Apple has just released OS X 10.10.3 to the general public. The upgrade to the operating system, which has been in beta since March, includes the all-new Photos app that was introduced alongside Yosemite last year. It also includes over 300 new emoji, including multiple races and designs for some icons, a revamped “look up” panel, networking and wireless improvements, and more.

iOS 8.3 Triggers An Avalanche Of Improvements, by Josh Centers, TidBITS

Apple has updated iOS to version 8.3, and while the 200–300 MB update doesn’t bring any major new features, it offers a massive list of bug fixes and performance improvements, by far the most of any update to iOS 8 so far.

Apple Releases Xcode 6.3 With New iOS And OS X SDKs, Swift 1.2, by Dan Throp-Lancaster, iMore

If you're a developer looking to snag Xcode 6.3, you can grab the hefty 2.5GB update from the Mac App Store now.

The New Photos App From Apple

Review: Photos For OS X Takes The Stress Out Of Photo Management, by Serenity Caldwell, iMore

After years of iPhoto's bloat, ever-increasing iPhone photo management issues, and random folders of images scattered within my computers, Photos for OS X is a breath of fresh air. It's speedy. It's smart. It syncs with my other computers and iOS devices. The app has eliminated the cruft of iPhoto without taking away its magic and accessibility to beginners, and iCloud Photo Library offers a photo management revolution for those who have previously found themselves siloed on each individual device.

It's not perfect. Faces is still disappointing in its facial recognition. Duplicate photo recognition only happens during import; there's no way to trigger a "find duplicates" command in your library at will. (If you have iCloud Photo Library enabled, it theoretically performs automatic duplicate merging every time your device connects to iCloud, but those who have chosen not to enable it are out of luck.) And search, although promising, could use work.

Review: Photos For OS X Is Faster Than iPhoto But Less Powerful Than Aperture, by Jeff Carlson, Macworld

If you’re coming from iPhoto, Photos is definitely a step up. It’s fast, it has improved editing tools, and even the loss of star ratings can be worked around (though I’d like to see them return).

If you’re a longtime Aperture user, Photos is definitely a step back. Or rather, it’s the clear signal that says it’s time to look for other professional photo pastures. I can’t recommend Photos as a full-time replacement, although I can envision situations where it would work alongside Aperture, such as creating small libraries for sharing with clients who don’t own Aperture (both iPhoto and Aperture can open a library after it’s been converted, but edits don’t sync).

How To Use Photos For OS X: The Ultimate Guide, by Rene Ritchie, iMore

With Photos for OS X, all the pictures and videos you've taken on your iPhone or iPad, or imported into iPhoto or Aperture, will always be available to you on any of your Macs, as will any future pictures and videos you take or import, including your DSLR images, even in RAW. Add to that automatic, intelligent grouping based on time and place, and face detection, non-destructive editing, and the ability to order prints, books, and more, and Photos for OS X makes for the ultimate picture and video app for the mainstream. And here's your ultimate guide to setting up and using it.

And More Reviews Of Apple Watch

What the Apple Watch Does Best: Make You Look Good, by Joanna Stern, Wall Street Journal

After over a week of living with Apple’s latest gadget on my wrist, I realized the company isn’t just selling some wrist-worn computer, it’s selling good looks and coolness, with some bonus computer features. Too many features that are too hard to find, if you ask me.

Like many Apple products of the past decade, the watch is a status symbol, a sign of wealth and taste. But unlike a MacBook or an iPhone, this Apple product works to help you look—and feel—good.

My Week With The Apple Watch, by Marissa Stephenson, Men's Journal

If I tried to lean over my desk, half-standing, to keep working at my computer, the Watch would call bullshit, and mark that hour as inactive. Within a day, I started to anticipate these double-tap notifications, and would go grab a drink or walk around the office to beat the 50-minute warning. I ended the week only missing my stand goal once, but it made me realize that, all those days pre-Watch, I’d been sitting uninterrupted for hours. With the insidious health horrors that we now know about continuous sitting, this feature seems clutch for anyone, and particularly office workers.


The Watch racks up Exercise minutes if you do anything above a brisk walk [...] That includes sex.

Apple Watch: A Nine-Day Road Test, by Nicole Phelps,

The fashion world has witnessed a few launches in this category lately. Opening Ceremony partnered with Intel, and Rebecca Minkoff launched wearable tech jewelry on her Spring 2015 runway. Being first to market means something to somebody, I suppose, but had they seen the Apple Watch they might not have bothered in the first place.


Technical Debt

This is what you sound like when refusing to address technical debt. #programming

— Dare Obasanjo (@Carnage4Life) April 7, 2015


Phone Cameras and Apps Help Speed Calls for Police Reform, by Farhad Manjoo and Mike Isaac, New York Times

The video of the fatal shooting of an unarmed black man by a white police officer in South Carolina is seen by some advocates of police reform as evidence of the rising power of technological weapons in their fight.

That includes the smartphone camera, and with it, a growing number of apps produced by activists that streamline the process of capturing and broadcasting videos of police interacting with citizens.

Small Business Owners In USA Can Now Claim Points Of Interest In Apple Maps Within iOS App, by Ben Lovejoy, 9to5Mac

Apple started allowing local businesses to add or manage their listing in Apple Maps back in October of last year, but this had to be done through the Maps Connect web service. As of today, it can be done directly through the Apple Maps app on an iOS device running the latest iOS 8.3.


Or Maybe A Thumb Disk?

Scratch that; I'm not buying an Apple Watch until you can insert a tiny floppy disk into its side

— Benj Edwards (@benjedwards) April 8, 2015

'Veggie Balls'? Come On, Ikea, Stop Trying To Put The Hell In Healthy, by Adam Gabbatt, The Guardian

The one thing that makes an Ikea trip tolerable is the prospect of eating some salty, fatty, I-don’t-give-a-shit food at some point during the ordeal.

Parting Words

Remember when browsers didn't have tabs? How did we even live?

— Aram Sinnreich (@aram) April 9, 2015

Thanks for reading.

Wed, Apr 8, 2015The Bring-It-On Edition

Watching The Reviews Coming In...

Apple Watch Review: Bliss, But Only After A Steep Learning Curve, by Farhad Manjoo, New York Times

There’s a good chance it will not work perfectly for most consumers right out of the box, because it is best after you fiddle with various software settings to personalize use. Indeed, to a degree unusual for a new Apple device, the Watch is not suited for tech novices. It is designed for people who are inundated with notifications coming in through their phones, and for those who care to think about, and want to try to manage, the way the digital world intrudes on their lives.

Still, even if it’s not yet for everyone, Apple is on to something with the device. The Watch is just useful enough to prove that the tech industry’s fixation on computers that people can wear may soon bear fruit.

The Apple Watch, by John Gruber, Daring Fireball

If you’re the only person you know with an Apple Watch, your timekeeping will still be precise, your activity tracking will still be accurate — but digital touch as a form of communication will be pointless. Digital touch only works, only becomes a thing, if Apple Watch becomes a thing. Digital touch is not designed for an isolated product. It is designed as a tentpole feature for a hit product with widespread appeal and adoption. The single most innovative feature of Apple Watch — the most intimate feature of the company’s most personal device — will only matter if some of the people you care most about wear one too.

Apple Watch Review: You’ll Want One, But You Don’t Need One, by Joshua Tpolosky, Bloomberg

Eventually, I figured out that getting the watch to really work for you requires work. I pruned a list of VIP contacts in my mail app to make e-mail notifications more tolerable, I killed several app notifications that I found to be consistently interruptive, and I streamlined my list of applications to those that seemed truly vital to my day.

My First Week With The Apple Watch, by Ben Bajarin, Techpinion

Because of how powerful the Apple Watch is, I believe it will appeal differently to different people and for different reasons. What I’ll share here are the experiences that stood out most to me and the observations I’ve made.

Apple Watch Review, by Nilay Patel, The Verge

It’s also the first smartwatch that might legitimately become a mainstream product, even as competitors flood the market. Apple has the marketing prowess, the retail store network, and the sheer determination to actually make this thing happen.

It just has to answer one question: would you actually use the Apple Watch instead of your phone?

Apple Watch Review: The Smartwatch Finally Makes Sense, by Geoffrey A. Fowler, Wall Street Journal

What’s valuable is your time. The Apple Watch is a computer built to spend it better. And if you can tolerate single-day battery life, half-baked apps and inevitable obsolescence, you can now wear the future on your wrist.

A Week On The Wrist: The Apple Watch Review, by Lauren Goode, Re/code

Smartwatches are still unproven, but Apple has made a pretty strong case for them.

Video: Watch The World’s First Apple Watch Unboxing, by Benjamin Mayo

Inside the square outer box is a rounded rectangle which contains the Watch itself, presented on its side with band already connected. An insert helps keep the Watch band in a curved shape when you unbox the lid for the first time.

HBO To Netflix: Bring It On, by Nicole Laporte, Fast company

When I ask Plepler if launching HBO into even more direct competition and an even less certain future makes him anxious, he barely blinks. "No, I’m not nervous," he tells me. He’s the cool cat of the cable content wars.


HBO NOW Standalone Streaming Service Debuts on Apple TV, iPhone & iPad with 1-Month Free Trial, by Zac Hall, 9to5Mac

HBO NOW is available at launch exclusively through the App Store and Apple TV. This means movies and TV shows can be watched through the channel with the HBO NOW app for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch or on your HDTV with a connected Apple TV using the HBO NOW channel. Once you subscribe to HBO NOW through Apple from any of those devices, you can also watch content online through with your Mac or presumably any other PC.

Tackle Your Mac Booting To A Gray Screen, by Topher Kessler, MacIssues

Given the efficiency and convenience of sleep mode on Mac systems, it is often a rarity that we end up restarting our Macs. When we do, we expect it to boot to normal operation; however, sometimes a snafu may result in your Mac booting to a gray screen, and no further. Often such behavior happens because of a specific problem, such as a power outage, or the installation of a new software package, but regardless, if it happens there are essentially only a few things that you can do.


Will Deep Links Ever Truly Be Deep?, by Scott Rosenberg, Medium

About a year ago I started seeing a lot of headlines about “deep links.” Developers, I soon discovered, are frantically trying to get mobile apps to work together, so that clicking on a link in one app takes you directly to relevant content in another app. Deep linking means to bore a wormhole-tunnel that hops you directly from a specific spot in one app to a spot in another, no side trip to a browser or a home screen needed.

But as I reviewed the coverage I noticed something a little odd. The idea of a deep link has a much deeper history — but no one was making the connection between the hot new trend in mobile and the one that I remembered from the 1990s.



Parting Words

You know what's really really sad? None of the other Apple Watch reviewers sent me their heartbeats.

— Farhad Manjoo (@fmanjoo) April 8, 2015

Thanks for reading.

Tue, Apr 7, 2015The Things-That-Confuse-Me Edition

1: When I see a notification on the lock screen, I swipe from left to right to launch the associated app. But if the notification is on the notification center, swiping left-to-right just switches back to the Today View. I have to remember to tap on the notification instead.

2: Rearraning apps is different from rearranging sharing extensions. Okay, I don't actually get confused by this. But I do find it jarring, and I do wish Apple will unify them. Probably by abandoning the jiggling-app-icons.

3: The shift key.

And without further ado...

Obvious Button States, by Ben Brooks, The Brooks Review

When you have to design for “flat” that means color and iconography become the language which you must express button state — and that’s a problem if you don’t think through what each state is saying.

So, the Plus or the Non-Plus?

Two weeks with the iPhone 6 Plus, by Jason Snell, Six Colors

People with large hands (or who rely less on one-handed operation) might have a very different experience, but for me it was just too big a device, with not enough functional gain elsewhere. I’m back to the iPhone 6 now and not missing the big guy at all.

An iPhone 6 Owner Lives with the iPhone 6 Plus, by Marco Arment

The 6’s relative mediocrity is probably why so many of us are looking around and trying the 6 Plus — which shares many of the same design flaws, but provides more substantial advantages. I’d still rather use an iPhone 6 than a non-iPhone, and the larger screen and better camera have spoiled me enough that I don’t want to go back to the 5S, but I don’t think anyone will look back fondly on the iPhone 6 in a few years.

The best iPhone, by John Moltz, Very Nice Website

The large screen is the one thing I don’t like about it. It frustrates me daily. Reachability does not work consistently enough to be reliable and I can’t reach the upper right corner without that thumb-extension surgery which my health plan doesn’t cover.

Star Wars Coming to iTunes Movies on April 10, by Rene Ritchie, iMore

Star Wars (A New Hope), The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi, as well as The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones, and Revenge of the Sith, will all be available for purchase on iTunes and Amazon.


The Decline of SMS

This is what disruption looks like

— The Economist (@TheEconomist) April 4, 2015

I wonder how many SMSes are two-factor authentication PINs.

Speaking of Charts...

Shut it down infographics nerds, the greatest chart possible has been made

— Zach Wilson (@covernode) April 7, 2015

OS X’s Keychain Password Request Dialog Does Not Inspire Trust, by Kirk McElhearn

What is CallHistoryPluginHelper? Even I don’t know. Sometimes I see different services requesting the password, such as accountsd, or some other “d” (for daemon, or background process). I don’t know why today I saw a different process ask for the password.


Apple Takes Heat for Barring Felons from Construction Work, by Wendy Lee, San Franisco Chronicle

A person familiar with the policy said construction workers with felony convictions within the last seven years are not permitted on the site, while those with earlier felony convictions could find work building the campus. People with “felony charges pending court disposition” are evaluated on a case by case basis, said the source.

Apple Acquired Search Startup Ottocat To Power The ‘Explore’ Tab In The App Store, by Ingrid Lunden, TechCrunch

TechCrunch has learned that Apple quietly bought a startup called Ottocat some time ago, which had developed a system to organize and surface apps on the app store based on “nested” categories of increasing specificity. A version of that system now powers the “explore” tab in Apple’s App Store.


Planes Without Pilots, by John Markoff, New York Times

Automating that job may save money. But will passengers ever set foot on plane piloted by robots, or humans thousands of miles from the cockpit?

Happy Birthday

Happy birthday, dear Internet.

Parting Words

Turned on an old Android phone today and broke the universe

— Owen Williams (@ow) April 7, 2015

Thanks for reading.

Mon, Apr 6, 2015The Download-This-Rant Edition

Streaming Versus Downloads

The latest rumors about Apple asking content providers and distributors to provide streaming services for Apple TV made me sad. Streaming is for live programming -- news, sports, and the likes. For everything else, downloading is the better option.

QuickTime (as well as other media container formats) has already solved the problem of progressive downloads back in the 1990s; you do can start playing even before the download is completed. Fairplay (as well as many other DRM methods) has already solved the problem of protecting the precious content back in the 2000s. There isn't really anything to gain from streaming, is there?

As John Sircausa commented in his latest podcast, the best media-watching-device in his house is his TiVo, which store content as (recorded) downloads. Everybody else that are doing streaming, including Apple TV, suffer from a host of technological problems.

Want to make sure your Apple TV customers can watch Games of Thrones together with everyone else? Tell Apple TV to start downloading the episode one day (or one week) in advance, but don't release the decryption key until the actual broadcast time.

Somebody please bring back the old Apple TV with the big hard disk inside. Storage is getting cheaper and faster everyday, whereas bandwidth -- cable, LTE, etc -- is not.

Fun with User Interface

photoshop is the worst

— Visual Idiot (@idiot) April 3, 2015

Deep Run Student Creates App to Help with Math Homework, by Drew Jackson, Richmond Suburban News

Ben Leimberger, a student at Deep Run High School in Henrico County, recently developed an app to help with homework. Conformity helps students check their math homework, solve formulas and peek behind the mystery of certain variables. The app claims to offer guidance in algebra, trigonometry, geometry and general math.

The Best Cross-Platform Writing Apps for Mac and iOS, by Michael Simon, Macworld

The bottom line is focus. The best cross-platform apps know what to leave behind when switching from a 21-inch-screen to a 9.7-inch one, and they do it without trampling over any of our individual writing styles and preferences. And while mine may certainly differ from yours, here are my picks for the best ones.



How Does Force Touch Work? Inside Apple's New MacBook Trackpad Technology, by Lou Hattersley, Macworld UK

How is Force Touch different from regular trackpads, and how do you use the new gestures in Force Touch? Above all: what is it like to use a Force Touch trackpad, and is it worth getting a new Force Touch MacBook instead of an older model?


How to Improve Your Luck and Win the Lottery Twice (Possibly), by Richard Wiseman, The Guardian

But is it possible to use these techniques to win the lottery? Unfortunately not. Lotteries are purely chance events, and no amount of wishful thinking will influence your chances of success. However, the good news is that being lucky in your personal life and career is far more important than winning the lottery.

Read the article to find out what's the difference between being lucky in "personal life and career" and being lucky in lotteries.

Parting Words

WOW: You Will Not Believe What This "American Beauty" Star Looks Like Today

— Bill Barnwell (@billbarnwell) April 5, 2015

Thanks for reading.

Sun, Apr 5, 2015The Lock-Screen-Extension Edition

Phone Face

You should be able to customize your iPhone lock screen as much as the watch faces.

— Louie (@mantia) April 4, 2015

Accessible Apple: Building a Wheelchair/Bed-Mounted iOS Device Setup (Part 2), by Alex Jurgensen, Apple World Today

This week, I'll look at some mounts and cases that we'll use to secure your iDevice in an optimal position for use from a wheelchair or bed.



Not All Encryption Apps Are Created Equal, by Joshua Kopstein, Al Jazeera

The lesson here is simple, and Bonneau summarizes it well, saying, “If a new crypto tool is first announced in a press release or popular science magazine, don’t use it.” Good security needs to be tested and proved over time. The question becomes whether the most secure solutions will be trendy and attractive enough to win out in the end.


This is a lot to remember without a lot of on-device help to do so.

— Dieter Bohn (@backlon) April 3, 2015

Parting Words

Uh oh, just switched from a Windows phone to an iPhone...

— Blind Chow (@BlindChow) April 4, 2015

Thanks for reading.

Sat, Apr 4, 2015The What-You-Can-Do-With-an-iPad Edition

Photo: Steve Jobs unveils the Apple iPad, by Mike Lee (CC BY 2.0)

"Thank You for Releasing My Voice", Teen with Autism Says, by Patty Crosby, First Coast News

"The first thing she said was "hi, thank you for releasing my voice", and there was something about the power of being able to express her voice, her thoughts. It's really priceless" says Morgan and the next thing Lanier typed out was "Tell my mother I love her."

Five Years of My Autistic Son Rocking His iPad, by Shannon Des Roches Rosa, Medium

My understanding of why Leo and iPads are so suited for each other has evolved over those five years. I now understand that it isn’t just his iPad’s icon- rather than text-based interface that makes it Leo-friendly; it’s also its simplified, consistent grid app layout, which allows Leo to rely on motor planning as well as visuals. That motor predictability is a crucial factor for an autistic dude whose body doesn’t always do what he wants it to do.

And iPads don’t just allow Leo to make his own choices; they allow him to make choices at his own pace. That’s important for a guy who, like many autistic folk, often needs a few beats to process input. For a guy who isn’t always able to tells us his needs and wants, and who spends all day, every day, coping with an overwhelming world that is not set up to accommodate people with processing delays. So for Leo, his iPad is not just a toy, and it’s not just a tool — it’s an oasis, and a sanctuary.

The iPad's Next Frontier: Creativity for the Masses, by Harry McCracken, Fast Company

Even if Apple doesn't push iPad hardware in a direction designed to enable greater creativity, it's going to become a richer medium for self-expression. When I ask FiftyThree's Petschnigg whether the iPad has peaked, he doesn't give Apple advice on what it should do to goose sales. Instead, he says that it's incumbent on third-party developers such as FiftyThree to keep pushing the boundaries of what the device can do. "I look at it from the standpoint of, 'Have we made the most of the iPad as software creators?" he says. "I say no. There's so much headroom."

MIT Student Develops a Facebook for Depression, by John Brownlee, Fast Company

Koko is an upcoming iPhone app that aims to help people fix the bugs in their thinking by crowdsourcing cognitive behavioral techniques.

Apple Watch pre-orders will begin at 12:01 PDT on April 10, by Zac Hall, 9to5Mac

We’re now a week away from the first day of Apple Watch pre-order sales, and Apple has updated its online store to officially announce that orders will begin after 12:01 AM PT/3:01 AM ET on April 10th.

Apple to Offer In-Store Launch Day Pickup Option for Apple Watch Preorders, by AppleInsider

After announcing an April 10 start date to online Apple Watch preorders, Apple on Friday said it will allow buyers to pick up their reserved device at brick-and-mortar locations on April 24, launch day.

Faulty Spotlight Plugins May Cause Incomplete Searches, by Topher Kessler, MacIssues

Spotlight has the ability to read many common file types, but in order to augment Spotlight search for custom file formats, developers can create a plugin that will allow reading and indexing of otherwise unavailable content in documents. This is likely the root of this particular problem, where a fault in such plug-ins may cause the indexing routines for Spotlight to crash, or otherwise throw an error and then not complete the indexing of your drive.


Instagram Gives Apple Watch Developers a Hand, by Joab Jackson, IDG News Service

The Facebook-owned company has posted a set of Objective C code that provides a way for an application to use complex data structures, which could facilitate feature-rich apps for the tiny device.


Software is the worst.

— John Berry (@jberry) April 3, 2015

Felons Barred from Constructing Apple's Campus, by Wendy Lee, San Francisco Chronicle

Several construction workers who were hired to build the exterior of Apple’s new campus in Cupertino were ordered to leave the site in January due to prior felony convictions, several union officials and workers told The Chronicle. The ban is unusual for construction work, a field in which employers typically do not perform criminal background checks.

If this is true, Tim Cook, it's not cool at all.

Me Too

Seriously, though, if I could automatically restart my Apple TV every day at 2am, I would. This is what it’s come to.

— Jim Correia (@jimcorreia) April 4, 2015

Parting Words

Expedia is just too big. Where is Seattle supposed to move to?

— Hal Mueller (@halm) April 2, 2015

Thanks for reading.

Fri, Apr 3, 2015The Publish-Yourself Edition

Adobe Slate Lets You Publish Magazine-Like Stories from Your iPad without Design Expertise, by Zac Hall, 9to5Mac

The new Adobe Slate app is available for free and joins the similar Voice app Adobe launched last May. Where Adobe Voice focused on using the iPad and later the iPhone for story telling with the spokenword backed by visual elements, the new Adobe Slate app pairs text with fluid and customizable attractive layouts that look great whether you’re a designer or not.



How Apple Rumors Helped a Mac App Earn $30,000 in 7 Days, by Josh Brown, Medium

I would like to tell you a story about one of our experiments that led to a discovery of iPhone 6 A8 chip being capable of playing back Smart-TV’s 4K video. By taking action quickly and pitching this story to the right people — the results helped our app earn $30,000 in a single week.

Two-Step Security

I use the same 2-step verification procedure when logging in to every online account: 1. Forget password. 2. Request new password.

— Noah Gray (@noahWG) April 2, 2015


Drexel University Installs iPad Vending Machine to Rent out Tablets Using Library Cards, by Jordan Kahn, 9to5Mac

Drexel University and the Free Library of Philadelphia are introducing what might be one of the first vending machines that lends out iPads to both students and local residents. The self-serve kiosk is located at the university and holds a dozen iPads that students and locals can checkout using their Free Library of Philadelphia card or Drexel student ID.

Fun With iOS

iOS challenge: 1. Position a folder at the bottom-right corner of your home screen. 2. Move an app from another page into that folder.

— Dan Wineman (@dwineman) April 2, 2015

The New Trackpad, by David Spark, MacSparky

Apple guy: "So what you think?"

Me: "This is the old Mac. I want to see the new Mac with that fancy new trackpad."

Apple guy: "What you mean? That is the new Mac."

Me (somewhat condescendingly): "No. This one is clicking I want to try the new one that doesn't have the physical clicker."

Apple guy: "That's it. Push harder and you'll get a second click. That didn't happen with the old Mac."

Me: Click-Click. Blush.

I think it is pretty safe to predict Force Touch will be coming to the Magic Trackpad. What's your guess for the Magic Mouse?

Don't Bite Apple and Tim Cook for Gay-Rights 'Hypocrisy', by Jonathan Capehart, Washington Post

Balancing the right thing to do by society and his employees with the bottom line is the burden Cook bears. His conscience and convictions will have to guide him as he does business with nations where who he is– and who many of his customers are– are deemed illegal. I can only hope that he gets the opportunity behind the scenes to push those foreign leaders and their governments to treat all of their citizens with fairness, dignity and respect. But branding Cook a hypocrite on this score strikes me as rather facile.

Jobs 2.0, by The Economist

Any aspiring entrepreneur will enjoy the fact that many of his greatest accomplishments, from the growth of Pixar to his successful re-entry at Apple, were helped not just by luck and a certain Midas touch, but also by good timing and relentless hard work. That Apple’s co-founder was able to smooth out a prickly personality makes his rise all the more noteworthy. “Becoming Steve Jobs” does not absolve the protagonist of his foibles, but shows that his accomplishments were indeed legion.

This Is 2015


— ಠ_ಠ (@MikeIsaac) April 2, 2015


Parting Words


— Glen Weldon (@ghweldon) April 2, 2015

Thanks for reading.

Thu, Apr 2, 2015The Lonely-in-Singapore Edition

The Future of Loneliness by Olivia Laing, The Guardian

At the end of last winter, a gigantic billboard advertising Android, Google’s operating system, appeared over Times Square in New York. In a lower-case sans serif font – corporate code for friendly – it declared: “be together. not the same.” This erratically punctuated mantra sums up the web’s most magical proposition – its existence as a space in which no one need ever suffer the pang of loneliness, in which friendship, sex and love are never more than a click away, and difference is a source of glamour, not of shame.

As with the city itself, the promise of the internet is contact. It seems to offer an antidote to loneliness, trumping even the most utopian urban environment by enabling strangers to develop relationships along shared lines of interest, no matter how shy or isolated they might be in their own physical lives.

But proximity, as city dwellers know, does not necessarily mean intimacy. Access to other people is not by itself enough to dispel the gloom of internal isolation. Loneliness can be most acute in a crowd.

Apple Highlights Autism-Related Apps on World Autism Awareness Day by Ben Lovejoy, 9to5Mac

On the eighth annual World Autism Awareness Day, Apple has highlighted a small number of iOS apps designed to assist autistic individuals. These range from learning life skills to text-to-speech apps for those who have difficulty speaking.


Mac 911: A Wild Wi-Fi Ride to Hunt a Pesky Set of Problems by Glenn Fleishman, Macworld

I haven’t yet been able to crack why some OS X users continue to have connection issues with Yosemite. In successive updates, Apple has apparently solved frequent disconnect issues for some users, but they persist.

However, in this column I walk through a mystery sent by a colleague that, in the process of working out, will provide a lot of insight for those of you troubled by the heartbreak of inconsistent conditions that ruin streaming.

Wi-fi, to me, has gone from a magical thing that just worked to a mysterious voodoo thing that I don't know how to fix.


Mired in Muck by Dave Winer, Scripting News

Stop going it alone. Work with others. Instead of reproducing what someone else did, include it. Even if it's harder. We are a social species. We need to collaborate to give our lives meaning.

Apple Roadmaps

In 2011, a friend described to me seeing a Force Touch trackpad prototype in an Apple lab. Keep in mind when thinking about Apple roadmaps.

— Neven Mrgan (@mrgan) April 2, 2015

Front-End Developers

I wish the industry didn't believe "front-end developer" was synonymous with "junior developer".

— Laurie Voss (@seldo) April 1, 2015

Favorite Radar

Probably my favorite radar ever: rdar://11788891

— Michael Jurewitz (@Jury) April 1, 2015


iPhone Killer: The Secret History of the Apple Watch by David Pierce, Wired

In early 2013, Kevin Lynch accepted a job offer from Apple. Funny thing about the offer: It didn’t say what he would be doing. So intense is Apple’s secrecy that all Lynch knew was his vague title, vice president of technology, and that he’d be working on something completely new. It was odd that Apple even offered him a job. During his eight years at Adobe, most recently as chief technology officer, he was best known as the only person dumb enough to publicly fight Steve Jobs over the iPhone’s lack of support for Flash videos. When Lynch announced his move, the reaction was immediate: They want this guy? Apple blogger John Gruber called Lynch “a bozo, a bad hire.”

Lynch had a lot to prove—and, apparently, a lot to do. When he showed up at 1 Infinite Loop on his first day, he was instructed to skip the usual new-employee orientation. His boss at the time, hardware czar Bob Mansfield, said to head straight to the design studio and get to work. He could learn about his 401(k) later.

As soon as he walked into the studio, he found out the project he’d been hired to run was already on deadline. In fact, it was behind schedule. There was a design review in two days, he was told, with the Apple brass. Lynch had better be ready.


I Can't Believe Apple Is Doing This by Jonny Evans, Computerworld

We need to wake up a little more to the depth and implications of the necessary move to adopt digital processes within every day life.

That’s why even as Apple brings these visions to life, it is also ensuring its identity is linked up with a series of value statements.

European Regulators Scrutinise Apple over Music Streaming Plans by Matthew Garrahan and Tim Bradshaw, Financial Times

The groups have been sent questionnaires requesting information about agreements between the labels and Apple ahead of the planned summer launch of the company’s own music streaming service, putting it into competition with the likes of Spotify, Deezer and Google.

Such questionnaires are often triggered by a formal complaint to the commission, the EU’s top competition authority. The information gathering is the first step in a probe and does not necessarily mean Brussels will launch a formal antitrust investigation.

Jordan Breeding by Manton Reece

I think anyone would would want to be remembered as who they were, not how they left us.


Apple's Emoji Lives Long and Prospers by Jason Snell, Six Colors

The latest betas of OS X and iOS add support for a single new emoji symbol: Raised Hand with Part Between Middle and Ring Finger.


Parting Words

For April Fool’s I like to remind everyone that the coding effort expended on Google pranks would have kept Google Reader alive indefinitely

— Pinboard (@Pinboard) April 1, 2015

Thanks for reading.

Wed, Apr 1, 2015The First-Generation Edition

Today, developers can start to submit Apple Watch apps to Apple for sale in the app store. A majority of these developers probably have not used their apps on the Apple Watch though, so when you get your Apple Watch, you might not want to spend a lot of money buying these first generation apps.

Speaking of buying apps: do you need something to keep track of your to-dos? (Or maybe, you want to adopt a rock as a pet?)

Todoist 10 Brings Intelligent Input, Themes, and New Gestures

Federico Viticci, MacStories:

Todoist 10 doesn't have a list of hundreds of new features and changes, but the major additions it brings are laying the groundwork for the app's next steps on iOS and Apple Watch. Intelligent input, gestures, and visual customization are going to be some of the app's pillars going forward, and I believe Todoist has chosen the right functionalities to build upon.


The app’s new features are subtle but convenient. The two biggest changes are multi-task editing, which lets you change due dates, delegate, and move multiple tasks from one project to another, and more intelligent scheduling, so you can create tasks with unique start and end dates like, “Run 5 miles every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 7 a.m. from May 1 through November 1.”

Inside NPR's Podcasting Strategy

Benjamin Mullin, Poynter:

So, the network gradually trimmed its portfolio of podcasts down to 30, cutting out shows that didn’t fit in with a series of new guidelines. [...] With a few exceptions, anything that wasn’t a “full experience” — a standalone podcast that didn’t need to borrow from other NPR offerings — was cut.

The other audience-building strategy that NPR learned is one that was used to great effect in the case of “Serial” and “Invisibilia.” Cross-promotion, the engineering of the so-called “Ira Glass bump,” has brought the network “millions and millions” of additional downloads, Nuzum said.

Anyone who doubt the relevancy of a podcast network -- a good podcast network -- should read this article on the current success over at NPR.

Okay, who want to form a web-ring with me? :-)


It was designed to improve the luminosity and colors of a photo based upon traditional photography techniques.

Apple Now Inviting All Third-Party Developers to Submit Watch Apps to the App Store

Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac:

Apple has now opened the floodgates and is letting all developers submit Watch apps to the App Store. This means any of the 1.2 million apps can now submit updates including Watch apps (using the WatchKit framework), beyond the select partners Apple rolled out last week.


Congrats to all developers for successfully shipping their apps.

Quick Look Debugging

Nate Cook, NSHipster:

Since version 5, Xcode has shipped with Quick Look display in the debugger. Just as you can inspect the contents of a file on the Desktop with a quick tap of the space bar, in Xcode you can use Quick Look to see a visual representation of a variety of datatypes.

Horrible Login UX Inception

Horrible Login UX inception

— Kyee (@kyee) March 31, 2015

Tim Cook Puts His Dent In The Universe

John Paczkowski, BuzzFeed:

Life is kind of messed up. Change it. Make it better.

In making these public calls for social progress, Cook is doing just that, but in his own way. And by making them at this moment in time — ahead of the retail debut of Apple’s first truly post-Steve Jobs device — the company is bringing him into his own an iconic leader, and vaporizing the Haunted Empire hand-wringing and “What Would Steve Do” yammering that’s nagged it for years.

Lisa Jackson on Apple's Green Initiatives

Jeffery Ball, Wall Street Journal:

But I do think Apple owes something back and that is to bring the innovation that goes into our products and technology to this field of clean energy or resource efficiency. And I do believe that when the private sector figures out how to do it, it makes it so much easier for policy makers in Washington to say, “OK. Now we see a real example that a company can make money and return lots of money to investors, but still be on the right side of sustainability.”

Dropbox Versus The World

J.J. McCorvey, Fast Company:

Houston, 32, finds himself in the dead center of one of the tech industry’s most fearsome turf wars. Dropbox has the distinction of being the only cloud service—and perhaps the only startup—ever to compete simultaneously against Apple ($748 billion market cap), Google ($369 billion), Microsoft ($357 billion), Amazon ($173 billion), and Tencent ($160 billion).

I Followed My Stolen iPhone Across The World, Became A Celebrity In China, And Found A Friend For Life

Matt Stopera, Buzzfeed:

This really weird thing happened to me. Then it got even weirder. Then it turned insane. Do I have a story for you.


AT&T wants customers to pay the company not to spy on them. And it’s not an outlier.

Gary Dahl, Inventor of the Pet Rock, Dies at 78

Margalit Fox, New York Times:

It was a craze to rival the Hula-Hoop, and even less explicable. For a mere three dollars and 95 cents, a consumer could buy ... a rock — a plain, ordinary, egg-shaped rock of the kind one could dig up in almost any backyard.

April Fool's Day: 10 Stories That Look Like Pranks but Aren't


When you press it, it will order something you're running out of, for example kitchen roll or washing powder. Called the Dash Button, it is a little hook marked with a brand name.

Parting Words

I tried making biscuits & gravy like all the Americans said, but it was fucking horrible. Don't bother trying it.

— Luke Bailey (@imbadatlife) March 31, 2015

Thanks for reading.