The In-Plain-Sight Edition Thursday, November 22, 2018

Clumsy Thumb Cursor Fails And 3 Other iOS 12 Annoyances With Hidden Fixes, by Danny Paez, Inverse

While Apple always highlights some of its more flashy capabilities whenever it rolls out a new version of its mobile operating system, for example Group FaceTime or grouped notifications, it tends to gloss over big fixes or workarounds to common frustrations.

We’ve all struggled to put the curser down exactly where we want it, for example, and iMessage’s autocorrect has long made it a habit of switching a certain word to “duck.” But take a deep breath, there are remedies for all of these issues and more, they’re just hiding in plain sight.

My Today At Apple Experience, by Ryan Christoffel, MacStories

Fostering human connection and promoting local talent are difficult things to do in a retail environment, as is building something distinct amidst such strong competition, yet Apple is doing all three of these things. I'm eager to see what the future holds for Today at Apple as the company continues trekking this path.

No Snoozing Allowed: Better Ways To Deal With Email, by Josh Centers, TidBITS

The goal of the above steps is to match your email to your available time, rather than the other way around. The only time you’ll make deliberate changes to how you approach your email is in response to a feedback loop (for example, in my case, “I need to spend more time keeping up with messages tagged High priority”). The rest of the time, this system degrades gracefully when your available time doesn’t keep up with the influx. So long as you have time to scan your new messages for alarms that are blinking red, you’re not missing anything that’s vitally urgent. As long as you have the additional time to triage high priority messages, everything that remains can wait until you get to it. The result is that while your email may “prefer” hours of your time to stay entirely caught up, it will only require the time it takes for those two steps.


Apple Authorized Reseller Store Goes Live On Amazon․com Ahead Of Black Friday And Cyber Monday, by Zac Hall, 9to5Mac

For customers, Amazon officially launching an Apple Authorized Reseller page opens up free two-day shipping with Amazon Prime, the ability to turn Amazon gift cards into Apple products, and potentially unlocking savings through competition with other retail channels.

10 Awesome Mac Apps For Students To Help You Succeed, by Sandy Writtenhouse, Make Use Of

Whether you’re starting a new school year, adjusting to another semester, or just need help getting through the rest of the year, this list of apps for Mac is just for you.

Planning, writing, studying, organizing, and focusing is much easier on your computer with the right tools. Here are the best Mac apps for students.


Slow Software, by Mark McGranaghan, Ink & Switch

There is a deep stack of technology that makes a modern computer interface respond to a user's requests. Even something as simple as pressing a key on a keyboard and having the corresponding character appear in a text input box traverses a lengthy, complex gauntlet of steps, from the scan rate of the keyboard, through the OS and framework processing layers, through the graphics card rendering and display refresh rate.

There is reason for this complexity, and yet we feel sad that computer users trying to be productive with these devices are so often left waiting, watching spinners, or even just with the slight but still perceptible sense that their devices simply can't keep up with them.

Thoughts On 32-bit Codecs Being Phased Out In macOS, by Jon Chappell, Digital Rebellion

This isn't really about 32- vs 64-bit, it's about Apple no longer allowing extensibility. Next year's version of macOS won't support third-party codecs at all, so converting 32-bit codecs to 64-bit isn't a solution. A codec is a central piece of code that handles reading and writing to a particular format. Now instead of using that central code for free with no extra effort, every app needs to create its own version of that code.


Apple Reportedly Mulls Chromecast-like Dongle To Help Spread Adoption Of Upcoming TV Show Service, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

Apple is apparently considering new avenues for how to spread the reach of its upcoming original content TV show service, via The Information. The report says Apple is toying with the idea of making a cheap TV dongle similar to the Chromecast or Amazon Fire TV Stick.

How An iPhone And A Hairy Hamster Create Magic Movie Sound, by Richard Trenholm, CNET

"Yeah, it's amazing, I actually do. I've got this little connector that goes in the bottom of the iPhone to plug in a professional field microphone. I record straight into a Rode app, and that delivers to SoundCloud the minute you stop recording. So I'll often have an assistant or a sound editor go out into the field to record something we need, and literally as they're recording it they hit stop, they give me a ring in the studio, and via iCloud or Dropbox it will appear on my computer. I put it in the timeline and have a listen there and then and you can [ask the person in the field] "Can you do that a bit slower?" That's enormously powerful because it takes a day and a night out of the turnaround of developing sound. And of course, you can bring an iPad [when recording] and have a look at the shot [from the film] that you're going to recreate."

The Case For Slowing Everything Down A Bit, byEzra Klein, Vox

And yet the world is full of friction that we recognize as valuable, much of it enforced by laws and regulations. Seatbelts in cars, restrictions on opioid prescriptions, banisters on stairwells. Silicon Valley, however, has developed a culture that prizes our instant impulses and erases the space we use to question them. And the result is, well, the world we live in. Trump isn’t just the president, he’s also the perfect symbol of our age — a frictionless id; a Twitter account in human form; a man devoid of the shame, social caution, and second thoughts that curb most people’s worst impulses.

“The internet is facing real challenges on many fronts,” Google’s Kosslyn concludes. “If we truly want to solve them, engineers, designers, and product architects could all benefit from the thoughtful application of friction.”

Bottom of the Page

I try to do Inbox Zero, and I will transform emails to to-dos in my task manager.

But it is tempting to just use the Inbox as a to-do list. I do keep emails in my Inbox for tasks that, even though I cannot finish within the next one or two minutes, can probably be done before the end of the day. I also keep emails in my Inbox for stuff that I wanted to be reminded of the first thing in the following morning.


Thanks for reading.