The Tax-Paying Edition Thursday, June 18, 2020

Why One Email App Went To War With Apple—and Why Neither One Is Right, by Samuel Axon, Ars Technica

Apple provides resources and support to developers, including a wide range of APIs and software tools, that are critical to developing iOS and iPadOS apps. It is not possible to create iOS apps without them. Apple operates a vast editorial operation to curate and highlight apps, which many developers I have spoken with say are vital for discoverability and success on the platform. Apple spends a fortune on the research and development of hardware that developers use, like cameras, CPUs, machine-learning processors, GPUs, and more. And yes, it operates a payments system.

Apple's defense of its revenue share, when it has offered one, is similar to the defense of corporate taxes by a national government, which most people support: the earnings of a business are only possible because of the government's support and diligence in providing security, regulations, multiple forms of basic infrastructure, and so on, so it is reasonable for that business to pay a significant sum in taxes.

That's what Apple offers to developers. It's also worth considering the investment that went into the platform to begin with.

Camp At Home

Apple Camp Moves Online For 2020 With Live Virtual Sessions And Self-guided Activities, by Michael Steeber, 9to5Mac

Every summer, Apple invites kids and parents to explore new creative skills with Apple Camp. The hands-on sessions typically take place at Apple Retail Stores and are hosted by Creative Pros. This year, Apple is moving Apple Camp online with Apple Camp at Home.


Live virtual sessions will offer guidance on the activities and provide opportunities for kids to get their questions answered by Apple’s Creatives. Orientation sessions are 30 minutes and Q&A sessions are 60 minutes. Both are hosted through Webex.

Apple In-store Mac Trade-in Program Officially Launches In U.S., Canada, by Amber Neely, AppleInsider

Mac owners can now take their devices to their preferred Apple Store to receive credit toward a new purchase or to cash it out for an Apple gift card.

Announced earlier in June, Apple's official launch of its Mac trade-in program has officially started.

Baseline of Functionality

Apple's Developer App, by Martin Pilkington

Apple has finally released a version of their Developer app for the Mac, porting their iOS app to the Mac using Catalyst. The initial relief quickly gave way to frustration. As a basic app, it certainly functions ok. But it has so many little details wrong.

A few of these are due to Catalyst. However, most are just the result of a software organisation at Apple that doesn't care. One that, despite having some of the best designers and engineers in the world (people who I know care about these things), has increasingly put out software that merely tries to meet the a baseline of functionality, rather than being examples of excellence we should all strive to match.

Apple’s Developer App For Mac, by John Gruber, Daring Fireball

As things stand right now, Catalyst seems like a framework written by people at Apple who don’t know what makes for a good Mac app, for iOS developers who don’t know what makes for a good Mac app.

Apple Developer App On The Mac, by Benjamin Mayo

I am sad that Apple — the platform owner and biggest company in the world — is leaning on Catalyst so heavily, and not even setting a good example in the process.


Users Report Failures With USB 2.0 Accessories In 2020 MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, by William Gallagher, AppleInsider

An unknown number of users are reporting issues with connecting USB 2.0 devices via a hub to the 2020 models of the MacBook Air, and 13-inch MacBook Pro. Reportedly, devices randomly disconnect, and the only element in common is that the connection has been through a hub.

Grammarly Brings Its Most Helpful Features To The iPad, by Igor Bonifacic, Engadget

Copyediting platform Grammarly has a new iPad app that allows you to access some of its most useful online features without launching your web browser. At the center of the software is an iPad-optimized version of the Grammarly editor, which will give you suggestions on how to improve a document as you write it.

Tackling The Unsolvable Problem: The Bottomless Email Inbox, by Brian X. Chen, New York Times

But after about a week of testing Hey, I’m sad to report that I didn’t feel I had regained control of my inbox. I suspect most of us will continue to feel that free services like Gmail are good enough — and when something is free and good enough, it’s tough to beat. Hey has taken a thoughtful first step, but it will have to do more to persuade people to pay $99 a year.

What’s more, I walked away convinced that email as a whole is so broken that many of us have taken most of our conversations elsewhere. More on this later.


First Look At The Fun WWDC20 Jacket And Pins Apple Is Sending To Swift Challenge Winners, by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

This year along with the all-virtual WWDC experience, Apple set up a global Swift Student Challenge with some cool swag for the winners. Here’s a look at the fun jacket at pins that 350 student developers are getting.


Apple Rejects Facebook’s Gaming App, For At Least The Fifth Time, by Seth Schiesel, New York Times

Since February, Apple has rejected at least five versions of Facebook Gaming, according to three people with knowledge of the companies, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the details are confidential. Each time, the people said, Apple cited its rules that prohibit apps with the “main purpose” of distributing casual games.


Apple’s rejections of the app from Facebook, a fellow Silicon Valley powerhouse, illustrate the control it exerts over the mobile software and entertainment ecosystem — clout that regulators are increasingly examining.

Why Apple Ditched PowerPC, And What It Says About Apple Ditching Intel, by Ernie Smith, Tedium

For years, there’s been a rumbling that Apple would take its knowledge of the ARM processor architecture and bring it to its desktop and laptop computers. Next week, at a virtual Worldwide Developers Conference, the iPhone giant is expected to do just that. Of course, many will focus on the failed partner, the jilted lover of the business relationship that led to Apple’s move to vertically integrate: Intel. But I’m interested in the demise of the platform Intel vanquished on its way to taking over Apple—and the parallels that have emerged between PowerPC and Intel over time. Today’s Tedium dives into Apple’s long list of jilted processor partners, leaning closely on the shift from PowerPC to Intel. Keep Apple happy, or else.

Bottom of the Page

Building write-once-run-everywhere framework is difficult. Even if the write-once and run-everywhere are not exactly true.


Thanks for reading.