Will Apple SharePlay Really Take Off?

Readdle software released an update to PDF Expert with support for Apple’s SharePlay. Using FaceTime, up to 32 people can share and annotate a PDF. According to the documented workflow on The MacObserver website, while in a FaceTime call, opening a PDF file with PDF Expert enables the SharePlay feature.

I tried the SharePlay experience using Music and screen sharing to see how easy the SharePlay workflow is to master. Each of my test with Apple Music ended up with a popup saying the selected content couldn’t be shared (probably controlled by the owner of the music track-not surprising at all). With screen sharing, I had more success and the feature worked as expected.

I think this is all cool and SharePlay brings Apple’s ecosystem closer to what is possible within Zoom or Teams.

What I’d like to see is more application support for SharePlay. Apple’s Keynote would be another winner where people could watch the same presentation together. I find it surprising that’s not already the case. Maybe an upcoming update to iWork will fix that.

l’ll definitively play with this more in the coming days because I think SharePlay has a lot o potential, especially in the business space.

Photo editing while on the beach

On my iPad Pro, in split-screen view: on the left, Lightroom. On the right, Apple’s Photos. Same photo in DNG format (ProRAW) edited with available features and possibilities of each application. Lightroom wins, obviously. Recent update to Lightroom adds editing masks which makes a big difference in achieving desired results. Picture taken with iPhone 13 Pro. On the beach. While in vacation. Cheers. 😎🍹

My Current Status

My current status — spending quality time on vacations in Tulum, Mexico. It’s the first trip for more than 22 months. After so many sacrifices, time has come to say: enough, let’s enjoy life. 😎🌅

A New Home, Same Purposes

I’m done putting the final touches to my new home, a place where I continue sharing my newsletter and publish new posts under the Friday Notes and Photo Legend Series. Instead of using Substack, I’m now on Ghost(Pro). And I love it! I hope you stay with me in this transition.

Considering bookmarking this link: https://numericcitizen-introspection.blog or adding it to your favourite RSS reader: https://numericcitizen-introspection.blog/rss/.

RTFM (Read The Fuckin Manual They Say!)

When I got my first AirTags, I was anxious to get this wallet from this KickStarter project: “Snapback Slim Air - A Wallet for AirTags”. This is my Snapback Slim Air. With the AirTag inserted.

Can you see the problem? The AirTag hardly stays in place and has the tendency to pop out of its place. Not great at all. I always found the fitting to be so so. Then, today I got an email from KickStarter with the following promotional photo. Can you see what I’m doing wrong?

I happen to insert my AirTag the wrong side. Duh! The white side (the best looking one IMHO) must be inside and the silver side exposed outside. Ooops. Here’s the result.

As you can see, the fitting is a bit better but not that much better. I’m already looking for alternatives. Any suggestions?

Some of my heroes over the years. Do you have any?

Like the Dislike — Put the Decision in Creator’s Hands

Photo by Karsten Winegeart on Unsplash

So, YouTube will remove the dislike button soon from its platform. In one of his recent video, the popular YouTuber, Marques Brownlee, expresses his dissatisfaction about Google’s decision. His view echos mine. I’m not a big consumer of YouTube content, but when I do spend time there, I want to spend it on good quality content. The like / dislike ratio is an important indicator for me, and I suspect it is for many people.

We heard during the experiment that some of you have used the public dislike count to help decide whether or not to watch a video. We know that you might not agree with this decision, but we believe that this is the right thing to do for the platform.

I think the content creators should play a bigger role in all this: let them decide. The same way a blogger can turn off the comment section at the end of each blog post, people’s reactions on each video could be turned off by the author’s decision. In fact, I would argue that the ultimate decision to allow likes and dislikes should be held by the content creators. Simple as that. Make it an opt-in or opt-out default, but put the decision in creator’s hands. I would go as far as saying that the counters could stay private to the author if he or she decides so.

To me, one of the best rewarding indicator is the one that shows how far users are watching videos. They may agree or disagree, but as soon as they watch most of it, anything else is irrelevant.

I wonder if this decision by YouTube better serves their interests. I mean, without any ratio indicator, users have no choice but to start to play the video to decide if it is worth the time. This simple change makes people spend more time on the platform. Or is it the other way around and users will instead look at the comments to get a better idea of the video quality? I doubt it, as reading takes too much time to decide. People are busy, their attention span is short, a quick glance at the like dislike ratio is the way to go.

Once the decision to let people react to a video is made, then the platform could finally make it available only if the user watch “most of” the video. That no rocket science. There are probably other tricks that could be played to better control what’s going on in user’s reactions. But at this stage, it seems closer to be only implementation details.

As for the creator’s mental health issue, again, I would argue that if they tend to rely too much on the likes to feel rewarded, they could turn off the option. That’s something that could help others in dealing with this.

Glass, a photo sharing service, didn’t provide a like button from day one and doesn’t plan to add one. Is it good? Well, it depends. One thing is clear, from the comments I’m seeing posted by others, I have to ask myself: what is the difference between getting dozens of “I love it” or hitting the “like” button? Not much.

Photo credit: Karsten Winegeart on Unsplash

Android Phones Are For…?

A story by MacRumors reports Tim Cook’s answer about not being able to sideload applications on the iPhone is not restricting customers choice. Here’s the beginning of Tim Cook’s answer:

“I think that people have that choice today, Andrew, if you want to sideload, you can buy an Android phone.”

Tim Cook’s answer reminds me of another one. Steve Jobs once said that if you want porn on a phone, just buy an Android phone. Apple’s stance is fascinating. You want shit? There’s Android for that.

Photo credits: Dainis Graveris on Unsplash

Revisiting My Craft Content Organization

Even though I’m using Ulysses for most of my writings, after reading the “A Complete Ulysses Writing Workflow”, it gave me the idea of revisiting the way I organize my content in Craft. As shown in the previous screenshot, my content is now organized following a similar flow often seen on Kansan boards. As you might expect, everything start in the Inbox folder then eventually get “promoted” to the next folder, according to the content’s maturity. I like this a lot—it’s much cleaner than before. I should have known better, as I experienced the Kanban method a few years ago at work.

From ProRAW to JPEG — When JPEG is Simply Enough

Here is a situation for which I’m searching for a solution. Let’s say I’m going out with my iPhone 13 Pro to take a few pictures outside. After a while, I notice that all the pictures that I was shooting were in ProRAW format. What if the lighting conditions were great that day and my photos didn’t require post-processing of any kind besides the iPhone’s own processing? How can I convert from ProRAW to their optimized JPEG counterparts and keep them in my iCloud Photo Library? Such process would decrease image size by a factor of ten.

I cannot find an answer for this seemingly easy question. So far, it all comes down to exporting the photos from Apple’s Photos application and then reimporting them. Such process needs to be followed by the deletion of all the original photos to prevent duplicates. There has to be a better way. Shortcuts, on iOS or macOS doesn’t provide any solutions as far as I can tell. Why is such thing not possible? If you happen to have a solution for this, please let me know.

Exposure Notifications — Still Useful?

The other day I was looking at my iPhone battery consumption only to find out that the Exposure notifications feature was consuming close to 10% of the power on a 24 hours period. It’s not the first that I see Exposure Notifications to take so much juice out of my iPhone battery. I’m not alone, apparently, according to a Google search with the “exposure notifications battery drain” keywords.

The question is simple: considering that I’m fully vaccinated, considering the state of the pandemic here in Canada, considering that hardly any people actually enter their test results if found positive, why should I continue to care about having this turned on? I think I could turn it off.

Here is my Sunday so far… how is yours going?

Got Things Done This Week

I’m feeling pretty happy again this week-end as I managed to do everything that I was sitting in my blogger’s to do list (which is setup every Sunday in Craft). What you’re seeing in my summary newsletter here is only part of my content creator story.

Remembering Macintosh Floppies

This seemingly insignificant box used to be sold by Apple and contained ten single-sided floppy disks. Those were meant to be used in a Macintosh computer. I had a bunch of them but somehow managed to keep an empty box. It was a great time.

Each floppy contained a whopping 400 KB of storage for a single-sided version. At one point we could get them for 70$ a piece. It was expansive compared to 5 ¼ inches flexible floppy disks that contained either 160 KB or 360 KB that were typically used in IBM PCs. From a design perspective, Apple’s floppy disks were rigid, smaller, sturdier and dust proof, hence a higher asking price.

Comparing Notion and Craft running on an M1 MacBook Air. Notion takes 382 MB of RAM while Craft uses less than half of this. Both are native, but Notion is based on Electron. Well, Craft is based on Catalyst, it’s not pure AppKit. Yet…

Time to relax, it’s Friday after all. Who’s playing?

I’ve been experimenting with something in recent weeks. Each Sunday, I open Craft and switch to the calendar view and create my todo list for the upcoming week. I love this. It it because I’m checking off most of the items on the list? Probably. Here’s last week plan.

Not bad. Now, let’s prepare the upcoming week. 🧐🧑🏻‍💻

Glass Profile Page — Finally?

After a successful initial launch, categories support addition, now here is profile page support. Glass is maturing, one step at a time. The web experience wasn’t part of the initial launch and I think it is fine. This is my profile page. Works great on iPhone, and on iPad which is cool. To join, you need to download the application. Works great on iPhone, not available on iPad. Oops. Next? Like support? I don’t think so. Hoping to meet you there!

Computational Photography Meet Traditional Cameras

But I wonder, where is photography headed from here? Surely, computational photography will play a big role in the short term. In my opinion, smartphones are not the future of photography, but they are hinting at where standalone, interchangeable lens cameras have to go in the next few years. I can’t wait to see what’s coming next. Source: Where is photography headed? — aows

What if Canon or Nikon were developing computational photography features in their cameras, just like Apple does for its iPhone? Imagine a “real” lens, a much bigger CCD captor, algorithms coupled with machine learning running on a powerful CPU. I wonder if this is the only way for Canon and Nikon to survive.

Understanding Halide Pro+ Capture Format

I’m still learning new things about shooting in ProRAW on my iPhone 13 Pro. The latest tidbits that I learned is not directly related to ProRAW usage, but to a setting in Halide related to photo capture modes.

When using what is called “Pro+” setting, Halide will take two photos for each shot. One is taken in HEIC format, the other is taken in ProRAW. Both photos are tied together and stored in Apple’s Photos library as one image. Here is the thing that I learned: when browsing previously taken photos from within Halide, metadata is shown in two different panels: HEIC and DNG (see above screenshots). Each component is taking a certain amount of space. The former being the smallest one. The latter, being the ProRAW version, is usually ten times bigger. But, when browsing the same photo in Photos, only the HEIC size is shown, as depicted in the following screenshot.

In summary, for pictures taken with Halide’s Pro+ format, don’t be deceived by Apple’s Photos showing only the HEIC size. The actual space consumed by this image is actually the sum of the HEIC part + ProRAW part (in DNG). That’s big, for only one image. Is it worth it? It depends, as I recently wrote about this.

Is the Cost of ProRAW Worth It? #apple #photography #proraw

I’m still trying to wrap my mind around Apple’s ProRAW. I know, I’m late to the party. Image size can be as much as 10x the size of a jpeg. I think that for non-edge cases (optimal lighting), ProRAW “cost” isn’t worth it. Also, ProRAW images taken with Halide are much smaller than using Apple’s camera app, for reasons I still don’t understand.

Hey guys! I’m still around! Been busy on Twitter recently, using Typefully. I’m still in love with Micro.blog even though I’m publishing less from here. I’m reading my timeline from time to time and I’m happy to report that it’s still a vibrant community. Keep it up!

Big Update to Timery — I Love It!

Timery received a major addition in this week’s update: REPORTS! As I wrote recently, I’m tracking the time I spend on my blogging and content creation activities. Timery is my go-to client for Toggl, a time tracking service. Having access to reports within the application, instead of heading to the Toogl’s website is really helpful. Now, looking forward for Timery to support macOS Monterey’s Shortcuts!

A Few #Unleashed Observations About That #AppleEvent

The less than an hour Unleashed event took place yesterday, I was there… watching on my Mac mini. I had these observations.

  • The opening sequence with the man in its garage building a song based on sound from Apple devices, like the Mac startup sound was different, some sort of Mac celebration. Is this garage setup intentional and a reference to Apple’s beginnings? Probably.
  • Today, I would argue that Apple completed 80% of its transition to its Apple Silicon. The Mac Pro will probably be the last to get the Apple Silicon treatment. What a monster it will be. We’ll probably get a bigger iMac and beeper Mac mini meanwhile. 2022.
  • There is not much not to like in Apple’s MacBook Pro announcement. These MacBook Pro are technical marvels. Lots of “speeds and feeds” for sure but hey, that was for the pros, right?
  • The M1 Pro / M1 Max branding makes me think of Intel’s.
  • The notch… comes with a bonus, more screen estate. Is there room to complain? I wonder how good apps with many menus will look like. Yet, with all the hardware prowess Apple is capable of, I still wonder why they cannot put the FaceTime camera in the bezel, even that thin. Center Stage? Nope. Requires a better camera for that.
  • I’m not looking to buy a new MacBook or any Apple devices for that matter. I’m super happy with my M1 Mac mini and M1 MacBook Air. But, a friend of mine ordered the 14”. Can’t wait to have his comments.
  • This design changes are more or less subtile and it is quite interesting to note that it is reminiscent of the PowerBook G4 Titanium. I love it.
  • The keyboard, without the Touch Bar, with its black background, looks so… pro. I love it. The best combination to me is with the silver version of the MacBook Pro, the contrast is even higher, more pro.
  • Now, am I alone to think that the iMac / Mac mini could be the next to receive the M1 Pro and M1 Max treatment?
  • The ProMotion display, which is based on the Liquid Retina Display, looks impressive. We’ll see what the reviewers have to say next week.

Another solid virtual event for Apple. Oh, Voice plan for Music? That was weird. I don’t get it. I thought Siri was bad as an interface to search for music. Apple must have a different take with that one. Now, the big question, is there any new stuff left for Apple this year? I think so. And that’s ok.

Going to the movies still sucks

We went to the movies yesterday night. The first time in two years. “No Time To Die” was good. As much as other types of business has evolved in this time frame, buying tickets, bad quality lighting, flaky sound systems are still part of my usual subpar experience at the movies. No wonder why this is a dying business.