On iCloud Photo Library migration (#keyword)

In a surprising move, Apple starting today allows people to export their iCloud Photo Library to Google Photos. Why not provide a download to a local computer, outside the Photos app. I can see many use cases for doing so: backup purposes or simply to dump photos in a structure of directories for archiving purposes.

Bye Bye Weather Line (#weather #weatherapps #iOS #iosdev)

Breaking news from 9To5Mac, but official announcement here:

In recent months, we were approached by a buyer. They saw the uniqueness of Weather Line and the strong foundation we’ve built. While we aren’t able to provide further details on their future plans for the app, we hope you can understand, and will look forward to it.

I’m kind of in shock right now. I recently posted an article about my “go-to” weather applications. Weather Line wasn’t part of the line up, but I did have it installed on my iPhone, and I’m currently a paying subscriber. Too bad to see the application go. But, why? The same happened to Spend Stack recently.

What’s going on? How many developers invoked paid subscription model as being the only road to sustainability? Does it work or not? Is this the start of a new trend? There is something going on here.

When, as users, invest money and time in using applications or service, the last thing we want is to see our beloved apps go like this. I’m currently heavily investing in Craft (coming from Notion). What if the same happens to Craft?

The state of non-optimized apps on my M1-Mac mini (#m1chip #applesilicon #universal)

Here is the current state of yet to be updated apps to fully support Apple Silicon Macs. It’s been close to six months now and yet, those apps aren’t yet universal. Surprising to see things like 1Password 7 still not there yet. Notion, an Electron-based app, not surprising. The Mac client for HEY hasn’t been updated for a while. Many of those apps are subscription-based, a model toward development sustainability. Can we say they are failing to meet their obligations, now?

Apple’s impressive traction (#apple #ios14 #ipados14)

Two very telling graphs from Apple’s development portal:

A few takeouts. First, iOS 13 is close to become a bad souvenir. Second, people keeping their iPad longer, it is reflected in the percentage of people still using devices with iPadOS prior to version 13.

For those who likes newsletters, I’ve got one too! It’a about Apple, photography, privacy and climate change, in that order! https://numericcitizen.substack.com/p/2021-02

Happy birthday, Steve. (#apple #stevejobs #remembering)

Steve would have been 66 years old today. Even if I love what Apple has become over the years since he died, I miss him dearly. What a great picture of him. It is nice to see Apple and Tim Cook paying a small tribute each year.

What’s next for the iPad Pro? (#apple #ipadpro)

9to5Mac published a nice comparison between the iPad Air and the 2020 iPad Pro. The latter still hold the crown with its 120Hz ProMotion display and LiDAR. Rumours are pointing to an update for the Pro line in March. The question that comes to my mind is: what’s missing from the iPad Pro, from the hardware point of view? I mean, speed, screen, form factor are just close to “perfect”. The main challenge for the iPad line is on the software side. To me, iPadOS 15 and Apple willingness to cross boundaries can’t come soon enough. Better multitasking and external screen support would really help fix long standing issues with the iPad.

Crafting something with Craft (#craft #rumours #apple)

In my quest to better understand the full potential of note taking application « Craft », I’ve come up to something different, a website about Apple’s related rumours. You can hit this link to have a look. You can leave comments, no registration required. Enjoy.

Welcome back to the Mac computer club @mattbirchler (#apple #macbookair #applesilicon)

As much as you can like to work on the iPad, there are edge cases where the iPad falls short. Since I got an Apple Silicon powered Mac, and thanks to many nifty Mac utilities, I rediscovered what it really means to be productive and efficient on a computer platform. This blog post by Matt Birchler is an example of an edge case being better served by a traditional yet powerful computer.

On the subject of small and focused Mac productivity utilities, The list of application purchases I made since moving to this Mac mini is pretty long. Here it goes, in no particular order.

  • HazeOver
  • Unclutter
  • Keysmith
  • Bartender 4
  • DefaultFolder
  • Hush
  • StopTheMaddness
  • Alfred
  • Hazel
  • CheatSheet
  • PopClip
  • Downie
  • Permute
  • SafariMarkdownLinker

There is something those utilities have in common: in one way or another, they augment the macOS experience. Such things are not quite possible, yet, on the iPad.

This could be my next... (#iphone #apple #rumors)

As reported by MacRumors, the next major revision of the iPhone looks promising for me:

“Weinbach claims that the always-on display will look like a “toned down Lock screen,” where the clock and battery charge are always visible, and past notifications are shown through “a bar and icons.” When users receive a notification, the notification will “pop up normally except that the screen will not entirely light up.” Instead, “it will display it just like you’re used to right now, except dimmed down and only temporarily,” according to the leaker.”

An always-on display is on top of my wish list. How would Apple take advantage of this, at iOS level, is more interesting. Then comes the return of the Touch-ID. I would love to see go in the power button. A smaller notch? What notch?

As shown above, 9to5Mac ran a poll where more than 7000 people chose what feature are the most interesting to them. The return of Touch ID was #1 request at the time of casting my vote. Does COVID-19 have something to do with it?

Last year I skipped iPhone 12. This year, with iPhone 13, things could be different.

Two simple yet really useful tricks using HomePod mini (#apple #homepodmini #ios144)

Here are two simple but very useful tricks using an iPhone with a U1 chip, iOS 14.4 and an HomePod mini.

Trick #1: set a timer with Siri on your HomePod mini to, let’s say, 10 minutes. Then, bring your iPhone close to the HomePod mini, the iPhone will show how much time is left on the timer (make sure the iPhone screen is on).

Trick #2: let’s say music is playing on your HomePod mini, and that you want to, silently, see what’s playing. Again, bring your iPhone close to the HomePod mini, the iPhone will show the currently playing title.

What a great example of: the whole is bigger than the sum of its parts. This is Apple at it’s best.

Who remember Motorola 68000 Assembly? I do. (#apple #history #macintosh)

I dug out my ancient Inside Macintosh reference books from storage. Remember when Apple’s developer documentation came as paper books? Volumes I-III on the original Mac APIs, IV on Mac Plus, V on color Macs, and the truly massive volume VI on System 7. 📚

Inside Macintosh reference books

Inside Macintosh reference books

Inside Macintosh reference books

Inside Macintosh reference books

Inside Macintosh reference books

I did some 68000 assembly using my 512Ke Mac back in the days. Can’t remember what was the development environment, though. And I remember these Inside Apple Macintosh books so well. That was a lot of stuff to learn. Time flies.

As far as I’m concerned, PopClip is part of macOS.

I think he meant that PopClip should be part of macOS! Instant buy for me!

On Apple’s rumoured VR headset (#apple #rumours)

A mockup of Apple’s VR headset based of rumours

Here is a simple one: Apple, please, no.

I don’t get the idea of such product. The audience for this seems to be too small for Apple. I do understand that Apple research in VR can have broader ramifications, but to build such a limited appeal product for the mass, I don’t get it.

I think Apple’s interests has much more potential in augmented reality products, services or features. Their work is already bearing fruit with AirPods spatial audio and transparency mode. These are much more appealing to the mass than a VR headset.

Mapping Apple’s mapping efforts (#apple #maps)

Apple Maps is so much better than it was when it first launched back in 2012. It’s my go-to apps when in comes to finding my way. I never use Google Maps. Over the years, Apple upped its game. Recently, Apple added the detailed mapping and the look around feature for Canada, and it made such a big difference. But how much different? Well, look no further than Justino Beirne’s latest essay: “WHY DOESN’T “LOOK AROUND” COVER MORE AREAS?”. It is a massive piece of work detailing Apple’s every advances regarding its mapping efforts. I wonder if anyone at Apple ever looked at his work. It’s just mind blowing how much details and analysis goes into this essay.

The look of desperation (#intel #benchmark #m1chip #apple)

I think Intel could have done better than this in a world without the M1 chip. But the problem is that the M1 chip is among us. Obviously, the carefully selected benchmarks results are published to people who doesn’t know about Apple. It’s an issue of perception manipulation. Apple is only getting started. Intel is freaking out and look desperate. 2021 will make matters even worse.

Another one with a look of desperation: Facebook because of iOS 14.4 tracking exposure to the users.

The iPad legitimacy (#apple #iPad #computer)

Photo by Daniel Romero on Unsplash

Matt Birchler is writing yet another post about the iPad. The last paragraph (emphasis is mine):

“We live in a world where we’re surrounded by computers. People have a home computer, a work computer, a phone, a watch, a smart TV, and smart speakers. Hell, even the iPad’s harshest critics often have one that they use for watching video and playing games. The iPad is the only device in that list that some people mandate has feature parity with another item on that list.”

That is so true. I never thought about it this way. Why do we need to constantly compare the iPad to other computing devices to find its legitimacy? For me, the iPad is one of the best computing device of all time. There is nothing like it, it is singular.

It’s Rosetta 2’s fault (#apple #rosetta2 #bigsur)

According to a recent small survey by AppleInsider, 53% of apps are running natively on M1-powered Macs. What about the remaining 47%? Well:

“Without native support, they’re run in Rosetta 2 emulation. That may conceivably turn out to mean that they run faster than they did on old Intel hardware, but it’s not why you’ve bought an Apple Silicon Mac.”

One of the problem is that Apple’s Rosetta 2 is too good at running non-native apps. It’s so good that they can run faster than on an Intel-powered Mac.

A lot of things are on developer’s shoulders. There are enthusiastic developers and then there are the lazy one. The former rush to add M1 support for their apps even if the performance gain is negligible. The latter either doesn’t care, think it’s good enough or they don’t have full control of the software stack they use to build their apps. Think about the Electron framework. It does support the M1-powered Macs. Developers need to upgrade their apps to take advantage of the latest Apple technologies. An example if the email client for HEY. The last update came in September of last year.

As someone who use both, native and non-native apps, on my M1-powered Mac mini, I don’t see much difference, most of the time. Apps like Lightroom CC or Pixelmator Pro do show a big improvement in many operations. But for the rest? Again, Rosetta 2 is doing a marvellous job and the whole experience on Big Sur with M1 is really good.

On the Lack of Safari’s extensions support (#apple #safariextension #browserextension)

It’s becoming quite frustrating to see Apple’s Safari not being supported for browser extensions. Safari is now reportedly supporting standard web extensions but with an Apple twist making it cumbersome for developers to add support. Apple being Apple, I think it is related to the requirement of having to download an application in order to be able to expose an extension to Safari’s engine. Thanks to privacy protection, Apple is forcing the game here, but this has real consequences.

Apps cannot be installed errors (#appstore #apple #bug)

Since running macOS Big Sur, I quite often get these “Unable to Download App” error when trying to update my apps on my M1-based Mac mini. I need to try a few times or even reboot the machine in order to fix this issue. The app is being downloaded, but the installation phase is failing at the very end. Version 11.2 of Big Sur didn’t fix the issue. And it’s not related to an app being open or in use.

Is anyone getting these too? It’s kind of annoying.

Desktop vs Laptop vs Mobile vs Tablet (#blog #bloggerlife #analytics)

Here is something absolutely fascinating and surprising to me. According to my main blog’s visitors statistics, thanks to my recent switch to Plausible, over the last thirty days, the distribution of devices type used to visit my blog puts the tablet far behind the desktop, the laptop and the smartphone. One would think the tablet form factor to be much more popular.

The iPad is massively popular. I’m still in love with this form factor after all these years. These numbers doesn’t jive.

Apple’s macOS Big Sur updates on the path of iOS updates? (#apple #macos #bigsur)

After the release yesterday of macOS Big Sur 11.2, Apple today released the first beta of macOS Big Sur 11.3. It does look like macOS is following the trails of iOS with updates that brings many small features, improvements and tweaks. We’re not used to that, as before Big Sur, macOS updates used to be mostly about bug fixes. I’m happy to see Apple change course for macOS, if this update is any indication.

And here goes beta 1 of iOS 14.5 (#apple #ios14.5)

iPadOS 14.5 and iOS 14.5 beta 1 is out!

iOS 14.5 beta 1 is out today with a slew of new features and small tweaks. Unlocking your iPhone while wearing a face mask, thanks to your Apple Watch, falls in the category of “finally” moments. In the tweaks category, the Apple logo of an iPad booting up iPadOS “finally” follows the device’s orientation. Updates to Apple Card too to support shared cards. Now, if only this could come to Canada!

Design is how it works (#apple #design #ux #ui)

From John Gruber’s Apple report card: > “I’m reminded of all the UI and interaction designs and changes in iOS and MacOS that are just bad. There’s a real sense that  Apple’s current HI team, under Alan Dye, is a “design is what it looks like” group, not a “design is how it works” group. Exhibit A: What MacOS 11 Big Sur has done to document proxy icons. Arguably it looks better to hide them. (I disagree, but I can see the counterargument.) Inarguably, they work far worse now — harder to use for people who use them, and much harder to discover for people who don’t yet know about them.” >

Gruber often has an effective way of putting out his take on Apple’s issues. If you look and use macOS Big Sur for a while, you should get a feel that only the visual parts were redesigned, not the way it works in response to the user behaviour. Big difference.

Apple in 2020 (#review #apple #appletv)

Really insightful score card report from Six Colors. Take out for me: Apple TV is the new 2013 Mac Pro.