It’s always saddening me a bit when, on the day of a new issue of my newsletter is being published, a few people decide to unscubscribe. I know, I cannot please everyone, people are busy, etc. And yet… 😒 oh well. 🤷🏻‍♂️

I wish I could have used « Digital Citizen » instead of « Numeric Citizen ». Oh well. It’s a branding issue, nothing serious.

Hey, @Medium, what are these updates all about? Are you counting weeks, days? Meanwhile, on my iPad, using splitview… this has been an ongoing bug since forever… If you want to be taken seriously as a reading platform, get your act together and fix your app, once and for all. ❤️

Do you remember when you switched to Apple’s ecosystem?

Matt Birchler writing about Apple ecosystem stickiness:

“As I buy more and more Apple products, all of those Apple products get better. My iPhone is more valuable because of the HomePod Mini I AirPlay my podcast to while I’m working. My iPad gets more valuable because it has seamless file sync with my Mac. Reminders is better because it works with Siri in a way no other app is allowed. The list goes on. But this is of course also a bit of a trap. I can’t really get an Android phone, even if I think I would enjoy it more than my iPhone, because then my HomePods become worse, my Mac gets worse, my iPad gets worse, and my Apple services get worse. Because each additional Apple product makes all my other Apple products better, likewise removing something from that mix brings down everything else.”

You cannot use an Apple Watch with an Android smartphone. In Apple’s garden, every product has an extension that takes the form of a service or another physical product from Apple. Did we forget that once upon a time we made a switch from platforms like Windows or OS/2? When a new offering is really making a difference, we tend to switch. Back in the days, a Windows PC was an island, leaving it for the Mac meant that you had to re-buy new software, a few accessories. All things equal, the switch wasn’t necessarily funny. Today’s digital world is quite different, for sure, but pose a similar kind of challenge when switching.

Photo by Miguel Tomás on Unsplash

On iPadOS 15 Photos improvements

I’ve been using Photos in iPadOS 15 since beta 2 and I must say that Apple is in fact offering a major update to their photos application. Beyong the updated Stories automatic creation and management improvements, face recognition has become quite impressive. According to a published article by Apple, people faces should be more detectable and recognizable in more extreme conditions. I can confirm this is actually the case. A large number of new photos were surfaced by Photos’ improved algorithms which brings more potential content for new stories creation. Managing tagged faces is easier too and provides a refined experience overvall. Photos enhancements in iPadOS 15 is a big reason to upgrade.

Moving Adobe Lightroom from one machine to another

I’m finally done moving Adobe Lightroom Classic from my iMac to my M1 Mac mini. A few takeaways: it’s a tricky process involving many folders to copy (presets, settings, photos, catalog, etc.). Lightroom is bad at managing digital assets when things need to be reorganized. The Apple Silicon optimized version is faster but not as much as I thought it would be. My Mac mini never stop to impress me, it’s such a fast device. I’m close to being able to put my 2017 iMac for sale.

When a 2013 MacBook Air is > than a two-years old Chromebook

I’ll be getting a old 2013 MacBook Air for one of my son to replace an aging Chromebook that I bought about two years ago. Think about it. This eight years old MacBook Air is faster, much better design, much better screen quality, more memory and will be able to run macOS Big Sur and all other apps like iWorks et al. I find this incredible that we can read and hear people saying Apple gear is expansive and that is under Apple’s obsolescence progamming. I call this bullshit.

Weird.

Moving from Castro to Pocket Cast: 100% completed. 👨🏻‍💻⌛️👍🏻😁

I waited for close to a year for Castro to bring its podcasts app to the iPad. Today, with the announcement of Automattic buying Pocket Cast, it came back on my radar. It didn’t take too long to make the switch. Pocket Cast is a real multi-platform player, feature rich and has an as good design as the other players. After Tumblr, DayOne, now Pocket Cast, I want to give it a try and see how Automattic will build on it. Meanwhile, I’m really enjoying it.

On PC in the cloud

Microsoft announced their PC in the cloud offerings this week. While it is probably based on their previous offering, Windows Virtual Desktop service, it does look like a milestone to me. I’ve been in IT for more than 25 years. I saw the migration from the mainframe to the client-server applications architecture. After that, it was about virtualization taking over with the popular VMware hypervisor. In the last five years, I saw the cloud taking over the IT world. The latter has a much more profound impact than any trend I witnessed or was part of in my career.

PC in the cloud is only offered to business customers, for now. I can see Microsoft offering the service to the general public in a not too distant future. I’ll probably subscribe to an instance for my personal needs. Being able to run the PC in a browser means being able to use it on any of my current Apple devices, from the M1 Mac mini to my iPad Pro. This is something Apple will never enable itself, certainly not within Safari. The future looks interesting.

User Interface design dark age era

We are in the dark age (not dark mode!) of user interface design for sure. We get excited for new animated UI elements (example here), but overall, delight has been lost in translation a long time ago. As Mike Rockwell is a link post say: >“I can’t really identify anything that I’ll be nostalgic for in ten or twenty years.”

I wouldn’t go back to pre-iOS 7 days but there has to be some delightful in-between degree of crafted user interface that had some real joyful elements in them. Apple is not the only one at fault here. It looks like it is a design trend spanning many mediums (print, TV, web, etc.). >Has the industry decided that our devices have reached a level of maturity that warrants making everything minimal, sterile, and utilitarian to help “do work” and “get stuff done”?

Excellent question, Tyler Hall.

Bye Bye Skylum - I barely knew you

In preparing to move off my 2017 Intel iMac (and put if for sale), I must make sure to re-install remaining applications on my M1 Mac mini. Photography-related apps were the last to be updated for the M1 chip. Lightroom CC is now fully optimized, but none of the Skylum apps I was (rarely) using: Luminar 4 and Aurora 2019 HDR. After spending some time on their support forums, I found out that none of their apps are optimized for the M1 chip. I had to make the call: bye bye Skylum. I barely knew you.

If a software vendor like Skylum is unable to update their apps in a timely matter, more than a year after the M1 chip has been announced, I give up. It is sad because these are the kind of applications that would take advantage of the power of the M1 chip. Too bad. My photography workflow will focus on Adobe applications, for good or for worse.

A few thoughts on cleaning up my Twitter accounts following list

Since last year, I’ve been making a major cleanup of my Twitter account. I came from following more than 2000 people down to less than 300… and my goal is to drop below 100. I’m slowly getting there. Here are a few take outs from this major cleanup of my accounts following list.

First, there are a lot of stale accounts on Twitter, which tends to artificially increase “followship”. It looks like people stopped tweeting a while ago — they left the building. Second, a bunch of accounts were iPhone developers that I started following during my indie developer era, back in 2009-2013. My interests have since then shifted to writing and blogging. I no longer need to get in touch with the developers community. Third, and this coud be the most troubling take out: Twitter has become less and less useful in my numeric life. Articles readings happens more and more though RSS feeds and Mailbrew. So, what’s left for me from Twitter? Getting reactions from people during specials events, related to Apple’s announcements. That’s pretty much it.

I’ve been experimenting with time tracking. I’ve been doing it as an experiment at first, but now it’s part of my workflow. I’m using Toggl and Timery. Ask me anything.

The power of iPadOS 15: setting up a workspace made of four apps with a simple shortcut from the home screen. So cool. 👨🏻‍💻🤓

The return of the Touch ID?

A recent poll ran by 9To5Mac gives surprising results about what people would like to see if Touch Id is to return to the iPhone. Touch ID under the screen wins popular favour… personally, I would prefer Touch ID to go on the power button, just like the iPad Air because it is easily accessible while holding the phone.

Every few days, I go on the Apple Store app to configure a 12.9” 2021 iPad Pro with 512 GB just to confirm delivery date estimates. I’m crazy.

Please… stop… using… ellipsis… for gods sake (#apple #ux #design #iosdev)

In the following screenshot taken this morning on my iPad screen, how many ellipsis signs to you catch? I highlighted them for you to make it easier. To all developers, to all designers, to Apple: please, stop this shit NOW and find a better way, use your imagination, stop being lazy at design. Thank you.

I rarely post my photos here… but here we are, it’s an exception day. This one is from the lake in front of my rented chalet. My photos are available here for those wondering: numericcitizen.photos

Public beta, already? That was fast. (#ios15publicbeta #ios15beta2) If my experience is any indication, I wouldn’t install that on an iPhone, if it’s the only device a user have.

Thought of the day: for me, Apple’s Widgets are more transformative to the iPad experience than they were to the iPhone, by far.

On design trends — sadness

While reading a recent article from Basic Apple Guy about News+, there is this illustration that shows how far Apple News icon has come since its beginnings. I have included the illustration here. It shows how bad design has become in the last five to ten years. That is really depressing to see. As much as things like AR and LiDAR technology help bring real world and virtual world closer together, UI design seems to go the opposite direction. Why is that? When will that trend stop and maybe revert a bit? Why can’t we get visually joyful icons anymore? Is it a matter of design costs being too high?

Apple and Architecture

This is one of the many reasons why I love Apple. They put so much money into this building restoration, it is mind blowing. The amounf of efforts that went into renovating this historic site is beyond any public-founded projects could have done. This brings me to this interesting question by Basic Apple Guy:

(…) should corporations be allowed to get their hands on this historic architecture and turn them into private businesses? Rightly or wrongly, the fact of the matter is that many governments don’t prioritize or have the means to prioritize the extensive work required to take on this scale of restoration.

I tend to have a polarizing view on anything related to architecture. My father was an architect and so I’m profoundly sensitive on the subject. Yes corporation can take over abandoned historic buildings as long as they do it under the supervision of an urbanism council or something like it. Here, Apple transformed a building into a store but each time Apple chose to do it in a gentle way. I mean, it is barely noticeable from the outside that this is an Apple Store. It’s a very respectful way to do it.

Apple’s Shortcuts and Photo processing

Now that Darkroom officially supports iOS Shortcuts (and will support Shortcuts on Monterey this fall), I can’t wait to get Pixelmator to do the same, as this is my go-to alternative to Lightroom CC for photos editing on the iPad. I like Darkroom by the way but I do have to make choices. Screenshot from MacStories.

Full iOS 15 Beta Schedule Revealed! (#apple #ios15beta2)

As we are probably getting iOS 15 beta 2 this week (today?), here is a probable schedule for this summer betas. RED colour is for developer betas, blue is for public betas. We should get 8 betas for developers, first public beta set for July 7th. Let’s see if these guesses are good or not.