I’m trying something new, again. I’m testing Revue, by Twitter. What I found is quite interesting, from a Substack user perspective. You can read all about it here, on Revue. Tell me what’s your impressions.

Feeling honored

It doesn’t happen too often but when it does, I feel very proud about it. One of my blog post about the story of 1Password 8 going Electron  on https://numericcitizen.me received a backlink from Michael Tsai (look for “JF Martin” and you’ll see the excerpt).

Mr. Tsai does a tremendous work with his link posts in general. I can imagine how much work he puts into this each day.I would love to have a peek at his blogger workflow.

About this “in-public” design

Gruber writing about how Apple mostly fixed Safari 15 on iPhone with beta 6 (emphasis is mine):

The unusual part is that we got to see Apple’s design process play out in public. The Safari team has been kept busy this summer. (There has to be one hell of backstory here, right?) There was a certain pessimism amongst some who perceived the problems with the original iOS 15 Safari design, simply because Apple seldom makes drastic UI changes between their unveiling at WWDC in June, and when they officially ship in the fall. But seldom isn’t never.

I’d love to read the behind-the-scene-story about this “in public” design process that we all witnessed. The Safari team surely scrambled to fix the design issues between beta 1 and beta 6… or was just all planned in advance? I bet on the former. The whole saga was unusual for Apple. They look less confident from a design perspective.

I love Safari 15 in beta 6. They nailed it, and it is an improvement compared to the pre-iOS 15 implementation.

When designers can’t decide…

iOS 15 beta 6 is out and Apple is making great progress with Safari on iPhone. For me, they finally hit the right notes. I think that’s the design they should have included since day one of iOS 15. Yet, I find it funny to see Apple put a new option in settings for those who prefer the pre-iOS 15 release. I guess it’s another case of “If you can’t decide which design is the best, just add another option in Settings so the user decide.”

We will have to wait for these… sadly.

SharePlay, ID Cards, App Privacy Report, Custom email domain, detailed 3D navigation in CarPlay, Legacy Contacts, Universal Control won’t ship with iOS 15.0 this fall. We’ll have to wait for an update later, like 15.1, 15.2 or even later. That’s a lot of stuff missing the deadline. I was looking forward to Legacy Contacts and Universal control… Apple is often a waiting game.

Finally Apple. I love this!

What a bizarre advice

A successful Apple investor, Paul Lane, had advice to give to other Apple investors, as reported on PED: buy Apple gear to return some money to Apple as a sign of appreciation and support. That’s the most bizarre advice I ever heard of from an investor. I would expect something along the line: buy low, sell high. I, personally, own a few Apple shares and a lot of their products. Yet, I don’t feel invested in a mission to show my support to Apple, either by buying shares or their products.

Doing all the things I love

Photo by karl chor on Unsplash

After an emotional week-end, long in coming, today I’m doing all the things I love the most: doing computer stuff — writing in a coffee shop — feeling like a real blogger — doing some photo processing — walking — biking. I know time will fly.

Life is good. Those days are so rare. I’m enjoying every single minutes of it. Work resumes tomorrow.

Photo by karl chor on Unsplash

Switching to a weekly beta cycle this week? #ios15beta6 #apple

Apple’s cheap labour: concept creators

Parker Ortolani for 9to5Mac published a two-parts concept on a future version of macOS named Mammoth.

macOS Big Sur did a great job of refining the Mac desktop, but it didn’t fundamentally change any of its behavior. We’d like to see that change with the next version of macOS. With Monterey being mostly full of small refinements rather than big ideas, we’d expect Mammoth to be a monstrous release.

I’m using one of his screen design that pertains to widgets improvements. I recently wrote about those and Apple’s sad design decision to keep them in the notifications center for Big and Monterey. I think Ortolani’s design is interesting and plausible. Freedom of placement certainly makes the experience more satisfying. It’s so true they liberated widgets on iPad with iPadOS 15.

There is so much work going into these visual essays. I mean, there are release notes too! I often considered people doing these mockups has being Apple’s cheap labour. I wonder if Apple’s designers notice those.

On this unexpected and mysterious macOS Big Sur 11.5.2 update

Dear Apple, as an owner of an M1 Mac mini, a MacBook Air and an iMac, don’t you think that I’m entitled for an explanation about what does this update fix? I think I do.

Excited for a… keyboard

I got the new Magic Keyboard with Touch ID. I chose the one without the numeric keypad; the desk space being scarce. Setting this thing up took one minute. I had to read the (slim) manual as I wasn’t sure how the pairing would work: connect the keyboard to my M1 Mac mini with the provided USB-C to Lightning cable, quickly press the M1 Mac mini power button two times to trigger the setup process for Touch ID configuration (Bluetooth is automatically configured). The Touch ID setup screen looks similar to the one on the iPhone when settings up Touch ID for the first time. It’s one of the best Apple keyboard; keys feeling is similar to the previous generation. Touch ID is the star of the show here, and I love it. Only works with M1 Macs. This Magic Keyboard brings to the Mini, a feature otherwise only available to the MacBooks (and the M1 iMac). That’s why I bought the keyboard. It’s not cheap, but convenience has a price for Apple.

About the Store, the Store Tab.

There is so much to think or write about a simple “Store” tab. Something so “obvious” can lead to weird design decisions, even for Apple. I love this (rare) blog post from Ken Segall.

Sarcasm ON: “I’m feeling inspired by Apple’s new way of thinking. It’s liberating. Who needs “Apple” when you have “Store”? Generic is just so much easier, don’t you think?” - Ken Segall

To be honest, I don’t remember when there was a dedicated Store section on the Apple.com website. Apple brought it back, leaving “Buy” buttons scattered around every single product pages. It is now so much easier to buy something from Apple these days.

Sarcasm OFF

(Re)Introducing the Store Tab

Yesterday, Apple made some changes to their website with the introduction of a new Store tab at the top of their website. Not only that, but the store design has been completely redone. I find it a bit disorienting at first, but after a few minutes, I think the elements and general reorganization make sense; I find it easier to navigate in general. Apple chose the horizontal scrolling sections instead of going vertical. I’m not always sure this is the best way to go, though. The bouncing effect is inconsistent, it’s there while going to the right but not when hitting the limit on the left. AirTags have their section, which is surprising for such a small device.

It’s interesting to note that Apple’s top navigation bar is now spanning a store, physical products, services, support, search, and a shopping cart.

Apple is getting ready for this fall slew of new products. Oh, one of the first thing I noticed is that the Magic Keyboard With Touch ID that is bundled with the 24” iMac is now sold separately. I ordered one for my M1 Mac mini. It will take less space on my desk and Touch ID will so much more convenient for the mini. One last thing: convenience has a price: 179 CAN$. Ouch.

Magic Keyboard with Touch ID for Mac models with Apple silicon — available separately. 😳🤔👍🏻

I Love This Machine

It is light, fast and an absolute design gem. Small, but not too small. It runs a powerful operating system. It’s highly portable. It is venerable. It is a rare “species”. There is something really special about it. Furthermore, it has a real keyboard that I can trust. Battery life is good. It is out of the way. It’s the perfect device for writing and blogging.

It’s a 2013 11” MacBook Air.

I’ll explain in the coming week or so.

Apple: everything is at least to taps away™ #apple #safari15 #newdesigntrend

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’m mostly done with the latest issue of my Numeric Citizen Introspection newsletter. It’s been a year since I started this free monthly newsletter and I still love it. While waiting for the next issue tomorrow, why not give a look at the previous one here. Subscribe, it’s free!

Documenting past home screen arrangements

Matt Birchler had an interesting blog post this week about a screenshot of his 2013 iPhone home screen. There are a few interesting things to note. In 2013, it was the arrival of the controversial iOS 7 redesign. It’s interesting to look at the Camera+ icon design which was still not updated for the new style. The dock design style was pretty basic and felt out of place. A few apps are not longer among us these days: Path (which was really a great design example) but most of the third-party apps are still available today.

I wish I had kept screen shots of previous home screen arrangements in the past. Something that I have kept is many screen shots of my password manager user interface dating back pre-iOS 7 era. Here is an example below. When I saw iOS 7, I didn’t have the courage to rework my design. The development of my app stopped right there. I made five thousands dollars with this adventure, between 2009 and 2013. Now I’m using a combinaison of 1Password and Apple’s passwords vault.

On Safari 15 in iPadOS 15 Beta 4

Apple is slowly but surely getting there with this release of beta 4 of iPadOS 15 and Safari 15. I like what I’m seeing, on the iPad. Yet, “_when you don’t know what is best, just add an option to Settings so the user can decide_” strategy seems to be the way to go this time. You know what’s my choice, don’t you?

I’ve been invited to test Safari 15 Preview on Big Sur

I’m going to jump in because on macOS, I don’t see the change as controversial as on iOS 15. I find it surprising that Apple seeks feedback on the new design. It’s a good thing but also surprising has they tend to do their thing alone. Now, they look a bit in distress while searching for a solution.

Four days week day? We can only dream it seems

Again, Matt Birchler: > technology and improved general productivity always had the promise of letting us work less, and yet today we work more than ever and have less than before Source: A Four Day Work Week? Yes, Please!

I sure wish we had this four days work week. I cannot see the day it will become reality. The problem in IT where I work, there is a worsening trend of a lack of qualified people for many IT fields. This trend puts pressure on those who are qualified to do more working hours.

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. ❤️