Apple Is Rebuilding Maps From the Ground Up ★
Matthew Panzarino, writing at TechCrunch:
I’m not sure if you’re aware, but the launch of Apple Maps went
poorly. After a rough first impression, an apology from the CEO,
several years of patching holes with data partnerships and some
glimmers of light with long-awaited transit directions and
improvements in business, parking and place data, Apple Maps is
still not where it needs to be to be considered a world class
Maps needs fixing.
Apple, it turns out, is aware of this, so it’s re-building the
maps part of Maps.
It’s doing this by using first-party data gathered by iPhones with
a privacy-first methodology and its own fleet of cars packed with
sensors and cameras. The new product will launch in San Francisco
and the Bay Area with the next iOS 12 Beta and will cover Northern
California by fall.
Panzarino was granted some extraordinary access, including an interview with Eddy Cue and a ride in one of Apple’s sensor-packed street vans. The new maps sound great, but the big question is how long will it take to roll them out everywhere. All Apple will say is that they’re starting with San Francisco next week (for iOS 12 beta users) and “northern California this fall”.
See also: “Questions About Apple’s New Maps, Answered”.
Field Notes: ‘Three Missions’ Edition ★
My thanks to Field Notes for sponsoring this week’s DF RSS feed to promote their just-launched [Ed. Note: Come on, we don’t do puns here.] “Three Missions” edition celebrating America’s quest 50 years ago to land men on the moon — and bring them home.
Look, I’m a huge fan of Field Notes, and I have an overwhelming sense of nostalgia for the early NASA missions. (I feel America today is in dire need of something epic that the entire nation could get behind.) So I was bound to love this edition. But man, I’m telling you, the Field Notes crew went above and beyond on this set.
Each three-pack contains three memo books, one each for the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo programs. The full-color printing quality is amazing, including “Orbital Silver” metallic ink. Each pack also includes three “Punch-Out and Assemble” mission-specific crew capsule models. I loved putting these things together — and I also love how they hearken back to the ’60s and ’70s, when punch-out model kits like these were common.
Where it gets downright nuts is the promotional video they made. They put in what must have been a ridiculous amount of planning, research, and driving to get about five seconds of footage of one of these models in the upper atmosphere in near-space.
You can buy the “Three Missions” three-pack for just $12.95. Start a quarterly subscription with “Three Missions” and your first shipment will also include two 3-Packs of their original Kraft Memo Books and their “Tenth Anniversary” 3-Pack. This special edition features very early iterations of what would eventually become Field Notes, with all their faults and weirdness.
Tony Romm, reporting for The Washington Post:
Dorsey hoped to use the dinner as a way to build “trust” among
conservatives who have long chastised the company, three of the
people said. He defended Twitter against accusations that it
targeted right-leaning users unfairly but still admitted that the
company has room for improvement, according to the attendees.
In response, the Twitter executive heard an earful from
conservatives gathered at the table, who scoffed at the fact that
Dorsey runs a platform that’s supposed to be neutral even though
he’s tweeted about issues like immigration, gay rights and
national politics. They also told Dorsey that the tech industry’s
efforts to improve diversity — after years of criticism for
maintaining a largely white, male workforce — should focus on
hiring engineers with more diverse political viewpoints as well,
according to those who dined with him in D.C.
Two points on this. First, statistically, you can’t increase the number of non-whites and women without skewing your workforce to the left politically. Look at the exit poll numbers from 2016:
- Race: Blacks, Hispanics, and Asians went heavily for Clinton, whites went for Trump.
- Gender: Women went for Clinton, men went for Trump.
- LGBT voters went for Clinton by 78-14.
- Education: College grads went for Clinton, non-college grads for Trump.
There’s no way around it: increasing the number of employees who aren’t straight white men is at odds with the notion of increasing the number “with more diverse political viewpoints”, if by “diverse political viewpoints” you mean “people who voted for Trump”. And even among white men, Trump was only +4 among those with college degrees.
Second, how in the world would tech companies go about hiring based on political viewpoints? By asking job candidates who they voted for? That seems like a terrible idea and likely illegal.
Apple, Samsung Settle U.S. Patent Dispute ★
Stephen Nellis, reporting for Reuters:
Apple Inc and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd on Wednesday settled a
seven-year patent dispute over Apple’s allegations that Samsung
violated its patents by “slavishly” copying the design of the
iPhone. Terms of the settlement, filed in the U.S. District Court
for the Northern District of California, were not available.
In May, a U.S. jury awarded Apple $539 million, after Samsung had
previously paid Apple $399 million to compensate for patent
infringement. Samsung would need to make an additional payment to
Apple of nearly $140 million if the verdict was upheld. How much,
if anything, Samsung must now pay Apple under Wednesday’s
settlement could not immediately be learned.
Here’s one that legitimately deserves to be filed under “Finally” — Apple first began litigating this 7 years ago.
Adam Lashinsky Interviews Tim Cook at Fortune’s CEO Initiative ★
Really interesting interview, with Cook giving his perspective on how he views his job as CEO. (Kind of goes off the rails at the very end, when they take a few questions from the audience. Questions from the audience almost never go well — they interrupt the conversational flow.)
Jason Snell on MacOS Mojave ★
Long, detailed look at Mac OS 10.14 Mojave from Jason Snell:
Personally, I’m more excited about macOS Mojave than any recent
macOS beta. The new dark mode alone is a huge change in what we
have come to think of as the Mac interface, and the changes to
Finder have an awful lot of potential. I’m also really happy to be
able to control my HomeKit devices directly from my Mac, either
via the Home app or Siri.
I’m really excited about the improved Automator support in the Finder. It’s a real “This is what makes the Mac the Mac” feature.
Marzipan as a Path to ARM-Based Macs ★
Apple has dropped legacy frameworks very easily in the past
though. But how exactly did that happen?
CPU changes. Once when MacOS went from PPC to Intel, and then once
when MacOS went from 32 bit to 64 bit. Each time that transition
happened Apple was able to say “OK, this legacy stuff just isn’t
going to be there on the new architecture”. And since you had to
recompile apps anyway to make them run on the new architecture,
developers kind of shrugged and said “Well, yea. That’s what I
would have done too”. It made sense.
So are we about to see 128 bit Intel processors anytime soon, to
facilitate this change? I doubt it.
OK then, what about a new architecture?
Oh. Hello 64 bit ARM.
MacStories’s Favorite iOS 12 Tidbits ★
Previously available only on 3D Touch-enabled iPhones or with a
two-finger swipe on the iPad’s keyboard, trackpad mode can be
activated in a much easier way in iOS 12: just tap & hold on the
space bar until the keyboard becomes a trackpad. This mode
(seemingly inspired by Gboard and other custom keyboards with a
similar implementation) gives owners of iPhones without 3D Touch a
way to more precisely control the cursor in text fields. Those who
follow Apple rumors claim this feature has been shipped in
preparation for a new iPhone without 3D Touch later this
year; for now, it’s just a nice way to toggle trackpad mode if
you’re using an iPhone 5s, SE, or 6.
One of my favorite features in iOS — once you get in the habit of using it, you can’t go back.
Instagram Launches IGTV ★
Today, we have two big announcements to share. First, Instagram is
now a global community of one billion! Since our launch in 2010,
we’ve watched with amazement as the community has flourished and
grown. This is a major accomplishment — so from all of us at
Instagram, thank you!
Second, we’re announcing our most exciting feature to date: IGTV,
a new app for watching long-form, vertical video from your
favorite Instagram creators, like LaurDIY posting her newest
project or King Bach sharing his latest comedy skit. While there’s
a stand-alone IGTV app, you’ll also be able to watch from within
the Instagram app so the entire community of one billion can use
it from the very start.
Vertical video just seems weird to me, but I wouldn’t bet against IGTV. As Kevin Systrom succinctly explained on stage at the event introducing IGTV, teenagers consume video differently, and for many, the phone is their most important screen for watching video. Instagram has built up its own universe of celebrities. It feels like Instagram is to today’s teens what MTV was to my generation.
Two Keyboards at a Bar ★
The bar is full. Two keyboards sit at the bar: APPLE EXTENDED II
and MACBOOK PRO. The front door opens, TOUCHBAR looks around, sees
the two keyboards at the bar, grins, and heads their direction.
APPLE EXTENDED II sits at the bar nursing a Macallan 18. Next to
him is MACBOOK PRO who has not taken a sip of his glass of water.
I enjoyed this so much.
Apple News Launches 2018 Midterm Elections Section ★
“Today more than ever people want information from reliable
sources, especially when it comes to making voting decisions,”
said Lauren Kern, editor-in-chief of Apple News. “An election is
not just a contest; it should raise conversations and spark
national discourse. By presenting quality news from trustworthy
sources and curating a diverse range of opinions, Apple News aims
to be a responsible steward of those conversations and help
readers understand the candidates and the issues.”
Curation has been a guiding principle across Apple News since
launch, with a team of editors focused on discovering and
spotlighting well-sourced fact-based stories to provide readers
with relevant, reliable news and information from a wide range of
“Well-sourced fact-based stories” — that’s pretty clearly meant as a fundamental point of distinction from Facebook and Twitter’s algorithmic news feeds. I find myself using Apple News a lot, and feel like Daring Fireball is overdue to support it better.
How the Trump Administration Is Defending Its Indefensible Child Separation Policy ★
Dahlia Lithwick, writing for Slate:
The Trump administration is playing a game of choose your own
facts, but every single version of this story ends with screaming
children in cages.
Great rundown on the utter incoherence of the Trump administration’s messaging on this disgraceful policy.
Kotoba: The Best iOS Dictionary App You’ve Never Heard Of ★
I love dictionaries. For as long as I can remember, I’ve made a habit of looking up every single word I encounter that I don’t know or am even unsure about. The fact that MacOS and iOS have built-in dictionaries that you can invoke via a contextual menu item is one of my favorite features of both OSes. Part of that is the extraordinary convenience, and part is that both systems use the same excellent source: New Oxford American Dictionary. (MacOS also includes the excellent Oxford American Writer’s Thesaurus — which is apparently coming to iOS, finally, in iOS 12.)
But MacOS goes one step further (dating back to its roots as NeXTStep) — it has a built-in Dictionary app, too. I’ve wanted an app like this on iOS since the original iPhone. The App Store is replete with dictionary apps, but most of them are junk. I just want a simple one that uses the system dictionary. My friend Will Hains, who among other things runs the excellent @DFStyleguide Twitter account, shared that desire and went ahead and made one. It’s called Kotoba. It’s been on my first home screen for over two years now.
The catch: App Store guidelines disallow using the built-in system dictionary to create a dictionary app (I presume due to licensing issues with Apple’s dictionary partners), so you can’t get it from the App Store. Hains released it as open source, though, so if you have a developer account, you can build and install it yourself.
Bonus Catch: Kotoba currently crashes on iOS 12 (including beta 2, released earlier today). Radar.
Oppo’s Find X Ditches the Notch for Pop-Up Cameras ★
The pop-up cameras are certainly an original idea (but not a good one), but it’s jaw-dropping how much Oppo (apparently pronounced “OH-poe”) made their “Color OS” Android skin look like iOS, from the home screen to the camera app. This looks nothing like stock Android as seen on a Pixel.
Elon Musk in Company-Wide Email: Tesla Employee Conducted ‘Extensive and Damaging Sabotage’ ★
Elon Musk, in a company-wide email:
The full extent of his actions are not yet clear, but what he has
admitted to so far is pretty bad. His stated motivation is that he
wanted a promotion that he did not receive. In light of these
actions, not promoting him was definitely the right move.
However, there may be considerably more to this situation than
meets the eye, so the investigation will continue in depth this
week. We need to figure out if he was acting alone or with others
at Tesla and if he was working with any outside organizations.
As you know, there are a long list of organizations that want
Tesla to die. These include Wall Street short-sellers, who have
already lost billions of dollars and stand to lose a lot more.
Then there are the oil & gas companies, the wealthiest industry in
the world — they don’t love the idea of Tesla advancing the
progress of solar power & electric cars. Don’t want to blow your
mind, but rumor has it that those companies are sometimes not
super nice. Then there are the multitude of big gas/diesel car
company competitors. If they’re willing to cheat so much about
emissions, maybe they’re willing to cheat in other ways?
This story is crazy.
How Will Apple Sell Its Original Video Content? ★
Peter Kafka, writing for Recode in the wake of Apple’s content deal with Oprah Winfrey:
Some industry observers expect Apple to make some or all of the
content available for free for users of Apple’s TV app, which
Apple first introduced as a would-be TV guide/hub a couple years
ago, and is installed by default on all of its devices. Apple
has told some industry executives it intends to strengthen that
hub by making it a focal point to sell subscriptions to other
companies’ TV services, as Amazon already does.
Other watchers are convinced Apple will bundle all of its
content into a very big subscription service, which would
include Apple Music, along with other benefits like AppleCare.
Most interesting and confusing to me: One TV executive who has
talked to Apple tells me Apple says it intends to sell a
standalone subscription to its original video shows, priced
below Netflix, whose standard offering costs $11 a month in
I think scenario 2 is the most likely — just include the original video content with an Apple Music subscription. People are only willing to pay for so many subscriptions, and asking folks to pay separately for Apple Music and “Apple TV” is too much to ask in my opinion. One monthly fee and you get all of Apple Music and all of Apple’s original video content. That’s compelling. It also would make it easy for Apple to build up its original content lineup one show at a time. Years from now, Apple could well be offering enough original video content that a standalone video subscription could be feasible — but as they get started, they’re only going to have a handful of shows for a while.
(Bundling AppleCare in the same package seems bonkers. One person might own a single Apple device, another might own a dozen Mac Pros. AppleCare, like any extended warranty, only makes sense as something sold per-device, not as a subscription. What would be interesting would be if they offered additional iCloud storage along with the standard subscription for music and video content.)
Free Trials From Apple’s Perspective ★
I don’t want to get into a point-by-point debate on the topic;
instead, I want to do something that I haven’t seen anyone do: try
to understand why Apple don’t want the sort of free trials that
are being demanded.
Apple currently allows free trials in two forms: if you sell
subscriptions, you can give customers a free month to try the app;
and, you can give your app away free, and offer a free In-App
Purchase (IAP) to unlock all features for a fixed period of time.
So why does Apple allow these forms, but not offer a more formal
version of free trials? Most developers seem to assume they are
deliberately ignoring their protests, for no good reason, or that
they simply are not willing to dedicate the resources to solve the
problem. I doubt both of these assumptions. I think Apple have
probably thought long and hard about it, and concluded that the
options they have introduced are actually better than the free
trials developer’s are requesting.
This is a thoughtful piece, and I think McCormack could be correct that this is more or less Apple’s perspective on the matter. And I’ve always thought it useful to try to think about things from Apple’s perspective.
I think it’s fair to say McCormack’s argument boils down to “Traditional free trials could be a source of confusion for typical users” and he backs that up with some good questions users might have. But I think this is where design comes into play. Design is largely about devising solutions to problems. I can’t help but think there’s a way that Apple could design a system of free trials in the App Store that would not leave typical users confused in any of the ways McCormack suggests.
I think “free app with a free in-app purchase to unlock a one-month demo period, which, when expired, will require a $20 in-app purchase” is fundamentally more confusing than “this app costs $20 but you can try it for free for the first month”. You just need good design to make that clear. The former is what we have now, the latter is what the indie community has been clamoring for ever since the App Store debuted. And don’t forget paid upgrades.
Seth Meyers Does His Best to Get ‘My Ass Is in the Jackpot’ Into the Vernacular ★
This whole bit hinges on last week’s video of a mic’d up umpire tossing Mets manager Terry Collins from a 2016 game against the Dodgers. Genius.
Federico Viticci on Shortcuts in iOS 12 ★
While it’s still too early to comment on the long-term impact of
Shortcuts, I can at least attempt to understand the potential of
this new technology. In this article, I’ll try to explain the
differences between Siri shortcuts and the Shortcuts app, as well
as answering some common questions about how much Shortcuts
borrows from the original Workflow app.
Apple has packed a lot of new features under that one word, shortcuts, in iOS 12.
South Korean Carrier to Sell ‘New’ iPhone 3GS Units ★
Gordon Gottsegen, reporting for CNet:
Even though the iPhone 3GS will be sold as “brand new,” don’t
expect it to work the same as a recently released iPhone. The
iPhone 3GS was discontinued back in 2012, and it only runs iOS
6. As a result, many apps (and even iMessages) won’t work on
The iPhone predates Lightning cables, too, so you’ll be stuck
using an old-school 30-pin connector.
Still, SK Telink is selling the iPhone 3GS for only 44,000 won,
which is equivalent to $40, £30 or AU$55. So this Apple
blast-from-the-past could be yours for pretty cheap — if you’re
On the one hand, the 3GS is crazily outdated. On the other hand: $40!
Google to Fix Precise Location Data Leak in Google Home, Chromecast ★
Craig Young, a researcher with security firm Tripwire, said he
discovered an authentication weakness that leaks incredibly
accurate location information about users of both the smart
speaker and home assistant Google Home, and Chromecast, a small
electronic device that makes it simple to stream TV shows, movies
and games to a digital television or monitor.
Young said the attack works by asking the Google device for a list
of nearby wireless networks and then sending that list to Google’s
geolocation lookup services.
“An attacker can be completely remote as long as they can get the
victim to open a link while connected to the same Wi-Fi or wired
network as a Google Chromecast or Home device,” Young told
KrebsOnSecurity. “The only real limitation is that the link needs
to remain open for about a minute before the attacker has a
location. The attack content could be contained within malicious
advertisements or even a tweet.”
Young is getting location data accurate to within 10 meters from his exploit. All you have to do to be exposed is open a web page and leave it open for a minute. This is the common sense fear of this whole Internet of Things movement: that these devices we’re putting on our networks aren’t secure, even the ones from big companies like Google.
New iOS app and web service that makes it easy for people to book appointments with you. From their blog announcement, on what makes WhenWorks unique:
There are many competitive services in this space. What they all
have in common is that they are purely web-based solutions. What
makes WhenWorks unique is that it is a mobile app that integrates
directly with the Calendar app on your iOS device, is far easier
to configure and use, more secure, and always with you when you
WhenWorks supports all of the leading calendar services (iCloud,
Google Calendar, Office 365 and Outlook.com) but is particularly
well-suited for those who use iCloud, due to its deep integration
with the built-in Calendar on iOS.
WhenWorks was founded by John Chaffee, of BusyMac and, back in the day, Now Up-to-Date fame, and he’s put together a really good team. The pricing is outstanding too: 14-day free trial, free-to-use for up to five appointments per month after that, and just $5/month for the pro account with no limits.
It’s a really great app, and setting it up couldn’t be easier. Worth checking it out just to examine the UI and on-boarding process, and if you’re the sort of person who has a busy calendar packed with appointments, you’re nuts if you don’t try it.
How Square Made Its Own iPad Replacement ★
Lauren Goode, writing for Wired:
If you know the company Square, it’s probably because you’ve paid
in a store using a Square “stand”, a dock that supports a tablet,
or you’ve swiped your card through Square Reader, a smartphone
dongle that processes payments. These products have a soothing,
decidedly Apple-y aesthetic, from the simple dongle to the
all-white stand that typically houses an iPad. But since late last
year, Square has been quietly selling its own custom-made tablet,
the Square Register, a $999, Android-based system. And the company
has taken an obsessive approach to designing the product.
There’s a local coffee house I like that recently installed these, and they’re pretty neat. The two-screen design makes sense for a two-person interaction. Also, Square’s Apple Pay support is top-notch — in my experience Square’s Apple Pay readers are more accurate and work faster than the dinguses from their competition.
On the Sad State of Macintosh Hardware ★
At the time of the writing, with the exception of the $5,000 iMac
Pro, no Macintosh has been updated at all in the past year. […]
Rather than attempting to wow the world with “innovative” new
designs like the failed Mac Pro, Apple could and should simply
provide updates and speed bumps to the entire lineup on a much
more frequent basis. The much smaller Apple of the mid-2000s
managed this with ease. Their current failure to keep the Mac
lineup fresh, even as they approach a trillion dollar market cap,
is both baffling and frightening to anyone who depends on the
platform for their livelihood.
Compare and contrast with the iPhone, which is updated not just annually, but predictably. Post-WWDC, I’ve had a few friends and readers ask whether they should just go ahead and buy a MacBook or MacBook Pro now — knowing they’re old, knowing the keyboards are of questionable reliability — or wait until fall. I have no idea if new MacBooks are coming in the fall though. It certainly seems like they should, but would you really be surprised if we don’t see new MacBooks (and iMacs) until 2019?
I’d really love to see Apple get Mac hardware on a roughly annual schedule, even if most years they’re just speed bumps, like they were a decade ago.
A Brief Moment of Honesty ★
Donald Trump, in Singapore, asked whether he believes Kim Jong-un will actually destroy a nuclear site and return American POW remains:
“Honestly, I think he’s going to do these things. I may be wrong,
I mean I may stand before you in six months and say, hey, I was
wrong — I don’t know that I’ll ever admit that, but I’ll find
some kind of an excuse.”
That’s the most honest thing he has said as president.
Not Only Is the Mac Mini Outdated, It’s No Longer Mini ★
Jason Snell, writing at Six Colors back in March:
The Mac mini was last updated 1245 days ago, in October of 2014.
(And that was a lackluster upgrade.) Taking a cue from my
dreams about what a modern Mac mini might be like, I bought a
tiny Intel NUC PC and installed macOS on it. My Mac mini was
becoming unreliable and I was hoping to experiment with Intel’s
hardware in advance of a real Mac mini being released.
This was intended to be a temporary experiment. And, in fact, I
hope to replace the NUC with a real Mac mini just as soon as Apple
finally releases that all-new Mac mini that’s hopefully
percolating inside Cupertino. But in the meantime, I have been
running macOS on non-Apple hardware, and it’s been an instructive
Cheaper and faster, but a pain in the ass to keep updated software-wise. All of that is to be expected. But the striking thing to me is just how much smaller the Intel NUC is. It’s only a little bit bigger than an Apple TV. Calling the Mac Mini “mini” is absurd in 2018.
I wrote about this last September, when the Apple TV 4K came out:
Apple TV 4K is tiny compared to a Mac Mini, but judging by
Geekbench scores (Mac Mini; iPad Pro, which uses the
A10X in the Apple TV) it’s a slightly faster computer than even
the maxed-out Mac Mini configuration. Apple TV 4K probably has
better GPU performance too. In addition to all the performance
problems stemming from the fact that the Mac Mini hasn’t been
updated in three years, it’s also inarguable that it’s no longer
even “mini”. You could arrange four Apple TV units in a 2 × 2
square and they’d take up the same volume as one Mac Mini.
Apple TV proves that Apple can make an amazing compact puck-sized computer. They just seem to have lost any interest in making one that runs MacOS.
Audio of Mets Pitcher Noah Syndergaard and Manager Terry Collins Getting Ejected From a Game Last Year ★
I don’t know why this is only going viral now, because it’s a game from last year, but this is amazingly entertaining. The backstory: in the 2015 playoffs, Dodgers second baseman Chase Utley slid hard into second base and Mets second baseman Ruben Tejada wound up with a broken leg. It was an ugly but legal play and it resulted in MLB changing the rules on how you could slide into bases. This is the first game the Mets played against the Dodgers last year, and pitcher Noah Syndergaard — one of the hardest throwers in the history of baseball — threw a pitch at Utley.
The umps ejected Syndergaard and manager Terry Collins from the game. Umpire crew chief Tom Hallion was wearing a mic. The audio is fantastically compelling and profane. If MLB mic’d every ejection their TV ratings would soar. I’d pay double to MLB for my annual At Bat subscription if I could listen to the audio of ejections.
Update: I keep changing the URL to one that still works, because MLB’s copyright lawyers are trying to put the toothpaste back in the tube with takedown demands.
What’s the Deal With AirPower? ★
9to5Mac, back in February:
According to a new report from Macotakara, Apple is on
schedule to begin selling AirPower sometime in March through its
own retail stores, as well as resellers such as Best Buy.
The report doesn’t offer a specific release date, with the
blog’s source only saying that the release will occur sometime
At this point Apple is under three months away from the one-year anniversary of AirPower’s announcement. To be clear, Apple said all along it wouldn’t be shipping until “2018”, but it’s hard not to draw the conclusion that something has gone seriously wrong with this product.
‘Do You Know What Fernet Is? It’s a Terrible Thing.’ ★
I laughed my way through this interview with my friend Lê, owner of Hop Sing Laundromat, by Philly Mag’s Victor Fiorillo:
One spirit I cannot stand… is — wait a minute. You’re trying to
get me in fucking trouble. I already get enough hate mail.
[Another off-the-record-conversation]. OK. OK. One spirit I cannot
stand is any stupid thing that is praised by a quote-unquote
mixologist. Make sure you put the quote-unquote around that word.
They are fucking idiots. Anybody who calls themselves a mixologist
is a fucking idiot. And any spirit that a “mixologist” likes to
use fucking sucks. Fernet. Fernet. Do you know what Fernet is?
It’s a terrible thing. Fuck that shit. These “mixologists” don’t
even know what it is. They drink it because it’s cool. Anything
that makes people look cool — or that they think makes them look
cool — I fucking hate that shit.
Don’t get him started on the Rocky statue, either. I say we all go into Hop Sing for the next few weeks and ask Lê if he has anything with Fernet on the menu.
From the DF Archive: ‘What if the iPad Smart Keyboard Had a Trackpad?’ ★
Yours truly, a year ago, making the case for trackpad support on iPad keyboards:
In short, when you’re using the iPad’s on-screen keyboard, you
have a crummy (or at the very least sub-par) keyboard for typing
but a nice interface for moving the insertion point around. When
you’re using the Smart Keyboard (or any other hardware keyboard)
you have a decent keyboard for typing but no good way to move the
insertion point or select text. Using your finger to touch the
screen is imprecise, and, when an iPad is propped up laptop-style,
Whenever Apple executives are asked about the notion of touchscreen Macs, they argue, correctly in my opinion, that it’s a bad idea because the ergonomics are bad. It just isn’t comfortable (or precise) to reach out with your arm. There are several other good arguments against adding touchscreen support to Macs, but ergonomics are a good one to place at the top of the list.
The thing is, every ergonomic argument against touchscreen MacBooks applies exactly to using an iPad in “laptop mode” with a hardware keyboard. When using a hardware keyboard, it makes sense to keep your hands flat on the desk/table. If Apple thinks iPads are useful with hardware keyboards — and I think they could be — they need to add trackpad support of some kind.
I was in a busy coffee shop yesterday and looked around. At least 20 patrons were using notebook computers, most of them MacBooks of some sort. Old MacBook Airs (or maybe new MacBook Airs — how can you tell?), MacBook Pros, just-plain MacBooks. Some PC notebooks as well, of course. I didn’t see one person using an iPad — despite the fact that iPads outsell all Macs combined by more than 2-to-1 every single quarter. Would trackpad support alone change that? I don’t know. But it would certainly help, and it’d move us one step closer to an iOS notebook.
Apple Tries to Stop Developers From Sharing Data on Users’ Friends ★
Sarah Frier and Mark Gurman, reporting for Bloomberg:
As Apple’s annual developer conference got underway on June 4, the
Cupertino, California-based company made many new pronouncements
on stage, including new controls that limit tracking of web
browsing. But the phone maker didn’t publicly mention updated App
Store Review Guidelines that now bar developers from making
databases of address book information they gather from iPhone
users. Sharing and selling that database with third parties is
also now forbidden. And an app can’t get a user’s contact list,
say it’s being used for one thing, and then use it for something
else — unless the developer gets consent again. Anyone caught
breaking the rules may be banned.
Hard to disagree with this policy change, but I’m not sure how Apple can police it. Boobytrap accounts?
Fortnite Is Now Available on the Nintendo Switch ★
Andrew Webster, reporting for The Verge:
The biggest game in the world is coming to the hottest gaming
platform. After a few leaks and rumors, today Epic Games
officially announced that Fortnite is coming the Nintendo Switch.
And it’s coming very soon: it’s available as a free download
today. Unlike other online games such as Rocket League that have
been ported to the platform, it doesn’t appear that Fortnite on
the Switch will include any Nintendo-specific content, so you can
keep dreaming about a Metroid skin or Wario emote. There is also
no cross-play with Fortnite players on the PS4.
I’ll probably get my ass kicked trying, but Fortnite is the first serious game in years that I’ve been interested in playing. And there’s no risk, because it’s free to play — which is a big part of what I find fascinating about it.
Sony disallowing cross-platform play kind of sucks — you can cross-play between Xbox, PC (including Mac), and iOS. It just goes to show the power of being the leading platform. Nintendo is just as lock-in/control-freak minded as Sony, but only Sony is in a position to demand something like this from Epic.
The news comes not long after Epic announced that the game would
be coming to Android this summer; it’s currently available on PC,
PS4, Xbox One, and iOS.
If they’ve already ported Fortnite to iOS, why haven’t they ported it to Apple TV? That should be easy. The obvious answer: Apple TV is such a non-entity for gaming that Epic doesn’t even consider a relatively easy port to be worth their time.
Update: A few readers have pointed out that the big reason Epic probably doesn’t think bringing Fortnite to Apple TV would be worth their time is that it would require a gaming controller, and most Apple TV owners don’t have one. Having played on the Switch for a bit tonight (I once finished 13th out of 100 — albeit with couch-side coaching from my son, who guided me to a house with a hidden Lost-esque bunker under the basement) there’s just no way this game could possibly be played using an Apple TV remote. It needs a lot of buttons. Apple’s blind spot for gaming on Apple TV is just baffling to me, especially given the prowess of their chip team. They’ve got the hard part down — CPU/GPU performance and developer support for iOS — but are completely missing out because they don’t ship a version of the hardware with a gaming controller.
My thanks to Instabug for sponsoring this week’s DF RSS feed (as well as The Talk Show Live From WWDC 2018). Tens of thousands of companies like Lyft, eBay, and T-Mobile rely on Instabug to iterate faster and enhance their app quality.
With just one line of code, your beta testers and users can now report bugs and submit detailed feedback by just shaking their phones.
Instabug automatically captures a screenshot, screen recordings, all device details and repro-steps with each bug report to be displayed in one organized dashboard, so you and your team can track all bugs, feedback and crashes in one place.
They have a cool sample app in the App Store that you can try for free, to experience their reporting interface first hand. Then, you can log into their demo dashboard and see what the reports look like from the developers’ end. I tried it out and it looks and works great, on both sides.
Try Instabug now for free. Even better, they’re offering special $150 “Instabug Credits” for DF readers. Enter promo code “DF18” to claim your credits.