The Darned-Sweet Edition Tuesday, January 12, 2016

How The iMac Broke My 18-month PC Upgrade Cycle, by David Gewritz, ZDNet

Yes, I still hate the Finder. But the rest of the Mac is pretty darned sweet. And it does its job. Yes, the machine was expensive (wallet-bleedingly so), but if you figure that I might get twice (or more) the life out of this machine than I have all the main machines I've used in the past, the Mac actually becomes substantially more cost-effective than those previous Windows-only machines.

I Tracked Every Moment Of My Life With An Apple Watch, And It Drove Me Nuts, by Shane Ferro, Huffington Post

I have come to believe that there is real value in tracking yourself if you have a stated goal and a stated timespan. You can't do it forever. It becomes an albatross around the neck that you then resent.

Updates Are Coming

Apple Previews iOS 9.3 With Night Shift, Health And News Improvements, New Education Features, by Federico Viticci, MacStories

First, Apple appears to have listened to user requests following the shutdown of f.lux sideloading and they're introducing Night Shift in iOS 9.3 – a system feature that will automatically shift the color of the display after sunset to be warmer and easier on the eyes.

Notes, which received a major upgrade with iOS 9 last year, will be updated to support password and Touch ID authentication for notes that contain sensitive personal data. Based on a screenshot from Apple's webpage, it appears that users will be able to secure individual notes in the app, which will also receive new sorting capabilities (one of my few complaints about Notes in iOS 9).

With tvOS 9.2, Apple TV Adds Podcasts App, Folders, Bluetooth Keyboard Support, New App Switcher And More, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

With the new Apple TV tvOS 9.2 beta, Apple has added a whole host of new features to the tvOS platform. This includes support for pairing Bluetooth keyboards, Folders organisation for apps on the home screen, a new App Switcher UI and a native Apple Podcasts app.

You Can Now Pair Multiple Apple Watches To An iPhone, But Why?, by Nate Swanner, The Next Web

For developers, this is a solid feature. If you’ve got a 38mm and 42mm Apple Watch you want to physically test a glance on, this is cool.


Printing A Paper Backup Of Your iCloud Contacts, by J.D. Biersdorfer, New York Times

At the bottom-left corner of the Contacts page, click the gear-shaped Settings icon. In the menu that opens, choose Print to send a copy of your iCloud address book to the printer.

1Password 6.2 For iOS Brings Watchtower, 3D Touch, And Better Search, by Federico Viticci, MacStories

Perhaps more notably, Watchtower, previously launched in the Mac app, is now available in 1Password for iOS as well. Watchtower is a service run by AgileBits that periodically checks for possible vulnerabilities on web services where you have an account. If a vulnerability is reported, Watchtower will show a red banner in the item's detail view in 1Password with a link to a webpage where you can read what was reported and how you should take action.

Pythonista 2.0 Brings Action Extension, iPad Pro Support, Code Editor Improvements, And More, by Federico Viticci, MacStories

A Python interpreter for iPhone and iPad that could natively integrate with iOS system features, Pythonista opened up a new world to me, demonstrating how I could automate tedious tasks on iOS devices via scripting.

Build Custom Virtual Audio Devices From Hardware And Software With Loopback, by Joseph Keller, iMore

Loopback is a powerful new audio routing app for Mac that lets you turn both apps and physical components into a single virtual audio device. Not only can you create combined audio sources that are available system-wide, you can also create virtual pass-through devices to send audio between apps.

Default Folder X 5.0, by Agen G. N. Schmitz, TidBITS

In addition to bringing full compatibility with OS X 10.11 El Capitan (and erasing the previous version’s requirement to turn off System Integrity Protection), Default Folder X 5.0 adds support for tabbed Finder windows in its Finder-click feature.

Wahoo 7 Minute Workout On Apple TV Plays Nice With Tickr X Heart Rate Monitor, by Michael Sawh, Wareable

Where things do get interesting is that you can pair the Wahoo Tickr X heart rate monitor chest strap to Apple's streaming set-top box via Bluetooth to record and analyse your performance.

Channels App Adds Live TV To The Apple TV’s Capabilities, by Glenn Fleishman, TidBITS

The tvOS Channels app tunes into over-the-air (OTA) broadcast digital television on an Apple TV as easily as Netflix or Hulu as long as you have the right networked tuning hardware.


Apple Expands App Analytics Feature To tvOS Apps, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Apple today has announced that its App Analytics feature now supports tvOS apps. This means that developers can get more detail on how users are responding to and using their apps on the fourth-gen Apple TV. Developers can see how many views their App Store product page is receiving, track marketing campaign, get app usage information, and track in-app purchase success.


Apple Details CarPlay Partners By Year And Model On New Webpage, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

The Two Apples, by Neil Cybart, Above Avalon

There are two Apples: AAPL, the stock, and Apple, the company. While it would seem logical that one is merely a reflection of the other, in reality, the two are guided by vastly different parameters. Over the long run, Apple and AAPL will likely be at odds with each other due to the very nature of Apple's long-term mission of making products that people love. It is the classic Wall Street vs. Silicon Valley battle, and 2015 was likely just a taste of what is to come.

No, Apple Is Not Working To Make It Easier To Switch From iPhone To Android, by Ina Fried, Re/code

“There is no truth to this rumor,” an Apple representative told Re/code. “We are entirely focused on switching users from Android to iPhone, and that is going great.”

iPads At The Orchestra: Boston Symphony’s ‘Casual Friday’ Series Okays Tech, Jeans, by Nidhi Subbaraman, BetaBoston

The Boston Symphony Orchestra’s standard pre-concert announcement is familiar to theater and movie-goers: Turn your devices off before the concert begins.

But for three Fridays in the coming months, the BSO will break tradition and hand out iPads that visitors are invited to refer to during the evening.

Antivirus Software Could Make Your Company More Vulnerable, by Lucian Constantin, IDG News Service

According to vulnerability researchers who have analyzed antivirus programs in the past, such attacks are quite likely, and may already have occurred. Some of them have tried to sound the alarm about the ease of finding and exploiting critical flaws in endpoint antivirus products for years.

Bottom of the Page

I am not a fan of having different behavior between a tap and a long press in some of the iOS apps I am using. (Microsoft Outlook, Instapaper, etc)

I already have this ingrained habit of pressing on a button, think for just a bit, and then either release (so as to register a click) or to slide away (cancel the potential click). This habit fails miserably in these iOS apps.

Look, we've tried this (long-press to bring up contextual menu) in the classic Mac OS days. Didn't really work, did it?


Today I learnt that the term 'fluid' can refer to both liquids and gases.


Thanks for reading.