The Natural-To-Hold Edition Saturday, January 23, 2016

The Apple iPad Pro Review, by Joshua Ho, Brandon Chester and Ryan Smith, Anandtech

Overall, the iPad Pro has proven to be a very different experience for me than previous iPads. The design is definitely familiar, with the same industrial design and general feel as previous iPads scaled up to a 12.9” form factor. However, the change in size is something that feels like it should have been done from the start. Of course, there are people that will carry tablets in cargo pockets that want something closer to a 7” display and people that carry tablets in purses that want a ~10” display, but if you’re like me and the only way you can realistically carry a tablet is in a backpack then the 12.9” size makes far more sense.

It’s also noteworthy that despite this increased size I didn’t really notice that it had gotten significantly harder to handle in the hands than an iPad Air 2. This is likely helped by avoiding placing heavy batteries at the edges of the tablet, which reduces the moment of inertia and associated hand or arm strain from holding the tablet for hours on end. This is especially important when considering the Apple Pencil which makes it pretty natural to hold the tablet with one hand and draw with the other for hours on end.

Delusions Of Grandeur, by Rob Rhyne

In barely three years, design consideration for iOS has gone from two sizes to twelve. When account for orientation, twenty-four distinct layouts are required. Twenty-four to account for devices which support iOS 9. Madness.

Consider technologies like CloudKit, HomeKit, and CarPlay in addition to nearly continuous updates and improvements to familiar frameworks. Earlier this month, Apple announced an iOS 9.3 public preview. The updates are non-stop. Gone are the days when WWDC contained all the new shiny.

Were that not enough, Apple also introduced a new programming language—swift—in 2014. swift received a major update in 2015 and was open-sourced along with public plans for the next major revision.

Still think Apple isn’t innovating enough under Tim Cook? Don’t let an app developer hear that talk—they want a vacation, and the end of 2015 showed no signs of relief.

Getting The Display Right

Making The Screen Easier To Read, by J. D. Biersdorfer, New York Times

Between the settings you can adjust in most web browsers and the accessibility features built into the computer’s operating system, you should be able to make low-contrast type more readable.

Overcome The OS X Dock Getting Stuck On A Second Monitor, by Topher Kessler, MacIssues

This issue usually happens because of a configuration bug in the Dock, and the easiest workaround is to simply spur a change to the Dock’s configuration so it is reloaded and works properly.

Filming Snowzilla

Make An Epic “Snow-Lapse” With The Phone Or Camera You Already Own, by Charles Wood, Medium

We’ve all seen them. The magical time-lapse videos of snow piling up in an an instant. Now you can make a “Snow-Lapse” with one of the many cameras likely laying around your home.


Embracing Apple's Ugly Hump: Design Dud, Utility Triumph, by Lance Ulanoff, Mashable

Still, the overall design represents Apple's most inelegant solution to a design problem. Surely Jony Ive must have looked to the sky and cried out, "Why?!"

And yet none of that really matters because the Smart Battery Case is an awesomely useful product.

Four Alternatives To iCloud Photos On The Apple TV, by Josh Centers, TidBITS

If you’re looking for an app solely to store and display photos on your Apple TV, I recommend Slidez. It’s simple, you can add photos from a browser, and it’s the only one that can display Live Photos.

However, Slidez isn’t a good general photo management solution due to its lack of sharing and collaboration. For that, I recommend Storehouse, which is a complete solution with a slick Apple TV app. However, it doesn’t have a desktop solution other than its anemic Web app.

MailButler Adds New Tools To Apple Mail, by John Voorhees, MacStories

Like many of Apple's stock Mac apps, Mail gets the job done without many bells and whistles. That leaves gaps for third-party developers to fill with their own apps and plugins. MailButler does just that – it's a plugin for Apple Mail from Berlin-based Feingeist Software that adds six tools to Mail that are especially useful if you send a lot of email.

NetSpot Packs Multiple Wireless Troubleshooting Tools In One App, by Erik Eckel, TechRepbulic

The application's Pro version adds commercial licensing, additional Wi-Fi analysis visualizations, support for wireless networks possessing more than five access points, and the ability to detect hidden networks, among other features.

This New App Takes Your iPhone Videos To The Next Level, by Kate Dwyer, Teen Vogue

A “video diary” would no longer be a lethargic teen talking into a camera — it could be a teen narrating her experiences as she shows them to you, having captured them throughout the day. For bloggers who attend fashion shows, reporters on the street covering protests, and aspiring film directors in high school, KnowMe could be a great platform to showcase and share their work. “Kids are speaking the language of video already,” Andrew says. And now, with his app, we can all become visual storytellers.

It Changes With Your Day: How Massive Attack's New App Will Transform How We Listen To Music Forever, by TristanCork, Western Daily Press

Existing technology on the iPhone 5s already gathers information on the time of day, where in the world the phone is – be it a city or countryside – whether the phone's owner is travelling, walking or running and even, through the iPhone 'health app' their heartbeat and, to a certain extent, their mood.

And so the band's Fantom app takes all that information and remixes the four songs depending on the information it gathers – someone listening to it will hear a very different version of the same song if they are running in the morning to when they are relaxing at home in the evening, for instance.


I Have No Idea What I’m Doing (But) I’m A Programmer, by Kamil Lelonek

Why learning through trial and error is the best way to waste your time and client’s money?


Apple Renews Its Partnership With (RED), by Dennis Sellers, Apple World Today

With UNAIDS data showing that mother-to-child transmission of HIV could be effectively ended as early as 2020, Apple, América Móvil, Bank of America, Belvedere, GAP, SAP, Starbucks and The Coca-Cola Company have renewed their partnerships with (RED) in support of reaching this goal, with NetJets, Salesforce and Tradeshift also announcing new partnerships with (RED) — the AIDS organization founded by Bono and Bobby Shriver — to fight AIDS.

Calling Humans The “Weakest Link” In Computer Security Is Dangerous And Unhelpful, by Josephine Wolff, Slate

Of course, it’s completely true that many computer security incidents involve human users making bad decisions—opening emails or downloading files despite warning signs; using obvious, easily guessable passwords; ignoring warning signals from their browser or operating system. But that’s no reason for technologists to feel smug about their accomplishments. In fact, just the opposite: These sorts of mistakes are evidence that the technology is failing its human users, not the other way around.

Rumors Of The Day

Apple Readies ’iPhone 5se’, Not ‘6c’, For March/April With Curved Edges & Live Photos, by Mark Gurman, 9to5Mac

The new device is internally codenamed “N69,” but the launch name will likely be the “iPhone 5se.” The “se” suffix has been described in two ways by Apple employees: as a “special edition” variation of the vintage 4-inch iPhone screen size and as an “enhanced” version of the iPhone 5s. Indeed, the upcoming “5se” features a design similar to 2013’s flagship but upgraded internals, software, and hardware features that blend the old design with modern technologies from the past two iPhone upgrades.

Apple To Update Apple Watch In mid-March With New Bands, OS + Full Redesign In Fall, by Mark Gurman, 9to5Mac

The new lineup will be similar to the September 2015 Apple Watch revision, bringing a series of new band color options to the Apple Watch lineup. We are also told that entirely new bands made out of new materials are in development in addition to partnerships with firms beyond Hermes.

Bottom of the Page

I need a programming framework that keeps up with all the new stuff Apple is doing, and giving me a lazy way out by providing me with decent defaults.

Too much to ask?


Thanks for reading.