The Maintenace-Tools-And-Landscaping-Materials Edition Saturday, July 15, 2017

Barn At Apple Park Represents ‘Hard Work’ Of Generations Of ‘Visionaries’, by Kristi Myllenbeck, San Jose Mercury News

Austin said the structure will be used as a working barn on the site to store maintenance tools and other landscaping materials.

“We appreciate that they didn’t destroy it and that they thought enough of local history to keep it,” said local historian Gail Fretwell-Hugger. “That’s very important.”

Crowdsourcing App Helps Blind Find Their Bus Stop, by Tina Trinh, VOA News

Someone with blindness typically relies on a smartphone’s voiceover and GPS functions to help them get around, but there’s a big catch: Devices with GPS usually get people within 30 feet of their final destination.

“But that last 30 feet, when you are blind, is the last 30 feet of frustration, because you can’t get to your precise goal,” Aguiar said.

To address the problem, Perkins Solutions, a division of the Boston-based Perkins School for the Blind, has built a technological solution, the BlindWays app, which Aguiar recently showed off at the New York Times’ “Cities for Tomorrow” conference. The iPhone app is assisting the blind and visually impaired in Boston, guiding them to the nearest bus stop.

This App Helps You Pass On Treasured Keepsakes And Memories, by Starts At 60

Many of us have treasured items handed down by relatives, but don’t know the full significance they had for our loved ones. Or do you have items you want to pass down to family members with the assurance that your precious memories will go with them?

It was for those very reasons that Jacquie Holden and Carly Daff created a phone app called Keepsake. The mother-daughter duo wanted to make it easier to organise, record and gift treasured objects, so that future generations could understand their significance.

1Password Standalone Vaults And PasswordWallet, by Michael Tsai

They seemed to be trying to thread a needle by specifically not promising continued support for local vaults, conflating this with not commenting on future product directions in general and the idea that all software eventually breaks, and then saying there was nothing to worry about because they have no plans to actively remove the feature. Reading between the lines, the strong implication was that they wanted at least the option to go cloud-only in version 7 without going back on their word.

I took this as a signal to start looking at other options, because the centralized cloud model, while very convenient for most customers and for AgileBits’ support people, seems inherently less secure to me and won’t work with Little Snitch blocking all network access. Additionally, it doesn’t work with 1PasswordAnywhere, doesn’t work with 1Password’s local backup feature, and maintains only a partial local cache (attachments not guaranteed).

So, by the time of Teare’s announcement, I had already investigated some alternatives, selected PasswordWallet (based in part on a recommendation from Wolf Rentzsch), and converted one of my vaults.


Yoink Is The macOS Shelf Utility I Want On iOS Too, by John Voorhees, MacStories

Yoink, is one of my favorite macOS utilities that sits just out of sight until I start to drag something. There are many days when I have a bunch of apps open across at least a few different Spaces. If I need to send a file to someone in Slack or attach it to an email message, those apps may be buried under several layers of windows, in a different Space, or may not be open at all. Instead of starting a drag and using Alt+Tab to find the app to drop a file into if it’s even open, I can drop it onto Yoink as a temporary resting spot until I find the destination for which I’m looking. This is especially useful when I’m using an email client and haven’t begun composing a new message yet.

Wacom's New Bamboo Sketch Is The Perfect Stylus For iPhones And Non-Pro iPads, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Introduced earlier this year, the Bamboo Sketch is Wacom's latest precision stylus designed to work with the iPhone and the iPad over Bluetooth. It's meant to mimic the feel of traditional pen-and-paper writing and drawing with interchangeable pen nibs and customizable shortcut buttons.

Priced at $80, Wacom's new stylus isn't a better option than the Apple Pencil for iPad Pro users, but for the iPhone and other iPad models, it's worth checking out.


Apple Cracking Down On VPN-Based Ad Blockers That Work In Third-Party Apps, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Specifically, the app violated section 4.2.1, which says "Apps should use APIs and frameworks for their intended purposes and should indicate that integration in their app description," and to get even more specific, Future Mind was told the update was rejected because "Your app uses a VPN profile or root certificate to block ads or other content in a third-party app, which is not allowed on the App Store."

Cracking The Code Behind Apple's App Store Promo Card Design, by Equinux

Apple’s App Store gift cards have a special trick: you can simply hold one up to your iPhone or Mac’s camera and it’ll automatically scan in the code and redeem the card for you. As developers, we thought it’d be cool to print some of our own promo code cards to give away at events, so we tried to create our own scannable cards. Turns out, there’s more to it than meets the eye.

Inside App Accelerator, Apple's Push To Win Over Indian Developers, by Manish Singh, NDTV

Things started to change earlier this year, when Phil Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of worldwide marketing, flew to India to officially kickstart Apple's App Accelerator - a first-of-its-kind initiative, in namma Bengaluru.

More than three months later, the company's efforts are starting to shape up. Gadgets 360 spoke to many developers who have signed up for the App Accelerator, and they are pleased with how things are going so far. Registration to the App Accelerator - which is capable of hosting 500 developers per week - as well as attending the sessions, is free and open to everyone.


Other Products, by Horace Dediu, Asymco

There is one Apple and it must be analyzed as a unitary entity. That analysis is therefore difficult. It is easy to pick up the numbers given and study them in isolation. The iPhone, the iPad, the Mac. We all do that.. However we miss a great deal in doing that.

The lesson is that data we obtain leads us to see something but it also blinds us by taking attention away from what we cannot see. All data lies by omission. That which is left unmeasured may be where all the truth lies.

Three Tiny Laptops, by Stephen Hackett, MacStories

The 12-inch MacBook with Retina display is a marvel of engineering. It packs the power of macOS into a tiny chassis that weighs just two pounds. You can carry it and an iPad before you reach the weight of the 13-inch MacBook Pro.

There are, of course, trade-offs when it comes to such a small machine. The single USB-C port is a show-stopper for many, as is the under-powered — but fanless — Intel CPU.

The fact that compromises are needed to make notebooks thin and light is nothing new. Over the years, Apple has made several bold moves in this direction. Three really stand out.

Bottom of the Page

I seem to recall there were some outcry a few years back when Apple started renaming apps on the Mac to match their counterparts on iOS. Address Book becamse Contacts, and iCal became Calendar. It didn't really bother me then, but I really appreciate this change now that I am using spotlight to launch apps both on my Mac and on my iPhone.

Which is my way of saying that nowadays, when I want to listen to Apple Music on my Mac, I'll call up spotlight, start typing "music", realize the app is still named "iTunes", backspace-backspace-backspace, and type "iTunes."

(Yes, I do know typing "music" will also bring up iTunes, but I haven't gotten used to that.)


Thanks for reading.