Software, Hardware, Silverware

Entries tagged: OS X

The world’s greatest operating system.

Continuity Is the Future of Apple

Serenity Caldwell:

We write emails on our iPhone because it’s convenient to not have to pull out a laptop, even when we get to a place where that laptop is easily accessible. We drag computers on airplanes because we need their data, even if we don’t need them. We concede the best experience in lieu of trying to make one device do everything—whether or not they’re the right tool for the job.

I do this constantly. I’ll spend 15 minutes fighting with autocorrect on my iPhone to chat with a friend, all the while sitting in front of my MacBook Air. I’ll drag the computer across the house to read an article rather than pick up an iPad and load the same tab there. Currently, there are a few tools that enable cross-device usage, but at our cores, we’re stubborn creatures: If it’s not easy, we’re not doing it. We’d rather compromise.

WWDC 2014 Liveblog

Tune in for live commentary on the WWDC 2014 keynote. 10 AM pacific, 1 PM eastern. No need to refresh the page!

WWDC 2014

That’s it, folks. Solid WWDC. Can’t wait to try this stuff.

No hardware; no Apple TV update. I guess we’ll keep waiting.

And hell yeah I’m putting it on my only phone.

It’s time for the wrap-up. iOS 8 looks amazing. Beta today, can’t wait to try it.

Swift apps can be submitted on day one of Yosemite and iOS 8.

Now we know what all of those unnamed sessions are and those banners upstairs.

Was that a boom mic in the shot?

I wish I knew more about this.

I don’t know what this stuff means but developers are cheering!

“The language is called Swift. And it totally rules.”

Objective-C without the C.

John Siracusa is wetting himself right now.

New version of Xcode.

Updates to SpriteKit. Again I don’t care, seriously. SceneKit. Ok.

At this point the games developers can make are cool but restricted mostly by the device. Why aren’t these on Apple TV? Because Apple is dragging their heels.

Tim: “What are gaming.”

So tedium. Such boring. Wow.

(We’re not related.)


Game demos. I hope we aren’t about to see game developers on stage. I hate that so more.

Metal: much improved access for games to the CPU and GPU. A lot of stuff I don’t understand ok.

CloudKit: free cloud assets for server side development. Way beyond iCloud. Going over these fast since press doesn’t really care.

Seems like there’ll need to be a common app for this.

HomeKit: common network protocol for home automation devices. Big “fuck you!” to Nest right now. Siri integration.

Photo library/camera APIs.

Works how you’d imagine.

Touch ID API.

Swype coming to iOS.

Third party keyboards… Was not expecting that.

How are users going to handle extensions?

Widgets look pretty cool, but definitely the possibility of uglifying the UI.

Weather information is now provided by The Weather Channel, according to Notification Center.

VSCO filters can be applied in Photos via their own UI. Really cool.

This is very cool.

Apps can appear on other’s share sheets. Bing can translate Safari pages. Third parties can put their widgets in Notification Center.

Extensibility: apps can offer services to other apps.

Craig’s back up. 4,00 new APIs.

Biggest release of the SDK since the launch of the App Store.

TestFlight built into the store.

Video previews.

Bundle sales.

New features for the store: Nearby changed to explore. Curation for the store. Better search. Faster search with continuing scroll. Editor’s Choice logo on search results.

300,000,000 visitors to the store every week. 75,000,000,000 downloads.

1.2 million apps in the store.

Tim coming back for the developer portion of iOS 8.

Siri: Faster voice recognition, Shazam, and “Hey Siri” when it’s plugged in.

Not free, but much cheaper storage options. I’ll finally upgrade I suppose. Still, not really cool, Apple.

At this point they really have to give us more storage. On the web too. Full res, original format.

But it looks like Apple really is solving the photo problem… next year.

Hopefully a beta soon. I want.

“We’re working on a grounds up photo solution for the Mac, shipping early next year.” :/

He keeps saying “iCloud Photo Library”. Surely this is a Mac thing too and surely we’re getting more storage.

“It’s really awesome.”

Pretty advanced editing features. Whither iPhoto?

Totally called the new wallpaper business aren’t you impressed?

Search in photos for location, time, and albums. More editing options in Photos.

iCloud Photo Library. Is this coming to Mac? Was John Gruber right?

Photos + iCloud. Sounds like unlimited Photo Stream.

So that’s how that works.

Up to six family members who share the same credit card…

With Family Sharing you can get at your family member’s purchases.

Helping parents everywhere stalk their children.

Family units on iOS, so you can easily share things between your family members.

Integration with the Mayo Clinic for blood pressure and other perimeters to catch health issues. Pretty cool but probably going to start small.

HealthKit provides a single place for applications to contribute data about your health. Health is the corresponding application where you can monitor everything about you. Third parties can access (with your permission) data about your health.

Health. Here it comes.

Oooh per-message S/MIME!!! (I don’t know what that is.)

I really don’t care about these features so…

98% of Fortune 500 companies use iOS. “And we’re gonna get the last two.”

Enterprise. Blegh.

Edits are saved to the original files so you don’t end up with duplicates.

iCloud Drive. You can now open files from other apps via the iCloud document picker. Thank god.

Messages looks great. All needed improvements.

If you get an audio message on your lock screen, you can listen to it by just putting your phone to your ear. Reply the same way.

He mentioned a “self-destruct” feature for attachments. Hopefully that alleviates those storage problems.

Videos play back in-line. More hair jokes ha ha.

Ooh sassy response.

Middle aged white dudes, every body.

Joz with a classic duck face, folks.

I was hoping QuickType would be Swype-style input… Damn.

Good-bye Find My Friends? I don’t think we’ll miss it.

Send voice and video messages very quickly.

You can change the name of group threads, turn of notifications for a thread or leave it, and add or remove people from it. You can share location with people in the thread. You can view all of the attachments in a nice view.

Messages is the most frequently used app on iOS.

SMS and phone calls on your iPad.

Continuity between iOS devices.

All that learning is local to the device. Private private private.

QuickType adapts to the message you’re sending, depending on what the rest of the conversation is like.

“QuickType” offers suggestions for what it thinks you’re typing.

Same Spotlight suggestions in Safari on iOS.

The same things you can do in Yosemite. App Store search, points of interest in maps, wikipedia entries, news, songs on the store, movies. Again, basically a textual Siri.

Spotlight. Yes.

But finally the iPad is getting features the iPhone can’t do. Mail looks great.

Contacts in multitasking is weird…

Facebook has actionable notifications, so it’s open to third parties.

“Bad Blood” by Bastille again.

Mail is getting more Mailbox-y.

iPad Safari gets Yosemite’s tab view and sidebar.

Your most frequently interacted-with contacts are in the multitasking area?

Works for calendar events, emails (I’m assuming) and works on the lock screen.

You can now reply to message notifications !!!

No more Missed in Notification Center.

“I missed you guys.”

End user features first. Here comes Craig again.

The excitement is building…

Giant release. Two stories: great end-user features and incredible developer features.

iOS 8. “We are not standing still.”

“toxic hellstew”. Tim doesn’t like Android.

Over a third of Android customers are running a version of Android 4 years old.

Android: 9% on KitKat.

iOS 7 is on 89% of devices.

He said “customer sat” again.

“Customer sat”. There it is. That was on the bingo card, right?

“Nearly half of our customers in China in the past six months switched from Android to iPhone.”

Digs on Android right now. Ok.

130 million iOS buyers were new to Apple this past year.

800 million iOS devices. 100 million iPod touches. 200 million iPads. 500 million iPhones. That’s half a billion.

Next up: iOS. Tim Cook’s back up.

I think the X in the logo is thinner this year.

Public beta program, but not happening today.

Coming in the fall. Free. Duh.

Available to developers today.

I’m hoping iCloud drive means we’re getting more storage for free…

That’s Yosemite. Yosemite is amazing.

This is mad awkward.

“We all want to welcome you to Apple.”

“Hey how you doin’ this is Dre.”

Calling Dr. Dre…

Continuity is amazing. I hope it works.

You can make calls from your Mac too.

Phone calls on your Mac, through your phone. Caller ID on your Mac. Holy shit that’s great.

SMS: texting on your Mac via your phone. “Green bubble friends” with “inferior devices”. They “insist on sending us messages”.

Even if your phone is across the room!

If you’re away from a network and your phone is nearby, your Mac will prompt you to set up a hotspot.

“Handoff”. “If you want to pick up where you left off on your Mac…” an icon appears on your iPad of the app you were working in. Swipe up to immediately get to it. Works for emails you’re writing.

AirDrop between OS X and iOS. Finally.

Continuity. “We believe you should be able to use the right device for the moment.” Yesssssss.

End of Demo. Craig’s back. “How about that parallel programming joke.” No just stop.

“I hope the rope is multithreaded.” ha ha

Markup isn’t very different from Preview annotations, just in the Mail app. meh.

Playing it smooth though…

Safari just crashed.

Spotlight suggestions in Safari look great. Spotlight is the killer feature of Yosemite.

We still have dots under running applications in the dock.

Safari remains way ahead of competition. Demo time.

HTML5 premium video, works with Netflix without need for Silverlight. 2 hours + more battery life than with Silverlight.

Separate private windows like Chrome.

Tab view that gives you grid of tabs, grouped by website.

RSS reading is back in Safari under Shared Links.

Safari: favorite bar under smart search field like iOS 7. Spotlight suggestions in Safari.

Annotations called “Markup” on emails.

Large email attachments via MailDrop. Basically uploads attachments to iCloud and emails a link instead of emailing the attachment.

For iOS.

iCloud document picker…

Technically this already worked but it was a hack. Just making that public.

You can now access your iCloud documents from apps (iOS and Mac) in Finder. And you can store all of your own files there.


Next: iCloud Drive.

Craig is going really fast. Seems like they have a lot to get through.

Basically a textual Siri. Would be great if this is on iOS too.

Spotlight looks really amazing. Going to change how you use your Mac every day.

Conversions in Spotlight.

“You haven’t had chili by the campfire until you’ve tried it with one of Jony’s custom made aluminium forks. It’s the diamond cut chamfered edges.”

No more black textured shit in Reminders.

Sports scores widget.

Notification Center goes over the desktop now, like iOS.

Nice default widgets. World clocks. Whither Dashboard?

Mentions of seeing wallpaper behind title bars reminiscent of… Vista. Heh.

My laptop looks like shit right now.

Third party apps are going to look like shit until they’re updated.

Demo time.

Internet searches. News feeds, maps, movies. Very Siri-like.

Inline preview for document search.

Spotlight: in the middle, like other launchers…

There’s a calculator widget, for example.

Updates to Notification Center: dark translucent like iOS. Today view from iOS. No Missed (hmm!). You can extend today view with widgets from third party apps.

Messages finally looks good.

Dark mode is sexy!

Dark mode!


All new icons. Very pretty. “Check out that trash can. That is a gorgeous trash can.”


Everything has been refined.

Very iOS 7.

This is pretty.

Helvetica. Not all circles for icons.

Video time.

Showing original Aqua.

New interface. Big enhancement to our most popular apps. And “Continuity”.

Check one off the predictions list, folks.

Using Futura in the presentation. Making jokes about OS X names. Oxnard? Rancho Cucamongga? Weed? No no no no. Yosemite.

Craig Federighi coming up to talk about the next version of OS X.

“Need I say more?”

“You may wonder how that compares to Windows.” Windows 8, a year older than Mavericks, is on 14% of Windows PCs.

Over 50% of installed base on Mavericks. Fastest adoption of any PC operating system ever.

40 million copies of Mavericks installed. Most of a single release ever.

80 million Macs.

“Let’s start with the Mac.”

“It’s so huge we’ve dedicated an entire section of the presentation to this.”

“You’re going to see the mother of all releases for developers.”

9 million registered developers. Up 50% over last year.

I’m 19 and I’ve done nothing!

“A special shout out to the student scholarship winners. They worked really hard to get here. Our youngest developer in the audience here today is 13.”

“This is a milestone year for this conference. It is the 25th year for this conference. It started in 1990 when a bunch of developers gathered together to talk about System 7.”

“From all of Apple: thank you very much.”

And here comes Tim Cook, to much applause.

A little girl to developers: “You inspire me so much.”

“What you really have is an intersection of technology and art.” There it is, folks.

“You open up an app and you open up a possibility.”

Now a kid with an artificial hand. Uses an app to do more and better things with it. That’s pretty cool. “I’m a fan of being different.”

These are choice quotes, folks.

“I gravitate toward very melancholy and painful songs.”

New Yorker: “I play solitaire, and of course I always win.”

“The best app of all time… has to be… Tinder.”

“I think these apps are essential to bring change to what’s going on in the ocean.”


Now average people are talking about the apps they can’t live without.

“That magic is a part of the app world.”

“I really don’t know what a developer looks like, but the apps they make let’s us do amazing things.”

Starting with a video, average people describing developers.

We’ve got a rights notice on screen.

“A Sky Full of Stars” by Coldplay.

“The Wire” by Haim.

“Pompeii” by Bastille.

“Lazaretto” by Jack White.

The Apple TV channel is live!

Just under an hour away from getting started!

WWDC 2014 Predictions/Wishlist

WWDC starts tomorrow. Like last year, there’s an overall sense of mystery going in. We expect OS X to get redesigned, but we don’t know how far Apple will go. Last year no one guessed iOS 7 would diverge so fully from the past. Likewise, this year the argument goes that because OS X has windowed, overlapping applications, a complete change will be ugly until every app is updated to the new look. Surely, a change as drastic as iOS 7 won’t fly. Thing is, I don’t think Jony cares. And don’t call me Shirley. Are Mr. Ive and Mr. Cook going to let third party developer resentment hold them back from their “ideal” Mac OS? Nope.

Yosemite National Park
Yosemite National Park. Image courtesy of the National Park Service.

Let’s get down to predictions. Here’s what I expect to be announced tomororow:

Here are three things you might have heard rumored but I don’t expect to hear about tomorrow:

Finally, here are the things I’m crossing my fingers for (but aren’t likely):

That’s all I got. I think there will be more, maybe something new about the Beats acquisition, and hopefully new hardware, but I really don’t know. I don’t think anybody does, and that’s great. Last year’s WWDC was the most exciting Apple keynote since January 2010. I love not knowing.

For fun, I’ll be liveblogging the keynote this year. No, I won’t be in San Francisco but I’ll be on my couch in front of my Apple TV pretending I’m in San Francisco, and really that’s almost as good. That’ll go up tomorrow a few hours before the keynote starts, so if you’re around you can tune in.

  1. I kid, I kid. ↩︎

  2. How much of this is me wanting to avoid upgrade fever all summer? 50% at least. ↩︎

Reeder for Mac Is Back

Reeder for Mac, the best RSS reader on OS X, is finally back with version 2. It now supports Feedbin and all the other popular RSS services that have popped up since Google Reader said adios. I’ve been using it for a few weeks, and it’s really great.

Can we now all say that ReadKit was a piece of shit?

Apple Opens OS X Beta Testing to All

Darrell Etherington for TechCrunch:

Before today, you needed a developer account to help test Apple’s upcoming software releases before they hit the general user population. You didn’t need to actually develop anything, but it would still cost you $99 per year to partake, and technically it was still sort of against the rules. Today, Apple introduced its OS X Beta Seed Program to make pre-release Mac operating system software available to all who want to help try it out.

My wild-ass guess: OS X 10.10 (11?) is a radical change and Apple can’t wait to show it off, but they’re not going to be ready to ship a stable version this summer or this fall.


John Gruber:

Amidst all the well-deserved accolades celebrating the 30th anniversary of the original Macintosh, what has struck me is how very Apple that product — and the team that made it — was.

For one thing, they sweated the details. The greatest testimony to their genius is just how much of that original design is recognizable in today’s Mac OS X 10.9. A Mac user from 1984 could sit down in front of an iMac or MacBook today and recognize it as a successor to that original machine. That’s simply amazing.

Even more amazing is that some things haven’t changed at all. File, Edit, and View menus to start the Finder menu bar — the same today as in System 1 in 1984.

John Siracusa on Macintosh

John Siracusa:

Memories are short in the tech industry. For most people, Apple and Steve Jobs will always be synonymous with the iPhone, an uncontested inflection point in our computing culture. For me, the introduction of the Macintosh will always be more important. Though people who didn’t live through it might not feel it as keenly as I do, the distance between pre-2007 smartphones and the iPhone is much smaller than the distance between MS-DOS and the Mac.

Six Years a Mac

My older sister imprinted two important philosophies on me growing up: liberalism and Appleism. I grew up in a fiercely Republican, lower-middle class home and Apple products were few in far between. My wealthy grandfather favored the Windows world and so all of the hand-me-down laptops I received through grade school were shitty Compaq and Toshiba XP machines. Remember when external slide-in wireless cards were a thing? If you’ve been an Apple user all your life, you probably don’t, you lucky sons-of-bitches. Still I loved them and spent every afternoon on them, getting involved pretty seriously with some early 2000’s internet communities I’m too embarrassed now to call out by name.

In 2005 my sister asked for and received a white iPod video for Christmas. A very casual listener of music myself, I asked for some no-name multimedia viewer that vaguely resembled a PSP; it held about fifteen songs and could theoretically play video and games, though I never figured out either. I remember many car rides and plane rides to and from my dad’s over the next year or so listening to my sister’s iPod through rubber-necked Belkin headphone splitter, and when she would demo for me how the software worked I remember being impressed yet having no desire to own one.

Fast forward another Christmas and I was begging for an iPod. It came used off eBay, the exact model my sister got a year early: 30GB white. I loaded it with mostly my sister’s music collection and spent hours listening to it and playing Parachute and watching whatever free videos were available on iTunes. I even got in to podcasts for the first time, the venerable Mugglecast and Pottercast to stay up on all the movie five news.

The May after that Christmas my sister graduated high school and was given as a present a plastic white MacBook. I watched her unbox it and set it up, and listened to her tout the benefits of the Mac over Windows as my grandfather grumbled and suggested she load bootcamp and XP. An impressionable sixth grader, I accepted everything my sister said as absolute fact and if anyone asked which I preferred I would proudly say that Macs were better and I would have one if I could afford it.

The summer after she graduated my family moved to Massachusetts and my last Windows laptop stopped working. Its replacement came in a 6 year old Dual-USB G3 iBook from my grandma, running OS X Jaguar. Out of date in every regard, and yet it was the best computer I had ever owned. At the time, I did not think it very remarkable. I was often frustrated by the lack of software available for it and I could not store much of my music collection on its tiny 10 GB hard drive. Still, it worked just as it had when it was new, cranking away at 450 MHz and rendering the web just as well as any Windows PC I ever owned. Only after I moved on to a newer Windows 7 machine (out of necessity for something newer) did I appreciate just how good that machine was. It was the only computer I’ve ever owned that was not replaced because it broke. It still works fine, actually, now on Tiger and spending most of its days at the bottom of a trunk at my mom’s house, but it does boot and work perfectly. The iBook, more than the iPod I owned before it, truly introduced me to Apple and spurned my love for their products.

Thirty years ago Steve Jobs introduced the first Macintosh and completely changed the computer industry; six years ago I got my first Macintosh and I was started onto the journey toward total Apple immersion. I’ve now owned four iPods, two iPads, I’m on my second iPhone and my second and third Macs, and I run a blog dedicated heavily to coverage of Apple.

‘My First Mac’

Federico Viticci, on this thirteenth anniversary of Macintosh, describes how he fell in love with Apple and got his first Mac:

The iPod had, unsurprisingly, got me interested in Apple: I was browsing Mac forums to understand what OS X was all about and what Apple, as a company, wanted for its customers; I had bought a first-gen iPod touch to have a portable modern Internet machine without having to buy an iPhone; I was so curious about OS X, I installed things like RocketDock on Linux to make it look more like a Mac. The halo effect was in full force and I couldn’t stop it: I wanted a Mac and I wanted it badly.

I relate to this so hard.

Knock to Unlock

Unlock your Mac by knocking twice on your iPhone. I bought this immediately after reading about it, and it’s awesome. Works great and fast (for me, though one friend does report it can be slow for him when his MacBook’s been closed for a bit). I wish it supported multiple Macs at once, though Knock says this is coming soon.

Lucida Grande “Retina-optimized” in OS X Mavericks

Tim Ahrens:

The more interesting question is, of course, what is the difference between the old and new design, which I will simply refer to as “2012” and “2013” here. After opening both versions of the Regular style, my FMX Compare Fonts macro spits out that outlines were changed in 115 glyphs, components were modified in 43 glyphs, metrics were adjusted in 64 glyphs and kerning pairs were added.

OS X Mavericks includes a new, retina-optimized version of the Lucida Grande system font for retina machines. It seems increasingly less likely that the OS X system font will change ever change to Helvetica.

Classic Mac OS in the Browser

James Friend has set up the PCE.js emulator to run System 7.0.1 with MacPaint, MacDraw, and Kid Pix. In a fucking browser.

John Gruber’s Thoughts on the Apple Event

John Gruber wrote in depth about each part of the event, but this, I think, is the best part:

I’m not going to pretend to know Jobs’s taste — no one could, that’s what made Steve Jobs Steve Jobs — but I can certainly make a guess, and my guess is that he would not have supported this direction. I don’t think I’m saying anything here we haven’t all thought, regardless what we each think of the iOS 7 look and feel individually. This is neither damning nor praising iOS 7. But I do think it’s a tangible sign that Tim Cook means it when he says that Jobs’s advice to him was never to ask “What would Steve have done?” but instead to simply ask “What is best for Apple?” and judge for himself.

Scattered Thoughts on Apple’s October 22 Event

Most of my predictions came true, with a few good exceptions: the Retina iPad mini comes in 128 GB flavors and has the A7, Mavericks is free, and we did get new versions of iLife and iWork for OS X, also free.

There were disappointments as well. The lack of a gold color option will disappoint some, but I’d say Apple knows what they’re doing. While gold is pulled off on the relatively small iPhone 5S, it probably looked bad on the larger metal canvas of an iPad. The Apple TV wasn’t updated with an iOS 7-y interface, which only makes me think Apple has something bigger planned for television still later this fall.

As for my wildcard, the 12-inch iPad, it isn’t surprising that nothing came of that but it is interesting that the new full-size iPad is called “iPad Air”. Some might say that Apple just can’t figure out how to name iPads1 but maybe, just maybe this means an “iPad Pro” is coming before this cycle is done. Might that iPad Pro have a 12-inch screen? Who knows.

The event was relatively boring. Nothing that came out of it was particularly surprising, as has been the case with most Apple events over the past 2-3 years. The lone exception being WWDC earlier this year, which was the most exciting Apple event since the iPad unveiling in 2010. The presentors, as Marco Arment points out, even seemed a little bored with what they were demoing. No individual item announced Tuesday would have warrented an event all its own, but it was just convienent to announce them all at one time in one place. Apple’s been slowly moving to an all-fall announcement schedule, which makes financial sense but is still a bit dissapointing. I miss the iPad-in-the-spring, iPhone-in-the-summer, Macs-and-iPods-in-the-fall years.

Does Apple have anything left for 2013? I certainly hope so. The iWatch doesn’t seem likely, but the Apple TV is still in need of a refresh and an upgrade.

  1. iPad > iPad 2 > The new iPad > iPad (fourth-generation) > iPad Air. Yeah, I’d say those people are right. ↩︎

OS X 10.9 Mavericks: The Ars Technica Review

With Mavericks going up for download later today, John Siracusa’s perennial review is now live. Read and enjoy.

More to Cover

We have an event in a few hours, so let’s talk predictions.

iPads: The current iPad mini will drop from $329 to $299. It’ll come in silver, Space Gray, and maybe gold. A new, retina iPad mini with an A6(X?) will come in at $399 in the same colors. The full-size iPad will have a new, mini-style casing and start at $499. 16 GB, 32 GB, 64 GB for the Minis and 16, 32, 64, 128 for the full-size. The full-size will get a hinge-less Smart Cover like the mini’s.

Macs: The Macs that haven’t been upgraded to Haswell (Mac mini, MacBook Pro) will be. I don’t expect anything other than spec updates for the Retina Pros. Maybe we’ll get a 90-degree MagSafe 2 charger. The Mac Pro will be mentioned, possible with pricing and surely with a ship date. I’m guessing December.

iOS: I would expect the Apple TV to get a 7-style UI, since it has so few graphical resources to begin with. Frankly, I’m surprised it didn’t happen last month. New versions of the remaining non-7-ified Apple apps will ship: iWork, iLife, Find My Friends, Find My iPhone, Remote. 7.1 or 7.0.3 will ship with bug fixes (please fix the Control Center-when-keyboard-showing bug, pretty please) and iCloud Keychain to go along with Mavericks…

OS X: Mavericks will ship, either today or in one week. $10. Since Apple asked developers to start submitting Mavericks-ready apps last week, I’m leaning toward a release this afternoon. (Sorry, John). Here’s hoping for new versions of iWork and iLife, but the odds don’t seem great.

Wildcard: The invitation says “we have a lot more to cover”, and here’s my wild-ass guess as to what that could mean: a 12-inch iPad with a 12-inch Smart Cover.

1Password 4 for Mac Is Here

1Password 4 has arrived on the Mac (finally). I’ve been a 1Password user for about a year now and I’ve been beta testing version 4 for Mac for several weeks. It’s a great update. The new design is beautiful and useful; the icon is great, too. With Mavericks shipping later this month (hopefully) and iCloud Keychain going live between iOS and OS X, 1Password is about to face their biggest competition yet. Ironically, my favorite addition to 1Password 4 is iCloud sync.

iOS 7-Inspired OS X

Edgar Rios made some mockups of OS X with an iOS 7-inspired interface. Some of it is rough (that Finder icon is ghastly) but some of it is really great. Control Center on OS X, please!

New iMacs

Haswell, 802.11ac, and faster SSD’s. Interesting that they’d update these before yet so near the Mavericks release.

One Device to Rule Them All

John Moltz for MacWorld:

Microsoft believes that people don’t really want separate devices, they want just one. And it likes to present iPad users as “frustrated” with that device’s inability to be the one true product for consumers. In talking about the Surface, Bill Gates said of iPad users:

“They can’t type. They can’t create documents,” said Gates.

Now, in his defense, it’s possible he’s never used an iPad before. Or seen one. And he may also be unaware there are kinds of documents other than Word documents. The point is, Microsoft is selling the idea that the iPad is half a solution and the Surface is the whole solution.

Of course, it’s not selling that idea very well, given the Surface’s sales figures, but we’ll get to that in a minute.

Skeuomorphism in Logic Pro X

Stephen Hackett on Logic Pro X’s skeuomorphic UI elements:

In short, I think Apple views skeuomorphism as acceptable, as long as it’s functional. In Logic Pro X, it is. Dials and knobs make sense in the world of professional audio, so Apple has dials and knobs in its professional audio application.

Sorry, Stephen, wood paneling isn’t functional. The explanation for Logic Pro X’s skeuomorphism is much simpler: there are still loose ends for Apple to tidy up, especially in their desktop software. These plugins to Logic Pro X were clearly designed before Apple switched design philosophies, and rather than take longer to put out this release, they shipped this to be corrected later.

Jim Dalrymple Reviews Logic Pro X

Jim Dalrymple got an early look at Logic Pro X, and his review is already up. I don’t know much about music, but it looks like a good overview. Logic Pro X is clearly not a change on the scale of Final Cut Pro X1. It hasn’t been rewritten, and it includes from the get-go all the features of its predecessor. It’s also interesting to see a new app (well, an updated app but the interface has been refreshed) from Apple, post-WWDC ‘13, that features skeuomorphic textures.

  1. Apple could probably remove the “Pro” from both of those names. I don’t think they make non-professional versions any longer. “Logic X” and “Final Cut X” sound a lot nicer. ↩︎

Apple Unveils Logic Pro X

Logic Pro X is out with a companion app for iPad. It’s good to see Apple reaffirming its dedication to professionals. Even if I don’t use any of the pro apps, I like seeing them progress.

(Something tells me we won’t have OS XI or OS 11 or OS Eleven anytime soon.)

The Agony and the Ecstasy of the New MacBook Air’s Battery

David Chartier:

For all the incredibleness of the MacBook Air’s new battery, the device is still dependent on WiFi hotspots and, let’s face it, the internet is an essential ingredient these days for getting most things done.

I’ve thought for a long time that the MacBook would get cellular radios. The 2013 Airs would have been prime candidates, but it increasingly feels like Apple just doesn’t want to do it.

Free Mavericks

Thomas Brand explains why the next version of OS X should be free:

Every major release of iOS has been free. And free has drastically accelerated the adoption rate of iOS. An accelerated adoption rate is good for customers because it puts the latest technology into their hands, and provides them with the latest bug fixes. An accelerated adoption rate is good for developers because it reduces the complexity of supporting multiple operating systems, and decreases support requests. An accelerated adoption rate is good for Apple because it keeps them looking forward.…

During his 2013 WWDC Keynote address, Tim Cook revealed that 93% of all iOS users were using iOS 6, the latest version of Apple’s mobile operating system. But only 35% of all Mac users had upgraded to 10.8 Mountain Lion, the latest version of OS X.…

Just three weeks ago, Apple released a security update for Snow Leopard, alongside a similar update for Lion, and Mountain Lion. Normally Apple only provides software updates for the two most recent versions of OS X, but they are forced to continue to support Snow Leopard due to its popularity.

And then, confusingly, predicts that it won’t be free:

A free Mavericks sounds temping to encourage adoption, but I suspect Apple won’t change the price of the next version of OS X. As John points out, any price above free can still be seen as an obstacle, and although Apple doesn’t need the money, there is no point leaving it on the table.

There are at least three points for leaving that money on the table, and Thomas listed them. Apple makes its huge profits from hardware sales, no OS X sales. It’s in Apple’s best interests to encourage wide adoption of Mavericks, and I expect it to be the first free release of OS X.

Raindrops on Roses and Whiskers on Kittens

The first computer I remember loving was my 12-inch “second generation “dual-USB” iBook.

I owned many computers before it, hand-me-downs from an eccentric grandfather. All of them ran Windows XP, often poorly. When the last of them crapped out, I was given the iBook. This was in 2007, and by then the machine was going on six. It too was recycled, this time from my schoolteacher grandmother. It was my first experience with a Mac, and it was great.

If I was handed an equivalent machine today, I’d probably toss it. Back then, I dealt with the quirks that come with owning an aged, outdated machine because I didn’t know any better. It had a 10 gigabyte hard drive and a PowerPC processor whose speed was measured in megahertz. The ethernet port demanded constant upward pressure to maintain a connection1. If you dared to alter the position of the hinge, the backlight would eek revenge and shut off. To adjust the angle of the display, you had to put the machine to sleep, make your adjustments, and wake it back up again. My iBook’s idiosyncrasies were nothing if not infuriating.

But god dammit, those details didn’t matter. That machine was reliable. Every single day I trusted it to boot up and run Firefox and AIM2 and TextEdit and every single day it did. I was involved with a couple internet communities (far too deeply than I care to admit) and my iBook was my only method of connection. And it did. I’ve never since used an Apple product for so close to its intended use. I was uninhibited by the computer and its components, and I just used the damn thing.

With college coming this fall, a laptop was at the top of my shopping list. When the MacBook Air was updated two weeks ago, I made a purchase. I’ve been using it for a week now, and it’s great. It’s the best computer I’ve owned. In so much of it I see my punchy little iBook.

I’m savvier now, but I find myself just as uninterested now in the specifications and details of my laptop as I was then. Rest assured, the storage is measured in triple digits and the clock speed in gigahertz. Many laptops on the market are boasting about their super high-resolution touchscreen displays. The Air might seem archaic in comparison. Its screen is small and low-resolution. It isn’t even and IPS panel. As with my iBook six years ago, these details don’t matter.

The Thine Edge of the MacBook Air

My machine is reliable and solid. It runs the best operating system in the world. It runs all of the apps I need, and runs them well. Most importantly, it gets out of the way and allows to me do my best creative work. That’s the essence of every thing Apple makes. Six years ago I missed this remarkable distinction of Apple products. Now I’m fully aware.

While the 2013 iteration of the MacBook Air isn’t too different from the last, and though it might not match up in a checklist comparison to other Windows notebooks on the market, it is the best computer I have ever owned. Perhaps the best in the world.

  1. Mine was not AirPort equipped. ↩︎

  2. Those were cool once. ↩︎

Steve Jobs Introduces Aqua

Obviously this is a few years old. However, now that iOS 7 has had a little time to sink in, I think it is a good time for people to revisit (or in many cases visit) this bit of Apple history.

I tried to make the link skip you ahead to an hour and thirteen minutes into the video, but knowing YouTube that probably didn’t work.

The New Mac Pro

Guy English:

I keep finding myself thinking about this new Mac Pro. I’d always been a Mac Pro kind of person until my old Pro died and it looked like the product was stagnant so I bought a 27″ Core i7 iMac. Which was amazing and I totally fell in love. I’ll never need a Mac Pro again, I thought. Then the hard drive in that died and now I work on a relatively old MacBook Air as my primary. (It’s plugged into a 27″ Thunderbolt Display. I’m not an animal.) And, it turns out, even working on this old Air is fine. I don’t need the crazy compute muscle I used to think I needed.


The new Mac Pro surely is lust-worthy.

Been There, Done That

Craig Hockenberry:

Some designers are saying that the new look is “over the top.” The same thing was said about Aqua over a decade ago. And in succeeding years, that original UI has continuously been refined to what we see today.

We’ve become accustomed to Apple’s incremental approach which continuously refines their products. This is typically an additive process where new features are included or existing ones are improved.

But with major user interface changes such as Aqua or iOS 7, Apple has another tendency: they overshoot the mark. Their incremental approach then becomes one where unnecessary items are removed (such as Aqua’s stripes) or improved (excessive shadows and transparency are toned down.)

10.9 to Cater to Power users

9to5Mac is reporting today that 10.9 is set to include a couple new features for power users, including a tabbed Finder and a redone Safari. Here’s hoping for both. I also wouldn’t be surprised to see some minor UI improvements from the hand of Sir Ive, to go along with his overhaul in iOS 7.

10.9 Nears

Matt Alexander tweeted:

There seems to be a certain journalistic migratory pattern toward NYC today. Reminds me of a certain private event in February last year.

I’m hoping 10.9 is a big one.

How to Adjust OS X Volume in Quarters

Shift + Alt + Volume Up/Down

How to Crash (Nearly) Any Mountain Lion App

Type “file:///” (but capitalize the ‘F’)1 into any text field in any app running on Mountain Lion, and chances are it will crash.

  1. I can’t print that with the ‘F’ capitalized because if I type it, Safari will crash before I can post this. ↩︎

Apple Releases OS X Mountain Lion 10.8.2 Supplement Update

OS X Mountain Lion 10.8.2 Supplement Update 1.0 is recommended for all users running OS X Mountain Lion 10.8.2. Naming is hard.

Pixel Perfect

John Gruber:

The crude big-pixel displays of the ’90s and early ’00s were what made designing for the web feel so janky, at least for anyone coming from the world of print. Our low-resolution comps were, on the web, the real shipping product, and our only font choices were those designed for low-resolution screen use. Good web design, at the time, embraced the pixelated nature of browser rendering.

And today, finally, we can use real typefaces on the web, because they look beautiful on Retina displays. We’ve come a long way. Go read the whole thing, it’s some of Gruber’s best.

Signs in Mountain Lion Point to “Retina” Display MacBooks Sooner Than Later

Like I said: soon.

iPad vs. MacBook Air and iMac

Horace Dediu:

The new iPad now exceeds the total display resolution, has similar speed and storage capacity while having twice the battery life of the thinnest laptop of four years ago.

The next iPhone is going to be great.

An Exclusive Look at Mac OS 9

Thomas Brand:

By identifying changes in network topography Mac OS 9 could set location specific preferences using AppleScript. A user’s desktop pattern, speaker volume, energy settings and personal preferences could be changed depending on the Macs location. Mac OS X still lacks location awareness to this day, but at least it can network with PC. Mac OS 9 was too good for Windows file sharing.

iOS-ification of OS X

Ben Brooks:

This is what I see happening with OS X and iOS: bringing both to the point where the average user doesn’t have to see a difference between the two OSes, but where there very much are differences between the two.

I hope Ben’s right, and I honestly think he is. Apple’s end goal here isn’t to make OS X into iOS. We’re going to have OS X with its mouse, keyboard, and file system for a long time to come, but in the mean time Apple’s going to unify the experience between the two OSes.

Retina Artwork Found in Messages App

Arnold Kim:

A look at some of the resources from Apple’s new Messages app shows several graphics that come in multi-part TIFFs that include regular and double resolution versions. In fact, if you look at the information embedded within the images, you can see the resources were at one point named in the same “@2x” convention.

We began seeing retina artwork in iPad apps roughly a year ago, and the retina iPad is launching next month.

Observations on Mac OS X Mountain Lion

Skeuomorphism is here to stay. Five years ago, one of the big features of features of Leopard was a unified UI: rid of Aqua themes, pro themes, and brushed metal. Snow Leopard continued that trend, and then Lion broke it with faux-leather Address Book and iCal. Today, Mountain Lion adds Reminders, Notes, and Game Center to the leather trend. People tend to think it’s terrible and publicly scream about it, but I don’t mind it so much. I’m probably nuts.

iCal is now Calendar and iChat is now Messages. I’m not sad to see these iMonikers start to disappear. iCal was a terrible name, period. Address Book was renamed Contacts, and System Preferences is now Settings, but those changes are less interesting.

Safari 5.2 adds a unified address/search bar. My theory on the delay of a Safari “omnibar” is that Apple looked at Chrome and thought, “We can do better than that!” and it took them until now to realize that actually they couldn’t, and they should probably just put it in already. I don’t care, I’m just glad that it’s finally here. Count on it appearing in iOS 6.

Notification Center for the Mac was inevitable. I privately predicted it way back in June. Sorry, Growl.

The new accounts settings pane is a godsend. iOS has always had a simple interface for adding email, contacts, and calendar accounts, and Lion Mail brought that to the desktop. Mountain Lion adds support for Flickr and Twitter, among others, baked right into Settings. This is excellent.

Notes and reminders are removed from Mail and Calendar, which is way over do (especially for notes).

Notes raises a few questions for me. The new Mac version has explicit support for inline images and rich text. But the iPhone and iPad apps don’t, and in Apple’s screenshots it seems like that content is simply stripped. Hopefully that won’t create syncing errors where images disappear when pushed back and forth between iPhones and iMacs. Alternatively, iOS 5.1 or 6 could add support for these features.

Messages is how IM should have been done years ago.

Gatekeeper is an awesome security feature for the vast majority of Mac users, and for power users, it’s a one-time toggle to turn it off. I know people are going to fuss and whine about it, but really there’s no reason to.

Mountain Lion adds two new icons to the dock that aren’t blue and glossy1. The glowing blue running indicators are still on by default. That’s interesting, because in the Lion betas they were off by default, and in the public release they were turned back on. Apparently, Apple still doesn’t think they’ve reached the point with frozen states and resuming to justify it.

For complete coverage of all of the changes coming in OS X Mountain Lion, I suggest MacWorld.

  1. The Messages icon, unfortunately, is. At least it isn’t an orb. ↩︎

Apple’s Mountain Lion Page

OS X Mountain Lion arrives this summer. With all-new features inspired by iPad, the Mac just keeps getting better and better.

I was betting on “Lion S”. You can download the Messages app for Lion today.

Mountain Lion

John Gruber:

The recurring theme: Apple is fighting against cruft — inconsistencies and oddities that have accumulated over the years, which made sense at one point but no longer — like managing to-dos in iCal (because CalDAV was being used to sync them to a server) or notes in Mail (because IMAP was the syncing back-end). The changes and additions in Mountain Lion are in a consistent vein: making things simpler and more obvious, closer to how things should be rather than simply how they always have been.

Apple broke the news of Mountain Lion in a strange but, I think, very cool way: about a dozen private, one-on-one, keynote presentations with writers. “We’re starting to do some things differently,” said Phil Schiller.

Hi-DPI in Lion 10.7.3

TUAW has screenshots of all the updated graphics in Lion 10.7.3. My guess: retina Macs are coming. Soon.