Archive for June 13, 2013

Thursday, June 13, 2013


Amy Worrall:

MapKit on OSX is for App Store apps only. All interest I had is immediately lost.

Just like iCloud.

iWork for iCloud: Not Enough

David Sparks:

Also missing from the iWork for iCloud presentation was any mention of the best reason to put an office app on the web, collaboration. I’ve never been happy with the feature set of any of the web-based office solutions. They don’t have the features we get with native apps and are often ugly as sin. There is, however, one redeeming feature in collaboration. Multiple people can work on the same online document at once. Google has mastered this so that I can write one paragraph while watching a colleague (or two or three colleagues) write another paragraph on the same page. iCloud for iWork doesn’t support this.

How Three Guys Rebuilt the Foundation of Facebook

Cade Metz:

In a nod to the company’s original PHP converter, they called the system the HipHop Virtual Machine, or HHVM for short, and it was soon installed beneath the live site, where it continues to run today.

HHVM uses what’s called just-in-time compilation, which means Facebook’s PHP code is converted to machine language as it executes on the server. This is the way the Java programming language runs, but the Java virtual machine was built over many years to serve an entire industry of programmers. The HipHop Virtual Machine was built just for Facebook — though, as with so many parts of its infrastructure, Facebook has open sourced the system, so that anyone can use it.

With the HipHop Virtual Machine, Facebook can run PHP at speeds most developers never thought possible. But some still wonder why the company would go to such extremes. Longtime developer and programming pundit David Pollack doesn’t buy the notion that PHP helps Facebook iterate at a faster clip.

iOS 7 Design

Matt Gemmell:

We can quibble about colour choices, but when viewed against the new style, the sheer weight and gimmickry of the bubbles and bevels and shine becomes very apparent. The navigation bar at the top hangs there like a lintel, frowning away. It’s a pretty Photoshop job, but to my eye it now looks chunky and theme-y, like a skin for jailbroken devices.

Matthew Panzarino:

In fact, the designs are so different that you might even have been surprised that they came out of the same teams that were behind the home screen on iOS 6. Well, you’d be right. We’ve been talking to people all week about the new designs of iOS and multiple sources have given us a better picture of how it went down inside Apple in the last few months.

First of all, many of the new icons were primarily designed by members of Apple’s marketing and communications department, not the app design teams.

Marco Arment:

I don’t think most developers of mature, non-trivial apps are going to have an easy time migrating them well to iOS 7. Even if they overcome the technical barriers, the resulting apps just won’t look and feel right.

John Gruber:

There’s an intricate system at work, a Z-axis of layers organized in a logical way. There is a profound reduction in the use of faux-3D visual effects and textures, but iOS 7 is anything but flat. It is three dimensional not just visually but logically.

Craig Hockenberry:

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).

Transferring App Ownership

Adam C. Engst:

Apple has at long last responded to one significant request: the desire to transfer apps between developers. This is important because developers have a lot of intellectual property value wrapped up in apps, in part due to the app’s metadata in the App Store. Until now, it wasn’t possible to transfer an app between developers without losing rankings and reviews and severing the connection with existing customers for updates, thus stripping an app of much of its hard-earned value.

This is a a good improvement, but it’s worth noting what the FAQ says:

You cannot transfer iCloud enabled apps or apps using iCloud entitlements, Passbook IDs, certificates, or notifications.

In addition, apps with approved auto-renewable, non-renewing, or free subscriptions In-App Purchase subscriptions cannot be transferred. This includes apps that previously had approved In-App Purchases subscriptions, even if they have been removed.


Alaric Cole (via Josh Centers):

You might understand my shock when they unveiled a revamped weather app today. And its most defining new feature? Animated weather. Rain fell, snow drifted, hail dropped, and thunderstorms stormed—just as my app had so confidently done months before. And the audience loved it. When the lightning flashed, there was thunderous applause.

Apple never accepted his app into the App Store, rejecting it first for not having enough features and later because of “the experience the app provides,” which turned out to be similar to that of the built-in iOS 7 Weather app.