Archive for October 27, 2013

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Reduce Motion in iOS 7.0.3

Federico Viticci:

iOS 7 was criticized by early adopters for the slowness and amount of animations and transitions throughout the OS. A subset of users asked Apple to reduce the motion of the OS as it was causing motion sickness for them; a setting that the company had included in the Settings app wasn’t enough, as it disabled the parallax effect of iOS, but not the new animations.

Apple has listened, and in iOS 7.0.3 the Reduce Motion setting (available in General > Accessibility) now truly reduces animations: switching to apps and back to Home screen, unlocking the device, and moving between folders is now a cross-fade that is much faster than Apple’s animations with Reduce Motion turned off.

In my iPhone 5s first impressions post, I wrote:

It still feels like I’m often waiting for the phone, though sometimes this is for animations or the network.

I have not timed it, but subjectively the cross-fade feels much faster to me than the animation. It makes my phone so much more pleasant to use that I think Apple should make this the default.

How Apple Makes the Mac Pro

Greg Koenig:

As a product designer, one of my favorite parts about any new Apple product launch is the inevitable “How it’s made” video. The Mac Pro incarnation did not disappoint.

What makes Apple fascinating is not that they are using some wiz-bang alien technologies to make things - even here in Portland, Oregon, all the technologies Apple shows in this video are in-practice across numerous local factories. What makes Apple unique is that they perform their manufacturing with remarkable precision and on a scale that is simply astonishing, using techniques typically reserved for the aerospace or medical device industries.

A fascinating explication of the video from the October 22 event.

Numbers ’13 Performance

Despite fewer features and a newer codebase, Numbers has always seemed slower to me than Microsoft Excel. With iWork ’13 backported from iOS to Mac, I expected to see some performance improvements. After all, iOS devices have less RAM and slower processors. In theory, iWork’s new binary file format should also be smaller and faster than XML.

Here are some measurements that I made on a 2012 MacBook Pro using a 10.5 MB CSV file, an export of my FogBugz cases:

Numbers ’09Numbers ’13Excel 2011OpenOffice 4.0.1
Open CSV File2m10s3m25s2s10s
Save Native File6s2s1s3s
Open Native File7s10s2s6s
Open Numbers ’09 File7s16sN/AN/A
Native File Size2.6 MB15.5 MB3.7 MB2.2 MB
Unzipped Size62 MB16.4 MB22.4 MB57.4 MB

For opening my file, Numbers was always way slower than Excel. The new version of Numbers is even slower.

The new Numbers file format is much faster than the old one at saving, but it’s slower at opening. Excel is much faster than either.

Numbers ’13 takes more than twice as long as Numbers ’09 to read files in the old format.

The old Numbers file format was actually more compact than Excel’s. The new format is nearly 6 times the size of the old format.

On the other hand, the uncompressed Numbers ’13 format is more compact than Excel’s format and much smaller than the old format. Presumably, this allows it to use much less RAM.

Update (2013-10-29): I’ve added results from OpenOffice, a C++/Java app that uses a compressed XML document format.

Finder 10.9 Disk Space Embellishment

Jonathan Rentzsch:

Looks like Finder 10.9 now deducts the space taken up by Mobile Time Machine backups on the theory that they’re purgeable under disk-space pressure. Apple wrote a backgrounder on the topic.