Archive for April 22, 2014

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

iOS 7.1.1 App Store Labels Apps With In-App Purchases

Juli Clover:

Apple has provided an “Offers In-App Purchases” disclosure on individual app detail pages since March of 2013, but now the App Store has been updated to include a small “In-App Purchases” notification for apps in Top Charts listings and on specific featured apps listings, such as in the “Great Free Games” category.

I think there’s a lot more to be done along these lines, but this is a good first step.

Marco Arment:

Apple has shown, by consistent inaction over the last six years, that they simply aren’t interested in putting substantial effort into improving the App Store. It’s just not a priority. They’ll do the bare minimum to keep it working, and not much more.

And I think they’re committing a massive long-term strategic error.

OS X Beta Seed Program

Dan Moren:

Ever dreamed of an opportunity to try out new versions of OS X before they’re released, but without having to pony up the $99 to become a registered developer? Well, that opportunity’s here: On Tuesday, Apple announced a new initiative, the OS X Beta Seed Program.


You have to log in with your Apple ID and accept a confidentiality agreement, which prohibits you from discussing or publicly sharing any information about pre-release software with people who are not also using the pre-release software—according to the agreement, the company will likely provide discussion boards expressly for the purpose of discussing pre-release software.

Even before this, I’ve been seeing a much higher percentage of my customers using pre-release versions of Mac OS X than in the past.

Update (2014-04-23): Kirk McElhearn:

Apple’s opening up the OS X beta program is an odd step. They already don’t fix many of the bugs that those with developer accounts report, so getting many more bug reports is unlikely to make a difference. While this is a good thing for users who are not developers, and who want access to OS X betas – journalists such as my colleagues and I will save $100 a year – I don’t see how expanding beta access will improve anything. But this is a sign of the greater openness we’ve seen since Tim Cook took over the company.

The iPad Is a Tease

Jean-Louis Gassée:

The iPad rose and rose. It won legions of admirers because of its simplicity: No windows (no pun), no file system, no cursor keys (memories of the first Mac). Liberated from these old-style personal computer ways, the iPad cannibalized PC sales and came to be perceived as the exemplar Post-PC device.

But that truly blissful simplicity exacts a high price. I recall my first-day disappointment when I went home and tried to write a Monday Note on my new iPad. It’s difficult — impossible, really — to create a real-life composite document, one that combines graphics, spreadsheet data, rich text from several sources and hyperlinks. For such tasks, the Rest of Us have to go back to our PCs and Macs.

John Gruber:

We might have overestimated the eventual role of tablets and underestimated the role of phones — and the whole argument is further muddled by the industry-wide move toward 5-inch-ish phone displays.

Update (2014-04-26): Benedict Evans:

This chart, and dozens of others from every possible source, makes it very clear that the iPad dominates tablet web traffic in a way that it does not dominate smartphone web traffic.


The classic negative view on iPads was that they couldn’t compete with PCs because they lacked multitasking, keyboards, Office (until now) etc, etc. But that’s an incomplete response, because PC sales are suddenly weak too (and only part of that is Windows 8).


So, looking at tablets and smartphones as mobile devices in a new category that competes with PCs may be the wrong comparison - in fact, it may be better to think of tablets, laptops and desktops as one ‘big screen’ segment, all of which compete with smartphones, and for which the opportunity is just smaller than that for smartphones.

Update (2014-05-01): Dustin Curtis:

Mobile phones and tablets are already becoming less differentiated over time, and within a few years I think they will converge into one multipurpose, pocketable device. Screen and battery technology are improving fast enough that even needing two devices will soon be pointless; why carry both a small-screened and a large-screened device–both of which are otherwise essentially identical–when you can pull out your mobile phone and have a screen that, for example, expands to tablet-size when you stretch it?

The tablet is really just a temporary evolutionary sidestep that overcomes screen and battery technology issues in mobile phones. There is no such thing as a tablet in the future.

NSNotificationCenter Is Not Thread-safe

Jeff Johnson:

In fact, if your app has multiple threads, then you’re almost certainly using NSNotificationCenter wrong.


The above code crashes reliably in the NSLog after sleep. Why? What we see here is that removeObserver: does not block until all notifications have been posted. The method can return while a notification is still executing on another thread. Thus, we have a race condition.