Archive for April 8, 2015

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

iPhone Sizes

Jason Snell:

And since my normal iPhone 6 is locked to AT&T, I used an unlocked iPhone 6 Plus as my phone for the trip.


This all made Myke Hurley, my co-host on the Upgrade podcast, thrilled, as he’s a proud iPhone 6 Plus user and hoped to convert me to his side as he’s been doing with other friends. Thus he began anticipating my defection with the hashtag #mykewasright.

I really did appreciate the iPhone 6 Plus’s longer battery life. The longer life is noticeable, and was much appreciated as I was wandering around London. And I got used to the size of the device in my pocket in no time. But beyond that, I have to say I’m hard pressed to find anything I prefer about the iPhone 6 Plus over my iPhone 6. Yes, the screen is larger, but I didn’t ever feel that I was seeing more of the world by viewing an extra tweet in Twitterrific or a little bit more territory in Maps.

I also noticed—and Myke confirmed—that the iPhone 6 Plus’s camera appears to be buggy.

Marco Arment:

Camera: The 6 Plus’ image stabilizer is a minor difference outdoors, but a noticeable difference indoors when it can select a lower ISO, resulting in less noise.

Typing: For whatever reason, the keyboard size on the 6 Plus (in portrait orientation) fits me better than the 6, resulting in far fewer errors. I’m already typing more accurately on the 6 Plus than I ever could on the 6.


The 6 Plus is indeed worse than the 6 for one-handed use, but not by nearly as much as I expected — both are poorly suited to it.


In fact, the iPad-crossover enhancements mostly annoy me, and I’d disable them if I could. The iPad-style treatment of split-view apps and slide-up modal views in landscape orientation feels cramped and hacky at best — it just feels like a too-small iPad, rather than a too-large iPhone. I’m also constantly rotating the home screen unintentionally, requiring me to use portrait lock regularly for the first time.


The biggest problem I’ve hit is that it just feels uncomfortably huge and awkward in my pocket more often than the 6 (which did have this issue sometimes as well, but not as often), and it’s clumsier to insert and remove from pockets.


CGP Grey summarized the difference well in the aforelinked Hello Internet episode: “I am more and more convinced that the iPhone 6 is the phone for nobody; it’s the in-between phone that has all of the disadvantages of both [the 5S and 6 Plus]”.

Manton Reece:

The lesson from all these switches couldn’t be more clear: there’s no longer one perfect iPhone for everyone. What works great for one person might be terrible for someone else. I personally love the 5C design — the size of the screen, the way the plastic feels in my hand, flipping or spinning it on my fingers without worry that it’ll slip, using it without a case, adding a little color to my life — but many people never even tried it because it contains underpowered hardware compared to the latest models.

Update (2015-05-04): Federico Viticci:

Giving up on years of certainties such as absolutely-required one-handed usage has led me down the path of using my iPhone differently. After a surprisingly fast adjustment, I’ve come to the conclusion that a big screen in the device I carry with me every day is better for me because it’s more comfortable. Comfort follows multiple directions: more battery, bigger touch targets, more content on screen, the ability to look at videos from a distance, or better photos in low light.

The iPhone 6 Plus has some flaws. iOS could do a better job at keeping apps paused in memory, and I’ve occasionally experienced slow animations and random Springboard crashes when switching between apps. Landscape mode is hindered on two sides by hardware and software, with an industrial design that doesn’t lend itself well to a horizontal grip with two hands and apps that are inconsistently updated to take advantage of split views and other custom enhancements.

The Object Graph

Soroush Khanlou:

Now, what did Sandi mean about the “edges of your object graph”? Let’s not use the word “edge”, since it’s overloaded in the context of graphs. Let’s use the word “boundaries”. She’s talking about the tiniest leaves of our tree. Polymorphic objects are okay by Sandi as long as they are only referred to, instead of doing any referring. And this makes a lot of sense! Polymorphic classes are dangerous because small changes in them ripple to all of their subclasses and users. By making sure your inheritance hierarchies stay small and well managed, you can contain that complexity. When you refer to other objects, you’re more fragile. If you’re only referred to, a stable interface is the only thing you need to keep from breaking anything else.

In addition to your object graph, you also have a dependency graph. Here, your nodes are classes instead of instances, and your links are #imports instead of object ownership. […]

It makes me think that it would be great to have two types of objects, separated into layers.

Mac App Store Licensing and Copy Protection

Gus Mueller:

I’m seeing 40x more downloads than purchases. Hello massive pirating.

It’s been happening for years.

Cabel Sasser:

Yeah, easy as pie. One username/password shared. As if I needed another reason to hesitate from the MAS…

Ian Meyer:

My girlfriend’s workplace uses a single MAS account to make purchases for hundreds of users. She’s trying to change that.

Jason Snell (in 2011):

When you buy an app on the Mac App Store, you’re getting the rights to run that program on any Macs you own and operate, for your personal use. Basically, if your household has a half-dozen different Macs, including desktops and laptops, you can buy a copy of Gratuitous Space Battles and play it on every single one of them. Consider a purchase of consumer software via the Mac App Store to be a bit like buying a household site license for the app.

The situation is slightly different for apps that are considered commercial or professional in nature. For apps that fall into this category—Aperture’s a good example—the Mac App Store license says that you essentially can install that item on computers you use or on a single computer shared by multiple people. Basically think of it as a one-seat license for a pro app.


There’s no authorizing or deauthorizing of Macs, like you do with iTunes media. There’s no five-Mac limit, or device limit of any kind. […] Beyond entering in your Apple ID and password, this is all on the honor system.

It seems like Apple should be able to solve this problem rather easily. It already has a system to keep track of which devices are authorized to play media files. This could have been a reason to sell in the Mac App Store, because a FairPlay system would be both secure and easy to use. But Apple doesn’t really sell software anymore, so it probably doesn’t see this as much of a problem. And developers are not breathing down its neck the way the record labels were.

Enforcement aside, Apple isn’t even trying very hard to communicate how the honor system is intended to work. Alastair Houghton:

To be fair, it’s far from obvious how businesses are supposed to handle purchases from MAS.

There are no links from the App Store front pages, and no obvious indication what to do.

Normally businesses buy the same way as consumers and don’t need to use a special channel.

Apple should be more pro-active; right now, it’s costing developers quite a lot of lost revenue I expect.

Update (2015-04-09): There is further discussion on Twitter.

Facebook Legacy Contacts

Hayley Tsukayama:

Facebook has announced that it will grant users more control over what happens to their Facebook pages after they die. Starting Thursday, users should see a new option pop up in their security settings that will let them choose whether they want to pass their information and account management over to someone else when the time comes.


  • You can do nothing, in which case the current rules apply and your account can be memorialized by anyone after your death, providing that the company gets adequate proof of your death.
  • You can ask Facebook to delete your account after you die.
  • You can designate someone—called your legacy contact—to manage your account. Once Facebook is notified of your death, your timeline will also change to let people know you’ve died. Facebook does this by adding the word “Remembering” ahead of your name—i.e. “Remembering John Doe.”