Archive for September 19, 2015

Saturday, September 19, 2015

How to Turn iOS 9’s Keyboard Back to All Caps

John Gruber:

The main argument I’ve seen in favor of this change holds no water: that this is the solution to iOS 7’s is-it-on-or-is-it-off? Schrödinger’s Shift Key. The proper solution to an ambiguous Shift key is to replace it with an unambiguous Shift key. The lack of case shifting on the keyboard was not a problem on iOS 1-6 because the Shift key on the old keyboard was unambiguous. Whether you prefer a case-shifting keyboard or not, the Shift key should be unambiguous. These are two different things.

The good news is, Apple did improve the Shift key on iOS 9. When not engaged, the arrow glyph on the key cap is now hollow. When Shift is engaged, the key turns white and the arrow is solid black. With Caps Lock on, the arrow gets an underscore.

Update (2015-10-04): Rosyna Keller notes that the Mac System 1.1 software keyboard changed the case of the keys.

Riccardo Mori notes that the iOS 9 display of keyboard shortcuts mirrors the Newton’s.

Eli Schiff (comments):

With the release of iOS 9, there have been a variety of changes to the software keyboard. Unfortunately, none of them have addressed the fundamental problems of its visual design, as much as pundits might claim otherwise.

Peace iOS 9 Content Blocker

Marco Arment:

Today, I’m launching my own iOS 9 content blocker, called Peace, to bring peace, quiet, privacy, and — as a nice side benefit — ludicrous speed to iOS web browsing.

There are a lot of content blockers being released today, but Peace strikes the best balance I’ve seen between effectiveness, compatibility, simplicity, and speed, powered by what I’ve found to be the best database in the business after months of testing. And it’s just $2.99.

Marco Arment:

I was therefore faced with a decision about The Deck. I had to either:

  • Omit The Deck from Ghostery’s database, carving out an exception for the advertiser used by me and many of my friends.
  • Enforce Ghostery’s database consistently, potentially angering my own site’s advertiser and my friends who use it.

Marco Arment (tweet, comments):

I’ve pulled Peace from the App Store. I’m sorry to all of my fans and customers who bought this on my name, expecting it to be supported for longer than two days. It’ll keep working for a long time if you already have it, but with no updates.


As I write this, Peace has been the number one paid app in the U.S. App Store for about 36 hours. It’s a massive achievement that should be the highlight of my professional career.


I still believe that ad blockers are necessary today, and I still think Ghostery is the best one, but I’ve learned over the last few crazy days that I don’t feel good making one and being the arbiter of what’s blocked.

John Gruber:

Actually, I tried to talk him out of doing this. Seriously!

I think content blockers should block “crap”, not “ads”, and The Deck is not crap.

Marco Arment:

I’m giving it to [Ghostery].

Dave Mark:

I’ve tested all of these (visiting some specific ad-heavy pages), except where noted, and they all improve the mobile Safari experience. They are all free or relatively inexpensive. I suspect they’ll all evolve over time, as advertisers find ways to bypass content blockers and blockers update as they learn.

John Gruber:

Note that Hide & Seek has nothing to do with “blocking ads”. It is simply about maintaining your privacy and anonymity while using Google and Bing for web search. In my testing, it works like a charm.

Nick Lockwood:

Surely if ad blockers take off, sites will just start proxying the ads they display so they appear to come from same domain as the content?

Update (2015-09-22): Matt Henderson:

So what’s Arment to do when the email arrives from the guy in Brazil saying, “Hey, you whitelisted The Deck. Can you whitelist this Brazilian ad network as well? I know you can’t read the language, but take my word for it — it’s not crap either.” And then the request from Turkey. And then the request from China.

Marco Arment (tweet, comments):

Apple notified me this afternoon that they’ll be proactively refunding all purchases of Peace.

John Gruber:

@cabel Agreed, I was wrong. I knew the [Deck] network itself has never done cookies, but didn’t know a few advertisers had been granted exceptions.

Update (2015-09-25): There is more discussion on the Accidental Tech Podcast.

iOS 9 Reviews

Bank of America Adds Touch ID Support

Bank of America:

Use Touch ID or your fingerprint to securely sign in to your Mobile Banking app1. Skip typing in your Passcode on your mobile device and enjoy the quickest, simplest way to sign in.


On Demand Resources and Games

David Owens II:

On-demand resources is fine for some classes games. However, this is not true for games like XCOM. The desktop version of this game clocks in at 20GB (Enemy Within). There is no amount of tagging, stripping, or slicing that is going to get a company like Firaxis Games to deliver a desktop quality game on Apple’s supposed desktop class hardware because desktop (and console) quality games are bigger than 2GB.


It’s decisions like this and the game controller decision (which is a fascinating case of stealth documentation changes) that tell me Apple just doesn’t care to really enable high-quality gaming on tvOS. Instead, companies are going to basically bringing their iOS versions over, which I find so disheartening. Especially since disk space is so cheap these days; put a 1TB fusion drive in the device and charge $50 more or stop teasing us with actually making the iOS and tvOS platforms a contender for more than just casual games.