Archive for October 27, 2015

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Blind Camera Shootout

Nirave Gondhia (via John Gruber):

If you’ve been following the homepage over the past week, you’ll have seen we published a big blind smartphone camera shootout to find out how the new Sony Xperia Z5 camera compares to the iPhone 6S, Galaxy Note 5 and the LG G4.


It turned out to be quite a close-run race between the iPhone 6S and the Galaxy Note 5 for the title but Apple’s latest just beat Samsung’s latest with 38.2 and 34.1 percent of the 7810 votes respectively.

It’s more fair to test the automatic modes, but it looks like some of these photos would have been improved if the photographer had touched to adjust the lighting based on a certain part of the image.

Unicode Date Formats, YYYY?!

Peter Hosey (comments):

YYYY and yyyy are Unicode date format patterns. These offer quite a bit more flexibility than the old str[fp]time(3) formats, particularly in choosing different representations of the same value (e.g., “September” vs “Sep” vs “09” vs “9”).

  • YYYY is defined as the “year for week-of-year”: that is, the year for ISO week dates.
  • yyyy is defined as the calendar year.

You probably want the latter.

Update (2018-12-27): See also: Dave DeLong and Erica Sadun.

Reactions to the First iPod

This 2001 MacRumors thread from Apple’s original iPod announcement has been making the rounds.


I’d call it the Cube 2.0 as it wont sell, and be killed off in a short time…and it’s not really functional.

Uuhh Steve, can I have a PDA now?


I think it’s revolutionary.

Come on everyone, y’all are saying it sucks before you have even held it in your hand. I mean 5GB in a little tiny thing like that, it’s amazing. I don’t see anyone else making something like that. Do you?

See also: Macworld.

Siri and Content Reminders in iOS 9

Josh Centers:

But you may not have known that in iOS 9, Siri can remind you to act upon content in certain apps, if you use the magic word “this” to indicate “what I’m looking at right now.” I wrote about this capability in “iOS 9: A Take Control Crash Course,” but it wasn’t until I went on vacation recently that I appreciated just how helpful this feature is.


Note that Siri can’t create reminders for Web pages viewed in a Safari View Controller, such as the one in Tweetbot. You’ll have to tap the Safari button to open the Web page in Safari, and then bring up Siri. However, Siri can remind you of Web pages viewed in Safari in Slide Over on an iPad.

Riccardo Mori:

Siri’s fuzziness, as an interface, is unacceptable. Siri’s raison d’être is assisting, is being helpful. And indeed, Siri is the kind of interface where, when everything works, there’s a complete lack of friction. But when it does not work, the amount of friction involved rapidly increases: you have to repeat or rephrase the whole request (sometimes more than once), or take the device and correct the written transcription. Both actions are tedious — and defeat the purpose. It’s like having a flesh-and-bone assistant with hearing problems. Furthermore, whatever you do to correct Siri, you’re never quite sure whether your correcting action will have an impact on similar interactions in the future (it doesn’t seem to have one, from my experience). Then, there’s always what I usually consider the crux of the matter when interacting with Siri: the moment my voice request is misunderstood, it’s typically faster for me to carry out the action myself via the device’s Multi-touch interface, rather than repeat or rephrase the request and hope for the best.

The iPhone 6s Plus and 3D Touch

Federico Viticci:

Peek and pop have turned out to be another argument in favor of the 6s Plus for me. With a bigger phone, peek previews are also bigger, allowing me to preview content at a larger size while avoiding the need for Reachability to navigate with ‘back’ buttons at the top of the screen. Before getting the 6s Plus, I used the 6s for a week, and the difference between peeks on the two is noticeable. Peeks on the 6s Plus are comparable in size to an iPhone 6 screen inside the device, which is a comfortable size for a preview; on the 6s, a peek feels like an iPhone 5s-like card – too tiny for my taste.


I can’t help but wonder what happens when app content becomes previewable with 3D Touch even if that app isn’t in the foreground. When you’re in Messages and you preview a link, an instance of Safari is called by 3D Touch to preview a webpage inside Messages. With iOS 9, Apple has introduced a new deep-linking framework to match web links with native app content, which is already supported by apps like Twitter and Dropbox. What if an app’s native view could be summoned with 3D Touch by peeking at a Universal Link? What if you could, say, peek at a tweet with the native Twitter app when in Safari, or peek and pop a Dropbox file from Slack? If you consider all the pieces that Apple has laid out over the years (the secure app sandbox, Universal Links, extensions, the back button), iOS’ deep-linking puzzle could come together quite nicely under 3D Touch.

He says last year’s iPhone 6 Plus speed problems have been fixed.