Archive for April 7, 2016

Thursday, April 7, 2016 [Tweets] [Favorites]

Many Tricks Help Viewer

Rob Griffiths:

We developed this new system to solve some aggravations we were having with Apple’s built-in help system, and to provide our users with a better help experience.

[…]

First off, there’s a new navigation system, as seen in the image at right. Click the “hamburger” menu on any page, and this handy drop-down makes it simple to get wherever you need to go.

The current section is always marked with a checkmark, so you’ll know exactly which page you’re on when you activate the menu.

The help window is also now a normal OS X window, not the “I will block everything!” floating window of Apple’s help system.

It’s just very clean and easy to use. Apple Help is an area of the OS that, while not broken, has been neglected for far too long.

iOS 9 Spotlight Bug Explained

John Gordon:

Spotlight has been failing for me since I updated to iOS 9 - no results appear. It got much worse with 9.3. Force-quitting background apps, especially Reeder.app, helps. It acts like a limited RAM bug, but I think there are ways Spotlight may fail.

From Apple Discussions it doesn’t hit devices with 2GB of RAM, it’s a problem for 1GB devices with lots of indexed content and/or memory hogging apps.

Spotlight is totally messed up on my Mac. Searching for Mail messages finds lots of messages unrelated to my query and misses some of the messages that I was trying to find. Resetting Spotlight’s index helps, but only for a day or so.

Why There Is No Calculator on the iPad

tangoshukudai (via Andreas Monitzer):

It is actually a funny story. When they were prototyping the iPad, they ported the iOS calc over, but it was just stretched to fit the screen. It was there all the way from the beginning of the prototypes and was just assumed by everyone at apple that it was going to be shipped that way. A month before the release, Steve Jobs calls Scott Forstall into his office and says to him, “where is the new design for the calculator? This looks awful” He said, “what new design?” This is what we are shipping with. Steve said, “no, pull it we can’t ship that”. Scott fought for it to stay in, but he knew he had to get their UI team involved to design a new look for the calculator but there was no way they could do it in that short time frame, so they just scrapped it. It has been such low priority since then that no one cares to work on it since there is more important things to work on. (Source: I worked at Apple)

Shipping the scaled up calculator would have reinforced the perception, which Apple was trying to shake, that the iPad was just a big iPhone.

WhatsApp Encryption

Jan Koum and Brian Acton (via John Gruber, Bruce Schneier, Tim Hardwick, Hacker News):

WhatsApp has always prioritized making your data and communication as secure as possible. And today, we’re proud to announce that we’ve completed a technological development that makes WhatsApp a leader in protecting your private communication: full end-to-end encryption. From now on when you and your contacts use the latest version of the app, every call you make, and every message, photo, video, file, and voice message you send, is end-to-end encrypted by default, including group chats.

[…]

If you’re interested in learning more about how end-to-end encryption works, you can read about it here. But all you need to know is that end-to-end encrypted messages can only be read by the recipients you intend. And if you’re using the latest version of WhatsApp, you don’t have to do a thing to encrypt your messages: end-to-end encryption is on by default and all the time.

Nest to Shut Down Revolv Home Automation Hubs

Arlo Gilbert:

On May 15th a critical Nest product will go dark. I’m shocked this isn’t bigger news.

I don’t mean that the Nest product will reach end-of-life for support and updates. No, I mean that on May 15th they will actually turn off the device and disable your ability to use the hardware that you paid for.

Rob Price (via John Gruber, Hacker News):

But the case raises broader questions about the extent of ownership in the digital age and whether this could set a precedent for other devices going forwards.

Kit Walsh:

Nest Labs and Google are both subsidiaries of Alphabet, Inc., and bricking the Hub sets a terrible precedent for a company with ambitions to sell self-driving cars, medical devices, and other high-end gadgets that may be essential to a person’s livelihood or physical safety.

See also: Nick Heer.