Archive for March 28, 2017

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Replying to App Store Reviews


Customer ratings and reviews are available in iTunes Connect for you to view and reply to. All iTunes Connect users who have access to an app in My Apps can see ratings and reviews in iTunes Connect, but only users with the Legal, Admin, App Manager, or Marketer role may reply to and edit responses to customer reviews on your App Store product page. You can reply to feedback on current and previous versions of your app.


Your response will remain publicly visible regardless of edits made by the customer to their own review, unless you choose to edit or delete your response in iTunes Connect. You can edit your response at any time and only one response per review will display on your App Store product page.

Oliver Drobnik:

Users get email if developer responds to review. And an option to update the review!

Matthias Gansrigler:

Ah, replying to #MAc @AppStore comments is so, so satisfying. Thank you, @Apple!


🤗 Confirmed: you can use emoji in your iTunes Review developer responses! What a time to be alive!!!

Paul Haddad:

The App Store, where anyone can leave a ★☆☆☆☆ but developer replies have to be manually screened by Apple.

Curtis Herbert (tweet):

I’m even reconsidering how I point users to my existing FAQ since links don’t work -- might be best to copy/paste the content.


In the end I think this new ability be a win for us, and I’m aggressively all-in on ’em. Developer replies stand out when scrolling through reviews on iOS. People will notice our efforts, and it is one of the few ways we can really stand out in the App Store.

Previously: App Store Review Replies and Prompting API.

Update (2017-03-29): Ryan Christoffel:

Following yesterday’s release of iOS 10.3, which introduced the ability for developers to respond to App Store reviews, Apple has released official guidelines for how developer’s can best craft responses.

Pages 6.1 Adds Basic LaTeX Support

Apple (via Jeff Nadeau, Hacker News):

You can use LaTeX commands or MathML elements to include mathematical expressions and equations into your Pages document.

It also works with iBooks Author:

Pages and iBooks Author support all LaTeX commands that can be converted to MathML with blahtex. Additional supported LaTeX extensions are listed below.

Update (2017-03-28): See also: Michael E. Cohen.

Update (2017-03-29): Eddie Smith:

As an added bonus, even though Keynote does not have the same direct LaTeX support as Pages, I found that you can copy the equation in Pages as an image and simply paste it into Keynote. The image appears to be a vector graphic because it scales perfectly without any resolution loss.

Update (2017-03-30): Nick Heer:

Meanwhile, the Mac version of Pages still lacks features that were present in “old” Pages. It may have gained LaTeX support, but it’s still missing some contextual menu options that are available in other Mac apps, and I find basic text editing bugs every time I use it. I’m not sure how much of this, if any, is tied to components shared between the three platforms each app is available on, but I didn’t notice the same kinds of bugs when the Mac and iOS versions were more-or-less discrete apps.

Swift 3.1


Swift 3.1 is a minor release that contains improvements and refinements to the Standard Library. Thanks to efforts by IBM and other members of the community, it also includes many updates to the Linux implementation of Swift. There are also a number of updates to Swift Package Manager. In addition, the Swift 3.1 compiler now automatically precompiles Objective-C bridging headers, which can speed up debug configuration builds of mixed-source projects.

This was a smooth update for me.

Update (2017-03-28): Károly Lőrentey:

Favorite Swift 3.1 feature not mentioned in the release notes: you can now define extensions for specific generic arguments 🌱

How to Reinstall macOS


macOS Recovery installs different versions of macOS depending on the key combination you press while starting up. Hold down one of these combinations immediately after pressing the power button to turn on your Mac. Release when you see the Apple logo or a spinning globe.

This seems to be new in macOS 10.12.4, and it came in handy for me today. As with the last several updates, the 10.12.4 update completed on my main Mac but then the Mac got stuck near the end of the boot process. (I had recently done a clean install in the hope that it would clear out whatever was causing the update problems, but alas it did not.) Unlike prior updates, rebooting and safe booting didn’t help. The Mac just wouldn’t boot into my main account or even a guest account. It looked like I’d need a fresh macOS install.

The new Option-Command-R keyboard shortcut lets you do an Internet recovery of latest macOS that is compatible with your Mac. So, rather than boot from a slow hard drive, wrangle the Mac App Store, download the installer, and then launch it, I just held down the keys and let it download and install all at once. The time estimate was way off (under), but other than that it worked smoothly and got my Mac booting again.

I’ve now got a folder at /.PKInstallSandboxManager-SystemSoftware, presumably left behind by the incremental update. sudo rm doesn’t seem to be able to delete it. It looks like I would need to turn off System Integrity Protection to do that.

Update (2017-03-30): Thomas Brand:

Internet Recovery is now a convenient time-saver, skipping the unpatched versions of system software and restoring the latest Mac OS. I am a fan just as long restoring older versions of Mac OS are still an option. One of my least favorite aspects of iOS is that you cannot install the version of system software that originally shipped with your device.

macOS 10.12.4 Adds Night Shift

Apple (Hacker News, MacRumors):

Night Shift requires macOS Sierra 10.12.4 and one of these Mac computers, using the built-in display or the displays listed[…]

The only third-party displays listed are the LG UltraFine 5K and 4K. Night Shift seems to work fine on my Dell U3014, though.

Stephen Hackett:

One of my favorite features of f.lux is the ability to disable it based on what application is in the foreground. For example, I have Adobe Photoshop marked as an exception. as f.lux changing the color temperature of my display could cause me problems while editing photographs.

Apple’s Night Shift has no concept of exceptions. If the screen is warmer, it’s warmer for all applications.


F.lux can be disabled for an hour or longer from its menu bar app, while Night Shift can be toggled on and off via Notification Center.

I found that the Notification Center toggle only appears when Night Shift is on, so it can only be used to turn it off. [Update (2017-03-28): The toggle is available when Night Shift is off, but it’s scrolled off the top of the screen, with no visual indication that it’s there. It’s the same with Do Not Disturb, which I’ve known about for years, but I keep forgetting.]

Michel Fortin:

The good new is that, unlike Flux, Night Shift works well with Black Light.

The mechanism used by Night Shift is different. It does not rely on the gamma curve, which is good as it’s not fighting with Black Light.

Previously: Night Shift in iOS 9.3.

Update (2017-03-29): Michael Herf (via Hacker News):

Night Shift’s defaults are pretty gentle, and for most people they won’t reduce the impact of a screen by very much.


To use an example that explains why I’m pretty convinced they’re not doing enough, consider that the warmest Night Shift setting makes an iMac show more light at night than the iPad that Harvard studied back in 2012.


So starting there, f.lux removes 4-5x as much by default as Night Shift does, and yet it seems like most people will continue to think the two are similar, when they aren’t in the same range.