Archive for June 13, 2017

Tuesday, June 13, 2017 [Tweets] [Favorites]

Podcasts, Analytics, and Centralization

Ben Thompson:

In fact, I expect these analytics to have minimal impact, at least in the short run. For one, every indication is that analytics will only be available to the podcast publishers, although certainly advertisers will push to have them shared. More pertinently, though, all of the current podcast publishers know exactly what they are getting: X amount of podcast ads results in Y number of conversions that result in Z amount of lifetime value.

[…]

What more data does do is open the door to more varied types of advertisers beyond the subscription services that dominate the space. Brand advertisers, in particular, are more worried about reaching a guaranteed number of potential customers than they are tracking directly to conversion, and Apple’s analytics will help podcasters tell a more convincing story in that regard.

See also: Manton Reece, Padraig O Cinneide.

Swift Text Output Streams

Tim Vermeulen:

This code doesn’t look too bad, but it’s a pain to write var description = "" and return description over and over, if this is a pattern you commonly use. It’s also quite easy to forget to add \n to each line.

The relatively unknown standard library protocol TextOutputStreamable solves both of these problems for you. Rather than adding a description computed property, all you have to do is write your properties to a TextOutputStream instance[…]

ProMotion and the 2017 iPad Pros

Federico Viticci:

To my surprise, while I still prefer longform writing and heavy Split View-driven research on the 12.9” iPad Pro, I’ve enjoyed everything else more on the 10.5” version. A big reason for that, I believe, is the improved display technology and expanded screen size.

[…]

The first time I swiped on the 10.5” iPad Pro’s 120Hz display last week, I thought it looked fake – like a CGI software sequence. It was incredibly, utterly crisp and fast. It didn’t look like iOS belonged on the screen: after years of iPad usage, my brain was telling me that something didn’t seem normal about the way iOS was animating. Except it’s all real, and it simply takes a couple of days to get used to the new display and the work Apple has put into ProMotion for smoother scrolling and fluid animations throughout the system.

A good way to think about the iPad’s new display with ProMotion is not the difference between low-res and Retina screens, but the jump from 30fps to 60fps. You see more of every animation. Text is more legible when you scroll and doesn’t judder. It’s hard to explain and it has to be seen and experienced to be fully understood.

John Gruber:

new iPad Pros have the best displays of any computer I’ve ever seen. True Tone plus ProMotion is simply terrific. (The first generation 12.9-inch iPad Pro didn’t have True Tone; with these new models, the only noticeable difference between the 12.9- and 10.5-inch models is the size.) You really do have to see the 120 Hz refresh rate in person — and play with it while scrolling content on screen — to get it. You can actually read text as it’s moving during a scroll. It’s not as significant as the jump from non-retina to retina, but it’s in that ballpark.

[…]

The astounding thing is that the new iPad Pro holds its own against the MacBook Pro in single-core performance — around 3,900 on the Geekbench 4 benchmark for the iPad Pro vs. around 4,200–4,400 for the various configurations of 13- and 15-inch MacBook Pros. Multi-core performance has effectively doubled from the first generation of iPad Pro.

[…]

But if you are reckless enough to install the iOS 11 beta on the new iPad Pro? Holy smokes is this better. I used the iPad Pro for a full week with iOS 10.3.2 because that’s the product that’s shipping, but after upgrading to iOS 11 beta 1 this morning and using it to write this entire review, I’m just blown away by how much more useful this machine is, and how much easier it is to work with 5 or 6 apps at a time.

Serenity Caldwell:

If I had to pick the WWDC announcement that made my week, it’d have to be Apple’s newest display technology, ProMotion. Essentially, it makes the new iPad Pro feel faster without compromising on battery life. But simply saying “faster” doesn’t do justice to how ProMotion is going to not only improve the iPad Pro experience — or the experience of Apple’s other computing platforms in the future.

James Thomson:

Controversial hot take. While the 120Hz screen on the new iPad is nice, if you hadn’t told me, I might not have noticed. Not like retina.

See also: 9to5Mac’s list of reviews.

Update (2017-06-14): See also: John Gruber’s list.

Tracking Work

Mark Dominus:

The way I have been able to escape this horrible trap is by tracking every piece of work I do, every piece, as a ticket in our ticketing system. People often come to me and ask me to do stuff for them, and I either write up a ticket or I say “sure, write me a ticket”. If they ask why I insist on the ticket (they usually don’t), I say it’s because when self-evaluation time comes around I want to be able to take credit for working on their problem. Everyone seems to find this reasonable.

[…]

Instead of thinking “Why didn’t I finish big project X? I must have been goofing off. What a lazy slacker I am” I think “holy cow, I resolved 67 tickets related to big project X! That is great progress! No wonder I got hardly anything else done last fall” and also “holy cow, X has 78 resolved tickets and 23 still open. It is huge! No wonder it is not finished yet.”

[…]

I think it is important to maintain the correct attitude to this. It would be easy to imagine ticket management as unproductive time that I wasted instead of accomplishing something useful. This is wrong. The correct attitude is to consider ticket updates to be part of my work product: I produce code. I produce bug fixes. I produce documentation, reports, and support interactions. And I also produce ticket updates. This is part of my job and while I am doing it I am not goofing off, I am not procrastinating, I am doing my job and earning my salary. If I spent the whole day doing nothing but updating tickets, that would be a day well-spent.

Executable Code in Educational Apps

John Voorhees (Hacker News):

The ban on executable code remains intact, but rule 2.5.2 now also provides that:

Apps designed to teach, develop, or test executable code may, in limited circumstances, download code provided that such code is not used for other purposes. Such apps must make the source code provided by the Application completely viewable and editable by the user.

I seem to recall an additional requirement about the percentage of the screen that should be devoted to showing the code, but I don’t see that in the current version of the guidelines.

Previously: Apple Rejecting Apps That Use Rollout, Pythonista in App Store Peril, Briefs Rejected From the App Store, Again.