Archive for June 28, 2017

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Tony Fadell on Apple’s Pre-iPhone Devices

Jeremy White (via MacRumors):

The touchscreen Macbook project was basically trying to get touchscreen technology into a Mac to try to compete with Microsoft tablets. Steve was pissed off, and wanted to show them how to do it right. Well, that might have been the project to show Microsoft how to do it right, but they quickly realised there was so much software and there were so many new apps needed, and that everything had to be changed that it was very difficult. Plus the multitouch itself, we didn't know we could scale it that large to a full-screen display. Those were the challenges over on Mac.


It was very clear, after the Rokr, and after everything we had learned in what it was going to take, that the worry was about the 'celestial jukebox' - people wouldn't have to buy large capacity iPods, 150GB or so, because they were soon going to be able to download. So we had an existential problem, people were not going to have to buy larger and larger iPods. The high-capacity iPods were where we were making all our money, and if they could download at any time - and we could see the time when the networks were going to get faster because of 3G - we were like 'oh my God, we're going to lose this business' to this music jukebox in the sky, which is basically what Spotify is.

Previously: Scott Forstall Discusses the iPhone’s Creation.

MarsEdit 4 Public Beta

Daniel Jalkut:

The good news? MarsEdit 4 is finally shaping up. I plan to release the update later this year.


Customers who purchase a new MarsEdit 3 license from the Red Sweater Store between now and the final release will be entitled to a free upgrade to MarsEdit 4. Unfortunately, the Mac App Store does not accommodate free or discounted upgrades.

I’ve been using the private beta for a long time, and it’s been rock solid. I especially like the new feature to download the entire history of posts. Also, there have been a lot of changes under the hood, such as adopting Auto Layout and sandboxing.

Update (2017-06-29): See also: MarsEdit 4 and microblogs.

iOS 11 Control Center

Benjamin Mayo:

Each individual platter on the screen looks decent; some of the icons even animate in response to state changes for a nice touch of whimsy. Holistically, the layout is messy.


iOS 10 brainwashed me into thinking that one additional swipe to change page was a reasonable price to pay. I feel silly now for thinking that was acceptable. With a specific goal of access to quick actions, any Control Centre design that involves fewer intermediary interactions has to be superior.

It isn’t just about removing the need to swipe, the mental assessment of the current state of Control Centre also falls away. Your brain can rely on the button always being there. As soon as you finish swiping up, your finger can instantly start moving to the learned position of the Play/Pause button (for example).

The iOS 10 design drives me crazy. It is seemingly always on the wrong page, and with no discernible benefit over the more crowded single-page layout. The iOS 11 layout looks kind of funny but should work much better.

Delta Updates and App Thinning Do Not Solve the Apps-Are-Too-Damn-Big Problem

Matt Birchler (via John Gruber):

The internet is full of people who are both upset about these app sizes and those who think delta updates make this complaint void. I think it’s important that people understand that the size you see on the Updates page in the App Store is not how much you are going to download but it’s certainly not fair to say delta updates have fixed everything.


The fact [is] that someone could blow through 10% of their monthly data plan (2GB) just by updating Snapchat and Messenger once. This could be tough if you do it once, but Facebook updates Messenger all the time. They’ve updated the app 5 times in the past month, which could work out to upwards of 400-500 MB over just a month.

iPad File Transfer Frustrations

Mark Alldritt:

In the end, I had to FTP the file (using Panic’s Transmit) from the iPad to my Mac. From there I could copy the file to a USB memory stick. Side note: When sharing a massive file like this, the iPad should not go to sleep in the middle and abort the share operation – it sucked having to baby sit the thing to keep it from going to sleep.

The MacBook Adorable

Casey Liss:

To me, the real bummer is the lack of USB-C power passthrough on most USB-C devices available for sale today. As an example, when I attempted to do my initial Time Machine backup, I did so via the Ethernet dongle. However, I had to ensure the machine didn’t sleep, since it was on battery power. Furthermore, I had to stress out about whether or not it would complete the initial backup before the battery gave up, since I had no way to power the MacBook and have it connected via Ethernet.


I opted to get a maxed-out MacBook Adorable. It has the don’t-call-it-a-m7 i7 processor, 16 GB of RAM, and a half-terabyte SSD. For such a small computer, it was far from cheap, at around $2000.

Intel’s naming seems to be almost intentionally confusing. In this case, i7 means that it’s the high-end version of the low-power Core M processor. The i7 line name goes all the way from 3.5 W in the MacBook to 91 W in the iMac. This dual-core 1.4 GHz processor is slower than the i7 in the 2009 MacBook Pro and even the i5 in the MacBook Air.