Archive for December 15, 2017

Friday, December 15, 2017 [Tweets] [Favorites]

Using GitUp

I’ve recently rediscovered GitUp, and I like it much better now than the first time around. I’m not sure whether this is due to improvements in the app itself or simply my better understanding from reading the documentation and listening to this podcast. The user interface is non-standard—and to me not very self-explanatory—but it is actually very functional once you know how to use it.

Update (2018-01-03): One annoyance I’ve found is that you cannot see from the Commit view, which is where I live, whether there are changes that you need to push or pull. So it’s easy to switch Macs and leave some changes stranded.

Drive Genius 5.1 Adds High Sierra Compatibility

Prosoft Engineering:

macOS 10.13 High Sierra introduces additional security changes which prevent normal applications from accessing the current startup drive’s raw contents.

This change, which is an expansion of the existing System Integrity Protection feature introduced in macOS 10.11 El Capitan, prevents some features of Drive Genius from functioning correctly. As a result, Physical Check and Speed Test will require you to run Drive Genius from a secondary startup drive. Drive Genius can create such a drive for you, using BootWell. These features will still run as normal on macOS versions 10.12.6 and below (earliest supported).

In addition, due to the inability to access the raw data of an APFS drive, Drive Genius does not support Repartition and Defragment of APFS Volume/Partition and Drives.

These features continue to work on non-startup drives in 10.13 and all drives in 10.12 and earlier without needing to restart.

Previously, Drive Genius 5 would prevent itself from launching on macOS 10.13, even if you only wanted to use it on an external drive.

This is the utility that I use to check for bad blocks. It used to be that this particular feature was available for unlimited use with the free demo, with other features not available until you paid. Now, there is instead a fully-featured demo that expires after 30 days.

A free and open source tool for finding bad blocks is dd_rescue, which is on Homebrew (via Pepi Zawodsky).

App Store Introductory Pricing

Apple:

To attract new subscribers, apps with auto-renewable subscriptions can offer a discounted price or a free trial for a limited time at the beginning of a subscription. You can offer one of the following introductory price types per subscription, per territory:

Pay as you go. New subscribers pay an introductory price each billing period for a specific duration — for example, $1.99 per month for 3 months for a subscription with a standard price of $9.99 per month. This type may be useful if you want to attract price-sensitive users with a recurring discount without having to offer that price for the lifetime of the subscription.

Pay up front. New subscribers pay a one-time introductory price for a specific duration — for example, $9.99 for 6 months for a subscription with a standard price of $39.99 per year. This type may be useful if you want to offer an extended introductory experience that gives users time to enjoy the subscription before the next renewal.

Free trial. New subscribers access your subscription for free for a specific duration. Their subscription begins immediately but they won’t be billed until the free trial period is over. This type may be useful if you want to give users the ability to try out your subscription with the option to cancel before billing occurs.

This is good news for apps that are suitable for subscriptions and which can do something useful for non-subscribers. I still fail to see how all this complication (for both users and developers) is better than offering traditional trials.

But Apple does now let you buy before the app is even available. Juli Clover:

Apple is implementing a new feature that allows developers to offer pre-orders for unreleased apps, letting customers purchase popular apps ahead of their release date.

I guess this is supposed to help with marketing for certain types of apps. Previously, it was only available to Super Mario Run. The best news, in my opinion, is that the pre-order feature is launching simultaneously for iOS and Mac.

Update (2018-01-22): Pre-orders are buggy on the Mac.

How to Use Apple Pay Cash

Dan Moren:

Remember that if you pay with a credit card, there’s a 3 percent credit card fee, which I learned the hard way.

[…]

Under Settings > Wallet & Apple Pay, you’ll find a new Apple Pay Cash card—tapping on that gives you a few additional options, including a transaction history, whether or not you want to automatically accept payments, and ways to add money to your Apple Pay Cash balance or transfer your balance to a bank account. Remember that when you have a balance on your Apple Pay Cash card, you’ll be able to use it like any other card you have in Apple Pay. (I’m not sure yet what happens if there’s not enough balance to cover your purchase—does it simply fail or fall back to another card?)

Apple’s got a more thorough help document on Apple Pay Cash if you’re curious, as well as one that details the monetary limits.

Apple’s New Utility Swift Library

Paul Hudson:

Apple has unveiled a new collection of open-source utility code for Swift developers, grown out of its Swift Package Manager project. The collection contains some interesting new data types (OrderedSet – hurray!), some tools to make command line programs easier to write, and some helpers for common tasks like temporary files and SHA hashing.

The code is here.

N.Y. Times Scales Back Free Articles

Gerry Smith (via Hacker News):

The New York Times, seeking to amass more paid subscriptions in an era of non-stop, must-read headlines, is halving the number of articles available for free each month.

Starting Friday, most non-subscribers will only be able to read five articles rather than 10 before they’re asked to start paying. It’s the first change to the paywall in five years. A basic Times subscription, with unlimited access to the website and all news apps, is $15 every four weeks.