Archive for January 22, 2018

Monday, January 22, 2018

Microsoft Office 2016, Version 16.9

Juli Clover:

Office for Mac today received a major update, with Microsoft updating the software to version 16 and introducing new features for Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook.

In Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, Microsoft is introducing real-time collaborative editing, allowing multiple people to work on the same document at the same time. In Word and PowerPoint, flag icons will let you know what others are working on and what’s been changed.

Changes to documents, worksheets, and presentations stored in the cloud will be saved automatically, and updates will be synced in seconds. A version history will let you roll back to earlier versions of a document if necessary.

Bill Smith:

Pyramid never shipped, but the idea of the common codebase was implemented to create Word 6 for Windows, which crushed the competition, and Word 6 for Mac, which “was a crappy product” according to Rick Schaut in his “Buggin’ My Life Away” blog. He’s been working on Mac Word for most of its life.


Eventually, the features between both platforms diverged and their object models (the way each handles code) began to differ. The code in Office 2008 for Mac was as different from the Windows code as it ever was and feature parity between the two platforms greatly suffered.


For the last 10 years, Microsoft has been taking those few steps back with the plan to reunify the code and it’s been paying off. During that time, Microsoft has released Office for two new platforms they didn’t anticipate when they started their project — iOS and Android. These were the first new platforms to ship from the new unified codebase and that was possible because the majority of the underlying code was the same.

Erik Schwiebert:

For the first time in over 20 years, Office is again built out of one codebase for all platforms (Windows, Mac, iOS, Android)!

The shared code is all C++. Each platform has native code interfacing with the OS (ie, Objective C for Mac and iOS, Java for Android, C/C++ for Windows, etc)

This is emphatically not a repeat of Word 6.

See also: Paul Bowden and Erik Schwiebert’s presentation, Dave Mark, David Sparks.

Update (2018-01-27): Brad Sams:

I really want to know what Office app this loving family is looking at...

Some wicked pivot tables, maybe a PowerPoint of their food consumption??

Update (2018-02-15): Pierre Igot:

Even @microsoft itself apologized for Word 6 for Mac at some point in its history… And yet, here we are, in 2018, and the Visual Basic Editor in @office #Word2016 looks like this in #macOS[…]

Update (2018-02-19): John Gordon:

Dear @Office - if Mac and Win have same codebase now, why don’t we Mac users get that fabulous "tell me what you want to do" box?

Update (2019-01-09): See also: The Talk Show on Word 6.

Swift Forums

The Swift mailing lists have moved to a Web forum. I’m still not a fan of Discourse, but you can read the forums via e-mail if you enable the Preferences ‣ Emails ‣ Mailing list mode option.

Ole Begemann:

Every once in a while I come across a site for which Safari ignores the global switch to block notification requests. [is] one of them. Mysterious.

See also: Hacker News.

iOS 11 Adoption Reaches 65%

Juli Clover:

iOS 11 is now installed on 65 percent of iOS devices, according to new statistics Apple shared yesterday on its App Store support page for developers.


Since iOS 11 was released, its adoption rate has been quite a bit slower than iOS 10 adoption rates in 2017. In January of 2017, for example, iOS 10 was installed on 76 percent of iOS devices.

Apple has released several updates for iOS 11 since its September launch, but the operating system has also been plagued by bugs and security issues, which doesn’t appear to have helped adoption rates.

This is curious because iOS has gotten more pushy about getting you to update. iOS 11 still supports the iPhone 5s, so I don’t think the difference is due to old devices that can’t update. It sounds like a large number of users are choosing not to, and living with the annoying notification prompts.

I’m seeing about 63% adoption for macOS 10.13 with my apps, vs. 62% a year ago for macOS 10.12.

Update (2018-01-22): Nick Heer:

Perhaps the reason for this is that iOS 11 simply isn’t as compelling of a software update for iPhone users as was iOS 10; but hypothetically lax iPhone upgrades should, theoretically, be offset by rapid adoption on the iPad, where iOS 11 was a massive release.

Update (2018-01-24): jc:

I lost 27 third-party apps on my phone when upgrading to iOS 11. I deliberately waited to upgrade until the last crucial app received the necessary 64-bit update. A more likely reason for the slower uptake.

Redesigned Web Versions of App Stores

Juli Clover:

Apple recently introduced an all new design for App Store apps on the web, with a new, cleaner interface that puts screenshots and critical information front and center.

You can see the new redesigned interface by accessing or searching for any iOS or Mac app while on the web. With iOS apps, you'll see a clear notice that you need to open up the App Store to download the app, while with a Mac app, you'll get a notice letting you know you need to open up the Mac App Store.

Craig Grannell:

Now called App Store Preview, the result is awful. In fact, it’s arguably worse than it was before, with tiny screenshots, absurdly small grey-on-white pricing, and body copy that on my iMac looks like ants have crawled across the display. Perhaps apps are now only for the young, and anyone fortunate enough to have 20/20 vision when blazing into their 40s and beyond.


If I read an article about new Android apps and games and end up on Google Play, I can click a price button, pay for the item, and send it to my Android device, ready for when I next use the thing. With Apple, I can, what, email a link to myself like it’s 2003? It’s absurd that with such a joined-up ecosystem in so many ways, Apple lacks joined-up thinking when it comes to its store.