Archive for March 29, 2018

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Charles Proxy for iOS

XK72 (tweet, Hacker News):

We are excited to announce that Charles Proxy is now available on iOS!

With the iOS version of Charles you can capture and inspect network requests and responses on your iOS device. You can view metadata, headers and bodies in the app, so you can finally debug your app’s networking issues without a computer.

It works by creating a local VPN.

Lukas Kollmer:

playing with the @charlesproxy iOS app and it’s super creepy watching all these apps constantly send home data in the background. (the screenshots only show connections over a 2 minute period when I had all apps force quit). this is so fucked up

Update (2018-03-30): Bad Uncle Leo:

Same experience I have with @AdGuard Pro logs, only AG’s logs persist.

iOS 11.3

Juli Clover:

iOS 11.3 is a major update that introduces a long list of new features, including several that Apple has been promising for months. The update introduces a new “Battery Health” feature that's designed to provide iOS users with more information about their batteries, and it is a function Apple promised to introduce following backlash over the power management features added to older iPhones.

I was disappointed to find that my iPhone battery’s Maximum Capacity is still 100% and that it supports “normal peak performance.” This means that the incredible slowness I’ve been seeing over the past month or so: 10 seconds to log in, 15 seconds to launch apps that used to just take a few seconds, stuttery animations, 5-second freezes doing seemingly basic tasks like adding actions in OmniFocus—are software problems with no obvious fix. It’s weird because sometimes my iPhone SE feels like it’s running full speed. But other times it feels like an iPhone 4S or older. This contrast made me suspect that the CPU was being throttled, except that the slowness did not seem to be correlated with battery level.

Steve Troughton-Smith:

Disappointed that iOS 11.3 doesn’t include iMessage in iCloud, according to reports from new iPad owners. Maybe major iOS releases should launch with ‘beta’ labels in September, like new features do? (High Sierra sure needed a warning label)

This was originally to ship with iOS 11.0, six months ago.

Michael Yacavone:

We should be happy when beta features don’t yet graduate to a release - it means they’re still working it out, and WE WANT LESS BUGS.

Also missing is AirPlay 2, which people expected in iOS 11.3 since it’s necessary for some features that were supposed to be part of the HomePod launch originally scheduled for December, however Apple only said that it would ship “later this year.”

Previously: Battery Health and Peak Performance Capacity, Do iPhones Get Slower Over Time?, Messages on iCloud in iOS 11.3 Beta, HomePod to Arrive February 9.

Update (2018-03-30): Keith Broni:

With the release of iOS 11.3 today, Apple is making some minor adjustments to four emojis: 🦁 Lion Face, 💀 Skull, 🐻 Bear Face and 🐲 Dragon Face.

David Barnard:

Better later than buggy. I’m thrilled Apple is working hard to get things right and not releasing a half baked feature to save face on the delay.

Ryan Jones:

The gloom is inability to build software. Yes, building software includes the ability to know +/- 1 year when it will be done.

Rene Ritchie:

Honestly, stuff like not updating iWork or Mac mini regularly and not pushing out services like Apple News internationally are a much bigger concern to me than stuff they are working on but just taking longer than expected.

Nick Heer:

But there is, I think, a reasonable argument to be made that over-promising and under-delivering is a worrying narrative to have taken hold.

Matt Comi:

I think only people in tech identify iMessage Sync as a feature; I think the lack of (reliable/predictable) sync is more practically identified as a bug, and iMessage Sync as a bug fix. My point: iMessage sync is Apple slowing down and producing better quality software.

Benjamin Mayo:

With 11.3, every device starts unthrottled. The first time you have an unexpected shutdown it will throttle.

(The actual throttling is more fine grained too when it does happen.)

Serenity Caldwell:

Apple shows the following messages in Battery Health, depending on your iPhone's capability to handle apps at peak performance[…]


iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X models use a more advanced hardware and software design that provides a more accurate estimation of both power needs and the battery's power capability to maximize overall system performance. This allows a different performance management system that more precisely allows iOS to anticipate and avoid an unexpected shutdown.

David Cabecinhas:

You joke but Apple changed the throttling decision algorithm. My 6s was throttled prior to iOS 11.3 and now is working at full speed again!

Update (2018-04-02): Bob Burrough:

I find it more likely that, as a result of the extreme backlash when iPhone throttling was discovered, much more scrutiny was applied to the throttling algorithm, and it was likely relaxed in 11.3.

Update (2018-04-03): Bradley Chambers:

Looks like iOS 11.3 bug is breaking some MDM stuff. This means I can’t administer standardized testing sessions tomorrow without manually configuring a bunch of iPad for guided access.

This is why Apple’s IT services stack is so important. I can get away with these because we are a smaller school. At a larger district, this is a show stopping problem. I have no doubt that if something like this happened with G Suite, it would be fixed today.

There is no way an iOS update is coming today to address this. Apple Radar # 39116010. This is why I don’t get super excited about Pencil support or a Classwork app. Apple just still hasn’t gotten the basics down.

This isn’t like “oh Apple Music doesn’t give as good recommendations at Spotify” complaint about Apple’s services. This is a major major bug on a release that had been beta tested for months.

See also: Apple’s Lane Tech Education Event.

Update (2018-04-04): Peter Steinberger:

Ah, the Internet discovers that iOS 11.3 broke a lot of websites.

Update (2018-04-05): Marco Arment:

If this is accurate, iOS 11.3 NOTIFIES users when old-battery speed throttling gets enabled.

This is, finally, correct and reasonable behavior.

Update (2018-04-13): Accidental Tech Podcast discusses the unfortunate wording of the notification.

Firefox’s Facebook Container

Nick Nguyen:

Facebook Container isolates your Facebook identity from the rest of your web activity. When you install it, you will continue to be able to use Facebook normally. Facebook can continue to deliver their service to you and send you advertising. The difference is that it will be much harder for Facebook to use your activity collected off Facebook to send you ads and other targeted messages.

This Add-On offers a solution that doesn’t tell users to simply stop using a service that they get value from. Instead, it gives users tools that help them protect themselves from the unexpected side effects of their usage.


Because you will be logged into Facebook only in the Container, embedded Facebook comments and Like buttons in tabs outside the Facebook Container will not work. This prevents Facebook from associating information about your activity on websites outside of Facebook to your Facebook identity.

In addition, websites that allow you to create an account or log in using your Facebook credentials will generally not work properly. Because this extension is designed to separate Facebook use from use of other websites, this behavior is expected.

I’ve love to see this sort of thing for more sites and in more browsers.

Previously: Cambridge Analytica Harvested 50 Million Facebook Profiles.

Update (2018-03-30): Brendan Eich:

With @Brave you do not need an “extension that isolates your Facebook identity from the rest of your web activity” -- we block all trackers by default, including FB’s. The real consistency+courage test would be to do the same to Google’s trackers.

The Missing iCloud Storage Bump

Dan Moren:

The standard 5GB of free iCloud storage has been in place for years now, and, frankly, it’s starting to wear thin. When most iOS devices come in 32GB configurations at the smallest, and many start at 64GB, 5GB feels pretty paltry. Especially when the next step in the upgrade tier is to pay $0.99 for 50GB of storage space. I realize Services has become a moneymaker for Apple, but it just feels cheap.


I see too many people who don’t want to back up their data because they are worried about being hostage to additional fees for the rest of their lives.

David Sparks:

I think the single best reason for giving us increased storage is Apple Photos. They’ve built a platform that lets us take, save, and share photos, but it requires nearly all of us to make regular monthly payments so we have enough storage.


Taken to its logical conclusion, paltry free storage results in people losing their photos and being understandably pissed at Apple.

Chris Welch:

The 5GB limit has been in place since Apple unveiled iCloud at WWDC 2011. It’s been almost seven years! That’s too long to be stuck in place, and it’s reminiscent of the way Apple dragged its feet in moving away from 16GB iPhones. It eventually happened, but long after many of us had determined 16GB to be an unworkable amount of space.


If you never upgrade, you’re likely going to have a worse time using an iPhone. Full stop. It surprises me that Apple continues to let that fly.


And despite Apple’s best efforts (like the video above) to explain how you can manage iCloud, customers are inevitably confused, frustrated, and annoyed when they hit the ceiling. It usually happens well before they approach the limits of their iPhone or iPad’s physical storage, and that disconnect between the two only makes things more irritating.

John Gruber:

5 GB isn’t enough for most people, so they get these warning messages, which sound scary and which they don’t understand.

Matt Birchler:

As I’ve written before, iCloud’s paid tiers are very competitively priced. Here’s how much you need to pay get get different amounts of data on the major cloud storage platforms[…]

But note that photos in Google Photos don’t count toward your Google Drive’s storage.

Previously: Apple’s Lane Tech Education Event, “I’ve Only Had Good Years”.

Update (2018-05-15): See also: Bryan Jones.

Update (2018-06-25): Bradley Chambers:

If you are pro personal privacy, you should be arguing even more for Apple to expand the free tier of iCloud.

Update (2018-11-12): Ben Sandofsky:

Waiting at a Genius Bar, I heard a customer be told he can’t move his data to his new phone because he’s out of space on the free iCloud tier.

This is nuts. Why put friction on upgrading? Why ruin the unboxing? “Buy an iPhone, get a year of iCloud,” would cost Apple pennies.

Dan Masters:

And to think Google not only offers a free 6 month YouTube Premium subscription, but also unlimited full quality photo backup until 2022.

But wait; there’s more! Both device backups and app sync data don’t count toward your Google Drive quota.

Space Gray Input Devices

Jeff Dunn:

The space gray versions of Apple’s Magic Keyboard with Numeric Keypad, Magic Mouse 2, and Magic TrackPad 2 are now available to purchase separately from the company’s new iMac Pro.


All three space gray variants come with a $20 price bump over their white counterparts, putting the space gray Magic Keyboard and Magic TrackPad 2 at $149 each and the space gray Magic Mouse 2 at $99.

Meek Geek:

Is this the first time Apple has sold a product with a different color AND the same internals for more?

Previously: The Magic Keyboard With Numeric Keypad Is Apparently Bendy, The iMac Pro.

Update (2018-03-30): See also: PC vs Mac: Performance (via MrBliz).