Archive for September 14, 2018

Friday, September 14, 2018

Screens of the 2018 iPhones

Apple (via Greg Heo):

If your app has already adopted safe area insets, there’s not much you will need to do to update your app for iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR. Learn how to set a collection view’s section inset reference to the safe area with no code changes. Hear about an API change unique to iPhone XS Max, iPhone XR. Make sure your full-screen app is scaled correctly by using the proper number of points and the correct resolution. Defend against some common pitfalls to ensure your app provides its full feature-set to all of your customers while maintaining best practices that will save you time and effort in the future.

Geoff Hackworth:

The 6.5" iPhone XS Max is to the 5.5" plus size iPhones as the 5.8" iPhone X (and XS) is to the 4.7" iPhones: almost the same physical body size but with an edge-to-edge OLED screen using 3 pixels per point. The iPhone XS Max has the same screen width in points as the plus size iPhones but is correspondingly taller to account for the 9:19.5 aspect ratio. The iPhone XS Max has a screen size of 414×896 points (1242×2688 pixels).

The 6.1" iPhone XR is effectively a 2x version of the iPhone XS Max with the same pixel density as the iPhone 6/6s/7/8 models. The iPhone XR has a screen size of 414×896 points (828×1792 pixels).

How do the iPhone XS Max and iPhone XR display apps on their larger screens? Just like last year with the iPhone X, that depends on which version of Xcode the apps were built with.


So [with the iPhone 6 Plus] they decided to triple the points instead of double them, resulting in 2208x1242 with a PPI of 461. Then they realized that the tech wasn’t really ready for a PPI that high, but they did find a supplier who was working on making 1080p screens at 5.5 inches. Since the target was 1472x828 anyway, 1920x1080 was deemed close enough to 2208x1242, so they told the phone to render all the software at 2208x1242, then scale it down a little to 1080p. We’ve been living with this kludge on all the Plus phones ever since, and it’s a major reason the 6 Plus bogged down a lot faster than the 6 did.


Apple doesn’t actually like densities higher than 326 PPI, they just keep having problems that keep it from being a good idea. None of those problems cropped up when making the XR, so 326 PPI it is. Also, the XR is a Plus phone in practically all but name, just like the XS Max, but in a cheaper way.

Previously: September 2018 Apple Event.

Update (2018-09-24): Max Seelemann:

iPhone XR’s notch is 33pt. iPhone XS’ and XS Max’s notch is 30pt. Someone help me please.


We have added the new iPhone Xs, iPhone Xs Max and iPhone Xr to the guide below.

Update (2018-09-26): Philip Amour:

Apple forgot to tell us that the iPhone XS Max Home Screen icons are upscaled from 180x180px (60x60 pt) to 192x192 px (64x64 pt). Also there’s no way to provide an iOS 12 64x64 pt icon assets.

Update (2018-09-28): Erica Griffin:

“For the iPhone XS Max there is an increasing Color Shift towards Blue for Increasing Viewing Angles” Yes, Displaymate recognizes the shift too with #iphoneXSmax. There are variations within this shift that I can see with my 3 phones. Don’t quote Displaymate at me for perfection.

Brian Hawkins:

Got my iPhone XS and I’m seeing noticeable color shifts in the display as I change the angle I hold the phone. Probably a swing of 700 kelivin. Is this degree of shift normal for OLED?

Goodbye, iPhone SE

Thomas Brand:

Harry has his own explanations for why Apple might want to standardize on the high-end iPhone X platform, but I think the message from Apple’s September 12th event is clear. If you are looking for a phone with a smaller screen, a phone with a headphone jack, or or a phone that costs under $400, Apple no longer makes an iPhone for you.

Rui Carmo:

The apparent death of the SE form factor is particularly annoying to me given that I prefer small devices with just enough screen real estate for messaging, but the overarching trend to do everything on a phone has clearly driven Apple towards bigger form factors, something that I’m not keen on at all.

Nick Heer:

For a lot of people, it was a perfectly-sized device — the last one that many people could comfortably reach with their thumbs across the entire display without doing a little shimmy with their hand, and the last one with flattened sides that made it easier to hold for photos. The SE was a really good product, and it’s unfortunate that Apple has chosen to stop making it instead of releasing a successor. It’s one of the few bum notes from yesterday’s event, but it is perhaps the loudest.

Eric Schwarz:

With discounts and sale prices, the SE was going for $49 on some carriers without any sort of commitment just a few weeks ago, making it a tremendous value that still runs things quite nicely.


The interface really tends to breathe more on the larger displays and developers seem to be working on the 4.7″ models first, then scaling up or down. Because of that, nudging potential SE buyers to a 7 makes some sense, and I suspect we’ll eventually see discounts on prepaid or refurbished 7 units from time to time. I’m not denying that the extra size is a bit of an adjustment, but the market has shifted to larger phones—there aren’t many Android models, let alone good ones, that are SE-sized.

I really wish my iPhone SE had a better camera, but other than that I’m not eager to give it up. I will decide what to do after trying the iPhone XR in person. I’d also like to see whether we hear any more rumors of a potential iPhone SE 2 for 2019. Around WWDC time, it seemed like it was actually happening. But given that it didn’t ship by then, it’s not surprising that we didn’t see it in September.

A few days ago, my iPhone SE, less than 17 months old, spontaneously shut down. Prior to the shutdown, it was shown as about 95% charged, but afterwards it was down to under 10%. The Battery Health screen still shows it at 100% of Maximum Capacity.

Previously: September 2018 Apple Event, iPhone SE Tops Customer Satisfaction Survey.

Update (2018-09-20): Colin Cornaby:

Apple seems more and more like it’s becoming a volume sales company, and the death of the iPhone SE seems like another casualty. Very likely that the SE was both profitable and their worst seller. But for years, Apple was a company who’s whole business was niche products.

Devin Coldewey:

I only wanted one thing out of 2018’s iPhone event: a new iPhone SE. In failing to provide it Apple seems to have quietly put the model out to pasture — and for this I curse them eternally. Because it was the best phone the company ever made.

Clark Goble:

ATP gave theory Apple was caught unaware by SE’s success and that a small form factor will return. WSJ suggested margins are much higher on big phones and that’s the incentive. If I had my pre-middle age eyes I’d be all over small form factor.

Walt Mossberg:

I agree. I know several people, including my wife, who adore the SE size. I suspect the move to all big iPhones is dictated by Chinese and other overseas tastes. But I’m with you guys. The SE should have been retained and upgraded.

Update (2018-09-24): Jeff Grossman:

I don’t know if Apple is ever planning on making a modern replacement for iPhone SE (i.e., a smaller iPhone with a notch and no home button), but if they are going to make such a phone, I think I can do a good job predicting what it will look like because Apple is often a pretty predictable company.

Update (2019-01-28): Nick Statt:

Earlier this week, Apple began a clearance sale on the iPhone SE, its nearly three-year-old, 4-inch smartphone modeled after the iPhone 5S, at a $100 discount. It was the second round of recent sales after an initial batch sold out the previous weekend.


Well, the SE is first and foremost going to be my second phone. It will be an object with a tightly controlled experience centered on a singular notion of unplugging, as best as someone can unplug in 2019. It won’t have my work email, it won’t have Fortnite or Holedown, and it most certainly will not have Twitter.

Jeff Benjamin:

In my opinion, the iPhone 5-era design, with squared-off, instead of rounded sides, and refined chamfered edges, represents the pinnacle of Apple design for its phones.

The iPhone SE also lacks a camera bump, which became an iPhone design staple beginning with the iPhone 6. The lack of a camera bump allows for a completely smooth and cohesive back cover, lending to the device’s overall beauty.

Update (2019-04-03): David Heinemeier Hansson:

The iPhone SE arrived and the first impression is how impressive it is that Apple fit so much usable power in such a small device. If this had actually come out after the big slabs of glass, we'd be cheering their miniaturization prowess!

Ending PHP Support, and the Future of Hack


HHVM v3.30 will be the last release series where HHVM aims to support PHP.


We are proud of Hack, but there are still many areas where we want to make major improvements to the language; during the next 2-3 years, we will be working towards making Hack a language that builds on the best parts of its’ heritage to produce:

  • a consistent, statically typed language
  • the development speed and ease-of-use that’s traditionally associated with dynamically typed languages

Exactly what one would expect.

Security Flaw in “Nearly All” Modern PCs and Macs Exposes Encrypted Data

Zack Whittaker:

Modern computers overwrite their memory when a device is powered down to scramble the data from being read. But Segerdahl and his colleague Pasi Saarinen found a way to disable the overwriting process, making a cold boot attack possible again.


It’s no secret that if you have physical access to a computer, the chances of someone stealing your data is usually greater. That’s why so many use disk encryption — like BitLocker for Windows and FileVault for Macs — to scramble and protect data when a device is turned off.

But the researchers found that in nearly all cases they can still steal data protected by BitLocker and FileVault regardless.

However, it sounds like the newer Macs with T2 chips are not vulnerable because the key doesn’t leave the Secure Enclave.