Archive for September 20, 2018

Thursday, September 20, 2018

New Git Client: Sublime Merge

Sublime Merge:

The Integrated Merge Tool allows you to resolve any merge conflicts directly in Sublime Merge, rather than having to open up your editor of choice.


Use find-as-you-type search to dig up the exact commit you're looking for.

Search for commit messages, commit authors, file names, and wildcard patterns. Complex search queries can be constructed using and, or and () symbols.


Where it makes sense we will show you exactly which individual characters have been changed for a commit.


Sublime Merge performs full syntax highlighting identically to Sublime Text for every line of code you see.

From a Mac perspective, the user interface looks kind of odd. But there is a lot to like here. It feels really fast and has good keyboard navigation. It has some ideas I hadn’t seen before, such as hunk history and putting the staging area at the top of the commit list rather than in a separate source list item. The main thing it doesn’t seem to do is full text search.

Sublime Store:

Personal licenses [$99] are a once off purchase, and come with 3 years of updates. After 3 years, an upgrade will be required to receive further updates. One license key in all you need for all your computers and operating systems

On the other hand, business licenses are $75/year.

Update (2018-09-24): I found that the diff viewer does not wrap long lines, making it unusable for certain types of files (such as .strings). I also really missed Tower’s way of having a separate list to manage the staged files, rather than showing the hunks and the files together.

Update (2018-10-24): jps:

We currently have an internal prototype where the there’s an optional extra column listing the file names for a diff or the commit dialog (replacing the ability to expand a commit to show files in the commit graph). I expect this will appear in a dev build in the not too distant future.

With regards to the initial post, Dev Build 1080 will do full text search now.

It’s crashy for me in the beta, but I’m glad to see them working on this.

Update (2018-11-06): Will Bond:

While we continue to add more features and polish to the default Sublime Merge experience, we know that developers love the ability to tweak their tools. Sublime Merge is built on the same foundation as Sublime Text, so you can tweak key bindings, menus, command palette entries, and even the look and feel of the UI.

To assist, we’ve just rolled out a number of pages of documentation for users who wish to customize Sublime Merge to look and function a little differently.

iOS 12 Security Guide

Jacques Fortier:

The iOS security guide is out! I’m so proud of the Secure Enclave team’s work on the secure storage IC, Kernel Integrity Protection, System Coprocessor Integrity Protection, Boot Progress Register

Matt Stancliff:

No reviews are mentioning iPhones XS, XR, and Watch 4 are the most secure iOS devices ever.

A12 and S4 devices now:

- use ARM signed pointers for all Apple software

- have new physical anti-replay counter circuit in Secure Enclave

- mitigate USB DFU hijacking in enclave firmware


If you’re wondering about authenticated pointers in the new iPhones, this is the best plaintext description of how something like that works I’ve seen so far.

Previously: iOS 12 Released.

Twitter Brings Back the Reverse Chronological Timeline

Andy Baio:

This ✨magical link✨ shows your Twitter timeline in true chronological order—without retweets, liked tweets, or any algorithm nonsense. (On mobile? Click “Latest.”) Enjoy!

Mitchel Broussard:

In a series of Tweets sent by @TwitterSupport, the company explained that while it tries to balance showing you the “best” Tweets with the most recent Tweets, it “doesn’t always get this balance right” (via TechCrunch).

Following user frustration with this curated selection of Tweets -- which is sometimes mixed in with ads, Tweets your friends like, and more -- the company says it will soon provide an easily accessible way to switch between a timeline of Tweets that are most relevant for you and a timeline of the latest Tweets.

Jack Dorsey:

if you turn off timeline ranking in settings today, you’ll see all the tweets from people you follow in reverse chronological order…no “in case you missed it” or tweets the people you follow “liked”.

Jason Kottke:

What Twitter should do instead is use the same simple mechanism people already use to control their timelines: following and unfollowing. Instead of adding tabs to the interface or throwing random stuff into everyone’s timeline for the greater good, those things should be accounts you can follow. Call them Smart Accounts because they would be based on each user’s particular activity. Then users would be able to have a fully chronological timeline but also see tweets from their Smart Accounts according to their particular preferences.

Overcast 5

Marco Arment:

I’ve been getting emails almost every day from people asking where the speed controls were because they set them once and couldn’t find them again, or saying how they’d really like my app more if it offered speed controls. The only indication in the interface was three “page dots” below the scrollable area, but that wasn’t enough.

The new design maintains the same scrollable pages, but now as obvious, tactile cards. In my testing, everyone figured these out immediately.


Podcasts now display their estimated release frequency (daily, weekly, etc.) if it can be inferred.

The new interface is much better except that the new search box is always shown. I wish that it only appeared when you pull down, as it takes up a lot of space on my iPhone SE. The main feature I’d like to see in a future version of Overcast is better support for triaging within a playlist. Right now you cannot see the episode description when in bulk edit mode, and it requires a lot of taps to repeatedly view the next description and then delete.

Federico Viticci:

Once you accept the barrier (imposed by Apple, not Arment) that every Overcast action has to be a pre-assigned shortcut rather than an arbitrary search command, controlling Overcast via voice is a remarkable experience. Media shortcuts kick off background audio playback in a couple of seconds (even if the app had been previously force quit), and other actions (such as chapter navigation or recommending an episode) execute reliably. Even better though, because shortcuts in iOS 12 can appear in multiple locations, this means you can set up custom shortcuts in the Shortcuts app to control Overcast from, say, a widget or through dictation without having to trigger them with a custom Siri phrase.

The first custom shortcut I created for Overcast is a simple menu that lets you choose whether you want to skip to the previous or next chapter in the episode you’re listening to. Because menus are natively supported in the Shortcuts widget, and because Overcast’s native shortcuts run in the background, you can just swipe over to the widget view while listening and navigate chapters without opening Overcast or talking to Siri.

Jason Snell:

For me, the best new feature of Overcast is the return of Apple Watch playback. The app previously made an attempt at supporting Apple Watch, but watchOS just wasn’t advanced enough to reliably transfer and keep playing audio. Now it is.

Update (2018-09-25): See also: Accidental Tech Podcast and Under the Radar.

The iPhone XS and Its Camera

John Gruber (Hacker News):

But there is one wow factor comparing the iPhone XS to last year’s iPhone X: photography. But the reasons don’t show up in Apple’s comparison spec list (even though some of them could). I’ve focused nearly the entirety of my testing on taking photos and videos side-by-side against my 10-month old iPhone X. Overall, I’m simply blown away by the iPhone XS’s results. Sometimes the difference is subtle but noticeable; sometimes the difference is between unusable and pretty good. The iPhone XS can capture still images and video that the iPhone X cannot.


The iPhone XS has a seriously improved wide-angle camera. Just in terms of pure old-fashioned optics — light passing through a lens onto a sensor. More — perhaps too much more — on that later. But the iPhone XS has captured images for me that I’m certain can’t be explained by optics alone.


The way I understand it, Smart HDR is basically applied to all images from the iPhone XS. Sometimes more, sometimes less. If an image needs a little highlight recovery, a little Smart HDR is applied. If it needs a lot, it does more. But Photos only applies the “HDR” badge when it’s really extreme.


Apple confirmed that the iPhone XS wide-angle sensor is in fact 32 percent larger. That the pixels on the sensor are deeper, too, is what allows this sensor to gather 50 percent more light. This exemplifies why more “megapixels” are not necessarily better.

Great review. I’m not sure what to think of Smart HDR. The idea sounds great, but regular HDR sometimes messes up the image—will people occasionally get stuck with bad photos when Smart HDR does the same (since it sounds like it doesn’t save a non-HDR version)? Or is this not a problem because it’s less aggressive, and the faster processing will prevent artifacts from motion? Lastly, of course Smart HDR looks great compared with a regular photo, but how does it compare with standard HDR?

I continue to think that Portrait Mode looks weird. At first glance, the results are striking, but then you start to see areas that are sharp that should be blurry and vice-versa.

Also of note: Apple told him that the glass is more scratch-resistant than on any other smartphone.

See also: Sebastiaan de With, Nilay Patel, Rene Ritchie, Michael Zhang (MacRumors), Austin Mann, Justine Ezarik, Pete Souza, Apple’s list of reviews.

Previously: iPhone 8 and iPhone X Cameras, Scratched iPhone 8 and iPhone X Screens.

Update (2018-09-24): See also: iFixit.

Jason Snell:

Maybe the most bananas thing I’ve learned about iPhone XS is that if you shoot 4K 30fps video, it actually shoots 60fps with every other frame stepped up/down, and then stitches the frame pairs together on the fly to create extended dynamic range.

John Gruber:

As promised, here’s a selection of photos and videos taken with iPhone XS and iPhone X side-by-side. The low-light video clips are just amazing. And audio quality is remarkably better in all video.

Matt Birchler:

One of the most impressive elements of the iPhone XS is the new camera, which appears to be far more enhanced than even Apple let on when they revealed it a few weeks ago. Before I get into a strong of posts comparing the 2018 and 2017 iPhone cameras, I wanted to take a look at some iPhone XS photos on their own to judge them without compassion…at least for now.


While it’s still a 12-megapixel sensor with an optically stabilized f/1.8 lens, Apple has bumped up the size of the sensor and the megapixels


Smart HDR will then look at these frames and decide whether they can improve a photo by adding detail. It also intelligent detects motion or faces within a shot and adapts the final result accordingly.

So, essentially, Apple’s A12 Bionic chip takes a photo and makes it look better in the very instant that you snap it. That’s a feature that even full-frame cameras can’t do, even though they might take higher-quality photos.

Update (2018-09-25): Juli Clover:

There’s a weird amount of smoothing used in the front-facing camera on iPhone XS Max. It looks dull and unnatural.

The Talk Show:

Nilay Patel returns to the show to talk about the iPhone XS and XS Max. We got so caught up talking about cameras, we never even mention headphone jacks.

Mark Spoonauer:

If you really care about battery life and you’re in the market for a new iPhone, we would opt for the iPhone XS Max over the iPhone XS. Apple’s 6.5-inch flagship lasted nearly an hour longer on a charge than its smaller, 5.8-inch sibling.

On the fence between Android and iOS? You can get considerably better endurance from Android phones, especially those with larger batteries.

Tim Hardwick:

Both of Apple’s latest flagship models failed to reach the heights of last year’s first-generation iPhone X using the same battery endurance test, which involved surfing the web continuously over a 4G data connection.

Juli Clover:

According to multiple threads on the MacRumors forums, iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max users are experiencing connectivity problems with Wi-Fi and LTE on the two new iPhones when compared to other, older Apple devices.

Update (2018-09-26): Joe Rossignol:

iPhone XS Max has the best smartphone display ever, according to display testing and calibration firm DisplayMate Technologies.