Archive for September 24, 2018

Monday, September 24, 2018 [Tweets] [Favorites]

macOS 10.14 Mojave Released

Apple:

macOS Mojave, the latest version of the most advanced desktop operating system, is now available as a free software update for Mac users. macOS Mojave brings a number of new features to the Mac, including Dark Mode which transforms the desktop with a dramatic dark color scheme, and a new Dynamic Desktop with a series of time-shifting images to match the time of day. New productivity features like Stacks cleans up messy desktops by automatically organizing files into neat groups. The Mac experience is also enhanced with the arrival of familiar iOS apps, including News, Stocks, Voice Memos and Home, and a redesigned Mac App Store featuring rich editorial content that makes finding the right Mac apps easier than ever.

See also reviews from:

Adam Engst:

I’ve been running Mojave betas all summer on my MacBook Air, and honestly, I will not be installing the final release of Mojave on my 27-inch iMac right away. I’ve seen too many quirks and problems, a number related to the new privacy protections (see “Mojave’s New Security and Privacy Protections Face Usability Challenges,” 10 September 2018). Some of my Keyboard Maestro macros have stopped working, and I haven’t yet been able to figure out why. I’ve also been annoyed by the constant nagging of utility apps asking to control other apps or access privacy-protected data.

Therefore, I recommend that you wait to install Mojave on your main Mac until two things are true[…]

SK:

Several users report that their Mail crashes or quits unexpectedly after updating to macOS Mojave.

If you are experiencing this issue after updating to macOS Mojave, please follow the steps below and check if your issue is solved.

Previously: Mojave’s New Security and Privacy Protections Face Usability Challenges, Removed in macOS 10.14 Mojave, macOS Mojave: Back to the Mac.

Update (2018-09-24): VMware reports an error when I try to create a new VM from the Mojave installer app, but it works using an installer disk that I created using the Create macOS Install Disk command in DropDMG.

Joe Cieplinski:

If you’ve been on the Mojave beta and are wondering how to get the shipping version: (Wasn’t showing up in Software Update for me.) Go to the Mac App Store, search for Mojave, click Get. That’ll bounce you to the System Prefs Software Update pane and start downloading.

Update (2018-09-25): See also:

Josh Centers:

If you are running the macOS 10.14 Mojave beta, be sure to install the final retail version, as they are different!

Howard Oakley:

Over the last few days, Apple has updated many of its Support Notes, and added some new ones, to cover issues raised or changed by Mojave. Here’s a selection of the more important ones.

Stephen Hackett:

I have published two big updates to the Aqua Screenshot Library that I wanted to share.

Rob Griffiths:

Mojave Beta 11, the last developers received, was build 18A389. The release is 18A391.

So Beta 11 was not the GM—which means developers haven’t been able to test against what just shipped to consumers today.

Is that a first for Apple? Or did I miss something?

Marcin Krzyzanowski:

“Reduced transparency” in Mojave, means really JUST REDUCED transparency, while it disabled transparency in High Sierra. I found it quite annoying that everything is semitransparent again.

Christina:

macOS Mojave Dark Mode on non-retina displays is unusable (photos with and without font smoothing)

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

Apple provides a download page on its website for the special edition of iTunes, which originally had a version number of 12.6.3. Two updates have since been released, including version 12.6.4 and the current version 12.6.5.

As brought to our attention by a MacRumors reader, and confirmed by our own testing, however, iTunes 12.6.5 fails to install on Mac systems updated to the public release of macOS Mojave this week. It also appears that the previous 12.6.3 and 12.6.4 versions do not function properly on macOS Mojave.

Howard Oakley:

I will shortly be opening a separate article in which bad features, poor interface design, and problems with third-party apps, etc., will be recorded, and will add its link here. This article lists bugs which you and I have encountered in macOS Mojave itself.

Colin Cornaby:

The lack of fixes around Boot Camp (no eGPU support, Mojave dropping support for it on some Macs) makes me wonder if Boot Camp is abandoned or going to be abandon by Apple. Would be kind of a shame.

Howard Oakley:

Many users with MacBook Pro 2018 models with the T2 chip are reporting that upgrading to macOS 10.14 Mojave fails towards the end of the process.

Apple:

Background updates include security-configuration updates and system data files, which are automatically installed by default. They don't cause your Mac to restart, but some take effect only after you restart.

Via Jeff Johnson:

So many hidden updates!

I find this particularly interesting:

“TCC Configuration Data: Improves compatibility of specified software with macOS security features”

Update (2018-09-27): Scott:

Bluetooth is messed up in Mojave. My keyboard and mouse intermittently fail to reconnect on wake (it’s always one or the other).

Update (2018-10-09): Tom Nelson:

Having issues with Mojave? Seems like it’s a rite of passage to install a new version of the macOS, and then uncover issues we didn’t see in the beta version.

Howard Oakley:

Maybe we have just moved into an age of disinformation, but I keep seeing statements about macOS 10.14 Mojave which are plain wrong. Here are corrections to seven which you may come across. When you discover others asserting otherwise, please point them in this direction so that they can become better-informed.

Update (2018-10-12): Howard Oakley:

In most cases, the reason for this molasses-like behaviour isn’t a failed install, neither is it a bug in Mojave or its installer. If you rush in and restart in Recovery mode, you won’t be able to fix it, because much of what is going on is actually normal behaviour.

[…]

What happens when Time Machine can’t use the FSEvents database is that it then performs a ‘deep scan’ or traversal, in which the datestamps of all files are checked against an earlier record, and a new database is built. Inevitably, the more files there are on a volume, the longer that deep scan will take. Mojave can accelerate this process on APFS volumes by examining snapshots rather than the whole file system, but this still takes time.

Update (2018-10-24): Miles Wolbe:

[DVD Player] been moved from /Applications/ to /System/Library/CoreServices/Applications/. Due to SIP, “Make Alias” is not available from the Finder’s context menu in that directory, nor does the new Make Alias keyboard shortcut (Ctrl+Cmd+A - really, Apple?! Cmd+L does not appear to have even been reassigned!) work.

Ryan C. Gordon:

Some things that broke in Mojave OpenGL:

- renders to a black screen by default

- -[NSOpenGLPixelFormat initWithAttributes] inexplicably stalls for several seconds

- vsync no longer works

- swapping buffers on 2 contexts on 2 threads may deadlock

Update (2019-01-24): Howard Oakley:

This article lists bugs which you and I have encountered in macOS Mojave 10.14.3 itself[…]

Update (2019-01-29): Howard Oakley:

In the release of 10.14.3, Apple made two howling errors, though.

The first was in the Combo version of the standalone updater, whose scripts prevented it being installed on many Macs. Building such installer scripts isn’t easy, but it shows yet again that code checking and good quality management aren’t Apple’s strong suits, a year after Apple was driven to admit that some of the gaffes in High Sierra should never have seen the light of day.

The other was in the total lack of release notes, other than one remark which would only have been of interest to enterprise users, and some brief security notes.

Update (2019-02-01): Pixelmator Team:

We’re aware of some performance issues with Pixelmator Pro on certain 2017 & 2018 MacBook Pro models running macOS 10.14.3.

John Gruber:

Seems like an odd oversight that the description for Mojave system updates includes URLs, but you can’t select them (so you can copy/paste) nor click on them.

David Dunham:

I filed a bug on the iOS App Store (same issue for Apple’s Shortcuts) and they said it was expected. So someone there actually thinks this is a good idea.

Update (2019-02-27): Thomas Brand:

Photoanalysisd has been analyzing my photo library of 1,424 photos hard for a week now without sleep.

At this rate my child’s face and all the pictures I took at the zoo 5 years ago should be expressed in an algorithm.

Swap is at 39.79 GBs. So this is a big algorithm?

Photoanalysisd is using over 77 GBs of memory.

I only have 1,424 photos. My Photo Library is 6.87 GBs in size. I don’t know what my iMac is doing, but I can’t imagine doing it on a spinning hard drive.

Apple Shying Away From R-Rated Original Content

Tripp Mickle and Joe Flint:

The show, a dark, semi-biographical tale of hip hop artist Dr. Dre, featured characters doing lines of cocaine, an extended orgy in a mansion and drawn guns.

It’s too violent, Mr. Cook told Apple Music executive Jimmy Iovine, said people familiar with Apple’s entertainment plans. Apple can’t show this.

John Gruber:

And how in the world did Vital Signs go the distance into production without knowing where the red line was? Shouldn’t this have been flagged when it was just a screenplay? It really does seem like the Eddy/Jimmy content team is an island within the company. I actually hope there’s some sort of misunderstanding in the sourcing for this story, and that they didn’t really shoot a pilot (or a whole season?) only to throw it away.

It never seemed like a good fit for Apple’s brand.

Tim Hardwick:

Apple’s approach is in direct contrast to that of other streaming platforms, which have found great success in producing edgy content like HBO’s “Game of Thrones” and Netflix’s “House of Cards.” However, Apple apparently feels it has more to lose if viewers are offended by its entertainment offering.

[…]

According to the report, Van Amburg and Erlicht have successfully pushed some edgier shows, including a series made by M. Night Shyamalan about a couple who lose a young child. However, Apple executives reportedly pushed for changes in the show because they didn’t want content to venture into religious subjects or politics.

Previously: Inside the World of Eddy Cue, Apple’s Services Chief.

iPhone XS Benchmarks

Mark Spoonauer:

Geekbench 4 is a benchmark that measures overall performance, and no other phone comes close to Apple’s new handsets on this test. The iPhone Xs notched 11,420, and the iPhone Xs Max hit 11,515. The older iPhone X scored 10,357, so that’s about an 11 percent improvement.

David Heinemeier Hansson:

The iPhone XS is faster than an iMac Pro on the Speedometer 2.0 JavaScript benchmark. It’s the fastest device I’ve ever tested.

This result doesn’t make much sense to me. The iMac Pro has a higher clock rate and more cores. And it’s inconsistent with the Geekbench Mac and iOS benchmarks.

Update (2018-09-26): Jason Cross:

The iPhone XS and XS Max offer essentially the same performance. Single-threaded CPU performance is about 13 percent faster, very close to Apple’s claimed 15 percent speedup. That helps contribute to a very small improvement in multi-core performance, but since the four energy-efficient cores aren’t really any faster, the difference is minimal.

Geekbench’s GPU test uses Metal to perform computational tasks, so it’s a pretty good indicator of the graphics processor’s ability to do math without actually rendering 3D graphics on your screen. It’s almost 40 percent faster, which is impressive, though not quite the “up to 50 percent” that Apple claims.

Update (2018-10-03): Greg Parker:

ARMv8.3 adds a new float-to-int instruction with errors and out-of-range values handled the way that JavaScript wants. The previous insns to get JavaScript’s semantics were much slower. JavaScript’s numbers are double by default so it needs this conversion a lot.

This could help explain what DHH saw.

Update (2018-10-05): Andrei Frumusanu:

Overall the new A12 Vortex cores and the architectural improvements on the SoC’s memory subsystem give Apple’s new piece of silicon a much higher performance advantage than Apple’s marketing materials promote. The contrast to the best Android SoCs have to offer is extremely stark – both in terms of performance as well as in power efficiency. Apple’s SoCs have better energy efficiency than all recent Android SoCs while having a nearly 2x performance advantage. I wouldn’t be surprised that if we were to normalise for energy used, Apple would have a 3x performance efficiency lead.

Update (2018-10-09): See also: Hacker News:

Timmers EM1:

iPhone XS Max vs Xiaomi Pocophone F1 speed test comparison! What’s gonna happen?!

Meek Geek:

Spoiler: The “cheap” phone wins.

Apple can have the “3x faster” SOCs but if they don’t translate to real world gains in important tasks like launching apps, what’s the point?

iOS 12 was just a first step. Still needs more performance improvements (app launch & multitasking).

Update (2018-10-12): John Gruber:

Turns out JavaScriptCore (Safari’s JavaScript engine) doesn’t use this new instruction yet — it should make things even faster once it does but the A12 chip is getting these benchmark scores without this new instruction’s help.

Update (2018-11-13): Marco Arment

All of this power in the A12, and I need to throttle Overcast’s Watch-transcoding engine, even when connected to power, because iOS kills any app that uses more than 80% of the CPU over 60 seconds.

Colin Cornaby:

As someone who works on machine vision on iOS: Yes! We’ve observed it on all iPhone models since the 6S, a few earlier ones too. iPhone benchmarks are kind of misleading because you can’t use that power for more than a minute or two. iPads seem better, but we work with them less.

If you look at some of Apple’s samples they actually subscribe to thermal notifications and warn you when the phone is getting too hot and will start downclocking.

What is Haptic Touch on iPhone XR?

Rex Chamberlain:

However, there are many functions of 3D Touch which could simply be accomplished by a touch and hold on the display, eliminating the extra stress on your finger too. 3D Touch naysayers have raised these points for years.

[…]

Apple has finally given in to the idea. The new iPhone XR is not equipped with 3D Touch but will get much of the functionality through a feature dubbed Haptic Touch. Never one to resist flashy feature names, Haptic Touch is Apple’s fancy designation for touching and holding your finger on the display.

The added layer of haptic feedback will help you recognize when the feature is triggered. And with Apple’s excellence in haptic feedback technology, it makes you wonder if 3D Touch is on it’s way out.

Previously: September 2018 Apple Event.

Software Disenchantment

Nikita Prokopov (Hacker News):

Look around: our portable computers are thousands of times more powerful than the ones that brought man to the moon. Yet every other webpage struggles to maintain a smooth 60fps scroll on the latest top-of-the-line MacBook Pro. I can comfortably play games, watch 4K videos but not scroll web pages? How is it ok?

[…]

Every device I own fails regularly one way or another. My Dell monitor needs a hard reboot from time to time because there’s software in it. Airdrop? You’re lucky if it’ll detect your device, otherwise, what do I do? Bluetooth? Spec is so complex that devices won’t talk to each other and periodic resets are the best way to go.

[…]

We put virtual machines inside Linux, and then we put Docker inside virtual machines, simply because nobody was able to clean up the mess that most programs, languages and their environment produce.

Previously: Most of the Web Really Sucks If You Have a Slow Connection, Continued Mac Bluetooth Problems.

Update (2019-01-29): Pierre Lebeaupin:

But later on I started seeing things differently. It is clear that browser developers have been for the last few years engaged in a competition for performance, features, etc., even if they don’t all favor the same benchmarks. In that fast-paced environment, it would be a hard dilemma between going for features and performance at the risk of bugs, especially security vulnerabilities, slipping through the cracks, and instead moving at a more careful pace, at the risk of being left behind by more innovative browsers and being marginalized; and even if your competitor’s vulnerabilities end up catching up with him in the long term, that still leaves enough time for your browser to be so marginalized that it cannot recover. We’re not far from a variant of the prisoner’s dilemma. Chrome resolved that dilemma by going for performance and features, and at the same time investing up front in an architecture that provides a safety net so that a single vulnerability doesn’t mean the attacker can escape the jail yet, and bugs of other kinds are mitigated. This frees the developers working on most of the browser code, in particular on the JavaScript engine, from excessively needing to worry about security and bugs, with the few people having the most expertise on that instead working on the sandbox architecture of the browser.