Archive for January 9, 2019

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Google Assistant Coming to Google Maps for iOS

Dieter Bohn (MacRumors):

Manuel Bronstein, VP of product for Google Assistant, made the case that Google is building an entire ecosystem for Assistant that’s akin to the ecosystem it’s built for Android. It’s a platform play, basically, just like Alexa. And Google wants to ensure it’s everywhere.


Beyond Android Auto, partners like Anker are making little lighter plug-ins that work with Google Assistant. A bigger deal, though, is that Google is going to bake Google Assistant into Google Maps. It may not be able to convince iPhone users to install the Google Assistant app, but it has a huge install base for Maps. Google says that Assistant in Maps will let you “share your ETA with friends and family, reply to text messages, play music and podcasts, and get information hands free.”

Elgato Thunderbolt 3 Pro Dock

Joe Rossignol:

The dock is equipped with two USB-C ports with transfer speeds up to 10Gb/s, two USB-A ports with transfer speeds up to 5 Gb/s, two Thunderbolt 3 ports with transfer speeds up to 40 Gb/s, one DisplayPort 1.2, one Gigabit Ethernet port, a 3.5mm headphone jack and audio output, and SD and microSD card readers.

Marco Arment:

Finally! Someone has made a 1-to-4 USB-C hub!

Except it costs as much as an iPad. And has a bunch of other stuff you may not need. And it won’t work with the 12-inch MacBook or iPad Pro — it’s Thunderbolt-only.

Previously: The Impossible Dream of USB-C.

Adding a Command Line Tool Helper to a Mac App Store App

Timo Perfitt:

During testing, the command line tool continually crashed with a “Illegal Instruction: 4” both in the app and when I ran the tool outside the app on the command line. Turning off code signing (or not signing the app) make the issue go way, but code signing is required for submitting to the Mac App Store.


Long and short of it:

  1. The command line tool must have a Mach-O load command for LC_VERSION_MIN_MACOSX. It can be set using the GCC flag “-mmacosx-version-min=10.12” (change 10.12 to what makes sense).
  2. Command line tools must be signed with an entitlement that has exactly 2 rules: sandbox and inherit. It can be set with the codesign command. All other rules are inherited from the main app and should be set there.
  3. Pretty sure that the command line tool must be in the MacOS folder or a perhaps a folder named “Helpers”. I put mine in the Executables folder in a Copy Files build phase[…]

The exception is if your app has a command-line tool that is meant to be invoked by the user. Then the “inherit” entitlement would get in the way because it’s not being run from your app.

The Toxic Fragility of Siri Shortcuts

Gabe Weatherhead:

I love both of these Shortcuts because I can use a simple voice command to trigger them and they make my life a tiny bit better. Well, they did until a couple of weeks ago.


Without predictable outcomes from Siri Shortcuts it might as well not exist. It’s not helpful to issue a command that worked yesterday and get a joke response back today. If I wanted that, I’d ask my kid to do it.

Via Nicholas Riley:

Very surprised this doesn’t get more press. Siri shortcuts reliability, like Siri overall, is so bad that I can’t rely on it.

Update (2019-01-11): Dave Verwer:

I hadn’t seen this until I was just catching up with @mjtsai’s blog, but this tweet thread from me sounds like the same bug.

I know it’s not good enough, but deleting the shortcut and recreating it with the same phrase does work.

No NVIDIA Drivers for Mojave


Developers using Macs with NVIDIA graphics cards are reporting that after upgrading from 10.13 to 10.14 (Mojave) they are experiencing rendering regressions and slow performance.

Apple fully controls drivers for Mac OS. Unfortunately, NVIDIA currently cannot release a driver unless it is approved by Apple.

Marco Chiappetta (via Hacker News, MacRumors):

And when Apple pushed macOS 10.14 out the door, it appears suspended support for some discrete NVIDIA GPUs. According to Apple’s website, only two aging “Mac Edition” discrete NVIDIA GPUs, the Quadro K5000 and GeForce GTX 680, are officially supported. Pre-Mojave though, many users had turned to newer, more powerful NVIDIA discrete GPUs based on the company’s Pascal architecture for workloads that can benefit from NVIDIA’s CUDA parallel computing platform and other proprietary development tools.


In the post, Diamond tags Jarred Land, a producer that also happens to be the president of RED Digital Cinema, who himself is an NVIDIA user. In fact, Land has a post on his wall showing a GeForce RTX Titan decoding 8K video in real-time at 23.98 frames per second, out to a Sharp 8K UHD TV. “Not allowing NVIDIA to put out drivers for OSX 10.14 hurts my business. We depend on NVIDIA drivers to keep our Macs flying through apps like Creative Cloud, Resolve and RED Workflows. We NEED these drivers to keep our pipelines from impacting our clients.”, said Jason.

Colin Cornaby:

I don’t really like Nvidia. But I’m tried of Apple making life difficult for GPU makers. eGPU was a great step. But now Apple is now strangling adopting by restricting GPU drivers. Apple should allow Nvidia to release their Mojave drivers, and ideally make the driver layer public

Previously: Removed in macOS 10.14 Mojave.

Update (2019-01-11): Isaiah Carew:

i gave up hope and gave my very nice 5K capable Nvidia 1080 card to my kids’ VR PC.

it’s tough to invest in a platform where the maintainer’s capricious decisions often cost you a thousand bucks.

Update (2019-03-11): See also: Accidental Tech Podcast.