Archive for April 15, 2019

Monday, April 15, 2019

iOS Guided Access

Mattt Thompson:

In truth, Guided Access can be many things to many different people. So for your consideration, here are some alternative names that you can keep at the back of your mind to better appreciate when and why you might give it a try:

“Kid-Proof Mode”: Sharing Devices with Children

If you have a toddler and want to facilitate a FaceTime call with a relative, start a Guided Access session before you pass the device off. This will prevent your little one from accidentally hanging up or putting the call on hold by switching to a different app.

“Adult-Proof Mode”: Sharing Devices with Other Adults

The next time you go to hand off your phone to someone else to take a photo, give it a quick triple-tap to enter Guided Access mode first to forego the whole “Oops, I accidentally locked the device” routine.

If you set the passcode in Settings, you won’t have to enter it each time you start a Guided Access session. You can also end a session by double-tapping the side button and authenticating with Face ID, instead of triple-tapping and then entering the passcode.

10 Years of MacStories

Federico Viticci:

I had a different idea for what I wanted MacStories to be in 2009. You see, as a newly-minted Apple aficionado from Viterbo, Italy, who had just discovered the world of Apple blogging, I was fascinated by websites such as MacRumors, TUAW, Daring Fireball, and Engadget. I primarily wanted to use my longtime passion for in-depth videogame reviews (which I used to read on EDGE and other magazines when I was younger) and bring that style to Mac and iPhone app reviews; at the same time, I also wanted to have a website that could cover news, share tutorials, and, why not, maybe in the future even report rumors. I wanted to do it all, even though I was just a 20-year old guy from Italy who’d never blogged in English before.


As MacStories was slowly growing and I was finding an audience for my in-depth app reviews, I increasingly felt lured by the promise of timely news coverage and rumors. I thought that if MacStories could report Apple news and rumors as quickly as other websites, I could accelerate the process of a bigger audience stumbling upon MacStories and then discovering what really made the website unique: in-depth app reviews and opinion pieces. At the time, the most important metric for me was page views (because MacStories was making money off traditional banner ads); therefore, my incentives were directly aligned with attracting the biggest possible audience. At the same time, I didn’t want to give up on the reason I started MacStories in the first place (writing in-depth reviews unlike anyone else), so I decided that I wanted to have my cake and eat it too. I was going to report news and rumors to attract a larger audience, and I was going to continue writing app reviews for a dedicated, loyal niche too.


At some point by the end of 2012, I made the decision that we were going to stop reporting rumors or leaks and that chasing news stories to be “first” was no longer going to be our priority. I decided that I wanted MacStories to go back to its roots by prioritizing original reporting, editorials, and reviews over rehashing information that other websites were covering better than MacStories anyway.

Previously: Congratulations.

Library Evolution for Stable Swift ABIs

Ben Cohen:

One of Swift’s goals is to be a good language for libraries with binary compatibility concerns, such as those shipped as part of Apple’s OSs. This includes giving library authors the flexibility to add to their public interface, and to change implementation details, without breaking binary compatibility. At the same time, it’s important that library authors be able to opt out of this flexibility in favor of performance.

This proposal introduces:

  • a “library evolution” build mode for libraries that are declaring ABI stability, which preserves the ability to make certain changes to types without breaking the library’s ABI; and
  • an attribute for such libraries to opt out of this flexibility on a per-type basis, allowing certain compile-time optimizations.

The mechanisms for this are already in place, and were used to stabilize the ABI of the standard library. This proposal makes them features for use by any 3rd-party library that wishes to declare itself ABI stable.

Greg Parker:

This feature is one of the reasons that Apple created Swift instead of adopting an existing language. We needed at least as much capability to evolve libraries as Objective-C provided.

Previously: Swift ABI Stability and More.

Core Animation Bug in macOS 10.14.4

Ken Case:

In particular, OmniOutliner and OmniPlan customers have been telling us that since upgrading to 10.14.4, they will open some documents and end up seeing… nothing.


We’ve been working with Apple and tested a fix that will be in the next Software Update to macOS Mojave. (I don’t know the timeframe for that update shipping to the general public, but I’m glad this fix is on its way!)

John Gruber:

Bugs happen, but with all the ongoing consternation regarding Apple’s (and particularly the Mac’s) software quality, it’s a little worrisome to see this in a .4 release. A .4 release of the OS should be peak stability.

Update (2019-05-14): Ken Case:

Today Apple released macOS Mojave 10.14.5, which fixes a CoreAnimation drawing issue that was affecting customers using large OmniOutliner and OmniPlan documents.