Archive for January 7, 2020

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Ten Years of Apple on One Page

Benjamin Mayo:

Apple entered the 2010s just as the iPhone began to explode in popularity. The iPhone became the most successful consumer product, ever. Sales surged for another five years and still make up a majority of Apple’s revenues.


In an on-stage interview a couple months after the iPad was released, Jobs told Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher his vision of the future of the computer industry, comparing PCs to ‘specialist’ trucks and iPads to mainstream cars.


The first-generation MacBook Air was sleek but slow and expensive. Apple’s second stab at the ultrabook was a huge success.


iCloud is now a foundational feature across all of Apple’s platforms but it didn’t start to become a thing until 2011 with iOS 5.


Apple brought Retina to the iPhone in 2010 but it took another two years for the high-density screens to make their way to the iPad and the Mac.


The culmination of Jobs demise, Forstall’s ousting and Ive’s new found mandate over all of Apple human interface resulted in iOS 7. Apple redesigned the entire aesthetic of its mobile operating system in about eight months.


Swift debuted with big ambitions to be a universal programming language spanning app development to low-level systems programming, with expressive syntax and more safety guarantees than Objective-C could provide, whilst also pushing for bare metal performance and efficiency goals.


The 15-inch MacBook Pro was the straw that broke the camel’s back, as far as Apple’s alignment with the professional market. It would begin to rectify the relationship and appeal of its pro products in 2017 but a ‘truly great’ MacBook Pro would not be available for another three years.


As a financial event, this would just be an amusing statistic of history but of course this result had ramifications on Apple’s product plans. Apple doubled down on Services initiatives as a way to show investors underlying long-term growth potential in its business.


OpenDrop (via André Staltz):

OpenDrop is a command-line tool that allows sharing files between devices directly over Wi-Fi. Its unique feature is that it is protocol-compatible with Apple AirDrop which allows to share files with Apple devices running iOS and macOS. Currently (and probably also for the foreseeable future), OpenDrop only supports sending to Apple devices that are discoverable by everybody as the default contacts only mode requires Apple-signed certificates.


OpenDrop is experimental software and is the result of reverse engineering efforts by the Open Wireless Link project.

Safari’s “Reload Page From Origin”

Jeff Johnson (tweet):

It turns out that “Reload Page” does not actually reload the page in the way you expect. I’m not sure exactly what “Reload Page” does, but it still seems to rely on the disk cache. If you hold down the option key, you see “Reload Page” replaced in the menu by “Reload Page From Origin”, which is the reload you expect, the one that ignores the disk cache and loads everything again from the web.

I’m not sure how to do this in iOS. I thought may be a long-press would give me options, but it doesn’t.

I wish that Safari would take a cue from Firefox and Google Chrome in allowing fine-grained control over cookies. Safari has per-site preferences for Auto-Play, Downloads, Notifications, etc., but it doesn’t have per-site preferences for cookies. Compare with Firefox and Google Chrome shown below. The best feature they have is to clear cookies when you quit the app, a feature I wish that Safari would adopt too.

See also: Melissa Holt.