Archive for January 30, 2020

Thursday, January 30, 2020 [Tweets] [Favorites]

LastPass to Drop Support for Native Mac App

Chaim Gartenberg (via MacRumors):

Password management app LastPass has announced it will be discontinuing its native macOS app on February 29th, directing users in an email to switch over to the new web-based version of the app that will replace it.

[…]

To replace it, LastPass will be offering a new Mac app that will support the new extension system. However, instead of being a fully native piece of Apple software, it’ll be more of a web app that’s “built with technologies shared with our other LastPass apps,” which the company says will make it easier to maintain its apps across multiple platforms.

I wonder why they didn’t choose Catalyst.

Dropbox Ignore Feature in Beta

Dropbox (via Hacker News):

You can set a file or folder to be “ignored” by Dropbox. This allows you to organize files and folders in the Dropbox folder on your computer without storing them on dropbox.com or on the Dropbox server at all.

[…]

  1. Open the Terminal application on your computer.
  2. Type
    xattr -w com.dropbox.ignored 1. 
    
  3. Type the location of the file next to that.
    • You can also drag and drop the file or folder that you want to ignore from your file browser into the Terminal and it will populate with the location of the file.
    • It should look something like this:
      xattr -w com.dropbox.ignored 1 /Users/yourname/Dropbox\ \(Personal\)/YourFileName.pdf

It’s hard to believe that Dropbox has lacked this feature for 12 years.

I think it would have been better to use a .dropboxignore file rather than an xattr:

Previously:

Update (2020-02-04): Dave Wood:

Also, this would make the process the same regardless of platform.

Behind the Scenes on Apple’s Aperture Team

Chris “cricket” Hynes (via John Gruber):

There were several unique things about how the team worked which differed from Apple practice. Even before writing any code for feature, a software engineer and a QA engineering would collaborate on a document detailing a test plan. Both parties learned a lot, and it created a great relationship.

[…]

We had a reasonable number of QA engineers, which is very rare in any software product. Since this was a professional product, they knew the quality had to be high.

[…]

So we went to IL1, right across from the executive suite. Given how close Steve (Jobs) was to our offices, I saw him only once in our area. It was clear that Pro Apps were not his thing and Aperture was not on his radar.

[…]

They seriously yelled at us for writing bugs. ‘This bug should never have been written!’ they shouted. They argued that we shouldn’t write bugs on incomplete features. But that’s what the engineers wanted, and we felt we worked for them on a day-to-day basis. […] I was considered a risk to the project because of the number of bugs I filed.

[…]

So they tried cutting finished features, yelling at people, and working people to the point of nervous breakdowns. Then they came upon a brilliant idea: let’s steal over a hundred engineers from other teams and then the project will magically get done on time.

Cabel Sasser:

Although @gruber described this as a “delight to read”, I felt like I was reading a slow-motion car crash!! These recollections make me extremely thankful of the life I have and the company I work for, as this team’s environment is my precise idea of hell.

Buzz Andersen:

I worked in Apple Pro Apps at the time this was going on and can confirm that it was a fairly miserable place.

Andrew Abernathy:

As someone who loved Aperture (and still uses it — can’t find anything with comparable workflow), I extra-hate reading about the horribleness the team was put through.

Nick Heer:

I miss Aperture greatly. It is perhaps the piece of software I would choose to resurrect if I could make such a decision. The earliest versions may have been slow and buggy, but I remember running Aperture 1.5 (or thereabouts) on a Core 2 Duo MacBook Pro with a spinning hard disk and it was fast. And it wasn’t just the speed with which Aperture rendered photos or adjustments; it was everything about the app — every interaction, every UI component, every menu, and every panel. Every action felt deliberate and precise. The whole app also looked and felt damn near perfect.

Another post from Hynes:

It’s a sad thought to be certain that your best days are behind you. The sheer size of Apple has been difficult to adjust to. Teams are too big, organizations are too big, and sometimes even the products are too vast for my brain to comprehend. Things that used to be personal are now impersonal. Apple did not scale well.

In the first 12 years or so, I was fortunate to be given the freedom to influence products to a degree far exceeded my position, a testament to the Apple management I worked under. As the company got bigger, my influence declined from a very high point to effectively zero.

Previously:

Apple Finishes New U.S. Map

Apple (MacRumors, Hacker News):

Apple today announced that all users in the United States can now experience a redesigned Maps with faster and more accurate navigation and comprehensive views of roads, buildings, parks, airports, malls and more, making it easier and more enjoyable to map out any journey. Apple completed the rollout of this new Maps experience in the United States and will begin rolling it out across Europe in the coming months.

Justin O’Beirne has lots of before/after comparisons.

Matthew Panzarino:

Maps is probably the biggest software turnaround in Apple’s modern era — an interesting case study for a company that rarely needs turnaround efforts.

Mig_Dig:

Apple Maps has given me the wrong directions so many times, that I have completely forsaken it. I feel like I see a tweet like this every year, and every year I try to give it another chance. And alas, I’ve arrived at the complete wrong destination.

Alessio Maffeis:

I use Apple Maps all the time, but if I want to check opening hours of some business, I have to open Google Maps, and then I also find foot traffic stats, reviews and photos. So much work to do in that respect for Apple.

Josh Centers:

I prefer Apple Maps over Google Maps for a lot of things these days, but local business information is still sorely lacking. And it drives me crazy when I search for a business and it tries to direct me to one hours away.

Previously:

Update (2020-02-04): Lauren Goode:

In a prepared statement Apple senior vice president Eddy Cue said that the completion of the US map and delivery of the new features are “important steps” in creating what he referred to as the best and most private maps in the world. He added that Apple will “bring this new map to the rest of the world starting with Europe” sometime in 2020.

[…]

Despite Apple’s efforts, it’s still playing catch-up to Google Maps in many regions around the globe. (The notable exception is China, where Google Maps is unavailable and Apple Maps relies on data from Chinese provider AutoNavi.)

Nick Heer:

I use Apple Maps almost exclusively for finding places and getting directions; I know it’s highly variable around the world, but its wayfinding abilities and read-aloud instructions have been tremendous in the past year. When I’m monkeying around and trying to figure out what a place looks like, however, I still turn to Google Maps.

See also: Hacker News.