Archive for April 29, 2020

Wednesday, April 29, 2020 [Tweets] [Favorites]

iPhone SE 2020: Single Image Monocular Depth Estimation

Ben Sandofsky (tweet):

In English, this is the first iPhone that can generate a portrait effect using nothing but a single, 2D image.


The new iPhone SE can’t use focus pixels, because its older sensor doesn’t have enough coverage. Instead, it generates depth entirely through machine learning. It’s easy to test this yourself: take a picture of another picture.


So why does Apple prevent the first party app from shooting non-people? They have a second process that works really well with humans in the frame. Without humans, it sometimes fails in weird ways.


actool Strips Larger Icon Sizes

Max Seelemann’s App Store upload failed because the high-resolution versions of the icon were missing:

It turns out, the icons actually were not there… but obviously we had them in the source asset catalog. We didn’t change the asset catalog or how icons are created in months.


It started dawning on me… if we didn’t notice others might not have as well? A quick check in the app folder… yep, other recently updated apps like @pixelmator, @vectornator, or @dayoneapp show the same problem. It even affects Apple’s own apps like KEYNOTE!


1) iconutil requires images in an “iconset” to be named like “icon_16x16.png” etc. – actool seems to be more flexible (but strips the larger sizes)


2) Seems that Finder no longer takes the app’s icon from the icns file. Instead, it reads the embedded asset catalog (if there is any).

So you can’t just add an .icns file and use it – if you have an asset catalog, the icon must be compiled in.

3) You cannot compile an app icon in an asset catalog without actool also writing the icns file. Whatever you do … you need to replace that icns file in later build phase.

I haven’t been using asset catalogs because, last I checked, they don’t work with frameworks. There’s no public API to look up an image in a given asset catalog; it only checks the one at the top level.

See also:

Update (2020-04-29): I don’t know how I missed this, but the Bundle.image(forResource:) API seems to work for looking up images in a framework.

Update (2020-05-19): Max Seelemann:

Btw my understanding by now is that either all app&document icons must be .icns or all inside asset catalogs. You cannot mix the two. So if I had removed all file icons from the asset catalog, Finder would have fallen back to using the ICNS file.

Not Dogfooding DriverKit

Phil Dennis-Jordan:

I’ve spent a fair bit of the last 2 weeks with DriverKit, i.e. macOS 10.15’s device-drivers-in-userspace tech. I really wanted to like it, but so far I’m not impressed at all. It’s yet another one of those things where Apple clearly has no intention of using it themselves.


The code signing situation is more awkward than it was for iPhone app development back in the iPhoneOS 2.0 SDK days. You have to disable Xcode’s own code signing step and run the codesign command yourself to even get anything to build and load.

Error messages are cryptic, non-specific, and hidden inside the firehose of the unified system log.


I don’t know whether that’s an exhaustive list of services for which to watch the ‘log stream’ because of course documentation is skeletal at best.


WWDC 2019 Session 702 claims that DriverKit makes developing drivers easier compared to kexts. Obviously I’m new to DriverKit, so I’m expecting a learning curve, but even once I get something working, I end up rebooting more often than with kexts.


Presidential Simulation App Removed From the App Store

Justin Proulx:

The scenario pictured mentions a generic disease. This scenario has existed since 2018.

Apple just called me, saying I can’t have it in the App Store anymore due to COVID-19, despite it existing before the virus


Apple is now targeting my app, while allowing games like @NdemicCreations’ Plague, Inc. (which focuses entirely on killing the human race with a contagious disease) to remain on the App Store.


Apple Watch at 5

Joe Rossignol:

Today marks the fifth anniversary of the Apple Watch launching on April 24, 2015. To mark the occasion, below we reflect on some of the key features added to the Apple Watch over the last five years.

Juli Clover:

To celebrate the device’s anniversary, designer Imran Chaudhri, who worked on the original Apple Watch team, shared some interesting tidbits about its development on Twitter (via TechCrunch).