Archive for May 14, 2020

Thursday, May 14, 2020

WWDC 2020 Wish Lists

Becky Hansmeyer (tweet):

Most of my issues with SwiftUI boil down to 1) Missing UI elements and 2) Missing customizations.


I would really like to see an easier way to support the native Apple Pencil mark-up tools in PDFKit.


A system-wide color picker in iOS. It’s bananas that I can’t select some text in Apple Notes on my iPad and change its color.


De. Fault. Apps. Let me change them.


A revamped iPad multitasking system (yep, just do it again until it’s right) that isn’t big ol’ hot mess.

Jordan Merrick:

Shortcuts desperately needs a way to copy and paste actions across shortcuts—it’s almost criminal that it doesn’t have it already. There’s simply no way to reuse a set of actions from one shortcut in another or even just duplicate actions within the composer.


There’s no way to easily back up shortcuts, which feels like a regression and something that was possible with Workflow (i.e., saving workflows as files). iCloud syncing helps keep devices in sync but it’s not a backup tool.


Subroutines could be mini-shortcuts that don’t exist within the standard set of shortcuts, instead they could be accessed like actions. Sharing a shortcut should also include a full copy of the subroutine.


Update (2020-05-18): David Smith:

So now I am turning my attention towards the future and what might be possible for the Apple Watch.

John Gruber:

Fiddling with the home screen on iOS is just awful. Whenever I sit down and try to clean it up — deleting apps I don’t use, moving apps into some semblance of order — it drives me insane. The 1984 Finder was awesome for rearranging icons, right on day one. Yet we’re 13 years into iOS and rearranging apps is still terrible, because the whole thing is based on a home screen design where there’s just one screen and no third-party apps. The concept worked fine when all you could do was rearrange 12 built-in apps on a single screen. It feels like a prank trying to use it today.

Update (2020-05-22): Becky Hansmeyer:

The first is by Steve O’Dell, who helps run a Girls Who Code after-school program at Bacon Elementary School in Colorado. His wishlist stems from a desire for Apple to once again become a major player in the education space.


The next wishlist I wanted to share comes from Daniel Andrews. It’s a great list; some of my favorite things are feature parity for Messages across platforms, the return of the magnification loupe, making better use of the iPad status bar, and improvements to search on iPad. He also mentions some specific improvements to Mail[…]

Stuart Breckenridge:

This WWDC wishlist is focused around the frameworks and functionality that I’ve been working with over the last year or so.


I’d like to see BGAppRefreshTask improved with some form of guaranteed refresh schedule, e.g. three times a day. I spent a not inconsiderable amount of time trying to workaround the refresh schedules for NetNewsWire—including using Location Services—to no avail.


SwiftUI has rough edges and outright missing features.


Make SF Symbols available for Mac app development


Using CloudKit shouldn’t make it impossible to transfer an app


Update (2020-06-22): Howard Oakley:

What I’d really like to see before anyone launches into Keynote addresses later this month is a review of all the fixes and improvements which are coming in 10.16 to address these shortcomings in tools and the fundamental maturity of the last three years of macOS. Without them, 10.16 has weak and flawed foundations, and the more it changes, the greater the risk it will fall flat.

Arek Holko:

My only wish for this year’s WWDC is for the App Store to stop being the only approved way of distributing apps on iOS. This is definitely more significant to the health of the ecosystem than some new features or bug fixes in frameworks.

See also:

Security Flaws in Adobe Acrobat Reader

Yuebin Sun (tweet, MacRumors):

Today, Adobe Acrobat Reader DC for macOS patched three critical vulnerabilities […] I reported. The only requirement needed to trigger the vulnerabilities is that Adobe Acrobat Reader DC has been installed. A normal user on macOS(with SIP enabled) can locally exploit this vulnerabilities chain to elevate privilege to the ROOT without a user being aware.


SMJobBlessHelper is based on NSXPC, its client checking exists in [SMJobBlessHelper listener:shouldAcceptNewConnection:]. The checking logic is as pseudo-code shows below, gets the client’s PID, and then obtains Bundle ID based on the client’s process path, the client will be trusted if its Bundle ID is “com.adobe.ARMDC”.


Yes, the symlink is still valid, it can help us to bypass temp directory protection. I can force /var/folders/zz/xxxxx/T/download/ARMDCHammer to link to anywhere.


So if we can replace the “/tmp/test/hello_root” with our malicious file after validateBinary, launchARMHammer will launch our malicious process.

You may think the race condition window is too narrow to control, I will show the tricks later.

I don’t like it when third-party code uses the name of a system class or function as a prefix.


Dell UltraSharp 49 Review

Ben Lovejoy:

Thin bezels, single-cable connection, and the ultra-wide format I fell in love with a couple of years ago.


If you’re used to an Apple Thunderbolt Display 27, or any other 2560×1440 monitor, you’re going to be perfectly happy with the quality. However, if you’re used to either working directly on the MacBook Pro display or any doubled-pixel one, like the LG UltraFine 5K, then text will definitely seem less sharp.


When viewing photos or video, however, the quality is stunning. As I said last time, it’s not a pro monitor – and doesn’t have a pro monitor price tag – but I think even enthusiastic photographers will be more than happy with this. Photo editing on this size monitor is going to be a dream.


The Dell UltraSharp 49 does offer an alternative setup: you can split the monitor in half and create two virtual 27-inch monitors, each 2560×1440.

That makes a lot of sense because then you could put the menus in the middle, easily snap windows to the middle “edge,” and zoom to half the screen. In most cases, I don’t even want full-width windows on a 27-inch display.


Magic Keyboard for iPad Teardown

Juli Clover:

iFixit last week shared x-rays of the new Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro, giving us a little look at what’s inside Apple’s newest keyboard design, and today, iFixit is back with a mini trackpad teardown.

Kevin Purdy:

There is so much going on here, you might never guess that this is technically an accessory to the actual iPad Pro (until you notice the $330 price tag).


What looks like multiple buttons in the X-ray is actually just one button and a simple, elegant lever system. The single button is at the center of the trackpad, where the mechanism is rigid. When you apply pressure near the center, whether top, middle, or bottom-center, you are directly pressing the button. Press near the top, bottom, or one of the corners, however, and the lever system comes into play, forcing the contact plate in the center upward to make a click happen. You can see it happen in this animation below. Note how the lever mechanism covers not only the diagonal corner areas, but the perimeter of the trackpad, too.


Valve Drops Mac Support for SteamVR

Valve (via Rene Ritchie, MacRumors, tweet, Hacker News):

SteamVR has ended macOS support so our team can focus on Windows and Linux.

Mark Hughes:

Now, that’s just their VR headset, which is an extremely low-volume, 1% of the market gadget; VR’s kind of awful in practice, but it keeps being “useful next year” for the last 40 years, and someday it’ll be right. Steam as it is, >50% of the games I look at have a Mac version; it’s not dead yet, but it definitely smells bad.

I blame Apple and their terrible support for gaming, in fact overtly hostile attitude.


The suggestion to use Windows Boot Camp is just a giant middle finger, but what else are you gonna do?

Quinn Nelson:

I don’t know what else Valve was supposed to do? They ported Steam, they supported SteamVR, and they ported their entire software catalog to Mac. This whole thing just makes me laugh cause Gabe Newell said this about Apple in 2007 and it seems much hasn’t changed.

Oskar Groth:

I called this last year… Which is when Valve effectively ended further development of the Mac port. From my perspective, cooperation with Apple seemed great. It was Valve execs decision to axe the project to focus on PC.

Was that decision a result of poor Mac GPU performance? Sure, the Nvidia-Apple fallout contributed negatively. But it’s not like Valve didn’t know from the beginning that Mac VR was going to be an eGPU venture for the foreseeable future.

John Gruber:

I don’t blame Steam one bit. If anything, it’s surprising Steam “supported” the Mac for VR up until now. No Macs ship with a video card that supports VR gaming, and MacOS doesn’t support the Vulkan or OpenXR APIs that popular VR games are built on. It doesn’t help (to put it mildly) that Nvidia and Apple remain at odds. Apple is doing its own thing with Metal and ARKit — which are both excellent, but not part of the VR gaming world.