Archive for June 30, 2020

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

2020 Apple Design Awards

Josh Centers:

Taking the recent years’ trend toward ignoring Mac apps to its logical extreme (see our Apple Design Award series), there wasn’t a single winner for the Mac.

John Gruber:

Such a great year for the Mac at WWDC, but not one ADA winner. But yet the ADAs are currently the top feature story in the Mac App Store app.

Jeff Johnson:

Except all the download buttons are disabled, because none of the apps are available on the Mac.


Update (2020-07-09): Craig Grannell:

I’m surprised people are surprised by this. The same thing happened at WWDC 2019 and 2018. (I don’t remember the awards further back than that.)

One might have expected this year to be different given Apple’s strong rhetoric about how much it cares about the Mac.

Why AnyList Won’t Be Supporting Sign in With Apple

Jeff Hunter (Hacker News):

We agree with Apple that privacy is a fundamental human right, and understand that the “Hide My Email” option in Sign in with Apple is well-intentioned, but it feels like Apple didn’t really think through all of the implications for basic user experience, customer support, and collaboration.


Finally, from a policy perspective, Apple explicitly states in their usage guidelines, “Apple reserves the right to disable Sign in with Apple on a website or app for any reason at any time.” If customers cannot log into their accounts, then they can’t use our service. Giving a third-party such powerful control over a core part of our service when it’s not absolutely required is unnecessarily risky, in our view.

Because of the App Store Guidelines and other problems with Facebook, they will no longer be supporting Facebook login, either.

Jeff Hunter:

Creating an account will still be fast and easy, though, because we’ve implemented support for iCloud Keychain and strong password AutoFill, which is a nice enhancement made by Apple in iOS 12 (and improved in iOS 13).


Update (2020-07-03): Matt Birchler:

The App Store has done tons of good for the world of software, and more people buy software today than ever before, and the App Store gets tons of credit for making that possible, but I think that ignoring the costs to merchant/customer relationships is unwise.

We’re now moving closer to the big big retailer model we had 20 years ago. The rules are less restrictive, but merchants must still work out deals with Apple and make software the way Apple dictates it should be made.


Putting Apple between the merchant and the consumer has benefits, but it’s disingenuous to ignore its costs. And while things today are far better for merchants and developers than they were in the big box retail days, I think the “at least it’s better than 20 years ago” argument is pretty weak.

Dan Moren:

I think, for the most part, AnyList’s concerns are well-founded for their particular offering.

APFS and Time Machine in Big Sur

Howard Oakley:

APFS in macOS 11 changes volume roles substantially. The System volume within a boot Volume Group is now sealed using a tree of cryptographic hashes, as I have detailed here.


As 9to5Mac has already reported, Big Sur is the first version of macOS which can make Time Machine backups to APFS volumes without using a virtual HFS+ file system on a sparse bundle. However, to do so requires the destination APFS volume to be assigned the role of Backup, and allocation of storage space as a Physical Store.


APFS doesn’t support directory hard links, so can’t use the same mechanism when storing Time Machine backups. Instead, what appears to function as a form of virtual file system is created using new features in APFS. The volume assigned the role of Backup appears to be a regular APFS volume, and is protected from normal access, even by root. File data is kept as usual in the container’s Physical Store, to which file data is copied during each backup. […] This is synthesised into what is presented by the Finder as the customary hierarchy of files and folders, just as with HFS+ backups. However, matching unchanged folders have different volume numbers, as if they were stored on separate mounted volumes.

The updated APFS reference is here. I plan to keep my Time Machine backups using HFS+ because of APFS’s slow performance with spinning disks. Also, it’s not clear to me whether this synthesized display will cause problems accessing the backed up files using other apps or cloning the backup drive.


Update (2020-09-30): See also: Hacker News.