Archive for January 1, 2021

Friday, January 1, 2021

Let’s Make 2021 the Year of Disk Utility

Howard Oakley:

APFS has developed rapidly since we first started getting to know it in High Sierra. By the time it has reached version 1677.60.23 in Big Sur, it has grown many new features, of which most support the new Sealed System Volume, and Time Machine backups to APFS volumes. These include volume roles, Volume Groups, firmlinks, and the copying of storage blocks into backups.

Despite those, Disk Utility in Big Sur has changed precious little, and can’t for example swap the Data volume in a boot volume group. Although its command tool companion, diskutil, offers a few more facilities, such as the creation of APFS volumes with specified roles, even there the user has comparatively little to work with APFS’s extensive feature-set.


Disk Utility is sadly neglected, a tool which is vital to every Mac user but lacks the care and attention which Apple should devote to it. Please, Apple, can we target it for serious high-quality engineering effort in 2021, and end these years of neglect?

TJ Luoma:

Dear Apple: It would be great if macOS 12 didn’t require us to use a third-party tool to get an accurate idea of how much disk space we have available.


Update (2021-01-04): Niko Kitsakis:

Well, well, well… Where have I heard this before?

Amphetamine Threatened With App Store Removal

William C. Gustafson (tweet):

Amphetamine is a free app that helps keep your Mac awake. Amphetamine has been on the Mac App Store since 2014 and it’s been downloaded over 432,800 times. It currently has over 1,400 reviews and a 4.8 out of 5.0 rating in the US Mac App Store.

On December 29th, 2020, a representative from Apple contacted and informed me that, after 6 years on the Mac App Store, Amphetamine had spontaneously began violating one of Apple’s App Store Guidelines.

Apple then proceeded to threaten to remove Amphetamine from the Mac App Store on January 12th, 2021 if changes to the app were not made. It is my belief that Amphetamine is not in violation of any of Apple’s Guidelines. It is also my belief that there are a lot of people out there who feel the same way as me, and want to see continue to flourish without a complete re-branding.


Apple has accused Amphetamine of violating the following guideline:

1.4.3 Apps that encourage consumption of tobacco and vape products, illegal drugs, or excessive amounts of alcohol are not permitted on the App Store. Apps that encourage minors to consume any of these substances will be rejected. Facilitating the sale of marijuana, tobacco, or controlled substances (except for licensed pharmacies) isn’t allowed.

Apple further specified:

“Your app appears to promote inappropriate use of controlled substances. Specifically, your app name and icon include references to controlled substances, pills.”

The app doesn’t promote the use of any pills by humans. Rather, it’s a metaphor for offering your Mac a common treatment for Narcolepsy.

Jeff Johnson:

Apple featured the app that they now want to remove for supposedly promoting drug use.

Update (2021-01-01): William C. Gustafson:

While Amphetamine (the app) does not promote the use of illegal drugs, there are other apps that do. You can find plenty of other apps on the App Store that either promote irresponsible use of both legal and illegal drugs, or outright glorify the manufacture and sale of illegal drugs. These other apps have not been removed from the App Store or forced to rebrand.

See also: David Heinemeier Hansson, Hacker News.


Update (2021-01-05): Andrey Okonetchnikov (via David Heinemeier Hansson):

That’s pretty much what happened to @colorsnapper! We wanted to submit a tiny update and it got rejected after years being on the Mac App Store.

David Heinemeier Hansson:

Apple: This app that simply keeps your computer from going to sleep is promoting drug use. Also Apple: GTA 5 gets our Editors Choice for actively basing gameplay around drug use and drug trafficking 👏👏

William C. Gustafson (Engadget, Hacker News, The Verge, MacRumors, tweet):

Just got off a call with @Apple. Appeal accepted and Amphetamine will remain on the @AppStore.

Nick Heer:

In a parallel universe where this story did not receive press coverage, would the outcome be the same?

Marcus S. Zarra:

Reading things like this are so disheartening.

Hard to even consider writing for any Apple platforms anymore. Why take the risk?


I mean, good for the app, but at this point this really makes my blood boil. […] Every time somebody writes a “my app got finally restored :)” post hundreds or thousands of equally good and legit pieces of software get thrown into the abyss - and why? Because the author speaks no English, has no network, does not tweet enough. What a shitty reason.

FilmNoir Rejected From the App Store

Tom Angistalis:

It was surprising to be honest that it was approved on first try. I was expecting some changes to be made around the subscription stuff. Nice to have it ready for release!

Tom Angistalis (via Dave Wood):

I spoke too soon. I seriously don’t understand how App Store review can be that inconsistent.

We had an approved app, waiting to be released and just after 2 days our minor update was rejected as a form of spam.

What does it mean though? There are tons of @trakt clients in the App Store. There are tons of @Twitter or @reddit clients in the App Store. By that definition those apps should not exist.

Tom Angistalis:

The full rejection message from the App Review team. Does anyone understand what the action points are?


Maybe I should have waited before posting about it but it’s so stressful. Last time we waited 3 months before complaining on Twitter in order to get a technical issue resolved.

Tom Angistalis: