Archive for January 15, 2021

Friday, January 15, 2021

Where Are the Safari Web Extensions?

Jason Snell (tweet):

At WWDC 2020, Apple announced it was going to support Chrome-style browser extensions (the WebExtensions API) in Safari. But with a catch[…]

You have to adapt it for WebKit, join Apple’s $99/year developer program, learn how to use Xcode and App Store Connect, and distribute via the Mac App Store.

Months after Safari 14’s release, are developers “bothering with Safari?”

The answer seems to be largely no—at least, not yet. The Mac App Store’s Safari extensions library seems to be largely populated with the same stuff that was there before Safari 14 was released, though there are some exceptions.


Beyond needing to get set up with Xcode, Abrahamowicz has had to deal with some specific security limitations Apple applies to extensions, which may require him to actually write some Mac-specific code in order to give the Safari version of Library Extension the same features it has on other platforms.

Apple recently posted some encouragement for potential developers.


Update (2021-01-18): See also: Hacker News.


We recently converted a chrome extension into safari extension using the tool provided by apple. While the conversion is smooth in general, the generated app (not the extension) got UI issue during extension review! Reviewer insists the app does not fit the UI guideline. I need to write back and explain the entire app is actually generated by the official Apple tool. The only use of generated app is open the preferences page of Safari. Anyway, after two back and forth, the extension is finally launched.

CleanShot X

Cabel Sasser:

You know what’s a really good Mac app? CleanShot. By far the best and most feature-rich screenshot/screen recording app I’ve used.

Oddly, despite being sold directly, there’s no trial version. However, they have a money-back guarantee, and you can also try it via the free trial for Setapp.

Steve Jobs at All Things Digital

Walt Mossberg:

FYI, all 6 of Steve Jobs’s appearances at the @allthingsd conferences - including the joint session with Bill Gates - are available for free in both pristine video and audio on @ApplePodcasts. We donated them after his death as a memorial.

Here are the direct RSS URLs for audio and video.

The Best Mac Rumors in a Long Time

Juli Clover (via Paul Haddad, Hacker News):

According to Kuo, Apple is developing two models in 14 and 16-inch size options. The new MacBook Pro machines will feature a flat-edged design, which Kuo describes as “similar to the iPhone 12" with no curves like current models. It will be the most significant design update to the MacBook Pro in the last five years.

There will be no OLED Touch Bar included, with Apple instead returning to physical function keys. Kuo says the MagSafe charging connector design will be restored, though it’s not quite clear what that means as Apple has transitioned to USB-C. The refreshed MacBook Pro models will have additional ports, and Kuo says that Most people may not need to purchase dongles to supplement the available ports on the new machines.

Mark Gurman (tweet):

Beyond the more powerful chips, Apple is also planning to step up the displays in its new MacBook Pros with brighter, higher-contrast panels, the person said. The new Macs will look similar to the current versions, albeit with minor design changes. Apple is aiming to launch the new MacBook Pros around the middle of the year.

This sounds way better than I expected. If it’s not the plan, it should be. If true, I guess it takes about five years to turn the ship. Can we throw in a smaller trackpad, too?

With the speed of the M1, I would love to switch back from an iMac to a MacBook Pro—if only there were a reliable, reasonably priced external Retina display.

Jeff Johnson:

Now if we can just get matte screens again...

Colin Cornaby:

Real 2x resolution would be nice

Tytus Suski:

reasons I left Apple ecosystem start to look like Michael Corleone’s TODOs

Mark Gurman (tweet):

The new [iMac] models will slim down the thick black borders around the screen and do away with the sizable metal chin area in favor of a design similar to Apple’s Pro Display XDR monitor. These iMacs will have a flat back, moving away from the curved rear of the current iMac.


Apple is also working on a pair of new Mac Pro desktop computers, its priciest Mac machines that don’t come with a screen included, the people said. One version is a direct update to the current Mac Pro and will continue to use the same design as the version launched in 2019. […] The second version, however, will use Apple’s own processors and be less than half the size of the current Mac Pro.


As part of its revived Mac desktop efforts, Apple has started early development of a lower-priced external monitor to sell alongside the Pro Display XDR.

Mr. Macintosh:

My take on the “Dark Era” Macs 2013-2019


If the current rumors are true, this could mark a huge shift.

I don’t think the damage that the 2013 Mac Pro & 2016 MacBook Pro is fully realized.

$5000 desktop with that’s not expandable? = Move to PC

$2500 Laptop with horrible reliability & bad keyboard design = Move to PC


Saw it real-time, live, while it happened. BEYOND ME how no one at Apple had foreseen it, or seemed motivated to fix it.


Update (2021-01-18): Raymond Wong (Hacker News):

Clearly, actual creatives and professionals disagree with Apple’s soul-searching because if all of these rumors come to fruition, Apple will be returning to what was already considered the MacBook Pro’s zenith. Coupled with Apple Silicon and Apple could experience Mac growth that it ceded to PC laptops during these past years of stumbling.

As someone totally in love with my M1 MacBook Air — the performance and battery life still astounds me every day — I am beyond excited for these new MacBook Pros. I’ve missed MagSafe dearly, pleaded for Apple to kill the Touch Bar more times than I can count, and curse under my breath every time I can’t find my SD card dongle for my MacBook.

Update (2021-01-22): Mark Gurman (tweet, 9to5Mac, MacRumors, 2, 3):

The company is planning to bring back an SD card slot for the next MacBook Pros so users can insert memory cards from digital cameras.


Apple has also developed underlying Mac support for both cellular connectivity — the ability for Macs to connect to the internet via smartphone networks — and Face ID, the company’s facial recognition system. But neither feature appears to be coming soon. To that end, Face ID had originally been planned to arrive in this year’s iMac redesign, but it’s now unlikely to be included in the first iteration of the new design.

Update (2021-03-15): Joe Rossignol:

Apple plans to release two new MacBook Pro models equipped with an HDMI port and SD card reader in the second half of 2021, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who outlined his expectations in a research note obtained by MacRumors.

Joe Rossignol:

Apple plans to unveil new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models with Mini-LED-backlit displays in the second half of this year, according to industry sources cited by Taiwanese supply chain publication DigiTimes.

Update (2021-04-22): Juli Clover:

Schematics stolen from Apple supplier Quanta Computer outline Apple’s plans for the next-generation MacBook Pro models that are expected in 2021, and clearly confirm plans for additional ports and a return to MagSafe.