Archive for June 9, 2021

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

iOS 15 Cursor Placement and Text Selection

Benjamin Mayo:

After being unceremoniously removed in iOS 13, Apple has restored the magnifying glass (loupe) when interacting with text on iOS 15.

Now, when a user starts to move the text cursor, a bubble appears above their finger magnifying what is shown below. This makes it really easy to see where the text cursor is being placed, and where text will be inserted.

See also: Mitchell Clark.


Low Power Mode for Mac

Juli Clover:

According to Apple, Low Power Mode on Mac reduces the system clock speed and the display brightness in order to extend your battery life even further. This means that if you’re doing less intensive tasks like watching videos or browsing the web, you can eke even more out of your Mac’s battery.

On the Mac, Low Power Mode is compatible with the MacBook (Early 2016 and later) and MacBook Pro (Early 2016 and later).


Constant Literals in Objective-C

Andrew Madsen:

In 2012, with the release of Xcode 4.4 and LLVM 4.0, Apple introduced Objective-C literals for three more common Objective-C types: NSArray, NSDictionary, and NSNumber.


However, unlike NSStrings, these literals were just syntactic sugar for calls to the regular alloc/init methods at runtime, and as such they couldn’t be used to initialize global variables.


Xcode 13 ships with a new major release of Clang/LLVM, version 13. New in this release is support for constant literals for NSNumber, NSArray, and NSDictionary.


I take this to mean that even where these kinds of literals are not used to initialize global variables, ie. anywhere else they’re used in your code, the compiler may optimize them into the CONST section of your binary.


Apple has updated the plutil command line tool included with Xcode so that it can create Objective-C source files containing constant literals from plist data.


FaceTime in iOS 15 and Monterey

Juli Clover:

In iOS 15 and its sister updates, you can create a link to a FaceTime conversation that can be shared anywhere. Using this link, friends and family members who do not have an Apple device can log into a FaceTime call using a web browser.

Non-Apple users can join a one-on-one FaceTime call or a Group FaceTime call, effectively making FaceTime a more platform-agnostic video service that is no longer just limited to iOS users. You do, however, need an iOS user to start a FaceTime call and send a link.

I’ll be interested to hear how the end-to-end encryption works from an arbitrary Web browser.

Tim Hardwick:

Apple at WWDC has announced several new upcoming FaceTime features for Apple devices, like spatial audio, voice isolation, wide spectrum, FaceTime Links, SharePlay, and more.


Update (2021-06-29): Benjamin Mayo:

It is incredibly tempting to glibly pass off many of these new FaceTime additions as features targeting an era that (we all hope, at least) has passed, and Apple is late to the game. I’m pretty sure I tweeted a joke to that effect on keynote day. On reflection, though, it is an unfair view.