Archive for September 30, 2021

Thursday, September 30, 2021

Dragging Multiple Images Out of Safari

John Gruber:

15-year-old “TopTechGeek” with a tip that blew my mind: iOS 15 Safari lets you select and drag multiple images from a web page.

Cool video. You can also drag and drop to the Files app. Unfortunately, the feature only seems to work with images. If I try to drag multiple PDF or ZIP files to a folder in Files, instead of downloading them it saves .txt files with their URLs.

The Disappointment of On-Device Siri

Federico Viticci:

The most important addition to Apple’s assistant this year is that, starting with iOS and iPadOS 15, Siri will work offline by default. As announced by Apple at WWDC, the Neural Engine can now process your requests locally, on-device, with the same quality of server-based speech recognition.

In practice, since the switch to offline processing, I haven’t noticed a degradation of quality in terms of how Siri interprets my requests, but it hasn’t gotten smarter than before either. I suppose this is good for Apple since, at the very least, moving away from server-based processing hasn’t made Siri worse.

Obviously, only some types of requests will work offline.

I don’t understand why creating reminders can’t work offline. I can see Siri transcribe everything I’ve said, but then it just stops and says that my phone needs to be online. I’m not asking it to do anything fancy like use a particular list or set a date.

I was also hoping that offline support would make the voice control features faster by eliminating server latency. That hasn’t happened, either. It can still take 10–15 seconds to pause music or a podcast, during which Siri gives me spoken feedback that it’s still working on my request. And, again, I can see on the screen that it correctly transcribed what I said right away. Why does it take so long to actually process it? It was faster and more consistent on-device before Siri, in the iPhone 4 days.

Timers work offline and are quicker than voice control, but they still feel slower than Alexa talking to the server. And there’s still only one.


Manual Full Justification

Matt Gemmell:

The most amazing thing I’ve ever read is a guide to the SNES game Super Metroid.


Lots of game guides are in plain text, by the way, like this one. No fancy formatting.


See how virtually all the paragraphs are like solid blocks on their left and right edges? In typography that’s called “fully justified”. In word processors etc, it’s accomplished by evenly distributing extra spacing throughout lines of text, and also by hyphenation.

But in that guide, it’s not done with hyphenation or variable spacing. It’s monospaced text in a monospaced font.

Kindle Paperwhite (5th Generation)

Chaim Gartenberg (via Hacker News):

Amazon is refreshing the Kindle Paperwhite for the first time in nearly three years with an updated model, adding a bigger 6.8-inch E-Ink display that’s brighter and has adjustable color temperature, USB-C charging, a faster processor, and weeks more in battery life.

Dan Moren:

Amazon has clearly realized there’s more opportunity here and has added a second Paperwhite model, the Signature Edition. In addition to the features in the base model Paperwhite, the Signature Edition also includes wireless Qi charging, sensors that automatically adjust the backlight color temperature (on the base Paperwhite it has to be done manually), and 32GB of storage (compared to the base Paperwhite’s 8GB).

All of that will run you $189.99, a $50 premium over the base Paperwhite’s $139.99. And both of those prices are Amazon’s ad-supported “with Special Offers”; getting rid of those will cost you an additional $20.

Devin Logan (via Hacker News):

I don’t think the e-reading experience really mimics the experience of reading a physical book. To me, the reading experience on an e-reader is really more comparable to a really nice electronic experience – the matte page is nice, it’s easy to flip the page, and it’s easy on the eyes (which is something I’m very particular about).

For me, my e-reader is an alternative way to read that’s more convenient in specific situations: for travel, obviously, but also for the times I’m too distracted or unfocused to focus on a physical book.