Archive for November 16, 2021

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Twitter Improves API and Restrictions

Amir Shevat and Sonya Penn (Hacker News):

Essential access includes immediate access to the Twitter API v2 upon signup, one App environment and the ability to retrieve up to 500k Tweets per month. This should meet the majority of developers’ needs, especially early on.


We know that when you build solutions for people who use Twitter, you often have to build or replicate some of the features that already exist on Twitter. So, to encourage more of this innovation, we’ve removed language in our Developer Policy that restricted some elements of how you build with Twitter’s core features and limited the number of users you can support through your app.


The Twitter API v2 is ready for prime time! Over the past 14 months, we have been steadily releasing net new and v1.1 replacement endpoints to Twitter API v2, and today 90% of all existing apps built on the Twitter API v1.1 can be fully supported on v2 with new key features and increased access.


Specifically, we’ve removed terms that restricted replication of the Twitter experience, including Twitter’s core features as well as terms that required permission to have high numbers of user tokens.

Paul Haddad:

The quadrants of doom are finally gone!


Update (2021-11-17): Nick Heer:

This week’s announcement appears to be Twitter’s mea culpa, but developers are right to be cautious. A third-party client cannot search tweets older than one week, view likes or retweets with comments, use bookmarks, or vote in polls — among many other limitations. Some of these things are on Twitter’s roadmap for API V2, but it is unclear whether all of them will come to fruition. One thing seems certain: we are not going back to the days when users’ posts were available as an RSS feed.

GitHub Notifications and Mail Privacy Protection

Peter Ammon:

#macOS Monterey users, are you finding your #GitHub notifications are all marked as read? It’s probably Mail loading GitHub’s tracker pixels remotely. Uncheck “Protect Mail Activity” and the notifications come back.

Tracker pixels are mainly used for shady purposes, so even benign and clever uses like this seem destined to break.

To be sure, “Protect Mail Activity” is a great feature and I’m keeping it enabled. My intention was to highlight why notifications go missing in GitHub’s Inbox after upgrading to Monterey. I wish GitHub had an option to disable these tracker pixels.

Hartley Charlton:

Apple’s legal documentation on Mail Privacy Protection indicates that the feature is available for iPhone, iPad, and Mac only, but security researchers and developers Talal Haj Bakry and Tommy Mysk have discovered that since the Apple Watch does not hide a recipient’s IP address, it can compromise the overall security provided by Mail Privacy Protection.


Tim Sweeney Calls for Single, Universal App Store

Hartley Charlton:

Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney has today renewed his attack on Apple and called for a single, universal app store that works across all platforms (via Bloomberg).


Sweeney added that Epic Games is working with developers and service providers to create a system to allow users to “to buy software in one place, knowing that they’d have it on all devices and all platforms.”

Jack Wellborn:

Sweeney isn’t just talking about Apple and Google there, he’s talking about all console makers. My bet all along has been that Tim Sweeney wants the Epic Games Store to become the Amazon of software, and that ambition necessarily goes beyond Android and iOS.


Update (2021-11-17): Thomas Clement:

Single app store that works across all platforms?

Maybe we could try this thing called the Internet that has web pages on it.

Update (2021-11-26): John Gruber (tweet):

I’ve been arguing all along that, if victorious in their lawsuits against Apple and Google’s mobile app console platforms, Epic would surely turn its sights on Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft’s game console platforms, using their win over Apple and Google as precedent. When pressed on this — why Epic was going after the iOS and Android app stores, but not the Switch, PlayStation, and Xbox game stores (and in fact, gave those game console stores a 20 percent discount after launching their seemingly ill-fated jihad against Apple and Google) — Sweeney has previously given a hand-wavy justification about game console platforms being acceptable because the hardware itself isn’t profitable.

Curtis Herbert:

I’ve (and a few others) have been saying this all along - Epic is no champion of the indie; they just wanted to expand their relativly new PC game store (a shitty Steam wannabe) to all platforms to A) save $$ to platform fees B) take a cut of our indie money.

Russell Ivanovic:

Counter point: it doesn’t actually matter. I didn’t support Epic because I like them or think they are benevolent, I support them because they might just be big enough to get Apple to fix their egregious App Store policies.

Steve Troughton-Smith:

It’s been repeated ad nauseam based on a badly-phrased quote, but this ‘single app store’ idea isn’t about Epic owning ‘The one and only App Store’, it’s about Epic’s App Store (alongside the others), spanning multiple platforms, meaning users don’t need to buy again — like Steam

Tim Sweeney:

I’ve said all along - including in emails to Apple and Google executives produced in the litigation - that Epic wants to offer a software store on iOS and Android. Fortnite was the first game to support ownership of items across all 7 platforms.

So, as I’ve said in many interviews, we want a customer to be able to buy software once and own it on all of their devices. Wouldn’t this be better than the status quo where a user buying a paid cross-platform app across iOS, Android, and PC has to pay for it three times?

Epic’s own store supports purchases made on multiple other PC stores with no fee to Epic. Wouldn’t it be awesome if all platforms agreed to honor purchases made on other platforms? Epic is eager to support this with all willing partners.

Monterey Network Quality Tool

Dan Petrov (via Hacker News):

Apple has quietly added a new tool in macOS Monterey for measuring your device’s Internet connectivity quality. You can simply call the executable networkQuality, which executes the following tests:

  • Upload/download capacity (your Tx/Rx bandwidth essentially)
  • Upload/download flows, this seems to be the number of test packets used for the responsiveness tests
  • Upload/download responsiveness measured in Roundtrips Per Minute (RPM), which according to Apple, is the number of sequential round-trips, or transactions, a network can do in one minute under normal working conditions

The capacity is roughly the same metric you could expect from tools like from Netflix, or OOkla’s Speedtest.


Update (2021-11-24): Jason Snell:

I’ve written a small SwiftBar plugin (requires python3) to run networkQuality and report the results in the menu bar every 20 minutes. You can download it here if you’re interested.

Update (2023-05-15): CyberHost (via Hacker News):

The Network Quality tool also supports Apple’s Private Relay feature, which encrypts and routes all network traffic through two separate servers for added privacy and security.