Archive for August 2, 2022

Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Dogfooding Linux 5.19 on Apple Silicon

Linus Torvalds (via Hacker News):

On a personal note, the most interesting part here is that I did the release (and am writing this) on an arm64 laptop. It’s something I’ve been waiting for for a loong time, and it’s finally reality, thanks to the Asahi team. We’ve had arm64 hardware around running Linux for a long time, but none of it has really been usable as a development platform until now.

It’s the third time I’m using Apple hardware for Linux development - I did it many years ago for powerpc development on a ppc970 machine. And then a decade+ ago when the Macbook Air was the only real thin-and-lite around. And now as an arm64 platform.

Not that I’ve used it for any real work, I literally have only been doing test builds and boots and now the actual release tagging. But I’m trying to make sure that the next time I travel, I can travel with this as a laptop and finally dogfooding the arm64 side too.

Andrew Cunningham:

In November 2020, Torvalds wrote that the then-new M1 version of the Air “would be almost perfect” as an Arm Linux laptop but said, “I don’t have the time to tinker with it, or the inclination to fight companies that don’t want to help.”

At a certain level, this news is just mildly interesting trivia—it doesn’t matter to most Linux users what computer Torvalds is currently using, and Asahi Linux is still in a rough, early state where lots of things are half-functional or non-functional. But as Asahi contributor Hector Martin notes, having “real people… using Linux on a real, modern ARM64 platform” with a modern version of the Arm instruction set and a “near-upstream kernel” has knock-on effects that benefit the rest of the ecosystem.


Update (2022-08-04): Hector Martin:

I have heard from several Apple employees that:

  1. The boot method we use is for 3rd-party OSes, and Apple only use it to test that it works, because
  2. It is policy that it works.

Apple didn’t “leave the door open” for 3rd party OSes. Apple explicitly engineered 3rd party OS support in, and it is a hard policy requirement that it continue to work.

They aren’t going to help us port anything but they absolutely will not shut Asahi down either.

Apple’s Q3 2022 Results

Apple (transcript, Hacker News):

The Company posted a June quarter revenue record of $83.0 billion, up 2 percent year over year, and quarterly earnings per diluted share of $1.20.


“Our June quarter results continued to demonstrate our ability to manage our business effectively despite the challenging operating environment. We set a June quarter revenue record and our installed base of active devices reached an all-time high in every geographic segment and product category,” said Luca Maestri, Apple’s CFO. “During the quarter, we generated nearly $23 billion in operating cash flow, returned over $28 billion to our shareholders, and continued to invest in our long-term growth plans.”

Jason Snell:

Compared to the year-ago quarter, Mac sales were down 10%, iPad sales down 2%, iPhone up 3%, Services up 13%, and Wearables down 8%.

John Gruber:

M2 MacBook Airs didn’t go on sale until July, which is Q4, but I don’t think that’s relevant to this dip. […] The dip is because so many businesses and consumers bought new laptops during the pandemic because they needed them for work-from-home and school-from-home. The big tell on that for Apple is the monster quarter the Mac had back in the July–September quarter in 2020. That was the quarter before Apple unveiled the first M1 Macs (including the bestselling MacBook Air), but after Apple told the world that they’d be shifting the entire Mac platform to its own silicon by the end of the year.

Sami Fathi:

Maestri said Apple has over 860 million subscriptions, which is an increase of 160 million over just the last 12 months. Apple does not provide a breakdown of subscriber counts per service, but Maestri said growth was strong in offerings like Apple TV+ and Apple Arcade.

Steve Troughton-Smith:

You can tell Apple financial call analyst ‘questions’ are just PR talking points by how nobody has asked about the potential hit to services revenue and platform in general by antitrust regulation around the world, likely Apple’s biggest existential crisis in decades 🤷‍♂️


watchOS 8.7

Juli Clover:

According to Apple's release notes, there are no new prominent features in watchOS 8.7. Instead, the software focuses on under-the-hood "improvements," along with bug fixes and important security updates.

Fingers crossed, but this seems to fix the bug introduced in watchOS 8.5 where complications wouldn’t update.


Update (2022-08-29): After using this for a while, I’ve found that the compliations situation is improved, but updates are still not as prompt and reliable as with watchOS 8.4. I’m also now seeing an intermittent problem where sometimes my watch runs out of battery halfway through the (otherwise unremarkable) day, whereas normally I end the day with at least 50% power remaining.

Yet More App Store Search Ads

Sami Fathi:

Until now, Apple has offered developers two ad opportunities on the App Store: in the Search tab and within the Search results page.

Chance Miller:

First and foremost, there is a new advertising slot coming to the “Today” homepage of the App Store.


The second new advertising placement is coming directly to product pages themselves. This means that developers will now be able to place ads on the product pages for other apps. This spot is located at the very bottom of the product page, beneath the banner section that shows other apps by that developer.

Nick Heer:

This coverage sounds a little too fluffy to me — too much like it came directly from Apple. It is hard to know for sure because, while this news was reported by several Apple-focused publications including 9to5Mac and Apple Insider, not one of them acknowledged its sourcing. As of writing, this news has not landed on Apple’s Newsroom, or in the news feeds of its Developer or Search Ads sections, nor does it appear on the App Store advertising info page. All three Apple-focused publications also cite in their coverage a corporate presentation to advertisers each says it “obtained” in May claiming 78% of App Store search volume came from devices with ad personalization disabled. Curious.

Paul Haddad:

Coming next year “Download Ads” instead of downloading the app you want, the App Store will randomly download the highest bidding app.

Tim Sweeney:

You worked hard to build a great app. You registered a trademark. You signed up to Apple demands for 30% of your revenue as the sole way to reach iOS users. How does Apple reward you?

They front-run searches for your trademarked app name, and place ad results above the result for your app.

But now, there’s more: Apple will litter your own app page with ads for competing apps. And keep all the ad money for themselves.

Sebastiaan de With:

Apple shouldn’t get into the ad business. Pushing ads in their platform opposes to their goals and core values, and will only erode user trust.

Are the relatively minor profits worth the price of bad experiences and lost goodwill?

Your core values are what you do on an ongoing basis, not the talking points that you broadcast or what you did 20 years ago under different leadership.

Florian Mueller:

Yesterday it became public in Colombia that Apple is--I kid you not--claiming a human rights violation and invoking Article 8 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights because of Ericsson’s preliminary injunction in Colombia over a 5G patent. Nowhere on the 48 pages of the motion did I find a human rights violation in the sense in which most reasonable people would understand it. All I found was a bunch of run-of-the-mill appellate arguments. […]

Interestingly, Apple has just been warned against being sanctioned by the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas over a “misuse” of court rules. They brought an emergency motion instead of a regular motion.


Update (2022-08-04): Nick Heer:

iAd felt like a typical ad network that, at first, only had high-end buyers; App Store ads feel more like key money.