Archive for October 19, 2022

Wednesday, October 19, 2022

Belkin iPhone Mount With MagSafe for Mac Notebooks

Joe Rossignol:
Priced at $29.95 on Apple’s online store, the mount attaches to the iPhone with MagSafe and can then be affixed to the top lid of a MacBook Air or MacBook Pro for use with Continuity Camera. When not connected to a Mac, the mount doubles as a kickstand for the iPhone with a built-in ring for easy gripping, similar to PopSockets.

The version for desktop displays is not available yet. I’m looking forward to it.


Awair Removing Features and Support for Older Devices

I recently received this e-mail from Awair:

Awair is experiencing healthy growth that puts an additional workload and cost on our platform. In order to scale our core functionality cost-effectively, we are prioritizing our resources into rewriting and scaling our core services that are supporting the functionality. Regrettably, we are currently unable to put our resources into fixing the following features of the Awair Home App, so we will be temporarily removing them until a new version of the app is available for release:

  • Logging into app using Google Sign-In
  • Push notifications system
  • Integrations with IFTTT, Google Home, Ecobee, Sensi, and SmartThings
  • Amazon Alexa in-app controls (can still be controlled through Alexa device itself)

Losing notifications is a major regression. It’s not clear why they can’t keep the existing feature set working, especially for devices like mine that are still being sold. They’re even still advertising the features that won’t be available if you purchase now.

David Smith got a different e-mail, also reported on Hacker News, saying that his device would no longer be able to connect to their cloud services because they are “no longer able to update firmware.” Why not?


Apple Restores VK and Apps to the App Store

Tim Hardwick:

Apple has restored Russian apps for social network VKontakte and webmail provider to the App Store, three weeks after removing them and other VK-owned apps in response to UK sanctions (via The Guardian).


A spokesperson for Apple shared the following statement:

The apps from this developer were removed from the App Store, as required by law, after multiple requests were made to the developer to provide documentation to verify that they were not in violation of UK sanctions. Subsequent to the removal, the developer has provided the requisite information verifying that they are not majority owned or controlled by a sanctioned entity. Thus, the apps have been reinstated to the App Store.

It sounds like the ownership hasn’t changed and that Apple’s previous statement was just wrong.


DuckDuckGo Browser for Mac Public Beta

DuckDuckGo (via Hacker News):

Enjoy browsing again with a fast, sleek browsing app that cleans up the web as you use it, thanks to DuckDuckGo’s unique built-in privacy protections.

New since the closed beta: Duck Player, a YouTube player that helps protect your privacy; password management integration with Bitwarden; upgraded automatic cookie pop-up handling; instant access to built-in Email Protection; and more.


We added a bookmarks bar, pinned tabs, and a way to view your locally stored browsing history.


DuckDuckGo for Mac is not a “fork” of Chromium, or any other browser code. All the app code – tab and bookmark management, our new tab page, our password manager, etc. – is written by our own engineers. For rendering, it uses a public macOS API, making it super compatible with Mac devices.

In other words, it’s using WKWebView rather than embedding its own forked copy of WebKit. I’m happy to see this making progress, but right now the features are pretty bare bones, the interface feels more webby than Mac, and it doesn’t support AppleScript.


Update (2022-11-02): Alexandre Colucci:

I gave a try to the new @DuckDuckGo Mac browser and I’m quite impressed:

  • feels really fast (in the video Safari on the left vs DuckDuckGo on the right)
  • cookie consent blocker is great but needs to support more websites

Update (2022-11-09): DuckDuckGo:

Calling all Mac users 📣 our everyday browser - the privacy easy button - is out now in beta!