Archive for November 3, 2022

Thursday, November 3, 2022

Featured Section in TV App

Juli Clover:

Apple’s new design adds a Featured section to the top of the “Watch Now” section in the TV app, with the featured content placed above the “Up Next” watchlist. The change makes it more difficult for users to get to the content they are interested in, with random TV shows taking up the majority of the screen.


There are a number of complaints about the new design on Reddit from users who are unhappy with the way that Featured TV shows and movies supplant Up Next content. This section seems to display quite a few Apple TV+ shows and movies, but it does also highlight shows and movies from other streaming providers. Regardless of content shown, TV users do not seem to want suggested content replacing their chosen content at the forefront of the app.

Chance Miller:

This change appears to be a server-side update, although right now the majority of users noticing the change are running the tvOS 16.2 beta. The redesign was first spotted by Jon Maddox, one of the creators of excellent live TV, streaming, and DVR apps Channels.


Of course, it also helps those companies increase engagement by requiring them to scroll down to view the content they actually want to continue watching.

Jason Snell:

As someone who uses Up Next on an Apple TV every single day, pushing Up Next down to make room for stuff I didn’t choose is a spectacularly bad decision.

This is like Netflix taking the shows I’m watching and hiding them amid dozens of other titles. WTF.

Apple is far from the first company to do this sort of user-hostile behavior -- “don’t watch what you want, watch what we want you to” -- but I had hoped it would be a little better than the rest of the crowd.

Jack Wellborn:

It’s like they created a mythical user persona that loves to constantly browse and discover new content.

Here’s how my wife and I actually watch TV: At the end of an exhausting day of work and parenting a five-year-old, we watch ONE episode of a show we’re ALREADY watching.

Same. Yet we often have to search to get to the show. And the global Siri search often doesn’t find it, even though it correctly transcribed what was said.

Rene Ritchie:

Apple always had fierce arguments between customer experience and biz dev (marketing notifications, ad placements, promotional positioning…)

Difference is, the user experience side mostly won

Problem is, each loss seems digestible but eventually customer sat falls off a cliff

But in this case maybe they don’t care because there’s nowhere else for us to go.


This new development is bad for a few reasons, starting with the fact that the Up Next list was the only part of the TV app interface that a user could really customize or control to plan their viewing experience—everything from being aware of the latest episode popping up online, to deciding you weren’t that interested in a show any longer. That personalization is important because the act of viewing TV is a personal experience in your living room.

This change pushes that off of the screen so the information isn’t even available to them at a glance without moving the interface down. This is another hostile layer, because remember that if you don’t subscribe to Apple TV+, the app will load with a splash screen telling you to subscribe to Apple TV+, and when that is dismissed it will deposit you on the Apple TV+ tab of the Apple TV app interface which you need to navigate away from to Watch Now. Now you need to go down, too.


What this really comes down to is respect. I do not feel respected as a customer when I see my Apple TV autoplaying an ad for Abbott Elementary in general when it knows exactly which episode is next for me in the series.

Jason Snell:

My friend John Siracusa put it perfectly: This ain’t it, Apple. I don’t mind you suggesting new shows for me to watch. But to prioritize them over my own preferences? I thought that you were better than that. I guess I was wrong.

Mac Keychain APIs and Implementations


The Keychain and SecKeychain APIs always target the file-based keychain. The SecItem API can target either implementation. It defaults to targeting the file-based keychain. […] The file-based keychain is on the road to deprecation.


The SecItem API is well aligned with the data protection keychain. However, when you use it to target the file-based keychain it operates through a shim. That shim has limitations. Some of those limitations are inherent to the keychain implementation. For example, the access control model of the file-based keychain is completely different than that of the data protection keychain, and the shim can’t make up for that. However, some limitations are just bugs. To avoid such problems, target the data protection keychain. This is particularly important when you’re porting keychain code from iOS.


The data protection keychain can hold all keychain item classes (Internet password, generic password, certificate, key). macOS 11 and later synchronize all classes; earlier versions synchronize only the password classes.


The Keychain Access application supports both file-based keychains and the data protection keychain. The keychain list shows all the file-based keychains in the search list for the current user—typically this is just login and System—and the data protection keychain.

Note that Keychain Access now requires manual access granting for additional keychain files that you ask it to open.

HazeOver 1.9.3

Maxim Ananov:

Too many windows to manage? Large display? Or sometimes getting lost in multiple monitors? HazeOver is for you! This app automatically highlights the front window by fading out all the background windows.

Via Andrew Abernathy:

I just learned about HazeOver for macOS ($2), and it’s so nice once again being able to tell which is the active window. Does require toggling in order to, say, compare two photos in different windows; I wish Apple would just make the active window clear.

Before Big Sur, I never had trouble telling which window was active.


Live Activity Guidelines

Tim Hardwick:

On Monday, we learned that when following a sports event the Dynamic Island shows a live-updating scoreboard with the number of goals scored by each club on either side of the True Depth camera pill, which Apple refers to as a Live Activity’s “compact” presentation. When long pressed, the Dynamic Island expands to show the time elapsed and play-by-play action.

Since then, Apple has shared its Human Interface Guidelines (HIG) for app developers intending to support Live Activities, and one notable detail is that on iPhone 14 Pro models, users will be able to switch between two Live Activities using the Dynamic Island if they are following multiple tasks or events at the same time, thanks to a separate “minimal” presentation[…]


Live Activities help people keep track of tasks and events that they care about, offering persistent locations for displaying information that updates frequently.


Avoid using a Live Activity to display ads or promotions. Live Activities help people stay informed about ongoing events and tasks, so it’s important to display only information that’s related to those events and tasks.

Nick Heer:

Apple once prohibited the use of Push Notifications to deliver ads, but developers abused it anyway. Notification ads are now permitted so long as users are allowed to opt out but, in practice, this rule does not seem to be enforced. […] A Live Activity would be the perfect way for an app like Doordash to update users’ on a delivery’s progress. Based on the company’s abuse of push notifications, I could not see myself enabling it.