Archive for November 1, 2023

Wednesday, November 1, 2023

macOS 14: Separate iCloud Drive and CloudKit Switches

Howard Oakley:

One important change in Sonoma is the distinction between apps accessing iCloud Drive (shown here) and those using CloudKit to share their databases (described below).


To control the apps allowed to store their databases in iCloud using CloudKit, you need to go back to iCloud settings.

In the Apps Using iCloud section there, click on the Show More Apps… button to reveal the full list.

In earlier versions of macOS, apps using CloudKit and those accessing iCloud Drive weren’t clearly distinguished, but Sonoma separates those controls at last.


Apple’s Blue Ocean

John Siracusa (Hacker News):

I just can’t shake the idea that a return to removable, user-accessible batteries has now become a blue-ocean opportunity just waiting for Apple to seize it.


There’s more headroom than there has ever been to accommodate a tiny bit more size and weight in Apple’s portable products.


Second, people still crave the advantages of removable batteries that were left behind: increasing battery life by swapping batteries instead of using a cumbersome external battery pack, inexpensively and conveniently extending the life of a product by replacing a worn-out battery with a new one—without paying for someone else to perform delicate surgery on the device.

Finally, related to that last point, worn-out batteries are an extremely common reason that old tech products are traded in, recycled, or replaced. Removable batteries are an easy way to extend the useful life of a product. This leads to less e-waste, which is perfectly aligned with Apple’s environmental goals as 2030 approaches.

Aside from the cost in time and money, needing Apple or a repair shop to replace a battery is bad for privacy. Most people will just give the technician their passcode. If you want to be more careful, you can wipe the phone beforehand, but restoring from backup has problems. It’s slow, it’s lossy, and it requires a surprising number of manual steps, which don’t always succeed (e.g. credit cards and Apple Pay). Also, unless you back up to both iCloud and a Mac, you for a time only have one copy of your data.


Ceasing Print Publication of ACM Journals and Transactions

Association for Computing Machinery (via Hacker News):

ACM has made the decision to cease print publication for ACM’s journals and transactions as of January 2024. The magazines Communications of the ACM, ACM InRoads, interactions, and XRDS: Crossroads will continue in print.

There were several motivations for this change: ACM wants to be as environmentally friendly as possible; print journals lack the new features and functionality of the electronic versions in the ACM Digital Library; and print subscriptions, which have been declining for years, have now reached a level where the decision to sunset print made perfect sense. Ultimately, this will prove to be beneficial to the community, enabling ACM to focus efforts on enhancing the electronic versions of the publications where they can have the greatest impact.

This is kind of a shame because I used to like browsing these journals in the library, and it’s not really the same online. I love reading books and articles on my Kindle, but neither it nor the iPad is very good for this sort of technical content. If I’m reading an academic paper I tend to print it myself.


Swift TO Is Closing Down

Kyle Newsome:

A lot of forces seemed to work against us this year. This made organizing quite a difficult and emotional challenge at times. Unfortunately this included some mistreatment from Apple’s Developer Relations team. Apple dangled the idea of supporting this conference. They asked for us to send our plans/financials, then ghosted without any explanation. Despite many attempted follow ups I never heard from them again or got any closure.

Via Dave DeLong:

Is iOS development the only major industry where conferences are NOT sponsored by the industry leader?