Archive for November 8, 2023

Wednesday, November 8, 2023

Bike Outline Paths

Jesse Grosjean:

Use outline paths to query your Bike outlines. Today they are used through AppleScript and Shortcuts actions. In the future they will be used to build new features such as stylesheets and outline filtering.

There’s a video demonstrating them and documentation for the syntax.


iOS 17.1 Lock Screen Photo Album Shuffle

Zachary McAuliffe:

Apple introduced Photo Shuffle for lock screen in iOS 16. However, you could only choose categories of photos in your library and camera roll, like People and Pets, or you could use the Select Photos Manually option and go through your library to find the right photos.

You were limited to 50 manually chosen photos, and the interface was awkward and slow.

Benjamin Mayo:

The problem was these automatic collections were often incomplete, and could not be edited – you couldn’t add or remove photos other than filtering out particular detected faces altogether in the People collection. This made the lock screen often useless as it would surface images that weren’t necessarily relevant or interesting, and no real way to fine tune it.

As of iOS 17.1, there’s a new option when you create a Photo Shuffle lock screen: the ability to choose a specific album. This gives you the control to choose what images you want to see on your lock screen, by curating a specific album or simply using the Favorites album.

This is probably my favorite new feature in iOS 17. I can now have more photos in the rotation, and I can tap the Lock Screen to switch to a new one. Because it’s based on an album, I can add new photos from the Photos app on my Mac, which is so much easier than the iOS interface.

Tim Hardwick:

The following steps show you how it’s done on iPhones running iOS 17.1.

There remain two bits of jankiness:


Update (2023-11-22): CTD:

This is a wonderful improvement. It’s a bit confusing understanding how it chooses to frame pictures though. I initially cropped some images to exact screen dimensions but it randomly zooms in on some. Then tried 9:16 ratio and it seemed better then reverted to zooming in. I think it’s trying to be smart based on content of the image but for some I want them displayed just so! Still lovely to see one of your chosen images each time you unlock.

John Gordon:

I remember the original iOS Lock Screen photo shuffle. That feature was huge for my father as his memory failed. Few seemed to miss it though.

I would prefer something simpler like that. Replaced by Credit Karma

Emma Roth (via Hacker News, Reddit):

Intuit first acquired Mint in 2009, an app that has offered a free way for users to track their budgets, manage expenses, negotiate bills, and keep tabs on subscriptions. Now, Intuit is inviting users to Credit Karma, a service that the company acquired in 2020.

While Credit Karma offers similar features, like the ability to view transactions, track spending, aggregate financial accounts, and credit monitoring, it still doesn’t come with the same budget tracking tool that many people specifically use Mint for, and it’s not clear whether Credit Karma will ever adopt it.


This is a fumble not seen since skype fell asleep and did nothing during 2021 while google and zoom came and took their entire market.

It seems like it from a product perspective, but presumably Mint was not great as a business, even as a funnel for TurboTax.

Val Agostino:

As the first product manager on the original team that built Mint, as well as the Co-founder and CEO of Monarch (a subscription-based personal finance app) I have now been in the personal finance space for over 15 years and have seen first-hand the benefits (and challenges) that these apps can provide across millions of users. I wanted to share my (admittedly biased) perspective on what Mint users should consider going forward.


I’ve always been proud that we created a product that has helped so many people better manage their financial lives, and the prospect of Mint getting shut down is a little sad.

At the same time, it’s not a surprise. A free personal finance app is simply not a viable business.

Most free apps in the app store have minimal direct costs associated with delivering their service. This is not the case with personal finance apps, which typically rely on data aggregators (Plaid, Finicity, etc) to connect to tens of thousands of financial institutions to aggregate the necessary financial data. These data fees are quite expensive, which means a personal finance app is losing money on each free user and must make it up in some other manner.

Mint’s business model was to present users with offers for various financial products (banks, credit cards, etc) and to earn a referral fee if a user applied for one of those products. Unfortunately, this model was never able to cover our data costs of delivering the service. Worse still, this ad-based business model created misaligned incentives between the company and its users, because the financial products that offered the highest referral fees were typically not the objectively “best” products for our customers. There was always an internal tension between doing what was in our users’ best interests and trying to drive revenue to keep the business alive.


Credit Karma is thrilled to invite all Minters to continue their financial journey on Credit Karma, where they will have access to Credit Karma’s suite of features, products, tools and services, including some of Mint’s most popular features. We know the most active Minters use Mint to monitor their cash flow and track their spending, and not only does Credit Karma offer these capabilities, but we’re able to take things even further for our members.

Let us explain: at Credit Karma, we leverage our members’ data to provide them with a view of their finances so they know where they stand and can confidently take action to improve their financial situation. This view means members can track their net worth and monitor their spending habits, transactions and cash flow. Once they know where their money stands, Credit Karma will leverage this data to empower members to take action, whether that be suggesting they use a different credit card in their wallet to maximize their rewards opportunities according to their spending habits, or proactively flagging when they’re about to be in a cash crunch, with actionable recommendations to help them smooth out their cash flow and avoid a similar situation in the future.


Credit Karma is on its way to becoming a full-service financial platform where we take stock of members’ financial profiles, connect the dots for members and identify saving opportunities to act on, at the right time.

The core Credit Karma product is useful, and the interface is fast and well designed compared with other financial sites. It gets really annoying, though. Before turning off notifications, I would get constant e-mails that provided no value and seemed like they were just trying to drive engagement. Every week there would be a supposed major change to my credit score, so I’d log in to check it and find that it was exactly the same as before or up or down 1–2 points. Then I would see that it had recommended a credit card that it knew I already had.


Apple’s Trademark Exploit

GiovanH (via Hacker News):

Apple puts its logo on the devices it sells: not just the outer casing, but also each internal component. The vast majority of these logos are totally enclosed and invisible to the naked eye. This seems like a strange practice — especially since Apple doesn’t sell these parts separately — except it turns out to be part of a truly convoluted rules-lawyering exploit only a company like Apple could pull off and get away with.


Apple participates in CBP’s e-Recordation Program, a “service for trademark owners” where American rightsholders proactively re-register their US registered trademarks with CBP and pay regular fees to ensure special, stricter enforcement on the particular trademarks they request. In exchange, Apple gets to train law enforcement themselves; owners of registered marks can record webinars, and companies like Apple literally get to send their own staff to give Border Patrol in-person seminars on how to identify their products and what all they want counted as infringing.


Repair shop owner Jessa Jones purchased third-party iPhone screens for use in repair, but the shipment from China was seized by CBP.

The screens that were seized are “hybrid” parts: the screens are third-party, but use a few original Apple parts like a flex cable that connects the screen to the phone. That invisible, internal part is marked with an Apple logo, which is enough to let the CBP seize the entire shipment.

The parts aren’t being seized because they’re counterfeit. In fact, they’re demonstrably not counterfeit: the only reason an Apple logo is on a piece of a “third-party” component is because that piece is original OEM Apple hardware being legally re-sold[…]