Archive for March 17, 2024

Sunday, March 17, 2024

MsgFiler 4

Adam Tow (Mastodon):

Since WWDC 2023, I was telling long-time MsgFiler customers that I would look into what I could do to support the product in this new era of Apple Mail sans plug-ins. Honestly, I was a bit bummed because I didn’t see a viable path for the app.


A deep dive into AppleScript support in Mail turned up the reason. If you were trying to file a Gmail message using AppleScript, the Inbox label was not being removed from the message prior to assigning the new mailbox label.


Targeting the right mailbox using the Accessibility APIs turned out to be nearly impossible if any mailboxes were expanded in the sidebar, so I ultimately nixed this approach.

The irony is that MsgFiler wasn’t really doing the sorts of things that you would expect to need a plug-in API. It should have been able to do its work using AppleScript, except that Mail’s AppleScript API is buggy and slightly incomplete. (SpamSieve also never needed plug-in support in mail clients that had good AppleScript support.) So MsgFiler 4 works around the limitations using System Events.

Adam Tow:

There’s an even bigger problem with updating MsgFiler and that is its use of System Events to send commands and key codes to the Mail application. While MsgFiler has a temporary entitlement to control Apple Mail via AppleScript, it does not have an entitlement for sending AppleScript to System Events. Nor is Apple providing such an entitlement, since that can be a vector for sending arbitrary key strokes and commands to any application.

This sets up a situation, not unlike with Alfred and Screens, where the app is in the Mac App Store, but to get the full functionality you have to download a component from outside the store:

The MsgFiler Filing Script can supercharge your filing experience in MsgFiler 4. It is an AppleScript that can perform numerous functions that MsgFiler alone cannot do, such as:

  • Moving and copying Gmail messages.
  • Navigating Mail using the keyboard from MsgFiler 4.
  • Archiving messages from the keyboard in MsgFiler 4.
  • Selecting the next or previous message in a Message Viewer after filing non-Gmail messages.

MsgFiler 4 is $9.99 a year or $49.99 for a lifetime unlock (for version 4.x).

Also of note is that he rewrote the app from Objective-C and Interface Builder to SwiftUI, and that seems to have gone well.


Walmart Selling M1 MacBook Air for $699

Joe Rossignol:

Walmart today announced that it has started selling the MacBook Air with the M1 chip in the U.S., with pricing set at a very reasonable $699. The laptop can be ordered now on, and it will be available soon at select Walmart stores.


Apple first released the MacBook Air with the M1 chip in November 2020, as one of the first Macs with an Apple silicon chip instead of an Intel processor. The configuration being sold for $699 includes the M1 chip, 256GB of storage, and 8GB of RAM/unified memory, with Gold, Silver, and Space Gray color options available.

Chance Miller (Hacker News):

While Walmart has historically sold Apple devices like the iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch, it has never sold Macs directly.


Apple reshuffled its MacBook lineup last week, introducing the M3 MacBook Air starting at $1099 and dropping the price of the M2 MacBook Air to $999. As part of these changes, Apple also stopped selling the M1 MacBook Air, which had previously been available for $999.

John Gruber:

But it looks like Apple is going to keep producing the M1 MacBook Air for this deal with Walmart. These aren’t refurbs, or leftover stock[…] Fascinating example of pricing-as-branding that Apple won’t sell this machine in its own stores, but will through Walmart — which doesn’t sell any other Macs.

Apple did this sort of thing with iPhones, too. The M1 MacBook Air is still a solid Mac. I still wish Apple would design an actual lower cost MacBook, but this is great news nonetheless. I just wonder how long Apple will maintain OS support for it.


In response to the comments regarding its “excellent value” at $699, Lenovo is currently selling its 14" ThinkPad P14s Gen 3 for $699. It comes with a Ryzen 7 6850U that roughly matches the M1 in performance, 16GB of LPDDR5 and a 512GB SSD.


iOS Notarization’s Human Review


Notarization for iOS apps is a baseline review that applies to all apps, regardless of their distribution channel, focused on platform policies for security and privacy and to maintain device integrity. Through a combination of automated checks and human review, Notarization will help ensure apps are free of known malware, viruses, or other security threats, function as promised, and don’t expose users to egregious fraud.

This is not a quick automated check like with Mac app notarization. There is a human review step where Apple checks the app against a subset of the App Review Guidelines. There is now a “Show Notarization Review Guidelines Only” checkbox that highlights the relevant guidelines. The list is actually much more extensive than I initially thought. Health-related content is highly regulated. Multitasking and location services are restricted. You can’t use the hardware volume buttons. You can’t scrape data from Apple Web sites. Third-party login services are restricted. You can’t monetize built-in capabilities. You have to treat Apple with respect (Developer Code of Conduct). And, unfortunately, this adds delays and the possibility for human error and corporate stonewalling.

Riley Testut:

lol my clipboard manager Clip was rejected from Notarization because it “requires push notifications in order to function”

(it doesn’t, they’re optional)

This is not just a mistake. It’s a charade because it’s not possible for App Review to accurately detect this, anyway.

Kyle Howells:

Apple’s amazing innovation of bringing the fun, accuracy and unpredictability of App Review to Side Loading.

This is just what the web, the Mac, Windows, and Android have been missing all these years!

Random rejections for things your app doesn’t even do!


Update (2024-03-20): Nick Lockwood:

Sure would be a shame if folks were to spam App Store Connect with thousands of innocuous-seeming apps that after passing Apple’s approval process immediately switched to showing an unskippable full-screen message to the effect of

“App review doesn’t and cannot prevent malicious apps doing whatever they want. It’s security theatre whose real purpose is to let Apple impose artificial limitations on what iOS users can do with their own devices, and stifle innovation they don’t approve of”

Ahnaf Mahmud:

I have found 2 scam apps on the store today from the same developer, the moment you launch the apps you get redirected to a bitcoin site prompting you to install a config profile. How did these get through App Store review?

Update (2024-03-25): Riley Testut’s app is now in its 4th week of waiting for notarization review.