Archive for April 22, 2024

Monday, April 22, 2024

How to Use Experimental Swift Versions and Features in Xcode

Donny Wals:

We can click the Universal download link to install the Swift toolchain that you’re interested in. For example, if you’re eager to try out a cutting edge feature like Swift 6’s isolation regions feature you can download the trunk development toolchain. Or if you’re interested in trying out a feature that has made its way into the Swift 6 release branch, you could download the Swift 6.0 Development toolchain.

Once you’ve downloaded your toolchain and you can install it through a convenient installer. This process is pretty self explanatory.

After installing the toolchain, you can activate this new Swift version in Xcode through the Xcode → Toolchains menu.


To try out new Swift features, we sometimes need to enable them through a compiler flag. The evolution proposal that goes along with the feature you’d like to try will have an Implementation field in its header that explains which toolchain contains the feature, and whether the feature is gated behind a flag or not.

Apple Maps in Tokyo

Joe Rosensteel:

When searching for a business, like your hotel which is part of a very large hotel chain, Google will show the one saved in your list as the first search result when you start typing. Apple Maps will show you the search results in the same order you’d see them otherwise, but it will write “in your guide” under the hotel that could be further down the list.


Apple Maps is also bad if you move the map to an area and want to search within that area. It’ll snap back to where you are and search that area first.


If I had upgraded from 14.4.0 to 14.4.1 while I was traveling I would need to catch this error with enough time to re-download my offline maps, especially the offline maps for the city I was in.


Apple Maps is not very good for English-speaking tourists in Japan. Apple Maps Japanese data is from its partnerships with local Japanese companies. That’s great for locals, but that means things like restaurant reviews are in Japanese. Again, this is helpful if you speak Japanese, and very relevant to the residents of Japan, but far less accessible to me, an English-speaking traveler.


The crowds in some of these places in Japan are no joke. Google Maps has had the ability to show a little bar graph for every location for how busy a place is throughout the day, in addition to how busy it currently is. It’s had this feature since 2016.


Hackintosh Is Almost Dead

Aleksandar Vacić (via Hacker News, Ric Ford):

It’s true that latest macOS 14 (Sonoma) still supports the latest generations of Intel Macs and it’s very likely that at least one or two major versions will still be compatible. But there’s one particular development that is de-facto killing off the Hackintosh scene.

In Sonoma, Apple has completely removed all traces of driver support for their oldest WiFi/Bt cards, namely various Broadcom cards that they last used in 2012/13 iMac / MacBook models. Those Mac models are not supported by macOS for few years now thus it’s not surprising the drivers are being removed. Most likely reason is that Apple is moving drivers away from .kext (Kernel Extensions) to .dext (DriverKit) thus cleaning up obsolete and unused code from macOS. They did the same with Ethernet drivers in Ventura.

Those particular cards were the key ingredient to many fully functional Hackintosh builds for simple reason: they worked out of the box with every single (so-called) iService Apple has: Messages, FaceTime, AirDrop, Continuity, Handoff - you name it. Everything worked. Despite the valiant efforts of OCLP crew to make workarounds, those cards can work in Sonoma only if you seriously downgrade the macOS security.


The Apple Jonathan

Stephen Hackett (Hacker News):

Those four machines are well known, but there was a fifth possibility in the mix, named the Jonathan. In his book Inventing the Future, John Buck writes about the concept, which was led by Apple engineer Jonathan Fitch starting in the fall of 1984.

This concept envisioned a computer that would expand with the needs of the user, through the use of modular components:

Buck also writes:

It was a consumer model computer that came with pre-installed operations as well as a base-level I/O, and it could be upgraded during/or after purchase to business-centric specifications using a unique set of plug- and-play modules. Customers would be able to add a series of book-sized modules (for software and hardware options) that clicked into a slender docking station sitting under the monitor, that itself looked like a bookshelf. The individual software modules, for the prototype, contained the O/Ss for Apple II, Mac, UNIX, or DOS, while the hardware options were DSP, Ethernet, GenLock (for video), extra RAM, mass storage, or a power supply (for different regions). There were no cables.

Fitch believed that the machine’s literal backbone design could become the backbone of Apple’s future sales strategy. An ever-expandable computer that could cover multiple markets without Apple needing to make multiple devices.

Nicola D’Agostino:

After eight months of development, a Jonathan mockup was finally unveiled to the Apple Executive staff in June 1985.

The Executives’ first reaction was of astonishment. The design’s militaristic look with smooth surfaces, sharp corners, vertical ribs around the base and the use of a dramatic black color with white product graphics was unlike anything done before at Apple.

The Jonathan concept was deemed too advanced and risky. Jean-Louis Gassée, who at the time was Apple’s VP of Product Development, observed that they would have to sell two or three Jonathans to equal the profit of a single Macintosh II.

Both posts have some great photos and renders.