Archive for June 6, 2024

Thursday, June 6, 2024

WWDC 2024 Wish Lists

I always want releases focused on bug fixes, but we all know that isn’t going to happen. If we’re dreaming big, how about something like virtual memory for iOS so that it stops losing my Safari tabs?

Cihat Gündüz:

From a SportsKit API and .zoom modifier in SwiftUI, over improved SwiftData and source control in Xcode, to my biggest pain points in tvOS and visionOS, and much more! Blending long-standing requests with fresh ideas.

John Gordon:

In particular it would be rather nice if the courts decide that Apple uses Photos lock-in as a part of its monopoly.

[…]

Here are two ways that Apple could free photo management from their iron control and provide options for the tiny sliver of the Apple base that cares.

Matt Birchler:

I think they have too much power in too many industries and the more they spread out the less they can focus on the parts of their business that I personally enjoy the most.

Steve Troughton-Smith:

If all macOS 15 does is remove that stupid emoji-palette-blocking autocomplete popup that Sonoma added, I will be happy. Adding an extra step to something I do a hundred times a day, without giving an option to turn it off? Genius.

Brian Webster:

My number 1 wish for macOS 15 is support for SMS filtering in Messages. I have an app that works great on iOS but all the spam still shows up on my Mac unless I shut off text message forwarding altogether. But if I do that then I can't autofill two factor codes on my Mac. Grrrrr.

Dave DeLong:

All I want for WWDC is for this to be fixed.

Mike Cohen:

I still want them to fix the thing where just looking at a xib without changing anything modifies it.

Craig Hockenberry:

Are we absolutely sure we want AI features in Xcode?

Ryan Jones:

  • iMessage group typing indicators
  • iMessage draft sync
  • iMessage emoji tapbacks
  • First tap works on Always On Display
  • Mail secondary inbox
  • iMessage expiring threads
  • Photos stack similar pics
  • Siri reboot
  • paste hyperlinks on text
  • Warn about high refund rate apps
  • AI merge group photos for smiles
  • Rotation lock except video
  • Live Activities queue offline events
  • Don’t offload recent photos!
  • “5G Minimal” option
  • AI emoji suggestions
  • AI Memoji
  • Native spam call filter

Scott Anguish:

This is my short list of what I’d love to see added to SwiftUI and Xcode.

Aaron Pearce:

It is the time of the year that I start compiling my list of HomeKit feature requests that will be promptly be ignored by the team at Apple.

Jeff Johnson:

Move the iPhone call and end call buttons away from each other on the screen.

Christian Beer:

Just fix Xcode so that it works again!

Harshil Shah:

Smart charging reminders. They’ve got all the usage data and calendar info, it’s all right there!

Just remind me to charge my watch because I’m gonna go to sleep and then off to the gym as soon as I wake up.

Rob Napier:

I know it’s a really hard thing to do well, and it isn’t in the top 10 things I hope to be improved in Xcode, but I still wish Xcode could handle Arabic string literals without getting so confused.

Mr. Macintosh:

Below is a list of possible macOS 15 features. NOTE: You can only pick 2.

Ryan Jones:

Hopes for a better Control Center:

  1. Big clear single tap audio output
  2. Pick home controls
  3. Any shortcut
  4. Hide less in long presses
  5. Rotation lock except video
  6. All buttons are customizable
  7. No double button in Focus Modes
  8. Mini TV Remote at first level

Benjamin Mayo:

For tvOS 18, Apple should just add whatever format/codec support is needed to get BBC iPlayer to stream in 4K and with subtitles.

John C. Welch:

  1. documentation that isn’t header regurgitation written by people who think only incompetents need documentation.
  2. Apple actually dogfooding beyond their own convenience.
  3. full-throated support for automation, both Shortcuts and AppleScript/JXA (or even a more swift-based language)

Tim Schmitz:

[Make] it easier and more reliable for Siri to do basic things.

Dave DeLong:

iOS SMS filtering needs to apply to messages that are forwarded to my Mac.

It’s a straight-up bug that things that I’ve explicitly said to block on my phone are still causing alerts and badges on my Mac.

Christian Beer:

[Bring] back speed and stability to LLDB

David Smith:

These are minor annoyances or little things which have bugged me in the last year.

Steve Troughton-Smith:

Every time I see some B-roll with a MacBook entering Mission Control or Exposé, it makes me wish iPad had that instead of Stage Manager. Unlimited windows, that can be tiled on a key press, and Fullscreen Spaces that you can flip through with the trackpad

Mitchell Cohen (Mastodon):

WWDC is almost here, so it’s a good time to talk about the @1Password browser extension for Safari, its history, challenges, and the future — what we’re working on and what we’d like to see from Apple, Safari, and the web platform.

[…]

Safari’s implementation of the spec is new. There are missing/incomplete APIs which must be worked around, and others which simply do not work.

[…]

This mandatory layer of indirection has unique bugs and reliability issues, most of which are outside of a developer's control, on both Mac and iOS.

Sebastiaan de With:

I really want only one thing from WWDC24 and that’s One True Gear (I vote VisionOS)

Sam Rowlands:

Every year my wish for WWDC is that they DON’T release a new version of the macOS, just fix the bugs in the current one.

Next year, release an optimized version that cuts the bloat, and improves performance.

Rob Jonson:

Swift Package Management that works like Ruby Package management.

Nick Heer:

Apple still has not fixed the bug in Mail where the All Inboxes view does not show huge numbers of recent emails.

Mine keeps loading today with a near three-month gap in which messages are visible.

Joe Rosensteel:

For a few years (2016, 2017, 2018) I wrote a specific post before WWDC about updates I was hoping to see for tvOS. These were never requests for those features to be built in a few days, but things I was hoping had already occurred to Apple, like the many years I put picture-in-picture on the list before it occurred to someone at Apple to ship it in 2020.

I stopped writing these posts because fewer and fewer updates were coming out for tvOS, in general, and those that were were often tied to new hardware launches usually occurring late in the Fall.

[…]

Knowing that it’s very unlikely we’ll see anything from Apple for the Apple TV this summer, I’ll offer a critique of where things are at instead, and offer some possible solutions ranging in complexity.

mb bischoff:

I’m hoping for thoughtful integration of LLMs across the OSes, performance and reliability updates for core services, and the introduction of a few power-user tweaks and long-missing features.

Some of these ideas have been inspired by others’ wishlists, and where applicable, I’ve included those references.

Previously:

Update (2024-06-07): Craig Grannell:

A switch in Settings to turn off the Home indicator.

[Overriding] the daft iCloud Photos sync. Drives me bonkers.

Der Teilweise:

Fix the handling of bug reports!

It’s been 12 years since “Fix Radar or GTFO” but little (if anything) has improved.

Warner Crocker:

Apple’s iCloud has gotten so much better since its initial debut, but these problems remain and keep getting put off year after year. Most notably, users aren’t freely allowed any control over syncing when things appear stuck.

Christian Beer:

„Build better document-based apps" with a „real" app example, not a simple Markdown editor. One that uses NavigationSplitView in the UIDocumentViewController

Christian Beer:

Another thing added to my WWDC wishlist for macOS: video controls in picture-in-picture videos. I mean... does somebody at Apple even use this?!

Miguel de Icaza:

Search option on the Journal app.

Updated Adobe Terms of Use

Ben Lovejoy (via John C. Randolph):

A change to Adobe terms & conditions for apps like Photoshop has outraged many professional users, concerned that the company is claiming the right to access their content, use it freely, and even sub-licence it to others.

The company is requiring users to agree to the new terms in order to continue using their Adobe apps, locking them out until they do so …

Adobe says that its new terms “clarify that we may access your content through both automated and manual methods, such as for content review.”

[…]

Concept artist Sam Santala pointed out that you can’t raise a support request to discuss the terms without first agreeing to them. You can’t even uninstall the apps!

Brandon Lyttle (via Hacker News):

This has caused concern among professionals, as it means Adobe would have access to projects under NDA such as logos for unannounced games or other media projects. Sam Santala, the founder of Songhorn Studios noted the language of the terms on Twitter, calling out the company’s overreach.

As with Slack, I doubt there’s nefarious intent here, but why can’t these documents be written in a more narrow way to allay people’s fears? Right now it says that “Our automated systems may analyze your Content[…] using techniques such as machine learning.” And they define “Content” as including anything that you create using their software. The machine learning FAQ says that they “don't analyze content processed or stored locally on your device” and that you can opt out. I’m not sure whether there’s any legal force to a FAQ linked from a ToS.

See also: Theodore McKenzie, Penny Horwood, Reddit.

Previously:

Update (2024-06-07): See also: Hacker News.

Mike Wuerthele:

We saw that furor, and reached out to Adobe about it. Then, they issued an unclear statement on the matter, saying that the terms had always been this way.

“Adobe accesses user content for a number of reasons, including the ability to deliver some of our most innovative cloud-based features, such as Photoshop Neural Filters and Remove Background in Adobe Express, as well as to take action against prohibited content,” the company said at the time. “Adobe does not access, view or listen to content that is stored locally on any user’s device.”

[…]

They finally said something concrete on Thursday night.

[…]

The company says that it will be clarifying the Terms of Use acceptance to reflect the details of Thursday’s post. It’s not clear when this is going to happen.

He does think the post addresses all the issues, either.

Glenn Fleishman:

Adobe did the thing companies that host and sync data keep doing: they updated their terms in what is a reasonable way without a) giving advance warning and a thorough explanation and b) realizing that the legal niceties sound horrifying to an average person. Adobe can’t legally safely host your content without a license. This updates mostly adds compliance issues that are govt focused—and should be examined.

mcc:

I don’t think this “explanation” helps at all. They don’t justify why this data needs to be on their server rather than at rest on the user computer, and I don’t see where they make it clear what you’d need to do to prevent exfiltration to “the cloud” or applicability of the bad terms. Some of the justifications they give as to when and why they apply tos terms are either so elastic they could mean anything (“to improve the service”) or are the exact features people are afraid of (“AI”).

Update (2024-06-12): Scott Nover (via Hacker News):

According to a post on its blog, the company is not training its A.I. model on user projects: “Adobe does not train Firefly Gen AI models on customer content. Firefly generative AI models are trained on a dataset of licensed content, such as Adobe Stock, and public domain content where copyright has expired.” The post claims that the company often uses machine learning to review user projects for signs of illegal content, such as child pornography, spam, and phishing material.

Although an outside spokesperson for Adobe simply pointed me to the blog post, Belsky offered a view into the consternation inside the company, admitting on X that the wording of the terms of use was confusing. “Trust and transparency couldn’t be more crucial these days, and we need to be clear when it comes to summarizing terms of service in these pop-ups,” he wrote.

Despite the cleanup efforts, this episode demonstrates how gun-shy everyone is about generative A.I. And perhaps there’s no population that has been more wronged here than creative professionals, many of whom feel that generative A.I. companies have illicitly trained their image-, video-, and sound-generation models on copyright works. Big Tech is splitting its loyalties between serving its existing audiences and taking advantage of self-propagating hype for generative A.I. But by doing this, it risks alienating loyal customers. No one wants to be treated like training data—even if that’s what we all are.

Adam Engst:

It feels like we’re descending into a morass of miscommunication, with examples from companies large and small, including Slack, Bartender, and Adobe.

[…]

Slack’s error lay in failing to update its privacy principles as generative AI became a thing. In contrast, Adobe got in trouble for updating its terms of use—and requiring users to agree before they could use Photoshop or other Adobe apps. (Apparently, you couldn’t even uninstall Photoshop without agreeing.)

[…]

That’s not to criticize the people who did freak out. Yes, many of them were playing to a social media audience and exaggerating the potential downside, but the resulting media attention may have been necessary to get these companies to update their documents, clarify what they meant, and back down from potentially problematic changes.

On the other hand, it’s painfully obvious that companies need to do a better job with corporate communications.

Right now, we just have of bunch of tweets and blog posts clarifying Adobe’s intent. I would like to see the Adobe General Terms of Use updated to say, directly in the document, what people actually want to know:

Currently, the document is written very broadly, I guess to protect Adobe, but from the customer’s point of view it seems to be full of loopholes.

Previously:

Update (2024-06-18): Theodore McKenzie:

Apparently, the community’s dissatisfaction with the company grew so intense that even Adobe’s own staff started expressing unhappiness about this whole ordeal, a relatively rare occurrence in an era when many employment contracts often pressure employees to unconditionally support the company’s decisions and strategies.

As reported by Business Insider, which obtained Adobe’s internal Slack discussions, the company’s workers appear to be siding with regular users, voicing complaints about the TOS updates and the resulting backlash, as well as Adobe’s poor communication and apparent mishandling of the situation.

MarketplaceKit License Renewal Problems

Mysk:

Several iOS apps installed from alternative marketplaces stopped working after some time. Some are grayed out and can’t be opened or deleted. Others crash on launch because MarketplaceKit can’t renew the license. How would users recover their data when apps end up like this?

Oleksandr Bilous:

Technically, apps doesn’t crash, they are just terminated due to invalid license. But for me this UX is definitely looks like crash and users associated behaviour with crash on launch.

I’m not sure whose bug this is, but the system is way more complicated than it needs to be, which creates more opportunities for problems.

appdb:

All this is done by Apple just to get a “checkmark” for “compliance”. They aren’t interested in this in any way. Only independence from Apple allows customers to install apps outside their app store without any problems.

Previously:

Windows 11 Requires Microsoft Account

Laura Pippig (via Hacker News):

Before PC users can enjoy everything Windows 11 has on tap, they must first enter an e-mail address that’s linked to a Microsoft account. If you don’t have one, you’ll be asked to create one before you can start setting it up.

A frequently used trick to circumvent this block is a small but ingenious step. By entering a random e-mail address and password, which doesn’t exist and causes the link to fail, you end up directly with the creation of a local account and can thus avoid creating an official account with Microsoft.

[…]

This common method no longer seems to work, as Microsoft has apparently patched this bug. Instead of skipping the account link, you’re led into a kind of continuous loop that doesn’t end until you have entered the correct email address.

Previously: