April 2, 2020

Snippet: Swift on Mac OS 9 ☍

Jordan Rose:

It’s April 1, and that means it’s both April Fools’ Day and the anniversary of the founding of Apple Inc. While this year is a sober one due to current events, I think a lot of people still appreciate what people are creating and sharing to keep spirits up, whether that be music or art or…impractical programming projects. And while pranks on April Fools’ seem less and less fun, obvious jokes and whimsy, not at anyone’s expense, are still something I believe in…and even better if they actually work.

Last year I implemented the world’s best code visualizer. This year I decided to seriously attempt something that I’d thought about in the past: getting a Swift program to run on Mac OS 9.

As someone that has been using Apple products since System 6, seeing even a 20 year old operating system get some love was a fascinating read.

April 1, 2020

Snippet: Exploring the Most Impactful iPad Apps of the Decade ☍

The MacStories Team:

After years of using the very best apps developers have to offer on the iPad, it was remarkably easy for Federico [Viticci], Ryan [Christoffel], and I [John Voorhees] to come up with a list of the iPad apps that have been the most impactful for us during the past decade. There’s a lot of factors at play in arriving at these apps. Some forged a path by adopting the latest Apple technologies in a unique way that set an example for apps that followed. Others are apps that define a category that takes unique advantage of the iPad’s hardware. These are also apps that work on the iPhone or Mac too, but are most at home on the iPad’s unique platform.

What a wonderful compilation of some of the best iPad apps—I use probably 1/2 to 2/3 of these, and the remaining ones still would fall under anyone else’s high-impact list.

Snippet: T-Mobile and Sprint Merger Complete ☍

Jon Brodkin:

T-Mobile completed its $31 billion acquisition of Sprint today and announced that CEO John Legere has resigned from the carrier’s top job a month sooner than planned.

With today’s close, T-Mobile said it has “successfully completed its long-planned Chief Executive Officer transition from John Legere to Mike Sievert ahead of schedule.” T-Mobile had previously said Legere would leave at the end of April.

I’m not shocked that this finally wrapped up as all signs pointed to it happening, but was a little surprised that Legere left a bit earlier than expected.

For now, the two brands will operate separately (web sites, accounts, stores, etc.) as everything is integrated from a network and operations side. I’ll be curious to see if any reference to Sprint is kept when all is said and done.

March 31, 2020

Snippet: Apple Acquires Dark Sky ☍

Dark Sky’s Adam Grossman:

There is no better place to accomplish these goals than at Apple. We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to reach far more people, with far more impact, than we ever could alone. […]

Our API service for existing customers is not changing today, but we will no longer accept new signups. The API will continue to function through the end of 2021.

As part of this transition, use of Dark Sky by Apple is subject to the Apple Privacy Policy, which can be found at apple.com/privacy.

Besides the important API changes that are affecting many iOS weather apps, the Dark Sky iOS app is being left alone, the Android app is being discontinued July 1, and the web site maps/data will eventually shut down.

March 25, 2020

Snippet: Who Would Have Thought an iPad Cursor Could Be So Much Fun? ☍

Craig Mod for Wired (via John Gruber):

Move the pointer above a button and the circle morphs into the button itself, “snapping” into it, enveloping it like an amoeba, causing it to glow in a pleasing way. What this means is that the usual precision of a trackpad isn’t required to get exact hits on navigational elements. If you own an Apple TV, you’re already familiar with this vibe—it’s how the cursor on the TV “jumps” from icon to icon with a kind of sticky momentum. Similarly, on the iPad home screen, you can “lazily” slam the cursor around and have it lock onto applications with an eerie telepathy not experienced on a desktop OS. […]

And yet somehow, the overall effect of using a trackpad with an iPad is more convincing than direct manipulation, less exhausting, and simply more fun. This is in part because the cursor lives in the same virtual space as the interface in a way our finger never can. It’s a native part of the system. The cursor telegraphs what’s to come—what may or may not happen if you tap. It highlights what is or isn’t tappable, even. An old cursor became the same I beam over any size text. The new cursor becomes an I beam the size of the text field itself, so even if the field is empty, you sort of “know” what will happen and can begin to feel the underlying logic of the interface before you dive in.

I was looking forward to this feature and it sort of exemplifies the iPad as a whole—the Mac grew up and got more serious and acts like a traditional computer, while the iPad has become the computer that Apple can offer a little whimsy and fun. Neither is the “wrong” answer, but it seems that they mostly nailed it with this feature on the iPad.

My only gripe is that with Apple’s own input devices, the original Magic Trackpad and Magic Mouse don’t have all the gesture support (yet?), while the Magic Trackpad 2 and Magic Mouse 2 work fine. I swapped trackpads between my Mac and iPad to have the most capable one on each device, but keep this in mind if you have older ones.