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.

March 21, 2020

Snippet: It’s Okay to Look Forward ☍

Andy Nicolaides:

All that being said, this situation cannot, and should not, become all encompassing. What I’m trying to say is not only is it okay to keep getting excited, passionate and interested in seemingly inconsequential things, it’s almost neccesary. Now more than ever we need our small distractions. We need to keep ourselves on an even keel not just for our own sakes, but for those of our families and communities. No pressure guys!

This is my favorite time of year for sports—the intersection of March Madness, baseball starting up, the NBA heading to the playoffs, WNBA and NWSL also getting ready to get going. That, along with the usual spring tech announcements, and the nicer weather all add to fun distractions. Since a lot of that has quickly gone away in the last two weeks, it’s added to the hopeless feelings on top of stress. I think this post points out that we may need to take a break to feel overwhelmed, but during this weird time, we have to find enjoyable things to look forward to…I know iOS 13.4 is going to be a nice little moment for me next week.

March 17, 2020

Snippet: Josh Ginter on Coronavirus ☍

Josh Ginter offers some pleasant thoughts in these tough times:

Everyone has thoughts about this whole thing. You kind of have to — in some shape or form, it feels like this virus has affected every person on the planet. If not, the number has to be 6 billion of us, at least.

I also don’t want to be the 10 billionth person to chime in on things. Eventually, these thoughts will be useless and eyeballs will glaze over.

For now though, since The Newsprint is kind of my public journal, I’d like to document a few things…

March 2, 2020

Snippet: The End of MacSurfer ☍

MacSurfer’s Headline News:

Dear MHN Readers:

Not seeing a viable future with subscriptions, MacSurfer and TechNN will cease operations effective immediately. Please allow a few weeks to process forthcoming refunds. If need be, subscription inquiries can be addressed to the Publisher at the bottom of the Homepage.

Thanks kindly for your support, and thanks for the memories…

MacSurfer’s Headline News Team

Way back when I first started wasting hours online with technology stuff and reading the various Mac-related news and opinion sites, this was always my first destination of the day (it also looked about the same on my PowerBook 540c as it does today). With things like Twitter and RSS, my visits dropped just a bit, but it still was in the rotation just because everything felt about the same as it did when I first got into this. It was comforting.

The fine folks who ran it also sent a bit of traffic my way over the years, so I’ll be forever grateful. There’s not many Mid-’90s-era Apple sites around anymore, so I’m sorry to see this one go.

February 29, 2020

Snippet: Disney World Returns Fully Working iPhone 11 to Family After Device Sank to Bottom of Seven Seas Lagoon ☍

Joe Rossignol for MacRumors:

In early October, parents Lisa and Jacob Troyer took their daughter Sophie on a weeklong trip to Disney World to “fulfill a little girl’s dream.” While there, they took in the Florida sun, went on rides, met Halloween-themed Disney characters, and had all of the fun that one could possibly imagine.

One not so fun moment came on the final evening of the trip. After attending Mickey Mouse’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at Magic Kingdom and waiting for a ferryboat to depart the park, Lisa’s brand new iPhone 11 fell out of her bag and landed right into the Seven Seas Lagoon, a small body of water in front of Magic Kingdom where Disney operates water-based transportation.

Without spoiling too much of the details, the phone was retrieved and works (although outside of the scope of Apple’s official water resistance expectations), and I’m not really sure if the iPhone or the excellent customer service from Walt Disney World is the bigger story here.