January 7, 2021

Snippet: ‘iPhone Box’ Debate Goes Viral on Twitter ☍

Chance Miller for 9to5Mac:

If you head to the Trending section of your Twitter app today, you’ll find a humorous trending topic: “iPhone box.” The debate centers around whether you should keep or throw away your iPhone’s box, with some users also sharing how they repurpose their iPhone boxes.

The “iPhone box” debate went viral on Twitter today after one user tweeted a blunt message telling everyone that they should throw away their iPhone box. Since that tweet went viral, thousands of users have chimed in to the debate, arguing about whether or not they should keep or ditch their old Apple boxes.

I’ve seen a lot of this on social media over the last few days and even with my semi-regular iPhone replacements, the boxes only take up a little corner of a shelf. If we’re talking about de-cluttering, there’s a lot more junk I could get rid of. Obviously, those decisions are personal and I don’t begrudge anyone who wants to throw theirs away.

I keep mine because I’ve sold or traded in many of my prior iPhones and it’s kind of a nice history of my tech. Plus, since I rarely used the included accessories, I know where they are if I or someone else needs them.

December 16, 2020

Snippet: The Year Instagram Became Facebook ☍

Jacob Kastrenakes for The Verge:

Instagram spent much of the past eight years fighting to maintain its independence from Facebook. In 2020, the fight was over.

Instagram has rolled out a series of features that are thoroughly Facebookian in nature. They’re largely focused around getting you to use the app for longer (and also tend to feel messy and incomplete). It’s hard not to see this as the moment that Instagram succumbed to Facebook’s worst tendency: a focus on growth at all costs, even if it means making a product that’s less enjoyable to use.

The changes are numerous. Facebook Messenger was integrated into Instagram DMs, a beat-for-beat TikTok clone was created and given its own section within the app, the primary “post a photo” button was tucked away into a corner, and an entire tab was given over to shopping.

The most telling change was one of the less explosive ones: it was a tweak to the app’s classic photo feed. Instagram now displays an endless row of algorithmically recommended posts once you get through the pictures your friends put up. (On my feed, I’m mostly presented with vibey pictures of European models, with some ads mixed in between.)

While change is inevitable in the tech world, Instagram has gotten worse and more heavy-handed over the past year—it has gone from something I thoroughly enjoyed (it was often the “nice” social network) to something that has too much clutter, crap, and feels like Facebook proper.

Snippet: Facebook Takes Out Full-Page Newspaper Ads to Attack Apple’s iOS Privacy Changes ☍

Hartley Charlton for MacRumors:

Facebook has today attacked Apple in a series of full-page newspaper ads, asserting that iOS 14’s privacy changes regarding data gathering and targeted advertising are bad for small businesses (via Bloomberg).

The ads are running in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post, feature the headline “We’re standing up to Apple for small businesses everywhere.”

Considering Facebook’s track record with privacy and doing the right thing for its users, this whole ad is laughable. If Facebook only used ad data for small businesses, I could kind of see the argument. Instead, their tracking is in everything, works even if you don’t have an account, and we should be able to be opted out from Facebook by default. They’re going for the small business angle since that is something on a lot of people’s minds right now, but the biggest loser from this will be Facebook.

December 13, 2020

Snippet: Chrome is Bad ☍

Loren Brichter:

Long story: I noticed my brand new 16″ MacBook Pro started acting sluggishly doing even trivial things like scrolling. Activity Monitor showed *nothing* from Google using the CPU, but WindowServer was taking ~80%, which is abnormally high (it should use <10% normally).

Doing all the normal things (quitting apps, logging out other users, restarting, zapping PRAM, etc) did nothing, then I remembered I had installed Chrome a while back to test a website.

I’m tired of giving Google chances to not put out sloppy, broken, probably creepy shit.

December 1, 2020

Snippet: Your Move, iPad ☍

Becky Hansmeyer offers some good wish-list items for the iPad:

Power and performance aren’t the bottleneck for iPad, and haven’t been for some time. So if raw power isn’t enough, and new display tech isn’t enough, where does the iPad go from here? Will it be abandoned once more, lagging behind the Mac in terms of innovation, or will Apple continue to debut its latest tech in this form factor? Is it headed toward functional parity with the Mac or will it always be hamstrung by Apple’s strict App Store policies and seemingly inconsistent investment in iPadOS?

It’s clear that Apple wants the iPad Pro to be a device that a wide variety of professionals can use to get work done. And since so many people use web apps for their work, the introduction of “desktop” Safari for iPad was an important step toward that goal. The Magic Keyboard and trackpad was another step.