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installing tvos betas over-the-air from ios with icab and dropbox – macstories

i was trying to update my two apple tvs (a 4k model and a 4th generation one) to the latest tvos 11.2.5 beta earlier today to test airplay 2 (more on this soon) and, because i remembered there was a way to install tvos betas without a usb-c cable, i was attempting to download apple's tvos beta configuration profile using safari on ios. however, as soon as i tapped the download button on apple's developer website, i got this message instead of a new tab showing the downloaded configuration file:i don't know when apple changed this behavior, but i recalled that safari wouldn't try to install tvos configuration profiles on an ios device. without a way to manually fetch the .mobileconfig file and save it to my dropbox, i was going to unplug m...




ios 11’s lower adoption rate – macstories

rene ritchie shared a comparison of ios adoption rates over the years (starting with ios 7 in january 2014) and, so far, ios 11 has the lowest adoption of all major updates, four months after their public release.looking at the numbers, you can see a decline in the transition from ios 7 to 8 (ios 7's troubled rollout affected millions of users for months), a stabilization with ios 9 and ios 10, and another decrease with ios 11 this year.i see two potential reasons for this. with ios 11's 32-bit cut-off, it's very likely that a good percentage of users who would have updated simply couldn't because they were on older hardware not supported by ios 11. more importantly though, the widespread perception that software updates make apple device...




voice control is coming to the alexa app soon – macstories

amazon is adding voice control support to its alexa app on android and ios. according to techcrunch: the addition of voice commands means users can speak directly to their handset the way they would an echo — to play music, trigger alexa skills and the like. the update is being rolled out over the course of the coming days through google play and amazon’s own appstore. a similar update is also on the way for the ios app store, but its timing is still up in the air, likely due to apple’s stricter vetting process. unlike google and apple, amazon doesn’t have a smartphone platform for its smart assistant. that puts amazon at a disadvantage b...




mac and ios app store web preview pages get a makeover – macstories

apple has introduced new web preview pages for the app store and mac app store. the new design more closely tracks the app store changes debuted as part of ios 11. interestingly, the web previews for mac apps share the same refreshed design despite the fact that the mac app store has barely changed since its introduction in 2011.the new design features bigger images and more white space. reviews are laid out horizontally as cards near the bottom of the page. longer reviews open in a pop-over card that hovers above the page when the ‘more’ link is clicked. mac apps include a ‘view in mac app store’ button near the top of the page too.the new web previews are only accessible from search results loaded in the desktop version of safari o...




it’s time for apple to build a less addictive iphone – macstories

farhad manjoo, writing for the new york times on the topic of tech addiction, interviewed tristan harris, who runs the time well spent organization: mr. harris suggested several ideas for apple to make a less-addictive smartphone. for starters, apple could give people a lot more feedback about how they’re using their devices. imagine if, once a week, your phone gave you a report on how you spent your time, similar to how your activity tracker tells you how sedentary you were last week. it could also needle you: “farhad, you spent half your week scrolling through twitter. do you really feel proud of that?” it could offer to help: “if i notice you spending too much time on snapchat next week, would you like me to remind you?” ano...




tim cook says ios beta due next month will include setting to disable battery performance throttling – macstories

in an interview with abc news' rebecca jarvis about apple's investments in the u.s. economy, ceo tim cook confirmed that an upcoming ios developer beta, due to be released in february, will include, in addition to a previously announced battery health screen, a setting to disable iphone performance throttling. cook explained that, while apple will recommend to keep throttling enabled to prevent unexpected shutdowns in emergency situations, ios will also include an option to turn it off for users who don't want their iphone's performance reduced by software.as noted by benjamin mayo at 9to5mac:...




apple announces new campus in the works, pledges significant investments in us economy – macstories

today in a press release apple shared an update on its contributions to the us economy. one significant piece of news shared as part of that broader story was the surprise announcement of a new apple campus in the works. the company plans to establish an apple campus in a new location, which will initially house technical support for customers. the location of this new facility will be announced later in the year. despite many employees' transition into the newest campus, apple park, not yet being complete, it makes sense for a company of apple's scale and growth to continue expanding its corporate footprint. no further details on the new campus were shared, other than that it will open within the next five years. apple expects to i...




transmit replacements and ftp clients – macstories

ipad diaries is a regular series about using the ipad as a primary computer. you can find more installments here and subscribe to the dedicated rss feed.you can download my wallpaper here.even though i never depended on transmit for my daily ipad file management needs, i was sad to read that panic couldn't find a market for it on the app store. thousands of ipad owners use panic's app to manage their ftp servers and amazon s3 buckets; integration with the latter is particularly important as it's hard to find apps that combine ftp access with s3 support and aren't hindered by questionable interface choices or a lack of updates.transmit for ios was (and, until it is removed from the app store, still is) one of a kind. its excellent mac fou...




appstories, episode 38 – an interview with james thomson, creator of pcalc and dragthing – macstories

on this week's episode of appstories, we interview james thomson about the origins of pcalc and dragthing, life as an ...




a kernel panic at the disco – macstories

what does the death of transmit mean for pro apps on the ipad? should apple make a laptop that runs ios? does myke understand how hypothetical questions work? i liked our discussion about pro apps on ipad and the idea of a laptop that runs ios on this week's e...




evolving the apple watch in watchos 5 – macstories

matt birchler has published his list of requests for watchos 5, and i wholeheartedly agree with all of his major feature ideas. his top request is identical to my own: letting third-party apps populate the siri watch face introduced last year. essentially, apple should be making the siri watch face the smartest, most useful watch face someone can choose. it already is the smartest, but to be useful to everyone, they need to make the apps people are actually using work with it. i've been using the siri...




twelve south’s pencilsnap upgrades your smart keyboard with a pencil holder – macstories

one of the longstanding frustrations with the ipad pro's smart keyboard is that it contains no place for holding the apple pencil. last year apple released separate accessories – the leather sleeve and pencil case – that could house the pencil, but many ipad users still wanted something simpler: a smart keyboard with pencil holder.twelve south, with its new pencilsnap accessory, appears to have made that possible.the pencilsnap is a small leather holster, very similar to apple's own pencil case, but with one significant difference: it includes magnets for attaching to ...




smart audio report on smart speaker adoption in the u.s. – macstories

thuy ong, reporting for the verge on new research about smart speaker adoption in the united states: one in six us adults (or around 39 million people) now own a voice-activated smart speaker, according to research from npr and edison research. the smart audio report claims that uptake of these devices over the last three years is “outpacing the adoption rates of smartphones and tablets.” users spent time using speakers to find restaurants and businesses, playing games, setting timers and alarms, controlling smart home devices, sending messages, ordering food, and listening to music and books. over half of respondents keep their smart speaker in the living room, followed by the kitchen (21 percent), and master bedroom (19 percent). ...




a decade’s worth of legacy – macstories

today, all of our notebooks are thin and light. we've traded our optical drives in for a series of dongles and our spinning hard drives for fast, silent ssds.it wasn't always like this. once upon a time, notebooks had optical drives and a full array of ports, complemented by features like removable batteries.a decade ago, we entered the current era of notebook design when steve jobs pulled the future out of an envelope.today marks the 10th anniversary of the macworld 2008 keynote where steve jobs introduced the macbook air.designat just three pounds, it was a full two pounds lighter than the 13-inch macbook, which was still wrapped in white or black plastic at the time. it was also thinner than the macbook.much thinner:despite the weight sa...




the future of email [sponsor] – macstories

email robs you of precious time. spark recovers those lost moments by knowing what’s important and organizing it for you neatly and automatically.spark’s smarts start with its inbox. messages that arrive in spark’s smart inbox are automatically categorized as personal, notifications, and newsletters, which makes it easy to focus on what’s important and return what’s not later.intelligent search makes it simple to find messages no matter where they are. spark’s natural language algorithm thinks like you do. just ask for messages the way you would if you were asking a friend.email notifications are a problem that can spin out of control quickly. spark uses smart notifications to filter out the junk and only notify you what you need...




a decade’s worth of legacy – macstories

today, all of our notebooks are thin and light. we've traded our optical drives in for a series dongles and our spinning hard drives for fast, silent ssds.it wasn't always like this. once upon a time, notebooks had optical drives and a full array of ports, complemented by features like removable batteries.a decade ago, we entered the current era of notebook design when steve jobs pulled the future out of an envelope.today marks the 10th anniversary of the macworld 2008 keynote where steve jobs introduced the macbook air.designat just three pounds, it was a full two pounds lighter than the 13-inch macbook, which was still wrapped in white or black plastic at the time. it was also thinner than the macbook.much thinner:despite the weight savin...




apple’s updated security guide for ios 11.1 and ios 11.2 – macstories

apple's ios security guide is one of the most fascinating technical documents i've read in recent years. while the topics are intricate, they're presented clearly in readable english. earlier this week, the document was updated with new information on the latest additions to the ios ecosystem – including face id, apple pay cash, and password autofill. there are some interesting details i didn't know in each section.on face id: facial matching is performed within the secure enclave using neural networks trained specifically for that purpose. we developed the facial matching neural networks using over a billion images, including ir and depth images collected in studies conducted with the participants’ informed consent. apple worke...




apple and the alexa ecosystem – macstories

i recently read two interesting takes on the ever-growing alexa ecosystem as it relates to apple that made me think about the future of siri and homekit. here's m.g. siegler on amazon's plan to put alexa everywhere: the echo dot was the number one selling device across all of amazon during the holiday shopping season. (the fire tv stick with the alexa-enabled remote was the second-most popular product.) again, no absolute sales numbers beyond “tens of millions of alexa-enabled devices” — more than we usually get, by the way — but no matter: tens of millions is impressive enough. i’ve been thinking about this recently not just in the context of putting echoes in hotels, but also relative to apple. as we’re all well awa...




a roundup of ces home automation and apple accessory announcements – macstories

ces is a big, messy spectacle that has everything from vaporware and products you didn’t know you needed – and probably don’t – to truly cool new gadgets. we’ve been following the announcements this week and have rounded up a collection of the most interesting and promising gear we’ve seen so far. many of these products have not shipped yet, so we haven’t had an opportunity to try them, but these are gadgets we will be watching closely throughout 2018 and that are likely to turn up again on macstories later this year. ces doesn't end until friday, so be sure to check back for updates on any additional announcements that catch our eyes.home automationcanary viewjohn: canary has come a long way from its origins as an indiegogo pr...




sharing links from twitter for ios appends garbage to the url – macstories

last night on twitter, i noted that the company's ios app now appends a query parameter based on an app's bundle identifier when you share a tweet's link via the system share sheet.as some havenoted, this appears to be a recent change in twitter for ios, which is less than ideal as the resulting link contains a long string of url-encoded garbage. more than ugly urls, however, what bothered me was twitter's implicit tracking of which apps users invoke to share links with – something that even applies to core ios features such as apple's own messages extension.i wondered whether apple should consider this a violation of app store guidelines, but it appears that twitter isn't breaking any rules by appending app-based query parameters...