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overcast for ios 11 coming soon – marco.org

september 22, 2017∞https://marco.org/2017/09/22/overcast-ios11-sooni’m sorry that i missed the ios 11 launch for my fancy drag-and-drop update. it’s coming soon, but it’s not ready yet.in hello internet episode 4, cgp grey introduced a metaphor for work-life balance as four light bulbs — work, friends, family, and health — between which one can allocate 100 watts, total. so it’s possible to shine brightly in one area at the significant cost of the others, or to try to have a mediocre spread between all of them.usually, i prioritiz...




courage – marco.org

september 18, 2017∞https://marco.org/2017/09/18/couragemany apple fans were amused when phil schiller explained the removal of the headphone jack on last year’s iphone as “courage”. but that was nothing compared to what happened last week.for ten years, the iphone looked like this:a rounded rectangle, bars on top and bottom, and a circle centered in the bottom bar. if you want to get fancy, put a line in the top bar, too.it’s so simple that even when children draw it, it’s instantly recognizable as an iphone to most of the world’s population. not just any phone — an iphone, specifically.as an app developer and fan, i was hoping that the long-rumored edge-to-edge iphone screen would still be a rectangle, possibly even with roo...




removing “send to watch” – marco.org

august 10, 2017∞https://marco.org/2017/08/10/removed-send-to-watchi’ve spent many months of development on overcast’s apple watch app, especially implementing standalone “send to watch” playback. unfortunately, i now need to remove the “send to watch” feature.i’m sorry to the people who used it. while there weren’t many of you (about 0.1% of active users), i’ve heard from some who it meant quite a bit to.in retrospect, “send to watch” wasn’t good enough to ship. i’ve paid for that in a constant stream of negative app store reviews that have reduced the entire app’s average, but that alone wouldn’t sink the feature. here’s what happened.many people had been as...




“mp3 is dead” missed the real, much better story – marco.org

may 15, 2017∞https://marco.org/2017/05/15/mp3-isnt-deadif you readthenews, you may think the mp3 file format was recently officially “killed” somehow, and any remaining mp3 holdouts should all move to aac now. these are all simple rewrites of fraunhofer iis’ announcement that they’re terminating the mp3 patent-licensing program.veryfewpeople got it right. the others missed what happened last month:if the longest-running patent mentioned in the aforementioned references is taken as a measure, then the mp3 technology became patent-free in the united states on 16 april 2017 when u.s. patent 6,009,399, held by and administered by technicolor, expired.mp3 is no less alive now than it wa...




“mp3 is dead” missed the real, much better story – marco.org

may 15, 2017∞https://marco.org/2017/05/15/mp3-isnt-deadif you readthenews, you may think the mp3 file format was recently officially “killed” somehow, and any remaining mp3 holdouts should all move to aac now. these are all simple rewrites of fraunhofer iis’ announcement that they’re terminating the mp3 patent-licensing program.veryfewpeople got it right. the others missed what happened last month:if the longest-running patent mentioned in the aforementioned references is taken as a measure, then the mp3 technology became patent-free in the united states on 16 april 2017 when u.s. patent 6,009,399, held by and administered by technicolor, expired.mp3 is no less alive now than it wa...




owning your short-form writing by manton reece — kickstarter

i'm writing a book about independent microblogging, and launching a publishing platform called micro.blog. no...




the audacity to say “yes” in a design culture of “no” – marco.org

april 15, 2017∞https://marco.org/2017/04/15/mac-pro-audacity-of-yesmuch of modern apple’s design philosophy is to relentlessly strip down most products to the bare minimum in certain areas as technological progress allows, following (and largely defining) the modern design fashion of nearly-unquestioned devotion to minimalism.saying “no” is the easiest path to what’s considered good design today: if something cannot be easily accommodated, or most people won’t complain too badly in its absence, just omit it.1while minimalism is one aspect of one view of good design, it’s often overused, underconsidered, and misunderstood, resulting in products with surface-level appeal that don...




design for the present – marco.org

november 2, 2016∞https://marco.org/2016/11/02/design-for-the-presentit’s hard to get anyone to agree on what constitutes “pro” use, but i’d say it has three core requirements:reliability: pro gear absolutely must be dependable, even when used heavily or in demanding conditions.power: pro apps usually need more of every hardware resource than consumer apps — at least cpu power and memory, and often gpu power or i/o bandwidth — and pros will often pay high costs for high-spec machines...




a world without the mac pro – marco.org

november 5, 2016∞https://marco.org/2016/11/05/world-without-mac-proit’s looking increasingly likely that there will never be another mac pro. here’s why that would be a shame.pro buyers depend on apple to make the hardware that satisfies our needs. and we’re flexible. we’ve adapted over the years to new cpu architectures, port changes, capability changes, price increases, and a slower update pace.the 5k imac is a truly great computer. it’s the best general-purpose desktop apple has ev...




a letter to today’s young people – marco.org

november 11, 2016∞https://marco.org/2016/11/11/letter-to-young-peoplethe strongest despair i’ve heard about this election has come from high school and college students. i don’t know if this will really help anyone, and i hope it’s not patronizing. but just in case it helps:george w. bush was elected during my freshman year of college. for the next 8 years — all of college, my first job, and the first two years of tumblr — we suffered through that horrific administration. it was half ...




apple fixes macbook pro battery life by removing time estimate – marco.org

december 13, 2016∞https://marco.org/2016/12/13/apple-removes-battery-time-remainingmy 15-inch 2016 macbook pro with touch bar is pretty good in most ways, but it’s a noticeable regression in battery life from the previous generation. apple claims it lasts 10 hours, but i’ve never gotten that — in a fairly light web-productivity workload, i average around 5–7 hours, and if i’m using xcode, i’m lucky to get 4–5 hours. this seems common — many other customers and reviewers have not...




owning your short-form writing by manton reece — kickstarter

stretch goal update: if we reach $80,000, i'll hire a community manager for micro.blog to help build a safe community from the start. see this update on kickstarter for details on the stretch goal and a new feature called safe replies.hi, my name is manton reece, and i’m writing a book called indie microblogging. i'm also launching a brand new platform for microblogs.do you remember how the web used to work? how the web was supposed to work?in the earlier days of the web, we always published...




iphone spam-call-blocking apps – marco.org

january 8, 2017∞https://marco.org/2017/01/08/call-blockershiya creepily requires access to all of my contacts, which i think they transmit to their servers for vaguely specified reasons.truecaller creepily requires my name, phone number, and email address to add to their directory, which i think might allow people to find my phone number under vaguely specified conditions.nomorobo isn’t creepy about anything, but costs $2/month with an in-app-purchase subscription.i had hiya installed for wee...




ten years of iphone – marco.org

january 9, 2017∞https://marco.org/2017/01/09/ten-years-of-iphonei’ll never forget watching the iphone keynote live.1it was a cold tuesday afternoon in new york. my hair was still brown. we were supposed to be working, but even david had to suspend his usual workaholism for a few minutes in awe of what we were seeing.everything about the iphone seemed impossible to the technology world of early 2007.“you can’t make a good phone without buttons.”“you can’t fit a desktop-class os on a ...




apple’s statement on the consumer reports battery test – marco.org

january 10, 2017∞https://marco.org/2017/01/10/cr-mbp-battery-updateapple’s official response to consumer reports’ poor 2016 macbook pro battery test:we appreciate the opportunity to work with consumer reports over the holidays to understand their battery test results. we learned that when testing battery life on mac notebooks, consumer reports uses a hidden safari setting for developing web sites which turns off the browser cache. this is not a setting used by customers and does not reflect...




state of apple from two perspectives – marco.org

january 23, 2017∞https://marco.org/2017/01/23/two-states-of-appletwo of the best pieces i’ve read about apple recently:grading tim cook: the optimistic business-analyst take. tim’s doing great and the products are pretty much fine.apple inc: a pre-mortem: the pessimistic customer take. there are big problems that aren’t getting bett...




the future of computing – marco.org

january 31, 2017∞https://marco.org/2017/01/31/the-wrong-futurethe quarterly results are in and apple’s doing fine overall, but the ipad really isn’t, with another year-over-year decrease in sales.apple and commentators can keep saying the ipad is “the future of computing,” and it might still be. but we’re starting its seventh year in a few months, and sales peaked three years ago.what if the ipad isn’t the future of computing?what if, like so much in te...




automatically test your database backups – marco.org

february 1, 2017∞https://marco.org/2017/02/01/db-backup-testingone of the issues of yesterday’s gitlab.com “database incident” is that most of their database backups weren’t being tested, and when they needed a restore, they discovered that most of the backup methods hadn’t been working.untested backup methods that turn out to be missing or broken are extremely common. i can’t fault them much because it’s a very easy mistake to make: most backups, by nature, never need to be resto...




overcast 3: design walkthrough – marco.org

february 20, 2017∞https://marco.org/2017/02/20/overcast3overcast 3 is now available, and it’s a huge update, mostly in the design and flow of the interface. i’ve been working on it since last summer, informed by over two years of testing, usage, and customer feedback.i designed overcast 1.0 in 2014 for ios 7, and it was a product of its time: it used ultra-thin text and lines against stark, sharp-edged, full-screen white sheets and translucent blur panes, with much of the basic functionalit...