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Archives for : mac

Follow-up: How to Build an Xcode Project that Builds for Both iOS and macOS

Since I talked about making multi-platform projects like it was no big deal in my blog yesterday, I figured I should at least back that up.

macandiosbuilddemo (GitHub link) is an Xcode project that builds an iOS master-detail app and a macOS windowed app from the same code base. It’s fairly trivial and unpolished, just fetching a JSON feed from this blog, showing recent entries in a table, and letting you drill into one.

Side by side iOS and macOS apps, built from the same Xcode project

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Apple Didn’t Kill AppKit, Millenials Did

(yes, thank you for indulging my outrageous clickbait headline, which wildly misrepresents the contents of this blog post)

Two weeks after WWDC, and we’re all still talking about Marzipan, the de facto name for UIKit-on-macOS that was acknowledged in the keynote. Like, seriously, as I’m typing this Colin and Steve are arguing about it, so everyone who follows both of them gets to watch.

Craig Federigi showing diagrams of macOS/iOS app architectures

It won’t even be available to developers for another year, so we have lots of time to argue, and to enjoy the unintended consequence of Osborning macOS’ AppKit framework.

But… what if this is all sound and fury, signifying nothing? What if tasty Marzipan turns out to be a big Nothingburger? Because that could well be how it pans out instead.

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The 2013 That Never Ended

So, about that Mac Pro…

As a reminder, I’d been agonizing about a replacement for my Early 2008 Mac Pro for a while (particularly because it couldn’t run Sierra, and thus Xcode 8.3), finally gave in and bought the Late 2013 Mac Pro in late 2016, and posted a few weeks back that despite obviously over-paying for it, I’m quite happy with it so far.

Yesterday’s news really doesn’t change any of that.

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So, How’s That Mac Pro Working Out For You?

It’s been a little over two months since I became that guy who actually bought a three-years-old-out-of-the-box Mac Pro. My reasoning and agony over the purchase has already been detailed on this blog, but now that I’ve used it for two months, let’s take a look back at how it’s working out.

The thing that surprises most people when they see the trashcan Mac Pro is how small it is. Remember, the computer is not even a foot tall (um, 30 cm for those of you in civilized parts of the world), so on my desk, it is barely taller than my speakers, and is actually kind of dwarfed by my microphone and pop filter.

Mac Pro on desk

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Two Cents (and not a penny more) on iPad and the Future of Computing

Topic du jour is the continuing slow decline of the iPad, and Apple’s priorities with regard to it and the steady-if-boring Mac. Background: Marco Arment’s blog The future of computing, the last two episodes (207 and 208) of Accidental Tech Podcast, and some of the reactions quoted in Michael Tsai’s Apple’s Q1 2017 results roundup.

So here’s my two cents, and I’ll keep it short. The ATP discussion considers the fact that even in its diminished state, the iPad sells twice what the Mac does, so why shouldn’t it command more attention?

Here’s a counter-argument that is being overlooked: the iPad represents effectively all of the “productivity tablet” market, which is a completely fanciful market I have pulled out of my ass because in the era of alternative facts we are apparently now allowed to do that. But seriously, the iPad is the only device where there’s any story or any expectation that it can or will be used to do more than read mail/web/ebooks and watch streaming video. Nobody is talking about doing creative work or managing documents with an Amazon Fire, for example, or the $75 piece of crap Android tablet at Big Lots. As far as using this sort of device for computing goes, the iPad is the only game in town.

And it’s shrinking.

Now even if the Mac sells less than the iPad, the PC market as a whole is massive… much larger than tablets, and larger still than my contrived “productivity tablet” market. And Mac’s not even 10% of this giant PC market.

So, in terms of growth opportunities, which is more realistic: finding non-tablet-users to adopt the iPad for their productivity or work needs (and making the iPad more suitable for that), or flipping more of the 90% of people already using PCs to a better version of the same thing?

Sure, Apple’s spent its whole life trying to woo switchers, and I’m not saying we need to pull in Justin Long and John Hodgman for a new series of “I’m a Mac” ads. But if I’m looking for growth, the ostensibly-boring personal computer might still be a better bet than turning around the iPad’s decline. At the very least, it’s a lot easier to identify who my potential new customers are.

Capitulation

So, this happened:

Yes, I bought a new Mac Pro. For certain values of “new”. Hear me out, though, after the jump.

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Alternatives…

Meanwhile, in Apple’s Mac marketing department:

Screenshot from Muv-Luv Unlimited, providing five equally bad choices

Look, you hardly need me to pile on to what’s already been said about the state of the Mac — @mjtsai is doing a bang-up job of that — but when even long-time Mac fans like @flargh say that the message is “Apple to creative pros: go f*** yourselves”, you’ve got to hope that someone with a corner office is listening.

Because in the here and now, I am badly overdue for a new Mac, and I hate all my choices.

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Let It Snow

I’m not the first to say this. Chances are you saw Marco Arment tweeting about it earlier in the week:

The latter half of 2014 has been a disaster in terms of quality of Apple software. As I was finishing up the book, I kept an index card of all the bugs I needed to file. I ran out of room.

List of bugs to file

Some of these have caused real pain, such as the Xcode 6.1 iOS Simulator not supporting internationalization — horrible for us when the third chapter of our iOS 8 SDK Development book walks through an i18n example, and a later chapter shows how to make a third-party keyboard extension, which doesn’t work because the simulator now only supports the US English and emoji keyboards.

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Doctor, It Hurts When I Downgrade Mavericks To Mountain Lion (So Don’t Downgrade Mavericks To Mountain Lion)

There are better ways to spend a rainy Monday in Grand Rapids…

I’m posting this just in case anyone else runs into this problem where you set up an older version of OS X on a partition and then when you try to log in, it does the dissolve, but then immediately returns you to the login screen. tl;dr is “forget about doing Migration Assistant from Mavericks back down to 10.6”, but that’s just what finally worked for me.

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Perfect Example of Unicode Character ‘PILE OF POO’ (U+1F4A9)

The Colony Drop Twitter account just passed along this little gem from Tumblr (transcription below):

It reads:

what is emojis? those emoticons? why are they classist?
Emojis are emoticons that can only be typed by iPhones and read by iPhones and iPod Touches. They cannot be typed or read by computers or non-smart phones. The emoji is inherently classist because it excludes people who do not own expensive Apple products. Most people cannot afford iPhones and iPod Touches… when you type an emoji, you type a symbol that only financially advantaged people can read. That is classism.

Wow. That is a lot of stupid packed into one paragraph. The first sentence alone has at least four factual errors (emoji are not emoticons per se, the plural of emoji is just “emoji”, they can be entered by devices other than iPhones, they can be read by many devices), and it doesn’t get better after that (the poster has clearly never heard of Unicode or the free-with-contract iPhone 3GS).

Obviously, it was beyond the poster’s ability to look up the Emoji entry on Wikipedia.

I’d love to quote Colony Drop’s witty comment from their tweet but, alas, WordPress can’t handle Unicode emoji!