Apple Development

macOS on iPad

It’s that time of year. Time for the Apple Developer community – and punditry – to make wishes for their favorite features to be added to their favorite OSes and hardware.At this point macOS and iOS are so mature I can’t think of any feature I’d like to have. I’m sure Apple will come up with something I’ll enjoy but we have so many features I’ve never touched as a developer. Some because I have no real need for them in my apps and some because I just don’t know they exist.

The only thing I keep coming back to is macOS on iPad. Why?

Well, now that macOS can run iPad apps it seems a natural fit to put all that power and openness on a smaller device. I can see walking into my office with my iPad, sitting it in a VESA mount next to my VESA mounted display, having it connect to my keyboard, monitor, and mouse and off we go.

It would take some time for Apple to make it work, no doubt, but iOS and macOS already share a lot of code. There will be plenty of things to sort out, like touch, but it’s not like they couldn’t do it if they wanted.

Consider swiping between the Mac desktop and Launch Pad. Launch Pad could act as you iOS springboard for all of your iOS apps. Perhaps you group them together or maybe the OS is changed to do something special for you. That way you could put yourself in that mode when you’re not docked and use all of your favorite iOS apps then move to the Mac Desktop when you’re docked and need Xcode to do your dev work.

It feels like a natural progression to me and I definitely do not agree with the punditry about keeping iPad pure. Offer two versions. A Pro model with iPadOS and a Pro model with macOS. Problem solved.

Let Pro users and Developers pick their poison.

I know which one is pick.


Did Gruber Slip?

On the latest episode of The Talk Show John Gruber very clearly says “the M1 MacBook Pro” a couple times.

Did he just let the cat out of the bag or just misspeak and meant the M1 MacBook Air?

Of course I want to know. 😀

UPDATE: John didn’t slip, I did. I forgot there is a 13in M1 MacBook Pro. Sorry for the mistake.

Snell on Apple Podcasts

Six Colors: “Leaving big, bad Spotify aside, consider Overcast or Castro or Pocket Casts. These independent apps are likewise prevented by Apple’s policies from doing what Apple is doing. Even if they could figure out a way to implement Apple’s per-podcast subscription approach, they would have to hand Apple its cut, which is basically the same cut that Apple’s taking from Apple Podcasts Subscriptions.

You knew it was only a matter of time before Apple created its own Podcast service. They’ve had the plumbing for years by serving the largest podcast directory in world. It’s still there and it’s still free, for now.

If I were a podcaster I’d worry about that benevolence continuing forever. Talk about an easy to Sherlock industry. With Apple holding the keys to the directory, a new paid service, and the most popular podcast player it would leave me going hmmmmmm, if I had a podcast or a podcast network.

For those, like Snell, who have invested years of blood, sweat, and tears to build their own networks I have to imagine they’ll have some restless nights trying to decide if they should just go with the flow and move their catalogs to Apple Podcasts 100%, keep their podcasts on their own network, or do a 50/50 split between their network and Apple’s.

An observation. At one point the podcasts I listened to were all ad supported. I have to believe advertisers, for some reason, decided the money they were paying for podcast advertising wasn’t paying off. Most of the tech podcasts I listen to began offering memberships. Those memberships may include special stuff for subscribers, as Snell points out.

That to me was a signal of a change in the podcast market. Advertising dollars were drying up or, at the very least, not as lucrative, so business models changed.

Enter Spotify and now Apple. We expect Facebook to announce their own podcast network. Being an indie is going to become as difficult as being an indie app developer or blogger who makes a living from their website. I fear we’ll see a lot of podcasts we love disappear as soon as they no longer make a living for their hosts.

In the end it would be really nice for Apple to offer a way for podcasts to use their own payment systems for subscribers. I’ve thought about this for indie app developers too. Having a way to provide Apple approved payment providers would be amazing. This would give players like Stripe or PayPal the ability to qualify as a payment provider for Apple Podcasts and the App Store. That alone would open the App Store and Podcast ecosystems to a new world of possibilities, not to mention possibly putting more money into the pockets of developers and podcasters.

On the client side Apple could provide a payment kit, possibly StoreKit, that allows for multiple payment providers to be selected by app developers for in app purchases. That framework would also provide third party podcast apps with a way to subscribe, download, and play podcasts from Apple Podcasts. Even if it means podcast players need to do work to support this system at least they’d be given the choice to support the framework or not. More choice is better, right?

As for the definition of a Podcast. I don’t think Apple or Spotify’s service meet the definition of a Podcast. To many of us a Podcast is an MP3 file delivered to a client via inclusion in an RSS feed. It’s not simply spoken word delivered by a proprietary service. It’s specifically connected to the open RSS format. That may seem a bit pedantic but that’s how we feel about it. To layer a service on top of that is fine. But to call it a podcast seems disingenuous.


Apple FOMO

FOMO is what Apple depends on. We are all hypercritical about certain things. A lot of Apple podcasters are hypercritical about their hardware. They buy the latest greatest and say it’s the best evar! Then the new one ships and the one they have is complete crap. 😄

Meanwhile I’m using a 2015 MacBook Pro and it is perfectly fine. I have a 2019 MacBook Pro at work and quite frankly I don’t notice a difference.

Of course I’ll get a new computer at some point. It will happen when I can no longer upgrade the OS. That’s how I roll. And even then it may not be the current year model.

Apple Hardware Iconfactory Indie iOS Stream

My Apple Products

Ribbit Like many in the Apple geek world I listen to a few Apple podcasts. I love ‘em. I get to hear about their latest Apple purchases, mostly about the new phones they purchase every year, but occasionally we get to hear about something different. Recently it’s been M1 Mac purchases. I admit I’m green with envy. I have FOMO like a MOFO.

But these are the hyper fans. It’s why they write and talk about Apple products. They’re deeply invested in the Apple ecosystem. They’ve managed to turn their love of a company into a business. It doesn’t get much better than that.

I became a fan of Apple when Windows 3.0 released. I’m weird that way. It wasn’t until 2006 that I was able to switch to a Mac at work. That led to purchasing a Mac for our oldest daughter and my wife. I wrote my first couple iOS Apps on her white MacBook because I didn’t have one. Now we’re very much an Apple Family.

Back to my FOMO. If I had the means to purchase the new thing every year, I would. No doubt. But do I really need to buy the new thing every year? No.

Over the course of the iPhones existence I’ve had four.
• iPhone 4
• iPhone 5c
• iPhone 7
• iPhone 11

I upgraded to an iPhone 11 after the announcement of the iPhone 12. It’s purple and I love it. I’m typing this post on it right now (using Tot from The Iconfactory.)

As a developer of iOS Apps you’d think “I bet he has a really nice setup.” I do, but probably not what you’d expect. I’ve had two personal MacBook Pros.
• MacBook Pro – 2011 15in
• MacBook Pro – 2015 15in

I remember purchasing that 2011. It was my Christmas present that year. I did a bunch of consulting work on that machine and it’s still in operation to this day. My wife uses it on occasion. I replaced the batter a couple years back. It’s still a great computer. One with a spinning hard drive I might add.

The 2015 MacBook Pro was a complete surprise. It too was a Christmas present but I had no clue I was getting it. It’s a great little device. It sits on a stand right next to my 24in Dell display. I really love the setup. It’s more than enough screen real estate for me. Plenty of space for Xcode, a few shells, and BBEdit. I use the laptop display for the browser and other non-development apps. It’s the setup I used to write Stream.

Here’s the thing about Apple hardware. It’s really good! I don’t need to replace it very often because Apple has been great about supporting old hardware.

Some folks may ask “How can you deal with such a slow machine?” Maybe because it’s what I know? I use a 2019(?) MacBook Pro at work and I don’t notice a speed difference between it and my 2015. I don’t base this on any speed tests or measure performance in any way. It’s just by feel. That feel is how quickly Xcode builds stuff. I don’t use anything else in my day to day work that needs more horsepower than that. The only thing I do notice is how much my fingers don’t like the 2019’s keyboard when I use it on occasion. Oh, I’ve also been running Big Sur on it and it’s absolutely fine performance wise.

Here’s another reason why it’s fine for me. I work on iOS Apps. They’re small. It’s not like I’m building Photoshop or Xcode itself. Just little iOS Apps.

When the time comes for a new computer I may go with an Intel MacBook Pro with the crummy keyboard because the pricing may make it affordable enough for my tastes.

I also have a Series One Apple Watch. I wear it everyday and have since I got it. The OS is no longer updating, but this watch doesn’t have the ability to use new features and it’s perfect for my needs. My use? Text, Slack, and phone notifications. I also have a couple weather app complications; the built in Weather and Dark Sky (which will go away at some point.) Again, when the time comes for a new watch I will probably get a Series Three or Four because the price will be much better.

On the iPad front I still have a Gen One iPad Mini. It’s amazing it still holds a charge for a really long time and it’s small and light. The perfect reading device. The display is non Retina but it works. I hardly ever use it. I’m not much of a book reader. Shameful, I know.

Let’s wrap this up. Here’s my everyday list of personal Apple devices I use.
• Apple Watch – Series One
• iPhone 11
• MacBook Pro – 2015 15in

The Watch and MacBook Pro speak to Apple’s focus on high quality design.

They just keep working.

Apple iPhone

iPhone 12 Review

I didn’t get an iPhone 12.

Instead I decided to save a few bucks and went with an iPhone 11 instead. In glorious purple!

What do I think about it? Glad you asked.

It’s fast! I’ve been using an iPhone 7 as my daily driver so this phone feels amazing.

The display is absolutely beautiful. Seeing everything edge to edge is sweet. I really love how Stream looks on it.

Face ID is really nice. It’s not like Touch ID was bad but this is definitely faster, unless you’re wearing a mask. That’s ok. I really like it.

I really struggled trying to figure out what to buy. I considered the iPhone SE (second gen), iPhone 11, iPhone 12 Mini, and iPhone 12.

The second gen iPhone SE was tempting because of the price. It’s using the iPhone 7/8 form factor with updated guts and the starting price is $399. That’s really hard to beat.

The comparison between the iPhone 11 and iPhone 12 was tough. I love the design of the 12. It takes me back to my favorite iPhone design, the iPhone 4. The square edges, that sandwich look, is beautiful to by eyes. The iPhone 11 is also beautifully designed and I liked the color selection better than the 12 color selection. Both phones are larger and much faster than my iPhone 7.

The iPhone Mini really messed with my head. I was leaning toward this phone for most of the time I was considering what to buy. Great design, edge to edge display, fast, good camera, and it’s much smaller in the hand. I was considering the Product Red model but the blue on the Mini is fantastic.

In the end the lower priced iPhone 11 in purple won out.

I also put it in a case day one. While I love the feel of the naked device I’ve broken two screens over the years and I’ve only had four iPhones over that period of time. I cracked the screen on my beloved iPhone 4 and the same with my iPhone 7. Believe it or not the toughest phone I’ve ever owned was my green iPhone 5c. That thing hit the ground a few times and never cracked.

I’m a fan of Unicorn Beetle cases so I picked up a MetallicPurple Unicorn Beetle Pro Series Case to protect it. I love it.

Do I regret getting an iPhone 11 instead of an iPhone 12? Not one bit. It’s a marvelous piece of hardware.

Apple Indie iOS

I didn’t withdraw from the program. They withdrew me. 😂


Fired Up

Brent Simmons: “Somebody on Twitter will tell me that I should add that IAP right now so I can pay Apple for the privilege of being on the App Store. Fuck you in advance.”

Brent is obviously fired up and rightfully so. Look, WordPress has been selling domains and services for years. They know how to do it and they know how to do it safely. This isn’t Apple being the gatekeeper of secure transactions. It’s about greed. Apple needs to have a cut of everything, even if it doesn’t make sense.

Unlike Jobs, Tim Cook isn’t driven by making the best product he’s driven by money.

Apple knows they have developers right where they want them.

“So, kid, you want to develop for our platform? Sure, give it a go. You’ll like it.”

Then they put the squeeze on you.

Sure, my next product will have IAP. Sure I’ll give Apple 30%. I have no choice but to. It’s ok. I’m personally fine with it for the little apps I do on the side. If I were trying to survive off my apps I might feel otherwise.

Apple iOS Mac

My WWDC 2020 Wishlist

Time to [get in]( on the action.

Here goes: Custom Watch Faces, iOS stability and performance improvements, and macOS stability and performance improvements

That’s it.

I’d really love to have a Dumbledore watch face.

Apple iOS iPad iPhone

Xcode for iPad?

[MacRumors]( _‘because it “opens the door for ‘Pro’ applications to come to ‌iPad‌.”’_

Red sock.I picked that bit of a sentence from the article because it’s complete B.S. If folks want to bring Pro apps to the iPad they have the means to do it today on their Mac. Having Xcode on an iPad won’t magically make that any better. The Mac is the perfect tool for building Professional Mac and iOS apps.

Xcode on iPad would be fine. I can’t personally see using an iPad as my primary development machine. Mainly because I like using a bigger display for development. My 15in MacBook Pro display is about as small as I’d like to use.

If I could set the iPad on a stand of some sort, hook it up to my full size keyboard, mouse, and 24in display? That is something that may work.

We’re getting closer to that day, we’re just not quite there.