Photo: Dahlias

My partner is an avid gardener, and we have hundreds of flowers of many kinds. As part of my recent office makeover, I have a space where I have decided that I will experiment with flower arrangement, and photograph some of my creations. While this isn’t properly ikebana, I have been perusing a book on that Japanese art to get some inspiration. Here’s an example.

Link to full-size version.

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Intego Mac Podcast, Episode 91: Browser Fingerprinting, Hyper-Threading, Firefox, VPN, and More

We discuss a number of issues in the news, such as a 17-year old Firefox vulnerability, the threat to end-to-end encryption, and whether Apple should offer a VPN. We also answer listening questions about browser fingerprinting – what is it? we explain – and turning off hyper-threading (we explain that too).

Check out the latest episode of The Intego Mac Podcast, which I co-host with Josh Long. We talk about Macs and iOS devices, and how to keep them secure.

Intego Mac Podcast, Episode 89: Browser Wars: Which Web Browser Is Best for Privacy?

Everyone uses a web browser, on their Mac and their iOS device. But there are many web browsers, and some are better designed to protect your privacy. We take a deep dive into web browsers and discuss the pros and cons of Safari, Chrome, Firefox, and a number of alternatives.

Check out the latest episode of The Intego Mac Podcast, which I co-host with Josh Long. We talk about Macs and iOS devices, and how to keep them secure.

Mac App Store Offering Updates for Ancient Operating Systems

This morning, the Mac App Store shows me the following updates:

Mas updates

I don’t think I really need to install these updates. In fact, I can’t. I had clicked Update All without noticing which updates were available, and was told that I couldn’t update everything.

Mavericks

Obviously, this is a glitch, but a strange one. I’m sure a lot of Mac users who don’t know exactly which version of macOS they have on their computers will be a bit flustered by this.

Update: a few hours later, these updates are no longer visible.

IOS App Store Content Visible in iTunes; Mac App Store Content Visible on iOS

When Apple removed iOS app management and the iOS App Store from iTunes, this created a problem for iOS developers. If you visited their websites on a Mac, and wanted to buy an app, or even see an app’s page in the App Store, you couldn’t do this. iTunes would not display any content from the iOS App Store.

Likewise, you couldn’t see a Mac App Store page on an iOS device.

But Apple has recently changed this. I’ve noticed in the past few weeks that if I click an iOS app link in my browser, it opens the app’s page in iTunes.

Day one itunes

However, you can’t purchase the app, or add it to your Wish List, and you can’t even share the page from iTunes.

Similarly, if you click on a link to a Mac app on an iOS device, you can view it in your device. Here’s a story about BBEdit from the Mac App Store on my iPhone:

Bbedit 1   Bbedit 2

You’ll notice in the second screenshot above that the Get button is dimmed; you can’t purchase the app. And, as with the iOS app in iTunes, you can’t add it to your Wish List, nor can you share it.

However, you can at least view this content on other platforms. I would love to see the ability to purchase iOS apps on the desktop, and choosing to send them to a specific device, or at least make them available on your devices. The same is the case for Mac apps on iOS. Sometimes I see information about an app when I’m on my iPhone, and don’t always remember to check it out later when I’m back at my desk.

How I Dropped Dropbox – Subtraction.com

There are so many Dropbox integrations available that the service seems essential, or at least difficult to imagine doing without. Over the years I’ve hooked numerous apps and services into my Dropbox account, which is why I started paying for the professional plan seven years ago. And yet each year, at renewal time, I think a bit more deeply about the question of whether Dropbox is in fact so indispensable. This is the very boring story of how I came to realize that it’s not.

Designer Khoi Vinh discusses how he kicked the Dropbox habit.

For a number of reasons, I’d like to stop using Dropbox. I recently moved most of my files to OneDrive, essentially because of the three-device limitation for free Dropbox plans. As I’ve said many times, I’d by happy to pay for Dropbox, for a plan with, say, 50 GB storage, but I don’t need a terabyte. However, I have that space with OneDrive, as part of an Office 365 subscription.

I have lots of space on iCloud, and I’ve been using iCloud Drive more, and as Vinh says in his article, he plans to use it more when the next Apple operating systems bring in iCloud Drive folder sharing. I’ve tried this, and it seems to work will, just like Dropbox.

The problem for me is that I have clients who use Dropbox, and share folders, so I cannot not work with that service. So no matter what, I will have to continue to use Dropbox, but I think much of my storage will be moving to iCloud Drive soon, and I may not every renew my Office 365 subscription when it runs out.

In any case, read the article, and see how complicated it can be to move away from Dropbox. So many apps integrate with Dropbox, but not with other cloud storage services, that it may not be easy to make the change.

Source: How I Dropped Dropbox + Subtraction.com

WSJ: Jony Ive Became ‘Dispirited’ After Apple Watch and Sometimes Failed to Show Up to Meetings – MacRumors

Ive reportedly wanted to position the watch as a fashion accessory, but some Apple leaders envisioned it as an extension of the iPhone. Eventually a compromise was agreed, and the $349 watch was tethered to the iPhone, with Apple creating a $17,000 gold version and partnering with Hermès.

I don’t have a WSJ subscription, so I’m liking to MacRumors’ article about this. This jibes with what I’ve been saying about the Apple Watch from the beginning. It always seemed that the Apple Watch was a vanity project for Jony Ive, given his interest in watches, and the fact that a disgustingly priced gold model was released. I still remember the look on Tim Cook’s face when he announced the price of the gold model.

The company sold about 10 million units in the first year, a quarter of what Apple forecast, a person familiar with the matter told WSJ. Thousands of the gold version are said to have gone unsold.

I’m surprised that Apple forecast 40 million units, because, if I recall, the rollout to different countries didn’t occur very quickly. However, I’m sure Apple is satisfied at how the Apple Watch turned out.

I find this bit interesting:

According to sources who spoke to WSJ, Ive pushed for the Apple Watch to be made despite disagreements from some executives, who questioned if a device so small could have a killer app that would compel people to buy it.

That is certainly the weakness of the Apple Watch, or at least it was at the beginning. It’s a new product category, but it has been clear over the years – especially the first few models and watchOS versions – that Apple did not have a clear vision for the device, but was just trying to see what worked.

Even now, the Apple Watch is a bit of an odd device. While it is very useful, and I wear one, it doesn’t have any “wow” factor. Sure, I can get notifications, unlock my Macs with it, even make calls without my phone handy (I have the cellular model), but it is still just an extension of the iPhone that, if I didn’t write about this stuff, I probably wouldn’t use.

Source: WSJ: Jony Ive Became ‘Dispirited’ After Apple Watch and Sometimes Failed to Show Up to Meetings – MacRumors

Intego Mac Podcast, Episode 89: New Mac Malware, Apple Public Betas, and More

There’s been a lot of Mac malware appearing lately, and Intego has been discovering many serious new threats. We look at some of these malware, discuss an interesting new OneDrive feature, then talk about installing and using Apple’s public betas for macOS, iOS, iPadOS, tvOS, and watchOS.

Check out the latest episode of The Intego Mac Podcast, which I co-host with Josh Long. We talk about Macs and iOS devices, and how to keep them secure.

Jony Ive Says Farewell to Apple

When I saw this on Twitter last night, I let out a very loud “Wow!” and surprised my partner who was reading in bed next to me. Jony Ive is leaving Apple after 30 years with the company, and after having designed all of Apple’s iconic products from the iMac to the iPhone, from the MacBook Air to the Apple Watch.

As Mark Gurman points out in a Bloomberg article:

Jony Ive has been leaving Apple Inc. for years

This began after the release of the Apple Watch, and was solidified when “Ive was named Apple’s Chief Design Officer, a role that shifted day-to-day responsibility of the hardware and software design teams to a pair of executives, Alan Dye and Richard Howarth.”

Ive was also named Chancellor of the Royal College of Art in London, and his tenure began in July 2017. The Chancellor is an honorary role, but Ive has participated in many activities at the RCA. And this brought him back to his home country, England.

Ive’s crowning glory is certainly Apple Park, the new spaceship campus in Cupertino, and it’s understandable that he has perhaps gotten bored with the quotidian task of designing the most popular computing device ever made.

Ive will be launching a new company, LoveFrom, together with designer Marc Newson, and their first client will be Apple. They probably won’t do much work for Apple, but this is a soft landing that will not hit Apple’s share price too much.

Ive is one of the iconic designers of computing products, even though his overly minimalist approach can be criticized at times. (Such as removing all traces of color from the macOS Finder, making it drab and utilitarian.) But his influence will live on.

The Zen of Everything Podcast, Episode 2: Hot Dogs, Space Aliens, Vegetarians, Glasses, and Sitting Zazen Every Day

Zen of everything artwork smallAll things are impermanent, but this podcast has made it to its second episode. Jundo and Kirk discuss whether a hot dog is a sandwich, explore the question of being a vegetarian, whether one should wear glasses when sitting zazen, and whether one really, truly needs to sit zazen every day.

Listen to the latest episode of The Zen of Everything.