Category: Links

Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference Kicks Off June 13 in San Francisco

Apple PR:

Monday’s kickoff events, including the keynote address, will be held at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium. The rest of the week’s conference sessions will take place at Moscone West.

[…]

Developers can apply for tickets via the WWDC website (https://developer.apple.com/wwdc/register/) now through Friday, April 22 at 10:00 a.m. PDT. Tickets will be issued to attendees through a random selection process, and developers will be notified on the status of their application by Monday, April 25 at 5:00 p.m. PDT. For the second consecutive year, there will be up to 350 WWDC Scholarships available, giving students and STEM organization members from around the world an opportunity to earn a ticket to meet and collaborate with some of the most talented developers of Apple’s ever-growing app ecosystem (https://developer.apple.com/wwdc/scholarships/). Additionally, this year, we will provide travel assistance to up to 125 scholarship recipients to ensure aspiring developers with financial limitations have an opportunity to participate.

It is interesting that they’re moving Monday’s events to the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium.

That’s where they held the iPhone 6S/iPad Pro event last September.

Should I use Grid or Flexbox?

Two sentences from Rachel Andrew that explain when to reach for which layout choice:

Flexbox is essentially for laying out items in a single dimension – in a row OR a column. Grid is for layout of items in two dimensions – rows AND columns.

Flexbox can wrap, making it sorta-kinda two dimensions, but it still flows in a single dimension.

GoPro hires Apple designer Daniel Coster; shares jump

Fred Imbert, CNBC:

GoPro is having a good day. The wearable camera maker’s stock surged more than 19 percent Wednesday and the company announced it hired Daniel Coster away from Apple as vice president of design.

Coster was a core member of Apple’s industrial design team for more than 20 years and is credited with contributing to devices such as iPhone 4 and iPad wireless keyboard, the company said in a statement.

It’s interesting that hiring a single designer could have this type of effect, even if it is just a temporary stock price spike.

But, Coster does has his work cut out for him.

I’ve had GoPro cameras, and they are sorely disappointing.

Jason Snell’s 9.7-inch iPad Pro Review

Jason Snell, writing for Six Colors:

As a laptop user I’ve always found myself a bit outside the mainstream. I opted for the MacBook Air over the Retina MacBook Pro, and even within the Air line, I opted for the 11-inch model over the 13-inch. What I’m saying is, I appreciate that my choice isn’t just between chocolate and vanilla.

These past few years Apple has been diversifying its mobile product lines, expanding beyond a single, mainstream product to include variations that appeal to customers who want something a bit different. The iPhone 6 Plus gave people who wanted more battery and screen space the ability to get it; the iPhone 5S (and now the iPhone SE) serve people who want a smaller and cheaper model. The iPad mini was a nice shrunken-down variation on the classic iPad; the 12.9-inch iPad Pro offered a much larger, richer iPad experience.

Now here’s the 9.7-inch iPad Pro, but this isn’t Apple adding another device that’s nibbling at the edges. This is the flagship of the iPad line, undoubtedly the best-selling iPad model for the next year, full of impressive features (as well as a few curious omissions) and in a size that’s exactly what people expect from an iPad.

Make sure to read the rest of the article, Jason’s thoughts on Apple’s product naming is especially interesting.

The Loop Magazine app is dead

Jim Dalrymple:

It is with tremendous sadness that I write this post today. I have tried to figure out a way for The Loop Magazine app to work on the App Store, for the last few months. It turns out, it just won’t. This morning, I removed the app from the App Store.

[…]

My struggles are no different from any other developer on the App Store. If you have a game or social media app, you’re golden in Apple’s eyes. Anything else, forget it. (Unless you’re a big publisher, then you’re golden too).

I was an early subscriber of the Loop Magazine when it first came out, the articles were refreshing and interesting. In my case, I stopped being a subscriber only due to lack of time to properly enjoy the issues.

I agree with Jim on the struggles of apps in the App Store as well.

Macminicolo merges with macstadium

Big news from Brian Stucki, founder of Macminicolo:

In short, I’ve decided to sell ownership of Macminicolo and merge it with another company. I will stay on as President of Macminicolo and also serve as a Vice President of the parent company, MacStadium.

Now, I could just announce this with no explanation and be done with it. I could also write one of those generic acquisition posts focused on sunsets and brands and blah. Instead, I’ll be forthright and real like I’ve always tried to be with customers.

Siri security flaw on iPhone 6s and 6s Plus grants access to Contacts and Photos without passcode

A newly discovered Siri search handling bug allows nefarious users to bypass passcode protected lock screens on iPhone 6s and 6s Plus handsets, granting easy access to Contacts and Photos data. The vulnerability is likely applicable only to a subset of devices, however.

[…]

In the example provided, a user — or nefarious agent — invokes Siri via a long home button press, or iPhone’s “Hey Siri” function, and asks the virtual assistant to conduct a Twitter search. If the search results contain actionable Contacts data, like an email address, a 3D Touch gesture can be used to call up a contextual menu with options to send mail and add or modify contact information.

From the 3D Touch Quick Actions menu, tapping on “Add to Existing Contact” opens an iPhone’s Contacts list, which can then be used to access device Photos, if so configured.

[…]

Those concerned about potential intrusions can disable Siri’s Twitter integration by navigating to Settings > Twitter and switching off Siri. Doing the same in Settings > Privacy > Photos cuts Siri access to an iPhone’s photo library. Alternatively, Siri itself can be completely disabled.

The workaround is active in Apple’s latest iOS 9.3.1 update.

That is really not good. As it happens, I limit what Siri can access already, but this is not a good bug to find.

Google’s Nest closing smart-home company Revolv, bricking devices

Rob Price, Business Insider:

Just over a month ago, Revolv updated its website to announce that it is closing down completely, pulling the plug on its existing products in May. “We’re pouring all our energy into Works with Nest and are incredibly excited about what we’re making,” wrote Revolv founders Tim Enwall and Mike Soucie. “Unfortunately, that means we can’t allocate resources to Revolv anymore and we have to shut down the service.”

Shutting down Revolv does not mean that Nest is ceasing to support its products, leaving them vulnerable to bugs and other unpatched issues. It means that the $300 devices and accompanying apps will stop working completely.

This seems like a really good way to create angry former customers.

Even Microsoft has given up on Windows Phone

Sitting through all the keynotes at Microsoft’s Build, there’s one giant gaping hole in the coverage: Windows Phone was barely mentioned. In fact, it seems like the keynote speakers were actively avoiding the platform in most of the sessions, showing that Microsoft has basically thrown in the towel altogether.

In one presentation about how Visual Studio development, for example, the presenter received some enormous applause about the announcement that Xamarin was going free, and then went on to talk about how fantastically exciting it is that the platform covered all the platforms!

“We don’t care if it’s Android or iOS, we have you covered,” the presenter said, and continued onto the rest of his presentation.

Spot any platforms missing from that two-bulletpoint-list?

Spoiler alert: He didn’t mention BlackBerry, Symbian OS, Tizen, Sailfish, Palm OS … or Windows Phone.

Microsoft did the same thing when they slowly killed the Surface RTs, they just snubbed them and later announced it had died.

About time too, the Windows phone never really lived anywhere near it’s promise.