A case for an external TouchBar
The UnTouch Bar

I’ve been playing with Touché from Red Sweater Software, and I can really see a case for the TouchBar on an external Keyboard doohickey.

A lot of people say the TouchBar isn’t that useful, but as a desktop user, I installed Touché and it has dramatically changed a couple of things for me.

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We don't need no stinking tags
Emoji Tags in Workflow

I love the Workflow app. It’s simply the most powerful automation tool on iOS. Workflow, along with Working Copy and 1Writer, are what keeps my blog going. But there is a small problem. When you have a ton of workflows, finding them can be a chore. That’s where Emoji Tags come in.

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Isn't this one obvious?
Step It Up, Siri

Siri is great at a lot of things, but Apple really needs to get the obvious things into her (it?). I hear it’s great at telling me when the next Braves game is, but I don’t even watch hockey.

One thing nearly every American should know is where they should go to vote.

I asked a simple question - Where can I vote tomorrow?

Siri gave me a bunch of irrelevant web searches. So, I opened the Google app and asked the exact same question using Google voice search.

Google already knows my home address (as does Siri), so I got my polling place, the hours, and the fact that early voting is available in my state.

I also got links to directions, “how to vote”, and “how to register to vote”. Further down the page, there were web search results to things like what all the silly California propositions mean and then some news stories about the election.

Meanwhile, Siri is giving me links about where I could vote if I happened to be in Washington DC.

SMH.

When a dongle, isn't.
DongleGate

A lot has been said over Apple’s recent move away from “legacy” ports. Laptops are USB-C, the headphone jack is gone from the iPhone, and everyone’s talking about dongles.

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Donate. It's easy.
Hurricane Matthew

Hurricane Matthew just swept Haiti, the Caribbean, & the East Coast of America and the Red Cross is doing what it does.

Apple has been working with the Red Cross to accept donations for years, and this is no different. As always, it’s easy and 100% of your donation goes straight to the Red Cross. No App Store cuts or credit card fees are kept by Apple.

Give if you can.

This Is Why HomeKit Is Secure

IoT BotNets are a thing.

Bruce Schneier, on Motherboard:

Much has been written about how the IoT is wildly insecure. In fact, the software used to attack Krebs was simple and amateurish. What this attack demonstrates is that the economics of the IoT mean that it will remain insecure unless government steps in to fix the problem. This is a market failure that can’t get fixed on its own.

I disagree with this sentiment. A lot of people have written about how Apple’s HomeKit is never going to work because it requires proprietary chips and a licencing fee.

This is EXACTLY the reason Apple set these limits. They’re not making HomeKit secure because they don’t want randos turning your Hue lights on and off.

They make it secure so hackers don’t have a 7-billion-node botnet.

When you control the stack...
iOS and tvOS Playing Nice

Just noticed a nifty thing watching Netflix’s Luke Cage tonight on my AppleTV. If you enter a search box, you get a push notification on your phone (and iPad). Force-press the notification, and pop into a keyboard to type your search without even unlocking your phone.

Neat.

A few off-the-cuff impressions, unedited
On the iPhone 7 Plus
Image source: Apple

After a few days with the new phone, I have some thoughts…

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Materials Are Hard

Nick Heer, on the Apple Watch Editions use of gold, and now ceramic:

Both of these materials are new to Apple, and because the Edition sells in such low quantities, there’s plenty of space to try them on a more sedate production line. I don’t know if the next iPhone will be ceramic — in fact, I doubt it will — but their process for making it might yield unique results that are applicable to other product lines.

I couldn’t agree more. The Edition line of watches sells in very low numbers, but it’s where Apple can play with new materials and manufacturing techniques for future products.

I can easily see a 2018 or 2019 iPhone that replaces the scratchtastic Jet Black with a black ceramic shell. And ceramic is radio-transparent, so no antenna lines.

Just A Shit Ton of Famous People

Save the Day. Vote.
Just A Shit Ton of Famous People

Remember to vote. Find out how here.

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Am I doing this right?

Am I doing this whole "pallet" thing right?

A photo posted by Jimmy Little (@jimmylittle) on

About That 'Courage' Comment

This never would have happened if Steve Jobs was around

Phil Schiller said Apple displayed “courage” in removing the headphone jack. He got a lot of flack for using that term, and maybe rightfully so.

It was explained as such (emphasis mine):

We’re trying to make great products for people, and we have at least the courage of our convictions to say we don’t think this is part of what makes a great product, we’re going to leave it out. Some people are going to not like that, they’re going to call us names […] but we’re going to take the heat [and] instead focus our energy on these technologies which we think are in their ascendancy and we think are going to be the right technologies for customers. And you know what? They’re paying us to make those choices […] If we succeed, they’ll buy them, and if we don’t, they won’t, and it’ll all work itself out.

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Take care of your shit, y'all
AirPod Paranoia

People are really irresponsible and paranoid, judging by their reactions to Apples AirPod announcement.

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