Apple Announces October 30th Event 

I’m looking forward to seeing what Apple is planning. The invites are fun this time around. Every time this page is refreshed, the artwork changes.

Connected #214: The Californian Idea of Food »

This week on Connected:

Stephen was wrong, and Myke demands an apology before explaining what makes up dust. The FileMaker world is considered, then Federico explains why he thinks the pizza emoji is wrong. Lastly, Adobe and Palm are both in the news.

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The World’s Largest Apple Collection Needs a New Home »

Francois Murphy and Leonhard Foeger for Reuters:

Over the years since he began working for a company that repaired Apples in Vienna in the 1980s, Roland Borsky’s collection has grown to roughly 1,100 computers, he says – far more than the 472 items at Prague’s Apple Museum, which says it is the world’s biggest private collection of Apple products.

“Just as others collect cars and live in a little box to afford them, so it is with me,” he said in his office, which is so packed with dusty items like a wall of old monitors that he has moved most of them to a warehouse outside the city.

Borsky’s Mac repair shop has struggled since an Apple Store opened up in Vienna, and he is looking for places to show his collection to generate income, but may be forced to sell it all off. That’s a real shame, and I hope these machines find a good home.

Apple’s Forgotten iOS Apps »

Me, over on MacStories:

Apple has just about always offered iOS apps on the App Store, separate from what apps come bundled on its devices from the factory.

Sometimes, these apps get promoted to being part of the iOS image, like Podcasts and iBooks have. Once stuck hanging out on the App Store, they now ship on the iPhone and iPad by default.

A lot of other apps weren’t luck enough to get that lifeline, and have since been removed from the App Store. Let’s take a look at a few examples.

This is a weird, sad trip down memory lane.

Some 2018 MacBook Pros Showing Signs of Keyboard Failure »

Casey Johnston, writing about the newest MacBook Pro, which as a set of silicone membranes designed to keep dust and debris from killing the keyboard:

Every time I described the 2017 MacBook Pro I sold because I couldn’t stand its non-functional keyboard and asked an Apple store employee if the new one would screw me over the same way, each assured me that Apple had changed the keyboards so that that would never happen again. I described my issues with “dust” to one shop associate at the Apple Store at the World Trade Center and asked if the new computers were any better. “Yeah, yeah, they fixed that problem… it was a BIG problem,” she told me. “So it doesn’t happen at all?” I asked. “No, it shouldn’t happen,” she said. Maybe the bad days were finally over.

But checking around online, it appears the new keyboards have the same old issues. They may be delayed, but they happen nonetheless. The MacRumors forum has a long thread about the the “gen 3 butterfly keyboard” where users have been sharing their experiences since Apple updated the design. “How is everyone lse’s keyboard doing? I rplaced th first one because ‘E’ and ‘O’ gave double output. The replacment ither eats “E”, “O”, “I” and “T”, or doubles them,” wrote one poster. “I didn’t correct the typos above on purpose.”

My 2018 machine’s space bar got weird for a little while but has since cleared up. I am nervous, however, that this issue isn’t really gone.

Reduced Transparency in Mojave is Bad »

Craig Grannell, writing on something that has really been bothering me:

The standard macOS interface has quite a few semi-transparent elements, which like frosted glass provide a glimpse of what’s beneath them. At Apple events, execs go giddy about how pretty this is. In use, these elements vary from being distracting to outright dangerous. For example, if you have a motion-sickness issue and an animating web page is sitting behind a semi-transparent element, it can take a while before you realise it’s affecting you, by which time it’s too late and you’re already dizzy.

“Fine”, says Apple, grumpily, “so just turn on Reduce transparency”. Only it’s not that simple. Because when you do, Apple designers get in a strop and hurl logic out of the window. What you’d expect to happen is for macOS to remove the semi-transparent bits. So instead of Finder sidebars or the macOS app switcher showing what’s beneath them, they’d just have a neutral solid background. Nope. Instead, in its infinite wisdom, Apple’s decided those components should instead be coloured by your Desktop background.

You can see what he means by clicking through this gallery I made showing just how much the desktop background sets the tone for UI elements, even with reduced transparency enabled.

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If you use a photograph as your background, macOS samples the colors present to tint its UI elements. It can lead to some pretty awful-looking windows:

The old ways, sometimes, are just better.