macOS Catalina 10.15.7 »

The latest (and last?) version of Catalina is here with the following changes:

  • Resolves an issue where macOS would not automatically connect to Wi-Fi networks
  • Fixes an issue that could prevent files syncing through iCloud Drive
  • Addresses a graphic issue that may occur on iMac (Retina 5K, 27-inch, 2020) with Radeon Pro 5700 XT

Connected #313: Trojan Horse in My Phone »

This week:

Federico is using Base64 to make wallpapers, Myke’s iPad mini is out of space and Stephen is upset about Apple’s new GMT watch face. Also discussed: what iOS 14 is doing to our home screens and what others are doing with widgets.

My thanks to our sponsors:

  • Ahrefs: SEO Tools & Resources To Grow Your Search Traffic. Get a 7-day trial for just $7.
  • StoryWorth: Record your family stories. Get $10 off your first purchase.
  • Readdle: Essential productivity apps. iOS 14 ready.

On Widget Shaming 

iOS 14 and apps like Widgetsmith have unlocked a new world of iPhone home screen customization. Many of us on the nerdier side of things have been a bit surprised when seeing images like this, from 9to5Mac:

However surprised those in our community may have been, it’s clear that this is a big deal. How-to guides have not just shown up on tech blogs looking for some of that sweet SEO, but users are uploading videos and screenshots across TikTok, YouTube, Instagram and Twitter.

I think this is fantastic, and not just because David Smith is a friend of mine. It’s clear that iPhone users have wanted the ability to customize their home screens, and now that widgets are here in iOS 14, the dam has been broken.1

Not everyone is a fan of this. I’ve seen a bunch of tweets and even messages to Relay’s feedback email addresses bemoaning this new trend. It’s clear to me that some in the Apple world aren’t a fan of the #iOS14AestheticAF movement, and are complaining that these users are ruining what makes the iPhone great in their minds.

Which is ridiculous. Customization and expression has always been part of personal technology, from this, to MySpace, to putting an Apple sticker on your car, to even picking what brand of home computer you bought in the 1980s. People have always used technology to project something about themselves into the world — just like people do with tattoos, clothes, cars and more.

Another take is that this sort of customization is bad for Apple’s brand. I disagree with this point of view as well. Apple’s brand has become too sterile, and I think it could use more color and personality. This does that, and I genuinely think this sort of customization will only make people love their iPhones more, which is great for Apple.

While this may not be for you, complaining that people are going down this road is not a good look. We should welcome more customization and personalization of the technology we spend hours a day with. We should be excited that a developer like David has built something that has gone viral. We should encourage Apple to do more in these areas, and evoking the name of Steve Jobs or rolling one’s eyes at this is short-sighted at best, if not something much worse.


  1. Now do custom watch faces, Apple. 

Liftoff #133: The World’s Most Expensive WeWork »

This week on Liftoff:

The recent announcement of phosphine being detected in Venus’ atmosphere could have a major effect on future scientific missions, so Jason is excited about space blimps again. Then, Stephen walks through NASA’s most recent Artemis roadmap, and the guys discuss what the future of the program could look like if the White House changes hands next year.

It’s never aliens, but it always Congressional budgets.

My thanks to our sponsors:

  • Tuparev Technologies: Opportunities for Astronomy Masters or PhD students to work on tools for the 21st Century. Learn more now.
  • ExpressVPN: High-Speed, Secure & Anonymous VPN Service. Get an extra three months free.

Sponsor: TextExpander »

TextExpander removes the repetition out of work so you can focus on what matters most. Say goodbye to repetitive text entry, spelling and message errors, and trying to remember the right thing to say. TextExpander can be used in any platform, any app, anywhere you type.

Supercharge your team with the power of TextExpander. Your team can do more with the same resources: Less repetition, fewer errors, and greater consistency will have your team feeling like they’ve hopped off a bicycle and into a Ferrari.

Take your time back and increase your productivity. 512 Pixels readers get 20% off their first year.

Mac Power Users #554: Read-it-later Services »

This week on MPU:

Read-it-later services can be a great way to save and enjoy an article later, away from the noise of social media or an overflowing RSS client. This week, David and Stephen talk about some of the popular choices, and how to keep them from becoming just another thing to check. Then, a recap of Apple’s recent media event.

My thanks to our sponsors:

  • MarsEdit: Powerful web publishing from your Mac. Get 20% off.
  • Squarespace: Make your next move. Enter offer code MPU at checkout to get 10% off your first purchase.
  • 1Password: Have you ever forgotten a password? You don’t have to worry about that anymore.
  • eero: The WiFi every home deserves. Get your eero delivered with free next day shipping.

Sidequest for Slack »

Meet the missing task tracker for Slack, named Sidequest.

Sidequest allows your team members to create tasks either for themselves, each other, or as a team task in public or private Slack channels. As soon as a task has been created, Sidequest turns into a single point of truth, so everyone is always on the same page regarding the task at hand, its history and its status.

To support National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, Sidequest pledges to donate 50% of your subscription fees until the end of 2020 to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Start tracking your tasks in Slack and support St. Jude with Sidequest.

My thanks to Sidequest for sponsoring 512 Pixels this week.

Apple Pushes iOS, iPadOS 14.2 Betas »

You may be thinking, “What happened to iOS 14.1?”

My theory is that the new iPhones will ship with iOS 14.1, and in that codebase Apple may be hiding new phone-specific goodies, and 14.2 will come along afterwards and re-unify everything.

It wouldn’t be the first time Apple’s done something like this. Here’s Jason Snell, back in 2010:

On Monday, Apple released iOS 4.2, a free software update that brings the features of iOS 4—including multitasking, fast app switching, and a unified mail inbox—to the iPad for the first time. We had a chance to use the update, which also adds the new AirPrint and AirPlay features to all compatible devices, for a few days: here’s a first look.

[…]

Despite the presence of AirTunes and AirPrint, the big story of iOS 4.2 is really that it brings the features of iOS 4 to the iPad for the first time. The iPad shipped on April 3, but only five days later Apple announced iOS 4.0, which shipped two months later. For the intervening five months, the iPad has been a full step behind the rest of Apple’s iOS devices. On Monday, that ends, and the iPad and iPhone will be running the same version of iOS for the very first time.

I may be wrong about iOS 14.1, but like everything else this year, this is wild and fun to talk about. It could be that we’ll see 14.1 in a few days as a regular bug-fix release, in which case this post will not age well.