Connected #175: The Devil on my Shoulder »

Connected is back:

2018 is here, and so is Stephen’s new computer and our predictions for the next year. Also, CES is a thing.

My thanks to our sponsors for this week’s episode:

  • Linode: High performance SSD Linux servers for all of your infrastructure needs. Get a $20 credit with promo code ‘connected2018’
  • Squarespace: Make your next move. Enter offer code WORLD at checkout to get 10% off your first purchase.
  • MissionU: An education for the 21st century

RSS Sponsor: CardioBot »

Your Apple Watch measures your heart rate every 4 minutes during the day. With CardioBot, you can easily understand the data captured by the Apple Watch so you can improve your lifestyle and discover notable patterns.

RIP, John Young »

Late last week, American astronaut and all-around badass John Young passed away at the age of 87.

Young’s 42-year career at NASA is unique; he flew two Gemini missions, served as the command module pilot on Apollo 10 then walked on the moon as part of Apollo 16.

In 1973, he was named Chief of the Space Shuttle Branch of the Astronaut Office and was then promoted to Chief of the Astronaut Office a year later.

In 1981, he commanded the maiden flight of the space shuttle aboard Columbia. The shuttle was too complex to be flown uncrewed; the first test flight required two astronauts to put their lives on the line. The flight went smoothly, and Young made history again by the being the first person to land the space shuttle back on Earth.

Two years later, Young was the commander for STS-9, the shuttle mission that carried the first Spacelab module to orbit.

After the Challenger disaster in 1986, Young was publicly critical of NASA management. He wouldn’t fly another mission, and was assigned the roll of assistant director of Engineering, Operations and Safety at Johnson Space Center. He remained in management at JSC until his retirement.

Development of Transmit for iOS Ended »

Cabel Sasser at Panic, announcing that their FTP client for iOS is coming to an end:

Transmit iOS made about $35k in revenue in the last year, representing a minuscule fraction of our overall 2017 app revenue. That’s not enough to cover even a half-time developer working on the app. And the app needs full-time work — we’d love to be adding all of the new protocols we added in Transmit 5, as well as some dream features, but the low revenue would render that effort a guaranteed money-loser. Also, paid upgrades are still a matter of great debate and discomfort in the iOS universe, so the normally logical idea of a paid “Transmit 2 for iOS” would be unlikely to help. Finally, the new Files app in iOS 10 overlaps a lot of file-management functionality Transmit provides, and feels like a more natural place for that functionality. It all leads to one hecka murky situation.

Was the use case for this app too edge-casey or advanced? Did we overestimate the amount of file management people want to do on a portable device? Should we have focused more on document viewing capabilities? Maybe all of the above?

Here’s David Sparks on the matter:

For a few years now Panic has made public statements about how little income they’re making off their pro-level iOS apps, and I really can’t blame them for pulling Transmit if it is losing them money.

What is even more upsetting is that an app of the calibre of Transmit for iOS is a financial failure and none of us are much surprised. There are so many iPads and iPhones out in the world. Granted not everyone will need a world-class file sharing app, but enough should need it that an app like Transmit for iOS can flourish.

Sparks goes on to discuss the App Store ecosystem and its possible role in Transmit’s demise, and I think he’s right. Mac software titles can — and do — demand higher prices than on iOS. Clearly in this case, that wasn’t sustainable.

At MacStories, John Voorhees took a more optimistic approach:

I’m sad to see Transmit go. It’s a loss for the platform, but I don’t think it’s a bad omen for ‘pro’ iOS productivity apps in general. Transmit failed to get the traction necessary to sustain its further development, but there are still many examples of productivity apps that have found success on the App Store. Hopefully, Panic will find a way to bring Transmit back to iOS one day.

With apologies to John, I can’t help but see this is a bad omen for the iOS productivity scene. An FTP client may not be as exciting as whatever the hot GTD app of the year may be, but it’s the type of app that signals stability. FTP clients are used by nerds, and I don’t think many nerds are using iOS as their primary devices.1

This certainly puts a real dent in some of my workflows. Every time I need to move an edited podcast from Dropbox to our host and I’m on the go, I’ve been able to do it with Transmit. There are other ways to get this done on iOS, but Panic’s way was the best. Losing best-in-class apps isn’t good for any platform.


  1. I am real close to two of them, but many of us still prefer the Mac. A lack of a super polished FTP app isn’t going to help things. 

Mac Power Users #412: Stephen Hackett Returns »

I joined Katie and David on this week’s episode of Mac Power Users to catch up on my work at Relay FM and here on 512 Pixels. I walked through my studio setup and talk a little bit about my decision to purchase a 2017 iMac instead of the iMac Pro.

Since the time we recorded this episode, I decided that the 2017 iMac didn’t work for me due to its tendency to spin up its single fan under even moderate workload. I’m going to be writing more about it this week1 but I returned it and picked up a base model iMac Pro. It’s very pretty and very powerful and I love it already. More soon on those points.


  1. It’s already in the show notes for Tuesday’s Connected, too. 

Apple Addresses Meltdown and Spectre »

Apple:

Security researchers have recently uncovered security issues known by two names, Meltdown and Spectre. These issues apply to all modern processors and affect nearly all computing devices and operating systems. All Mac systems and iOS devices are affected, but there are no known exploits impacting customers at this time. Since exploiting many of these issues requires a malicious app to be loaded on your Mac or iOS device, we recommend downloading software only from trusted sources such as the App Store. Apple has already released mitigations in iOS 11.2, macOS 10.13.2, and tvOS 11.2 to help defend against Meltdown. Apple Watch is not affected by Meltdown. In the coming days we plan to release mitigations in Safari to help defend against Spectre. We continue to develop and test further mitigations for these issues and will release them in upcoming updates of iOS, macOS, tvOS, and watchOS.

The Case of the Unattached AppleCare 

I recently bought a new computer, and picked up AppleCare+ for it. The process of covering the serial number with the warranty is known as “attachment.” The vast majority of the time, this process is seamless and fast, but I’ve been around the block a few times, so today, I ran my computer’s serial number through Apple’s “Check Coverage” tool to double-check that everything was in order.

Everything was not in order:

According to Apple, this computer was just covered by the limited warranty, despite my receipt showing otherwise:

I called up AppleCare support, who put me in touch with the AppleCare Agreement Administration team. The woman who was put on my case was extremely helpful. She is currently looking into the situation and I should be good to go in just a few days. I expect this to be over by the time she calls me back on Tuesday.

Like I said, this is a rare occurrence; I was honestly a little surprised when the Check Coverage tool came back mismatching my receipt. Still, if you buy AppleCare with a new device or computer, it may not be a bad idea to double-check your coverage a week or so after purchase.

On the iMac Pro’s T2 Chip »

Jason Snell at Macworld:

I’ve spent the last week with Apple’s new iMac Pro, and in most ways it’s just a faster Mac. It’s the first pro Mac desktop in over three years and the fastest Mac yet made, granted, but still entirely familiar. And yet in many ways—some noticeable, some entirely invisible—this new Mac is completely different from all past Mac models.

The iMac Pro may be an outlier today, but in the future we’ll probably look back on it as the start of a new era for the Mac, all because of the Apple-built T2 chip it carries inside. Here’s how the T2 makes this iMac Pro unlike all other Macs.