Unite 4 →

My thanks to Unit 4 for sponsoring 512 Pixels this week.

Unite 4 for macOS allows you to turn any website into an app on your Mac. Using a lightweight, WebKit powered browser as a backend, you can easily create isolated, customizable apps from any site.

512 Pixels readers get 20% off this week when you purchase Unite 4 at bzgapps.com/unite512 or when you use the promo code ‘512Pixels’ at checkout.

You can also try Unite for 14 days absolutely free or use it as part of your subscription if you’re a Setapp subscriber!

Garage Door HomeKit, Take Two

Three years ago, I installed the Insignia Wi-Fi Garage Door Controller, which allowed me to check the status of my garage door — and control it — via HomeKit.

After that blog post was published, I heard from several people saying that they had done the same thing, just to be disappointed when the Insignia hardware failed on them within the first year or two of use.

I’m sad to say that the same thing happened to me, so for the last year or so, I’ve been opening my garage door with its old-school remote like an animal.

This issue was so widespread that Insignia has discontinued the product.

Recently, some folks in the Relay FM Member Discord were discussing a HomeKit garage door kit made by Meross. The company makes a wide-range of HomeKit-enabled gear, all of which seems to be well-liked so I spent the $50 for the kit.

Installation was pretty straight-forward. Unlike the Insignia, which had a module that attached to the garage door to work out its orientation, the Meross uses a set of small magnetic sensors to know when the door is closed. As the door opens and moves up the track, the sensors lose contact with each other, and the system knows that the door is open.

The stationary side of the sensor pair is hard-wired to the base unit, and doesn’t require separate power or batteries. I like the simplicity of that, even if it meant needing to run wire from the sensor back to the small base unit, which I mounted to the top of the garage door opener. My garage is unfinished, so it wasn’t a big deal with to run the wire, especially with Myke Hurley making sure my ladder didn’t move out from under me.

The other wiring required was to two terminals on the garage door opener itself. These terminals are also used for the wired button in the garage, so this was just a matter of backing the screw out on each terminal, then slipping the new wires into place. My opener is from the 90s, but didn’t give me any trouble during the installation.

The base unit plugs into power via USB-A and a small power brick. No batteries needed.

The opener requires the Meross app for set up and firmware updates, which isn’t a dealbreaker for me. It’s been shuttled off into the App Library forever, but now my garage door shows up in the Home app, right next to a bunch of other stuff around the house:

HomeKit Garage Door

Kbase Article of the Week: If You See a Cellular, Ultra Wideband, or Apple Pay Issue Message After an iOS Update or Restart →

Apple Support:

If one of these messages appears, iOS or iPadOS diagnostics detected an issue on your iPhone or iPad that might require repair.

Contact Apple Support if one of these messages appears on your iPhone or iPad:

  • Cellular Issue Detected
  • Ultra Wideband Issue Detected
  • Apple Pay Issue Detected

You might see these messages on the Home Screen or in Settings > General > About under Parts and Service History.

Sponsor: Unite 4 for macOS →

Unite 4 for macOS allows you to turn any website into an app on your Mac. Using a lightweight, WebKit powered browser as a backend, you can easily create isolated, customizable apps from any site.

Unite 4 includes dozens of new features, including support for native notifications, new customization options, and much more. Unite apps also serve as a great alternative for resource hogging Electron apps or half-baked Catalyst apps.

Some examples of apps you could create in mere minutes with Unite:

  • A Gmail web client that behaves like a native mail client.
  • A status bar app for Apple Music or Overcast
  • An isolated workspace for apps that may track you like Facebook
  • A Google Meet app that works efficiently without using Chrome
  • A fully featured Instagram app.
  • A Robinhood, Figma, or Roam Research app for your desktop.

512 Pixels readers get 20% off this week when you purchase Unite 4 at bzgapps.com/unite512 or when you use the promo code ‘512Pixels’ at checkout.

You can also try Unite for 14 days absolutely free or use it as part of your subscription if you’re a Setapp subscriber!

WALL-E Joining the Criterion Collection →

Tasha Robinson at Polygon with some good news about my favorite Pixar movie:

The home-video company Criterion announced Thursday that Pixar Animation Studios’ feature WALL-E will join the Criterion Collection in November, as the first Disney or Pixar movie to receive a Criterion release. The Criterion edition will be released Nov. 22, with pre-orders opening Oct. 18.

Criterion, a curation company that preserves, restores, and releases movies of particular cultural impact and importance from around the world, has almost no animated movies in its roster. WALL-E will join Watership Down, the French sci-fi film Fantastic Planet, and Wes Anderson’s stop-motion movie Fantastic Mr. Fox in the company’s limited animation lineup. In addition to being the company’s first Disney or Pixar film, WALL-E is the only CG animated film currently in the company’s library.

Magic Lasso Adblock →

My thanks to Magic Lasso Adblock for sponsoring 512 Pixels this week.

It’s a free and native Safari content blocker for your iPhone, iPad and Mac that’s been designed from the ground up to protect your privacy. And unlike some other ad blockers, Magic Lasso Adblock doesn’t accept payment from advertisers and is 100% supported by it’s community of users.

Download for free today via the Magic Lasso website, the App Store and Mac App Store.