The Initial Charge Linked List

 

macOS High Sierra ➝

Announced at yesterday’s keynote, macOS High Sierra will be available this fall and is compatible with all Macs that Sierra supports. The new operating system’s landmark features include Apple File System, support for HEVC (H.265 video), Metal 2, major improvements to Photos, and a privacy-focused Safari update.

I can’t believe they actually used the name “High Sierra”. During the announcement, I kept waiting for Craig Federighi to reveal the real name. Which, of course, never happened. I think they should have named it after one of the highest peaks in the Sierra Nevada — macOS Whitney sounds pretty good to me. Setting that aside, High Sierra looks like a solid release. It isn’t filled with a ton of whiz-bang-boom features, but it doesn’t have to. Desktop operating systems have reached the point in their lifecycle where they’re practically feature-complete. From here, refinement is the name of the game.

Magic Keyboard With Numeric Keypad ➝

A brand new, full-size keyboard from Apple. It features a numeric keypad and, most importantly, normal arrow keys. If I end up ordering one of the new 4K iMacs, I’m getting one of these to go with it.

Amazon Prime Video Coming to Apple TV Later This Year ➝

Credit to John Paczkowski for publishing this scoop early last month.

Pinboard Acquires Delicious ➝

Nick Heer:

A short history of Pinboard and Delicious, as told in four excerpts by ex-Yahoo/Delicious employee and now Pinboard lord and king, Maciej Cegłowski.

The last quote is absolute gold.

‘Fuck Facebook’ ➝

John Gruber, on Facebook’s policy of forbidding The Internet Archive from saving copies of posts:

The Internet Archive is our only good defense against broken links. Blocking them from indexing Facebook content is a huge “fuck you” to anyone who cares about the longevity of the stuff they link to.

Treat Facebook as the private walled garden that it is. If you want something to be publicly accessible, post it to a real blog on any platform that embraces the real web, the open one.

I’m with Gruber on this one. Facebook is the worst.

As an aside, there seems to be a lot of people extolling the importance of an open web lately and I couldn’t be happier about it. I hope this trend continues to grow.

Swift Playgrounds Expands Coding Education to New Devices ➝

From Apple’s press release:

Apple is working with leading device makers to make it easy to connect to Bluetooth-enabled robots within the Swift Playgrounds app, allowing kids to program and control popular devices, including LEGO MINDSTORMS Education EV3, the Sphero SPRK+, Parrot drones and more. The Swift Playgrounds 1.5 update will be available as a free download on the App Store beginning Monday, June 5.

Getting all the announcements that they couldn’t fit into the keynote out of the way.

The Essential Phone ➝

Chris Hannah, on Andy Rubin’s newly announced Essential Phone:

In principle I like the Essential phone, but I just can’t imagine myself switching to Android (this is a deeper problem I’ll expand upon in the future). I would of preferred it to run a separate operating system, but I do respect the amount of work that would take to build, not even thinking about the app ecosystem.

However it is a step in the right direction for Android phones, which I believe was started by the Google Pixel. In my mind, android phones were all about quantity, and not necessarily being the best devices. But it’s started to take a different course, and it’s only for the best.

I didn’t follow the news of the Essential Phone very closely. It’s one of the best-designed Android phones I’ve ever seen, but at the end of the day, it’s an Android phone.

Apple Begins Manufacturing Their Siri-Powered Smart Speaker ➝

Mark Gurman and Alex Webb, reporting for Bloomberg:

The iPhone-maker has started manufacturing a long-in-the-works Siri-controlled smart speaker, according to people familiar with the matter. Apple could debut the speaker as soon as its annual developer conference in June, but the device will not be ready to ship until later in the year, the people said.

The device will differ from Amazon.com Inc.’s Echo and Alphabet Inc.’s Google Home speakers by offering virtual surround sound technology and deep integration with Apple’s product lineup, said the people, who requested anonymity to discuss products that aren’t yet public.

I’m ecstatic at the idea of Apple announcing a new hardware product— it always makes for a great keynote. But unfortunately, their sources tell them that this smart speaker will not include a screen. Looks like my theory was wrong.

But the folks at Apple seem dismissive of voice-only devices. I expect this Siri-powered speaker to have tight integration with your iPhone and iPad — possibly displaying results on your lock screen when necessary.