Josh Centers, writing for TidBits:
The Apple TV app on the Apple TV is currently the bane of my existence. In theory, it should be a tidy way to manage everything you watch, bringing together content from Apple, Disney+, HBO, Hulu, and other streaming services (but still not Netflix, for some reason), plus live news and even sports. It sort of does that, but over time, Apple has started using the app to push the company’s own paid content, especially its Apple TV+ service.
Josh explains how to adjust the TV app’s settings to display your up next list in the top shelf instead of recommendations. This is an absolutely essential change — everyone that owns an Apple TV should have it set that way. It helps to mitigate some of the frustration with Apple promoting content that you may or may not have access to from within the Apple TV app itself. You can simply launch directly into your content from the top shelf extension. But I still wish you had the option to limit the media in the Apple TV app to only show what you already pay for. I don’t expect that will ever be added, though.
It’s becoming clear that Apple is more than happy promoting their services through apps like Apple TV. And because of this, I’ve slowly moved away from using Apple’s apps and services toward alternatives. For most of my TV and movie viewing, I use Infuse, which streams content from my Plex library. That library is populated with ripped DVDs, Blu-rays, iTunes content that I’ve stripped the DRM from, and media I’ve recording using Plex’s DVR functionality. It’s a much nicer setup and I don’t have to worry about whether or not I’ll need to pay in order to watch something listed.
I still pay for Hulu and Disney+, but I’m watching less and less there. I sort of hope I can eventually reallocate the money I currently spend on streaming services toward purchasing media instead. Canceling these recurring charges would feel pretty freeing and I have a hunch I will end up saving money in the long run — especially since I tend to rewatch the same dozen or so TV shows most of the time.
The Unofficial Apple Archive:
Dedicated to the unsung studio designers, copywriters, producers, ADs, CDs, and everyone else who creates wonderful things.
Dedicated to those who stayed up late and got up early to get on the family iMac to recreate event slides in Keynote.
I could spend hours browsing this site.
This is a brilliant feature in a podcast client. If Castro offered iPad support, I’d seriously consider switching from Overcast. I would love to see this go a bit further, though. A little known feature of YouTube is the ability to subscribe to individual channels by RSS. Wouldn’t it be slick if you could subscribe to a YouTube channel within a podcast client to listen to audio versions of each new video?
My immediate thought is that Apple’s unreliable keyboards are finally catching up with them. I sure hope they swiftly update the rest of their laptop line with the new scissor switch keyboards to help keep this decline from getting out of hand.
Marco Arment makes the case again for low power mode on macOS. He points out that Turbo Boost Switcher Pro, which he has been using as a sort-of makeshift low power mode, uses a kernel extension that won’t be usable in a future versions of macOS.
I use Screens to manage our home server remotely from my iPhone, iPad, and MacBook Air. It’s an excellent piece of software and is my favorite VNC app by far. I just discovered that the app supports URL schemes, which means you can launch directly into a saved screen through an automation app like Shortcuts.
I setup a shortcut that is saved to my home screen with two actions:
screens://[name of home server]
That’s it. Now I can tap on the shortcut and access our home server without having to select it from Screens’ interface.
Adam Engst points out the three remaining uses of the word Macintosh from Apple — the default name of each Mac’s boot drive, within the about screen for Finder, and on the back of the iMac’s retail box.
Apple hasn’t really used the term “Macintosh” in any meaningful way during my time using their products (since roughly 2004). But it is a great name and I would love to see Apple use it again. Imagine them introducing a new desktop Mac that sits between the Mac Mini and the Mac Pro with the name “Macintosh”. That would be neat.
Benjamin Mayo, alongside a video where he shows the problems with iOS 13’s text selection:
In the WWDC 2019 presentation, Craig Federighi praised the new UI for text selection, saying “there’s no need to double tap and no magnifying glass getting in your way”. I remember doing a double-take when he said it because that’s not really true at all. The magnifying glass was a convenience, rather than annoyance. Getting rid of it sounded like it would be exactly the wrong thing to do, especially as there was no alternative UI affordance to fulfil its purpose.
The text selection system in iOS 13 is absolute garbage. I can never tell if I have my selection point at the right place because my finger is always in the way. This is especially irritating when you’re dealing with more precise selections, for example, when you’re ending your selection between a punctuation mark (like a period’ and a small character (like a lowercase L or I).
The loop is an essential piece of the text selection interface and the refinement is almost exclusively a massive step backward. I hope they revert this change in a future update. Or at the very least give us the option to re-enable it in settings.
(Via JF Martin.)