Tag Archive for ‘Stephen Hackett’

G4 Cube Is the Mac Madness Champion ➝

I hadn’t been following Mac Madness to closely, but I can’t for the life of me understand how the G4 iMac and 12-inch PowerBook were eliminated so early. If I didn’t know the results, I would have expected those two machines to meet in the finals. Either way, I never would have guess the G4 Cube would have been the winner.

➝ Source: 512pixels.net

The Black MacBook ➝

A neat little video from Stephen Hackett discussing the black MacBook. I remember when these came out and wanted one desperately. But in the end, I wasn’t willing to spend the extra $150 just for the black casing and ended up with the white model instead.

It was an excellent machine and served me well for about five years before I purchased an 11-inch MacBook Air to replace it.

➝ Source: youtube.com

App Store Today Editorial Stories Are Now Available on the Web ➝

Benjamin Mayo, writing for 9 to 5 Mac:

Apple has recently updated its App Store Preview pages for stories to allow users to view the full content of stories from inside their desktop web browser. App Store stories have always been shareable as links, but the web version was just a title and a navigation link to ‘open this story in the App Store’.

Between August 9th and August 11th, Apple has upgraded the experience and now includes full imagery, app lists and paragraphs copy in the web version. This means you can access the same content online as you would be ale to find in the native App Store experience.

A big step in the right direction. Maybe they’ll add RSS feeds next.

(Via Stephen Hackett.)

How to Set Up Time Machine Server ➝

Stephen Hackett:

It used to be that to run a Time Machine Server, you needed to be running a copy of macOS Server on your host machine, but those days are now gone. Anyone running High Sierra or later on a Mac can now turn that Mac into a destination for remote machines to use for Time Machine.

Say you have a Mac mini on your network, and a MacBook Pro. You can hook up an USB hard drive to that Mac mini, and within a few minutes, be backing your MacBook Pro up across your network using Time Machine.

Saved for future reference, when I eventually retire our Time Capsule and buy an Eero kit.

The Case for an ePad ➝

Stephen Hackett:

What would it mean for Apple to make an ePad?

Making the tablet more rugged would be at the top of the list for a lot of educators. I’ve heard numbers all over the place when it comes to accidental damage rates for deployed iPads in schools, but making an ePad that could take more abuse would be a winner in most people’s books, I’m sure. […]

Apple should also reconsider its keyboard strategy. I don’t know if taking a page out of the education-only eMate 300 and going with a built-in keyboard is the right answer for every school, so in this fantasy, let’s say every ePad can support an external keyboard via the Smart Connector, but perhaps there could be a SKU that came with a keyboard built into the device more directly. It should still fold flat out of the way when not needed, granting greater flexibility than the traditional notebook form factor.

An inexpensive, education-only iPad that’s built to withstand some punishment sounds like a compelling product. I expect there’s a lot of school districts that would reconsider their hardware choices if such a device existed.

Pondering an iPhone SE 2 ➝

Stephen Hackett:

I don’t think the market for the iPhone SE is very big, but I bet it’s bigger than Apple thought it would be a couple of years ago. I know many SE users are devoted to having the most compact smartphone they can, and I think Apple should continue to serve that market.

If Apple does announce an iPhone SE 2 this spring, my wife will be first in line to purchase on day one. She’s a huge fan of the compact form factor and prefers the less-slippery, harder edges of the 5S-era design. And of course, having a smartphone that actually fits in her jeans pocket is a plus.

In terms of what to expect in such a device, I’m thinking an A10 Fusion chip, a glass back for wireless charging, and the single-lens camera system from the iPhone 7.

Considering Apple’s Fall Event Schedule ➝

Stephen Hackett thinks there will only be one fall event this year from Apple. I disagree. I think there’s far too much to cover in a single event. Three new iPhones, an on-stage game demo built on ARKit, the 4K Apple TV, an Amazon Prime Video app demo, an updated Apple Watch with built-in LTE, a more concrete release date for the HomePod, as well as recaps of iOS 11, watchOS 4, and High Sierra. Maybe they can pack it all into a single event, but I wouldn’t bet on it.

Home Screens and Linen

iPad Home Screen with Linen Wallpaper

I’m quite finicky about my home screen organization. I often sit down for an hour (or more) with one of my iOS devices, alongside paper and pen, to further perfect my home screen layout strategy. It’s silly, I’m sure, but I care very deeply about optimizing my home screen layout in an effort to place each icon in just the right location. I want the apps I use most to be quickly accessible and I prefer layouts that maintain contrast between adjacent icons.

iOS 11’s newly designed Dock, as well as the drag and drop feature, has proved difficult for me to wrap my head around from a home screen layout perspective. I’ve had the beta installed for a month and I still haven’t honed in on a layout that I’m comfortable with.

The Dock, being able to hold more icons in iOS 11, has me wanting to place every app I can within it, but without adding a folder or two, I can’t use it to access all of the apps I use regularly. Placing apps in a folder feels like I’m introducing too much friction between me and my applications.

But iOS 11’s drag and drop feature being the only means of opening multiple apps side-by-side gives everything in the Dock a huge advantage compared to the apps on my home screen. Swiping up for the dock and dragging an application in for multitasking is leaps and bounds easier than having to revert back to the home screen to find the app you want to multitask with. Not to mention the jarring context change in doing so.

At this moment, I still haven’t figured out a great organizational strategy for my app icons. The setup I’m currently working with is heavily based upon my previous strategy — three rows with five icons each and my Dock filled with my most used apps. It’s serviceable and the additional five icons that I’ve placed in the Dock certainly has me feeling more productive.

But I feel like there’s something better out there. Something that would allow me quick access to all of the apps I use most without adding too much friction when multitasking. Something that won’t make some apps feel like second-class citizens because they’ve been relegated to the home screen or hidden within a folder. Perhaps this just isn’t possible without Apple making more changes at the system level. I’m not sure what those changes could be, but until that time I guess I’ll have to settle for the setup I’m using now.

As a bit of an aside, I first mentioned my iOS 11 home screen woes when I linked to Stephen Hackett’s collection of macOS wallpapers. I was hoping that I could come up with a system for my app icons that would allow me to use a busier home screen wallpaper — like one from Stephen’s collection. I had been using simple gradient wallpapers to prevent the text below each icon from clashing with the background.

Unfortunately, as I mentioned above, I haven’t been able to do that. I’m currently using the default wallpaper from El Capitan on my lock screen, but I put something neat together for my home screen that adds just enough visual interest without clashing with the app icon names — Apple’s linen texture.

Linen Wallpapers

Apple Linen

The linen texture was first introduced in iOS 4 and eventually found its way to the Mac with OS X Lion. Apple may have overused the texture during its peak and it often appeared in odd locations, but I’ve always been fond of it. And I felt that it was the perfect backdrop for my application icons.

If you’re feeling a little nostalgic, the wallpaper is available in several resolutions to best fit the device you’re using it on.

For iPhone:

For iPad:

For Mac:

If you’re using the macOS version, make sure to go into the Desktop & Screen Saver preference pane and set it to “Tile”, otherwise you’ll have a stretched mess for a background.

Update 11/3/17: Added an iPhone X variant to the collection.

Update 6/20/19: Added iPhone XR, XS Max, and 11-inch iPad Pro.

Update 9/29/19: Added 10.2-inch iPad Pro.

Update 2/20/21: Added iPhone 12 models and iPad Air (4th-generation).