02 Oct

Macworld – The App Culture

Apple getting serious about app security is a good thing. Unfortunately, many of the apps we Mac users have come to know and love over the years require a broad amount of access to the system for a lot of their key functions. Not as much as SuperDuper, say, but still quite a lot. What I’m hearing from some Mac developers is that they may actually have to remove features from their apps, or reduce their functionality, in order to fit them inside Apple’s new sandbox. (For more on this topic, read Andy Ihnatko’s take.)

Not only does this approach risk turning the Mac App Store into a wasteland of arcade games and one-trick-pony apps, it risks dumbing down the Mac app ecosystem as a whole. While developers can always opt out of the Mac App Store, they’re reluctant to do so. Not only are they afraid that Apple will one day make new Macs unable to run apps that don’t come from the App Store, but they realize that if their competitors are in the Mac App Store, they risk losing sales. It’s generally too expensive to develop two separate versions of an app, so the net result of tighter App Store restrictions could be that Mac apps everywhere—on and off the store—will actually become less powerful.

That’s the wrong direction for Apple to take the Mac. Here’s hoping Apple finds a way to keep our Macs secure, while allowing OS X apps to remain as powerful and innovative as they’ve been over the last decade. Mac users deserve both security and power—and the Mac App Store should be a showcase for the very best that Mac software developers have to offer.

via Macworld – The App Culture. This was the largest fear with Lion, and Apple has yet to respond in a way that alleviates people’s fears for such apps that need a higher level of access that it appears that Apple will allow.

22 Jun

GitHub – Announcing GitHub for Mac

Pull requests, merge button, fork queue, issues, pages, wiki –– all awesome features that make sharing easier. But those things are only great after you’ve pushed your code to GitHub.

Today we’re happy to announce GitHub for Mac.

via GitHub – Announcing GitHub for Mac. It’s very nice looking and does a fair bit of abstraction towards the intricacy of dealing with Git on a daily basis. Should be an awesome tool for people who need to use a version control system but aren’t sure how to use Git. GitHub for Mac also uses the wonderful open source project Chamelon, which lets you build an app that targets the Mac and iOS devices with the same code base.

03 Feb

Wolfire Games Blog – Counterfeit Lugaru on Apple’s App Store (developing)

This is a kind of software fraud we’ve never even heard of: a pirate simply downloading the app and resubmitting it to the same distribution channel at a lower price. We immediately emailed Apple explaining the situation, expecting them to quickly investigate the situation, shut down the fraudulent app, and follow up with us. We started this process a few days ago, and haven’t heard back from Apple yet.

via Wolfire Games Blog – Counterfeit Lugaru on Apple’s App Store (developing). Wow that’s interesting and a pretty blatant breaking of trademark/copyright.

30 Jan

Mike Cane’s xBlog – Windows 7: The Best iPad Seller!

So today I had to help someone set up some things on a new Windows 7 notebook.

This is a notebook mainly used for casual offline game-playing.

Until today.

When it had to get on the Internet.

And really, the Internet tasks it will do are ordinary things: email and some online game-playing.

Here is some of what I had to go through with this Windows 7 notebook:

via Mike Cane’s xBlog – Windows 7: The Best iPad Seller!. One of the reasons I moved to a Mac was I spent less time doing maintenance to do what I actually wanted to do, I just do it now.

14 Jan

Manton Reece – App Store 30% cut

The massively-popular Camera+ from Tap Tap Tap sold 78,000 copies on Christmas day, but no one else I know sees numbers like that. My own $10 Tweet Library fell a little short of 1000 copies in its first launch month… and unfortunately continued to drop since, but let’s use that to keep the math simple. Selling direct via PayPal would be $590 in fees. To Apple? About $3000.

Apple provides a unique service and it’s their right to charge whatever they want. Developers can choose to pay it or restrict development to more open platforms. I’m inclined to think the 30% is high but not unreasonable for everything Apple hopes to provide.

But here’s where everything breaks down: for $3000 I expect someone at Apple to tell me what the $%!# is going on.

It’s not just review times, or emails that go into the void, unanswered for days or weeks or ever. It’s that Apple isn’t able to communicate about the fundamental issues that will make or break businesses.

via Manton Reece – App Store 30% cut. That’s a ginormous difference in fees, especially with the complaint of not knowing anything about anything.

11 Jan

Signal vs. Noise – There is no place for just shitting all over other people’s work

That’s the byline for Read the fucking HIG, a blog that pretends to expose apps in the Mac App Store which violate Apple’s Human Interface Guidelines. Let’s talk about what it really is: a anonymous coward’s collection of flippant, vulgar, and vicious rants directed at the result of other people’s hard work.

Designers want to assert that they’re more than just window dressers. The design community is full of cries that clients don’t understand our UI designs are carefully crafted user experiences built by caring professionals who rely on their experience, taste, guidelines, research, and testing to champion the user.

But here we have a blog by someone who seems to care about good design making juvenile comments about how ugly these apps are—based only on screenshots. That’s right, “Read the fucking HIG” doesn’t even bother to download and use the apps (well, unless they’re free). A screenshot in the App Store is all that’s needed to determine what is utter shit unworthy of the Mac App Store, really, of existing at all.

via Signal vs. Noise – There is no place for just shitting all over other people’s work. That’s a really good point and one that parallels my point regarding political debates. Vitriol isn’t helpful, valid criticism is.

08 Jan

Daring Fireball – Uniformity vs. Individuality in Mac UI Design

There’s a conservative/liberal sort of fork in UI design, in the sense of traditional/non-traditional. The conservatives see non-standard custom UI elements as wrong. Liberals see an app built using nothing other than standard system UI elements as boring, old-fashioned, stodgy.

“This is non-standard” criticisms will thus generate one of two responses. “Agreed, that’s wrong” say the conservatives. “So what?” say the liberals.

“This isn’t good design” criticisms, however, if accurate, are the sort of thing most designers ought to agree with, regardless of their position on the conservative/liberal UI design spectrum. The problem is that once you see that a certain piece of UI criticism is coming from someone at a distant position from yours on the conservative/liberal design spectrum, there’s a natural tendency to close your mind and discount everything they say.

via Daring Fireball – Uniformity vs. Individuality in Mac UI Design. I’m in the fence about this, certain elements should retain their conformity for ease of use by users. Order of of the maximize, minimize and close buttons on Mac applications is a good one that if changed defeats a lot of muscle memory and thus issues for end users, or system wide shortcuts. That being said applications should have the ability to change their design if it works.

07 Jan

Panic Blog – Panic on the Mac App Store

PS: If you’re a current customer, there’s no way to convert a previous purchase into a Mac App Store purchase — that requires a re-buy. But remember, what you have now will continue to work just fine.

UPDATE: The Mac App Store may show software bought from us previously as “Installed”, even though they’re two different licenses. You will not get Mac App Store auto-updates unless you purchase from the Mac App Store. To re-enable the “Purchase” button in the Mac App Store, just drag the app to the trash and empty your trash. Your preferences/sites will not be affected.

via Panic Blog – Panic on the Mac App Store. The Mac App Store opened up today and Panic is all on there. One of the big questions was regarding previous purchase of software, if it would still work, would we get the automatic updates and perhaps most importantly could we somehow just import our licenses from the company to Apple. Answers seem to be yes, no and most certainly not. The other big thing, 20 bucks (or even more) is hard to fork over for an app that all you get are some screenshots to preview it.

17 Oct

The Typekit Blog – Type rendering: operating systems

As we dig into type rendering on the web, we’ll begin by looking at text rendering engines. We are all familiar with operating systems like Windows and Mac OS X, but within each OS are smaller, specialized components available for use by applications like web browsers. APIs such as Core Text on Mac OS X, and DirectWrite and GDI on Windows, are examples of these components and are responsible for rasterizing fonts’ vector outlines. Let’s examine screenshots of web type as rendered by each of these APIs, and talk about the application independence of rendering engines.

via The Typekit Blog – Type rendering: operating systems. How does type get rendered on Macs (also iOS devices) and Windows and what is each platform aiming for?

28 Mar

IE8, Safari 4, Firefox 3, iPhone fall on day 1 of Pwn2Own – Ars Technica

The first day of the annual Pwn2Own contest in which security researchers can win cash and hardware if they successfully compromise machines using zero-day exploits is finished. Internet Explorer 8 on Windows 7, Firefox 3 on Windows 7, Safari 4 on Mac OS X 10.6, and iPhone OS 3 were all compromised during the competition. Google's Chrome was the only browser left standing—and in fact, was completely untested. None of the researchers at the competition even tried to attack Chrome.

via IE8, Safari 4, Firefox 3, iPhone fall on day 1 of Pwn2Own. If you are making browser decisions based purely upon security, Chrome looks like the way to go at the moment.