The real secrets of iOS and accessibility – Six Colors:

There’s a joke I tell a lot: if you encounter an article whose headline includes the words “secret features” and “iOS”, chances are you’re about to be taken on a whirlwind tour of your phone’s accessibility settings. “Did you know you could….?” Or. “Buried deep in iOS settings, you’ll find…”

Truth is, these aren’t secret features at all; they’re just unfamiliar to people whose eyes, ears and hands operate in a typical way. And these “secrets” are rarely written about, even in comprehensive coverage of iOS. “Invisible” might be a more honest way to describe these tools.

Apple’s products make Accessibility a first-class feature, though often below the bar of easy discoverability.

Cryptex: how a custom iPhone is changing macOS updates – The Eclectic Light Company:

Big Sur brought us the immutable boot volume, signed and sealed, with the SSV. This makes it almost impossible for malicious software to change anything in the System, as it’s a snapshot with every last bit verified using its tree of hashes. Its downside is that making wanted changes to update macOS or any components on the SSV is cumbersome: changes have to be written to the System volume, a snapshot made, the tree of hashes rebuilt and verified against Apple’s setting for that build of macOS, and macOS rebooted from the new snapshot.

Initially, the solution for apps like Safari, security data such as that for XProtect, and other components like Rosetta 2 that need to be installed separately from macOS, was to store them on the Data volume, where they can only be protected by SIP. That’s how Big Sur and Monterey worked, but this started to change in late versions of Monterey (in 12.6.1, if not before), and Ventura, with the introduction of the cryptex.

Cryptexes first appeared on Apple’s customised iPhone, its Security Research Device, which uses them to load a personalised trust cache and a disk image containing corresponding content. Without the cryptex, engineering those iPhones would have been extremely difficult.

MarsEdit 5 – Powerful web publishing from your Mac.:

Browser-based interfaces are slow, clumsy, and require you to be online just to use them. Web browsers are wonderful for reading articles, but not for creating them. If you’re writing for the web, you need a desktop blog editor. And if you’re lucky enough to have a Mac, nothing is more powerful, or more elegant than MarsEdit.

Marsedit is such a great app for interacting with weblogs. On every other platform I’ve touched – Windows, Linux, even iOS and iPadOS – I have searched for something similar, or even close, and fallen short.

My only wish in relation to this is that there was an iOS/iPadOS version so I can keep up my workflow across my more personal devices. It would be an insta-buy for me, and I’m sure many others.

Neuromancer: Miles Teller Eyed For New Apple+ Sci-Fi Series: Exclusive – The Illuminerdi:

Daring Fireball: Report: Amazon Alexa Is a ‘Colossal Failure’ on Pace to Lose $10 Billion This Year:

The thing about Siri is that it was always at heart about making Apple’s platforms more accessible. Siri is there to make iPhones, iPads, Macs, Apple TVs, Apple Watches, and even AirPods better. And Apple isn’t losing money on any of those. Siri will serve the same purpose on future platforms from Apple, too. Apple’s investments in Siri are part and parcel investments in their OS strategy for everything they make.

org2blog vs MarsEdit

September 20, 2022

I’ll probably update this post over time as I do more work with both…

I’ve loved MarsEdit for years as the best blog editor, through generational shifts in what blogging meant and how it fit into the landscape. It is, however, a Mac only tool, which in itself isn’t bad but it doesn’t include iPad or iPhone… And it doesn’t expose it’s moving parts to be extended (I’d love to know how to make emacs the external editor for marsedit for example.)

org2blog as an extension of orgmode makes it unique, as it leverages a format and style I adore, and uses barely marked up plaintext… So I’ll be seeing if I can make Shortcuts which can take a subtree or orgmode file and post to WordPress out of band from emacs itself.

In-app browsers that act as keyloggers – Six Colors:

Krause’s tool lets anyone investigate what might be leaking through in-app browsers. Apps that use Apple’s SafariViewController are all pretty safe, but apps like TikTok, Instagram, Facebook Messenger, and Facebook are using their own in-app browsers that modify pages with JavaScript.

TikTok, in particular, is monitoring all keyboard inputs and taps. “From a technical perspective, this is the equivalent of installing a keylogger on third party websites,” Krause writes.

Any program that forces me to use the in-app browser gets deleted by me.

via Six Colors

New Google site begs Apple for mercy in messaging war | Ars Technica:

Google’s version of RCS—the one promoted on the website with Google-exclusive features like optional encryption—is definitely proprietary, by the way. If this is supposed to be a standard, there’s no way for a third-party to use Google’s RCS APIs right now. Some messaging apps, like Beeper, have asked Google about integrating RCS and were told there’s no public RCS API and no plans to build one. Google has an RCS API already, but only Samsung is allowed to use it because Samsung signed some kind of partnership deal.

If you want to implement RCS, you’ll need to run the messages through some kind of service, and who provides that server? It will probably be Google. Google bought Jibe, the leading RCS server provider, in 2015. Today it has a whole sales pitch about how Google Jibe can “help carriers quickly scale RCS services, iterate in short cycles, and benefit from improvements immediately.” So the pitch for Apple to adopt RCS isn’t just this public-good nonsense about making texts with Android users better; it’s also about running Apple’s messages through Google servers. Google profits in both server fees and data acquisition.

Finally, RCS as a messaging platform just isn’t that good. The end result of a 2008 standard with a bunch of extra features slapped onto it is still sub-par compared to platforms like iMessage, WhatsApp, Signal, or Telegram. Other than Google being desperate for one of the few messaging solutions it hasn’t exhausted with mismanagement, there’s no clear argument for why RCS is worth this effort. In the dreamworld utopia where Apple wants to work with Google and Samsung on a message standard, those three companies working together could do much better than a neglected carrier messaging standard.

The Apple Store Time Machine:

It’s where you bought your first iPod.
It’s where you camped at 5 a.m.
It’s where the iPhone came to life.
It’s where the magic of technology made your world glow a bit brighter, if only for a moment.

There is magic involved here, time travel… None of “my” stores are here, but they’re close enough to feel like home in a way I couldn’t have imagined.

via Daring Fireball

Swift Playgrounds
I haven’t had a chance to play with it yet, but it looks like Swift Playgrounds just added all the necessary thing to become a full-on SwiftUI IDE…