• Posted on

    iBooks "edge case"

    Michael E. Cohen, writing for TidBITS:


    iBooks is not quite as unreliable and confusing as it was when I wrote about it last year, but neither has it improved nearly as much as loyal iBooks users deserve. Moreover, what little support documentation Apple provides is sketchy and inaccurate, leaving the impression that even the support and documentation departments within Apple are ignoring iBooks.

    Federico Viticci, commenting at MacStories about the previous quote:

    Cohen’s library may be an edge case with over 700 titles, but the problems he mentions are basic usability issues that should get fixed.

    As the developper of an iOS app to manage your ebooks library, let me tell you that 700 ebooks is far from an edge case. A quick query in my stats showed me that the average number of ebooks per active user in Librairie is 1134. This makes total sense when you think about it: people using this kind of apps are serious about managing their whole books library and are voracious readers.

    As most Apple apps, iBooks is designed for casual users. The ones who will buy a handfull of ebooks in the iBooks Store and don’t even know what an ePub file is. If you’re an ebooks power user, I have a solution for you

  • Posted on

    Two Mac universes

    Micheal J. Tsai:


    Adrian Kosmaczewski (via Andy Lee):

    I start iTunes. It tells me that I need to log in to Apple Music. I do not remember ever having logged off. I enter my username and password. The dialog goes away. iTunes still does not allow me to listen to music. I close and re-open iTunes. I log off and on a few times. I finally reboot my Mac. I discover that the artist I would love to listen to that morning is not available on iTunes Music. I select another artist. I hit play. Music does not come out from the built-in speakers. I plug in my old 2002 Harman Kardon SoundSticks. I plug the USB 3 to USB dongle first.

    […]

    I sit on my Mac and open a Pages file stored on iCloud, one I was working on my iPad Pro during the weekend. The sync fails and I cannot see the last modifications I made on my iPad Pro. Open and close apps on both devices. I reboot them both. Pages for Mac tells me that there is a conflict between the versions in both devices, even though I have never edited the file on the Mac. I select the version on the iPad. My changes are lost.

    […]

    I try to open an application I bought yesterday on this Mac. The operating system protests, telling me that I have to login to the App Store because the application was bought in another Mac. It is not true. I log in anyway. The app opens.

    This seems too bad to be real, but I’ve had days recently that feel like this. I have an old Mac and sometimes think a new one would be more reliable, until I read about problems people are having with a brand new MacBook Pro and display. At least I don’t have kernel panics.

    And at the same time, in a slightly parallel universe Jason Snell reports at Sixcolors.com about the latest Apple quartely results:

    Mac unit sales weren’t a record, but because of rising average sale prices (thanks, MacBook Pro!), Mac revenue set a record.

    May be because people are buying new Macs hoping they’ll be more reliable ?

  • Posted on

    Commit DB version 1.3

    Commit DB, the arguably best iOS MySQL client on the market 😉 has a new version. Besides a few bug fixes, the main new feature is the ability to use SSL to secure your MySQL connections.

    Happy coding !

  • Posted on

    Apple will let developers reply to reviews in the App Store

    Benjamin Mayo, writting for 9to5mac:


    Apple has announced that it will soon let developers reply to reviews on the iPhone, iPad and Mac App Stores. As part of the iOS 10.3 release notes, the company says that by the time iOS 10.3 is available to customers, developers will be able to respond to customer reviews on the App Store.

    This is a major breakthrough enhancement as developers have been asking Apple for better ways to interact with customers for a long time.

    I see a lot of pushback from the developers community this morning along the lines of: “the App Store will now be your public support channel”.

    It might be a problem but I see at least two reasons that it may be a good thing overall:

    • Good and empathetic support will reflect positively on your app (of course, if you provide no support, that might be a problem). I know it seems naive but I really think it will go a long way with the core users of your apps, the ones that buy already knowing what it does and want it to work rather than bash the dev for making them pay a few bucks.

    • If you want Apple to listen to us and (hopefully) implement more substantive changes to the store we really ought to have a constructive attitude to the changes they’re making right now. Sure, many implementation details will probably suck at first but we have to show Apple that they’re right to not be content of the status quo.

  • Posted on

    Finding the UTI of a PEM certificate on iOS

    UTI stands for “Uniform Type Identifiers”.

    It’s like the definition of a file type tying together files extensions, mime types and higher level UTIs. In iOS (and macOS also I guess) you have to provide UTI(s) to initialize the UIDocumentMenuViewController class, also known as the “iOS Document Picker”. This list will tell the system which type of files your Document Picker will be allowed to open.

    This is all good and well unless you don’t know which UTI to use for the file type your looking for.

    I was trying to import pem certificates into one of my apps and didn’t know which UTI to use for this task. Fear not, fair developer, Apple said ! Head to our official list of System Declared Uniform Type Identifiers.

    Of course, no declared UTI covered my use case. Or so I thought …

    Having wrestled with this issue for the better part of the day I have at last found this very useful site: UTI type browser.

    It’s the UTI list that Apple should have provided. There are much more types available than the one listed in the official Apple documentation. Including the one I needed:

    public.x509-certificate
    


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