10 ways iOS is now more Mac-like

After the Big Sur reveal, there’s been a surge of articles about how the Mac has turned iOS-y. Here’s one example. But how about the reverse?

  1. iOS 13 introduced a Files app (ala Finder), that can even browse USB disk drives!
  2. iOS 14 finally allows customisation of Mail & Browser default apps.
  3. iOS 13 on the iPad has support for a mouse or trackpad, with a (perhaps better) adaptive cursor!
  4. iOS 14’s date time pickers are now more Mac-like.
  5. iOS 14 has a Picture in Picture mode, just like Safari.
  6. iOS 14 has an App Library, just like Launchpad (well maybe a lot better).
  7. iOS 14 has widgets, just like… Widgets on the Mac. No these (much older) dashboard widgets on the Mac.
  8. iOS 14 supports encrypted drives, just like much older Mac versions.
  9. iOS 13 brings custom font support to the App Store.
  10. And finally, with iOS 14, iPadOS apps are looking a lot more like Mac apps, and even Universal Search is looking a bit like Spotlight.

I think this list proves 2 things:

  1. You can make comparisons across Apple’s platforms. There is a lot of cross-pollination and prior art.
  2. iOS has slowly, but steadily become more akin to a Mac in the past few years.

Here’s 5 more things I wish Apple borrowed from macOS:

  1. Running iPhone apps windowed on an iPad.
  2. Running signed apps outside the App Store via Gatekeeper. If it’s a by default turned-off option, perhaps flagged under warnings, only “power users” will turn it on. And it’ll solve the number 1 source of frustration advanced Mac users have about iOS.
  3. Bring versions of developer focused apps such as Xcode, Terminal, Activity Monitor, et. al. Make the iPad developer friendly.
  4. Introduce proper multiple audio support.
  5. Allow some mechanism to run long-running processes, perhaps after adequate warnings. Running long-running downloads on iOS for e.g. is a terrible experience right now since you can’t “switch away” from the app.

Recommending fnm for node version switching

So I’m a distant admirer of Reason, and one of the benefits it brings is the ability to have a single language that both compiles down to Javascript so you can use it on the web, and also have a native backend so you can write incredibly fast command-line tools.

fnm is one such native ReasonML tool that’s at least 100x faster than any other node version switcher. Recommended!

The Origins of He-man & She-ra

So I watched and loved the new She-ra on Netflix, and that made me interested in how all of this came about. He-man is a bit strange in that unlike most superheroes, the toy came first and then came all the mythology & the storyline around it. But the story definitely appealed to kids: it still has one of those phrases I’ll never forget from when I was a kid: “By the power of Grayskull! I have the power!”

Power of Grayskull on Netflix

So it’s interesting to learn how the character was crafted and built, and what was good, and what went wrong in He-man history. Watch: Power of Grayskull on Netflix.

Recommending: Grab Chai

I’ve been having a virtual cup of chai and good conversation with interesting folks through Grab Chai for a month or so now.

The tagline pretty much speaks for itself.

It’s been great. Like-minded people who I would’ve otherwise never connected to and random folks who do interesting stuff, both. Here’s a couple of photos I clicked:

Do check it out!

gifify: easy video to GIF maker

Update: I’ve switched to using Gifski instead, as that provides a progress bar & a UI!

I’ve been using videos to illustrate points for quite some time now in pull requests and code issues. Since I switched to Github, I couldn’t really directly upload videos to an issue or a comment without uploading them somewhere, and that was kinda frustrating.

Enter: gifify

It’s a command-line tool that does the job well, and is a simple brew install gifify away. It does install a ton of dependencies though, but combined with the new Shift-⌘-5 shortcut, it’s super-easy to quickly record something to show folks on your Mac.