Introducing Day One 2

Day One blog:

Day One 2 will be a new app on Mac and iOS with two headlining features: multiple journals and multiple photos per entry. It will remain a paid app and be priced at $9.99 for iOS and $39.99 for Mac. We will provide a 50% discount to both apps during the first week of its debut. Day One Classic (v1) will continue to be maintained as needed and is compatible with Day One 2 when using Day One Sync.

I’ve been using Day One since 2012 and it’s one of the best apps on either platform, so I can’t wait for the next release to drop.

Ten bucks is a bargain so you’d have to be insane if you don’t get this as soon as it’s available.

On the iCloud Backup Restore Process

A couple of days ago, Bradley Chambers lamented about the painful process of restoring iCloud backups when the target device is running an earlier version of iOS than the backup was created with:

Teacher just bought iPad Air 2, but won’t restore from iCloud until she updates, wipes, and restores again (9.1 vs 9.1.2 backup). Major fail

On Christmas Day, my grandmother was gifted an iPad Air to replace her ageing iPad 2 and had run into some problem setting it up. As the family Apple technician, I stopped by to see if I could help. The problem? She wasn’t able to restore from her iCloud backup because her iPad 2 had been running a newer version of iOS than the iPad Air had shipped with.

Her initial thought was simply that she couldn’t restore and would have to start again, or worse – use both iPads at the same time. The only solution to this was to perform the following rigmarole:

  • Set up the iPad as a new device
  • Update the iPad to the latest release of iOS
  • Reset the device back to factory settings
  • Repeat the initial setup process and restore from iCloud

This is one of the biggest pain points in the backup restoration process and can ruin the whole experience of setting up a new device, yet it’s a problem that’s persisted since the introduction of iCloud backups. Whenever Apple releases a new update to iOS, those yet-to-be-sold iPads and iPhones on the shelves don’t magically update – they’re stuck at the version they were shipped with from the factory. If you’ve ever purchased a new iPad or iPhone soon after an iOS update is available, you’ll have likely experience this too if you decided to try and restore from an iCloud backup.

A simple solution that Rick Stawarz and I discussed on Twitter would be to have the initial setup perform a software update as soon as a wireless network has been selected. It’s somewhat surprising this isn’t part of the setup process since this would avoid any problems that may arise when trying to restore an iCloud backup while also ensuring that the device is fully up to date.

Seems like a win-win.

Ten Years of the Mac With Intel Inside

It’s been ten years this month since the first Macs with Intel processors were announced, a pivotal change that had been announced at 2005’s WWDC Keynote.

This transition would start with the announcement of the iMac and MacBook Pro, the PowerBook’s replacement, in January 2006. These two models were, initially, the only machines available with the new silicon, which meant Apple continued to sell the PowerPC-equipped iBook G4, PowerMac G5 and even the 12-Inch PowerBook G4 alongside their Intel-powered next generation of personal computing.

Working in an Apple Store during this time was certainly interesting, as it was extremely difficult to recommend the PowerPC range to anyone, especially when stood next to the vast array of marketing material lauding the 3-4x speed increase that Intel processors offered. Most employees I worked with would simply advise customers to wait until their desired model was replaced, since the Mac they wanted was living on borrowed time.

In the following months, Apple would replace the iBook G4 and 12-Inch PowerBook G4 with the quiet introduction of the MacBook in May 20061, but it took until August for the PowerMac G5 to retire and be replaced by its x86 doppelgänger, the Mac Pro. At the end, it took just over eight months for Apple to have a 100% Intel lineup, with the iMac being the sole survivor of a product name change.

  1. This actually happened in the same week I was training to be a Mac Genius

2Do v3.8 Adds Task Creation via Email

A great new feature in my favorite task management app:

This is a one time only in-app purchase that will allow you to automatically capture and import emails and turn them into tasks. The add-on allows you to add multiple email accounts. Emails can be captured automatically based on a certain set of filters you specify. This opens doors to integration with IFTTT, Siri and other automation services. For those unconvinced, we’re so sure you’ll love it that it’ll come with a free trial period of 14 days.

The team behind 2Do have put together some extensive documentation to help explain just how awesome this feature is.

Instapaper’s New Parser

From the Instapaper Blog:

2015 was a big year for Instapaper and in addition to all of our updates and feature developments, we were also quietly working on rewriting Instapaper’s website parser with a more modern web in mind. Today we’re really excited to finally launch our brand new and vastly improved parser!

We approached the rewrite with the idea that the parser is a core product and we’ll be treating its development as such from now on. As a core product, we’ve given the parser a name of its own, and will be maintaining and updating the parser with new versions and feature releases. After some deliberation, the name we went with is the somewhat obvious but entirely accurate “Instaparser,” and this launch is Instaparser 1.0.

I’ve been using Safari Reading List for the past few months after becoming too frustrated with Instapaper and its continued problems parsing web pages. More often than not, saved articles would be missing images or text, poorly formatted, containing chunks of navigation or footers, or simply not available offline. The final straw was when about half my Instapaper queue was completely unreadable in any optimised way.

I’m excited to hear of all of the changes that the Instapaper team have put in place with the new parser and am looking forward to trying it out.

Ambassador to the Macintosh Community

While clearing out some old paperwork, I came across some nostalgia from the time I worked at the Apple Store: my Mac Genius training certificate I received in May 2006:

Mac Genius Certificate

This is a great example of Apple’s attention to detail that extends far beyond glass and aluminium. By completing this training, Apple was certifying you as someone who would officially represent them in the wider Macintosh community, not just as someone who could troubleshoot problems or repair a Mac.

The certificate could’ve just as easily said “certified as a Mac Genius”, but it didn’t. I always admired that.