All About the New Apple File System


“Once APFS becomes available, Apple plans to make the process of switching to the new file system incredibly simple. You won’t need to back up your data and start again with a fresh OS install, thank God. Instead, there will be an option to seamlessly transition all your devices without losing any of your files.”

Cult of Mac (who I still haven’t completely forgiven for this).

appleclassicApple (and those of us who rely on its products) needs a new, modern, uniform file system.  No, it’s not some sexy new feature.  But it is integral to the efficiency and future of the devices we use.  All we can ask is that the transition is as painless as possible.  So far, it looks like it will be.

macOS Sierra’s Best Feature


That no one is talking about.

I’m pretty excited about Sierra the forthcoming new and renamed macOS.  I installed the developer preview on my MacBook Pro.  It’s my primary machine, so that was a stupid thing to do, and I don’t recommend it.

Citrix, a company guaranteed to be behind the curve on protocol deprecations, has not released a public beta of its Citrix Receiver, so I had to install El Capitan on a USB stick to boot into when connecting to my office.  My ScanSnap scanner software doesn’t work.  But otherwise, things are remarkably stable for the first (of many) beta versions.

9 to 5 Mac has a good hands-on video with many of the new features.

But the best feature, however, is that at long last

Zoom levels in Safari are sticky!!!  This will, at long last, allow me to switch from Chrome to Safari.  I’m very happy about that, because there are many advantages to working within the Apple environment.

New Apple Gear Coming Soon

Those who have been conscious today know that Apple announced a bunch of new and updated products this morning.  Updated iPhones, a bigger iPad, an updated iPad Mini, some new Apple watch bands, and a new Apple TV.  You can get all the details elsewhere, so here are my thoughts on the new stuff.

New iPhones

I like the better camera, and I think 3D Touch (think of it as a right-click for an iOS device) will be useful at some point.  I’m not sure Live Photos is more than a gimmick, but it might be.  Faster chips and graphics would be nice, but I don’t use my iPhone for much that taxes it.

I know I always say this and then change my mind, but I don’t feel a compelling need to upgrade from my 6+ to the new model.

iPad Pro

I am all about bigger screens.  I have a 27″ iMac and a 15″ MacBook Pro.  I think a larger iPad makes a lot of sense, but the whole time I kept thinking I was watching Apple invent the Microsoft Surface, a tablet I once stupidly bought on impulse and sold a few weeks later.  Adding to the confusion was the fact that the best part of the demo, and one of the coolest things overall, was the Microsoft Office apps.  The new iPad has an optional stylus (something I never thought I’d see) and a magnetic keyboard/cover combination.  Crazy.

I use my iPad every day, but much more for consumption than creation.  If I did a lot of work on an iPad, I would almost certainly buy an iPad Pro.

iPad Mini

The updated specs for the littlest iPad seemed like a tossed-in afterthought.  I have an older iPad Mini that I rarely use, so I don’t need another one.

Apple Watch Accessories

I don’t know anything about Hermes, and I buy my clothes at sports and farm supply stores.  So I literally couldn’t care less about designer watch bands and exclusive watch faces.  Apple seems to be marketing the high-end Apple Watches as a way for insecure rich people to show the rest of us how awesome they think they are.  In sum, zzzzzzzz.

I am interested in the updated watchOS, however, because without native apps, my Apple Watch continues to be more about potential features than actual working features.  I am sold on the Apple Watch, but it is very much a work in progress.

New Apple TV


Now, the best part.  I had high hopes for the new Apple TV, and Apple mostly satisfied me.  I’m not a big gamer, so the gaming angle is lost on me.  I like the idea of other apps on the Apple TV.  I was happy to see a new unified search, but it badly needs to search more than just iTunes, Hulu, Netflix, HBO and Showtime.  Hopefully it will as other content providers create apps, but I’m a little concerned there aren’t more sources out of the box (do those sources have new Apple TV apps already?).  For the Apple TV to work as my only streaming device, it needs Amazon Prime, and the major broadcast and cable networks.  I’m still hoping Apple can pull the rabbit out of the hat with a cord-cutting content package before I’m too old to care.

I’ll definitely buy one- and probably two- Apple TVs on launch day.


They talked about Macs (my very favorite Apple product) for exactly zero seconds today.  Bummer.

Stay tuned for more as I dive into these new products and updates.

I Give Up: Apple Music Has Beaten Me

I tried to be diplomatic.

After a few more hours wrestling with Apple Music’s needlessly confusing layout and incomprehensible import and organization processes, and wasting even more of my time trying to create some semblance of order to my music, I gave up and am now officially done.  The indisputable fact is that the one and only reason to suffer Apple Music’s torturous interface is because it was made by Apple. Imagine just for a second if Microsoft or any other company had foisted this chaos on us.  Mac users would be having a field day crapping all over it.

In fact, many are, but the Apple-love deep within our DNA causes a lot of us to step back, put our heads down and keep trying.  After all, Apple made this.  It’s on all our Macs.  We get 3 months free.  It will get better.

And maybe it will.  I’m going to resist the temptation to wonder if tossing this confusing, disjointed mess upon us is a sign of larger problems at Apple.  I’m going to focus on how much I love my MacBook Pro and my iMac.  I’m going to assume all the display and touch issues with my iPhone 6+ are anomalies shared by the two people beside me with similar issues when I last visited the Genius Bar.  I’m going to keep on loving Apple, because that’s what I do.

But I am done with Apple Music, at least for the foreseeable future.  There were endless straws, any of which could have broken the camel’s back. But here’s the very last one.  A perfectly confusing, and unhelpful pop-up message, after I tried for the fifth time to import a playlist.

click for a larger view
click for a larger view

Perfectly confusing. Completely unhelpful. If I, a huge Apple fan who has been writing on tech since the 90’s, have no idea what this means, or how to fix it, or what the difference is between iCloud Music Library, iTunes Match and/or a buffalo fart, then I’m reasonably sure the typical user doesn’t either.  I want someone to do a feature-length documentary on how this message was written and who thought it was sufficient.   If it takes longer than a few seconds to figure out how to successfully import songs into your music app, your music app is not ready for public consumption.

I’m done.  I give up.  I’ve been beaten.

CarPlay Will Be a Requirement for My Next Vehicle


“The big question is, are the auto companies are willing to partner with Apple in this way?”

via Understanding Apple’s Car Strategy | Re/code.

I drive a 7-year-old Toyota Tundra.  I like it.  When my 14-year-old turns 16, she will likely inherit this truck and I’ll get a new one.  When that happens, there are two guarantees.  One, it will be another pickup truck.  Two, it will have Apple CarPlay.

I’m not the least bit interested in an Apple car.  It would be some super-expensive luxury model for rich folks, and I’m a truck guy.  But I am very interested in inserting the Apple ecosystem into my vehicle.  If Toyota sticks to this idiotic decision, I guess this one will be my last Toyota.

Car makers need to stop trying to hack together their own system, and treat CarPlay as a selling point.  Few will buy a new vehicle just to get CarPlay, but I imagine CarPlay will be a distinguishing factor for a lot of people comparing similar cars and trucks.

Why I May Ditch My Apple Watch


I don’t know that the Apple Watch is a flop.  I don’t know that it’s not a flop.  It’s probably somewhere in between.  I know that I’ve never noticed another one in the wild.  Maybe that’s because, like me, other early adopters prefer to use theirs inconspicuously.

But clearly, there are questions about whether the Apple Watch is ready for prime time.

For one, the apps continue to load too slowly to be useful.


Yet I find the complications and notifications to be extremely useful.  When they work.


And there’s both the rub and the reason I am considering throwing in the towel and relegating my Apple Watch to the drawer of shame, where I keep other things I bought and didn’t or couldn’t use.  There’s an Android tablet in there, and that early Samsung pre-tablet but handheld computer thing.  And my Instacube.

While I can do without the apps that never load, what I can’t do without is the information that’s supposed to appear on the watch face.  The complications.  In my case, these include the temperature and the sunrise and sunset times.  These two (of my five total) complications rarely appear on my watch.

This madness began not long after I received my watch.  A complete iPhone wipe and DFU restore solved the problem, for a little while.  Now it’s back.  Like Sharknado, but not as fun.

In fact, it sucks.  It should not be this hard.  It should just work.  But it doesn’t.  So far, the Apple Watch experience seems more like building a radio with some kit you bought from the back of a comic book than a traditional Apple experience.

I’m in wait and see mode.  Maybe an update will fix this issue, which is clearly a failure on the part of the watch and iPhone to reliably communicate with each other.  Maybe if I get to the end of my patience, I’ll make a desperate stab at the watchOS 2 beta.

Or maybe I’ll just go back to a bare wrist and a Fitbit One.