Kev Quirk writes about how he broke macOS by deleting a single folder on his M1 MacBook Air.

I go through my usual routine – boot my M1 MacBook Air, plug it into my dock so it connects to my screens and peripherals, then head into my first meeting of the day.

But something is wrong…

The panel at the top of the MacOS screen is missing, and the MacBook feels really sluggish; which isn’t like an M1 machine at all – these things are rocket ships.

Spoiler! It’s not his home or user folder.

I wonder if this is related to a certain macOS feature that backs up your data into the cloud to free up storage space locally.

My M1 Mac mini Desktop — January 2022

This is how the desktop on my M1 Mac mini looks like, as of January 2022.

m1 Mac mini Wallpaper Desktop

[Click to view the full-size PNG]

The wallpaper is called “Campfire” and is created by my colleague Denys. He once designed two versions — one for daylight and one for nighttime. I quickly turned it into a Dynamic macOS wallpaper that automatically changes based on the time of the day. I think I’ve had this for over 8 months now, I love it!

I have long been using Safari as my default browser, but recently had to switch to Microsoft Edge (and for some parts, Brave) because of the memory leak issue in Safari on macOS Monterey. Both Edge and Brave are good browsers, so much better than Google Chrome, but still have some minor annoyances & miss features that I’ve been so used to in Safari. So this week, I figured I’ll use Safari Technology Preview till Apple releases a fix for the memory-leak issue. Thankfully, STP hasn’t been suffering from that issue yet.

The other apps that always have a place in my Dock are Spark, Calendars, Things, Slack, Tweetbot, Telegram, iA Writer, Pixelmator Pro, FCP X, Discord, Overcast, Raindrop.io, Gowalla Street Team, and Spotify.

In the menu bar, I have Bartender 4 organising all the variety of icons I have there. From right to left, I have:

Always Visible: Cleanshot X & Wireguard
Hidden: iStat Menus, Dropzone, Pika, Hazel, Day One, Pause, Pandan, and NextDNS.
Always Hidden: Rocket, Backblaze, Creative Cloud, Magnet, and 1Password.

Apple India Hiring for a Number of Apple Retail Roles as it Prepares to Launch Apple Stores in Mumbai & New Delhi

Apple Store Launching Soon in India

Apple is inching close to launching the country’s first Apple Stores, with the first one opening soon in the Bandra-Kurla Complex in Mumbai, followed closely by a second one opening in New Delhi. Apple India has been working on bringing its stores to Indian shores for a really long time now — as early as 2014 — and some of the recent developments indicate that the launch could happen very soon, as early as January 2022. The company already launched the Apple Online Store in India a little over a year ago.

The company has begun hiring for a number of roles in Apple Retail, such as Store Leader, Genius, Specialist, Technical Special, Senior Manager, Manager, Operations Expert, Market Leader, Expert, Creative, Business Pro, Business Expert, etc. All of these Apple Retail roles are available in Mumbai, Maharashtra as well as in New Delhi.

It’s important to note that for many of these roles, Apple is seeking individuals interested in working part-time or contractual-basis, in addition to full-time. The job listings indicate that candidates can even apply to work only for a few hours on weekends, giving a few hours every week towards the role.

It’ll be interesting to see what strategy the company chooses to follow in India, where its product-line has always been seen as “overpriced” and yet has seen an upward trend in adoption, especially iPhones. I’m also curiously excited to see what changes the company brings to its hardware repair & support experience, which is currently offered through third-party resellers and is generally considered disappointing.

[Featured Image by Andy Wang]

I spent a good 30 seconds just flipping back and forth between home screens, admiring the fluidity of the ProMotion transition. Tapping an icon for the UI view to expand up and out of the app icon is noticeably beautiful. Sliding messages or emails in and out is slick and efficient. That entire app pile-in each time you unlock your iPhone has never looked so fancy.

Give me half an iPhone of a pre-ProMotion display and a current ProMotion display and I’d be able to tell them apart in under a second. The difference is incredible and I will never, ever be able to go back.

My iPhone 13 Pro is still about three weeks away from delivery, and there’s two things that I’m increasingly excited about — ProMotion and the new cameras. I’m jumping from the iPhone XS Max, so there are a lot things that’ll be “new” for me, but the more I read about ProMotion and the new cameras, the more I wish I should’ve just bought the phone from a local store. The wait’s killing me.

Make sure you check out the amazing photos on Josh’s Instagram account as well.

A Few Minutes with iPhone 13 Pro

I got to spend a few minutes with the iPhone 13 Pro yesterday. A friend of mine bought iPhone 13 Pro from a local Vijay Sales outlet — quite the surprise that she lucked out finding a unit there. Only happened because someone else who had made a pre-booking there cancelled and she incidentally called up the outlet asking if they had any stock. She chose the 256GB Sierra Blue version, the exact same thing I’m getting. My unit is due to arrive some time in November, so I couldn’t contain my excitement and went over to her’s to get some quick hands-on time with the phone.

I have been using the iPhone XS Max for the last three years, but decided to switch to the smaller iPhone 13 Pro (not Max) this time. Owing to this, I have been a little concerned that it’d feel too small to my liking, but the concerns were quickly dismissed after holding the phone in my hand.

These are my initial impressions & thoughts about the iPhone 13 Pro:

  • The Sierra Blue color looks beautiful in person. It doesn’t matter how many videos you’ve watched of the unit being unboxed and reviewed, the first impressions are still so delightful. There’s this peculiar sheen on the subtle blue colored frosted-glass finish at the back that just looks stunning.
  • Although smaller in size compared to the XS Max, the slight weight increase this year has, I think, proved to be beneficial to me. The heft of the phone felt right in my hands, and the bulk that the camera modules and larger battery have added made me feel that this is something I can instantly get used to.
  • The Camera modules on the back are huge, with the bump taking up more than half of the width of the phone.
  • The lenses are BIG. My iPhone XS Max lenses looked like a kid standing next to Andre the Giant.
  • The 120Hz ProMotion display feels insanely good. There have been several improvements to the display through the iPhone 11, iPhone 12 and now iPhone 13, so this is a huge jump for me. The text and elements felt rich and almost printed on the screen. The scrolling and system-wide animations were delightful. I loved it.
  • The “Surgical-grade Stainless Steel” edges are a fingerprint magnet. I shudder to think what it’d look like on the darker Graphite version.
  • The photos that come out of the camera are astonishing. Photos from my phone feel like a something out of a cheap Android OEM phone in comparison. I was especially blown away by the Night Mode quality. A random photo of a tree under a streetlight ended up being well-lit, sharp, and crisp. There was barely any ugly noise or dark areas between the leaves of the tree. I can’t wait to try out the cameras in detail.
  • The Macro mode — holy shit!
  • On that note, the automatic camera switching is super jarring.

I’m really excited for my new iPhone, and I can’t wait to take the cameras out for a review.

Om Malik has published his thoughts about the new iPad mini — based on using Apple’s review unit for ~5 days. He makes it clear that this isn’t a review, as he hasn’t spent enough time with it. Yet he felt the need to write about his early impressions. You should read the whole thing, but these two paragraphs really stood out to me.

The iPad Mini screen is about 18 to 24 inches from the eyes. By keeping the brightness below 50 percent, my eyes don’t get tired despite a long reading session. It is quite pleasant to read on the iPad Mini, thanks to its upgraded screen. I can lounge in my Eames chair, a cup of coffee on the side, and skim through morning reading relaxed and without hunching over. I much prefer this lean-back mode of consuming the words. The screen is on my desk. I can listen to a podcast in the background, but it doesn’t feel like work again. It feels more of a relaxed consumption of information.

and

The best way to extract the most out of the smallest iPad is to think of it as a device enhanced by non-keyboard input methods — Scribble with Pencil, snapping photos with the cameras, or using Siri/voice input. The improved “Scribble” allows you to make notes, do quick searches, and even find directions. It is a very addictive way to use the iPad, especially in the smaller size.

To me, this looks like the most incredible media consumption device there has ever been. It’s powerful, but small enough to hold it and use it almost anywhere. It’s quite comfortable to use, and I have no complaints about iPadOS 15 not being able to live up to the hardware.

I’d have already bought this if it didn’t cost an arm and a leg in India.

iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 Are Now Available

Sure, iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 aren’t as exciting as some of the other previous releases from Apple, but I’ve still been looking forward to their release over the past few months. I didn’t bother installing any Developer or Public betas until the fourth or the fifth one in the cycle, that too only on my 10.5-inch iPad Pro. So I’m going in with relatively fresh eyes.

There are some remarkable updates being rolled out today by various developers that I’ve been beta testing over the last two months. Similarly, our team at Readdle is shipping a slew of incredible features as well, for our Spark, Documents, PDF Expert, Calendars and Scanner Pro apps. It’s been a massive effort to deliver these updates on Day 1, and everyone is excited to hear your feedback. Try them out, we’re sure you’re gonna love it.

Stephen Shankland, reporting for CNET:

The teams behind the Google Chrome, Apple Safari, Mozilla Firefox and Microsoft Edge browsers have banded together to improve extensions, the add-ons you can download to customize the software. That should mean your extensions will work better and come with a better security foundation to protect you from malware.

On Friday, the teams unveiled a discussion and development forum at the World Wide Web Consortium, or W3C, dedicated to developing standards for extensions. The forum, the WebExtensions Community Group, gives engineers a place to build a unified and more secure core foundation for extensions.

At WWDC 2020, Apple introduced the WebExtension API for Safari on macOS Big Sur — an effort to enable cross-platform browser extensions. However, I’m yet to see a change in the Safari extensions ecosystem because of that. Here’s hoping this new WebExtensions Community Group brings about a change.