six colors

by Jason Snell & Dan Moren

This week's sponsor

The Six Colors shirt - On sale through August 4!

Linked by Jason Snell

Presentable: ‘The Color Show’

The fifth episode of designer Jeff Veen’s new podcast features an interview with Craig Hockenberry of The Iconfactory about color management, which is an increasingly important issue on iOS. Hockenberry is writing a book about it, in fact.

I thought about this episode after seeing a Twitter thread started by ForgottenTowel about how popular design app Sketch doesn’t support color management1.

Take it from color-blind ol’ me: This stuff is important.

  1. ForgottenTowel is a designer who created all the Relay FM show art and a bunch of recent cover art for Incomparable network podcasts as well. ↩

Ads via the Deck

Jason Snell for iMore

My search for the best iPad Pro accessories ↦

One of the things I love about the iPad Pro is that when it’s stripped down to its naked robotic core it’s a powerful, useful device in a small, easily-carried package. But the iPad Pro wouldn’t be an Apple product if it weren’t surrounded by a universe of accessories.

Every accessory adds functionality to the core product, but also complexity and weight. It’s a tricky balance, and here’s what I’ve found best suits my lifestyle.

Continue reading on iMore ↦

Dan Moren for Macworld

Apple’s web of authentication ↦

As someone who seems to live most of his life on the Internet, I’ve always appreciated Apple’s thorough and thoughtful approach to security. The company realizes that we keep all sorts of important stuff in our devices, from our credit card numbers to our super-secret, handed-down-through-seventeen-generations French toast recipes. Hardly the kind of stuff we want plastered all over the world.

Like every other technology company, Apple has to weigh the fundamental tradeoff between security and convenience. In general, the higher the level of security, the less convenient it is—no surprise there, since making something more difficult for someone else to break into generally means making it more difficult for you, too.

Apple’s security measures are pretty comprehensive, and they’re only getting better. With the latest additions to Apple’s lineup this fall, the company is getting one step closer to creating an interconnected web of authentication that should hopefully make your device security better and more transparent.

Continue reading on Macworld ↦

By Jason Snell

Introducing “Free Agents”

For a long time Mac Power Users co-host David Sparks and I would meet when I was visiting southern California and we’d talk about how our jobs were grinding us down. Then all of a sudden, he and I were both out on our own and grappling with any number of issues involving being independent workers after 20 years of working in a traditional job.

David suggested there might be a podcast in that. Our discussion of how to structure such a thing so that its scope didn’t overwhelm us and all the other work we were doing ended up being the jumping-off point for the first episode of “Free Agents”, the new podcast we kicked off this week.

(Thanks to Chris Breen for the theme song and Matt Alexander for the narration.)

If you’re interested in hearing us talk about the issues around being an independent worker, check it out. The show will be short and appear fortnightly, and we’re hoping to do two short topic-based episodes followed by an interview with an independent working person.

Linked by Dan Moren

Report: Apple’s negotiating style hampering TV efforts

As long as we’re talking reports about Apple’s behind the scenes activity, Shalini Ramachandran and Daisuke Wakabayashi at the Wall Street Journal (paywall) have an extensive piece about Apple’s continuing efforts to create a TV service of some variety, and the challenges the company’s faced from its…occasionally unorthodox negotiating strategy:

Apple’s point man for TV is Mr. Cue, 51 years old, the company’s senior vice president of internet software and services. He grew close to Mr. Jobs after starting as an intern in 1989. Mr. Cue favors bright shirts and fast cars, is on the board of directors at auto maker Ferrari NV and often spotted courtside at home games of the NBA’s Golden State Warriors.

Mr. Cue is also known for a hard-nosed negotiating style. One cable-industry executive sums up Mr. Cue’s strategy as saying: “We’re Apple.”

Cue’s style seems to have paid off for them in the past, but I wonder if it’s up to the task of dealing with Hollywood. Seems like Apple hasn’t gotten a lot of traction, and its plans keep changing—now it seems to be delving into original content.

Linked by Dan Moren

Roll 20 now selling official licensed D&D content

Roll 20, the over-the-Internet tabletop gaming platform we use over at The Incomparable for Total Party Kill and some episodes of Game Night has struck a deal with Dungeons & Dragons publisher Wizards of the Coast to let folks buy digital versions of official D&D modules to run online.

This is a great move for both D&D and Roll 20; it gives Wizards access to a robust gaming platform (without having to build its own, which it tried in the past) with an active community, and it gives Roll 20 the opportunity to build in officially supported content, making it even easier for folks to get started running D&D online. Sounds like a critical hit to me.

Linked by Jason Snell

Project Titan’s eye turns to software

Some guy named Mark Gurman reporting for Bloomberg about Apple’s car project:

The initiative is now prioritizing the development of an autonomous driving system, though it’s not abandoning efforts to design its own vehicle. That leaves options open should the company eventually decide to partner with or acquire an established car maker, rather than build a car itself. An Apple spokesman declined to comment.

Interesting details, including a prominent hire from BlackBerry.

Linked by Jason Snell

Return of the Rocketeer

From the Hollywood Reporter comes news of a “Rocketeer” revival:

The new take keeps the story in a period setting and offers a fresh view on the characters. Set six years after the original Rocketeer and after Secord has vanished while fighting the Nazis, an unlikely new hero emerges: a young African-American female pilot, who takes up the mantle of Rocketeer in an attempt to stop an ambitious and corrupt rocket scientist from stealing jet-pack technology in what could prove to be a turning point in the Cold War.

The 1991 film is an incredibly fun piece of retro style. I’m looking forward to this sequel.

Linked by Jason Snell

Ode to the iPod Classic

A great piece about tech nostalgia and information overload by Lindsay Zoladz at The Ringer.


Clockwise #147: It’s All Zubats Around Here


On the latest episode of the weekly technology roundtable, Jason and Dan are joined by PCalc developer James Thomson and writer, editor, and podcaster Shelly Brisbin to talk the rise of biometrics, looking for retail therapy at the end of the world, augmented reality and the Pokey Man, and the ups and downs of Adobe and Apple’s long relationship.


The Rebound 96: Thumbprints Sink Ships

The Rebound

This week, we explain how Bob Mansfield is the Michael Corleone of Apple, discuss the benefits and risks of biometric security, suss out rumors of a third iPhone model this fall, and guess what 1990s Internet property Verizon will buy next. And, of course, you get our patented prognostications about Apple’s quarterly earnings. Timely, as always.

Linked by Dan Moren

Apple sells its billionth iPhone

The company sold iPhone number one billion last week. That’s a lot of phones. (Also couldn’t have hurt to hold the story until after the company’s financial results.) Wonder how many Macs they’ve sold over their entire history?

Linked by Dan Moren

Fix iCloud Tabs in macOS Sierra beta

Over at The Loop, Dave Mark has a good tip on how to access your iCloud Tabs on the macOS Sierra beta, as there seems to be a bug in the current version: the key is to add the dedicated iCloud Tabs button to Safari’s toolbar.

Jason Snell for Macworld

Apple remains optimistic after a tough Q3 2016 ↦

Another quarter brings with it Apple financial results-nearly $8 billion in profit this time, despite a whole lot of tough year-over-year sales and revenue comparisons. But as a part of the results we also get the chance to hear directly from Apple’s executives, in the quarterly ritual of the conference call with analysts. There’s always good stuff to be gleaned from this call, and this quarter was no exception. Here’s what we learned.

Continue reading on Macworld ↦

By Jason Snell

Apple’s Q3 in charts and commentary


Apple continued its grin-and-bear-it slog though a brutal year of quarterly financial results Tuesday, thanks to the incredible success of the iPhone 6 raising the bar so high that every single year-over-year comparison is destined to look tiny. Apple will probably keep taking its lumps for a quarter or two, but the numbers—$42.4 billion in revenue, $7.8 billion in profit—are pretty much in line with Apple’s business in the year before the iPhone 6. It suggests that Apple will probably continue to have miserable year-over-year comparisons for a couple of quarters, but then things may start to even out.

Continue Reading "Apple's Q3 in charts and commentary"

By Six Colors Staff

Apple Q3 2016 financial results

Today Apple released its quarterly financial results. We covered the event live via the Talkshow app.

You can read along with our commentary in the embedded box below, or read in a separate window.

By Dan Moren

Quick Tip: Advanced Finder searches

A friend of mine was looking to find every file on her Mac with a particular file extension (i.e. “.jpg”). Now, there are a few ways to do this: by default, I might just type the file extension in the Finder’s search box. But that can give you false positives if that extension is a string that might occur elsewhere in a filename.

You can also search by Kind, but not every file extension on the Mac is mapped to a Kind. However, the Finder actually has the ability to search by a bunch of advanced criteria that you might not even know about. Here’s how to find them.

Select Find from the Finder’s File menu. On the left is a dropdown menu for search criteria.1 At the bottom of the dropdown you’ll see an option for “Other…”

Search types

When you select that, you’ll get a sheet with a ton of different search attributes. And I’m talking a lot. Files on the Mac have a lot of metadata associated with them—some applications even add their own metadata attributes—but most of those attributes aren’t exposed directly to the user.

Advanced search criteria

You can filter this big sheet of options using its own search box. So, in this example, if we’re looking to eventually search by file extension, type ‘extension’ in the box and you’ll probably see a couple options come up. The one we want is “File extension”, so click the In Menu checkbox that’s next to it, and then click OK.

Now, when we return to the search window and select a criteria from that dropdown menu again, you’ll see the option for File Extension is now in the menu. Select that and type in the extension you want and voilà: a list of every file on your Mac with that extension.

Search by extension

The best part is that ‘File extension’ search option (and any other options you add) will now stay in the dropdown menu, which is great if it’s something you end up using frequently—you won’t have to repeat this process every single time you want to make that particular search.

There are other handy search criteria in that advanced search options sheet. A few I find particularly useful are “System files”, which includes those files that are part of OS X and aren’t usually searched, like preferences files, plug-ins, and so on; “File invisible”, which lets you more easily search for files based on their visibility; and even “Pixel height” and “Pixel width” which let you narrow your search by, you guessed it, image dimensions.

  1. If you don’t see those dropdown menus, probably because you started typing in the search box of an ordinary Finder window, click the + button in the search bar; it’s next to Save. ↩

[Dan Moren is a freelance writer, podcaster, and former Macworld editor. You can email him at or find him on Twitter at @dmoren.]

Linked by Dan Moren

iOS 10 lets silent videos autoplay

Jer Noble of Apple’s WebKit team has dished on some changes coming to video behavior in iOS 10. Specifically, elements that use the <video> tag but have no audio will be allowed to autoplay. The reason for this?

It turns out that people these days really like GIFs. But the GIF format turns out to be a very expensive way to encode animated images when compared to a modern video codec like H.264. We’ve found that GIFs can be up to twelve times as expensive in bandwidth and twice as expensive in energy use. It’s so expensive that many of the largest GIF providers have been moving away from GIFs and toward the <video> element. Since most of these GIFs started out their lives as video clips, were converted into animated GIFs, and were again converted back to video clips, you might say that the circle is complete.

But while this move does spare websites’ bandwidth costs as well as saving users’ batteries, it comes at a usability cost. On iOS 9, <video>s will only begin playing as a result of a user gesture. So pages which replace an <img> with a <video> will require a user gesture before displaying their animated content, and, on iPhone, the <video> will enter fullscreen when starting playback.

Better support for GIFs was one of my wish list items for iOS and while this doesn’t totally address that—for better or worse, GIFs are still the standard for sharing animated images online—it does seem like Apple is skating to where the puck will eventually be.

Linked by Dan Moren

WSJ: Bob Mansfield heading up Apple car project

The generally well-sourced Daisuke Wakabayashi at the Wall Street Journal (behind paywall):

Bob Mansfield had stepped back from a day-to-day role at the company a few years ago, after leading the hardware engineering development of products including the MacBook Air laptop computer, the iMac desktop computer, and the iPad tablet. Apple now has Mr. Mansfield running the company’s secret autonomous, electric-vehicle initiative, code-named Project Titan, the people said.

Where there’s Bob Mansfield, there’s fire.


Upgrade #99: Disciplined Cash Machine


Scrivener for iOS and a new mechanical keyboard for iPad arrived at Jason’s house this week. This week on Upgrade, Myke Hurley and Jason discuss using a specialized writing tool for longform work and the challenges of building an iPad keyboard that doesn’t turn the iPad into a laptop. Plus they recap the latest trailers from Comic-Con.