Using APFS in High Sierra

Howard Oakley takes stock of APFS in High Sierra both good and not so good. If you have the slightest interest in APFS read his posts. The quick summary is that if your Mac boots from a SSD, you can reap the Clone and Snapshot feature benefits of APFS which can be substantial.

If your Mac boots from a Fusion Drive or hard disk, you are in limbo because Apple has not completed APFS Fusion Drive/HD support.  Oakley warns of potential, “adverse effects of copy-on-write, perhaps the single most important technology behind APFS” on hard disk media and concludes

you can see why the performance of APFS on rotating disks is far inferior to that of HFS+. That is, though, something of a worst case.

But there is more. APFS brings yet more changes to basic Finder behaviors.

Apple has made Finder’s simple human interface progressively more complex. Originally:

  • Dragging an item from one folder to another on the same volume moved it; to copy you Option-dragged.
  • Dragging an item from one volume to another copied it.

Children of all ages, myself included, have found those principles clean and simple, and quite fail-safe.

Now, rules have become:

  • Dragging an item from one folder to another on the same volume moves it.
  • To make a copy (not clone) on an HFS+ volume, Option-drag to another location.
  • To make a clone (not copy) on an APFS volume, Option-drag to another location, but I can’t see how to make a true copy.
  • Dragging an item from one volume to another copies it, unless either of the volumes is on iCloud Drive, in which case it moves it.
  • To make a copy (not clone) to or from iCloud Drive, use Option-drag instead.

Messy.

I agree with Oakley’s final summary that we’ll have to wait and find out how serious Apple’s commitment to macOS really is. High Sierra is not turning out to be the next Snow Leopard. Not by a long shot. Will macOS remain a serious platform or become an iPhone accessory?

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egword Universal 2.1 Open Alpha v304

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Monokakido‘s Hirose san is busy cranking out egword Universal 2.1 updates with new versions coming every few days, now up to v304.

It’s a great tool for beautiful Japanese vertical text layout. My only wish is for an iOS iPad version with robust iCloud Drive support so I can easily move from device to device. I’m pretty sure Hirose san is planning to add that as soon as he can.

Give it a test if you have time and send feedback.

egword Universal 2 Open Alpha

egword Universal 2.1 alpha release

Monokakido‘s Hirose san has been busy not only updating apps for iOS 11, he has also been busy updating egword Universal 2 code after sitting on a shelf for 10 years.

In addition to Core Text changes since 2007 there is also emoji support, Retina Display, 64bit and lots more to add. Hirose san is working hard and has an open alpha egword Universal 2.1 for download. New versions are coming every few days.

Give it a test if you have time and send feedback.

High Sierra, Sierra’s dispatching bug, and iTunes 12.7

Eclectic Light does it again going deep into High Sierra where no other tech writer seems to go. Lots of writers have been complaining about the removal of app syncing in iTunes 12.7 but nobody seems to know about the replacement:

Apple’s answer, I suspect, is in the new Content Caching feature in High Sierra, although that doesn’t appear to be offered as a retrofit for Sierra. Apple hasn’t yet provided full details, but what I think is intended is that those with multiple iOS devices use their Mac as a local app and update server…

In many ways, this is a much neater solution than poor, overburdened iTunes has been.

If you used iTunes app syncing at all do yourself a favor and read the Eclectic Light post.

Something Went Wrong in Siri’s and Apple Maps Development (U)

John Gruber made a great post today:

Siri, as it stands today, is at best a halfway product. Again, I’m pro-Siri in the voice assistant debate, but even so I think it’s generous to describe it as “halfway”. The whole category is garbage, Siri included. And frankly, it just doesn’t feel like Apple has made as much progress in six years as they should have.

Something went wrong in Siri’s development, and it wasn’t the voice quality.

I don’t think it is entirely coincidence that two of Apple’s most troubled products, Siri and Apple Maps both appeared during the troubled time of Steve Jobs passing and the departure of Scott Forstall who headed both. They are very different products but the lack of progress in Siri and Apple Maps development after six years, is very troubling indeed.

Update

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In light of Apple Maps Indoor Maps gone MIA in Tokyo I think John is not seeing the whole story.

To paraphrase Steve Jobs for the umpteenth time, John Gruber is right, in certain areas. But on the whole I think he is wrong. It’s all right because it’s all right in America doesn’t fly.

Apple is a global organization. If it can’t identify problems, fix and improve Apple Maps in other countries, the organizational problem exists in America too, just not on the surface. Ditto for Siri.