Juggling domestic and international App Store accounts in iOS 12

iOS 12 App Store limitations
iOS 12 App Store can update Apps from a secondary account but only App titles that exist in the main account App Store

I can’t find the link right now (found it) but some blogs reported back in early summer that iOS 12 iOS 11.3 gained the ability to update App Store content from 2 different account IDs, USA and international.

I have juggled USA and Japan App Store content since App Store day 1 2008. Updating meant constant logging out and logging in to different accounts manually, a pain in the neck that I grew accustomed to over the years. Things have slowly improved but seamless savvy domestic~international App Store switching is still not there yet in iOS 12.

iOS 12 updates Apps from both USA and Japan accounts but only for content that is exists in both App Stores. Any attempt to update Japan only content from Yahoo Japan, Docomo, etc., and the USA App store coughs up a ‘This item is no longer available’ error. Back to the old tried and true ‘log out of US store log in to Japan store’ update maneuver.

This kind of ‘USA English version first, internationalization and optimization later when we can get to it’ attitude seems to be getting worse at Apple instead of better. On iOS 12 alone we have Apple Music Japan content that still does not Kana sort, half-assed Apple Maps Japan content, no Japanese TV content what-so-ever even though Netflix Japan and Amazon Prime Japan are going all out. On the just released macOS Mojave 10.14 iMessages is still missing Location settings. The list goes on.

Apple likes to pride itself on being, slightly, ahead of the curve on software internationalization. Sometimes it is, sometimes not. Smart, savvy internationalization of OS, cloud and content services that lead the industry may not sound sexy or produce big profits, but they have a huge impact on product quality around the world.

Making Apple products the best possible products out there was what Steve Jobs was all about. Apple may be stumbling of late, let’s hope they remember their founder by putting all into the job at hand.

 

Advertisements

Buckle Up Apple Advanced Typography Fans, It’s Going To Be A Bumpy Ride

Yes TextKit Does Not Do Real Vertical Text
Yep, TextKit marquee features do not include Vertical Text

One thing has remained constant in Apple’s long strange text layout architecture odyssey from QuickDraw GX to ATSUI to Core Text: with any big change advanced typography is the first casualty. Priorities change, this is natural, but what often happens is a reset back to the basics with advanced typography features restored over time according to new priorities.

Apple Advanced Typography Odyssey Chart
Apple Advanced Typography has had a long strange journey

This is especially true for the higher level text frameworks built on the underlying text architecture as Apple constantly rejiggles priorities of what advanced typography features belong at the high level vs. what stays in the deep dark scary Core Text. Developers stick with what they know instead of adding new text features, so the typography experience of most apps, regardless of platform, remains blah and ‘western centric’.

This is about to get worse as Apple figures out what bits of UIKit (TextKit calling) are going to join macOS and screw hold hands with AppKit.

UIKit and AppKit
When things collide advanced typography is the first casualty, the lowest common denominator wins

Take vertical layout for example. Japan is the last major market that requires it as China, Korea and other Asian countries sold out their rich typography culture and history for western created digital typography technologies that always treated non-western typography as an outliner, never a true equal. Japanese developers had to fight to get basic vertical text support in EPUB v2 and it still sucks getting vertical text EPUB to display or print in WebKit or any web based thing for that matter. Yes, after all this time the World Wide Web is still the Roman Wide Web.

QuickDraw GX, the vision part not the API, was the only major text layout architecture in a major OS I know of that treated all typography from anywhere as one single thing available to all applications. The Steve Jobsian ‘it just works’ for the entire world’s advanced typography. Since then Apple has broken typography features into different bits assigning them to different frameworks: bidirectional layout goes up in the high level, real vertical layout remains down there in Core Text.

AppKit has some high level vertical layout features but nobody uses them, Apple included (ahem Pages), because UIKit and WebKit don’t offer the same. One veteran Japanese font engineer explained the challenges: “UIKit doesn’t support real vertical text layout, the Japanese punctuation and glyph spacing is all wrong. The easier thing for an app developer to do is bundle a display only Japanese vertical font just for displaying vertical text in the app. Go ask the programmers at Monokakido, I’m sure that’s what they have to do with their iOS Japanese dictionary apps.” And so it goes.

It’s not just text layout either. How do OpenType Variable Fonts fit into this picture? How will developers deploy them and users interact with them? The crusty old macOS advanced typography font feature palette model is so passé it’s painful to look at, let alone use. So nobody uses it, I doubt they ever did.

The GX advanced typography vision thing, or any vision thing for that matter, would be a welcome guide map. Apple had it once, let’s hope they find it again. Otherwise it will be a bumpy ride. Again.

WWDC18 Reportage

macOS Mojave Metal Mania

The week after WWDC is like a small hangover, no agony or sharp pain, just the long dull ache of reality setting in after too much manufactured fun. Tech Media coverage of WWDC18 was flat and uninspired, maybe it was the lack of a new hardware announcement or a major new software initiative. The mood was captured by Japanese tech journalist Tsutsumu Ishikawa’s sour tweet, “Come to think of it there wasn’t any NFC announcement.” Come to think of it there actually was, Contactless Passes are a new thing and it will be interesting to see what developers will do with them.

The oddest thing was the reaction to the depreciation of OpenGL and OpenCL in macOS Mojave. It was all here and now hand wringing. No journalist or blogger seemed to be up to the job of putting together the bigger long term picture: that depreciation announcement plus Metal everywhere plus external GPUs, UIKit bits coming to AppKit was all just more writing on the wall that Intel CPU Macs are toast. Wouldn’t it be weird and wonderful if the new Mac Pro turns out to be the coming out party for the Apple A-Series Mac. Watching the media frenzy would be half the fun.

macOS Mojave Gets OpenType-SVG Font Support

MacOS Mojave Extras

(aka Means Girls in the Mirror)

iOS 12: my Siri still sucks…

watchOS 5: my WebKit is too big…

macOS Mojave: I have really bad OpenType-SVG fonts.

Ew…