iCloud Photo Library is a glorious thing. With a few dollars a month, you can have all of your photos swooshing up and down to the cloud, resident on all of your devices. On each device, you can choose whether to keep the originals or to let Apple use their algorithms to optimize your photo library. This optimization means you’ll never run out of space on your iPhone, iPad or your Mac.
If you choose optimized photos, some images will be stored locally in full resolution and some come down on demand when you tap on them. At all times thumbnails are available to be tapped, and as long as you have an Internet connection your vast library is always available to you. Any edits on one device are magically reflected on all other devices. Life is good.
My Photos library is giant by any measure, with more than 70,000 images taking up over 500GB of space. And yet I have access to all of these photos on my iPhone and iPad, which certainly don’t have 500GB of storage. I can even get to all of my photos by logging into iCloud.com. It really is a wonderful thing.
On February 15 Google’s Chrome browser gained a nice new feature for controlling ads. It’s been reported on as an ad blocker, but that coverage misses a very important subtlety. Google itself calls the feature ad filtering, and an ad filter describes this feature very well indeed.
Google is an advertising company, it is not in their interest to destroy the advertising industry. They’re trying to solve a subtly different problem — the rise of ad blockers!
This week our guest is Allison Hartley. Allison is the Manager of the Napa Branch of the California department of Rehabilitation, and a podcaster. She co-hosts both the Tech Doctor Podcast with Dr. Robert Carter (dr-carter.com/…) and That Blind Tech Show (blindabilities.com/…).
Allison joins us to talk about the less than smooth experience she had upgrading to iPhone X. You might think it was hard because she’s blind, but accessibility had nothing to do with it. We talk a bit about whether Apple has taken their eye off the ball about quality lately (spoiler alert, yes!).
In this action-packed show I tell you the story of adding chapter markers to the NosillaCast in a three part continuation series (hopefully you can see them now?) interspersed with two reviews from Bart. He tells us about how he’s using Hazel now to send things to Yoink and he explains why CardHop makes Contacts useful again. Steve wrote to Craig Federighi and actually got a response and 30 seconds of fame on Apple sites. And we’ve got a PSA about a phone scam using an Apple Store’s real phone number.
Bart’s Let’s Talk Apple show hits 50 episodes. In Dumb Question I’ll attempt answer whether someone should use Apple Photos or Google Photos (and I’m not as biased as you would expect). In a huge deviation from my published policy, I’ll give you a Tiny Tip about sharing existing playlists in iOS 11. Bezalel review of three products to bring wireless Qi charging to more “mature” iPhones. I’ll tell you the tale of adventure Steve, Pat Dengler and I went through to acquire the iPhone X, and I’ll give you some first impressions. Again, not as biased as you would expect (although I do use the word “magical” more than once.)
Bart was on the Phileas Club this week to talk about Ireland, and I was on Daily Tech News Show with Sarah Lane. Rick from Baltimore joins us with his first audio submission, where he tells us about how he discovered how to reset the People album in Apple Photos. I’ve found a tool called Grammarly to help me minimize typos that makes me happy. Bart brings us an out-of-band Security Bits session because of the big vulnerability discovered this week in WiFi. It’s oddly a reassuring session!
This is a bit of a different show – it’s primarily the four part story of my saga dealing with two catastrophic failures with Apple in a single week. It’s quite a tech story with a lot to interesting angles. After that Bart joins us with Security Bits.
As the saga progressed on my 2013 MacBook Pro being unable to contact any Apple services (no apps would run, no Mail would come in, no access to my iCloud data), I decided to see if I could get a response out of the executives at Apple. I originally wrote to Tim Cook, CEO of Apple but then forwarded the email on to Craig Federighi, Senior Vice President of Software Engineering. He seems like a swell guy with that pretty hair and all.
In my most recent post I told you about how my 2016 MacBook Pro died and had to go back to Apple for repairs. I said at the end that it wasn’t the worst thing that happened. Things got far far worse.
This isn’t my first rodeo, so I had three backups of my Mac. A full clone backup from SuperDuper! on an external drive, plus Backblaze AND CrashPlan offsite backups. It’s a long story why I have both but I was fully covered. I also always keep my most recent Mac when I buy a new one, just in case I ever have a hardware failure like this.
I reversed the cloning process to send my image onto my 2013 MacBook Pro. It was a little bit more complicated than it would be for a normal person, because I had upgraded the 2013 Mac to High Sierra and allowed it to change over to Apple’s new file system, APFS. SuperDuper! is really easy to restore from; you just sort of run it backwards, but it didn’t recognize the internal drive on the 2013. I used Disk Utility to reformat it back to Mac OS Extended (Journaled) and then I was able to shove the backup onto the old machine.