This week on MacStories Unwind, Federico has another surprise for me, and I’ve been playing Rollerdrome.
Nail Third-Party Audits and Compliance Goals with Endpoint Security for Your Entire Fleet
As reported by MacRumors’ Juli Clover, Apple released iOS 16.0.2 today to fix unspecified security issues along with several bugs. Among the bugs fixed are two that have been making headlines recently. One caused the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max’s cameras to shake when using some third-party camera apps, while the other displayed frequent alerts asking for permission to allow pasting from one app to another.
The full release notes are as follows:
- This update provides bug fixes and important security updates for your iPhone including the following:
- Camera may vibrate and cause blurry photos when shooting with some third-party apps on iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max
- Display may appear completely black during device setup
- Copy and paste between apps may cause a permission prompt to appear more than expected
- VoiceOver may be unavailable after rebooting
- Addresses an issue where touch input was unresponsive on some iPhone X, iPhone XR, and iPhone 11 displays after being serviced
Although Apple characterized the frequent alerts about pasting between apps as a bug, I have to wonder whether it was actually the intended behavior. It’s not as though nobody was talking about the issue throughout the beta period. In any event, it’s good to see all of these bugs being addressed so soon after the release of the phones.
Templates are a great way to speed up your workflow and maintain a consistent design language and branding across everything you create. With Pixelmator Pro 3.0,, you now have over 200 professionally-designed templates for creating a wide range of documents and mockups. I’ve been playing around with the new templates for a few days, and they have a lot of potential.
When you start a new Pixelmator Pro document, you’re presented with the app’s catalog of templates, which is broken down into several categories for creating social media, print, video, and mockup assets. There’s also a Brand Templates category that cuts across different template types, collecting templates by their branding style. There’s a lot here to browse, but like any app that offers templates, I quickly gravitated to a couple of looks that I particularly liked. You can also define your own templates using the app’s system for creating placeholders for various image elements.
Once you open a new template-based document, tweaking it is easy. The options for each template vary depending on its design, but browsing through the layer navigator in the left sidebar, you’ll find controls to change things like lighting effects, placeholder images, colors, and more. The Pixelmator team says that for actions like replacing placeholder images, Pixelmator Pro uses the app’s machine learning engine to remove backgrounds, resize images, change their resolution, and place them properly in any frame.
Pixelmator Pro 3.0 also introduces the concept of Document Colors, which are sets of colors that can be applied to a template. Each template comes with a few starter palettes to choose from, and you can create your own too. Click on a set of colors, and your template will be updated with the new color scheme all at once.
Overall, I like the new Pixelmator Pro templates a lot. It’s simple to get started and easy to adjust your creation. I also appreciate the wide variety of formats available for social media and other types of documents.
The iPhone, iPad, and MacBook mockups have potential too, but I found the lack of adjustments available for the device frames and backgrounds limiting, A bigger library of mockup styles would help, but more controls to manipulate device frames and backgrounds would be ideal.
Still, I like the direction Pixelmator Pro is heading with its templates. They’re easier to use than the systems used in other apps and should meet the needs of a lot of users.
Pixelmator Pro 3.0 is available on the App Store as a free update to existing customers.
This week on AppStories, we cover some of our favorite new apps and updates that feature iOS 16 Lock Screen widgets.
On AppStories+, I got a new microphone, and both Federico and I contemplate our evolving work setups.
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The Apple Watch Ultra reviews are out and instead of a roundup of all of them, I’m just going to link to Victoria Song’s review on The Verge, which comprehensively covers the watch’s new features, answers all of the questions I’ve had since the Ultra’s announcement, and explains better than anyone who it’s for and who it’s not:
After a week of testing, I don’t think it’s going to bump Garmin, Polar, or Coros watches for the Ironman, thru-hiker, or deep-sea diving crowds, at least not yet. But it’s legitimately good for weekend warriors and intermediate athletes — and very tempting for folks who aspire to that status and a whole lot of people who just want the biggest, baddest Apple Watch they can get.
The size of the Ultra is an area of intense interest, and while it’s big and chunky, Song explains that in practice, it feels smaller to wear:
I don’t normally love big smartwatches. I have petite wrists, and anything over 45mm is generally too uncomfortable for all-day wear, looks ridiculous on my arm, and leads to activity tracking inaccuracies. But I’ve found that some watches “wear small” — the Polar Grit X Pro, Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro, and Suunto 7 all feel smaller than they look. To my surprise, the 49mm Apple Watch Ultra is one of them.
This is one of those things that’s hard to convey through pictures alone. In photos, the Watch Ultra dwarfs my wrist. In person, it feels smaller than some of the 45mm to 47mm round watches I’ve tested.
Song and The Verge editor-in-chief Nilay Patel both got better than rated battery life too:
The Ultra’s 36-hour battery estimate is also a bit conservative; if you’re not partaking in a triathlon, you’re likely going to get closer to 48 hours. And that’s without low-power mode enabled.
Although there’s room for improvement and Song doesn’t think Apple is going to take the sports watch category by storm just yet, she concludes that:
All in all, the Ultra is one of the best debuts in a new product category that I’ve seen in a while. A lot of thought was put into the Ultra, and it shows. It’s not enough to make Garmin shake in its boots just yet, but it’s more than enough to pique interest and spark competition. Apple’s officially a viable contender in the rugged watch category — and I can’t wait to see what comes next.
The review is full of real-life, hands-on scenarios that make the case for the Apple Watch Ultra as a device that fits the profile of a fitness enthusiast better than the fitness pro but also someone who wants the most Apple Watch available. It’s an interesting mix that will be interesting to watch develop as the Ultra is delivered to customers and evolves in the future.
I’m really excited about the latest update to GoodLinks for iPhone. The app has always had some of the best automation support of any link management or read-later app I’ve used. However, with version 1.7, which was released last week, GoodLinks has taken its automation tools to a new level, opening up more ways to customize how you save, manage, and use links than ever before.
Because Club MacStories now encompasses more than just newsletters, we’ve created a guide to the past week’s happenings along with a look at what’s coming up next:
As the release of iOS 16 approached, I felt a strong sense of déjà vu. TestFlight betas with Lock Screen widgets came pouring in. It felt like 2020’s debut of Home Screen widgets all over again. This time, though, those betas have been all about Lock Screen widgets.
As Federico covered in his iOS 16 review, Apple’s approach to Lock Screen widget support in its own apps is different than its approach to Home Screen widgets was. There are far fewer Lock Screen widgets available for system apps than there were when Home Screen widgets were launched with iOS 14. Part of the difference is undoubtedly because Lock Screen widgets are smaller and monochrome, but there remain gaps that aren’t so easily explained away. Fortunately for us, third-party developers have stepped into the breach with a long list of innovative widgets.
With so many choices and only three to five Lock Screen widget slots to fill, it’s hard to know where to start, so I’ve compiled a list of my top recommendations from the over 40 I’ve tried so far. Of course, this list doesn’t include the apps I already covered last week, but it goes without saying that Widgetsmith, Lock Screen One, LockFlow, and CARROT Weather would be also be included in this list if I hadn’t already written about them.
Do you know the old thought experiment about the AI designed to make paper clips that quickly decides that it will have to eliminate all the humans to maximize paper clips?
Many security teams have a similar idea when meeting compliance goals: it would be much simpler if it weren’t for all the pesky users.
That way of thinking has brought us to the current state of endpoint security, dominated by MDMs that hamper device performance and turn every laptop into Big Brother. This approach to security is bad for culture and morale; moreover, it doesn’t actually work. If it did, no company with an MDM and annual security training would have a data breach.
Kolide is endpoint security and fleet management that takes a different approach. They help their customers meet their compliance goals–whether for auditors, customers, or leadership–by enlisting the support of end users.
Kolide works by notifying your employees of security issues via Slack, educating them on why they’re important, and giving them step-by-step instructions to resolve them themselves.
For IT admins, Kolide helps you prove compliance via a single dashboard. From there, you can monitor the security of your entire fleet, whether they’re running on Mac, Windows, or Linux. (You read that right; Kolide can finally provide visibility into your Linux users.)
If you’ve read this far, it’s because you’re intrigued by an approach to endpoint security that gets end users involved. Click here to learn more about how it works. If you like what you see, you can sign up for a free trial; no credit card required.
Our thanks to Kolide for sponsoring MacStories this week.