Having purchased a 15 inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar recently, I’ve been having a good time seeing how that Touch Bar can be used. With applications that know about the Touch Bar, it is an interesting UI approach. But with many macOS applications not having full Touch Bar support, I’ll reserve full judgment until most apps support it. I will say that the Photos app shows a tremendously useful way to use the Touch Bar.
One app I use all the time, the virtual machine program Parallels, does not currently support the Touch Bar, so whenever you are in it, you see the default Touch Bar view:
The only problem is that for Windows development, you really, really need those function keys. Sure you can press the FN key to have them come back, but I wanted the function keys to be the default. A little poking around in System Preferences, Keyboard settings, Shortcuts, showed the Function Keys section. I added Parallels Desktop to the list and, voila, now Parallels defaults to showing the function keys whenever Parallels has focus. Not the most earth shattering of tips, but one that certainly made my life better.
Now if only Apple would sell a Touch Bar external keyboard…… Read more
Apple held its ‘Loop You In’ town hall in Cupertino today, and amid the often-inane product announcements (Apple Watch now comes with nylon bands!) was a tidbit developers may find interesting.
The company is launching a new platform for building healthcare apps, called CareKit. The open-source platform, available in April, will allow developers to take advantage of iOS devices’ cameras and sensors to create apps that monitor patients’ symptoms, suggest treatment, and more.
The first app developed on the platform, aimed at improving treatment for Parkinson’s disease, was released today and will be used by leading healthcare institutions like UCSF and Johns Hopkins. Other applications could include hastening recovery after surgery by having patients use their phones to check off steps in a care plan, measure their vital signs, then send that information off to a doctor who can adjust treatment on the fly.
CareKit is an extension of Apple’s existing ResearchKit project, which uses iOS devices in large-scale studies of conditions like diabetes and epilepsy.
Other takeaways from the event:
It’s not too often that we hear about open source projects from Apple, but today they have announced that they are open sourcing the Swift programming language. The version released today will work on Linux Ubuntu as well as OSX. Will this eventually mean Swift for Windows or Android?
Apple will still be leading the development of Swift however and apps built with the open source version of Swift won’t be deployable to the App Store. That will require the developer to use the commercial version of Swift that will lag behind the latest release of the open source project, and of course pay the developer fees to Apple.
The source code for Swift is available now on Github and Apple is looking to build an online community for Swift developers at Swift.org that will include feedback mechanisms, a blog, and page with links to documentation. The primary page for that site makes some bold statements about the adoption of Swift.
… Read more
After Apple unveiled the Swift programming language, it quickly became one of the fastest growing languages in history. Swift makes it easy to write software that is incredibly fast and safe by design. Now that Swift is open source, you can help make the best general purpose programming language available everywhere.
On my production machine, my Apple MacBook Pro, I did an in place upgrade from Windows 8.1 to Windows 10. I ran into a couple of bumps and got them figured out so I thought I’d post this for others seeing the same problems. That way when combined with the power of Greyskull (AKA internet search engines) they can get answers if they hit the same issues.
The first issue I ran into had nothing to do with the MacBook Pro. I’d been short on disk space so pushed my 7 GB C:\Windows\Installer\$PatchCache$ directory to another drive with a directory link. That worked fine in Windows 8.1, but about 40% through the pre boot processing in Windows 10 setup I’d get the awesome “Something Happened” error. I’d made a strong mental note that I’d moved the $PatchCatch$ directory so that was the first thing I fixed. I had to make some room on the drive so did things like deleting my Outlook .OST file, which would get recreated the next time I started Outlook.
With 9 GB free on my C: drive, and $PatchCache$ in the proper location, I tried again. The upgrade was smooth sailing at that point. Once I logged into Windows 10, and deleted Windows.Old through the Disk Cleanup Utility, I was thrilled to see my 8 GB fee space had jumped to 19.2 GB.… Read more