Mail aliases under El Capitan

There is a welcome addition to El Cap that I like a lot: in Mail you can finally create and edit mail aliases from the UI. This was previously possible if you edited ~/Library/Mail/V2/MailData/Accounts.plist file and added your aliases as dictionary items (I blogged about this in detail 2 years ago).

This can be found under: Mail – Preferences – Accounts – Account Information – Alias – Edit Aliases…

Why is this useful? If you have custom domains that you’d like to send mails from using your current mail provider as a backend, you can set aliases for that domain. Apple Mail will recognize the recipient list and automatically set that address as the sender address.

For instance, I have a reply from address set to this blog, and whenever get a mail from a reader, I’m automatically replying from this domain. Apple Mail even lets you quickly select from your identities in every mail (just like as if you’d had multiple mail accounts configured).

One thing to note is that you need to provide domain ownership, otherwise your mail will definitely end up being in the spam. This can get technical and messy, but refer to my earlier blog post or reserch DKIM and SPF zones.

iOS 9 GUI from Facebook design

Ever since Teehan+Lax transformed into something different and Facebook-ish, I’ve been all but wonder: what’ll happen to their otherwise fantastic iOS GUI Sketch? Good news is that it’s part of Facebook Design now and it is now meticulously recreated for iOS 9. You can download the whole thing here.

There is more: they made available the diverse Origami device hands, which is also excellent for design work, and they have a good spot for learning about the design at Facebook.

Super Mario Advance 4’s e-Reader Levels Get Resurrected Thanks To Super Mario Maker


When Nintendo launched Super Mario Bros. 3 on the Game Boy Advance under the rather misleading title Super Mario Advance 4, it included 30 secret stages – all falling under the banner “World-e” – which could only be unlocked by using the optional e-Reader accessory and a set of special cards.

Given that both of these elements were quite hard to get hold of even at the time of release, not many people got to experience these stages – but thankfully that has now changed as fans Baddboy78 and theycallmeshaky have painstakingly replicated the levels in Super Mario Maker.

I slowly get to see the real value in this game. Here is a good introduction what “World-e” meant in SMA4. There is a level which is super rare to get, even in SMA4: you needed to live in Japan, you needed this card reader thing and you had to actually go into selected stores to get the card and “unlock” the level in your game. This is the “B Dash de Kakenukero!” and it’s pretty hillarious!

Do you love SF? Here is what you need to know.

Apple marketing:

Designed from the ground up for use on all Apple devices, San Francisco has been fine-tuned for optimal readability on a Mac, and looks particularly crisp and refined on a Retina display.

One could argue whether Apple really designed the SF family from the ground up given the almost identical appearance to “Akkurat“, a font designed by the Swiss Laurenz Brunner. Here is a comparison on ExpiredMag:

Back in 2012 on the genesis of Akkurat by Laurenz:

My typeface was an anti-thesis to [graphic design in London in 2002] – a utilitarian typographic notion that, looking back, I was only able to embrace by living a healthy distance from Switzerland, my home country, famed for its modernist heritage.

For a long time I never considered releasing the font – I thought of it as my own personal writing tool. (…) It actually took several weeks for the first license to leave the shop, and it wasn’t until two or three years later that designers started becoming more interested in an ‘objective’ typographic style, reanimating a lot of classic (Swiss) design values. Akkurat became something of a mascot for this movement.

On the other hand Akkurat is very similar to grotesque typeface FF DIN. Apple is know to experiment with humanist typefaces: prior to iOS 9, FF DIN was used in the camera app as the UI font, and another humanist font, Avenir, designed by Swiss Adrian Frutiger, was notoriously used as the font in Apple Maps.

Needless to say, I’m A-okay with the use of SF, and I love the modifications to the original (just check the colon between the time markings), but I’m not so A-okay with the design attribution. Clearly, Antonio Cavedoni, at Apple Type Group, could’ve pushed attributing SF as a font that was based on Akkurat and have been modified as a typeface for Apple’s UI font. Apple in the end has chosen not to.

update: I made some comparison, the difference is more striking here. I think Apple did a good job with the fork, though.

Amuse + Crunch conferences, Budapest 28-30 October

There are still tickets for both Amuse (UX) and Crunch (data) conferences organized by Prezi and USTREAM here in Budapest. The lineup for both conferences are stellar, and you can purchase tickets for workshops as well. In case of Amuse it’s worth visiting all workshops: Visual Essentials for Product Designers, Prototyping, and, you guessed it, Design Thinking. The tickets are $300 for each.

A Father’s Pride

Fantastic and beautiful story written and performed by Neil Gaiman on the Moth. I was listening to it while commuting to work today and it turned out to be one of my best commutes ever. I highly recommend listening to it.

One thing that got me wondering afterwards was this: if superintelligence takes over eventually, will we be able to produce art such as this? Or the superintelligence will see art as ants carrying leaves while building the superhighway right next to them? Maybe art will be what art is to ants? Another angle: currently technological advancements are fueled by art (my recent example is Apple Music, just think about it). Is it possible to do technical advancements without the support of art?

Anyway, Neil Gaiman’s story has nothing to do with superintelligence, but it’s a beautiful story to listen to.

The mistery of the disappearing song in My Music

Hey, happy Apple Music subscriber here. I noticed an interesting thing today. Here is a list of “My Music” sorted by date added. (I find this a very convenient way to re-listen songs which I’d found interesting.) Anyway, here is a portion of My Music on the Mac:

Turns out I wanted to listen to Two weeks by FKA twigs on my phone. Here is what I saw:

The song was missing. Everything was there but this. I checked if I was logged in the same iTunes Stores etc, but the solution was much simple: the Two weeks song was classified as “Explicit” by the Store and the default behaviour on the iPhone is to not show explicit content.

To change this go to: System Settings – General – Restrictions, enter a 4 digit PIN, write down the PIN, then enter “Music, Podcasts & News” section and turn it on. The second I did this, the song appeared.

update: I was told Explicit might not be on by default.

Why exactly had Marco Arment pulled Peace from the App Store?

I was listening to Accidental Tech Podcast #136 – War and Peace, because Marco revealed that he’s going to shed some light on why he’d pulled his content blocker “Peace” app from the App Store.

If you’re not interested in the various angles of the ad market, how it works, implications, technical background and general courtesy and diplomacy from co-hosts Casey and John, listening to it seems like a waste of time. A couple of things though:

1. The general audience will never know what exactly went down between Marco and different opposing parties. All that was revealed is he didn’t want to be in the position he’s found himself in, being the face of ad blocking. But why that was such a terrible place to be in, and what happened during these two days, we will never know.

2. He did say that he’s gotten several requests on how to change his app to conform with the biz etc. This doesn’t seem too serious or threatening. Definitely not something from which you’d pull your very successful app in just two days.

3. An interesting aside: he also revealed that he asked John Gruber about whether he should pull the app and he was adamant that Marco shouldn’t. Marco pulled it regardless and this could also be a possible explanation on why Gruber didn’t even link to Marco during this, once.

Marco has been in the media biz for some time now, he’s used to comments and critiques. What he revealed on the show mustn’t have been an issue for him. From what I can deduct though, is that he’s received serious threats on a scale that was unbearable to the point where he promptly reversed his actions.

Dropbox is a damn perfect feature

Casey Newton at the Verge is arguing that Dropbox is overvalued:

[a]fter years of investment and exploration, syncing files is still the only thing Dropbox does well. Steve Jobs knew this: he famously told Houston (while trying to acquire it) that his company was “a feature and not a product.”

I see the first sentence here as its main strength. I was evaluating for my personal use both Google Drive and iCloud Drive and none of them matched the ease of use and reliability of Dropbox.

The most creative I got over the weekend

Did some math:

1. If I’d bought an iPhone 6 64 GB last year, I now could sell it around €600. The new iPhone 6S will be around €800 gross (these are Hungarian retail prices, I could source it from SF which yields around €630). Roughly I’d be spending €200 on upgrades yearly, but I couldn’t keep my old device.

2. If I bought an iPhone 6S for €800 and I kept it for 3 years, that would get me a yearly a 800/3 = €266 spend, but I could keep the old one either as a backup/test device or circulate within the family. 800/2 = €400 per annum, but 800/4 = €200.

3. I also could buy a used and cheap 5S for €300 and use it for 4 years, until it breaks. But where is the fun in that?

Shovel Knight (3DS)

I’ve been eyeing this game for a long time, this Friday I finally purchased it since the DLC came out like a week ago. This game is very good. The pixelart is true NES-style (pixelart by Nick Wozniak), gameplay is fabulous. So glad they made this happen. If you’re into indie games, buy it, it’s on every platform now.

Daring Fireball on the new iPhones

John Gruber sheds light on some fine details of the new iPhones. First the Trackpad Mode:

Press on the keyboard and it turns into a trackpad. iPads running iOS 9 can trigger this trackpad mode, too, with a two-finger swipe on the keyboard. Doing it with a single finger on the iPhone, though, is a tremendous boon to text editing. This might be the single best new feature for text editing on the iPhone since the addition of selection and copy-paste in iOS 3 in 2009. In addition to moving the insertion point around, you can press again and switch to selection mode — like double-clicking the mouse pointer on a Mac. Trackpad mode is a once-you’ve-used-it-you-can’t-go-back addition to iOS.

Here is it in motion. On peek/pop:

[y]ou can drag a message up to get an activity sheet with additional actions, like Reply, Forward, Notify Me, and more. (…) Once you get used to it, peek/pop is as intuitive as the shutter button on a camera, where you can press halfway to engage autofocus and set the exposure, and press the rest of the way to take a picture.

On the new Touch ID:

[t]he new Touch ID sensor as “up to 2× faster”. They’re underselling it. It’s so fast now that every single time I press it, it unlocks the phone, no matter how brief the contact is between my finger and the sensor.

And finally:

It is stronger, more noticeable, and in my opinion more pleasing than any previous iPhone vibrator.

This sentence could’ve been so much better without the word “iPhone”.

53’s Paper app for the iPhone

John Paul Titlow, Fast Company:

Ian Curry, a visual designer at FiftyThree, blurted out: “Why don’t we visually format the text?” After some back and forth, the team settled on what they now call swipe-to-style, a way of formatting text using gestures instead of interface buttons. Over the next 48 hours, a developer coded up a prototype called Text Trial, an internal app that would allow them to test out different methods of formatting text with touch gestures.

I love this interaction model. The article is worth a proper read, too. They could’ve released the iPhone version three years ago, but didn’t because they want to get it right. The read is just a glimpse how much thought and craft went into making the port.

/via Benoît

Introducing You On My Mind

Together with a couple of friends we’ve been working on and off for a year on a new social app. It’s called You On My Mind. We’re not ready to release it just yet, but you can subscribe to our mailing list if you want to get a notification when we do in the near future.

I’ll be posting more as we’ll be nearing our store release date. When is it? I don’t know, but we’re getting closer. Working on it in our free time is hard. We might as well do a closed beta, so sign up and get to try it out as soon as possible. The app will be released for iOS and Android platforms.