News from Six Colors

The latest in the world of Apple

Six Colors Writing about Apple and other stuff by Jason Snell, Dan Moren, and others.

  • Luna Display adds Mac-to-Mac mode ↦
    by Jason Snell on October 17, 2019 at 1:20 pm

    Luna Display, the utility that lets iPads act as a display and control a Mac via USB or Wi-Fi (disclosure: they’ve sponsored my podcasts in the past), released a new Mac-to-Mac mode Thursday that will let any Mac running Mountain Lion or later act as an external display for another Mac, using the same fast, low-latency infrastructure as the rest of Luna Display.

    A few iMacs made between 2009 and 2014 support Target Display Mode, which does something similar, but this can allow other Macs with built-in displays—I’ve got a 2007 iMac just cooling its heels in my office running Mavericks—to be put to use. (I hooked mine up and it worked, but I think I’m over non-Retina displays….)

    This feature works with Retina Macs, and I’ve heard some encouraging initial reports that it works pretty well. I’m not too surprised, since Luna Display’s image quality and latency has always been solid on my iPad. Existing users of Luna Display will find this feature enabled in a free software update; the Mac that is not acting as the external display will need the Luna Display hardware dongle and must be running El Capitan or Later.

    [Read on Six Colors.]

  • Would Apple make its own Surface Neo? (Macworld)
    by Jason Snell on October 17, 2019 at 8:18 am

    Earlier this month, Microsoft introduced the Surface Neo, a strange device that looks like two iPads stuck together, or alternately, a laptop in which the keyboard has been replaced with a second touchscreen. Upon first seeing the Surface Neo, I immediately wondered: Would Apple make a product like this? And if not, why not?

    Let’s start by noting that the Surface Neo doesn’t really exist. People at Microsoft’s event weren’t allowed to use it, the company admitted some of its hardware specs were yet to be decided, and it’s been announced for a “holiday 2020” release. In other words, what was announced earlier this month was Microsoft’s intention to ship this product more than a year from now.

    But still: Two iPads hinged together to make a laptop sandwich! Imagine the possibilities. Given the clear distinction Apple has made between laptop shapes (which run macOS), and tablet shapes (which run iPadOS), one would think not. Then again…

    Continue reading on Macworld...

  • How many outs? Baseball playoff graphics compared
    by Jason Snell on October 16, 2019 at 3:47 pm

    [Content warning: Baseball.]

    ESPN’s 3-D strike zone animation was great.

    Ever since Fox introduced the status box overlay in NFL games a couple of decades ago, I’ve been paying attention to how televised sports imparts information to viewers. My recollection is that the “Fox Box” was somewhat controversial at the time, but if you watch old televised sports today it’s mind-boggling that the score and game status isn’t visible at all times. It’s hard to watch old football games without a yellow first-down stripe superimposed on the field, a feature that seemed like witchcraft when it was introduced in 1998.

    The past few years, as the baseball playoffs have played out, I’ve been watching how the various networks present in-game information… and occasionally complaining here and on Twitter about it. This year I thought I’d check back in on the postseason baseball broadcasts and judge how they’re doing in terms of presenting information on screen, rated from worst to best.

    MLB Network

    What’s missing? A strike zone.

    The league-owned MLB Network gets to broadcast an early-round game or two, when there are just too many games to air on the standard brodcast partners. This lets Bob Costas, who is Dick Clark-like in his agelessness, have a chance to broadcast postseason baseball. 1

    In any event, MLB Network’s graphics were the worst of the four postseason TV networks. They didn’t display the name of the current pitcher or batter, and offered no overlay of the actual strike zone with feedback about pitch location.

    And then there are the out dots.

    This is one of the delightfully stupid controversies that comes up when you write about baseball graphics. In a nod to skeuomorphism and old ballpark scoreboards, many networks display the number of outs in an inning not as a numeral, but as dots. These dots generally appear as gray circles that are filled in with a bright color as the inning progresses.

    The controversy is this: How many dots should there be? There are three outs in an inning, so you’d think the answer would be three. But some folks will point out that since getting the third out ends the inning, having a third dot would be superfluous. Once the third out is made, the inning is over and there are no outs at all.


  • (Podcast) Rebound 260: Hardcore Metaphor Podcast
    by Dan Moren on October 15, 2019 at 9:41 am

    This week, on the irreverent tech podcast that is all about the metaphors, we discuss Apple’s recent woes in China, plus our continuing experiences upgrading to macOS Catalina. Then there’s still time for games, games, games, as we mention a few that we’ve recently played before running down just a few more of the titles that are in the works for Apple TV+. And we all agree that our stress levels need to be lowered.

  • (Podcast) Upgrade #267: The Quiet Death of the Newton
    by Jason Snell on October 14, 2019 at 11:49 am

    James Thomson joins Jason to discuss converting an app from iOS to Mac via Catalyst, the prospects for using Catalyst on his most profitable app, and the end of an era as his app DragThing and all other 32-bit Mac apps fade away. We also sort out Apple and China, because that’s not a complicated topic at all.