Check Your Mac’s Battery Health with coconutBattery

Back when Apple started throttling devices with degraded batteries, much ado was made around iPhone battery health. So much ado, in fact, that they not only published a very lenghty explanatory page about it, they also added a profusion of battery-related functionality to iOS. Graphs, buttons, statistics: you name it, it’s in the Battery section of the Settings app.

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How to Effectively Curb Procrastinating on the Internet

You know it. YouTube rabbit holes, Twitter threads, Netflix binges, we’ve all been there. Some, in an attempt to redeem themselves, completely go off the Internet for a while. But that’s like throwing the proverbial baby out with the bath water, not to mention that many of us need the Internet in order to do our work.

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The Archive Custom Theme: iA Writer

The Archive is an outstanding piece of software for personal knowledge management, especially of the kind I spoke about in my last post. Among its strengths1 is its custom theme engine, allowing users who are willing to tweak a few .json files to create new color schemes from scratch. Since I love iA Writer‘s design, I thought: why not make The Archive look like Writer? So that’s what I did, and you can download the results.

To download the themes, right-click on the themes you want below and save the files in a place you’ll remember. Then, open The Archive’s preferences and go to the Theme tab. Click on “Open Theme Manager” then “Open Theme Directory.” Move the files you downloaded there.

Dark ThemeLight Theme

I tried to stick as closely as possible to Writer’s color palette, in both its light and dark mode. I highly recommend using one the same fonts Writer uses, which they graciously release for free to the public.

Changelog

  • 1.0: Initial release
  • Dark 1.1: Fixed the unfocused background selection color. Huge thanks to reader Sebastian for the heads-up!

Learning Regular Expressions

Some other blogs I follow have recently been writing about the beauty and utility of regular expressions. I love regular expressions. Spending a couple of minutes learning them is a great investment, as the time you’ll save later will be many orders of magnitude larger than that. It just makes sense from so many perspectives. You don’t even have to be a programmer to benefit from them, as shown here. They just make you a better computer user.

While the posts do mention some incredibly solid sources to learn regexes from, such as the BBEdit User Manual, they still may be a little too daunting for the “rest of us.” That, for me, is where RegexOne comes into play, which no one has (as far as I can see) mentioned so far.

The whole website is, essentially, one smooth tutorial which will teach you regexes from the bottom up, easing you in one bit at a time, without ever overwhelming you. It’s well-paced, highly interactive, and exactly the sort of thing I’d take on as a little weekend project. I’ve used it to learn regexes back in the day and occasionally come back to it from time to time. It’s great.

The Problem with Photo Permissions on iOS

With the introduction of iOS 11, Apple improved upon how photo permissions are handled in two ways:

Firstly, the user can choose to allow apps write-only access to the Photo Library. This is a huge privacy improvement, especially towards apps like cameras which do not need to read from it. Then, parallel with the release of the Drag and Drop feature on iPad, apps in iOS 11 are able to receive one photo or media file in a “container”. What this means is, if you drag and drop a picture onto an app, the app does not get access to your entire library but to that one picture only.

As it stands now, on iPhone, if an user wants to, say, upload one photo on Instagram, they have to give it access to the entire library. This is the issue. I believe Apple should and could make it so that there is a full split between the Photo Library and the app, and make it so that using existing photos on apps works similarly to how Drag and Drop already does. A button in the app calls a Photo Library overlay, the user chooses a picture to share with the app, and the app receives it in a sealed container.

This would be an enormous step towards a more private iOS.