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Tip Jar: Groking Spotlight Settings in iOS

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I still don't really understand some of the iOS settings but one, in particular, has always baffled me: Spotlight.1

Spotlight

By default, every app installed automatically gets indexed by Spotlight. That's not always great for search results. I find that many of my spotlight searches are contaminated by results from things I don't want to see. Through trial and error, I think I figured out the consequences of Spotlight settings. I could be wrong, but this is what I observe.

Enabling Spotlight for an app may mean that the app contents are indexed and searched in Spotlight. That means apps like Drafts and DEVONthink show their contents as part of the Spotlight search results.

Search Results

If I turn off the Spotlight indexing for an app (for example Deliveries), then the contents are omitted from Spotlight. Here's the rub though. Now if I want to quickly find the app, not the contents of the app, partial name matches don't work. I must type the full app name "deliveries" before Spotlight shows it. That's... non-obvious.

Useless Results


  1. Now called Siri and Search in iOS 11 

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Spuzzy
47 days ago
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Spotlight on iOS is really stupid now. Literally.
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The Outline: ‘Inside Apple’s Global War on Leakers’

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William Turton has quite a scoop for The Outline:

A recording of an internal briefing at Apple earlier this month obtained by The Outline sheds new light on how far the most valuable company in the world will go to prevent leaks about new products. […]

The briefing, which offers a revealing window into the company’s obsession with secrecy, was the first of many Apple is planning to host for employees. In it, Rice and Freedman speak candidly about Apple’s efforts to prevent leaks, discuss how previous leakers got caught, and take questions from the approximately 100 attendees.

There’s some irony in a leaked recording of an internal briefing on stopping leaks.

This is news to me:

However, Rice says, Apple has cracked down on leaks from its factories so successfully that more breaches are now happening on Apple’s campuses in California than its factories abroad. “Last year was the first year that Apple [campuses] leaked more than the supply chain,” Rice tells the room. “More stuff came out of Apple [campuses] last year than all of our supply chain combined.” […]

In the years since Tim Cook pledged to double down on secrecy, Rice’s team has gotten better at safeguarding enclosures. “In 2014 we had 387 enclosures stolen,” he says. “In 2015 we had 57 enclosures stolen, 50 of which were stolen on the night of announce, which was so painful.” In 2016, Rice says the company produced 65 million housings, and only four were stolen. “So it’s about a one in 16 million loss ratio, which is unheard of in the industry.”

There’s a short (15 minute) podcast that accompanies the report, with Turton and The Outline’s Adrianne Jeffries. It’s worth a listen. (It doesn’t seem possible to link directly to a single episode of their podcast, so here’s a direct link for Overcast users.)

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Link: ‘Fuck Facebook’

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John Gruber has some choice words for Facebook and their desire to wall off posts and force you into their service in order to read it comfortably. It’s actually worse than he knows since he doesn’t use Facebook.

My wife was trying to show me something a friend of hers had posted on Facebook. A cute shiba inu or guinea pigs jumping over CGI pits of fire or some political thing or something. She had seen it earlier in the day and wanted to share it with me and she knows the best way to do that is just show it to me on her phone because, while I do have a Facebook account, I’d rather cut my eyelids off and eat them than log into it.

But she couldn’t find it. She scrolled and scrolled and scrolled but Facebook’s shitty algorithmic timeline just kept showing her crap it wanted her to see instead of what she wanted to see.

So, not only can’t you access Facebook content from outside of Facebook, half the time you can’t access Facebook content from inside Facebook, either.


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Spuzzy
197 days ago
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True story.
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2 public comments
MotherHydra
192 days ago
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I wanna see #fuckfacebook turn into a thing.
Space City, USA
thepyrate
197 days ago
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I have had the situation where I've seen some link I want to open but the next thing down looks interesting as well, I scroll down a bit, nah, I'll go back and open that link now, and the post that was literally RIGHT ABOVE the next post I scrolled to has disappeared. It's a mess and gets worse and worse to use as time goes on.
Hobart, Tasmania

On Giving a Shit

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Joe Hewitt, possibly in response to Dave Winer’s and my objections to Facebook today:

Seriously guys, nobody gives a shit about the open web. Only your clique.

A few thoughts:

  • Most people don’t care about “the open web” at the technical or political (and in my personal case, business) level that Dave Winer and I do. Most people, I’m sure, couldn’t even offer a cogent definition of what “the open web” means. Nor should they have to. They just know they can open a web browser, search for things, visit their favorite sites, and click links from one site to another. But I’ll tell you what: I bet most people think it sucks that stuff posted publicly to Facebook — like Marc Haynes’s lovely story about Roger Moore — can’t be searched by Google. And I bet they’d be pissed if they knew that it wasn’t a technical issue on Google’s side but simply a deliberate strategic decision by Facebook. People may not know what the open web is but they like it.

  • What a sad way to go through life, discouraging people from fighting for what they know to be both right and good for the world, simply because most people may not understand. “Just give up” seems to be Hewitt’s advice.

  • Joe Hewitt in 2009:

    The web is still unrestricted and free, and so I am returning to my roots as a web developer. In the long term, I would like to be able to say that I helped to make the web the best mobile platform available, rather than being part of the transition to a world where every developer must go through a middleman to get their software in the hands of users.

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Spuzzy
197 days ago
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Ouch...
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rtreborb
196 days ago
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Great quote from the archives

Apple’s ‘Differential Privacy’ and Your Data

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Andy Greenberg, writing for Wired, has a good explanation of differential privacy:

Differential privacy, translated from Apple-speak, is the statistical science of trying to learn as much as possible about a group while learning as little as possible about any individual in it. With differential privacy, Apple can collect and store its users’ data in a format that lets it glean useful notions about what people do, say, like and want. But it can’t extract anything about a single, specific one of those people that might represent a privacy violation. And neither, in theory, could hackers or intelligence agencies.

And:

Differential privacy, Roth explains, seeks to mathematically prove that a certain form of data analysis can’t reveal anything about an individual—that the output of an algorithm remains identical with and without the input containing any given person’s private data. “You might do something more clever than the people before to anonymize your data set, but someone more clever than you might come around tomorrow and de-anonymize it,” says Roth. “Differential privacy, because it has a provable guarantee, breaks that loop. It’s future proof.”

→ Source: wired.com

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Spuzzy
543 days ago
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The 9.7-inch iPad Pro Has 2 GB of RAM

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Matthew Panzarino ran some Geekbench tests on a 9.7-inch iPad Pro, which shows 2 GB of RAM as well as a slightly underclocked CPU compared to the bigger iPad Pro, which has 4 GB of RAM.

2 GB of RAM was one of the first things I heard about the new device yesterday, and part of the reason why I'm going to stick with the 12.9-inch Pro. In addition to a more comfortable iOS experience, I like knowing that I'm using the most powerful iPad hardware currently available (I don't count the camera as essential to what I need to do on an iPad).

→ Source: twitter.com

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Spuzzy
633 days ago
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