wwriteLite 7.1.0 Now Available

There is a new release of wwriteLite, version 7.1.0. This is a bug fix release that does include one tweak.

Tweaks

  • Requires iOS 14.4.
  • Twitter Support username changed to @wwritelite, The old username of @waynesworkshop will work as well.

Bug Fixes

  • Fixed issue where “Always Show Ad” would not necessarily show an ad.
  • Fixed an issue where tapping on the “info” icon in an Ad would not show the ad information.

As usual, wwriteLite is free and available in the iOS App Store. If you download it and experience any issues feel free to contact support.

Update on Apple’s Development Transition Kit

Last week I posted about Apple’s Development Transition Kit (DTK), and how they were proving a $200 USD credit that expired at the end of May, 2021. There were some developers who were fine with what Apple offered, while there was a contingent who were a bit miffed at what Apple offered. On Friday, Apple sent an email that states:

Thanks again for participating in the Universal App Quick Start Program. 

We heard your feedback regarding the 200 USD appreciation credit mentioned in our last email. Our intention was to recognize the tremendous effort that you have put into creating amazing universal apps. By partnering with us early, you showed your commitment to our platform and a willingness to be trailblazers. 

So instead of the 200 USD credit that expires in May, we are giving you a 500 USD Apple credit and extending the time you can use it to get a new M1 Mac through the end of the year. If you already purchased a new M1 Mac, the Apple credit gives you the flexibility to purchase any Apple product to help with your app development work. 

We’ll share details soon about how to ship the Developer Transition Kit (DTK) back to Apple. Note that the DTK will no longer receive publicly available software updates after macOS Big Sur 11.2. We encourage you to return it as soon as possible so that your development work is not interrupted. And once you return the DTK, you’ll receive your Apple credit. 

Thank you again for making the Mac with M1 launch such a great success. 

As I stated in my post

An alternative to providing an extension would be to extend the length of time that the code can be used. Maybe make it expire at the end of the year instead of the end of May. I am sure that some developers might still not end up using their code, but it would provide a bit more time for some developers to be able to purchase a machine

I am glad to see Apple extending the credit until the end of the year. Not everybody would have the means to purchase an M1 Mac prior to the end of May, depending on their business. Having it extended until the end of the year is definitely better. Honestly, I would have been fine with them just extending the amount, but I am not going to argue with $500 credit for those who had the DTK. In particular, for those whose DTKs stopped working after a few months and did not get any anywhere near the full usage of the devices.

What is even better though, is that if someone did purchase an M1 Mac already, then it can be used for other things to help with their development. I hope Apple ends up releasing a non-XDR monitor, but only time will tell if that actually happens or not.

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Apple Notifies Developers to Return their Developer Transition Kits

It is not often that Apple makes the move from one type of architecture to another. For the Mac it has happened a total of three times. Motorola to Power PC in the early 90s, Power PC to Intel, in 2005, and now Intel to Apple Silicon; the last transition began last year with the release of the MacBook Air, Mac mini, and MacBook Pro with the M1 chip. In order to be able to make sure that the hardware and software was ready for users, Apple unveiled a program called the Universal App Quick Start Program. This program was announced on June 25th, 2020 at Apple’s World Wide Developer conference.

If a developer applied for, and was subsequently approved, they would be able to receive a Developer Transition Kit, or DTK, machine. The 2020 Developer Transition Kit has the form-factor of a Mac mini and has the follow specifications:

  • An 8 -core A12Z (the same processor as the 4th Generation iPad Pro)
  • 512GB SSD
  • 16GB of RAM
  • Two USB-A ports
  • Two USB-C ports
  • One HDMI port
  • One Gigabit Ethernet port
  • 802.11AC wireless networking
  • Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity

If you were an Apple Developer and you wanted to obtain one of these machines, you had to apply. If you were approved, you would be able to order one for $500. The program came with some stipulations. Some of these include:

  • The DTK is Apple’s property
  • The DTK would need to be returned to Apple.

The program was to last up to one year and Apple would let you know when you needed to return the machine. Apple has begun doing so. Many developers began receiving an email that states the following:

Thank you for participating in the Universal App Quick Start Program and your continued commitment to building great apps for Mac. Response to the new Macs has been incredible, and we love the fantastic experiences developers like you have already created for Mac users.

Now that the new MacBook Air, Mac mini, and MacBook Pro powered by M1 are available, it’ll soon be time to return the Developer Transition Kit (DTK) that was sent to you as part of the program. Please locate the original packaging for use in returning the DTK. We’ll email you in a few weeks with instructions for returning the DTK.

In appreciation of your participation in the program and to help with your continued development of Universal apps, you’ll receive a one-time use code for 200 USD* to use toward the purchase of a Mac with M1, upon confirmed return of the DTK. Until your program membership expires one year after your membership start date, you’ll have continued access to other program benefits, such as Technical Support Incidents and private discussion forums.

This $200 code has some stipulations. The first is that it can only be used towards an M1-based Mac. The second is that the code is only valid until May 31st, 2021.

With the previous transition from PowerPC to Intel, Apple also provided Developer Transition Kits to developers. At that time, when developers returned their machines, they received an iMac. I would not expect Apple to do the same thing this time, for a couple of reasons. The chief amongst these is that Apple is in a different situation this time. They have significantly more developers than before and likely have more 2020 Developer Transition Kits out in the world than in 2005. Secondly, Apple is not going to provide even a base model Mac mini for that price.

At no point did Apple indicate that there would be any sort of compensation for partaking in the program. However, precent did show that they had done it before. As we are all aware, that does not mean that what happened in the past will happen again.

Even with that though, there are a couple of issues as I see them. First, Apple made over $114 billion in revenue last quarter, and over $28 billion in profit. The $200 seems like a jab in the eye of developers, given how much profit that they made just last quarter. This is particularly true given that those who purchased the rental of the DTK helped Apple test and validate that the software and development tools were ready for production.

Second, many developers already purchased M1-based Macs. Having a one-time use code for $200 off of an M1-based Mac is not going to help them with their previous purchases. This means that either developers will end up purchasing another M1-mac, which starts at $700 for the base model Mac mini, or they will let the code expire. Neither of these provides any good will towards developers.

I think it would be great if Apple offered either $200 towards the purchase of an M1-based Mac or an extension to the Apple Developer program. I think this would make the most sense, because developers who already purchased an M1-based Mac would be able get some benefit without having to purchase another machine that they do not necessarily need. For individual developers that extension might be two years, and for enterprise developers it might just be for a year. Even though I like this idea, I do not see it happening. My reasoning for it not happening is the fact that the $200 towards the purchase of a new M1-based Mac only reduces the profits of Apple, but the cost of the machine is still covered. If Apple opted to give an extension, then that is services revenue that they would end up forgoing entirely, instead of just having a bit less profit overall.

An alternative to providing an extension would be to extend the length of time that the code can be used. Maybe make it expire at the end of the year instead of the end of May. I am sure that some developers might still not end up using their code, but it would provide a bit more time for some developers to be able to purchase a machine. What would be a real kick in the pants would be that if the higher-end MacBook Pros are not released until June or July, because then it would really look bad for Apple to not have the true developer machines be purchased by developers. Overall, given how profit-motivated Apple is, as well as how they put developers at the bottom of the list, I do not see them changing anything at all.

There are some developers that are perfectly fine with the $200, because they were not expecting anything. Honestly, that is the best approach to anything when it comes to Apple. Expect nothing, because then when you do get something, it is a big surprise. Ultimately, no matter what Apple does, it will just irk developers and may not generate all that much good will with them. It might have just been better for Apple to not offer anything, but they would get pushback for that approach as well. No matter what Apple decided to do, it would be a catch-22, but that is the burden you take on when you are the richest company in the world.

Reading List for January 2021

One of the things that I tend to do often is to listen to audio. This could be podcasts, music, or even audiobooks. Listening to Audiobooks allows me to do multiple things at once, like grocery shopping, playing video games, cleaning, and another tasks.

I generally listen to music when I am not listening to audiobooks or podcasts, and most often while I am working, although I can listen to audiobooks or podcasts as well, depending on what I am working on. If I am doing something that does not necessarily need me to concentrate on programming.

I cannot say why, but I thought I would keep track of the books that I have listened to over the course of the year. With today being February 1st, I figured now is a good time to recap those items that I listened to during January. It should be noted that I listen to audiobooks using the Audible app and generally listen between 1.5x and 2x. Therefore, I get through audiobooks a bit faster than normal. Typically, if it is a title that I have not listened to before, I listen at 1.5x or 1.6x. Whereas, if the title is something that I have listened to before, I will listen to it at 2x.

Over the course of the month of January, I listened to 27 different titles, 12 of them being ones that I listened to for the first time. I do not think I will be able to listen to as many books in February, but only time will tell.

With that, here is everything that I listened to throughout January, in the order that I listened to them.

Disclaimer: the links below will provide a bit of a commission if you purchase anything.

Title Author First Listen
The End of Everything Dr. Katie Mack Yes
Pilot X Tom Merritt No
Trigor Tom Merritt No
Band of Brothers Steven E. Ambrose No
Beyond Band of Brothers Major Dick Winters No
Instructions for American Servicemen in Britain 1942 American War Department No
Conversations with Major Dick Winters: Life Lessons from the Commander of the Band of Brothers Col. Cole C. Kingseed No
Ordinary Heroes Scott Turow No
Star Runner B.V. Larson Yes
Revolt in 2100 Robert Heinlein No
Methuselah’s Children Robert Heinlein No
The Real History of Secret Societies Great Courses Yes
Street Freaks Terry Brooks Yes
New York 2140 Kim Stanley Robinson No
Childhood’s End Arthur C. Clarke No
Fuzzy Nation John Scalzi No
The Enigma Cube Douglas E. Richards Yes
Rendezvous with Rama Arthur C. Clarke No
Time’s Eye Arthur C. Clarke & Stephen Baxter Yes
We are Legion (We are Bob) (Bobiverse 1) Dennis E. Taylor Yes
For We Are Many (Bobiverse 2) Dennis E. Taylor Yes
All These Worlds (Bobiverse 3) Dennis E. Taylor Yes
Heaven’s River (Bobiverse 4) Dennis E. Taylor Yes
Quantum: A Thriller (Captain Chase Book 1) Patricia Cornwall No
Spin (Captain Chase Book 2) Patricia Cornwall Yes
1984 George Orwell No
Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Douglas Adams Yes
Total   27

I hope to be able to keep up the record of what I have listened to over the course of the year. I am sure that the number of books that I listen to during the summer will decrease, since I work on my books during the summer.