The Weekly Review

Chris Bowler recently returned from a break to continue writing his weekly newsletter, The Weekly Review.

He describes it on his sign up page better than I can:

What’s in this digital ball of goodness? It features at least one full length article from yours truly, along with various choice links to content I’ve enjoyed, my fave tweets of the week, plus a review or two (software, books, beer & coffee). Witty commentary included. It’s a value added newsletter, see?

What do I read and write about? Things that I hope will make me a better person, better at what I do with my time. Creativity, faith, and making the most of the gifts I’ve been given. How to be disciplined, how to grow in Christ. If those types of things are of interest to you, I think we’ll get on just fine!

His newsletter has been my favorite thing to read on the internet each week since I subscribed a year ago. He recently took a few weeks off to refocus, and it has been even better since the break.

The weekly article used to mainly focus on work productivity, but he now shares ways to grow more into a deeper relationship with Christ in today’s new digital world.

Most of my online reading centers around people complaining about Apple, so having a weekly break to read about something that actually matters on the internet is both helpful and refreshing.

In addition to the main article, the links and (especially) the tweets that he shares are always worth a read.

The last section that is included every week is a review of something. More times than not, this is a review of either coffee or craft beer. Since he is in Canada, the drinks he talks about are usually not available to me here in Oklahoma; as someone who enjoys good coffee and beer a bit too much, I do enjoy reading about someone else’s experience with them.

The topics that Chris covers in The Weekly Review align closely with my interests, but it is the quality of his writing that keeps me reading every week. You should go sign up here and give it a shot. I don’t think you will be disappointed.

The new MacBook Pro is kind of great for hackers’ →

Adam Geitgey:

But in some ways, the new MacBook Pro is the most techy and expandable laptop Apple has ever made. They are trusting their pro users to wade into murky USB-C waters in search of the holy grail of a universal, open standard for moving data and power between devices.

I’m not here to change your mind about the MacBook Pro. Yes, it’s probably too expensive and more RAM is better than less RAM. But everyone posting complaints without actually using a MBP for a few weeks is missing out on all the clever things you can do because it is built on USB-C. Over the past week or two with a new MacBook Pro (15in, 2.9ghz, TouchBar), I’ve been constantly surprised with how USB-C makes new things possible. It’s a kind of a hacker’s dream.

This argument about the future of the Mac being all USB-C1 is really compelling to me, but there is still an elephant in the corner of the room: iOS and its proprietary Lightning port.

The idea of having a single port that all of my peripherals can use to connect to my computer loses a bit of luster when I have to have either carry another cable or an adaptor to attach those same peripherals to my iPhone or iPad2.

John Gruber a few months ago on the possibility of iPhones switching from Lightning to USB-C:

Second, even if Apple wanted to switch to a standard port, they wouldn’t switch to USB-C — it’s significantly thicker than Lightning. Josh Flowers made some excellent renderings in March showing just how much thicker USB-C is than Lightning. That’s the end of the story, right there, if you assume that Apple wants to keep making iPhones thinner and thinner. (And if you don’t assume that, you are wrong.)

Unfortunately, I think that Gruber is right here. I am generally on board with Apple doing whatever is needed to keep making their devices thinner, but this time I don’t think it is worth the price.

USB-C on the MacBook Pro is going to be great, but every time I use it I will be reminded how much better my USB-C experience would be if I used a Google Pixel instead of an iPhone.

  1. Er, Thunderbolt 3
  2. Having USB-C on the iOS devices would make the price of all those dongles you have to buy a little easier to swallow. 

StickerBook 1.0.1

StickerBook 1.0.1 is out today.

New Features

  • You can now rearrange and delete stickers from the iMessage app.


  • The app display name is now StickerBook (was previously Sticker Book).
  • The Help page now has sharing links and release notes (accessed through the iOS app).

Bug Fixes

  • Fixed a crash in the iMessage app when collapsing to the compact view.

Pick it up on the App Store.

Who Can Be A Dancer?

Tiffany Arment:

How do I responsibly raise a young white boy in today’s world of dangerously heightened white supremacy? How do I teach him to be self-confident and empowered by his choices, but still show him he isn’t the center of the universe, without creating a core of self-doubt?

I want him to learn equality, not entitlement; understanding, not overconfidence.


Introducing StickerBook

StickerBook is an iMessage sticker app that turns any image from your iPhone or iPad into a sticker. You can add images from your camera, photo library, document provider, and share extension. After selecting an image, you can crop it and fit it to one of many shapes included in the app.

You should go take a look at the product page or buy it from the App Store.

In no particular order, here are a few tidbits of information and technical details about the app.

– Unlike most Sticker apps, StickerBook also includes a standard iOS app1. The main reason that I included the main app was so that I could also include a share extension to easily turn photos from other apps into stickers.

Another benefit to having an app was that I was able to link to a [tutorial video covering how to use stickers]( put together by [MacRumors]( Right after iOS 10 came out, many sticker apps were getting back reviews because people would buy them from the App Store but then not be able to find them because they did not show up on the main Springboard. I'm not sure this is too much of a problem at this point, but having a regular app will help alleviate the problem if it is.

The only negative to including a normal app is that an app cannot be in the App Store Stickers category unless it _only_ includes an iMessage app.

After weighting the costs and benefits, the tutorial and share extension seemed more beneficial long term than simply being in the Stickers category. This way, I also have the flexibility to add in more extensions later.
  • The entire thing is written in Swift 3.0.12. The only third party dependency in the app is MMWormhole, which is used to keep the sticker list in the main app and the iMessage app in sync if both are open. MMWormhole is added to the project using Carthage.

  • I got to use my favorite picture of Oliver in the icon. This is probably my favorite thing about StickerBook.

  • Both the app and the iMessage app use the new design language that Apple introduced in Music, News, and Home in iOS 10. Since them, it has also been used in their new TV app due next month.

    I expanded on their design by adding some color instead of the flat white that Apple typically uses3.

    My favorite little detail of this design is the main header on the sticker list page4. If you scroll down past the top on the scroll view, the header stays in place at the top of the screen. If you scroll up, the header slides off the top with the rest of the content while a blur view fades in to made sure the status bar is not obscured by the content under it. This is all implemented using a custom UICollectionViewFlowLayout.

If you do pick up StickerBook, please let me know what you think.

  1. Most sticker apps only include the iMessage app. 
  2. Because it is 2016. 
  3. The Home app uses this style with a photo in the background, so even Apple has broke away from just using white in this design. 
  4. The behavior here is inspired by the header in the iOS 10 version of Apple News.