This is the eighteenth episode of the Ask Different Podcast. Your hosts this week are Kyle Cronin, Jason Salaz, Nathan Greenstein.

  • After we open with talking pleasantly about weather and recount the amount of time we’ve now been doing this show, we discuss the state of iOS 5′s Notification Center and apps that don’t seem to play nice with it. And speaking of not playing nice, Facebook’s iOS app. After our round of kvetching concludes, we talk a bit about Facebook’s direction, what demographics may be most beneficial, and who they have in mind with new features.
  • Upon realization of our dislike for the subject matter, we quickly move to Nathan’s recent visit to his local Seattle Microsoft Store. While there are many obvious differences, there’s also a significant amount of similarity in presentation, layout, and choice of terminology. Nathan has also elaborated on his thoughts and more in his blog post on the subject, and you can view all of his pictures from the visit in his Flickr set.
  • Returning to the subject matter at hand, we discuss Apple’s announcement that by next March, all apps sold via the Mac App Store will be required to be sandboxed, and will have a defined set of privileged activities they will be allowed to use, which must also be accepted by Apple at the time of the App’s submission to the Mac App Store, called “entitlements”. We discuss the implications this has in the near term, and how this trend could continue over the course of a few years.
  • Speaking of staunch principles, there is a noted decrease in Apple’s friendliness to what people generally consider “professional” users, or at the very least power users. With the rumored eventual death of the Mac Pro, following in the heels of the death of the Xserve and Xsan products, as well as software changes like the upgrade from Final Cut Pro 7 to Final Cut Pro X, there is a noted sense that Apple is stripping out things in the name of simplicity, but at the detriment of flexibility and wider compatibility.
    • This also leads to consideration of how Apple could provide, license, or otherwise allow Mac OS X to run on non-Apple hardware, in order to allow other hardware vendors to provide “special” hardware configurations to consumers that may need them but will want to continue running OS X. A tip of the hat to the Hypercritical Podcast, Episode 41, featuring Stack Exchange’s own Jeff Atwood, for rekindling this conversation.
  • We detour slightly to talk about Headphones, and notably, the heavy availability of the Monster Beats series in both the Microsoft and Apple stores and other industries entirely. Considering that we want headphones not only for music, but also have a need for active monitoring (we are podcasters after all), an expensive pair of headphones that specializes, heavily, in one particular range is not something that we could reasonably spend money on and enjoy.
  • Our Question of the Week is “Is there any way to use punctuation in Siri dictation?”, asked by Evan on October 28th. Welcome to Ask Different, Evan! The only host qualified to definitively answer this question considering he’s the owner of an iPhone 4S, Nathan, explains Siri’s punctuation dictation methods and talks about how they’ve already improved since iOS 5’s release and the 4S’ debut.
  • We circle back to another pertinent news item that we felt necessary to cover, the death of the Mobile Flash plugin. Flash will still continue to exist on the desktop, and also for mobile devices in the form of app development frameworks such as Adobe’s Flash Professional product, but aside from security and bug fixes, the mobile in-browser Flash Plugin will no longer get new features.
  • On the same day as Adobe’s announcement, word spread that after the next release of Silverlight, Microsoft may stop development of the platform. We discuss the strengths of Silverlight as a Flash competitor and consider reasons for it’s, comparatively speaking, short-lived life.
  • Our App(s) of the Week are an OS X Finder enhancer, and total replacement.
    • Total Finder is an application that keeps the Finder intact, but adds on a myriad of features such as tabbed browsing, split-pane browsing, folders on top, and file cut & pasting. Total Finder is $18, sold directly through Binary Age’s website
    • Forklift 2, is nearly the complete opposite, widely considered the Finder on steroids. Forklift is a dedicated application, meaning that is runs on it’s own and is intended to replace your need for the Finder entirely. In addition to many of the features of Total Finder, Forklift provides additional file management features such as a bevy of remote disk features (droplets, mount remote filesystems as a local volume, remote edit), one-click synchronization of two folders’ contents, batch renaming, and a greatly expanded Quick Look capability. Forklift 2 is $29.95, sold directly through Binary Nights’ website.
This episode was recorded on November 12th, 2011. You can subscribe to this podcast via RSS or iTunes. We’d love to hear from you! Please feel free to leave a comment on this post or e-mail us at


Comments are closed.