Mac News

The Mac Stories you need from around the web

Google bod wants cookies to crumble and be remade into something more secure

Google bod wants cookies to crumble and be remade into something more secure

When I first learned about cookies, I was taught that only the website that planted it would have access to it.

Advertisers want very badly to track our movements and so the technology has inevitably been abused. Following a bit of a backlash, we're now presented with a ridiculous warning that a site uses cookies and offered the options of continuing or leaving.

Google Chrome security team member Mike West has suggested an idea to replace cookies with an alternative involving the secure http header.

Facebook and others don't like it, which probably suggests that it's a great idea, bringing us back to that original important principle.

The Register has the story.

How to create and format lists in Stickies for Mac

How to create and format lists in Stickies for Mac

I was delighted to see this story; I'm really fond of Stickies, it's been in the Mac's Applications folder since system 7 (thats OS7, not 10.7) Maybe it's had some updates but it looks pretty much the same.

I wasn't aware that it handled lists. Apparently it's easy to type them, indent them and even check things off in a bit of a hacky way.

Chrome to label http-only sites insecure within weeks

Chrome to label http-only sites insecure within weeks

23 July is the date that Chrome is to start warning users when a website is not secure. This is designed to spur the adoption of https.

It is thought that other browsers will follow suit.

Note that Scrutiny can help with your migration by telling you about links to internal pages which are http and pages which contain 'mixed' or insecure content (ie images, style sheets and js files which are http).

Here's the story as reported by The Register.

Chrome sends old Macs on permanent Safari

Chrome sends old Macs on permanent Safari

It's a poor show when software updates itself to a version that won't run on your computer.

Mavericks has certainly been around for a while now, but if you love the more skeuomorphic experience then you won't be able to launch Chrome after the update.

Firefox is still an option, as well as of course Safari.

Full story on the Register.

Apple launches Keyboard Service Program

Apple launches keyboard service program

The butterfly keyboard's feel has divided users and there have been reports of problems.

Apple have announced a service programme to replace keys or the keyboard on certain Macbooks and Macbook Pros, and make refunds to people who have already paid for such repairs.

More details of the affected models and service programme at

Dark Mode on your Mac

Dark Mode on your Mac

One of the most exciting features of MacOS Mojave is the dark mode. Apple have already been dabbling with this - since Yosemite it's been possible to switch certain things like the menu bar and dock to a darker colour.

I'll be surprised if the majority of people who've found and switched that on haven't left it on permanently. Dark mode goes further, transporting window title bars and sidebars to the dark side.

It's really nice, although it is a little jarring when certain apps display their content with a white background. At this early stage, Textedit is still opening documents with a white background, although I expect that to change. Surprisingly, third party apps open with their window borders and sidebars in 'light mode'. I'd have expected all standard windows to be drawn dark when dark mode is in use rather than being something that developers have to enable. And of course many web pages will be displaying with a white background, although I hear that Safari's reader view sorts this out.

Another attractive feature of 10.14 is the dynamic desktop; a desktop that changes throughout the day. It's really neat, but you soon discover that dynamic desktop and and dark mode don't play together. If you switch on dark mode, you get a dark static desktop picture. If you want a dynamic desktop, you get light mode. I know I'm not the only person scratching my head over this because I found active forum threads when I went searching for answers. Maybe the solution is an enhancement to MacOS's Night Shift, where dynamic desktops run and the mode shifts from light to dark at sunset. Maybe the shift from light to dark is too much of a step for the system to automatically make while you're in the middle of writing a document. Maybe third party developers will experiment with these things. We'll see.

In the mean time, here's idownloadblog's take on dark mode.

What will the Mac be like in 2020?

What will the Mac be like in 2020?

You may have recently seen the gorgeous hunk of man that is Craig Federighi announce in no uncertain terms that the Mac and iOS were definitely not to merge. Which seemed a little like protesting too much as he then went on to explain how UIKit would be incorporated into the MacOS at some point.

I'm not clear about whether Mac owners will simply be able to go to the iOS app store and download and run anything they like within some kind of emulator, or whether developers will have to build an iOS version and a Mac version of their app from common code.

Bearing in mind that Apple's big innovations have been happening in iOS, only included in the MacOS years later if we're lucky, the cynic in me wonders whether this is simply an easy way for Apple to 'catch up a bit' and get apps like Home published for Mac with minimal effort. To be less cynical, they're probably finally conceding that it's a PITA to have to build and maintain separate apps for the two platforms. And making life easier for themselves as well as 3rd-party developers.

Jason Snell at Macworld takes a considered look at what Craig has had to say, and speculates about what the Mac will look like in two years' time.