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Let’s ignore for a moment how extremely annoying it is that any remotely useful app these days has to jump through these hoops and build a dialog like this, explaining to people how to make their OS allow the app to do its job.

Let’s also set aside how weird the location for this is: The “Accessibility” sub-menu of the “Privacy & Security” settings (while there’s also top-level “Accessibility” settings).

Wouldn’t it be nice if this would at least work as expected, no matter how silly the expectation? Because it doesn’t, at least not after I updated an app that I had already approved before. Regardless of how often I re-checked Espanso1 again in the list in those “Accessibility” settings, the dialog would not go away, and the app would not work anymore.

As a little bonus, this is what the list looked like before the very first time I re-checked it:

The famous three-state boolean switch, who doesn’t love it.

Don’t you just love it when a two-state UI control element seems to have three different states? Is it just a visual bug? A functional bug? Intentional functionality? Who knows, probably not even Apple themselves.

Still, after a click it did show in beautiful blue like all the other enabled/approved apps – but didn’t actually work.

The solution is fairly simple: You need to remove the entry completely using the + - controls at the bottom, then add it again and enable it afterwards. It just works!

  1. Great tool, by the way – think Alfred snippets, but more easily version-controlled and without platform lock-in. The latter being something I find increasingly important after the death of “Mac-assed” Mac apps↩︎

Left: What I see about 95% of the time when swiping down since upgrading to iOS 16.

Right: What I always want to see when swiping down, and what I always saw when doing so in iOS 15.

I waited many, many weeks to see if maybe it just had to “re-learn” what to suggest, but even a few updates later, “Siri Suggestions” in Search are still completely broken and rendering the feature basically useless for me – I can search for something, then delete the search term again, and most often (but not always…) the suggestions will then be shown. But that defeats their entire purpose: Being a shortcut that lets me skip searching.

As many others, I recently took another look at Mastodon.1 This is the web view that pops up when you’re performing a login in the official “Mastodon for iPhone and iPad” app.

Surely there has to be a way for iOS to understand that a web view is already running inside the very app for which it is showing the Smart App Banner?

  1. You can find me, Philipp and also Annoying Technology there now. ↩︎

A few weeks ago I signed up for a Udemy course and opened an account there for that reason. This was literally the first email I got from them, more than five minutes before normal onboarding/invoicing/etc. mails. I don’t even remember consciously having deselected any “Newsletter” checkboxes during the process – but even if I did that still means I have never signed up for anything in the first place.

Another day, another fun game of “Just a very low priority UX bug, or maybe a dark pattern that they figured out leads to 0.2% more subscribers in the end?”.

Old and busted: Notifications for every Shortcut execution.

New hotness: Getting a notification every single day night about a Shortcut being able to be triggered.

I might have missed it in the mess that are iOS settings these days, but I couldn’t find a way to disable this. The delivery time of this notification has no relation to the content – the automation in question isn’t even time-based, it’s a NFC-based trigger. Which I know because I specifically set it up. I chose to do that. I’m aware of it. Why do I now have to dismiss this idiotic notification every morning since iOS 16? What is this supposed to achieve?

If it’s meant to improve security by making sure no one can set up some evil automation without me realizing, this does the opposite. I’m now being trained to just ignore this disturbance, good job. Why not show this notification only after the amount/details of enabled automations change? Maybe even in an actionable way, where I can confirm that everything is as I want it to be and then not be bothered about it again. I’d even accept doing that more than once, maybe the day after the change and once more a week later. But the current implementation can only be dismissed, and it contains zero additional context. A a malicious actor could just disable my existing automation, add the evil one, and based on the notification I’d happily think that everything was just fine.

Perfectly extracting parts of images, computationally enhancing night pictures, curating memories out of thousands of users photos. None of that is a problem for Apple’s machine learning algorithms.

Now if only we could use a small part of that skill to group transactional one-off messages into one “Notification” group in the

Where the heck is my personal vault?! How do I change accounts in this dropdown!?! Wait, what’s that one pixel line at the bottom? Hold on, can I scro… oh. Wow.

That’s the raw, uncompressed and uncropped image straight out of iOS 16’s if you click the “Share” button. Low quality and cut off.