689: Apple-sized Asteroids

Loved the conversation on the iPad mini. I’m considering buying one myself, but may wait to see if iPad mini 7 comes out at WWDC. I know the probability is low. My real question is how do you clean your laptops? Mainly, I worry that liquid would get underneath the keys…

Re: Craft end-to-end encryption

Craft does now allow you to use iCloud Drive as the sync backend, which if you have Advanced Data Protection enabled, is end-to-end encrypted.

You do lose some features such as sharing, and need rely on the reliability of iCloud Drive syncing (which has been reliable for me, so far), however it’s a good option until Craft choose to offer first party encryption support. I think it also solves the issue of offline access, as long as the files are stored offline in the Files app.

1 Like

Creating a shared contacts database is easy. Set up a separate email account to host the shared contacts and have everyone add that account to their Macs/iPhones/iPads.

The Contacts app on Mac and iOS will display a combined list or the shared account and the individual’s iCloud, etc. account can be view separately. The same account can also be used for sharing calendars.


Small feedback regarding custom domains with email: it is just missing catch-all or multiple aliases. 3 is just not enough for me. Or am I missing something?

I looked at Craft briefly. It had promise. I emailed them about the student/faculty discount and never heard back. Various searches online show several people have had the same experience. If they don’t offer education pricing anymore that’s fine, but ignoring people’s emails asking for clarification? It’s like the discount vanished into thin air and they don’t acknowledge it. Not the kind of company I want to sink half my life into.


Hi, Wayne

I also have multiple (Google) accounts (under an old G Suite account) for separate personal/family contacts. However (as noted in the show), shared contacts seem like the poor relation to shared calendars.

AFAIK, Apple’s Contacts apps (on macOS and iOS) don’t allow you to easily specify an account when you create a new contact, view the account of an existing contact, or move a contact between accounts.

I find Cardhop much better as it does allow you to specify the account when you create a new contact, and to move a contact between accounts (though combining that with any other change to the contact often seems to discard the other changes), but it doesn’t make it very clear which account a contact belongs to … unless you edit the contact (on iOS) or hover over its account symbol (on macOS - but note that it tags all Google accounts with a ‘G’ (and a random colour!), regardless of the name/colour of the account). I’ve logged this with Flexibits.

I’m not sure why the apps can’t colour code contacts … in exactly the same way that both Calendar and Fantastical do for appointments :man_shrugging:

Best wishes,

I use my iPad as a Pushcut server. Its charger is plugged into a smart plug that Shortcuts turns on and off based on its battery level.

The following works on Mac and iOS:

When you have multiple contact accounts, for example Gmail and iCloud, before creating a new contact select the desired account in the sidebar.

If you want to copy an existing contract from, for example, the iCloud account to the Gmail account drag the contact from the iCloud account to the Gmail account in the sidebar.

Similar to a few other comments above related to shared contacts – My email account is on Fastmail. If my wife’s were on Fastmail then we’d be all set since Fastmail supports “shared” and “unshared” contacts within the same account, but her email is on gmail.

So… the solution is that all of our shared contacts are in my Fastmail contacts which is accessible to both of us via CardDav and our personal contacts are in each of our iClouds. This is sort of backwards from what I would really like but it has been working fine for several years.

1 Like

Thanks for the corrections, Wayne.

I tried drag-to-copy earlier and must have fumbled it (or tried to drag it onto the same account!). Thanks for confirming that it does work :slight_smile:

I guess my problem with the creation workflow is that I don’t want to have to leave “All contacts” before creating the account; I just want to click ‘+’ and specify it as part of the details.


No problem. Apple’s Email, Contacts, and Calendar apps may be pretty basic but IMO they “work and play” well with others. This allows apps like Cardhop and Fantastical, etc. to offer new features and still use the Apple datastore. And it allows users like me to use a third party provider to host my mail and contacts but still use the default Mac and iOS contacts apps.

I know people have a history with Evernote on here, but it does seem to work well for a lot of people - especially for the use case of research and class note multimedia collection.

Craft is pretty, but I really didn’t get on with the interface (blocks!) and, since the apparent removal of the student plan, it’s not much less expensive than the better featured Evernote. Evernote also has robust export if you decide to abandon ship.

I’ve no skin in the game - I don’t use either - but is Evernote rejected because it’s not the hip-young-thing like Craft or Obsidian (which is not a great tool for multimedia collection)?

Just in case (the print is small and it would be easy to miss!): did you spot the link at the bottom of the pricing plans?

That opens a link to a Google Form, which offers a free Pro License for up to five years (with renewal required each year). That’s actually a better deal than the last time I was experimenting with Craft.

If they’re ignoring form submissions and not responding to emails, that’s a problem. (And it would be a pity, too, because there’s much to like about Craft even though I eventually decided it wasn’t the best fit for me.)

1 Like

From Craft’s Slack channel:

So the student discount scheme is still active but it may take a couple of days for them to get back to you.

My experience with Obsidian storing a variety of document types is different from Stephen and David’s. I use it to store and access Microsoft Word documents, PDFs, PowerPoints, and more. I also use it to grab screen captures of slides in online presentations.

I store non-markdown documents in subdirectories called “attachments,” under each project folder. If I give the non-Markdown document a meaningful product name, I can call up the document using the Cmd-O command palette, as well as linking to it from a Markdown document. Often, particularly with the screenshots of presentations, I don’t even bother giving the document a meaningful filename, and just embed or link to the document from my notes document on that presentation.

I often use Obsidian on the iPad Air and occasionally on the iPad Mini. It’s a little buggy but very usable.

@ismh I have a question on your Gmail and mimestream use: Do you use the nudge and snooze features of Gmail? I’ve gone back to using the Web app, after months of using Mimecast, so I can experiment with those features and see if they are helpful. Does Mimecast support those features?

The biggest most dangerous asteroid that could destroy Apple is failure to execute. Apple has historically thrived by delivering reliable, high-quality products, and if they start cutting corners on materials, design, and manufacturing, then they will rapidly lose loyal customers. We started to see that happen a bit with the butterfly keyboards, but the problem did not get very far, and Apple recovered. Maybe next time it won’t work out so well. I do not expect this will be a danger under Tim Cook, but Cook may retire in a few years, and maybe the next guy won’t be as conscientious.

Another possibility for an Apple-sized asteroid is some new technology that challenges smartphones themselves. Solves the problems that people are trying to solve with phones, but does it in a non-phone way.

Stephen and David discussed this in the episode. I’m thinking now, though about how Google has been predominant in search, and for decades competitors have tried to topple Google by offering better search, and they’ve failed. But now Microsoft might succeed by looking at the problem people are trying to solve with search, and solving that problem in a non-search way. (I can’t recall whether Stephen and David discussed that angle in yesterday’s episode.)

1 Like

David mentioned cloud services. It is possible to “run a server farm from your pocket” today. But we need broadband wireless everywhere to use it. Once that is available smartphones could become a commodity. If you prefer a $2000 iPhone 20, great. If not you can buy a $150 screen with a good camera at Walmart.

Today, just about everyone that can afford an iPhone has one. There are no more large markets for Apple to tap. And a lot of people aren’t upgrading every two years. But Apple anticipated this years ago and got into services. If needed they could open those services to anyone’s hardware. They already do that with AppleTV+.

Right now, IMO, the most likely Apple-sized asteroid is China. Apple still has most of their eggs in China and is vulnerable to anything (Taiwan?) that could disrupt US - China relations.


I don’t use them, sorry!

1 Like

This is a biggie: Apple’s bottom line has taken a hit in the past due to supply chain issues. Instability in geopolitics could threaten that.

I’m not sure that the Apple Asteroid needs to be as big as AR glasses or a voice assistant on your belt. Do people even want to interact in that (inconvenient) way? Meta has assumed that VR will have broad appeal, but I’m not so sure that consumers will flock to use it outside gaming and niche uses like medical interventions.

Most people aren’t bought into the entire Apple ecosystem in the way we are here. A relatively small innovation in Android - potentially using AI/Cloud - could draw people across - especially outside the US where apps like WhatsApp are much bigger and therefore dependence on iCloud lower.

1 Like