Colour blindness and iphone 🔗

Jason Snell has written an interesting article on colour blindness:

The design of Apple’s MagSafe chargers are a case in point: They contain a clever design to indicate your charging status at a glance — green means charged, amber means charging, and no light means that there’s no power or connection.

Except, well… I can’t really tell the difference between the green and the amber lights at a glance. For a long time, I didn’t even realize the light on the MagSafe connector changed color. (Apple is far from alone here — lots of electronics use subtle color shifts of an LED to indicate things in a way that I simply can’t digest.)

But I do love that Apple are trying to make things easier:

In iOS 10, Apple will let users filter their entire display, whether that’s applying grayscale, red/green filters for both protanopia and deuteranopia color blindness, and a blue/yellow filter for a very different form of color blindness called tritanopia. There’s also an option to just overlay a color tint of any hue or intensity.

I had a discussion with someone last week about how developers can, and do, keep disability and individual circumstances in mind. When asked what kind of built in features were built into the iPhone for accessibility, the list in my head was growing as I thought of more and more.

The answer I verbally gave was “gosh, loads!”.

It’s nice that Apple are growing accessibility features for iOS year after year, even though they don’t have to. I like that they see it as their social responsibility to do so.

Downgrading from iOS beta 🔗

A handy Knowledgebase article which provides instructions on downgrading iOS. Ignore the title, these steps work.

At least, I was able to downgrade from iOS 10 development beta to iOS 9.3.2 by doing this.

Headphone sexism 🔗

Of all things I have an opinion on, the shape of headphone jacks is perhaps one of the most benign. I prefer L-shaped jacks, as opposed to straight ones. The reasoning is simple:

Women’s jeans have stupidly small pockets, and the only way you’re going to fit a phone in there is if you put it in sideways. This means that there will be a snug fit for the headphone jack.

The cable inevitably needs to fold at around 90 degrees to go out the pocket, which inevitably stresses (and breaks) the headphones.

The L-shaped jack solves this problem by bending the cable with no stress. Perfect for women’s trousers.

CNET recently spoke with Sean Garret, VP at Bose, about the shape of a headphone jack (L-shaped vs straight), explaining why all modern jacks are straight:

You naturally slide your phone into your pocket so the cable comes straight out of your pocket first.

I see nobody in Bose’s design team wears women’s clothing.

Maybe we could tone down the JavaScript 🔗

Something that’s been on my mind for some time, but have never been able to find a way to put it across. Eevee does it perfectly:

Accept that sometimes, or for some people, your JavaScript will not work. Put some thought into what that means. Err on the side of basing your work on existing HTML mechanisms whenever you can.

Yes! We have (largely) moved on from noscript tags, but javascript can (and does) do weird things in weird ways, simply because you can’t control the environment.

So whenever you can, don’t expect your scripts to download, or work.

Or, as I like to think about it: if you are rewriting a browser control, ask yourself why.

Speaking: McrFRED 35

It’s McrFRED next week, and it’s lightning talks. I will be practicing my talk about code reviews.

So, you do code reviews, and that’s great. But there’s always more that you can check during the review. More places you can check for any potential bugs or problems before deployment, before you find yourself with technical debt. Or worse: unforeseen downtime.

In this talk Clair will be going through the things that you should be checking to ensure confidence for developers, project owners and stakeholders. We’ll be looking at documentation, commit messages, and common code problems, with examples and tips along the way.

Speaking: PHP South Coast 2016

I’m really excited to be speaking at PHP South Coast this year.

It is their second conference, and for me has already become the highlight of the UK conference year. This year’s schedule is a fantastic one, and I’m proud to be part of it.

Early Bird tickets are still available.

Searching for emails by date/time in Google Mail

I’ve recently had need to search for emails received after a specific time: as in, “After 3pm on the 1st January 2016”, and not “After the 1st January 2016”.

Google’s documentation isn’t very helpful with this, and all I could find on Google’s help pages are unhelpful “nope” answers.

I disbelieved that this is something Google would neglect to allow for so long. Luckily, I was correct.

You can achieve this if you use the Epoch timestamp instead. For example, to get all emails sent/received since 3pm on the 1st January 2016 (in GMT), all I need to do is search for:


Spoilers 🔗

Katie Sherwin, for Nielsen Norman Group, nails it when it comes to TV spoilers on the HBO Now service:

Much to my dismay though, each time I click on the Game of Thrones thumbnail, it reveals a big image of the latest episode — complete with characters that I didn’t know were still alive, in contexts that give away the plot. I see who is together arm in arm, which villains are undeservedly still in power, and which heroes are alive and in jail.

I literally have to block the screen with my hands each time I go to watch an episode. A friend of mine uses the squint approach: half looking away in order to blur the revealing images and summary text, while he maneuvers the mouse to the correct season.

And she perfectly sums up the problem:

Satisfying multiple sets of user needs doesn’t mean designing for the lowest common denominator. It’s about empathy with the different use cases and making sure that the content for one audience, even if it’s a main audience, doesn’t ruin the experience for a different use case.

Absolutely. It’s the modern equivalent of looking away from seeing the football results.

Which reminds me: I’ve lost count the number of times BBC News have spoilt the F1 results for me beforethey air the extended highlights show…

Speaking: NWDUG

A little last minute, but I will be speaking at North West Drupal User Group tonight, doing my code review lightning talk: “There’s more to code review than you might think”.

It all starts from 7pm at MadLab, Manchester.


Enable Field Test mode on mobile phones 🔗

When most people talk about cell phone signal strength, they talk about “bars” in reference to the signal strength bar indicator on the phone. While bars are an easy way to talk about signal strength, it turns out that it’s not a very accurate way.

This is something I try to turn on on my iPhone (scroll down to “Always show Decibels instead of Dots”) whenever I can, as I find dots very vague.