• My WWDC24 Wishlist

    I usually make one of these every year, so with less than two weeks’ time left to go before Dub-Dub, how about I share what I’m wishing for? Keep in mind, this is all from the perspective of an Android user.

    • A nice design refresh for iOS/iPadOS 18 — bring it more in line with the rest of the OS family! Both have felt more or less the same, or similar, since iOS 7. Shake it up!
    • macOS Big Sur and later icons on iOS, PLEASE. iOS needs to feel less bland and flat.
    • macOS 15 should be improvements focused, don’t cram too much new stuff in. Make battery and other performance improvements. Double down and do some summer cleaning!
    • watchOS 11 could do with some improvements too. Battery improvements on older models, especially…

    If there’s anything else, I’ll update this… but I don’t really care about the other platforms so much. So this what I really, really want! I’m watching the events with a friend on event day, and I couldn’t be more excited! Love WWDC, favourite time of the year!

  • Apple Confirms WWDC24 Details

    From Apple Newsroom:

    Apple Keynote

    June 10, 10 a.m. PDT
    WWDC24 kicks off with a first look at groundbreaking updates coming to Apple platforms later this year. The Keynote address will be available to stream on apple.com, the Apple Developer app, the Apple TV app, and the Apple YouTube channel. On-demand playback will be available after the conclusion of the stream.

    Platforms State of the Union

    June 10, 1 p.m. PDT
    Following the Keynote, the Platforms State of the Union will take a deeper dive into the latest advances across iOS, iPadOS, macOS, tvOS, visionOS, and watchOS, and new tools that will further empower Apple developers. The Platforms State of the Union will be available to stream on the Apple Developer app and the Apple Developer website. A playback will be available after the conclusion of the stream on the Apple Developer app, website, and YouTube channel.”

    I’ll be watching with a friend of mine, and we’re both very excited to see what gets announced. I’m personally interested in iOS and macOS this time round. iOS is apparently getting a redesign, so we’ll see what happens…

  • Goodbye Windows, For Real This Time

    Well, I think it’s time to migrate the remainder of my computers running Windows to Linux. I can’t throw my hat behind Microsoft anymore, and frankly, their OS has been awful and bloated for well over a decade now. With the AI features coming to Windows 11 (and even Copilot getting backported to 10), it feels as though Microsoft have decided to borderline infringe on user privacy instead of make quality software people actually feel comfortable using.

    This decision from the company has already resulted in tangible performance hits in my workflow, to the point where my M2 MacBook Pro has become the better option to get things done. I’ve leaned more on a Linux VM inside of macOS than my Windows computer directly, or even the Windows VM I have. Granted, I have a bias due to growing up on Linux (thanks Papa) but it’s still rather depressing, considering I used Windows for years after I moved out of my grandfather’s house.

    Now, I’m no stranger to having wanted this switch before. I linked that blog post there. But I decided to do this “last year” and never actually followed through due to various program compatibility issues. Now, at least according to some threads I’ve found on Reddit along with constant (and massive) improvements to Valve’s Proton compatibility layer, I think I actually have a real shot at making the leap. So I’m going to.

    Today, my only big question mark will be games. But Proton has become so good that I think I can (probably) find a way to make it work for me. I’m really bummed that it has come to this. Uprooting and returning to Linux isn’t something I thought I’d be able to do. Linux and games have never been synonymous.

    To make everything easier, I’ll be adopting Pop!_OS by System76 across the board. I grew up on Ubuntu, so its base is familiar, and the out-of-box support for hybrid graphics is something I need for a couple PCs around here. Plus, it’s made by a company whose mission I firmly believe in, with staff who truly care about the open-source community, AND their users.

    I’ll keep you posted!

  • “Contact sales for pricing”

    There’s that phrase I hate, and I’ve got this really hot take about it: it’s all over the internet these days, and I hate it. “But why, Slade? What’s so wrong with it,” you ask. Well, it’s a barrier to entry for your customers. The more hoops you add between you and your customers, the less likely they are to purchase your product. If you obfuscate your pricing, more would rather walk away than talk to you. In most cases, they have a budget in mind and are just looking for the fastest and most cost-effective solution. They don’t have time, nor want, to talk.

    I’ve run into this a few times in my short time doing freelancing since I graduated high school. Back when I was first doing email for my domain, I shopped around for more “enterprise-y” solutions for email–including hosting on my own servers–because I didn’t want to “just get Gmail.” I ended up doing just that because of all this “contact sales for pricing” bullshit scattered across the internet.

    There are times where, of course, it makes sense to put a human on the other end of the line. More recently, when I was shopping around for an organization to work with in the D.C. area to move my servers from Albany, NY, to Washington, D.C., I had a strict set of requirements that “required” me to talk to someone. I went back and forth for months. The funny thing is that I didn’t even have to negotiate pricing–that was a flat rate that I thought was fair–but I had to give them all this really detailed information over email before even having the OPPORTUNITY to utilize their services.

    They needed to know what I needed, how I needed it done, and frankly all of those things could have just been done in a sign-up flow. I wasted hours of people’s time (including my own) giving them this information that they could have gotten quicker if there was just a quick questionnaire to fill out. (Even funnier: the day I signed the contract, I was in D.C. I could’ve just stopped by their office and did everything there, it was that tedious. )

    Why was any of that grunt work and back-and-forth even necessary, anyway?

    Companies that insist on doing all this grunt work to hinder customers from buying their products will always baffle me. 37signals semi-recently launched Campfire, a service you buy one time and host yourself. They don’t require this song and dance with an “Account Manager” or “Representative” or some other god damn person to buy any products or services from them–you just fill out your information and you’re done. If a company their size can do this in the tech industry efficiently with next to no one babysitting sign-ups, anyone can.

    The fact of the matter is, your “Accounts” staff are better off spending their limited time dealing with new and existing customers, not “potential” customers that you have to screen in. Until Congress or other legislative bodies step in and end this really awful practice of hiding products behind this “Contact sales for pricing” bullshit, it will continue. I think that’s stupid. Be transparent, offer a public-facing form to fill out that generates a quote and/or put your pricing on the internet.

    Or just be content with losing customers. You do you, I guess. But my advice is to stop wasting everyone’s time.

  • Oliver (they/them) is a friend of mine from all the way back in high school, and recently, they started raising funds to continue their film education journey. Just wanted to boost this for them! Please share and/or donate if you’re able and willing! <3

    If you’d like to learn more about my friend, they have a website at https://www.olivergraceschaffer.com/.


  • News / Splatfest: SpringFest is taking place on the 20th of April!

    The has been officially confirmed now for April 20th!

    From April 20th at 1am BST to April 22nd at 1am BST, splat it out for one of these teams:

    Baby Chicks, Li’l Bunnies or Bear Cubs.

    Also, be sure to be on your lookout for SpringFest gear via the News app on your Switch. Nintendo has started distributing gear for it in Japan, not sure about other regions yet.

    @[email protected]

    — Splatoon Unofficial :inkling: 🍉 (@[email protected]) 2024-04-05T10:47:58.195Z

    Splatoon 3’s latest Splatfest will see Baby Chicks, Li’l Bunnies, and Bear Cubs facing off to see which one’s the (cutest) fan favourite. Japan will be participating this time round, so the Splatfest will be taking place globally once more.

  • Last night, Oman (Repflez) and I got together to answer the rverse community’s questions on our recent rebranding, the service’s future, and more. You can watch the two hour (I’m so sorry) Q&A on YouTube!


  • As I wrote on our official Discord server:

    Tomorrow, April 5th, 2024, at a time yet to-be-determined, Oman and Slade will be doing a live streamed Q&A on our recent rebrand, our direction following Nintendo Network’s closure, among other things. If you have questions for us, please drop them here so we know what’s going to come up — You may ask as many as you’d like for now, and we’ll answer a few of the most popular ones from this form on stream tomorrow, but of course, you’ll be able to ask follow ups from us live as well!

    [By submitting a question, you consent to having your question asked and answered live on stream. This form will be disabled on Friday about three hours prior to the stream, and responses will be fully destroyed on Monday, April 8th, 2024.]

    Please click/tap here (or the linklog entry on the SladeWatkins.net site) to ask a question. I will share out the stream tomorrow when it starts.


  • So, I’m actually also curious: is this even allowed? Maybe we’ll find out, but in my quick Google search–I can’t find any APIs that make this happen. I’m almost definitely missing something here, so take that with a grain of salt, but this feels like it might be against Terms of Service, even if it is a really great (and clever) marketing tactic!!

  • Callum Booth from The Verge writes:

    Fundamentally, in their current state, third-party iOS app stores like AltStore will only be attractive to power users, groups of enthusiasts who are desperate to solve niche issues or have particular interests in something they can’t get on the App Store, like a fully functioning clipboard manager or game emulator.

    I don’t know if I necessarily agree with the “ONLY” argument there, given the sentiment online — however I don’t think Booth is entirely wrong either. Apple’s malicious compliance (with the Core Technology Fee) is also a big issue, and I have a feeling the EU isn’t done with the company on that front.

    Only time will tell. Check out their hands on at the link here or above.