It’s not you Android, it’s your OEM’s

So given the post history of this blog, it should be pretty clear that I’m both a Max OS X nerd, and an Android nerd. I prefer OS X for my day-to-day productivity, but I’ve been an Android user since the G1 was released. I have followed both mobile OS’s evolution over the years though, and surprisingly (even to me!) I very much expect my next phone to be an iPhone, for the first time since the original model. Specifically, I’m guessing I’ll be buying whatever the next “Plus” model is, e.g. iPhone 6s Plus or whatever name they give it.

Why am I thinking of switching back to iOS? Like everything in life, it’s complicated.

In part, my usage has significantly shifted back to media consumption (e.g. podcasts, twitch, youtube, kindle/ebooks, etc.) and there’s no real advantage to either platform anymore in this regard.

Another┬ápart is battery life; no android phone I’ve ever owned, even my nexus 5, has been able to last through a full day of heavy use. My nexus 5, with stock 5.1, no “rogue apps” etc. will drain 4-10% battery overnight. Every single review I’ve seen for the iPhone 6 Plus praises it for battery life, even under heavy use.

Mostly though, I just want convenience and reliability again; flagship hardware, a killer camera, timely software updates, and no carrier/oem bloatware.

I’m beyond frustrated with OEM skins on top of stock Android, and Nexus devices just don’t “wow” anymore, certainly not at the Nexus 6 price point. And for some inexplicable reason, no Android OEM is willing to make a true flagship quality phone, with a killer camera but otherwise unmolested/stock Android. Motorola the past few years has been by far the best when it comes to maintaining the spirit/cleanliness of Android, but they tend to use older/outdated hardware, and they never really “Wow” with their camera’s.

I’ve also finally grown tired of needing to root (and risk voiding warranties) just to flash custom recoveries, custom roms, etc. just to remove bloatware on Android. And when community ROM’s are finally released for the latest phones, they inevitably sacrifice the advanced camera features and custom/OEM camera interfaces, which were the only desirable OEM changes in the first place.

So Android, I’m sorry, I still love you (especially post 5.1!) but I just don’t love your OEM’s.

Goodbye Photos.app

So after living with the new Photos.app for two week now, I’m astounded by how much disk space it’s using for previews, thumbnails, and caches.

To recap, I have a library of roughly 9200 photos that I store on a second drive, since my OS drive is an SSD. These are mostly RAW files (e.g. NEF, RW2, etc.) The initial import to Photos.app created a library of 12.18GB. This is just previews and thumbnails.

I have not added or edited a single photo inside Photos.app since the initial import; I’ve only used it as a browser.

And the photos library has now grown to 16.68GB, plus it’s keeping a separate/secondary cache over 8GB inside the app sandbox storage. (e.g. ~/Library/containers/com.apple.photos)

This is just absurd.

For comparison, I just updated to lightroom 6, and generated smart previews for my entire library.

The catalog itself (e.g. lrcat file) is 85MB
The Smart Previews lrdat file is 9.11GB
The main Previews lrdat file is 3.66GB
And the cache folder? 2.8MB

So Photos.app, with no edits whatsoever, is using around 25GB of disk space.
Lightroom 6, with quite a lot of edits; flagged files, tags, collections, etc. is using 12.5GB; half as much space as Photos.app

At this point, until Apple reigns in the disk-space bloat with Photos, I’m swapping my lightroom library back onto my SSD, and moving the Photos.app library to the slower HDD; the app just isn’t worth losing 12.5GB of space on my SSD compared to lightroom and all that it offers.

no more need for an SSDT?

Well, the title might be misleading, but it’s true for a few niche cases at least.

So I don’t know when they fixed this, but thanks to a comment on /r/hackintosh, I took a loot at clover automatic c-state/p-state generation for the first time in a year, and it seems to be fixed, at least for Haswell on Yosemite using XCPM. I’ve been running my system without an SSDT for a few days now, and can verify that speed-step, sleep, etc. are all still working great.

Why should you care? Well, it means you don’t need to worry about generating an SSDT or configuring drop-tables anymore to get native speed-step using XCPM mode with Yosemite. This also means that overclocking should be more user-friendly now if you use Clover; just adjust your max turbo speed in the bios, and clover should update automatically, no more generating a new SSDT for every clock-speed bump/test. You will still see a P-State Table MisMatch message in your system log, but in my quick testing, the overclock works fine.

Of course, if you’re using an SSDT for anything other than power management, this is all moot; keep using your SSDT.

Hello Photos.app, goodbye free disk space

Just a quick note about the new Photos app in 10.10.3; there’s currently no way to disable the auto-generation of previews or thumbnails, so be prepared to lose a lot of disk space for your new library.

For a quick example, I have ~85GB of photos (around 9200 files) that I store on a secondary 2TB HDD, since my OS and applications are on a (relatively) small, 250GB SDD. I do however keep the various library files (e.g. all the metadata) on my SSD so the apps still startup very quickly. My old Aperture library, was around 1GB for 9200 photos, because I disabled automatic preview generation. My lightroom 5 library for the same 9200 photos is very similar, around 900MB.

The same library of 9200 photos converted to the new Photos app? 12.18GB