Wednesday, July 10

Apple's AI Challenges in the EU: A Casual Take

So, Apple has stated that it is uncertain if it is bringing some of its AI features to the EU -- there’s a lot to unpack here. They say they're unsure if their AI can meet the EU's strict regulations. Considering how tightly Apple's ecosystem is knit together, it's a valid concern.

Apple has had to make some significant changes to comply with EU rules—allowing other browsers, mail clients, and even alternative app stores on their devices. But it's interesting that the EU hasn't touched Apple's Weather app or other basic utilities. This shows the focus is more on certain competition and user choice where other companies have complained (Spotify, Epic Games)​. (Engadget)​​ (MacRumors)​.

During WWDC, Apple said they want to let other AI and machine learning models onto their devices. There are several presentations about this subject that happened during WWDC, and you can watch the videos on line.  They even rolled out a dev kit for it. This means not just Apple's AI but also others can run on iPhones and iPads. Still, whether this will satisfy EU regulations is a big question mark. The EU's rules are pretty strict, especially regarding privacy and security, and Apple's AI is deeply woven into their hardware and cloud services​ (Engadget)​.

Some EU regulators have accused Apple of "malicious compliance," suggesting they're not allowing AI in the EU to dodge competition rules. I think the real issue is that Apple’s AI is so intertwined with their hardware that meeting the EU's requirements is a tough nut to crack​ (MacRumors)​.

Apple's ongoing struggle with EU regulations highlights the tension between their integrated tech approach and the need for more openness and competition in the market. The future of AI on Apple devices in the EU is still up in the air​ (Gadgets 360)​.

Bottom line -- I don't think Apple is saying "we may not roll out AI in the EU" to be mean, I think they are saying it from a legitimate point of view.  Apple doesn't know if they are going to be allowed to.

Please leave comments below.

Monday, December 18

Deleting Duplicate Notes in using AppleScript

I found myself digging through my the other day and, lo and behold, there was a whole bunch of duplicate notes hanging around. Pretty sure I goofed and imported them twice or something along those lines.

To fix the mess, I whipped up a quick AppleScript that zapped the duplicates just by looking at the note titles. Since the folder wasn't a big mess and I was dealing with a pretty neat pile, I was cool with the script going on a deleting spree. Just to be safe, though, I did a quick sweep through the "Recently Deleted" folder afterward to make sure nothing important got caught in the crossfire.

Use with caution:

tell application "Notes"

set targetFolder to "Target" -- Change this to your folder name

if not (exists folder targetFolder) then

display alert "Folder not found"


end if

set theNotes to notes of folder targetFolder

set noteNames to {}

set duplicates to {}

repeat with aNote in theNotes

set noteName to name of aNote

if noteNames contains noteName then

set end of duplicates to aNote


set end of noteNames to noteName

end if

end repeat

repeat with duplicateNote in duplicates

delete duplicateNote

end repeat

if length of duplicates is 0 then

display dialog "No duplicates found"


display dialog (length of duplicates) & " duplicates deleted."

end if

end tell

Please leave comments below.

Thursday, December 7

Grabbing a domain name out of a URL using Shortcuts

Recently I needed the ability to grab a domain name (specifically the hostname) out of a URL using Shortcuts.  

I wanted to integrate this functionality into a much larger shortcut, but this blog post will highlight just the domain parsing bit.

This will get you the whole domain name from any given URL from the share sheet.  That being said, I wanted to take it a step further and get just the hostname out of the domain name:

Assuming that there is more than two parts to the domain name, this works.  But if you have and "A" type of url "" instead of a "CNAME" type like: "", you're going to get "com" as a result.  So your milage may vary.

I couldn't find a good way to do this on the Internet, despite several attempts for people to try and figure it out using regex.  You can then go on to store the result as a variable and then use the variable anywhere else in the rest of the Shortcut.  

Anyway, here's a way to do it.  Hopefully this blog post helps someone trying to figure out the same issue.  It's a little hacky, but knock yourself out.

Please leave comments below.

Sort emails by year, using AppleScript

So, way back when I was using Thunderbird, I had this awesome plugin that organized my archived emails by year. It was super handy for finding stuff or just taking a trip down memory lane.

But when I switched to, I couldn't find a similar plugin that I liked. Plus, even if one existed, I'd have to install it on every new Mac I got. So, I decided to take matters into my own hands and whip up some AppleScript magic.

In the code, you can pick a folder (sourceFolder) - in my case, it's "Recovered". You also need to specify your account name, like "iCloud" in my code. If your account goes by a different name, like "Exchange" or "Gmail", just tweak that part.

Then there's this variable called "yearsMailbox" at the top of the code, (in my case "Years") which is basically the folder where the emails will end up based on their years. You can rename it if you're feeling fancy.

You can probably make this more efficient by having it map the year folders one time instead of checking every time it wants to move a message, but I feel you're just playing "AppleScript golf" at that point.  This works.  It works great.  Moving on.

tell application "Mail"

-- Specify the parent mailbox where the year folders are located

set yearsMailbox to mailbox "Years" of account "iCloud" -- Adjust if the path is different

-- List of sub-mailboxes under 'Years', each named with a four-digit year

set yearFolders to every mailbox of yearsMailbox

-- Specify the source folder where emails are currently located

set sourceFolder to mailbox "Recovered" -- Replace "SourceFolder" with the name of your folder

repeat with eachMessage in (get messages of sourceFolder)

set messageDate to date received of eachMessage

set messageYear to year of messageDate as string

-- Check if a folder for the year exists and move the message

repeat with eachYearFolder in yearFolders

if name of eachYearFolder is messageYear then

move eachMessage to eachYearFolder

exit repeat

end if

end repeat

end repeat

end tell

Please leave comments below.

Monday, November 13

Moving from Omnifocus to Reminders

Let's say you're like me, an avid Omnifocus user, but you've been hearing great things about Reminders on MacOS/iOS/iPadOS, and you want to give it a shot.  Well, here's an AppleScript that will move everything over for you. It won't delete anything out of Omnifocus, so nothing will get messed up, but, it will take your existing projects and move them over as separate lists, then move the tasks over, preserving flagged, priorities, and the notes in each task (to's limitations).


1. It can't move nested (subtasks) tasks from Omnifocus over, this is a very tricky problem to solve, and it's beyond my AppleScripting skills to access the subtasks and move them over properly.  
2. I wanted to implement "tags" from Omnifocus over to the "tags" feature in Reminders, however Apple doesn't have "tags" as a Reminders dictionary item in AppleScript.

Other than that, this works fine:

property defaultList : "Inbox"

tell application "OmniFocus"


tell front document of application "OmniFocus"

set theProjects to flattened projects -- Gets all projects, ignoring folders

repeat with aProject in theProjects

set projectName to name of aProject

set projectStatus to completed of aProject

-- Process only if the project is not completed

if not projectStatus then

set theTasks to tasks of aProject

-- Create a list in Reminders for each non-completed project

my createListInReminders(projectName)

repeat with aTask in theTasks

set taskStatus to completed of aTask

-- Process only if the task is not completed

if not taskStatus then

set theTaskName to name of aTask

set theNote to note of aTask

set theDueDate to due date of aTask

set isFlagged to flagged of aTask -- Check if the task is flagged

-- Determine priority based on flagged status

set thePriority to 0 -- default no priority

if isFlagged then

set thePriority to 1 -- high priority for flagged tasks

end if

-- Add tasks to the corresponding list in Reminders

my createReminder(projectName, theTaskName, theDueDate, theNote, thePriority)

end if

end repeat

end if

end repeat

end tell

end tell

on createListInReminders(listName)

tell application "Reminders"

if not (exists (list listName)) then

make new list with properties {name:listName}

end if

end tell

end createListInReminders

on createReminder(thelist, theTask, theDate, theNote, thePriority)


set theBody to theNote

tell application "Reminders"

if not (exists (list thelist)) then

my createListInReminders(thelist)

end if

tell list thelist of default account

if theDate is not missing value then

make new reminder with properties {name:theTask, remind me date:theDate, body:theBody, priority:thePriority}


make new reminder with properties {name:theTask, body:theBody, priority:thePriority}

end if

end tell

end tell

on error

-- Error handling can be implemented here if needed

end try

end createReminder

Please leave comments below.