iPhone SE satisfaction, switch to iPhone, Indian expansion, Duet improvements


Apple’s iPhone SE, iPhone 7 Plus take top spots in customer satisfaction index but it’s close— Apple’s iPhone SE and iPhone 7 Plus top a new survey of customer satisfaction amongst US customers surveyed over the span of a year.
ACSI’s survey polled 36,194 customers randomly selected between May 2016 and April 2017. The iPhone SE hit the top spot with 87 points, with the iPhone 7 Plus and Galaxy S6 edge+ tying for second at 86%.

New Apple ads & redone ‘Switch’ site sell Android users on iPhone perks — Apple has introduced an overhauled Switch minisite (scroll down on this page), hoping to persuade more Android users to buy iPhones, while simultaneously releasing a related series of video ads.
Whereas the previous site was concentrated on the Move to iOS app for Android, the updated versionfocuses less on making the transition and more on why people should go. It uses a simple, graphics-heavy layout with quips on subjects like the iPhone’s camera, technical support, speed optimisations, privacy protections and lower environmental damage.

Apple to expand its contract manufacturer’s facility in Bengaluru, India — Apple is looking to expand its Indian contract manufacturer’s facility in the southern tech hub of Bengaluru, according to Reuters. The tech giant officially began initial production of a small number of iPhone SEs last week at its Wistron plant and plans to ship the devices to local customers as soon as this month.

Duet Display for iPad gains better Apple Pencil support, improved picture quality — The developers of the Duet Display app that allows the use of an iPad as an second screen for a Mac have released an update to the Pro in-app subscription, allowing for better color quality, better pressure curve customization, and more. [This is awesome software.

Inclusion and Diversity, Kaby rumours, Nokia role, Groups


Apple HR head Denise Young Smith takes up new role as VP for ‘Inclusion and Diversity’ — Apple’s human resources leader – Denise Young Smith – has taken up a new role within the company as its VP for Inclusion and Diversity, according to her LinkedIn profile. The profile still lists her as in charge of HR as well, and in fact the new title isn’t reflected on Apple’s executive bios page. Apple is likely to correct the information in the near future.

More rumours Macs will get Kaby Like — Apple plans to announce upgraded Mac notebooks with Kaby Lake processors at WWDC 2017, a ‘report’ [rumour] claims. Regular readers will know we’ve been expecting Apple to migrate to the new chip, but Intel has only just begun shipping suitable processors, hence the delay.
At the high end, Kaby Lake MacBook Pro models will be able to handle anything the most demanding user wants to throw at them. They will also like it that the Touchbar on the MacBook Pro is a real productivity boost.

Nokia predicted to play an important role in Apple’s datacenters after patent dispute settlement — In the terms of their new patent dispute resolution, Nokia revealed it will be providing network infrastructure products to Apple – a partnership that one Wall Street analysts could see Nokia significantly grow its IP router business by supplying Apple’s datacenters.

GroupsPro for macOS simplifies the creation, organization of groups of contacts — Demodi’s GroupsPro 1.0 is a contacts and groups organiser that makes it easy to create and organise groups of contacts and create mailing lists. And it allows users to manage their contacts, contact groups, and create mailing lists for mass emails too.

NZ travel app, Samsung security, UK Apple Pay deletes limit, Nike bands to match shoes


New social travel app ‘Gratia’ launches in New Zealand on iOS —  Gratia allows locals and travellers to explore New Zealand and meet others who share their interests by combining user-generated and travel industry content to provide a rich source of ideas for things to do and see throughout New Zealand.
The free Gratia app provides a platform for industry partners to place their own brands and curated, geo-targeted content on the app, and to engage with app users by using content from Yelp and Tourism New Zealand, with additional curated content developed with partners including Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail, Bay of Islands Information, Adventure Living, AJ Hackett and Queenstown Life. Several regional tourism organisations, including Northland, Hamilton-Waikato, Destination Coromandel, Rotorua NZ and Visit Ruapehu are supporting the platform with their content. Several other organisations are preparing to join the platform. (It’s also available for Android.)

Samsung Wisenet-SmartCam A1 works with iOS devices — Hanwha Techwin America (formerly Samsung Techwin America has announced that the Samsung Wisenet-SmartCam A1, which works with an iOS app on the iPhone and iPad,  is available to consumers both online and in stores including Sam’s Club, Target and Amazon.com.
This is a Wi-Fi security camera kit that offers both indoor and outdoor solutions and provides users with a more complete view of their home. The system consists of an indoor camera with 1080p Full HD streaming, 130-degree wide angle lens, two-way talk and motion zone select, and an outdoor battery-powered camera that delivers videos at 720p HD resolution with weather resistant capabilities.

Most Apple Pay terminals in the UK can now accept mobile payments above £30 — Jennifer Bailey, vice president of Apple pay, told The Telegraph that over half of contactless payment terminals in the UK are now able to take Apple mobile payment transactions of any value. Most card readers had previously been restricted to £30, the default upper limit for contactless card transactions.

Nike bands to match Nike shoes — When they arrive on Nike.com and at select Nike retail stores on June 1 for US$49, runners will be able to match their watch band and shoes for the first time. According to Nike, The ‘Day to Night collections celebrates runners whenever they choose to run, with each of the colours inspired by a shade of the sky, from dawn to dusk. [Er, gosh.]

Working Apple 1 sells, laptop sales up, driverless Apple, Dutch Maps, frivolous suits, MNML, Singapore Apple store, Apple music trials


Working Apple-1 sold at auction by original owner for $101K in Germany — One of the last surviving Apple-1 computers in full working order has sold in Germany for a bid price of $101,325 — which was far lower than expected for the collectible. Aside from original documentation, the paperwork also included a collection of notes from telephone calls with Apple co-founders Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak in 1977.

Apple sees year-over-year increase in Mac laptop sales — Apple’s sold an estimated 3.4 million laptops in the first quarter of the 2017 calendar year, compared to an estimated 2.9 million in the previous quarter, according to TrendForce. Yet this increase is still a 15.8% decline compared to the last quarter of 2016. The figures place Apple fifth among global laptop manufacturers, notes the research group with 9% market share.

Apple’s driverless test car caught in the wild — Apple’s driverless test car, a Lexus SUV, was caught in the wild by a MacRumors reader. There’s nothing earth-shattering about catching Apple’s autonomous vehicle in the wild – it’s been done before – but it shows Project Titan leaks have dramatically slowed since Bob Mansfield took it over.

The Netherlands gain more mass transit details in Apple Maps — Apple has expanded its mass transit information to the Netherlands, with the full set of data involving stations, tracks, and other stations coming online on early Saturday morning – but live train and bus data is not yet available.

US Supreme Court ruling may shrink tide of frivolous patent lawsuits against Apple — The US Supreme Court on Monday issued a critical decision that could reduce the number of patent lawsuits tech companies like Apple face on a yearly basis.

MNML (pronounced ‘minimal’) is a minimalist macOS desktop client for Medium — John Saddington is the same developer who brought you Desk. That Mac app was voted one of the Mac App Store Best Apps of the Year in both 2014 and 2015, and MNML (NZ$44.99/US$29.99, and here’s the Store link for other countries) is off to a good start by being featured on the Mac App Store as a Best New App.

Knightsbridge Singapore Apple store cover removed, showing first glimpses of interior — The cladding surrounding the new Apple store at Singapore’s Knightsbridge shopping center has been removed, and the interior of the location has been seen for the first time.

Apple Music starts charging for three-month trials in some countries — For reasons unknown, Apple has begun charging a small fee in Australia, Spain, and Switzerland for what would ordinarily be a free three-month trial of Apple Music.

Rebirth of iOS, new Shoot videos


A stellar concept video for iOS 11 — The Particle Debris item of the week isn’t a written article, but a concept video, a joint effort by Federico Vittici at MacStories and designer Sam Beckett in the UK. The reason it’s so cool is because it punctuates the hunger we all have for a new iOS on the iPad that leaves the past behind, truly enables and excites.

Apple adds 4 new videos to ‘How to Shoot on iPhone 7’ series — Apple this week added four videos to the recently released How to Shoot on iPhone 7 tutorial series, expanding the campaign to a total of 20 shorts centered around taking better photos with the flagship smartphone.

Games, more Apple wind, Photos tip, Stevie Wonder, chump meeting, iCloud forensics


Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War III coming to the Mac on June 8 — Feral Interactive has announced that Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War III, the latest episode in Relic Entertainment’s real-time strategy series, will be released for macOS and Linux on Thursday, June 8.

Nongünz game blasts onto the Mac — Sindiecate Arts has released Nongünz on Steam for macOS, Windows and Linux. It’s a US$6.99 ‘gothic retro game described thus: “The game is a puzzle in itself, a secret to be discovered. Each run has you fighting through a procedurally-generated dungeon filled with hordes of monsters made from human limbs and giblets. Build up your score by executing stylish combos and spend the rewards on your expanding band of lost souls and death cultists.”

Apple’s wind farm project developer wants bigger, but fewer, turbines — Avangrid Renewables, the project developer for Apple’s Montague (Oregon) Wind Power Facility, is seeking a permit amendment for the Montague Wind Power Facility that would allow it to use a turbine model with a rotor diameter of 136 meters and generating capacity of 3.6 megawatts.

How to delete an album within Photos on macOS Sierra — Sometimes you may need to delete an album within Photos on macOS Sierra. It’s not as easy as you’d think; you can’t simply click on an album name and hit delete on your keyboard.

Stevie Wonder performs at Apple HQ to celebrate Global — Multi-platinum Grammy winning artist Stevie Wonder performed at Apple’s corporate headquarters this week, in an event recognizing Global Accessibility Awareness Day, focused on making technology accessible and usable for persons with disabilities.

Execs from Apple, other tech firms to talk immigration and government modernisation at White House meeting — Immigration policies, government services modernization and integration with cutting edge Silicon Valley initiatives like machine learning are on the docket for next month’s meeting of President Donald Trump’s American Technology Council, according to a report. [All I’m saying is ‘Faust’.]

Data forensics company recovers notes data Apple claims is deleted — Files deleted from Apple’s Notes app shouldn’t be recoverable after 30 days, but the security and data forensics company Elcomsoft found they could access records that were deleted months, or even more than a year, ago. That sounds pretty bad, but recovering those files requires some pretty specific elements, including knowing your iCloud login and password.

The Apocalypticon ~ NZ penguins, more Trump idiocy, seed vault floods, dumping Google, passwords, Dark Age medical


Our Yellow Eyed Penguin is perilously close to extinction — The adorable New Zealand bird, which even graces the currency, is dangerously close to extinction going by at least at one well-monitored mainland breeding ground.
And it’s (probably) all our fault. Meanwhile, Trump plans to increase defence funding while slashing the Environmental Protection Agency budget while wars are killing hardly any Americans while environmental problems kill 200,000 a year

According to Politico, Trump’s staff regularly prints articles from the internet and hands them to the president. Sometimes, they hand him internet hoaxes they believe are real, which explains so much.
~ Well it doesn’t, because what kind of idiot operates like this? Oh, wait. Guess what?

The info Trump gleefully handed over to the Russians was classified even higher than ‘Top Secret’. According to the Washington Post, the information Trump shared with the Russians is what’s called Code Word classified, which is higher than the classification known as Top Secret. Meanwhile, Gizmodo tested Trump’s Florida security and found it eminently hackable.

Norwegian seed vault floods — Trump, of course, denies that climate is changing. Designed as an impregnable deep-freeze to protect the world’s most precious seeds from any global disaster and ensure humanity’s food supply forever, the Global Seed Vault, which recently took a new tranche of NZ plant species, is buried in a mountain deep inside the Arctic circle. But it has been breached after global warming produced extraordinary temperatures over the winter, sending meltwater gushing into the entrance tunnel. And scientists (what do they know?) have worked out tat 10-to-20 centimeter (four-to-eight inch) jump in the global ocean watermark by 2050, which is considered a conservative forecast, would double flood risk in high-latitude regions.

Dumping Google — Google trades your data, that’s what’s made it rich, which is why I’m no fan of Android smartphones or even Gmail accounts, for that matter. If you’ve had enough of Google meddling in your affairs, here’s how to make sure it’s a clean and uncomplicated break.

Group fights having to hand over passwords — The human rights group Cage is preparing to mount a legal challenge to UK anti-terrorism legislation over a refusal to hand over mobile and laptop passwords to border control officials at air terminals, ports and international rail stations… This even happens at Auckland airport, btw, with Homeland Security officers taking aside passengers ‘at random’ from flights heading to, or even transiting, the States.
And then … 560 million passwords have been discovered on an online database.

Medicine heading for the Dark Ages — Without real action of the over-prescribing of antibiotics, we’re heading for new medical Dark Ages.

Futurology ~ Space walk, radio cocoon, AI power, smart t-shirt, flexible speaker, old recording tech renewed, 3D-printed ovaries


Amazing space-walk footage — On March 24, ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet was joined by NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough on a spacewalk outside the International Space Station. The outing was fairly routine, but this footage captured by Pesquet gives all of us stuck here on Earth an amazing first-person look of what it’s like to be an astronaut looking down on our planet.
~ And if it doesn’t leave you speechless, you can’ talk. 

Humans accidentally created a protective bubble around Earth  — This is by using very low frequency (VLF) radio transmissions to contact submarines in the ocean. It sounds nuts, but according to recent research published in Space Science Reviews, underwater communication through VLF channels has an outer space dimension. This video explainer, released by NASA on Wednesday, visualizes how radio waves wafting into space interact with the particles surrounding Earth, and influence their motion.
~ Yes. Nuts. 

Games show off the power of AI — The Artificial Intelligence Experiments Program is a collection of interactive AI projects designed to show off the creative capacity of machines – like AI Duet, a piano that automatically harmonises with notes the user plays, and Bird Sounds, a visual map that groups bird calls based on their frequency. Some are fun, even absurd, while others explain machine learning. Ultimately, each strives to make AI more accessible to all.
~ Impressive.

T-shirt monitors breathing — The smart T shirt works without any wires, electrodes, or sensors attached to the user’s body, explains Younes Messaddeq, the professor who led the team that developed the technology. “The T shirt is really comfortable and doesn’t inhibit the subject’s natural movements. Our tests show that the data captured by the shirt is reliable, whether the user is lying down, sitting, standing, or moving around.”
~ I also monitor my breathing in real time while wearing a t-shirt without sensors or electrodes. 

Flexible speaker breakthrough — Following the development of a heat-powered graphene chip that could replace the speaker in your phone, scientists at Michigan State University have developed a paper-thin, flexible electronic panel that could turn fabrics into speakers, among other applications.
~ But how’s the bass? Speaking or which …

Rebuilding and using old recording tech — Portable machines toured the country in the 1920s, visiting rural communities like Poor Valley, West Virginia, and introducing musicians like the Carter Family to new audiences. This remarkable technology forever changed how people discover and share music, yet it was almost lost to history until music legend T Bone Burnett and a few friends decided to bring it back.
~ Awesome!

3D-printed ovaries — A team of bioengineers has reported a possible fix: 3-D printed ovaries. Their proof of concept, published in Nature Communications, only works on mice so far, but they could end up replacing the uterus-flanking, chestnut-sized organs in humans, too.
~ And watch your child grow. 

Five tip Friday ~ The Calendar App and iCloud


1/ Edit appointment details using the Calendar Inspector in macOS Sierra — The Inspector window appears when you add a new event, or double-click on an existing event in the Calendar app in macOS Sierra, or click and event once and choose Command-e.
Inspector shows you all the details of your events, including who’s invited, and where and when you want the event to occur. Start typing an address and Calendar suggests matching locations. Start typing the name of a contact in your Address Book and Calendar suggests matching names based on contacts you’ve entered in the Contacts app.
You can even see your event locations on a miniature map in the Inspector. (If you click this mini map, the Maps app opens a full size view.)  The mini map includes an estimate of the travel time to your appointment destination from your current location in the event Inspector as well as the weather forecast for that day. (For travel time estimates, directions and weather, you need to turn on Location Services in System Preferences.)

2/ Use your iCloud account in macOS Sierra’s Calendar app — iCloud is included with macOS. Once you sign up for your free iCloud account, you can push calendar updates across your devices, share your iCloud Calendar, and see your calendar on the iCloud website.
If you have an iCloud account , you can use iCal to access and manage your iCloud calendars. If you set up the iCloud Calendar service on several devices and computers, your iCloud calendar and reminder information is kept up to date on each device and computer.
Set up your iCloud calendar account from System Preferences to see your iCloud-based calendars in the Calendar window. In the System Preferences app, click iCloud and sign in.
If this is your first time signing in from this computer, you’ll be asked if you want to use iCloud for contacts, calendars, and bookmarks. Make sure that the calendars option is selected (checked), then click Next.
If you’ve previously signed in to iCloud, you’ll see a list of iCloud services – select the check-box next to Calendars to have them sync.

3/ Add calendars to macOS Sierra’s Calendar from other services besides iCloud — You can use your iCloud account in macOS Sierra’s Calendar app to add an event, and this appears as if by magic on all your other Apple devices linked to that same Apple ID. But you can also add appointments from other popular services to your calendar in Calendar app, including Exchange, CalDAV, Facebook, and Yahoo:
Choose Apple Menu () > System Preferences.
Select Internet Accounts.
Click the Add Account (+) button at the bottom of the window.
Choose the account type you want to use, and enter your account credentials.
Make sure the option Calendars is selected (checked) to display the events associated with this account in the Calendar app. [These three Calendar tips came form the Apple World Today.]

4/ iCloud Drive and syncing iWork documents to your iOS devices — Those files aren’t necessarily being stored on your iPhone or iPad. Meaning that if you’re out and about, heading into a bad cell area may cause you to lose access to said files. Which is a bummer.
To check out what your situation, just open any of the iWork apps (Pages, Numbers, or Keynote) on your iOS device. When you do so, you’ll see a list of your documents of that type. If some of the files are in iCloud but aren’t downloaded, you’ll see a tiny cloud icon on those.
Of course, you can tap to download any one you’d like, but if what you really want is to keep all documents of that kind on your iPhone or iPad at all times, head over to your Settings. Scroll down until you see the section for the app you’d like to download stuff for and tap it.
Within that, look for the “On-Demand Downloads” toggle.
Turn that OFF, and everything you’ve got within that app will download so you can keep all your documents on your iPhone. This is great if you’re going on a trip and don’t want to use cellular data, for example, or if you just know you always need access to your spreadsheets. But be careful—I strongly suggest that you go into the app in question and make certain that the process has completed before you hit the road. You might even want to turn on Airplane Mode for the device and try to open a file or two. Paranoid? Heck, that’s just who I am. Almost a decade of tech support has traumatized taught me well.

5/ iSee the status of uploads in iCloud Drive — While we’re messing with iCloud,  you can turn on Finder’s Status Bar, the option for which is under the View menu click on the iCloud Drive option in Finder’s sidebar (shown above), and suddenly you’ll get a lot more information about your uploads.
Also turn the Path Bar on (View > Show Path Bar, shown below). This is helpful if you’d like to have a trail of breadcrumbs, so to speak, leading back within the folder structure you’ve navigated through – this appears at the bottom of folder windows. Any of the location icons in the Path Bar are double-clickable, as well, to return you to someplace you’ve been. Useful if you tend to drill way deep down into folders and then forget where you came from! Not that I ever do that myself, oh no.

Apple Mac, iPhone & iPad news for New Zealanders

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