New York Times profiles Apple University, Apple’s secretive internal training program — The New York Times has a moderately informative profile on Apple University, the internal program set up by Steve Jobs with the express aim of teaching executives and employees the dynamics that make the Inc Apple.
Enthusiasts take control of abandoned NASA satellite using MacBook, McDonald’s and spare radio parts — A crew of space enthusiasts, including a former NASA employee, used their knowledge of satellite technology along with some spare parts to control an abandoned NASA satellite, reports Betabeat.
It’s the perfect maker project with Kickstarter money providing the funding, eBay as the source of parts, an old MacBook as the console and a control center located in an abandoned McDonald’s in Mountain View, California.
Intel’s ‘Core M’ chip announcement suggests Broadwell-based MacBook Pros won’t arrive until 2015 — Intel on Monday announced its first low-power Broadwell chips will hit the market in limited quantities before the end of the year, and that those processors will be intended for premium tablet- and hybrid-style devices, strongly implying that next-generation chips bound for Apple’s popular MacBook Pro lineup won’t be available until 2015 at the earliest.
Beyond the basics: advanced Mac keyboard tricks — If you’re like most Mac users, you probably don’t give your keyboard much thought: You press a key, it relays that key-press to your system, and that’s all there is to it. But there can, in fact, be much more to it, if you take advantage of OS X’s support for multiple keyboard layouts.
Apple highlights 20 ‘amazing’ productivity apps with App Store sale — Apple recently kicked off a new limited-time sale on the top 20 productivity apps in a section of the App Store aptly titled “Amazing Productivity Apps.” The promotion highlights popular titles such as Scanner Pro by Readdle, Scanbot and Tydlig Calculator. Some discounts are as high as 50%.
Apple adds Family Sharing support information to iOS, Mac App Store listings — Apple on Friday activated a new iOS and Mac App Store asset that notifies customers of compatibility with the company’s upcoming Family Sharing program, which will allow family members to share purchased content.
Microsoft releases celebrity tracking app for iPhone — Microsoft has [somewhat bizarrely] launched a free new iOS app called Snipp3t (pronounced “snippet”) that lets you subscribe to your favourite celebrity, thereafter providing a personalised stream of headlines and social media feeds about them. You can also offer your own thoughts about these famous people and see what other fans have to say. [Stalk away.]
Total War Battles: Shogun — The Total War series is an exceptionally popular strategy series that combines real-time tactics with turn-based strategy. Eschewing cartoonish violence and gimmicks for complex strategy and patient gameplay, the Total War series is revered as much as it is many ways the opposite of what you’d expect from an iOS game. While most iOS games favour quick play sessions and dumbed-down gameplay, Total War Battles: Shogun, developed by Sega and the Creative Assembly, requires patience, a mature understanding of tactics, and a deft hand.
1Password for iOS/Mac gets temporary price cut, upcoming iOS 8 version to be free update — Popular iOS and Mac password management app 1Password is on sale for a limited time, and that a future built-for-iOS 8 version with Touch ID support will be available as a free update for existing users.
Formula Force Racing — There are a few other downsides to the game. There are no in-race sound options. Instead, you have to exit to the main menu to change the volume. Also, unlocking modes and cars is not clear. There is an option to pay to unlock all of the championships and car classes, but it greatly lowers replay ability but the art is beautiful in even the simplest tracks and even more amazing in other complex ones. For NZ $1.29, it is worth the download, reckons TUAW.
Apple contributes $1.6 million to Chinese earthquake relief — Apple and China have had a somewhat shaky relationship as of late, with state-run news decrying the iPhone as a threat and rumors of government bans on Apple products (though there seems to be some conflicting reports on this point), but in the wake of China’s 6.5 magnitude quake that hit the country over the weekend, the company is doing its best to help out. As reported by CRIENGLISH, Apple is donating 10 million yuan, or about US$1.6 million, to the relief efforts.
How many apps you have on your Mac — Out of the almost 1100 responses, a majority of readers (38%) said that they had over 500 apps on their iPhones! Comments ranged from “I have 16 apps and I rarely use those” to “I have over a thousand”.
So how many apps you have on your Mac? Although it’s not exactly precise, if we all use the methodology of going into our Applications folder (Finder, Go > Applications, then use the number of items listed as your count) we’ll get a pretty decent idea of just how many (or few) apps the average TUAW reader has installed on his or her Mac. Take TUAW’s poll. [If you can’t see how many at a glance, choose Show Status Bar from the View menu in the finder to turn on the file count along the bottom of the window, pictured above. I have 73, but I had 144 and it was out of control, so last week I erased my Mac, reinstalled the OS and carefully put apps back on that I knew I’d use.]
Apple’s Reno data centre prepares for update — Apple’s data centre near Reno, Nevada is getting an update according to the Reno Gazette-Journal. The paper is reporting that Apple has applied for new building permits for its Reno Technology Park campus.
How to rearrange layered objects in Pages — This comes in handy when you’d like to move text in front of a graphical element, say, or when you’ve got a few objects together and you want to overlap them in a specific order. Check out Melissa Holt’s layered shapes tutorial.
Direct access to Facebook on your Mac desktop — Sometimes, the best utilities aren’t something you necessarily can’t live without, but a little tool that makes your overall computing experience better. Head for Facebook is a tiny little circle that lives on a corner of your screen and, when clicked, reveals the Facebook.com website in a Web view (mobile or desktop), blurring out the rest of your desktop. Another click, and the website disappears. [Or you could choose to get work done.]
Apple fixes podcast downloading, browsing bugs with latest iTunes update — Late last week Apple rolled out the latest version of iTunes with bug fixes in place for updating of subscribed podcasts and episode browsing.
iTunes 11.3.1 addresses two separate podcast handling problems that caused the app to unexpectedly stop downloading new episodes of subscribed podcasts and freeze the program when browsing through podcast episodes in a list.
North Korea’s view of the architectural future — North Korea’s architecture is truly fascinating, influenced by the need to rebuild Pyongyang in the wake of the Korean War and the nation’s relative isolation. What happens when an architect who has never been outside North Korea designs futuristic buildings to accommodate tourists visiting their country? This (and above). ~ Kinda cutesy though.
The experimental ebola serum is being grown inside tobacco plants — For years, scientists have been looking for cheaper and faster ways to make vaccines, including tinkering with what sounds like an unlikely source: tobacco plants. In fact, the highly experimental serum given to the two American Ebola patients was created using this novel technique. Here’s how it works. ~ ‘Smoking drugs’! Finally a good use for tobacco.
Simply layering solar cells could make them as cheap as natural gas — Usually the focus is exotic solutions to making solar power more efficient: new materials, complex tracking systems or unusual physical phenomena. But what about just stacking them on top of each other? A startup called Semprius is doing just that, figuring it could make solar as cost-effective as natural gas. ~ Experimental units are already nearly twice as efficient.
IBM’s new brain-like chip squeezes one million neurons onto a stamp —Big Blue has married neuroscience and supercomputing to create a new computer chip that’s the size of a postage stamp but boasts one million neurons and uses as little electricity as a hearing aid (about 70 milliwatts). It’s called TrueNorth. ~ SuperClever.
A second Caribbean to Pacific canal — A Chinese telecom billionaire has joined forces with Nicaragua’s famously anti-American president to construct a waterway between the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean to rival the Panama Canal. The massive engineering undertaking would literally slice through Nicaragua and be large enough to accommodate the supertankers that are the hallmark of fleets around the world today. ~ But what will the hat look like?
Software adds 3D to 2D photos — A group of students from Carnegie Mellon University and the University of California, Berkeley have developed free software which uses regular 2D images and combines them with free 3D models of objects to create unbelievable video results. The group of four students created the software (currently for Mac OS X only, and freely downloadable) that allows users to perform 3D manipulations, such as rotations, translations, scaling, deformation, and 3D copy-paste, to objects in photographs. ~ Pretty cool.
3D printed falcons protect airports — A Dutch company has created 3D-printed robot birds of prey that can soar and swoop like the real thing, scaring away pesky real birds away from airports and fields.
~ And who wouldn’t want one?
Our ancestors may have left Africa even earlier than previously believed — The prevailing view maintains modern humans left the continent 60,000 years ago, but fossils recovered in Asia have given rise to the theory that a human exodus may have reached China as early as 100,000 years ago. ~ Genetics suggests earlier migrations.
1/ Double-clicking the Home button — You need to double-click the Home button (that dished button on the from of every iPad, iPhone and iPod touch) to quit apps. Double-clicking it launches the running apps into smaller windows in the middle of your iPhone/iPad that you whizz up with your finger to actually ‘quit’ them, meaning they no longer use battery power, system resources and online data, so this is something you should be doing every day or two if you want longer battery life and more efficient data use.
So we need to be clear abut this: if you are playing a game, say, or looking at Maps, and you press the Home button to go back to the icon screen, you are NOT quitting the app. It’s still running, still using processor cycles, still using battery, and may still be push-pulling out into the online world (in other words, using data). Double-click the Home button and swipe to the left and you may be shocked to discover you have dozens, perhaps even hundreds of apps running, and yes, this is one reason your battery is not lasting as long as it used to.
2/ Hard to double-click the Home button? No worries, as you can actually slow down the speed you need to double-click (or triple-click, as the case may be) the Home key. Tap Settings, General, Accessibility, then scroll all the way down and tap “Home-click Speed” (it’s under the “Physical & Motor” setting).
Now, pick a new double-click speed from Slow or Slowest.When you tap a new option, your iPhone will buzz three times to give you an idea of how quickly (or slowly) you need to double-click.
3/ The iPad four-finger salute — There are three iPad-specific multitasking gestures that require at least four fingers. You toggle the iPad’s extra gestures on and off from the Settings screen.
The three gestures are optional, and you can toggle them on and off by tapping Settings, General, and then flipping the switch next to Multitasking Gestures, but they take advantage of the iPad’s larger screen real estate compared to iPhone.
To switch between iPad apps without double-clicking the Home button, as above under 1/, swipe up with four or five fingers to view the iPad’s multitasking display.
Now you can swipe left and right to view all the apps you have open, and tap the one you want to use or swipe (drag) it upwards to quit it.
4/ Swap from one app to another on the go, on iPad —Do the claw thing again with your fingers, then swipe from left to right or right to left with four or five fingertips.
The current app slides off the screen, to be smoothly replaced by the next one in line. You can also pinch to return to the iPad’s home screen as if you’d pressed the Home button. Put your finger tips on the iPad screen slightly spread apart, and then pinch them in. Have a try, you’ll get the hang of it.
5/ Use your iPhone as a level to hang pictures straight — Launch the Apple Compass app (or tell Siri to ‘Launch Compass’ if you don’t remember where you hid it), calibrate it by rolling the little red ball around by tilting the iPhone in all sorts of directions, then look down at the bottom of the display underneath where your latitude and longitude are.
You should notice two little white dots – these indicate there’s another screen you’re not seeing in the Compass app. Swipe the compass to the left, and a handy level appears.
If your iPhone is in a flat orientation, it acts as a 3D bubble level for determining if a table or other surface is precisely level. Hold the iPhone up in either a portrait or landscape orientation, and it’s a 2D bubble level.
Put the iPhone on top of a picture frame, and you can quickly adjust a photo or painting until your obsessive-compulsive need to have it exactly straight is fulfilled.
When the level is perfectly flat or exactly level, it will turn green — a quick visual validation that you’ve tweaked the painting just enough to get it straight. If it’s even just the slightest amount off, the level will be black and will display the exact angle at which the picture is skewed.
Find my iPhone story from Scotland ends in iPhone thief’s death — The typical Find my iPhone story tends to have a heartwarming aspect to it. This is not one of those stories.
Originally reported on the UK-based Daily Record, a Scottish man in Glasgow named Derek Grant used the Find my iPhone app to track down the person who stole his son’s iPhone at knifepoint. Upon tracking down the thief, Grant stabbed him repeatedly. The iPhone thief, Patrick Bradley, died of cardiac arrest soon after.
Playing God on the go — If you want to act like an omnipotent creator, you’re in luck. Godus, Peter Molyneux’s newest God game, is now available for iOS, letting you amass followers and rule them with an iron fist or caress them with kindness.
The game is currently also available on Steam, via early access, for desktops but that version costs US$19.95. The App Store edition is entirely free to play, and it’s Universal (the same app works for iPhone and iPad, pictured at top).
PhotoPills is just what the doctor ordered for pro and serious amateur photographers — Outdoor photographers are going to love PhotoPills. This NZ$12.99 app is a treasure trove of information for photographers who do most of their work outside.
The app allows you to plan your photography for any location on earth by letting you know where the sun and moon will be, provides depth of field calculations for any of hundreds of DSLR cameras, can help you determine the number of exposures needed for time lapse videos, and even calculate how much space images will consume in your camera storage.
Apple’s stock buybacks spurred massive share price increase — With Apple making more money than it knows what to do with, the company in March of 2012 announced a capital return program consisting of stock buybacks and dividends. The initial program was designed to return $45 billion in value to shareholders, but as the money continued to roll in, Apple earlier this year upped the program to $130 billion.
With the majority of Apple’s $130 billion capital return program centring on stock buybacks, Apple’s share price has been on quite a roll of late.
Beats by Dr Dre gets its own section on Apple’s online store — Apple on Thursday updated its online storefront to give newly-official subsidiary Beats by Dr Dre its own section under the store’s Accessories category, days after shuttering Beats’s own internet shop. The new section offers Beats’s entire hardware product line, including headphones and portable speakers. Also up for grabs are accessories like protective sleeves and the “Pill Dude” personified speaker stands for the Beats Pill. (Yes, it’s in the NZ Store too, pictured above.)
Integrating women into the Apple community — Brianna Wu writes “No one else in the industry seems to include women in its messaging like it [Apple] does. The company doesn’t market its products with testosterone-soaked machismo. It doesn’t send embarrassing tweets about booth babes …
“But it’s very hard for me to reconcile this consumer-facing Apple with the development company that put no women on stage this year for either the 2014 Worldwide Developers Conference keynote or the more-technical State of the Union. It’s difficult to connect this Apple I know and trust with the endless sea of white, male faces I saw at Yerba Buena Gardens during this year’s WWDC Bash. Women buy Apple products. We develop on Apple hardware. But we’re still not yet well-represented in Apple’s developer community.” [This is a very good read, and something we should all be thinking about.]
Apple Campus 2 Update: on track for 2016 move in, new pics — Demolition and construction is well underway for Apple’s new “space ship” campus, and new information from the city of Cupertino says the project should be finished by the end of 2016. The city also released new photos showing the construction so fay along with how the campus fits in with the surrounding area.
Schools lament shortcomings of Apple’s iPad as some opt instead for Chromebooks — Even as Apple’s education sales boom, some schools have begun to transition students and classrooms away from the iPad in favour of laptops, including Google’s cheap cloud-based Chromebooks, as weaknesses have begun to emerge with the tablet form factor. [Whereas over here, the iPad has proved way more successful than troublesome netbooks at one Auckland school.]
How Find My iPhone saved an injured hiker’s life — You often hear how Find My iPhone helps locate a stolen to lost handset, but a recent story from Washington’s KIRO 7 TV reveals how the service can save someone’s life. In this case, the app was the key factor that helped locate of a lost and injured hiker at the popular Alpental summit.
ABC News on Apple TV proves more popular than desktop & mobile in first month — Apple TV users in the US have flocked to ABC News’s recently-unveiled live video offerings, the network said on Wednesday, with Apple TV viewers consuming 50% more live ABC News programming than viewers on desktops and mobile devices combined.
Learning songs on iPad — Supermegaultragroovy’s Capo is a great tool to help guitarists learn new songs. With versions available for both Mac and iOS, Capo allows users to easily learn songs by altering a song’s speed without changing its pitch, generating chords for the song, and more. The recently released Capo touch 2.0 brings the Mac app’s innovative chord recognition features to iOS for the first time. Macworld checks out how it works on iPad.
Office for iPad’s PDF export feature has a big problem. Here’s how fix it with IFTTT — Microsoft’s Office for iPad update added PDF export to Word—barely. The option is hidden in a menu you’d never expect. This release allows you to export PDFs only as email attachments. This isn’t enough for iOS users be truly productive. [It’s Microsoft though, right?]
iStat Menus 5 Offers More System Data, OS X Yosemite Support — Bjango’s new iStat Menus 5 is out with features OS X Mavericks users have been hoping for like per-app power usage, compressed memory support, per-app disk read and write stats, and more. OS X Yosemite users get to share in on the new features, too, plus version 5 supports menubar dark mode, too. iStat Menus 5 is priced at US$16, or $9.99 as an upgrade from version 3 or version 4. It’s available for download at the Bjango website.
Full system reports — Diagnosing a computer problem can be a daunting task even when you’re standing right in front of a Mac. When you’re doing it remotely—perhaps to help someone of less-than-stellar technical skill—gathering all the information required to figure out what’s not working can be a downright miserable experience for everyone involved.
EtreCheck attempts to alleviate this problem by automatically collecting a full set of statistics about the Mac on which it runs, from its hardware components, to installed apps and kernel extensions—going as far as quickly sampling your system to determine which programs are taking up the most RAM and CPU time.
It’s ugly, but it’s effective, powerful and free.
Shell tricks: the OS X open command — You may already be familiar with the open command in Darwin (OS X’s flavour of Unix). It allows you to open files and URLs in their default app or one that you specify. Brett Terspstra shows you some handy scripts you may be tempted to try.
Exploring the idea that Apple might abandon Intel CPUs for ARM —Yoni Heisler at TUAW discusses the fact that former Apple executive Jean-Louis Gasseé published an interesting piece earlier this week exploring the idea that Apple, some time down the road, might abandon Intel and instead rely upon ARM chips for its entire Mac lineup. As it stands now, Apple already uses ARM chips across its lineup of iOS products.
New Pebble smart watches in fashion colours (so, for NZ fashion, where’s black?!)
Apple iPhone event scheduled for September 9 — Apple has announced a special event for September 9, 2014, exactly 364 days since the iPhone 5s and 5c were revealed. The inevitable iPhone 6 (or iPhone 6es, depending on which rumour you buy into) is thought to be significantly larger than the current model.
Apple files for ‘HealthKit’ trademarks in the US, Europe — Nearly three months after first protecting the HealthKit moniker in the small island nation of Trinidad and Tobago, Apple has officially filed paperwork to expand that protection to the U. and the European Union.
Pebble unveils new limited-edition iOS-compatible pink, green & blue smart watches — With competition in the smartwatch space heating up, arguable market leader Pebble on Tuesday took the covers off of a new fashion-focused push that will see a limited run of US$150 Fly Blue, Fresh Green, and Hot Pink versions (above) of its original plastic-framed device made available to the public. [Please not, this is NOT an Apple smartwatch.]
Samsung’s chipmaking business posts weak outlook as rumours of Apple shift persist — To date, Samsung has been the sole supplier of custom A-series processors for Apple’s popular iPhone and iPad, but industry watchers again expect that to change after the South Korean company signalled that its microprocessor business has a bleak outlook.
App Store revenue, number of customers both reached new records for Apple in July — Apple on Tuesday revealed that the month of July was the best ever for its digital software downloads, as the App Store generated more revenue and had more customers make purchases than ever before.
Manything turns any iOS device into a home video monitoring system — Video security for your home or small business just got a lot easier and a lot less expensive thanks to Manything.
Manything is an all-in-one home video monitoring system for iOS that allows you to stream, record, and view video remotely from any iOS device using iOS 5 or later. That means your old iPhone 3GS just became a WiFI video camera instead of gathering dust.
Adobe how-to guide for migrating from Aperture to Lightroom — Since Apple is going to discontinue both Aperture and iPhoto in favour of the upcoming OS X Yosemite app ‘Photos,’ Adobe on Monday released a quick reference guide to migrating image files from Apple’s program to Lightroom.
The PDF guide, titled Making the Switch from Aperture to Adobe Photoshop Lightroom , outlines a step-by-step process by which current Aperture users can migrate photos and projects from Apple’s app to Adobe’s subscription service. [I like Aperture a lot. As a former darkroom technician, I hated Lightroom’s insistence on working digitally yet through a darkroom process metaphor instead of purely digital.]
How to create a time-saving printer pool in OS X — There is a way to easily do this without having a print server in the office, and it’s called a printer pool.
Setting up a printer pool from any Mac takes just a few seconds. Go to System Preferences > Printers & Scanners, and you’ll see a list of all of the available printers on your network. Next, select the printers you wish to have in a printer pool by command-clicking them. For example, you might want to have a printer pool for all of the high-resolution colour printers on the network and another one for the fast black and white laser printers. Command-click all of the printers of a specific type that you want in a pool to select them, and then you’ll see a button that not only lets you create a printer pool, but name it so that it’s easily recognisable. Steve Sande explains fully here.
Gatekeeper in new Beta create OS X problems — A beta release of OS X Mavericks 10.9.5 held a surprise for Mac developers thanks to changes in the Gatekeeper app security feature that could leave end users scratching their heads wondering why apps no longer launch. Apple is changing how apps will be digitally signed to verify they aren’t malware, and developers will need to recompile their code to comply with the Gatekeeper update.
Network Radar review: Mac app checks your network health — Apple’s own Network Utility is pretty handy for basic network troubleshooting, but if you need to go above and beyond what it offers, Daniel Diener’s US$20 Network Radar is a powerful step up.
Kids React to a Typewriter: ‘Thank God we have iPads now” — The Kids React video series by The Fine Bros on YouTube is always great for a laugh or two, and whenever a piece of retro technology pops up on the show, it inevitably gets compared to an Apple product. Today’s “Kids React to Typewriters” episode is no different, and the youngsters interviews just can’t believe that anyone would have bothered to use such a cumbersome typing device, comparing it to an iPad and a MacBook along the way. (The video is also embedded at TUAW; that’s a frame above.)
Kindness tracking app —Doing a good deed is always a good thing. If you want to share those charitable moments with others and encourage them to do the same, there’s an app for that. Ripil is a kindness tracker that allows you to list the good deeds that you do in order to improve your kindness score. You can create your own deeds or use Ripil’s suggestions if you need some inspiration. The app tracks your deeds and provides an optional map view so you can see where you performed your random acts of kindness.
MacBook Pro (Mid 2014) review: Update offers slightly better CPU performance — Last week, Apple updated its Retina MacBook Pro line. The new models are identical on the outside to their 13- and 15-inch predecessors, released late last year, but the Mid 2014 models feature processors that are just a little bit faster. As modest as these internal improvements are, they do provide more performance bang for the buck. (Image from Apple Inc.)
Apple Seeds Yosemite Developer Preview 5 — Apple has released Developer Preview 5 of OS X 10.10 Yosemite. The new release includes a number of interface tweaks, new features in apps such as Safari (in which Apple is testing some rendering abilities) and other minor changes. Apple is also testing changes in Gatekeeper, Handoff, iCloud, iPhoto, Aperture, and Markup.
Contexts 1.4 supplements, and can even replace, OS X’s window management tools — The software does so in a way that is legitimately useful, especially if you rely on keyboard shortcuts to navigate your Mac. The introductory price is US$9 (about NZ$10.55).
Improve your presentation skills: how to make smoother slide transitions in Keynote — Modern presentation apps like Keynote and PowerPoint still encourage you to think in terms of slides: discrete, isolated objects to be presented one after the other, as though we were still using those old slide projectors to show film-in-square-frames slides. Joe Kissell describes how to make transition smoother.