iPhone makes phone calls – sue! Maine iPads swapped for laptops, freeing up iPhone space

(Image from Apple NZ's iPhone page)
(Image from Apple NZ’s iPhone page)

Patent lawsuit targets iPhone because … it can make phone calls! Apple is facing the most stunningly amazing patent infringement lawsuit ever: the iPhone’s ability to be used as a phone. The patent holding company Corydoras Technologies filed its lawsuit in the Texas Eastern District Federal Court, which is known for favouring patent trolls.

Some Maine schools are choosing to replace iPads with MacBook Airs — The ‘post-PC era’ may not be here just yet (assuming it comes at all). For example: after hearing students and teachers ‘overwhelmingly’ say iPads are used to play games in class, while laptops are better for schoolwork, Auburn and other districts in Maine are offering to replace the Apple tablets with laptops such as MacBooks, reports the Lewiston-Auburn Sun Journal.

How to free up space on your iPhone without deleting photos or apps — Running out of space on your iPhone can be extremely frustrating. Whether you’re looking to install a cool app recommended by friends or want to add to your photo collection, being limited by a lack of space is exasperating to say the least. Instead of deleting files and apps, though, there are a few simple ways to free up space on your iPhone to make room for new data.


Store has car doors, new Betas, 89% off lifetime VPN


Apple may turn its Stores into car showrooms — The massive sliding doors on Apple’s redesigned Union Square San Francisco retail store create a 12.19-metre opening is more than big enough to drive a car through. Sure, it makes for a great open air experience when shopping, but maybe it’s a hint Apple plans to use its new store design to show off its own car.
There’s plenty of space inside the two-story retail flagship to showcase a car, and considering Apple’s obsessive drive to control the retail experience its own stores will be the perfect venue. Seeing the doors in action is pretty cool, and once they’re moving it feels like driving a car into that space is exactly what Apple had in mind. Check out Wired’s video showing the door in motional the link above.

Apple drops new betas for OS X 10.11.6 (and iOS 9.3.3, and tvOS 9.2.2) — Apple has released previews of the next iterations of OS X, iOS, and tvOS, handing out beta versions of its popular desktop, mobile, and set-top box operating systems to registered developers.

ProXPN VPN Lifetime Subscription 89% off — For true Internet safety and privacy, there’s probably nothing better to use than a virtual private network (VPN). Think of a VPN as a highly secure encrypted tunnel through which your data travels; nobody can ‘sniff’ unencrypted data from your Mac or iPad when you’re using public Wi-Fi, and if you’re being blocked from visiting a site because you’re in the “wrong country,” VPNs can be used to get around the geo-blocking. For the next few days, the Apple World Today Deal Shop has a big deal for you – a lifetime premium subscription to ProXPN VPN for just US$39.

Angry Birds ranked, Dragon Anywhere dictation app, making space on iPhone, BMWs with CarPlay


All 16 Angry Birds games ranked — Angry Birds maker Rovio long boasted about its ambitions to become the next Disney, and now that goal has kinda-sorta come to fruition: The Angry Birds Movie is playing on thousands of screens around the globe. Macworld ranks all the games in a slideshow.

Dragon Anywhere review — Even though Dragon Anywhere can only take dictation inside its own app, it works better than Siri, especially for long chunks of text. Siri dictation works across iOS, but it’s best for short bursts, since it times out after 40 seconds. For more powerful dictation complete with voice commands, Dragon Anywhere offers a great experience.

How to free up space on your iPhone without deleting photos or apps — Running out of space on your iPhone can be extremely frustrating. Whether you’re looking to install a cool app recommended by friends or want to add to your photo collection, being limited by a lack of space is exasperating to say the least. Instead of deleting files and apps, though, there are a few simple ways to free up space on your iPhone to make room for new data.

First BMW vehicles with Apple’s CarPlay coming later in 2016 — BMW, one of the few major automakers without support for Apple’s CarPlay, should finally begin offering the technology later this year through two new vehicles, according to an official pricelist.

Barefoot College, Youtubers Life, T-Racks, Brooklyn Store, BetterZip, Photos Library


Apple’s Lisa Jackson visits The Barefoot College in India — While Apple CEO Tim Cook was revealing his business plans in India, a top Apple executive – Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president of environment, policy and social initiatives – was in Rajasthan this week, visiting ‘solar mamas’ and the Barefoot College in Tilonia, Ajmer, a rural, non-profit school that makes extensive use of iPads, reports IANS.

Youtubers Life comes out on Steam for the Mac in ‘early access’ — U-Play Online has announced Youtubers Life, a mixture of two genres, life sim and tycoon. It’s launching simultaneously for the Mac and Windows systems on Steam. [It sounds bloody awful! ‘In Youtubers Life, you can effortfully become the world’s greatest youtuber in history by editing videos, expanding the amount of fans and turning yourself into a wealthy fellow.’]

IK Multimedia releases T-RackS Saturator X for Mac/PC — IK Multimedia has released T-RackS Saturator X, a new T-RackS digital signal processor module designed to impart the colour, flavour and saturation effects of classic analog audio processing gear to digital recordings.

Apple begins hiring for long-awaited Brooklyn store, likely opening this year — Apple is now hiring retail workers for its first store in Brooklyn , suggesting that the company’s anticipated project in New York City’s most populous borough will open its doors by the end of the year.

BetterZip 3 is a useful Mac OS X archiving tool — MacItBetter’s BetterZip 3 is a handy Mac OS X solution for archiving. One of the coolest features is Direct Mode, which speeds up working with large archives by making archive preparation and recompression obsolete. [Every Mac can archive, or ‘zip’, already – right-click or Control-click on a file in the Finder and choose ‘Compress ‘___’. This software just adds more options.]

How to copy your Photos Library and keep its organisation —
How do you have a copy of your Photos Library on an external drive that looks like what you see in the app? It’s complicated

Futurology ~ Mystery object, Mars tsunamis, Europa, better Aussie solar, chemical weapons, 3D in the air, dirt/paper, IBM beats flash, in-ear translator

Europa’s strange surface (Image:NASA/JPL-Caltech/SETI Institute)
Europa’s strange surface (Image:NASA/JPL-Caltech/SETI Institute)

Mystery object coming into focus past Pluto — Pluto may be long past, but NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft is by no means finished with the outer solar system. For the second time, New Horizons has observed 1994 JR1, a 145km-wide Kuiper Belt Object (KBO) that orbits over 3 billion miles from the sun.
The latest observations, made on April 7th and 8th by New Horizons’ Long Range Reconnaissance Imager and composited in the gif at this link, smash the spacecraft’s own record for our closest encounter with a KBO.
~ I have identified it – it’s a blob. 

Mega-tsunamis on Mars — Mars once featured a vast ocean that covered its northern hemisphere. New evidence suggests this Martian sea experienced at least two mega-tsunamis triggered by meteor impacts. Traces of these cataclysmic events can still be seen on the Martian surface, and they could still contain traces of ancient life.
~ It just sounds more and more attractive, doesn’t it?

Jupiter’s Europa more Earth-like — Europa, Jupiter’s watery ice-moon, has long attracted attention as a possible site for someday finding life. A new analysis shows its oceans may be even closer to our own. Oxygen production in both Earth and Europan oceans exceeds hydrogen production by almost exactly 10 times. This similarity in the proportions already has researchers pointing out that it could mean oceans on Europa could play a similar role to Earth’s oceans in spawning life.
~ But colder. 

Australian-invented solar panels most efficient — Most commercially available solar panels only are able to convert between 15 and 22% of the sunlight they’re exposed to into electricity. As part of an ongoing effort to improve the efficiency of increasingly important solar technology, a team from UNSW has created a solar cell module that boasts a world record efficiency rate of 34.5%.
~ The sun shines on Australia.

DARPA’s scheme to destroy chemical weapons — Agnostic Compact Demilitarization of Chemical Agents (or ACDC) yields no toxic waste products, and all of the tools are portable. One of McQuade’s set ups, a waste-to-energy engine, could run its electrical systems entirely off the power generated during combustion.
~ But it’s a long way to the top. 

3D printer works its magic in the air — Lasers and metal were part of 3D printing for decades before the machines became affordable for personal use. But researchers at Harvard are demonstrating a new technique by which 3D metal structures can be printed in midair, without the need for anything supporting them.
~ Magic! Alchemy!

IBM’s new storage is 50 times faster than Flash, and also cheaper — Flash storage is not as fast as RAM; but RAM can’t be used to store your regular files because of its volatile nature – ie that when the powers off it’s no longer holding data – and also RAM is expensive. It appears we may soon have the perfect middle ground: scientists at IBM have demonstrated reliably storing 3 bits of data per cell using a relatively new memory technology known as phase-change memory (PCM).
~ IBM, still in the game. 

A few scraps of paper can turn dirt into a super strong building material — As far as building materials go, they don’t come much cheaper than dirt, which is literally everywhere and mostly free. But soil isn’t terribly strong and has a habit of forming a shallow pile rather than more structurally-beneficial shapes. Luckily, making dirt super strong is incredibly easy.
~ Dirt. Cheap. 

Groundbreaking gadget claims to fit in your ear and translate foreign languages in real-time — A tiny gadget lets two people who speak a different language to each other yet understand each other. The gadget, called Pilot, translates English, French, Spanish and Italian. Pilot, which has yet to be launched, is priced at US$129.
It works by being connected to two different people, speaking two different languages, and translates what they are saying in your ear.But they have not said how it works except for that it uses ‘translation technology’ embedded in an app.
~ Roger, amigo. 

Five Tip Friday ~ iTunes has its sidebar back (Mac)

iTunes 12.4 just arrived with the latest Mac OS update (10.11.5) and it adds the sidebar back.

1/ Where is this sidebar? Once you’ve updated iTunes to the latest version, you can click on the View menu at the top of your screen and choose Show Sidebar. Instead of the icons, you now have a drop-down near the top-left of iTunes’ window, from which you’ll select the type of media you want to view. To change what you’re looking at, pick a different option from there.

20160517_Edit2/ Edit the media types — If you only need a few of those media types to show up, pick Edit Menu from that list then turn off the media you don’t ever use.For example, we don’t get TV shows via iTunes here anyway.

3/ Edit the Sidebar — With iTunes 12.4, you can also switch up what’s showing on the new sidebar. To do that, hover over where it says Library and click the Edit button that appears. Select or deselect as your heart desires. (These options change depending on what media type you’re configuring.)
When you’re finished, click Done in the upper-right corner.

4/ Visual changes — If you have been using the Heart button to tell iTunes which tracks you like best so you receive better music recommendations, it only appeared when you hovered your cursor above the track name. Now it’s an ever-apparent heart shape beside the now playing section at the top centre of iTunes. There are two ways to sort a current view: in the iTunes Menu Bar there’s the View>Sort By drop down menu, or you can have them always available on-screen using View>Show View Options (or Hide View Options). Up Next is easier too – the Up Next and AirPlay speakers operators are now much easier to find with their own dedicated buttons on the iTunes toolbar, to the right of the media description.

5/ New features — It’s now much easier to set shuffle or loop commands on tracks and you can see small icons denoting the status visible in the media description/playback in the iTunes menu bar. The Music, Movies, TV Shows, Podcasts, and other media items section at the top left of iTunes has been changed: now you don’t see the most popular items lined up beside each other, but you get a pop-up menu to help you navigate between media types. You can also edit these so you only see the fields you most frequently use.
The Forward and Back buttons at top right in iTunes now help you jump directly between pages you’ve been browsing, just like in a proper browser. This also means you can shift between Apple Music, your music, Movies and so on.

JJ Lin and Tim Cook jam on iPads, Game of Thrones in Garageband, Adobe Spark storytelling, iAd deprecation


Apple CEO Tim Cook Jams on GarageBand with Asian Superstar JJ Lin — Singapore-born and based in Taiwan, JJ Lin is an enormously popular performer and producer in that part of the world. He posted a video to his YouTube channel of him and his pal Apple CEO Tim Cook jamming in GarageBand with the new Chinese-music loops and instruments. Cook serves as DJ in the piece, tapping loops to create the background music while JJ Lin plays the lead melody on one of those new instruments. It’s fun, and a message aimed squarely at the Chinese market. Also, JJ Lin posted it, not Apple and not Tim Cook. Seems Apple really is learning more about how to operate in that market.

Game of Thrones theme song recreated in GarageBand on iPad — Check out this great video iPhonedo posted to YouTube where he (re)creates the theme song for TV smash hit Game of Thrones. He uses the new Chinese instruments Apple added to GarageBand to do it, and part of the video includes instructions for enabling the new instruments on non-Chinese language devices. Those instruments aren’t authentic to the actual theme song, but they sound great and it’s a solid demonstration of just how much you can do on GarageBand on iPad.

Adobe debuts iOS compatible Spark visual storytelling solution — Adobe has served up Adobe Spark, an integrated web and mobile solution for creating and sharing visual stories. The free service – part of Creative Cloud – lets you create visual content that engages audiences across multiple channels and looks great on any device, says Bryan Lamkin, executive vice president and general manager, Digital Media at Adobe. This is essentially a rebranding of existing products.

Apple reminds developers of impending iAd App Network shutdown, APIs to be deprecated — Apple in an email blast on Wednesday reminded developers of the impending iAd App Network shutdown that will bring an end to monetisation revenues and app promotion on June 30, as scheduled.

Mac laptops, Union Square SF, Hyderabad Maps office, Trump stump, Game of Thrones in Garageband, Netflix speeds

Apple reveals details of it's San Francisco Union Square store ahead of its opening,
Apple reveals details of it’s San Francisco Union Square store ahead of its opening, (Image from Apple Insider.)

MacBooks, MacBook Airs, and iPad Pros could see some of Apple’s best sales this year — The MacBook, MacBook Air, and iPad Pro could be especially bright products for Apple sales this year. Despite a declining PC (as in in “personal computer,” not just Windows systems) market, the ultramobile premium segment is on pace to achieve revenue growth this year — the only segment set to do so, according to Gartner, Inc.

Apple unveils Union Square store in San Francisco ahead of Saturday opening — Apple on Thursday revealed more details about its new Union Square outlet in San Francisco – launching on Saturday – including design features present in other recent Apple Stores, as well as some traits unique to the location.

Apple opens Maps development office in Hyderabad, India — On Tuesday Apple announced plans to establish an iOS App Design and Development Accelerator in Bengaluru, the home of India’s startup scene. Now Apple has announced the opening of an office in Hyderabad, India, that will focus on development of Maps for the Mac, iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch.

Trump, who called for a boycott of Apple, reveals he owns over $1M in company stock — New financial documents disclosed by presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump reveal the brash billionaire owns a stake in Apple, despite the fact that he called for a boycott of the company over its strong security practices. [Because if he thinks it will be popular, he will say it.]

SpeedtestNetflix Launches easy to use Internet Speed Test Site — Netflix wants you to know how fast your internet connection is, so came up with its own speed test website called Fast.com. It’s a one trick pony in that you’ll see just your download speed, which makes sense considering that’s the part of your connection Netflix really cares about. What’s nice is that you don’t need to click any buttons to start or sift through ads trying to figure out how to start the test; just hit the Fast.com site and wait a few seconds while it does its thing bouncing off various Netflix servers. It works in 17 languages including Chinese and Korean (click the question mark for info and to change languages).

ANZ and Apple Pay, Indian app accelerator, Cosmic Watch, 10 classic games, Microsoft flogs Nokia assets to Foxconn

Image from ANZ Australia's Apple Pay site.
Image from ANZ Australia’s Apple Pay site.

ANZ’s Apple Pay exclusivity in Australia drives credit card applications, other Australian banks take notice — Australian bank ANZ earlier this month observed a 20% spike in online credit card and deposit account applications after announcing support for Apple Pay. These results have prompted other Australian bank holdouts to rethink their position on Apple’s payments service.

Apple to open iOS app design and development accelerator in India in 2017 — As expected, Apple late Tuesday announced plans to open a Design and Development Accelerator in Bengaluru, India, where developers will learn a variety of skills for coding on Apple’s software platforms. Cook is there right now wooing app developers.

Keep track of seconds to seasons with Cosmic Watch — As readers of the Team AWT Newsletter know, Steven Sande has a lifelong love of astronomy. That’s why when hewas asked to take a look at Cosmic Watch (NZ$5.99, universal app) he jumped at the chance. The best way to describe Cosmic Watch is that it’s an interactive 3D astronomical time device.

10 classic iPhone games still worth playing — Indeed, ten. That’s what this Macworld slideshow shows.

Microsoft sells Nokia feature phone division to Foxconn for $350M — Microsoft’s steady decline in the mobile phone business continues, as the Redmond, Washington company announced on Wednesday it will sell the feature phone division it acquired from Nokia to a subsidiary of manufacturer Foxconn for $350 million.

Mac Siri, iTunes faster, iTunes house call, Quip vs Excel, Alien Skin film look


Leaked screens show Siri in Apple’s upcoming OS X 10.12 with always-on ‘Hey Siri’ — New images published on Wednesday appear to support rumours that Apple will finally bring Siri to the Mac in the next major version of OS X, premiering at WWDC 2016 in June. A Dock icon shows the familiar Siri waveform (2nd from left, image above), while a Menu Bar icon simply uses the word “Siri,” according to MacRumors, which said it obtained the images from a reliable source on Apple’s software plans. One or both icons could potentially be placeholders, changing before the next OS X upgrade releases in the fall, or even Apple’s WWDC keynote. [‘Siri’ … not ‘Hal’.]

Apple’s iTunes 12.4 update provides unexpected speed boost, fixes deletion bug — The iTunes 12.4 update appears to have improved the speed of Apple’s jukebox software on Mac, even though Apple isn’t actively promoting that fact, according to user comments on Reddit and Twitter, and first-hand experience by AppleInsider. Meanwhile MacObserver details the notable changes [this latest version comes with the OS 10.11.5 update free via the Mac App Store.]

Apple Engineers make a house call for iTunes bug — The guy who got the interent in a tiz over iTunes deleting his personal music library has a follow up: Apple engineers paid him a personal visit to troubleshoot the problem. What they discovered was the lost music wasn’t user error, there is a hard-to-track bug in iTunes.

Quip takes another swing at Excel with enhanced spreadsheet features — Quip, a Silicon Valley startup that’s taking on the giants of the productivity software market, announced a major update to its spreadsheet capabilities overnight that’s aimed at bringing its service more in line with Microsoft Excel.

Alien Skin Exposure X review: film emulation app offers new organising tools — With digital photography now nearly an obsession, it’s surprising the extent to which so many shooters — including those who came of age in the digital era — miss the look of film. Not the suspense of anticipating the quality of a 36-picture roll, or the risk of blowing an entire shoot with a tiny mistake, or the time and chemistry required for developing and printing. What’s missing to contemporary shutterbugs is film’s atmospheric aura. Alien Skin’s Exposure X (US$149) is available as a standalone photo filter or plug-in to Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom.

WWDC rumours, OS updates squash bugs, Apple TV up, wireless charging experts, Capture CC for iOS

Apple's iOS 10 testers have been ramping up
Apple’s iOS 10 testers have been ramping up

Previewing Apple’s WWDC 2016: probably big news for iOS 10, iPhone 7, new iPad Pro — Rumours of iPhone 7 have so far revolved around purportedly leaked schematics and part images, which only allude to obvious potential hardware changes (a dual-lens camera, an iPad Pro-like Smart Connector and replacing the legacy headphone jack with Lightning). However, many of Apple’s biggest iPhone leaps have been externally invisible, driven by software advances unlocking the power of advanced silicon hardware inside, many of which debuted at WWDC. [Dang. I just want a new MacBook Pro.] Some sites reckon they know what will be in the new iOS.

Apple Squashes Scores of Security Flaws in updates to OS X, iOS, watchOS — Apple and SecurityApple squashed scores of security flaws in updates to OS X (10.11.5), iOS (9.3.2), and watchOS (2.2.1) on Monday, and TMO recommends that you run those updates ASAP—unless you’re on an iPad Pro (9.7-inch).

The Apple TV’s share of sales in 2015 was 50% higher than its share in 2014 — Parks Associates has announced new research showing Roku is still the most popular brand of streaming media players, accounting for 30% of the players purchased from the first quarter of 2015 to the first quarter of 2016. Amazon moved into a virtual tie with Google at 22% of sales. Along with Apple TV (20%), the four major players account for 94% of the streaming media players purchased, up from 86% in 2014.

Apple hiring experts in wireless charging — Two former uBeam engineers with expertise in wireless charging and ultrasonic technology have been hired by Apple, reports The Verge. uBeam is a wireless charging start-up. In the last two years Apple has hired more than a dozen staffers with expertise in wireless charging, the article adds.

Adobe adds automatic pattern generation tool to Capture CC for iOS — Adobe recently updated its Capture CC app for iOS with a new tool that transforms images or real-world objects into geometric and organic patterns, offering users an automated alternative to what was once a tedious manual workflow.

GarageBand adds instruments, Indian developments, SF Store, Chinese cybersecurity, FileMaker 15 review, Chrome to kill Flash too


Apple adds Chinese music, instruments, social media sharing in latest GarageBand update — In its latest play at the Chinese market, Apple on Monday released an updated version of GarageBand with a heavy focus on Chinese music, introducing new regional instruments, Chinese music loops and Chinese language localization, among other feature additions like social network sharing.

Apple to expand Indian development center, announce accelerator program for startups — Coinciding with Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook’s first-ever visit to India, Apple Inc will reportedly make a pair of key announcements for the emerging market, related to software development and local start-up companies.

Apple prepares to launch Union Square store in San Francisco, shutter Stockton location — Marking a long-awaited transition, Apple on Monday announced its new Union Square store in San Francisco will open on May 21 at 10am. Pacific time. The shop’s predecessor will shut down the night before.

Apple products subject of secretive Chinese cybersecurity audits, report says — A Chinese government committee is closely examining encryption and data storage technology products imported by foreign corporations, including Apple, in a bid to protect against national security threats, according to a report on Monday.

FileMaker 15 review: it’s an evolutionary release with a new licensing program — Macworld has reviewed the latest FileMaker, saying “With version 15, the FileMaker platform gets better, and it was pretty good already. But in terms of features, FileMaker 15 is an evolutionary rather than revolutionary release. Many existing users may not feel the need to rush to upgrade, and both new and current users may find the new licensing options a bit confusing.”

Even Google Chrome will phase out Adobe Flash later this year — Google has revealed plans to switch from the venerable – but much maligned – Adobe Flash to HTML5 as the default method for delivering audio and video in its Chrome Web browser.

Pizzazz for your characters: Art Text 3 for Mac


Art Text 3 is a totally renewed Mac app that creates beautiful word art, logos and 3D text design in a super-easy and intuitive way. This is the right tool for everyone who wants to add artistic, stylish text to any text document, presentation or newsletter.
Art Text comes packed with a wide selection of text styles, surface materials and effects. You are not bound by any of the presets, let your creativity take flight by playing around with textures, surface bump maps, environment textures, light spots and shadows, and other settings to come up with new materials. The price is US$49.99 (currently about NZ$73) and previous users of Art Text can upgrade for US$29.99. Read more (and purchase – theres also a free trial available) at Belight Soft.