Sierra and iTunes updates, another exec leaves, PiPifier, Geff virtual guitar rack

Geff is a $30 Mac virtual guitar effects rack with loads of effects
Geff is a $30 Mac virtual guitar effects rack with loads of effects

Apple Sierra 10.12.3 Update has Fixes for PDF, MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, security and more, plus iTunes 12.5.5 — Apple has released macOS Sierra 10.12.3 which includes some relatively minor bug fixes, an issue with Adobe Premiere Pro on MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, a PDF encryption fix and more. The update also includes fixes for eight security flaws.
You can download the update through the Updates tab on Mac App Store. On iMac 5K, the update was a 1.0.5GB download.
Apple also released iTunes 12.5.5 for macOS. According to the company, it’s a “minor update” with “performance enhancements. Just choose Software Update from About This Mac in the Apple Menu.

More talent leaves Apple — Former Nest executive Yoky Matsuoka joined Apple in May 2016, and by December she was gone. Now we know why: she’s back at Nest helping create the company’s long-term smart home technology plans.
Yoky Matsouka is now Nest’s Chief Technology Officer, according to Bloomberg, and has been tasked with finding new technologies and services for the company’s products. She’ll also identify where Nest can collaborate with other Alphabet companies. (Nest, which was set up by other former Apple employees, hasn’t released a new product since it was acquired by Google in 2014.)

PiPifier gives you picture-in-picture for all videos — macOS Sierra introduced picture-in-picture. It’s a feature in which you can watch videos while doing another task [and yet another ‘new feature’ I’ve never used after looking at it once when it arrived … it’s starting to feel like Microsoft over here]. For example, watch a YouTube video while typing up a report when you only have one monitor. The video is displayed in a small window that you can drag around the screen. This works for most videos on the web, but not all.
But now you can get an app that forces PiP for all videos: PiPifieris a  free app found in the Mac App Store and it lets you turn any HTML 5 video into a picture-in-picture. Once the app is installed, it gives you a Safari extension you turn on to enable the feature.

Geff is a new virtual guitar effects rack for macOS — Nikolas Konstantakopoulos has introduced Geff 1.0, a virtual guitar rack for macOS. It’s a standalone audio effects application to use with your guitar like you would a collection of stompboxes.
Geff requires macOS 10.6.6 or later. It costs NZ$29.99/US$19.99 (or the same figure in Euros) and it’s available worldwide through the Mac App Store in the Music category, or from Nikolas’ site where you can also try a free demo.

Frozen iPhone 7, iOS and tvOS, Qualcomm, Indian iPhones, Galaxy Note 7, AirPods and 6s, Terminology app


Ice fisher’s iPhone 7 Plus survives 13-hour immersion after dunk in Russian river — An ice fishing accident has led to an unexpected demonstration of the iPhone 7’s water resistance capabilities, after an iPhone 7 Plus was retrieved in from the bottom of a frozen-over river, and found to be in perfect working order. It had not been damaged from the drop or the 13 hours submerged in 4C (39.2 F) water.

Apple releases iOS 10.2.1 and tvOS 10.1.1 with bug fixes and improvements — Apple has just  released iOS 10.2.1 and tvOS 10.1.1. Both updates are available via the over-the-air mechanisms, which you can find in Settings>General>Software Update on iOS and Settings>Software on tvOS. With the iPhone, you can also plug it into a Mac and update via iTunes, which is faster and more reliable.

Qualcomm financials under the gun if Apple postpones iPhone modem royalties — Apple chip supplier Qualcomm could take a major financial hit if Apple decides to withhold royalties until its $1 billion lawsuit is finished, an analyst noted on Monday.

Wistron set to help produce Apple’s 2017 iPhones in India — Apple has indeed picked Wistron to be its first iPhone manufacturer in India, with plans to get the company working phones launching later this year, a report claimed on Monday – although Apple has not yet secured a deal to set up Indian manufacturing.

Galaxy Note 7 investigation concludes, pair of issues will cost Samsung $5 billion — Samsung has concluded its investigation involving the 2016 Galaxy Note 7 fires, and has determined that two different flaws resulted in the conflagrations in the failing devices, with one creeping in after a too-quick investigation. The Samsung Galaxy S8 will miss a Mobile World Congress debut in the aftermath of Note 7 fires.

Some users finding AirPods drop phone call audio when paired with iPhone 6s — Apple is looking into claims by a number of AirPods owners that the audio accessories have connectivity issues, with the Bluetooth connection temporarily dropping during phone calls, yet not during music playback.

Hands-on with the completely revamped Terminology dictionary app — AppleInsider looks into the newly re-written Terminology app, which provides definitions for words highlighted within other apps.

Macs have less problems, customise the Sierra Sidebar


Macs remain the most reliable computers with less tech problems — Apple’s Macs are more expensive to buy than PCs but IBM says they come with less problems according to RESCUECOM’s Annual 2017 Computer Reliability Report.
“Every Mac we buy is in fact continuing to make and save IBM money,” says Fletcher Previn, vice president of Workplace as a Service at IBM. [On the grade it scores twice as much as the second placed brand, Samsung.]

How to customise the sidebar in macOS Sierra — There are several ways to customise the Finder sidebar in macOS Sierra. To hide or show the sidebar: Choose View > Hide Sidebar or View > Show Sidebar. (If Show Sidebar is dimmed, choose View > Show Toolbar.)

Android security, new design resources, AirPods reset, IBM and Bell in Canada, Apple Music vs Spotify, wet 7s, Vine archive, Canadian antitrust,

(Image from CNN)
(Image from CNN)

Trump turned in his previous phone after arriving in Washington, DC on Thursday — Trump was under pressure from security agencies to do so, given the potential threats posed by hackers gaining access.
While Trump’s new device is unknown, it could be an iPhone if he follows in the steps of his predecessor. Barack Obama was the first US president to carry a cellphone, initially starting with a modified BlackBerry, but later migrating to an iPhone, which has simpler and more robust security features.

Apple releases new design resources for iOS developers — Apple has shared some free design resources for iOS developers with an update to its iOS Human Interface Guidelines. The resources include UI and template materials to make it easier to design iOS apps. Apple says the design resources are “comprehensive and accurately depict the full range of UIKit controls, views and glyphs available to developers using the iOS SDK.” The files are available in Sketch and Photoshop formats.

How to factory reset Apple AirPods, which may help with battery and pairing Issues — Some users have reported that doing a factory reset helps with both. Apple forum member martinctv posted instructions on how to do so in Apple’s support forums, and The Mac Observer walks you through it.

IBM MobileFirst for iOS apps offered by Bell and IBM to Canadian businesses — IBM and Bell Canada are joining forces to offer IBM MobileFirst for iOS market-ready enterprise applications for the iPad, iPhone or Apple Watch.

Apple Music pays more cash per stream to artists than Spotify — Apple “sits in the sweet spot generating the second largest amount of streaming revenue with a per stream rate .00735,” nearly double what Spotify is paying, according to The Trichoridist, an artists rights website. In other words, Apple Music plays more cash per stream to artists.

Astropad Studio on iPad could replace your Wacom Tablet — Many photographers and designers who rely on digital editing tools favour gadgets like the Wacom tablet. With good reason; it’s a device that lets you edit photos and manipulate graphics with a stylus, allowing for greater precision. But if you have a Wacom tablet along with an iPad, you may find yourself juggling the two devices. An app called Astropad Studio can turn your iPad into, effectively, a Wacom tablet.

iOS Tip: avoid charging your wet iPhone 7/7 Plus — Apple made the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus water and dust resistant, with a rating of IP67. This means that you won’t have to worry as much if you get a wet iPhone. However, if you’ve dropped your iPhone in a body of water, you shouldn’t charge it right away. Here’s what you should do.

Vine creates searchable video archive after social network shut down — After shutting down social networking features last week, Vine on Friday made good on a promise to activate the Vine Archive, an online browsable repository of all user content created during the service’s four-year run.

Canadian antitrust bureau reaches deal with Apple and ebook publishers — Canada’s Competition Bureau on Friday announced an agreement with Apple and three ebook publishers, allowing other sellers such as Amazon and Kobo to offer discounts on titles, despite the first group’s attempts to keep prices higher.

Pro video apps updates, MagNeo, Yokohama, Time Machine and alternatives, Fox royalty, Notebook


Apple updates Final Cut Pro X, Motion, and Compressor — Apple has updated its pro video apps for macOS – Final Cut Pro X, Motion and Compressor – with feature tweaks, performance improvements and bug fixes.

MagNeo on Kickstarter: Magnetic USB-C Adapter for Charging, Data, and Video — Magsafe is missed. “It has saved my MacBook Air uncounted times, and it’s so easy to plug it in.”
MagNeo on Kickstarter is a magnetic USB-C adapter that allows charging, data, and video, too. That makes it useful for applications beyond charging-only, which may be why it’s already raised $115,000. It’s a two-piece device machined from a solid piece of aluminium. One half goes in your MacBook or MacBook Pro, and the other half goes on the end of the cable you want to use it with. Watch the short video for more. Funding options start at US$59 as of this writing.

Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary visits Yokohama Apple R&D center, confirms March opening — Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga has paid a visit to the Apple Yokohama City Tsunamshima artificial intelligence development site, now confirmed by the official to open in March.

Head to head: Apple’s Time Machine versus three local backup utilities for macOS — Backing up your data to prevent loss in the case of digital disaster couldn’t be much easier, but there are choices to make, and things you should to to guarantee safety. AppleInsider looks at some of your options, and helps you choose.

Fox 1.0 is new royalty app for macOS — OFFICER solutions has introduced Fox 1.0, a new addition to their software line of royalty applications for entertainment companies. Developed specifically for artists, musicians and other right holders, Fox 1.0 for macOS (10.10 and higher) is designed to transform sales reports for content sold on the Internet into detailed royalty statements.

Notebook is a new note-taking app for the Mac — Zoho has launched Notebook for Mac, a new, free note-taking app. Notebook’s mobile apps introduced the concept of Note Cards: dedicated note types for text, checklists, audio, photos, and sketches.

Futurology ~ Galaxy killer, wave maker moon, Venus commotion, NASA on climate, flying car, Zebra stripes

Airbus promises a flying car prototype by the end of this year. Yay!
Airbus promises a flying car prototype by the end of this year. Yay!

Silent but deadly galaxy killer — Across the universe, galaxies are literally getting the life sucked out of them. A team of researchers at the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research in Western Australia has examined 11,000 galaxies using the Sloan Digital Sky Survey and Arecibo Legacy Fast ALFA survey. The team concluded that a process called ram-pressure stripping — which forces gas out of galaxies — is more common than previously imagined. It’s a quick death, because without gas, galaxies are unable to produce more stars. The group’s findings were published on January 17th in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.
~ I get that from eating chickpeas. 


Cassini gets a look at Saturn’s wavemaker moon — Saturn’s tiny moon friend, Daphnis, is finally getting its close-up. In a stunning new image [in detail, above] from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft, the elusive moon can be seen peeking out from within the Keeler gap of Saturn’s rings. According to NASA, the image was taken in visible (green) light by Cassini’s narrow-angle camera.
~ It creates waves, unlike the other 61 moons of Saturn. 

Venus’ atmospheric commotion — An infrared camera aboard the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s Venus-orbiting Akatsuki spacecraft spotted lazy pockets of atmosphere on Venus in December 2015. Akatsuki’s camera brought the first hard evidence: an enormous, 6000-mile bow-shaped region hanging over a mountainous region of Venus.
~ It’s refusing to budge despite the 225 mile-per-hour winds that surround it.

NASA director explains what 2016’s temperature changes mean — To understand where we are – and more importantly, where we’re headed – Gavin Schmidt, Director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, said we should be focusing on data that shows how much the Earth has warmed since the Industrial Revolution. According to NASA, the global temperature has increased 1.7 degrees F since 1880.
Over that same time frame, carbon dioxide levels have dramatically increased, from roughly 280 to 405.25 parts per million: the highest they’ve been in 650,000 years.
Meanwhile, ‘rogue’ scientists have been struggling to save climate data from that supreme idiot Trump, who has just become the most powerful idiot in the world.
Gizmodo reckon’s Trump’s Age of Ignorance threatens humanity.
~ A former friend of mine was still insisting, a year ago, that global warming was a ‘left wing plot’. I asked him what he thought the left would gain from such a plot. His answer was …. he didn’t have an answer, of course. But the fact remains that people’s wish that this wouldn’t be happening seems to be enough for them to decide it isn’t. It’s not about the causes, really, but what we can do to slow it, for all our futures. 

Airbus promises flying car — Airbus last year formed a division called Urban Air Mobility to explore concepts such as a vehicle to transport individuals or a helicopter-style vehicle that can carry multiple riders. The aim would be for people to book the vehicle using an app, similar to car-sharing schemes. (Meanwhile, look at Wired’s outstanding cars of the last year.)
~ Finally!

Scientist finally figures out why zebras are striped — Camouflage? No; social recognition? no; lion’s eye shapes? No …
~ It’s a long article, and you’ll never believe the answer!

Five Tip Friday ~ x2: 5 for macOS and 5 for iOS

I inexplicably failed to post five tips last week, for which I apologise – so here are 10 tips, 5 each for Mac and iOS.


1/ Open folders in new Finder tabs or windows in macOS Sierra — When you open a folder in the Finder (the default application for browsing your Mac’s files), the folder’s contents usually replace the current contents of the window. However, you can open a folder in a new tab or window, if you wish. Open System Preferences (from its icon in the Dock or from the Apple Menu), then click Dock.
Click the “Prefer tabs when opening documents” pop-up menu, then choose your option: Always, In Full Screen Only, or Manually. By default, documents open in tabs only when an app is full screen.

2/ Open folders in tabs or windows — Hold down the Command key on your keyboard while you double-click a folder and it opens in a new tab or window, depending on your Finder preferences. (If the Finder toolbar and sidebar are hidden, double-clicking a folder without pressing the Command key opens the folder in a new window.)
To open a new Finder window without opening a specific folder, choose File > New Finder Window or press Command-N. [From Apple World Today.]

spring13/ Spring-loaded folders — macOS Sierra, as with several previous versions of macOS, supports ‘spring-loaded folders’. These pop open when you drag something onto it while holding down the mouse/trackpad button. Spring-loaded folders work with all folder or disk icons in all views and even in the Sidebar.
Select an icon (not a disk icon) and drag the selected icon onto any folder or disk icon while holding down the mouse/trackpad button. The highlighted folder or disk will flash twice (very quickly), then spring open under the cursor. (You can press the spacebar to make the folder open immediately.) Subfolders wishing this first folder continue to pop open until you release the mouse button. when you release the mouse button, the icon you’ve been dragging is dropped into the active folder. That window remains open; however, while all other windows you traversed close automatically.
To cancel a spring-loaded folder, drag the cursor away from the folder icon or outside the boundaries of the sprung window. The folder pops shut.
You can toggle spring-loaded folders on or off by going to System Preferences > Accessibility > Mouse & Trackpad. (There’s also a setting for how long the Finder waits before it springs the folders open.) [Also from Apple World Today.]

grab4/ Taking timed screenshots — Hopefully you know the standard Mac screenshot commands (Command-Shift 3 for the whole screen, Command-Shift 4 to select an area with a crosshair). But Apple includes an application (program) in your Applications folder, then in turn in the Utilities folder, that can take them at timed intervals. Open Applications and launch Grab.
When Grab launches, it just waits there with its menus for you to do something. To take a timed screenshot, pick that option from the Capture menu or press Shift-Command-Z. A dialogue box will appear to tell you what’s what. Click Start Timer and as the dialogue box notes, you’ll have ten seconds to set up your screenshot. (If you find that Grab isn’t including your cursor and you’d like it to, select that option within Grab > Preferences and choose one of the cursors there to include it in your next timed screenshot, or if you would prefer no cursor to show up, choose the blank option at the upper-left.
After the screenshot is taken, you can save it out of Grab at its full size.

5/ Maybe a little obscure for some, but you can disable LinkedIn birthdays in macOS Sierra Calendar — There’s a Birthdays calendar under the Other category in macOS Calendar. Uncheck or delete that one, as it’s one LinkedIn uses. You can also disable LinkedIn in your Contacts’ Preferences > Accounts category.

Now, five for iOS:

1/ Enable Siri for third-party apps in iOS 10 — For third-party apps, Siri support is off by default, and has to be manually toggled on app-by-app for titles that support the technology. There aren’t many that do support Siri so far, but for those that do, open the Settings app from the iOS home screen, then scroll down to the Siri menu option. The next step is to tap on the vague App Support option.
To use Siri once you’ve turned it on for any supported apps, you have to mention an app by name. Saying “find men’s fashion pins on Pinterest” will generate results, for example, while saying “find men’s fashion pins” will not only fail to open Pinterest, but potentially create wacky consequences as Siri tries to interpret what you mean.

2/ Create your own live wallpapers with iPhone 6-7 — First, take a Live Photo by tapping the little circle icon at top centre above the viewfinder screen in the Camera app on any iPhone that supports 3D Touch.
In the app, select the photo you’d like to turn into a Live wallpaper.
Centre the image to your liking, then tap Next.
3D Touch the screen by pressing down in order to get a preview of the wallpaper.
Tap the wand icon in the lower left corner to choose between the animation effects.
Tap Save to export it to your Camera Roll.
Once the photo has been saved, go to Settings > Wallpaper > Choose a new wallpaper to find it (note that this is where you can set any image you took as a Wallpaper, for the Home and/or Lock screen). Note Live Wallpapers will only work on iPhone 6s or later – as long as your iPhone supports 3D Touch, this will work for you.
(An app called LivePapers can turn any photo into a Live Photo. It’s NZ$2.49/US$1.99 in the App Store. It lets you turn any still photo into a Live Photo, which you can then set as a wallpaper on supported iPhones.)

3/ Change the default search engine in iOS Safari — Most iOS users are blissfully unaware of the fact they can easily change the default search engine that’s used by the Safari browser on the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. While the default engine is still Google, it’s also possible to change to Bing, Yahoo, or even DuckDuckGo. Here’s how to do it.
Launch the Settings app and scroll down to Safari (it’s near the bottom of the list of Apple pre-installed apps), tap on it, and the top item on the screen that’s displayed is Search Engine (see image below).
Now tap on the search engine you’d like to make your default (see image below). Now when you enter search text into the search/address field at the top of the Safari screen, the results that are returned are from the new search engine.

4/ Search in secret — As above, you can choose a search engine that doesn’t track and record your searches, say if you’re using a work phone or you simply don’t want to leave a trace. As above, just choose DuckDuckGo … it may not be as comprehensive with results as Google.

5/ Speed searches by turning off Safari Suggestions — Because the suggestion may take a split second longer to load than the search results below it, you may inadvertently hit the suggestion instead of the term you wanted. There is a really quick way to fix this, though, so let’s pop over to Settings and check it out, shall we? It’s under the Safari preferences.
Toggle off Safari Suggestions there, and now your search results will now not try to do anything fancy or extra.

iRig for acoustic guitars, emoji Message crash, Google Pixel


iRig Pro I/O, iRig Acoustic Stage gives musicians more guitar recording options — IK Multimedia has launched two new interfaces for musicians in the iRig Pro I/O, a compact audio and MIDI interface with Lightning connectivity straight from the box, and the iRig Acoustic Stage digital microphone system for acoustic guitars.

How To Fix The iPhone Rainbow Emoji Message Crash — Another messaging crash for iOS devices is making the rounds. This time, it involves the colorful rainbow emoji. The bug affects both iPhones and iPads running iOS 10.1 or below, but a variant of the crash can affect devices running iOS 10.2.
To summarise, a person includes a text string in an iMessage consisting of a waving white flag emoji, a zero, a rainbow emoji and a hidden character called a variant selector. When this message is sent to an iPhone user, it crashes and requires you to reboot the phone. Luckily, the fix to this problem is simple. All you have to do is delete the iMessage conversation that contains the booby-trapped message.
Updating to iOS 10.2 will protect you against the first variant, but not the second. Apple has yet to comment on the issue, but we will be looking in the upcoming iOS 10.2.1 release for a patch.

Google struggling to meet consumer demand for iPhone 7 rival Pixel — Google is having a hard time matching production to demand for its rival to Apple’s iPhone 7, the Pixel —and particularly 5.5-inch Pixel XL models, according to a report.

Photolemur, Civilization expansions, Fruitfly malware


Photolemur is photo magic — Arthur C Clarke’s third law states that “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” While Photolemur doesn’t do magic on every photo, it did magically improve almost all the test shots, with 70–80% of them noticeably improved despite a wide variety of flaws and subjects.
It’s extremely simple for the user: drag a picture or folder full of pictures onto the Photolemur icon to enhance them one at a time or all at once. Then, there’s just one slider control with Realistic at the left end and Vivid on the right. Slide it left or right (or don’t), and then export your improved picture.

Civilization VI Gets Viking and Poland Expansions, other improvements — Civilization Vi got its first expansions with the release of the Poland Civilization & Scenario Pack and Vikings Scenario Pack. The Polish pack includes the full Poland civilization, which includes the ability to take over tiles by fortifying their borders. The Poland scenario is a 60-Turn game where you defend Poland, Prague, and Vienna from Teutonic Knights and Ottoman Turks! Sounds awesome. The Viking Scenario includes new City-States with new benefits, and a 100-Turn game where you invade England, take Paris, find Vinland, or raid the Mediterranean. Each pack is US$4.99, and is available through both Steam and the Mac App Store version of the game.

‘Fruitfly’ malware patched by Apple relies on ‘ancient’ Mac system calls — Newly-patched Mac malware relies on some antiquated code predating the OS X era, but has been used in some previous real-world attacks on biomedical research groups, according to a prominent security software maker.
Serious malware threats are a relatively rare phenomenon on the Mac, both because macOS remains a minority platform —hence a smaller target —and because Apple has stepped up its own security efforts in recent years.

App Store pays better, Angry Birds, Microsoft Solitaire, health Watches, IBM and Canada, iBooks StoryTime on Apple TV

iBooks StoryTime reads stories and entertains your kids for you
iBooks StoryTime reads stories and entertains your kids for you

Apple’s App Store continues to pay developers more than Google Play, thanks to Chinese iOS users — The App Store remains more profitable for iOS developers than the Google Play store is for Android apps, new estimates reveal, with App Store revenues in China also continuing to climb at a fast pace.

Angry Birds Blast isn’t explosively fun, but it’s not bad either —
Rovio’s latest entry continues the trend of adequate, uninspiring spinoffs.

Microsoft Solitaire Collection: My new iOS app addiction — The Microsoft Solitaire Collection (free with in-app purchase) carries five solitaire games: Klondike, Spider, FreeCell, Pyramid and TriPeaks. Klondike is the old, traditional game that’s been around forever, while Pyramid and TriPeaks are relatively new to the Microsoft Solitaire world. Each has a different set of rules and method of play; while you might be an expert in one game, it really takes some effort to win consistently at all five.

Stanford program offers 1000 Apple Watches, funding for healthcare research proposals — Stanford University is offering to hand out up to 1000 Apple Watches and up to $10,000 in funding to instructors and members of the faculty, as part of a new program to find innovative ways to use the Apple Watch in healthcare. [You’d need very long arms …]

IBM and Bell partner to bring MobileFirst for iOS apps to Canada — IBM has announced a new MobileFirst for iOS partnership with Bell Canada that promises to deliver enterprise apps for iPad, iPhone and Apple Watch to the Great White North.

iBooks StoryTime is a fine Apple TV app for those who have children or grandchildren — You can have the Apple TV handle the storytelling job thanks to iBooks StoryTime. It’s a free app aimed at the preschooler who is just starting to learn to read. iBooks StoryTime lets you open a virtual book on any HDTV that’s connected to an Apple TV, and here’s how to use it.

GarageBand for iOS and Logic Pro X for Mac music apps get major updates


This just in from Apple: “Powerful New Features Support Music Makers from Enthusiasts to Pros”

Apple has today announced major updates to its music creation apps with exciting new features for music makers of all levels on iPhone, iPad and Mac. GarageBand for iOS 2.2 now features the powerful creative synthesiser Alchemy and a new sound browser that makes searching through instruments and patches easier than ever. Logic Pro X 10.3 becomes an even more powerful tool for pros with a modern interface, new features for professional audio production as well as support for the revolutionary Touch Bar™ on the new MacBook Pro®, putting intuitive, context-sensitive controls right at users’ fingertips.

Logic Pro X users can also remotely add new tracks to their Logic sessions from their iPhone or iPad when they’re away from their Mac. With a new share option, users can upload a special GarageBand-compatible version of a Logic project to iCloud®, which they can then open on their iOS devices and add new recordings whenever inspiration strikes. When the project is saved back to iCloud, any newly added tracks will automatically appear in the original Logic project the next time it’s opened on a Mac.

GarageBand for iOS — GarageBand for iOS brings even more sophisticated music creation options to iPhone and iPad, while still remaining fun and easy to use. It features a redesigned sound browser that makes it faster than ever to explore Touch Instruments® and quickly find the exact sounds you’re looking for.
Alchemy, one of the world’s most innovative modern synthesisers and a favourite of Logic Pro users, comes to iOS and includes a rich collection of over 150 Apple-designed patches from a wide variety of genres, including EDM, Hip Hop, Indie, Rock, Pop and more. And with Alchemy’s Transform Pad, users can morph between eight sonic snapshots in real-time, to create expressive synth performances.
Recording music in GarageBand for iOS also gets easier with Multi-Take Recording, giving users multiple passes to capture their best performance and the ability to audition and switch between their favourite takes.
The release also features a redesigned Audio Recorder that adds fun, one-tap vocal effects and provides users with even more sophisticated studio effects like pitch correction, distortion and delay. Seasoned users looking for even more control over their mixes can use a new collection of advanced audio processing tools, including an interactive graphic Visual EQ and the ability to use third-party Audio Unit plug-in effects for expandable, creative sound design.

Logic Pro X — Logic Pro X includes advanced new features that make Logic an even stronger tool for audio production, giving musicians and audio engineers even more control over editing and mixing their music. The latest release features a new modern design that improves legibility in a variety of working environments.
Logic Pro X also adds support for the revolutionary new Touch Bar on MacBook Pro, providing the ability to view and navigate your project in a timeline overview, along with convenient access to volume and Smart Controls for any selected track. New performance controls let you play and record software instruments with the Touch Bar using a piano keyboard that can also be customised to a variety of musical scales, or by tapping drum pads to create beats. Assignable key command buttons let you customise the Touch Bar controls to keep your favourite keyboard shortcuts available when you need them.
Track Alternatives let users create and switch between different playlists of regions and edits on any track. This feature makes it easier to experiment with various creative ideas or evaluate different versions of a track as it evolves. Selection-based Processing allows users to apply any combination of Logic or third-party effect plug-ins onto any selection of one or multiple audio regions. It is useful for optimising sound quality and a great tool for creative sound design.
Logic Pro X becomes more powerful for professional mixing, with a 64-bit summing engine, 192 additional busses and true stereo panning, providing discrete control of stereo signals.

Pricing and Availability — The GarageBand for iOS update, available today, is free for all existing users and with all new iOS devices. New customers with older, non-qualifying devices can purchase the app for NZ$7.49 inc. GST on the App Store. For more information about GarageBand for iOS, visit:

The Logic Pro X update, available today [but not when I checked between 7-8am, yet], is free for all existing users, and available on the Mac App Store for NZ$299.99 inc. GST for all new customers. More information about Logic Pro X is online at Apple.

Apple most intimate, engineers claims boring, macOS kernel issue, SSD Health Check, Apple Music interview

SSD Health Check, for MacBook and MacBook Pros without old-fashioned hard drives, is only NZ$1.29 in the Mac App store
SSD Health Check, for MacBook and MacBook Pros without old-fashioned hard drives, is only NZ$1.29 in the Mac App store

Apple is the most intimate brand in the US — Brand intimacy is defined as a new paradigm that leverages and strengthens the emotional bonds between a person and a brand. The top-ranked intimate brands continued to outperform the S&P and Fortune 500 indices in revenue and profit over the past 10 years, according to MBLM’s Brand Intimacy 2017 Report, which is the largest study of brands based on emotions. The most intimate brand in the US is Apple, followed by Disney and Amazon.

Former Apple engineer claims Tim Cook Made Apple boring — Former Apple engineer Bob Burrough has been arguing that CEO Tim Cook has made Apple boring. In a combination of tweet storm and an interview with CNBC stemming from said tweetstorm, the engineer said Cook has eliminated conflict within Apple, but that sapped its vitality in the process. Burrough argued that Steve Jobs ruled with ever-shifting chaos, where product triumphed over hierarchy.

Apple fixes El Capitan kernel issue in supplemental security update — Apple has issued a supplemental security update for OS X 10.11.6, fixing a kernel issue for El Capitan users that causes affected Macs to ‘occasionally become unresponsive.’ [This wasn’t yet available this morning in NZ between 7-8am.]

SSD Health Check is new drive utility for macOS — B-Eng has announced SSD Health Check 1.0, the company’s new drive utility for macOS. It will alert you when your solid state disk is in a critical state or reaches other critical limits. SSD Health Check 1.0 costs NZ$1.49/US99¢. It’s available worldwide through the Mac App Store.

Larry Jackson, Zane Lowe, Bozoma Saint John interview addresses ambitions, goals for Apple Music — The trio of Apple Music leads sat down in an interview to discuss the evolution of the service after 18 months, working with Apple, and how the music industry will have to adapt in the next decade.

iPhone 7 fastest smartphone, dancing ads, Vine has gone

A frame from one of Apple Inc's new AirPods ad spots
A frame from one of Apple Inc’s new AirPods ad spots

iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 7 are the top two performing smartphones of 2016 — The benchmark specialists at AnTuTu have compiled a chart that highlights 2016’s top performing smartphones. The iPhone 7 Plus and the iPhone 7 take the number one and two spots.

Apple’s ‘Practically Magic’ commercials take dancing stroll with AirPods — Apple has new spots out with the tagline ‘practically magic.’ The spots focus on a young dancer taking a stroll through a city scape using AirPods to enjoy Down by Marian Hill. There are four spots in the series, a longer one and three short ones.

Today the Vine video service shuts down, to be replaced by Twitter’s Vine camera — But there’s still a bit of time left where you can grab your Vines that aren’t already saved to your camera roll. Here’s how to do it. (And Mac Observer has more info, too.)