Tag Archives: Apple

Manchester bombing and iPhone, Apple’s AI chip, tvOS gets Event update


Apple’s iPhone credited with saving life in Manchester bombing — An iPhone 6s is being credited with saving the life of a woman who was injured in Monday’s terrorist attack in Manchester, England, after the device deflected and slowed down shrapnel from the blast.
Recounting the harrowing scene, the husband of Lisa Bridgett, 45, said in a Facebook post that his wife was speaking on her iPhone when Salman Abedi detonated an explosive device that sent material hurtling through the air.

Apple’s AI chip may be dubbed the Apple Neural Engine — The chip, apparently known internally as the ‘Apple Neural Engine’, could help Apple better integrate its AI across numerous products akin to advances by Amazon and Google.
For instance, it would allow AI tasks to head to a dedicated processing spot instead of splitting work between the main processor and graphics chip. The company’s devices already sport AI technology of a sort– such as the Siri pesronal assistant – but a dedicated chip would improve user experience.

Apple TV Events app updated in preparation for June 5 WWDC keynote live stream — Apple has issued an update to the official Apple Events app for tvOS, including a new icon based on the WWDC 2017 logo, and a teaser letting users know they will be able to stream the June 5 keynote – expected to feature the unveiling of iOS 11 – live from their Apple TV.

Apple tops Consumer, MacBook Pro anger, Magic Mouse gestures, Media giant, video updates, Railroads, Charcoal, Park goes 3D


Apple Park in Cupertino has joined the 3D pantheon within Apple Maps

Macs top Consumer Reports’ reliability surveys — In the latest Consumer Reports survey of 83,000 readers, Apple was dubbed the most reliable company when it comes to laptops and desktops, according to ZDNet.
Apple’s “broken or not working as well” percentage is 17. Other brand percentages: Samsung 27; Dell 29; HP 30; Lenovo 31; and Asus 33.

MacBook Pro anger — John Kheit reckons the Touchbar MacBook Pro is a ‘disposable embarrassment’: “It’s a joke that the new MacBook Pro with a Touchbar is called a ‘Pro’ machine. Perhaps Apple should call it the MacBook Exec or Edition. I won’t bother rehashing the many quibbles that others have already covered. Yet, once again, the punditry has failed to notice the biggest and most obvious flaw and are ranting about the wrong things. Let me rant about the right things for you. You’re welcome.
The Touchbar MacBook Pro is a failure because you cannot upgrade its storage capacity. Ever. Why? Because the SSD is a soldered-in and non-upgradable boat anchor.” And so on.

Comprehensive Guide to Magic Mouse Mac Gestures — Here is an unabridged look at what gestures you can use with the Magic Mouse, as highlighted by Apple and (I hope) improved upon by yours truly. This guide to Magic Mouse Mac gestures assumes you are running macOS Sierra with the most current model of the accessory.

Apple Transforms PR Site to a ‘Newsroom’ and redesigns executive profiles — Apple has revamped its PR site for the first time in many years. Out is a headline-oriented list of press releases and in is a Flipboard-like ‘Newsroom’ with cover photos and clickable tiles. The company also redesigned its executive profile sites, including new headshots for some of its execs.

Apple Music subscriber numbers soaring as it becomes a media giant — CEO Tim Cook hinted at this shift in Apple earnings during analyst earnings call after the Q2 results. By this time, Apple Music had 13 million subscribers.

Apple updates iMovie, Final Cut Pro — Apple has updated iMovie and Final Cut Pro, the (respectively) consumer and pro versions of its video editing software. Both upgrades are available via the Mac App Store.

Sid Meier’s Railroads for Mac hits Steam platform — Feral Interactive announced this week that Sid Meier’s Railroads for Mac (originally Railroad Tycoon back in the day) is now available on Steam. This isn’t a new game (it’s been available on the Mac App Store for years) but Railroads was also updated on the Mac App Store. In addition to some unspecified bug fixes, the update removes support for Apple’s Game Center and Game Ranger. It’s US$17.99 on the MAS, but only US$9.99 on Steam.

Charcoal for macOS makes it fun to turn photos into charcoal, chalk drawings — AKVIS Charcoal 1.0 is a fun standalone application and Photoshop plug-in for macOS that lets you create charcoal, chalk, and sanguine drawings from photos.
The program contains 34 ready-to-use presets. You can create your own presets saving your favourite combinations of the parameters.
The software runs on macOS 10.6 and higher and costs US$49 for a home license and a 10-day demo is available for download.

Apple Park 3D models, walkways, more show up in Apple Maps — Apple in a recent update to Apple Maps enhanced coverage of the Apple Park campus area in Cupertino, California, with the app now displaying 3D building models, walkways and other points of interest across the sprawling grounds.

AirPods firmware, Galaxy fire lawsuits, eye app, Twit iPhone


Apple issues new 3.7.2 firmware update for AirPods owners — Apple on Wednesday released a small firmware update for its fully wireless AirPods, version 3.7.2, though what the patch does exactly remains unknown. The update should install automatically the next time a person connects their AirPods to a paired iPhone or iPad, as long as they’re stored inside a plugged-in charging case. To check the active firmware version owners can go into the iOS Settings app, then tap General, About, and finally AirPods.

Samsung Galaxy Note 7 battery fire lawsuits spreading to Galaxy Note 5, S6, S7 models — Hot on the heels of the devastating recall that stopped sales of Galaxy Note 7, Samsung is now facing additional lawsuits that allege the company was aware of battery overheating and fire hazards for years, including its Galaxy S6, S6 Edge, S6 Edge+, S6 Active, S7, S7 Edge, S7 Active and Note 5 – but failed to address the issue or warn customers. Legal action has now spread to multiple class action cases in three different states.

Warby Parker brings eye checkup to your iPhone — Mail order eyeglasses company Warby Parker wants to make checking your vision easier, so has released an app that checks your prescription with your iPhone. The app takes about 20 minutes to test your vision and see if your prescription has changed, which takes a lot less time than scheduling an appointment with an optometrist.

President Trump’s iPhone reportedly has one app installed: Twitter — The iPhone used by US President Donald Trump is said to have just one third-party app loaded onto it – Twitter, which he uses to communicate [I’d say ‘inflict’]  his agenda directly to the world.

Jobs in 93 secs, Apple News, currency transitions, recyclebot, free Portrait Painter, Singapore store, Trackpad guide


Liam the recycling robot pulls old iPhones apart so they parts can be reused

The Telegraph’s 93-second primer Steve Jobs’s Career London newspaper The Telegraph has published a quickie biography of Steve Jobs. The piece is called Who was Steve Jobs? Tech trailblazer and co-founder of the Apple empire.  It’s an in-depth piece for a newspaper article, but it’s still a short look into a person like Steve Jobs’s entire life, perfect for someone who’s curious about Steve Jobs, but hasn’t delved deep into all things Apple. Accompanying the written piece was a 93 second video that runs  through Steve Jobs’s career with slides, information, and other highlights.

Apple makes New York Magazine editor Lauren Kern ‘editor in chief’ at Apple News — Apple has reportedly recruited New York media icon Lauren Kern to serve as the first-ever “editor in chief” for Apple News, possibly hinting at greater ambitions for the app.

Apple transitions App Store pricing to local currencies in 9 new countries — Apple has been transitioning App Store pricing this week from the US dollar and euro to the local currencies of nine countries, a change that in some locales equates to a small savings thanks to favorable exchange rates. Along with Poland, Apple is switching store currency in Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Romania over from euro pricing. At the same time, Chile, Colombia, Croatia and Peru are swapping to their local currency from the US dollar.

New Apple cartoon looks at the Liam Recycling Robot — Apple launched a new video called Earth Day 2017 – Does my iPhone believe in reincarnation? It’s part of the cartoon series the company started on Earth Day earlier in May, but this one takes a look at Liam. That’s Apple’s purpose-built recycling robot that pulls iPhones apart so the components can be reused.

Free Portrait Painter software — JixiPix is proud to give you Portrait Painter a revolutionary paint product that simulates a hand painted gallery-style portrait on fine linen or canvas. This professional painting tool will add colour, light and texture to your painting, which harmonise intelligently to produce works of art that resonates with vibrant life. To receive it, go to this page, click Add to Cart and put in your contact details.

Media photos offer deeper peek inside Apple’s first Singapore store — Images from Thursday media preview offered a detailed look inside Apple’s first store in Singapore, set to open this Saturday.

Comprehensive guide to Mac Trackpad gestures and Force Touch — If you have a Magic Trackpad 2 or a built-in Multi-Touch trackpad, you might not be making the most of it. There are several Mac trackpad gestures that you can use to really speed up your workflow, whether you’re surfing the web or moving files around in the Finder. Take a look in this comprehensive guide to Mac trackpad gestures.

iPads educate, Galaxy S8 hacked, 1Password travel mode, Micro LED tests


Northern Ireland study found multiple benefits to using iPads in elementary classrooms — Technology can be beneficial to younger students learning core skills, a two-year research project has found, with elementary schools in Northern Ireland found to have improved the numeracy, literacy, and communication skills of their pupils after incorporating iPads into their lessons.
The study also noted that the addition of technology to the classroom is not a stand-alone solution, and should complement existing teaching approaches rather than replacing them.

Samsung Galaxy S8 Iris Scanner already hacked — That didn’t take long. Samsung’s Galaxy S8 flagship smartphone has been out for only a month and its iris scanning biometric security feature has already been hacked. The Chaos Computer Club figured out how to trick the iris recognition technology, and it was surprisingly simple.

1Password introduces Travel Mode to protect data during trips — As part of an update pushed out on last week, popular password management app 1Password introduced a new feature that lets users selectively erase local data for maximum protection while traveling.
Travel Mode is a one-click function that erases all vaults – 1Password speak for user profiles – except those marked “safe for travel” from devices connected to a 1Password account. Users can later restore their full list of vaults with another click once they arrive.

Apple rumoured to have ordered small batch of Micro LED screens for testing — A supply chain report suggests that Apple is already looking beyond OLED for future products, with the company said to be taking steps for trial production of Micro LED screens in the second half of 2017. Micro LED screens promise greater contrast, faster response times, and lower energy use as compared to LCD screens. The technology is oriented towards watch displays, and smartphones.

Free Swift book, eye strain, TechTool Pro 9.5, Live Home, SoftRaid, Quark Express, USB-C free


Apple puts free Swift curriculum on iBooks, plans courses at US schools — Apple on Wednesday released App Development with Swift, a free course available through the iBooks Store. The iBooks course is a full-year endeavor geared towards helping people “design fully functional apps, gaining critical job skills in software development and information technology,” according to Apple.
Swift is Apple’s open-source programming language that works across iOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS. [You can read this on Mac, iPhone and iPad. Download it once, for example to your Mac, it appears on iPad and vice versa signed into the same iCloud account. Stop on page 54 on your Mac, it opens on page 54 on your iPad. Bookmark and/or highlight a line on iPhone, it comes across intact on the other devices … but all iBooks do this.]

How to help ease eye fatigue from the online life — Many of us spend an enormous amount of time on our digital devices. In fact, The Vision Council reports that nine out of 10 adults spend more than two hours a day using a digital device and that one in 10 people spends a whopping three-fourths of their waking hours doing so– so here are five tips to help you combat digital eye strain.

New In TechTool Pro 9.5 — While regularly backing up your files is the best solution to safeguarding your data, sometimes things go wrong between backups. Techtool Pro 9.5 has an entirely new data recovery system to help you do just that, as well as improved tests and speedups and buggies. Upgrading from TechTool Pro 9 is only US$20.

Live Home 3D Pro for Mac US$24.99 — Live Home 3D Pro for Mac allows you to design residential buildings from the ground up. Sheds, living rooms, homes, or even a skyscraper, according to the company that makes it. Mac Observer has a deal on it for US$24.99.

SoftRAID 5.6 with Easy Setup released for macOS — OWC Holdings, a division of OWC, has launched SoftRAID 5.6, an upgrade of the RAID software featuring SoftRAID Easy Setup­. The feature is designed to make it easy to create a RAID system (redundant array of independent disks) from scratch to keep your files protected against disk failure and achieve faster data access.

QuarkXPress 2017 expands layout tech, brings non-destructive image editing — Quark has launched QuarkXPress 2017, the latest edition of its design and publishing suite for the Mac, with a heavy focus on publishing for multiple platforms including iOS.

Intel making Thunderbolt 3 royalty-free for manufacturers in 2018— Thunderbolt has never seen a great deal of market penetration, but that may be about to change with Intel natively integrating Thunderbolt 3 [a fully-featured USB-C] into future CPU models and making the protocol royalty-free to chipmakers in 2018.

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


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

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

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

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

Inclusion and Diversity, Kaby rumours, Nokia role, Groups


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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