Apple launches its Back to School promos for New Zealand — Apple is launching its annual Back to School promotion on Macs and iPads this week in New Zealand and Australia. The Back to Uni promotion runs through March 16.
In New Zealand, a qualified Mac purchase includes a NZ$105 Apple Store Gift Card and a qualified iPad purchase includes a NZ$75 Apple Store Gift Card. In Australia, Mac purchases include a A$100 Apple Store Gift Card and iPad purchases come with a A$70 Apple Store Gift Card.
Apple also introduced a similar promotion in Japan, offering students an ¥8,500 Apple Store gift card with the purchase of a new Mac and ¥5,500 Apple Store gift card with the purchase of any new iPad Pro.
Apple’s ‘spaceship campus’ has ‘astonishing attention to detail’ —Apple’s “spaceship campus” is a “futuristic campus built with astonishing attention to detail,” according to Reuters. The price tag for the project is estimated at $5 billion with more than $1 billion allocated for the interior of the building alone (Apple hasn’t confirmed these figures).
Pay what you want for the 2017 Superstar Mac Bundle — MacObserver has a new pay-what-you-want deal for you called the 2017 Superstar Mac Bundle. It includes 12 different apps—you get all of them by beating the average price, which is US$12.17 as of this writing. But you can pay anything—as little as a dollar—and get two of the apps, Mac Screen Recorder and NotePlan. Beat the leader’s price and get an entry into a giveaway for a 13″ MacBook Pro with Touch Bar. The full price for everything would be US$387.
Free Duplicate File Finder & Remover — This is a handy app that scans your Mac for all kinds of duplicates and does this really fast. It also features flexible auto-selection rules, so you won’t need to sort through your duplicates manually.
Duplicate File Finder & Remover is free on the Mac App Store. It produces accurate results in seconds on drives of any size and is extremely capable at comparing the contents of the cloud storages, so every user can save on pricey cloud space.
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.
Irish legislature invites Tim Cook, other Apple execs to hearing on $14.5B EU tax ruling, Trump —An Irish legislative committee is reportedly optimistic that Apple CEO Tim Cook will accept an invitation to attend a late January hearing, which will examine the European Commission’s ruling that Ireland must collect $14.5 billion in back taxes from the iPhone maker. Apple’s Tim Cook is also among tech executives meeting with Donald Trump on Wednesday. [Can’t Trump just tweet his ‘thoughts’?]
Turn your MacBook Pro Touch Bar into a piano — Turning your new MacBook Pro’s Touch Bar into a piano may not be practical but it is pretty cool, and that’s exactly what Touch Bar Piano does. The app lets you choose between 128 different instruments, and you can play chords, too. Touch Bar Piano is a free download, and while it isn’t the same as using an actual piano, it’s a cool example of the creative ideas developers are finding for the Touch Bar.
Apple adds Calendar Spam Invitation Filtering to iCloud — The ongoing problem of spam invitations in Apple’s Calendar app finally has a fix, at least on iCloud. Users can now report invitations as junk with the click of a button, but they need to log into Apple’s iCloud web interface, which limits the fix to desktop and laptop users for now. A new Report Junk button shows up with Calendar invitations from anyone who isn’t in your Contacts list.
Photo Tour of Apple Brisbane in MacArthur Chambers — Check out Apple’s MacArthur Chambers store in downtown Brisbane, Australia. This is an Apple retail locations in a historic building (the MacArthur building is a sandstone beauty originally built in 1849; it was reopened in 1980 as a commercial and residential space, and Apple has been there since 2014).