NZ devs in Berlin release another exciting learning app — ToonSpaghetti Story Lab app for iPad and iPhone is a story making studio for kids 5+. Kids learn language and literacy through multi-media story creation – it’s fun, creative and educational! What sets it apart from other Common Core Curriculum learning apps is that it’s visually stunning, and super creative – kids don’t even know they are learning. It’s free with in-app purchases. There’s a video preview online, I recommend anyone teaching or with kids check it out.
Polaroid Panorama Eyeball Head spins your iPhone for smooth Panos — Polaroid has introduced a nifty gadget called Panorama Eyeball Head, a motorized mount that will spin your iPhone, camera, Android device or D/SLR camera 360 degrees for smooth and even panoramic shots. It comes with a remote that allows you to control how fast it spins and how far. It’s on Amazon at US$49.99—retail price is US$89.99.
Apple releases security update for the third gen Apple TV — Apple has posted a security update for the third gen Apple TV. In a support doc, the company says “for the protection of our customers, Apple does not disclose, discuss, or confirm security issues until a full investigation has occurred and any necessary patches or releases are available.”
Apple CEO Tim Cook’s Interview on ABC on the FBI, security etc — ABC has published its interview with Apple CEO Tim Cook on the topic of the government ordering Apple to create a backdoor into iOS. In the interview, ABC reporter David Muir asks asks a series of questions that seem quite slanted (against Apple’s stance), but Cook lays out one of his most passionate arguments in defense of protecting privacy and security. He also explains (repeatedly) how Apple worked with the FBI on the device to get as much information from it and from iCloud data as possible. Various polls say more support Apple than the FBI (but others say the opposite), a report says Apple is reacting by making iPhones even more secure, and Obama says the administration and FBI must act to restore US government credibility in Apple’s encryption debate.
Users of Microsoft’s ‘free’ Windows 10 find unexpected ads on lock screen — Microsoft recently began running advertisements directly on the lock screens of Windows 10 devices, catching users by surprise with marketing on their PCs and tablets. Microsoft’s “free” Windows 10 operating system is configured by default to display such ads on the lock screen whenever the Redmond, Wash., software company decides to do so.
The actual Apple Watch, which has been announced, shown off and will be available next year, will no doubt just be a fancy, show-off watch to some people, but with HealthKit it can be a lot more. The real promise of the Apple Watch is in health monitoring apps.
Other things it’s supposed to be able to do is act as a remote for your iPhone and Apple TV. Actually, it won’t even work without an iPhone, so some people will have to buy both at once if they want the most fashionable tech time piece (once available) so far.
And ‘fashionable’ appears to be exactly what Apple is aiming for. Long before the actual object’s arrival, Apple has displayed prototypes at the Paris Fashion Week and the wrist device will appear on the cover of the November issue of VogueChina.
Apple approached Vogue China’s editor-in-chief with the (usual) Apple angle of the clever combination of technology, style and functionality.
It looks like Apple is trying hard to market its Apple Watch outside of the normal male 20-somethings that make up the majority of those launch-day queues, as Gizmodo points out. This means new markets.
Meanwhile, Apple devices have become so secure the FBI is complaining. Seems fantastical, right? It turns out it’s not impossible for police to look at the data on iDevices, it’s just more difficult.
The fantastically named Ronald T Hosko, former Assistant Director of the FBI Criminal Investigative Division, published an opinion piece in The Washington Post that proclaimed law enforcement anger at the changes. Gizmodo has an opinion piece going into personal security and personal privacy.
Meanwhile, Apple has been dealing with all the usual rubbish that gets written about them whenever the Californian giant releases anything. Bendgate was ridiculous: Apple sold 10 million phones in four days and 9 of the bigger ones got bent. As far as I’m concerned, anyone who puts c$1000 phone in their back pocket and then sits on it deserves trouble, or at least a bargain-basement head-examination. For goodness sake, if you go for the bigger iPhone 6, put a good case on it (Apple’s cases are available now and many third party ones are appearing) and don’t put it in your back pocket – or a bench vice!
Meanwhile, you may have heard that Apple’s Sapphire supplier (it’s the material for the high-tech, super-tough lens in the two iPhone Sixes) has filed for bankruptcy. How could they, with an Apple supply contract?
GT Advanced Technologies’ bankruptcy filing continues to take strange turns. A day after signalling its intention to wind down operations and presumably sell whatever assets remain, a report from MacRumors relayed that GTAT filed court documents seeking to free itself from the executed contracts it signed with Apple, calling the terms of the deal “oppressive and burdensome.” GTAT plans to be fully wound down by December. You have to wonder why Apple doesn’t just buy it and run it properly if it wants Sapphire.
The somewhat unforeseen and unseemly demise of this supplier has turned up some interesting facts. GT Advanced revealed it could have had to pay a US$50 million fine if it leaked information about Apple products. This showed up in court documents, according to the Financial Times’ Tim Bradshaw.
You might recall that current Apple CEO Tim Cook was the supply chain expert who made everything work like clockwork – a big part of the rise of Apple over the last decade. Apple has been criticised for its incredibly stringent supply chain conditions before, but this time it’s in the US, so I expect this issue will get a bit more exercise in the press.
At the same time, a report has emerged about the crazy work culture at Apple. Former Apple managers Don Melton and Nitin Ganatra got together and discussed, amongst a slew of other fascinating topics, the hectic and always-on work schedule that comes with being a manager at Apple in a Debug podcast. During the podcast, Melton says “there is no way you can cruise through a job at Apple. That just does not happen for anybody I’ve ever seen.” Melton adds “… these people are nuts”.
You can read more, along with a link to the podcast, at TUAW.
Apple fixes iCloud security gap, ‘Actively Investigates’ Celeb Photo Theft — Apple closed a gap in iCloud security over the [US] holiday weekend, a gap that facilitated brute-force password breaking. The move comes in the wake of celebrity nude photos being allegedly stolen from PhotoStream iCloud storage and distributed online. Apple issued a statement on Monday saying it was actively investigating the reports.
“We take user privacy very seriously and are actively investigating this report,” an Apple spokesperson told Re/code.
But Apple says iCloud is safe and secure, and the stolen celebrity pics were targeted accounts. Apple put out a strong statement in support of the security of its iCloud services, saying that a collection of stolen pictures from celebrity phones was as a result of targeted attacks based on user names, passwords and security questions. The FBI is investigating too.
Macworld meanwhile has published ‘How to prevent your naughty pictures from appearing on the internet‘.
[I’m sticking with ‘never have naughty pictures’.]
Automate your Mac: the smart way to handle repetitive Mac chores — Smart Mac users know that taking a little time to figure out a faster way to do something pays off in the long run. That’s why they take advantage of tools like [Apple’s] Automator [pictured above, and] AppleScript, [and] Keyboard Maestro, TextExpander, Hazel, If This Then That, and others, all tools that let you automate little tasks you perform frequently, so you make them happen with single keystrokes (or other quick triggers) instead of running through each step every time.