Tag Archives: iBooks

No to memory business, Hitman, Cook up and down, leaks, new features for Outlook, low auction, iBooks


Apple has been ignoring iBooks …

Toshiba selects winning bidder for chip business, rules out Apple/Dell/Foxconn consortium — Toshiba has chosen a consortium formed by Bain Capital, Mitsubishi, and Japanese government investors as the preferred bidder for its memory chip business, effectively locking out a Foxconn-led consortium including the likes of Apple and Dell.

Hitman arrives on Apple’s macOS, first episode free to download — Feral Interactive has shipped Hitman for macOS, complete with all installments of the episodic assassination-based game playable on Mac for the first time. The launch is accompanied by the release of a demo from developer IO Interactive, providing access to one episode from the series for free. [Expect your brain to be challenged, as it’s a stealth game.]

Apple CEO Tim Cook drops from 8th to 53rd in Glassdoor rankings — Apple’s Tim Cook has slipped from 8th to 53rd place in Glassdoor’s annual CEO rankings for large US businesses, based on anonymous reviews left by the company’s workers. This still gives him a 93% approval rating in the poll, Glassdoor said. In 2016 Cook managed 96%, helping to elevate him from 10th place in 2015, and 18th in 2013 and 2014. It’s not clear what led to Cook’s fall, although simply being in the top 100 puts him well above the 67% average CEO rating for companies on Glassdoor.

Why Apple employees leak company secrets — “Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power,” said Abraham Lincoln
Percolating throughout the internet is a very interesting article at The Outline on how Apple hunts down employees who leak corporate secrets Leaked recording: inside Apple’s global war on leakers. It’s all to easy to point out how ironic this leaked recording is, but John Martellero thinks it’s actually a good thing that the leak occurred and the article was written.

Kensington has entered the burgeoning Thunderbolt 3 dock market — It has security options and a mounting kit setting it apart from the others. The Kensington SD5000T has a front-mounted USB 3.0 type-A port, and a USB 3.1 Gen 1 type-C port on the front. On the rear is a fairly standard array of ports with another USB type-A port, the two Thunderbolt 3 ports, Gigabit Ethernet, audio in and out, and a full-size DisplayPort. It costs $349.99 and is available from Amazon[In NZ this will cost $519.95 and should be available from the usual suppliers and apple Resellers.]

Outlook 2016 for Mac gets 4 highly requested new features — Good news for Outlook users: Microsoft this week announced that it is adding several of its customers’ “most requested features” to Outlook 2016 for Mac. The new features, which are rolling out now to various preview and release versions of the app, address four key areas.

Latest Apple-1 auction fetches surprisingly low $355,500 — At a June 15 Christie’s auction, a customised Apple-1 sold for $355,500, skewing toward the low end of house estimates, and below all other auctions for working Apple-1 computers. [This continues a trend, though.]

Let’s see some love for iBooks, iBooks Author — iBooks is a free ebook app that allows you to read publications purchased at the iBook Store. iBooks Author lets you create iBooks textbooks (as well as other types of books) for the iPad and Mac. But the app and the service have been languishing [hear hear!]

Advertisements

Tuesday Talk ~ What is Apple up to? A lot!


(Speculative image from TechFrag)

Apple sure has been busy lately! While everyone knew (and hoped) Apple was up to things, the gap between the 2016 and the 2017 WWDC seemed to yawn cavernously on, with any glimmers of hope generated by eager commentators and aficionados while Apple remained monolithically silent. We all hoped Apple was crazy-busy behind the scenes, but there was little evidence to support that, thanks to the usual layers of secrecy, until the very welcome blockbuster announcements.
The hardware announcements appealed to almost everybody, but of course, WWDC is a developer conference. For the San José hordes to leave smiling, they needed more than a raft of new hardware to aspire to.
But Apple’s messages have been mixed. On the one hand, Apple more than halved affiliate fees people can earn by directing their readers to Apple services, which just seems rude and uncaring considering how stinkingly-wealthy Apple is, while on the other there have been moves to both broaden and tighten the so-called ‘Apple ecosystem’. In this model, every device you have is by Apple, and Apple tech and services connects them all up. Coders code  on Apple devices and in Apple environments, and users can’t really get into the hardware and software of those devices, unlike the more accessible Microsoft and Android platforms.

Some of these moves are very welcome. For example, Apple will soon let the people who make podcasts learn what podcast listeners actually like – and what they ignore. A coming version of Apple’s Podcasts, which is by far the most popular podcast app, will provide basic analytics to podcast creators, giving them the ability to see when podcast listeners play individual episodes, and more importantly what part of individual episodes they listen to, which parts they skip over, and when they bail out of an episode.
This has been an annoyingly opaque world for far too long: launch your podcast into the ether and your only real feedback is how many people downloaded it, and the minimal user-feedback on iTunes.
iBooks is even worse – the authoring app dates back to 2012 and the awful truth only really dawns on you when you publish a book: sales are tiny because nobody really uses the iBooks platform (which is flat-out marvellous) and Apple seemingly cannot be bothered to put any effort into it or to properly promote it.
But the podcasts initiative is a sign of hope.

However, Apple is now clearly busy on several fronts. Self-driving machine learning is at the core of Apple’s car ambitions. We know this because Tim Cook said so. You know, in public. Business Chat will appear in iOS 11, which will work across Apple’ iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch, but not the Mac (at first, anyway). Apple customers will be able to start a conversation with a business from Safari, Maps, Spotlight, and Siri. Once again, inside that Apple ecosystem, all will be sweet – it’s just that some find this a constriction whereas most users find it a pure boon.
Tim Cook has also announced a wide range of software and hardware changes that will finally bring VR to macOS, and that’s pretty surprising because Tim Cook himself had been on record as giving “exactly zero damns about VR“. Which I think is a good thing because it shows he’s flexible to new realities, right?

For some, of course, it has all been too much, even from the 2016 announcements. Because when you think about it, a lot of the top announcements at the last WWDC hardly went anywhere. How many people with 3D Touch-capable devices actually use it? Not many, in my experience, which is a shame as it’s remarkably useful. The same can’t be said for Stickers in Messages. I had a look once, and can’t be bothered with it. Like most people. This was froth, unlike most of the core tech and fundamentals of this year’s initiatives. It’s hard to use, and worse, virtually pointless.
Even Siri was practically useless to me until I discovered it’s superb function as a maths problem solver. I’m so bad at maths it takes me ages even to frame the question properly in a calculator or spreadsheet. Then if I’m lucky I might get close to the answer. Being able to just ask Siri a maths problem framed as a normal question is unbelievably satisfying and efficient.

All round, I think this year’s WWDC showed a much greater commitment to the core of what makes people Apple fans. And I’m really happy about that. 

Five Tip Friday ~ Five for iOS


1/ Print to PDF from any app from iPhone and iPad — This trick relies upon a hidden feature of the Share Sheet. To print from any app, such as Safari, you begin by tapping the Share icon. Next, tap the Print icon from the bottom row of the Share Sheet. Depending on what you’ve enabled, you might have to scroll to the right to find it. Now, to access the PDF view, simply 3D Touch (or pinch together two fingers to zoom out, in no0n-3D Touch devices) in the preview area of the PDF.
With that done, you should be in a PDF view of your document, web page, or whatever. Your next step is to share it. Just tap the Share icon, and choose where you want to send your PDF. You can share it via Messages or Mail, or any other app that supports the Share Sheet extensions.

Another great option is iBooks, if you want to keep all of your PDFs together, but there’s often a Share Sheet icon there to do that directly. But you can even save the PDF file to your iCloud drive or Dropbox.
Saving the web pages you’ve visited to PDF is a great way to keep notes when you’re researching. Other options for where to save those PDF files include Evernote and even the built-in Notes app.

2/ Use the Remote app to control your iTunes library in macOS Sierra with your iDevice — If you have an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch you can use the Apple Remote app — free from the Apple App Store — to control your Mac’s iTunes library from a distance.
First, pair the app with the iTunes library (or libraries) you want to control. Your device and your computer must be on the same wireless network.
If you have Remote 2.0 (or later) and Home Sharing is turned on, you can set Remote to pair automatically with any of the iTunes libraries on your Home Sharing network. You can also pair Remote directly with iTunes libraries that aren’t in your Home Sharing network. To pair the Remote with an iTunes library: Tap Remote on your device’s Home screen.
Tap Add an iTunes Library.
A 4-digit code appears.
Open iTunes on your computer and click the Remote button .
Type the 4-digit code in the iTunes window.
iTunes pairs the library on your computer with the Remote app on your device.
Pair Remote with your Home Sharing network.
To use Remote 2.0 (or later) with Home Sharing, every iTunes library you want to control must have Home Sharing turned on.
Tap Remote on your device’s Home screen.
Tap Settings.
Tap to turn Home Sharing on.
Type your Apple ID and password, and tap Done.
Tap the iTunes library or Apple TV you want to control.

3/ Use Home Sharing to import items from another iTunes library — You can use Home Sharing to import items from up to five iTunes libraries on other computers on your home network? You can (assuming you have an Apple ID).
When you use your Mac on your Home Sharing network to download an item from the iTunes Store, you can have the item download automatically to other computers on your Home Sharing network.
Turn on Home Sharing. Choose File > Home Sharing > Turn On Home Sharing.
Type in your Apple ID and password, and click Turn On Home Sharing.
If you don’t have an Apple ID, click “Don’t have an Apple ID?” and follow the onscreen instructions.
To import items from other libraries using Home Sharing, choose a computer on your Home Sharing network from the Library pop-up menu. The library loads and a list of categories appears.
Choose a category (Music, for example). In the Show menu at the bottom of the iTunes window, choose “Items not in my library.” Select the items you want to import, and click Import.
To automatically import new iTunes Stores purchases from another computer, choose a computer on your Home Sharing network from the Library pop-up menu. Choose a category (Music, for example).
Click Settings at the bottom of the window. In the window that appears, select “Automatically transfer new purchases from Library Name.” Select the types of items you want to import. Click OK.
To turn off Home Sharing, on each computer, choose File > Home Sharing > Turn Off Home Sharing. If a shared computer doesn’t appear when Home Sharing is on, turn Home Sharing off, and then turn it on again.

4/ Disable homescreen rotation on Apple’s Plus-series iPhones — By default, Apple’s iPhone 6 Plus, 6s Plus, and 7 Plus add an auto-rotating home screen to iOS, rearranging icons and the dock whenever a device is tilted sideways.
Aside from the Control Center orientation lock, here’s an indirect way of achieving the same result:
Within the Settings app, tap on Display & Brightness, then on “View” under the Display Zoomcategory towards the very bottom. Nominally this option just makes it easier to browse and tap on icons. As a consequence of using it, however, the home screen will no longer rotate.
To make the switch, tap on ‘Zoomed,’ then on ‘Set.’ Technically an iPhone has to reset to apply the change, but unlike a normal reboot this should only take several seconds.
That’s it — to reverse course, go back to the Display Zoom menu and select ‘Standard’ instead. The above method works in iOS 9 and 10.
Note that at least some apps, like Apple Messages, will continue to rotate their own interfaces even with Display Zoom on, and there may be no way of disabling this within an app’s settings. [From AppleInsider.]

5/ Using 3D Touch — If you have iPhone 6s or later, you may not be using 3D Touch, a more pressured press on the screen that releases a wealth of extra possibilities, for example when you are typing:
The first time you 3D Touch anywhere on the keyboard, you can start dragging the cursor around to place it in a specific spot. It’s a great way to get exact placement without fidgeting with your finger.
But, if you don’t lift your finger after that first 3D Touch and do it again, you’ll select the adjacent full word. 3D Touch one more time without lifting, and you’ll select the entire sentence surrounding the cursor. These extra actions take a little practice, but they’re darn handy once you get them down. [Here are a whole lot more handy 3D Touch features, from the Mac Observer.]

 

Five Tip Friday for Waitangi Day ~ some hidden iOS 8 features


This is late as it’s a holiday in New Zealand, but here are some cool, hidden iOS tips (https://macnzmark.wordpress.com/2015/02/06/5tf-for-ios8/).

There are all sorts of EQ presets, including the special Late Night option.
There are all sorts of EQ presets for music, and even a special Late Night option that works with video too.

1/ Found a lost iPhone? Siri can help you find its owner — There’s a way for you to be a Good Samaritan, and that way’s name is Siri. Simply activate Siri on the phone, as this can be done even if the device is locked,and ask Siri “who does this phone belong to?”
Siri will give you the owner’s contact information from phone number to email depending on the user’s settings. Now you know exactly how to contact the phone’s owner, earning yourself some karma in the process.

2/ Save your hearing with the Late Night EQ option — Within iOS, there’s a setting that’s been around since iOS 6: a special EQ option that compresses whatever audio you’re listening to so that the loud stuff will be quieter and the quiet stuff louder. With this, you don’t have to turn your volume up so much when you’re on public transportation or in some other noisy place. For podcasts or iTunes movies, it’s pretty handy.
Open the Settings app, and then tap Music. Under that heading is EQ: pick that. Here you’ll see all sorts of audio adjustments you could try, includingTreble Booster, Small Speakers and Rock. Most only apply to music you’re listening to, but Late Night works on video output, too.
Once you tap Late Night you’ll see the small checkmark appear next to it. Just remember to turn the EQ setting to another option when you’re wanting to listen to music.

3/ Hide iCloud iBooks — Sometimes under iOS 8 you don’t seem to be able to delete purchased books. When you try, you may see the book cover still there, except with a ‘download from iCloud’ symbol at the upper-right corner of the book. This is pretty annoying if you want to get rid of books after reading them. Here’s how to fix is: first go out to your main library view (by tapping Library if you’re in the middle of reading a book, or by tapping My Books at the bottom if you’re anywhere else). Then ‘All Books’ at top centre. On the next screen you’ll see your collections, but down at the bottom, the option you need is Hide iCloud Books.
Toggle that on, and you’ll only see the items you’ve actually downloaded to your device.

4/ Auto-delete old Messages — Once you’ve been using your iPhone for a while, you build up quite an archive of text messages. This can take up unnecessary space (do you really need those texts and pictures from two years ago?). iOS 8 now allows you to automatically delete these old messages after either 30 days or one year, potentially freeing up gigabytes of storage.
Tap Settings>Messages and scroll down to Message History – here you can select how long you’d like to keep your old messages: forever, 30 days or one year.

5/ Create custom repeating events in Calendar — Launch the Calendar app, create a new event, tap the Repeat setting, then tap Custom. Here, choose the frequency with which you’d like the event to repeat: daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly.
Next tap Every, and make a selection: once a month, for example. You can choose twice a month, three times a month and so on.
Tap ‘Each’ if you want to create an event that repeats on a certain day, say, the 10th of each month, or tap ‘On the…’ to pick a specific day of the week, such as the first Thursday of every month.
Once you’ve made your selections, just back up to the New Event screen, then tap the Done button when you’re finished editing.

iBooks, iPhone thefts, developers release figures, alarm, portraits, outdoors app


A million users a week are discovering iBooks (above, a frame by NZ illustrator Steve Bolton from a forthcoming NZ history iBook)
A million users a week are discovering iBooks (above, a frame by NZ illustrator Steve Bolton from a forthcoming NZ history iBook)

Baking iBooks into iOS 8 has led to 1 million new users for Apple every week — Apple’s iBookstore has averaged a million new customers every week since iOS 8 launched last fall, benefitting from the inclusion of iBooks as a built-in app.

Three men cut through wall into Beijing warehouse, make off with $300,000 worth of iPhones — Police in Beijing have arrested three men accused of stealing 240 iPhone 6 units from a warehouse owned by a Chinese logistics firm after digging a 20-inch hole through the building’s wall.

Developers behind Overcast and Monument Valley release iOS sales figures — First up, the podcast app Overcast from noted developer Marco Arment, and the popular iOS game Monument Valley. Their sales figures are beyond astonishing.

Rise and shine with Gentle Wake Alarm Clock — Gentle Wake Alarm Clock is one of the most recent of these, and possibly one of the most advanced. The app is NZ$1.29 and is universally available on devices with iOS 6.0 or later. It is optimised for iPhone 5.

Three rules for taking better portraits on Your iPhone — Vern Seward tells you how.

Spyglass is a full-featured nav app for outdoor enthusiasts — Spyglass (NZ $4.99, currently on sale) is a really complete GPS toolkit for people spending time outdoors or doing off-road navigation. Features are numerous; among them a heads-up display, a high quality compass with map overlays, a gyrocompass, speedometer, altimeter, astronomical object finder, a sextant, inclinometer, angular calculator and more.

Cook drops in, Net Neutrality, iBooks


Tim Cook a pair of photos posted to Twitter from the impromptu meet-up at a Washington Apple Store.
Tim Cook posted two photos to Twitter from his impromptu meet-up at a Washington Apple Store.

Tim Cook makes surprise visit to DC Apple Store in support of World AIDS Day — Apple CEO Tim Cook and (RED) chief Deborah Dugan visited a Washington DC Apple Store in Georgetown on Monday to show support for World AIDS Day, a global event created to foster awareness about HIV/AIDS.

Net neutrality: five myths, and the real facts — Regardless of where you stand on the net neutrality debate, one thing doesn’t help: misleading or confusing statements. Unfortunately there are plenty of them.
Net neutrality is an Internet ideal that will become possible If the Federal Communications Commission decides to reclassify Internet service providers from information services to telecommunications services. If the FCC reclassifies ISPs, it will be able to regulate them—and that could affect a push by ISPs to provide faster Internet service to Web companies willing to pay for the privilege.

Apple’s Eddy Cue speaks out on iBooks price fixing ruling: ‘It’s just not right’ — Days before an appeals court will revisit Apple’s iBooks price fixing case, the head of the company’s digital content business has spoken out on why Apple continues to fight the government’s antitrust allegations, calling it a ‘fight for the truth.’