Apple CEO Tim Cook: ‘Weakening Encryption Harms Good People’

9 hours, 33 minutes ago · Bryan Chaffin · News

Apple CEO Tim Cook

Apple CEO Tim Cook went on the offensive to defend privacy Monday evening, going so far as to say that "weakening encryption [...] harms good people." The comments are in response to calls from law enforcement, the White House, and the U.S. Department of Justice to weaken encryption and give them backdoor access to private communication and other data.

Thunderbolt 3 Coming this Fall, and it Supports USB C

10 hours, 3 minutes ago · Jeff Gamet · News

It may look like USB C, but it's really Thunderbolt 3

Mac owners worried their Thunderbolt peripherals are about to become obsolete now that USB C is on the scene can breathe easy because Intel unveiled Thunderbolt 3 on Tuesday, and it promises to be the holy grail of ports: A singe, reversible port that supports both Thunderbolt 3 and USB C. It's going to offer 40Gbps speeds, supports data and power on a single connector, and you can keep using your Thunderbolt and Thunderbolt 2 devices with adapters.

The Mac Observer Spin The Mac Observer Spin is how we show you what our authors think about a news story at quick glance. Read More →

Using the USB C connector for Thunderbolt 3 doesn't guarantee its success, but it sure doesn't hurt, either. You won't be able to use Thunderbolt 3 devices on your new MacBook, but it's a pretty safe bet it'll show up on the next big MacBook Pro update, and the USB C gear you're looking at today will work with the new port. It seems the concerns over the death of Thunderbolt were a little premature.

Striiv Fusion Activity and Sleep Tracker: $59.99

11 hours, 37 minutes ago · Bryan Chaffin · TMO Deals

Striiv Fusion Activity and Sleep Tracker: $59.99

We have a deal for you today on the Striiv Fusion Activity and Sleep Tracker, a dedicated wrist-top fitness tracker. This device will track steps taken, calories burned, distance traveled, and active minutes. Unlike Apple Watch, it will track sleep quality and duration, and it will let you wake to a vibrating alarm. Bridging basic smartwatch features, it can receive text messages, emails, incoming calls, weather notifications, and more.

Web Pages Not Loading? Here’s How to Change Your Mac’s DNS Servers

1:50 PM EDT, Jun. 2nd, 2015 · Jeff Gamet · TMO Quick Tip

Change your Mac's DNS server

Comcast's customers learned the hard way yesterday that sometimes Internet connections aren't as reliable as we'd like. In this case, it was Comcast's DNS servers that failed, leaving users stuck without any way for their browsers to find Web pages. This problem can happen with any Internet Service Provider, but you can cut down on the chances of it happening to you by switching to more reliable DNS servers. Bonus: It'a easy to do. Read on to learn how.

SonaVerse Clip-on Laptop Soundbar at its Lowest Price EVER ($18.99 w/free shipping) TODAY ONLY!

11:42 AM EDT, Jun. 2nd, 2015 · Bob LeVitus · Cool Stuff Found

The SonaVERSE USB is a clever soundbar-style speaker that weighs half a pound and can be clipped onto almost any laptop. It's cleverly designed and at just 8 ounces, perfect for travel. How much would you pay for such a speaker? Its SRP is US$42.48 (and no, that's not a typo); its street price is $24.99; but TODAY ONLY you can have one of your very own for a mere $18.99 (with free shipping) from BestBuy. The speaker is covered by a 3-year warranty and BestBuy says, "You can return or exchange almost everything within 15 days for a full refund." So what have you got to lose? If you need a cool little travel speaker for your laptop, or are looking for a great-but-inexpensive gift for the road-warrior dad or grad in your life, you better order one right now 'cause this offer expires at the end of TODAY (today being Tuesday, June 2, 2015). Put another way, if you don't order today you'll pay more tomorrow.  

Apple HomeKit-compatible Devices Finally Shipping

10:13 AM EDT, Jun. 2nd, 2015 · Jeff Gamet · News

HomeKit-compatible devices start shipping ahead of WWDC 2015

It's been a year since Apple unveiled HomeKit, and the first product supporting the platform are finally rolling out. Ecobee, Elgato, iHome, Insteon, and Lutron all have HomeKit-compatible devices ready for your smart home set to hit stores today or later this month.

Apple Watch: Turning Off Email Notifications by Account

8:55 AM EDT, Jun. 2nd, 2015 · Melissa Holt · TMO Quick Tip

This Quick Tip is all about email on the Apple Watch—how to configure its settings, the way it looks, and so on. Melissa Holt will also cover turning off notifications by account, so you could restrict your Watch to only telling you about the really, really important emails you get. You know, the ones with cat GIFs attached. 

Rose 2.0 and Satori 2.0 Screensavers (from After Dark) Released as Freeware for OS X

8:34 PM EDT, Jun. 1st, 2015 · Bryan Chaffin · Cool Stuff Found

After Dark was the bee's knees back in the day, a collection of screen savers for your Mac that were fun. A lot of After Dark components have been released for OS X, and on Monday, Stick Software released Rose 2.0 and Satori 2.0, to abstract screensavers from the collection. Both work with OS X 10.9 Mavericks and OS X 10.10 Yosemite. Better yet, they're freeware. And cheers to blasts from the past.

Hands on with Google Photos

4:50 PM EDT, Jun. 1st, 2015 · Kelly Guimont · Product News

Google Photos was announced last week at Google's annual developer conference. Kelly takes a closer look and shows some of the features that make it an interesting competitor to other cloud storage solutions.

The Summer Mac Essentials Bundle: $19.99

3:47 PM EDT, Jun. 1st, 2015 · Bryan Chaffin · TMO Deals

The Summer Mac Essentials Bundle: $19.99

Check out the Summer Mac Essentials Bundle, a collection of 9 apps: Unibox, Noiseless, Hider 2, NoteBook 4, App Tamer 2, iStat Menus 5, Beamer 2, Chatology, and Jump Desktop. Purchased individually, they'd total $204. Through our deal you can get all of them for $19.99. There are details on each app on our deal page.

Recycling Center Scores Rare Apple I Computer

3:02 PM EDT, Jun. 1st, 2015 · Jeff Gamet · News

Recycling center has $100,000 for mystery Apple I donor

Always be sure you know what you're throwing out. That's the lesson one woman is learning after giving a rare Apple I computer to a recycling center as junk. The computer is valued at US$200,000, and one of about 200 computers hand built by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak.

TMO Daily Observations 2015-06-01: John’s WWDC Expectations, Recycling Your Apple I Computer

2:06 PM EDT, Jun. 1st, 2015 · Jeff Gamet · Daily Observations Podcast

Daily Observations Podcast

With Apple's annual Worldwide Developer Conference just a few days away, John Martellaro has some thoughts on what he'd like to see at next week's keynote presentation. Along with John, Kelly Guimont joins Jeff Gamet to talk about WWDC, the state of OS X Yosemite, Apple Watch developers, and more. They also talk about the Apple I computer left at a recycling facility and the US$100,000 that's waiting for the person who didn't realize what they were dropping off.

Windows 10 Launches on July 29, Cozies up with iPhone

10:30 AM EDT, Jun. 1st, 2015 · Jeff Gamet · Product News

Windows 10 coming on July 29 with tight iPhone support

Microsoft Operating Systems Vice President Joe Belfiore promised tight iPhone integration with Windows 10, and now that could be only weeks away. The major PC operating system update is set for release on July 29, or a little over a month after Apple's annual Worldwide Developer Conference.

The Mac Observer Spin The Mac Observer Spin is how we show you what our authors think about a news story at quick glance. Read More →

Microsoft is all about being present on every platform instead of being the only platform. This really isn't Steve Ballmer's Microsoft any more.

Apple Working on More Streaming Music DJ Deals Ahead of WWDC

9:12 AM EDT, Jun. 1st, 2015 · Jeff Gamet · News

Apple working to bring on more big name DJs for streaming music service

Apple's planned Internet radio music service may have more big name DJs on board, including Drake, Pharrell Williams, and David Guetta. The service hasn't been announced yet, but Apple has reportedly been courting music industry celebrities as DJs to help set it apart from competing streaming music services.

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It's pretty clear Apple is serious about its next move in the streaming music market, and big name artists creating their own playlists is going to be part of that. Assuming insider reports are right, we'll know more in just a few days when WWDC kicks off.