Workflow Comes to IFTTT

11:24 AM EDT, Jun. 10th, 2016 · Jeff Gamet · Cool Stuff Found

My weekend productivity is either totally shot or about to go over the top because If This Then That just got a Workflow channel. To get you up to speed: IFTTT lets you link things that typically might not work together, like weather reports and WeMo switches, then trigger actions over the internet. Workflow lets you automate actions on your iPhone or iPad through scripts. Now imagine smashing the two together. IFTTT is free, and Workflow costs US$2.99. Together? Priceless.

Manhattan DA Still Wants to Kill iPhone Encryption

9:58 AM EDT, Jun. 10th, 2016 · Jeff Gamet · Analysis

Manhattan DA calls for Federal smartphone encryption backdoor mandate

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance thinks Apple and Google are intentionally thwarting criminal investigations through the encryption features in the iPhone and Android-based smartphones. He's calling for Congress to pass laws mandating backdoors into our encrypted data so law enforcement agencies can more easily investigate crimes, and he says the arguments against the idea amount to nothing more than rhetoric.

Turn Your iPhone into an 8-bit Camera with BitCam

8:12 PM EDT, Jun. 9th, 2016 · Jeff Gamet · Cool Stuff Found

Forget 64-bit processors and Retina Displays because 1990s 8-bit tech is the way to go. Or, at least it is if you want to snap some awesome retro photos with your iPhone. The IconFactory's BitCam lets you do just that in a totally rad Mac System 6 interface. It's got big, chunky buttons, standard and super-res 8-bit photo resolutions, and you can even upgrade to a "color graphics card" for a buck or so. BitCam is free and worth picking up because, unlike mullets, 8-bit photos won't go out of style.

OtterBox Hybrid Case For iPad Pro 12.9: Folio & Drop Protection With a Slender Design

7:00 PM EDT, Jun. 9th, 2016 · John Martellaro · In-Depth Review

Review: OtterBox Hybrid Case For iPad Pro 12.9

The Apple iPad Pro 12.9 is a large piece of iPad hardware, larger than we've been accustomed to. A good case for it has to meet many expectations. It has to protect, yet be light and slender. It has to accomodate all the iPad Pro technology, including the Apple Pencil. It has to be versatile and look great. The OtterBox Symmetry Series Hybrid for iPad Pro 12.9-inch does all that and more. Read on to find out why John loves his iPad Pro 12.9 even more now.

iFixit 64 Bit Driver Kit, Including Torx, Pentalobe, More: $34.95

5:12 PM EDT, Jun. 9th, 2016 · Bryan Chaffin · TMO Deals

This 64-bit driver kit from iFixit has all the regular screwdriver bits you might need, but it also has multiple Torx and Torx Security bits, Pentalobe bits (like Apple uses), JIS bits, Tri-points, and more. It comes with its own driver, and there's sorting tray built into the lid. I've bought a couple of toolkits from iFixit, and I love them. We have a deal on this one for $34.95.

CurrentC Rolls off its Deathbed and into the Grave

11:13 AM EDT, Jun. 9th, 2016 · Jeff Gamet · News

It's dead, Jim: CurrentC dies before it ever launched

The mobile payment platform CurrentC is all but dead. MCX is shutting down its beta trials, turning off user accounts, and keeping mum on whether or not it'll bring back the service at some point in the future. CurrentC is, for all practical purposes dead, but MCX can't bring itself to use that word.

OS X: Pasting Text into Emails, Much Faster

9:05 AM EDT, Jun. 9th, 2016 · Melissa Holt · TMO Quick Tip

Here's the faster way to copy text into Mail & Messages

Today we're going to discuss how to use a contextual menu to pop selected text into an email, a message, or even a tweet, which is faster than the typical "copy, switch apps, start a blank message, and then paste" method. Come on in and read all about it!

ACM 363: The State of Music at Apple, Quality, and iTunes Downloads

1:41 AM EDT, Jun. 9th, 2016 · Bryan Chaffin · Apple Context Machine Podcast

Apple Context Machine Podcast

Bryan Chaffin is joined by John Kheit to talk about the state of music at Apple, including iTunes, rumored changes to iTunes, and where they'd like to see it go. They also discuss the value of music downloads and who is driving the push towards streaming services (Bryan says it's consumers and John screams something about getting the kids off his lawn).

The Pain of iTunes Can Be Traced to Apple’s Time Machine

5:00 PM EDT, Jun. 8th, 2016 · John Martellaro · Editorial

iTunes and Time Machine

There was a time when Mac users had ripped a few hundred favorite songs from their CD collection. A laborious process. There was also a time when Time Machine could easily back up a 100 GB hard disk. But time and a failure to scale available technology has left many Apple customers with a huge, purchased iTunes collection that's hard to back up reliably. Apple has been too successful and not successful enough.

Apple Will Announce New MacBook Pros at WWDC Next Week

2:45 PM EDT, Jun. 8th, 2016 · John Martellaro · Editorial

2016 MacBook Pros

It's just about certain. We have all the information we need. There is precedent. There is pressing need. There will be 3,000 MacBook Pro users in the WWDC keynote audience next week. It's the right time and the right place for Apple to announce new MacBook Pros. John Martellaro counts the reasons.

PowerTime Apple Watch Charging Dock with 3 USB Ports: $39

1:48 PM EDT, Jun. 8th, 2016 · Bryan Chaffin · TMO Deals

PowerTime Apple Watch Charging Dock with 3 USB Ports

We have a deal for you today on PowerTime, an Apple Watch charging dock that also has three USB ports for charging your other devices. It's a smart charger, too, meaning it delivers the right amount of current for whatever's plugged into it. You can get PowerTime through our deal for $39, which is 20 percent off list.

Google Motion Stills App for iOS Turns Your Live Photos Into Sharable Animated GIFs

11:33 AM EDT, Jun. 8th, 2016 · Bryan Chaffin · Cool Stuff Found

Google released a new iOS app Wednesday called Motion Stills that makes animated GIFs from Live Photos. While GIFs are inferior to Live Photos in terms of colors and image quality, they have the huge advantage of being seen by anyone on just about any device—Live Photos are supported on a subset of Apple devices. Motion Stills is also using some image stabilization sauce to make the resulting images as good as they can be in the animated GIF format. Users can share to their preferred messaging app, and you can combine Motion Stills with a swipe. I haven't had time to play with the app yet, so I have no idea what that means, but hey, you can do it.  The image below is an animated GIF courtesy of Google.

Google Motion Stills Example

iOS Developers Snap Up Tickets for Microsoft’s WWDC Party

10:51 AM EDT, Jun. 8th, 2016 · Bryan Chaffin · News

Xamarin Microsoft Party

Microsoft is getting in on Apple's WWDC action with a major party on Monday, June 13th. The company announced the shindig on behalf of itself and Xamarin, a Microsoft-owned company that provides development tools to iOS, Android, and Windows, and all tickets were snapped up in hours.

Tendigi Runs Android on an iPhone, Sort of

9:27 AM EDT, Jun. 8th, 2016 · Bryan Chaffin · Cool Stuff Found

Check this out: Tendigi has figured out how to (sort of) run Android on an iPhone. I say sort of and you maybe say "Why?" but whatever your feelings about Android, it's a nifty accomplishment detailed on the company's blog (via Engadget). Here's the super short version: they built a dedicated version of Android that would run on a custom logic board that was then built into a 3D printed case. Stay with me. That custom version of Android was built to send its information to an iPhone display via the gray cable you can see in the video below. On the iPhone side, they made their own custom iOS app that would display the information from the Android install and send touch-input back to it. So really, they're streaming Android on an iPhone, not running it on an iPhone, but like I said, it's an intensely geeky accomplishment. Check out the details on that blog post.

Compilation Video of Amazing Drone Shots

8:03 PM EDT, Jun. 7th, 2016 · Bryan Chaffin · Cool Stuff Found

Check out this compilation video of amazing drone shots from the 2016 New York City Drone Film Festival. They're gorgeous shots, but what really interests me is how drone photography is not only democratizing the kind of shots that could once have been made only with helicopters or expensive cranes, but is also bringing entirely new shots and perspectives that were previously impossible by any means. The volcano shot particularly blew me away.

Woodline iPhone Case Features Kevlar Sandwiched by Hardwood

7:31 PM EDT, Jun. 7th, 2016 · Bryan Chaffin · Cool Stuff Found

I like wood. Go ahead. I'll wait for you to work through all the jokes circulating through your mind. OK, done? When I was a kid I obsessed over wooden pens. It was about the finest thing I could imagine owning because them's were simpler times. Cut to today, and there are a few companies making wood cases for iPhone. I think they're beautiful. Pad & Quill has a case called Woodline that is a sheet of kevlar that is sandwiched by two layers of hardwood. The wood is hand-sanded to a satin finish, and the company has that craftsperson initial the case they worked on. The promo video below talks about the manufacturing process and shows several different finishes that are available. Woodline is priced at $49.95 for iPhone 6/6s and iPhone 6/6s Plus.