Apple Watch - Cycle (Video)

5:37 AM EDT, Oct. 7th, 2015 · Bryan Chaffin · Cool Stuff Found

Apple has a new series of commercials promoting Apple Watch, including the one below called Cycle. Each is short and promotes a specific aspect of the device. Cycle, for instance, is tracking an athlete's intense workout on a stationary bike with a bright, clear "Goal Achieved" screen at the end. There's also Ride (directions through Siri), Sing (send a voice message via iMessage), Date (get important text messages even when you're out having fun), Train (track your heart rate), and Sprinkle (use Apple Pay even when your hands are full). What do you think?

Wall Street Journal Review of Google Now on Tap in Android Marshmallow

8:21 PM EDT, Oct. 6th, 2015 · Bryan Chaffin · Cool Stuff Found

I've been extolling the virtues of Google Now for a couple of years—it's Android's best feature; it's Google giving back something from pillaging our digital lives for profit; and it's a feature Apple will have a hard time matching because the iOS maker doesn't make us the product. Apple narrowed the gap with iOS 9 and Proactive, but Google is still ahead in this one area. The Wall Street Journal's Joanna Stern has spent a week with a pre-release version of Android Marshmallow, the next major update to Android, and she wrote extensively about how Google Now gets even better with Google Now on Tap. Marshmallow will take forever and a day to propagate out to users (Lollipop is even now only at 23.5 percent of Android users who use Google Play), but for those who get it, it seems like a solid mobile operating system. Her review is a good read.

Disney Artists Tweet and Periscope about Apple’s New iPad Pro

7:15 PM EDT, Oct. 6th, 2015 · Bryan Chaffin · Cool Stuff Found

Apple is doing a little iPad Pro pre-release reach out to artists at Pixar and Disney, and project manager Paul Hildebrandt at Disney tweeted a photo showing some of his team playing with the device (via iMore). Jeff Ranjo, a Disney artist posted a video to Periscope of his hands-on time with the device and Apple Pencil, the stylus designed to go with iPad Pro. Listening to Mr. Ranjo talk about the two devices, I can't help but feel iPad Pro is going to have a major impact on the world of graphic design, animation, and art, regardless of its uses in other applications and disciplines.

KOAR Bluetooth Cloud Buds: $24.99

6:08 PM EDT, Oct. 6th, 2015 · Bryan Chaffin · TMO Deals

KOAR Bluetooth Cloud Buds

Check out the Bluetooth Sound Buds from KOAR, Bluetooth earbuds that are designed to be lightweight and have an optional hook that will secure them to your ears. They also have a built-in microphone for hands-free calling or other voice uses.  We have a deal on them, too. They retail for for $109, but through us you can get them for $24.99.

iPad Pro Coming in Early November

11:25 AM EDT, Oct. 6th, 2015 · Jeff Gamet · News

Apple's iPad Pro may ship at the beginning of November

Apple said the iPad Pro and Apple Pencil stylus will ship in November, which typically means the end of the month. This time, however, it sounds like we'll get Apple's jumbo iPad right at the beginning of the month.

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 →

Early November would suit me just fine. I want to get my hands on an iPad Pro as soon as possible.

LEGO Doctor Who Available in December

10:52 AM EDT, Oct. 6th, 2015 · Jeff Gamet · Cool Stuff Found

If you've ever asked "Why can't I buy a LEGO Doctor Who TARDIS," now you have the answer: Because it isn't December yet. LEGO's first ever Doctor Who set, spawned from a LEGO Ideas submission, goes on sale December 1st. The US$59.99 kit includes the TARDIS exterior and control room, 11th and 12th Doctor minifigures, Clara minifigure, a weeping angel, and two Daleks. LEGO has licensing rights for Doctor Who, so it's a safe bet we'll see more kits with other Doctors in the future. Or maybe the past. Time is so wibbly wobbly.

Apple Buys AI Company Perceptio

9:17 AM EDT, Oct. 6th, 2015 · Jeff Gamet · News

Apple buys AI company Perceptio

Apple snatched up another company to help make our iPhones smarter. This time it's Perceptio, a company that's been working on advanced artificial intelligence systems capable of running on smartphones without relying as much on remote servers for data processing.

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 →

Google Now can do a lot more than Apple's Proactive to anticipate our needs. Combining Perceptio and Vocal IQ tech, however, could help turn our iPhones into powerful assistants in our pockets. It's pretty clear Apple wants to outdo Google Now and maintain our privacy at the same time.

Factions Form For and Against Upcoming ‘Steve Jobs’ Film

9:48 PM EDT, Oct. 5th, 2015 · Bryan Chaffin · The Back Page

Michael Fassbender as Steve Jobs

Controversy is building around Steve Jobs, an upcoming film based on Walter Isaacson's biography of the same name. While praised by critics, the film is being criticized by some of the people who were closest to him, including his widow, Laurene Powell Jobs, Apple CEO Tim Cook, and long-time Apple board member Bill Campbell.

Flip PDF For Mac: $9

6:32 PM EDT, Oct. 5th, 2015 · Bryan Chaffin · TMO Deals

Flip PDF for Mac running on an iMac

Flip PDF for Mac turns ordinary PDF documents into animated flip books, and we have a deal on it for you. It requires no programming ability, and it comes with 100+ templates, 400+ themes, 200+ scenes and 700+ backgrounds to help you create just what you want. Flip PDF for Mac retails for $99, but through our deal, it yours for $9. There's a YouTube video on the deal listing with more information.

iPhone 6s vs. MMA Contender Luke Rockhold (Video)

5:50 PM EDT, Oct. 5th, 2015 · Bryan Chaffin · Cool Stuff Found

I found this highly entertaining. SquareTrade pitted Apple's flagship iPhones against #1 MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) contender Luke Rockhold. Spoiler alert, an iPhone can't take a roundhouse kick from a martial arts expert, especially not when it hits a wall. Shocker that, of course, but it's a crap ton of fun to watch. What was more interesting was the strength test, where Mr. Rockhold broke iPhone 6/6 Plus/6s/6s Plus. Turns out iPhone 6s Plus is way stronger than the other devices. This is in keeping with SquareTrade's more formal testing methods that found iPhone 6s and 6s Plus were both stronger than last year's devices. Anyhoo, let's have some fun:

YiSpecter Malware Hits Non-jailbroken iPhones in China, Taiwan

5:06 PM EDT, Oct. 5th, 2015 · Jeff Gamet · News

YiSpecter malware targets jailbroken and non-jailbroken iOS devices

iPhone and iPad users have yet another security threat to deal with, called YiSpecter, that targets jailbroken and non-jailbroken phones alike. Turns out it's been in the wild since November 2014, but don't get too worried because there's a good chance you haven't been infected.

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 →

Never trust pop-ups that ask you to install software outside of the App Store. YiSpecter is a perfect example of what can happen when you do.

Tim Cook Acceptance Speech for National Visibility Award from HRC (Video)

4:08 PM EDT, Oct. 5th, 2015 · Bryan Chaffin · Editorial

Tim Cook Acceptance Speech for National Visibility Reward from HRC

Apple CEO Tim Cook received the National Visibility Award from Human Rights Campaign, an LGBT civil rights advocacy group. Mr. Cook took the award seriously enough to accept it in person, and HRC posted his acceptance speech to YouTube. He spoke about coming out, and the importance of fighting for basic human rights and human dignity for everyone, "regardless of their race, creed, gender, or sexual orientation."

TMO Daily Observations 2015-10-05: Apple and the NSA, Samsung Pay

1:36 PM EDT, Oct. 5th, 2015 · Jeff Gamet · Daily Observations Podcast

Daily Observations Podcast

Apple CEO Tim Cook says the NSA isn't going to be pushing for backdoors into our tech gear, and the FBI is most likely coming around, too. Bryan Chaffin and John Martellaro join Jeff Gamet to look at the state of ongoing government to get easy access to private files and other content, plus they offer up their take on Samsung's latest efforts in the mobile payment game.

Siri, Turn on My Lights: Philips Hue gets HomeKit Support

10:48 AM EDT, Oct. 5th, 2015 · Jeff Gamet · Product News

The new HomeKit-ready Philips Hue Bridge

Philips is finally on board with Apple's HomeKit platform thanks to a new version of its Hue LED light hub. The new model works just like the original version, but adds in Siri voice control support and Apple's required HomeKit security features.

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 →

Finally! Hue gets HomeKit support! There wasn't any way to update the original Hue Bridge to support HomeKit support, so it's nice that Philips is offering current customers a discounted price on the new hub.