Our friends at Stack Social have come up with another clever bundle for you. The Spring Mac Bundle allows you to choose 10 apps you want from a collection of 34 Mac apps for $21.99. That way you can get just the apps you want and not worry about having some you don't want. The full list of available apps can be found under "Specs" on the deal listing.
Fitbit wants a piece of the contactless mobile payment game, so they bought Coin. Dave Hamilton and Bryan Chaffin join Jeff Gamet to look at Fitbit's purchase and how it fits into the mobile payment space, and how it compares to Apple Pay. They also have something to say about Symantec's recent security software exploit.
Symantec managed to do something no other security software vendor has managed: create a vulnerability that affects Mac, Windows, and Linux users. Simply running Symantec or Norton-branded security software potentially exposes users to attacks where hackers can get root-level control over their computer. Luckily, there aren't any reports of the exploit in the wild, and Symantec released a patch for the flaw a couple days ago.
If you want to find a file or a picture that someone sent you in Messages under iOS, there's no need to scroll and scroll. You can access all of the attachments sent within a conversation in one place, and it's easy as pie! The details are here in this Quick Tip.
Check out this great video iPhonedo posted to YouTube where he (re)creates the theme song for TV smash hit Game of Thrones. He uses the new Chinese instruments Apple added to GarageBand to do it, and part of the video includes instructions for enabling the new instruments on non-Chinese language devices. Those instruments aren't authentic to the actual theme song, but they sound great and it's a solid demonstration of just how much you can do on GarageBand on iPad.
Apple has been putting time, effort, and resources into learning how to be a Chinese company and learning how to be an Indian company. Bryan and Jeff discuss those efforts and why it's important. They also talk about an essay from a record executive claiming that iTunes downloads are already being phased out. Plus, Apple has been hiring engineers with experience in wireless charging.
The Twelve South TimePorter is a combination travel case for Apple Watch accessories and stand. It looks and carries like an eyeglass case. It's nicely made, and the concept is good. Unfortunately, as John Martellaro found out, it requires too much fussing to be considered a great product.
Have you heard of JJ Lin? Singapore-born and based in Taiwan, he's an enormously popular performer and producer in that part of the world. He posted a video to his YouTube channel of him and his pal Apple CEO Tim Cook jamming in GarageBand with those new Chinese-music loops and instruments I wrote about yesterday. Mr. Cook serves as DJ in the piece, tapping loops to create the background music while JJ Lin plays the lead melody on one of those new instruments. It's fun, and it's a message aimed at the Chinese market. Also, note that JJ Lin posted it, not Apple and not Mr. Cook. Seems like Apple really is learning more about how to operate in that market.
We have a deal for you today on KeepSolid Disposable Phone Lines, an encrypted voice-over-IP (VOIP) service that essentially gives you disposable lines from which to make calls. With the package we're offering, you’ll receive up to 3 total private USA or Canadian phone numbers with unlimited SMS, and unlimited calls (US lines only). Our deal is for a 1-year subscription at 75 percent off, or $99. Check out the deal listing for more details.
Netflix wants you to know how fast your internet connection is, so came up with its own speed test website called Fast.com. It's a one trick pony in that you'll see just your download speed, which makes sense considering that's the part of your connection Netflix really cares about. What's nice is that you don't need to click any buttons to start or sift through ads trying to figure out how to start the test; just hit the Fast.com site and wait a few seconds while it does its thing.
CurrentC is delayed yet again, and it's looking more and more like the alternative contactless payment system will never officially launch. Kelly Guimont and John Martellaro join Jeff Gamet to talk about the eminent demise of CurrentC and the companies defecting from the platform for alternative systems.
Don't miss this week's Dr. Mac's Rants & Raves — Part II of his annual gift guide for dads & grads.
The guy that got the interent in a tizzy over iTunes deleting his personal music library has a follow up: Apple's engineers paid him a personal visit to troubleshoot the problem. What they discovered was the lost music wasn't user error, there's a hard to track bug in iTunes, and Amber, the phone support representative he originally spoke with didn't know what she was talking about.
Apple has been quietly adding engineers with experience in wireless charging, according to some LinkedIn sleuthing by The Verge. Over the course of the last two years, Apple has hired more than a dozen people in this field, including two from wireless charging startup uBeam in just the last four months. There's no telling what they're working on, but Apple already offers inductive wireless charging on Apple Watch, and Bloomberg reported in January that Apple wanted to do some kind of wireless charging solution for iPhone in 2017. Check out the full report at The Verge for additional information—the takeaway is that Apple is working on something in the field of wireless charging, and that's exciting, and it will probably be less dramatic, yet far cooler, than Nikola Tesla's wireless electricity transmission experiments more than a century ago.
Apple continued beefing up its offerings for the Chinese market this week with an update to GarageBand dedicated to Chinese content. The company added several Chinese instruments, including the pipa, the erhu and unspecified "Chinese percussion." Apple also added "300 Apple-created Chinese musical loops," the first new loops we've seen in some time.
Apple has been taking a lot of heat lately for iTunes. The user interface, which was stellar when it first launched, has become complex, confusing and opaque. Plus, many small problems have plagued its robustness over the years as it tried to do too much. iTunes 12.4 takes two steps forward after many backwards steps, and restores some interface sanity. This is in itself notable.
Check out TarDisk, a cleverly named flash memory storage device for your MacBook. It fits in the SD slot on your MacBook, and is seen as a hard drive. If you use the included Pear 2.0 utility, that 64GB will virtually integrate with your internal hard drive so that your MacBook sees them both as one drive. Pretty cool! You can get this device through us for $99.99, some 32 percent off retail.
The Mac Observer's Jeff Gamet will be talking about social media services tonight, May 17, at the Denver Apple Pi Mac User Group. He'll be talking about Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and more, plus he'll have some tips for staying safe online.
iTunes 12.4 is out with some new interface changes. John Martellaro and Dave Hamilton join Jeff Gamet to share their first impressions with the iTunes update, plus they offer up some thoughts on the System and Security Info app getting bumped from the App Store.
I use iTunes every day, and when searching in the iTunes Store for new music it just seems odd to me that there's no link or option to show the same content in Apple Music. In today's video, an example of that and perhaps a better option for iTunes...12.5?
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