Recent Articles By Bryan Chaffin [RSS]
SAN FRANCISCO - There's a new hardware company on the scene called Purism, and the name is a significant clue as to what the company is all about: pure software. At its heart, Purism is dedicated to providing computer hardware driven entirely by open source software so that users can "trust, but verify." Purism is putting itself in direct opposition to what it considers "surveillance capitalism." Bryan Chaffin has the low-down.
We got a demonstration of Tap Systems' self-titled product, Tap, last night at Pepcom in San Francisco. It's a gesture-based one-handed virtual keyboard, and Bryan Chaffin thinks this may be the first one that makes sense.
Check our The Egg, a "personal cloud storage" device. It can import media files through USB or WiFi, and it serves them up wirelessly through iOS or Android apps, and it works with Macs and PCs, too. It also has a built-in display for browsing through its contents. We have a deal on this device for $169 for a 64GB model. Check out the deal listing for more information and product videos.
Apple added several Chinese instruments and some 300 loops of Chinese music to GarageBand this week, but you'll need to jump through a couple of hoops to access them on iPad and iPhone. Bryan Chaffin shows you how.
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.
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.
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.
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.