Recent Articles By Jeff Gamet [RSS]

Goodbye Free on iTunes: Apple Stops its Weekly Song Promotion

2:24 PM, Jan. 13th, 2015 · Jeff Gamet · News

The free song of the week promotion Apple offered through the iTunes Store for years went from a big badge to a small text link, and now is gone completely. Searching for free songs doesn't turn up anything, either, and comments in Apple's own forums claim Free on iTunes—at least for music—has officially come to an end.

TMO Daily Observations 2015-01-13: Lesbian Emoji, David Cameron Wants to Read Your Messages

1:24 PM, Jan. 13th, 2015 · Jeff Gamet · Daily Observations Podcast

Racial and sexual diversity isn't nearly as prevalent in emoji as you might think, but that can change. Kelly Guimont and Bryan Chaffin join Jeff Gamet to look at the lack of racial and sexual diversity in the emoji pictograph library, and how Apple can play a role in changing that. They also talk about UK Prime Minister David Cameron's push for government access to our encrypted messages and the importance of preserving our privacy.

Lesbian Emojis for iPhone Shows Apple can do More for Diversity Acceptance

10:31 AM, Jan. 13th, 2015 · Jeff Gamet · Analysis

Representation of gay and lesbian users in Apple's emoji set on the iPhone and iPad is limited to just two same sex couples holding hands, but that's changing thanks to the Lesbian Emojis app from Kimberly Linn. The app's collection of lesbian-themed emoji adds more choices to the little icons we include in our text messages, but also underscores the surprising lack of diversity in Apple's emoji set.

Facebook Adds AMBER Alerts to User’s News Feeds

9:15 AM, Jan. 13th, 2015 · Jeff Gamet · News

AMBER Alerts are available on TV and emergency alerts on our smartphones, and now they've gone social thanks to Facebook. The social network is adding the missing children alerts to user's news feeds so they show up in line with other posts.

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 →

AMBER Alerts on Facebook totally makes sense. People have been posting missing children alerts themselves for years, so automating the process will make it easier to get the message out.

HomeKit Remote Siri Control Requires Apple TV

7:37 PM, Jan. 12th, 2015 · Jeff Gamet · News

One of the benefits of Apple's HomeKit platform will be the ability to remotely control your smarthome devices from anywhere you have an Internet connection. Using Siri voice commands to turn things on or off when you're away from home, however, will require an Apple TV.

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 →

Apple TV as a smart home hub of sorts? Sounds like validation of Kelly Guimont's Apple TV smarthome hub idea to me.

TMO Daily Observations 2015-01-12: AT&T Data Throttling, Apple TV HomeKit Hub

2:10 PM, Jan. 12th, 2015 · Jeff Gamet · Daily Observations Podcast

AT&T is trying to stop an FTC lawsuit over throttling unlimited data speed throttling by claiming it's a common carrier while at the same time telling the FCC it isn't. Bryan Chaffin and Kelly Guimont join Jeff Gamet to talk about AT&T's efforts to block government oversight, and Kelly gets some validation for her idea that Apple TV would make a great HomeKit home automation hub.

AT&T to FTC: We Can Throttle Data, and You Can’t Stop Us

10:58 AM, Jan. 12th, 2015 · Jeff Gamet · Analysis

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) filed a lawsuit against AT&T to stop the cell service provider from throttling download speeds for its customers who still have unlimited wireless data plans. AT&T argues the FTC doesn't have any jurisdiction over its wireless data services, and as such isn't in a position to stop it from throttling download speeds for customers it thinks are using too much of their unlimited data.

Jeff Gamet’s CES Wrap Up on Tech Night Owl Live

10:02 AM, Jan. 12th, 2015 · Jeff Gamet · TMO Appearances

With CES 2015 behind us, TMO's Jeff Gamet joined The Tech Night Owl Live's Gene Steinberg to take a look at the annual electronics trade show. Jeff shared his thoughts on the event, reactions to new products, home automation, health and fitness tech, HD televisions, Apple's influence, and more. You can check out his CES wrap up on the Tech Night Owl Live website, or on the iTunes Store.

Apple’s App Store Adds Games for Kids Grouping for iPhone, iPad

9:08 AM, Jan. 12th, 2015 · Jeff Gamet · Cool Stuff Found

Apple added a new section to its App Store called Games for Kids that makes it easier to find child-friendly games for your young iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch user. Games are grouped by age, and many don't include in-app purchases. The Kids Games section groups titles for kids aged five and under, 6 to 8, and 9 to 11. You can find games from LEGO, Sesame Street, Disney, and more. You can even download the free ebook Family Time with Apps explaining how to more effectively manage the time kids spend playing on their iOS device.

ACM 288: CES 2015 and Apple, Home Automation, and Cool New Products

6:30 PM, Jan. 9th, 2015 · Jeff Gamet · Apple Context Machine Podcast

The Mac Observer was on location this week at CES 2015, and along with all the cool products that are coming soon, the crew picked up on some trends for the coming year. Jeff and Bryan talk about the interest—or lack of—device makers were showing in HealthKit and HomeKit, what's happening with home automation products, who wants to support Apple Watch, and more.