The Millennium Falcon from Star Wars is one of the most recognizable sci-fi space ships ever, and that's led to some pretty awesome fan art of all kinds. About the coolest we've seen so far comes from Bernard Szukiel and his flat-out amazing model made almost completely from paper. His 38-inch model is so detailed it looks as if it flew straight out of the movie. Bernard spent four years on the project where he paid attenting to even the smallest details, like properly lit control panels in the cockpit and gun turrets. His model looks so good it's hard to believe it's made from paper. We clearly need to step up our papercraft skills.
My buddy Trevor over at Accessory Power alerted me to another outstanding deal - this time on a little non-Bluetooth rechargeable speaker called GOgroove SonaVERSE BX Portable Stereo Speaker System. While I didn't actually test this one (I've got way too many portable speakers already), I expect it to sound pretty darn good for its size and price based on hundreds of positive reviews and its 4.1 star Amazon.com rating. The best part is: That price has never been lower—with an SRP of $64.99, you can have one of your very own for a mere $14.99, and shipping is free. Design features include 2 large, side-firing drivers that (allegedly) provide room-filling stereophonic sound; a rechargeable battery that provides 3-5 hours of continuous audio playback; and a 3 Year Manufacturer's Warranty.
Google may have stumbled with Google Glass, but the Internet search giant has a clear hit on its hands with the new Google Maps Pac-Man. Just choose a location in Google Maps on your computer, then click the Pac-Man button to turn the streets into a full-on Pac-Man maze, complete with Pinky, Blinky, Inky, and Clyde. You can play in specific cities on your iPhone, too, although you'll need to work through some clues to figure out where. Yes, it's April 1, but Google Maps Pac-Man is no joke. It really is all that and a bag of power pellets.
The Empire is always the evil enemy in Star Wars films, except when Paul Johnson is at the helm. He spent four years working on his own fan-made animated short film called TIE Fighter done in 1980s style anime that's simply beautiful. It includes an appropriate 80s style musical score plus authentic sound effects, and shows just how wonderfully awesome animated Star Wars can be. The movie is a little over seven minutes long, and if you're watching at work be sure to wear headphones because you don't want to miss out on the audio.
Instagram announced Monday a new app called Layout for iOS (Android users can expect it in "the coming months"). Layout is a standalone app for making collages that can be posted to your Instagram feed, Facebook, or sent to other apps in iOS. It allows users to choose apps n the camera roll and then pick a layout pattern. The app auto-populates the photos into that layout, and the user can then swap photos out, rotate them, flip them, pinch to zoom, or drag them around. It includes a Faces tab that automatically detects photos with faces in them, and there's also a Photo Booth mode that allows you to take several photos in quick succession. Layout is a free app, and it's available now.
I've used the original iRig to play my guitars through my iDevices with IK Multimedia's AmpliTube and Apple's GarageBand (free) apps for years. It was a workhorse and a bargain at $39.99, but my one complaint was that it lacked an input gain control, so I had to record some of my guitars at lower-than-I'd-have-liked recording levels. iRig 2,the successor to my venerable iRig shipped last week, fixing my only complaint and adding new features like a 1/4" amplifier output jack, FX/Thru switch, and Android compatibility (not that I care)—all at the same low price ($39.99 - Amazon link). If you want to play your guitar through your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, I can't think of a better or more reasonably-priced way to connect it than iRig 2.
Hamza Sood posted a great video to Twitter (via 9to5Mac) showing how rearranging the apps on the Apple Watch Companion App works on the iPhone. While shot on the iPhone companion app, the process will work in a similar way on the Apple Watch itself. The Apple Watch will be available for preorder on April 10th and it ships on April 24th.
The Apple Watch companion app will also be used to manage how apps are positioned on the watch home screen pic.twitter.com/cy89HKUNld— Hamza Sood (@hamzasood) March 18, 2015
On Wednesday Phish announced their next summer festival, dubbed Magnaball, and true-to-form they published their informative-and-humorous FAQ. In addition to snarky answers to questions like, "Where is the farthest gas station?" and "Can I bring my own sea salt? It's harvested from ancient deposits within the pristine Himalayan mountains. Some consider it the purest salt on Earth," Phish provided this entry:
CAN I BRING MY $20,000 iWATCH?
I guess? It kind of sounds like you just want to brag.
If waiting until April 24 to get your Apple Watch seems like far too long to wait, you can make your own today. Even better, you can make your Apple Watch out of LEGO bricks, which adds an extra level of coolness to your wrist. Chris McVeigh worked out the design and is sharing the instructions (PDF) on his website. He's the guy that came up with other awesome LEGO builds I love like the original Macintosh, the retro TV with color bars, and the TARDIS. You'll need to provide your own bricks and his instructions include a shopping list so you won't come up short. Chris's LEGO Apple Watch looks great, and now I want Apple to make a special edition version that really works: Apple Watch Brick.
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