Connected Data announced Transporter Sync on Tuesday, a new version of the company's personal cloud storage solution that allows you to use your own external USB drive. You can use Transporter sync to add to your existing Transporter network or as a standalone device. Transporter is effectively very similar to DropBox, but all of your data is on your drives, meaning you control it, rather than it being stored on remote servers. In addition, your Transporter devices talk to one another and can assist each other with their syncing duties. Transporter Sync is $99. As part of the announcement, Connected Data removed the driveless version of the original Transporter and reduced the price of a 500GB transporter to $199.
Airo Health is working on giving us even more information about our lifestyles and fitness with its Airo health monitor wristband. The Airo tracks the usual steps and sleep patterns like other fitness trackers, but also adds automated calorie tracking and stress monitoring. It uses a built-in spectrometer to track your heart rate and can even track the quality of the food you eat without manually logging your meals. It also sends messages to your iPhone to let you know when your stress level is getting too high, or when you need some extra exercise. The Airo will ship next fall and is available for pre-order now for US$149.
Waiting for Apple's quarterly conference call? I've got something to while away a few minues (2:35, to be precise): a blooper real from Star Wars. There's probably not a whole lot new for big Star Wars fans, but who doesn't want to see Grand Admiral Tarkin flub a few lines and embrace Princess Leia? Right? Me, too. There is no sound for the first few scenes, but it's all good stuff.
Mmmmmmmm. Mmm Mmmmmmm. Bacon. You can smell it now, can't you? What's that? You can't? That's a tragedy of epic proportions, but Japanese company Scentee (Google Translate) is here to save you from this cruel reality where you can't smell bacon whenever you want. Say you get an @mention in Twitter? Bacon! Incoming email? Bacon! A text message? Bacon, and then more bacon! This is all courtesy of an iPhone and Android accessory that attaches to your device through the headphone port and—with the help of a companion app–releases various fragrance/scents for you and those near you to smell. Through the app, you can set it to release for alerts or just for the heck of it. It does this through a replaceable cartridge with a specific scent (Lavender, Coffee, Cinnamon Roll, and the ever popular Corn Soup). According to Engadget, a bacon cartridge is on the way. Scentee is currently available only from Amazon Japan for a bit more than $35. The cartridges are about $5.37. The Scentee video below theoretically has something to do with the product.
Sotheby's will be auctioning off a truly one-of-a-kind Mac Pro to raise funds for the (Product)RED AIDS charity program. The red version of the Mac Pro was customized by Apple's Jonathan Ive along with Marc Newson for the (RED) auction on November 23, 2013. The Mac Pro isn't officially available even in its real black color yet, although it will be by the end of the year. There isn't any information about what's customized other than the color, but even if that's the only difference from the stock models Sotheby's is expecting it will bring in upwards of US$60,000 -- well above the $2,999 starting price for the standard black version. The proceeds will go to the RED program's AIDS support efforts.
Apple has posted a nice 10-slide presentation on the new features in Mavericks called What's New in OS X Mavericks. Whether you've already downloaded it or are just thinking about it, it's a vey good, though broad, overview of the newest version of OS X. It covers, iBooks, Maps, Calendar, Safari, Tags, multiple displays, iCloud Keychain, Notifications, Finder Tabs, and then a wrap up page. Each slide offers basic information on the feature with some animated images that demonstrate what's being described. You may also want to check out John Martellaro's piece, 5 Mavericks Must Have Features.
The popular iPhone and iPod touch Twitter client Tweetbot got a big update on Thursday that gives the app more of an iOS 7 feel and also takes advantage of some of iOS 7's new features. Tweetbot 3 navigation can be done mostly with gestures instead of multiple taps, it supports real time streaming over WiFi, background content refreshing, timeline syncing between devices, includes a media timeline viewer, and more. It's currently priced at US$2.99, but will eventually jump up to $4.99. We're liking it so far, so be sure to grab your copy before the price goes up.
I'm a huge fan of Mimoco. The company's character-driven Mimobot USB thumb drives make me smile, giggle, and/or drool whenever I see them. Come on, a Captain Kirk thumb drive? Beam me up! Anyway, the company has launched a Kickstarter funding project for a new product called BatteryBot that brings that same kind of character to external mobile device chargers. The first run of characters are from the Animal Critterz and Core Series collections, including at least one Kickstarter-only character called Terry Le Bat. The base specs call for 5200mAh with an output of 5v/2.1A. That's enough output to charge an iPad. Kickstarter funding levels include discounts on the retail pricing, and at the high end you can get retired and discontinued Mimobots, trips to Boston, and more.
I know I have Mac Pro-on-the-brain, but I can't help it, and the Making the All-New Mac Pro video is only making it worse. Apple debuted the video during Tuesday's iPad and Mac media event, but the company posted it to YouTube on Wednesday. As the name implies, it's a look at how this beautiful beast is manufactured, and it shows the many robots involved, as well as the workers who put it together. It's like an episode of How It's Made, but everything is pretty. Note, BTW, how Apple polishes the aluminum tube that is the outer case to a mirror-like finish before it then primers it and paints it matte black. This is one of those little touches that Apple pays attention to even though no one sees it. Also, count me in as one of those people who would love an unpainted version. I bet there will be stripping services available before Apple even ships the new Mac Pro in December.
Apple has released a commercial for the brand new iPad Air that was announced during Tuesday's "We still have a lot to cover" media event. Titled Pencil, the spot poignantly and poetically makes the point that the iPad Air is thin. I don't want to say too much more about it lest i spoil the reveal, but I did want to say that I think it's a great commercial.
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