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.
Check out this clever idea on Kickstarter: Jon Atherton has designed something he calls the SketchDock. This is a device that turns your iPhone into a multitouch trackpad, a number pad, or a sketching surface where the body of the iPhone doesn't get in your way. it will also charge your iPhone, and it has volume buttons so you can control it while its in the dock. There's a companion app for some of these features, but one of the things that stood out for me was the way SketchDock gives you a surface from which you can use a stylus to draw without either your hand or the body of the iPhone getting in the way. That's pretty cool. This project was just launched today, and its goal is to raise US$40,000. Early backers get a shipping unit for much less than retail.
Now this is just plain ol' entertaining: a clever chap named Vaclav Krejci has posted a video where he demonstrates how one could design iOS 7 in Microsoft Word. Now, he does just that, walking you through step by step how using just the graphic tools in Word you can create of the various graphic elements that make up Apple's newest mobile operating system; but, it's important to note that he does so using the things like icon shapes, button shapes, and other things that are in iOS 7 as the foundation of his work. So, it would be more fair to say you can recreate iOS 7 in Word, but that raises the extra point of (as Jim Tanous told me), holy crap, you can do all that with Word? So, watch the video, marvel at both Vaclav Krejci's and Word's amazing abilities, and remember that the next time you start spewing curses at how long it takes Word to launch. [Via TUAW]
ReadWrite has posted a bunch of photos of Apple's semi-secret data "Pillar" data center project in Prineville, Oregon, photos taken from the roof of Facebook's own nearby data center. There's not a lot revealed in the photographs, but considering Apple's efforts to keep everything it does secret, those who follow the company's every move will no doubt find them interesting. Reporter Taylor Hatmaker tracked down the location of the facility, and noted that it is completely devoid of any Apple branding, including the company's logo, name, or even fonts. instead, a single sign at the entrance to the construction project is labeled only with the "Pillar" project name and "Fortis," the construction company. Apple has been working on the project for more than a year, and is one of a few known data center projects Apple is building. Check out the full gallery and accompanying story for more information.
Breffo has launched a project on Kickstarter for Gumstick, a very cool idea for a universal stand that will work with iPhone, iPad, or an Android device. The hook is that it stores flat, while you can bend it into whatever shape you want to stand your device at whatever angle you want. When you're done, you can bend it flat again. Cool, right? Check out the video for more details on both the product and the company behind it, and there are lots of photos on the Kickstarter site that demonstrate the...wait for it...flexibility of this product. Breffo is almost US$10,000 towards its $25,000 goal. There are several Kickstarter-exclusive funding options, including a few early bird bargains that are left.
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