The FBI dropped its New York iPhone unlocking case against Apple, although this time instead of buying a hack, someone handed over the passcode. Unconfirmed reports claim it was the suspect in the case, Jun Feng, who pleaded guilty last year to drug-related charges. That's one more case where the FBI failed to land the encryption-hacking precedent it wants.
Several of your fellow listeners are ingenious folks, having come up with some clever solutions to tricky problems. Join Dave & John as we all learn how to backup and restore your OS X text substitution preferences, use AirFoil to cusomitze your Mac's audio, restore Snow Leopard's zoom and scroll functionality to El Capitan, fix a wet iPhone 6s and more. The show is chock full today, and you're all to thank for it. Plus, Dave and John answer your questions, too!
I love this Earth Day video from Apple, but I'm also kind of horrified by it. It's called "Ask Siri about Liam." Siri is, of course, Apple's virtual assistant, and Liam is Apple's recycling robot that helped the company recover 2,204 pounds of gold in 2015. I have to give you a spoiler to explain why it kind of horrifies me, so please feel free to watch it before reading any further. Siri asks Liam what he's doing for Earth Day. Now, she's doing this from an iPhone in the grips of Liam himself. He shrugs his shoulder—Earth Day is just another day of saving the planet one iPhone at a time for Liam, after all—and looks over at the piece of machinery designed to make it easier for Liam to rip Siri's face off in his disassembly process. Her response, "Oh dear. Wouldn't you rather get a smoothie?" Nope. Liam rips her face off. It's what he does. It's definitely funny, but it's kind of horrifying, too!! What do you think? As for asking Siri about Liam, I found that "Tell me about Liam" resulted in Siri telling several jokes about the robot and/or recycling.
Check out the Monet Stylus, a stylus for your iPad that is designed to be held and feel like a paintbrush. It's made of brushed aluminum, features a pressure-sensitive tip, and it has a 165° writing angle. We have a deal on this device for $14.99. Get more details in the listing.
The mountain of evidence to support the thesis that Apple is working on a car, no doubt an electric car, is now overwhelming. However, even as Apple hires a boatload of experienced automotive executives, it seems Apple, more and more, will have to go it alone with, perhaps, just one chance to get it right. It will be amazing to watch unfold.
China shut down Apple's iTunes Movies and iBooks stores after six months. John Martellaro and Bryan Chaffin join Jeff Gamet to look at Apple's relationship with China and what may have led to the government's decision to block the content. They also offer up their experiences with Apple Watch ahead of this Sunday's one year anniversary.
Apple's relationship with China may not be as friendly as we were led to believe because the government shut down the iTunes Movies store and iBook Store only six months after they launched. The decision may be a sign of hostility towards foreign companies, or it may be censorship to block the state-banned movie Ten Years.
Let's talk about Numbers! Apple's spreadsheet program isn't flashy, but it works well, and some of the less-obvious stuff it can do is really helpful. For example, you can format your cells so that you don't have to type dollar signs, or you could configure custom formats to automatically turn "8008675309" into "(800) 867-5309." Jenny'll be much easier to call after today's Quick Tip.
How much is a hack worth that gets you into an iPhone without any useful data on it? If you're the FBI, that'll be at least US$1.3 million. And according to FBI Director James Comey, it was money well spent.
During Wednesday's Apple Context Machine, Jeff Gamet and I got into a discussion about how displeased we are that the cap on the end of the Apple Pencil was so absurdly easy to lose. We've gotten some commentary from listeners who were equally dismayed at such a sloppy aspect of this otherwise wonderful device, but TMO member Rick Allen let me know about a solution for this issue called PencilCozy from Cozy Industries As you can see in the image, PencilCozy essentially keeps the cap attached to your Apple Pencil even when it's off. Seems perfect, and I ordered one even before I finished writing up this Cool Stuff Found. You can also order through Amazon (eligible for Prime).
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