Recent Articles By Bryan Chaffin [RSS]

Apple's Power Starts with Dismissing Engineering Truths as Irrelevant

· Bryan Chaffin · Editorial

Apple Watch Back

We’ve long understood that the user comes first at Apple, but former Apple engineer Bob Messerschmidt recently illustrated that in a clear and concise manner. It humanizes the magic that can happen when engineering truths are dismissed as irrelevant.

Google Duo, a Platform Agnostic Competitor to FaceTime

· Bryan Chaffin · Cool Stuff Found

Google released Duo on Tuesday, “a simple 1-to-1 video calling app” for iOS and Android. Google set it up to operate around your existing phone number. Unlike Apple’s FaceTime, Google Duo doesn’t care if you’re on iOS or Android. It also has an interesting feature called Knock Knock that allows the callee to see the caller’s live video feed before you answer. The video below demonstrates Knock Knock. Google Duo is “free,” and is available at the App Store and Google Play. [Update: as noted by @grempe on Twitter, Google Duo calls are encrypted end-to-end, an important privacy element to protect users from prying eyes far and wide. – Bryan]

Google Duo, a Platform Agnostic Competitor to FaceTime

Droplr Pro Lifetime License: $29.99

· Bryan Chaffin · Link

Droplr Pro Screenshots

We have a deal for you today on a lifetime subscription to Droplr Pro, a digital media collaboration service.  Drop a file on the Droplr icon (there’s a keyboard shortcut, too), and it will be uploaded to a server where other members of your team can view or edit the file. It integrates with Microsoft Office, Cisco Spark, Slack, Adobe, and more. The price through our deal is $29.99.

Twitter and NFL on Apple TV Could Be Big For Everyone

· Bryan Chaffin · Editorial

Apple TV, NFL, and Twitter

Twitter is reportedly talking with Apple about bringing a dedicated app to Apple TV for live-streaming NFL games. A solid Twitter app bringing this kind of content to your TV could be a big winner for fans, Twitter, Apple, and the NFL, too.

Tim Cook on Being CEO After Steve Jobs (Video)

· Bryan Chaffin · Cool Stuff Found

Tim Cook from Washington Post Interview

Apple CEO Tim Cook had to step into some enormous shoes taking over from Steve Jobs. Much has been written and said on the topic, but Tim Cook hasn’t often spoken publicly about it himself. In his new interview with The Washington Post, Mr. Cook did talk about Steve Jobs, and the newspaper posted a video snippet on the topic. In it, Mr. Cook talks about Steve Jobs being a heat shield for Apple, and how he thought the media would lose interest in Apple after Mr. Jobs passed. If you let the video below play through, you’ll get a second snippet from the interview. If you let it keep playing, you’ll get videos unrelated to Tim Cook’s interview.

Warren Buffett Buys 5.41 Million Shares of $AAPL

· Bryan Chaffin · Editorial

$AAPL Logo

Warren Buffett bought some 5.41 million shares of Apple during the June quarter, according to regulatory filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The investment cost more than half a billion dollars, and represents a 55% increase in Berkshire Hathaway’s stake in Apple.

Mophie Powerstation XL External Battery (Manufacturer-Refurbished): $39.95

· Bryan Chaffin · TMO Deals

Mophie Powerstation XL External Battery

We have a deal on a manufacturer-refurbished Mophie Powerstation XL External Battery. This beefy battery holds 12,000mAh, and delivers current in either 500mAh, 1A, or 2.1A, depending on the device you’re charging. It has two USB ports for simultaneous charging, and is itself charged with a standard Micro-USB port. You can get this device through our deal for $39.95.

Google Working on 'Fuchsia' OS, Could Replace Android and Chrome OS

· Bryan Chaffin · Cool Stuff Found

Google is working on a new operating system called Fuchsia. AndroidPolice found the project on Gtihub with the description “Pink + Purple == Fuchsia (a new Operating System).” The OS is being built on the Magenta kernel, the first Google operating system not based on Linux. Magenta is derived from LittleKernel, a project aimed at Internet of Things and embedded OS devices. But, AndroidPolice found documentation that suggests it could be scaled up for smartphones and even desktop computers. That could make it an eventual replacement for Android and Chrome OS. It will definitely be interesting to see what Google does with Fuchsia.

Google Working on ‘Fuchsia’ OS, Could Replace Android and Chrome OS

'Dual Band System' Let's You Hide Your Apple Watch

· Bryan Chaffin · Cool Stuff Found

Check out the “The Dual Band System” from Sinn (via The Next Web), and it’s a way of having your mechanical watch cake while eating like a poser, too. With this $210 strap ($120 when purchased with a Sinn watch), you can wear your mechanical watch on top of your wrist. But hidden underneath your wrist is your Apple Watch, all on the down low. Listen, I love a mechanical watch as much as the next horological wingnut. And I’ll be honest, I am often torn on whether to wear my Zenith timepiece or my Apple Watch. But this, dear folks, is not the solution. Be that as it may, I wanted to share. 😂

‘Dual Band System’ Let’s You Hide Your Apple Watch

ROME: Total War Coming to iPad

· Bryan Chaffin · Cool Stuff Found

Feral Interactive announced Friday it was bringing ROME: Total War to the iPad! This classic game mixes turn-based play and real-time strategy battles in a way that kept me glued to my Mac for ages. Your cities matter, and commanders count. They have different strengths and weaknesses, and not only affect your economy, they can make or break a battle. Even the way you deploy your troops matters. It will be released this fall and pricing hadn’t been announced. Two of the games expansions have been pre-announced for iPad, too: ROME: Total War – Barbarian Invasion and ROME: Total War – Alexander.  Check out the trailer.

ROME: Total War Coming to iPad

Apple Music and iTunes Downloads Combine into One Powerful Music Platform

· Bryan Chaffin · Editorial

Apple Music and iTunes

Apple’s decision to continue selling iTunes downloads alongside its Apple Music streaming service is proving to be a powerful combination. Three albums debuted in the number one spot this year as exclusive offerings from Apple. No other competing service can claim to have pushed an album to number one.

Universal 3-in-1 Lens Kit for Smartphones and Tablets: $11.99

· Bryan Chaffin · TMO Deals

Universal 3-in-1 Lens Kit for Smartphones and Tablets

Check out this clever idea, a clip-on Universal 3-in-1 Lens Kit for Smartphones and Tablets. Because it’s held on with an adjustable clip, it will fit just about any iPhone, iPad, or Android device. It comes with three lenses, a 180 degree fish eye, a wide-angle, or a macro lens. You can get this lens kit for $11.99 through our deal.

A Backyard 360-Degree Swing (Video)

· Bryan Chaffin · Cool Stuff Found

Youtuber colinfurze has a new crazy contraption, a 360-degree swing. And it’s just way too cool. Oh, and it’s in his back yard and lacks even a semblance of safety. I love people who can make things and who aren’t afraid to shoot for awesome. This swing is certainly awesome. Check out the bit at 1:55 when he talks about the pallets and how it used to be taller. At 2:02 there’s a couple of seconds of one of the arms bending while he was testing. Crazy. Watch and admire!

A Backyard 360-Degree Swing (Video)

Fast Company's Interview with Eddy Cue and Craig Federighi a Must-Read

· Bryan Chaffin · Cool Stuff Found

I’ve been thinking about Rick Tetzeli’s interview transcript with Eddy Cue and Craig Federighi for two days, and I just can’t decide what exactly to write about it. There’s a detailed explanation on Maps, its development, its import. There’s stuff about the differences between Steve Jobs and Tim Cook (Steve yelled, Tim is cerebral). There’s comments on Apple and innovation, and another section on customers holding Apple to a higher bar. And a lot more. It’s all good, and I think it’s a must-read for anyone interested in Apple.

Fast Company’s Interview with Eddy Cue and Craig Federighi a Must-Read

Microsoft Expertly Demonstrates Why Encryption Backdoors Are Terrible Ideas

· Bryan Chaffin · Editorial

Golden Key Website

Microsoft did long term privacy advocates a huge favor, even while it screwed over untold millions of customers. The company expertly demonstrated the foolhardy nature of backdoors even existing by accidentally leaking a so-called “golden key.” That key will allow anyone to bypass Microsoft’s Secure Boot protections, rendering them moot.

Leawo Professional Media for Mac: $19

· Bryan Chaffin · TMO Deals

Leawo Professional Media for Mac

We have a deal for you today on Leawo Professional Media for Mac. This software converts multiple video formats, and it can read and rip DVDs and Blu-ray, and it has a 2D/3d converter. This software retails for $119, but you can get it through our deal for $19.

Hula Wrap on Kickstarter, a Cable Organizer for MacBook Chargers

· Bryan Chaffin · Cool Stuff Found

Check out Hula Wrap on Kickstarter. It’s a leather wrap for your MacBook charger that lets you wrap both cables, even the long power cord. It looks good, all rugged and leathery, but more importantly, it looks like it works. I hate taking my charger with me on my 2011 MacBook Air because the cables are such a pain, even though the battery has degraded over the years. That’s why this project immediately resonated with me. The company behind Hula Wrap is half way through its modest funding goal of $9,800, with 21 days to go. Funding options that will net you a Hula Wrap are currently available at $25. You can get two of them for $40. The video below is short, to the point, and well-produced, and it shows Hula Wrap in action.

Hula Wrap on Kickstarter, a Cable Organizer for MacBook Chargers

The Totally Accurate Battle Simulator

· Bryan Chaffin · Cool Stuff Found

Check out the Totally Accurate Battle Simulator, or TABS. This game is just starting alpha development, but it’s super exciting. At least to a nerd like me. You set up units (the red and blue rag dolls in the video), arm them with weapons, and let TABS show you what would happen. Is it a game? Maybe? I don’t know, I just see the opportunity to test out combat scenarios. Being developed by Landfall, the game has been greenlit by Steam, according to The Next Web. Landfall is accepting signups for the alpha for Mac, Windows, Linux, Xbox, and PS4, though the company is specific about not promising which platforms will be supported on release. If it does hit Steam, there’s a good chance it will have Mac support. In the meanwhile, I signed up for the alpha and I’m hoping to be picked, because it looks awesome.

The Totally Accurate Battle Simulator

ACM 372: Samsung Pay’s Security Failure, the Story Behind Apple’s Public Betas

· Bryan Chaffin · Apple Context Machine Podcast

The Apple Context Machine

Bryan and Jeff dig into Samsung shenanigans, including reports of a way to hack magnetic stripe reader transactions, and the mysterious case of Apple Watch drawings in a Samsung patent. They also discuss the interesting story of how the flawed Apple Maps rollout led to public beta programs for OS X and iOS.

Zus Smart Car Charger and Locator: $29.99

· Bryan Chaffin · TMO Deals

Zus Smart Car Charger and Locator

Check out this handy gadget, the Zus Smart Car Charger and Locator. Plug it into your car’s A/C outlet and it will charge your devices through USB ports. It’s a smart charger, too, in that it sends the current each device needs. But, it also serves as a locator by communicating with an app on your iPhone so you can find your car. You can get this device through our deal for $29.99