It’s the last chance to grab 8 Mac apps in the World Class Mac Bundle. It includes iStat Menu 5—a utility I can’t imagine not having—Freeway Pro 7, uBar 6, Painter Essentials 5, DropZone 3, Xee 3, Data Rescue 4, and Hype 3.5. Those are solid apps, and you can get them all in this bundle for $24.99. There are detailed descriptions on each app in the deal listing, so check it out.
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In this episode of The Apple Context Machine, Bryan and Jeff discuss new regulations in China that could make Apple part of that country’s surveillance and censorship apparatus. They also talk about Google’s plans to make its own Android devices, and Amazon offering a discount on two Android phones that display Amazon ads on the lock screen. Bryan somehow manages to ties that into an epic rant about Angry Birds 2.
China rolled out new (and somewhat expected) regulations Tuesday governing app stores for mobile devices. Those regulations could have the direct effect of conscripting Apple and other app store providers into China’s surveillance and censorship machine.
We have a deal for you today on TaskPaper, a text editor for the Mac designed to help you keep track of what you’ve done. It will also auto-format projects, tasks, notes, and tags. While a Mac app, it uses a file format that is supported by some third party editors on iOS, Android, Windows, Linux, and three other Mac editors, too.
We have a deal for you today on VR Box, a virtual reality viewer compatible with iOS and Android devices with 4.7-inch to 6-inch displays. It has an optical axis slider for controlling distance and a T-shaped strap designed to fit a wide variety of head shapes and sizes. This device is $18.99 through our deal.
Check out Cozmo, a robot from Anki, the folks who made their name with the race cars you control with your iPhone. Cozmo “talks” using sounds that remind me a little of R2D2—but only in spirit—and it has a display for a face that emotes. Anki says Cozmo was designed with hundreds of emotions, and he is designed to play with you, or with his “Power Block” accessories. In the video, the designers and engineers talk about how sound is a huge part of how the device interacts with the world, including a bit where he snores while charging. Speaking of which, he’s self-charging. That’s just awesome. Setup and control (when Cozmo isn’t acting autonomously) is handled through an iOS or Android devices, and Cozmo ships in October of 2016. Retail is set at US$179.99. but Anki has a pre-order price of $159.99.
Google announced Monday the rollout of new imagery for Google Earth, and by extension Google Maps. The company said it was incorporating a new cloud-free mosaic of Earth in Google Earth utilizing higher-resolution images from Landsat 8, a satellite deployed by the USGS and NASA in 2013.
Google announced a new “research project” called Bloks, a wonderful concept that brings programming to very young kids with real-world block-like components. It’s an ongoing project that Google is opening up to the world, but the company is starting with electronic boards and programmable pucks. Brain Boards are built from Raspberry Pi Zero boards and can be used to power anything you could power from that device, like robots or switches for real-world devices. The pucks are essentially instructions, including on-off switches, directions, or volume controls. When used in sequence, they can send instructions to the Brain Boards. And it’s all hands-on for young kids. They can collaborate in ways they never could with any programming thing based on a screen and/or keyboard. I love it. It’s an entirely different approach from Apple’s Swift Playground, and I think they’re very complementary.
Our friends at Stack Commerce have been putting their collective noggins to work with this deal. It’s a pre-sale on The Complete iOS 10 Developer Course with 80 hours of content on coding for Apple’s next generation iOS. It’s discounted to $29, and you’ll be notified when the course is ready to access—but in the meanwhile you also get The Complete iOS 9 Hacker Training immediately, included for the same price. Check out the details on the deal listing.
Shares of Apple Inc. shed 2.81% Friday in a broad market downturn sparked by Brits voting to leave the European Union, or Brexit for short. The selloff was part of a general panic among investors concerned about what Brexit will do to the global economy.
We have a deal for you today on G Cloud, a 5-year unlimited backup plan for iPhone and Android devices for $29.99. G Cloud allows you to backup and restore your device from within their dedicated app, and you’re able to view that content online, as well. It’s being stored on AWS, Amazon’s cloud service, using military-grade 256-AES encryption. You can get this 5-year subscription through us for $29.99.
It is with a mix of sadness, contempt, and relief that I offer you the news that Apple acknowledged it has put a bullet in its 5-year old Thunderbolt Display. The company issued a statement to The Verge confirming the news, directing customers to third parties for their external display needs.
Apple released Thursday Digital Camera RAW Compatibility Update 6.20, an update that adds support for 15 new DSLR cameras from Canon, Olympus, Panasonic, and Sony.
Check out Ingrein, a very interesting clock designed to help you detach from our devices. The clock is made of real (reclaimed) hardwood, and it has a built-in “LCD screen and light and sound sensors to interact with and display information from your smart devices and favorite apps.” The idea is that you limit what gets sent to the device to those things that are really important so that you can get your face out of your screen, especially when you’re with other people. It’s a very cool idea in theory, and I’m wondering how well it will work in practice. This product is funding through Kickstarter, where it already met its funding goals. Funding options starting at $299 are still available.
IK Multimedia announced iKlip A/V on Thursday. This is a broadcast mount for broadcasters and videographers to shoot with iPhone. It features an integrated high-quality mic preamp (with phantom power, too) and a built-in wireless receiver, which means you can monitor sound as you record. It’s powered by two AA batteries. We all know that iPhone is being used to take more and more videos (and photographs), but equipment like this really helps blur the edges between professional applications and the rest of us. The device is available now for $179.99.
It’s loud, wireless, will play tunes for up to 6 hours on a charge, and it has a handle. G-BOOM is a boombox for the iPhone era. It features a protective rubber base, and has a standard headphone jack in addition to Blueooth connectivity. You can get this device through our deal for $79.99.
Bryan and Jeff delve into some of the things they’ve learned about iOS 10, macOS Sierra, and watchOS 3.0. Spoiler, it’s all looking really good. They also talk about Differential Privacy and explain (loosely) how it works, what it means, and why it’s important.
We have a deal for you today on a 1-year subscription to Typed Plus, a blog publishing engine. With this plan, you can run up to 3 blogs with unlimited users and page views. The service hosts your images, you can do scheduled posting, and more. The price through our deal is $30, a massive 87% off retail.
Propellerhead shipped Reason 9 on Tuesday. The newest version of the digital audio workstation and sequencer adds two main features: Players automate and process MIDI input, and Pitch Edit, a pitch editor designed for vocals (think Melodyne or Auto-Tune). There are other new features, too, including Bounce In Place, new visual themes, and reverse MIDI clips. On the content side, Reason 9 adds more than 1,000 new “cutting-edge” sounds, and Pulsar dual channel LFO, a rack extension that was previously available only as a stand-alone $49 purchase. I love Reason, especially for sequencing. It’s powerful software, and Propellerhead makes it ever-more capable with each new release. Reason 9 is priced at €405/US$449, while upgrades from any previous version are €129/$129. Propellerhead also has a stripped down version called Reason Essentials 9 priced at €120/$129. The software shipped today and is available now.
I wanted to take a moment to wish The Icon Factory a happy 20th birthday! It’s an amazing accomplishment for any company to stay in business that long, but to transform yourself from an icon-designer to a major design firm, user interface consultant, and app maker is astounding. Icon Factory posted a company timeline/history that is a great walk down memory lane, especially for Mac users. I have a soft spot in my heart for this company because it was such a shining star in the Mac world when that company was at its nadir in 1996. Icon Factory made awesome icons that helped make my Mac more fun—it might sound like a small thing, but I remember it to this day. So thanks, Icon Factory, and happy birthday! May the next 20 years be even more interesting than the first. – Bryan