Blue Microphones shipped Satellite, wireless, over-the-ear headphones with a built-in analog amplifier. Satellite was announced at CES, where I was more focused on the wired Sadie and Ella models also introduced. Satellite is the company’s entry into premium wireless headphones, and they feature Bluetooth 4.1. They’re also foldable and support the Apt-X audio codec. Apple isn’t currently supporting Apt-X, but some Android devices do. I haven’t tested Satellite, but I’m a big fan of Blue’s other high-end over-the-ear headphones. Jeff Butts will be reviewing these for us, and I look forward to hearing what he thinks. Satellite is available now for $399.95.
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Apple Music has published a teaser for a behind-the-scenes video for Harry Styles’s new album, Harry Styles. Mr. Styles rose to fame as part of One Direction, and this marks his debut solo album. He’s been performing songs from the album on shows like Saturday Night Live, Today, and a host of others ahead of its May 12th release. Two songs from the album are also on Apple Music now. Put another way, to a young audience Harry Styles is a big deal. Having an exclusive behind-the-scenes movie for this album is going to be a big deal for Apple Music, too. According to the YouTube description, the film, “features exclusive interviews and behind the scenes footage shot in Jamaica, Los Angeles and London during the making of the album and is complemented by Harry and his band performing songs from it for the first time at the world famous Abbey Road Studios in London.” The full film is “coming soon.”
We have a deal on the Mac PDF Processing Bundle, four apps for producing and editing PDF files. It includes PDFConverter, PDF Creator, PDFPasswordRemover, and PDFCompressor. The bundle is $29.99 through us.
The FCC under Chairman Ajit Pai did its best to bury the mechanism for publicly commenting on the U.S. Federal Communications Commission’s efforts to gut net neutrality. Fortunately, comedian and Last Week Tonight host John Oliver made it easy.
Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner 2049 has an official trailer, and it’s out now (thanks to Rick Allen for the heads up). The movie takes place 30 years after the the events in the original Blade Runner (which came out 37 years ago, for those keeping score at home). Harrison Ford reprises his role as Rick Deckard, but the star of the film is Ryan Gosling as LAPD Officer K. The trailer hints at a very dark film that emphasizes deteriorating conditions on Earth. That theme was central to the the Philip K. Dick novel (Amazon, iBooks) Blade Runner was based on, but it was largely absent from that movie. And all that said, this new trailer looks amazing! Blade Runner 2049 is scheduled for release on October 6th, 2017.
Apple’s next Activity challenge will be Mother’s Day, when you’ll be able to earn an Apple Watch badge for walking, running, or wheelchairing a mile or more. 9to5Mac uncovered a reference to the challenge, as well as images of the badge you’ll be able to get. Apple has done special holiday challenges several times before, including Thanksgiving 2016, New Year’s Day 2017, and Earth Day 2017. This Mother’s Day challenge may be U.S.-only, as not every country has a Mother’s Day, and they don’t share the same date. I love these Activity challenges. It’s just a badge, and you can’t do anything with it, but darned if I don’t want to earn them when they’re offered. Accordingly, do your mother proud and get to moving on Mother’s Day, which is Sunday, May 14th this year.
We have a deal on a one-year subscription to Throttle Pro. This service works through a browser extension that generates a one-time email address you can use when signing up or online services. Throttle Pro then emails you a daily digest of all the email sent to those one-time addresses. You can then forcibly unsubscribe to anything you want through Throttle Pro. A one-year subscription through us is $39.
A Russian-backed bit of malware called Snake has been ported to macOS, according to security blog Fox-IT (via Malwarebytes Labs). Snake is a trojan disguised to look like a Flash installer, and it’s been around on Windows since 2008 and Linux since 2014. Bryan Chaffin explains.
Citigroup analyst Jim Suva put together a list of seven companies Apple could buy with its vast cash hoard. The idea seems more thought exercise than anything else, prompted by Trump administration plans to reduce taxes on corporate profits earned overseas. Bryan Chaffin thinks it’s a fun thought exercise, but Apple’s likely to buy any of these companies.
Sing the lyrics to The Beatles’ “Come Together.” Before you get to “holy roller” there will be a new instance of Android malware out there. That’s according antivirus firm G-Data, who claimed it found 754,958 instances of Android malware in just the first quarter. The company is projecting 3.5 million Android malware samples in 2017, a figure that would beat 2016’s record of more than 3.2 million.
We have a deal for you today on the MEEM Memory Cable. This clever device is a Lightning charging cable with a built-in flash drive. It’s designed to let you back up some data while you’re charging. It’s $59.99 for a 32GB model. There’s a 16GB Android version in the deal, too.
Maxime Britto was an intern for Apple. He worked on the WebKit and Safari team, and enjoyed a paid internship he described as an amazing experience. FastCompany published an interview with him, a piece intended to give those of us on the outside a look at what it’s like to intern at a company like Apple. It’s an interesting read, and at the end, Messr. Britto offers some advice to others wanting to be an Apple intern. “Getting involved with Apple’s open source projects is a way that is very likely to succeed because few people go through with really contributing to the projects,” he said. “And if you do, you are noticed by Apple’s team from the inside–and that is your ticket. So my advice is: Find an open source project you like, work hard on it, and be nice and helpful. It will eventually work out, and besides, you’ll learn a lot.” Read the whole story for details on how that worked out for him.
Apple released tvOS 10.2.1 beta 5, build 14W585, Thursday. There are no patch notes for the release, but at this stage of the development cycle Apple is most likely focused on squashing bugs.
We have such a great deal for Star Wars Day. It’s called the Steam Powered Star Wars Gamer Bundle, five Mac games from the Star Wars universe. It includes: The Force Unleashed: Ultimate Sith Edition, Knights of the Old Republic, Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast, Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy, and Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords. These were all published by Aspyr and run through Steam, and the whole bundle is $14.99 through us. May the fourth be with you!
Apple CEO Tim Cook announced Wednesday that his company was creating a US$1 billion investment fund for advanced manufacturing. Mr. Cook made the announcement during an interview with Jim Cramer on CNBC’s Mad Money. Bryan Chaffin says: think robots.
Apple announced Wednesday that developers would have access to AppStore “Sources and Referral Data.” In more direct terms, Apple is making it easier to find out where their customers are coming from. This will help them market their apps and acquire new users.
Bob “Dr. Mac” LeVitus joins Bryan and Jeff to talk about his new book, Working Smarter for Mac Users. It’s all about beating procrastination. They also talk about Apple, toasterfridges, and touch-screen Macs, and whether Apple would compete with Amazon’s Alexa in the home.
We have a deal on something I’ve never seen before, the Powerbulb Charging Lightbulb. It’s an LED lightbulb with two built-in 2.4 amp charging USB ports. You can get one through us for $29.99.
Apple reported US$52.9 billion in revenues during the March quarter on Tuesday. That’s up year over year from $50.6 billion. Earnings clocked in at $11 billion, or $2.10 in earnings-per-share, up year-over-year from $1.90. The company announced a boost in its shareholder capital return program from $200 billion to $300 billion.
OK, this hurts a little, but I’m going to be try and be strong: the new Microsoft Surface Laptop is sexy. There, I said it. It’s $999 of sexy. It’s sleek. It’s light. It has 14 hours of battery life. But most of all, it’s pretty. I mean, it’s astounding, right? A Microsoft laptop, and it’s pretty. And the company’s Surface Arc Mouse is also pretty. Yeah, and sexy. And at $999 (mouse sold separately), Surface Laptop is even compelling. John Martellaro wrote a good piece looking at Surface Laptop from a technical standpoint, but I think the fact that’s it’s sexy as can be deserves highlighting. Under CEO Satya Nadella, Microsoft is becoming an all new company. And with this device, Microsoft has thrown the gauntlet down in a big way. And I’m hoping Apple comes back swinging in an even bigger way. Below is Mark Gurman’s hands-on look for Bloomberg that includes a nice look at the mouse.