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Recent Articles By Bryan Chaffin [RSS]
Did the Music app in iOS 10 start auto-shuffling your albums? It’s easy to fix, but you have to know where to look. Bryan Chaffin walks you through it.
Device maker Plugable said Thursday that Apple’s new MacBook Pro with Touch Bar is incompatible with Thunderbolt 3 docks that use a particular Texas Instrument chip. If accurate, it means at least some early Thunderbolt 3 docks already on the market will not work with Apple’s newest Mac laptop.
Horace Dediu has penned a piece on computers, mobile devices, touch input, and convergence that is a simply put, a must-read. Centered around Apple’s new MacBook Pro and Touch Bar, Mr. Dediu defines the difference between the Mac and Windows platforms as it pertains to the ways they are evolving. I don’t want to rewrite his piece, so I’ll just leave you with this passage and encourage you to read the whole thing: “Which brings me to the question of what it is allowed to be and hence what it is. It cannot take on the role of being the future. That belongs to the touch screen devices. It will not morph into a touch device any more than a teen’s parent will become cool by putting on skinny jeans. What it will do is become better at what it is hired to do.”
Check out the x-connect magnetic USB cable on Indiegogo. Now, they don’t put it this way, but I see the USB cable equivalent of Apple’s soon-to-be-gone MagSafe. Using a small dongle for your iPhone, Android device, or USB port, x-connect’s highly magnetic cable quick-attaches (and quick-releases) to your device. Part of their sales pitch is that you can use a different dongle for any kind of device making the cable itself universal. I’m personally less interested in that—I don’t have an Android device—but I do love the idea of magnetically connecting all of my charging cables on my iPhone and iPad. To that end, the company has already raised US$187,000 out of an initial $30,000 goal. There are three days left in the campaign. with funding options that net you a cable and 1x dongle starting at $22. There’s a ton of information, images, and videos on the project’s page.
We know a lot of people were waiting for Apple to launch new MacBook Pros before buying one. What we’d like to know, though, is if that includes you, which machine did you actually buy? Tell us in the Twitter survey we’re running.
If you were waiting until after Apple’s announcement to buy a new Mac laptop, which did you buy?
— The Mac Observer (@MacObserver) November 3, 2016
This is the last chance to get our deal on Keyboard Maestro, one of our own Dr. Mac’s favorite Mac utilities. With Keyboard Maestro, you can create macros and trigger them with keyboard shortcuts to help automate regular activities. You can get it through us for $19.99, but there’s just one more day on the deal.
There’s a new Steve Jobs book called To Pixar and Beyond: My Unlikely Journey with Steve Jobs to Make Entertainment History. What sets this book apart from other Steve Jobs works is that it was written by someone who worked for Mr. Jobs, and not by an outside party looking in. Lawrence Levy was Pixar’s chief financial officer, and the book is his perspective about Steve Jobs’s time at Pixar, including his decision to go back to Apple. I haven’t read it yet, but I’m looking forward to it. There have been some excellent books about Steve Jobs, but this sort of personal story should be quite valuable to those who wish to better understand Mr. Jobs. it’s been well-reviewed so far. If you’ve read it, drop your thoughts in the comments, please.
iTunes Song Ratings are back in iOS 10.2 beta, and Bryan and Jeff are stoked, even if it’s not perfect. They also talk about the pushback gets when Apple pushes the envelope with its products. They cap the show with a look at MacBooK Pro’s Touch Bar being a double down against making a ToasterFridge.
The current beta for iOS 10.2 includes an option to turn Star Ratings back on in the Music app! Even more interesting, it’s being returned as an option, allowing users who don’t care about Star Ratings to leave them be. Bryan Chaffin walks you through what we’re seeing so far.
I love deals like this one for the ARMOR-X Mini Flexible Phone Tripod. It’s a tripod. The legs are flexible. It holds your iPhone or Android device up to a maximum width of 3.5-inches. It comes with a remote for triggering your camera app. Boom! You’re good to go. It’s $19.99. Christmas is coming. Just saying.
Apple Watch Activity Reminders are great, but sometimes you just need to mute them—or to unmute them. That setting is hidden in the Watch app in iOS 10, and Bryan Chaffin shows you how to use it.
Apple released iTunes 12.5.3 late on Monday. It’s unclear what the update actually changes because the accompanying patch notes are the same as patch notes that came with iTunes 12.5.2, and that’s true both in the Mac App Store and on Apple’s Support site.
Belkin showed me the the Valet Charger last week, and I’ve been itching for Tuesday’s launch so I could tell you about it. This portable battery charger has a USB port for charging your iPhone, but it also has a charging puck for your Apple Watch—and it’s MFi-certified. Belkin told me that making a device that could charge both wasn’t easy, which is probably why I haven’t seen any. The battery itself has a 6,700mAh capacity, more than enough to charge your iPhone and Apple Watch a couple of times. You recharge the Belkin Valet Charger via a microUSB port, meaning you can charge it, your iPhone, and Apple Watch all at the same time. I’ll be reviewing it, but I already got some hands-on time with it and I came away impressed. It’s priced at US$99.99, and it’s shipping later this fall.
We have a deal for you today on the HOCO L1 Lightning Cable Headphones. These earbuds come with a Lightning cable for those with an iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus, or those who just want to listen through their Lightning port. You can get them through us for $21.99.
Check this out. It’s probably the worst malware spam I’ve seen in a long time. I actually snorted out loud reading it. But it’s always good to be on guard against these things, and to help those in our lives who might be fooled by even this lame attempt. Accordingly, let’s turn an LOL moment into a learning opportunity.
We have a deal for you on Pagico, a one-stop app that helps turn all of your tasks, notes, and projects into beautiful interactive flowcharts. There’s more info in the deal listing, and you can get this app through us for $19.
Belkin showed me a bunch of cool new products this week, including the Thunderbolt 3 Express Dock HD. It has 2x Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) ports, 3x USB-A 3.0 ports (1.5A charging each), 1x DisplayPort, 1x Audio In/Out port, 1x Audio Out port, and 1x Gigabit Ethernet port. It’s sexy looking, and uses an 85 watt power supply—it will power almost anything you can throw at it. The company hasn’t announced pricing or availability yet, but this thing is so sexy I wanted to mention it right away. With Apple’s new MacBook Pro being all USB-C, a lot of people are thinking about peripherals that can use these ports. Make sure to read Jeff’s explanation of Thunderbolt 3 and USB-C if you’re confused about what’s what.
Bryan Chaffin argues that the new MacBook pro’s Touch Bar is Apple’s double down against the ToasterFridge. More specifically, Touch Bar is Apple’s solution for the same need that ToasterFridges are trying to fill.
Apple released iTunes 12.5.2 on Thursday. The update fixes two bugs, one dealing with album playback order, and the other an issue with lyrics showing in Beats 1.