Recent Articles By Dave Hamilton [RSS]
It is our pleasure to welcome Combin Scheduler as our sponsor here at TMO this week. It’s also our pleasure to have used Combin Scheduler to ensure we didn’t forget to post this week’s (fantastic) Mac Geek Gab episode image to our MGG Instagram feed.
It is, once again, my true pleasure to welcome Remote for Mac from Evgeny Cherpak as our sponsor this week. It’s rare that someone writes an app for themselves that immediately resonates with me, but that’s exactly what happened with Remote for Mac. As someone that has lots of Macs to control but equally enjoys doing so from the comfort of the couch, Remote for Mac is for me, and it’s probably for you, too!
Keep on the lookout for these IKEA-designed Sonos speakers, coming August 1, 2019. If you’ve got Sonos in your home already, this is a great way to add more. If you haven’t yet opened your doors to Sonos, here’s a very affordable way to do exactly that, while adding some style in the process!
eero, one of our favorite consumer mesh Wi-Fi systems, is available for up-to-50% off Monday and Tuesday as part of Amazon Prime day. Deals include:
- eero Pro – $99. Normally US$199, this is the tri-band, flagship model in the eero lineup.
- eero Pro and 2 Beacons – $199. Normally $399, and is probably what most homes need.
- eero Pro and 1 Beacon – $149. Just spend the extra $50 and get the 2 Beacon bundle.
- eero Pro 3-Pack – $299. Normally $499, this is a great deal. But you can save $2 if you buy three standalone units.
All of these deals are only available for Amazon Prime members, and only while supplies last, of course. Go now!
Early Tuesday evening, Apple’s 2019 iMacs began appearing on the company’s online Refurb Store, offering savings of approximately 15% off retail pricing. For example, an 8-core, Intel Core i9, 27″ iMac with 8GB RAM, 1TB SSD, and Radeon Pro 580X graphics card runs US$2,999 at retail. On the refurb store this same iMac sells for $2,549, comes with the same as-new warranty, and is eligible for AppleCare+ (just $169). Why only 8GB RAM? Because Amazon sells a Crucial 32GB kit for just $128. Availability on the refurb store is always in flux, so keep looking for what you want. Happy shopping!
We here at The Mac Observer are taking Thursday and Friday to spend with our friends and families while we celebrate Independence Day here in the USA.
Because I love the way perspective skews each of our individual realities, I’ll share this related anecdote: three years ago – to the day – Billy Beefeater wished me a “Happy Treason Day” while giving us a tour of the Tower Of London. I wanted to quote Game of Thrones and point out it would only be treason if we had lost, but I figured maybe that was better left unsaid… at the time.
In any event, happy Independence Day to everyone in the USA, and wishing a glorious weekend to everyone everywhere!
We’ll return on Monday, July 8th, resuming not only our news, tips, and Cool Stuff Found, but also publishing episodes of three of our podcasts: Background Mode, Daily Observations, and Mac Geek Gab. See you Monday!
John Martellaro and Bryan Chaffin join Dave Hamilton to talk about Apple’s march forward towards security-with-flexibility in macOS Catalina. And then it’s time to look at Apple TV’s future… by the numbers.
Please join us here at TMO in welcoming Carbon Copy Cloner back again as a sponsor of our WWDC Coverage here in 2019. Keeping your data safe is super-important these days, given all the various failures and malware and simple human errors that we all make which can wind up irreparably changing or removing our valuable work.
It is our sincere pleasure to welcome Smile back again as a sponsor for our WWDC 2019 coverage. It takes a lot of effort, time, and money to accomplish the type of coverage we do here at TMO each year, and we hope you’ll join us in thanking Smile for their support in making sure that happens for all of you.
Please join me in thanking SaneBox for joining us as a WWDC Coverage Sponsor for 2019. I have been a SaneBox user for almost six years now, and I can’t imagine life without it. Put quite simply, SaneBox becomes your very trainable (and coachable!) partner in taming your inbox exactly to your liking.
Our sincere thanks to iMazing for joining us again this year as a WWDC coverage sponsor. iMazing is the Swiss Army Knife of iPhone management. It runs on your Mac, letting you make Time Machine style backups, easily transfer documents, media and content, manage your apps, and much, much more.
Sorting through the mesh wireless systems available today can be tricky. Read on, and we’ll teach you how to decide which one is best for you. [Update: Anti-malware is a theme of this update, with Plume SuperPods, Orbi, and Linksys Velop all joining the club with solid offerings in this regard. eero and Plume both solved their LAN persistence problems, keeping your Wi-Fi alive even if your Internet connection goes down. AmpliFi is doing some cool things for IoT users with regards to setting up separate SSIDs for that, too. See Changelog – Dave]
Late last year, Alexa gained the ability to control Apple Music. At that point, only Amazon-branded devices would work. As of today, April 17th, 2019, Alexa on your Sonos One or Sonos Beam can now control Apple Music. You can also use any Echo device to control your connected Sonos system. We’ll show you how!
Earlier this week many folks began experiencing an issue where macOS Mojave 10.14.4 could not properly log in to some Gmail-based accounts, mostly those using G-Suite for custom domains. The good news is that, as of late last night, this problem appears to have been eradicated.
CLEAR, the company whose members we all enviously gaze upon at the airport as they breeze past those of us in the TSA Pre-Check lines, is expanding their identity verification technology to point of sale. Testing in some Seattle sports stadiums, CLEAR’s ability to use biometrics to confirm that you are definitively you is helpful for age verification for alcohol sales, but could also just make point of sale simpler, in general. Part of their mission all along, they figured if they could get approval for their tech to be used to confirm identity at airports, it was certainly going to work to add convenience to point-of-sale while also increasing the security of the transactions. Of course, Apple’s introduction Touch ID at point of sale with Apple Pay starting in 2014 has helped the masses understand the usefulness of this technology. That rising tide lifts all boats, including CLEAR’s. Look for CLEAR to roll out more instances of this tech in the coming year.
On Sunday at the SXSW Innovation Awards Finalist Showcase, Wi-Charge was showing off their infrared-based wireless power technology. They’re not the only company aiming to deliver wireless power to our devices, but they are the first we’ve seen to use infrared (IR) to do it. Using IR comes with a couple of advantages: power doesn’t degrade over distance, a thin beam can be aimed at the device to ensure full power, and IR is something we’ve found to be extremely safe. Of course, the major downside to using IR is that it only delivers over line-of-sight. Their demo at SXSW was delivering a full 1 watt of usable power, but they say their tech could eventually deliver “several watts” of power up to 15 feet away. Wi-Charge was demoing their tech with LED strip lights, an electric train, and a custom-case for an Amazon Echo Dot, all of which could be powered from an overhead IR transmitter. For your IoT devices or even your phone at your desk, this could someday offer a ton of convenience. Wi-Charge is seeking integration partners to help bring their tech to market.
JBL unveiled the Flip 5 Bluetooth speaker at CES this week, with some notable enhancements over the Flip 4. The most visually-obvious thing they’ve done is moved to a waterproof USB-C connector for charging, eschewing the rubber cover that protected its predecessor’s micro-USB port. This means the Flip 5 is fully submergible without having to first check to ensure the waterproof charge cover is in place. Additionally, JBL has remodeled the acoustic design, now using a racetrack-shaped driver that should increase the speaker’s bass response. Battery life is also increased to a full 12-hours of playtime. The JBL Flip 5 will be available this spring for US$99.95.