Recent Articles By Dave Hamilton [RSS]

Control Your Trackpad, Keyboard, AirPlay and More from your iPhone with Remote for Mac [Sponsored]

· Dave Hamilton · Weekly Sponsorship

Imagine being on the couch, relaxing, basking, and controlling your Mac in another room, on another floor, even in the office next door? Imagine having a Mac mini media server connected to your TV way over there and having a full-featured remote control right on your phone, fully purpose-built for the apps you’re using to watch your favorite shows.
You can keep imagining if you want, but you could also just download Remote for Mac from our sponsor here at TMO this week: Evgeny Cherpak.

Remote For Mac Adds Apple Watch Interface, With Promo Codes [Sponsored]

· Dave Hamilton · Weekly Sponsorship

Remote for Mac on iPhone 11 Pro

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!

Get eero Mesh Wi-Fi for up-to-50% Off for Amazon Prime Day

· Dave Hamilton · TMO Deals

eero for 50% off as part of Amazon Prime Day

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:

All of these deals are only available for Amazon Prime members, and only while supplies last, of course. Go now!

Apple's 2019 iMacs Now Available on Refurb Store, Save 15%

· Dave Hamilton · Cool Stuff Found

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!

Apple’s 2019 iMacs Now Available on Refurb Store, Save 15%

Happy U.S. Independence Day

· Dave Hamilton · News

US flag and fireworks

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!

WWDC Coverage Sponsor: Use TextExpander to Simultaneously Gain Efficiency and Accuracy

· Dave Hamilton · Weekly Sponsorship

TextExpander Example Data

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.

WWDC Coverage Sponsor: Use SaneBox to Clean Up Your Inbox Today

· Dave Hamilton · Weekly Sponsorship

SaneBox will change your email life forever

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.

How to Choose the Best Mesh Wireless System For Your Home

· Dave Hamilton · How-To

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]

SXSW: CLEAR Expands Identity Verification from AirPort Security Lines to Point of Sale

· Dave Hamilton · Cool Stuff Found

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.

SXSW: CLEAR Expands Identity Verification from AirPort Security Lines to Point of Sale

SXSW: Wi-Charge Uses Infrared to Wirelessly Charge Your Devices

· Dave Hamilton · Cool Stuff Found

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.

SXSW: Wi-Charge Uses Infrared to Wirelessly Charge Your Devices

CES - JBL's Flip 5 Adds USB-C Charging, Increased Sound Output, Larger Battery

· Dave Hamilton · Cool Stuff Found

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.

CES – JBL’s Flip 5 Adds USB-C Charging, Increased Sound Output, Larger Battery