Apple Music has a trailer out for Amy Shark Live in Sydney, a new concert film. Ms. Shark is a singer-songwriter out of the Gold Coast, Queensland, an are near Brisbane. According to Apple Music’s description, “With support from a small band, Amy Shark performs ‘Adore,’ ‘Weekends,’ and ‘Blood Brothers’ inside an industrial Queensland warehouse.” You can check out her official music video for “Adore,” from 2016. The full 14 minute concern film is available now on Apple Music.
Are you worried about HomePod leaving a ring on your table? Pad & Quill has a HomePod coaster for that. Talk about a timely product: complaints about HomePod leaving rings have arisen in the last couple of days. If that’s a serious concern for you, the Leather Coaster for HomePod may be just what you’re looking for. I am, in general, a huge fan of Pad & Quill’s products. They do leather and stitching right. This Coaster is made from full-grain leather with Marine Grade stitching. The bottom is an “ultra-soft leather backing because the only rings you should see in your home this season are of the Olympic variety on TV.” Timely, indeed. It’s $19.95, comes in Whiskey (lighter) and Chestnut (darker), and ships in 3-5 days.
Feral Interactive is bringing Rise of the Tomb Raider: 20 Year Celebration to the Mac and Linux. Players will become Lara Croft, as she “seeks the lost city of Kitezh to recover the Divine Source, an ancient artifact with the power to grant immortality.” Like other titles in the franchise, players solve puzzles, avoid traps, and generally adventure through gorgeous maps. This game is being bundled with all the original downloadable content , including add-on adventures, different player modes, additional outfits for Lara Croft, and Expedition Cards. Pricing and availability haven’t been released, but Feral’s announcements tend to presage release by a few months. Screenshots for the game look amazing, as does the trailer, below.
Stars come in all sizes, from white dwarfs to average stars like our Sun. But stars can be oh, so much bigger than our G-class sun. Like blue giants. How much bigger? If our sun were placed next to Rigel, it would be barely visible. This excellent video puts it all in perspective. Check it out.
AT&T is offering a limited-time deal for Next customers. Buy an eligible iPhone and get US$1000 in credit that you can use to buy an iPhone X. The credit will be spread out over the course of your service agreement up to 30 months. Eligible AT&T iPhone models include iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus. You have to buy it on either an AT&T Next plan (30 mos. up to $38.34/mo. for iPhone X, $31.67/mo. for iPhone 8 Plus, $28.34/mo. for iPhone 8) or AT&T Next Every Year (24 mos. of $47.92/mo. for iPhone X, $39.59/mo. for iPhone 8Plus, $35.42/mo. for iPhone 8). Further details can be found here.
Apple published a new video to YouTube showing you how to create a Bouncing Live Photo. Fans of Instagram and other social media services might be familiar with the idea under the name of Boomerang. Check it out.
iHeartRadio announced Monday that its written editorial content is now available on Apple News. Current articles include celebrity gossips and news, music news, tips, sports, and more. There’s also a story about terrifyingly large giant boars doing some dumpster diving, as shown in the screenshot below. Yikes.
How does Apple’s HomePod Siri voice control stack up? We pitted it against Alexa on an Amazon Echo and Google Assistant on a Google Home, and you might be surprised how they compare.
John Kheit put together a HomePod unboxing video for me. It includes not only the unwrapping and unboxing, and his set up process, too. It stops shy of him foaming at the mouth about how much he doesn’t like the sound, but we’ll get to that next Wednesday on Pop.0. Until then, check out the unboxing experience with HomePod!
Sprint and T-Mobile are both planning to dial back their aggressive discounting in 2018, according to The Wall Street Journal. Both carriers—the #4 and #3 carriers in the U.S.—are prime pushers of cheaper plans, and their tactics have served as checks on pricing from Verizon and AT&T (#1 and #2, respectively). In other words, there’s a chance we’ll see higher prices across the board this year. So yay?
SpaceX posted the four hour stream of Starman’s initial voyage into space, and it’s super cool. Starman is the name of the dummy SpaceX plopped into the driver’s seat of the Tesla Roadster it sent to Mars. Because [Elon Musk]. This was all part of the maiden launch of Space X’s Falcon Heavy rocket earlier this week. According to Space.com, SpaceX expected the battery on the streaming camera to work for 12 hours, but it crapped out after four. And those four hours are pretty darned cool—Flat Earthers may find the whole thing particularly enlightening. Check it out!
The YouTube Apple TV app just got a big redesign. The new design brings it in line with the YouTube app on iOS and the web. The old app had a single navigation bar that linked to different sections. The new app features a universal search bar with dedicated categories like Food, Music, Gaming, Entertainment, Technology, Comedy, and more. This should make it easier to find videos that resonate with your interests. There is a navigation bar on the left side of the UI, where you’ll find your subscriptions, library, viewing history, and settings. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem as though the new app supports 4K videos. Although 4K videos are listed as 4K, it appears that the maximum resolution is 1080p when you look at the video details. The new update is available today.
Jim Dalrymple was given a tour of Apple’s audio lab—the kind of access Apple rarely gives anyone—and put together a fantastic piece at The Loop. This was done as part of Apple’s HomePod release blitz, and Mr. Dalrymple described the custom anechoic chamber built to test the HomePod, development time (6 years), and the fact that it was started as a speaker project, not a Siri product. He also talked about how nothing in HomePod is off the shelf, saying: “I had a look at a HomePod that was taken apart and put on a table. Every aspect of the device was designed by Apple, specifically for the HomePod. Even the fabric mesh that covers HomePod was designed by the acoustic team in collaboration with other Apple teams to make sure it was acoustically transparent, but still met all of Apple’s other standards.” It’s a very interesting read. Check it out!
We’ve been anxiously waiting for the first Solo: A Star Wars Story trailer ever since the movie was announced, and now it’s out. Considering the massive production turmoil the movie has been through, including firing and replacing directors, this could’ve been a minute and a half of pain and disappointment. Instead, it looks like we’re getting a face-paced and fun heist movie set in the Star Wars universe with young Han Solo. Hopefully the movie will live up to the trailer’s expectations. Solo: A Star Wars Story opens on Memorial Day.
Star Trek: The Next Generation had some amazing scripts (well, except for season 1), but none compare to the new script Botnik created. They used their specially trained keyboard system to create a new script for the TV series. The script is wonderfully funny, and it shows the interesting things that happen with language when you feed text from something—in this case, ST:TNG—into a computer and use that as the basis for predictive typing. There’s even a Web interface you can try out yourself.
Many public Wi-Fi networks require you to agree to some terms in order to connect. Sometimes, though, getting that page of agreement up can be very difficult. It gets even more difficult when you’re authenticating for the second (or fifteenth!) time. It seemed to us that this was getting worse and worse lately, and the answer is often SSL. Listen to this Mac Geek Gab Highlight to learn how to use a URL like neverssl.com (or even captive.apple.com) to bypass SSL in order to trigger the network’s portal page to display.
Amazon is hyping its Alexa voice assistant in a new ad to air during Super Bowl LII this weekend after teasing that new voices may be coming. Turns out they’re celebrities filling in to “help out.” Regardless of what you think of Amazon’s efforts in the voice control space, it’s a pretty funny commercial—and I kind of wish this is how my Echo really worked.
Apple has turned out the C-Suite to promote HomePod, including senior vice president of marketing Phil Schiller. In an interview with audio magazine Sound and Vision, Mr. Schiller talked up three aspects of Apple’s smart speaker: music, Siri, and HomeKit. There’s little I would call new in the interview, and when I went looking for a standout quote, it all felt like informative marketing speak. But, it’s interesting to see Mr. Schiller pushing HomeKit integration, which has largely been downplayed in Apple’s marketing message so far. One way or another, however, it’s a good read that gives a nice overview of what Apple wants us to think about HomePod.
In an iPad Diaries entry, Federico Viticci describes how he uses Type to Siri on his iPad Pro as a sort of “smart command line.” Type to Siri is a feature introduced in iOS 11 and macOS High Sierra. Although billed as an accessibility feature, it lets you type to Siri instead of talking. This can be helpful if you’re in public and you feel awkward talking to your iPhone. On iPad and Mac, it might even be more efficient to use Siri this way, since these devices have keyboards. Since you’re typing rather than talking, it could even be a bit better since there is little room for Siri to misunderstand you. To make it faster to use, Federico created specific text shortcuts for commonly used commands.