Apple CEO Tim Cook tweeted a reminder that his company is making Earth Day donations for every device handed in to the company’s recycle program. Apple announced earlier this week that it would donate to conservation efforts for devices turned in for recycling through April 30th. Earth Day 2018 is Sunday, April 22nd (i.e. this weekend).
Star Wars: Jedi Challenges for the iPhone and iPad just got a cool update that lets you play holochess without Lenovo’s Mirage AR headset. The new update takes advantage of ARKit and your iPhone or iPad’s camera so you can play in your livingroom, or anywhere else you have enough room to walk around the virtual holochess board. Star Wars: Jedi Challenges is free, and the new holochess mode requires an ARKit-compatible iPhone or iPad.
If you’re on the hunt for some quality sound effects for you projects, the BBC has your back. The organization has a website where you can download 16,016 of its sound effects ranging from birds chirping to machines and cars, nature sounds, people walking on specific surfaces, and more. You can search for sounds and listen to samples before downloading. They’re all free, but come with a catch: you can use them only for personal, educational, or research purposes. Check them out at the BBC Sound Effects website.
TunnelBear is expanding beyond VPN services and into password management with its new RememBear app. The app securely stores passwords, credit cards, and more in an AES256 encrypted database, plus it can generate strong passwords for you. The app is available for macOS, iOS, Windows, and Android with autofill extensions for Safari, Chrome, and Firefox. It’s free for use on one device, or US$36 a year for sycning with multiple devices, cloud backup, and priority support.
Check out this Intelligence Squared debate on Net Neutrality. I love the Intelligence Squared show, which I listen to on KQED in the Bay Area. This episode hasn’t aired yet, but the video format is up on YouTube now. It features former FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler and Mozilla Chairwoman Mitchell Baker arguing for the motion “Preserve Net Neutrality.” Arguing against the motion is Michael Katz, former Chief Economist of the FCC and Nick Gillespie, editor of Reason magazine. Here’s the interesting thing, but warning, because it contains spoilers. Those arguing against the motion—i.e. arguing to end Net Neutrality—won the debate. What that means is they shifted more opinions in the audience, who voted before and after the debate. But, those arguing to preserve Net Neutrality carried majority support before and after the debate. If you’ve been wanting to hear reasoned arguments on this topic, this is something you’ll want to watch or listen to. Mind you, those arguing against the motion are just plain wrong, but it’s a great discussion.
Heads up iPhoneographers: this virtual photo studio lets you work with models, studio lights, and more. Each model is based on a real person, and you can place them into any scene you want, like a beach, studio, or desert. You can pose the model how you want, then use virtual lights and light modifiers to create your shot. Color corrections can be applied in real time, and you can change the direction of the sun and add weather like snow. The brains behind the app is Superba AR CEO Raffael Dickreuter, who has worked in the visual effects industry in Hollywood with movies like Iron Man and Avengers 2. The app is pricey though, costing US$10. App Store: Photo Studio – AR
Check out this video tip from Apple on working with multiple emails at a time on iPad. This is a new feature to me, and I bet for a lot of other people, too. The short version is that you can use the handle at the top of an email you’re writing to drag it down to the bottom of your screen, where it stays docked. That allows you to peruse your inbox. If you have just one docked email, tapping it brings it back up. If you have more than one, it gives you a Safari tab-like view to pick the one you want. It’s a nifty feature. Oh, and it works in portrait and landscape mode.
IK Multimedia announced Thursday that iRig Stomp I/O is now available. Announced during NAMM in January, this device is a essentially a pedal board for use with IK Multimedia’s AmpliTube. It features four switches, an expression pedal, a built-in preamp, phantom power for microphones, a built-in USB audio interface, a combo input jack for line, instrument or mic input, and balanced stereo output. It will work with both iPhone and iPad, but it’s big enough for an iPad, giving you more screen to see when the device sits on the floor at your feet. It’s MFi-certified, priced at US$/€299.99, and shipping.
When they do some of their own stunts, adventure film stars usually have to hit the gym, work out and then practice for weeks before filming even a short action sequence. Daily Ridley, worked out five hours a day, five days a week for months prepping for the action scenes she did in Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Here’s the video from Mashable.
Check out this great video by YouTuber Hacking Jules where he runs Mac OS 8 on both an iPhone X and iPad (via Cult of Mac). Better yet, he uses this bit of retro fun to play Warcraft II and SimCity 2000! Now that is a quality use of resources. ::dreams idly about whiling away weeks and months playing Warcraft II and designing his own scenarios:: Right…where was I? Oh, yes, running Mac OS 8 on iPhones an iPads! Hacking Jules did this with the help of the Basilisk II 68K emulator, and the whole thing is a fine demonstration of just how powerful these modern mobile devices are. In any event, enjoy!
Let’s say you want more storage in your iPhone. No problem, if you get the right flash memory chip, have the right gear to duplicate what’s on the original, and are confident with your soldering skills. Strange Parts did just that, and it worked! Check out their video to see the whole process.
Apple has a spot out to promote the new iPhone 8 (PRODUCT)RED Special Edition. It’s very…red, with a soundtrack by Sofi Tukker, “That’s It (I’m Crazy).” This isn’t the kind of commercial likely to get a lot of TV airtime, but it’s racking up views on YouTube (224,000 and counting, after just a few hours).
Re/code posted an audio recording of Kara Swisher’s interview with Apple CEO Tim Cook, as well as a transcript. It was posted to YouTube for a couple of days until it was taken down, making both of these methods the only way you’re likely to be able to consume the video in its entirety. This is the uncut interview, too, and Re/code said it, “includes new material that didn’t air on TV, such as more on Apple’s education efforts, manufacturing, immigration and Cook’s advice to his younger self.”
Best Buy is having an open-box Apple Watch 3 sale, for models in certified refurbished condition. The prices are being slashed by up to US$109. Every model in both sizes are being discounted, including the Nike+ models. These models are certified refurbished by Geek Squad and come with a 90-day Limited Warranty. Features of the Apple Watch Series 3 include: aluminum chassis with Ion-X glass, 1.5-inch 312 x 390 1000-Nit Display, Activity and Heart Rate Monitoring, Water Resistant to 164 feet, integrated GPS & 4G LTE Connectivity, and watchOS 4.0.
Han Solo has always been a scoundrel, and the new Solo: A Star Wars Story is out to make sure we remember that. The new trailer has Han, Chewie, Lando, the Millennium Falcon, rocket trains, and more. Disney explores the life of young Han Solo in this movie, shows us how he meets Lando Calrissian, and most likely shows how to complete the Kessel Run in only 12 parsecs. Solo: A Star Wars Story will be in theaters on May 25th.
The folks at iupdateos have made a great iOS 12 concept video with all kinds of features we might hope to see in the real deal. It includes group FaceTime calls with an interface that works, and demonstrations of a Dark Mode interface that looks great. it also shows a great dynamic wallpaper I wish Apple would bring to iOS. I’d love for my Lock Screen to be dynamic. Another nice feature are Lock Screen complications. The one thing about the Notch on iPhone X I don’t like is that I can’t see whether I set my alarm from the Lock Screen. There’s one more thing I love about this video and that’s how well it’s done. The folks who made it did a terrific job. What do you think?
Aspyr is bringing even the expansion packs to Civilization VI on the iPad. This week the company announced the Australia Civilization & Scenario DLC pack was available on iPad as an in-app purchase, joining Multiplayer, Vikings, and the Poland packs already out. I liked the Aussie pack, though I didn’t beat the Australia scenario. That scenario is economics only, involving growth and exploration. In multiplayer matches, Australia gets a bonus production rate at the beginning any defensive war, coastal cities get Housing bonuses, and Pastures can trigger a culture bomb that steals tiles from other civilizations. The unique unit is a Digger, which replaces Infantry, and its unique building is an Outback station Workers can produce. I enjoy the economic aspects of Civ VI, and the Aussie pack is a lot of fun. The right strategy can use their strengths to dominate the battlefield, too. All of the Civ VI expansions are $4.99 on iPad. The full game is $59.99, but it’s half price until May 17th. If you’re interested in Civ VI on iPad, get it before then!
Picture this: You’re stranded in the middle of no where in Australia, you were just bitten in a zombie apocalypse, and you have to get your baby to safety before you transform into a flesh eating monster. That’s the premise of the awesome short film, Cargo, and it’s now a full-length movie coming to Netflix on May 18th. Martin Freeman plays the dad on a deadline, and the two-minute trailer is frakking intense. May 18th can’t get here soon enough.
I love cool type tools, so I have to assume Will Shipley created Textlicious specifically for me. Textlicious is an iOS extension that lets you use styled text in iPhone and iPad apps that typically don’t easily support anything other than plain text. Apps like Twitter, Facebook, and Messages, for example. It includes several styles such as italics, bold, script, and more. Textlicious is US$1.99 on Apple’s App Store, and there’s a Mac version available, too.
Apple launched a new movie promo on iTunes called Build Your Collection. It features hundreds of movies, all under US$8 and many at $4.99. Bullitt, Battle Royale, The Goonies, Empire Records, Risky Business, Beetlejuice, The Matrix, and newer movies like Black Swan, The Revenant, plus many more. They’re broken down into categories, including: Drama, Action & Adventure, Sci-Fi & Fantasy, Comedy, Horror, and Romance. Unfortunately, the prices are only listed once you click through to an individual movie, but they’re all under $8 and I can’t wait to rewatch Bullitt.