Fox Launches 'Movie of the Day' App on Apple TV

· John Martellaro · Cool Stuff Found

According to Home Media Magazine, “The free Movie of the Day app on Apple TV gives consumers a 24-hour window to buy some of the most popular movies from the Fox catalog for $4.99 to $9.99 — up to 75% off. Fox reports the app, previously launched for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, boasts a loyal following of close to 90% of monthly users returning and engaging with the app daily.” Upcoming dates and titles:  Feb. 15-Deadpool; Feb. 16-Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters;  Feb. 17-Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates and Feb. 18-Epic. Feb 14th launched with Kingsman.

Fox Launches ‘Movie of the Day’ App on Apple TV

Amazon Intros Chime Video Chat Service

· Jeff Gamet · Cool Stuff Found

Apple has FaceTime, Microsoft has Skype, Google has Hangouts, and now Amazon has Chime. They’re all video chat services, and now Amazon is in on the game across the Mac, Windows, iOS, and Android. Chime is more business focused with features like 100-people conference call support and corporate directories. It’s free for one-on-one conversations, adds in screen sharing and the corporate directory feature for US$2.50 a month per user, and $15 a month gets you all that plus meeting scheduling along with  video and audio recording. Apple doesn’t have much to worry about since FaceTime targets individual users, but Skype and Hangouts better watch out because Chime is clearly targeting their users.

Photon Strike is a Fun Arcade Scroller for iOS

· Bryan Chaffin · Cool Stuff Found

You may known of my penchant for tower defense games, but I also have a not-so-secret love for arcade scrollers. The good news for your time-sucking pleasure is that I found a new one called Photon Strike. It’s a solid vertical scroller for iPhone an iPad (I played on iPad) with good graphics and fast action. In fact, it’s very fast. It’s similar to others in the genre. You have to steer your ship (with your fingers), firing as long as your finger is on the screen. Waves of enemies fly around the screen, and you have to shoot/avoid them. Powerups are available throughout each level, and you get credits for each enemy you destroy for buying upgrades. It’s free to download, but for real-world cash, you can get yourself a whole heap of credits. You can also watch videos for free credits. Every five waves there’s a boss at the end. It’s ad-supported, but the ads go away with any purchase (the ads are not obnoxious).  That said, this is the kind of game where I’m happy to pay to unlock ads to directly support the developer.

Planet of the Apps Trailer Teases Spring Premiere

· Jeff Gamet · Cool Stuff Found

Apple’s reality TV series Planet of the Apps is coming this spring and the first trailer giving us a glimpse into the show is out. It features Jessica Alba, Gwyneth Paltrow, Gary Vanderchuk, and Will.i.am teaming up with app developers who make it through an escalator pitch phase to work towards landing US$10 million in funding and a featured spot on the App Store. Planet of the Apps will stream on Apple Music without commercials, and could give us an interesting behind-the-scenes look into the app development process. Still, based on the trailer—and keep in mind I’m not the reality TV demographic—Carpool Karaoke sounds a lot more interesting.

Genius Bar Revives 30 Year Old Mac SE

· Jeff Gamet · Cool Stuff Found

If your Mac isn’t working you make a Genius Bar appointment at your local Apple Store to get some help. That’s exactly what my good friend and British Tech Network host Ewen Rankin did—except his was a 30 year old Mac SE prototype. With the help of friends he got ahold of Mac OS System 3.3 on floppy disks—the operating system the SE originally shipped with—and then made his way to the Apple Store. The geniuses were more than happy to help out even though the Mac was older than some of them, and in the end they got it up and running. Sure, Ewen could’ve taken care of the Mac himself, but enlisting the aid of the Genius Bar wasn’t only cool, it was a great example of Apple’s customer service in action.

Apple Music Trailer for Carpool Karaoke with Will Smith, Metallica, Ariana Grande, More

· Bryan Chaffin · Cool Stuff Found

Apple has pushed the first trailer for Carpool Karaoke, the spinoff series being produced for Apple Music by James Corden and CBS. It features, “James Corden, Will Smith, Billy Eichner, Metallica, Alicia Keys, John Legend, Ariana Grande, Seth MacFarlane, Chelsea Handler, Blake Shelton, Michael Strahan, John Cena, Shaquille O’Neal, and many more.” It’s super fun, and builds a song with short samples from many episodes of the first season. Carpool Karaoke has been a huge hit for James Corden and The Late Late Show, and news broke late in 2016 that it would be spun off as a standalone show for Apple Music. My guess—especially after seeing this trailer—is that it’s going to be a huge hit for Apple Music, too.

Steve Jobs NeXT Keynote in 1992 Is a Must-Watch for Jobs Fans [Update]

· Bryan Chaffin · Cool Stuff Found

Check out this recording of Steve Jobs’ NeXT keynote from 1992 (via Cult of Mac), where he introduced NeXTSTEP 3.0 (which eventually became OS X).  Interesting tidbits from the spot include the 51 minute and 32 second mark, where he shows a feature that ended up being cut when Apple bought NeXT, distributed object inter-application and inter network communication. At 59 minutes and 53 seconds, Mr. Jobs shows off fast elliptical encryption built right into NeXT’s email system. That was also cut for the Mac. Then there was the bit about operating system-level the Renderman rending engine (nixed), and NeXTSTEP for Intel processors, which did eventually make it to the Mac. All these observations come courtesy of John Kheit, who used to work at NeXT. He called this one of Steve Jobs’s best keynotes and a must-watch for fans. I agree, though your mileage may vary. One way or another, it’s definitely good.

Tim Cook Speaks at University of Glasgow for an Hour (Video)

· Bryan Chaffin · Cool Stuff Found

Tim Cook spoke to the students of the University of Glasgow this week. The hour long event included questions from faculty and students alike. Topics included President Trump’s travel bans on seven muslim-majority countries, the reach of the App Store, the environment, wealth inequality, education, balancing work and life, technology interacting with our bodies, Apple Watch, idealism, Steve Jobs’s influence over Apple today, styluses, and more. The video was posted by a student. The audio quality is poor, but the rules for the event precluded “dedicated recording equipment.” To that end, this video was recorded entirely on an iPhone 7 in the hands of a student 50-70 feet from Mr. Cook, and is stunningly good considering. In addition, note how quiet and respectful this audience of 800-plus students is.

CalDigit Ships its TS3 Light Thunderbolt 3 Dock for MacBook Pro

· Jeff Gamet · Cool Stuff Found

The race to get Thunderbolt 3 docks to market has been on since Apple introduced the Touch Bar MacBook Pro, and CalDigit is the first to hit that mark with its new TS3 Lite. The dock includes two Thunderbolt 3/USB-C ports, two USB 3.1 type A ports and a single USB-C port, audio in and out, Gigabit Ethernet, and DisplayPort. The TS3 Lite supports dual displays plus 4K and 5K displays, and it’s two front-facing USB ports can charge devices when the dock isn’t connected to your Mac. The TS3 Lite is available now for US$199.99.

CalDigit Ships its TS3 Light Thunderbolt 3 Dock for MacBook Pro

Sonos' New "Shatter The Silence" Commercial Channels Apple's "1984"

· Dave Hamilton · Cool Stuff Found

If you watch the Grammy Awards on Sunday night and don’t skip the commercials, you’re likely to see something that reminds you of Apple’s “1984”: a new commercial from Sonos targeted at ridding the world of a new disease, The Silent Home. Previewed to the press this week in Boston, the spot is effective at delivering its message and is perhaps the clearest advertising we’ve seen yet from Sonos. View it in advance of the Grammy’s right here (or on YouTube if you prefer that sort of thing).

Pinterest Visual Search Gets A Tool Called Lens

· Andrew Orr · Cool Stuff Found

Today Pinterest rolled out a new visual search tool called Lens. It’s a feature found within the app that uses machine learning to classify real-world objects. Lens suggests items in Pinterest that are related to the object. Pinterest co-founder Evan Sharp demonstrated Lens visual search to detect a pomegranate, and Pinterest showed him pins about pomegranate bread, sandwiches and helpful tips to peel the fruit. Along with Lens, the company introduced Shop the Look, a tool that identifies objects in pins that you can purchase, and gives you a direct link to buy. Right now it’s only available for five brands. Although currently in beta, Lens is sure to help usher in augmented reality.

On Obsessing Over Details at Apple Campus 2.0 (Like Steve Jobs Would Have)

· Bryan Chaffin · Cool Stuff Found

SkyIMD's 1.7-gigapixel Apple Campus 2 arial photo

Steve Jobs’s obsession over every aspect of a device being important is legendary. He famously (and infamously to some)  demanded that the insides of a sealed machine—even the circuit boards—be just as aesthetically pleasing as the outside. Reuters has an interesting piece about Apple Campus 2.0, and how Apple’s current leadership is applying that same penchant for detail to this building. Pipe that you can’t see. Wires that you can’t see. That sort of thing. Some of you are instantly getting tense because you would rather Apple be spending that time and attention to, say, new Macs. Or iPads. Or AirPort devices. Or a 5K display worthy of a Mac. Or something other than new iPhones. I’m still just as tense as I have been about those things, but the reality is I’m glad Apple is being all obsessive about Apple Campus 2.0. This building is just as much Steve Jobs’s legacy as Apple itself. I imagine it’s important to his survivors at Apple that they treat this building as he would have treated it. I can’t help but think working in a living reminder of this aspect of Steve Jobs will help make future products that much better. One way or another, go read the Reuters piece. It’s really good.

Renogy: Solar Panel, Hefty Battery, Lots of Ports in a Small Suitcase

· John Martellaro · Cool Stuff Found

This new product caught my eye because its so darn cool. Consider: a replaceable Li-ion 16 amp-hour battery in a nifty suitcase (16 x 12 x 4 inches), 13 lbs, with 2 x 10 watt solar panels built into the lid that can charge it in about six hours. Outputs include 110 volts AC, 2 x 12 volts DC and 4 x USB (6 amps). You can also charge it from your car or AC power. The battery packs enough energy to charge an iPad Air six times, an iPhone 32 times or a small notebook five times (40 W-h). Perfect for the camper, and it’s now available, under $600.00.

Renogy: Solar Panel, Hefty Battery, Lots of Ports in a Small Suitcase

The Inside Story on Making Apple's 1999 Super Bowl Ad, 'HAL'

· Bryan Chaffin · Cool Stuff Found

1999 was a good time to be a Mac user. Apple was coming back, baby! And unlike today, the company was releasing new Macs, too. 1999 saw the PowerMac G3 and PowerMac G4, multicolored iMacs to replace the Bondi Blue iMac, and the PowerBook G3 (Lombard). Those were good times. It was also the year Apple ran a spot called HAL in the Super Bowl. Ken Segall, who was then the Apple account manager at TBWA/Chiat/Day, gave us the inside story on how HAL was born and the convoluted steps HAL took to land in the Super Bowl. Spoiler: it almost didn’t happen. Quick nuggets include the voice actor who recreated the HAL voice because the original voice actor was reportedly too precious to do commercials; the painstaking process of recreating HAL’s look and feel; and securing permission from Stanley Kubrick and MGM to use the characters and imagery (respectively). I love reading Ken Segall’s stories about working with Steve Jobs, and this is another good one. Definitely check it out. Below is the beginning of the Macworld Expo keynote where HAL actually debuted.

Target Offers Discounted Apple Watch Series 1 Models

· Andrew Orr · Cool Stuff Found

Target is discounting its entire lineup of Apple Watch Series 1 models by US$70—that includes eight models of Apple Watch. With the price drop, 38mm models are $199, and 42mm models are $229. Both prices include free shipping. This is a great deal for customers who want an Apple Watch but not necessarily the latest model. The prime differences between Series 1 and Series 2 watches are that the Series 2 devices have a GPS sensor, water resistance, and a better display. (via MacRumors).

Target Offers Discounted Apple Watch Series 1 Models

Here are the Best Super Bowl 2017 Commercials

· Jeff Gamet · Cool Stuff Found

If you’re only interest in the Super Bowl was the commercials, you don’t have to find a friend who recorded the game just so you can see them. The Super Bowl Commercials website has your back. They have all of the commercials, and they chose what they see as the top 9 ads from the game. Spoiler: car makers nailed it with their ads this year. You can watch all of the ads at the Super Bowl Commercials website.

Here are the Best Super Bowl 2017 Commercials

Serenity Caldwell's Animated Review of Iconfactory's Linea Sketching App

· Bryan Chaffin · Cool Stuff Found

Iconfactory has been making a big splash with its new Linea sketching app, a major new entry in the illustration space. Serenity Caldwell has done a great animated (i.e. stop motion video) review of the software for iMore. She said, “Linea has supplanted Paper in my iPad’s dock as my go-to sketching program — and for those who know me, that’s a shocker: I haven’t really sketched in anything consistently other than Paper since its 2013 release.” If you’ve been curious about Linea, you should definitely watch.

Nintendo Brings Fire Emblem Heroes RPG to iPhone, iPad

· Jeff Gamet · Cool Stuff Found

OK, Nintendo fans, you have another game to take up your free time: Fire Emblem Heroes. The fantasy-based role playing game (RPG) puts you on a quest to save heroes from different worlds and stop the Emblian Empire’s evil rule. The game is based on the Fire Emblem game franchise and pits you in battles and duels as you explore. Unfortunately, you’ll need an active internet connection to play, just like Super Mario Run because Nintendo seems to think we’re all clever hackers out to steal their game. Fire Emblem Heroes is a free download for the iPhone and iPad, and it includes some in-game purchases.

Nintendo Brings Fire Emblem Heroes RPG to iPhone, iPad

Apple Applies for Patent: Wearable Apple Watch Battery

· John Martellaro · Cool Stuff Found

Depending on usage and the watchOS version, most Apple Watch users find themselves routinely charging their watch every night out of caution or necessity. But what if one is camping and has no access to electrical power? Or otherwise unable to charge the Apple Watch as expected. Wouldn’t it be nice to have an interchangeable Apple Watch band that could provide backup power? A good collection of bands means one could wear the AW all the time, says our Bryan Chaffin, and that means opportunity for sleep tracking, says our Jeff Gamet. Patently Apple (thanks guys) has the story. This would be great news if Apple pursues it.

Apple Applies for Patent: Wearable Apple Watch Battery

Interactive eBook Standard Could Take on Web Qualities with W3C Merger

· Andrew Orr · Cool Stuff Found

Today the World Wide Web Consortium and the International Digital Publishing Forum have completed a merger. The new initiative, called [email protected], will use web technologies to improve publishing, authoring and reading of interactive eBooks. The goal is to make an eBook a self-contained ecosystem with rich interactions using dynamic documents, search, and multimedia. The self-contained part means that the web elements can work even if you’re offline, without needing an always-on connection. Work is underway on APIs and packaging formats to enable these eBooks to act more like apps or web pages. The move could dramatically overhaul the ebook market, which is currently dominated by Amazon, with Apple’s iBooks as a distant second. It remains to be seen how having the W3C’s weight behind an ebook standard could affect the market, but it could give authors, publishers (including independent authors), and readers more options. It could also have a big impact on the textbook industry.

Interactive eBook Standard Could Take on Web Qualities with W3C Merger