Apple Pay officially launched in France Tuesday. The initial rollout covers MasterCard and Visa users with Banque Populaire, Carrefour Banque, Ticket Restaurant, and Caisse d’Epargne. Orange and Boon banks are coming soon. Apple announced the French Apple Pay rollout during June’s World Wide Developer Conference—ironically, our own Dave Hamilton tried to use it in France without success just last week during his European vacation. Le moment, as they (don’t actually) say, est tout.
MacStock 2016 took place over the weekend, and TMO friend Chuck Joiner has already edited a 57 minute video of interviews with many of the podcasters and writers in attendance. That includes Ken Ray, Victor Cajiao, Bryan Chaffin (meeeeeeee!), Tim Robertson, Julie Kuehl, Wally Cherwinski, Don McAllister, Adam Christianson, Barry Fulk, Mike T. Rose, and several more folks. If you pay attention, you’ll even see our own Jeff Gamet molest Mr. Joiner. As one does.
Pixelmator, the powerful-and-inexpensive image editor for both Mac and iOS, gets a free update on iOS to version 2.3 today that brings its Quick Selection Tool and Magnetic Selection Tool over from the Mac. The Quick Selection Tool makes very short work of doing previously-difficult selections and allowed me to do the selection in the first pane below in about ten seconds on an iPhone SE.
Pixelnator’s new Quick Selection Tool is somehow intuitive in a way that other “magic” selectors are not. Having this available literally at ones fingertips on iOS opens up all sorts of options for work and… play. Enjoy. (A hat tip to Scott Canali for the inspiration behind today’s screenshots!).
Germany is considering an interesting approach in the march towards regulating self-driving, or autonomous, vehicles. Reuters reported Europe’s largest economy is working on legislation that would require self-driving cars to include “black box” tech. That system would record when the system was active and when the driver was in control. It would also record when the system requested the driver take over. Black box comes from the airline industry, where effectively-indestructible devices record flight data in the event of a crash. Those devices cost about $100,000 and have to survive substantially greater trauma than a car would ever endure. With that in mind, devices designed for cars would share little more than a name with their flying cousins. This is one regulatory approach that could be copied far and wide.
ZOMGZOMGZOMG!!! I am all a tither! Literature & Latte announced Wednesday that Scrivener is coming to iOS on July 20th! Scrivener is the best writing environment I’ve found, but heretofore it’s worked only on Mac and Windows. I’m not personally interested in writing on my iPad, but I am mega-interested in editing on my iPad. In fact, I do my serious read-throughs when editing fiction in iBooks. That’s great, but being able to get into that reading mode with Scrivener directly in hand is going to be a big deal for me. There’s no link yet, but L&L said it will be released July 20th at $19.99.
Apple’s original TV series Planet of the Apps is on the hunt for developers willing to share their app design process on the small screen. There’s an open casting call on the show’s website and they’re looking for coders in Austin, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York to participate. Only 100 slots are available, and you’ll need a beta of your app ready by October 21, so get coding. You can apply for the show at the Planet of the Apps website.
Talk about having your finger on the zeitgeist, Funny or Die pushed a video Tuesday called “‘Pokémon GO’ Personal Injury Lawyer.” The name says it all, but note there is mild profanity. Enjoy.
Matthew Roberts posted new drone footage of construction efforts on Apple Campus 2.0 to YouTube (via The Loop). It not only shows massive progress on the site, it’s also captioned with helpful details about the things you’re seeing. The footage is up close and personal, enough to wonder what new case law might be established if Apple had blasted the drone out of the air. I always enjoy these drone flyovers—it’s super awesome to be able to follow along as this soon-to-be-iconic building takes shape.
Version 5.0 of Amazon’s Kindle App for iPad and iPhone adds Page Flip, a new and natural way to navigate through books without losing your place. If you’ve ever been frustrated having to flip to see a map or something on another page, Page Flip solves that problem. Just tap in the middle of your screen to activate Page Flip and skim around until you find what you want. When you’re finished looking, tap again and Page Flip will offer to return you to your original spot. Even better, Page Flip remembers the locations you have flipped to, allowing for easy bouncing around. The updated Kindle App is available for free in the App Store.
Google announced a new “research project” called Bloks, a wonderful concept that brings programming to very young kids with real-world block-like components. It’s an ongoing project that Google is opening up to the world, but the company is starting with electronic boards and programmable pucks. Brain Boards are built from Raspberry Pi Zero boards and can be used to power anything you could power from that device, like robots or switches for real-world devices. The pucks are essentially instructions, including on-off switches, directions, or volume controls. When used in sequence, they can send instructions to the Brain Boards. And it’s all hands-on for young kids. They can collaborate in ways they never could with any programming thing based on a screen and/or keyboard. I love it. It’s an entirely different approach from Apple’s Swift Playground, and I think they’re very complementary.