We were recently asked if there’s an easy way to move and organize multiple apps at the same time on the iPhone and iPad, and the answer is yes if you’re using iOS 11. We showed the trick last fall, but it’s worth sharing again because moving apps one at a time is a total pain in the backside. Check out TMO’s video tip showing how can move several apps simultaneously on your iPhone and iPad.
Blue Microphones announced Compass, a microphone boom arm that’s big enough that it can even support a Yeti, as shown in the pic. Made from extruded aluminum, Compass features a desk clamp for mounting, and the arms have both internal springs and built-in cable management. With the right mount or shockmount, Compass supports mics that weigh up to 2.4 pounds, including the above-mentioned Yeti, as well as Blue’s Blackout Spark SL. It will, of course, support other mics, including podcasting favs Heil PR 30 and PR 40, as well as the Rode Podcaster, all three of which weigh less than 2.4 pounds. Blue’s Compass boom arm is priced at $99.99, and it’s available now. There’s also a Yeticaster Bundle, which includes Blue’s Yeti, the new Radius III shockmount for Yeti, and Compass, for $199.99.
Panic, the company behind Transmit, Coda, and Firewatch, had a mystery on its hands: why were its app downloads so slow for a lot of users? They dug into it and found the problem was specific to Comcast customers—and they got Comcast to fix it. The story is a great example of how interdependent internet service providers and the companies providing the bandwidth pipes are. It’s also a perfect example of what an internet without Net Neutrality is like. Panic’s video explaining what happened is worth watching, and you can learn more about what happened on the company’s blog.
A creative AI called SHELDON has created its own podcast, and the result is an infinite, personalized experience. SHELDON was created by James Ryan, a PhD student from University of California (named after Sheldon Klein, an early pioneer of expressive AI). The goal is to create a unique podcast experience for each user. When you listen to your first podcast episode, SHELDON randomly assigns you a county in the world it created. Each simulated country has its own characters with their own individual stories. On February 2 James released a proof-of-concept pilot version on Soundcloud, and he wants to release a beta version of the podcast in early 2019.
Earth 3D for Mac is on sale for a buck (thanks to John Kheit for the heads up). It’s a gorgeous app—if you have a solid video card—that shows you our planet. It includes thousands of geographic features, more than 500 wonders, a day/night view, a screensaver mode, support for multi-monitors, and it’s just amazing. As I mentioned, you need a good video card for it to work, but at a $1, it’s worth the risk if you aren’t sure (or are getting a new Mac!). It has a 4.5 Star rating on the App Store.
Dave Mark put together a great list of changes Apple made that were first mocked, then copied, then made standard by the industry. You know, like we’re seeing with the iPhone X notch. Or ditching the floppy drive. Or making a phone without a physical keyboard. These are all things Apple was skewered for doing, and yet now it’s hard to imagine how it could have gone any other way. Head over to The Loop for Dave Mark’s full list. It’s a surprisingly long list!
Check out these filmed interviews of senior citizens from 1928 to 1930. One couple was 93 and 96 years old, meaning they were born when Martin Van Buren and Andrew Jackson were president (respectively). More interesting to me is that they were adults during the Civil War and throughout President Lincoln’s presidency. All of the seniors featured in this compilation were at least young adults when Lincoln was president. That’s a seriously different perspective, and I just found watching it fascinating. Oh, and the interviews were conducted in different parts of the U.S., so you get a cross section of society being represented. “The country’s dry now,” said the flappers to the oldster who mentioned drinking the occasional high ball. “You say so, but is it?” he replied. Yep, that was about right. And dude could still tap dance at 93. Salute, sir, salute! And then there was the 86 year old traveling salesman who claimed he had traveled some 2.5 million miles during his career. Good stuff. The fellow who posted it—Guy Jones—said he edited the films and cleaned up the audio.
In this TMO video podcast, Bryan Chaffin and John Kheit discuss Apple TV, the NRA, and the idea of content blocking. They also talk about whether Apple might dump iTunes, and if so, when? John offers his thoughts on how the USB-C standards design was a mistake. They also offer a couple of show picks, and it’s all about shoe tech. (WARNING NSFW: PROFANITY & RANTS)
Wow! Check out this portable hole app, posted to Twitter as a video by ΛLGΘMΨSΓIC (that’s @algomystic). According to the tweet, it was built with the Unity Engine, and uses ARKit’s Face Tracking feature to fool your eye. The app itself is in review at the App Store. I can’t wait to check it out!
portable hole!? 🙀
no post effects, all in-camera. full write-up with source code coming soon pic.twitter.com/At0fzTQ8s9
— ΛLGΘMΨSΓIC (@algomystic) February 26, 2018
Check out OneCast, a service that lets you stream Xbox One games to your Mac. According to The Verge, OneCast’s engineers reverse engineered the protocol Microsoft is using to allow Xbox One games to be streamed to PCs. Which means it’s not an official Microsoft app, and you might want to think about that before paying the introductory price of $9.99 (there’s a 14-day free trial, too). Streaming games—in this context—means you’re running the game on your Xbox One, but using your Mac as the display with an Xbox One controller. It’s aimed at players who want to play their games remotely, or maybe don’t have access to their TV due to competition in the house. Microsoft offers this service to Windows users, but OneCast is making it available to Mac users. The consensus seems to be that it works, with some glitches, but that hyper-competitive twitch games may leave you with a disadvantage. I’d certainly try it before buying it.
I had the pleasure of being on MacVoices 18067 with Chuck Joiner this week. He interviewed me about Bitcoin faucets and my take on the HomePod. We also had a rip-roaring argument on Throttlegate, and how it was a self-inflicted communication error on Apple’s part, but it’s cool because in the end Chuck admitted I was right. OK, he didn’t exactly do that, but it’s always good talking with Chuck. Check it out.
A psychological test once used by NASA on astronauts calculates Tim Cook as “Advisor.” It’s called the Process Communication Model, and it categorizes people under six categories: Advisors, Connectors, Doers, Dreamers, Originals, and Organizers. According to one website, Advisors make up 10% of the population, and curiously this trait skews 75% male. Tim Cook is well known for his careful, articulate way of speaking in interviews and keynotes, and when you look at Advisor traits, it makes sense. Or, it could be a cognitive bias. You see, I personally find this whole thing a bit concerning. Online personality tests are fun to take, but they definitely aren’t valid medical advice. That requires seeing a therapist. So it’s easy to cast yourself as one personality or another by comparing and contrasting traits you think you have, versus the traits that the personality has. However, unless Mr. Cook has seen a psychologist, the news that Tim is this trait is probably bunk. But I still think it’s Cool Stuff.
In this TMO video podcast, Bryan Chaffin and John Kheit discuss Apple’s new HomePod after 10 days of use, Apple CEO Tim Cook’s FastCompany interview, Wyoming wanting to become a Crypto Tax Haven, and how music influences really are in the ear of the beholder. They also offer a couple of app picks. (WARNING NSFW: PROFANITY & RANTS)
Tony Fadell, former Apple executive and the father of the iPod, recently did an interview with Benoît Mintiens, a watch guy and the founder of Watch company Ressence. You might have seen the totally crazy looking Ressence Type 2 watch. Gorgeous and very, very different looking, the Ressence Type 2 is a mechanical watch married to your smartphone through what they call an “e-Crown.” Bloomberg published a piece with Hodinkee on the Type 2, and it included the video interview below. In it, Messrs. Fadell and Mintiens talk about working together and the early development of the Type 2, but they also talk about the e-Crown. You also get to see the Type 2 in action. It’s interesting, but note at the end where Mr. Mintiens notes that the watch crown has been around for 176 years. “So it’s about time to think about something else.” That sure sounds like a pot shot at Apple, whose Digital Crown is effectively rooted in that same 176 year history. It’s an interesting watch, an interesting article, and an interesting video.
Ben Pearson, an electrical engineer by training, has put together a website that tracks the Tesla Roadster that the SpaceX Falcon Heavy put into orbit around the sun. His website scripts extract data from from JPL Horizons to provide continuous updates on the position of Roadster’s passenger Starman. Check it out.
Behold the passing of an era, as Apple changed its official corporate address away from 1 Infinite Loop to One Apple Park Way. Spotted by 9to5Mac, Apple changed the address on its corporate contact page to its new headquarters after the company’s shareholder meeting last Tuesday. Infinite Loop still houses thousands of Apple employees—and will for the foreseeable future—but the center of the Apple universe has shifted to Apple Park. It’s a wee strange, at least to someone who’s been covering Apple for so long, but Apple Park is something special. So out with the old and in with the new and never look back.
MGG listener Bill turned us on to a copy of Gordon Moore’s original paper discussing the trend of integrated circuit component density increasing at a rate of roughly two per year. This is the paper that gave rise to what is commonly, though improperly, called Moore’s Law. It’s improper because in that it’s not a scientific law—like gravity—but rather more of an observation of a human-driven trend that was remarkably accurate for a very long time. Regardless, it’s a fun read, and thanks to Bill for alerting us to this! In the pic below, Gordon Moore is on the left, and his Intel cofounder Robert Noyce is to the right.
If you’re on the hunt for a new Twitter client app now that the official Mac app has been killed off, The Iconfactory has a deal they’re hoping you can’t pass up. Twitterrific 5 is on sale for US$7.99 instead of its usual $19.99. The recently reintroduced Mac Twitter client app supports multiple accounts, sharing posts through other services, threaded conversations, color-coded tweets, timeline syncing with the iOS version, and more. It’s a great to see Twitterrific back on the Mac now that Twitter has decided it’s a platform they aren’t natively supporting.
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.