Toolbox Pro is a powerful app that all but doubles the functionality of Shortcuts. On Tuesday it received an update that adds new actions and improves background processing. ‘Filter Images’, ‘Get Text From Image’, ‘Create Icon’, ‘Detect Faces’ and many other tools no longer require bouncing over to the Toolbox Pro app to function, making them easier to use and keeping your workflows right inside the Shortcuts app. Saving, getting and listing the contents of bookmarked folders (outside of the Shortcuts sandbox folder) can now be done right inside Shortcuts. Tools that manipulate lists like sorting, shuffling or removing duplicates can now handle many more items at once. Some brand new actions include Pick a Color, Is Silent Mode On, Pluralize Words, Format Number as Text, and others.
Microsoft’s Office app for iPad and iPhone has officially launched. It combines Word, Excel, and PowerPoint and adds new capabilities. You can use it without a Microsoft 365 subscription, although having one will unlock the full app. Some features that work with your device camera: Snap a picture of a document and turn it into an editable Word file with the press of a button. Transform a picture of a table into an Excel spreadsheet so you can work with the data. Design a PowerPoint presentation by simply selecting the pictures you want to use from your device. Create automatically enhanced digital images of whiteboards and documents with Microsoft Lens features.
In a video uploaded to YouTube, Apple has announced its first original podcast in the form of “For All Mankind.” In For All Mankind: The Official Podcast, the space race continues. Fans of the series and its themes can hear host Krys Marshall (Commander Danielle Poole) discuss what really goes down beyond our atmosphere with guests from the series, space experts, and former astronauts — plus never-before-heard audio that shows how astronauts achieve the impossible.
A job application by Steve Jobs from 1973 is up for auction. Spotted by 9to5 Mac, the item is being auctioned by Charterfields. On the document, the Apple co-founder highlighted his experience with “computers and calculators” and said he had special abilities in “electronic tech or design engineer – digital.” The document is thought to have been completed close to when he dropped out of Reed College in Portland, Oregon. A full-size JPG is available here.
Lovin Malta has interviewed writer and show runner for “Foundation” David Goyer about the upcoming series on Apple TV+. After discussing using Malta as the basis for a water world in the show, he also drops a tidbit: “The audience is changing. The way that we’re consuming stories is changing. Game of Thrones was really the first of these big, giant novelistic shows, and now with Foundation we can tell the story hopefully over the course of 80 episodes, 80 hours, as opposed to trying to condense it all into two or three hours for a single film.” It makes sense given the enormous scope of Isaac Asimov’s trilogy. Sounds like they hope to give justice to the saga spanning one thousand years.
Matthew Inman, otherwise known as The Oatmeal, has recently launched a new game called Kitty Letter. Kitty Letter is a head-to-head competitive word game where the best linguist wins. Unscramble words using your enchanted language vortex from the multiverse of infinite vocabularinities, collect power-ups from dysenteric deer, and stop your crazy cat-collecting neighbor from destroying your house. Play with strangers or with friends in 1v1 online games; extensive single player campaign featuring an all-new story by The Oatmeal; no collecting cards, coins, or leveling up anything. Just play the game; earn or buy completely powerless cosmetics if you really want.
Apple has released a new Shot on iPhone film by J.B. Braud on its French YouTube channel, MacRumors spotted. The clip tells the tale of a house painter who rings the doorbell of a large mansion, before realizing that there has been something of a misunderstanding. It is part of a campaign to highlight French Today at Apple classes about creating films with an iPhone that are taking place between 15 and 28 February.
Apple shared a video on its YouTube channel with M. Night Shyamalan discussing the latest episode of his series “Servant.” In this special episode directed by M. Night Shyamalan, the audience is introduced to a new area of the Turner house: the attic. As the brownstone reaches new heights, will the family dynamics change along with it? “Servant” follows a Philadelphia couple in mourning after an unspeakable tragedy creates a rift in their marriage and opens the door for a mysterious force to enter their home.
I’ve written about “Privacy Not Included” from Mozilla in the past and I think it’s a great project. Mozilla reviews apps and products and scores them on their privacy. It’s especially helpful around the holiday shopping season. Recently I’ve been informed that, ahead of Valentine’s Day, Mozilla has added 50 dating apps and internet-connected sex toys to its list. They found that almost 70% of them had to be given a privacy warning label. This is important information in case someone finds their toy controlled by hackers.
BTS is, it’s fair to say, a pretty big deal, both in their native South Korea and around the world. The boyband is the subject of the latest episode of Apple Music Essentials. The members talk to host Zane Lowe about the story behind some of their biggest hits – Life Goes On, Dynamite, DNA, and Boy With Luv. There is also an ‘Essentials’ playlist on Apple Music featuring these songs and others.
Apollo is one of the most popular Reddit clients for iOS. Version 1.10.6 brings great new features. Here are a few: Apollo now supports Family Sharing across all in-app purchases and subscriptions, so if you have a family member wanting to get in on the Apollo goodness they easily can now; Includes “Privacy Nutritional Label” information; Apollo now properly displays inline GIFs that Reddit has added to certain subreddits in the same inline way Apollo shows other GIFs in comments; Added subscribe and follow options to subreddits and users in the haptic touch context menus; and a bunch more.
In a video released by Apple, M. Night Shyamalan reflects on his career and influences. He discusses the role of his father, growing up with George Lucas and Steven Spielberg movies, and then going back to the likes of Stanley Kubrick and Alfred Hitchcock. He also details how this helped shape the Apple TV+ series Servant.
A lot of people have a lot of opinions about the Apple TV remote. Otto Climan, who founded the company Retro Modding, found a solution. He turned an original Game Boy Color into an Apple TV remote. It included a custom white case with the old Apple’s rainbow logo. There’s an awesome video (although not in English,) of he made it. Gizmodo has details too.
The latest ‘Behind the Episode’ video for Servant landed Wednesday. In it, creator M. Night Shyamalan walks viewers through season two, episode three – ‘Pizza. As well as the first three episodes of season two, all episodes of season one available via Apple TV+. The next new episode arrives Friday.
Boston Dynamics is known for its eye-catching videos. A newly released one shows that its robots, Spot, now has an arm that can do mobile manipulation. That’s either terrifying or helpful, depending on whether or not there is laundry that needs picking up off the floor.