Google Photos Commercial Aims at iPhone Owners Who Need Storage

Google has a new spot poking at an issue affecting million of iPhone owners—not enough storage for photos and videos. Related: new 16GB iPhones shouldn’t be a thing in 2016. Oh, and I specify iPhone owners because the popup window at the heart of the ad’s gag is iOS. Besides, Google knows the best customers use iPhones. Anyhoo, Google has a solution for this problem, the Google Photos app. With this app, your photos and videos are uploaded to Google’s cloud storage (where Google then pilfers them for information it can sell to advertisers). The company left that parenthetical bit out of the ad, but the ad is really good.

Watch Rio 2016 Olympics Highlights on Apple TV or iPhone with NBC Sports App

Whether you’re a cord-cutter or someone who uses a standard cable subscription, sometimes all you want to see is the Olympics highlight reel. TiVo’ing four hours of Prime Time coverage to just wade through the muck is not my idea of a good time. Enter the NBC Sports app. Launch this on your Apple TV, iPhone or iPad and you can instantly see short clips of just the highlights from the Rio 2016 Olympics.

Sure, down the road you may find you want to watch entire matches, too, but this is a great way to catch up quick while whetting your appetite for future events.

iOS 10 Messages: How to use Screen Effects

Messages are a lot flashier in iOS 10 thanks to screen effects you can add to your conversations. They’re easy to use, but are kind of hidden unless you know where to look. Just remember: You and your recipient need iOS 10 installed on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch to send and receive them. What TMO’s video tip to see Messages screen effects in action.

Comprehensive Drone Tour Shows Major Progress on Apple's Spaceship HQ

Apple Campus 2.0—nicknamed the Spaceship HQ—has seen a lot of progress, as shown in a new comprehensive drone tour of the building. This is the most detailed drone video of the construction site I’ve seen to date, as it looks at at the main, circular building, side buildings, the tunnels leading to underground parking, and more. It’s a 4K video, too, meaning the clarity is outstanding. Apple Campus 2.0 is scheduled for completion in 2017.

Apple Store App gets More Personal

Apple rolled out version 4.0 of the Apple Store app for the iPhone and iPad on Friday. The new version offers up product recommendations based on the Apple devices you already own, lets you know if accessories are compatible when you scan them in-store, and makes it easier to keep track of which Apple products you own. The redesigned app better highlights in-store workshops and reservations, and it’s easier to sign up for both. iPad users get some love, too, thanks to the app’s new support for Slide Over and split screen views. The Apple Store app is a free download.

Samsung Uses Apple Watch Illustrations in Smartwatch Patent Application

Samsung is such a shady company. The firm’s intellectual property practices have been documented for decades, but Patently Apple found something that illustrates the issue well. In a patent application for removable smartwatch bands also borrowed from Apple Watch, Samsung used illustrations of an Apple Watch. The company did so without attribution or acknowledgement, though it’s unknown if it did so with or without irony. The image below shows two of those Apple Watch illustrations, one with the Apple’s charging and sensor mechanisms. Click through to Patently Apple and you’ll see many more, including a variety of Apple Watch bands, Apple Watch in profile, etc.

Perseus Smart Mirror Interfaces to Your iPhone

The Perseus smart mirror is a Kickstarter project. It’s a hybrid mirror and display of the home screen of  your smartphone via Wi-Fi. The developers explain: “Imagine this: a weather alert pops up while you are brushing your teeth and reminds you to bring your umbrella. As you adjust your hair, a text message from your boss appears at the bottom of the screen. Best of all, there’s no need to put down that hair product – the mirror is controlled through simple voice recognition menus….  It looks like something right out of a sci-fi movie.” It really does. This Kickstarter project is almost halfway to its funding goal, and delivery is expected in April 2017. Early bird slots are filled, but you can get in now for US$219.

Apple Commercial Showcases 'The Human Family'

Apple posted a new commercial in its Shot on iPhone series. It’s called The Human Family, and it showcases photographs and videos of people around the world, all shot on an iPhone, of course. It’s a wonderful trip around the world shown through faces of markedly different people. Serving as a backdrop to this parade is Human Family, a poem by Maya Angelou. The whole thing is lovely and compelling. Check it out.

Study Ranks the Best, Worst U.S. Cities for Smartphone Connections

Mobile data and voice connections can be a fickle thing, and a new report from RootMetrics shows just how true that is. The report ranks 125 U.S. cities for wireless reliability, speed, data, call, and text performance, and it turns out the best place for smartphone owners to live is Lansing, Michigan. The worst is Hudson Valley, New York. San Francisco came in at 58, well below Chicago (5), Kansas City (11), and Boston (17). Denver was near the bottom of the list at 119, which sounds about right based on our experiences. You can check out the full report and see how your metro area stacks up at the RootMetrics website.

A Computer with Lights, Get Inside, See What's Happening

It’s 10 meters long and 2 meters high. It’s made of discrete transistors and LEDs. You can actually see what’s going on. Is it a real working computer? Yes. Can you program it? Yes. Why was it made? The developer, James Newman, says, “Computers are quite opaque, looking at them it’s impossible to see how they work. What I would like to do is get inside and see what’s going on.  Trouble is we can’t shrink down small enough to walk inside a silicon chip. But we can go the other way; we can build the thing big enough that we can walk inside it. Not only that we can also put LEDs on everything so we can actually SEE the data moving and the logic happening.” Behold, the Megaprocessor