Rogue Amoeba, developers of many great things upon which we podcasters rely, updated Loopback to version 1.0.3 today. Loopback lets you create virtual audio devices on your Mac which send the audio from one application to another in ways that most apps don’t directly support. The update brings Rogue Amoeba’s latest Instant On component, version 8.3, which now supports macOS 10.12 Sierra (available in beta form), as well as a bug fix for monitoring devices that are removed and re-added. Loopback is available directly from Rogue Amoeba.
Controlling your Nest smart thermostat just got bit more convenient thanks to an iPhone app update that adds Apple Watch support. You can check and adjust the room temperature from your wrist without having to fish your iPhone out of your pocket—something Ecobee users have been doing for a while. The app update also adds support for viewing multiple Nest cameras at the same time, and adds 1080p support for the Drocam Pro. Nest may be a little late to the game with Apple Watch support, but at least it’s finally here.
Steve Jobs was almost always compelling, intensely so. The Loop noted this video interview from 1994 when a bearded Mr. Jobs was still at NeXT. I’m not sure what he was asked (something about equating computing to the Renaissance), but his answer is intensely compelling. His central thesis is that advances in computing technology are ephemeral, and that all of his work “will be obsolete by the time I’m 50.” What’s unsaid is that legacy wasn’t the thing that drove him. Mr. Jobs relentlessly pursued the future, and this answer is part and parcel of that drive. I highly recommend watching it.
Deliveries, Junecloud’s excellent delivery tracking app, sees an update this week that adds a complete set of Apple Watch complications. Previous versions would only work with certain complications, and specifically had nothing for the smaller “Circular” complication that often sits in the corners of the watch face. Now any complication spot can be filled with your Deliveries data. Our tests also showed that the newest version of the app works fine on the current iOS 10 and watchOS 3 betas, but no comments were made by the developer. Your mileage may vary, of course.
Geocaching, both the name of the real-world treasure-hunt style game and its companion iOS app, sees an update to the latter today to better surface GeoTours. GeoTours are custom-built collections of geocaches to enhance (or serve as the foundation for) a trip or vacation to a specific area. There are now over 60 unique GeoTours available, and more are being added all the time. To learn about GeoTours or search for a specific one, start with the Search icon in the app and select GeoTours. You’ll be good to go from there!
Mozilla has pushed out version 5.0 of Firefox for iOS to the App Store, and along with it comes a slew of new features. Chief among those are both speed and battery life improvements as well as the ability to add custom search engines to the browser. When searching for something in Firefox, you’ve long had the option of tapping the icon of an alternative engine to perform your search there. Now you can add your own custom engines by simply going to any website, putting the cursor in the website’s own search box, and then hitting Firefox’s magnifying-glass-with-a-plus-symbol icon. That’ll add it to the top of your alternatives list and you’re good to go!
Adobe Lightroom is already available on the Mac, iPad and iPhone, and now it’s on Apple TV, too. The Apple TV version won’t let you edit images, but it does display Lightroom galleries on your big screen TV. You can view photos synchronized with the iPad version, or uploaded through Lightroom on the Web, view photos in slide shows, and zoom in on image details, too. Installing Lightroom (free) on your iPhone or iPad first makes it show up in purchased apps on your Apple TV. You’ll need a fourth generation Apple TV and a Creative Cloud account, too.
Oh my goodness, but do I love this video? Yes! Yes, I love this video! It’s from some show called The Computer Chronicles in 1995, and it features our own Bob “Dr. Mac” LeVitus (starting at 8:17) introducing the first Mac clone from Power Computing. He was working for Power Computing in those days as head of PR. Check out that ponytail and jacket he’s sporting (Squeeeeeeeee!). This video also has a segment with Jack Colt from DayStar demoing a multi-processing Mac clone that was a massive powerhouse in its day, as well as a segment on Oracle, and then an interview with Tim Bajarin. Oh, and they’re showing off some new fangled thing called Java. What blast from the past! Jim Tanous of TekRevue sent me the link because he loves me.
Pokémon GO launched in the U.S., Australia, and New Zealand only a couple weeks ago and it’s already the most download title on Apple’s App Store ever. More countries have been getting in on the game since then, and with Japan launching Pokémon GO today it’s a safe bet downloads are going to just keep climbing. That popularity is no doubt translating into big bucks for Nintendo and Apple thanks to in-app purchases, and also potentially slimer waist lines for players who’re getting off their couches and roaming the streets looking for Bulbasaur and Pikachu to catch. If Pokémon GO’s downloads are any indication, we really do have to catch ’em all.
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iStumbler is a great WiFi network monitoring and troubleshooting utility for the Mac. You can use it to see what networks are nearby, track which channels and frequencies each network uses, view encryption status, and even get the coordinates for nearby base stations. As if that’s not enough, it also tracks Bonjour and Bluetooth devices. iStumbler is a handy tool that usually costs US$25, but right now it’s on sale for $10—more than half off. You can pick up a copy at the iStumbler website.