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.
With Independence Day coming up on Monday, we have a three-day weekend ahead of us in the United States. If movies are more your thing instead of picnics and fireworks displays, check out The Matrix Trilogy on Apple’s iTunes Store. The package includes all three movies in HD, plus extras, for US$14.99. The only question left after picking up the bundle is red pill or blue pill?
Steve Jobs was an amazing individual. Most of us remember the great product demos, awesome devices, quips like “It’s about the music, stupid,” and other fun things. We’ve also heard infamous examples of Mr. Jobs being angry on the job; but in honor of the iPhone’s 9th birthday on Wednesday, former Apple PR executive Natalie Kerris reminded that Mr. Jobs got angry in public, too. The video she linked to is a compilation of Stevenote moments when that anger came out. Like everything with Steve Jobs, I love watching him in action. It’s always interesting.
In honor of today’s 9th anniversary of the original iPhone launch: Steve Jobs PISSED OFF moments (1997-2010) https://t.co/yRpJgldIDF
— Natalie Kerris (@nataliekerris) June 29, 2016
Last week Tapbots added Timeline Filters to their Tweetbot Twitter client for iOS, allowing you to control what you see — and what you don’t see — in your Twitter timeline. Today they enhanced those filters even more with the ability to use “OR” and quotes. This means you can Filter out “holy war” OR emacs to be sure not to unintentionally boil your blood while otherwise enjoying Twitter (I’m assuming we’re all vim users here, right?!?). You can download Tweetbot from the App Store.
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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.
LEGO and Star Wars are a match made in heaven, which makes it pretty awesome that LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens is available for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. You can play as Poe Dameron, Rey, Finn, BB-8, Han Solo, Kylo Ren, and more in adventures on Jakku, D’Qar, Takodana, the Millenium Falcon, and Starkiller Base. There are puzzles to solve, space ships to fly, battles to fight, and plenty of things to build. The game includes the first chapter for free, and additional levels and character packs are available as in-app purchases. Clear your afternoon, and may the Force be with you.
Check out Cozmo, a robot from Anki, the folks who made their name with the race cars you control with your iPhone. Cozmo “talks” using sounds that remind me a little of R2D2—but only in spirit—and it has a display for a face that emotes. Anki says Cozmo was designed with hundreds of emotions, and he is designed to play with you, or with his “Power Block” accessories. In the video, the designers and engineers talk about how sound is a huge part of how the device interacts with the world, including a bit where he snores while charging. Speaking of which, he’s self-charging. That’s just awesome. Setup and control (when Cozmo isn’t acting autonomously) is handled through an iOS or Android devices, and Cozmo ships in October of 2016. Retail is set at US$179.99. but Anki has a pre-order price of $159.99.
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.
What started in 2008 as a small media server project today has matured into version 1.0. The first public release of Plex Media Server happened two years later in 2010, and it has been growing ever since, now used by milliions of people. The changes rolled into the 1.0 release aren’t all that major – certainly nothing more than any other Plex Media Server release we’ve seen recently – it’s the version number change itself that is significant.
Version 1.0 shows Plex’s commitment to ship software that no longer has the assumption of being beta, communicating reliability and predictability for customers. I’m a long-time Plex user and now with both iOS and Apple TV client apps it really is a best-in-class product. Many of its features are available for free, though a paid PlexPass is well worth your money if you want to view your content offline or on your mobile devices. Congrats, Plex! Thanks for doing what you do!
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Check out Ingrein, a very interesting clock designed to help you detach from our devices. The clock is made of real (reclaimed) hardwood, and it has a built-in “LCD screen and light and sound sensors to interact with and display information from your smart devices and favorite apps.” The idea is that you limit what gets sent to the device to those things that are really important so that you can get your face out of your screen, especially when you’re with other people. It’s a very cool idea in theory, and I’m wondering how well it will work in practice. This product is funding through Kickstarter, where it already met its funding goals. Funding options starting at $299 are still available.