Today Kenu announces its first ever powerbank product, BingeBank. BingeBank is a new all-in-one wireless charging powerbank, complete with an innovative nanosuction phone stand. The perfect accessory for binge watching on-the-go, it securely holds your Qi-enabled phone at the perfect viewing angle and wirelessly charges it at the same time. Users can watch hours of their favorite Netflix series, YouTube channel, and even video chat or live stream without worrying about draining the phone battery. It also works great as a travel charging dock. The 10000 mAh capacity adds up to 35 hours of viewing time to the iPhone XS, and in addition to wireless charging, you can use a cable to fast charge two other devices through the 18W Power Delivery and Quick Charge USB ports. The 18W Power Delivery USB-C port can fast-charge an iPhone up to 50% in as little as 30 minutes, and can also charge a MacBook, MacBook Pro, or MacBook Air with Thunderbolt 3. Kenu BingeBank: US$59.95
Niantic has decided to surprise us. Harry Potter: Wizards Unite is available to download now, with the original launch date being tomorrow, June 21. I’ve spent a couple of minutes playing and reached level 2. Certain aspects of the game are slow, like UI-wise, like when you level up. Harry Potter: Wizards Unite is set in J.K. Rowling’s fictional universe where players help protect the wizarding world from exposure to muggles. Players will use their smartphones to capture magical creatures running loose, hunt potion ingredients, and use portkeys to travel to popular locations in the wizarding world. Download it here: App Store: Free
Niantic announced that its upcoming augmented reality game, Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, will launch this Friday, June 21. In a press conference outside Universal Studio’s Wizarding World in Florida, Niantic said it would hold Wizards Unite events similar to its Pokémon GO Fests. Harry Potter: Wizards Unite is set in J.K. Rowling’s fictional universe where players help protect the wizarding world from exposure to muggles. Players will use their smartphones to capture magical creatures running loose, hunt potion ingredients, and use portkeys to travel to popular locations in the wizarding world.
Cardhop 1.1 came out today, bringing with it a lot of improvements: Template settings to customize fields and labels for new contacts; smart group templates: Create smart groups that automatically update based on common contact searches; multiple business cards: create separate business cards for different situations; business card settings automatically sync between devices using iCloud; stickers! Express yourself in iMessage with Cardhop’s sticker pack; Gravatar support to automatically find contact photos by email when adding or editing contacts; support for sending messages to groups with the parser; added YouTube social profile label, and more. App Store: US$3.99
Boxy Suite is a collection of Google apps on the Mac, to give users a native, non-web experience. Today Boxy Suite 2 is rolling out, with automatic dark mode; new apps for Google Keep and Google Contacts; a quick launcher to change your account, navigate between sections, and launch task managers; integration with task managers like Things, OmniFocus, 2Do, and Todoist; instant account switching; unread counts for all accounts; notifications for all accounts; improved Minimal Mode; and opening links in the background. The Dashboard has also been revamped, and a bunch of fixes in Boxy for Calendar are also available.
Sanho Corporation, creator of the USB-C Hyper Drive for iPad Pro, is coming out with a new product. Called HyperCube, it’s a data backup iPhone charger. When you plug your iPhone into it, then plug the HyperCube into a power outlet, all of your photos, videos, and contacts will automatically back up to a micro SD card or USB drive (sold separately). Then, once the back up is finished, you can remove the micro SD card or USB drive to view your content on another device. Copy/cut/paste/move/delete/rename files on microSD and USB drive, supports audio/video streaming playbacK, supports photo slideshow/thumbnail view, measures 47.3 x 35.5 x 24mm / 1.86” x 1.4” x 0.94”, weighs 20g / 0.71oz /0.04 lb. Early bird backers can get HyperCube for US$29. Expected to ship August 2019.
LumaFusion is a powerful video editing app for iOS, and yesterday LumaFusion 2.0 was released with new features. First, the UI is different and is designed to make it easy for beginners to start, and easy for professionals to find powerful features. LumaFusion 2.0 doubles the number of video/audio tracks to six, a new Timeline Overview makes it say to see your whole project, new media scrubber lets you find the perfect frame in your project, supports GNARBOX 2.0 SSD, and improves support for GNARBOX 1.0, and if you’re editing on your iPad LumaFusion 2.0 supports external displays. The sale lasts until June 27. App Store: US$14.99
Activbody, Inc., announced that its flagship product, the portable smart fitness device Activ5, is now available at apple.com and in select Apple Stores. The Activ5 is unique because, with its companion training app, users are able to access and track their activity from over a hundred personalized 5-minute strength-training workouts and exercises that can be performed anywhere. Activ5 recently announced an Apple Watch app and the adoption of HealthKit. The app includes exercise and heart rate tracking and calculates energy burned. With HealthKit, users will be able to see the data tracked on Apple Watch in the Apple Health app on iPhone. “We are experiencing phenomenal interest and growth globally due to the effectiveness of Activ5, and our ongoing commitment to meaningful, customer-centric enhancements including our recent Apple Watch app announcement,” said Dan Stevenson, CEO of Activbody. You can buy it from the Apple Store, online and retail, for US$129.95.
Apple revealed that there would be a new Look Around feature in Apple Maps at iOS 13. It is similar to Street View in Google Maps. However, a new video posted on Twitter by WordPress developer Reüel van der Steege shows that Apple may have beaten its rival. Look Around seems to be much smoother.
Made a quick side-by-side comparison video driving the same road in Hawaii with ‘Look Around’ in Apple Maps on #iOS13 vs Google Street View. It really is “smoothly move down the street”! Impressive 🤩 #WWDC19 #iOS13Beta #AppleMaps #GoogleMaps #Apple #maps pic.twitter.com/nIA3kklhJe
— Reüel van der Steege (@rvdsteege) 13 June 2019
Twitterrific 6 brings a lot of great features and improvements. You can disable video and GIF autoplaying, or choose to have them silently autoplay. With the new integration with GIPHY, you can find just the right GIF, and refine your search with filters like Reactions, Memes, and Swear Trek. Twitter’s new quoted tweets with media is supported by Twitterrific 6. Add media to a quoted tweet, and it will display both in your timeline. A new attachment preview lets you view media and add descriptions. There are three new icons: Crow, Dove, and Neon, five new themes: Dove, Akikiki, Puffin, Falcon, and Parakeet, 12 new “Olliemoji” stickers in the iMessage sticker pack, support for the San Francisco Compact Rounded Font, a High Contrast Text option, and more. App Store: Free (Offers In-App Purchases)
AdGuard is a content blocker for iOS that lets people block trackers and ads in Safari. Its AdGuard Pro app eventually got pulled from the App Store because of new VPN rules. AdGuard 3 brings some of those Pro features to the regular app, and some of them are locked behind a premium subscription. But Pro users can get a free 6-month license key. AdGuard 3 fixes a key issue with Safari. Safari’s maximum limit for content blockers is 50,000 rules. AdGuard now works around this by combining five blocks into one, each separately enabled in Settings and each with 50,000 rules. It also supports DNS-over-TLS and DNS-over-HTTPS. You can read more in the blog post. App Store: Free (Offers In-App Purchases)
Apple always likes to make a play of how its devices help people. We’ve had the story of how iOS helped a blind veteran get back on his surfboard, for instance. The company has long focussed on education too. In a feature published Wednesday, it detailed how iPads are being used in schools across Europe. In particular, how they aid students who may not have the country’s language as their native tongue. There’s the school in Germany where access to iPads helped increase in the number of students without German as a first language who graduate. In Wales, students who did not have English as a first language on average improved their grades by 3.8 points.
iMovie 2.2.7 is here, and it brings some cool features. Transform your video with the new green screen effect that lets you instantly remove the background of clips shot in front of a green or blue screen. Adjust the green screen effect with a 4-point mask and strength slider. Choose from 80 new soundtracks in genres including pop, chill, and sentimental that automatically adjust to match the length of your movie. Drop in still images with transparent backgrounds to use as logos or custom graphics on top of your video. Add photos as overlays to create picture-in-picture and split-screen effects. Choose to hide the border that surrounds picture-in-picture and split-screen effects. Instantly return to the edit screen of your project when switching back to iMovie from other apps. ClassKit support lets students deliver video assignments to teachers using the Schoolwork app. For users with videos in iMovie Theater, the Theater window is now accessible from the *** menu at the bottom of the Projects careen. Sharing to iMovie Theater is no longer supported; save your movies and trailers to iCloud Photos to watch them on other devices including Apple TV. Resolves an issue that could lead to a black viewer when previewing your video full screen on an external display. App Store: Free
The Mogul app was created to empower you to take control of your day. It’s time to focus on making each day matter and take action, small or large, everyday to get closer to your goals. At the heart of Mogul are two rituals to help you own your day. One in the morning and one in the evening. We believe the key to success lies in daily reflection and proactive planning to turn each day into an investment in yourself. So in the evening, check in and reflect on your day. Then, plan out your next day. The next morning, start your day on the right foot with an overview of the previous day that gets you in a positive mindset. See what your day looks like at a glance so that you can be ready to own the day. One of the great features of Mogul is that it integrates with your calendars, so you never have to exit the app to check any other commitments- everything can live in one place. Your goals also live alongside your day-to-day and your to do’s, so you can see what your working on is impactful and leading to success. A success that you care about. App Store: Free
AnyFont 3.0 makes the app a better font management system. Create folders and sub folders to manage all your fonts; install all within one folder, move fonts in and out of folders, and manage folders and sub folders through a menu. on iPad, you can use AnyFont in Slide Over and Split View mode. Drag & Drop fonts from other apps into AnyFont 3.0, or add fonts from Dropbox or iCloud Drive without having to exit the app. You’ll see font information like creator, copyright, or font family. Share fonts by mail, message, WhatsApp, AirDrop, and more. Fonts you have already installed with have a helpful check mark next to them. In the future, AnyFont plans to add iCloud sync, Google Drive integration, Files integration, and a lot more. App Store: US$1.99 (Offers In-App Purchases).
During the week of WWDC and AltConf, I ended up getting to spend some time with Chuck Joiner of MacVoices. We talked about the announcements of the week, the upgrade path of previous Macs, and how accessibility and security are increasingly spotlighted by Apple. We had a great time talking, and hopefully it shows in the video below. Enjoy!
The Mac Observer’s Dave Hamilton recently appeared on Chuck Joiner’s MacVoices show. Fresh from WWDC19, Mr. Hamilton talks about first impressions of the new Mac Pro (and its intended market), macOS Catalina a geek’s perspective (like the separate system volume), and HomeKit-enabled routers. I liked his perspective on the Mac Pro. The thousand-dollar stand got most of the media attention, but it’s a pro device for specific audiences, such as videographers. There’s a reason why Apple kept comparing the Pro Display XDR to a US$43,000 Sony monitor. Mr. Hamilton also knows routers well, and how Apple is acknowledging that other companies do networking hardware better.
Suffering from WWDC withdrawal symptoms? Want to rewatch the keynote or see that session you just couldn’t make. Fear not. The unofficial wwdc.io app for Mac brings together key sessions and footage from conferences over a number of years. I like how you can filter sessions to find what you want and share content easily. The app has a really nice user interface and is super easy to use as well. Download it from https://wwdc.io.