Popular podcast app Pocket Casts is now free with an optional US$0.99/month or US$10/year subscription. The previous price was a one-time fee of US$3.99. Pocket Casts CEO Owen Grover told TechCrunch: “We understood pretty clearly that we were limiting our reach and limiting the number of users that could enjoy the quality and power of the app and the platform. It felt penny wise and pound foolish to continue to collect a few dollars at the top … We have the benefit of these owners who are supporting us in a way that allows us to grow our audience, habituate new listeners and deliver a pretty terrific user experience.” App Store: Pocket Casts – Free
In a new ad, which I spotted on UK TV earlier today, Apple shows off how resilient the iPhone 11 Pro is. It shows the device being subjected to all sorts of things, including a wedding cake, and surviving. Naturally, it’s all done in typical Apple style.
Blue launched a new version of the Yeti microphone, the Yeti X, shown below. The device is being targeted at gaming, streaming and podcasting, but the signature new feature is VO!CE Software, which gives creators and streamers professional voice effects and presets at the touch of a button. Internally, it features a four-capsule condenser microphone array, and it offers high-res LED metering. The presets and effects mentioned above are controlled through a a multi-function smart knob. It ships in October for $169.99.
At the ‘By Innovation Only’ event Apple unveiled the iPhone 11 Pro. It was particularly keen to show of the device’s high-end camera. On Saturday, it published a video show cinematic tests using the 4k, triple-camera system. The results are stunning.
News that might have gotten lost in the new of iPhone 11 is that the Apple Watch Series 5 and iPad 7 are available to preorder now, while we have to wait until tonight/tomorrow to preorder the new iPhones.
Apple Watch Series 5: Starting at 32GB of storage, Series 5 has an always-on display, a Compass app, and available in more finishes, colors, and materials, like titanium and ceramic. Preorder it here starting at US$399.
iPad 7th Gen: This is an updated version of what became known as the education iPad. It has a 10.2-inch display with thin bezels like the old 10.5-inch iPad Pro. The 10.2-inch Retina display has almost 3.5 million pixels, an A10 Fusion chip, and for the first time, an 100% recycled aluminum body. Preorder it here for US$329.
Both will be officially out on September 30.
Recycling can significantly offset CO2 emissions from manufacturing – but did you know that most of the items we put in our blue bin end up in the trash if they’re too dirty? In light of recent news stating that China will no longer accept most of our recyclable materials, we have to make sure that recycling loads contain less than 0.5% trash or else the whole load will be sent to the landfill. That’s why Ecofriendly created their app. Their computer vision technology uses a custom neural network which is trained on hundreds of examples of #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6, and #7 plastic as well as other materials such as aluminum and steel cans, aluminum foil, cardboard, paper, glass, and more. Powered by the latest innovations in visual search technology, it can identify the material of the object you are trying to recycle, and let you know whether it is really recyclable or not. App Store: Ecofriendly – Free
There was a lot to take in during the Apple ‘By Innovation Only’ special event Tuesday. And it was nearly two hours long. You can rewatch the whole thing, but Apple also helpfully posted a video bringing together the best bits. It is a bit of an advert, of course, but I think it is quite effective. It shows how much Apple did actually pack in during the event.
Amtrak updated its app to version 4.0 (in August) and it added new features: Show your eTicket while onboard, including multi-ride and monthly passes – no need to print; Send your eTicket to Apple Wallet; Purchase one-way, roundtrip, multi-ride and monthly tickets with dollars or Amtrak Guest Rewards points; Check train status; Find station information; Edit and manage your account profile; Save credit cards for quick checkout, and more. App Store: Amtrak – Free
Apple played a few videos during the “By Innovation Only” event Tuesday. My favorite was the clip introducing the Apple Watch Series 5. It was funny, and riffed on the “yeah, but does it tell time,” snark too often thrown at the Apple Watch. At the same time, it showed off all the features in the latest iteration of the device.
Visible, a prepaid phone carrier running on Verizon’s network, plans to offer the iPhone 11 to customers. The company will carry all three devices (Phone 11, Pro, and Pro Max) as of September 20, offering 0% financing, no money down, no upgrade fees, overnight free shipping. Visible is also running a promotion with Mastercard where if you buy the phone from them, you’ll get a $200 virtual card to use anywhere you’d like. Bookmark Visible’s website and put it on your calendar for September 20. You can also read my review of Visible here.
Apple used the ‘By Innovation Only’ event to show the first trailer for its forthcoming Apple TV+ series See. The show stars Jason Momoa as Baba Voss. It takes place in the far future where a virus has left any survivors blind. However, Baba Voss’ twins were born with sight. See arrives on Apple TV+ on November 1.
The Women’s Super League (WSL) soccer season kicked-off in front of record breaking crowds in the UK over the weekend. In order to help boost the sport further, UK soccer’s governing body, The Football Association, released an online player broadcasting every WSL game live. It also provides match highlights after the full-time whistle. The FA Player is free and there is no subscription charge. It is available via web and iOS App Store.
Want to explore a new gaming experience? A developer known as “s0lly” created a version of the Civilization game that works in Microsoft Excel. Called [Cell]vilization, you can download the spreadsheet form s0lly’s website. The game currently features: Two player game (BLUE vs GREEN), in a hot-seat environment; move units around using WASD; move the camera around the world map independently of unit movement; build different unit types in cities using 0-6 keys; multiple unit types available, each with their own statistics, with some having special abilities ( see the “Tiles” tab); unit movement speed is dependent on the ground it traverses; build new cities to produce more units, more often; one world, with a close-quarters or larger / longer game setting available; Fog of war. You can watch a video and download it here.
Having your iPhone fall out your pocket and break is pretty annoying, so it is particularly great if you or someone else catches it before it gets smashed on the ground. Well, that is exactly what Samuel Kempf did. Except he was on a rollercoaster travelling at 130 km/h (via iClarified). He posted the video to YouTube. It had been viewed nearly 5.2 million times at the time of this writing. In the description, Mr. Kempf explained: “I was in Spain at Port Aventura on shambhala ride and saw the person a few rows ahead drop their IPhone X. long story short I caught it. this roller coaster is moving at over 130kms…was once Europe’s tallest and fastest coaster.. only recently beaten.”
Flexibits Inc is having a sale for its calendar app Fantastical 2: The app is 40% off and now only US$2.99. Fantastical’s natural language engine is expressive and intelligent so you can write in your own style. Fantastical recognizes holidays, days of the week, the location of your event, repeating events, and more. If your device supports dictation, you can also speak the details of your event or reminder and Fantastical will automatically interpret your speech. Prefer to see your schedule the old-fashioned way? No problem at all. Pull down on the DayTicker and it will conveniently turn into a month calendar. Pull down on the calendar and you’re back to the DayTicker. Best of all, Fantastical works with the same calendar accounts already set up with the built-in iOS Calendar app: iCloud, Google Calendar, Yahoo, Exchange, and more. App Store: Fantastical 2 – US$2.99
Boomerang, an email extension for Gmail and Outlook that enables its more than 50 million users to email more effectively, announced the launch of its iPad app. Generally regarded as the best tablet for business use, the Boomerang App for iPad provides users with all the features they’ve come to love from Boomerang, but optimized for the iPad’s screen sizes, meaning users can benefit from split pane view and multitasking abilities like Split View and Slide Over. Other features include Inbox Pause, Read Receipts, Block Tracking Pixels, Take Action from Email Notifications, Brief Me, AI Voice Assistant, Remind Me, Follow Up, Send Later, and more. App Store: Boomerang – Free
The first teaser trailer for forthcoming Apple TV+ series Dickinson appeared Sunday. The series details the life, and rebellious teenage years, of poet Emily Dickinson. As with other Apple TV+ content we’ve had a preview of, the show seems to have extremely high production values. The comedy series stars Hailee Steinfeld as the young poet. Apple said the show ” audaciously explores the constraints of society, gender, and family.” It will be released this fall.