Nathan Gitter has the coolest use for the iPhone X facial scanning camera outside of Animoji and it’s called Rainbrow. That’s a new game where your eyebrows literally control how you move an emoji up and down the screen to collect stars. You have to avoid objects like cars and eight balls while trying to beat your previous high scores. You move by raising or lowering your eyebrows, and we found the game works much better when you aren’t wearing glasses. It’s simple to learn and is challenging enough to keep your interest, plus you get great looks from people who have no idea why you’re making faces at your iPhone. Rainbrow is a free download at Apple’s App Store.
Redbox is testing a new digital service called Redbox On Demand. It’s in beta, and only a small number of customers can try it out. But it lets you rent or own the latest movies and certain TV shows to complement your physical purchases. You can stream or download movies and watch from your iPhone, iPad, MacBook, or Apple TV. Unlike Netflix or Hulu, it’s not a subscription service either. It’s purely transactional, and you pay for what you want. Prices vary depending on your selection, but movie rental generally starts at US$1.99, while movie purchases start around US$3.99. TV episodes can be purchased starting at US$1.99, and entire seasons can be had starting at US$12.99.
In addition to the Sam Smith exclusive Apple Music published, the service also has a trailer for an exclusive concert film from Noel Gallagher, formerly of Oasis. It’s called Who Built the Moon Live: Noel Gallagher, and features tracks from his new album Who Buolt the Moon.
Apple Music just published a trailer for The Thrill of It All Live: Sam Smith. It’s a live performance movie by Sam Smith for his new album, The Thrill of It All. It’s an intimate performance, with a small, round stage in a small room, and it’s exclusive to Apple Music.
Lightsabers may be about the coolest sci-fi weapon ever, but they would make for a much more gruesome death than we see on the big screen. With Star Wars: The Last Jedi in theaters now it’s a good time to find out what would really happen if you took up arms with Luke Skywalker. Kyle Hill does a great job of explaining what would happen if you sliced someone with a lightsaber on Because Science. Check it out!
Bryan Chaffin and John Kheit discuss the AirPort KRACK fix, and why the iMac Pro should really be called iMac Edition. They also dig into political criticism of Tim Cook speaking in China and Apple’s overall position in that country. And when they hear that Apple has hired new television execs, they hope it means Apple’s leadership is learning how to delegate. (WARNING NSFW: PROFANITY & RANTS)
Coinbase updated its iOS app Tuesday, as the company works overtime to beef up its infrastructure in the midst of Bitcoin Mania: 2017 Edition™. The update improved identify verification, “especially for iPhone X.” It also has a simplified sign up, optimized charts, unspecified bug fixes, and more. Coinbase is an online, hosted wallet for Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin cryptocurrencies, all of which have exploded in popularity. Coinbase features the ability to buy and sell those cryptocurrencies, and the company owns dedicated exchange GDAX. You’ll need a Coinbase account to use the company’s iOS app.
Jonathan Morrison was lucky enough to get an early hands-on experience with Apple’s new iMac Pro, and he thinks it looks pretty awesome. He tricked out the new model with a cool desk and speakers, and made what he calls the perfect iMac Pro setup. It does look pretty awesome, and he’s already hard at work on some serious video editing. Check out his video showing the dream iMac Pro setup.
Apple just announced the iMac Pro will be available on December 14th, and MKBHD already has a first look video out for the new computer. After using the iMac Pro for a week he says it’s definitely a pro-level machine when it comes to power and performance, and it looks really cool, too. The big downside is that you can’t upgrade any internal components, just like Apple’s MacBook Pro lineup. Check out the MKBHD video to see more.
Creator Mike von Rotz made an Apple Watch stand inspired by Thing from The Addams Family. As fans know, Thing is a disembodied hand that crawls around and performs various services for the family. It started when Mike found a free hand model from TurboSquid. He then configured it using Autodesk Maya to move it into the correct position. Printing it took about 19 hours, and the final model stands 6.6 inches (17 cm). You can find a free file on Thingiverse. It’s just a simple, plain white hand, but if you’re good at painting you can customize it to your liking.
Apple Pay isn’t quite as smooth an experience on the iPhone X as it is on earlier iPhone models. There’s a trick to getting it to work reliably when you’re at the check out counter. Watch to learn what to do.
Bryan Chaffin and John Kheit discuss the Inception Drive and its potential to change the world. Looking more to the past, they look at Mac emulators and the many ways they can help you out. They also pit the tyranny of the masses against bloatware, and revel in the glory that is Hulu Live’s Future Man. Make sure you hit the Subscribe button! (WARNING NSFW: PROFANITY & RANTS)
If you’re of a certain age Liquid Television has a special place in your heart. If that doesn’t ring a bell, it’s a ground breaking animation series that ran on MTV in the 1990s that gave us shows like Beavis and Butt-head along with Æon Flux. The series featured shorts that defined a new style of animation and storytelling, and the full episodes haven’t been seen in their complete form since they were originally aired. That just changed because MTV posted the entire series on Archive.org where you can watch them all for free. If you haven’t seen the show before, clear your weekend schedule and start watching. If you remember the show, well, you’re welcome.
Feral Interactive announced Tuesday it was bringing Deus Ex: Mankind Divided to the Mac. Better yet, the company is adding in support for Metal 2, Apple’s graphics API. Deus Ex is a cyberpunk-themed action-role playing franchise, with Mankind Divided being the most recent installment. It was released on PC in August, 2016. In this installment, players are Adam Jensen, an augmented covert agent. I loved the original Deus Ex, and am delighted to see Mankind Divided come to Mac. It’s going to be released December 12th for US$59.99/£39.99/€49.99 on Steam and direct from Feral Interactive. There’s a Deluxe Edition version, too, for $89.98/£64.98/€79.98.
Check out this crazy-cool invention called Inception Drive by Alexander Kernbaum of Stanford Research Institute (SRI), the same organization that developed Apple’s Siri. It’s an actuator, but one that uses a pulley-within-a-pulley to produce an infinitely-variable transmission. This technology could be used to make robots move more efficiently, and perhaps even make them safer. While Mr. Kernbaum’s focus is robotics, his invention could be applied to any number of uses where things move, and that’s just way cool. The IEEE Spectrum has more on the invention, including the video below. I love how Mr. Kernbaum is casually hanging out in a hallway with demo models of something that could change the way humanity’s machines move.
Apple has a new spot called iPad Pro – Markup. It shows the same young woman featured in the What’s a Computer? spot. In this commercial, she’s sitting around with her iPad Pro talking to a friend with FaceTime. She snags a screenshot, marks up the screenshot, and then sends it to the friend in iMessage while continuing the conversation. It’s all fluid, natural, and easy. It ends with the tagline, “A new way to markup instantly.” On the one hand, I’m not sure how many kids can afford an iPad Pro. On the other, I think this delivery speaks perfectly to young people, and that’s entirely the target market.
TAP, the wearable finger/chord keyboard, is available for pre-order. I wrote about this device in the prototype stage back in May of 2016. I said then that it might make sense, and now the company is ready to release. TAP reminds me first and foremost of the Atreides battle language from Dune. In the books, the language was used to communicate by tapping your fingers on someone else (while optionally having a different conversation with your mouth). When I watch TAP in action in the video below, it’s how I’ve always envisioned Frank Herbert’s idea. TAP works with a chord metaphor. They slip over your fingers and map your finger movements to chords that represent letters. Simply tap away to type wirelessly…anywhere. In any event, they’re available for preorder for $129, and each comes with a charging case. The company said they’d begin shipping in late December. We’ll be testing these puppies out.
Lofree is heading back to Indiegogo for version 2 of its retro-styled, mechanical, wireless Mac keyboard. The first version raised more than $700,000, and version 2—called Four Seasons—has topped $38,000 in its first day. While the keyboard works with Mac, iOS, Android, and Windows, the key layout is for Mac. It features both a wireless and wired mode, and will last between 1 and 2 weeks on a charge, depending on your backlighting use. Oh, and it offers backlighting with three levels of LED light, which you can see in the video below. It comes in four colors, Vernal White, Aestival Blue, Autumnal Grey, and Hibernal Black. There are Super Early Bird slots left at $74, and Early Bird slots for two keyboard for $140. They’re estimating shipping for March of 2018.
If you’re looking for a way to streamline your podcast production workflow, well known Mac developer Marco Arment may have just what you need. His Forecast app handles the tedious parts of podcast production like adding show titles and graphics, filling in show length and file size, and entering chapter points. It can also spread MP3 encoding across all of your Mac’s processors, making the whole process even faster. His app has been in use privately for two years and now it’s available as a public beta. Forecast is free and you can show your support my mentioning the app on your show, or buy an ad. You can download Forecast at the Overcast website.