Pixelmator Pro for the Mac is a powerful image editing app for the Mac, and now it can do even more. The app added Bokeh, Light Leak, and Spin blur effects, an Auto Selective Color adjustment, and more. It’s also on sale for 50% off to make jumping into the new school year a little more affordable. Currently, it’s available for US$29.99 on Apple’s Mac App Store.
I’ve been researching security cameras, and Reolink has a camera called Argus Pro with a nifty feature: you can power it from an optional solar panel. That’s extra handy in that it’s wireless and rechargeable, meaning the solar panel can keep it going without you having to wire up the outside of your house. It records 1080p video, has a motion sensor, has night vision (up to 33 feet), and using WiFi, it can stream to your smartphone or computer. It will do motion detection recording, and it records to an optional SD card with an internal slot. It does two-way audio, and it’s weatherproof, too. The Argus Pro is available now for $99 for one camera (Amazon link), or $124.99 with one camera and the solar panel.
Apple has purchased the global rights to documentary The Queen Elephant, according to Deadline. This film is about an elephant clan led by Athena. That’s her with the giant tusks. 😍 The documentary was filmed by Victoria Stone and Mark Deeble, who spent years with Athena’s family, as she coped with a drought. It sounds amazing, and I can’t wait to see it. Apple hasn’t said when it will be released, but one might imagine it will be part of whatever original streaming service the company has been cooking up for the last few years.
Have you ever wanted to sleep, comfortably, under the stars? From Digital Trends: “…’head in the stars’ may sound like a Coldplay lyric but it’s a pretty good description for this tiny house in France being manufactured by a company called SCOP Optinid.” Plus it’s transportable. It’s a star gazer’s dream trailer, with all the amenities, for just US$54,000. Binoculars not included.
Sphero announced its newest robot, Sphero BOLT, on Monday. The sphere-shaped robot is targeted at the education market, but is available to everyone. It packs an array of infrared and ambient light sensors, LEDs, and a digital compass in its clear body. You can program it from a wide range of devices including iPhones, iPads, Android phones and tablets, Kindle, Macs, and PCs. Sphero BOLT is priced at US$149.99 and is available at the Sphere website.
To celebrate students going back to school, Pixelmator and Pixelmator Pro are half off. And this is for everyone, not just students. Pixelmator Pro is a powerful, beautiful, and easy to use image editor designed exclusively for Mac. With a wide range of professional-grade, nondestructive image editing tools, it lets you bring out the best in your photos, create gorgeous compositions and designs, draw, paint, apply stunning effects, design beautiful text, and edit images in just about any way you can imagine. And thanks to its intuitive and accessible design, It’s easy to use whether you’re just starting out with image editing or you’re a seasoned pro. The app was also just updated with new features and improvements like an Auto Selective Color adjustment tool powered by machine learning. Mac App Store: Pixelmator – US$14.99 | Pixelmator Pro: US$29.99
Apple has hired Liz Schimel, formerly of Condé Nast, to help build Apple News. The Information (via AppleInsider) reported (subscription required) that her new title at Apple is Head of News Business, according to her LinkedIn Profile. She’s a media veteran, and her most recent title was President of Condé Nast’s China business. I personally used to worry that Apple News would be yet another project launched and then forgotten by Apple, but the company is clearly intent on growing the service. I read tons of articles on Apple News every day on iPad and iPhone, and I expect to use it in macOS Mojave when that OS ships later this year. TMO has also seen an increase in traffic on Apple News, and that probably coincides with overall growth in the platform. All of which makes Apple investing in more resources and people to build and promote Apple News make sense.
Aside from the Apple Pencil, the Logitech Crayon stylus is the only third-party stylus officially approved by Apple. The stylus was announced at Apple’s iPad education event earlier this year. At launch, the Logitech Crayon stylus was sold only to schools. Now however, anyone can buy one. Logitech announced today it will sell the Crayon through its website, as well as Apple Stores. For education customers the price was US$49.99, but for the general public the price has been increased to US$69.99. There’s a caveat though: The stylus is only compatible with the education iPad (sixth-gen), not the iPad Pro or older models. The Crayon charges with a built-in Lightning port and a single charge lasts about seven hours.
In the Hogwarts Mystery game, you go on an adventure set in the wizarding world, years before Harry Potter received his Hogwarts letter. Explore never-before-seen rooms of Hogwarts Castle and investigate ancient mysteries. Learn powerful magic and knowledge from Professors Dumbledore, Snape, and more. Duel against your rivals and forge alliances with new friends to help you on your adventures. As part of WBIE’s Portkey Games label, this game puts you at the center of an all-new story in the wizarding world. The new update, called the Year 5 update, adds characters, places, and new adventures. “Year Five is a pivotal year for any student at Hogwarts, with the O.W.L. exams looming, new professors to navigate, and for some, a prefect badge on their robes,” said Amanda Heaton, Executive Producer at Jam City.
The latest update to the browser—Firefox 62—brings automatic Dark Mode on macOS. When you turn on Dark Mode in macOS Mojave, Firefox will now automatically enable its dark theme. The update also sets “the groundwork for future releases that will help people feel safe online.” The company announced last week that the browser would eventually block third-party ad trackers and remove cookies from websites by default. Another component of today’s update are variable fonts. These let you create typography with a single file. For example, if you had the Arial font, there would be a separate file for Arial Bold, Arial Italic, etc. Now it’s included in one file, and websites with a lot of text that switch to this will load with less data than before.
Author Liz Weiman is publishing a new book called 100+ iPhone/iPad Tricks You Can Do Right Now, which will cover iOS 12 tips and tricks. Ms. Weiman is the author of The Lawyer’s Guide to Concordance, published in 2010 by the American Bar Association, 50+ iPhone/iPad Tricks You Can Do Right Now (iOS 10) (2016), and 80+ iPhone/iPad Tricks You Can Do Right Now (iOS 11) (2017). The new OS will receive a major makeover with new features include upgrades to Portrait Mode, Live Photos, Apple Pay, Safari, Siri, and a bunch more. Ms. Weiman will be launching and presenting the new book at the iWorkshop Academy. She will give a 45-minute lecture demonstrating seven tricks from the book. After the presentation there will be a wine and cheese reception. The presentation is September 29 in Houston, Texas from 4PM to 6PM. To RSVP, visit iWorkshop’s website.
Want to build a drone? There’s a build a drone kit on IndieGogo right now called PlutoX. It’s a complete aerial robotics kit that comes with a nano drone, a learning manual, 10 DIY projects, hardware accessories (including wifi camera, range sensor and DC geared motors), easy-to-code software and modular hardware. “Instead of slowing down tinkerers with a cumbersome process to add hardware like cameras, sensors or even another board to their drones, we want to make development easy for them. We want to fuel their imagination and encourage them to explore more possibilities while tinkering,” says the CTO and co-founder, Prasanna Shevre. With 30,000+ students trained on drones and with the Pluto Racing League–India’s first nano drone racing league, Drona Aviation has made a mark in the Indian drone industry. You can fund the project with rewards starting at US$169.
IK Multimedia announced UNO Synth Editor, a software editor for the company’s UNO analog synthesizer. It allows you to to control and tweak the hardware UNO synth from your Mac, iOS device, or PC, either as a standalone app or as a plugin for popular DAWs. The software interface was designed to look just like the hardware synth, too, but with “deep control” over settings. UNO Synth Editor is a free download for all three platforms, and the software plugin works with Logic, GarageBand, Ableton Live, Pro Tools, Cubase, Studio One, Reaper, and more. The UNO Synth hardware synthesizer shipped in July for US$/€199.99.
Let me state right up front that this thing is useless, a bad idea in search of a problem. I don’t care, because it’s also super cool and a herald of some crazy cool stuff yet to call. That out of the way, here’s the Magicscroll (via TechCrunch), a research product from scientists at Canada’s Queen’s University Human Media Lab. It’s part smart-ish phone, part tablet, and part wonky, because it rolls into a cylinder, thanks to a 7.5” 2K resolution flexible display. Watch the video, and you can see how they use the ends to navigate and unroll the screen to use it as a tablet. Ish. Here’s why I’m excited about it: it’s that rolled up display. While “displays” are eventually headed towards holographic projectors (I’m telling you now), an intermediary step is going to be displays that roll up into tight little cylinders we can take with us. Again, I’m telling yo now. The Magicscroll is an early step towards much more useful iterations, and you have to start somewhere. Also, I love to see anyone trying to think about different ways to do things, even if those ways seem absurd. You know, like this one. So, check it out!
Yeah, so the folks at LEGO might be crazy. I mean, real crazy. They built an actual-size replica of a Bugati Chiron supercar and then drove it. Fine, sure, it has a steel frame, a couple of batteries, some 3D printed gears, an electrical motor of some sort, and it rolls on real Bugati wheels. It’s otherwise made out of LEGO Technic bricks and pieces. And the spoiler rises and falls with the push of a button, the doors open and close, and the speedometer—made of Technic pieces—is functional. Come on, that’s crazy! And they spent 13,500 man hours doing it. And then they took the whole thing for a drive? They got it up to 13 miles per hour, for goodness’ sake. Just look at the driver sitting in his LEGO Technic seat. This is heroically insane. The whole thing. And a brilliant stunt. Check out the video, and TechCrunch has a bunch of photographs of this madman’s exercise being built.
Reeder 3, a popular news reader that lets you add RSS feeds from multiple accounts, is now free for iOS and macOS. I don’t know if this is temporary or permanent, but it might be a sign that Reeder 4 is coming. In any case, it’s a great deal because the Mac app use to be US$9.99 and the iOS app was US$4.99. You can add accounts from Feedbin, Feedly, Feed Wrangler, Fever, FeedHQ, Inoreader, NewsBlur, Minimal Reader, The Old Reader, BazQux Reader, and Instapaper. You can also add a standalone RSS feed from a website. These are local and don’t sync between iOS and macOS. Sharing services include Safari Reading List, Buffer, Instapaper, Pocket, Evernote, Pinboard, Twitter, Facebook, Messages, Mail, and more. App Store | Mac App Store
A prototype original iPhone just popped up on eBay and the bidding has already hit US$12,500. The phone is described as an early prototype, and the seller says, “This prototype is running an early version of Apple’s iOS designed to test the phone’s hardware functions. The same operating system, which features tests for the iPhone’s radios, touch sensors, display and battery.” Considering how rare these are it isn’t too surprising the bids climbing so high, and they will likely go a lot higher, too.
Blue Microphone (now part of Logitech) announced the Yeti Nano USB microphone on Tuesday. This device is aimed at YouTubers and other content creators, both for streaming and pre-recording. It’s much more compact than the original Yeti mic, and it comes with a new Mac/PC app called Sherpa (currently in beta) that allows you to control the mic from your desktop. That app allows you to, “mute and unmute your mic and headphones, fine-tune gain and levels, switch polar patterns, and change sample rates.” The mic also comes with both a Cardioid more and an Omnidirectional mode for use in multiple settings. It comes with a metal stand and is compatible with the optional Radius III shockmount and Compass boom arm. There are also four finishes for the mic, including Cubano Gold, Red Onyx, Shadow Grey, and Vivid Blue. All in all, at US$99.99, it looks like a solid mic option for a lot of content creators, and it’s available now.
OK, Veronica Mars fans, I hope you’re sitting down because it’s official: A new season is in the works. This isn’t a reboot; it’s a new season with Kristen Bell starring and original show creator Rob Thomas involved. The show will air on Hulu, and there isn’t any word yet on how many episodes they’re making. The production won’t interfere with The Good Place, so don’t worry, that awesome show is still happening, too.