Apple launched its first commercial for the new MacBook Pro with Touch Bar. It’s big on splashy colors with brief glimpses of the Touch Bar itself, the company’s new touch-sensitive, context-aware Retina Display tool bar.
Join TMO‘s staff on a Google Hangouts on Air as we watch and cover Apple’s “hello again” Mac event. Not only will you hear live commentary from TMO staff, you’ll get to see a little behind-the-scenes action as the team publishes coverage of the announcements. You can also post questions and comments, but you’ll need to click through to the YouTube page for the stream to see and use that feature.
Duet Display was already a great app for using your iPad Pro as a second display for your Mac, and now its latest update makes it a proper graphics tablet, too. The new version supports Apple Pencil angle and pressure sensitivity, so you can draw in apps like Adobe Photoshop without having to invest in Wacom’s Cintiq tablet. You can use Duet with other iPad models, too, but you won’t get Apple Pencil drawing support. Duet Display cost US$19.99 a year, but is temporarily available for $9.99, so grab your copy now.
The iPad Pro and Apple Pencil make for a great note taking combo, and MyScript Nebo lets you amp that up with built-in handwriting recognition. Nebo converts what you write into editable text, lets you add formatting, turns your drawings into editable graphics, exports to Microsoft Word or any app that supports text editing, and more. It’s one of our favorite note taking apps, and you can get it for free instead of the usual US$8.99. MyScript says the price drop is temporary, so be sure to grab your copy right away.
Remember the first iPod? It was a thing. It held 5GB of music and was the size of a deck of playing cards. And there was no iTunes Store. The music industry was angry at Apple, worried that Steve Jobs wanted everyone to pirate CDs so he could sell us hardware. It was a whole big thing, but journalist Nobuyuki Hayashi reminded us of a tidbit I’d completely forgotten about. Apple sent out iPods to many journalists. Those iPods had music on them—20 albums worth chosen specifically and deliberately by Steve Jobs and the iPod team. And in an effort to show the music industry Apple was their ally, each of those iPods came with those 20 albums on CD. Mr. Hayashi recently found his bundle of CDs. He wrote an interesting post about it, including a list of all 20 albums. Spoiler, there’s a Dylan album, two Beatles albums, Nirvana, Bob Marley, Yo-Yo Ma, the Dave Brubek Quartet, a soundtrack, and more. It’s a fun snapshot look at an age that was radically different than the one we take for granted today.
OMG…gasp…can’t stop…gasp…omg…the laughter…
I SORRY ABOUT DDDoSS THE INTERNAT I KEPT PUSH REFRESH BCAUSE I THOUGT I’M WOULD GET REFRESHMENTS I SORRY DONT WIKILEAK ME
— birdsrightsactivist (@ProBirdRights) October 21, 2016
I’m kind of in love with this video by YouTuber Mauri Helme (via The Next Web). It’s the intro to King of the Hill, a brilliant Mike Judge cartoon that ran for 13 seasons. It was one of the smartest comedies on TV, in my opinion, but Mr. Helme recreated the intro using Pixel Art, including an 8-bit version of the theme song. Enjoy!
Feral Interactive announced Thursday that Max Max is now available for Mac and Linux. Mad Max is a violent game that puts the player in the title role. Combat centers around cars, with players chasing upgrades to make their cars better, faster, stronger. Gameplay doesn’t technically follow the 2015 movie Mad Max: Fury Road, but it was inspired by the look and feel of that movie. It’s US$29.99 and available now on the Mac App Store and on Steam.
Apple seems resolute in its desire to keep us from having an Apple wireless keypad with our Apple wireless keyboards, but Satechi has a device for that. The company introduced the Satechi Slim Rechargeable Aluminum Bluetooth Keypad in Gold, Silver, and Space Gray on Thursday. They look pretty spiffy to me, and the battery lasts up to 2 weeks on a charge time of 1-2 hours. They’re priced at US$39.99 and are available now.
IK Multimedia introduced bass modeling software for the Mac called MODO Bass. The company claims it reproduces a physical bass, including the way humans interact with the instrument, and that it can produce “virtually every electric bass sound.” Models out of the box include a Rick 4003, a Gibson EB-0, a 70s Fender Precision, a modern Fender Jazz, and several more. Each sound can be tweaked with effects and modeled amps. It looks really good, though I haven’t played with it yet. Retail is $299.99, but IK Multimedia has a pre-order price of $149.99. It ships in November.
“The iPhone 7 is said to be 120 times faster than the original 2G, which came out a whopping nine years ago—that’s a lot of progress in less than a decade.” So begins a terrific suite of tests on every iPhone Apple has shipped: boot time, speed benchmarks, camera quality (and low light performance), Touch ID response, camera launch times, operating temperature, sound output, and more. What a nifty video—and nicely narrated. Nine years of iPhone development before our eyes.
Focusrite released iOS Control Wednesday—note that it’s being listed on the App Store as simply Focusrite Control. This free app allows users of Focusrite’s desktop app Control to extend control of their audio interfaces to iPhone and iPad. Control works with Focusrite’s larger audio interfaces, from the Scarlett 6i6 (2nd Gen) and up, as well as the company’s Clarett and Red lines. With iOS Control, users can control hardware inputs, software playback, panning, solo, mute, and preamp settings on your interface—all from your iOS device. It’s a free download, but is useless without the above-mentioned hardware and use of the Control desktop app.
Whoa, check this out: scientists at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee have discovered a way to turn CO2 into ethanol. This could have huge implications for the fight against anthropogenic global warming, not to mention the entire energy sector. Mind you, this is a new discovery and it’s still in the lab, but if we can capture CO2 and convert it into a fuel, it could be a game changer. The video below talks about how the method was discovered, as well as some of its practical applications. In a world where a steady deluge of depressing news has become the new norm, this is a delightful breath of kick-butt. Popular Mechanics has an article on the subject, too.
Quartz has a very interesting piece [Via 9to5Mac] on how Apple and other tech companies use a U.S. Patent & Trademark Office rule to register trademarks in semi-secrecy. The rule is designated 44(d), and the crux of the matter is that allows multinationals to more or less hide a trademark for 6 months. That rule gives a trademark filer 6 month-retroactive priority on a new trademark application to filers who can prove they already filed it somewhere else. Apple, Google, Microsoft, Amazon, and Intel have all used this method to keep a trademark under wraps, but Apple is king of this method. Quartz cited legal experts who said only companies with enormous legal resources can afford to do it. Check out the full article for more.
ecobee introduced the ecobee3 lite smart thermostat HomeKit support and a lower price tag than the standard ecobee3 on Monday. The lower cost model offers most of the features as its not-so-lite brother such as remote access and IFTTT support, alerts, scheduling, and comfort settings. It doesn’t, however, support room activity sensors. The ecobee3 lite is priced at US$169. You can pre-order today and it’ll be available on October 31st.
Pixar has a new short called Borrowed Time. Right up front, this 6 minute film is not for kids. It’s intense, emotional, sad, and—as SFist called it—lovely. Two of Pixar’s animators spent five years making it in their spare time, and according to a behind-the-scenes film, they made it specifically to dispel the idea that animation is strictly for kids. I’d love to know what you think about it.
Google is adding U.S. ballot information to search results in the run up to the presidential election in November. It starts with the ability to search for “who’s on my ballot” in the main Google search engine. Users who do so will be asked to provide the street address where they’ll be voting (i.e. it will be added to Google’s profile on you if that was somehow missing). Google Maps users will be prompted to use their Home address. You’ll then be given all the candidates on your ballot, as well as quick access to information on how to vote in your state and where to vote in your district. In my opinion Google is performing a huge service to the country with this feature. Watch the video for more information.
Facebook just made it easier to watch videos wherever you want by adding support for streaming to Apple TV. The change means you can use AirPlay to watch Facebook videos on your television while continuing to scroll through posts in the Facebook iOS app, or on the Facebook website. Video comments will show up on your TV, too, which means you can keep on top of what everyone is thinks during the next Presidential debate—assuming you’re into streaming that from Facebook. You’ll need to download the latest Facebook app update on your iPhone or iPad to stream videos to your Apple TV.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story hits theaters on December 16th, but we don’t have to wait until then to see a little more of what’s in store. Disney released a new trailer for the movie on Thursday that reveals a little of Jyn Erso’s background and taunts us a glimpse of epic space battles with X-wings and TIE fighters. We also get another Darth Vader tease, and there’s plenty more to get excited about, too. Based on the trailers we’ve seen so far, Rogue One is shaping up to be an awesome prequel to the original Star Wars movie.
After I posted the SHAPES Kickstarter on Wednesday, Father Gabriel Mosher tweeted me another cool cable organizer called Cloop XL. This is a different approach for cable management in that it’s a rubber strap with neodymium magnets that snap together and stay there. This particular Kickstarter is for a new, larger version called Cloop XL. It’s 115mm (4.6-inches) long, and can hold sturdier cables. This project has already raised $66,000, well over its $10,000 goal. Funding options that get you three or more Cloops, including a Cloop XP, start at $11 as of this writing, but you only have today to participate. There’s a ton of information there, too.