Douglas Adams’s Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency is coming to BBC America! The first trailer for the series was released this week at Comic-Con, and it looks amazing. It stars Samuel Barnett in the title role, with Elijah Wood as his assistant Todd. I enjoyed the Dirk Gently novels, and I’m looking forward to this eight-episode series. Enjoy the new trailer!
Rogue Amoeba, developers of many great things upon which we podcasters rely, updated Loopback to version 1.0.3 today. Loopback lets you create virtual audio devices on your Mac which send the audio from one application to another in ways that most apps don’t directly support. The update brings Rogue Amoeba’s latest Instant On component, version 8.3, which now supports macOS 10.12 Sierra (available in beta form), as well as a bug fix for monitoring devices that are removed and re-added. Loopback is available directly from Rogue Amoeba.
Controlling your Nest smart thermostat just got bit more convenient thanks to an iPhone app update that adds Apple Watch support. You can check and adjust the room temperature from your wrist without having to fish your iPhone out of your pocket—something Ecobee users have been doing for a while. The app update also adds support for viewing multiple Nest cameras at the same time, and adds 1080p support for the Drocam Pro. Nest may be a little late to the game with Apple Watch support, but at least it’s finally here.
Steve Jobs was almost always compelling, intensely so. The Loop noted this video interview from 1994 when a bearded Mr. Jobs was still at NeXT. I’m not sure what he was asked (something about equating computing to the Renaissance), but his answer is intensely compelling. His central thesis is that advances in computing technology are ephemeral, and that all of his work “will be obsolete by the time I’m 50.” What’s unsaid is that legacy wasn’t the thing that drove him. Mr. Jobs relentlessly pursued the future, and this answer is part and parcel of that drive. I highly recommend watching it.
Deliveries, Junecloud’s excellent delivery tracking app, sees an update this week that adds a complete set of Apple Watch complications. Previous versions would only work with certain complications, and specifically had nothing for the smaller “Circular” complication that often sits in the corners of the watch face. Now any complication spot can be filled with your Deliveries data. Our tests also showed that the newest version of the app works fine on the current iOS 10 and watchOS 3 betas, but no comments were made by the developer. Your mileage may vary, of course.
Geocaching, both the name of the real-world treasure-hunt style game and its companion iOS app, sees an update to the latter today to better surface GeoTours. GeoTours are custom-built collections of geocaches to enhance (or serve as the foundation for) a trip or vacation to a specific area. There are now over 60 unique GeoTours available, and more are being added all the time. To learn about GeoTours or search for a specific one, start with the Search icon in the app and select GeoTours. You’ll be good to go from there!
Mozilla has pushed out version 5.0 of Firefox for iOS to the App Store, and along with it comes a slew of new features. Chief among those are both speed and battery life improvements as well as the ability to add custom search engines to the browser. When searching for something in Firefox, you’ve long had the option of tapping the icon of an alternative engine to perform your search there. Now you can add your own custom engines by simply going to any website, putting the cursor in the website’s own search box, and then hitting Firefox’s magnifying-glass-with-a-plus-symbol icon. That’ll add it to the top of your alternatives list and you’re good to go!
Adobe Lightroom is already available on the Mac, iPad and iPhone, and now it’s on Apple TV, too. The Apple TV version won’t let you edit images, but it does display Lightroom galleries on your big screen TV. You can view photos synchronized with the iPad version, or uploaded through Lightroom on the Web, view photos in slide shows, and zoom in on image details, too. Installing Lightroom (free) on your iPhone or iPad first makes it show up in purchased apps on your Apple TV. You’ll need a fourth generation Apple TV and a Creative Cloud account, too.
Oh my goodness, but do I love this video? Yes! Yes, I love this video! It’s from some show called The Computer Chronicles in 1995, and it features our own Bob “Dr. Mac” LeVitus (starting at 8:17) introducing the first Mac clone from Power Computing. He was working for Power Computing in those days as head of PR. Check out that ponytail and jacket he’s sporting (Squeeeeeeeee!). This video also has a segment with Jack Colt from DayStar demoing a multi-processing Mac clone that was a massive powerhouse in its day, as well as a segment on Oracle, and then an interview with Tim Bajarin. Oh, and they’re showing off some new fangled thing called Java. What blast from the past! Jim Tanous of TekRevue sent me the link because he loves me.
Pokémon GO launched in the U.S., Australia, and New Zealand only a couple weeks ago and it’s already the most download title on Apple’s App Store ever. More countries have been getting in on the game since then, and with Japan launching Pokémon GO today it’s a safe bet downloads are going to just keep climbing. That popularity is no doubt translating into big bucks for Nintendo and Apple thanks to in-app purchases, and also potentially slimer waist lines for players who’re getting off their couches and roaming the streets looking for Bulbasaur and Pikachu to catch. If Pokémon GO’s downloads are any indication, we really do have to catch ’em all.
iStumbler is a great WiFi network monitoring and troubleshooting utility for the Mac. You can use it to see what networks are nearby, track which channels and frequencies each network uses, view encryption status, and even get the coordinates for nearby base stations. As if that’s not enough, it also tracks Bonjour and Bluetooth devices. iStumbler is a handy tool that usually costs US$25, but right now it’s on sale for $10—more than half off. You can pick up a copy at the iStumbler website.
Want to try out Polymail on the Mac or your iPhone? That’s no problem now that it doesn’t require an invitation to download. Polymail is an alternative email app for iOS and OS X that lets you track email messages and receive notifications when they’ve been read, schedule when a message is sent, “snooze” messages for later reference, and even unsend messages. You can download the Mac version at the Polymail website, and the iOS version at Apple’s App Store.
We have a solid deal for those who like their tunes bass-heavy, Beats Pro Lil Wayne On-Ear Headphones from Apple’s Beats by Dre. Made of steel and aluminum, these headphones feature thick padded cups for your ears. Our deal offers a significant discount at $239.99, which is 39% off retail.
The Withings Thermo is a really cool digital thermometer we first saw at CES earlier this year, and now it’s available because it finally passed the FDA approval process. It senses your temperature without touching your skin, displays its readings instantly, and shows high temperature alerts. Thermo is more accurate than other digital thermometers thanks to its 16 infrared sensors that capture 4,000 measurements as it sweeps across your forehead. It syncs with your iPhone, offers advice based on readings, and can alert you when it’s time to take your temperature again. The Thermo costs US$99.95 and is available at the Apple Store and Withings website.
Vaja is offering a 20% sitewide discount on its leather cases for iPhones, iPads, and even a few Android devices. I don’t often mention things like sales, but I am a huge fan of Vaja cases. My first Vaja case was for the last Motorola RAZR I owned before I got the first-gen iPhone. I then got a Vaja case for that iPhone and for the iPhone 3GS I replaced it with. They’re very well made, high quality, and gorgeous, but you pay for what you get. That’s code for “they ain’t cheap,” making a 20% discount a possible buying opportunity for me. To get the discount, use coupon code “20off” at checkout. The item pictured with this article is the iPad Pro 9.7″ Detachable Libretto Leather Case, which normally starts at $199.
Plex today announced the public availability of Plex Music on Sonos. It still officially bears the “beta” label, but it works just fine in our quick tests. Now you can access your Plex Music Library from any Sonos device, and that includes remote access. If you have Sonos at your lake house and your Plex library is on your Mac at home, good news: it’ll stream across the Internet. It also works to stream friends’ libraries, too, as long as you’re both linked together via the Plex back end (and as long as your friend has their Music sharing enabled in Plex). Additionally, because Plex is built to transcode music, you can play any file, including those that Sonos doesn’t natively support. To add Plex, launch your Sonos controller app on your Mac or iPhone (or Android), select “Add Music Service,” choose Plex, sign in and you’re all set!
Apple posted two new spots in its “Shot on iPhone” series on YouTube. The one below, is titled Shot on iPhone by Marc Z. It should have been called something like Laughing Girl, or Joie de Vie. It’s just happy. And fun. And it’s yet another great spot in this wonderful series that shows off iPhone’s abilities. Apple also released Shot on iPhone by Robert S., a video of a gondola ride off a mountain.
Apple Pay officially launched in France Tuesday. The initial rollout covers MasterCard and Visa users with Banque Populaire, Carrefour Banque, Ticket Restaurant, and Caisse d’Epargne. Orange and Boon banks are coming soon. Apple announced the French Apple Pay rollout during June’s World Wide Developer Conference—ironically, our own Dave Hamilton tried to use it in France without success just last week during his European vacation. Le moment, as they (don’t actually) say, est tout.
MacStock 2016 took place over the weekend, and TMO friend Chuck Joiner has already edited a 57 minute video of interviews with many of the podcasters and writers in attendance. That includes Ken Ray, Victor Cajiao, Bryan Chaffin (meeeeeeee!), Tim Robertson, Julie Kuehl, Wally Cherwinski, Don McAllister, Adam Christianson, Barry Fulk, Mike T. Rose, and several more folks. If you pay attention, you’ll even see our own Jeff Gamet molest Mr. Joiner. As one does.
Pixelmator, the powerful-and-inexpensive image editor for both Mac and iOS, gets a free update on iOS to version 2.3 today that brings its Quick Selection Tool and Magnetic Selection Tool over from the Mac. The Quick Selection Tool makes very short work of doing previously-difficult selections and allowed me to do the selection in the first pane below in about ten seconds on an iPhone SE.
Pixelnator’s new Quick Selection Tool is somehow intuitive in a way that other “magic” selectors are not. Having this available literally at ones fingertips on iOS opens up all sorts of options for work and… play. Enjoy. (A hat tip to Scott Canali for the inspiration behind today’s screenshots!).