Market forces are rushing in to meet the needs of those who want to be able to listen through headphones and charge their iPhone at the same time. iLDOCK is a Kickstarter project for a Lightning splitter with a built-in headphone jack. It quickly tripled its funding goal of $5,000, with 28 days to go. As of this writing, there are $10 funding options that will get you an iLDOCK. There’s also an iLDOCK Plus that adds a USB port, microSD slot, and a TF slot.
Apple has a new spot out for iPhone 7 called “Balloons.” It’s a lovely spot with some beautiful imagery. While the piece is very light on product imagery, the balloons are meant to be a metaphor about iMessage bringing people together. The tag line at the end of the spot is “The all-new iPhone 7, with expressive messages. Practically magic.” Like I said, I think it’s beautiful. I’d be curious to know what you think.
iPhone and iPad game controllers aren’t exactly news, unless they’re awesomely retro—like the AP40 from 8Bitdo. Their game controller has a classic NES look with a dash of Apple II thrown in, sports Apple’s iconic rainbow stripes, and the “AP40” name is a hat tip to Apple’s 40th anniversary. It’s a Bluetooth game controller you can use with iOS and Android devices, as well as the Mac, and it comes with a green Apple leaf plug for the USB charger port. As if that isn’t enough, it comes bundled with Apple II-shaped stand to hold the charger, your iPhone, or iPad. The AP40 is a Kickstarter project that’s already nearing its minimum funding level. Funding at the US$49 level gets you the AP40, and at $69 you get the controller and retro stand, too.
The good folks at MyMac were kind enough to put my through one of their Spotlight interviews. They asked me 7 questions and I gave them mostly meandering, far-flung answers that explored life, the universe, and everything. There’s some what-makes-Bryan-tick stuff in it. If you’re into that sort of thing. I don’t advise it. Thanks to Tim Robertson and MyMac for putting me in the Spotlight!
With version 6.25, Skype for iOS brings two iOS 10 features forward: lock screen and Siri integration. Now when you get a Skype call, your iPhone rings just like it would for a normal phone call — and you can answer the same way you normally would. Additionally, you can say things like, “Hey Siri, call Jeff Gamet on Skype,” and then Jeff’s iPhone will ring the same way … assuming Jeff is in your Skype contacts list! Speaking of contacts, this version of Skype also adds integration there, bringing your Skype contacts into your iOS Contacts list. Download for free from the App Store.
iOS 10 lets third party apps link into Maps, which means you can find where you want to go and request an Uber, decide where to eat and make a dinner reservation, and more. Follow along to learn how to use extensions in Maps with TMO’s video tip.
Have you heard of A-Shirt? They produce Apple-inspired T-shirts for fans of the company. They work on a subscription model where you get a new shirt every two months. The shirts are designed by designers all over the world. In the image I included, the white T-shirt with the drawings of the Two Steves is the current shirt being offered. Each shirt is a one-time production, and once they’re shipped, they’re gone. A-shirt even destroys the printing framed. The company also offers members a lot of content about how each shirt is created, the dyes used, the material, etc. You can sign up to get your first shirt for $25, with subsequent shirts at $50. If you commit to longer terms, the price-per-month decreases.
Stilo announced its 6R stylus for mobile devices. This device features what the company calls a Hybrid Tip, made from both rubber and brass. Stilo says it gives the 6R a “natural feel and pinpoint precision.” We haven’t tested that out yet, but will be doing so in the near future. In that the shape of your pen/pencil/brush/stylus is extremely personal, the 6R is shaped like a prism. The body is magnetized enough to stick to your magnetic-friendly mobile devices. Stilo 6R is priced at $14.99.
The Digital Crown on your Apple Watch Series 2 can wake up your watch screen and control its brightness, too. TMO’s Jeff Gamet calls this his movie theater feature because you can discreetly check your watch display without disturbing anyone around you. Follow along with our video tip to learn how it works.
iOS 10 lets you set who gets receipts on a case-by-case basis for the chats you read in Messages. It’s easy to set up once you know where to look. Follow along with The Mac Observer’s video tip to learn how.
Who says the U.S. Patent system needs an overhaul? Companies like Apple patent everything they can. It’s not only a smart strategy, it’s a necessary strategy within the legal framework and patent structure we have today. With that in mind, I present to you patent application 20160264304, for a patent called “Bag.” The abstract described the patent as, “A paper bag is disclosed. The paper bag may include a bag container formed of white solid bleached sulfate paper with at least 60% post-consumer content.” OK, I see your lols bubbling forth, and I’m with you. But, the patent appears to focus on innovations in the way the handles are attached to “Bag.” The patent hasn’t yet been granted. The application was sent to our own Dave Hamilton by a Mac Geek Gab listener.
Fall is in the air, which means it’s time to start thinking about which jacket you’re going to wear on chilly days, and maybe which laptop bag to carry, too. SCOTTeVEST is combining the two with its new Off The Grid (OTG) jackets for men and women. The jackets are insulated to keep you warm and include pockets big enough to carry a 15-inch MacBook Pro and iPad, touch-through pockets for your iPhone, accessory pockets, an RFID-proof pocket, and channels to route headphone and charger cables so they’re out of sight. That’s a lot of pockets. The OTG is priced at US$215 and is available now in black or blue for men, and black or plum for women.
If you’re on the hunt for an iPhone 7, iStockNow makes that task easier by showing exactly which stores have some in stock. The site mashes up Google Maps and Apple’s own back-end inventory system to drop pins on ever Apple Store. Green pins mean a store has some iPhone 7 inventory, and red means they’re out of stock. You can also set filters to see if the size, color, and carrier you want are available, and you check specific cities, too. We were able to tell right away that Colorado and California are good states for getting a new iPhone right now; Washington and Florida, not so much.
We’re running an informal poll for our readers and listeners on Twitter. Which home button haptic click level did you choose on your iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus?￼ We published a tip yesterday if you’re wanting to revisit the setting you chose during setup. As for the poll, you can see the results after choosing, but so far, only a few miscreants like our own Dave Hamilton have chosen level 1. I’d love to see a lot of data on this, so help spread the poll.
iPhone 7 users, which home button haptic click level did you choose?￼
— The Mac Observer (@MacObserver) September 20, 2016
iOS 10 beefed up 3D Touch support for the iPhone and one place you can see that in action is in the Control Center. Check out The Mac Observer’s video tip showing how you can use 3D Touch to control the flashlight and more.
I love this: John Brooks announced the release of ProDOS 2.4 for all Apple II computers. It’s an update 30 years in the making, and it was released for the anniversary of Apple’s legendary Apple IIGS. On that specific machine, the new version of ProDOS includes new launching utilities, boot options, a GS/OS dormant state, and ProDOS 2.4 is smaller than ProDOS 2.0.3. Other Apple II models get new features, as well, making it a must-have for every Apple II enthusiast. You can check out the full list of improvements and features at the Apple Pugetsound Program Library Exchange.
MacTech Conference 2016 is reaching for the stars—or at least Marshall Smith, the keynote speaker, is. Mr. Smith is NASA’s Director of Cross-Program Systems Integration and Chief Engineer for Exploration Systems Development, as part of Human Explorations and Operations Mission Directorate. That’s all government-speak for saying he’s the guy who coordinates engineering United States manned space flight efforts across the agency’s many employees, contractors, and locations. He’ll be talking about his insights on cross-culture and cross-organization collaboration from his perspective as one of NASA’s top men. MacTech Conference 2016 runs from November 16th through November 18th in Los Angeles and is one of the go-to events from Apple consultants, IT pros, and enterprise pros. Early bird registration is still open, so you can save US$400 off the event—plus an extra $200 using TMO’s special discount—if you sign up now.
iOS 10 lets you block spam calls, but it isn’t as simple as flipping a virtual switch. You’ll need an app, like the free WhoCalls, to get started. Follow along with The Mac Observer’s video tip to learn how to get your iPhone set up.
Apple aired a new Apple Music commercial during the Emmys featuring actor and late night talk show host James Corden pitching his ideas for an ad promoting the streaming music service. The spot is a big departure from Apple’s other ads because is also features Eddy Cue, Bozoma Saint John, and Jimmy Iovine—the Apple Music executive team. It’s a fun commercial, assuming you’re a James Cordon fan, although it was kind of disappointing that we didn’t get any mention of Stormageddon, Dark Lord of All. Apple is sharing the new ad on YouTube for your viewing pleasure.
John Kheit received his Apple Watch Edition Series 2—the new one made from Ceramic—and shared his unboxing experience. Unlike the ones shown during Apple’s September 7th media event, the $1,299 Apple Watch Edition Series 2 comes with a light gray band. Check out the full video to see what else ships in the box.