The YouTube Apple TV app just got a big redesign. The new design brings it in line with the YouTube app on iOS and the web. The old app had a single navigation bar that linked to different sections. The new app features a universal search bar with dedicated categories like Food, Music, Gaming, Entertainment, Technology, Comedy, and more. This should make it easier to find videos that resonate with your interests. There is a navigation bar on the left side of the UI, where you’ll find your subscriptions, library, viewing history, and settings. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem as though the new app supports 4K videos. Although 4K videos are listed as 4K, it appears that the maximum resolution is 1080p when you look at the video details. The new update is available today.
Jim Dalrymple was given a tour of Apple’s audio lab—the kind of access Apple rarely gives anyone—and put together a fantastic piece at The Loop. This was done as part of Apple’s HomePod release blitz, and Mr. Dalrymple described the custom anechoic chamber built to test the HomePod, development time (6 years), and the fact that it was started as a speaker project, not a Siri product. He also talked about how nothing in HomePod is off the shelf, saying: “I had a look at a HomePod that was taken apart and put on a table. Every aspect of the device was designed by Apple, specifically for the HomePod. Even the fabric mesh that covers HomePod was designed by the acoustic team in collaboration with other Apple teams to make sure it was acoustically transparent, but still met all of Apple’s other standards.” It’s a very interesting read. Check it out!
We’ve been anxiously waiting for the first Solo: A Star Wars Story trailer ever since the movie was announced, and now it’s out. Considering the massive production turmoil the movie has been through, including firing and replacing directors, this could’ve been a minute and a half of pain and disappointment. Instead, it looks like we’re getting a face-paced and fun heist movie set in the Star Wars universe with young Han Solo. Hopefully the movie will live up to the trailer’s expectations. Solo: A Star Wars Story opens on Memorial Day.
Star Trek: The Next Generation had some amazing scripts (well, except for season 1), but none compare to the new script Botnik created. They used their specially trained keyboard system to create a new script for the TV series. The script is wonderfully funny, and it shows the interesting things that happen with language when you feed text from something—in this case, ST:TNG—into a computer and use that as the basis for predictive typing. There’s even a Web interface you can try out yourself.
Many public Wi-Fi networks require you to agree to some terms in order to connect. Sometimes, though, getting that page of agreement up can be very difficult. It gets even more difficult when you’re authenticating for the second (or fifteenth!) time. It seemed to us that this was getting worse and worse lately, and the answer is often SSL. Listen to this Mac Geek Gab Highlight to learn how to use a URL like neverssl.com (or even captive.apple.com) to bypass SSL in order to trigger the network’s portal page to display.
Amazon is hyping its Alexa voice assistant in a new ad to air during Super Bowl LII this weekend after teasing that new voices may be coming. Turns out they’re celebrities filling in to “help out.” Regardless of what you think of Amazon’s efforts in the voice control space, it’s a pretty funny commercial—and I kind of wish this is how my Echo really worked.
Apple has turned out the C-Suite to promote HomePod, including senior vice president of marketing Phil Schiller. In an interview with audio magazine Sound and Vision, Mr. Schiller talked up three aspects of Apple’s smart speaker: music, Siri, and HomeKit. There’s little I would call new in the interview, and when I went looking for a standout quote, it all felt like informative marketing speak. But, it’s interesting to see Mr. Schiller pushing HomeKit integration, which has largely been downplayed in Apple’s marketing message so far. One way or another, however, it’s a good read that gives a nice overview of what Apple wants us to think about HomePod.
In an iPad Diaries entry, Federico Viticci describes how he uses Type to Siri on his iPad Pro as a sort of “smart command line.” Type to Siri is a feature introduced in iOS 11 and macOS High Sierra. Although billed as an accessibility feature, it lets you type to Siri instead of talking. This can be helpful if you’re in public and you feel awkward talking to your iPhone. On iPad and Mac, it might even be more efficient to use Siri this way, since these devices have keyboards. Since you’re typing rather than talking, it could even be a bit better since there is little room for Siri to misunderstand you. To make it faster to use, Federico created specific text shortcuts for commonly used commands.
Marvel’s first Ant-Man movie was an awesomely fun romp through the super hero world, and it looks like the sequel, Ant-Man and The Wasp, is going to be more of the same. A surprise trailer for the movie dropped on Tuesday morning showing Ant-Man, the Wasp, and Dr. Pym back in action saving the world while on the run. You’ll never look at Pez in the same way again.
Check out this fascinating AT&T video from 1961 called Seeing the Digital Future. AT&T has published a lot of archival material to YouTube, and a friend spotted this one over the weekend. There are lots of things I find interesting about it. For one thing, remember that it’s 1961. AT&T wasn’t the AT&T of today, it was Ma Bell. It was the telephone company. It was the tech giant of its day! And while there’s a lot that misses the mark in this video, there are also some things Ma Bell got right, including the importance of computers being able to talk to each other. I also personally enjoy the 1960s special effects—in color, no less!—and wooden acting. It’s a great glimpse back at how things were, while they were trying to figure out how things would someday be.
In this TMO video podcast, Bryan Chaffin and John Kheit ask the question, “Is Augmented Reality for reals?” They also take the tact that analysts suck, and building on that theme, debate John’s theory on why software seems to suck today. For the pop part of the show, they look at Blade Runner and Blade Runner 2049. If you enjoy the show, make sure you subscribe to it! (WARNING NSFW: PROFANITY & RANTS)
NAMM – IK Multimedia announced iRig Stomp I/O Thursday. It’s a pedalboard stompbox designed to let you control your AmpliTube for iPad or iPhone effects pedals live or in the studio. iRig Stomp I/O has a lot of features, including four switches, an expression pedal, a built-in preamp, phantom power for microphones, a built-in USB audio interface, a combo input jack for line, instrument or mic input, and balanced stereo output. It’s also MFi-certified, and priced at $/€299.99. IK Multimedia said it will ship in March of 2018.
Check out the AdventureJumpStart from MyCharge. It’s a portable battery for charging your iPhone, iPad, or other mobile device, but it can also charge your other other mobile device. Your car. How cool is that? It even comes with detachable jumper cables designed to connect to the AdventureJumpStart and your car battery. With 6,600MhA of storage, you’d use it for your smart devices normally. But when jumping a car, AdventureJumpStart will put out a peak of 400A of current. MyCharge says you can leave it in your car year round, but recommends recharging it (via microUSB) every 90 days. It’s priced at US$99.99.
If you know people who aren’t grasping what the repeal of Net Neutrality means, try hitting them in the stomach. Figuratively, of course. Fast food giant Burger King has an awesome video that makes it much easier to understand the ramifications of an internet without Net Neutrality using hamburgers as an example. It’s only a couple minutes long, but that’s more than enough time to get the point across. This is one of the clearest, and most entertaining, Net Neutrality explanations we’ve seen so far.
Apple picked quarterback Tom Brady to promote Beats by Dre headphones. A new spot for the brand features a grim and gritty locker room shot of the Deflategate quarterback wearing a pair of Beats by Dre. In a voiceover, Mr. Brady says: “Doubt me. Distract me. Give me noise. ‘Cause all I hear is, ‘It’s payback time.'” A tagline of “Above the noise” then appears, followed by the Beats logo. The spot was posted to YouTube this weekend, and already has more than 2.2 million views.
Apple has a new spot out called Selfies on iPhone X. The commercial features a series selfies with a soundtrack of the late Muhammad Ali declaring that he is the greatest. He was so great, in fact, his one fault was in recognizing just how great he was. Watch the commercial (with sound on), and he’ll tell you all about it.
Apple CEO Tim Cook will be the commencement speaker at Duke University on May 13th, 2018, and the school used Apple’s own technology to make the announcement. Duke President Vincent E. Price, along with students and Tim Cook, used Animoji for the big reveal. Animoji is an iPhone X feature that maps your facial expressions and what you’re saying to an emoji character in real time. Cook is a Duke graduate and a fan of the school’s basketball team—something he shares in the video. Check out Duke’s Animoji announcement video.
NOMAD, well known for their cables and Apple Watch bands, just released a Qi-compatible wireless charging pad for the iPhone 8 and iPhone X. The wireless hub sports 7.5W output for charging your phone, along with a 3A USB-C and two 1A USB-A, and one 2.4A USB-A charging ports. Bundling in those extra ports makes it a great choice for your desk or your suitcase if you want an easy and convenient way to juice up your phone, iPad, and AirPods at the same time while you sleep. NOMAD’s Wireless Hub is priced at US$79.95 and is available at the company’s website.
Pop Culture artist Andy Warhol’s Apple logo painting is up for auction and is expected to bring in somewhere between US$20,000 and $30,000. Woodshed Art Auctions is conducting the auction with live bidding starting at 5:30 PM eastern time on February 1st. For you art aficionados considering making a bid, the piece is 8×8-inches in a 16.5×16.5-inch frame, float mounted with archive corners, no adhesives, and in good condition. Early online bids are currently at $6,500, so now you know what you have to out bid.
Apple Music has a trailer out for a mini series of documentaries on UK rapper Stefflon Don. It’s part of Apple Music’s “Up Next” showcase of up and coming artists. Stefflon Don was born in Birmingham, England, of Jamaican parents, grew up in Holland, and came back to England, where she launched her musical career. Apple Music describes her sound as a mix of UK rap and Jamaican dancehall, and there are two episodes of her documentary on Apple Music now. The trailer below offers a sneak peak.