YouTuber JerryRigEverything has taken a rather brutal approach to Apple’s new iPad Pro. In a new video, he tested the 11-inch version’s durability and found that it “doesn’t have any of that structural integrity stuff.” He concluded: “A tablet the size of a piece paper folds like a piece of paper.” It is quite painful to watch the beautiful device just give way, but worth knowing where the weak the points are. (Spoiler alert: they’re right in the middle, by the microphone and Apple Pencil charging dock.)
LONDON – BT has revealed its Black Friday 2018 offers, including the iPhone SE with 6GB of data for £16 ($20) a month for the first six months. The cost then rises to £27 ($34.60) a month. The deal involves a 24-month contract and includes BT Sport’s mobile service. Elsewhere in the BT Black Friday sale, customers can buy an iPhone SE with 12GB of data a month for £18.50 ($23.70) for the first six months. It becomes £32 ($41) a month for the remainder of the 24-month contract and also includes access to BT Sport for mobile. Both deals also come with unlimited calling minutes and unlimited texts and no upfront cost.
Baldur’s Gate Enhanced Edition just dropped from US$9.99 to US$1.99. Since its original release in 1998, Baldur’s Gate has set the standard for Dungeons & Dragons computer roleplaying games. Customize your hero, recruit a party of brave allies, and explore the Sword Coast in your search for adventure, profit… and the truth. Forced to leave your home under mysterious circumstances, you find yourself drawn into a conflict that has the Sword Coast on the brink of war. Soon you discover there are other forces at work, far more sinister than you could ever imagine…This game is optimized for tablets and not recommended for phones with screen sizes under 7 inches. App Store: Baldur’s Gate – US$1.99
Startpage is a private search engine that doesn’t track you or store data about you. The company recently redesigned the website and added a couple of new features. One of them is called Anonymous View.
Clicking search results means leaving the protection of Startpage.com. This could lead to a barrage of cookies being installed on your device. That’s why we developed the “Anonymous View” feature. With “Anonymous View” you can visit search results in full privacy, and keep on browsing: They’ll never know you were there. You’ll find the feature next to every search result.
If you’re looking for an alternative search engine, especially a private one, check out Startpage.
Thus Spoke the Plant by Monica Gagliano is what she calls a “phytobiography.” She tells a story of her journey into the frontiers of plant science, and how it changed her life. The book is a little too New Agey for my taste though, and I had thought there would be more science. Instead it reads like an example of neopagan literature, with plant spirits, shamans, and drug-induced vision quests. I don’t think there’s anything inherently wrong with that, it just surprised me to read it from a scientist. Nevertheless, Ms. Gagliano has certainly made strides in her field and is changing how we think of plants.
I’ve always been a keen observer of weights and measures, so this interested me. Digital Trends writes: “On Friday, November 16, a 129-year-old tradition will likely come to an end. Nearly all the world’s weighted measurements have relied on a single standard since 1889 — the International Prototype Kilogram (IPK), a block of metal made of platinum and iridium locked in a subterranean vault in Paris.
“Rather than defined by a block of metal, weights will be expressed in terms of the Planck constant (h). The stated goal is to shift the standard toward a more reliable form, one that won’t be damaged or corrupted by environmental factors that cause it to slightly and inexplicably lose weight.”
It’s not Black Friday yet, but RSS reading app Feedly has launched its Black Friday offer already. For the next few hours, existing free users can get 30% off an annual pro plan. For $45 users can have unlimited sources, Google keyword alerts and integration with apps such as Evernote, Pocket, and OneNote.
Spreaker Studio has added Siri Shortcuts to its app. The Spreaker Studio app transforms mobile devices into fully-equipped audio studios, offers anyone an easy way to broadcast from live events, share original music, create an audio blog or podcast series and connect with the world over shared passions. In addition to the ability to pre-record podcasts or broadcast live, users can add music and sound effects, interact with audiences via live chatbot and share across Facebook and Twitter. With the capabilities of iOS 12, Spreaker Studio now supports creation of user-generated commands and includes two ready-to-use shortcuts for hands-free podcast creation: “Record Audio,” which triggers capture, and “Broadcast Live,” which triggers simultaneous capture and publication of content. Users also benefit from the pairing of Siri Suggestions and Shortcuts in iOS 12, which enables Siri to learn users’ frequent in-app actions to predict and proactively prompt them in the future. App Store: Spreaker Studio – Free
VSCO X is a membership program for the photography app VSCO. It’s a yearly subscription that offers members exclusive film emulation presets. Members also have access to the entire library of 130+ presets. The membership costs US$19.99/year.
Since Kodachrome, no film has attracted as loyal a following as Fujifilm’s Velvia 50. With its high contrast and richly saturated colors, Fuji Velvia 50 quickly became the go-to film for landscape photographers. A slight magenta cast and warm color palette make Velvia 50 especially suited for autumn, desert, and sunset scenes.
The Mac Observer has a full list of Film X presets that are updated every month.
Evernote has launched a new dark mode for its popular note-taking application. Mac and iOS users can now switch between the standard UI (“Light”) and a new, darker Note UI (“Dark Mode”). The idea is to help users in a variety of circumstances, whether they who work late, suffer from migraines or benefit from a darker screen for other accessibility reasons.
The pre-Black Friday deals keep appearing. Today, Thursday 15 November, the Anker 30W 6-Port USB Charger PowerPort is available on Amazon for $15.99. This is a nice saving on its normal $20 price point. The Anker PowerPort can be used to charge a variety of Apple devices and, frankly, when do you ever have enough USB ports?
Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak has revealed that he does not follow how Apple shares are performing in the stock market. Speaking to CNBC’s Scott Wapner on Tuesday, he said, “I do not watch it at all. Period. I’ve never used Apple’s stock app once…I don’t care. You know what? I never did anything for the value of stock and the value of a company and the value of money. I did it create great computers for the world.” Mr Wozniak famously gave away $10 million of his own stock to early Apple employees. Watch the exchange below.
Space Gray 15-inch MacBook Pros with a Radeon Vega graphics are now available to purchase on the Apple Store. Users can choose from Radeon Pro 560x, Radeon Pro Vega 16 and Radeon Pro Vega 20 options. The Pro Vega 16 will add $250 to the cost of the machine, while the Pro Vega 20 options will add $350. Apple announced the introduction of the Radeon graphics following its October 30th ‘There’s More in the Making’ event.
Perfect for travelers, Unravel is a foldable wireless charging station with three 10W Qi charging pads, as well as one USB Type-C port. Powered by a cable many already have, a patent-pending hinge design that folds into accommodating orientations, and a non-slip grip surface, Unravel is the solution to long Facetime calls, cluttered laptop bags, and limited power outlets. When you’re done using it, you just fold it up and put it in the 2″ travel case. Unravel met its Kickstarter goal in 40 minutes, and sitting at nearly $300k raised with a 12 hours left on the campaign. Rewards start at US$59 to get a charging station, and the estimated delivery is December 2018.
B&H is today, Tuesday 13 November, offering massive discounts on MacBook Pros via its DealZone. A Mid 2017, Space Gray 15.4″ MacBook Pro with a 2TB SSD can be purchased for for $2,799, a reduction of $1,420 on the original price. Meanwhile, the 512GB model can be purchased for $2,199 – an $800 saving. The savings are only available until midnight Eastern Time on Tuesday, or while stocks last. Most US states also qualify for free shipping, while UK customers can get shipping from $5.46. Definitely worth checking out if you’re in the market for a new laptop! More details, and other deals are available via the B&H website.
Legendary comic book writer Stan Lee passed away yesterday. Apple is featuring a story in the Today section of the App Store called Remembering Stan Lee. Today Apple celebrates Mr. Lee’s legacy with apps and games featuring his iconic crimefighters in all their masked glory. On the app side, we see Marvel Unlimited, Marvel: Color Your Own, comiXology, and Olli by Tinrocket. In the game section we see Marvel Contest of Champions, Marvel Strike Force, Marvel Battle Lines, and Marvel Avengers Academy. Finally, the story notes that Mr. Lee served in the Army during WWI, and two apps in this section include Sandboxx, to send a letter to service members, and Apple Books.
AirPods are hugely popular but, let’s be honest, the charging case is hardly the most chic item Apple has ever released. Accessories maker NOMAD may have solved that problem. On Thursday, they are going to release the Rugged Case – a fully leather outer case for AirPods. Available in brown or black, you can put the AirPod charging case intro the Rugged Case, providing extra protection and a little bit more style. Priced at $29.95, the Rugged Case is available to pre-order now. Distribution will commence on Thursday, 15 November.
The iPhone XS and XS Max came with a feature called SmartHDR that increased the dynamic range of photos. It also reduced the local contrast and the phone’s performance in low light. The lowlight issues were fixed by decreasing noise reduction, which, when combined with the lack of contrast created a smoothing effect. This was particularly noticeable in selfies and came to be known as ‘Beautygate’. With iOS 12.1 Apple tried to fix the problem. Did they succeed? A video from AppleInsider takes a look.
LifeEar hearing aids can be calibrated with your iPhone. The LifeEar app connects LifeEar CORE hearing aids and your mobile device. Use your smartphone or tablet to control settings and personalize hearing aids for your specific needs. Life sounds better when you’re in control. Use the LifeEar app to create a personal profile for each ear to calibrate programs, adjust the volume of your LifeEar hearing aids, select your hearing aid programs to suit your environment, view hearing aid battery levels, and update your profile as your hearing needs change over time. Ears are like people, no two are exactly the same. That’s why the LifeEar app allows you to customize the CORE for your unique ears. Based on your response to a series of tones, it creates your profile and then calculates your personalized settings. App Store: LifeEar – Free