Feral Interactive announced Friday it was bringing ROME: Total War to the iPad! This classic game mixes turn-based play and real-time strategy battles in a way that kept me glued to my Mac for ages. Your cities matter, and commanders count. They have different strengths and weaknesses, and not only affect your economy, they can make or break a battle. Even the way you deploy your troops matters. It will be released this fall and pricing hadn’t been announced. Two of the games expansions have been pre-announced for iPad, too: ROME: Total War – Barbarian Invasion and ROME: Total War – Alexander. Check out the trailer.
iOS 10’s Messages app lets you add stickers to your text chats, just like you can do in conversations in social media services such as Facebook. You won’t see any stickers you can use at first because there aren’t any installed by default. Follow along with this TMO Video Tip to learn how to install stickers and use them in your Messages chats.
The excitement over Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is building up to a frenzy as its December 16th premiere draws ever closer like a tractor beam pulling us into the Death Star’s landing bay. The excitement hyperdrive kicked in now that the second trailer for the movie is out and OMG it has Darth Vader! There’s also X-wings TIE Fighters, Star Destroyers, and Storm Troopers—but there’s Darth Vader! Crank up your speakers, sit back, and soak up the awesomeness that is the second Rogue One trailer.
Youtuber colinfurze has a new crazy contraption, a 360-degree swing. And it’s just way too cool. Oh, and it’s in his back yard and lacks even a semblance of safety. I love people who can make things and who aren’t afraid to shoot for awesome. This swing is certainly awesome. Check out the bit at 1:55 when he talks about the pallets and how it used to be taller. At 2:02 there’s a couple of seconds of one of the arms bending while he was testing. Crazy. Watch and admire!
I’ve been thinking about Rick Tetzeli’s interview transcript with Eddy Cue and Craig Federighi for two days, and I just can’t decide what exactly to write about it. There’s a detailed explanation on Maps, its development, its import. There’s stuff about the differences between Steve Jobs and Tim Cook (Steve yelled, Tim is cerebral). There’s comments on Apple and innovation, and another section on customers holding Apple to a higher bar. And a lot more. It’s all good, and I think it’s a must-read for anyone interested in Apple.
Explaining the complexities and nuances of controlling your home’s smart lights, smart switches, and wireless music system can be a little frustrating for you and intimidating for your less tech-savvy friends and family. Logitech is hoping to take away that complexity with its new Pop programmable button. You set up a Pop to control connected devices such as Hue lights, WeMo and Lutron switches, Sonos music players, and more. It’s pretty versatile, too, so you can do things like set a single press to turn on the lights and close the blinds, or a double-press to dim the lights and get the tunes playing through your Sonos. You can pre-order a starter pack with two switches and network bridge for US$99.99, and it will ship in a few weeks.
Netflix launched its own internet speed test website a few months ago, and now the streaming entertainment company has turned the Fast site into an iPhone and iPad app. Just like the website, the Fast app is a one trick pony: launch it, and you’ll see how fast your internet connection is. Fast shows just your download speed, which is what most people care about anyhow, and there’s a button to check your connection speed again. Netflix Fast is a free download at Apple’s App Store.
Check out Hula Wrap on Kickstarter. It’s a leather wrap for your MacBook charger that lets you wrap both cables, even the long power cord. It looks good, all rugged and leathery, but more importantly, it looks like it works. I hate taking my charger with me on my 2011 MacBook Air because the cables are such a pain, even though the battery has degraded over the years. That’s why this project immediately resonated with me. The company behind Hula Wrap is half way through its modest funding goal of $9,800, with 21 days to go. Funding options that will net you a Hula Wrap are currently available at $25. You can get two of them for $40. The video below is short, to the point, and well-produced, and it shows Hula Wrap in action.
Check out the Totally Accurate Battle Simulator, or TABS. This game is just starting alpha development, but it’s super exciting. At least to a nerd like me. You set up units (the red and blue rag dolls in the video), arm them with weapons, and let TABS show you what would happen. Is it a game? Maybe? I don’t know, I just see the opportunity to test out combat scenarios. Being developed by Landfall, the game has been greenlit by Steam, according to The Next Web. Landfall is accepting signups for the alpha for Mac, Windows, Linux, Xbox, and PS4, though the company is specific about not promising which platforms will be supported on release. If it does hit Steam, there’s a good chance it will have Mac support. In the meanwhile, I signed up for the alpha and I’m hoping to be picked, because it looks awesome.
Sitting squarely in the finally column, Google Docs, Google Sheets and Google Slides received updates today enabling Split Screen view for capable iPads running iOS 9 (and later). It works exactly as you would have expected it to work in the fall when it should have originally been released. Go download them from the App Store.
Niantic’s Pokémon GO 1.3.0 update gets us a step closer to being able to hunt for Pokémon again by replacing the horribly broken Nearby feature with Sightings. The new feature doesn’t do much to help you track down Pokémon, but at least it lets you know there something close by. The update also adds the ability to change your trainer name once, fixes the battery saver mode bug, fixes bonus award bugs, and more. Niantic is A/B testing versions of the Nearby feature, so you may get some variations in what you see. Pokémon GO is a free download for the iPhone.
Messages in iOS 10 is loaded with new features, like the ability to draw directly in your conversations. You’ll need a finger or stylus, plus a little inspiration. You also need to know how to find the drawing mode in Messages. Watch TMO’s Quick Tip video to learn how.
Google has a new spot poking at an issue affecting million of iPhone owners—not enough storage for photos and videos. Related: new 16GB iPhones shouldn’t be a thing in 2016. Oh, and I specify iPhone owners because the popup window at the heart of the ad’s gag is iOS. Besides, Google knows the best customers use iPhones. Anyhoo, Google has a solution for this problem, the Google Photos app. With this app, your photos and videos are uploaded to Google’s cloud storage (where Google then pilfers them for information it can sell to advertisers). The company left that parenthetical bit out of the ad, but the ad is really good.
Whether you’re a cord-cutter or someone who uses a standard cable subscription, sometimes all you want to see is the Olympics highlight reel. TiVo’ing four hours of Prime Time coverage to just wade through the muck is not my idea of a good time. Enter the NBC Sports app. Launch this on your Apple TV, iPhone or iPad and you can instantly see short clips of just the highlights from the Rio 2016 Olympics.
Sure, down the road you may find you want to watch entire matches, too, but this is a great way to catch up quick while whetting your appetite for future events.
Messages are a lot flashier in iOS 10 thanks to screen effects you can add to your conversations. They’re easy to use, but are kind of hidden unless you know where to look. Just remember: You and your recipient need iOS 10 installed on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch to send and receive them. What TMO’s video tip to see Messages screen effects in action.
Apple Campus 2.0—nicknamed the Spaceship HQ—has seen a lot of progress, as shown in a new comprehensive drone tour of the building. This is the most detailed drone video of the construction site I’ve seen to date, as it looks at at the main, circular building, side buildings, the tunnels leading to underground parking, and more. It’s a 4K video, too, meaning the clarity is outstanding. Apple Campus 2.0 is scheduled for completion in 2017.
Apple rolled out version 4.0 of the Apple Store app for the iPhone and iPad on Friday. The new version offers up product recommendations based on the Apple devices you already own, lets you know if accessories are compatible when you scan them in-store, and makes it easier to keep track of which Apple products you own. The redesigned app better highlights in-store workshops and reservations, and it’s easier to sign up for both. iPad users get some love, too, thanks to the app’s new support for Slide Over and split screen views. The Apple Store app is a free download.
Samsung is such a shady company. The firm’s intellectual property practices have been documented for decades, but Patently Apple found something that illustrates the issue well. In a patent application for removable smartwatch bands also borrowed from Apple Watch, Samsung used illustrations of an Apple Watch. The company did so without attribution or acknowledgement, though it’s unknown if it did so with or without irony. The image below shows two of those Apple Watch illustrations, one with the Apple’s charging and sensor mechanisms. Click through to Patently Apple and you’ll see many more, including a variety of Apple Watch bands, Apple Watch in profile, etc.
The Perseus smart mirror is a Kickstarter project. It’s a hybrid mirror and display of the home screen of your smartphone via Wi-Fi. The developers explain: “Imagine this: a weather alert pops up while you are brushing your teeth and reminds you to bring your umbrella. As you adjust your hair, a text message from your boss appears at the bottom of the screen. Best of all, there’s no need to put down that hair product – the mirror is controlled through simple voice recognition menus…. It looks like something right out of a sci-fi movie.” It really does. This Kickstarter project is almost halfway to its funding goal, and delivery is expected in April 2017. Early bird slots are filled, but you can get in now for US$219.
Apple posted a new commercial in its Shot on iPhone series. It’s called The Human Family, and it showcases photographs and videos of people around the world, all shot on an iPhone, of course. It’s a wonderful trip around the world shown through faces of markedly different people. Serving as a backdrop to this parade is Human Family, a poem by Maya Angelou. The whole thing is lovely and compelling. Check it out.