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.
Mobile data and voice connections can be a fickle thing, and a new report from RootMetrics shows just how true that is. The report ranks 125 U.S. cities for wireless reliability, speed, data, call, and text performance, and it turns out the best place for smartphone owners to live is Lansing, Michigan. The worst is Hudson Valley, New York. San Francisco came in at 58, well below Chicago (5), Kansas City (11), and Boston (17). Denver was near the bottom of the list at 119, which sounds about right based on our experiences. You can check out the full report and see how your metro area stacks up at the RootMetrics website.
It’s 10 meters long and 2 meters high. It’s made of discrete transistors and LEDs. You can actually see what’s going on. Is it a real working computer? Yes. Can you program it? Yes. Why was it made? The developer, James Newman, says, “Computers are quite opaque, looking at them it’s impossible to see how they work. What I would like to do is get inside and see what’s going on. Trouble is we can’t shrink down small enough to walk inside a silicon chip. But we can go the other way; we can build the thing big enough that we can walk inside it. Not only that we can also put LEDs on everything so we can actually SEE the data moving and the logic happening.” Behold, the Megaprocessor
Got thirty minutes to spare? If so, I have a video for you. It’s called Watch CarPlay Read Every iPhone Emoji, and it was produced by Motor1.com (via The Next Web). It may be one of the most ridiculous things I have experienced, so I’m pretty keen to get you in on the action, too. The idea is simple: One person sent another person a text message using every emoji in iOS 9.x—all 1,064 of them. Firstly, can you imagine the time making that message took? But wait, it gets better, because they then had CarPlay in what looks like a Honda read that text message. And when Siri is reading emoji, she reads the name of that emoji. Put it all together, and you get this 29 minute and 27 second video. It’s delightful, agonizing, beautiful, horrific, and funny, all wrapped up in one. Enjoy!
This has me somewhere between creeped out and awesomefied, but check out this video. It’s a demonstration of “mini robots”—or “robot spiders,” as The Next Web put it—weaving a structure of carbon fiber. Or more specifically, a hammock. These devices can climb walls and crawl across ceilings (like spiders), and they work in concert to pull strands of carbon fiber to build “structures.” Call me old fashioned, but it’s hardly reassuring that the hammock they built looks a lot like a vicious spiderweb, and that the model lying in that web, I mean hammock, looks lifeless. See what I mean? It’s creeptastic and amazeballs all the same time (YMMV). Dezeen has a detailed report on the project.
VAVA’s new Voom 20 is perhaps my new favorite Bluetooth speaker, and that’s saying a lot. It’s the right size – a little taller than a can of soda – and has a full, warm sound that can fill a room or your outdoor deck. With dual 8W drivers, two passive subwoofers, 10 hours of battery life and an IPX5 water rating, this speaker will go anywhere you want to bring it, be that the beach, your hotel room, or the kitchen of your AirBnB. It’s even got speakerphone capabilities as well as a USB port for charging your iPhone from the Voom 20s internal 5200mAh battery. It supports the aptX Bluetooth codec, so if you’re using this with your Mac you can get top-quality Bluetooth sound to it. One note: the volume control on the speaker is set independently of your device’s volume, so be sure to crank up both of them. With a special 25% discount available through August 8, the VAVA Voom 20 can be yours direct from VAVA for $59.99 with coupon code GOVOOM20. That’s less than half of what I’ve found comparable speakers cost.
Check out Apple’s new iPad Pro commercial, titled “iPad Pro — What’s a Computer?” It’s like a Microsoft Surface Pro spot, with a prettier star, better lighting, better graphics, and better direction. It pitches iPad Pro as a computer, only one you can touch, type on, and write on using a stylus. It features iPad Pro (9.7-inch), Smart Keyboard, and Apple Pencil. It’s almost like Apple is saying this combination of devices is kind of like a toasterfridge that can do it all. I’d love to hear some thoughts from our readers on this.
OmniFocus already encrypts your tasks database, but your files stored on the sync server were susceptible to hackers. That changes with OmniFocus 2.6.1 for the Mac and 2.15 for the iPhone and iPad. The update ensures your OmniFocus files are securely encrypted when they’re at rest on the server, protecting you from nosey hackers interested in how you spend your day—which, it turns out, might include making sure OmniFocus is as secure as possible. OmniFocus 2 is priced starting at US$39.99 and is available on the App Store and Mac App Store.
Apple is finally bringing the Siri remote’s features to the iPhone and iPad with it’s new Apple TV Remote app. The app lets users control their fourth generation Apple TV as if they were using the device’s included remote, and supports Siri voice control, too. It also supports the second and third generation Apple TV sans Siri control, but can’t control iTunes on your Mac. For that you’ll still need the older Remote app. Apple TV Remote is a free download at Apple’s App Store.
Twitter stickers are available to everyone in Twitter’s own iPhone app. Stickers let you add fun graphics to the photos you upload, just like you can do on other social network services. They’re easy to use, and TMO’s Jeff Gamet shows you how in this Quick Tip video.
A video out of Vietnam claims to show Apple’s own Lighting to 3.5mm headphone jack adapter in action—the adapter that’s expected to ship with the iPhone 7 this fall. The new iPhone will reportedly ditch the familiar 3.5mm headphone jack in favor of audio over Lighting and audio over Bluetooth. Reports claim Apple will include a Lightning to 3.5mm adapter with the new iPhone model. It’s hard to say if this video shows a legit Apple adapter, or something from a third party manufacturer. Regardless, the look seems very Apple, so maybe we really are getting a glimpse of what’ll be in the box when the iPhone 7 hits store shelves.
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!