Apple Pay officially launched in France Tuesday. The initial rollout covers MasterCard and Visa users with Banque Populaire, Carrefour Banque, Ticket Restaurant, and Caisse d’Epargne. Orange and Boon banks are coming soon. Apple announced the French Apple Pay rollout during June’s World Wide Developer Conference—ironically, our own Dave Hamilton tried to use it in France without success just last week during his European vacation. Le moment, as they (don’t actually) say, est tout.
MacStock 2016 took place over the weekend, and TMO friend Chuck Joiner has already edited a 57 minute video of interviews with many of the podcasters and writers in attendance. That includes Ken Ray, Victor Cajiao, Bryan Chaffin (meeeeeeee!), Tim Robertson, Julie Kuehl, Wally Cherwinski, Don McAllister, Adam Christianson, Barry Fulk, Mike T. Rose, and several more folks. If you pay attention, you’ll even see our own Jeff Gamet molest Mr. Joiner. As one does.
Pixelmator, the powerful-and-inexpensive image editor for both Mac and iOS, gets a free update on iOS to version 2.3 today that brings its Quick Selection Tool and Magnetic Selection Tool over from the Mac. The Quick Selection Tool makes very short work of doing previously-difficult selections and allowed me to do the selection in the first pane below in about ten seconds on an iPhone SE.
Pixelnator’s new Quick Selection Tool is somehow intuitive in a way that other “magic” selectors are not. Having this available literally at ones fingertips on iOS opens up all sorts of options for work and… play. Enjoy. (A hat tip to Scott Canali for the inspiration behind today’s screenshots!).
Germany is considering an interesting approach in the march towards regulating self-driving, or autonomous, vehicles. Reuters reported Europe’s largest economy is working on legislation that would require self-driving cars to include “black box” tech. That system would record when the system was active and when the driver was in control. It would also record when the system requested the driver take over. Black box comes from the airline industry, where effectively-indestructible devices record flight data in the event of a crash. Those devices cost about $100,000 and have to survive substantially greater trauma than a car would ever endure. With that in mind, devices designed for cars would share little more than a name with their flying cousins. This is one regulatory approach that could be copied far and wide.
Remember the Vrse app? We covered it when it launched with a very cool VR performance from U2 and other musicians around the world. The app has been renamed to Within (at with.in), and the company announced a live simulcast premier of the “Mr. Robot VR Experience” on July 21st. It’s been known for a while that showrunner Sam Esmail was shooting a VR scene for Mr. Robot, and this experience will build off that. There’s not a lot of info about it out there, with a brief mention in Within’s patch notes the only place I could find it. Season 2 kicked off on July 13th—I love this show and am super interested in seeing what it does with virtual reality.
Nintendo fans will want to be on the lookout for the company’s new console this holiday season. No, not that one. Nintendo has unveiled the Mini NES Classic Edition console, a palm-sized replica of the groundbreaking entertainment device that includes 30 built-in NES games, support for two controllers, and HDMI output. Some of the built-in games include the Super Mario Bros. trilogy, The Legend of Zelda, Castlevania, StarTropics, and Tecmo Bowl. The Mini NES includes one new “classic controller” and will hit store shelves on November 11th for $59.99. Additional controllers can be picked up for $10 each, and are compatible with Virtual Console games on the Wii and Wii U.
The computers NASA used in the Apollo missions to the moon were very slow and primitive by today’s standards. It was necessary to write all the flight code and lunar module landing code in assembly language. Even then, code modules (flight phases) were paged in and out of memory. The software was written by IBM and worked, as we know, beautifully. What’s almost as amazing is the complete printout of the assembly code on paper which stands, in this article, about as tall as Director of Apollo Flight Computer Programming Margaret Hamilton. You can now see it all on GitHub.
ZOMGZOMGZOMG!!! I am all a tither! Literature & Latte announced Wednesday that Scrivener is coming to iOS on July 20th! Scrivener is the best writing environment I’ve found, but heretofore it’s worked only on Mac and Windows. I’m not personally interested in writing on my iPad, but I am mega-interested in editing on my iPad. In fact, I do my serious read-throughs when editing fiction in iBooks. That’s great, but being able to get into that reading mode with Scrivener directly in hand is going to be a big deal for me. There’s no link yet, but L&L said it will be released July 20th at $19.99.
Apple’s original TV series Planet of the Apps is on the hunt for developers willing to share their app design process on the small screen. There’s an open casting call on the show’s website and they’re looking for coders in Austin, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York to participate. Only 100 slots are available, and you’ll need a beta of your app ready by October 21, so get coding. You can apply for the show at the Planet of the Apps website.
Talk about having your finger on the zeitgeist, Funny or Die pushed a video Tuesday called “‘Pokémon GO’ Personal Injury Lawyer.” The name says it all, but note there is mild profanity. Enjoy.
Want to build and program your own robot? UBTECH has you covered with their JIMU MeeBot Robot. You can create your own robot design with the included building block-style elements and motors, them program it to do your bidding. JIMU is designed to be an educational tool, but that doesn’t mean only kids can get in on the action. You won’t be able to make a robot army programmed for world domination, but you can build some fun designs and learn more about coding, too. the JIMU MeeBot kit will be available at Apple Stores starting July 12 for US$129.99, and an add-on kit with more parts and design ideas will be available for $69.99.
There’s a new Kickstarter project called Thunder Drive. It’s a tiny portable SSD that works with Thunderbolt or USB (including USB-C). That makes it small, fast, portable, and daisy-chainable. According to the company, two drives can deliver up to 2,000GB at 1,100MB/s on Thunderbolt 3 or USB-C. Thunder Drive is available in capacities from 64GB to 1,000GB (just shy of a terabyte), with funding options for a 64GB device starting at $99. There’s also a super early bird special for $3 (!!) on a smaller 8GB model called Thunder Thumb. There’s lots of information on the Kickstarter listing.
This is one of the nerdiest and most intensely cool anecdotes I’ve ever seen. It turns out you can do quick and dirty conversions of miles to kilometers using the Fibonacci sequence, as noted on Reddit and tweeted by Cliff Pickover (and spotted by The Loop). Redditor almightybob1 said, “The Fibbonacci sequence goes 1 1 2 3 5 8 13 21 34 55 89 etc etc. Skip the first few terms and…” With that information below, check out the chart included by Mr. Pickover below. How awesome is that?
— Cliff Pickover (@pickover) July 2, 2016
PDFPen is on my short list of must-have apps for the iPhone and iPad, and version 2.5 is even more useful because it adds Apple Pencil support for the iPad Pro. The app is a PDF viewing and editing powerhouse, and thanks to this update it also supports viewing file attachments, playing audio annotations, and validates digitally signed documents, bringing it in line with PDFPen 8 for the Mac. PDFPen 2 costs US$19.99 on the App Store, and version 2.5 is a free update.
Matthew Roberts posted new drone footage of construction efforts on Apple Campus 2.0 to YouTube (via The Loop). It not only shows massive progress on the site, it’s also captioned with helpful details about the things you’re seeing. The footage is up close and personal, enough to wonder what new case law might be established if Apple had blasted the drone out of the air. I always enjoy these drone flyovers—it’s super awesome to be able to follow along as this soon-to-be-iconic building takes shape.
With Independence Day coming up on Monday, we have a three-day weekend ahead of us in the United States. If movies are more your thing instead of picnics and fireworks displays, check out The Matrix Trilogy on Apple’s iTunes Store. The package includes all three movies in HD, plus extras, for US$14.99. The only question left after picking up the bundle is red pill or blue pill?
Steve Jobs was an amazing individual. Most of us remember the great product demos, awesome devices, quips like “It’s about the music, stupid,” and other fun things. We’ve also heard infamous examples of Mr. Jobs being angry on the job; but in honor of the iPhone’s 9th birthday on Wednesday, former Apple PR executive Natalie Kerris reminded that Mr. Jobs got angry in public, too. The video she linked to is a compilation of Stevenote moments when that anger came out. Like everything with Steve Jobs, I love watching him in action. It’s always interesting.
In honor of today’s 9th anniversary of the original iPhone launch: Steve Jobs PISSED OFF moments (1997-2010) https://t.co/yRpJgldIDF
— Natalie Kerris (@nataliekerris) June 29, 2016
Last week Tapbots added Timeline Filters to their Tweetbot Twitter client for iOS, allowing you to control what you see — and what you don’t see — in your Twitter timeline. Today they enhanced those filters even more with the ability to use “OR” and quotes. This means you can Filter out “holy war” OR emacs to be sure not to unintentionally boil your blood while otherwise enjoying Twitter (I’m assuming we’re all vim users here, right?!?). You can download Tweetbot from the App Store.
Version 5.0 of Amazon’s Kindle App for iPad and iPhone adds Page Flip, a new and natural way to navigate through books without losing your place. If you’ve ever been frustrated having to flip to see a map or something on another page, Page Flip solves that problem. Just tap in the middle of your screen to activate Page Flip and skim around until you find what you want. When you’re finished looking, tap again and Page Flip will offer to return you to your original spot. Even better, Page Flip remembers the locations you have flipped to, allowing for easy bouncing around. The updated Kindle App is available for free in the App Store.
LEGO and Star Wars are a match made in heaven, which makes it pretty awesome that LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens is available for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. You can play as Poe Dameron, Rey, Finn, BB-8, Han Solo, Kylo Ren, and more in adventures on Jakku, D’Qar, Takodana, the Millenium Falcon, and Starkiller Base. There are puzzles to solve, space ships to fly, battles to fight, and plenty of things to build. The game includes the first chapter for free, and additional levels and character packs are available as in-app purchases. Clear your afternoon, and may the Force be with you.