MagBuddy Wireless Charge Desk Mount: $49.99

· Bryan Chaffin · TMO Deals

MagBuddy Wireless Charge Desk Mount

We have a deal on the MagBuddy Wireless Charge Desk Mount, a desktop 9Qi charger for your iPhone that uses magnets to hold that iPhone in place. It uses adaptive charging to send the right charge to your device, and it’s $49.99 through our deal.

Apple and Kia May Yet do a Car Deal

· Charlotte Henry · Link

Kia logo

Despite previously stating that talks were off, a car partnership between Apple, Hyundai, and its affiliate Kia could yet happen. Reuters picked up on reports coming out of South Korea.

Online site Chosun Biz said on Friday that Apple and Kia had signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) last year and had agreed to pursue cooperation in eight sectors, including electric vehicles. It said negotiations on electric vehicles had not been completely cancelled. “Even if the negotiations on electric vehicles fail, there are many items that can be negotiated in other fields, so we are still optimistic about the possibility of partnership between the two sides,” Chosun cited an unnamed source familiar with negotiations between Hyundai and Apple as saying. Aside from electric vehicles, Kia and Apple are also discussing cooperation in “last mile” mobility, or transport to complete a final short distance to a destination after using another means of transportation, Chosun said

How Apple is Going Back to The Future With Its Designs

· Charlotte Henry · Link

Some of the designs of recent Apple products, particularly, but not exclusively, the iPhone, leave longtime users with a sense of deja vu. Cult of Mac took a good like at how Apple is going Mac back to the future.

Specifically, Apple ditched the curved edges that graced every iPhone since 2014’s iPhone 6, reverting to the squared-off edges of previous devices. That was perfectly OK with me: The iPhone 5 remains probably my favorite iPhone design in history. By borrowing (you can’t exactly steal your own designs) some of that classic phone’s design elements, and then offering some truly up-to-date tech in the form of all-display OLED screens, 5G, and A14 chips, Apple merged old and new in a compelling package. But that’s not the end of Apple’s newfound willingness to reference what worked in the past. Apple’s next MacBook Pro apparently will take a backward leap to move forward. Rumors indicate the laptop will revive the beloved MagSafe charger. And it reportedly will restore ports like HDMI and an SD card reader that disappeared half a decade ago.

HyperGear Quake Wireless Speaker with Built-in Power Bank: $44.99

· Bryan Chaffin · TMO Deals

HyperGear Quake

We have a deal on the HyperGear Quake, a Bluetooth speaker with a built-in 5,000mAh power bank you can use for charing your other devices while you’re listening. Aimed at outdoor use, the Quake is built to be rugged. It’s $44.99 through our deal.

Twitter Announces ‘Super Follows’ and Communities

· Andrew Orr · Link

Twitter super follows

Twitter announced a couple of features on Thursday that will arrive in the future and change the nature of its platform.

The payment feature, called Super Follows, will allow Twitter users to charge followers and give them access to extra content. That could be bonus tweets, access to a community group, subscription to a newsletter, or a badge indicating your support.

Twitter also announced a new feature called Communities, which appear to be its take on something like Facebook Groups. People can create and join groups around specific interests — like cats or plants, Twitter suggests — allowing them to see more tweets focused on those topics.

New Paramount+ Service Will be $5 a Month With Ads

· Andrew Orr · Link

Paramount+

Paramount+ is a rebranded and expanded version of CBS All Access. In a virtual investor event on Thursday executives revealed pricing. It launches March 4.

And they said that Paramount+ will cost $4.99 per month with ads in the U. S. (less than the $5.99 charged for CBS All Access), or $9.99 without ads and with additional sports, news and live TV content. There are also plans to bundle this with the company’s premium subscriptions, such as Showtime.

Why Apple TV+ Movie 'Cherry' is Personal for Directors Anthony and Joe Russo

· Charlotte Henry · Link

Tom Holland in Cherry on Apple TV+

Ahead of the launch of Cherry on Apple TV+ on February 26, there was a premiere on February 23. AppleInsider reported on how the story had a personal element for directors Anthony and Joe Russo.

“Like many of us, we’ve had personal experiences with loved ones who have had either addiction problems, overdose problems, even involving death,” Anthony Russo said. “So the issue of the opioid crisis was very present in our personal lives.” “But even beyond that, it felt like it was a very timely issue, something that we really wanted to address now, in the hopes of being able to play some small part in how this issue unfolds for people and evolves.”

 

12' Extra Long Lightning Cable: $22.99

· Bryan Chaffin · TMO Deals

Naztech USB to MFi Lightning 12' Extra Long Cable with iPhone and iPad

We have a deal on the Naztech USB to MFi Lightning 12′ extra long cable. That’s a twelve foot Lightning cable! I imagine that many of us haven’t needed such a thing, but those who do really needed one. And, you can get it for $22.99 through our deal.

Why Ted Lasso Became the Apple TV+ Breakout Hit

· Charlotte Henry · Link

Ted lasso

Ted Lasso has been a huge, unexpected breakout hit for Apple TV+. Yes, it’s a lovely show, but nobody has yet really put their finger on how or why this happened. (We discussed it briefly on Wednesday’s Daily Observations.) Vox attempted to explain the success.

Apple Files Update to 'Final Cut Pro' Trademark Allowing For Cloud Subscription Option

· Charlotte Henry · Link

Apple updated the Final Cut Pro trademark earlier this week. Spotted by Patently Apple, it indicated that Apple could introduce a subscription model for the video editing software.

On Monday Apple filed an update to their trademark ‘Final Cut Pro’ in Europe adding Nice Classification #42 that hints that Apple could decide to go the way of Microsoft’s subscription model for Final Cut Pro by adding in that class verbiage covering “rental of software.” When you go directly to the WIPO IP Portal under Class 42 one of the first things that you’ll see listed is a header titled “This Class includes, in particular.” Under its third point it states: Class 42 covers Software as a service (known as SaaS). So it’s not just a boiler plate entry from Apple, it’s a core value.

HAVIT Laptop Cooling Pad: $32.95

· Bryan Chaffin · TMO Deals

We have a deal on the HAVIT Laptop Cooler, a laptop pad with built-in fans designed to cool your laptop by pushing away hot air. It features three 4.33″ fans, and it’s $32.95 through our deal.

Firefox 86 Introduces ‘Total Cookie Protection’ Privacy Feature

· Andrew Orr · Link

Firefox total cookie protection

Firefox 86, introduced recently by Mozilla, adds a new privacy feature called Total Cookie Protection.

Total Cookie Protection works by maintaining a separate “cookie jar” for each website you visit. Any time a website, or third-party content embedded in a website, deposits a cookie in your browser, that cookie is confined to the cookie jar assigned to that website, such that it is not allowed to be shared with any other website.

Spotify CEO Discusses 'Play[ing] Nice' With Apple and Other Rivals

· Charlotte Henry · Link

Spotify CEO Daniel Ek

Spotify is expanding its slate of original podcasts. However, CEO Daniel Ek explained to The Verge that his firm wants its content across all platforms, including Apple’s operating systems, and is unlikely to make its own hardware.

I would have been a lot more concerned if consumers were locked into just one ecosystem. If it was just an Apple, or just a Google, or just an Amazon that kind of owned the consumer across their entire ecosystem. That is a very concerning development, if it were to be true. But I think the good news is what we’re finding is that while Apple, for instance, is very strong on mobiles in many markets, we’re finding Amazon is very strong in their homes, and most of the cars today are being built on Android Auto, which is Google’s ecosystem. And the one thing that is true about Spotify is we play nice on all of them, and I believe we’re the only player that has that relationship where we’re now on 2,000 devices, and we play nice on all of them.

T-Mobile Announces New ‘Magenta MAX’ 5G Plan

· Andrew Orr · Link

5G iPhone 12

T-Mobile announced on Monday the release of its new Magenta MAX 5G plan. It includes 40GB of mobile hotspot.

Magenta MAX delivers unlimited Premium Data — 4G and 5G — on your smartphone. That means you can’t be slowed down based on how much you use. Plus, Magenta MAX is made for video streaming with UHD (ultra-high definition) streaming up to 4K resolution and Netflix on Us on all MAX plans, now including single line customers. And Magenta MAX comes with the industry’s most generous smartphone mobile hotspot at 40GB of high-speed data included for consumers.

Chick-fil-A Uses FaceTime and iPads to Speed Up Drive-Thru

· Andrew Orr · Link

FaceTime-Apple

Chick-fil-A has been experiencing big drive-thru lines during the pandemic and it’s using Apple technology to speed it up.

The chain stands out from the drive-thru crowd in large part thanks to its workers with iPads who take orders from cars even before they reach the window.

“Some restaurants are using [FaceTime] during extreme weather as another measure to protect Team Members and/or for additional social distancing during COVID,” Chick-fil-A said in a statement.

M1 Mac Users Report Hard Drive Health Readings That Could Limit Device Life Span

· Charlotte Henry · Link

Some M1 Mac users have started to highlight hard drive health reports that might possibly indicate severe life span problems for the device. iMore rounded up some of the issues.

The issue of ‘TBW’, or total bytes written, refers to the lifespan of an SSD… If the readings being given out from these machines is correct, developer Hector Martin says it could indicate that some machines “aren’t going to last half a year”… Martin does however state this is “definitely” a bug, however its unclear if that relates to the readings being given, or macOS behavior which is causing the readings to be abnormally high (but accurate). As PC Gamer notes in its report, smart monitoring tools “are notorious for misreporting” and this could be an M1 teething problem.

 

TEZL 1080P HD Webcam with Privacy Cover: $29.99

· Bryan Chaffin · TMO Deals

TEZL 1080P HD Webcam with Privacy Cover

We have a deal on the TEZL 1080P HD Webcam with Privacy Cover. This device features a 1″ x 2.7″ 2MP image sensor and 3.6M lens for 1920x1080p video resolution even in dim light or poor backlighting settings. It also has a built-in microphone with automatic noise reduction. And, there’s the physical privacy cover to prevent the camera from being used. It’s $29.99 through our deal.

Encrypted Cloud Storage Service ‘Cryptee’ Announces Massive Update

· Andrew Orr · Link

Cryptee 3.0 update

Cryptee is an end-to-end encrypted cloud storage service and announced a huge update on Sunday.

We’ve re-designed the entire platform, re-engineered everything from ground up, added hundreds of new features, and created an entirely new Cryptee experience for you. Along the way we’ve realized it’s going to be a massive leap forward, so we thought we should get a new logo too.

I think Cryptee is a great service and one that I’ve recommended in the past.

Mysterious ‘Silver Sparrow’ Malware Confuses Researchers

· Andrew Orr · Link

Image of skull and programming code to indicate malware

Over the weekend we got news of a mysterious piece of malware called Silver Sparrow. It has infected 30,000 machines so far and there is a version of it built for M1 Macs. But security researchers can’t figure out its purpose.

Once an hour, infected Macs check a control server to see if there are any new commands the malware should run or binaries to execute. So far, however, researchers have yet to observe delivery of any payload on any of the infected 30,000 machines, leaving the malware’s ultimate goal unknown. The lack of a final payload suggests that the malware may spring into action once an unknown condition is met.

Tim Cook Declares 2020 ‘Apple’s Top Year of Innovation’

· Charlotte Henry · Link

Tim Cook interview on Weibo

2020 was “Apple’s top year of innovation ever,” according to CEO Tim Cook. He made the comments in an interview with students at Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications, picked up on by AppleInsider.

“There’s no one formula for innovation,” Cook said. “What we do is we have a culture of creativity and a culture of collaboration. These two things together, when they intersect, create enormous innovation.” He said that diversity and inclusion foster an environment for innovation, that diverse people feed off of each other. Shijie commented on the iPhone 12 and congratulated Cook on the new devices and features. Cook responded by commenting on the innovations Apple released throughout 2020.