The Touch Bar on the new MacBook Pro may be functional, but it can be fun, too. Henry Franks makes that point perfectly with his Pac-Man clone, called Pac-Bar, for the Touch Bar. It’s just like the classic arcade game, complete with Pac-Man and his “wokka-wokka” munching sound, ghosts, and music. The maze is a little limited since you can only go left or right, although the intersections do jump you to either end of the Touch Bar. You’ll need to use your MacBook Pro’s arrow keys to play—sorry, no touch controls here. Click the Clone or download button on Henry’s Github page get Pac-Bar.
Apple’s AirPods are finally available for order and will start delivering to customers on December 21st, just in time for the Christmas holiday. The wireless earbuds were originally scheduled for an October release, but were delayed until now.
At some point in your life, you might find yourself juggling multiple email addresses. Maybe you have several personal addresses, or a personal address and a work address. In any case, it can be a bit of a hassle to manage all of them. A way to solve this is to use an email alias. [Updated for clarity when setting up aliases in the web version of Mail on iCloud.com]
Our friends at Stack Commerce have wrangled a new deal on the Rosetta Stone Box Set (Levels 1-4). Rosetta Stone uses natural learning techniques to take you from beginner to intermediate and higher language skills. I like this software. I’m studying French with it now. And I’m pleased we get to offer it as a deal. You can get the boxed set for $139.99, which is 38% off retail. Today’s link is for Spanish, but there are boxed for French, Italian, and English, too.
Katie Floyd is an attorney by day. By night, she’s the co-founder and co-host of the Mac Power Users podcast. Katie tells the story of her original passion to be a journalist. She edited the high school yearbook and newspaper on a Mac and, later, majored in journalism in college. Then, in a magical turn of events, she took a political science class from an attorney. It was an both terrifying and exhilarating. September 11, 2001 happened just after graduation, and Katie decided that she wanted to do more. That led eventually to law school. We cover a lot of ground, including her new law firm, the creation of her MPU podcast with David Sparks and a discussion of her new 2016 MacBook Pro. Join me and Katie to hear her inspirational journey.
Apple released iOS 10.2 for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch on Monday with support for the new TV app, and a matching update rolled out for the fourth generation Apple TV, too. That’s pretty cool, unless you aren’t watching any channels the TV app supports. If that’s you, then tapping the Home button on your Apple TV remote doesn’t need to take you right to the TV app. If that’s you, here’s how to change the remote back so it takes you to the Home screen.
President-elect Donald Trump is hosting an invitation-only technology summit on December 14th and Apple CEO Tim Cook, along with Alphabet CEO Larry Page, are reportedly attending. The event will be hosted at Trump Tower in Manhattan and will include several other tech industry leaders, although exactly what will be discussed is still unclear.
What are the proper metrics for evaluating Tim Cook’s performance? Should he be graded as a product visionary? Should he be graded as a salesman for the Apple life? Neil Cybart argues that neither of these is correct. Instead, Tim Cook should be judged on how well he’s built up the Apple ecosystem with products and services. That necessarily means milking the iPhone for all it’s worth. Particle Debris page 2 has the discussion.
Apple released iOS 10.2 on Monday, and the company was much quicker than normal in releasing the security patch notes for the release. According to those notes, there are 11 security holes fixed in the release. Most of those holes are serious, and some allowed access to various aspects of a device when it should be locked.
Apple shipped iOS 10.2 on Monday. The update includes a long list of improvements and changes, including the new TV app. That app gives iPhone and iPad users unified access to their movies and TV shows in line with the app of the same name on tvOS for Apple TV. Apple also emphasized redesigned emoji and the addition of 100 new one. Bryan Chaffin’s favorite feature, though, is the return of Star Ratings to Music.
Apple said it would ship its AirPods wireless earbuds in October, but that came and went and we still don’t know when they’ll hit store shelves. Bryan Chaffin and Dave Hamilton join Jeff Gamet to look at what’s keeping Apple from shipping AirPods, and what needs to happen if they ship in time for Christmas. They also dive into Apple’s first attempt to address spam invitations in the Calendar app.
Turning your new MacBook Pro’s Touch Bar into a piano may not be practical but it is pretty cool, and that’s exactly what Touch Bar Piano does. The app lets you choose between 128 different instruments, and you can play chords, too. Touch Bar Piano is a free download, and while it isn’t the same as using an actual piano, it’s a cool example of the creative ideas developers are finding for the Touch Bar.
The ongoing problem of spam invitations in Apple’s Calendar app finally has a fix, at least on iCloud. Users can now report invitations as junk with the click of a button, but they need to log into Apple’s iCloud web interface, which limits the fix to desktop and laptop users for now.
A bearded fellow named Bruce Talbot has a nifty project on Kickstarter called Control. It’s a wooden ergonomic grip for Apple Pencil. It comes in three colors, Black Limba (which is actually the light-colored one), Ebony, and Padauk (the darker, reddish color). I’m a terrible artist, but I love Apple Pencil. I can’t imagine making it more comfy to hold will make me any better, but it would make it more fun. The device is designed to accommodate different grips and can sit anywhere on the barrel. Mr. Talbot has an existing business called ninepen that makes wooden pen products, including fancy ones designed to hold nibs. He’s trying to raise $16,500, and has a long way to go as of this writing. Funding options start at $23.
Check out Apple’s MacArthur Chambers store in downtown Brisbane, Australia. We have several photos submitted by an Aussie reader, and they really show off this gorgeous building, which was named for General Douglas MacArthur.
Filing Mail, RAM suggestions, DOCSIS 3.1 and accessing your data from The Dark Side are just some of the topics of questions answered by John and Dave this week. Then it’s on to a follow-up from the router show with a sandwich of geeky holiday gift suggestions from your two favorite geeks!