Amazon's Fire TV Boss Joins Apple TV Team

· · News

Timothy Twerdahl leaves Amazon's Fire TV team to run Apple TV marketing

Apple TV has a new vice president for product marketing and he used top be in charge of Amazon’s Fire TV division. Timothy D. Twerdahl came on board with Apple in February and he’s taking over the marketing job from Pete Distad.

macOS: Using the Text "Transformations" Feature

· · Quick Tip

macOS Sierra Logo

Never heard of the Transformations menu option? Then you should come check this out. The feature’s been around forever, but a lot of folks don’t know that you can use it to change text accidentally typed in uppercase to lowercase, for example. Sweet!

LimeLens Universal Smartphone Camera Lens Set: $39.99

· · TMO Deals

LimeLens Universal Smartphone Camera Lens Set

We have a deal for you today on the LimeLens Universal Smartphone Camera Lens Set. It works with iPhones, many Samsung devices, some Sony devices, and even some Chinese Android devices. It includes a dual macro/wide lens that’s 10x macro on one side and 0.67x wide angle on the other. It also has a fisheye lens with a 190° view. The set is $39.99 through our deal.

On Obsessing Over Details at Apple Campus 2.0 (Like Steve Jobs Would Have)

· · Cool Stuff Found

SkyIMD's 1.7-gigapixel Apple Campus 2 arial photo

Steve Jobs’s obsession over every aspect of a device being important is legendary. He famously (and infamously to some)  demanded that the insides of a sealed machine—even the circuit boards—be just as aesthetically pleasing as the outside. Reuters has an interesting piece about Apple Campus 2.0, and how Apple’s current leadership is applying that same penchant for detail to this building. Pipe that you can’t see. Wires that you can’t see. That sort of thing. Some of you are instantly getting tense because you would rather Apple be spending that time and attention to, say, new Macs. Or iPads. Or AirPort devices. Or a 5K display worthy of a Mac. Or something other than new iPhones. I’m still just as tense as I have been about those things, but the reality is I’m glad Apple is being all obsessive about Apple Campus 2.0. This building is just as much Steve Jobs’s legacy as Apple itself. I imagine it’s important to his survivors at Apple that they treat this building as he would have treated it. I can’t help but think working in a living reminder of this aspect of Steve Jobs will help make future products that much better. One way or another, go read the Reuters piece. It’s really good.

Apple in a Standoff with Australia's Banks Over Apple Pay

· · News

Apple and Australia banks are fighting over Apple Pay and NFC terms

Don’t count on Apple Pay coming to most of Australia any time soon because the ongoing fight between Apple and the banks is only getting worse. Apple is calling Australia’s banks a cartel looking to squeeze more money out of customers, and the banks say Apple is trying to kill competition. Both sides are digging in their heels, and it doesn’t look like they’re interested in finding a compromise.

Renogy: Solar Panel, Hefty Battery, Lots of Ports in a Small Suitcase

· · Cool Stuff Found

This new product caught my eye because its so darn cool. Consider: a replaceable Li-ion 16 amp-hour battery in a nifty suitcase (16 x 12 x 4 inches), 13 lbs, with 2 x 10 watt solar panels built into the lid that can charge it in about six hours. Outputs include 110 volts AC, 2 x 12 volts DC and 4 x USB (6 amps). You can also charge it from your car or AC power. The battery packs enough energy to charge an iPad Air six times, an iPhone 32 times or a small notebook five times (40 W-h). Perfect for the camper, and it’s now available, under $600.00.

Renogy: Solar Panel, Hefty Battery, Lots of Ports in a Small Suitcase

Vizio's Spying TVs, UAC iPhone Connectors - TMO Daily Observations 2017-02-07

· · The Mac Observer's Daily Observations Podcast

TMO Daily Observations Podcast Logo

Vizio just settled an FTC lawsuit for using their smart TVs to spy on customers. Bryan Chaffin and John Martellaro join Jeff Gamet to talk about Vizio collecting viewing data on users without permission and the settlement with the FTC. They also look at the UAC connector that’s going to let headphones connect to Lightning and USB-C.

Apple Turns to UAC for Yet Another iPhone Connector

· · News

Apple adding UAC to supported iPhone cable connectors

Apple has plans for yet another connector in its Made for iPhone (MFi) program. The new plug—which is actually kind of old—is called Ultra Accessory Connector, or UAC, and will work along side Lightning and USB-C instead of replacing them.

Pay What You Want for the 2017 Superstar Mac Bundle [Updated]

· · TMO Deals

2017 Superstar Mac Bundle

We have a new pay-what-you-want deal for you called the 2017 Superstar Mac Bundle. It includes 12 different apps—you get all of them by beating the average price, which is $12.17 as of this writing. But you can pay anything—as little as a dollar—and get two of the apps, Mac Screen Recorder and NotePlan. Beat the leader’s price and get an entry into a giveaway for a 13″ MacBook Pro with Touch Bar. Check out the details on the deal listing. [Updated with a new promo image. – Editor]

The Inside Story on Making Apple's 1999 Super Bowl Ad, 'HAL'

· · Cool Stuff Found

1999 was a good time to be a Mac user. Apple was coming back, baby! And unlike today, the company was releasing new Macs, too. 1999 saw the PowerMac G3 and PowerMac G4, multicolored iMacs to replace the Bondi Blue iMac, and the PowerBook G3 (Lombard). Those were good times. It was also the year Apple ran a spot called HAL in the Super Bowl. Ken Segall, who was then the Apple account manager at TBWA/Chiat/Day, gave us the inside story on how HAL was born and the convoluted steps HAL took to land in the Super Bowl. Spoiler: it almost didn’t happen. Quick nuggets include the voice actor who recreated the HAL voice because the original voice actor was reportedly too precious to do commercials; the painstaking process of recreating HAL’s look and feel; and securing permission from Stanley Kubrick and MGM to use the characters and imagery (respectively). I love reading Ken Segall’s stories about working with Steve Jobs, and this is another good one. Definitely check it out. Below is the beginning of the Macworld Expo keynote where HAL actually debuted.

You Can Never Be Too Thin. Unless You’re a MacBook Pro

· · Link

MacBook Pro with Touch Bar

MacBook Pros have been getting thinner and thinner. From an aesthetic, handling, weight and evolutionary standpoint, thinner is better. However, when does an unhealthy obsession with thinness interfere with great engineering? Is a MacBook Pro that’s too thin get in the way of features, performance and adequate ports? Would two extra millimeters of thickness enhance battery life enough to make the pro customer smile with enthusiasm?  When does the obsession stop? John elaborates on page 2 of Particle Debris.

32-bit iPhone and iPad Apps Are on Death Row

· · News

ioS 10 32-bit app warning dialog

Apple’s look-forward philosophy means 64-bit iPhone and iPad apps are the future and 32-bit apps are fading into the past. That means the day is coming where 32-bit apps that haven’t been updated to 64-bit will stop working, and if you don’t have a replacement app ready to go you’ll be out of luck.

Target Offers Discounted Apple Watch Series 1 Models

· · Cool Stuff Found

Target is discounting its entire lineup of Apple Watch Series 1 models by US$70—that includes eight models of Apple Watch. With the price drop, 38mm models are $199, and 42mm models are $229. Both prices include free shipping. This is a great deal for customers who want an Apple Watch but not necessarily the latest model. The prime differences between Series 1 and Series 2 watches are that the Series 2 devices have a GPS sensor, water resistance, and a better display. (via MacRumors).

Target Offers Discounted Apple Watch Series 1 Models

TMO Background Mode: Interview with with Tech Community Facilitator Jonathan Bernstein

· · The Mac Observer's Background Mode Podcast

Jonathan Bernstein

Jonathan Bernstein is an attorney. He’s an Apple product expert. He’s worked for the Federal Election Commission. He’s on the board of directors of the legendary Washington, D.C. Apple Pi Users Group. He’s involved with the Silver Spring, Maryland Citizens Advisory Board where he’s active in facilitating communication between citizens and local government. Oh, my. After Jonathan told me a little bit about his background, being the son of a rabbi father and pediatrician mother, it soon became clear where his roots of public service originated. Out of law school, he clerked for a judge in the U.S. Claims Court, and that eventually connected him to the FEC. We chatted about Jonathan’s unique gift for bringing people together utilizing technology. He’ll inspire you with collaboration methods you never realized were possible.

Here are the Best Super Bowl 2017 Commercials

· · Cool Stuff Found

If you’re only interest in the Super Bowl was the commercials, you don’t have to find a friend who recorded the game just so you can see them. The Super Bowl Commercials website has your back. They have all of the commercials, and they chose what they see as the top 9 ads from the game. Spoiler: car makers nailed it with their ads this year. You can watch all of the ads at the Super Bowl Commercials website.

Here are the Best Super Bowl 2017 Commercials