Amazon is Just Getting Started With Alexa/Echo

· · Particle Debris

Amazon Echo

The Amazon Echo family of devices shouldn’t be underestimated. We talk about how it appears to be a device for casual questions, weather, music and shopping. But the underlying technology is going after something much bigger. Moreover, Amazon’s lead over Apple in AI and home automation may be unstoppable. John looks at two articles that provide insight into what Amazon is after in the long run.

iPhone 8 Biometric Sensors, FCC and Smartphone Radio Chips - TMO Daily Observations 2017-02-17

· · The Mac Observer's Daily Observations Podcast

TMO Daily Observations Podcast Logo

New reports say Apple won’t include a Home button on the iPhone 8 this fall. Bryan Chaffin and Jeff Butts join Jeff Gamet to look at what that means for Touch ID and biometric authentication on the new phone, plus they offer up their thoughts on an FCC request for smartphone makers to enable the FM radio chips in smartphones.

Getting Two-Factor Verification Codes for Your Apple ID

· · Quick Tip

If you’re using two-factor authentication for your Apple ID (and you should be!), then you’re likely familiar with how you’ll approve access from your trusted devices with a six-digit code. But what if that code never comes through or you accidentally dismiss the prompt? Well, in today’s Quick Tip, we’re going to show you an easy way to generate a new one from your Mac or iOS device!

A 4K/UHD Apple TV is Finally in the Works. Now We Know the Story

· · Editorial

Apple TV driving HDTV

The Apple TV has taken a beating lately. The current model is barely state-of-the art. Companies like Amazon, Netflix and Roku have leapt ahead of Apple in 4K/UHD, leaving the Apple TV in 4th place amongst customers. Now we know why, thanks to a Bloomberg report. The question is, can Apple fix the product and make it a winner again?

Pokémon GO Adding 80 New Monsters to Catch

· · Cool Stuff Found

Get ready for Pokémon GO Gen 2 and 80 new monsters because Niantic plans to give us more characters we gotta catch by this weekend. The new monsters come from the Pokémon Silver and Pokémon Gold video games, so if you’re tired of the gobs of characters already available you’ll have plenty more to keep you roaming around your neighborhood. Niantic also rolled in new evolutions and Evolution items to collect, new berries, new avatars, and more. The updates are free, unlike the time we’ll all spend hunting for Chikorita, Cyndaquil, Totodile.

iOS 10: How to Make Home Button Touch ID Work Like it Used to

· · How-To

iphone 6 home button

iOS 10 brought a big change to the way the Home Button worked by requiring users to press it, even after your fingerprint has been recognized. But, there’s a feature tucked away under Settings > General > Accessibility that allows you to make your Home Button work like it used to. When this option is turned on, your iPhone or iPad with Touch ID will unlock with just a touch from the lock screen. Here’s how to do it.

iPhone 8 and 3D: It's About Facial Recognition, not AR

· · Analysis

Facial recognition

There’s plenty of speculation about what new technology will come with the iPhone 8. Do recent trademark filings mean it will use an iris scanner instead of Touch ID? What about augmented reality; will that be the hottest new feature to arrive in Apple’s mobile phone? Or are all of these rumors completely off base, and the plan is actually for the iPhone 8 to unlock your phone based on how well it can recognize your face? Jeff Butts digs deep into the science and the rumors, and offers his take on the matter.

New McDonald's Ad Pokes Fun At Apple to Promote 'STRAW'

· · News

mcdonald's ad new shakes

Fast food chain McDonald’s has a new ad for a product called “the STRAW.” It pokes fun at Apple, in particular Jony Ive, as it features white backgrounds and a British narrator. The product will released along with four new shakes in time for St. Patrick’s Day. Check out the Suction Tube for Reverse Axial Withdrawal in the commercial.

New Apple TV Getting 4K Video, But Not Much Else

· · News

Original TV shows coming to Apple Music in 2017

Apple has plans to refresh the Apple TV this year and finally bring it in line with other set top streaming boxes—assuming this was 2015. The big change coming to the next Apple TV is 4K video support, and not much else.

WWDC 2017 Set for June 5-9, Moves to San Jose

· · News

Worldwide Developer Conference 2017 is June 5 through June 9 at San Jose's McEnery Convention Center

Apple’s annual Worldwide Developer Conference will run from June 5th through June 9th this year, and is getting a change of venue. For 2017, WWDC will be held at the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose instead of Moscone West in San Francisco.

MailButler Professional 1-Year Subscription: $14.99

· · TMO Deals

MailButler Professional

Our friends at Stack Commerce said this is the last chance to get our deal on MailButler Professional, a collection of plugins for Apple’s Mail.app. With these plugins, you can mark your emails as to-do items, snooze emails, track emails to find out if recipients have actually opened them, schedule emails to be sent at specific dates and times, and more. You can get a one year subscription to MailButler Professional through us for $14.99.

LEGO Batman has the Siri Easter Eggs We Deserve

· · Cool Stuff Found

The LEGO Batman movie is out, and it shows us just how important Siri is: She’s the computer system of choice for Gotham’s elite vigilante crime fighters. Luckily, we don’t have to live in Gotham, become emotionally scarred orphans watching our parents die, or spend gobs of money on devices named bat…something. We can get Siri to treat us like the bat heroes we want to be right on our iPhones. Just press and hold your iPhone’s Home button to activate Siri, and get your Batman on by saying, “Hey, computer,” or “Hey, ‘puter.” Siri will respond with bat-appropriate comments, first try.

LEGO Batman has the Siri Easter Eggs We Deserve

Bryan Chaffin Talks about How Politics Intersects with Technology

· · Cool Stuff Found

Chuck Joiner asked me on to MacVoices to talk about Apple, the tech world, and politics. In this video podcast, I make the case that Apple is just plain too big to avoid politics. From regulations, to taxation policy, to international posturing, to the fact that Apple is worth almost US$700 billion, Apple can’t avoid politics. More importantly, the broader tech world itself that it increasingly intersects with tech. I think I spewed off about getting older and struggling to understand Millennials, too. It’s all kind of hazy, but that didn’t stop Chuck from making that part of his title…oh, and check out that key frame he picked. Why did I agree to do this show again? … Oh, right, because I luuuuurve me some Chucky J!

Setapp: Like Netflix for Mac Apps

· · Dr. Mac's Rants & Raves

Setapp currently offers unrestricted use of 64 apps for $9.99/month.

Dr. Mac’s been testing Setapp, a new subscription service from MacPaw with access to more than 60 Mac apps for $9.99 a month. It’s an ambitious undertaking by MacPaw, but the good doctor thinks they’ve done a masterful job…

Fox Launches 'Movie of the Day' App on Apple TV

· · Cool Stuff Found

According to Home Media Magazine, “The free Movie of the Day app on Apple TV gives consumers a 24-hour window to buy some of the most popular movies from the Fox catalog for $4.99 to $9.99 — up to 75% off. Fox reports the app, previously launched for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, boasts a loyal following of close to 90% of monthly users returning and engaging with the app daily.” Upcoming dates and titles:  Feb. 15-Deadpool; Feb. 16-Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters;  Feb. 17-Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates and Feb. 18-Epic. Feb 14th launched with Kingsman.

Fox Launches ‘Movie of the Day’ App on Apple TV

Who's More Intelligent, Apple's Siri or Amazon's Alexa?

· · Editorial

Which AI is smarter, Siri or Alexa?

In the battle of virtual personal assistants, Apple and Amazon have strong contenders. Which one is “smarter,” though, Siri or Alexa? Perhaps it’s too early to really call the race, since both personal assistants keep growing and evolving. Be that as it may, Jeff Butts has put both through their paces, and shares his thoughts.