The iPhone's Future, Prince and Streaming Music - TMO Daily Observations 2017-02-01

· · The Mac Observer's Daily Observations Podcast

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Apple made truck loads of money during its first fiscal quarter for 2017, but that wasn’t the only news from yesterday’s earning report. John Martellaro and Kelly Guimont join Jeff Gamet to share their thoughts on Tim Cook saying the iPhone hasn’t reached maturity yet, plus they look at the news that Prince’s music is coming to Apple Music.

Prince Coming to Apple Music, Spotify

· · News

Prince albums on Apple Music in February - AP photo of Prince at the 46th Grammy Awards

It looks like Prince may be streaming on Apple Music and other services soon. An industry insider says deals are in place for the iconic artist’s work to stream on more than just Tidal starting on February 12.

Tim Cook: The iPhone Hasn't Reached Tech Maturity, Has Room to Grow

· · Analysis

iPhone7 lineup - tops

Some observers have suggested that the smartphone is at the end of its technical life. They say it’s time to move on to the Next Big Thing. During Apple’s Q1 2017 Earnings Report, an analyst asked Tim Cook about the future of the iPhone. Has it reached technical maturity? Will we continue to see new features? Here’s how Tim Cook responded. Plus John’s analysis.

Apple's Services Business Hits Fortune 100 Level

· · News

Apple services businesses reach Fortune 100 level in 2017

Apple is a hardware company, a media company, and now it’s a serious services company, too. Company CEO Tim Cook said the company’s services business is on track to reach the size of a Fortune 100 company in 2017, and the goal is to double the division’s growth over the next four years.

Iconfactory Gets iPad Sketch Apps Right with Linea

· · Cool Stuff Found

The Iconfactory is jumping into the iPad sketch app market with its brand new Linea app, and based on our tests, it’s pretty cool. Linea is going for drawing and sketching, not digital painting, and it has the right tool set for the job. It comes with four pen tips an dan eraser tool, support for five layers, blending and transparency modes, graph paper grids, and one of my favorite features: tap a swatch on the color palette to see several shades for that color. It also includes Apple Pencil support and offers pretty flexible image export options. Linea is priced at US$9.99, and it’s one of the few sketching apps that gets to stay on my iPad Pro.

Iconfactory Gets iPad Sketch Apps Right with Linea

How to Use Apple Watch Theater Mode in watchOS 3.2

· · Cool Stuff Found

watchOS 3.2 introduced Theater Mode, which means your Apple Watch will be less obtrusive when you’re watching movies or live shows. The feature is easy to turn on and off, and your fellow theatuer goers will appreciate that you’re using it. Follow along with our how-to video to learn how Theater Mode works.

The iOS Chrome Browser Is Now Open Source

· · Product News

iOS chrome browser banner

After several years of switching the code, Google made the iOS Chrome browser open source. For the past several years the Chrome team has been updating the code in order to bring it under the Chromium Project. Since iOS browsers must use Apple’s WebKit rendering engine, the app had to support that as well as Google’s Blink engine.

Apple and Worker Visas, HomeKit Falls Behind in the Smarthome Game - TMO Daily Observations 2017-01-31

· · The Mac Observer's Daily Observations Podcast

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Work Visas for the tech industry may be changing thanks to an executive order that’s said to be coming from the White House. Bryan Chaffin and John Martellaro join Jeff Gamet to look at the draft order and the impact it could have on Apple and other Silicon Valley companies. They also have some thoughts on the rapidly changing smart home market and Apple’s apparent lagging position.

Starbucks App Lets You Order with Your Voice

· · Cool Stuff Found

Starbucks just added a new feature to its iPhone app that lets you speak your order instead of tapping through the on screen menu. The feature, called My Starbucks barista, works sort of like a text chat where you say what you want—like, medium soy chai—and the app places the order at your local Starbucks. The app can handle L.A. Story-quality orders, too, like double upside down macchiato half decaf with room and splash of cream in a grande cup. The good news is the feature is part of yesterday’s Starbucks app update, and the bad news is that it’s beta right now and available to only 1,000 customers. For the rest of us, we’ll have to make due with the new Starbucks Alexa skill that lets you reorder your last drink. Seriously. You can do that now.

Starbucks App Lets You Order with Your Voice

Plugies Magnetic Lightning Charging Cables: $27.99

· · TMO Deals

Plugies Magnetic Charging Cables

Check out the Plugies Magnetic Charging Cables, Lightning charging cables with a magnetic connector. They’re designed to work like Apple’s on-the-way-out MagSafe, but for your iPhone. It has two pieces, one a Lightning plug that sits in your iPhone. The other is a cable that connects to that plug with a magnet. They’re $27.99 through our deal. There are also versions with Micro-USB and one with both Micro-USB and Lightning. Check out the details on the deal listing.

Trump Reportedly Drafts Executive Order Targeting Visas Used by Apple and Other Techs

· · Analysis

Macro of a U.S. Visa in a passport

The White House has reportedly drafted an executive order that would target visas used by Apple and other tech companies. According to Bloomberg, the Trump administration wants to change the rules for temporary worker visas known as H-1B, L-1, E-2 and B1. Those rules changes would affect the ways several American companies recruit skilled workers overseas.

Apple's Tortoise Races Amazon's Hare for Home Automation Dominance

· · Link

Home automation

Apple has chosen to take a steady, if slow, approach to home automation focusing on licensing, security, and no high-profile, fixed device like Amazon’s Echo & Dot. As a result, Reuters author Stephen Nellis observes: “Still, it’s not clear whether Apple’s elaborate but slow-to-develop system will have enough advantages to overcome Amazon’s widening lead.” The discussion starts on page 2 of Friday’s Particle Debris.

Black AirPods Exist Thanks To BlackPods

· · Product News

Matte Black AirPods

A company called BlackPods is offering custom painted AirPods, but as the name suggests they only offer them in black. Matte black, to be specific. You can buy a pair directly from the company, or send in your own pair and pay to have them coated using a custom process.