Super Mario Run hit Apple’s App Store yesterday, so today Bryan Chaffin joins Jeff Gamet to talk about the game and whether or not it’s worth the US$9.99 in-app purchase. They also talk about why Astra is an awesome iPhone app for Amazon Echo and Echo Dot owners.
If you missed out on ordering your AirPods for a pre-Christmas delivery, there’s still a chance you might get ahold of a pair because they’ll be available in Apple’s retail stores on Monday, December 19th. Don’t, however, get your hopes up because this will likely mirror the Apple Pencil launch where “available in store” really means “good luck with that.”
When Firewatch launched on Steam back in February the internet pretty much went crazy over the game, and now it’s available as a native Mac title. The game tasks you with solving a mystery while working as a firewatcher in Wyoming. The graphics are beautiful, the story is intriguing, and the only help you get comes from another firewatcher talking over your portable radio. Firewatch costs US$19.99 on Apple’s Mac App Store, and if you haven’t played it yet get ready to have a very unproductive weekend.
Nintendo released Super Mario Run for the iPhone and iPad Thursday afternoon, and by early Friday morning it was already the top grossing and top free title on Apple’s App Store. The game is a free download with a US$9.99 in-app purchase to unlock extra levels, and considering Mario’s top spot on the App Store plenty of players are happy to pay up.
We have a different sort of deal for you today on ActiveInbox, a Chrome-browser-based Gmail task manager. The company has an iOS app, too. Our deal is for one year of access to ActiveInbox for $24.95, which is 37% off retail. There are deals for longer licenses on the same page, too.
iOS 10.2 brought the return of star ratings to the Music app, but not everyone is seeing the option. TMO’s staff had a mix of devices where some had the Star Ratings option and some didn’t. We found a workaround that forces the option to show.
It looks like the things people wanted to know about the most in 2016 were Pokémon GO and the iPhone 7. The two topped Google’s this year’s searches, beating out Donald Trump and Prince.
Mario fans, Nintendo Mobile and Apple have posted a video of Mario-creator Shigeru Miyamoto drawing the character on an iPad Pro with Apple Pencil. The game launched Thursday exclusively on iOS, and Apple has been pushing the game hard. In this video, you see Mario and other characters from the franchise take shape on the iPad screen. Apple also published a blog post about the video and featured it on the company’s website. To me, drawing/art is voodoo. I can’t do it. Watching the process of an iconic figure taking shape is plain fascinating to me.
Amazon’s Echo and Echo Dot are pretty cool, but what if you don’t have one yet—or aren’t home to use yours? That’s where Astra comes in. It’s an iPhone app that links to your Amazon account so you talk talk to Alexa just as if you’re right in front of your own Echo. The app lets you do pretty much everything your Echo or Echo Dot can handle, except for music playback or reading audio books. You can also remotely control your Echo-aware smarthome devices with your voice, which is worth the app’s US$0.99 price tag all by itself. You can get Astra at Apple’s App Store.
As promised, Super Mario Run for the iPhone and iPad launched on Apple’s App Store on Thursday. The game marks Mario’s first official appearance on Apple’s mobile devices and was first teased this fall, and if the hype is any indication productivity is going to take a serious hit for the rest of today.
My favorite accessory for my iPads has been the line of Brydge aluminum keyboards. These are first-class, full featured, Bluetooth keyboards that use a unique, secure hinge attachment to the iPad. The result looks a lot like a MacBook. Now, Brydge is offering reduced prices at Best Buy only starting 12/15. I’ve reviewed these keyboards in the past and love them all. The link here is to the latest reviewed product, the Brydge 12.9 for the iPad Pro 12.9-inch. Here are the new Best Buy prices. These new prices will propagate to all sales locations over the next week.
- iPad mini 2 and mini 4 keyboards (BrydgeMini and Brydge 7.9) US$99 (was $129)
- iPad Air, Air 2 and Pro 9.7 (Brydge 9.7) to $129 (was $149)
- iPad Pro 12.9 (Brydge 12.9) $149 (was $189)
Yahoo! lost over a billion user’s account information in a data breach. Bryan Chaffin and Dave Hamilton join Jeff Gamet to talk about what happened, and share some tips for protecting your accounts and data from hackers. They also look at some apps for showing the battery time remaining estimate on your Mac laptop.
Check out the Exocharge 3-Port USB Car Charger. The name says it all: it’s a three-port USB charger for your car that plugs into your car’s auxiliary power (lighter). One port puts out 2.1 amps, one does 2.0 amps, and the third does 1 amp. You can get this device through our deal for $14.99.
If you have a Yahoo! login, it’s time to go change your password again. The company says personal information for more than a billion users was stolen, including names and passwords. The security breach happened in August 2013, and is likely the largest ever.
The end of the year is a good time to think through your security practices and especially what types of passwords you use (and how you store them). In today’s Quick Tip, Melissa Holt will walk us through a few of her favorite ways you can stay safe, both online and at home.
On Wednesday, Apple added domain registrar GoDaddy and startup Causemo to Apple Pay. Apple has steadily expanded the list of retailers and other companies who accept Apple Pay online, increasing the service’s footprint.
The Minix NEO C Mini is the little brother of the USB-C NEO C Multiport Adapter Dock previously reviewed. This smaller, less expensive model supports only pass-through power, HDMI (UHD) and two USB-A ports. It’s also half the price. John liked it a lot and highly recommends it for the Apple MacBook and new 2016 MacBook Pro.
Apple shipped AirPods. Sort of. Bryan and Jeff think it was a terrible idea to ship them before Christmas if Apple couldn’t meet demand, which is exactly what’s happening. They also weigh the merits of Kickstarter and discuss the state of augmented reality and its future.
It’s Part II of Dr. Mac’s annual gift guide, with four more reasonably-priced gadgets that make perfect gifts for the geeks you love.
Our iPhones, iPads, and Macs can store more and more, but Apple isn’t doing much to address our data storage and backup needs outside of those devices. John Martellaro and Kelly Guimont join Jeff Gamet to look at the issue and talk about what Apple could do to help ensure we have the storage and backup services we need.