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

TMO Daily Observations Podcast Logo

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.

TMO Background Mode: Interview with Science Journalist and Author Maryn McKenna

· · Background Mode Podcast

Maryn McKenna is a science journalist and author. Her undergraduate degree was in 16th century theater and 20th century poetry. That led to a small theater company, but after a few years, she realized that a paying job would be a very good idea. When Maryn realized she really wanted to be a writer, she was off to graduate school and journalism. After graduation, she discovered that the only jobs in journalism were business related. That led to a career in investigative journalism and eventually, she landed with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution covering the CDC. In time, Maryn became an expert on bioterrorism, the over use of antibiotics with both humans and animals, superbugs, food policy and the CDC’s Epidemic Intelligence Service. (Yes, that’s real.) Her stories, at times, were scary, so brace yourself.

Sorry, Apple Didn't Patent a Vape Pen

· · News

Apple patent is about vaporizing metals, not weed

We have the iPhone, the iPad, and the iPod, and based on a recently published patent, some are saying the iVape is coming next. Apple’s patent describes something that sounds a lot like the vaping pens you use when you’re sitting on the couch getting baked while watching Scooby-Doo, except that using this design would probably kill you.

Goodbye iPhone Activation Lock Checker, Presidential Immigration Ban and Apple - TMO Daily Observations 2017-01-30

· · The Mac Observer's Daily Observations Podcast

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Apple shut down its iPhone Activation Lock Status checker without any explanation, which raises a few questions. Bryan Chaffin and Dave Hamilton join Jeff Gamet to look at what may be behind Apple’s decision, plus they look at what impact the presidentail executive order banning immigration from certain countries could have on Silicon Valley companies such as Apple.

Flux 6 Lifetime License: $49.99

· · TMO Deals

Flux 6 Screenshots

We have a deal for you on Flux 6, a WYSIWYG HTML and CSS design tool. It features the ability to write and edit code, or use drag and drop controls. Our deal is for lifetime access and future updates on one computer for $49.99, 83% off retail.

Speed Test Shows iOS 10.3 Starts 6 Seconds Faster on iPhone 5s

· · Cool Stuff Found

iAppleBytes did some speed tests comparing iOS 10.2.1 and iOS 10.3—with its new file system. In the video below, they show startup times on an iPhone 5 and an iPhone 5s. The device on the left of each pair is running iOS 10.2.1, the current shipping version of iOS. The devices on the right of each pair are running iOS 10.3, which includes Apple File System (APFS). This is a brand new file system years in the making, and it will change of underlying structural aspects of iOS. This demonstration shows one of those things is startup times. The iPhone 5s running iOS 10.3 started up 5.88 seconds faster than its cousin running 10.2.1. That’s 19.7% faster! The iPhone 5 running iOS 10.3 started up 7.57 seconds faster (18.7% faster). This is just one metric, mind you, and it’s important to remember this version of iOS 10.3 is the first developer preview. Newer iPhone and iPads with newer processors will likely show a smaller delta in absolute terms, but the whole point is that things are going to be happening faster. Squuuueeeeeeeeeeeeee!