Apple’s online store went offline Wednesday morning ahead of the company’s “See you on the 7th” special media event. The Apple Store app now says “We’ve got something special in store for you,” which most likely is the iPhone 7.
One little, two little, three little dongles. Four little, five little, six little dongles. Seven little, eight little, nine little dongles. 25 little dongles in a row. I know, I skipped a few, but I was stretching the absurdity a little far, even for me. So, what am I am talking about? Dr. Andrew Leavitt gathered up all 25 dongles/adapters Apple currently sells. With folks thinking about the headphone jack going the way of the floppy, it’s an interesting list to consider. I hadn’t realized Apple still sold 30-Pin adapters, for instance. And how about that External USB to Modem adapter? Who has external modems any more? I know, apparently someone. Check out Dr. Leavitt’s list. The image at the top, BTW, is a mockup of a headphone jack-to-Lightning adapter. I can’t imagine Apple could make it so small—you’re going to need some signal processing in there somewhere.
There has been much (pointless) wailing and gnashing of teeth about Apple ditching the headphone jack. We’ll find out if Apple is really doing it Wednesday morning, but there’s at least one Lightning headphone jack adapter already in the wild. It has the unsexy name of HRT i-dSp Headphone digital Sound Processor, and it allows you to connect a regular pair of headphones to an iOS device through the Lightning port. Don’t rush out and buy it just yet, though. For one thing, we don’t know how Apple is handling the transition. For another, this device also requires an Apple Lightning to USB Camera Adapter, making it unwieldy. I expect more seamless devices sooner, rather than later, if Apple does ditch that port. My point in posting this, however, is that there are already solutions on the market for a problem that doesn’t yet exist.
Does Apple have an ageist problem when hiring for its Apple retail locations? If so, it’s not institutional, and the situation that sparked the original story doesn’t actually back up such a claim. Bryan Chaffin digs into the issues.
With Intel’s Kaby Lake processors shipping and the MacBook Pro woefully overdue for a refresh, Apple could skip over Skylake and roll out new laptops with the latest chips—except that isn’t going to happen. Instead, Apple will most likely retire the aging Haswell chips it currently uses and finally move on to Skylake, and the really significant processor change won’t come until 2018 with Cannonlake.
There’s been a lot of exciting discussion about 4K UHD TVs with High Dynamic Range (HDR). This is something the next Apple TV will have to deal with, and so it’s time to read up. Page 2 of Friday’s Particle Debris points to a great HDR tutorial and explains why, when Apple finally announces a 5th generation Apple TV, you’ll want to look closely to make sure it supports HDR.
We have a deal for you today on the Karma Go Hotspot, a mobile Wi-Fi hotspot. It comes with 50GB of high speed LTE data for the first month—after the first month, you can renew the 50 GB plan at full price, or downgrade to pay-as-you-go data options. You can get this device for $199 through us.
Joanna Penn is a best-selling thriller novelist. She’s published over 20 books and sold over 450,000 copies in 74 countries and five languages. She’s most famous for her ARKANE series described by readers as ‘Dan Brown meets Lara Croft.’ Joanna is also an entrepreneur who teaches writers how to hone their craft. I interviewed Joanna about her past which includes a Master’s degree in Theology from Oxford. Joanna spent years working on computer code before she realized that she wanted to write fiction. And she’s a self-admitted techie, using a Mac and Scrivener. Today, Joanna leverages her background in theology and psychology plus extensive travel to write her thrillers. We talked about the craft of writing fiction and finished up with whether AI agents will ever put us both out of work.
The New York Times says Apple age discriminates against potential retail store employees. Dave Hamilton joins Jeff Gamet to discuss what they think may have really happened with the former Apple engineer who applied for a Genius Bar job, plus they look at Apple Music’s new discount annual price deal.
If an Apple Music subscription at US$120 a year is a little too expensive for you, try $99 instead. Apple is now offering the discounted subscription through a special gift card you can buy in the company’s retail stores.
In observance of Labor Day, a U.S. holiday, The Mac Observer will be taking the day off for a little outdoor fun with friends and family, and we hope you are, too. We’ll resume our regular publishing schedule on Tuesday, September 6, just in time for Apple’s “See you on the 7th” media event. Enjoy the holiday!
Tips, and lots of them, start today’s show. Audiobooks, Finder tweaks, securing your Mac and more! Then it’s time to talk about how your accounts can disappear and reappear, why your printer driver might want to listen to the network, how to view 35mm slides on your Mac and how your iPad keypad might change names! All this and much more on today’s Mac Geek Gab.
Apple sort of activated its long-held, but dormant Twitter account @Apple. It’s yet another symbol of CEO Tim Cook’s decision to take a more active role in shaping the Apple narrative.
The thing I enjoy the most about posting games like this is the chorus of “Gee, thanks, Bryan. I just wasted my entire afternoon because of you” messages I get. With that in mind, I offer you a cordial “You’re welcome!” reply. Today’s game is called TAP and SMASH. The premise is simple: when you tap, a triangle that represents you moves up in a straight line. Along the way, you collect stars (for points) and coins (for buying power ups, continuing your game, etc.). In your way are circles and lines traveling across your path. When you tap, you move. When you don’t, you fall. That makes avoiding the enemy shapes a matter of timing and luck. I suck at this game, but it has that just-one-more quality. It’s also free to download. For $0.99 you can turn off ads that play every five minutes or so between games. You can also buy coins, but you can have a lot of fun without doing so. I happily paid to turn off ads because I’ve been playing the game a lot. Enjoy!
The personal computing industry is changing quickly. Again. Not long ago, there was a simple migration from Mac and PC desktops to notebooks. Then, Apple finally got the simple tablet right in 2010. However, basic tablets can’t do it all, and so Apple warmed to the iPad Pro concept. But the dust isn’t clearing. Rather the market is exploding in use cases and advanced technology. John tries to make sense of it all.
YouTube user Matthew Rogers has posted a new drone flyover video of Apple Campus 2.0, the so-called Spaceship HQ. This update features some of the glass panels that will form the outer walls of the building, solar panels on the roof, the shrinking dirt mountain on site, many of the outer buildings, fuel cells, and more. I love seeing these updates. The building is amazing, even in its unfinished state, and being able to watch it grow is fun.
We have a deal on TextExpander, one of our favorite Mac and iOS utilities at TMO. TextExpander lets you create text “snippets” that you can then call with a key combination you designate. It’s great for anything you have to type frequently, especially when combined with powerful for tools for combining the snippet with something in your clipboard. Smile Software moved to a subscription pricing scheme, and our deal will let you get a 1-year subscription for $19.98, 60% off retail. It’s good for one user on an unlimited number of devices.
Apple’s slow Mac refresh cycle is HP’s opportunity. John Martellaro and Dave Hamilton join Jeff Gamet to talk about how HP is taking advantage of the ongoing lack of new Mac hardware, plus they share their thoughts on Apple’s plan to clean house at the App Store.
Apple is about to start cleaning the App Store’s house by removing outdated and abandoned apps. The change should make it easier to find the apps you’re looking for, improve discoverability, and cut down on apps that aren’t compatible with current iOS versions. Developers trying to manipulate search results with long app names are in for a surprise, too.
We’ve been impatiently waiting for Sphero’s BB-8 motion controller wristband ever since we saw it earlier this year at CES, and now it’s finally almost here. The BB-8 Force Band lets you control Poe Dameron’s little droid friend by moving your wrist, almost as if you’re using the Force. If you don’t have a BB-8, that’s OK because the Foce Band controls Spero’s other robots, too. You can pick up the Force Band on September 30th for US$79, or $199 bundled with a BB-8.