LEGO and Star Wars are a match made in heaven, which makes it pretty awesome that LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens is available for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. You can play as Poe Dameron, Rey, Finn, BB-8, Han Solo, Kylo Ren, and more in adventures on Jakku, D’Qar, Takodana, the Millenium Falcon, and Starkiller Base. There are puzzles to solve, space ships to fly, battles to fight, and plenty of things to build. The game includes the first chapter for free, and additional levels and character packs are available as in-app purchases. Clear your afternoon, and may the Force be with you.
We have a deal for you today on TaskPaper, a text editor for the Mac designed to help you keep track of what you’ve done. It will also auto-format projects, tasks, notes, and tags. While a Mac app, it uses a file format that is supported by some third party editors on iOS, Android, Windows, Linux, and three other Mac editors, too.
Apple patented a way to block our smartphone cameras from recording. Kelly Guimont and John Martellaro join Jeff Gamet to share their thoughts on the patent and its potential for abuse. They also look at a lawsuit alleging Apple stole the idea for the iPhone.
Musicians and other live performers could have a new way to stop attendees from using their smartphones to record video, photos, and audio at events thanks to a new patent from Apple. The iPhone and iPad maker was awarded a patent this week for a system that remotely disables recording with infrared signals. The system could be used in other ways, too, like blocking recording in secure facilities, or by governments to prevent free speech.
Today’s Quick Tip is about a nifty little Safari feature that’ll let you close all of the tabs you’re not using, in a flash! We’ve got the details on the different ways you can do this, so come read all about it.
Thomas Ross says he invented and patented the idea of the iPhone in the early 1990s, so he’s suing to the tune of US$13 billion Apple for stealing his intellectual property. Never mind the fact that his patent was declared abandoned in 1995, he didn’t go after Apple when the MessagePad was a thing, and he isn’t suing other smartphone makers.
Flat panel display technology continues to evolve. A decade ago, we had Plasma and LCD TV sets. LCDs were adopted for use in iPhones and iPads, but they require backlighting. Then we had OLEDs (used in the Apple Watch). Now there’s Quantum Dots and microLEDs. John provides a primer.
We have a deal for you today on VR Box, a virtual reality viewer compatible with iOS and Android devices with 4.7-inch to 6-inch displays. It has an optical axis slider for controlling distance and a T-shaped strap designed to fit a wide variety of head shapes and sizes. This device is $18.99 through our deal.
Check out Cozmo, a robot from Anki, the folks who made their name with the race cars you control with your iPhone. Cozmo “talks” using sounds that remind me a little of R2D2—but only in spirit—and it has a display for a face that emotes. Anki says Cozmo was designed with hundreds of emotions, and he is designed to play with you, or with his “Power Block” accessories. In the video, the designers and engineers talk about how sound is a huge part of how the device interacts with the world, including a bit where he snores while charging. Speaking of which, he’s self-charging. That’s just awesome. Setup and control (when Cozmo isn’t acting autonomously) is handled through an iOS or Android devices, and Cozmo ships in October of 2016. Retail is set at US$179.99. but Anki has a pre-order price of $159.99.
Speculation about the audio ports on the next iPhone are still going strong. Today Dave Hamilton joins Jeff Gamet to talk about the potentially missing headphone jack on the new iPhone, digital to analog converters, and how we listen to our music. They also get a little creeped out over Facebook’s location-based friend suggestions.
Apple’s third fiscal quarter earnings report is scheduled for Tuesday, July 26th. Investors will be watching the iPhone and iPad maker’s numbers closely after last quarter’s disappointing results, and the lack of new product announcements during Q3.
Google announced Monday the rollout of new imagery for Google Earth, and by extension Google Maps. The company said it was incorporating a new cloud-free mosaic of Earth in Google Earth utilizing higher-resolution images from Landsat 8, a satellite deployed by the USGS and NASA in 2013.
Google announced a new “research project” called Bloks, a wonderful concept that brings programming to very young kids with real-world block-like components. It’s an ongoing project that Google is opening up to the world, but the company is starting with electronic boards and programmable pucks. Brain Boards are built from Raspberry Pi Zero boards and can be used to power anything you could power from that device, like robots or switches for real-world devices. The pucks are essentially instructions, including on-off switches, directions, or volume controls. When used in sequence, they can send instructions to the Brain Boards. And it’s all hands-on for young kids. They can collaborate in ways they never could with any programming thing based on a screen and/or keyboard. I love it. It’s an entirely different approach from Apple’s Swift Playground, and I think they’re very complementary.
Our friends at Stack Commerce have been putting their collective noggins to work with this deal. It’s a pre-sale on The Complete iOS 10 Developer Course with 80 hours of content on coding for Apple’s next generation iOS. It’s discounted to $29, and you’ll be notified when the course is ready to access—but in the meanwhile you also get The Complete iOS 9 Hacker Training immediately, included for the same price. Check out the details on the deal listing.
No matter how hard our kindergarten teachers tried, some people never really wrapped their heads around the idea that stealing is bad. Take, for instance, the Quirk Ford dealership in Massachusetts and the Firewatch artwork it stole for a promotional event.
Reliable sources are suggesting that Apple really will remove the 3.5 mm audio headphone jack from the iPhone 7 this fall. The community seems evenly split about the prospect, with some shrugging and one notable author declaring that this is a hostile and stupid idea. The notion that this isn’t really a worthwhile technical advance seems balanced with the prospect of better and enabling digital technology moving forward. Plus: a more waterproof iPhone. Particle Debris page 2 asks the question: has Apple gone too far?
Apple’s stock isn’t a high as it used to be and understanding why can be a little daunting. Bryan Chaffin joins Jeff Gamet to look at Wall Street’s dysfunctional relationship with Apple and the Brexit impact on the stock market. They also check out Google’s new Blocks programming platform for kids.
Alex Grossman is the co-founder and president of Symply, Inc. His new company makes high-performance storage devices for content creators. I asked Alex about his start in storage technology, and it goes back to his EE degree in college and his first job with the Digital Equipment Corp (DEC). Early on, he developed a passion to build great hardware and understand how data got stored. Years later, Alex ended up at Apple focusing on the small and medium business needs for easy to manage mass storage. He tells a great story about Apple giving him the go ahead to change the world with Xserve RAID. Today, Alex carries his years of experience with elegant, easy to manage storage into his new company, Symply, Inc. Alex told me one amazing story after another.
Google is reportedly working on a new smartphone to take on Apple’s iPhone and Samsung’s phone De jour. Unlike its Nexus line, where partner companies are making the phones, Google plans to take complete control over this new line.
Apple helped celebrate the LGBTQ community over the weekend by marching in San Fransisco’s annual Pride parade. Company CEO Tim Cook’s photo on Twitter shows what looks like hundreds of Apple employees marching and waving rainbow flags—and wearing the special limited edition Apple Watch rainbow watch bands the company gave to participants.