MacBook Pro's Function Touch Strip Called Magic Toolbar

· Jeff Gamet · News

MacBook, silver

We already have the Magic Mouse and Magic Trackpad, and soon we’ll have the Magic Toolbar, too. A just uncovered trademark filing seems to confirm the MacBook Pro really is getting a touch sensitive bar to replace the keyboard’s row of function keys.

TMO Daily Observations 2016-10-20: Apple's 'hello again' Media Event Predictions

· Jeff Gamet · The Mac Observer's Daily Observations Podcast

TMO Daily Observations Podcast Logo

Apple is hosting a media event on Thursday, October 27th, titled “hello again.” Bryan Chaffin and John Martellaro join Jeff Gamet to share their thoughts on whether or not we’ll finally see a refresh to the aging Mac Pro. They also offer up predictions on what else may or may not get announced, and generally hammer on Bryan for his Mac Pro hopes.

watchOS 3: How to Use Emergency SOS

· Melissa Holt · Quick Tip

The new version of watchOS has a neat and potentially life-saving ability, dubbed Emergency SOS. When it’s on, this feature will let you use the physical buttons on your device to automatically call emergency services and even notify some contacts that you’re in trouble. We’ll tell you how to set it up!

The Mac Power Organizer Bundle

· Bryan Chaffin · TMO Deals

The Mac Power Organizer Bundle

W have a bundle of Mac apps for you today called The Mac Power Organizer Bundle. It has four apps, including: Folx 5 (download organizer and manager), Commander One PRO (Finder replacement), Uplet Bulk Instagram Uploader (upload to Instagram from your Mac), and CloudMounter (an app that mounts your cloud storage on your desktop). You get all four apps for $14.99 with our deal.

E Ink Keyboard MacBook Pros Aren't a Sure Thing

· Jeff Gamet · Analysis

Sonder E Ink keyboard in MacBook Pro

A report last week suggested Apple will ditch the MacBook Pro’s traditional keyboard for an E Ink version with keys that dynamically change based on the app being used. Now the Wall Street Journal is chiming is saying it has sources confirming Apple’s plan. That makes it more likely an E Ink keyboard is coming, but it still isn’t a sure thing.

IK Multimedia Announces MODO Bass Modeling Software for Mac

· Bryan Chaffin · Cool Stuff Found

IK Multimedia introduced bass modeling software for the Mac called MODO Bass. The company claims it reproduces a physical bass, including the way humans interact with the instrument, and that it can produce “virtually every electric bass sound.” Models out of the box include a Rick 4003, a Gibson EB-0, a 70s Fender Precision, a modern Fender Jazz, and several more. Each sound can be tweaked with effects and modeled amps. It looks really good, though I haven’t played with it yet. Retail is $299.99, but IK Multimedia has a pre-order price of $149.99. It ships in November.

Performance Tests: Every iPhone Ever Made

· John Martellaro · Cool Stuff Found

“The iPhone 7 is said to be 120 times faster than the original 2G, which came out a whopping nine years ago—that’s a lot of progress in less than a decade.” So begins a terrific suite of tests on every iPhone Apple has shipped: boot time, speed benchmarks, camera quality (and low light performance), Touch ID response, camera launch times, operating temperature, sound output, and more.  What a nifty video—and nicely narrated. Nine years of iPhone development before our eyes.

Apple 'hello again' Media Invites Suggest Reintroduction of Mac Product Line

· Bryan Chaffin · Analysis

Apple Media Invitation

Apple sent out invitations to an (expected) October 27th media event. The tagline for the invite is “hello again,” and the event is expected to center around new Mac models. Bryan Chaffin thinks it may mean Apple intends to re-introduce the Mac to the world.

ACM 381: Tim Cook as Veep and iTunes Star Ratings

· Bryan Chaffin · Apple Context Machine Podcast

Apple Context Machine Logo

Tim Cook was apparently on a list of possible running mates for Hillary Clinton. Bryan and Jeff talk about Mr. Cook as a possible candidate and whether or not he would have wanted the gig. They also discuss iTunes Star Ratings for songs and the fact that they’ve been taken away in iOS 10.

Focusrite Allows Users to Control Their Audio Interface from iOS App

· Bryan Chaffin · Cool Stuff Found

Focusrite released iOS Control Wednesday—note that it’s being listed on the App Store as simply Focusrite Control. This free app allows users of Focusrite’s desktop app Control to extend control of their audio interfaces to iPhone and iPad. Control works with Focusrite’s larger audio interfaces, from the Scarlett 6i6 (2nd Gen) and up, as well as the company’s Clarett and Red lines. With iOS Control, users can control hardware inputs, software playback, panning, solo, mute, and preamp settings on your interface—all from your iOS device. It’s a free download, but is useless without the above-mentioned hardware and use of the Control desktop app.

Focusrite Allows Users to Control Their Audio Interface from iOS App

TMO Daily Observations 2016-10-19: iPhone 7 Mystery Chip, Amazon Echo and Echo Dot

· Jeff Gamet · The Mac Observer's Daily Observations Podcast

TMO Daily Observations Podcast Logo

Apple’s iPhone 7 has a mystery chip inside and John Martellaro thinks he knows what it may be doing. John, along with Kelly Guimont joins Jeff Gamet to talk about the iPhone 7 and privacy, along with how the mystery chip may be ensuring our data stays encrypted. They also compare Amazon’s Echo and Echo Dot.

macOS Sierra: How to Use Photos Memories

· Melissa Holt · Quick Tip

Photos Icon

Within macOS Sierra’s Photos program, there’s a new “Memories” feature that’ll automatically group pictures together to remind you of important events in your life. In this Quick Tip, we’ll go over a few great tricks on how to use it!

iKlips Dual-Interface Drive 32GB: $55

· Bryan Chaffin · TMO Deals

iKlips Dual Interactive Drive

We have a deal for you on the iKlips Dual-Interface Drive. It has a Lightning port on one end to connect to your iPhone and iPad, and a USB port on the other to connect to your Mac or PC. It’s MFi-Certified, and you can get a 32GB model for $55 through us. If you click the Type/Color links, you’ll find 64GB units for $71.

Did You Get the (i)Message? Tapback, Digital Touch, Apps, and More

· Bob LeVitus · Dr. Mac's Rants & Raves

Turn your phone sideways to handwrite a message.

When Dr. Mac sent his daughter an iMessage with iOS 10’s whizzy new stickers, full-screen effects, and animated GIFs, he was shocked when she replied: “Haha! I didn’t even know you could do all that.” He thinks it’s likely some of you in reader-land have yet to discover the joys of the iOS 10 Messages app. So in this week’s Dr. Mac’s Rants & Raves (Episode #197 if you’re counting) the good doctor offers up a short primer on the interesting new features in Messages.

Thoughts About Apple's Secret iPhone 7 Chip

· John Martellaro · Editorial

FPGA

An intriguing chip has been discovered in the teardown of the iPhone 7. We know that it’s a field-programmable gate array (FPGA), but we don’t know what it’s intended to do. Speculation abounds. John has a SWAG.

Apple Will Reportedly Announce New Macs with October 27th Event

· Bryan Chaffin · News

The Apple Crystal Ball

Apple will finally announce new Macs on October 27th, according to Re/code. Unnamed sources said the company will hold a media event in Cupertino. It’s not yet known which Macs will be refreshed.

Science Finds Way to Turn CO2 Into Ethanol

· Bryan Chaffin · Cool Stuff Found

Whoa, check this out: scientists at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee have discovered a way to turn CO2 into ethanol. This could have huge implications for the fight against anthropogenic global warming, not to mention the entire energy sector. Mind you, this is a new discovery and it’s still in the lab, but if we can capture CO2 and convert it into a fuel, it could be a game changer. The video below talks about how the method was discovered, as well as some of its practical applications. In a world where a steady deluge of depressing news has become the new norm, this is a delightful breath of kick-butt. Popular Mechanics has an article on the subject, too.

How Apple Uses Rule 44(d) to Hide Trademark Applications

· Bryan Chaffin · Cool Stuff Found

Chart showing trademark application using Rule 44(d) by tech companies

Quartz has a very interesting piece [Via 9to5Mac] on how Apple and other tech companies use a U.S. Patent & Trademark Office rule to register trademarks in semi-secrecy. The rule is designated 44(d), and the crux of the matter is that allows multinationals to more or less hide a trademark for 6 months. That rule gives a trademark filer 6 month-retroactive priority on a new trademark application to filers who can prove they already filed it somewhere else.  Apple, Google, Microsoft, Amazon, and Intel have all used this method to keep a trademark under wraps, but Apple is king of this method. Quartz cited legal experts who said only companies with enormous legal resources can afford to do it. Check out the full article for more.

Bryan Chaffin Will Discuss 'Apple vs. Samsung' in Live Webinar Thursday

· Bryan Chaffin · News

Man on a Soapbox

Bryan Chaffin will be doing a live webinar/discussion called “Samsung vs. Apple” on Thursday, October 20th, from 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM EDT. Moderated by patent attorney Gene Quinn, the discussion has a subheading of, “Is A Single Patent Infringement Worth all the Profit?” Robert S. Katz, an attorney with Banner & Witcoff, will also be participating.

TMO Daily Observations 2016-10-18: Siri Falls Behind, MacBook Pro Refresh Delays

· Jeff Gamet · The Mac Observer's Daily Observations Podcast

TMO Daily Observations Podcast Logo

Siri seems to be lagging behind in the voice interface game, or at least that’s what some analysts think. Dave Hamilton and John Martellaro join Jeff Gamet to talk about the current state of Siri and the limitations they’ve encountered. They also take a look at what may be holding up the release of new MacBook Pro models.