Apple updated its HomeKit page with a fresh, new look. It includes a brief video that shows the power of HomeKit automation with iOS 10. Examples in the video include lights, window shades, coffee makers, door locks and thermostats. Apple also has several sections that give details of different areas of the Home app.
Recently, Blancco published a report on the performance and health of iPhones and Android smartphones. A key finding was that iPhones are less reliable than Android devices. It created quite a stir, and the report intrigued John, so he asked for a copy of the report and looked into the findings. Here’s what he found.
A cool website called BookBub offers eBook recommendations. You can choose from a variety of book genres you’re interested in, including Mysteries, Thrillers and Action; Romance; Fiction; Fantasy, Science Fiction, Horror; Teen and Young Readers; and Nonfiction. BookBub specifically suggests eBooks that are on sale. I’ve used BookBub for a couple of years, and I’ve gotten eBooks as low as US$0.99. It displays eBooks from Amazon, Google Play and Apple Books. BookBub has an iOS app, but that version only shows Apple Books offerings. If you sign up via the website, you’ll also see Amazon and Google offerings. After you select the genres you like, you can get a daily email with eBook deals.
A company called ProtectPax is crowdfunding a special liquid that can strengthen your iPhone screen. It’s a goo made with titanium nanoparticles, and ProtectPax says it can make your iPhone screen as “hard as sapphire or ruby.” Andrew Orr explains what the company is offering on Indiegogo.
Don’t you wish you could just say “Hey Siri” and have your Mac’s version of the voice assistant respond? Apple seems to have forgotten that feature with macOS Sierra, but Jeff Butts found a way to make it happen. Follow along in this Quick Tip, and you can have your own Mac’s voice assistant at your beck and call, without lifting a finger.
John Martellaro joins guest-host Bryan Chaffin to talk about whether having or not having Microsoft Office on your Mac is a relevant question in 2017. They also try and consider the state of the Mac product line from Apple’s viewpoint, and how the company might look at the importance of new hardware.
Apple has a new entrant in its iPad Pro commercials where the company responds to tweets from real people. The new one is called No more printing, and shows how you can use iPad Pro and Apple Pencil to sign documents. It’s anchored around a tweet from @ROSESplease about printing personal documents on the company printer. I thought these spots were interesting when they launched, and found it interesting that Apple was interacting indirectly with social media and tweets from real folks. As time goes on, however, I find that I don’t think about these adds at all. That certainly wasn’t true with many other Apple campaigns. Then again, I’m not the target demo for these spots. This is the fifth spot in the series, making it likely they’re performing well for Apple.
TextExpander is one of our must-have Mac and iPhone utilities at TMO, and our friends at Stack Commerce have put together a deal on it. TextExpander expands snippets of text to much longer blocks of text. Your signature, a formula, addresses you have to type all the time, etc. It can also insert variables or things in your clipboard. Our deal is $19.98 for a one-year, single user license for macOS, iOS, and Windows. That’s half off regular price.
Apple won a significant victory in court this week in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. That court ruled three patents owned by Smartflash LLC were invalid, according to Reuters, a ruling that saves Apple US$532.9 million by negating a damage award.
In this 400th episode of Apple Context Machine, John Kheit joins Bryan Chaffin to discuss rumors of iPhone 8 and Samsung Galaxy S8, Apple manufacturing, Tim Cook’s claim that Apple cares about pro users and creative pros in particular, the company’s supposed pipeline, and $AAPL’s record high valuation. Oh…and Nickleback.
When many folks switch to Mac, they bring Microsoft with them, begrudgingly. They don’t realize the wealth of Microsoft Office alternatives out there, so they stick with what they know. Jeff Butts felt that pain, did the research, and has come up with some great choices for ditching Redmond altogether.
NASA’s Apollo 11 space capsule “Columbia” took astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins to lunar orbit and safely back home in July 1969. The fiftieth anniversary of that trip is coming up soon, so the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum is going to put the 13,600 pound capsule on display in four major U.S. cities starting late this year and continuing into 2019. This article at NPR has the story, the cities and the dates. (Image credit: Smithsonian.)
Have you ever wanted to share a calendar with a bunch of folks? If so, creating a public calendar in iCloud might be the way to go, depending on how you feel about the privacy of doing such a thing. In this Quick Tip, we’ll go over how you’ll do it and how your recipients will accept your invites!
When you’re browsing the web, it’s inevitable that you’ll accidentally close a tab. Even if on purpose, you may still want to re-visit the page you were looking at. Instead of going into your Safari History, there is a quicker way to restore Safari tabs. Andrew shows us how he saves time when using Safari.
Check out the Cling Bling Window Solar Charger. It’s a portable battery that sticks to window and recharges itself with solar power. How cool is that? The battery’s capacity is 1,800mAh, and it’s about 6-inches square. It’s available in black or green, and they’re $27.99 each, which is 68% off retail.
A scary piece from Motherboard brings to attention a tool for iOS 10 spying. A company called Mobistealth sells a special monitoring tool that can pull data from iCloud backups. And the device doesn’t need to be jailbroken to work.
I’m intrigued by the RocksterTek Porta-Guitar. It’s a collapsible guitar neck designed to let you practice chords anywhere. I imagine one could practice a subset of scales, too. This is one of those products that when I saw it made me instantly think, “Why hasn’t someone does this before?” And maybe they have, but I haven’t seen it. It’s a bit longer than 17-inches long when fully extended and just under 10-inches when collapsed. It can be restrung for lefties, and it comes with its own carrying back. I haven’t tested it yet, but it resonated with me when I first saw it. The RocksterTek Porta-Guitar is $39.95, and comes in black, pink, yellow, green, red, white, or sky blue.
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