Apple May Want Sonder's E Ink Keyboard for MacBook Pro

· Jeff Gamet · News

Sonder E Ink keyboard in MacBook Pro

Apple’s plans for adaptive keyboard elements may go beyond replacing the function keys on the MacBook Pro with a touch sensitive OLED strip. A new report claims Apple wants Sonder’s E Ink-based keyboard system for future MacBook Pro models, and may be negotiating to buy Sonder the company.

Braven 705 Bluetooth Speaker: $49.99

· Bryan Chaffin · TMO Deals

Braven 705 Bluetooth Speaker

Check out the Braven 705 Bluetooth Speaker. It features a shock-absorbent thermoplastic exterior and IPX5 water resistance. it also has a built-in mic and speakerphone for taking and making calls. Sound comes from two drivers, and it has a 12-hour battery life. You can get it through our deal for $49.99.

Last Day for Cloop XL Magnetic Cable Keeper 2.0 on Kickstarter

· Bryan Chaffin · Cool Stuff Found

Cloop Magnetic Cable Organizer

After I posted the SHAPES Kickstarter on Wednesday, Father Gabriel Mosher tweeted me another cool cable organizer called Cloop XL. This is a different approach for cable management in that it’s a rubber strap with neodymium magnets that snap together and stay there. This particular Kickstarter is for a new, larger version called Cloop XL. It’s 115mm (4.6-inches) long, and can hold sturdier cables. This project has already raised $66,000, well over its $10,000 goal. Funding options that get you three or more Cloops, including a Cloop XP, start at $11 as of this writing, but you only have today to participate. There’s a ton of information there, too.

Tame Your Cables with Spheres and Pyramids on Kickstarter

· Bryan Chaffin · Cool Stuff Found

SHAPES Cable Organizer

Check out SHAPES on Kickstarter. I’ve seen a lot of cable organizers and tamers and whatnot cross my desk. Most of them are quite clever and useful, but they tend to rely on me putting the end of a cable onto a magnetic base when I’m done with it. There’s a Kickstarter project called SHAPES that takes a different approach. Rather than being a catch-all for multiple cables, SHAPES is more of a holder for one cable, as shown in the video below. Each sphere or pyramid (I prefer the spheres, FWIW) holds one cable in place while allowing it to slide about when you’re using it. The company is trying to raise $20,000 with 28 days to go.

Making Weather, a Levitating Speaker that Looks like a Cloud

· Bryan Chaffin · Cool Stuff Found

Making Weather Levitating Cloud Speaker

Check out this remarkable project Richard Clarkson is working on. It’s called Making Weather, and builds on Smart Cloud, a combination lamp and Bluetooth speaker designed to look like a cloud. As noted by The Verge, Mr. Clarkson is working with Crealev to turn this idea into an actual levitating cloud. Crealev has the levitation technology, which uses magnets to achieve the levitation effect. This isn’t a shipping product (yet), but the original Smart Cloud is ($3,360). But the demo video for Making Weather is intensely cool, and I wanted to share it. You can find more images and information on at Crealev’s site.

Amazon Music Unlimited versus Prime Music: What's the Difference?

· Jeff Gamet · News

Amazon Prime music versus Amazon Music Unlimited

If you’re an Amazon Prime subscriber you can already stream music, so why would you want to pay US$7.99 for the just launched Amazon Music Unlimited? It’s the extras you get with Amazon Music Unlimited that set the two apart—but they may not be worth the price.

3 Mostly Transparent Cases for the iPhone 7/Plus

· John Martellaro · News

Rockform, Just Mobile, Gear4

The color choices for the iPhone 7/Plus are better than ever. A good case can protect that iPhone without covering up those amazing colors. John looks at three cases that are mostly transparent and provide a range of protection.

Amazon Plugs Ecosystem Hole with Streaming Music Service

· Jeff Gamet · News

Amazon Music Unlimited streaming music service

Apple Music, Spotify, say hello to Amazon Music Unlimited. Amazon just launched its own streaming music service, and here’s the kicker: It doesn’t need to be better than Apple Music or Spotify, just more convenient. That’s enough to keep more people in Amazon’s ecosystem.

ACM 380: USB Kill 2.0 and Samsung Schadenfreude

· Bryan Chaffin · Apple Context Machine Podcast

Apple Context Machine Logo

Bryan and Jeff talk about USB Kill 2.0, a device that looks like a hard drive, but can damage—if not destroy—a Mac, PC, iPhone, iPad, or any other device with a USB port. They also take a few moments to enjoy some schadenfreude at Samsung’s defense.

TMO Daily Observations 2016-10-12: Amazon Music Unlimited, AI Morality

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

TMO Daily Observations Podcast Logo

Amazon is expanding its streaming music offerings with Amazon Music Unlimited. Kelly Guimont and John Martellaro join Jeff Gamet to share their thoughts on AMU and how it fits into Amazon’s plans. They also loop back to Monday’s show to look at the moral implications of deeper human relationships with artificial intelligences.

First Look: 'Portrait Mode' for the iPhone 7 Plus

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

Depth-of-field preview on iPhone 7 Plus screen.

Dr. Mac’s been beta testing Apple’s new depth-of-field effect—which is coming soon to the iPhone 7 Plus (only) real soon. He says it does a phenomenal job of simulating the effect most of the time — so good, in fact, he’s threatening to sell his DSLR.

Swift Programming from Scratch Interactive Learning Platform: $10

· Bryan Chaffin · TMO Deals

Swift Programming from Scratch: Interactive Learning Platform

We have a deal for you today on Swift Programming from Scratch, a tutorial designed to teach you Apple’s Swift programming language. It features 100-plus exercises and custom made Playgrounds to practice with. It’s $10 through our deal.

macOS Sierra: Using "Recommendations" to Save Storage Space

· Melissa Holt · Quick Tip

Today’s Quick Tip is about a new feature in macOS Sierra, which’ll help you clean up your Mac and give you more storage space if you need it. Your laptop’s got a tiny little SSD that you’re quickly growing out of? Let’s see if Sierra can help!

Technical Professionals Are Hanging on, Hoping For The Best from Apple

· John Martellaro · Editorial

Soon, we think, there will be fall Apple event that launches new Macs. The nature of this event and the kinds of Macs that Apple updates and those that are left to quietly die will tell us a lot about where Apple is heading with technical professionals. Many of those former Apple customers have already switched to Linux. Those who remain are dismayed and are not very hopeful.  Some readers weigh in.

Supreme Court Wrestles with Apple, Samsung Patent Arguments

· Jeff Gamet · News

Apple lawsuit

The U.S. Supreme Court heard testimony on from Apple, Samsung, and the Department of Justice on Tuesday on how damages should be calculated in design-related patent infringement cases. The hearing is the latest round in the mobile device patent infringement fight the two companies started in 2011, and underscores how confusing it can be to set damages values.

How to Recalibrate Apple Watch Fitness Tracking

· Jeff Gamet · News

Apple Watch fitness tracking recalibration how to

Let’s say you followed my advice and calibrated your Apple Watch for better step count and distance accuracy, but something went wonky now it’s wrong again. That’s an easy fix, and a great excuse to get outside to walk some more. Read on to learn how to reset your Apple Watch fitness tracking calibration.

Samsung's Supreme Court Appeal to Set Precedent for Future Design Patent Cases

· Jeff Gamet · Analysis

Apple v Samsung justice scales

The U.S. Supreme Court is hearing Samsung’s appeal in its multi-year patent infringement battle with Apple. The Justices won’t be determining if Samsung infringed on Apple’s patents—the company already admitted to that—and instead will rule on how damages in patent design cases should be calculated. Their decision has real implications for other design-related patent cases, and could lead to yet another lower court hearing for Apple and Samsung.

TMO Daily Observations 2016-10-11: Dash's App Store Death, UK Apple Watch Ban

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

TMO Daily Observations Podcast Logo

Dash is gone from the Mac and iOS App Stores, and the story behind why is a big bucket of drama. John Martellaro and Dave Hamilton join Jeff Gamet to look at what transpired to get Dash banned from the App Store and cost the developer his account. They also offer up their thoughts on the UK Prime Minister banning the Apple Watch from Cabinet meetings.

Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders Swoops onto the iTunes Store

· Jeff Gamet · Cool Stuff Found

To the Bat-TV, Robin! Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders hit the iTunes Store on Tuesday. The 90 minute animated movie brings back the awesomeness of the 1966 television series, complete with Adam West and Burt Ward reprising their iconic roles as Batman and Robin, and Julie Newmar joins in as Catwoman, too. There are Bat-labels galore, plenty of campy jokes, and loads of fun. You can download Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders for US$19.99 so you can watch any Bat-time on your Bat-iPhone, Bat-iPad, and Bat-Apple TV.

Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders Swoops onto the iTunes Store