Augmented Reality, Practical Robots, and Modern Cabling, with John Kheit - ACM 505

· · Apple Context Machine Podcast

Apple Context Machine Logo

Bryan Chaffin and John Kheit don their futurist caps and look for the killer app in Augmented Reality. Spoiler: they have different ideas on what form it might take. They also explore the near-term future of practical robots, starting with today’s vacuumbots. They cap the show looking at the slow pace of progress when it comes to modern cabling. Let’s get that Cat 8 and 40 GB/s throughput!

Universal Apps Could Include macOS

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An issue I see with this is pricing. People are used to cheap iOS apps, but if you applied the same pricing to macOS apps, that would be bad for developers. Would the price of universal apps fall somewhere in the middle? Or would everything be a subscription? Apple clearly wants the latter, but no one wants a bunch of subscriptions either.

By 2021, developers will be able to merge iPhone, iPad, and Mac applications into one app or what is known as a “single binary.” This means developers won’t have to submit their work to different Apple App Stores, allowing iOS apps to be downloaded directly from Mac computers — effectively combining the stores.

YouPorn Web App Launches on iOS

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Progressive web apps differ from native apps in that they are web-based, offer local storage, and give you push notifications. They also sidestep the App Store, which is famously family friendly. But you can now get a YouPorn web app for your iPhone. Just go to, tap the share button, and tap Add to Home Screen.

Once installed, users will be able to launch the app right from their smartphone or tablet home screen and enjoy all YouPorn’s unique features including industry-leading content filtering tools and “For You Weekly” (NSFW) custom-tailored playlists, with native-app speed and a full-screen experience.

Comparing Android Security Versus iOS Security

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Keiran Dennie tweeted an interesting chart that compares the security of various smartphone operating systems.

Wondering about Android and Apple phone security? Here’s an objective chart to help you decide.

It’s a well known fact of Android that people have to rely on their carrier to push out security updates. This can take weeks, months, and sometimes they don’t get released at all.

iOS Screen Recording App Revelations Led to User Privacy Win

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Apple and privacy

There was something of a public outcry following the revelation that some iOS apps recorded a user’s screen. They did this to learn what users do whilst in the app.  Apple responded, and told developers that they had to make sure users know that they are being recorded. My colleague Andrew Orr argued that such functionality is not a scandal or an abuse of iOS. He gave legitimate reasons why designers and developers need such functionality. Over on The Next Web, Ivan Mehta wrote that the revelation, and Apple’s subsequent actions, have been a privacy win for consumers.

Most people, including me, would be wary of giving permission to an app to record the on-screen activities unless they specifically tell us what they’re capturing. This’ll make apps be more upfront about their tracking activities. Also, Apple will be checking for screen recording code more often before the developers submit their apps to the App Store, to weed out the privacy-invading code.

How to Use Precise Times in iOS Calendar

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David Murphy shared a cool tip that lets you set more precise times in iOS Calendar. Instead of times that increment by five minutes, go deeper.

Open the Calendar app and pull up an existing event or create a new event. Your pick. Once you’ve confirmed (or entered in) the title and/or location, tap on the start or end time. You’ll see the little section expand that allows you to scroll up and down to set the date, hour, and minute (in five-minute increments), as well as AM or PM. Double-tap anywhere in this section, and the minute increments will change from five minutes to one minute. It’s that easy.

It’s a handy tip, although I’ll never use it because my calendar events don’t need that much precision. But if you’d like yours to have it, then you’ll like this tip.

Madden NFL Overdrive Football for iOS

· · Cool Stuff Found

It is NFL Conference Championship weekend. If you can’t wait until kick-off on Sunday, try Madden NFL Overdrive for iOS. It is a fun, fast-paced game in which you are the coach and quarterback – build your team, call plays, and execute them. There are all sorts of different leagues and tournament types players can enter. However, I enjoy Overdrive mode, which is simple 3-minute games played live against other players online. Madden NFL Overdrive can be downloaded from the App Store on both iPhone and iPad. It is free with in-app purchases available.

Madden NFL Overdrive Football for iOS

Long Press Shortcuts for iOS Safari

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I’ve covered iOS 12 tips and tricks that you might have forgotten. Now I’d like to resurface a tip from 2017 about shortcuts for iOS Safari.

You might not know it, but Safari has some hidden shortcuts tucked behind some of the icons. This will let you perform certain actions a little faster, like quickly access the desktop version of a website, add a bookmark, and even close multiple tabs at once.

Tony Hawk's Skate Jam for iOS is Here

· · Cool Stuff Found

My fellow children of the 90s…prepare to get nostalgic – Tony Hawk’s Skate Jams has arrived on iOS! This modern take on the skateboarding game is available to download from the app store now. It can be played on both iPhone and iPad and has all the old Tony Hawks elements you know and love from playing his games on PlayStation or even Game Boy. This includes the classic career mode alongside new Skate Jams Tournaments. You can skate as the man himself, and take on street, vert, and park courses. Players who pull of particularly impressive moves can record them in the game and share them online using #SkateJam. Tony Hawk’s Skate Jam is available as a free download with in-app purchases. It’s available for Android, too.