Rumors about an Apple media event in March got serious this week with a story from Japanese site Mac Otakara. According to the story, Apple will hold a media event in March—in keeping with last year—where the company will introduce a new iPhone SE and new iPad models.
My free time over the weekend was taken up by a new iPhone and iPad game that just came out called Hidden Folks, so now I’m ruining your productivity, too. It’s a clever hidden object game with it’s own charm thanks to the hand-drawn graphics and sound effects that are clearly some guy who decided his mouth is a complete foley studio. His ba-doo-be-doop, skrintch, and pop sounds are important to the game, as are the little animations. Tapping objects triggers actions sounds and actions. Sometimes that’s clearing away a bush or moving a boat, and can reveal the elusive objects and characters you need to find. Hidden Folks is great for a quick diversion or a couple hours exploring new levels. You can get it for your iPhone and iPad at Apple’s App Store for US$3.99.
Apple launched four new iPad commercials that respond to real tweets from real folks. The first (included below) is in response to a tweet about iPad not being a real computer. The second spot addresses a tweet about poor Wi-Fi. The third answers whether Microsoft Word is on the iPad (it is), and the fourth notes that iPads aren’t subject to PC viruses. The Twitter accounts are real (Tweet 1 account, Tweet 2, Tweet 3 account, Tweet 4), and The Verge reported that Apple contacted at least one of the tweeters before using their tweets. There’s almost zero chance Apple didn’t do so with all of them. But, Apple used actors to represent the Twitter account owners. It’s an interesting campaign. Some have already noted it’s reminiscent of Apple’s “Get a Mac” campaign. More interesting, though, is that this is the first time I can remember Apple addressing questions like these, especially in an ad. The company is also leveraging social media, an area that hasn’t typically been a strong suit for Apple. They’re not my favorite spots from Apple, but they’re solid. It will be interesting to see if this becomes a major campaign.
If you’re using two-factor authentication for your Apple ID (and you should be!), then you’re likely familiar with how you’ll approve access from your trusted devices with a six-digit code. But what if that code never comes through or you accidentally dismiss the prompt? Well, in today’s Quick Tip, we’re going to show you an easy way to generate a new one from your Mac or iOS device!
From time to time, we’ve seen scenarios related to how the Mac/macOS and the iPad/iOS might evolve as personal computing platforms. We know about the declining sales of the iPad and Apple’s seeming inattention to the Mac line as whole in 2016. In turn, that has created some discussion about their respective future developments. John catalogs the likely and not-so-likely roadmaps for these products.
You may known of my penchant for tower defense games, but I also have a not-so-secret love for arcade scrollers. The good news for your time-sucking pleasure is that I found a new one called Photon Strike. It’s a solid vertical scroller for iPhone an iPad (I played on iPad) with good graphics and fast action. In fact, it’s very fast. It’s similar to others in the genre. You have to steer your ship (with your fingers), firing as long as your finger is on the screen. Waves of enemies fly around the screen, and you have to shoot/avoid them. Powerups are available throughout each level, and you get credits for each enemy you destroy for buying upgrades. It’s free to download, but for real-world cash, you can get yourself a whole heap of credits. You can also watch videos for free credits. Every five waves there’s a boss at the end. It’s ad-supported, but the ads go away with any purchase (the ads are not obnoxious). That said, this is the kind of game where I’m happy to pay to unlock ads to directly support the developer.
Apple’s look-forward philosophy means 64-bit iPhone and iPad apps are the future and 32-bit apps are fading into the past. That means the day is coming where 32-bit apps that haven’t been updated to 64-bit will stop working, and if you don’t have a replacement app ready to go you’ll be out of luck.
OK, Nintendo fans, you have another game to take up your free time: Fire Emblem Heroes. The fantasy-based role playing game (RPG) puts you on a quest to save heroes from different worlds and stop the Emblian Empire’s evil rule. The game is based on the Fire Emblem game franchise and pits you in battles and duels as you explore. Unfortunately, you’ll need an active internet connection to play, just like Super Mario Run because Nintendo seems to think we’re all clever hackers out to steal their game. Fire Emblem Heroes is a free download for the iPhone and iPad, and it includes some in-game purchases.
Ebook sales are down, tablet and ebook reader sales are down, and there may be a correlation. Bryan Chaffin and John Martellaro join Jeff Gamet to look at the state of ebook sales, plus they weigh in on an Apple patent for an Apple Watch battery wristband.
Apple turned in a record December quarter this week, and Bryan and Jeff look at the numbers. They also look at this one weird trick Apple did to goose Mac sales—the company released a new Mac. And for grins, they discuss some of the things Apple could do with the astounding $246 billion in cash the company has squirreled away.
From Publisher’s Weekly: “Whatever the causes for the decrease in e-book sales, the decline has resulted in something that many publishing experts thought would never happen—unit sales of hardcovers overtook unit sales of e-books.” Yep, you read that right. John explains what’s going on.
The Iconfactory is jumping into the iPad sketch app market with its brand new Linea app, and based on our tests, it’s pretty cool. Linea is going for drawing and sketching, not digital painting, and it has the right tool set for the job. It comes with four pen tips an dan eraser tool, support for five layers, blending and transparency modes, graph paper grids, and one of my favorite features: tap a swatch on the color palette to see several shades for that color. It also includes Apple Pencil support and offers pretty flexible image export options. Linea is priced at US$9.99, and it’s one of the few sketching apps that gets to stay on my iPad Pro.
HBO is finally going all in with Apple’s TV app thanks to a just released update for its HBO Go app. The new version adds TV support, just like the HBO Now app already had, so you can search for HBO content and keep track of what you’re watching in Apple’s app.
Many photographers and designers who rely on digital editing tools seem to favor gadgets like the Wacom tablet. With good reason; it’s a device that lets you edit photos and manipulate graphics with a stylus. This allows for greater precision. But if you have a Wacom tablet along with an iPad, you may find yourself juggling the two devices. An app called Astropad Studio can turn your iPad into a Wacom tablet. It lets you mirror your computer screen on the iPad, so you can make good use of the Apple Pencil, along with more powerful configuration than the Wacom. I tested the app on my iPhone and I may write a review of it in the future.
When all we had was Mac OS X (now macOS), our Mac life was simple on Intel-based Macs. Then came iOS with Cocoa Touch, a derivative of macOS for touch devices using ARM CPUs. That seemed so very sensible in 2010. Then, of course, came tvOS and watchOS which means Apple has even more code bases to maintain. While perhaps only a mild burden, the biggest problem may be the future development of Apple devices. John explains.