This week on The MacNN Podcast, our regular co-host -- Managing Editor Mike -- was out single-handedly fighting Snowzilla in northern Virginia, so he only appears on this week's episode through the magic of prescient pre-recording. For episode 47, we recorded a discussion about the flood of betas that Apple unleashed on January 11, updating all four of its OS platforms with the first beta of the new cycle on the same day. They did it again this week, so that previously-cut segment gets used after all!
In case you missed the news, Apple recently released a brand new iOS app aimed specifically at the songwriting community. Known as Music Memos, Apple's new app builds upon the the existing Voice Memos app by working in a number of features that can help any musician. The question now is, can this app actually help songwriters jot down their moments of inspiration? We have spent a few days with the app, and are now ready to share our thoughts with you.
On Monday, Apple updated its betas of all four of its platforms for developers, making a second beta of OS X 10.11.4, iOS 9.3, tvOS 9.2 for the fourth-generation Apple TV, and watchOS 2.2 for the Apple Watch available to registered developer accounts. While the main aim of all the betas is enhanced performance, improved security, and fixing bugs from earlier releases, each one has some new albeit minor features that users will uncover when the final versions are released.
Every day, the writing team of MacNN searches the Internet for bargains to add to the Daily Deals list. While some deals from the end of last week are still alive today, the new collection of items include a selection of MagSafe 2 power adapters starting from $30, a DBPower EX5000 14MP action camera for $100, and a Logitech Wireless Gaming Headset G930 with 7.1-channel surround sound for $70.
We're building a Job Book in FileMaker Pro: a database that we are genuinely using in freelance work to log and do some basic tracking of the commissions we get. Last week we explained what this was about, and why we know it's the way to take a productive deep dive into the very powerful database app. Today we're doing something that might not sound right: we're leaving FileMaker Pro.
Apple has released an update for the Apple TV, bringing the set-top box's operating system to version 9.1.1. The third public release of tvOS, the update primarily consists of bug fixes and improvements, with the majority of new additions likely to arrive with tvOS 9.2, though the software update does introduce a function found elsewhere in Apple's ecosystem: its own version of the Podcasts app.
Everyone could use a couple Bluetooth speakers on their desk, a kid's room, or a college dorm, so why not make one fun and unusual? Polaroid's got one with an awkward name -- the Polaroid Bluetooth Dancing Water speaker. We've had one for a little while, so read on to see what we thought.
This edition of Rumor Roundup will begin with what we understand is a fact: Apple VP of Product Design Steve Zadesky is leaving Apple. The Wall Street Journal reports that he has informed colleagues of his departure for personal reasons. The loss will be a blow to the company: Zadesky worked on the iPhone and iPad, and has been working extensively with Liquidmetal -- the special alloy Apple owns the rights to under license. However, it is his rumored role as the head of the Apple car-technology project, which allegedly stems from is former role as a Ford engineer, that feeds the rumor mill.
App development has taken off in the last few years, making it increasingly difficult to stay on top of all the latest versions. To help all of you out, we here at MacNN are dedicated to sorting through new update releases, and highlighting some of the important ones, as well as showcasing apps that we find to be interesting. Today, we highlight a fantastic Mac app bundle that allows you to choose the price, as well as cover recent updates to note-keeper SimpleNote, desktop recorder Screenflick, system utility OnyX, time manager Timelime, and memory optimizer SixtyFour.
Apple has received some unexpected support from the outspoken Mayor of London, concerning its European tax investigation. Mayor Boris Johnson wrote in defense of Apple's attempts to pay as little tax as possible on its European earnings, suggesting it is only following the rules of the tax systems across the continent to its advantage, and that the European Commission shouldn't be trying to fix something that the Irish government intended to happen.
GarageBand version 2.1, which dropped during the past week, is one of the biggest point updates to hit this outstanding mobile app for iPad and iPhone. For those unfamiliar with GarageBand for iOS, it is a remarkably powerful music creation tool that makes it easy for both musicians and non-musicians alike to create music. Not only that, but the latest version also makes it incredibly easy to share your compositions with friends on social networks or with your fans on iTunes Connect, if you're set up with a professional account. Read on to find out what's new in the latest version, and why we're particularly excited by this update.
Typeface distribution company Monotype Imaging Holdings, today introduced the Monotype Library Subscription and the Monotype Enterprise License. The Monotype Library Subscription, available today, provides customers the ability to license typefaces from the Monotype Library for desktop use on a monthly or annual basis. The Monotype Enterprise License enables enterprise customers to license any typeface from the Monotype Library for use across their entire organization for a single annual fee, with pricing depending on the need of the organization.
Every day, alongside our regular Daily Deals post, we are showcasing some of the offers available from our own MacNN Deals store. Today's quartet of offers are all things to help you keep track of where things are, including two Bluetooth tracking accessories, a way to find where you parked your car, and even something to help know where your pets are.
This is it, surely. Week Four of our slicing through four decades of Apple history brings us to the moment when Steve Jobs launched the device he said was his most important one. It's also the week that Apple made a dent in the universe, and it's the week when new Apple technology was proclaimed as being the next killer product. These are three different things, though, and maybe none of them are what you'd expect.
If you're a fan of interactive fiction, we've found a sequel to one of our all-time favorite interactive fiction games for iOS that follows a sassy, hard-headed, often-annoying, but still lovable protagonist. Today, we're talking about Lifeline: Silent Night.
Apple is edging ever closer to reaching its target of operating 40 retail stores in China by the middle of 2016, by launching the 33rd store in the country later this month. A new announcement advises an Apple Store is being opened at 10am local time on Saturday, January 30, at a large MixC shopping mall located in Qingdao, Shandong province, and would become the first store opened by the company in the major east coast industrial center.
Microsoft's widely publicized deal with the NFL took a public relations hit in the media today and yesterday, for reasons unrelated to Microsoft itself. In the beginning of yesterday's championship game between the Denver Broncos and New England Patriots, the entire inventory of tablets belonging to the Patriots failed to connect to the network, preventing the coaching staff and players from seeing footage from the previous plays.
The advantages to presenting from an iPad Pro are obvious -- you have a flat surface on the table or the lecturn rather than a laptop lid in the way -- but the disadvantages are less clear. We will now never go back to presenting from MacBooks, but we also won't do it from iPads without taking extra steps to be sure we won't stumble in front of our audience. We take the steps not just to protect from technical issues, but also from confusion, as the iPad Pro has potential issues in both cases.
A fire at a Chinese factory used to manufacture iPhones has resulted in no injuries and has not affected production, according to a report. The Foxconn facility, located at Zhengzhou in Henan province, had to deal with a small fire on on the roof on Sunday night, though the manufacturer claims no employees were harmed by the incident and it was extinguished before it could affect any of the production lines underneath and nearby.
In our pursuit to find items for our MacNN Deals and Daily Deals lists, we also discover items deserving to be featured in their own post. The Big Deal this time is the refurbished D-Link Wi-Fi Hotspot, a handy device if you need to get Internet to your devices while on the move, and tethering with your smartphone is out of the question.
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Cirrus creates Lightning-headphone dev kit
Apple supplier Cirrus Logic has introduced a MFi-compliant new development kit for companies interested in using Cirrus' chips to create Lightning-based headphones, which -- regardless of whether rumors about Apple dropping the analog headphone jack in its iPhone this fall -- can offer advantages to music-loving iOS device users. The kit mentions some of the advantages of an all-digital headset or headphone connector, including higher-bitrate support, a more customizable experience, and support for power and data transfer into headphone hardware. Several companies already make Lightning headphones, and Apple has supported the concept since June 2014. http://bit.ly/29giiZj
Apple Store app offers Procreate Pocket
The Apple Store app for iPhone, which periodically rewards users with free app gifts, is now offering the iPhone "Pocket" version of drawing app Procreate for those who have the free Apple Store app until July 28. Users who have redeemed the offer by navigating to the "Stores" tab of the app and swiping past the "iPhone Upgrade Program" banner to the "Procreate" banner have noted that only the limited Pocket (iPhone) version of the app is available free, even if the Apple Store app is installed and the offer redeemed on an iPad. The Pocket version currently sells for $3 on the iOS App Store. [32.4MB]
Porsche adds CarPlay to 2017 Panamera
Porsche has added a fifth model of vehicle to its CarPlay-supported lineup, announcing that the 2017 Panamera -- which will arrive in the US in January -- will include Apple's infotainment technology, and be seen on a giant 12.3-inch touchscreen as part of an all-new Porsche Communication Management system. The luxury sedan starts at $99,900 for the 4S model, and scales up to the Panamera Turbo, which sells for $146,900. Other vehicles that currently support CarPlay include the 2016 911 and the 2017 models of Macan, 718 Boxster, and 718 Cayman. The company did not mention support for Google's corresponding Android Auto in its announcement. http://bit.ly/295ZQ94
Apple employees testing wheelchair features
New features included in the forthcoming watchOS 3 are being tested by Apple retail store employees, including a new activity-tracking feature that has been designed with wheelchair users in mind. The move is slightly unusual in that, while retail employees have previously been used to test pre-release versions of OS X and iOS, this marks the first time they've been included in the otherwise developer-only watchOS betas. The company is said to have gone to great lengths to modify the activity tracker for wheelchair users, including changing the "time to stand" notification to "time to roll" and including two wheelchair-centric workout apps. http://bit.ly/2955JDa
SanDisk reveals two 256GB microSDXC cards
SanDisk has introduced two 256GB microSDXC cards. Arriving in August for $150, the Ultra microSDXC UHS-I Premium Edition card offers transfer speeds of up to 95MB/s for reading data. The Extreme microSDXC UHS-I card can read at a fast 100MB/s and write at up to 90MB/s, and will be shipping sometime in the fourth quarter for $200. http://bit.ly/294Q1If
Apple's third-quarter results due July 26
Apple has advised it will be issuing its third-quarter results on July 26, with a conference call to answer investor and analyst queries about the earnings set to take place later that day. The stream of the call will go live at 2pm PT (5pm ET) via Apple's investor site, with the results themselves expected to be released roughly 30 minutes before the call commences. Apple's guidance for the quarter put revenue at between $41 billion and $43 billion. http://apple.co/1oi1Pbm
Twitter stickers slowly roll out to users
Twitter has introduced "stickers," allowing users to add extra graphical elements to their photos before uploading them to the micro-blogging service. A library of hundreds of accessories, props, and emoji will be available to use as stickers, which can be resized, rotated, and placed anywhere on the photograph. Images with stickers will also become searchable with viewers able to select a sticker to see how others use the same graphic in their own posts. Twitter advises stickers will be rolling out to users over the next few weeks, and will work on both the mobile apps and through the browser. http://bit.ly/29bbwUE