Everyone likes getting something for nothing, especially when there's no or relatively few catches. Freebie Friday is the post where the MacNN staff find stuff that you can get, and possibly make use of this weekend, without spending a single penny. The freebies this time include Cut The Rope: Time Travel, courses for learning the basics of coding and an iOS image management app that is inspired by Tinder's interface.
Apple has confirmed reports that it will not sue the FBI in an effort to get the agency to reveal the method it used to crack into the San Bernardino iPhone 5c, saying whatever method the FBI ended up using will have "a short shelf life," as the company has made significant improvements to security in later iPhones and operating system updates, and users upgrade their iPhones routinely. In a related case brought by the US Department of Justice in New York, however, Apple may require the FBI to reveal the method in order for the agency to prove in court that its claim that the hack doesn't work on newer iPhones is true.
Hasselblad has launched a new range of medium format camera, aimed at the higher-specification and more expensive end of the market. The H6D range consists of the H6D-50c, which uses a 50-megapixel CMOS sensor, while the H6D-100c is equipped with a 100-megapixel CMOS sensor, giving it an effective resolution of 11,600x8,700 for still images, with the shooters also including the ability to record 2K and 4K resolution RAW format video respectively.
Everybody -- no, really, everybody -- agrees that Google Maps is better than Apple Maps. Yet some of us stick with Apple's one because we cannot bear how confusing Google's one is. Tell us it's more accurate than Apple (and we'll believe you), but then we can't find things in it, and we hit similar misdirections and route mistakes in both, so we're gone. We're now over on Apple Maps, which seems to work a lot better now that its aged a bit, and was always easier to use. Only, we didn't half miss Street View -- but now, Streets 3.0 has brought it back. Nearly.
We gave the Prong PWR case for the iPhone 5 a review last June, but the company has revised the product to address some of the concerns raised in that review and updated it for the iPhone 6/6s, so we thought we'd take a look at it again. The Prong PWR Case ($100) is a battery case for the iPhone that provides you with a little over an entire extra charge cycle, ensuring that your iPhone will last all day, almost regardless of what you're doing with it. It has a pleasingly grippy casing and the usual feature set, but has a few distinct differences from your typical iPhone battery case.
Welcome to Daily Deals, the post where the writing crew behind MacNN searches online stores for sales, offers, discounts, and promotions on hardware, software, games, and gadgets for our readers. The list of still-active deals from earlier this week is being added to, with the new batch including SanDisk 256GB SSDs for $60, a refurbished Yamaha 7.2-channel AV receiver with 4K support for $300, and a Nikon Coolpix S9900 16MP compact camera for $248.
After a few days of silence, the MacBundler curator has resurfaced, and issued what he calls a public apology to the Mac community. In the email, Dan Kingsley reiterates that he was only aware of a problem with MightyLoots bundles recently, and it appears that he wishes to work with a small handful of developers involved in the MightyLoots bundles to put another bundle up for sale to generate funds to pay developers for previous bundles completed on August 11 and 30 of 2014 that had gone unpaid.
On the heels of the FBI officially dropping its case against Apple in San Bernardino and revealing that the "tool" it used to get into the San Bernardino shooter's work-issued iPhone 5c only works on that model and older, the US Department of Justice has said that it will continue to appeal its loss in a similar case in Brooklyn. Last month, Magistrate Judge James Orenstein blocked a DOJ request to use the All Writs Act (AWA) to force Apple to develop software to crack into an iPhone 5s used by a drug dealer.
A major leak from a law firm that suggests Foxconn has avoided paying as much as $22.86 billion in taxes has been strongly denied by the company. The major device assembler, known for putting together the iPhone along with other well-known products, has dismissed claims stemming from the "Panama Papers" leak that it was actively evading payment of taxes by making investments in Panama, an act many other prominent figures and companies have also been accused of performing.
The iPhone SE has landed, and it has caused something of a stir. Sure, new iPhone launches often cause a stir, but the latest iPhone is something a little out of the ordinary. It is an iPhone model that sits at the bottom end of Apple's range (the mid-tier of the overall smartphone market), yet it is powered by the latest custom A9 processor found at the heart of the top-of-the-line iPhone 6s. Not only that, but it also includes exactly the same highly-acclaimed 12-megapixel camera found on the rear of the iPhone 6s. Perhaps, to justify its lower pricing, Apple has tucked all its latest tech into a slightly revised body of an iPhone 5. This begs the question: is the iPhone SE the best value -- or even the best -- iPhone ever made? Find out in our review.
Every so often, MacNN finds a deal that is too big or important to go into our usual deals lists, and is major enough to be highlighted in its own Big Deals post. This time, liven up your photography by taking shots with the Lytro Illum Camera, an interesting imaging device that is able to refocus the resulting image after the photograph has been taken.
Swift, the programming language typically associated with iOS and OS X app development, may soon find a greater role within Android. A report claims Google is looking into potentially making Swift a "first class" language for Android, effectively making it easier for app developers to use the language to create software for the platform. The same report also suggests other major entities are looking to expand their usage of Swift on their respective technology platforms.
You will never read a Hands On review that does not include the price. Of course you won't, but usually price is the least significant part: whether something is expensive or not, good software and hardware is worth anything because it is so very, very useful and you use it so very, very much. TextExpander 6 is very, very good. Yet this might as well be a Hands On review of the price, and the software's shift to subscription.
The Delhi High Court has declared that Apple cannot use the term "Split View" in India. The complaint, filed by Microsoft vendor Vyooh, claimed that it had developed similar functionality in its Splitview software in 2006, with largely the same functionality.
Alongside our regular Daily Deals post, we are showcasing some of the offers available from our own MacNN Deals store. Today's items are all personal audio accessories, including two pairs of headphones to choose from, a way to listen to music in comfort while lying in bed, and one way to turn a pair of wired headphones into Bluetooth-equipped wireless version.
Barnes & Noble's e-book technology, Nook, appears to be in trouble. Following the company's closure of the UK Nook store, as well as the Nook App Store in March, Barnes & Noble in an attempt to further cut costs has entered into an agreement to shift "certain Nook technology services, including cloud management and development support for Nook software" to Bahwan CyberTek, an Indian outsourcing firm.
Last weekend, a friend asked us to help out with promoting her project on Facebook. She was going to be away but she needed several updates posted, and of course we recommended various tools for setting that up in advance. Only, she could already do that, what she couldn't so readily do is this: wait until an entry went live on her Wordpress site and then post a link to it on Facebook.
Microsoft Garage, the experimental testing team within the software giant that produces some unusual apps for the company, has released a software keyboard for iOS. The Hub Keyboard, released on Android in February but arrived on iOS this week, is an input interface that includes a row of extra buttons above the keyboard that can be used to multitask without leaving or switching between apps, as well as offering integration with Microsoft's own Office 365 services.
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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