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 are seemingly productivity-heavy, including stock asset packs and handy tools for your Mac and iOS devices, though there are also some fun selections towards the end.
We don't want to be party-poopers, but it is time for another Rumor Roundup mini-rant: apparently, logic is no longer taught in public schools. We say this because on Friday, as often happens, a single piece of true information was teased out worse than Cure lead singer Robert Smith's hair to make a fact fit a set of beliefs. While the extrapolation is plausible, like all bad science it tends to disregard anything that could also be true, but doesn't fit the pre-conceived theory.
Apple has advised developers of an upcoming requirement for apps created for the Apple Watch they must adhere to when producing software for the wearable device, via a brief announcement on the company's developer website. The single sentence announcement says "Starting June 1, 2016, all new watchOS apps submitted to the App Store must be native apps built with the watchOS 2 SDK or later," followed by a link for more information about developing for watchOS.
Puzzles are a funny genre: they can be relaxing, challenging, or downright frustrating. They can combine with other genres seamlessly, and work together to create intricate gaming experiences, or survive on their own as a simple game to occupy your time. Today we take a look at TriZen, a tangram puzzle that we enjoyed quite a bit.
Welcome to Daily Deals, the post where the staff of MacNN search online retailers to find deals, bargains, offers, and discounts for our readers. The list of still active deals from earlier this week, pruned of extinct offers, is joined today by a new batch that includes the Razer Kraken gaming headset for $70, a Canon MF212w mono multifunction laser printer for $110, and a G-Drive mini 1TB external hard drive for $130.
Garmin has expanded its wearable device range aimed at sports enthusiasts, with an item designed for use on golf courses. The Approach X40 is a GPS-equipped golf band that can help a golfer track how well they are playing a round, and provide assistance when making shot choices, with it also providing a number of standard tracking functions more typically associated with other similar-looking fitness bands.
In celebration of Earth Day, Apple has undertaken several new and "recycled" initiatives. As it does each year, it has capped its icon Apple Store logos with a green leaf, and this year has organized a significant "Apps for Earth" promotion that has the App Store awash in a sea of green icons as developers donate IAP proceeds and a portion of sales to the World Wildlife Fund. On Friday, the company debuted two new TV ads, with one aimed at showcasing its renewable-power initiatives, while the other featured its iPhone-recycling robot, Liam.
We love our Macs, and we game on our Macs, but there still is no substitute for a beefy gaming PC. If you have been hanging around the MacNN corridors for a few years you may remember our unboxing, or should we say un-crating, of Origin's Millennium PC. Now, just one year later, a new Origin crate has arrived our doorstep, but this time housing something much smaller, the Chronos. Announced earlier this year at CES, Chronos is a new small form-factor PC from Origin that looks to pack a lot of punch into a small space.
We'd like to say that having any To Do app is better than not, but there are some that are so bad that they test this idea to its limits. Still, the To Do list is a remarkable thing, and so much so that simply having it on an app can be enough to make you like these lists, instead of hate and avoid them.
Alongside our regular Daily Deals post, we are showcasing some of the offers available from our own MacNN Deals store. Today's selections are all ways to take advantage of your iPhone or iPad's touchscreen, including two unusual forms of stylus, Adobe's Ink and Slide tools, and for when it is a really cold day and you want to use your smartphone outside, touchscreen-compatible gloves.
Apple has applied for a patent that could allow headphone wearers the ability to switch between wireless and wired modes seamlessly. The application for "Audio Class-Compliant Charging Accessories for Wireless Headphones and Headsets" describes a way for the headphones to automatically make the switch between the two connection types, all without any extra intervention from the user aside from plugging in or disconnecting a cable.
Microsoft and Google have come to a landmark agreement, regarding regulatory complaints across the world. The two companies have agreed to mutually cease all complaints worldwide, and are also planning to work together going forward to not have any future issues.
Macs, iPhones and all Apple gear just works –– until it doesn't. There is an advantage to being an OS X or iOS user in that we've got those Apple Stores with the free advice and potentially expensive repairs, but we all face one disadvantage. You need these devices to work! When they don't, you need them fixed fast but it's hard to know what the fastest solution is. Sometimes it will be that you can fix it yourself and sometimes it will be that you need to go to an Apple Store. This Pointers is about how you find out which is right for you and your situation.
Over the years, Steam has become one of the biggest marketplaces for games on the Internet, with thousands of titles available to buy and download at will. If you want to add a considerable number of games to your collection, you might want to take part in the latest MacNN Deals giveaway, which will provide one lucky winner with a $1,000 Steam Gift Card that they can spend on the digital marketplace any way they choose.
Apple has once again leveraged iTunes and the App Store to collect donations from customers on behalf of the American Red Cross. On this occasion, the donations are being directed towards earthquake relief efforts for those affected by the recent earthquakes in Japan and Ecuador. As has been Apple's practice in the past, 100 percent of the donations made through the iTunes Store and the App Store are passed on to the Red Cross. Customers who click on on the related banner can make donations in $5, $10, $25, $50, $100 or $200 amounts.
The shutdown of the iTunes Movies and iBooks stores in China last week were forced by a regulator within the local government, according to a report. It is claimed the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film, and Television is behind the closures, with the government's interest in more tightly controlling media from foreign sources appearing to be one of the main reasons why the stores were taken down.
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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