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 a cookery-related audiobook, a game featuring a chameleon, and a way to replicate your Mac or PC's keyboard and mouse using an iOS device.
Uber users are more likely to agree to pay surge pricing for the ride-hailing service, if they are low on battery, according to company research. In a discussion about the "dynamic pricing" of its services, the company's head of economic research, Keith Chen, revealed that a user with a smartphone that has an almost empty battery is prepared to pay more for the ride than someone with more battery life available to them.
Welcome to Daily Deals, the post where the staff of MacNN searches online retailers to get sales, offers, discounts, and bargains for our readers to enjoy. Dead deals from earlier in the week have been cleared off the list, with highlights from the new additions including a 128GB Corsair Flash Voyager USB 3.0 flash drive for $26, a Vizio 2.1-channel sound bar for $100, and the Nektek multifunction car jump starter and portable power bank for $50.
This is less a hands-on, more an eyes-on: for it's about a tutorial video. Hazel Video Field Guide by David Sparks is that fella, talking over a shot of his Mac screen, for just under two and a half hours. When we put it like that, it sounds dull, but actually it's absorbing, interesting, and we learned things from it.
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 expand how you use the Internet and networking, including a way to keep yourself secure online, a tool to fix dead spots in a home or office, a portable hotspot with free Internet access, and even an alternative way to use your Wi-Fi network.
Following some user reports of "bricking" and an "Error 56" issue that made the device unable to be recovered, Apple has pulled the iOS 9.3.2 update for owners of the 9.7-inch iPad Pro. Currently, Apple is replacing unit that have been "bricked" by the update with new ones, collecting the unusable units to help it determine the cause of the problem. Thus far, the problem with the iOS 9.3.2 update only affects the new 9.7-inch iPad Pro, and not other models -- so the update will continue to be made available to iPhone and other iPad owners. Not all 9.7-inch iPad Pro owners have seen the issue, with some upgrading to iOS 9.3.2 successfully.
A bipartisan bill has been introduced to combat a judicial rule change that took place recently, one that would allow US judges to issue search warrants permitting remote access to computers in any jurisdiction, including overseas, once it comes into force. Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Rand Paul (R-KY) presented the one-page bill, one that would effectively reverse the recently-adopted procedural rules adjustment, voted on by the US Supreme Court in private last month.
Although not widely reported in the press, a number of Apple executives have accompanied Apple CEO Tim Cook on his five-day trip to India. Alongside newly-appointed head of Apple India Sanjay Kaul, Apple's COO Jeff Williams and Environmental VP Lisa Jackson have also been seen participating in events during the trip. Cook himself has taken time out to visit some cultural sites, including the Siddhivinayak Temple in Mumbai and a cricket game, while Jackson visited a school known in the region as "The Barefoot College."
Two weeks to get a handle on a technology isn't that long, if you think about it. It's been two weeks and two days since I started putting on the Apple Watch for every waking hour of every day. While I can't say that I've completely mastered the device, I can say that I have a much better feel for it -- and its somewhat-limited role in my life going forward.
Since 2014 and iOS 8, we've had the ability to swap Apple's regular on-screen iOS keyboard for ones made by other companies. You would think that by 2016 and iOS 9, the kinks would be worked out. Yet they're not, and while some of this is for sensible reasons, others are just a pain -- and one that developers exacerbate. This was tested on iPhone because while you can install these third-party keyboards on iPads, it just hasn't become a thing.
Alongside our regular MacNN Deals and Daily Deals posts, the writers of MacNN occasionally find offers that are interesting or major enough to warrant their own Big Deals post. If you are someone who works in a graphical field, you may want to pay attention to today's offer, which is the Pay What You Want: The Designer's Fantastic Font Bundle
Shipments of Chromebooks have outpaced those of Macs for the first time in the United States, according to information from an analytics firm. IDC analyst Linn Huang advised the cheap notebooks using Chrome OS "overtook Mac OS in the US in terms of shipments for the first time" in the first quarter of this year by its own estimates, though the analyst stopped short of advising by how much of a margin Chromebooks were in the lead.
Apple has advertised alternative developer and other Apple-related events that will be held during the week of its annual WWDC16 event via its Developer portal. It is the first time Apple has made such a gesture, when the focus is typically on what the company itself is up to at that time. It also helps to promote the wider San Francisco bay area, which generally comes alive during the week of June 13, when Apple's five-day event kicks off.
Apple CEO Tim Cook's tour of India continues, with the Apple supremo getting the full VIP rock-star-like treatment. In a series of pictures collected from across the internet by the India Express, Cook can be seen out and about on the town attending parties with Bollywood stars among other luminaries, as well as attending an Indian Premier League cricket match. Cook has managed to fit this into a hectic schedule that has included ongoing talks with everyone from meeting with the Indian Prime Minister, other government officials, heads of domestic telcos, as well as leading Indian iOS developers.
Apple may be considering creating a version of its iPad Pro stylus that will work with a Mac and offer more ways to interact with on-screen items than the present model, a recently-published patent application suggests. Listed as a "Stylus with Inertial Sensor," the application suggests there to be a version of the Apple Pencil that could detect rotation and movement, allowing for the stylus to be used in a number of different applications, including some that don't involve drawing or writing.
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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