Category - Peripherals
Every day until our closure tomorrow, we are showcasing some of the offers available from our MacNN Deals store. For a change, all the items today have been chosen by Malcolm Owen, the person who usually compiles these deals posts, and are all things he wouldn't mind owning for himself or thinks are pretty cool pieces of tech. No theme today, just his personal selections.
Editor's note: we're winding down the site with some of our special stories and moments across the last few years. As a long-time staffer, the heyday of the Macworld Expos were a very special time for all of us working at MacNN: it was a rare chance for us all to get together in person, report on the latest and greatest in an intense blitz of publicity, and stay in swanky New York City or San Francisco hotels. Editor Charles Martin attended the final Macworld/iWorld Expo in March of 2014, and filed this report.
By sheer coincidence, our final episode of The MacNN Podcast comes just before a scheduled break for the Canada Day/Fourth of July holiday. Yes, it is sort of true -- because the site will be shutting down (more on that in a bit, but you can read about it here), this will be the last episode under the MacNN banner. However, because Mike and Charles and others are still having too much fun with this, we'll pick up again on the week of July 11 with a new creation, Cranky Old Guys Generally Disapproving of New Things, or Project Keep Us Off the Streets, or whatever we're going to call it.
Fujifilm has released a new portable printer that is claimed to provide users with credit card-sized photographic prints within ten seconds, faster than its predecessor. As the name suggests, the Instax Share Smartphone Printer SP-2 is meant to receive a photograph from a smartphone or tablet and turn it into a compact printed image that users can keep, giving users an alternative way to create a copy of their favorite photos alongside the usual sharing of images with friends over social networks.
This isn't going to sound like a compliment, but it is: we've practically nothing to say about this backup app. That would be because it does the job, though, and that not only can we quickly start using it, but we can quickly forget about it, too. Mac Backup Guru 6.0 is a way to make a complete copy ("clone") of your whole hard disk, a backup of important documents, and a regular copy of either. It does what it says it will, and where it's noteworthy is in how easily it does all this.
Editor's Note: As we wind down operations, the staff of MacNN is running some of their personal favorite stories, either moments we were especially proud of or -- as with this one -- stories that really stuck out in our minds. I'm MacNN writer William Gallagher, and I've chosen my colleague and pal Malcolm Owen's series about being a Windows user returning to the Mac. It's a fresh perspective on what, to me, is the very familiar Apple environment.
Apple on Thursday confirmed that it was no longer producing the only independent monitor it was still making, the 27-inch Thunderbolt Display. The $999 high-quality device was popular with graphic artists and other large-monitor enthusiasts in its heyday, and was designed to promote the then-new Thunderbolt port on 2011 and later MacBook Air and Pro models. The peripheral featured a 16:9, 2560x1440 display that was well-regarded in terms of out-of-the-box color fidelity, and included a built-in FaceTime HD (720p) camera, mic, speakers with subwoofer, a built-in MagSafe cable, and a design intended to complement the iMac and MacBook Pro lines.
Apple is still looking at new ways to increase the usability of a stylus, such as its own Pencil, as well as those of larger devices like an iPhone, by adding in extra touch-sensitivity into the body of the devices. A pair of recently-discovered patent applications from the company suggest ways it could make the Pencil more useful for its users, allowing it to be used for stylus-based gestures that can trigger certain actions on a display or connected system, while another suggests a way for devices to detect which hand they are held in.
Long-time Apple-centric retailer Other World Computing has announced that it has increased the storage capacity on the latest generation of the company's ThunderBay 4 RAID 5, Mercury Elite Pro Qx2 Enterprise Edition, Rack Pro mini-SAS Enterprise Edition and Rack Pro Quad-Interface Enterprise Edition, all of which are four-bay external storage devices. All four now offer a general 25 percent increase over the previous models, and up to 40TB of capacity.
Yeah, I know we were going to talk about video card upgrades this time, but we need to move that to next week. For Apple's WWDC this week has shoved the Mac Pro 3,1 and 4,1 to the side -- but not the 5,1. So, we're going to talk this week a bit about work-arounds that exist, and some that may yet appear for our slab-side faithful machines. Also, some big-time issues have cropped up with PCI-e cards under the new OS revision, and we'll chat a bit about that as well.
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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