For quite a while now, MacNN sometimes finds a deal that is too big or important to go into our other deal lists, and is deserving enough to be highlighted inside its own Big Deals post. Even though this writing team hasn't got much time left, we're still going to point out the deals we think you will enjoy like we always have. Like last summer, we've found one of the largest photography bundles deals available, with the aptly named The Big Deal 2016 from Foto Promos.
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.
I'm not even supposed to be here. While, strictly speaking, I started my career in BBC local radio, I soon moved into computer magazines -- and then I left, from boredom. I'm only telling you this because it's you. Also because they were PC computer magazines: I struggled to get excited when this month's grey box was one percent faster or perhaps 10 percent greyer than the last. Yet by sheer number of hours alone, I think I've written more computer journalism on MacNN in the last 19 months than I have anything else.
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 cent. For the last time before the site closes, the freebies on offer today include coding courses, tuition to make your photographs better, and our usual collection of free iOS apps.
[Update: outage resolved] Since at least 2:17 PM Pacific Time today, the iTunes and App Stores appear to be dysfunctional for at least some users. The problem appears to be most severe in the northeastern US and in England, but there are scattered reports from a number of other countries, though not all users are affected. For those that are, however, upgrades and purchases are not able to go through. This also is having an impact on Apple's streaming services and the ability of users to log into their iTunes accounts.
Editor's Note: as MacNN closes at the end of this month, we're showcasing our favorite pieces from its recent history. I'm William Gallagher, and I wrote this one about OmniPlan back in early 2015, so I should say first that the software detailed in it has been updated many, many times since then. I did like the software when I first reviewed it, and I like it even more now -- but the reason I picked this is that it was a deceptively hard piece to write.
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.
YouTube is stepping up its efforts to allow users to stream live over its service, with an upcoming update to its mobile app. Putting itself in direct competition with Facebook's own live-streaming service and the Twitter-owned Periscope, the Alphabet video site is slowly rolling out a change to its iOS app that will allow a small selection of users to broadcast video live to their subscribers, directly from their smartphone or tablet.
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.
Honda has revealed that it will offer an upgrade for buyers of the brand-new 2017 Honda Accord, which debuts June 27, that supports both Apple's CarPlay and Google's Android Auto for those buyers who include the seven-inch Display Audio touchscreen in their options packages. Honda currently supports CarPlay in the 2016 Accord and Civic, and the 2017 Ridgeline, with the 2017 Civic Hatchback gaining the technology when it arrives this fall. The company did not say how much the 2017 Accord upgrade would cost.
Every day, we are showcasing some of the offers available from our MacNN Deals store. Today's selections are all things to help charge your devices, including a charger that works with international outlets, another that turns an Apple USB wall plug into a portable battery, a battery pack that can survive a wet weekend away, and one that can jumpstart your car.
The ability to download Netflix shows and movies for viewing at a later time may be arriving this year, according to a report. The chief operating officer of Penthera, a firm that helps with delivering video content to mobile devices, believes the major streaming service is going to reverse its long-held policy of not offering downloads to its users, and instead will be permitting offline viewing of content for certain shows.
I first started writing for MacNN and Electronista back in 2010, after seeing an ad in the banner of the site, looking to hire new writers. I was already gainfully employed in a good job, but I just love technology so much, and always had aspirations as a writer, that I thought I'd apply and see what happened. I was very fortunate to be chosen out of over a hundred applicants, and have thoroughly enjoyed the journey since then. For me, it has been nice to have a second income stream, but I've done this job because I've absolutely loved it, not because I've had to do it.
If you look through the Steam store, you'll find that there's quite a few games you can play on a Mac, though sometimes it could be worth looking in other directions for entertainment, such as consoles. If you've been interested in getting hold of one of the current-generation consoles, but was put off by the cost, you may want to take part in one of the last MacNN Deals giveaways, where one lucky winner will receive a special edition PlayStation 4 with Uncharted 4.
Yesterday, Apple released an update to increase the support for RAW images from more digital SLR cameras. The Digital Camera RAW Compatibility Update 6.20 now allows Mac desktops to display images for 13 more cameras that use the file format, typically used for images that are unprocessed and uncompressed by the camera itself, with the new support covering imaging devices from Canon, Olympus, Panasonic, and Sony.
Apple Music may soon become available to people living in South Korea, with a report claiming the music streaming service negotiated a deal with one of the organizations standing in the way of the service's launch. The Federation of Korean Music Performers, a music copyright association, claims it has entered into an agreement with Apple over royalty fees the company would need to pay in order to stream music in the country.
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.
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. Without question, this was one of them. Originally written in 2013, we have laughed about this one many times (only because we can't afford it), but fret not -- some more "night shift what th--?" type stories are yet to come. In the meantime, we give you one of the stories we're glad we didn't flush the press release on -- the Bluetooth Toilet. And yes -- it is still available.
Every day, we are showcasing some of the offers available from our MacNN Deals store. Today's highlighted items are all things to do with storage, including two online backup services to preserve the data on your iPhone or Mac, a way to expand the storage capacity of a MacBook Air, and a handy flash drive for transferring files off your iPad and onto your desktop.
Now AAPL Stock: 153.61 ( -0.26 )
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