Tag - Christmas
We've talked about a number of last-minute gift ideas, and believe it or not even today -- December 24 -- it's not to late to put a physical object in someone's hand. Amazon has one-hour (ish) delivery of selected goods in 16 metropolitan areas around the US (see map below), and a number of stores are still open that can offer popular electronics, household items, and most importantly gift certificates. Online GCs are easy to order as well, but here's another area that works up to and including Christmas Day: gifting an app or app bundle.
It's funny how you've had to work twice as hard in order to get these few short days off but you've done that and now we're into the holidays. So put down your email and instead pick up the wrapping paper, forget your calendar and instead count the hours to Christmas Day and then, the New Year.
Get your coat, it's cold out there. But while regular co-host Malcolm Owen is off working, you and I are going to take a little drive. It's a very British drive so expect a lot of roundabouts – what is it with the UK and roundabouts? – plus some slightly distracted driving, possibly a few near misses, and also, well, not exactly news.
Look, we're not prying, and we're certainly not judging. Yet, if you have left your Christmas shopping this late, perhaps you should be taking a moment to examine why. Late shopping usually means obligation more than, say, fondness, and it always means limited choices and hiked prices. Times are tough for retailers, you can't blame them for capitalizing on those times when someone has given you an unexpected present that you've got to reciprocate. However, you are a Mac and iOS user, you've got options.
On the last day of Hanukkah and just days before Christmas, Apple has given out its annual holiday gift to its employees. This year, in one of the more generous packages in recent memory, workers at all levels of the company will receive some urBeats headphones, and a free nine-month subscription to the Apple Music service. SVP of Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue relayed the news to workers through a video message, and employees will receive the Apple Music promo code later this month.
There are a couple of things you can be sure about with Christmas: you've procrastinated from buying for too long to get a good card, but that's okay -- there are no good cards anyway. Certainly, none that say precisely what you want. We're British, so we secretly long for a range of cards with messages like "Happy Holidays to an entirely adequate uncle" and we've always been disappointed. Until now -- while Cardsmith 1.0.1 is really meant for less curmudgeonly people than we seem to be today, it still helps you create personalized cards for any occasion. It just happens that there's a big one coming.
If you don't have an Apple Watch, you may feel that Christmas has already come for people who do -- and you've got a point there. If you do have an Apple Watch, though, you tend to adore it, and there can't be anything better for inserting yourself into a loved one's life and/or attention span than by giving them something to make the Watch even better. It can be done. It can. It's just not easy.
This is where the news went. While you were eating turkey, holidaying with family or simply not looking, there was news. Malcolm Owen was here and this week fills in William Gallagher on everything he missed. That includes the new Apple holiday advert, the potential new Apple moves with Lightning cables and OLED displays plus Christmas Thingies of the Week.
We've been checking our lists twice, chiefly because of syncing issues, and you know how it is. Christmas expands to fill the space you have and nature abhors a news vacuum so in what continues to be a quiet week, One More Thing decks some halls. Wait, is that Christmas or Thanksgiving? It's some holiday or other and we're after celebrating all of them because it's a Grade A excuse to discuss some of the finest technology around.
Mobile analytics firm Flurry posted new data on the holiday buying season on Monday, and summarized its findings on global mobile devices purchases for Christmas in a single sentence: "It's clear that Santa is no longer into cookies -- he prefers Apples." On a worldwide scale, 51.3 percent of mobile activations between December 19 and Christmas Day were Apple devices, outstripping the combined might of all competitors and leaving each individual company -- even Samsung -- far behind.
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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