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Why I’m not Buying an Apple Smoke Detector

MacObserver - Wed, 2016-05-04 18:45

If Apple makes a smoke detector, I'm not buying it. Considering the bag of hurt HomeKit is, I'm just not ready to trust a life or death-level product to Apple regardless of how awesome my Mac, iPhone, and iPad may be.

Ex-Siri team to unveil 'Viv' virtual assistant next week in quest for ubiquitous AI

AppleInsider - Wed, 2016-05-04 18:39
After years of development, Siri co-creators and former Apple employees Dag Kittlaus and Adam Cheyer are ready to demonstrate "Viv," an advanced virtual assistant that could reinvent the way consumers interact with their devices.

The Week in Mac Apps: 3 new Mac-based text editors

MacWorld - Wed, 2016-05-04 18:00
Editors for all writing types

This week’s roundup of new apps brings you three new text editors—SwiftText, Small, and CryptoEdit—plus a variety of other handy tools. Read on!

Blood Pressure Diary 2 1.01

Sergey Fatykhov’s $10 Blood Pressure Diary 2 is a medical app and database for recording your blood pressure throughout the day. The app lets you add new readings, stores and analyzes them, and then organizes your data into helpful charts that you can share with your doctor via email.

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Apple, others urge presidential candidates to support Trans-Pacific Partnership, address government snooping

AppleInsider - Wed, 2016-05-04 17:20
Apple and a cadre of Silicon Valley heavyweights have plans to issue a nonpartisan letter urging the next U.S. president to back the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement, a policy that would make hiring foreign workers a low friction process.

Twitter for Mac update introduces Moments, GIF search, and polls

MacWorld - Wed, 2016-05-04 16:00

After years of neglect, Twitter is bringing more mobile feature to its recently revamped Mac app.

On Wednesday, Twitter updated the Twitter for Mac app to include Moments, a curated feed of trending tweets that was first introduced on the Twitter mobile apps and on the web back in October. The updated Twitter for Mac app also brings support for GIF searches and embeds, as well as for adding polls to your tweets.

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Apple says all apps must support IPv6-only networking by June

AppleInsider - Wed, 2016-05-04 15:47
Apple in an announcement Wednesday reminded developers of an upcoming change to App Store policy that requires all iOS apps include support for IPv6-only networking.

AWT News Update: May 4, 2016

AppleWorld.Today - Wed, 2016-05-04 15:45

In today's Apple news -- iPhone 7 popularity, a YouTube TV service, iOS must have IPv6, and a new official Twitter Mac app:

  • The iPhone 7 is months away, but a poll shows that interest in the new phone is high
  • Another company announces an impending live TV service -- YouTube
  • Developers need to make sure by June 1, 2016 that their iOS apps support IPv6-only networking
  • Twitter ships v4.1 of its official Mac app

The text of the podcast can be found below.

Subscribe to the Podcast Text Version

Hi, I’m Steve Sande from Apple World Today, and this is the AWT News Update for May 4, 2016.

We’re still months away from the expected iPhone 7 launch, but a survey of prospective smartphone owners by UBS Evidence Lab shows that consumer interest and demand are high for the device, sight unseen. How much? In the US and China, respondents were more interested in the next generation iPhone 7 than they were for the iPhone 6s last year. However, interest is not as high as it was for the iPhone 6, which was Apple’s first large form factor phone. Oddly, would-be European buyers aren’t as interested in the iPhone 7 as they were for the iPhone 6s. UBS analyst and regular on the Apple earnings calls Steven Milunovich predicts that iPhone unit growth may be between 5 and 10 percent in Apple’s 2017 fiscal year, and the poll found that almost half of respondents are holding off on buying a new iPhone until the new model is on the market.

Apple may be a day late and more than a dollar short if the company doesn’t launch its own live TV subscription service soon. A report from Bloomberg today noted that YouTube is planning a new service called “Unplugged”, and like some of the other companies that are rumored to be trying out a similar service, YouTube is in talks with CBS, Viacom, NBC Universal, 20th Century Fox, and more. Apparently, though, the company is in the same boat as Apple, with no rights being secured at this time. YouTube is interested in pricing its bundle — which would probably throw in the four major US broadcast networks with some cable offerings — at under $35 per month. That’s about the same price as Apple’s rumored service, which has been talked about for years but never seems to be getting anywhere. If the YouTube service does launch, it may be in 2017, about the same time as the recently-announced Hulu live TV service.

Developers! There’s important news from Apple today. Effective on June 1st, all apps submitted to the App Store must support IPv6-only networking. That means that any apps with IPv4 specific APIs or hard-coded IP addresses will need to be changed. IPv6 is, of course, the successor to the common IPv4 addressing scheme that has run out of addresses. IPv4 only allowed 4.3 billion addresses, while IPv6 — which uses eight groups of four hexadecimal digits to denote an address — allows up to 3.4 x 10^38 addresses. That’s a huge number of IP addresses, so Apple is thinking ahead.

When it comes to using Twitter on the Mac, I’ve been a longtime user of Tweetbot. But after some news I heard today, I may be moving over to the official Twitter Mac app soon. Moments, which is Twitter’s curated news section, is now in the Mac app, as well as support for polls. The new app also has GIF search, which makes adding your favorite GIFs to tweets or DMs quite a bit easier. Twitter 4.1 is now available on the Mac App Store.

We’ll be back tomorrow afternoon with another edition of the AWT News Update.

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ACM 358: The Devil’s Advocate, Apple Scaling, and Tim Cook’s Speeches

MacObserver - Wed, 2016-05-04 15:25

John "The Devil's Advocate" Kheit joins Bryan and Jeff on this special episode of The Apple Context Machine. They discuss John's argument that Apple has failed to scale its product delivery even while it scales its work force. They also argue about whether or not Tim Cook is a compelling speaker (hint, Bryan has the correct opinion).

Hulu Is Going to Launch What Was Denied to Apple: A Cable-like Internet Subscription Service

MacObserver - Wed, 2016-05-04 15:00

Apple has struggled to become a major player in the delivery of video entertainment. Unlike music, Apple has run into a complex, sophisticated industry that connects studios, networks, and carriers. Now, it appears that Hulu is going to do what Apple wanted to do but could not. It punctuates the question: what should Apple really be trying to do for customers?

Notable apps and app updates for May 4, 2016

AppleWorld.Today - Wed, 2016-05-04 14:57

On a regular basis, Apple World Today posts a list of notable new apps or app updates that have been released. They may not necessarily be new, but they're popular and deserve mention. Here are today's picks.

iOS Apps/Updates for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch

Fortyfox has introduced Lunar 1.0. With the free app, you subscribe to your favorite podcasts, and it notifies you when the latest episode releases. Lunar will automatically download that episode.

Wasabi Productions has unleashed One Giggly Gorilla, the sequel to Ten Giggly Gorillas for iOS. Th $3.99, child-safe app lets kids help one, then two, three, four and more gorillas get to the bananas at the top of the tree. The fun is in catapulting each gorilla up to the branch above. The learning is in listening to and learning to follow the instructions in the narration, recognizing colors and numbers and using simple logic to help the gorillas on their way.

Mac OS X Apps/Updates

Noodlesoft has announced Hazel 4, an update to its housekeeping utility for Mac OS X. 

The utility watches whatever folders you tell it to, automatically organizing your files according to the rules you create. Using Hazel's rule engine, you can easily create workflows that keep your files organized automatically. The app also features options for managing your Trash and includes an app uninstaller. 

Hazel 4 introduces a new live preview of your rule while editing it. With the new preview feature, users can quickly see whether their rules are correct before deploying them. This version also includes syncing rules using any file syncing/sharing service such as Dropbox or iCloud drive. Also new is the ability to have Hazel monitor Smart Folders. Version 4 includes other features such as rule search, an expanded status interface, a toggle extension action, and more.

A 14-day demo version is available for download. Hazel 4 has a retail price of $32. Existing registered users can upgrade for $10. Those who purchased from Sept. 6, 2015 onwards will get a free upgrade.

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ThinCharge iPhone 6/6s Battery Case (Black): $56.99

MacObserver - Wed, 2016-05-04 14:53

We have a deal today for folks who need extra battery life on their iPhone 6 or iPhone 6s, but don't want a bulky case. It's called ThinCharge, a thin charging case with a 2,600mAh battery. It features an LED indicator for charging, has cutouts for the speaker, and passthrough charging. You can get this device through our deal for $56.99, more than half off retail.

Sight unseen, consumers are more excited about Apple's 'iPhone 7' than they were for iPhone 6s

AppleInsider - Wed, 2016-05-04 14:12
A new survey of prospective smartphone owners signals customers are more excited to see what Apple has in store for this year's "iPhone 7" than they were last year's iPhone 6s unveiling, though early interest for the 2016 upgrade is still behind hype for the iPhone 6 two years ago.

YouTube said to be planning 'Unplugged' live TV as soon as 2017

AppleInsider - Wed, 2016-05-04 14:06
Though best known for user-uploaded videos, Google's YouTube is nevertheless planning to launch a live TV subscription service dubbed "Unplugged," a report said on Wednesday.

Hulu, YouTube planning TV streaming services

AppleWorld.Today - Wed, 2016-05-04 13:59

Cable cutters, rejoice. Hulu and YouTube are apparently planning their own streaming services.

Hulu has announced that it's going to begin offering subscribers the ability to stream "live programming from broadcast and cable brands" in 2017. That'll include "live sports, news, and events," 

Hulu CEO Mike Hopkins said. Hulu's subscribers won't be required to have a traditional cable TV subscription in order to watch. His comments confirm what The Wall Street Journal reported over the weekend, saying that Fox, ABC, ESPN, FX, and the Disney Channel were all involved in negotiations.

YouTube is working on a paid subscription service called Unplugged that would offer customers a bundle of cable TV channels streamed over the Internet, people familiar with the plan said.reports Bloomberg, quoting unnamed “people familiar with the plan.” It’s is slated to debut as soon as 2017.

Bloomberg says YouTube executives have discussed these plans with most major media companies, including Comcast Corp.’s NBCUniversal, Viacom Inc., Twenty-First Century Fox Inc. and CBS Corp. However, no rights have yet been secured, according to the report.

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Twitter for Mac catches up with iOS & Web via Moments, polls & more

AppleInsider - Wed, 2016-05-04 13:48
Twitter released an important update to its official Mac client on Wednesday, finally bringing the software's features closer to par with iOS and the Web.

The Internet of Things is Really a Thing in Germany

MacObserver - Wed, 2016-05-04 13:10

In April, Dr. Mac spent nine days in Germany learning about Industry 4.0, the worldwide initiative (conceived in Germany) to develop standards and protocols to integrate the Internet of Things (IoT), cyber-physical systems (CPS), and the Internet of Services (IoS), with large-scale data collection and analysis and machine learning. In other words, it's about smart, networked automation with smart, self-configuring components. He visited more than a dozen manufacturers, research institutes, universities, and startups across three German states and toured the fabled Hannover Fair with none other than President Obama and Chancellor Merkel. And you can read all about it right here!

Kuner KuPower: 5500 mAh battery pack with memory expansion

AppleWorld.Today - Wed, 2016-05-04 13:00

Kuner KuPower. Photo©2016, Steven Sande

Here's a product that's designed anyone with a need for an external battery pack and extra storage for their favorite device: The Kuner KuPower currently has 7 days to go on Kickstarter, where it has beat its goal and is on the way to manufacturing. I have been testing a prototype of the unit, so let's see how it works.


KuPower is a slender silver curvy box measuring 5.2 x 2.8 x .35 inches (132 x 72 x 9mm) and weighing just 5.1 ounces (145 grams). Packed inside that box is a 5500 mAh battery pack, a microSD card slot, USB and micro-USB ports, and proprietary chips Kuner has designed. The idea? To give users of almost any device the ability to have a way to charge their technology on the run and also store a lot of media.

Business end of the KuPower: microSD slot, microUSB and USB ports, LEDs. ©2016, Steven Sande

There's a single silver button on the device -- with a push, it shows how much battery power is left by displaying 1 to 4 white LEDs. All in all, it's a nice-looking package. The device comes with a white carrying bag to prevent it from being scratched, and the production devices appear to come in both 16GB and 32GB models, those being the capacities of the microSD cards included. Of course, you can also use any other microSD card you may have; the specs say that the KuPower supports up to 128GB cards.

At the present time, backers can expect to get their KuPower in July, for either $39 (16GB) or $49 (32GB). 


Like just about every external storage device, KuPower comes with a free app. When installed, the app provides file management for photos, videos, musics (ahem, that's what's written on the app screen), and documents. There's also an function that not only shows the current charge and overall health status of your iPhone battery, but also formulates a charging profile that allegedly prolongs the life of that battery. The app is nicely laid out, with color icons and instant button access to various types of files. 

Images from KuPower app

There's not much more to say; the KuPower seems like a really well-designed product that will fit a need for anyone who wants both backup emergency power for their device and a way to store or backup files externally. 

There's only one negative; Kuner doesn't include a USB to Lightning cable with the KuPower, just a microUSB cable. For charging an iOS device, you'll need to supply your own cable. Fortunately, most iPhone and iPad owners have those cables and that's no big deal. 


At a Kickstarter price of $49 (including shipping anywhere in the world) for a combination of a 32GB microSD card, a 5500 mAh external battery pack, and a microSD card reader, you could actually buy separate components from other third-parties and come out ahead. However, the KuPower is a single solution and as such, you'll have to carry fewer separate items around. To me, that's worth the slight extra cost you'll incur for the KuPower. 

Apple World Today Rating (out of 5 stars): ★★★★★

TMO Daily Observations 2016-05-04: The Big HomeKit and Apple Smoke Detector Rant

MacObserver - Wed, 2016-05-04 12:47

Apple may have plans to make its own networked smoke detector of sorts for our homes. Kelly Guimont and John Martellaro join Jeff Gamet to talk about their HomeKit headaches and whether or not they'd buy a smoke detector from Apple.

Podcast 506: Doomed! Doomed, I tells ya!

MacWorld - Wed, 2016-05-04 12:15

While Susie Ochs is off on assignment in the fens around Boston, regular host Glenn Fleishman is joined by frequent Macworld contributor John Moltz, who also writes at his web site, Very Nice Web Site, and co-hosts The Rebound tech podcast and Turning This Car Around dadcast.

Glenn and John talk about the last week’s reception to Apple’s earnings, walk through Tim Cook’s appearance on Jim Cramer’s show, and explain that the company is doomed. Doomed, we tells ya! Or, more accurately, how Apple is navigating the aftermath of one great year while growth tapers and the Chinese economy shudders.

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Apple Music may get retuned in June

MacWorld - Wed, 2016-05-04 11:53

Apple Music has two major problems: The streaming service’s interface is needlessly complicated and its relationship to iTunes—both the store and your library of purchased songs—has been a disaster. Those will reportedly be fixed in an overhaul expected to debut at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference in June.

Apple Music is the result of Apple’s acquisition of Beats Music in 2014, but folding Beats employees into Apple resulted in a culture clash that has affected the streaming service’s rollout, according to a Bloomberg report. Apple diverted resources from iTunes, which was viewed as a service in decline, to focus on Apple Music instead of finding ways to combine the two or, at the very least, improve iTunes. It turns out that the download store is holding strong, still pulling in billions of dollars in revenue every quarter. iTunes on its own is more successful than most businesses.

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