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Updated: 46 min 40 sec ago

Sharing files between a Mac 512Ke and an Apple Watch

1 hour 3 min ago

OK, it's not really syncing, but this little hack by Niles Mitchell is still a lot of fun. What Niles did is to take his vintage Mac 512Ke, get it talking to a PowerBook G3 "Wall Street" as a networking go-between, and then set up an action using Workflow on the Watch to go to the URL of an image stored on a floppy disk connected to that old Mac. The result? The Watch grabs the file off of the floppy and it appears on the display of the smartwatch. Cool!

Practical? No, not really. But it is amazing to me that Apple's latest device can talk to a 30-year-old Mac and actually do something. Enjoy the video, and visit Niles' website for more vintage Mac fun



Today in the App Store -- Vizzywig - Video Editor, Pixelmator and more

Thu, 2015-05-28 18:00

Here are some of the best free apps, app updates and new apps that have landed in the App Store recently. Today’s notable apps include a discount on Vizzywig - Video Editor; the new Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions game from Activision; and a significant update to Pixelmator that brings the image editing app to the iPhone. All app prices are USD and subject to change. Some deals may expire quickly, so grab them while you can.

iOS Apps Now Free

Victory Day HD [$0.99 → Free] Victory Day HD is a fun side-scrolling shooting game! In Victory Day HD, you play as a Soviet or as an American soldier during WW2.

Extreme Fishing 2 PLUS [$2.99 → Free] Experience the ultimate virtual fishing in your hands, in vivid HD graphic!

Stone Wars [$0.99 → Free] You have to master your weapons and win the epic battles to secure your leadership among the tribes!

Ready Steady Play [$1.99 → Free] Ready Steady Play is a Wild West-themed game starring an affable cowboy and his trusty hobby horse.

Fonta [$1.99 → Free] Fonta is a Little Design Studio that allows you to create unique images with special effects.

Bell Ringer [$0.99 → Free] Shake the phone, ring a bell! The Bell Ringer app has 5 different authentic bell sounds to choose from. -Cow bell -Desk bell -Door bell -Dinner bell -Hand bell

ProCam 2 - Camera and Photo / Video Editor [$2.99 → Free] Camera and Photo / Video Editor with Manual focus, exposure compensation, shutter speed, ISO, and white balance controls.

ProCam XL 2 - Camera and Photo / Video Editor [$2.99 → Free] Camera and Photo / Video Editor with Nondestructive editing - all edits, including cropping, are completely amendable / reversible.

iOS Apps On Sale

Machine World [$1.99 → $0.99] Drive, fly and operate cool machines that behave like the real thing - in Machine World!

Papa Sangre II [$4.99 → $2.99] Papa Sangre II is a survival horror game told entirely through sound.

Deemo [$1.99 → $0.99] From Cytus team, a world acclaimed music rhythm game.

Doom and Destiny [$4.99 → $1.99] Four nerds, drawn into a fantasy world and mistaken for heroes, have to battle their way through a massive, crazy adventure and defeat a preposterous villian!

Vizzywig - Video Editor Movie Maker and Multi Camera Film Edit Effects Slideshow Music Editing Credits App [$29.99 → $9.99] Vizzywig is the first all-in-one, movie-making application for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch that lets you record, edit, and preview in real time!

Dailybook (Journal / Diary / Gratitude / Notes) [$1.99 → $0.99] A journal like no other, Dailybook is superior, elegant, and visually striking.

Zombify - Turn yourself into a Zombie [$2.99 → $0.99] ransform yourself into a biting, groaning, brain-eating zombie!

AlphaTots Alphabet [$2.99 → $0.99] “A” is for action in the fun app from Spinlight that uses 26 action verbs to help toddlers learn the ABCs.

Discounted Mac Apps

Battlestations: Pacific [$19.99 → $4.99] Battle your way to victory in the air, on the water, and underwater in this unique combination of action and strategy.

Battlestations: Midway [$19.99 → $4.99] Take command of the greatest battles of the War in the Pacific.

Cross DJ [$39.99 → $29.99] The best pro DJ app on Mac. Mix tracks in perfect sync on a powerful audio engine.

New and Notable Apps

Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions [$4.99 → Free] Enjoy the next chapter in the award-winning Geometry Wars franchise and enjoy stunning, console-quality graphics as you battle through waves of enemies in this frenetic arcade shooter!

The Deep [$1.99] Delve into the deep in this retro rogue-like!

Updates you don’t want to miss

Pixelmator [$4.99] Pixelmator is a powerful, full-featured, layer-based image editor that lets you touch up and enhance images, sketch and paint, as well as create complex image compositions on iPad and iPhone alike.. Version 2.0.1 includes the following changes:

  • Pixelmator is now available for iPhone.
  • Metal-powered Distort tools allow you to pinch, bump, twirl, and warp areas of your images.
  • The Clone tool lets you duplicate areas of your image.
  • The new Repair Selection feature instantly repairs selected areas.
  • Other improvements and bug fixes

Battle Group 2 [$Free] Your battleships are ready with the return of Battle Group, the evolution of missile command and the best naval combat game on mobile. . Version 2.016 includes the following changes:

  • Share the destruction with Everyplay videos and action packed screenshots!
  • We’re now translated for international languages, allowing every ally across the sea to help fight the Talon. (Play in German, Spanish, French, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, Portuguese, Russian, Turkish, Simplified and Traditional Chinese)
  • iCloud backup has arrived!
  • Just finished some hull repairs, menu tweaks, and bug fixes!

AWT News Update: May 28, 2015

Thu, 2015-05-28 17:00

Today in the world of Apple...

  • Apple may announce a reward system for frequent Apple Pay purchases
  • Augmented Reality company Metaio was acquired by Apple... and the world is just finding out about it
  • Two more Apple Stores are set to open in New York, one in a few weeks, one later this year
  • Guess what company will be the world's biggest Mac-supporting company soon? IBM

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I’m Steve Sande from Apple World Today, and this is the AWT News Update for May 28, 2015.

Apple Pay is a simple and fun way to pay for goods and services at a number of merchants in the US, but it will face some competition now with the introduciton of Android Pay at the Google IO Conference today. Of course, Apple has a lot at stake with the payment system, so the New York Times says that the company will announce enhancements to the service at the Worldwide Developer Conference early next month. One of the carrots that Apple will dangle in front of consumers is expected to be a rewards program. It’s unknown exactly what the rewards will be, although the company will offer some sort of perk to frequent users.

TechCrunch today reported that Apple has acquired Metaio, a German augmented reality company that had it roots in a side project at Volkswagen. TechCrunch became aware of the acquisition through a Twitter post that showed a legal document confirming a transfer of shares from Metaio’s holdings to Apple. The AR firm has also canceled its user conference next month, disabled its Twitter accounts, and posted a notice on its website that announced an end to product and subscription sales. Apple apparently has a team dedicated to AR deployments, so Metaio will be a good fit for the firm. Apple has a portfolio of AR patents already, including uses in mapping solutions, virtual displays powered by an iPhone, and transparent displays.

New Yorkers will soon have two more Apple Stores. First, the Upper East Side Manhattan store at 940 Madison Avenue — the corner of Madison Avenue and East 74th Street — will be opening on June 13. Apple actually created a web page celebrating the Upper East Side with amazing black and white photos taken with the iPhone 6. The second store, expected to open later in 2015, is at the Queens Center mall in Queens, New York. This store will be the biggest New York Apple Store in a mall, and the company apparently expects it to generate as much revenue as some of the flagship stores in the Big Apple.

Back when I worked for IBM for 9 years in the late 1990s and early 2000s, employees had one choice of computer manufacturer — IBM. Of course, the company sold off its PC manufacturing business to Lenovo late in my tenure, but that didn’t matter - I always missed having a Mac. Big Blue’s close ties with Apple are having a big impact, with the company announcing that starting today IBM employees have a choice of a MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, or a PC when they’re getting new or updated workstations. All Macs come preloaded with VPN and security tools, and the company already has about 15,000 Macs deployed through its bring-your-own-device program. The company expects to deploy about 50,000 MacBooks by the end of the year, which will make IBM the world’s biggest Mac-supporting company.

We’ll be back tomorrow with another AWT News Update.

Throwback Thursday: The "personal organizer" we had before the Newton

Thu, 2015-05-28 14:00

Back before the Newton MessagePad made a splash in 1993 as the first "Personal Digital Assistant", several consumer electronics companies were making handheld devices designed to do all of the things that we take for granted now on our iPhones and Apple Watches -- take short notes, check our calendar, make appointments, and look up phone numbers. One of these devices was the Casio B.O.S.S. SF-8000 -- one of which I have in my Museum of Obsolete Technology. 

B.O.S.S. stood for "Business Organizer Scheduling System." This device came out in 1990 at a price tag of about $260 (equivalent to about $480 now). It had a real keyboard rather than the flimsy membrane keyboards used by some other organizers. The display was a 32-character by 6 line LCD, the contrast of which could be adjusted with a small thumbwheel. The picture below is taken from eBay, where you can still find these devices available for sale.

So how much storage did this device have? A whopping 64K! The company touted that as being enough to store 1,400 names, phone numbers, and addresses. The B.O.S.S. could actually sync to both PCs and Macs via a PCLink port. To do so, you had to purchase both a special cable and an application named Laplink from a company called Traveling Software that is still around! 

The B.O.S.S. would run for about 85 hours on three lithium batteries. Once that time was up, you needed to get out a screwdriver and remove three screws from the bottom of the device to replace the batteries. It weighs about 8.5 ounces without those batteries installed, and is almost exactly the same width and height as an iPhone 6 Plus -- but a lot thicker.

This device really seemed like a "pocket computer" to those of us who used them at the time. Of course, I was used to a similar device with a full-size keyboard -- the Radio Shack TRS-80 Model 100, which still has to go down as one of my favorite portable computers of all time. But to be able to put something with the power of the Model 100 in your pocket? It was inconceivable!

The B.O.S.S. seen here was given to my wife as an incentive at work; at the time, she worked on the Titan launch vehicle program, which explains the blue "TITAN" logo on the front of the case. It doesn't work right now as I haven't replaced the batteries in years. If you'd like to read more about the B.O.S.S., there's an old InfoWorld review here and a full user manual here.

Frankly, I like my handheld organizer that I have now -- the one that's on my wrist that I can talk to... Have any memories of devices similar to the B.O.S.S SF-8000? Let us hear about 'em in the comments.

Daily Deals for May 28, 2015

Thu, 2015-05-28 13:30

It’s time to save some of your hard-earned money with our Daily Deals, featuring highlighted deals for AWT readers, hardware discounts and our own handpicked iOS and OS X sales. All prices are USD and subject to change. Please check prices before you purchase as some deals may expire quickly.

AWT Featured App
  • Carbo) [$7.99 → $3.99] Carbo lets you capture and organize handwritten notes and sketches, bringing handwriting in the digital age, right on your iPhone and iPad.
Hardware and Accessory Deals
  • Apple - MacBook Pro with Retina display (Latest Model) - 13.3" Display - 8GB Memory - 512GB Flash Storage - Silver [Best Buy; On sale for $1699.99, down from $1799.99] With fifth-generation Intel Core processors, the latest graphics, and faster flash storage, the incredibly advanced MacBook Pro with Retina display moves even further ahead in performance and battery life.

  • iPhone 6 128GB [Best Buy; On sale for $299.99, down from $399.99] iPhone 6 isn't just bigger — it's better in every way. Larger yet thinner. More powerful, yet power efficient. It's a new generation of iPhone.

  • IPAD MINI 3 [Best Buy; Up to $100 off]The most advanced iPad mini is loaded with innovations like the Touch ID fingerprint sensor and Retina display.c

  • Sling Media - Slingbox M1 - Black [Best Buy; On sale for up to $129.99, down from $149.99]View the latest episodes of your favorite shows and keep up to speed with news, sports and more from anywhere in the world.

iOS Software Discounts
  • Eden - World Builder [$0.99 → Free] Explore a world of limitless possibility. Build your own personal Eden. Unleash your creative and adventurous spirit!

  • Echo Prime [$0.99 → Free] Fight your way across the stars in this epic action game.

  • Colorbs [$1.99 → Free] Colorbs is a puzzle game that will play with your brain and strategic thinking, carefully designed by one person in minimalistic style and vibe.

  • Hyper Square [$1.99 → Free] Twist, pinch, and drag. Hyper Square is a rich audio visual experience that takes you through multiple worlds of elegantly simple gameplay.

  • Fleksy Keyboard - GIFs, Stickers and Emoji [$0.99 → Free] Fleksy is the most fun, customizable way to type, and officially the fastest keyboard in the world.

  • Sketchify [$0.99 → Free] Be creative. Transform your photos into gorgeous, vibrant works of art.

  • Windy ~ Sleep Relax Meditate with natural white noise sounds [$1.99 → Free] Sleep better with Windy, a beautiful white noise app that plays soothing high quality winds recorded in stereoscopic 3D for headphones, and more.

  • Nighty Night! HD - The bedtime story app for children [$3.99 → Free] "Nighty Night!" is the perfect App for a daily go-to-sleep ritual with cute animals, sweet lullaby music and great narration.

  • Blek [$1.99 → $0.99] Blek is a unique game about imagination and personality. Everything you draw keeps moving – and watching your creations move is like watching magic.

  • Star Drift [$2.99 → $0.99] Star Drift is an exciting evolution of the horizontally-scrolling shoot-em-up.

  • Traps n' Gemstones [$4.99 → $0.99] TRAPS N' GEMSTONES is an adventurous platform game, among gamers typically known as the "Metroidvania" genre, from Donut Games

  • RGB Express - Mini Truck Puzzle [$2.99 → $0.99] RGB Express is a unique and beautiful puzzle game.

  • iYoga - Premium - iPhone Edition [$3.99 → $0.99] This app is for users that are looking for the very best content available in a yoga app. It uses advanced technology to show the muscles used and allows seamless playback which is simple to use.

  • Sleep Cycle alarm clock [$4.99 → $1.99] Waking up made easy. An intelligent alarm clock that analyzes your sleep and wakes you in the lightest sleep phase – the natural way to wake up feeling rested and relaxed.

  • ChronoGrafik-Alarm Clock + Shake to Snooze [$3.99 → $0.99] The Universal clock conversion for your iPad and iPhone all in 1 APP.

  • Password Manager - Secure Accounts Vault Box & Lock Passcode Keeper Safe [$4.99 → $3.99] iPassword can securely store your important information and can automatically log you into websites with a single tap.

OS X Software Discounts
  • Magnet [$4.99 → $1.99] Every time you want to copy content from one app to the other, compare files side by side or multitask in any other way, you need all the windows arranged accordingly. Magnet makes this process clean and simple.

  • SnapNDrag Pro [$9.99 → $4.99] SnapNDrag Pro is screen capture made ridiculously easy.

Battlestations: Pacific [$19.99 → $4.99] Battle your way to victory in the air, on the water, and underwater in this unique combination of action and strategy.

Smile releases TextExpander 5, adds snippet suggestions and more

Thu, 2015-05-28 13:00

One of the favorite Mac apps for the blogging team here at Apple World Today is TextExpander from Smile. The app is primarily used to take frequently-typed words and phrases known as “snippets” and assign a key shortcut to them — for example, Apple World Today could be given a shortcut of “hAWT”, providing a savings of 13 keystrokes everytime that website title is typed. Smile has just released TextExpander 5 for Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite, adding a number of helpful features to this must-have utility.

The most impressive addition in the update is that TextExpander now “watches” what you type frequently, and then makes suggestions for new snippets. These appear on the Yosemite screen as notifications, and the suggested snippets also appear in a special folder in the TextExpander app window.

If your library of snippets is huge, you may forget to use them. No problem, because TextExpander 5 will now remind you when you forget to use one!

TextExpander 5 requires OS X 10.10 Yosemite, but those who are still using Mavericks or earlier versions of the Mac operating system are in luck — you can still get versions of TextExpander that will work all the way back to OS X 10.4 Tiger.

The update is priced at $19.95 for existing users. Those who are just hearing about TextExpander for the first time can purchase the app on the Smile website for $44.95. A free trial is available for download; once you see how useful TextExpander is, you can purchase a license.

Todoist comes to Apple Watch

Thu, 2015-05-28 07:00

After months of careful development, Todoist is now ready for Apple Watch.

I appreciate the work that's been happening at Todoist. Early this year, the company began work on Todoist for the Apple Watch. Without a Watch in hand, however, the developers knew proper testing was impossible. So they decided to wait:

"For our entire team, an excellent user experience is paramount to everything else, and this is not something that we’re willing to sacrifice. When we build our apps, we take great care to make sure each detail is both meaningfully and dutifully designed. Todoist for Apple Watch is not an exception – only when we have been able to thoroughly test the app on the device will we release it to our community."

Today, the patience and dedication has paid off. Todosit 10.1, with support for Apple Watch, is now available, bringing with it a slew of useful features that make the Watch more than a simple reference tool. Instead, you can be productive right from your wrist. Here's our look at Todoist for Apple Watch.

Looks










Like many project management solutions, Todoist comes down to lists, and lists are right at home on the Watch's small screen. Many of Todoist's design elements have made the migration, so it feels familiar on the Watch: tag icons, priority icons, color coding and others are where you'd expect them to be.

Everything is clean and legible, which is important when you only want to spend a second or two scanning some information. But how does it work in daily practice?

Use

Todoist for Apple Watch supports Glance view, which displays the next thing you've got to get done. Tap it to launch the app proper and browse your Inbox, Today view, Projects, Labels (for Premium customers), and Filters. As I said, this is no mere reference. It's a functional project manager with nearly all of the features of its desktop or web-based counterparts. Navigation is simple and intuitive; just tap and swipe as you would on the iPhone. That's all great, but the best part is getting information into Todoist for Apple Watch.

Voice Command is my favorite feature of this update, as it lets me add items to Todoist with natural, spoken language. To get started, Force Touch on the screen while the app is running and begin speaking. The app will recognize what you're saying, including due dates, and transcribe it into text. This has been my big sticking point with electronic project and to-do managers since the beginning. The process of getting my phone out of my pocket, unlocking it, opening an app, tapping the button to enter a new item and then typing that item just took too long. Now, I can simply press and speak. It's fantastic, seriously.

Todoist 10.1 also supports advanced notifications for shared projects. You can opt to get pinged when you're invited to a shared project, when someone comments on a shared project, when you approach a certain location or precisely when a task is due (time and date).

After a month of waiting for Todoist for Apple Watch, I'm quite pleased with it. The app's developers weren't the first productivity app to hit Apple's latest device, but theirs is the one I was glad to wait for. I'm happy to say my patience paid off.

Daily Deals for May 27, 2015, featuring Carbo Handwriting

Wed, 2015-05-27 19:11

It’s time to save some of your hard-earned money with our Daily Deals, featuring highlighted deals for AWT readers, hardware discounts and our own handpicked iOS and OS X sales. All prices are USD and subject to change. Please check prices before you purchase as some deals may expire quickly.

AWT Featured App
  • Carbo) [$7.99 → $3.99] Carbo lets you capture and organize handwritten notes and sketches, bringing handwriting in the digital age, right on your iPhone and iPad.
Hardware and Accessory Deals iOS Software Discounts
  • Gesundheit! [$2.99 → Free] Gesundheit! combines extraordinary hand-drawn visuals and animation with an infectious gameplay to create a vibrant and colorful world where cute characters face off against wacky monsters, pigs will fly, and snot happens!?

  • Waking Mars [$4.99 → $1.99] UNCOVER THE MYSTERIES OF ANCIENT MARS.

  • Sketchify [$0.99 → Free] Be creative. Transform your photos into gorgeous, vibrant works of art.

  • Windy ~ Sleep Relax Meditate with natural white noise sounds [$1.99 → Free] Sleep better with Windy, a beautiful white noise app that plays soothing high quality winds recorded in stereoscopic 3D for headphones, and more.

  • Brandnew Boy [$3.99 → $0.99] Brandnew Boy is heart-stopping, breath-taking 3D combat adventure built on Unreal Engine 3 for an unbelievable iOS action experience.

  • IM+ Pro7 [$4.99 → $1.99] Chat on GTalk, FB, Twitter, Yahoo!, AIM, and more from one app. IM+ features free texting, group chats, message history.

  • Piikki: Receipt Scanner & Expense Reports [$3.99 → $1.99] Piikki is an amazing receipt scanner app for your iPhone & iPad.

OS X Software Discounts
  • Magnet [$4.99 → $1.99] Every time you want to copy content from one app to the other, compare files side by side or multitask in any other way, you need all the windows arranged accordingly. Magnet makes this process clean and simple.

  • QuickShot - Menubar Screenshot Manager [$0.99 → Free] Simply take a screenshot using OSX's built in functionality and it will be immediately draggable from your menubar.

Today in the App Store —Omnifocus 2, Echo Prime and more

Wed, 2015-05-27 17:59

Here are some of the best free apps, app updates and new apps that have landed in the App Store recently. Today’s notable apps include a discount on Echo Prime; the new KORG iM1 app; and a significant update to Omnifocus 2. All app prices are USD and subject to change. Some deals may expire quickly, so grab them while you can.

iOS Apps Now Free

Eden - World Builder [$0.99 → Free] Explore a world of limitless possibility. Build your own personal Eden. Unleash your creative and adventurous spirit!

Echo Prime [$0.99 → Free] Fight your way across the stars in this epic action game.

Colorbs [$1.99 → Free] Colorbs is a puzzle game that will play with your brain and strategic thinking, carefully designed by one person in minimalistic style and vibe.

Hyper Square [$1.99 → Free] Twist, pinch, and drag. Hyper Square is a rich audio visual experience that takes you through multiple worlds of elegantly simple gameplay.

Fleksy Keyboard - GIFs, Stickers and Emoji [$0.99 → Free] Fleksy is the most fun, customizable way to type, and officially the fastest keyboard in the world.

Sketchify [$0.99 → Free] Be creative. Transform your photos into gorgeous, vibrant works of art.

Windy ~ Sleep Relax Meditate with natural white noise sounds [$1.99 → Free] Sleep better with Windy, a beautiful white noise app that plays soothing high quality winds recorded in stereoscopic 3D for headphones, and more.

Nighty Night! HD - The bedtime story app for children [$3.99 → Free] "Nighty Night!" is the perfect App for a daily go-to-sleep ritual with cute animals, sweet lullaby music and great narration.

iOS Apps On Sale

Blek [$1.99 → $0.99] Blek is a unique game about imagination and personality. Everything you draw keeps moving – and watching your creations move is like watching magic.

Star Drift [$2.99 → $0.99] Star Drift is an exciting evolution of the horizontally-scrolling shoot-em-up.

Traps n' Gemstones [$4.99 → $0.99] TRAPS N' GEMSTONES is an adventurous platform game, among gamers typically known as the "Metroidvania" genre, from Donut Games

RGB Express - Mini Truck Puzzle [$2.99 → $0.99] RGB Express is a unique and beautiful puzzle game.

iYoga - Premium - iPhone Edition [$3.99 → $0.99] This app is for users that are looking for the very best content available in a yoga app. It uses advanced technology to show the muscles used and allows seamless playback which is simple to use.

Sleep Cycle alarm clock [$4.99 → $1.99] Waking up made easy. An intelligent alarm clock that analyzes your sleep and wakes you in the lightest sleep phase – the natural way to wake up feeling rested and relaxed.

ChronoGrafik-Alarm Clock + Shake to Snooze [$3.99 → $0.99] The Universal clock conversion for your iPad and iPhone all in 1 APP.

Password Manager - Secure Accounts Vault Box & Lock Passcode Keeper Safe [$4.99 → $3.99]: iPassword can securely store your important information and can automatically log you into websites with a single tap.

Discounted Mac Apps

QuickShot - Menubar Screenshot Manager [$0.99 → Free] Simply take a screenshot using OSX’s built in functionality and it will be immediately draggable from your menubar.

Nora [$0.99 → Free] Nora is an Oracle database client app, which was created to bring a basic database management and developing process to OS X.

New and Notable Apps

KORG iM1 [$19.99] A complete reproduction – and more - of the legendary M1 that defined an era.

Battle of Gods: Ascension [$2.99] In Battle of Gods: Ascension you play Hercules and other heroes in a turn-based strategy set in the Greek Mythology.

Updates you don’t want to miss

Sky Guide: View Stars Night or Day [$1.99] A star and constellation guide has never been more beautiful and easy to use.. Version 4.2.2 includes the following changes:

  • Bug & Typo Fixes + Translation Corrections

OmniFocus 2 [$39.99] OmniFocus for iOS brings the in-depth task management features of a desktop app to your fingertips.. Version 2.5.3 includes the following changes:

  • Location Alerts — Fixed a problem with “(null)” notifications for geofenced contexts.
  • Apple Watch Glance — Prevented the Glance from showing the “footer” placeholder alongside customer actions.
  • Apple Watch — Prevented nested contexts from resulting in clipped text in the continuity slot.
  • Today Extension — In Preferences, Perspectives now appear in the same order as the sidebar/home screen.

AWT News Update: May 27, 2015

Wed, 2015-05-27 16:35

Whole lotta Apple news goin' on today:

  • The Apple Store App partners with Postmates to provide same-day delivery in a number of US cities
  • Jawbone is suing Fitbit for "systematically plundering" confidential info
  • GM CEO Mary Barra announces that 14 different 2016 Chevrolet car models will come with Apple's CarPlay built in
  • OWC announces a huge 8TB hard disk upgrade for iMac
  • Apple may be considering "Proactive", a more Google Now-like service using Siri and built-in/third-party apps to create a super-Spotlight search
  • Canada's CRTC wins an award for its "Text with 9-1-1" service

The text version of the podcast is available below for your reading pleasure!

Subscribe to the Podcast Text Version

I’m Steve Sande from Apple World Today, and this is the AWT News Update for May 27, 2015.

Don’t have the time to go to the Apple Store to pick something up, but you need it today? The Apple Store app is now partnering with on-demand logistics service Postmates to offer customers same-day deliveries. If Postmates shows up as an Apple Store app delivery option for you, it’s possible to get your product delivered to home or office in anywhere from one hour to one day. The service is a $19.00 option, and is available in a number of cities where Postmates operates.

As if Fitbit wasn’t getting enough competition from the Apple Watch, the wearable health tracker company is now facing a legal attack from one of its other competitors — Jawbone. Jawbone, the maker of the Up fitness trackers, filed suit against Fitbit today in California State Court accusing the company of “systematically plundering” confidential information by poaching employees who brought with them sensitive materials. Fitbit is about to have its initial public offering, which means that the lawsuit could have a bad effect on the valuation of the company’s share price. It’s not as though Jawbone isn’t also having problems. The company has been around for 16 years and still isn’t profitable. Jawbone has also had production issues during its lifetime, first with its cellphone headsets, then with wireless speakers, and now with the Up3 fitness band. Apple may enjoy sitting back and watching while the two fitness tracker companies destroy each other in court.

Thinking about buying a 2016 model year Chevrolet car, truck or SUV? Chances are really good that your new vehicle will have Apple’s CarPlay built in. GM CEO Mary Barra announced that 14 different car models will come with CarPlay. Those models include the Camaro and Camaro Convertible, Colorado, Corvette and Corvette Convertible, Cruze, Impala, Malibu, SIlverado and Silverado HD, Spark, Suburban, Tahoe and Volt. Those car models accounted for 2.4 million units sold in 2014.

Have an iMac? You can now upgrade your device up to 8TB of storage thanks to a new drive option from Other World Computing at Macsales.com. The company sells the upgrade kits with a 14-piece toolkit, two suction cups for removing the outer glass, and a microfiber cleaning cloth. The 8TB option uses an HGST 8.0TB Ultrastar He8 hard disk, which is sealed with helium inside it instead of air.

Rumor site 9to5Mac says that Apple is working on an initiative called Proactive that will integrate iOS features like Siri, Maps, Contacts, Calendar, Passbook and third-party apps into a super-Spotlight search. Proactive will do things like display certain apps at times based on usage habits. Maps may gain an augmented reality function that could show businesses on a street by simply holding an iPhone up. These services are all rumored — duh — and 9to5Mac says that they may not make it into iOS 9.

And now an Accessible Apple update from our Accessibility Editor Alex Jurgensen:

Yesterday, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) announced that it had received the Innovative Team Award from the Association of Professional Executive of the Public Service of Canada (APEX). The award was presented to the organization for its implementation of "Text with 9-1-1", a service that allows registered users of mobile devices, who are deaf, hard of hearing and/or have speech impediments, to access emergency services. The service will be available across Canada by the end of the year.

If you'd like more information, here’s a link to an iPhone In Canada post on the subject.

We’ll be back tomorrow with another AWT News Update.


Portiko and Pixi: A look at two new and useful accessories from Bluelounge

Wed, 2015-05-27 11:39

Bluelounge is an accessory manufacturer with a mission; creating well-designed accessories that people need and want. Over the years I’ve reviewed the company’s Soba cable guides and used a Kickflip with a MacBook Pro, finding the products to not only be attractive and useful, but also surprisingly inexpensive. Today I’m looking at two new products from Bluelounge; the Portiko (US$24.95) extension cord and Pixi multi-purpose ties ($9.95).

Bluelounge Portiko. Photo ©2015, Steven Sande. All rights reserved.

Let’s look at Portiko. Sure, a 6-foot extension cord doesn’t sound too exciting; after all, you can go to your local Home Depot and pick one up any day. But taking a closer look at the Portiko shows just how much more useful it is to tech geeks than a regular extension cord.

First, when you plug the Portiko into a wall socket you’ll find that the cable doesn’t interfere with other plugs — it comes out at a 45-degree angle rather than straight up/down or right/left. Next, the other end of the extension cord has two wide-open grounded plugs that just about any power brick can plug into regardless of size. But even better, there are a pair of USB ports for charging your mobile devices. From one wall plug, you can charge up two laptops and two phones at the same time.

The smart design of the Portiko comes into play with two features: a way to loop unused cord over the top of the end with the outlets and a magnetic adhesive plate that can be used to attach the Portiko to a wall or other surface. Portiko is available in two colors: plain white and a vibrant blue.

Yeah, Portiko is just an extension cord… but it’s an extension cord that should be in everyone’s computer bag.

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

Next I’m taking a look at Pixi multi-purpose ties. You know how just about anything with cables comes with those twist ties to keep them organized? They are easy to lose, especially when you have a pair of cats who think that they make really good toys. Well, Pixi ties are reusable multi-purpose ties that feature a really smart design.

Bluelounge Pixi Cable Tie. Photo ©2015 Steven Sande, All Rights Reserved

To install a Pixi, you take the “bungee” end of the Pixi and wrap it around whatevery you want to hold in place. Holding onto a silicon “button” that has a channel in it, you take the slack of the bungee and pull it tightly so that it is trapped in the locking channel. Done.

Need to untie whatever you’ve just tied up? Just grab the slack bungee end and pull it out of the channel. It’s fast and you don’t have to drive yourself bonkers figuring out if your twist ties were installed clockwise or counterclockwise.

Pixis come in three different sizes; small, medium and large. Small is used to secure things like cables or bread bags, medium is good for garden hoses or securing travel accessories, and large can do things like hold camping gear in place. You get 8 small Pixis (grey and black or orange and blue), 6 medium Pixis (green and black), or 4 large Pixis (red and black) in a package.

Something this simple is really quite brilliant; Pixis are reusable and have an almost infinite number of different possible uses. My use for one of my review Pixis? Well, Apple got rid of the little “handles” that used to pop out of the top of a MacBook AC adapter that you could wrap the cord around (curse you, Jony Ive…). Now I just use a Pixi to hold the rolled-up cable in place and I can avoid having a mess of USB-C power cable in my computer bag. Another one is being used to roll up and secure the power cable for the Portiko. Yay, Pixi!

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

Creaceed Carbo: Taking analog notes into a digital future

Wed, 2015-05-27 09:34

A new universal iOS app from Creaceed is about to change the way that you take notes with digital devices — it has certainly changed my notetaking methods. Carbo (US$7.99, launch price of $3.99) is advertised as “handwriting in the digital age”, and that describes in a nutshell what the app accomplishes.

Carbo starts with a handwritten note. It doesn’t matter if it was written neatly in a notebook or scrawled on a napkin; all you need is a note. Next, you take a photo of that note and adjust the contrast. The app uses what Creaceed calls a “hybrid capture and rendering method, halfway between bitmap and vector” to visualize the note on any iOS display.

The file size captured is much smaller than what you’d see with a JPEG. A full-page note uses about 400KB of storage as opposed to 2.5MB for a full JPEG, so Carbo is quite efficient in storing the images.

Once the image is in Carbo’s format, you can edit your notes. Did you doodle a picture of a cat on the page of some important business notes? No problem; there’s an eraser tool. Want to move sections of an outline around to a new order? Just select an element with a lasso by running your finger around it, and you can then drag that element anywhere, scale it, rotate it, or even remove it. There’s even a way of “bold-facing” your handwritten text by making the lines of something you’ve lassoed thicker.

Organization of your notes is chronological based on when they were imported. There is, however, a tagging system built into Carbo that you can use for searching the notes, as well as a text description (annotation) that can be stored with the image. Storage can be local, or you can sync to iCloud, Evernote, or Dropbox.

Carbo images are stored in black and white, but you can have some fun when you export them. That black and white image can look like chalk on a green or blackboard, like a blueprint (white on blue), or like different pens were used on paper. Your exported notes can be sent to Twitter or Facebook, AirDrop’d to another Apple device, emailed, sent in Messages, stored to iCloud Drive — basically anything you can do with the standard iOS share sheet.

The Carbo UI is brilliantly simple. Any of your notes can be acted upon by just swiping it to the left. That brings up a tab that allows you to add tags, move a note to the cloud or back to your device, or delete a note. When tags are applied to your notes, the bottom of each note thumbnail reflects the color or colors that are assigned to the tags.

Other elements include a pencil button to bring up the editing tools and a palette button to show the sharing styles. A "funnel" button brings up a sidebar that filters notebooks and tags, and the standard "gear" button allows settings to be changed and saved. Carbo is easy to learn and master.

So, you might be asking “Why not just take your notes on the device in an app like Note Taker HD, Notability, and so on?” If you’re like me, you have probably tried taking notes with apps that say they’re “just like a notebook”. Well, even the best of the note-taking apps with the most impressive palm rejection algorithm usually doesn’t let me take notes the way I do with regular old pen and paper — which explains why I have refused to take handwritten notes on an iPad or iPhone.

I’m happy to say that I’m now breaking out the old spiral bound paper notebooks that I built my business on and using them again for notetaking. I can take my handwritten notes faster on paper than on my iPad, edit them later, and store them in the cloud for future reference. Who knows? This may be the way that AWT editor Dave Caolo can move all of those Field Note and Moleskine notebooks into the 21st Century!

If you’re like me and have just never gotten used to using your finger or a stylus to take handwritten notes on your iPad or iPhone, you’re going to love Carbo.

Kindle for iPhone, iPad updated with exclusive font

Wed, 2015-05-27 08:20

Amazon has updated the Kindle app for iPhone and iPad with an exclusive font called "Bookerly." The font was made available on the Kindle Fire HDX in December, 2014 and has now come to Apple's devices. Designed for "optimal readability at any screen size," Amazon notes that Bookerly is available on "most" Kindle books. 

The update also features improved character placement for less eye strain and improved accommodation of large fonts. 

 

AWT News Update: May 26, 2015

Tue, 2015-05-26 17:00

We hope you had a nice Memorial Day (US) or Bank Holiday (UK) weekend. Here are some top stories for this Tuesday:

  • Facebook adds restaurant reviews written by professional food critics to mobile Facebook Pages for thousands of restaurants
  • The Apple facility in Mesa, AZ caught on fire today... but all damage seems to be limited to the roof
  • Marriott has an Apple Watch app for check-ins and more
  • iOS 9 may include transit service routes and navigation in the Maps app
  • A new Mac game offers auto racing for blind and low-vision users

The full text of the podcast script follows the audio player!

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I’m Steve Sande from Apple World Today, and this is the AWT News Update for May 26, 2015.

If there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s looking at restaurant reviews on Yelp. They’re often written by people who had a bad experience at a restaurant and have revenge in mind, so by and large they’re only useful if you’re looking for exciting reading. Well, Facebook has just added restaurant reviews that are — don’t be shocked — actually written by professional food critics. The social networking site is partnering with Bon Appetit magazine, Conde Nast Traveler, Eater, New York Magazine, and the San Francisco Chronicle to bring professional restaurant reviews to the mobile Facebook pages for thousands of restaurants. You might be surprised to konw that Facebook will include negative reviews if the publications provide them.

That Apple facility in Mesa Arizona appears to have caught fire today, and I don’t mean that figuratively. This is the facility that was first owned by GT Advanced, a sapphire manufacturer that went bankrupt after not being able to meet demand and quality requirements for Apple. Apple now plans to repurpose the facility as a huge global command cetner for their global data network. Well, a two-alarm fire this morning resulted in some damage to the roof of the building, with fire crews from Mesa, Gilbert and Superstition, Arizona battling the blaze for 35 minutes. It appears that the fire originated on the roof-mounted solar panels, and did not spread into the facility.

One of the first big Watch apps we heard about was from Starwood Hotels, the holding company that runs such hotel chains as Westin, W hotels, Sheraton, and Le Meridien among others. The company’s SPG app provides a way to use the iPhone and Apple Watch as a virtual door key at a number of hotels. Now another chain is providing a similar capability — with Marriott’s Apple Watch app letting you check in at the front desk with reservation information on your wrist. The app also sends notifications when your room is ready, and checkouts can be done with a tap on the wrist.

Take it with a grain of salt, but 9to5 Mac is reporting that Apple’s Maps app will be updated this fall in iOS 9 with mass transit service routes and navigation. The service will reportedly only be available for a few major cities at first — New York City, San Francisco, London, Berlin, Paris, Toronto and several Chinese cities — with Washington DC and Chicago being tapped as additional cities later on. The Maps integration will give iPhone users directions that can take into account bus routes, subway maps, and train schedules, with transit stations easily visible on maps.

And now an Accessible Apple update from our Accessibility Editor Alex Jurgensen:

Audio Rally Racing, a new audio game for the Mac, was recently released. The game, targeted at blind and low vision users, features 50 different racing circuits, 11 different cars and a vast array of sound effects.

To find out more, or to purchase the game, follow this link!

We’ll be back tomorrow with another AWT News Update.

Daily Deals for May 26, 2015, featuring Carbo

Tue, 2015-05-26 16:45

It’s time to save some of your hard-earned money with our Daily Deals, featuring highlighted deals for AWT readers, hardware discounts and our own handpicked iOS and OS X sales. All prices are USD and subject to change. Please check prices before you purchase as some deals may expire quickly.

AWT Featured App
  • Carbo - Handwriting in the Digital Age [$7.99 → $3.99] Carbo lets you capture and organize handwritten notes and sketches, bringing handwriting in the digital age, right on your iPhone and iPad.
Hardware and Accessory Deals
  • HP - x3000 Wireless Optical Mouse [Best Buy; On sale for $7.99, down from $24.99] Navigate with ease using this HP x3000 mouse, which features optical technology for precise accuracy on most surfaces.

  • Seagate - 1TB Internal Serial ATA Hard Drive for Desktops - Multi [Best Buy; On sale for $49.99, down from $99.99]Ideal for use with desktop performance towers, all-in-one computers, consumer-grade NAS devices or desktop RAID arrays, this Seagate internal hard drive features a 1TB capacity, so you can store plenty of digital files.

  • MiiKey MiiPower2 Power Bank Dual Charger 5200 mAh [Newegg; On sale for $16.99, down from $49.99] With MiiPower2, you will never be out of battery on your iPhone, iPad, iPod or any other device that can be charged via USB cable, including cameras, smart phones, and many hand held gaming consoles.

  • Photive PH-BTE50 Lightweight Wireless Bluetooth 4.0 Sports Headphones. [Amazon; On sale for up to $29.95, down from $99.95]Weekend warriors and pro-athletes alike will appreciate the wireless freedom and excellent sound quality of the PH-EB10 earbuds.

  • Acer - 21.5" IPS LCD HD Monitor - Black [Best Buy; On sale for $89.99, down from $139.99 ]This Acer G227HQL BI LCD HD monitor features ultrafast 6 ms response times to keep up with fast-paced movies and games.

iOS Software Discounts
  • Gesundheit! [$2.99 → Free] Gesundheit! combines extraordinary hand-drawn visuals and animation with an infectious gameplay to create a vibrant and colorful world where cute characters face off against wacky monsters, pigs will fly, and snot happens!?

  • Pumped BMX 2 [$3.99 → Free] Following the 2012 cult hit, Pumped BMX is back and packed full of more wild levels, more wild tricks, and over 500 challenges and achievements. Oh, and it's 3D too!

  • Orby Widgets - To Make Notification Center Even More Useful [$0.99 → Free] Don't keep yourself in the dark anymore. Know all about your device in the Notification Center with beautiful, orb shaped Orby Widgets.

  • Get Moving [$0.99 → Free] Get Moving is a very easy to use activity/inactivity tracker for * iPhone 5S * and above that will keep track of everything from the number of steps you take to informing you whenever you have been inactive for too long.

  • Waking Mars [$4.99 → $1.99] UNCOVER THE MYSTERIES OF ANCIENT MARS.

  • Mahjong Towers Touch HD (Full) [$2.99 → $1.99] Mahjong Towers comes to the iPad in this beautiful sequel to the most popular mahjong solitaire game of all time.

  • Tiny Places [$1.99 → $0.99] Napoleon the Chameleon needs your help! As he swings by his powerful tongue and soars through the air to reach tiny crevices.

  • Brandnew Boy [$3.99 → $0.99] Brandnew Boy is heart-stopping, breath-taking 3D combat adventure built on Unreal Engine 3 for an unbelievable iOS action experience.

  • IM+ Pro7 [$4.99 → $1.99] Chat on GTalk, FB, Twitter, Yahoo!, AIM, and more from one app. IM+ features free texting, group chats, message history.

  • Piikki: Receipt Scanner & Expense Reports [$3.99 → $1.99] Piikki is an amazing receipt scanner app for your iPhone & iPad.

  • Outline+ (with OneNote Compatibility) [$11.99 → $3.99] Outline is a powerful, full featured note-taker, perfect for students, teachers, physicians, lawyers, executives and everyone who needs to sketch ideas, organize notes, annotate documents, keep any kind of journals.

OS X Software Discounts
  • Magnet [$4.99 → $1.99] Every time you want to copy content from one app to the other, compare files side by side or multitask in any other way, you need all the windows arranged accordingly. Magnet makes this process clean and simple.

  • Nightmares from the Deep™: the Siren’s Call (Full) [$6.99 → $1.99] Answer the siren’s call to save this beleaguered village and defeat Davy Jones, Mayor Murray and his pet sea monster, the Kraken!

  • Outline [$39.99 → $5.99] Outline is an intuitive note-taking application for OS X with convenient structure resembling real paper booksn

Twelve South HiRise for Apple Watch: Simply beautiful

Tue, 2015-05-26 12:00

Twelve South HiRise for Apple Watch. Photo ©2015, Steven Sande. All rights reserved.

Over the past few weeks we’ve talked about some charging stands for the Apple Watch. Pad & Quill’s Timber Catchall is a solid wood beauty, the Duet Dock features a solid aluminum iPhone/Watch charging solution, as does the Night Stand Kickstarter project (which doesn’t appear to be making it into production...). Today I’m looking at the Twelve South HiRise for Apple Watch (US$49.99), a compact and sturdy Watch charging stand that’s now shipping.

Design

The design of the HiRise for Apple Watch mirrors the angled look of the HiRise for iPhone and iPad. Made from aluminum in either a natural or black anodized finish, the HiRise weighs 0.4 pounds (189 grams) — enough to provide a solid base for your Watch as it’s charging. It’s 3.74 inches (95mm) high, 3.9 inches (99mm) wide, and 4.76 inches (121mm) deep. The aluminum piece that holds the Watch is angled at 73 degrees.

Twelve South HiRise for Apple Watch - rear view. Photo ©2015, Steven Sande. All rights reserved.

Looking at the professionalism and polish of the Twelve South HiRise for Apple Watch, it’s easy to see that “this ain’t their first rodeo.” This is a product that has been thoughtfully designed from the word go by a design team that understands Apple’s design language.

The HiRise uses your Apple-supplied charging cable, which snakes through carefully hidden channels from a circular cutout for the “puck”. A snap-on cover hides the cables while providing a soft surface for Watch bands to dangle onto.

Function

Setup of the HiRise is simple and straightforward, and Twelve South provides full and clearly written instructions in the typically classy packaging. A spare screw is provided (it’s used to hold the upright in place) as is an Allen wrench to install the screw.

Twelve South HiRise for Apple Watch in the box. Photo ©2015, Steven Sande, All Rights Reserved

The fit and finish of the HiRise is perfect, and it looks great sitting next to the HiRise for iPhone that I just so happen to use to keep my iPhone 6 Plus charged up.

Conclusion

The TwelveSouth HiRise for Apple Watch is now holding my Watch every night… right next to the HiRise that my iPhone is sitting on. I love the simple and elegant design of the HiRise, a charging stand that puts the emphasis on the Apple Watch while keeping cables neatly tucked out of sight.

HiRise for iPhone and Apple Watch. Photo ©2015, Steven Sande. All Rights Reserved.

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

Feed the Line is a tricky precision game for iPhone, iPad

Tue, 2015-05-26 11:00

Feed the Line (free, universal) is a precision game from Touchdown Games with one rule: push rising blocks into a line in the center of the screen before they reach the top. Sounds easy, but this game is kicking my backside.

The game is played in landscape orientation, with the line bisecting the play area. There's are "fingers" on the far left- and right-hand sides, pointing towards the center. As you play, small, colorful blocks rise from the bottom on the screen. You must push them onto the line before they reach the top of the screen by tapping left or right to extend the fingers and give them a nudge. The longer the tap, the further the fingers extends. Once three blocks reach the top of the screen outside of the line, the game is over.





I've played this game many times over the past two weeks, and my high score is five. Nudging the blocks just so takes a precision that eludes me. I've found that tapping the left and right fingers simultaneously helps sometimes, but not always, as evidenced by my high score.

Feed the Line offers challenges to shoot for, plus a store. An in-app purchase of $1.99 removes ads (of which there are many), and you can buy one or two extra lives for $2.99 or $3.99, respectively.

The game has positive reviews on the App Store, so don't let cranky old Dave dissuade you from trying this free title. Perhaps precision games just aren't for me.

AWT Health Club: Keeping your brain sharp

Tue, 2015-05-26 10:00

Last week's Health Club topic was motivation; it appears that I needed some. My week was pathetically bad, with my excuses being that I had to move my parents back to their home after my Dad's stay at a local skilled nursing facility and that once again, it was rainy. On the plus side, this week is forecast to be sunnier, warmer and drier than last, and I will be able to devote more time to my health.

Our topic this week is keeping your brain sharp. Work by scientists and the medical research community has shown that it should be possible for the brain to be “trained” to create new pathways and places for memory and cognition to occur. You’ve probably seen and heard ads from Lumosity, which talk about neuroplasticity and how their games can help memory and other brain skills at any age.

Lumosity (free with in-app purchases) and Rosetta Stone’s Fit Brains (free with in-app purchases) are both apps from companys that have background in training and memory. While I haven’t used Lumosity, I do use Fit Brains Trainer.

The biggest issue I have with these apps is how expensive the required subscriptions are. For example, Fit Brains Trainer has a befuddling variety of subscriptions ranging from $4.99 (or is it $5.99?) for three months of full access, up to $49.99 for Lifetime full access OR $59.99 for a premium membership. Nowhere have I found exactly what the difference is between the plans, which makes me wonder if I either got a bargain or got ripped off. Trying to figure out the Fit Brains Trainer subscription costs is a brain teaser by itself!

Lumosity also has a confusing array of subscriptions. A one-month subscription is either $11.99 or $14.99, while a one year subscription is either $59.99 or $79.99.

The games in both apps are basically designed to train memory, attention, processing speed, concentration, problem solving and visual-spatial skills. In Fit Brains Trainer, there are games that have you find matching pairs of letters or numbers in a grid that gets larger as time goes by. Another game has you look at two game boards covered with items and tap the items that have changed. There are games that have you tap on silhouettes of similar items in a grid, with some of the items rotated to give them a different look.








I sometimes find the Fit Brains Trainer “Performance” score — calculated at the end of a session of games — to be confusing. In other words, I can do well in all five games in a session, yet my score goes down! The Fit Brains Trainer app also gives you a score compared to others who are doing the same tests, so you can feel good (or bad) about that as well.

Both Lumosity and Fit Brains Trainer now have Apple Watch companions, which I think is a great idea. Now regardless of where you are, you have immediate access to some training games on your wrist. Perfect!

Let me know in the comments if you’ve used either of these brain training programs, how you like them, and if you feel that they’re helping you to gain or maintain mental sharpness.

Health Club Members!

Rather than having to post your progress on the Apple World Today Facebook page, I’ve created a group that’s strictly set up for us. You’ll need to be invited to the group; please use the email button on the right sidebar to send me the email address you use for Facebook so I can invite you.

My weekly stats:

  • Weight: 193.1 lbs
  • Change from last week: +0.2 lbs
  • Steps taken each day: M-3585, T-1907, W-1816, TH-4601, F-1742, SA-3128, SU-2565
  • Average steps per day last week: 2763 (-1389 from previous week)
  • Move (Active Calorie Goal: 550) - 5/7
  • Exercise - 0/7 (what is this thing called... exercise?)
  • Stand - 5/7

Let’s hear how you did! Let’s get moving!

Microsoft's Cortana coming to the iPhone

Tue, 2015-05-26 07:47

Microsoft has announced that it will bring its digital assistant, Cortana, to the iPhone later this year. The company says it will be a "companion" to the Windows 10 PC version of the service, and not the full Cortana for mobile experience:

"Some features require access to the system that aren't currently possible with iOS or Android, so things like toggling settings or opening apps won't initially be available in the Cortana companions for those platforms. Similarly, the ability to invoke Cortana hands-free by saying "Hey Cortana" requires special integration with the device's microphone, so that feature will be limited to Windows Phones and PCs."

Our take on the news:

Like digital assistants? Well here's one more for your iPhone, due within the next few months. Have fun.

Creaceed Carbo: Apple World Today sponsor of the week

Sat, 2015-05-23 14:45

This week we're proud to have Creaceed as our sponsor. Based in Belgium, the company has made a name for itself over the years with impressive apps for Mac such as Hydra, Prizmo, Elasty, and Morph Age, as well as amazing iOS apps like Hydra, Prizmo, Emulsio, and Vocalia. Last week, Creaceed introduced a new universal iOS app that brings handwritten notes to life as pixel-free, annotated digital masterpieces -- Carbo (US$7.99, launch price of $3.99).

We'll have a full review of Carbo in the near future, but for now let it suffice to say that if you love taking handwritten notes and want a way to organize, annotate, clean up and beautify those notes, Carbo is the way to do it. Here's an explanatory video:

Initially, you capture your notes with Carbo, which cleans it up and displays it in a clear black and white image. Advanced image processing creates gorgeous pixel-free renderings of those notes, which can then be edited: select a note or drawing, move/rotate/scale it, change the line thickness, or even erase parts of the note.

The notes are sync-able to many favorite cloud services: iCloud, Dropbox, or Evernote (beta). Annotations and tags let allow searching of the notes in seconds. Sharing takes the cleaned-up note, adds an export style (chalk and blackboard, blueprint, letterpress, or Pop Art), and then enables sharing through AirDrop, Messages, Mail, Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, iCloud Photo Sharing, and more.

Why try taking notes with a cumbersome stylus directly on an iPad or iPhone when it's much simpler to use a pen or pencil to sketch them onto a piece of paper, then capture, clean up and share them with Carbo? Based on our beta testing of the app, Carbo is an app that you'll find yourself using a lot.