Friday, March 31, 2017

Twitter Replaces Default Profile Photo

Yeah, it's been a bit of a slow news day. But it seems that Twitter will no longer be using an egg for its default profile picture, because it conveys a negative connotation. The photo is typically associated with accounts used to harass people. So, instead of taking whisks with the egg photo, Twitter hatched up this plan. They're using a generic silhouette for the photo to keep people on the sunny side up. Okay, I'll stop. Normally, I don't do puns on this blog, but for now, omelettin' it slide.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Twitter No Longer Counts Usernames Toward Character Limits

When you are replying to a tweet, you no longer have to worry about the mention (@username) taking up any character space. This is pretty useful since to reply to a tweet, you are required to have this text, which wastes precious characters. The whole "why do we need character limits in 2017" argument is irrelevant. Hopefully, this is a step in the right direction.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

USB-C Multiport Adapter Update

The USB-C Multiport Adapter is one of the best adapters for the MacBook Pro with Touch Bar. It contains a USB-A port, USB-C port, and either an HDMI port or a VGA port. It's only $50 until March 31. However, new users will be prompted with a notification offering to update the adapter. This is the first time I've seen an update for an adapter. I'm not sure about the specifics, but it is interesting to see the potential for updates for future adapters that need security patches.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

User-Selectable App Icons Available in At Bat and NHL Apps

iOS 10.3 allows the user to select an app icon for certain apps. If the app developer desires, they may allow the user to select from their choosing of app icons. MLB At Bat and the NHL app have demonstrated this in their latest updates. The user may select their favorite team's logo as their app icon. Hopefully, we see more of these apps in the future.

Image Credit: MacRumors

Monday, March 27, 2017

Newest iOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS Versions Released

Apple has finally released their latest updates to iOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS. iOS 10.3 includes Find my AirPods. macOS 10.12.4 includes Night Shift. watchOS 3.2 includes Theatre Mode. tvOS 10.2 includes improved scrolling. Be sure to install these major updates when you get a chance.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Touch Bar Can Quickly Access Settings

On the newest MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, you can quickly access different settings. In the Control Strip (the area where the volume control typically is), you can hold option and tap an icon to access that button's System Preferences. For example, tapping Siri with option will open Siri's pane in System Preferences. I hope this helps.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Apple USB-C Cable Deals Expiring March 31

A quick reminder: Apple's sale of USB-C cables and adapters will be ending on March 31. This lowers the price of so many USB-C cables and adapters, including the LG UltraFine Displays. Now is a great time to stock up, even if you don't have a USB-C computer. If you're planning on getting a new computer within the next year, I would recommend buying an adapter you might need. The deals are available from the Apple Online Store and in Apple Retail Stores.

Friday, March 24, 2017

New iPad and Red iPhone 7 Available to Order

The new iPad and (PRODUCT)RED iPhone 7 are now available to order. The products were announced in a press statement earlier this week. They can be ordered from the Apple Online Store and Apple Retail Stores. If you're not interested in the iPad Pro, this is the cheapest we've seen a current generation iPad at just $329 for 32 GB. Great if you need a refresh for you current iPad.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Apple Acquires Workflow

Over two years ago on this blog, I talked about a little app called Workflow. It was an easy way to create automations and workflows. Its design was gorgeous and had a lot of creative potential. Apple has now acquired Workflow [Source: TechCrunch]. Seeing Apple pick up small apps is always a bit interesting. How we'll see this integrated into Apple's products? Who can say? But I think it will definitely be part of Siri in the future. Workflow is available for free from the Apple App Store [Direct Link]

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Why You Shouldn't Care About the iCloud Hack

Earlier today, a group of hackers claimed to have compromised over 300 million iCloud accounts. While this was false [Source: Fortune], many were able to determine there was no threat at all. First off, the ransom price. 300 million accounts is a lot. To give that up would take a lot of money. Definitely more than $75k in Bitcoin. The second giveaway? The fact that their alternative offer was asking for $100k in iTunes gift cards. I'm not sure what you could say to that. But either way, the hack was false, and there is nothing to worry about.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Apple Announces New iPad and Red iPhone

This morning, I was a bit surprised to see how much would come out of an Apple Store update. Apparently, when we heard new iPads would be announced this week, this was what it meant. These aren't new iPads exactly, nor are they iPad Pros. However, they are a 9.7-inch iPad with an A9 chip, giving it more powerful. The real kicker here is the price. It starts at just $329 for 32 GB and $429 for 128 GB. Also, the iPad Mini 4 now starts at $399 for 128 GB. The other big piece of news was a new (PRODUCT)RED iPhone 7. This is all fine and dandy, but I'll personally be waiting for the iPad Pros and maybe, just maybe, a new desktop announcement finally. Priorities...

Monday, March 20, 2017

Game Boy Emulator on Apple Watch

Gabriel O'Flaherty-Chan has created an emulator to play Game Boy games on the Apple Watch. Named Giovanni, after the leader of Team Rocket from the original Pok√©mon games, the emulator uses the Digital Crown for moving up and down, giving a natural interface feel to menus. While this will definitely steer clear of the App Store, you can view the code on GitHub.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Disable Handwritten Messages in iMessage

Rotating your iPhone in the Messages app will enable handwritten messages. This can become quite annoying for some. To disable this, simply tap the keyboard icon in the bottom right corner. This will reveal the keyboard once again. To return to the handwritten mode, just tap the curvy line in landscape. I hope this helps.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Nintendo Switch Desk

First off, if you've never heard of Jonathan Morrison, definitely go check out his YouTube channel. He is one of my favorite tech channels out there. Today, he showed off a new desk design based around the Nintendo Switch. The result is gorgeous. Bright colors complement the Neon Joy-Con controllers of the system. There is perfectly placed and portioned Nintendo-themed decor. Even the wallpaper of the computer is perfectly themed. Words don't do this setup justice, so please check out the video below if you have time.

Friday, March 17, 2017

AppleCare+ Can Be Purchased One Year After iPhone Purchase

Previously, if you wanted AppleCare+ for your iPhone, you would have to buy it within 60 days of your iPhone purchase. That changes now. You can now wait up to an entire year to purchase AppleCare+ for your iPhone [Source: MacRumors]. With phones becoming more and more important to our lives, I feel this is important to know since people will find new ways to break things under warranty. 

Thursday, March 16, 2017

New Apple TV for 2017?

According to Firi Games, developer logs have shown a new model identifier for a new Apple TV. Getting technical, the identifier is "AppleTV6,2." The current identifier is "AppleTV5,3." It also seems to appear to run tvOS 11, which is to be expected. The details on this are cloudy, but it will likely support 4K video if nothing else, based on previous rumors. We may see at WWDC, or more likely at Apple's September event.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

First HomeKit-Enabled Homes in San Jose On Sale

As if it wasn't expensive enough to live in the Bay Area, HomeKit-enabled homes have gone on sale in San Jose, California [Source: KRON4]. Everything has HomeKit integration. Locks, thermostats, fans, dimming lights, and blinds. It's the real deal. In addition, some power outlets have USB ports built-in. As cool as this is, it is notable that houses can't just be disposed of as easily as a smartphone. If any of these devices become obsolete, the homeowner will likely need to replace all of the appliances themselves.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Pi Day 2017

It's Pi Day once more. An unsung day in which nerds and geeks celebrate an irrational and delicious number. So, TIME wrote a cool little program that allows you to find your birthday in the first million digits of Pi. The first date possible is March 14, for 3.14 and the last date possible is December 3, or 123, which is the 60,873rd digit. Be sure to try it out.

Monday, March 13, 2017

New iPads May Be Announced Next Week

According to a source through MacRumors, Apple may be planning an iPad Pro event as soon as next week. If this is true, this would be one of the shortest notice Apple events of all time. Personally, I am very much looking forward to this update, since it feels like forever since the last big update. It is strange that Apple started a new line of iPad Pro ads just before the next generation, but it may be just to spark interest.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Tech Support Showdown Crowns Apple for Third Year in a Row

When it comes to Apple, you get what you pay for. While many people argue that their products are overpriced, there's no denying that support is likely included in that price. A successful Twitter account dedicated to providing support helped bridge the transition from phone support to Twitter support. This provided quick, direct support from Apple. Apple has also created a great support website and app as well. It's reasons like these that Apple has topped Laptop Mag's Tech Support Showdown list for their third year in a row. Apple scored a 93 out of 100.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

WeberHaus Becomes First HomeKit Homebuilder in Europe

The smart home is quickly becoming a reality for many people. Homebuilder WeberHaus has announced that they will be the first HomeKit homebuilders in Europe. It's only a matter of time until more homebuilders catch onto the trend. Who knows what IKEA will do? Their first HomeKit houses will be available by the end of the year.

Friday, March 10, 2017

National Mario Day 2017

National Mario Day comes every March 10. Why? March abbreviated is "Mar" and 10 looks like "IO." Today, Nintendo is celebrating by partnering with the Starlight Children's Foundation to bring new gowns for hospitalized children. They feature designs of Mario and his companions. In addition, Nintendo is offering discounts on some Mario games.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

App Store Celebrates Indie Games

Indie games have recently become a bigger and bigger part of the gaming industry. Individuals or small groups of people who make a game by themselves or with crowdfunding. Apple has decided to celebrate this genre by showcasing them in the App Store. This promotion is likely to promote how developers use iOS to help bring their creations to fruition.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Twitter Adds Ability to Clear Cache

Apps like Twitter, Facebook, and other social networks often take up way too much space because they are constantly caching posts. To fix this, often times you would have to delete and reinstall the app. However, Twitter has added the ability to clear the cache in-app. It's currently being rolled out, but it appears in a menu called "Web Storage." While it's great Twitter has added this, it worries me that companies will get into the habit of having the user habitually clear the cache, when the app should honestly be managing its own storage better. There's no reason Twitter should ever take up more than half a gigabyte. Hopefully, someone will eventually break the trend.

Image Credit: MacRumors

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

iPhone Edition

According to Mac Otakara, the iPhone 8 could be called the iPhone Edition. This would be to possibly justify its high price of what could potentially be over $1,000. The Apple Watch Edition was a series of Apple Watches priced over $1,000 and even over $10,000 for Series 1. This would be the first time an iPhone would have just a single English word after the brand name. 

Monday, March 6, 2017

Thoughts on USB-C for iPhone

I do want to see USB-C on iPhone. It is the new standard. It's always a growing pain when Apple and the industry change the ports used on any device. It'll be a whole different nightmare when USB-D is a thing. But standardizing the iPhone would be a cool thing to see. Apple may not do it now because it may increase the width of their phones. Maybe now isn't the right time to do it. Most people are still transitioning to USB-C from USB-A. But when it is a popular standard, Apple would be able to change the iPhone to USB-C with minimal repercussions because the cable is so widely used. Perhaps in one or two years, the time will be right.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Touch Bar for iPhone

With the iPhone 8 having much more real estate for display, Apple will certainly have a way for developers to make the most of it. Ming-Chi Kuo has reported that the space next to the digital home button will have areas for developers to add buttons, similar to the MacBook Pro's Touch Bar. Something like this would make perfect sense considering how voice messages through iMessage became possible just before the Apple Watch. This design also allows grandfathered apps to still use the same space as it would have on any other phone.

Image Credit: deuxani

Saturday, March 4, 2017

iPhone 8 Will Use Lightning, With USB-C Fast Charging

According to Ming-Chi Kuo, the iPhone 8 will have a Lightning port. However, it will support USB-C fast charging. I believe this means that using a Lightning to USB-C cable will speed up the charging process. This makes sense as USB-C cables are made with this power-delivery capability in mind. What's interesting is that Lightning to USB-C cables likely already had this in mind. The cables may very well be in circulation already. This is just my speculation, but it is possible.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Nintendo Switch and MacBook Pro

The Nintendo Switch uses USB-C as a charging port. MacBook Pro's newest model uses USB-C as a multipurpose port. So, one would think that the MacBook Pro would charge the Nintendo Switch when plugged into each other. According to Mike Murphy via Twitter, the Nintendo Switch actually charges the MacBook Pro. Furthermore, if the Nintendo Switch is turned off, the MacBook Pro will charge the Nintendo Switch.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Nintendo Switch Released

It's been a very long journey but the day has finally come. The Nintendo Switch has been released in the east parts of America. And it certainly has an amazing launch title. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has gained unprecedented scores, earning perfect scores by nearly every major gaming publication. The Nintendo Switch marks Nintendo's pivot from their traditional ways and creating a new Apple-like style of continuity. It has the unique feature of being both a console and a handheld, all while playing fully-fleged console games. The Nintendo Switch officially launches at midnight on March 3 and is priced at $299.99.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Apple's Home Film

Apple's Home app is quickly becoming integral to Apple's vision of a smart home. To promote this, Apple has released a film on their Home site. This video shows a woman using the Home app throughout her day. It's cool to see Apple's vision for a smart home enabled lifestyle.