‘If journalists reviewed Macs like iPads’ →

November 30, 2015 · 22:00

Fraser Speirs:

There has been a lot of talk in recent weeks about the MacBook Pro and, in particular, whether it can replace an iPad Pro for getting real work done.

Firstly, consider the hardware. The huge issue with the MacBook Pro is its form factor. The fact that the keyboard and screen are limited to being held in an L-shaped configuration seriously limits its flexibility. It is basically impossible to use a MacBook pro while standing up and downright dangerous to use when walking around. Your computing is limited to times when you are able to find somewhere to sit down.

Not that you would want to use a MacBook Pro while standing anyway. The sheer weight of these devices means that your shoulder is going to take a beating if you switch from iOS to OS X. The current 15″ MacBook Pro tips the scales at 4.49 pounds – or three iPad Pros – despite having a lower-resolution screen and one less hour of battery life.

Only those with very specific workflows could realistically switch from iPad Pro to a MacBook Pro.

Pure gold.

‘It’s Easier on the Web’ →

November 30, 2015 · 14:00

Alex Austin:

In the past four weeks, there were 45,000 new apps submitted to the iOS App Store alone. The chances that any of them will ever break into the top 1000 are effectively 0%, and even if they did, they’re still not seeing any amount of traffic to build a successful business.

MacBook Air in Two New Sizes Rumoured for Q3 2016 →

November 30, 2015 · 11:07

Eric Slivka:

The new MacBook Air is said to take on a slimmer design and arrive in 13-inch and 15-inch sizes, but it is unclear whether an 11-inch model will also be included. The slimmer design will be enabled by “fully redesigned” internal components across the board, and Apple is reportedly currently working with its suppliers to develop these new components.

I full expected the Retina 12″ MacBook to drop in price in the future, replacing the Airs completely, and the MacBook Pros to be redesigned with thinner and lighter cases. If Apple chooses to refresh the Air lineup with a 15″ model in addition to the 13″ one, I would assume they’d both get Retina screens. The differentiation would have to happen predominantly at CPU level. The current 15″ rMBPs are all i7 quads, which leaves room for dual-core i5 and i7 CPUs. I’m assuming that the rumoured 13″ Air would get the ULV1 CPUs, which are placed between the Core M from the 12″ MacBook and i5/i7 dual-core in the current rMBP 13″, in terms of processing power.

While this wouldn’t simplify their MacBook line-up, it would separate the consumer models from the MacBook Pros. Also, perhaps an updated 13″ rMBP would get quad-core i5 and i7 CPUs, further distancing itself from the Air.

  1. Ultra-low Voltage.

More Stories and Adventures About the Fruit Company →

November 30, 2015 · 10:47

Don Melton:

So, I’ll make an attempt to get back to it. You know, the typing. And, yes, tell some more of those stories you all like about the Fruit Company and my other technology adventures.

Don’s in my must read section of my RSS reader, which I check daily — really happy that he’ll get back to writing more. You should follow him.

‘I Turned on iCloud Photo Library and It All Exploded’ →

November 30, 2015 · 10:43

Stephen Hackett:

I imported my photos and uploaded my 70GB photo library to iCloud. Everything went very smoothly, so I turned on iCloud Photo Library on my iPad.

Aaaaaand it all exploded.

This is the first time that I’ve seen anyone having serious issues with Photos and/or iCloud Photo Library. It has worked perfectly for me so far — probably the only Apple internet service that has.

iPhone 7 Will Reportedly Switch to Lightning Port for Audio →

November 29, 2015 · 17:07

Joe Rossignol:

The report, citing a “reliable source,” claims the new same-sized Lightning connector will support Lightning-equipped and Bluetooth headphones, and have a DAC, or digital-to-audio converter, for backwards compatibility with wired headphones using standard 3.5mm stereo jacks. A 3.5mm to Lightning adapter would be required.

I really don’t care for the iPhone to be any thinner. I just want the 4.7″ model to have the battery life of the 5.5″ model, or better. That’s the only reason I currently use a 6S Plus.

Porsche Opening Classic Centres to Service Older Models →

November 29, 2015 · 17:06

Noah Joseph for Autoblog:

Opening this week in Gelderland – a city on the outskirts of Arnhem in the Netherlands – the first dedicated Porsche Classic Center is designed to support older vehicles from Zuffenhausen’s history. That means undertaking service and maintenance, installing original parts, partially or completely overhauling of vintage vehicles – even selling classic Porsches certified by the factory. The company reports that over 70 percent of the vehicles it has ever produced are still running. That rather impressive statistic speaks to the quality of the vehicles in the first place, but also the dedication of their owners to keep them running, and the necessity for proper service and maintenance.

Perhaps it’s time to start thinking about my dream 964 or 356.

The Power of a Computer →

November 29, 2015 · 10:12

Dr. Drang:

By the way, if you think it’s crazy for me to still be using a five-year-old computer, you’ll be in good company, I’m sure. But I get a lot of work done on this old Air, and apart from its small SSD (128 GB), its limitations barely affect me… And the power of a computer is always more dependent on the carbon-based unit outside the case than on the silicon inside.

So true.

(Emphasis mine.)

Dan Counsell: ‘They Basically Re-Built the Entire Thing for Android, Right Down to Copying the Levels’ →

November 27, 2015 · 11:15

Dan Counsell:

I didn’t release Almost Impossible! on Android because I’m an Apple kinda guy, and this was a “fun” side-project. While Almost Impossible! hasn’t been a block-buster hit, someone assumed it must have been and ripped it off anyway. They basically re-built the entire thing for android, right down to copying the levels. How crazy is that?

I’m quite surprised Dan isn’t doing anything about this — the least that I would do is let Google know about the copyright infringement.

OnePlus Issuing Refunds for Their USB-C Cables →

November 26, 2015 · 13:04


Listening to our community and the broader tech community is extremely important to us. You all are the reason we exist in the first place. We owe it to you to deliver the best products possible – and to fix problems when we come across them. So we want to fix this.

If you’ve purchased the OnePlus USB Type-C cable or adapter on the OnePlus website as standalone products to use with devices other than the OnePlus 2, we are going to offer an opportunity to apply for a refund. Please note that cables that were included in the box with your OnePlus 2 are not eligible for a refund, since they are safe to use with the OnePlus 2.

I have one of these cables and since learning it could break my gear, I stopped using it. A friend of mine will take it of my hands however, so I won’t bother returning it. Yes, he knows.

Create Your Own RSS Reader →

November 26, 2015 · 08:08

Dr. Drang:

My subscription to my current RSS service is running out in a month or so, and as I considered which provider I wanted to use for the next year, I began to wonder if I’d be satisfied with any of them. How hard would it be for me to make my own service that always serves updated versions of the most recent articles on the sites I subscribe to? After all, RSS is a distributed protocol. Just because we’ve all gotten used to accessing it through centralized services, that doesn’t mean we have to.

So I wrote a short script that goes through my subscriptions, plucks out the articles published (or updated) today, and creates a simple web page with all of them displayed in reverse chronological order.

You can view the code on Dr. Drang’s site if you’re interested in running something similar. I’m using Feedly — I got the lifetime Pro subscription — and I don’t plan on switching any time soon.

Stolen Pencils →

November 25, 2015 · 09:26

Adarsh Verma:

People visiting the Apple Stores are reporting that the most of the demo units are stolen. “Yesterday saw guy next to me steal a limited supply Apple pencil demo unit. Employees didn’t bother chasing him,” a Twitter user tweeted. A Reddit user IMPRNTD said, “[m]y local store in Canada mentioned that most of the Apple Pencils were stolen.”

Pathetic, but to be expected. I’m assuming future demo units will have some sort of proximity sensor / alarm built-in.

Are You a Star Wars Fan?

November 25, 2015 · 09:04

If the answer is yes, then you’ll be pleased to know that Google prepared a beautiful Easter egg for the occasion. Go to google.com and search for:

A long time ago in a galaxy far far away

Don’t forget to turn your sound on!

‘Forty was Definitely Prolific’ →

November 25, 2015 · 08:24

Jason Fagone:

By August 2014, Finley had reached out to the F.B.I.’s Atlanta field office, asking if the bureau could help with a swatting case in which the suspect was a minor. He was told the swatter would have to be ‘‘prolific.’’ Finley asked what that meant. He knew the swatter had made hoax calls to 11 police departments in that one January alone. How many swattings is prolific? No one Finley spoke to at the bureau could say. But Finley kept tracking Obnoxious, kept calling the F.B.I. with updates — he could connect the guy to 20 swatting calls, then 30 calls. When he got past 40 about a month later, he finally found a special agent named Andrew Young. Forty was definitely prolific.

Using an iDevice for Podcasting is Maddness →

November 25, 2015 · 08:17

Jason Snell:

In the meantime, there is a way to make a Skype call and also record on a high-quality microphone using only iOS. It’s just kind of ridiculous: You make the Skype call on your iPhone, presumably with iPhone earbuds or other compatible headphones with a microphone, while sitting in front of an iPad that’s attached to a microphone and recording locally. The people on Skype hear your bad microphone, but your good microphone is what gets used on the actual podcast. Serenity Caldwell used this method for both this week’s Incomparable Radio Theater and Upgrade episodes. The risk is that if your recording fails, all that remains is a lousy recording of your voice on a set of earbuds via Skype—not a great backup.

This is so convoluted that I would probably just prefer to use a Mac—less hassle, more foolproof.

Also, I’m using Jason’s posts to test my Workflow workflow. See previous post.

Jason Snell Reviews the iPad Pro →

November 24, 2015 · 23:22

Jason Snell:

You get used to the size fast. After a week using the iPad Pro, I dropped my iPad Air 2 down on my trusty old Origami Workstation and just started to laugh. It’s like a tiny baby iPad! On a tabletop or other workspace, the size of the iPad Pro’s screen really shines.

Unfortunately, in other contexts it’s the size of the device itself that comes to the fore. When I wake up in the morning I like to grab my iPad and check in on the Internet before I get up and face the rest of my day. In this scenario, the iPad Pro feels like overkill. Sitting in a chair or on a couch, it felt big but not overwhelming, but in a context where I’m leaning back and really just reading stuff, not doing a lot of typing, I was a lot less comfortable.

I have close to the exact same experience as Jason. The problem is that going back to my Air 2 seems as if I’m returning to using a toy…

Using Workflow for iOS to Publish to WordPress →

November 24, 2015 · 22:57

Federico Viticci:

As I’ve teased in some articles over the past weeks, I’ve been using the new WordPress action to publish content to MacStories in a semi-automated fashion that doesn’t involve manual interaction with the WordPress admin interface or Python.

This post was published via a quick workflow that I made in… Workflow for iOS [App Store]. Took me about half an hour to perfect, complete with quoting text selected in Safari.

Thanks for the tips Federico!

Amazon Kindle Voyage 2 Unlikely in 2015 →

November 24, 2015 · 18:12

David Rothman:

A Kindle Voyage 2 is unlikely in 2015, but the game isn’t over. If you were putting off buying a new Voyage, you’re probably safe purchasing the original model now—even though Good E-Reader said last summer and several weeks ago that the 2 would show up this month.

I’m still extremely satisfied with my first generation Voyage1 and I encourage anyone who does any substantial amount of reading to get one. It’s far from perfect, but it’s the best there is.

  1. Typography on it needs work.

Spectre Sets Guinness World Record for Largest Film Stunt Explosion →

November 24, 2015 · 12:26

Rachel Swatman:

Producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli commented: “It is absolutely tremendous that the Guinness World Records have recognised Chris Corbould’s incredible work in ‘Sprectre’ in which he created the largest explosion ever in film history.”

Taking place in Erfoud, Morocco, the blast had a total yield of 68.47 tonnes of TNT equivalent and was the result of detonating 8,418 litres of kerosene with 33 kg of powder explosives – and it lasted for over 7.5 seconds.

I remember that scene distinctly—I’ve already seen the movie twice—and while it was extremely impressive, the thought that this was the biggest explosion in cinema never crossed my mind.

Fitbit Automatically Detects Exercise; Still No HealthKit Integration →

November 24, 2015 · 09:54

Lauren Goode:

A new feature called “SmartTrack” will now automatically detect when you’ve started a workout session or new activity, rather than requiring you to press a button or swipe through an activity menu to start a workout. According to Fitbit, the software is able to detect running, outdoor cycling, walking, elliptical workouts, basketball, tennis, soccer, and even high-impact cardio workouts like kickboxing and dance classes.

Still waiting for HealthKit support. Get it done please, Fitbit.

The Apple Pencil as a Writing Tool →

November 23, 2015 · 15:48

Myke Hurley:

To really see what the Pencil is capable of, the best place to try it is in iOS’ built-in Notes app. The drawing mode that you can activate only features a modest selection of tools and options, but is by far the most responsive experience. Using the Apple Pencil in Notes is the closest I have ever come to getting a true handwriting experience from a digital device.

To say there is no lag would be incorrect, but it is close enough to feel that it works. When you move the Pencil across the screen, most lines will travel ever so slightly behind it. But compared to previous experiences of using a stylus on a iPad, the difference is like night and day.

My Pencil delivery date can’t come soon enough—4 weeks to go.

I also tried out a selection of drawing apps, just to see what the Pencil was capable of. I spent most of my time in Paper by FiftyThree, Adobe Photoshop Sketch, Procreate, Tayasui Sketches, and Zen Brush 2. The responsiveness of the Pencil really differed in each of these apps, with Paper by FiftyThree being the worst.

Am I the only who is curious which one was the best?


And Myke responded to my question while recording Upgrade in their IRC channel:

[18:14] <imyke> Morid1n: the notes app is good. I also like Notability and GoodNotes.

Seems that Notes is the way to go.

Dell Ships Laptops with Root CA →

November 23, 2015 · 14:22

Rotorcowboy on Reddit:

I got a shiny new XPS 15 laptop from Dell, and while attempting to troubleshoot a problem, I discovered that it came pre-loaded with a self-signed root CA by the name of eDellRoot. With it came its private key, marked as non-exportable. However, it is still possible to obtain a raw copy of the private key by using several tools available (I used NCC Group’s Jailbreak tool). After briefly discussing this with someone else who had discovered this too, we determined that they are shipping every laptop they distribute with the exact same root certificate and private key, very similar to what Superfish did on Lenovo computers. For those that aren’t familiar, this is a major security vulnerability that endangers all recent Dell customers.

Was it Lenovo that started shipping malware with Superfish? This is just another reason to always go Mac—it runs Windows too if needed, but without all that crap to worry about.

via @wojtaszek

CSSGram—Reacrete Instagram Filters with CSS →

November 23, 2015 · 10:50

Una Kravets:

Simply put, CSSgram is a library for editing your images with Instagram-like filters directly in CSS. What we’re doing here is adding filters to the images as well as applying color and/or gradient overlays via various blending techniques to mimic these effects. This means less manual image processing and more fun filter effects on the web!

This is really well done. Una also includes the ability to choose a sample image—that’s my shot of the Eiffel Tower above.

Siri on CarPlay is Far from Brilliant →

November 23, 2015 · 09:30

Matthew DeBord:

Siri on CarPlay, however, is brilliant. It’s like having K.I.T.T. or J.A.R.V.I.S. or the computer from “Star Trek: The Next Generation” installed in your dashboard. You speak simple voice commands, like “Send a text” or “Find me a Starbucks” and Siri responds. It reads your texts and reads them mellifluously. Its machine brain understands your human diction — better, it seems, in a car.

I had the pleasure of driving a Golf R recently and the whole CarPlay experience is simply terrible. I don’t remember anything as bad—ever—since I started driving cars over twenty years ago. Siri is fine if you only use English, but until she can simultaneously read and listen in at least two languages, I’ll do anything and everything to avoid CarPlay in any future cars I might have.

Twitter Button Changes—No More Tweet Count →

November 21, 2015 · 17:58


The Tweet button counts the number of Tweets that have been Tweeted with the exact URL specified in the button. This count does not reflect the impact on Twitter of conversation about your content — it doesn’t count replies, quote Tweets, variants of your URLs, nor does it reflect the fact that some people Tweeting these URLs might have many more followers than others.

The count was built in a time where the only button on the web was from Twitter. Today, it’s most commonly placed among a number of other share buttons, few of which have counts.

For some odd reason, this change has caused many people to have their panties in a bunch.

My iPad Pro Stops Responding and the Screen is Black →

November 21, 2015 · 05:37

Apple Support:

To get back to using your iPad Pro, force restart it by pressing and holding both the Sleep/Wake and Home buttons for at least ten seconds, until you see the Apple logo.

Apple is aware of this issue and is investigating.

Connected my iPad for its first charge when I went to sleep. Got a black screen. Had to force a restart. Not cool.