The Rule of Thirds — a Rookie Mistake →

January 31, 2016 · 14:12

Tavis Leaf Glover:

If new artists start with the grid of dynamic symmetry instead of the rule of thirds, they’ll be able to later take advantage of the diagonals, which they can create rhythm with… by posing the model, or applying paint strokes. The available diagonals within the rectangle will limit the number of directions you use, called a gamut, which will create a more powerful composition…rather than the spokes of a bicycle tire.


iPad Air 3 Rumoured to Have 4K Display and 4 GB of RAM →

January 29, 2016 · 10:01

Siu Han & Alex Wolfgram for Digitimes:

The new 9.7-inch device will reportedly come equipped with a 4K resolution panel and up to 4GB in RAM, in addition to improved battery life.

I’m betting on no change in the display’s resolution — there is no reason to go 4K apart from watching 4K movies, and that’s hardly a compelling reason. First of all, battery life would take an enormous hit. So would GPU performance. I don’t see them doing this — there are just too many downsides.

Still on the fence regarding RAM — it could go either way.


Apple Developing Long-Range Wireless Charging for iPhone →

January 29, 2016 · 09:57

Tim Culpan:

Apple is exploring cutting-edge technologies that would allow iPhones and iPads to be powered from further away than the charging mats used with current smartphones, the people said, asking not to be identified as the details are private. The iPhone maker is looking to overcome technical barriers including loss of power over distance with a decision on implementing the technology still being assessed, they said.

Don’t expect this technology this year. I wouldn’t bet on 2017 either.


iPhone 7 Plus Likely to Have Dual-Lens Camera →

January 28, 2016 · 11:11

Tim Hardwick:

To that end, Kuo expects a 2-3x optical zoom function to feature in Apple’s iPhone 7 Plus. However, owing to supply chain constraints on dual-camera modules, the KGI analyst expects the larger handset to come in single-camera and dual-camera versions.

I doubt Apple would ship two different versions of the iPhone 7 Plus — they prefer their line-ups to be as simple as possible. I could imagine a scenario where the iPhone 7 has a regular lens, while the 7 Plus gets the new dual-lens setup — this would correlate with OIS being present on the 6/6S Plus, but not on the 6/6S. Having said that, if such technology was to be used by Apple, I’d expect it in the 7S / 7S Plus.


Meet the New Porsche 718 Boxster and Boxster S →

January 27, 2016 · 16:00

Alex Kierstein:

The rumors were mostly true. Porsche had already confirmed that the Boxster and Caymans would receive a “718” appended to their badges, in honor of their famous mid-engined racecar of the 1950s and ’60s, but the mechanical details were left up in the air. We were almost certain both would be powered by turbocharged flat-fours of a couple of displacements and outputs, and now we can confirm that this is the case. Porsche has revealed the official specs for the 718 Boxster, which will go on sale in Europe this April

Finally a beautiful car, and I don’t even mind the 4 pots. I’m still so disappointed about what they did to the 911 (991), that the Boxster/Cayman models are actually more attractive now.


Apple Financial Results — FY Q1 2016 →

January 27, 2016 · 15:12

Apple PR:

Apple® today announced financial results for its fiscal 2016 first quarter ended December 26, 2015. The Company posted record quarterly revenue of $75.9 billion and record quarterly net income of $18.4 billion, or $3.28 per diluted share. These results compare to revenue of $74.6 billion and net income of $18 billion, or $3.06 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter. Gross margin was 40.1 percent compared to 39.9 percent in the year-ago quarter. International sales accounted for 66 percent of the quarter’s revenue.

Apple sold:

  • 74.7 million iPhones (74.47 million in FY Q1 2015)
  • 16.1 million iPads (21.42 million in FY Q1 2015)
  • 5.31 million Macs (5.52 million in FY Q1 2015)

Use a GoPro With Periscope →

January 27, 2016 · 14:45

Periscope:

We’ve seen people put their phones in some precarious situations — they’ve been taped to drones, tied to balloons and submerged underwater. Creativity always finds a way, but we wanted to make it a little bit easier. Today, you can broadcast from your GoPro HERO 4 directly to Periscope for iPhone. Keep that phone safely tucked away.

This is awesome.


Photographer Banned From North Korea for These Photos →

January 27, 2016 · 13:14

Michael Zhang:

Photographer Éric Lafforgue has spent years traveling the world to shoot documentary photos for well-known publications. He was even given rare access to North Korea, where he shot thousands of photos showing citizens and government officials going about their daily lives.

After his 6th trip to the country in September 2012, however, Lafforgue was banned by the government for the photos he was sharing online.

Worth seeing.


The 2015 Panic Report →

January 27, 2016 · 08:38

Cabel Sasser:

As always, thank you for being a Panic customer, and a Panic fan. Thank you for allowing us to run this company making neat things that you hopefully like. And thanks for giving us the chance to do what we love every day. I hope that our journey can also kind-of feel like your journey, because you’ve been with us every step of the way.

These guys and their software always make me smile. Thank you Panic for that.


Free Bjango App Icon Templates →

January 27, 2016 · 08:23

Bjango:

A comprehensive set of app icon templates for Photoshop, Illustrator, Sketch, and Affinity Designer. The templates cover Android, iOS, OS X, Apple TV (tvOS), Apple Watch (watchOS), Windows, Windows Phone and web favicons. Where possible, they’re set up to automate exporting final production assets. All free and open source, released under the BSD license.


App Store Deals — 26/01/2016 — Last Day of ‘Get Productive’

January 26, 2016 · 11:29

If my calculations are correct1, today is the last day that you can get the apps from Apple’s ‘Get Productive’ offer for 50% off. I also added a few more recent discounts to the list below.

I use many of the apps listed personally. I cannot imagine life without 1Password for example. I recently purchased Affinity Designer and actually found it to be better for my needs than Adobe Illustrator. Copied is a wonderful Mac and iOS combo to keep your clipboard organised. I’ll soon be incorporating Drafts into one of my workflows — it’s a great app on its own too. PCalc… well, there are calculator’s, and there’s PCalc — I interviewed James Thomson, the person behind it, a while back. Anyway… you should find something great below — most of it is really high quality work.

1Password – Mac – Productivity – €49.99 > €24.99
Affinity Designer – Mac – Graphics & Design – €49.99 > €24.99
Amount Plus – iOS – Productivity – €1.99 > €0.99
Astropad Graphics Tablet – iPad – Productivity – €19.99 > €9.99
Carbo – iOS – Productivity – €7.99 > €3.99
Clear – iOS – Productivity – €4.99 > €1.99
Clear – Mac – Productivity – €9.99 > €4.99
Copied – Mac – Utilities – €7.99 > €3.99
Copied – iOS – Utilities – €0.00
DaisyDisk – Mac – Utilities – €9.99 > €4.99
Deliveries: a package tracker – iOS – Utilities – €4.99 > €1.99
Desk MD – Mac – Productivity – €14.99 > €12.99
Desk NT – Mac – Productivity – €9.99 > €5.99
Desk PM – Mac – Productivity – €19.99 > €9.99
Drafts 4 – iOS – Productivity – €9.99 > €4.99
Due – iOS – Productivity – €4.99 > €1.99
Duet Display – iOS – Productivity – €15.99 > €7.99
Genius Scan+ – iOS – Business – €6.99 > €2.99
iA Writer – Mac – Productivity – €19.99 > €9.99
iTranslate – Mac – Productivity – €9.99 > €4.99
Magnet – Mac – €4.99 > €1.99
Mail Designer 2 – Mac – Graphics & Design – €29.99 > €14.99
Moleskine Timepage – iPhone – Productivity – €4.99 > €1.99
Notability – Mac – Productivity – €5.99 > €2.99
Numerics – iOS – Business – €9.99 > €4.99
PCalc – iOS – Utilities – €9.99 > €4.99
PCalc – Mac – Utilities – €9.99 > €4.99
PDF Expert 5 – iOS – Productivity – €9.99 > €4.99
Prizmo 3 – Scan, OCR – Mac – Business – €49.99 > €24.99
Prizmo – iOS – Productivity – €9.99 > €4.99
Screens VNC – Mac – Utilities – €29.99 > €14.99
Things – iPad – Productivity – €19.99 > €9.99
Things – iPhone – Productivity – €9.99 > €4.99
Things – Mac – Productivity – €49.99 > €24.99
Yoink – Mac – Utilities – €6.99 > €2.99

  1. They aren’t — you have two full days and a bit to make your purchase.

iPhone 5SE Reported to Have Faster A9/M9 Chips →

January 25, 2016 · 18:18

Mark Gurman:

Because the iPhone 7 will include a faster chip potentially known as the A10 processor, Apple likely does not want its new 4-inch iPhone to fall two processor generations behind in just six months. Another benefit of the M9 chip from the iPhone 6s is always-on Siri activation. This feature allows a user to say “Hey Siri” and launch Siri on their iPhone without the device being plugged in. Given the large performance leap, we are told that the “5se” will likely replace the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus in the iPhone lineup this fall when the iPhone 7 is introduced. This means that Apple’s fall 2016 iPhone lineup will likely be the iPhone 5se, iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, and the future iPhone 7 and 7 Plus (or what Apple ends up calling the next-generation devices).

While the ‘5SE’ sounds nostalgic to me, it suggests the phone is three generations behind the iPhone 7 — or rather will be. Reportedly.


Daniel Details How to Use Drafts and Workflow for iOS →

January 25, 2016 · 16:27

Daniel Wallace:

If you liked my post about blogging on an iPad, and the best writing programs available on the iOS App Store, here’s a little more.

In my first post, I assumed that you were writing an essay-type post, full of big ideas, in which prose came first, and the links and quotations came second. First you wrote, and then, when you had finished writing, you went back and cleaned up the piece, got it ready for the web.

That’s why I began the piece talking about writing apps on the iPad, great programs like Ulysses and Drafts.

But, of course, not all blogging is like that. Sometimes we are responding to another person’s post, or want to connect a few different arguments; sometimes we just want to fire off a quick piece that’s nothing more than a link, a quotation, and a comment.

In theory, these sorts of posts would be a slog to compose on an iPad. You’ve got to select text on a web page, copy it into your text editor, go back, select links, copy them over, HTML or Markdown those links up, and then send the post to your blog. It’s a lot of bother for a quick response. But with the new capacities of iOS9, the best iPad (and iPhone) apps are getting better and better at speeding up the process for you.

Why should a short post take you a long time to write, when it doesn’t have to?

I’ve been meaning to incorporate the excellent Drafts for iOS [App Store] into my workflow for over a year now, for more automation. Daniel’s post, which details how he uses Drafts, has given me an excellent idea — to expand my workflow even more, to publish linked or regular posts, with quotes from the clipboard or Drafts, and mash it up all together in Workflow [App Store], without leaving Safari.

Hopefully my plan will be actually possible to execute…


AnandTech’s Apple iPad Pro Review →

January 25, 2016 · 11:39

Joshua Ho, Brandon Chester & Ryan Smith for AnandTech:

The iPad Pro is arguably the first tablet that I personally want to even consider buying. It isn’t perfect by any means, and there is still a lot of work to be done – seemingly fitting for a first-generation Apple device – but for the first time in a long time it feels like the broader tablet market is advancing once again. If you want a proper tablet that can replace pencil and paper with a keyboard for extended typing sessions, I have no problem recommending the iPad Pro. If you’re hoping for a laptop that can also double as a tablet, I suspect that the Surface Pro 4 will remain the right choice for you.

Having tested both the iPad Pro (which I bought) and the Surface Pro 4 (which I didn’t), I found that the former is a great tablet and can function as a laptop replacement for many, while the latter is a good laptop, which can be used as a tablet, albeit a bad one due to issues with Windows and the lack of quality apps.

P.S. Autocorrect is giving me a hard time today…


Updated Apple Watch in March; New Apple Watch and OS in September →

January 24, 2016 · 13:12

Mark Gurman:

Apple plans to announce new Apple Watch models in March. The new lineup will be similar to the September 2015 Apple Watch revision, bringing a series of new band color options to the Apple Watch lineup. We are also told that entirely new bands made out of new materials are in development in addition to partnerships with firms beyond Hermes.

Quite frankly, I’m surprised that partnerships with other accessory makers are so slow to come to market. I was expecting more than just Hermes to be available by now.

Mark also reports that a second generation Apple Watch will ship in September instead of March. This would indicate a longer period between updates than the typical yearly cycle, which I’m all for. The Apple Watch is not an iPhone — it doesn’t need yearly updates. What it needs are substantial updates which will make a bigger difference to regular consumers.

In the meantime, I can’t wait for new the bands and perhaps even that black Milanese Loop to complement my Space Black Steel Watch.


4-Inch iPhone Will Reportedly Be Called ‘iPhone 5se’ →

January 24, 2016 · 13:02

Mark Gurman:

The new device is internally codenamed “N69,” but the launch name will likely be the “iPhone 5se.” The “se” suffix has been described in two ways by Apple employees: as a “special edition” variation of the vintage 4-inch iPhone screen size and as an “enhanced” version of the iPhone 5s. Indeed, the upcoming “5se” features a design similar to 2013’s flagship but upgraded internals, software, and hardware features that blend the old design with modern technologies from the past two iPhone upgrades.

Mark also provides a list of upgrades over the 5S, which includes confusing statements. If the chamfered edges indeed go away in favour of curved glass (as seen on the newer iPhones), will the back edges also go away? Or will the design change more than is evident, so that everything is more consistent?

Gurman also reports that the 5SE will have an Apple A8 and no 3D Touch, but it will have Live Photos. That is not unheard of, since they can be easily viewed on iPads and Macs, but what about the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus? Will these also receive this feature with an iOS update?

I’m curious as to what will happen to the lineup when the iPhone 7 comes out too. Will the 6 and 6 Plus be discontinued, or will they still be sold at a lower price point? It will be interesting to see what Apple does, as they introduce a new line-up this Autumn.


Netflix Starts Blocking VPNs, Proxies, and Other Unblocking Services →

January 22, 2016 · 14:16

Sebastian Anthony:

Last week, on January 14, Netflix said that it would begin cracking down on customers who use VPNs, proxies, or other “unblocking” services to view content that shouldn’t be available in their country. The move is almost certainly to appease copyright holders and broadcasters. Way back in 2014, Sony Pictures accused Netflix of “semi-sanctioning” piracy by allowing “illegal subscribers” to view geoblocked content.

The first report of Netflix blocking a VPN comes from uFlix, an Australian VPN service that charges AUD$2 (£1) per month for the ability to view Netflix content from around the globe…

Still working fine for me. There are a lot of proxy, VPN and SmartDNS providers out there — hopefully some will remain to let us watch content we’re paying for, wherever we are in the world.


Google Paid Apple $1 Billion to Keep Search on iPhone →

January 22, 2016 · 09:43

Joel Rosenblatt writing for Bloomberg:

Google Inc. is paying Apple Inc. a hefty fee to keep its search bar on the iPhone.

Apple received $1 billion from its rival in 2014, according to a transcript of court proceedings from Oracle Corp.’s copyright lawsuit against Google. The search engine giant has an agreement with Apple that gives the iPhone maker a percentage of the revenue Google generates through the Apple device, an attorney for Oracle said at a Jan. 14 hearing in federal court.

I assume DuckDuckGo isn’t. It also doesn’t track you. You can set it up as your default search engine on iOS and OS X.

Update

For those of you wondering how much this influences Apple’s finances, Horace Dediu has a nice illustration.