More Details on the Smart Battery Case From the Verge →

December 8, 2015 · 15:31

Lauren Goode lists all of the features — and there a few of them — of the Smart Battery Case, and summarises:

Apple’s smart battery case is good, then, if you want a softer case or a “passive” battery charging experience, with zero control over or understanding of how the case actually charges your phone. Maybe that’s what Apple is hoping: that buyers of this thing will slip it on and never take it off, charging their iPhones entirely through the case’s Lightning port going forward, forgetting about its big ol’ bump in the back. They will be pleased, finally, with their iPhone 6’s or 6S’s battery life, and the memory of spending an extra $99 for it, rather than having it just work that way in the first place, will eventually fade away.

For the record: I just wish the 6S had the battery life of the 6S Plus.


Joanna Stern on the iPhone 6S Smart Battery Case →

December 8, 2015 · 14:55

Joanna Stern:

Even better, Apple fixes many of the issues I’ve had with cases over the years. It uses the same Lightning cable as the iPhone to charge, and it tells you how much power is remaining right on the phone’s screen. Besides, the case doesn’t feel like the stuff plastic forks are made of.

The Lightning cable is what made me want one, but the fact that it shows the amount of power left right on the iPhone’s screen is a great addition.

Still, I’ll take it over all the ugly messes sold by Mophie, Anker and others, especially since it provides better protection for the phone. A lip curves just above the screen to prevent the glass from hitting a hard surface and an interior lining provides better shock absorption than hard plastic. Plus, the grippy material is much easier to hold and doesn’t feel like it will slip from my hands.

I have a Mophie case and I can’t stand the plastic.

Here’s the best part about the design: There are no blinking LED lights on the case to tell you how much power is remaining. As soon as you attach it, the percentage of power remaining in the phone and the case is displayed on the iPhone’s lock screen. You can also see both battery levels by swiping down in the notification center.

Apple even integrated a passive antenna into the case so cellular reception doesn’t suffer.

Apple’s attention to detail is still alive and kicking.


Living With Depression [video] →

December 8, 2015 · 14:31

CallMeKat:

Hope this helps you understand the process. I made this because many people seem to think that being depressed is something you choose and that in the end, it all comes down to looking out the window and listening to sad music.

The truth is, it’s very much beyond your control.


‘Windows Trackpads Have Been Terrible for What Feels Like Forever’ →

December 8, 2015 · 14:00

Tom Warren:

Windows trackpads have been terrible for what feels like forever. Luckily, the Dell XPS 13 trackpad feels like the perfect size. It’s still the same large glass pad with a soft finish like earlier in the year, but Dell has definitely improved the driver situation, so the trackpad performs very smoothly across Windows 10. I still notice some occasional scrolling issues in Chrome, but I have those problems with every Windows laptop I use. The cursor doesn’t randomly jump across the screen anymore, and two-finger scrolling is smooth everywhere it needs to be. I’ve tested many Windows laptops this year, and this is without a doubt one of the best experiences for using gestures and just simply scrolling. You would think Microsoft’s own Surface Book trackpad would be better, but Dell has done a great job of balancing the size and position relative to the small form factor of this laptop.

I should note here, though, that Dell had to replace my XPS 13 due to a trackpad issue. The original unit clicked and felt slightly loose, and even the replacement unit felt like that out of the box but appeared to oddly remedy itself.

I’ve been using a Surface Pro 4 trackpad recently and while using a single finger on it is fine, using two or more is an absolutely terrible experience.

Tom Warren notes that he ‘notices scrolling issues in Chrome but has them on every Windows laptop that he uses’ — this sounds as if he’s just given up and accepted their inferior quality for whatever reason. I find this completely unacceptable. Apple’s trackpads have been near perfect for years and their’s is the only one which I actually want to use instead of a mouse. Accepting anything less than excellence is not good enough.


Mailbox and Carousel Will Be Shutdown by Dropbox →

December 7, 2015 · 21:23

Drew Houston & Arash Ferdowsi:

To our Carousel and Mailbox users, thank you for embracing these products—and we’re sorry. It’s not easy to say goodbye to products we all love. But ultimately, we think this increased focus will help us create even better experiences for you in the months and years to come.

I never used Carousel, but I was always a big supporter of Mailbox and hoped that one day they would transform it into what email could and should have been. While waiting, I switched over to FastMail with my own custom domain — it has been much better than I could have expected. But it’s still not what I want – a combination of Slack and email, which would make life easier.

P.S. FastMail kills Gmail in every regard. It also has Push in Mail.app on iOS for a while now.


Running Very Long Distances Can Make Your Brain Shrink →

December 7, 2015 · 10:34

Akshat Rathi:

They found that, for the first 2,500 kilometers, runners’ cartilage—the shock-absorbing material found between bones—degraded. But after that, the cartilage actually started to recover.

“It was thought that cartilage could only regenerate during rest,” lead researcher Uwe Schütz told New Scientist. “We have shown for the first time that it can regenerate during running.” The researchers revealed their results at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America.

Extraordinarily, they also found that a runner’s brain shrinks as much as 6% by the end of the race.

What’s amazing is how little we still know about how our bodies actually function.


Rebooted Like a Fucking PC →

December 7, 2015 · 10:07

Don Melton:

The plan was to fix the short circuit in my heart by resetting it with a strong jolt of electricity. So strong, in fact, that I would need to be briefly put under to prevent trauma. Apparently it hurts. A lot.

By this time I’d had so many needles jabbed into me and so much hair peeled away by multiple ECG sensors, that strapping me to a work bench and rebooting me like a fucking Windows PC didn’t seem all that strange or unpleasant.

And it wasn’t. I don’t remember a thing.

Glad he’s OK. Hope to meet him someday and talk about transcoding.


‘You Get Almost Star-Struck When You Meet R2-D2’ →

December 5, 2015 · 08:43

TIME:

“The moment you meet BB-8, you build up some form of weird human connection,” says Marco Grob, who photographed the new Star Wars character for this week’s TIME cover. “It has one eye that has this really cute way of looking at you. It’s just incredible.”

Watching both droids run around the studio is great — BB-8’s whimsical antics made me laugh.


iPad Pro and USB 3 Over Lightning →

December 5, 2015 · 08:13

John Gruber:

I don’t know when we’ll see Apple take advantage of this new Lightning port (the cable that ships with the iPad Pro is still just USB 2), but I think it’s every bit as capable as USB-C. I bet it can handle not just USB 3, but also Thunderbolt and DisplayPort/HDMI 4K.

I’ll gladly accept faster transfer speeds, even though I do close to everything over Wi-Fi anyway. I hate the fact that an optional cable will be necessary to take advantage of them. Reminds me of the time that I bought an iPad charger for my iPhone — it really should be included in the box.


mSaber — Lightsaber Plugin for Final Cut Pro X and Apple Motion 5 by MotionVFX →

December 4, 2015 · 10:16

MotionVFX:

mSaber is a cinematic plugin for creating the world-famous lightsaber effects in your productions. It is very easy to use, fully customizable and has an advanced built-in masking tool. With this plugin you can change an ordinary video into a movie-like epic duel with breathtaking futuristic laser effects. Control the effect easily with on-screen controls and find a look you are looking for with multiple published parameters. mSaber is a perfect mixture of easy and powerful, you can create a stunning outcome with minimal effort.

This is amazing! You can find the tutorial here.

via @indigi


Craig Federighi Also Spoke to Ars Technica About Swift and Objective-C →

December 4, 2015 · 08:53

Andrew Cunningham:

“Objective-C is not going away. We still love Objective-C as a language; we still very much depend on Objective-C and do a tremendous amount of work in Objective-C here internally at Apple,” Federighi told Ars. “We’ll be supporting Objective-C and continuing to evolve it as necessary to fit into this evolving world. We do think that Swift is the language that we recommend for new developers to our platform who are investing for the future and building new apps. We think Swift is absolutely the right place to start. But we’ll continue to maintain, advance, and support Objective-C for as far as we can see.”


Craig Federighi Talks to The Next Web About Swift →

December 4, 2015 · 08:00

Nate Swanner:

Craig Federighi: We think Swift is the next major programming language; the one people are going to be programming in for the coming several decades. We think it’s a combination of it being a great systems and apps programming language that’s fast and safe, but also being really expressive and easy to learn.

It’s the perfect programming language for anyone who is learning to program all the way to writing systems. We want everyone to learn Swift as their primary language, and we want — when developers invest in Swift — to be able to use it everywhere from scripting to apps for mobile down to writing code in the cloud.


Apple Open Sources Swift →

December 3, 2015 · 21:34

Apple:

The Swift open source code is available via GitHub and includes support for all Apple software platforms — iOS, OS X®, watchOS and tvOS™ — as well as for Linux. Components available include the Swift compiler, debugger, standard library, foundation libraries, package manager and REPL. Swift is licensed under the popular Apache 2.0 open source license with a runtime library exception, enabling users to easily incorporate Swift into their own software and port the language to new platforms. For more information about Swift, and access to community resources visit the new Swift.org


Pedometer++ 2.3 Can Replace the Workout.app on Apple Watch →

December 3, 2015 · 20:44

David Smith:

Lastly, the Watch App now includes a step count oriented workout mode designed to replace the built-in Apple Workout app. I’ve always found the process of starting a workout from the Apple Workout app a bit fiddly. You have to press the crown, find the Workout app, launch it, find the type of activity you are doing, choose a duration, then start your walk. With Pedometer++ you instead simply tap the complication then tap Start Walk.

For walking, this is a great replacement for the standard Workout.app. I wonder when David will figure out how to start the workout with one click, instead of two.

You can download Pedometer++ here.


Nick Bilton About ‘Steve Jobs’ →

December 3, 2015 · 20:39

Nick Bilton:

Here’s the thing: They didn’t know Steve Jobs. None of us did. I don’t care if you had a sleepover party at his house once a week while you watched rom-coms and did each other’s nails. Or if he granted you a 15-second interview after one of his product introductions. The reality is, Steve Jobs was trying to sell things, and he was an absolute master at using the media to do that.