How the Star Wars Planets Stack Up Against Our Own →

December 15, 2015 · 09:10

Maddie Stone:

Chris Jones wanted to see how the planets and moons featured in the original Star Wars trilogy stack up against real planets in this galaxy. Turns out, many of them are quite comparable in size to places in our solar system. Endor is Mercury after a massive global cooling campaign, Hoth is Mars before all the water evaporated, and Bespin is a gas giant not so different in size from our Saturn. Yavin Prime seems to be in a class of its own, though—who knows—maybe it’s similar to one of those fabled brown dwarfs lurking in the far reaches of our solar system.

Skip straight to the comments below the article — gold!

John Gruber Scores Amazing Guest Interview on the Talk Show →

December 15, 2015 · 08:58

John Gruber:

John Siracusa returns to the show to follow up on Federighi’s segment on Swift. Other topics include Apple’s new Smart Battery Case for the iPhone 6/6S, and our mutual (and perhaps futile) desire to head into this week’s premiere of Star Wars: The Force Awakens knowing as few spoilers as possible.

Also, some guy named Craig Federighi is on before Siracusa.

Allyson Explains How to Take Great Long Exposure Photos with iPhone →

December 15, 2015 · 08:52

Allyson Kazmucha:

Long exposure photography lets you capture light trails, motion blur, and better low light shots. While the built-in Camera app doesn’t let you control shutter speed and light sensitivity, there are lots of apps available in the App Store that do

I get frustrated to no end by the fact that the iPhone can’t do real 30 second long exposures. This should be possible.

Apple Buys Former Chip Fab →

December 15, 2015 · 08:45

Nathan Donato-Weinstein:

“It’s pretty small for a fab,” said Dean Freeman, research VP at Gartner, where he leads the Internet of Things Center of Excellence. “The only thing I can think that they would be doing is potentially be saying, ‘OK, we need to do some prototyping in some way or form.’ Or they want a clean-room space to do some tweaky development. This isn’t big enough to do anything (production-wise).”

MacKeeper Leaks 13 Million Mac Owners’ Data →

December 15, 2015 · 08:42

Thomas Fox-Brewster:

Anti-virus provider MacKeeper is known for pushing the message Apple Mac owners need protection. It needed some extra protection of its own today, after a white hat hacker discovered a database containing 13 million customer records was accessible by just visiting a selection of IP addresses, no username or password required.

Do not install this crap. Ever. And delete it if already installed. It does not help in any meaningful way, and is harmful in many others.

App Store Deals — 14/12/2015

December 14, 2015 · 23:10

Another day, another set of deals. I strongly recommend getting Space Age: A Cosmic Adventure — I know I am — and Workflow, more of which you can find here. If you haven’t purchased Tweetbot 4 for iOS and Tweetbot for Mac, you can still get them discounted now, although I’m beginning to believe this ‘promotion’ won’t end anytime soon.

868–HACK – iOS – Games – €5.99 > €2.99
AirAttack 2 – iOS – Games – €1.99 > €0.99
Blockr – Privacy, Media and Ad Blocker – iPhone – Utilities – €1.99 > €0.99
Duet Display – iOS – Productivity – €15.99 > €9.99
Goal Master – goals and performance – iOS – Business – €6.99 > €0.99
Home Design 3D GOLD – iOS – Productivity – €9.99 > €0.99
Maps 3D PRO – GPS Tracks – iPhone – Navigation – €4.99 > €0.99
NAVIGON Europe – iOS – Navigation – €79.99 > €49.99
QuickPlan Pro – Project plan – iPad – Productivity – €17.99 > €5.99
QuickPlan Pro – Project plan – iPhone – Business – €7.99 > €2.99
Space Age: A Cosmic Adventure – iOS – Games – €2.99 > €0.99
Splashtop Wired XDisplay HD – Mirror – iPad – Productivity – €9.99 > €6.99
Tweetbot 4 for Twitter – iOS – Social Networking – €4.99
Tweetbot for Twitter – Mac – Social Networking – €12.99 > €9.99
VoxelCity – iOS – Games – €1.99 > €0.99
WBS – Project work breakdown structure – iPad – Business – €6.99 > €1.99
Workflow: Powerful Automation – iOS – Productivity – €3.99 > €2.99
XenoShyft – iOS – Games – €4.99 > €1.99

Wildlife Portraits Captured With Camera Traps and Flashes →

December 14, 2015 · 23:05

Michael Zhang:

Photographer Jonny Armstrong‘s portfolio is filled with some of the most remarkable wildlife photos you’ll ever see: many of the portraits have a studio-like quality to them, and they’re often taken from just a few feet away.

The secret to Armstrong’s work is that he’s a master of camera trap photography, using remote cameras and triggers to catch creatures off guard when they’re going about their business.

Amazing work.

Star Trek Beyond Trailer →

December 14, 2015 · 23:02

I enjoy watching both Chris Pine and Simon Pegg perform, hence I got hooked on J.J. Abrams’ take on the Star Trek universe. The plots could of course be much improved, but since I took pleasure in his first two movies, I will definitely go see the new one.

I never did truly appreciate the Star Trek TV series from the 60’s and 80’s, but perhaps I’ll give them another try now.

Thoughts on the iPad Pro On-Screen Keyboard

December 14, 2015 · 14:51

Since getting my iPad Pro a few weeks ago, I’ve been writing on it a lot, using mostly the software keyboard, but also helping myself out with an external one. I bought an Origami Workstation a few years ago, and since it’s in perfect working order, as is the Apple Wireless Keyboard it contains, I’ve been using that combo quite often. This might change when my Smart Keyboard finally arrives, but in the meantime, I’ve been thinking about the iOS 9 on-screen keyboard a lot.

Continue reading →

UK Citizens May Soon Need Licenses to Photograph Stuff They Already Own →

December 14, 2015 · 11:46

Glyn Moody:

Changes to UK copyright law will soon mean that you may need to take out a licence to photograph classic designer objects even if you own them. That’s the result of the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013, which extends the copyright of artistic objects like designer chairs from 25 years after they were first marketed to 70 years after the creator’s death. In most cases, that will be well over a hundred years after the object was designed. During that period, taking a photo of the item will often require a licence from the copyright owner regardless of who owns the particular object in question.

UK laws are becoming so absurd, that they keep on reminding me to re-watch ‘V for Vendetta’.

Hotels, Drugs, and Convertibles: How I Lived Like a King
for a Month in Venezuela for Just $115 →

December 14, 2015 · 11:00

Diego Urdaneta:

What I do want to do here, however, is help my country’s tourism industry by demonstrating that you can live like a king for an entire month in Venezuela with just one €100 bank note (about $115) thanks to these strange and confusing economic controls. If you’re a local earning local money, life is tough—very basic supplies like toilet paper are in extraordinarily short supply and you’ll have to wait in line for hours just to get your hands on them. If you’re a tourist bringing over foreign currency, on the other hand, the country is your oyster.

I didn’t know it was this bad.

Oh, and Diego picked a really beautiful car to rent.

iFixit’s Smart Battery Case Teardown →

December 12, 2015 · 23:15


In one of the least Apple-y moves in history, Apple released the Smart Battery Case, and it’s ugly. Rumors about this unexpected accessory are flying thick and fast, let’s open this pack up to see how it works.

Great shots as usual, a lot of interesting information, and one interesting tidbit:

With 7.13 Whr (1877 mAh at 3.8 V) capacity, this battery more than doubles your iPhone 6s (6.55 Whr) capacity.

Tips for Screencasting From Brett Terpstra →

December 12, 2015 · 23:12

Brett Terpstra:

I’ve answered some questions about my own experience with creating screencasts recently. I’m not by any means the most prolific screencaster in the community, but I learned a lot creating 60 Tips with David Sparks for the iBookstore, and creating my own screencasts for Marked 2 and my blog. It seemed like the kind of info that might be of use to the world.

Many of these tips focus on my tool of choice, ScreenFlow. I’m currently using ScreenFlow 5.0.3, but a lot of these concepts can be easily ported to other applications with minor technical adjustments. There are a lot of options, from QuickTime Player to Camtasia (and many inexpensive options on the Mac App Store), but ScreenFlow’s editing capabilities are top notch and perfect for anyone doing more than just a quick screen share.

So simple. So helpful.

Why 2Do Is Federico Viticci’s New Favorite iOS Task Manager →

December 11, 2015 · 09:38

Federico Viticci:

2Do is easily the most customizable task manager for iOS. It’s a powerful app with dozens of options, and, at least initially, a steep learning curve. This article doesn’t want to be a guide to 2Do, or even a full review. Instead, I wanted to collect the features and details that have convinced me 2Do for iOS is the app for me. I’ve been using 2Do for months and I’m still discovering new aspects of it every day – I can only hope to explain how I use 2Do, not everything it has to offer.

2Do for both iOS and Mac is still on sale. Grab it after reading Federico’s short pout on the subject. Or just go grab it — it has to be at least half decent since he wrote about it at length.

2Do – iOS – Productivity – €14.99 > €7.99
2Do – Mac – Productivity – €49.99 > €24.99

Dear Tim Cook, Phil Schiller, and Apple — Please Start Selling the iPad Pro Smart Keyboard in Poland

December 11, 2015 · 03:29

Dear Tim Cook, Phil Schiller, and Apple,

I have an iPad Pro, which I bought the day after I first saw it. I have an Apple Pencil, which I acquired by pure luck, and another one on order from the Apple Online Store — two weeks to go still, should get here around Christmas time. But no Smart Keyboard. It’s not available for sale, and at this point, I’d go for the US version, weird Return key and all. There are none even on our local eBay, and flying to the USA to try and buy one seems a bit absurd.

Please make this happen ASAP. I need to get myself something for Christmas.





Thank you!! Won’t be here for Christmas, but at least I’ll have it in time for my birthday!

Best of 2015 for Mac

December 10, 2015 · 14:37

Apart from the best apps and games for every platform, Apple also published a list of the runner-up apps and games of the year. The list contains a few excellent pieces of software, some of which I use, including Fantastical, Reeder 3, Ulysses, and many others.

Continue reading →

Peter Kafka on Why Apple Walked Away From TV →

December 10, 2015 · 09:40

Peter Kafka:

Industry executives say Apple has spent much of 2015 pushing for a “skinny” bundle of TV channels — limited to perhaps a dozen core networks — delivered over the Web, which would retail for no more than $30.
So while the price of the individual channels that Apple wants to package has been an issue, it’s the composition of the package itself — which channels go in, and which don’t make the cut — that is just as important to both Apple and the programmers, according to sources.

If Apple gets its way, it means the traditional pay TV package, which averages around 100 channels, will get shrunk by nearly 80 percent. And while TV executives will say that they understand that consumers don’t want to pay for channels they don’t watch, all of them will argue that their channels are must-haves.

Emphasis mine, which ultimately highlights the problem.

My wife and I have been cable/satellite free for over three years now, relying only on our Apple TV and PS4 to watch movies or TV shows. Basically what we want is either individual apps for the channels we are willing to watch1 or a subscription for a package, but it was to be worthwhile and not bunch of crap we won’t ever turn on.

  1. We’ll pay for them individually if need be.