Best apps of the week: NetNewsWire, I Am Bread, Pokémon Shuffle, and more

By Lory Gil on Sep 5, 2015

What kind of fun adventures are you up to this weekend? Are you hiking a five-mile trail, playing with your brand new Star Wars toys, or finally tackling that landscaping project you’ve been meaning to do for a year? Whatever you are up to this weekend, we’ve got a list of apps and games that we think might spark your interest. Read More


PhotoDismiss8: add swipe-to-dismiss functionality to the Photos app in iOS 8

By Jeff Benjamin on Sep 4, 2015

iOS 9 introduces a whole host of new subtle characteristics to the OS, such as swipe-to-dismiss functionality for photo previews in the Camera app. Today, a developer has released a new tweak that brings a similar swipe-to-dismiss gesture to the stock Photos app in iOS 8.

Simply entitled PhotoDismiss8, this tweak is now available for download via developer Andrew Wiik’s beta repo. To find out how to add Wiik’s beta repo and try PhotoDismiss8 for yourself, read on. Read More


EarthLockScreen places a rotating globe on your iPhone’s Lock screen

By Jeff Benjamin on Sep 4, 2015

With EarthLockScreen, a free new jailbreak tweak that recently landed on the Cydia store, you can have the world in your palm. Yes, that was a terrible attempt at a joke, but you get the point.

EarthLockScreen quite literally lives up to its name in that it places a spinning globe right on your iPhone’s Lock screen. I’ll be the first to admit that this tweak has little to no practical value, but my curiosity got the best of me and I had to try it out. In this post, I’ll show you what you can expect from EarthLockScreen. Read More


Review: Alcatel OneTouch Idol 3 – a budget Android phone with a unique feature

By Jeff Benjamin on Sep 4, 2015

It’s almost unfair how many great budget smartphones there are that run Android. I think it’s safe to say that there is an embarrassment of riches for Android platform users in the budget phone category.

I’ve already reviewed phones like the Asus ZenFone 2, and the 3rd-generation Moto G—both highly competent phones. Today, I get to go hands-on with a similar phone, as far as price is concerned, in the Alcatel OneTouch Idol 3 ($249.99 on Amazon). Read More


Review: you don’t need Apple Watch to get reminded to stand up with this nifty Mac app

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 4, 2015

Your Apple Watch pings you when it’s time to stand up and move a little and so should your Mac, except that it doesn’t. Maybe you don’t own an Apple Watch? Lead a sedentary lifestyle much? Hopelessly out of shape? You should make standing up a habit as standing for just three hours every day, five days a week, has the same health benefits as running ten marathons a year.

You could create a reminder to ping you every hour to stand up, but that’s not an elegant solution as these alerts reach all your devices, not just your Mac.

A far better solution that I want to talk about today would be something like Stand. Stand is a simple Mac app built by developers Red Davis Hector Simpson which sends you a notification every hour to get up from your desk and move around a little. Read More


Runtastic introduces Moment, an analog watch with fitness tracking features

By Cody Lee on Sep 4, 2015

Runtastic on Friday announced the Moment, an analog watch with fitness tracking features. The maker of popular mobile fitness apps, which was recently acquired by Adidas, says the device has the potential to disrupt the wearables market because of its unique blend of traditional timekeeping and technology.

Like most fitness-focused wearables, the Moment is capable of tracking steps, distance, active minutes, calories burned, sleep cycles and goals. But unlike other trackers, it’s waterproof up to 300 feet, so it can be used to track swimming, and it runs on a standard watch battery, so it doesn’t need to be recharged. Read More


Apple believed to have acquired motion capture firm Faceshift

By Cody Lee on Sep 4, 2015

Apple may have bought Swiss real-time motion capture firm Faceshift in recent weeks, reports MacRumors. The site points to a company registry filing that shows all three of their original corporate directors stepped down in mid-August, and were replaced by a mergers and acquisitions attorney from Baker & McKenzie—a firm Apple frequently uses.

Faceshift has some interesting technology that can quickly and accurately capture facial expressions using 3D sensors. They’ve worked with both game and animation studios, and even built their own software. More recently, the company has been working on a Skype plugin that allows users to transform into avatar characters during real-time video chats. Read More


NYT corroborates revamped iPad keyboard, says less pricey gold Apple Watch coming

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 4, 2015

With just a few days left until Apple’s ‘Hey, Siri’ iPhone 6s event, the New York Times newspaper reported Friday the event will include announcements of a refreshed keyboard attachment for iPads and new metal finishes for Apple’s watch, including a less pricey version of the Apple Watch Edition.

Earlier this morning, 9to5Mac hinted that the new keyboard will be for a rumored ‘iPad Pro,’ that the site claims is in tow for Wednesday’s announcement. Read More


Sphero launches iPhone-controlled astromech droid from ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 4, 2015

Sphero, makers of the namesake spherical robot toy, today released a brand new connected toy, an iPhone-controlled BB-8 droid from the upcoming ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ movie. Yes, it’s now possible to explore the galaxy with your own trusty astromech droid by your side.

Featuring an adaptive personality that changes as you play, the little robot can show a range of expressions and even “perk up when you give voice commands”. Read More


First Apple Store in Belgium opening in Brussels on Saturday, September 19

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 4, 2015

I’m based out of Europe and it’s always been a mystery to me as to why Apple lacks official retail presence in Belgium. Well, the company is finally opening its first brick-and-mortar store in the twelve million people market.

The forthcoming store will be located in Brussels, the largest city and capital of Belgium, the de facto capital of the European Union and headquarters for NATO, and is scheduled to open doors to customers on Sunday, September 19. Read More


iPhone 6s front camera has panorama and slow-mo modes, Apple readying iPad Pro keyboard

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 4, 2015

Earlier in the week, 9to5Mac corroborated analyst and supply chain reports that Apple’s upcoming ‘iPhone 6s’ and ‘iPhone 6s Plus’ smartphones will also bring major improvements to the front-facing FaceTime camera which should go from a paltry 1.3 megapixels on current iPhones to five megapixels.

Today, the blog said that the FaceTime camera on upcoming iPhones will feature support for selfie panoramas and slow-motion video capture. The report added that Apple is working on a keyboard accessory for an ‘iPad Pro’ and offered a few more tidbits regarding Apple’s announcements come this Wednesday. Read More


New documentary ‘Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine’ hits theaters and digital platforms

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 4, 2015

‘Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine,’ a provocative documentary that focuses on the dark side of Apple’s late co-founder Steve Jobs, is hitting theaters and video-on-demand services today.

The 120-minute documentary is about the impact of Jobs’ work on modern society while cunningly playing off the controversies that had surrounded Jobs’ persona for many years. Read More


Amazon Prime Music gains search suggestions, curated collections, sleep timer and more

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 4, 2015

Following a major update to Amazon’s video-streaming client for iOS which now allows offline playback for Prime movies and television shows, the online retail giant today gave its Prime Music app a little love, too.

The new Amazon Prime Music 5.0 for iOS introduces curated collections featuring hand-picked music, search suggestions to make music discovery even easier, a brand new sleep timer feature and more. Read More


Infernal Innovations’ car mount magnetically suspends your phone

By Timothy Reavis on Sep 4, 2015

One of the many first-world problems people face everyday is having a convenient place to stow their smartphone whilst driving. Leaving it in one’s pocket seems to be the default move, but if talking while driving is legal in your area, pulling a phone from your pocket is arguably more dangerous than the phone call itself. Even for simple tasks like skipping a song, or following driving directions, there has to be a better solution.

Read More


How to preview a link in Safari for Mac without opening a new tab

By Jeff Benjamin on Sep 3, 2015

Did you know that you can quickly preview any link in OS X Yosemite’s Safari browser by using a special trackpad gesture? Safari contains an extremely handy little feature, one that often goes unnoticed, which allows you to quickly preview pages without leaving the current page.

Stop wasting your time opening new pages and new tabs just to see what lurks behind a link. Instead, learn to wield the power of the link-previewing three-finger trackpad tap! Read More


Final Cut Pro X updated to version 10.2.2 with new camera support and export options

By Jeff Benjamin on Sep 3, 2015

During its normal Thursday update, Apple issued a new version of Final Cut Pro X. Version 10.2.2 is primarily a bug fix update, but it does usher in a few new features.

Users of Final Cut Pro X will benefit from the addition of new camera support, new export options, and improved compatibility with third-party asset management apps. As you might expert, it’s recommended that all Final Cut Pro X users update to this latest version at your earliest convenience.  Read More


Review: this is my ‘Next Keyboard’ for iPhone

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 3, 2015

In my December 2014 preview of Next Keyboard I wrote the app had the potential to become “the first iOS keyboard done right”.

What started out as the most funded app project on Kickstarter by Toronto-based award-winning studio Tiny Hearts Apps has become a reality.

I’m pleased to report that Next Keyboard is now available for download in the App Store.

Rather than mindlessly pile features one on top of the other like many other developers do, Next enables efficient typing in a stylish environment that’s easy on the eyes, without distracting you from the task at hand.

It’s got everything you’ve come to expect from a software keyboard, including predictive typing, lightning fast editing, playful stickers and colorful themes, instant access to all the emojis you love, including stickers, and much more.

I’ve spent some quality hands-on time with Next Keyboard, here’s what I found. Read More


How to repair disk permissions on Mac

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 3, 2015

Some Mac hiccups and startup issues can be resolved by repairing disk permissions in OS X. Disk permissions allow your Mac to control what users have access to files and folders on your Mac.

Unfortunately, it’s quite easy to unintentionally mess up disk permissions. In fact, the very act of installing and uninstalling apps on your Mac can over time result in broken permissions.

And when file permissions break, your apps might be allowed to alter each other’s files or even modify read-only system files, which in turn can lead to various permission errors and erroneous behavior in OS X. It is therefore essential that disk permission in OS X are as they are supposed to be.

In this tutorial, I’m going to show you how to verify and fix disk permissions in OS X, which is typically a basic troubleshooting step to fix any software issues your Mac might be plagued with. Read More


Judge green-lights $415M settlement in Apple, Google anti-poaching lawsuit

By Cody Lee on Sep 3, 2015

US District Judge Lucy Koh handed down final approval late Wednesday for a settlement between Apple, Google, Adobe and Intel, and their former employees. The payout is said to be worth around $415 million, and should effectively end the long-running Silicon Valley anti-poaching suit.

For context, in 2011, employees of the aforementioned tech firms filed a class action lawsuit against the companies for anti-competitive labor practices. The suit alleged the firms conspired to avoid hiring each other’s workers in an effort to curtail salaries, costing workers $3 billion in wages. Read More


Apple working on fuel cell tech that could give devices weeklong battery life

By Cody Lee on Sep 3, 2015

Apple continues to show interest in using hydrogen fuel cell technology, as evidenced in its latest patent filing. On Thursday, the United States Patent and Trademark Office published a patent titled “Fuel Cell System to Power a Portable Computing Device.”

The invention appears to be, at least initially, targeted at the MacBook, as the filing mentions MagSafe several times. But last month, the British firm Intelligent Energy proved the tech can be shrunken down, by showing off an iPhone with a hydrogen fuel cell. Read More

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