MyAppleMenu - Tue, Dec 8, 2015

Tue, Dec 8, 2015The One-Less-Cable-To-Carry Edition

Apple Releases First Battery Case To Eat Third-Party Accessory Makers’ Lunch, by Romain Dillet, TechCrunch

In a surprise move, Apple just announced an external battery case for the iPhone 6s. Named the iPhone 6s Smart Battery Case, the battery extends the battery life of your iPhone 6s by up to 25 hours. The new accessory is available in black and white for $99 starting today.


Like third-party battery cases, Apple uses a Lightning male port at the bottom to plug your iPhone. You can charge the case using a traditional Lightning cable — most third-party batteries rely on a microUSB cable, so that’s one less cable to carry around. Apple’s accessory also works with the iPhone 6 and it looks like there isn’t a 6 Plus and 6s Plus version. [...] Oh! And the case has passive antennas built into it for good measure, ensuring that the extra hardware strapped onto your phone doesn’t chip away at your cell performance.

Apple's Smart Battery Case Is So Ugly It's Almost Sarcastic, by Michael Rundle, Wired UK

Accessories And Toys

The Rise And Rise Of Headphones: Why The Set You Buy Isn’t Just A Question Of Sound Quality, But Identity, by Rhodri Marsden, The Independent

It's pretty safe to say, however, that the headphones flying off the shelves this Christmas say a little more about us than the pair Cliff Richard was sporting in Milton Keynes 34 years ago. Today, headphones don't just give us a “head full of music”; they reinforce our identity both inwardly, through any number of infinite digital jukeboxes, and outwardly, through bespoke, 3D-printed earpieces, leatherette earpads, metallic detailing and distinctive silhouettes. We're often told that the technology we buy reflects who we are. In the case of headphones, we've started to believe it.

The New King Of Toys, by Logan Hill, Medium

In re-imagining vintage slot car racing, Anki set the bar for 21st century play: make it a phone app, use plenty of AI, and don’t forget laser warfare.

Open For Business

Apple Retracts Comment That It Was First Major Open Source Company After Criticism, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

Last week Apple’s open sourcing of Swift naturally saw the spotlight thrown over Apple’s open source pages. This included a paragraph that claimed Apple was “the first major computer company to make Open Source a key part of its strategy”. Unsurprisingly, this riled some members of the developer community as being disingenuous and untrue So Apple has since changed the text to retract the rather outlandish statement with something a bit more muted.


Apple Maps, Once A Laughing Stock, Now Dominates iPhones, by Associated Press

Apple fixed errors as users submitted them. It quietly bought several mapping companies, mostly for their engineers and other talent. Recently, it added transit directions for several major cities, narrowing a major gap with Google. Apple Maps is now used more widely than Google Maps on iPhones. "They really did a great job in a short amount of time," said Alex Mackenzie-Torres, a former Google Maps manager who's now with competing transit app Moovit.

Apple Raises iTunes Match And Apple Music Library Matching Limits To 100,000 Tracks, by Erik Slivka, MacRumors

Eddy Cue has confirmed to MacRumors that Apple has indeed "started rolling out support for 100k libraries."

An iPad App For Lean-Back Lightroom Organizing, by Lori Grunin, CNET

Ctrl+Console is a small company that makes iPad-controller apps for desktop applications like Final Cut Pro and Premiere Pro. The company has just launched a sibling app, Lightroom Sorter, which it hopes will resonate with photographers ranging from newbies to experts.

PowerPhotos 1.1 Review: Now With Library Merges, Album Copy, And Search Across Libraries, by Glenn Fleishman, Macworld

PowerPhotos is an extremely useful addition as an enhancement for any Photos user trying to perform tasks that fall outside of Photos restricted purview. With the addition in Photos 1.1 of merging libraries and copying images and albums across libraries, it’s become invaluable for long-time iPhoto and Aperture users trying to make sense of moving forward. And its utility features—including identifying duplicates, multi-library and metadata searching, and other bits and pieces—show the ongoing worth of having it your arsenal.

Knotable Hits iOS So You Can Share Notes Even On A Boat, by John Biggs, TechCrunch

“When everyone on the team is working in different places, different times, different topics…the solution isn’t an infinite conference call or hangout or chat stream. A better solution is places to park and develop your thoughts where others can see and add-on.”

Experience Literature In A New, Interactive Way With iClassics, by Sandy Stachowiak, AppAdvice

Card Smith Lets You Make And Share Greeting Cards With OS X, by MacTech

Google Launches Reminders To Bring To-Dos Into Calendar Mobile Apps, by Jordan Kahn, 9to5Mac


Apple To End One To One Group Training On Dec. 17, Launch Streamlined Reservation Page, by AppleInsider

After phasing out One to One personal training memberships earlier this year, Apple is slowly winding down services for existing members, recently announcing an end to Group Training and reservation page tweaks.

Dropbox Kills Mailbox, An App It Bought For $100M, by Klint Finley, Wired

As it refocuses on business customers, Dropbox said today that it’s shutting down two of its once-marquee consumer-oriented apps: the photo gallery app Carousel and email client Mailbox.

The good news is that your Carousel photos aren’t going anywhere—they’ll still be stored in your Dropbox, where they’ve always been. Dropbox is even working to integrate some of Carousel’s functionality into the core Dropbox app interface. Mailbox users, however, will have to find a new email app by February 26, 2016, when the service that the Mailbox apps depend on will shut down.

Something Big Is Brewing At Apple's Elk Grove Campus, by Mark Anderson, Sacramento Business Journal

Construction work quietly underway at Apple's campus in Elk Grove is for a major expansion that could mean several thousand new jobs, city officials say. The company is converting a 134,000-square-foot warehouse into a logistics operation. That move, along with addition of 1,450 parking spaces beginning last summer, points to many more employees, said Darrell Doan, the city’s economic development director.

The Best Books I Read In 2015, by Bill Gates

I just looked over the list of books I read this year, and I noticed a pattern. A lot of them touch on a theme that I would call “how things work.” Some explain something about the physical world, like how steel and glass are used, or what it takes to get rid of deadly diseases. Others offer deep insights into human beings: our strengths and flaws, our capacity for lifelong growth, or the things we value. I didn’t set out to explore these themes intentionally, though in retrospect it make a lot of sense since the main reason I read is to learn.

Can We Sync Up?

I uses Evernote to keep notes and track my to-dos. One of the reason I chose Evernote is that the service is cross-platform -- with apps available on the three platforms that matter to me: Mac, iOS, and Windows. (I didn't enjoy the web version.)

Unfortunately, the three different apps on the three platforms are just different enough to trip me whenever I use them. I hate to say this, but I do wish Evernote adopt a more iTunes-like attitude: look and behave the same on the different platforms.

Just don't pull a QuickTime Player.


Thanks for reading.