| BassJump Subwoofer gets update for Mavericks
Twelve South Thursday announced a software update for its desktop subwoofer. BaseJump Sound System 2.5 brings OS X 10.9 Mavericks support and Retina capabilities. Also added in a new feature that automatically detects connected headphones.
BassJump is a USB subwoofer that's designed to complement your Mac's built in speakers. The sub supplements the speakers by routing low frequency to the dedicated speaker. The BassJump is available for $69.99
Video: Shinola Premium Leather iPhone 5/5s case
Premium handmade leather wrapped iPhone case. For iPhone 5 and 5s. It's pretty awesome. $75
Honda announces further integration with iPhones
Recently Honda announced Siri Hands Free compatibility with select new models and this week the company announced additional initiatives Two new systems called Display Audio and HondaLink will integrate smartphones and cloud services with the car's built-in electronics.
The Display Audio system with next generation HondaLink allows the customer's digital lifestyle to seamlessly integrate with the car and provides access to a world of cloud-based information. The all-new application-based platform connects customers to online content both inside and outside the car, all powered by their smartphones. At launch timing, iPhone 5, 5S and 5C will benefit from all the features HondaLink offers. Compatible Android smartphone's are anticipated to become available next year.
Cars have had mobile services, but tethering to smartphones brings a lot of interesting possibilities. Examples touted are various apps for weather, messaging, car maintenance, navigation. Also audio content and basically sounds like a Honda app store.
Apple acquires Topsy Labs
Wall Street Journal:
Apple recently acquired social-media analytics firm Topsy Labs Inc. for more than $200 million, according to people familiar with the matter.
Topsy specializes in analyzing the global conversation on Twitter. Its tools can decipher how often a term is tweeted, find an influential person on a specific subject, or measure the exposure of an event or campaign.
It's impossible to guess Apple's motives with a lot of these deals. Generally though through acquisitions Apple is after a combination of turn-key systems and people. The Wall Street Journal speculates it there may be applications for Apple's iAds and or iRadio productions.
A look at some 4K monitor options
The pending Mac Pro supports 4K monitors, but Apple itself has yet to introduce a new 4K Cinema Display. In fact, the new Mac Pro can support up to three 4K displays. 9 to 5 Mac has a nice rundown of currently available 4K monitors. These can be pricy, as one would expect, but there are options for smaller budgets.
I'm a fan of some models in the Dell UltraSharp line, and Dell recently announced new 4K lineup. The sweet spot may be the upcoming 28-inch model which is expected to ship next year for less than $1000. (i.e. $999.99) It will be interesting to see what happens at CES in January within the DVI/DisplayPort 4K arena.
Rockstar bringing Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas to iOS
Before GTAV took us to the sun-bleached sidewalks and humming concrete freeways of present-day Los Santos and beyond, there was Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, the biggest GTA of the PS2 era. Now, head back to the early 90s with CJ and the Grove Street Families when Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas comes to mobile devices next month.
Originally released in 2004 was another huge hit in the GTA franchise. Lots of fun with a then not so distance 90's theme. The iOS version will feature new controls for touch screen. Also new will be iOS controller support in iOS 7.
Release date and pricing for iOS has not been set.
GLIF iPhone mount get update to be adjustable
GLIF from Studio Neat is a nifty tripod mount originally designed for the iPhone. The gadget allows the phone to attach on to a standard screw mount. The iPhone version was made specifically for the width of the phone. The revision of the GLIF is now adjustable so it can be used with a wide range of devices. Also the adjustable system makes it possible to mount while the iPhone is in a case.
The updated GLIF is available now for $30
Honda rolling out Siri Eye Free on selection 2014 vehicles
American Honda Motor Co., Inc. today announced that select Honda and Acura models including the 2013 -2014 Honda Accord and 2013 Acura RDX and ILX now offer Apple's Siri Eyes Free mode as a dealer installed accessory. Customers can visit a Honda or Acura dealership to purchase and install Siri Eyes Free integration so compatible iPhone customers can direct Siri to perform tasks while they keep their eyes on the road and their hands on the wheel. By reengineering the software in select vehicles (through the HondaLink™ or AcuraLink™ connected car systems) Siri seamlessly works with HandsFreeLink® via the onboard microphone and speakers.
Integration will allow users to perform Siri tasks using the vehicles hands-free system and built-in display. Users will be able to send text messages and email, read incoming messages, check the weather, check stocks and scores, and utilize navigation.
ScreenFlow 4.5 now available with Mavericks support
Telestream announced a major update to its screencasting ScreenFlow app. Version 4.5 offers new publishing features for Google Drive, Facebook, and Dropbox. That allows you to directly publish projects to those social media and cloud storage services. The new version brings an improved upload manager to allow users to publish projects in the background. New to this version is a $19.99 transition pack.
The update also brings support for OS X 10.9 Mavericks.
ScreenFlow is my go-to screencasting app. It works well and gives a fairly streamlined system for adding callouts, graphics, and basic editing.
Apple announces Black Friday sales
As usual Apple will have it's one-day Black Friday sale this week. The "shopping event" will take place both online and in retail stores.
Apple doesn't get into pre-announcing what will be on sale, but typically accessories will see nice discounts and $100 or so off of computers. This is pretty much the only time Apple has sales on regular products.
In addition to Apple itself, Apple gear will see deals at other retailers.
iPhone 5s now available unlocked from Apple
Apple is now selling the iPhone 5s for GSM networks without a contract tie-in. This joins the iPhone 5c which has been available without contract. The phone requires customers to go to their carrier and obtain a SIM card programmed for their account. In the U.S. that means users can go to AT&T or T-Mobile, for example.
Pricing of course is without a subsidy and runs $649, $749, and $849 for the 16GB, 32 GB, and 64GB models.
Apple buys 3D sensor company
Apple confirmed it acquired PrimeSense who may be best known for work on Microsoft's Kinect sensor. John Ribeiro for Macworld:
The company’s sensors have applications in other areas, ranging from retail to healthcare, which suggest that Apple has a number of alternatives for deployment of the technology in its own devices. Its Capri sensor is a small-size device designed specifically for integration with mobile phones, TVs, tablets and PCs.
Interesting purchase and people seem to assume it's related to a TV. The quote above, however, indicate a wide range of functions from retail to mobile. The price tag was $345 million, which would probably indicate a significant part of a future product.
Podcast: Power outage, bad phone carriers, PS4, CoD, plus more
Mike lost power this week and talks about gadgets in a blackout. Brian discusses the PS4 and also some lackluster sales with the latest Call of Duty. Also phone carriers rejected an anti-trust plan to keep things in their favor. Plus your app of the week.
Fifty Three announces Pencil Stylus
Fifty Three makes the popular drawing and writing Paper app for iOS, so it seems reasonable they come out with a fancy stylus. The new Pencil resembles and pencil you might use for construction/wood working, or maybe something a kindergartner would use. As you'd expect the Paper app offers special features for the pencil including palm rejection, an eraser, and a blended smudging with your finger.
Fifty Three says the Pencil battery lasts about a month and can be recharged via USB. It also offers a simple pairing system that involves just touching the stylus to to glass.
Pencil is available now for $49.95.
OWC adds USB 3.0 to Mercury Elite Pro Qx2 enclosures
The Qx2 box from Other World Computing is a four drive RAID system. It currently supports up to 16 TB and adds the port that's been missing. The device now ships with USB 3.0 in addition to FireWire 800 and eSATA. I like this box because it offers RAID 5, which will give a lot of storage with redundancy. A RAID 5 can lose a drive and keep going, which means if a drive dies you can swap it out and keep operating with no data loss. I have this running on FireWire, but it's just kind of slow these days. Thunderbolt would be nice, but USB 3.0 is very fast and available on all recent Macs and PCs. I've been preferring USB 3.0 over Thunderbolt lately due to cost and USB 3 is everywhere these days.
Pricing starts out at $549.99 for a 4TB model and a bare enclosure costs 279.99 if you want to roll your own.
MOGA Ace Power iOS game controller
Touch Arcade got a look at the new MOGA Ace Power controller. It's gaming controller that's designed for iOS 7's new external controller support. The controller is designed specifically for the iPhone 5/5S and connects via Lightning port. That may mean a new version will be required if the next iPhone significantly changes shape. Their review is kind of mixed, but this could be the start of something big for iOS gaming.
The controller sells for $99.
Sprint offers free 12 month smartphone service for students
The carrier is partnering with Best Buy to offer 12 months of free cellular service to students that purchase a new smartphone from the retailer. The Unlimited, My Way student promotion includes unlimited voice minutes, unlimited texting, and 1GB of data.
It appears customers will need to either sign a contract or pay full price for their phone. In addition, they'll have to front a $36 activation fee. If students would like unlimited data, that's only $10/mo.
That's kind of a crazy aggressive promotion.
Find My Friends app get iOS 7 treatment
Version 3.0 of Apple's Find My Friends only lists one feature, and that's an updated UI to match iOS 7. The app, if you're not familiar, the app lets you track friends and family locations in addition to location based notifications. The function can be turned on/off and also offers parental controls. It's a nifty app for things like social gatherings or family vacations.
3.0 strips away the leather stitching for a much cleaner and plainer interface. The leather was kind of silly to begin with but looks completely out of place within iOS 7.
The update is available free via the App Store.
PBS, Yahoo Screen comes to Apple TV
Apple TV gained two new content channels Tuesday. New buttons for PBS and Yahoo are now available for viewing. All Things D notes that the PBS channel won't offer live broadcast content, but on-demand content of broadcast programming should be available within 24 hours of airing. The PBS doesn't require authorization via a cable provider like other TV programming channels.
The Yahoo channel offers clips from Saturday Night Life, movie trailers and other content from partners.
Apple continues to roll out additional content to its set-top video device. Other major providers include HBO, Disney, and ESPN.
Podcast: Episode 100, iPad mini, iPhone case is crappy or not? Everpix, plus more
This week we iPad mini w/ Retina launched in an unusual manner. Also we'll talk about Apple's leather iPhone 5/5s case that Mike doesn't really like but apparently other people do. Also cloud photo service Everpix shutdown and that's a bummer, plus your app of the week.
My iPhone Home Page AppsVideo:
A rundown of the most used apps on my iPhone. What are yours?
Video: Apple Leather iPhone 5/5S Case (Product RED)
Apple Leather iPhone 5/5S Case (Product RED)
Philips announces Hue BR30 bulbs recessed lighting
Philips this week announced an additional bulb for its family of Hue lighting products. The BR30 is designed to replace spot-light style bulbs in can or recessed ceiling fixtures. The bulbs cost $60 each and require a controller that can run up to 50 bulbs on your home network. A starter kit with three bulbs and a controller run $199.
This is a nifty solution that has one big advantage over other home automation systems. Hue can change the color of the lights, which is kind of nifty. Otherwise, there are a lot of other products out there for simple on/off. WeMo from Belkin, for example has a switch so you don't have to buy a bunch of costly bulbs.
Arstechnica posted a review of the product.
Twelve South announces BookBook Travel Journal
The BookBook line from Twelve South offers a case that looks like a classic novel. BookBook is made of hand distressed leather so each product is unique. There are versions for laptops, iPads, and iPhone.
The new BookBook Travel Journal is a larger case designed for all iPad models that offers additional storage compartments. Looks like a neat idea.
Rather than stowing small items like a charger, stylus, mouse, noise-cancelling headphones and other important travel items in the depths of a cavernous backpack, the BookBook Travel Journal keeps them sorted and within easy reach. This handsome, genuine leather case offers a small, lightweight solution that enables users to leave behind their bulky backpack, messenger bag or briefcase when on the go. Now you can store everything you need for your next presentation, meeting or class inside the ultimate reference book – the BookBook Travel Journal.
The BookBook Travel Journal is available now and sells for $99.99.
Everpix shuts down
Everpix was pretty neat. I talked about them recently on the podcast as a cool cloud service that solves a big problem. It did a great job of pulling together your photos from many sources for logical viewing. Even better, it's not a social product so everything is private.
I never upgraded to the paid service. Through incentives, I had over two years of photos synced to the service and for now that was good. I was still experimenting with the service deciding how much I'd use it. Eventually I think I would have paid, but didn't get around to fully using it. Too bad. I think Apple could learn some things from Everpix for iCloud.
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