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TidBITS: Apple News for the Rest of Us



The oldest continuously published technology publication on the Internet, TidBITS brings you the Apple Macintosh, iPhone, iPad, and iPod news, reviews, tips, and commentary that matters. Join us each week for audio versions of award-winning coverage from



Published: Fri, 18 Aug 2017 17:18:10 EDT

Last Build Date: Fri, 18 Aug 2017 17:18:10 EDT

Copyright: Copyright 2017 TidBITS Publishing Inc.
 



CZUR M3000 Is an Inexpensive, Reliable Book Scanner

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 12:14:05 EDT

The CZUR M3000 is a (relatively) inexpensive way to digitize your physical books. Marc Zeedar discusses its pros and cons, and offers some tips for scanning books as efficiently as possible.

 

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Preparing for a Possible Apple “Face ID” Technology

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 06:15:36 EDT

Leaked HomePod firmware points to a possible facial recognition feature in a future iPhone. TidBITS Security Editor Rich Mogull examines the implications and explains how you can evaluate the announcement if and when it comes.

 

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External Link: Apple CEO Tim Cook Speaks Out about Charlottesville

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 13:05:31 EDT

In an email to all Apple employees, CEO Tim Cook decried the “tragic and repulsive” events in Charlottesville, saying “We must not witness or permit such hate and bigotry in our country, and we must be unequivocal about it. This is not about the left or the right, conservative or liberal. It is about human decency and morality.” He also announced that Apple would be making $1 million donations to the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League. As someone who grew up in the South and once confronted the Ku Klux Klan during a cross burning, Cook finds events like these deeply troubling, but he closed with, “These have been dark days, but I remain as optimistic as ever that the future is bright. Apple can and will play an important role in bringing about positive change.”

 

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External Link: Apple Reportedly Spending $1 Billion on Video Content

Wed, 16 Aug 2017 14:10:09 EDT

Variety reports that Apple has budgeted $1 billion to spend on 10 TV shows. That may sound like a lot of money, but in the next year, Netflix is expected to spend $7 billion on original content, Amazon $4.5 billion, and HBO $2 billion. Hopefully, Apple can produce something more compelling than “Planet of the Apps” and “Carpool Karaoke.”

 

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External Link: Botched Firmware Update Bricks Smart Locks

Wed, 16 Aug 2017 13:08:18 EDT

Home automation can be great, but it’s not without downsides, as owners of the LockState RemoteLock 6i have discovered. An errant software update rendered the remote control aspects of their locks inoperable, although the locks can still be unlocked with a key. Airbnb hosts are particularly affected because RemoteLock locks can be integrated directly with Airbnb to manage and monitor Airbnb properties remotely. The worst part? To fix the problem, users must ship their locks to LockState to replace the firmware, which takes 5 to 7 days, or LockState can send a replacement lock, which will take 14 to 18 days. Either way, owners of these locks must physically remove them to address this digital problem.

 

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TidBITS Watchlist: Notable Software Updates for 14 August 2017

Mon, 14 Aug 2017 17:28:32 EDT

The only notable software release this week is Banktivity 6.1.2.

 

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ExtraBITS for 14 August 2017

Mon, 14 Aug 2017 17:28:27 EDT

In ExtraBITS this week, an augmented reality expert explains why we may not see AR glasses from Apple for several years, Google adds phishing warnings to the Gmail app for iOS, and Disney has announced that it will halt its deal with Netflix to launch its own streaming services.

 

Read the full article at TidBITS, the oldest continuously published technology publication on the Internet. To get a full-text RSS feed, help support our work and become a TidBITS member! Members also enjoy an ad-free version of our Web site, email delivery of individual articles, the ability to make long comments with live links, and discounts on Take Control orders and other Apple-related products.




Cornell Parents/TidBITS Meetup with Adam & Tonya

Mon, 14 Aug 2017 11:13:31 EDT

If you’re bringing a child to start school at Cornell University this week, we’d love it if you could join us at a meetup for TidBITS readers.

 

Read the full article at TidBITS, the oldest continuously published technology publication on the Internet. To get a full-text RSS feed, help support our work and become a TidBITS member! Members also enjoy an ad-free version of our Web site, email delivery of individual articles, the ability to make long comments with live links, and discounts on Take Control orders and other Apple-related products.




Banktivity 6.1.2

Sun, 13 Aug 2017 23:30:16 EDT

Fixes a smattering of bugs in the personal finance app. ($64.99 new, free update, 19.0 MB)

 

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External Link: AR Glasses from Apple May Not Appear for Several Years

Fri, 11 Aug 2017 12:08:46 EDT

Apple’s impressive ARKit developer framework has sparked speculation about the company developing a pair of smart glasses along the lines of Google Glass. In a post on Medium, augmented reality expert Matt Miesnieks explains why Apple-branded smart glasses are likely still several years away. There are numerous technical challenges to overcome, but the biggest obstacle is miniaturizing all the necessary technology into a pair of glasses people would want to wear all day. Miesnieks thinks Apple could introduce the first limited pair of smart glasses with a heads-up display (think of them as an Apple Watch on your face) as soon as late 2018, though he doesn’t see full ARKit-capable glasses appearing before 2021.

 

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External Link: Google Adds Phishing Warnings to Gmail for iOS

Fri, 11 Aug 2017 08:36:56 EDT

If you use the Gmail app for iOS, Google has added a new feature that warns you about phishing attempts. If you’re reading an email message and tap a link that Google thinks leads to a phishing site, a dialog pops up to alert you to the danger. You can still open the link if you wish. Google is rolling the feature out over the next 15 days, and you don’t need to update the app to get it.

 

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Ulysses Writing App Moves to Subscription Pricing

Thu, 10 Aug 2017 17:40:06 EDT

The latest high-profile Mac software — joining TextExpander and 1Password — to move to subscription pricing is the cross-platform writing app Ulysses.

 

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Apple’s 10.5-inch iPad Pro Aims for the Sweet Spot

Thu, 10 Aug 2017 10:26:39 EDT

If Apple’s 12.9-inch iPad Pro seemed awfully big and the 9.7-inch model a bit too small, you might find the new 10.5-inch variation to be just right. Its major under-the-hood upgrades are mirrored on the just-refreshed 12.9-inch version for those who prefer the larger screen.

 

Read the full article at TidBITS, the oldest continuously published technology publication on the Internet. To get a full-text RSS feed, help support our work and become a TidBITS member! Members also enjoy an ad-free version of our Web site, email delivery of individual articles, the ability to make long comments with live links, and discounts on Take Control orders and other Apple-related products.




T-Mobile Offers Discounted Cellular Plans to Those Aged 55 and Up

Thu, 10 Aug 2017 07:37:26 EDT

T-Mobile is offering steep discounts for customers aged 55 and older, hitting AT&T and Verizon in one of their firmest strongholds.

 

Read the full article at TidBITS, the oldest continuously published technology publication on the Internet. To get a full-text RSS feed, help support our work and become a TidBITS member! Members also enjoy an ad-free version of our Web site, email delivery of individual articles, the ability to make long comments with live links, and discounts on Take Control orders and other Apple-related products.




External Link: Disney Cutting off Netflix to Launch Streaming Service in 2019

Wed, 09 Aug 2017 15:04:40 EDT

Disney currently has an exclusive agreement with Netflix to stream its content, a deal that was made in 2012 but didn’t take full effect until last year. Now Disney is withdrawing. In 2019, its content will disappear from Netflix when Disney’s own streaming service joins another planned streaming service from Disney subsidiary ESPN. The announcement raises a few questions: How many of these streaming services are people willing to pay for? Will Netflix’s original TV shows and movies be sufficient to make up for the content it’s losing from competitors with ties to the major studios and networks?

 

Read the full article at TidBITS, the oldest continuously published technology publication on the Internet. To get a full-text RSS feed, help support our work and become a TidBITS member! Members also enjoy an ad-free version of our Web site, email delivery of individual articles, the ability to make long comments with live links, and discounts on Take Control orders and other Apple-related products.




TidBITS Watchlist: Notable Software Updates for 7 August 2017

Mon, 07 Aug 2017 17:40:23 EDT

Notable software releases this week include ScreenFlow 7.0, OmniOutliner Essentials and Pro 5.1.1, Fission 2.3.2, and Airfoil 5.6.2.

 

Read the full article at TidBITS, the oldest continuously published technology publication on the Internet. To get a full-text RSS feed, help support our work and become a TidBITS member! Members also enjoy an ad-free version of our Web site, email delivery of individual articles, the ability to make long comments with live links, and discounts on Take Control orders and other Apple-related products.




ExtraBITS for 7 August 2017

Mon, 07 Aug 2017 17:40:19 EDT

In ExtraBITS this week, DirecTV Now has reached a deal with CBS Networks to stream its content, and AT&T’s and Verizon’s networks both slowed down after they started offering unlimited data.

 

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External Link: DirecTV Now Gains CBS Networks

Mon, 07 Aug 2017 13:15:43 EDT

AT&T's live TV service DirecTV Now has reached an agreement to live stream content from CBS Networks, including local CBS stations and The CW in several markets, as well as (on premium tiers or for additional fees) CBS Sports Network, Pop, and Showtime. CBS is notoriously reluctant to join streaming services, generally preferring its own solutions, like CBS All Access.

 

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iMac 1 TB Fusion Drives Have Smaller SSDs

Mon, 07 Aug 2017 11:35:31 EDT

If you’re in the market for an iMac, beware the 1 TB Fusion Drive because it includes a significantly smaller SSD than the one embedded in the 2 TB and 3 TB Fusion Drives.

 

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ScreenFlow 7.0

Sun, 06 Aug 2017 13:19:46 EDT

Major new release for popular screencast recording and video editing app improves performance with MP4 files and adds a Global Library for asset files. ($129 new, $39 upgrade, 48.9 MB)

 

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External Link: AT&T and Verizon Networks Slow Down after Unlimited Plans

Sat, 05 Aug 2017 08:00:00 EDT

According to a report by OpenSignal, Verizon's and AT&T's 4G LTE download speeds have gotten slower in the months since the carriers brought back unlimited data plans. Between OpenSignal’s February 2017 and August 2017 reports, AT&T’s average speed fell 6.8 percent to 12.92 Mbps while Verizon’s fell a whopping 11.7 percent to 14.91 Mbps. OpenSignal doesn’t suggest that there's anything nefarious happening, only that increased demand is resulting in overall slower speeds. Interestingly, both Sprint (by far the slowest carrier) and T-Mobile (the faster carrier), which have offered unlimited data for years, saw an increase in their average speeds during this period: 8.6 percent for Sprint and 4.8 percent for T-Mobile.

 

Read the full article at TidBITS, the oldest continuously published technology publication on the Internet. To get a full-text RSS feed, help support our work and become a TidBITS member! Members also enjoy an ad-free version of our Web site, email delivery of individual articles, the ability to make long comments with live links, and discounts on Take Control orders and other Apple-related products.




OmniOutliner Essentials and Pro 5.1.1

Fri, 04 Aug 2017 22:43:57 EDT

Adds localizations for 10 languages and fixes numerous bugs. ($9.99/59.99 new, free update, 37.1 MB)

 

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Fission 2.3.2

Fri, 04 Aug 2017 19:43:47 EDT

Adds support for 32-bit AIFF and WAV files and “extremely” preliminary compatibility with macOS 10.13 High Sierra. ($29 new, free update, 10.4 MB)

 

Read the full article at TidBITS, the oldest continuously published technology publication on the Internet. To get a full-text RSS feed, help support our work and become a TidBITS member! Members also enjoy an ad-free version of our Web site, email delivery of individual articles, the ability to make long comments with live links, and discounts on Take Control orders and other Apple-related products.




Airfoil 5.6.2

Fri, 04 Aug 2017 18:43:36 EDT

Adds “extremely” preliminary compatibility with macOS 10.13 High Sierra and updates the Instant On component. ($29 new, free update, 14.2 MB)

 

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Send and Receive Faxes Cheaply with the Right iOS App

Fri, 04 Aug 2017 13:51:26 EDT

Apps proliferate for sending and receiving that antiquated form of document transfer, the fax. Pick the right app to keep costs down.

 

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What’s Wrong with the Touch Bar

Fri, 04 Aug 2017 13:15:07 EDT

After close to a year with a 2016 MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, Josh Centers doesn’t find Apple’s new alternative input device all that useful. He explains why, and offers some suggestions for how Apple could make it better.

 

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Apple Posts $8.7 Billion in Profits for Q3 2017

Tue, 01 Aug 2017 18:39:15 EDT

Apple saw year-over-year revenue and unit sales increases for all of its product divisions in Q3 2017, including the relatively beleaguered iPad.

 

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ExtraBITS for 31 July 2017

Mon, 31 Jul 2017 15:53:58 EDT

In ExtraBITS this week, Apple is removing VPN apps from the Chinese App Store at the Chinese’s government’s request, and MacPaw has acquired the Unarchiver family of decompression apps.

 

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External Link: Apple Removes VPN Apps from Chinese App Store

Mon, 31 Jul 2017 12:53:26 EDT

Under pressure from the Chinese government, Apple has removed some virtual private network (VPN) apps from the App Store in China. Chinese users use VPNs to tunnel through the so-called “Great Firewall” that censors Internet traffic there. Apple says that the Chinese government now requires a license for all VPN software, so it had no choice but to comply with the law. Apple is in an awkward position in China because it’s torn between wanting to support user privacy and needing government approval to sell to the lucrative Chinese market.

 

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TidBITS Watchlist: Notable Software Updates for 31 July 2017

Mon, 31 Jul 2017 12:50:03 EDT

Notable software releases this week include GraphicConverter 10.4.3, EagleFiler 1.8, and PDFpen and PDFpenPro 9.1.

 

Read the full article at TidBITS, the oldest continuously published technology publication on the Internet. To get a full-text RSS feed, help support our work and become a TidBITS member! Members also enjoy an ad-free version of our Web site, email delivery of individual articles, the ability to make long comments with live links, and discounts on Take Control orders and other Apple-related products.