Category: Cool Features

Best back to School deals on all the tech goodies you may need!

Back to School time!!

 

Sorry kids, but the silver lining? You might get some new tech out of all that learning!

 

Back to School sales are on! Here’s some deals we spotted for you guys!!

 

To start with, Apple has its 2019 Back to School deal – they’ll give students a free pair of Beats headphones (Beats Studio 3, Beats Solo 3, or BeatsX) when they buy an eligible Apple device.

 

If buying an iPad Pro or iPad, students can choose from either free BeatsX, free Beats Solo 3 Wireless, or a $199 credit against the purchase of Beats Studio 3.

 

To qualify for free Beats Studio 3 headphones, education customers can purchase any any iMac, iMac Pro, MacBook Pro, or MacBook Air.

 

This deal sits alongside the usual education discounts, whereby students can buy Apple hardware at 5-10% below the normal retail prices.

 

You can get your hands on the deal if you’re a K-12 employee, higher-education faculty, or students attending higher education institutions.

 

What else?

 

 

At Best buy: Students save up to $300 on select laptops, including MacBook Air. 

 

AND, you can save on chromeBooks at Amazon, as well as Apple AirPods with Charging Case (Latest Model) for $144.99 down from $15, and while you’re there, get a shiny new Apple iPad (Wi-Fi, 32GB) – Space Gray (Latest Model) for $249 ($80 off list price) or go large with a Apple iPad (Wi-Fi, 128GB) – Space Gray (Latest Model) for $329 ( down $100).

 

 

Let’s get to shopping, ammirite?

 

 

Apple creates ASMR video series

You guys have heard of ASMR videos, right? Well if you haven’t, Apple’s giving you that opportunity right now!!

 

As part of their “Shot on iPhone” series, Apple has created 4 6-10 minute long ASMR videos for your listening pleasure!

 

Here’s the gist – ASMR is autonomous sensory meridian response. Got it? No?

 

Well, here’s what wiki has to say – ASMR signifies the subjective experience of “low-grade euphoria” characterized by “a combination of positive feelings and a distinct static-like tingling sensation on the skin”. It is most commonly triggered by specific auditory or visual stimuli, and less commonly by intentional attention control.

 

The first video is called “Whispers from Ghost Forest,” and features a woman whispering about the legend of Ghost Forest.

 

 

The second video focuses on wood shop sounds:

 

 

The third video features a man walking on a trail and crunching leaves and brush underfoot:

 

 

The fourth video, “A calm rain at camp,” features the sound of rain pounding on various items at a campsite in the woods.

 

 

 

 

 

Each one lovingly created using an iPhone, and Apple recommends using headphones whilst you watch. Enjoy!

 

 

Apple Card launching super soon!

According to the news around the Apple Tree,  Apple Card is will launch in the U.S. in just a few weeks, coming in live in the first couple of weeks in August.

 

You’ll be able to sign up for the card in the Wallet app, which will have built-in Apple Card support as part of the latest iOS 12.4 update.

 

Apple Card will be optimized for Apple Pay but will still work like a traditional credit card for all of your transactions. You can also get a super sleek physical titanium card for use at stores that don’t accept Apple Pay.

 

Goldman Sachs is responsible for the underlying infrastructure, managing payment disputes, handling transaction data and collating information for monthly statements.

 

The card comes with some extra perks, too, such as 3% cash back on Apple purchases, 2% cash back on all Apple Pay transactions, and 1% cash back on all other purchases.

 

 

You needed another credit card, right?

 

 

 

iPhone Photo Awards!

The winners of the 12th annual iPhone Photography Awards were just unveiled!

 

There were thousands of entries from over 140 countries around the world – were you one of them?

 

 

 

The grand prize winner is “Big Sister” shot on an iPhone X by Gabriella Cigliano of Italy.

 

The photo itself was taken in Zanzibar, Africa.

 

 

From the photographer:

 

“Last year I spent a month in Wasa, Tanzania, teaching a class of young, curious and amazing guys. Before heading back to Italy we stopped in Zanzibar, where this photo was taken. I still wonder how could I capture that exact moment in all its beauty. I was just observing, a few meters from them, but they were probably more curious about me than I was about them, and that’s probably why the girl was looking at me. We couldn’t talk much, except for a few words in Swahili I had learned in the previous weeks, but those kids could definitely talk with their eyes. It was one of the most beautiful things I’ve seen in my life, and I’ll keep it in my memories forever. The best part was showing them and their mums the photos, for some it was the first time they were seeing their faces, and their excitement was unexplainable, unfortunately my iPhone was in their hands and I couldn’t capture that!”

 

The rest of the winning entrants are from categories like Abstract, Animals, Architecture, Children, Floral, Landscape, Lifestyle, Nature,  News-Events, Panorama, People,  Portrait,  Series, Still Life, Sunset,  Travel,  and Trees.

 

You can see the rest of the winning photos here. And if this inspires you, you can already enter into next year’s competition here. The deadline is 03/31/2020.

 

 

Amazon Prime Days are coming!

That’s right, Prime DAYS. This year, Amazon have decided to bless us with 2 days of deals, instead of 1. Technically last year’s lasted 36 hours, but who knows what kind of extra deals you can get with those extra 12 hours?!

 

The whole thing will begin at Midnight on July 15th and last through July 16th.

 

Prime Day  will include deals and discounts on everything from tech products (yay!)  to home products, clothing, toys, and more.

 

SO beginning at Midnight on the 15th, there’ll be lightning deals on Amazon that start at different times and last for as long as stock lasts.

 

Here’s the kicker though: Prime membership is required to get the deals.

 

Amazon currently has previews on some of the deals they’ll be featuring, so go check them out!! 

 

 

 

New ‘Shot on iPhone’ video

A couple of days ago Apple released a new ‘Shot on iPhone XS’ video that’s pretty trippy, so if you need a nice little calming moment away from this Monday Afternoon, here you go!!!

 

 

Also – we’ve heard reports out of Silicon Valley today suggest that Apple may be releasing a 16-inch MacBook come September… interesting…

 

 

 

 

 

Deal of the day!

Drumroll please……

 

Our deal of the day is from Amazon – IF you’re a prime member, you can get a certified refurbished Ring Wi-Fi-Enabled Video Doorbell for $53.99 with free shipping.

 

This device is usually $89.99 so get on it if you want it!! Go here to see the deal. 

 

Happy Tuesday (and National Cheese day of course)!

 

 

WWDC Keynote rundown

Welcome to our 2019 WWDC keynote round up! We have quite a bit to unpack here, so let’s gooo!

 

We start with a black-and-white video showing developers working from home, coding and designing. “While the world sleeps, you dream. Welcome to WWDC” Thanks guys!

 

Oh Hi Tim Cook! *waves*.

 

Mr Cook talks about all of the fancy fandangled services Apple launched earlier this year – Apple News+, Apple Arcade, Apple Card, and  lastly Apple TV Plus, which brings us to the trailer for an Apple original show which will premiere on AppleTV+ later this year, ‘For All Mankind’. The show is being produced by Ronald Moore, an executive producer of Star Trek and Battlestar Galactica, and looks intense and captivating.

 

Next up? tvOS 13 of course!

The new operating system for Apple TV has a redesigned home screen with multi-user support and personalized recommendations, new underwater 4K HDR screen savers that were filmed in collaboration with the BBC Natural History Units, updates to Apple Music, and will work with Apple Arcade and support the XBox 1S and the Playstation Dual-shock 4 game controllers.

 

 

tvOS 13 is available for Apple Developer Program members starting today, with the public beta of the software launching later in June.  tvOS 13 will be available for everyone in the fall for free.

 

 

WatchOS 6

Kevin Lynch comes out on stage to speak about watchOS, which will feature – you guessed it – more watch faces, but also a new App Store dedicated to Apple Watch, including independent apps, (!) as well as an Audio books app, a voice memo app and a calculator app. ( Yay calculator watches are back! )

 

There are also new health & fitness capabilities including a decibel meter app, ‘Noise App’ and a period tracking app, ‘Cycle tracking’.

 

 

 

iOS 13

 

Craig Federighi wants to talk to us about iOS 13. The updated operating system will launch twice as fast as iOS 12, and Face ID will unlock your phone 30% faster.

 

There’s now a dark mode, which sounds spooky, but really it’s just that now all your apps will now be available in black to make looking at your phone easier on your eyes in the dark.

 

There’s a complete redesign of the Reminders app with the ability to associate your to do list with reminders, as well as the option of tagging people.

 

Apple Music gets lyrics, and Notes has a brand-new gallery view and the ability to support shared folders. Apple Maps got some shiny new updates, with nicer detail, and Google Street View–style views of certain cities.

 

Privacy has very much come to the forefront of everyone’s  concerns when it comes to technology, and Apple are saying that that makes them concerned. So much concern! So now, Apple’s made it so that you can have the option to grant an app one-time access to your location instead of constantly, and the system will also prevent apps from using Wi-Fi and Bluetooth data to figure your location out.

 

Additionally, there’s a new ‘Sign In With Apple’ feature that lets you to sign in with websites and apps via Apple rather than through Google and Facebook, etc. You can also use your Apple ID to authenticate your login, and you can even keep your email address hidden by using a randomized email address generated by Apple. Logins can all be authenticated using Face ID or Touch ID.

 

There’s  also a new ‘Find My’ app for finding your iPhone or Mac even when there’s no WiFi or Cellular collection.

 

Messages now lets you set a name and a profile picture, so if you don’t have a contacts number saved – it doesn’t matter anymore! Youtube stars Patrick Stars and Desi Perkins ( or rather, their Memoji’s) tell us all about how there are further customization options for Memoji – including hair color, piercings, make up, etc. Memoji stickers will now be incorporated into emoji in the system keyboard.

 

Siri is completely machine built now, so instead  of snippets of an actress saying words looped together, her voice is completely synthetic and actually more natural sounding. You can also use her for messages whilst using AirPods, and a pretty cool AirPod feature? iOS 13 supports audio sharing, so you can share the audio of a movie or a song with another friend with a single tap — as long as they’re wearing AirPods.

 

There’s new photo and video editing features and a new way to organize the Photos app, which, using machine learning, will now separating your screenshots, duplicates, and receipts from the rest of your photo library.

 

Apple maps got a shiny new update too, with a new street view feature called “Look Around” that lets you see street-level imagery of a city, and the ability to share favorite restaurants or travel destinations with friends, and a Favorites section for navigating to frequent destinations.

 

Apple has made the first beta of iOS 13 available to developers for testing purposes today, and the public betas roll out in July.

 

 

 

Introducing iPadOS 
iPads now have their very own software operating system! Happy Operating System Day iPad! It features lots of multitasking capability, column views for digging into file hierarchy, the ability to plug in a USB drive, and iPad-native multitouch gestures. Everything shown on screen looks very intuitive and slick.

 

Now we get to the very impressive and cool Hardware  section of the keynote! – The new Mac Pro. 

 

Now hold on to your horses here, because there’s some crazy numbers coming up.  We’re talking up to a 28-core Intel Xeon processor, up to 1.5TB of ECC RAM, the ability to handle up to 300 watts of power and a “massive” heatsink that can run fully unconstrained at all times.

 

Two Thunderbolt 3 ports, two USB-A ports, and a 3.5mm audio jack, eight internal PCIe slots, four double-wide slots, three single-wide slots, and one additional half-length slot for an I/O card.

 

It also has wheels! Wheels!

 

Here’s some more numbers for you – The new Mac Pro will start at $5,999 with an eight-core Intel Xeon processor, 32GB of ECC RAM, AMD WX 7100 graphics, and 256GB of SSD storage.

 

To go with that shiny ( kind of cheese grater-y looking) computer? A very pretty new 32-inch 6K display named the Pro Display XDR which features a 6,016 x 3,384 resolution display and 20 million pixels, uses a direct backlighting system with a large array of LEDs, able to produce 1,000 nits of full-screen brightness and 1,600 nits of peak brightness.

 

The new screen has a 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio and can maintain 1,000 nits of full-screen brightness indefinitely, and also features Thunderbolt 3, which enables two monitors to run off a single power source, and up to four displays to be connected together for more screen real estate.

 

You can get one of those starting at $4,999, its stand for $999 and a VESA Mount Adapter for $199.

 

 

Both the display and the new Mac pro will be available in the Fall.

 

 

 

macOS 10.15 Catalina

 

iTunes is no longer! Byeeee Old Man iTunes! We will now have three dedicated apps: Apple Music, Apple Podcasts and Apple TV.
iPhone syncing and device storage management will now be located in Finder, which is one of the best things we heard in this whole keynote thing, really.
Sidecar”is also really cool, and lets you use your iPad as a second display for your Mac.You can also now use voice control for accessibility using Siri, which ALSO is really really cool!

Activation Lock is coming to Macs (those of which have the newer T2 security chips) with iOS 10.15, as is Screen Time, so you can be shocked at ALL YOU DATA AND HOW MUCH TIME YOU SPEND WATCHING CAT VIDEOS

 

 

The Catalina OS beta is available today, while public seeds will be available in July. The OS becomes widely available in the fall.

 

We also saw another privacy/security concern addressed today, with Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering telling us about HomeKit Secure video, which uses your actual iPad, HomePod, or AppleTV, and then encrypts it and and sends it to a secure iCloud. HomeKit Secure Video even works with certain third-party camera providers, and the video storage and analysis doesn’t count toward your iCloud data limit.

 

 

So there we have it, some really neat new features across the software board, an amazing new MacPro, and some Memoji stickers. Oh – and some last cool things?

 

RealityKit, with photorealistic rendering, environment and camera effects, animation, physics and more, Reality Composer, where you can build interactive AR experiences, with a built-in AR content library, Xcode tool and iOS app. ARKit 3 with Motion Capture and People Occlusion and compositing of people in real time, AND New SwiftUI framework which requires much less coding to build UIs.

 

The future is real!

 

You can watch the  whole Keynote here, or shorter videos about everything that was announced today on Apple’s YouTube channel here. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Surprise! New Macbook pro models announced

Happy Tuesday!! Apple celebrated their Tuesday with a surprise announcement and launch of new 13 and 15-inch MacBook Pro models – the fastest Mac notebooks ever at the top of the line, featuring Intel’s 8th and 9th-generation processors.

 

Other new features include an updated keyboard, using new material in the keyboard’s butterfly mechanism that should cut down on issues like double key presses and missed key presses.

 

The display has 500 nits of brightness, P3 wide color gamut, and True Tone technology and the models are equipped with Apple’s T2 security chip, Thunderbolt 3 ports, and immersive stereo speakers like prior machines.

 

From Tom Boger, Apple’s senior director of Mac Product marketing:

 

“Whether it’s college students mastering a course of study, developers building world-class apps or video editors creating feature films, we’re constantly amazed at what our customers do with their MacBook Pro. Now with 8-core processors for an incredible performance boost, along with its stunning Retina display, fast storage, all-day battery life and running macOS, MacBook Pro continues to be the world’s best pro notebook and we can’t wait to get it into our customer’s hands to see what they do next.”

 

If you want to be one of those customers, you’re looking at a starting price of  $1,799 and $2,399, respectively, for the 13 and 15-inch models and you can get it into your hands right now through Apple’s online store, or later this week in retail stores.

 
 

WWDC 2019!!

Apple’s 30th annual Worldwide Developers Conference will be from Monday, June 3rd and last until Friday, June 7th,  at the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, California.

 

The keynote will be held on the first day and will debut new software (iOS 13, macOS 10.15, tvOS 13, and watchOS 6) and… hopefully some new hardware too (Mac pro, new iPad?) .

 

 

 

 

 

From Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing:

 

“WWDC is Apple’s biggest event of the year. It brings thousands of the most creative and dedicated developers from around the world together with over a thousand Apple engineers to learn about our latest platform innovations and to connect as a community. Our developers are incredibly passionate about creating the next generation of mind-blowing experiences for the world through apps. We can’t wait to get together with them and share what’s next.”

 

 

Developers are able to register to attend here, and will be chosen using a lottery system, after which tickets are priced at $1599, although in order to enter the lottery to begin with, devs must have been a member of the Apple Developer Program or the Apple Developer Enterprise Program as of March 14, 2019 at 9:00 a.m. Pacific Time. Registration will be open until March 20, 2019 at 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time, and developers who win a ticket will be notified by March 21 at 5 p.m. Pacific Time.

 

If you aren’t lucky enough to be a chosen developer,  Apple is also making up to 350 WWDC Student Scholarships available to students and members of STEM organizations. Scholarships include a free WWDC ticket, free lodging, and a free one-year membership to the Apple Developer Program.

 

Sound awesome? Yup! All you need to do in order to enter to win is  create an interactive Swift Playground that can be experienced within three minutes. Apple is taking applications until Sunday, March 24, 2019 at 5:00 p.m. PDT, with scholarship winners to be notified by Monday, April 15.

 

You will also be able to livestream the keynote through the Apple Developer website or the dedicated WWDC app for iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV.

 

We’re sure to hear more about what to expect in the lead up and we’ll let you know anything we hear on the Apple vine!