Via Mac Rumors:
Get outside and celebrate Earth Day on April 22 and earn this award. Go for a walk, run, cycle, wheelchair, or swim workout of 30 minutes or more in the Workout app or in any third party app that writes these workouts to Health. You will also earn special stickers for Messages.
Apple has done similar special challenges for Thanksgiving and a new year challenge this past January. I've done each of these so far and they're a fun activity that's not very difficult to obtain. I'm sure we'll make time to walk to the park or something this weekend.
LaCie announces 2big Dock with Thunderbolt
LaCie announced Thunderbolt today to its 2big Dock. The dock offers high capacity RAID and various ports and connectivities.
More than storage, the LaCie 2big Dock is a powerful docking station that helps photographers and videographers simplify their workflows. Front-facing SD and CF Card slots allow the pro to directly ingest files off memory cards from a drone, DSLR, GoProŽ and other devices into Adobe Lightroom or Premiere Pro. The USB 3.0 hub charges a phone or connects a shuttle drive or digital camera to offload footage or files. Via DisplayPort, professionals can connect the LaCie 2big Dock to high-resolution 720-1080p or even 4K displays. Dual Thunderbolt 3 ports can also power a compatible laptop while simultaneously daisy-chaining up to five additional Thunderbolt or one USB-C drive. Plus, the USB 3.1 port enables universal compatibility with USB-C and USB 3.0 computers via the included adapter cable. Thunderbolt 2 compatibility is also possible with an adapter (sold separately).
Expected this summer, the LaCie 2big Dock will ship in 12TB, 16TB, or 20TB capacities.
Report: Apple working on three iPhones this year
Apple is preparing three iPhones for launch as soon as this fall, including upgraded versions of the current two iPhone models and a new top-of-the-line handset with an overhauled look, according to people familiar with the matter. For the redesigned phone, Apple is testing a new type of screen, curved glass and stainless steel materials, and more advanced cameras, the people said. Those anxiously awaiting the redesigned iPhone, however, may have to wait because supply constraints could mean the device isn't readily available until one or two months after the typical fall introduction.
It will be interesting to see the price and shipping date of the new high end phone. Also, if there are other phones, will they share the iPhone 6/6s/7 physical design. If so, I wonder how many people will opt for a less expensive upgrade sooner or wait for the more expensive and significant external upgrade to arrive.
Apple's i-apps now free for iOS, macOS
MacRumors noticed with recent updates Apple's iWork suite, iMovie, and Garage Band are now free to all users.
Apple today updated several of its Mac and iOS apps, making them available for all Mac and iOS users for free.
iMovie, Numbers, Keynote, Pages, and GarageBand for both Mac and iOS devices have been updated and are now listed in the App Store for free.
Since 2013, anyone purchasing a Mac or iOS device could download the apps for free. At this point, it might have not been worth Apple's time to manage the free download for purchases.
iPad 4th Gen repairs may result in iPad Air 2 replacement
According to an Apple memo at Mac Rumors, it appears those looking to get their iPad 4th Gen repaired could have it replaced with an iPad Air 2. As models get older, it's probably harder and less practical for Apple to stock parts and train staff.
Apple memo via MacRumors:
Starting March 30, iPad 4th generation whole unit repairs may be substituted to iPad Air 2 models. Apple's repair and order management tool will indicate for each repair if a substitution will take place. Please note the substitute part's color and capacity to ensure the customer understands what their replacement iPad whole unit will be.
Apple TV rumored to get user profiles, picture-in-picture
An upcoming tvOS update may bring the ability to watch TV while working in other apps. Another rumor has Apple TV supporting multiple user profiles profiles.
Who knows about the rumors, but I'm particularly interested in the profile ability.
9 to 5 Mac:
As shown in the mockups provided by the site, tvOS 11 will add a way to handle multiple Apple IDs for the different people in the house.
When selecting one of these profiles, users will see only see their songs and playlists in the Music app, view their personal iCloud Photo Library in Photos, change the app home screen to display their apps and layout, and more.
We have the family Apple Music plan and I wish there was a way to have profiles on Apple TV. That's usually how we play music in the house and the wife's music tastes mess up my music discovery. It would be great if you could indicate who is using the device similar to Netflix. This actually vexes me so much I submitted it as a feature request last year. Maybe some time soon...
Apple obtains self-driving car testing permit in California
Apple has been granted a permit to test self-driving cars in California. The permit allows the company to test autonomous vehicle technology.
The permit allows it to conduct test drives in three vehicles with six drivers, the state Department of Motor Vehicles said on Friday. The vehicles are all 2015 Lexus RX450h, according to the DMV.
The key part of this doesn't necessarily mean Apple is testing its own cars, but rather autonomous technology. That could mean Apple is in fact developing a car or developing technology to be a vendor to car makers..
Over the past year or so Apple's car efforts seem to have been rocky with lots of rumors of change in leadership and direction. It does appear, however, Apple is still working on something.
Profile of Susan Bennett, the voice of Siri
Typeform.com has an in-depth can rather confusingly presented profile of Susan Bennett.
How do you become the most popular voice of the most successful tech company in the world-without your knowledge?
I interviewed Susan about her stumble into fame, then plotted her life against the rise of more human-like virtual assistants. It turns out that her voice appeared at two pivotal moments in the development of talking tech.
It makes you wonder, was Susan destined to become the world's most recognizable digital voice?
I've never seen a post designed in such a convoluted matter, but if you have the determination, there's some interesting tidbits to learn.
Man assembles an iPhone from parts
built a like-new(but really refurbished) iPhone 6S 16GB entirely from parts I bought in the public cell phone parts markets in Huaqiangbei. And it works!
I've been fascinated by the cell phone parts markets in Shenzhen, China for a while. I'd walked through them a bunch of times, but I still didn't understand basic things, like how they were organized or who was buying all these parts and what they were doing with them.
So when someone mentioned they wondered if you could build a working smartphone from parts in the markets, I jumped at the chance to really dive in and understand how everything works. Well, I sat on it for nine months, and then I dove in.
Interesting video He said he spent about 2 months looking for parts and spent $1000 on tools and parts that didn't go towards the final build. He said he figures the cost of the parts he actually used was about $300. He also purchased assembled recycled components, so it was completely built from scratch.
Nvidia releases beta Pascal GPU drivers for old Mac Pros and Hackintoshes
The driver should support all Pascal-based graphics cards under macOS Sierra, including the GTX 1050, 1050 Ti, 1060, 1070, 1080, and 1080 Ti, as well as the Titan X and Titan Xp. It also supports many older GeForce and Quadro GPUs going all the way back to the GeForce 8000 series.
It's noteworthy this includes the new Titain Xp card with 3,840 cores.
This is great news for older Mac Pros that use PCIe slots and the hackintosh community using common PC motherboards. While older Mac Pros and generally less powerful Intel Core processors used in hackintoshes won't beat Xeon CPUs in current Mac Pros, the graphics processors greatly outpace what is currently available. As macOS and applications utilize ever-more powerful graphics, GPU speed over the years has become important beyond just gamers.