Bag Week 2018: WP Standard’s Rucksack goes the distance

WP Standard – formerly called Whipping Post Leather – makes rugged leather bags, totes, and briefcases and their Rucksack is one of my favorites. Designed to look like something a Pony Express rider would slip on for a visit to town, this $275 is sturdy, handsome, and ages surprisingly well.

There are some trade-offs, however. Except for two small front pouches there are no hidden nooks and crannies in this spare 15×15 inch sack. The main compartment can fit a laptop and a few notebooks and the front pouches can hold accessories like mice or a little collection of plugs. There is no fancy nylon mesh or gear organizers here, just a brown expanse of full grain leather.

I wore this backpack for a few months before writing this and found it surprisingly comfortable and great for travel. Because it is so simple I forced myself to pare down my

bag week 2018
Continue reading "Bag Week 2018: WP Standard’s Rucksack goes the distance"

Apple slapped with $6.6M fine in Australia over bricked devices

Apple has been fined AUS$9M (~$6.6M) by a court in Australia following a legal challenge by a consumer rights group related to the company’s response after iOS updates bricked devices that had been repaired by third parties.

The Australian Competitor and Consumer Commission (ACCC) invested a series of complaints relating to an error (‘error 53’) which disabled some iPhones and iPads after owners downloaded an update to Apple’s iOS operating system.

The ACCC says Apple admitted that, between February 2015 and February 2016 — via the Apple US’ website, Apple Australia’s staff in-store and customer service phone calls — it had informed at least 275 Australian customers affected by error 53 that they were no longer eligible for a remedy if their device had been repaired by a third party.

Image credit: 70023venus2009 via Flickr under license CC BY-ND 2.0

The court judged Apple’s action to have breached the Continue reading "Apple slapped with $6.6M fine in Australia over bricked devices"

Apple improves Photo search and sharing in iOS 12

Since our smartphones are now the main way we document the world, it's important that all those photos of your world are easy to find. At WWDC Apple unveiled upgraded and new features coming to the Photos app in iOS. Search has been supercharged and your device will now collect and offer to share the best photos from an event.

How to watch the live stream for today’s Apple WWDC keynote

Apple is holding a keynote today at the San Jose Convention Center, and the company is expected to unveil new updates for iOS, macOS, tvOS, watchOS and maybe also some new hardware. At 10 AM PT (1 PM in New York, 6 PM in London, 7 PM in Paris), you’ll be able to watch the event as the company is streaming it live.

Apple is likely to talk about some new features for all its software platforms — WWDC is a developer conference after all. Rumor has it that Apple could also unveil some MacBook Pro update with new Intel processors.

If you have the most recent Apple TV, you can download the Apple Events app in the App Store. It lets you stream today’s event and rewatch old events. Users with old Apple TVs can simply turn on their devices. Apple is pushing out the “Apple Events” channel so Continue reading "How to watch the live stream for today’s Apple WWDC keynote"

Apple will make digital health a focal point at WWDC

Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference kicks off on Monday and it looks like we can expect more of a focus on software tweaks and little in the way of hardware updates. Bloomberg reports that while MacBook and MacBook Pro refreshes -- including the addition of new Intel chips -- and a new lower cost option to follow the MacBook Air are in the works, they're not expected until later this year. Same for a revamped iPad Pro line. Bloomberg also notes that some bigger changes to software, including a new Home Screen, an AI upgrade for Photos and iPad file management tools, have been pushed to next year.

Via: Bloomberg

Leaked iPhone pics show glass back and headphone jack

The headphone jack could still have a future in an iPhone. These leaked pics show an iPhone SE 2 with a glass back and headphone jack. Like the current iPhone SE, the design seems to be a take on the classic iPhone 5. I dig it.

The leak also states the upcoming device sports wireless charging, which puts it in line with the iPhone 8 and iPhone X.

Rumors have long stated that Apple was working on an updated iPhone SE. The original was released in March 16 and updated a year later with improved specs. With a 4-inch screen, the iPhone SE is the smallest iPhone Apple offers and also the cheapest.

WWDC in early June is the next major Apple event and could play host for the launch of this phone. Last month, around the iPhone SE’s birthday, Apple held a special event in a Chicago school to Continue reading "Leaked iPhone pics show glass back and headphone jack"

Smugglers used drones to sneak $80 million worth of phones into China

China's Legal Daily reported today that officials in the country just shut down a major smartphone smuggling scheme. A total of 26 suspects were arrested in connection with the plot. The individuals allegedly used drones to string two cables between Shenzhen in southern China and Hong Kong and with the setup, they could reportedly transport as many as 15,000 phones in a single night. Those arrested are accused of smuggling 500 million yuan (approximately $79.5 million) worth of smartphones.

Via: Reuters

Source: Legal Daily

Apple’s new iPad is fine, but it’s no Chromebook killer

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If you thought Apple's new iPad would be the one to finally challenge Google's Chromebooks in the education market, you'll probably be disappointed with the new 9.7-inch iPad that Apple announced Tuesday. 

Although the new tablet adds support for Apple Pencil at a fraction of the cost of the cheapest iPad Pro ($650), the new 9.7-inch iPad doesn't beat Chromebooks on the one thing that matters most to schools: price.

To recap, here are the main differences between the new 9.7-inch iPad and the previous generation:

  • it supports Apple Pencil

  • it has the A10 Fusion chip 

  • it comes in a new shade of gold that's slightly pinker (though not as pink as the original rose gold) Read more...

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Apple doubles down on book creation with iPad app

Apple’s ebook creation tools – first launched in 2012 – have long played an interesting if minor role in the ecosystem. While Amazon has the indie book world sewn up with Kindle Direct Publishing, the desktop-based iBooks Author has always been the multimedia alternative and a favorite for folks creating one-off texts. Although there are no clear numbers (the last announcement happened in 2015 when Apple claimed seeing 1 million new iBooks users per week), there is some evidence that it behooves indie authors to at least support the platform and with the new iPad Author tools it looks like creators – and educators – will be able to create and distribute their own iPad-based texts.

The app, which is part of Pages and is called Digital Books in new iOS parlance, allows users to create multimedia books just as they would create regular documents. The app also supports group

Continue reading "Apple doubles down on book creation with iPad app"

Apple introduces a cheap 9.7-inch iPad with Apple Pencil support

Apple is holding a press conference right now in Chicago. And the company unveiled a brand new device — well, sort of. Apple is going to sell a brand new 9.7-inch iPad that works with the Apple Pencil.

Before today, only (more expensive) iPad Pro models could take advantage of the Pencil. Today’s new iPad will cost $329 for regular consumers. Schools can buy it for $299, just like the previous 9.7-inch iPad.

Based on the introduction video, it looks and works just like the existing 9.7-inch iPad. The bezels are identical and there’s a Touch ID sensor. Apple Pencil support is the only thing that seems new so far on the hardware front.

Existing iPad users will also get new features as Pages, Numbers and Keynote for iOS are all going to be updated to support the Apple Pencil. It’s surprising that those Apple apps haven’t Continue reading "Apple introduces a cheap 9.7-inch iPad with Apple Pencil support"

Apple could be announcing a new cheap iPad

According to a new report from Bloomberg, Apple could be unveiling a new version of its entry-level iPad at its event next week. The company is holding a press event on March 27 in Chicago. And the only thing that we know is that the event is going to be focused on the education market.

Apple launched a cheap iPad in March 2017 without any press conference. This iPad looks like the iPad Air 2 with a 9.7-inch retina display and an A9 chip — the chip that first appeared in the iPhone 6S. More importantly, the entry-level iPad that is simply called “iPad” only costs $320 for the 32GB version.

And it sounds like Apple is ready to introduce an updated version of this iPad. Maybe you can expect a True Tone display and faster components for instance. Hardware is just one part as Bloomberg also says Continue reading "Apple could be announcing a new cheap iPad"

Siri won’t be reading hidden notifications out loud for much longer

A fix is coming for a bug that led Siri to speak notifications out loud that were hidden behind the lock screen should someone ask about them. "We are aware of this issue and it will be addressed in an upcoming software update," Apple confirmed to Engadget. It's unclear when this will be, as the company could release a minor operating system patch (conceivably 11.2.7) before the next big update iOS 11.3, which is currently in beta.

Via: The Verge

Source: MacRumors

Cortana for iPad takes full advantage of the larger screen

Microsoft updated its Cortana app and it now features native iPad support. The interface makes use of the bigger iPad screen, but otherwise it's largely similar to the iPhone version. The update, spotted by MacRumors, also notes that the app now opens 20 percent faster. "Introducing a brand-new Cortana for iPad design. Enjoy an exclusive layout and interface for your iPad," says the update release. "Cortana now launches 20 percent faster! Enjoy a lightning-fast experience."

Via: The Verge

Source: App Store

This $30 iPad stylus senses pressure via headphone jack

Stylus manufacturers have been working hard to replicate the sensation of writing and sketching on tablets over the years, hence the handful of styli that support pressure sensing and palm rejection these days. Unfortunately, these pens don't come cheap, with the Apple Pencil asking for $99 but is still only compatible with the iPad Pro series. Even the other good styli with greater iPad compatibility start at around $50. However, Hong Kong-based GreenBulb has come up with a cunning solution dubbed SonarPen that only costs $30, yet it supports both pressure sensing and palm rejection by making use of the headphone jack. No charging nor wireless connectivity required here, just plug it in and sketch away.

Source: Kickstarter

Chinese man pleads guilty to selling counterfeit Apple gear in US

Fake Apple devices have been making the rounds for years, but it's rare that they have much sway in the US -- although it looks like one team of bootleggers had a surprising amount of success. Jianhua Li, a Chinese man living in the US on a student visa, has pleaded guilty to charges he trafficked in more than 40,000 counterfeit electronic devices from China between 2009 and 2014, including iPads and iPhones. All told, he received a whopping $1.1 million in payments -- no mean feat for several years of contraband. He wasn't alone in the plot, either, and the scheme was relatively elaborate.

Via: 9to5Mac

Source: Department of Justice

Apple could let you run iPad apps on your Mac

Apple is working hard on the next major versions of its operating systems — macOS, iOS, tvOS and watchOS. While iOS is the big elephant in the room, the most intriguing new feature could be for macOS. According to reports from Bloomberg and Axios, Apple will let you run iPad apps. Yesterday, Axios first reported […]

Apple could let you run iPad apps on your Mac

 Apple is working hard on the next major versions of its operating systems — macOS, iOS, tvOS and watchOS. While iOS is the big elephant in the room, the most intriguing new feature could be for macOS. According to reports from Bloomberg and Axios, Apple will let you run iPad apps. Yesterday, Axios first reported that Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering Craig… Read More

Apple’s YouTube videos can help with dad’s inane iOS questions

If spending a Saturday morning at an Apple store with a family member is your idea of Hell, then playing tech support for your relatives while you're home for the holidays is probably a lengthy stretch of the road to perdition. Well, Apple Support remembered YouTube exists and has uploaded a series of videos answering simple questions like how to send and save GIFs on an iPhone, how to update iOS, change the wallpaper and how to mute or leave a group conversation, among others.

Via: 9to5Mac

Source: Apple Support (YouTube)

The best Black Friday deals 2017

This post was done in partnership with Wirecutter, reviews for the real world. When readers choose to buy Wirecutter's independently chosen editorial picks, they may earn affiliate commissions that support their work. Read their continuously updated list of deals here.