Overcast adds a smarter way to dive back into a podcast

Marco Arment's Overcast has a reputation as the podcast connoisseur's iOS app of choice thanks to its inclusion of features you don't even find in Apple's official client, such as the automatic removal of dead air. That trend is continuing with the newly released Overcast 4.1, whose improvements might be extra-helpful if you find yourself lost whenever you return to a podcast. The new version adds a Smart Resume feature that not only skips back a few seconds when you hit play, but tweaks resumes and seeks so that they land on silences. You'll ideally remember the context of what was being said before you paused, and won't be as likely to resume playback in mid-sentence.

Source: App Store, Marco.org

Parrot app automatically edits your drone videos

Drone videos can be spectacular, but editing them? Not so much -- don't be surprised if you spend hours cutting 10 minutes of footage into something worth watching. Parrot thinks there's a better way. It's adding a Flight Director feature to its FreeFlight Pro mobile app (for Android and iOS) that automatically edits your drone footage. Algorithms study the drone's behavior and produce videos up to 3 minutes in length based on a handful of criteria, including the style (chronological, cinematic or trailer), pre-made themes and other existing footage. The biggest dilemma may be choosing your soundtrack.

Source: App Store, Google Play

Apple will store China’s iCloud keys on local servers

Apple has already bent over backwards in a bid to keep doing business in China, but it'll have to bend a little further. As of the end of February, the company will host mainland Chinese users' iCloud keys on servers located within the country -- and they'll be jointly run by a state-backed company, Guizhou Cloud Big Data Industry. The company has no choice if it wants to keep offering iCloud to Chinese users, as the law now requires that any cloud services have domestic ownership and store their data within China's borders.

Source: Reuters

Apple Pay Cash nears its first international expansion

Apple Pay Cash may not be limited to Americans for much longer. Users in Brazil, Ireland and Spain have all reported seeing the peer-to-peer payment service show up in iOS' Messages app, suggesting that launches in their countries (and potentially more) are just around the bend. Apple hasn't officially announced anything yet, but it's hard to imagine the company asking people to configure the feature and letting it sit unused for more than a short while.

Via: AppleInsider, 9to5Mac

Source: CompuMop (Twitter), Manuel Arroyo (Twitter), Filipe Esposito (Twitter)

Apple’s Animojis may come to iPad and FaceTime this fall

Apple's biggest software updates are always scheduled for a single fall release and today Bloomberg reports on some new features that we can look forward to later this year. First up, third-party apps will be able to work across iPhones, iPads and Mac computers -- a feature we've heard talk of before and will involve both iOS 12 and macOS 10.14. Additionally, the iPhone X's Animojis will be getting an upgrade, with new characters and a better menu reportedly on the way as well as the ability to use them in FaceTime. And they won't be relegated to the iPhone X for much longer. Bloomberg says Apple is working on a new iPad that will have the Face ID camera, allowing iPad users to play with Animojis as well.

Via: Bloomberg

‘Alto’s Odyssey’ reaches your phone on February 22nd

Built by Snowman's Alto's Odyssey has been public knowledge for more than a year (and was subject to a last-minute delay in late summer), but it's finally here... almost. The Alto's Adventure sequel is now slated to launch on iOS and Apple TV devices February 22nd with a not-too-unreasonable $5 price tag. As before, Odyssey takes the endless boarding concept to a desert landscape that throws fresh challenges into the mix. You'll have to contend with natural hazards (including lemurs) and take advantage of hot air balloons, shifting grind rails and wall rides in order to keep moving.

Via: Federico Viticci (Twitter)

Source: App Store, Built by Snowman

Apple’s latest patent teases a Pencil that can draw in mid-air

Apple's next Pencil could eschew the iPad Pro entirely. The Cupertino company has filed a patent for a stylus that can be used on any flat surface, and maybe even in the air, as spotted by Dutch site TechTastic. The patent title being "Content Creation Using Electronic Input Device on Non-electronic Surfaces" gives us a few ideas of how Apple might pitch this. Which is great considering how light on details the rest of the patent, filed last July and made public in January, is.

Via: TechTastic (Dutch)

Source: WIPO

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’s iOS 11.3 may use iCloud as a single sign-on for websites

You might not to log in to your favorite websites one at a time in the near future. The 9to5Mac team has found code in the iOS 11.3 beta hinting at a single sign-on option for the web based on your iCloud account. It's not certain just how it would work, but you would be giving sites permission to access "personal iCloud data" (possibly your name and email address) in return for the convenience. It wouldn't be a password manager, then -- you'd be handing your Apple ID to the sites in question and avoiding much of the login process.

Source: 9to5Mac

Apple’s not selling as many iPhones as it used to


iPhone sales aren't as hot as they used to be.

The company announced its Q1 2018 earnings on Thursday and — surprise, surprise! — it set another all-time quarterly revenue record, bolstered by iPhone sales.

Total revenue this past quarter increased to $88.3 billion from $78.4 billion, a 12.63 percent increase year-over-year. But while revenue increased, iPhone sales dropped.

Though the company doesn't break unit out individual unit sales by model, Apple says it sold 77.3 million iPhones — a decrease from the 78.2 million iPhones it sold in the same period in 2017. Read more...

More about Apple, Iphone, Ipad, Mac, and Earnings

Why it makes no sense for Apple to bring iPad apps to Macs


In December, it was reported that Apple was looking into bridging the worlds of iOS and macOS even further with universal apps that could run on both platforms.

And now Axios says Apple's still on track to bring iPad apps to Macs this year. No mention of iPhone apps running on Mac. Just iPad apps. 

Yuck, no thanks.

Known internally as "Marzipan" according to Bloomberg's report last year, the project would allow developers to create a single version of an app that works with touchscreens (iOS) or mouse and keyboard (Mac).  Read more...

More about Apple, Iphone, Ipad, Mac, and Touchscreen

Apple might delay iOS interface revamp to focus on stability

If you hadn't noticed, iOS 11 has had more than its fair share of bugs. And that's apparently been worrisome enough to prompt a rethink of how the company approaches iOS 12. Axios sources have said that Apple is pushing some major iOS feature updates into 2019 to focus this year's upgrades on "performance and quality issues." Reportedly, Apple is delaying refreshes of the home screen interface, CarPlay, core apps and photography in favor of quality and responsiveness. There will be significant improvements in 2018, the insiders said -- they'll just focus on less dramatic areas like augmented reality, health and parental controls.

Via: 9to5Mac

Source: Axios

Field Trips Just Got Cooler: Waypoint EDU

With the ubiquity of the smartphone in increasingly younger classrooms, integrating them into education is fast becoming a requirement for teachers. What better way to tame smartphones in the classroom than to make them part of the learning process?

Matthew Braun, developer of SketchParty TV (one of my favorite Apple TV games), released a new app to do just that. Waypoint EDU uses AR to make the phone not only a learning tool, but a truly interactive experience that can take place outdoors. Or anywhere.

From the student perspective, it works like this: students see a waypoint on a map of their current location and move around to find it. A la Pokemon Go, they search by looking through their phones, scanning for an out-of-place object such as a (miniature) colosseum sitting in a park. Once they've found the waypoint, they answer a quiz question to reveal the next waypoint. Continue reading "Field Trips Just Got Cooler: Waypoint EDU"

Apple’s latest iOS update brings Siri news briefs and HomePod support

Siri's news reading feature is no longer limited to the beta testing crowd. Apple has officially released iOS 11.2.5, and the centerpiece is the ability to ask Siri for the latest happenings. If you're in the US, UK or Australia, you can get a briefing from a slew of local sources, such as NPR and the Washington Post in the states or the BBC and Sky News in the UK. And it doesn't have to be general news, either -- you can ask for business, music or sports news as well.

Apple’s enterprise evolution

Back in 2010, Apple’s iconic co-founder Steve Jobs was not entirely enthralled with the enterprise. In fact, Jobs is famously quoted as saying, “What I love about the consumer market, that I always hated about the enterprise market, is that we come up with a product, we try to tell everybody about it, and every person votes for themselves.”

Apple’s enterprise evolution

 Back in 2010, Apple’s iconic co-founder Steve Jobs was not entirely enthralled with the enterprise. In fact, Jobs is famously quoted as saying, “What I love about the consumer market, that I always hated about the enterprise market, is that we come up with a product, we try to tell everybody about it, and every person votes for themselves.” Read More

Siri’s news bulletin feature goes live in the UK and Australia

Brits can now ask their iThings to give them a brief update on what's happening in the world with the command: "Hey Siri, give me the news." Siri doesn't actually read the news, though, and instead will automatically play the latest podcast from a trusted source of your choice. I was treated to a 2-minute bulletin from BBC News when I said the magic words to Siri this morning, which also offered Sky News and LBC up as alternative sources.

Via: 9to5Mac