Mike Beasley

@MikeBeas

Mike Beasley's Recommended Gear

May 14

A bug appearing for a small number users on iCloud.com may allow them to temporarily track and make changes to Macs belonging to other users, according to reports appearing on Twitter. Users have noted that Macs with names they don’t recognize recently started appearing in the device list on the Find My iPhone web service, allowing them to remotely lock or erase the computers in some cases, or just play a sound in others.

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May 13

Orbis10

New details about Samsung’s next-generation smartwatch have appeared in the latest build of the Gear developer kit that reveal how the device will look and—perhaps more importantly—how it will serve as an answer to the Apple Watch.

Unlike current Gear models and the Apple Watch, the next Gear will sport a circular display (hence its codename, “Orbis”) with a metal crown and frame. The crown, however, is not the most interesting part. In a departure from Apple’s crown-based navigation system, the Gear SDK indicates that the watch may actually be controlled by a completely different part of the watch.

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May 8

A new report from Re/code today about Apple’s upcoming music streaming platform reiterated much of what we already know about the service, which is expected to debut with iOS 8.4 at WWDC. iOS 8.4 is already in the hands of developers with a revamped Music app.

As was previously known, Re/code notes that the recent hire of BBC Radio 1 DJ Zane Lowe and other BBC DJs is a plan to help bolster iTunes Radio’s curated playlist feature by manually compiling track lists instead of allowing an algorithm to make the decisions. The site also notes that iTunes Radio will be available in additional countries, which we first reported earlier this week. A few other new details were also mentioned.

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May 6

Update: Apple has uploaded its new “Change Everything” ad to YouTube, as well. It’s embedded below.

Apple has debuted its newest iPad marketing campaign, “Change Everything,” with a 1:30 commercial and a new website highlighting the apps that change the way people go about their daily lives. The ad starts off with a list of things that have changed since the release of the first iPad, such as small businesses and education.

From there the commercial demonstrates a variety of applications and accessories that have augmented the way people connect, learn, and conduct business, and enjoy their lives…

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apple-watch-ship

Apple is now preparing for the rollout of the in-store pickup option on new Apple Watch orders, which will allow users to select a retail location to pick up their wearable devices after order. This is the first time Apple has made any indication of watch stock appearing at its stores since Angela Ahrendts revealed that the company was unsure of when that might happen.

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May 5

Apple is working on a plan that could give the company and its research partners access to consumer DNA, a new report suggests. The data would be collected by research partners and stored in an online cloud to be used in medical studies, such as one run by the University of California that examines the DNA of expectant mothers to help pinpoint the causes of premature birth.

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Apple has pushed two new channels to the Apple TV today, bringing sports and drama content from two new sources. The first new channel is CBS Sports, which allows users to watch free clips from a host of different sports, including the NFL, MLB, NBA, college sports, and more.

The second new channel is USA Now, which features content from the USA network. Unlike CBS Sports, this one will require a cable provider login to access most content. Once logged in, users will be able to watch full episodes or clips from their favorite USA shows.

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May 4

File sharing service Droplr announced today that it is launching new versions of both of its apps alongside a freemium account option. Users will now be able to sign up and use Droplr to share large files for free, but will only be able to store their files for one week. After that, the links will expire. Users subscribed the Droplr Pro service will be able to keep their files forever, and will get access to other settings to customize the file sharing process.

Along with the new account types comes a family of redesigned applications to support them. The iOS app, seen above, has been reworked with support for the latest iOS features, such as sharing extensions. When you upload a file through the iOS app, it will immediately be pushed to the Mac app, or vice versa.

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May 1

It's happening

It’s happening

A new video posted to YouTube today has demonstrated what is almost certainly the first Apple Watch app capable of remotely controlling most of the functions of Tesla’s Model S. In the video (which you can watch below), developer Allen Wong shows off a Glance that views an overview of the car’s status before launching into the main app to review its capabilities.

Through the app, Wong is able to issue a series of commands to the vehicle, ranging from rudimentary options like honking the horn or flashing the lights, to bigger settings such as full panoramic roof control (something not even Tesla’s official app offers yet) or controlling the car’s charging state and port.

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April 29

Microsoft announced today during its Build conference that it will release a tool for developers to port their iOS apps directly to Windows 10 as “universal apps” that run on both phones and desktop computers. Developers will be able to feed their existing Objective-C code into a new software package and have it converted to work on the upcoming PC operating system.

At least, that’s how Microsoft is pitching it, though the whole process is a bit more complex. Essentially Windows 10 will ship with APIs that mirror the expected behavior of many iOS APIs, and this new conversion tool will help developers swap out iOS code for matching Windows code.

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If you’re like me, you’ve probably wondered exactly what iOS 6’s skeuomorphic app design might have looked like on the larger iPhone 6 and 6 Plus displays. Now you can get a taste of that with a new app called Classic Notes 2007.

The name may be a mouthful, but behind that is a nearly-perfect replication of the old iOS Notes application we had for six years. There are a few tweaks to the app beyond the capabilities of the original, however. Notes can now remember your scrolling position when you go back to the main list, and buttons that were previously at the bottom of the screen are now at the top.

There’s also a wider selection of fonts available. The built-in app only had three to choose from, but Classic Notes 2007 comes with seven different ones (including the three from the original app). If you miss the good old days of skeuomorphic note-taking, this app is definitely for you.

Classic Notes 2007 is free on the App Store.

April 27

best-buy-logo

Apple CEO Tim Cook announced today during the company’s earnings call that Best Buy will gain support for Apple Pay in its iOS app today and will begin accepting it in retail stores later this year. Best Buy’s decision is big news because the electronics chain was previously part of the coalition of companies working on the ill-received “Current-C” mobile payment system.

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