Feature Today

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When Angela Ahrendts spoke to CBS about a new Apple Store initiative called Today at Apple, I was initially a little confused. What she described as something new at first sounded pretty much identical to something that has existed for many years: free workshops at Apple Stores.

Rebranding and promoting the workshop would make sense, of course. Many Apple customers seem entirely unaware that the workshops exist, while others know about the basic ones but not the more advanced sessions.

This was made clear to me when I mentioned on Facebook that I was attending a Final Cut Pro workshop at Apple’s Regent Street store in London, and several friends told me they had no idea these existed. Even among 9to5Mac readers, there were similar comments when I mentioned them in my Final Cut Pro Diary series …

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Feature April 24

AAPL: 143.64

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Apple’s CarPlay infotainment feature has been improving every year with each new iOS update, and we’re expecting to see iOS 11 introduced at WWDC 2017 in just a few weeks. CarPlay recently gained improvements to Apple Music and a new app shortcut launcher through iOS 10.3. Here’s what we hope to see in iOS 11 for CarPlay:

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Growing evidence that the iPhone 8 may go on sale significantly later than the usual September timeframe speaks volumes about the very different approach Apple is taking to this year’s flagship model. It is breaking not just one, but two of the cardinal rules in the How To Be Apple manual.

Rule 1 is that the company avoids ‘bleeding edge’ technology. When new tech rolls around, the company watches and waits while other manufacturers do the trial-and-error bit. Apple launches only when it is satisfied that the tech is stable and that it has figured out the optimal way to employ it.

We saw this with the iPod. The first portable media player was invented in 1979, and the first actual mp3 player went on sale in 1998. Apple waited until 2001 to release the iPod. The first smartphones went on sale in the mid-1990s; the iPhone wasn’t released until more than a decade later. The first phone to have a fingerprint reader was the Motorola Atrix in 2011; Apple didn’t add one to the iPhone until two years later …

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9to5toys 

Unusually for me, there aren’t many words in this drone diary – mostly I’m going to let the video do the talking!

When I reviewed the Litchi app last time – an app that lets the drone fly completely autonomously on a pre-programmed path – I mentioned a plan I had in mind for a future project at that tumbledown castle.

The plan was to take a dancer there and shoot a dance routine from the air in a beautiful setting. This required the cooperation of the weather, but it all came together earlier this month. It was a lot of fun, and I think the result really shows the value of a video camera you’re able to position exactly where you want it – whether up high or down low …

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Feature April 21

AAPL: 142.27

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Regular readers will know I’m a big fan of Scrivener, having used the app to write three novels, two novellas and a travel guide. But when I accidentally found myself working on a screenplay for a comedy series, I thought I’d try the industry-standard software for the job: Final Draft.

Final Draft comes highly recommended, used by all the top studios and praised by such screenwriting talents as Aaron Sorkin, James Cameron, JJ Abrams, Sofia Coppola and more. Ben Stiller said that ‘Final Draft is the only screenwriting software I have ever used, and it is the only one I ever will use.’

But priced at a hefty $250 for the Mac app and another $20 for the iPad companion app, it’s not a trivial investment for most of us. So what does it do to earn such praise and justify the cost … ?

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There are many ways to add HomeKit-connected lights to your home, allowing you to turn them on and off from your phone at a tap or with your voice using Siri. You can buy special Philips Hue bulbs, change wall switches with Lutron or Elgato, or plug in lamps to a smart plug socket.

The Koogeek Smart Socket is a different approach to the same problem. It puts an adaptor between your existing light fitting and bulb. All you have to do is screw it in. Keep reading after the jump for my full hands-on …

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