January 2017

iOS & Apple news

[Breaking news] Chris Lattner lands at Tesla, Tesla's blog announced this afternoon. Who is Lattner? He is a very respected engineer from Apple and the person behind Swift.

Tech journalist John Gruber comments: `This is a `holy shit!' hiring by Tesla. A year or two ago it felt like Apple was gunning for Tesla’s lead in electric cars. Now, it feels like Apple is out of the car game, and Tesla is gunning for Apple’s lead in computing. You can’t overstate what a star Chris Lattner is.

iPhone at Ten: the revolution continues, writes Apple. : January 9, 2007 was when Steve Jobs announced the original iPhone. It was released in June 2007.

Here is Steve Jobs announcing iPhone in 2007, at Macworld. The video is long but worth watching


The second most Googled search term in 2016 across the globe was `iPhone 7'. See the entire list, globally and within the US.

Refurbished iPhones are now available on Apple's website.

iOS 10.2 has many new emojis, Macworld reports. Cowboys, selfies, clowns, gestures, people, food, smileys and more.

The new AirPods were released and sold out very quickly. Currently there is a 6-week wait on online orders.

Reviews have been very positive overall. iMore's detailed review gives a thorough overview and best uses for the AirPods.

Some people are theft-proofing their AirPods by disguising them as floss ;-)

Mary Anne points us to this funny way of carrying AirPods.


The new apple campus is nearing completion:

[ RUMOR ] Let the rumors begin: Apple might introduce a 5-inch 'iPhone 7s' in 2017 with vertical dual-lens array.

Bernie points us to Apple drops hints about autonomous vehicle project, reports the WSJ. `In letter to U.S. transportation regulators, Apple said it is investing heavily in machine learning and automation.'

iOS apps & widgets

Apple has has released the best iOS apps of 2016, reports Business Insider.

An app that combats bullying, reports the New York Times: Brighten is an iOS app that enables you to brighten someone's day. You can share a compliment, and thank you note, a happy thought.

Evernote is providing free 2017 calendar templates.

iFax is an iOS app that lets you send faxes to fax machines from your iPhone or iPad. There is also a macOS version if you want one. Olga used it several times recently and has been very happy with it. You can optionally set up a personal fax number to receive faxes. This has a one-week trial and requires a subscription after that.

If you want to improve your selfies, try Facetune 2. writes Macworld in its overview. The app lets you retouch the photos so you look your best.

The best app for managing personal finances and budgets is Banktivity, writes ThisSweetSetup. It was formerly called iBank. It comes in a macOS version as well as an iPhone and iPad version. The macOS version offers a 30-day free trial.

1Password release 6.5 offers Apple Watch support, writes AppAdvice. You can download the app for free.

Relay for iPhone is a 3rd party map app that lets you map multiple destinations on a single view, reports Macworld.

appSpotr lets you create your own apps without the need to code. This is an app builder that runs on

Here is a list of apps to help you with your furry friends, writes AppAdvice. Including: finding a pet, taking care of their health, train, be prepared for emergencies, and more.

The Art of Blending is an iBook written by spice master Lior Sercarz on how to blend spices for cooking. Runs on iPhone, iPad and macOS.

tips & tricks

The new iPhone 7 offers a home button whose taptic feedback is adjustable. Here is how to adjust it.

How to restart your iPhone without using the home button, reports iDownloadBlog.

Apple has announced new Macbook. Some ideas of what you can do to sell your old one, by Cult of Mac.

A good overview of your Apple Watch's Control Center, by Apple Support.

Siri has come to the Mac. If you are a mac user, here are 13 of the best uses of Siri on a Mac

Hey Siri: a very useful website created by users. It gives one of the best overview what we can do and ask Siri. Bookmark this!

6 easy ways to customize Safari on iOS, a very nice list by Macworld.

gadgets & accessories

Pat is looking for recommendations for plug adapters when traveling to Africa. Especially in light of reports about many adapters, converters and plugs on Amazon that are counterfeit.

Olga got an adapter by Belkin that is a splitter: it enables the iPhone to be charged while you listen to music via the headphones on an iPhone 7 or 7 Plus. It works as advertised.

Olga also (accidentally) ordered this adapter, just prior to ordering the one from Belkin above. It did NOT work as designed and she returned it for a full refund from Amazon.

Bagel is the `world's smartest measure'. It offers three different measuring modes, and lets you measure just about anything. It can also save measurements, record voice memos, and send data to its mobile app, where you can easily organize and analyze your measurements. Take a look:

iBlazr 2 is an LED flash for iPhone and iPad. It has professional features: wireless communication with the native iOS camera app, enabling it to sync with other iBlazr's (up to 10). You can set the color temperature. It's useful for selfies. And it gives bright constant light, ideal for video.

Findster Duo is a GPS pet tracker that does NOT require monthly fees.

Beddi is an app-enabled smart alarm clock. `Beddi greets you every morning with music from your favorite Spotify playlist, a weather report, traffic updates, and more. Its integrated wake-up light helps your body wake up more naturally, and the white noise generator helps you fall asleep easier at night. And the 3 programmable smart buttons let you do incredible things, like call an Uber or control your Nest, Wemo, or Phillips Hue smart home devices.'

Chamberlain MyQ has announced HomeKit support. This lets you control your home garage via an iOS app. Tech writer Katie Floyd writes about why she is so happy with this product.


Apple Pay rolls out support for non-profits, to make donations quick and easy, reports Macworld. `If your payment details are already stored in Apple Pay, donating money now takes mere seconds.'


You can pair more than one Apple Watch to your iPhone, but only one at a time.

A hidden feature helps you find a misplaced iPhone in the dark: if you long-press on the Ping icon on your Watch, the iPhone will not only play a sound, but the flash will blink several times to help you find your iPhone in the dark.

Watchaware lists best watch bands, by third parties.

privacy & security

Be careful , as some web browsers, including Safari, can provide more info than you intend. What hackers can do: `When you use AutoFill to input data on a website you may be surprised to learn that data will be entered into any entry box that is situated on the page, even if you can't see it.'

One in Four WiFi hotspots is a security nightmare, reports BetaNews. `This is according to a new, extensive research by security experts at Kaspersky Lab, which have analyzed more than 31 million public Wi-Fi hotspots all over the world.'

Regarding WiFi hotspots, they advise: `We advise all users to remain vigilant when connecting to Wi-Fi. Don't use hotspots without passwords and don't use public hotspots to perform high-risk activities such as online banking or shopping, logging on to sites or for transferring confidential information. If that sort of traffic is intercepted by a third party, it could result in serious losses, including financial ones. And of course, we strongly recommend using additional measures to protect traffic, such as VPN (Virtual Private Network) technology, explains Denis Legezo, antivirus expert at Kaspersky Lab.'

Bernie points us to a security hole: Genius 6-Year-Old Uses Sleeping Mom’s Thumbprint To Buy Presents On Amazon.

general news and crossover

Do you have a new year's resolution? A list of ToDo's? Leonardo Da Vinci's To Do List (circa 1440) Is Much Cooler than Yours, reports OpenCulture.

Get your Tech on: The best tech books of 2016, a list compiled by Cult of Mac.