Review: AirFly is a neat way to use wireless headphones on planes

Twelve South is best-known for its BookBook cases for MacBooks and iPhones, but subsequently expanded into a wide range of stylish accessories for Apple kit – they have products for MacBooks, iMac, iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch and more.

Its latest product, launched earlier this month, is a Bluetooth transmitter designed to let you use AirPods or other wireless headphones with in-flight entertainment systems or other equipment with a 3.5mm headphone socket: AirFly


Apple Begins Selling Refurbished iMac Pro Models at 15% Discount

Apple today added refurbished iMac Pro models to its online store for the first time in the United States and Canada.

A selection of 8-core, 10-core, and 18-core configurations are available with various storage, memory, and graphics options, priced between $4,249 and $8,159 in the United States, reflecting savings of 15 percent. All of the refurbished configurations are currently available with next-day delivery.

The base model iMac Pro with a 3.2GHz eight-core Intel Xeon W processor, 32GB of DDR4 ECC memory, 1TB of SSD storage, and Radeon Pro Vega 56 graphics is available for $4,249, for example, compared to $4,999 brand new.

Apple released the iMac Pro in December 2017 as a powerful, top-of-the-line workstation designed for professional users with demanding workflows, such as advanced video and graphics editing, virtual reality content creation, and real-time 3D rendering. Benchmarks have proven it is by far the fastest Mac ever.


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9to5Mac Happy Hour 174: WWDC invites, Beats HomePod rumor, ‘audioOS’ wish list

This week Benjamin and Zac talk WWDC press invites, misinterpreted Siri clues, a surprise Apple car update, a Beats-branded HomePod rumor, and HomePod features we want to see at WWDC 2018.

9to5Mac Happy Hour is available on iTunes and Apple’s Podcasts app, Stitcher, TuneInGoogle Play Music, or through our dedicated RSS feed for Overcast and other podcast players.


NTSB: Uber’s sensors worked; its software utterly failed in fatal crash

Enlarge / An Uber self-driving car in San Francisco in 2017. (credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

The National Transportation Safety Board has released its preliminary report on the fatal March crash of an Uber self-driving car in Tempe, Arizona. It paints a damning picture of Uber’s self-driving technology.

The report confirms that the sensors on the vehicle worked as expected, spotting pedestrian Elaine Herzberg about six seconds prior to impact, which should have given it enough time to stop given the car’s 43mph speed.

The problem was that Uber’s software became confused, according to the NTSB. “As the vehicle and pedestrian paths converged, the self-driving system software classified the pedestrian as an unknown object, as a vehicle, and then as a bicycle with varying expectations of future travel path,” the report says.

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YouTube Music will replace Google Play Music but won’t kill user uploads

Enlarge / The home screen of the revamped YouTube Music app, running on an iPad. (credit: Jeff Dunn)

Google has confirmed that its revamped YouTube Music streaming service will eventually support key features of its Google Play Music app, including the ability for users to upload music files that may not exist in the service’s streaming catalog.

Google announced an overhaul for YouTube Music last week alongside a price bump for its YouTube Red service. It then began a “soft” rollout of the app for select users on Tuesday.

But the announcement of a revamped YouTube Music app has caused some confusion among those who subscribe to Google Play Music, a streaming music service Google launched in 2011 but has struggled to attract subscribers on the level of category leaders Spotify and Apple Music.

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The self-driving Apple Car has arrived, but it’s not exactly what we dreamed it would be

For the past several years, we’ve been reading reports about Apple’s ambitious self-driving car project. Dubbed Project Titan, the vision was once reportedly bolstered by a 1,000-plus member team tasked with building a vehicle that would be innovative and revolutionary, with an all-electric engine, luxurious amenities, and the smartest infotainment system on four wheels.

However, according to a new report by The New York Times, some things are too difficult even for Apple to conquer. For the past four years, Apple’s best engineers along with designer Jony Ive have been developing prototypes of a reimagined car worthy of the Apple name. As the Times describes it, the idea was to build a vehicle that would be “the automotive version of the iPhone.”

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Apple’s Emoji Search Is Bad

Emojipedia’s Jeremy Burge, following a series of tests with emoji search, a built-in macOS feature that still isn’t available on iOS:

Prior to macOS Sierra’s release in September 2016, emoji search for Mac was the opposite: general terms wouldn’t return any results – but if you knew the emoji name you could get it to appear 100% of the time. This is no longer the case.

I do wonder if an internal effort to make these types of search and prediction tools better in the longer term is making them worse for users in the short term.

It’s not just that it’s bad because the results are somewhat lackluster. It’s bad in the sense that typing Apple’s exact description for an emoji sometimes doesn’t bring up the character it belongs to. If someone is in charge of this feature for the Mac, I hope they can take a serious Continue reading “Apple’s Emoji Search Is Bad”

Obscura 2 Review: An Approachable Manual Camera App with Tasteful Filters

I enjoy taking lots of photos. Over the years, I’ve dabbled with DSLRs, but more often than not these days, I use my iPhone because it’s always nearby.

I’ve historically used Apple’s built-in Camera app. It has the advantage of being available from the Lock screen, which is a big plus because it lowers the barrier to getting up and running with the camera. Later, I would go back and pick out the best shots, edit them a little in the Photos app, and share a few.

Over the past couple of weeks though, I’ve been moving between Apple’s Camera app and Obscura 2, which was released today by developer Ben McCarthy. I’ve used manual camera apps in the past, but always wound up going back to Apple’s option in the end.

Obscura has been different. I’ve found myself going back to it repeatedly because I enjoy the way

Obscura 1 camera control UI (left) and Obscura 2 UI (right).

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Pro camera app Obscura 2 launches with new filters, metadata viewer, and one-hand friendly UI that looks great on iPhone X

The alternative camera app market has been heating up lately. Apple’s stock Camera app is great for the average person, but intentionally hides away advanced options like manual controls for ISO and shutter speed. Also, on iPhone X, the Camera app doesn’t quite fit in with lots of unused blank space and a hard-to-reach top toolbar.

Obscura 2 is a worthy contender in the pro camera app market, launching today in the App Store ($4.99). The main screen incorporates all controls into a bottom third of the screen, easily accessible when using the iPhone one-handed. There are dedicated buttons for common actions of changing exposure and focus, and a simple ‘control wheel’ dial houses the rest of the controls. Obscura includes a rich set of filters, gestures and a beautifully integrated photo library browser.


How to take control of GDPR emails in Mail

Image c/o ConvertGDPR

Has your in-box become a pool of mailing lists, shops, services and brands begging you to agree to continue to receive email from them under Europe’s new GDPR legislation? I find these messages are making it hard to keep an eye on my regular email, so I thought this short report might help.

I like GDPR

There’s nothing wrong with GDPR.

I very much like it that Europe is brave enough to do what my second-rate UK government won’t do, which is give me a little power to protect my privacy.

There’s also nothing wrong with all these firms begging me to keep accepting messages from them – they want me to say yes, so they can confirm my details and then convince me to let them sell my details to someone else. With that in mind, I am being quite ruthless in using GDPR as an Continue reading “How to take control of GDPR emails in Mail”

Uber wants to test driverless cars in Pittsburgh again—the mayor is pissed

Enlarge / Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto. (credit: Lukas Schulze/Getty Images)

Uber announced on Wednesday that it was permanently shutting down self-driving car testing in Arizona, laying off hundreds of workers in the state. The decision comes two months after an Uber self-driving car killed pedestrian Elaine Herzberg in Tempe. But the company insisted that it wasn’t shutting down its self-driving car program as a whole. In an internal email obtained by Ars Technica, Uber said that it had a “goal of resuming operations in Pittsburgh this summer.”

Hours later, Pittsburgh Mayor William Peduto released a press release blasting the plan. “Uber did not tell me of today’s announcement, and I was forced to learn about it through social media reports,” the mayor wrote. “This is not the way to rebuild a constructive working relationship with local government, especially when facing a public safety matter.”

It’s not clear

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Start playing in comfort! Amazon’s selling a leather gaming chair for $68

Anyone who spends even a few hours a week PC gaming needs a comfortable chair. While console gamers usually sprawl out on a couch, we the gamers of the PC are often stuck with office chairs unless we’re willing to shell out hundreds of dollars. Today, Amazon’s got a deal that will let you game like a pro without paying like a sucker.

The Essentials by OFM racing-style leather gaming chair in red is $68.84 right now. That’s $21 off its most recent price, and about the same amount you’d pay for a regular desk chair.

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Save 80% On A Lifetime Of Aura Premium’s AI Powered Meditation App

Aura Premium uses cutting-edge AI that’s designed to provide short, science-backed mindfulness meditation exercises every day, and now you can get lifetime access for $79.99.

With Aura Premium, you can choose 3- or 7- or 10-minute meditation durations depending on your availability and comfort. Once you complete an exercise, rate it, and Aura’s AI will curate others like it to optimize your wellness journey. You can track your mood, learn about your mood patterns, and visually see yourself improve. Plus, Aura Premium also gives you daily reminders for mindful breathers to keep you centered.

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Acer’s Chromebook Spin 13 tempts professionals to use Chrome OS at work

Valentina Palladino

Acer has a long history with Chrome OS devices that it continues to propel forward with devices like the Chromebook Tab 10. Chromebooks have found a comfortable home in schools and kids’ rooms, but many are convinced that Chrome OS can be a viable platform for professionals as it continues to evolve. Acer unveiled a Chromebook for such professionals, the Chromebook Spin 13, that looks and feels like it could hold its own next to some high-end ultrabooks.

Both design and internals set the Chromebook Spin 13 apart from other Chrome OS devices, even those already made by Acer. The new 2-in-1 has an all-metal chassis with diamond-cut edges, giving it more substantial feel when you lift it compared to the plastic Chromebooks we’re all used to. The polished hinges on the Spin 13 smoothly facilitate the transition between laptop, tent, presentation, and tablet modes, and the device

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