Today’s iPad wallpaper pick is Heirloom One 90˚ Linear Burn from Brett Jordan.
Today’s iPad wallpaper pick is Heirloom One 90˚ Linear Burn from Brett Jordan.
This is the creation of simeon, one of the developers at twolivesleft – makers of Codea and other apps and games.
Simeon decided he wasn’t seeing quite the aging effect he had hoped for on the tan Smart Cover, so he decided to create his own.
I’m not too careful with my cover. I chose the leather cover thinking the more scuffed and damaged it got, the better. I wanted it to look worn. Unfortunately after only two weeks of use it did start to look worn — on one side only.
As you can see in the above photos the right side of the cover is darkened in the place I usually hold it while reading.
This asymmetry wouldn’t do. I had a wonderful, horrible idea: I’d stain the cover with coffee.
So he made some coffee and brushed it on to the Smart Cover – several coats worth.
That didn’t get the desired result though – so simeon decided to rub actual coffee grounds into the smart cover.
And that got him the result shown at the top of this post – a much darker and more elegant looking cover for his iPad. I think it looks fantastic. I’d definitely buy that color if it was available. Here’s what the tan leather Apple iPad Smart Cover looks like, and simeon’s end result again:
Source: iPad Insight.
Your iPhone 5 has been a boat adrift long enough. Time to bring it to port, and the iLuv Aud 5 Lightning speaker dock is now open. Originally unveiled at CES 2013 in January, the Aud 5 is iLuv’s first audio dock designed specifically for Apple’s Lightning iDevices.
In this age of Bluetooth and AirPlay, you may wonder why you’d want to dock your iPhone, anyway. Good question, with a good answer: power. Even while you’re playing your music, the iLuv Aud 5 will charge your iPhone. Plug it in, turn it on, and you’ll know you won’t have a dead battery when it’s time to head out.
We turn to the press release for more information:
With the handsomely designed Aud 5, users can enjoy powerful, rich sound thanks to the dock’s high fidelity speakers and passive radiator. Aud 5 features a swiveling Lightning connector for easy docking and undocking. The Lightning connector allows the dock to feature full digital sound. The Aud 5 features a 3.5mm auxiliary input for a direct connection to other devices outside of Apple’s Lightning line. Top-mounted touch controls, Power, Play/Pause, Track change and Volume provide easy access and convenience. Aud 5 also features a streamlined silhouette and unique design treatments, making it the perfect addition to any bedroom or living room.
The iLuv Aud 5 Lightning connector dock is currently available for $149.99 at iLuv.com and select retailers. For more information, visit www.iluv.com.
I know what you’re asking: Yet another activity tracker? But LIT tracker from NZN Labs has a big secret ingredient that most others don’t — and that special ingredient makes it perfect for action sports like snowboarding, surfing and mountain biking.
I suppose it’s not actually a secret — or if it is, it’s not a very good one. In any case, here’s the deal:
Most activity trackers — for instance, the Fitbit, Nike+ Fuel Band, Jawbone Up and most others — use an accelerometer to track a user’s movement. That works perfectly well for activities like walking or running, but doesn’t work for activities where steps can’t be measured.
Just like the others, the LIT tracker is equipped with an accelerometer; but NZN Labs paired the accelerometer with a gyroscope, giving the little device the ability to record forces associated with that huge wave you just carved on your surfboard, or the big jump you just landed on your mountain bike.
All that recorded data doesn’t mean much without a useful way to make sense of it, so the outfit has spent much of its time creating and testing data sets for a variety of action sports. They’ve gotten so good at differentiating the different activities from each other that LIT will automatically recognize what sport you’re participating in.
Another really impressive aspect to LIT is that a user can choose to superimpose activity data over video being shot on an iPhone during the activity through a free companion app; data is sent to the iPhone via Bluetooth 4.0.
So far, data sets have been crafted for surfing, skateboarding, snowboarding and motocross, and LIT’s creators are currently working on a mountain biking model next.
The LIT will sell for $149 when it ships, according to NZN Labs, in August. If you want to grab one for considerably less at $99, better hurry — the LIT’s Indiegogo campaign ends in less than twelve hours.
Source: Cult of Mac.
Warner Music Group and Universal Music are both excited about Apple’s planned streaming service (dubbed “iRadio” in the media), but Sony Music is apparently hung up on how much it gets paid for songs that are skipped. Citing unnamed sources, CNet reported that the other labels are frustrated about the hang-up because they believe that Apple can help grow the Internet streaming market.
Apple Reportedly Plans Streaming Service
Rumors have swirled and whirled about Apple’s planned streaming service, so much so that many in the media saw Google’s All Access launch this week as some sort of major victory because the search giant beat Apple.
Of course, the reality is that it won’t matter, and even though Apple is coming to market behind Google, Spotify, Pandora, and Rdio, it’s Apple’s service that is going to set the bar and define success. It would seem that at least some of the labels understand this.
At issue with Sony is how much the company will get paid when a user skips a song. You read that correctly, the hang-up stems from Sony wanting to get paid more for having a song not played. It’s kind of disgusting, in my opinion, akin to the labels wanting a share of Apple’s iPod hardware profits and saddling us with DRM for so long.
Then again, what more can you expect from Sony Music CEO Doug Morris, a music executive who thinks that Steve Jobs screwed the labels by saving their bacon and dragging them kicking and screaming into the age of iTunes.
When last we paid attention to Mr. Morris in 2007, he was busily rallying the music industry to support Microsoft’s Zune in order to beat Apple. At the time he said that the labels had ceded too much control to Apple, and that, “We got rolled like a bunch of puppies [by Steve Jobs].”
That same year, he told Wired, “We were just grateful that someone was selling online. The problem is, [Apple/Steve Jobs] became a gatekeeper. We make a lot of money from [Apple], and suddenly you’re wearing golden handcuffs. We would hate to give up that income.”
How’d that work for you, sir? Microsoft’s Zune went the way of the Microsoft Kin, and Apple still feeds hundreds of millions of dollars into you coffers through iTunes. Gods forbid that you get rolled like that again…
This weird myopia that some music (and TV/movie) execs have about Apple has always mystified me. They’re terrified of licensing content to Apple because Apple will get it right, get all the customers, and then own the experience. Never mind that other companies don’t get it right and that part of why Apple is so successful with things like iTunes is because the company owns the customer experience.
In the meanwhile, other services like Pandora also have to pay for songs that get skipped, but CNet’s Paul Sloan noted that Pandora’s deal is governed by federal statute, while Apple is working out individual licensing deals with the labels.
Apple is also keen on getting all of the labels on board with the same deal lest there be problems further down the road. This is how Apple has worked out all of its licensing deals in the past, and it’s how the company runs iTunes, the App Store, the Mac App Store, and iBooks.
What precisely Sony is holding out for is unknown, but what the other labels are excited about is revenue sharing from subscriptions and ads that Apple plans to run, as well as the potential for increased music sales. Apple will reportedly be making it easy for customers to buy a song they’re streaming direct from iTunes, offering a third revenue stream to the labels.
As demonstrated by his ability to roll music execs like puppies, Steve Jobs was an amazing negotiator. He may be gone, but the company he built still has a lot of negotiating weight.
It remains to be seen how this will work out, but we’re interested in seeing the company put the pieces in place to roll out its streaming service and hope that Sony slaps on this new, even bigger pair of golden handcuffs.
Source: The Mac Observer.
Spark Inspector (US$39.99 single-license) offers an exciting new development tool. Targeting devs looking to refine their user interfaces, it enables you to interactively tweak view properties like frames and layers.
The app centers around an Interface Builder-like experience, with familiar-looking attribute and size inspectors. If you’re comfortable in Xcode 4, you’ll easily find your way around this tool.
In addition, it provides a custom layer inspector — one that could (and, honestly should) inspire Apple. It enables you to update layer attributes like shadows and transforms, while viewing the results in real time.
Perfect for devs who otherwise write their interfaces in code (I am guilty as charged), it breaks out of the tweak-build-run loop that takes up so much time and energy in the normal development day. Instead, you apply your tweaks within the app itself, adjusting the interface until it looks just right.
This is the point at which Spark Inspector displays its one big weakness (keep in mind that it’s still in development). Instead of producing an updated XIB (which would be okay) or PaintCode-like Objective-C output suitable for re-integration to your apps (which would kick ass), you take responsibility for transferring values back to your Xcode project.
Honestly, It’s not a huge deal — especially when your tweaks change a constant from say 50 to 58.5 — but it’s something that could be a killer feature in future updates. For now, you make notes of what values worked best for you. And no, there’s no “bookmark this UI for later comparison” option either, another thing I would have liked to have seen.
One of Spark Inspector’s nicest features is its 3D extrusion display. This pushes views out in parent-child hierarchies, letting you explore and select items with more tangible visualization than you get in IB.
Spark Inspector also offers a notification inspector, which may be useful for some devs. If you’re already writing your UIs from code, however, you probably know how to set up a listener that logs notifications.
Setup is easy. There’s a setup assistant for configuring Xcode projects, or (if you’re paranoid like I am) add both the SparkInspector and libz frameworks to your dev builds, making sure to enable the -ObjC flag in Other Linker Flags. Include the SparkInspector header as such:
and enable the inspector in your application delegate, typically in application:didFinishLaunchingWithOptions:
Make sure you test using the simulator, and not (as I first tried) on device. The standalone Spark Inspector app (DMG) must be running. As soon as your app hits the “enable observation” stage, it seamlessly connects to the inspector, and you’re ready to test and tweak.
For forty bucks, this promises to be a valuable tool that many devs will benefit from. If you’d like to kick the tires before you buy, there’s a free 30 day trial available on the Spark Inspector website. If you do decide to buy, you purchase directly from the vendor.
Steve and Laurene Jobs together at the 82nd Academy Awards back in 2010
When Steve Jobs passed away in 2011, he left behind a wife and four children. His widow, Laurene Powell Jobs, has stayed hidden from the public sphere for years, but now she is starting to receive more recognition as an influential philanthropist.
She is passionate about a host of social issues, including education and immigration policy. As the world’s ninth richest woman, her platform to effect society has only grown larger in the wake of Jobs’s death.
The New York Times published a big profile of Laurene today that explains some of her philanthropic efforts:
While some people said Ms. Powell Jobs should have started a foundation in Mr. Jobs’s name after his death, she did not, nor has she increased her public giving.
Instead, she has redoubled her commitment to Emerson Collective, the organization she formed about a decade ago to make grants and investments in education initiatives and, more recently, other areas.
“In the broadest sense, we want to use our knowledge and our network and our relationships to try to affect the greatest amount of good,” Ms. Powell Jobs said in one of a series of interviews with The New York Times.
Jobs was notoriously tight when to came to giving. Current Apple CEO Tim Cook created a matching gift program for charitable donations within the company not long after he got promoted.
After inheriting Job’s fortune, Laurene Powell Jobs has an estimated net worth of $11.5 billion, making her the ninth richest woman in the world. Much of her worth is tied to Apple stock and being the largest single shareholder in Disney.
Laurene recently appeared on NBC’s Rock Center with Brian Williams to talk about a new film she made to promote the DREAM Act, a bill that aims to give the children of illegal immigrants a path to citizenship. She created College Track, a big program that helps students from poorer communities get prepared and pay for college.
Make sure to read the whole NYT profile for a closer look at Laurene’s accomplishments.
Source: Cult of Mac.