Wallpapers of the week: snow frost.

WOTW snow frost splash

Continuing our simple nature series, including mountains and lakes, the next images feature winter snow and frost. Ending November in the northern hemisphere means winter is coming. This year, it seems winter is arriving more quickly than previous years. Living in the south eastern US, I experienced my first snow in early November.

With Thanksgiving passed and temperatures plummeting, it is time to switch the Lock screen over to match the occasion. For an unknown reason, winter snowy wallpapers are my favorite genre. Consequently, find four wallpaper images below.


The images below are listed with iPhone 6 Plus and iPad Retina resolutions. As we typically find, many readers complain about alternate sizes for older devices. Please note, iPhone 6 Plus and iPad Retina resolutions will fit and are scalable for smaller screens. With the Perspective Zoom feature on iOS 8, the images are even easier to scale.

Native resolution wallpapers are only important for wallpapers with specific patterns, boarders, or image features that are location-specific on the screen. None of the images below have any of those properties. Therefore, having a native resolution image is not necessary. The primary focal point of each image is in the center. Any part of the image that would but “cut off” by the screen size is not relevant to the overall image.


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iPhone 7 iRumors: Sapphire Glass Will be Manufactured by Foxconn, More Concept Images Out

A new report from a Chinese tech website says the “iPhone 7,” if that is what the phone is actually called, will have sapphire crystal glass for its display. Sapphire is the second-hardest, naturally occurring material next to diamond.

Apple tried to launch its iPhone 6 models earlier this year with sapphire but it wasn’t feasible.

Macx.cn this week, however, reported that Apple components maker Foxconn will produce the sapphire glass for the next iPhone models.

Apple does use sapphire for the Touch ID sensor and camera lenses.

The company was previously going to use GT Advanced Technologies to manufacture the sapphire but it filed for bankruptcy earlier this year. The firm is planning on shutting down two of its production plants while laying off 890 workers, reported The Verge.

“Now the Cupertino-based company has entered into Foxconn for sapphire glass for iPhones. The agreement, according to Macx.cn includes making a factory near Zhengzhou City, Henan Province, China to install manufacturing facility for sapphire crystal glass for next iPhones. This will be located not far away from the factory where Apple Smartphones are produced/assembled (by Foxconn),” says the Daily Bhaskar, which cites the Chinese report.

Other rumors about the iPhone 7 indicate Apple will feature at least a 4.7-inch screen size, according to MacWorld.

Another rumor, as reported by Time magazine, is that Apple will include “sidewall displays” on the phone, which will curve along the phone’s edges.

And Apple will likely bump up the battery life, camera, and performance for the phone.

As with previous iPhone releases, the iPhone 7 will likely be released September 2015.

Meanwhile, another designer has produced images for a new iPhone concept.

How to jailbreak iOS 8.1.1

There's a new jailbreak in town. Screenshot: Cult of Mac

Here’s how the game of iOS cat-and-mouse jailbreak works. A team releases a working jailbreak for the most recent version of iOS to the public. Apple moves to eliminate the exploit that made the last jailbreak possible, releases a new version of iOS, and stops ‘signing’ previous jailbreakable versions of iOS, meaning they can no longer be installed on devices. Rinse and repeat.

The last version of iOS, iOS 8.1.1, closed the hole that made the Pangu jailbreak possible. But now a new jailbreak has been released, that will jailbreak iOS 8.1.1 on any device. Here’s how to install it.

The jailbreak is called TaiG. It’s in Chinese, and it only works on Windows (although running it in a Windows virtual machine also works fine), but it jailbreaks every version of iOS from iOS 8.0 to iOS 8.1.1, and it works like a charm.

To install the jailbreak, download the TaiG tool, extract its contents, and run the tool as an administrator. For the device you intend to jailbreak, turn off ‘Find My iPhone’ and disable your passcode under ‘Settings’, then enable AirPlane mode. Plug your device into your computer, and when TaiG recognizes your device, uncheck the second box (the one that doesn’t say Cydia) and hit the green button. When you see the smiley face, your jailbreak is done!

I tried it, and it worked quite well. Of course, with Apple still signing iOS 8.1, it seems a little odd that a perfectly good jailbreak technique would be squandered on iOS 8.1.1 when it could have been held back for iOS 8.2. But I suppose we shouldn’t look a gift horse in the mouth.

Apple Watch website updated with new product details and UI information.

Apple last week provided a bit of a makeover to its Apple Watch webpage, adding a number of interesting tidbits regarding the device’s UI and functionality.

Specifically, three new sections were added: TimekeepingNew Ways to Connect, and Health & Fitness.

Under the Timekeeping section, Apple highlights the myriad of ways in which users can customize their chosen watchface. Of particular interest are small pieces of information called Complications. As detailed by Apple, complications are lightweight data points that are consistently displayed on the watch. Per Apple’s website, user’s can choose from a selection of 10 complications.

Many watches include a few specialized functions – known in watchmaking as complications – that go beyond telling the time. But Apple Watch comes with a full range that can be added to most faces. Some complications are traditional, such as moon phases or sunrises and sunsets. And some are unique to Apple Watch, like stock quotes, weather reports, your next calendar event, and a daily activity tracker. When you tap a complication, Apple Watch opens the corresponding app.

Other options include a timer, a stopwatch, and a world clock.

Note that complications are optional and any combination can be chosen, as visualized in the example below. Note that the location of each complication varies depending on which watchface is chosen

The “new ways to connect” section naturally focuses on all of the ways users can connect with other Apple Watch users, from sending text messages, animated sketches, and yes, even hearbeats.

All in all, anyone with a even a passing interest in Apple’s upcoming watch should check out the revamped website. There’s a lot of information to pore through, including some snapshots of some previously undisclosed app UIs.

For instance, the Apple Watch stopwatch will come with three views to choose from, digital, analog, and hybrid. All three are elegant in their own way, but as a quick illustration here’s what the hybrid view looks like.

FingerKey app lets you unlock your Mac using iPhone’s TouchID fingerprint sensor.

A new app called FingerKey allows Mac users to unlock their computer using Apple’s Touch ID fingerprint sensor on the iPhone 5s, 6, or 6 Plus. 

That means you’ll be able to login to your Mac using your iPhone’s fingerprint sensor rather than typing in a password each time. The app takes advantage of Apple opening up the Touch ID sensor to third-party apps for logins after previously being reserved for unlocking the device itself and authenticating App Store and iTunes purchases. 

The FingerKey app includes the ability to unlock multiple computers from a distance, 256-bit AES encryption, and a Notification Center Today widget for quick access. 

The developer says that support for logging into Windows and Linux computers is coming soon as is a Pattern Unlock feature for logging in via touchscreen gestures.

We recently wrote about a similar app, which also used a Bluetooth connection, that allowed users to unlock their Mac using by knocking on their iPhone’s screen. 

FingerKey is available on the App Store for $1.99 and the developer shared the video below of the app in action:

Logitech Ultrathin Magnetic Clip-On Keyboard for iPad Air 2.


Given that software keyboards are still buggy as hell, I’ve really had the chance to put the Logitech Ultrathin to use full time, and the conclusion in my iPad Ultrathin review still holds true for me.

The battery has never died on me, and I only remember having charged it once in the last eight weeks. The rubber feet are still sticking nicely to the bottom of the case, which is a good sign of overall durability. There’s really no downside to using this particular case with my Air 2, even though it’s technically designed for the original iPad Air. Most of all, the keys are still a delight to use. They’re springy, responsive, and very comfortable in continued use.

The only thing I still want changed at this point would be a sort of auto-wake switch in the form of a pressure sensor or a magnet. Credit really goes to Belkin for inclusion of that feature in many of their keyboard cases, and it has me hooked. Undocking the iPad from the keyboard and having Bluetooth automatically disconnect just feels like magic. It’s a great piece of smart design that makes the keyboard work for me, instead of forcing me to conform to the keyboard. If Logitech could add that feature to the next version of the Ultrathin, I think this would be a real 10/10 design.

Logitech Ultrathin Magnetic Clip-On Keyboard for iPad Air 2.

Best iPhone 6/Plus wallet cases: Pad and Quill Little Pocket Book and SurfacePad from TwelveSouth.

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For all of its greatness, Apple Pay hasn’t nearly killed the need to take your wallet with you wherever you go. But if you are like me, it has lightened your load a little bit. Instead of carrying around 5 credit cards, I now carry around one each of debit and credit. Combine that with some other de-Costanzifications (scan insurance cards and health club cards for instance) I’ve made recently, I can now consolidate my wallet into a few card slots.

What I’m getting at here is that I can follow the lead of my wife and now consolidate my iPhone and my wallet finally. I’ve chosen two amazing iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus cases from my favorite iPhone case manufacturers to get me there: Pad and Quill’s Little Pocket Book ($60 -$10 off for Black Friday) and Twelve South’s $39 Surfacepad

First up here is the Twelve South Surfacepad for iPhone 6. If you are at all familiar with Twelve South’s lineup, which has been around for 2 years, you know you are getting a top notch hand-crafted cover for the iPhone 6. On the inside you have a soft leather that provides an automatic dust cover/wiper for your iPhone, and on the outside you have quality stitched leather in four color options. I chose white to match the white/silver iPhone 6.

The back is ‘stickied’ onto the iPhone 6 and can be removed and added again a number of times (I am about six add/removes in and it still works great).

I beat the Hell out of my iPhone and these leather cases hold up for many months – perhaps even a year under harsh conditions. This year with the bigger iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, Twelve South added two slots for credit cards or a driver’s license which is huge. You can double up and maybe fit four cards in the ‘wallet’, but then you are already compromising the tight fit and finish of the case when it is closed.

The downside of the SurfacePad from Twelve South is that it doesn’t provide side impact protection for the iPhone 6. While this keeps the package slim, it kind of eliminates the whole reason to have a case to begin with: protection. You are pretty much naked when dropping the iPhone on its edges here. Sure the back and front are covered, but the edges are where you are more likely to take a hit.

And that brings up my second issue: although I’ve slimmed down my wallet, I do need to carry around a few more cards. That leads us to…


iPhone 6 Little PocketBook by Pad and Quill ($10 off today/Monday only). So my card usage is down, but I still need to carry around a license, a credit card and a few miscellaneous cards (and cash!) that blow out the SurfacePad. Not so for the luxurious Little Pocketbook by Pad and Quill. Like all Pad and Quill cases before, this is a serious wow! item with thick leather bound by heavy duty stitching and wood interior.

Like a Bentley or Rolls Royce of iPhone 6/Plus cases, this one is also very large as you can see in the gallery below, but you can pretty much drop this from your roof onto a diamond floor and expect not to see even a scuff. As for the leather, it is much, much thicker than the SurfacePad and will easily outlast your iPhone 6’s usability

Wrap up:

I ended up going with the Little Pocket Book by Pad and Quill after using both for a few weeks. The SurfacePad is awesome and will have many happy users, especially at its $39.99 price tag, pleasant color selection and super-thin profile.

But for me, the Little Pocket Book’s luxury, ruggedness, protection and full wallet utility were easily worth the extra thickness and $70 $60.

And don’t forget you can always get best iPhone 6/Plus wallet cases deal from our iRumors store.