K2 Cool Bean snowboard is fat and powder-ready

The Cool Bean snowboard looks weird but is a ton of fun.

If you hope to spend run after run in the sweet, deep powder on a single plank this winter, you’ll want a state-of-the-art companion.

K2 Snowboarding’s Cool Bean is just that: a directional, short and fat board with a swallowtail design that’s built for the freshies and surfing whatever the mountain throws at you.

Part of K2’s Enjoyer series, the Cool Bean is definitely not a one-quiver board. But if you’re looking to spice up your runs, take a closer look at the Cool Bean’s flat center and rockered tip and tail. This baby should float your boat.

Price: $499.95

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Wallpapers of the week: Bold iPad Pro wallpapers

iPad Pro Bold Wallpaper splash

Apple’s newest flagship iOS device, iPad Pro, offers a screen with 5.6 million pixels. The engrossing screen is quite spectacular, even if recent reports peg the iPad mini 4 display as best. I was surprised to find very few iPad Pro wallpapers around the Internet, that took advantage of the massive new screen. Consequently, I was left on my own to scramble up some options.

Inside, you will find several iPad Pro wallpapers. It is a shame to have that giant screen, but no customizable wallpaper options. There are two different orientations, which are explained within, helping take advantage of the landscape size. Take a step inside for great downloads for your newest device.

iPad Pro wallpapers

Because there are little-to-no photo quality iPad Pro wallpapers online, in an attempt to provide wallpapers for Apple’s latest iOS device.

Immediately below, the next five wallpapers are square images at 2732 x 2732. This means, when iPad Pro is rotated, the image should remain fairly centered. The images were large enough to accommodate this type of adjustment and still maintain photo quality resolutions.

Atlantis Nebula 3 By Starkiteckt iPad Pro Wallpaper 2732x2732

DownloadAtlantis Nebula 3

Diamond Peak Sunset By Robert Bynum iPad Pro Wallpaper 2732x2732

DownloadDiamond Peak Sunset

Reflection on the Lake By Oliver Buettner iPad Pro Wallpaper 2732x2732

DownloadReflection on the Lake

Rumkale By hannanaslan iPad Pro Wallpaper 2732x2732

DownloadRumkale

Rockefeller View By Maikel Claassen iPad Pro Wallpaper 2732x2732

DownloadRockefeller View

The images below were not quite large enough to make a perfectly square crop. However, they were big enough to give preference to a landscape orientation. The following wallpapers are cropped at 2732 x 2048. Typically, iOS device wallpapers would be cropped with the opposite orientation, 2048 x 2732, giving portrait the preference on image clarity. However, after using my iPad Pro for two weeks, I find it is more used in landscape, hence the crop orientation. The images still look fine in portrait mode, but look best in landscape.

The Eleventh Hour By Dominic Kamp iPad Pro Wallpaper

DownloadThe Eleventh Hour

Vancouvers Mirror by Mohsen Kamalzadeh iPad Pro Wallpaper

DownloadVancouvers Mirror

Mount Eggli by Robin Kamp iPad Pro Wallpaper

DownloadMount Eggli

Apple to Kill Headphone Jack in iPhone 7

Apple appears determined to get rid of the headphone jack. Image credit: Apple

You can make thinner and thinner smartphones, sure, but at some point, you’re going to run up against one big issue: the size of the physical connections on the device itself. While that’s not likely going to be that big an issue for some connections—especially if a manufacturer can replace a familiar standard (like, say, mini-USB) with either a smaller version (micro-USB) or a different connection type entirely (Lightning)—it’s certainly going to pose a problem for others.

We’re not sure how one might shrink down something like the 3.5mm audio jack, which is used by pretty every normal pair of earbuds or headphones one can currently buy right now—minus, of course, the few headphones and earbuds that have already switched over to a thinner Lightning connection. And it appears Apple can’t really figure it out, either, as new rumors from Mac Otakara suggest that Apple is looking to abandon the 3.5mm jack entirely in its to-be-announced iPhone 7.

In doing so, Apple would be able to shrink the size of its flagship smartphone even more. And assuming that doing so doesn’t make the device any more malleable—hello, “BendGate” once again—it would require Apple to throw a pair of Lightning-friendly earbuds into each iPhone 7 box. Apple would likely offer up some kind of 3.5mm-to-Lightning adapter as well, but it’s unclear whether this would ship with the iPhone 7 by default (we doubt) or whether it would cost a little bit extra as an add-on accessory (more likely).

The big question is just how such a move might affect all the other headphones one can buy, as well as the other devices Apple makes. While we can envision some manufacturers making iPhone-exclusive variants of their headphones, we doubt that Apple’s potential decision to chop out the headphone jack is going to suddenly make for a market full of Lightning-only headphones and earbuds. There are, after all, plenty of non-iPhone devices that still use the 3.5mm connection. And, of course, you could just pair any ol’ pair of Bluetooth headphones or earbuds with the iPhone 7.

We’re more curious to know whether Apple’s move is the first step toward the elimination of the headphone port in all of its devices: tablets, phones, and iPods. While it’s a bit early to call the death of the headphone jack just yet, we sense that Apple’s interest in thinner, sleeker designs means that the 3.5mm connection is likely living on borrowed time at this point.

The iPod Pro is a Concept Fitness Tracker Inspired by Apple Watch

Apple has released iPad Pro, but we have no idea whether they have any plan to roll out iPod Pro. Now a talented design has came up with his idea – a rounded iPod Pro fitness tracker inspire by Apple Watch.

iPod Pro Concept Fitness Tracker Inspired by Apple Watch

The iPod Pro is a charming design concept inspired by Apple Watch, and designed by Jomy Joseph, an Indian designer. As shown in the images, the concept iPod is beyond the stubborn image in my brain for iPod. The iPod Pro shows off a sleek, ultra portable rounded design. Using its integrated clip and custom hole, you can easily attach the wearable on your neck or your cloth in order that its built-in Health sensors tracks your all-day activity and its custom Activity app shows your daily progress and helps you to boost your health.

iPod Pro Concept Fitness Tracker Inspired by Apple Watch

As an Apple device, iPod Pro features integrated Siri that allows you to control it using your voice such as playing your favorite album, asking her for directions, and etc. Furthermore, its integrated taptic feedback sensor learns your gestures over time, which provides you a simple and personalized gesture control. In addition, the iPod Pro is made from a single piece of aluminum for a durable and sleek construction, and the color palette ensures it meets your taste.

iPod Pro Concept Fitness Tracker Inspired by Apple Watch

After the break, check out the images about the design concept. BTW, if you want a few available options, you may like to check Activité Steel fitness tracker and more cool stuff by following tags.

iPod Pro Concept Fitness Tracker Inspired by Apple Watch

iPod Pro Concept Fitness Tracker Inspired by Apple Watch

iPod Pro Concept Fitness Tracker Inspired by Apple Watch

iPod Pro Concept Fitness Tracker Inspired by Apple Watch

iPod Pro Concept Fitness Tracker Inspired by Apple Watch

iPod Pro Concept Fitness Tracker Inspired by Apple Watch

Apple Pencil Used as Weight Scale, Synthesizer and 3D Image Editing Controller

While the Apple Pencil is designed as a sketching tool for creative professionals, MacRumors reader Simon Gladman has created three Swift demo apps that show the accessory being used for three unconventional purposes — as a weight scale, controlled synthesizer and 3D controller for image editing.

PencilScale

PencilScale, based on Goodman’s Plum-O-Meter, is an experimental app that uses a homemade harness to turn the Apple Pencil into an electronic scale that is highly sensitive, but not incredibly accurate.

The experiment works by subtracting the touch’s force from a base weight, which is “set as the current touch force when the ‘zero’ button is pressed,” and multiplying it by 140 for a very rough weight in grams.

PencilSynth

PencilSynth is an AudioKit-powered synthesizer that can be controlled by the Apple Pencil depending on its orientation and position.

  • Apple Pencil’s horizontal position on the screen controls frequency
  • Apple Pencil’s vertical position on the screen controls the modulating multiplier
  • Apple Pencil’s altitude angle controls the carrier multiplier
  • Apple Pencil’s azimuth angle controls the modulation index

PencilController

PencilController is an experimental image processing app that uses the Apple Pencil as a controller for the fine setting of parameters on Core Image filters.

The demo has three image filtering modes:

  • Hue/Saturation – Apple Pencil’s azimuth angle controls hue and its altitude angle controls the saturation
  • Brightness/Contrast – Apple Pencil’s altitude angle along North/South controls contrast and the angle along West/East controls brightness
  • Gamma/Exposure – Apple Pencil’s altitude angle along North/South controls exposure and the angle along West/East controls gamma

Gladman explains that “the app uses a spring loaded pattern, so the user needs to hold down one of the mode keys in the bottom left of the screen to stay in the filtering mode.”

The source code for all three projects is available on GitHub.

Wallpapers of the week: Blackberry Priv geometric wallpapers

Blackberry Priv wallpaper for iPhone splash

The Wallpapers of the Week section has continued for longer than two years! Over this time and more than 100 posts, we are able to see certain trends in popularity. Other than starry galaxy wallpapers, geometric wallpapers seem to be the biggest hit each time they are posted.

Today, the new Blackberry Priv wallpapers fit the geometric category.  Step inside for a download of the five new Blackberry Priv wallpapers. Additionally, find links to some of our previous posts with similar themes.

Blackberry Priv wallpapers

Blackberry Priv wallpaper for iPhone 2

DownloadiPhone

Blackberry Priv wallpaper for iPhone 1

DownloadiPhone

Blackberry Priv wallpaper for iPhone 4

DownloadiPhone

Blackberry Priv wallpaper for iPhone 3

DownloadiPhone

Blackberry Priv wallpaper for iPhone 5

DownloadiPhone

The Apple Pencil has reignited my love of drawing

The Spider-Man drawing above was created entirely on the iPad Pro using Procreate and the Apple Pencil.

The Spider-Man drawing above was created entirely on the iPad Pro using Procreate and the Apple Pencil. After many years, my love of drawing has been reignited and transported to the digital age.

Friends of mine from childhood, high school and college remember me as someone who loved to draw. Armed with reams of continuous pin fed dot matrix computer paper from my father’s workplace, my elementary school friends and I would draw battleships and castles. Our fortresses featured various dungeons, moats and parapets to defend the inhabitants from the invading hordes. Our vessels would have multiple 16-inch cannons, missile launchers, and enough anti-aircraft, anti-missile, and anti-submarine weaponry to repel any assault on our naval fleet. As I entered middle and high school, I began reading comic books and drawing Spider-Man, Iron Man, and Batman in my sketchbooks.

Yet, as much as I loved computers, I never took a liking to drawing digitally. Tools like Illustrator still confound me to this day for anything but the most simplistic projects. I remember buying one of the first Wacon Intuos tablets, but I could never get used to the experience of looking at the screen while drawing on the tablet. It felt unnatural and I yearned for that 1:1 experience. I realize that many people have no problem with this approach, but it just wasn’t for me. I’ve tried numerous styluses, both dumb ones and those with Bluetooth for my iPhone and iPad, but none could replicate the feeling of drawing on paper.

Today, Wacom has its Cintiq line, Samsung has the Galaxy Note 5 which features a halfway decent stylus in the S-Pen (though the screen is too small for the type of drawing I would like to do) and Microsoft has Surface tablets which come with high-precision styluses. As a longtime Apple user, however, I could not bear myself to switch platforms.

With all that said, one can imagine my excitement with the announcement of the iPad Pro and the Apple Pencil. The videos depicting the Pencil in action were impressive, and I waited with great anticipation at midnight of launch day to order the Pro and Pencil. While I was able to pick up my iPad Pro on day one, my Pencil was backordered for three to four additional weeks. In some ways, this was good, because it gave me the chance to become more familiar with the differences in the iPad Pro compared with my other iPads. It features the best software keyboard that I have used to date, one that I can conceivably use for typing long form text and editing HTML documents.

I didn’t buy the iPad Pro for typing; I bought it to draw! So last week, I began calling Apple Retail stores around the peninsula, asking if they had any Pencils in stock. I was initially told that all Pencils were backordered, and that they wouldn’t be arriving for weeks. Then, I read reports that small batches were indeed arriving at retail stores, including the one nearest to my house. I went to that store on the morning of the 19th. The specialist informed me that while none were in stock at the moment, more were coming later in the day. So, back home I went and waited until after lunch. As I entered the Apple Store, my eyes went directly to the shelf  where the Pencils should have been. My heart sank when I saw an empty shelf. Fortunately, my prayers were answered; they had 10 more in the back!

iPad_Pro_Drawing_2

Up until now, I have been using an Adonit Jot Pro Bluetooth Stylus and Procreate on an original iPad mini for my digital illustrations. Shown above is a page from a children’s book that I am making for my son. While the Jot Pro was certainly better than using my fingers, I have not been entirely satisfied with it. The lag, the weird plastic disc at the tip, and the buttons that I kept pressing by accident were annoying. The lack of good palm rejection in all of the iOS apps I’ve tried to date made drawing an awkward experience.

The Apple Pencil resolves all of these problems to my satisfaction. It has the least lag or latency of any stylus I’ve ever used due to the high sampling rate between the Pencil’s movements on the iPad Pro’s display. The tip of the Pencil is small and precise; where I place it is where the digital ink appears. I know Wacon tablet users love their buttons, but I like the fact that there are no buttons on the Apple Pencil; there’s nothing to accidentally press. Finally, palm rejection is extremely good across several applications like Paper, Procreate, and Notes. I am so glad to be able to place the side of my hand right on the screen without worrying that a big splotch would appear! And while there remain times when I see a stray ink mark, it happens so infrequently that it’s not a problem for me.

Procreate from Savage Interactive is an excellent painting application that offers multiple layer support, perspective tools, dozens of pre-set brushes, and an easy-to-use interface. It also records everything you do in the app, making it easy to see how I went from a blank canvas to the finished Spider-Man drawing.

It’s only been a few days, but to say that I am satisfied with the Apple Pencil is an understatement. For artists like me who never got accustomed to drawing on graphics tablets like the Wacom Intuos, didn’t want to plunk down the cash for a Cintiq, nor felt the need to switch platforms, the Apple Pencil and the iPad Pro is a game changer. And the great thing is that this technology is only going to get better. I’d welcome using the Apple Pencil on a smaller iPad for those times when I want a more portable drawing system. I’d also like to see better iCloud support in Procreate so that I can easily switch between art projects on all of my devices. I fully expect to do much more drawing in the future, now that the technology has matched my expectations.

Lastly, I pulled the old Apple Bluetooth headset dock to function as a charging stand for the Apple Pencil. I connected a 30-pin to Lightning adapter to the Pencil’s female-to-female Lightning adapter to complete the system. The port for the headset is magnetized, so the Pencil’s cap won’t roll off the table.

Using an old iPhone Bluetooth Headset dock as an Apple Pencil dock.