Siri on the Touch Bar can get in the way if you have the habit of hitting the edge of the Touch Bar. It can be annoying if Siri is turned on accidentally.
If you do not use Siri on a regular basis, you can remove it from the Touch Bar. Go to System Preferences > Keyboard. Click on “Customise Control Strip”. The Mac is now treating the Touch Bar as an external display where you can move your cursor into. Use the trackpad or mouse to drag the Siri icon on the Touch Bar out into the main screen.
Watch Steve Jobs introduces first iPhone 10 years ago
The first iPhone was launched 10 years ago on January 9, 2007. Watch the MacWorld keynote where Steve Jobs introduces the very first iPhone to the world.
Chris Lattner from Apple to Tesla
Chris Lattner, the creator of Swift programming language and LLVM co-author, is going to Tesla after more than a decade with Apple. There are many speculations on his decision, after he led a successful transition to open source the Swift programming language. Maybe he is upset with the future direction or the lack of it in Apple?
Consumer Reports now recommends 2016 MacBook Pro
Consumer Reports has reversed its position and is now recommending the latest 2016 MacBook Pro. Consumer Reports conducted a new test after Apple fixes a Safari bug that causes unpredictable battery life in the original test. The fix will be made available to the public in the coming macOS Sierra 10.12.3.
Apple increases tvOS app size from 200MB to 4GB
Ever wonder why there are not many console-like games available on tvOS? This is due mainly to lacklustre support from Apple for such games. Things might change as Apple has announced that the size limit of tvOS app bundle has increased from 200MB to 4GB. This comes after Apple TV 4th generation has been on the market for more than 14 months, and right after the Nintendo Switch announcement.
Admit it, Siri at times can be frustrating when it does not answer your question. Or It just simply point you to a website or wikipedia page. We all like Siri to get super smart, until then it is good to learn about some specific commands that Siri can answer.
“Read my last message” – read your last text message.
“Text Jon Snow where are you now” – send a text message to Jon Snow.
“Show me my last email” – display your last email.
“Take a picture” – launch camera app.
“Download Facebook” – launch App Store and search “Facebook” for you.
“Open Twitter” – open Twitter app.
“Remind me to bring my charger tomorrow at 9.30 am” – add a task to reminder
“Wake me up in 9 hours”, “Wake me up at 8am” – to set alarm.
“Timer 5 minutes” – to set timer.
“What’s on my calendar for Monday” – to check calendar agenda.
“Play Nine Inch Nails” – play song or album in your music library.
“How many calories are in a banana” – substitute “banana” with any fruit you have in mind.
“What’s 150 dollars in pounds” – convert currency.
“How many ounces in one litre”, “How many inches in a meter”, “What’s 200 Fahrenheit in Celsius” – various convertor.
“What’s Apple stock price” – list stock price.
“What’s ETA to Avenue 5” – list the estimated time to reach Avenue 5 from your current location.
“What song is this?” – then point your iPhone to a song playing to identify the song.
“Any good Japanese restaurants in the area” – get a list of restaurants nearby.
“What movies are playing in the area” – get movie listing.
“What’s Morse code for Titanic” – find out the Morse code.
“Do beatbox” – for some fun.
“What is zero divided by zero” – for some classic Siri reply.
“Toss coin” – to get tail or head.
“Bye” – to quit Siri without pressing the Home button.
Thats certainly not all Siri could do. Ask Siri “What can you do” to find out more commands.
The singularity is near, so it may seems when you watch two bots talking to each other over Google Home live on Twitch. Its a male and female bots, continuously prompting each other with questions, answers and comments. The conversation at times is a treat, with wide ranging topics, and you can even hear them flirting and arguing with each other. Head over to Twitch TV live feed.
Apple celebrates Chinese New Year with wallpapers
To celebrate the coming Year of the Rooster Chinese New Year, Apple for the first time launched a set of exclusive wallpapers. Available on Apple website in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore, the wallpapers are created by young Chinese artists using apps on Mac and iPad. Download the wallpapers.
iOS 10 now on 76% of iOS devices
According to Apple’s developer page, iOS 10 is now on 76% of iOS devices as on January 4, 2017 based on App Store statistics. 18% of devices continue to run iOS 9. This is an improvement as iOS 9 garnered 75% of adoption rate around this time last year. Apple is expected to release iOS 10.3 this month.
Taptic Engine was first introduced in iPhone 6s for 3D Touch. For iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, the Taptic Engine supports the Home button, which is no longer a physical button. In addition, Apple has enhanced the Taptic Engine to introduce subtle vibrations for various system functions.
These new System Haptics are everywhere, for example when you slide open the Notification Center, you get a subtle tap as the sliding reaches the bottom of the screen. System Haptics are also available when you use Pinch to Zoom, Sliders, Switches, pull open Spotlight etc.
System Haptics can be a delight to use. You can turn it off if you find it annoying. Go to Settings > Sounds & Haptics. Scroll all the way to the bottom and turn off the “System Haptics” switch.
Please note that disabling System Haptics does not turn off all vibrations such as for 3D Touch or incoming phone calls. These other vibrations are not under System Haptics and is managed independently.
The late-2016 MacBook Pro features Thunderbolt 3/USB-C ports that replace all other type of ports except for the headphone port. To aid in this aggressive push for adoption of the latest port, Apple even has a comprehensive support article that explains what is Thunderbolt 3 and how you should connect to your peripheral devices. Check out the article Connect with Thunderbolt 3 on your late-2016 MacBook Pro.
HandBrake for Mac is a capable video convertor that can also help you burn your video file to DVD. After 13 years, the developer has finally decided the software is worthy of version 1 tagging. This new release comes with improved set of presets that make it easy to convert to popular video formats. HandBrake is free and open source.
How China build ‘iPhone City’
New York Times has published a lengthy article that examines the inner working of Foxconn’s major manufacturing plant in ‘iPhone City’ Zhengzhou, China. It describes the history and how perks and tax breaks is helping the operations. Read the article that is a result of over 100 interviews with factory workers, truck drivers, logistics handlers, and current and former Apple executives.
The origins of Carpool Karaoke featuring George Michael
Watch the origins of James Corden’s Carpool Karaoke before it became a hit show. It is a comedy skit for British charity Comic Relief in 2011, featuring the late superstar George Michael driving around and singing.
One of the new feature in macOS Sierra is the Picture-to-Picture mode for Safari. First appeared in iPad, Picture-in-Picture allows you to detach a video so that it is always viewable while using other apps.
It is easy to enable Picture-to-Picture mode for YouTube video. First right-click on the video to bring up a menu. Then right-click again on the menu to bring out a different menu. Select “Enter Picture-in-Picture” from the menu.
The video will now detach, and stay on top so that you can watch it while using other apps. You can control the video as usual, and also resize and reposition it on the screen.
If you’re trying to type a certain scientific symbol on your computer, it is at times tedious to browse through pages of special character pane to locate the symbol that you need. Google Docs has a helpful feature where you can hand draw your character to narrow down the search.
On Google Docs menu, select Insert > Special Characters to bring up the dialog box. On the right panel there is an empty area for you to hand draw your symbol. Your input will then be used to narrow down the search with the filtered search result display on the left panel.
This tool is handy even if you’re not a regular Google Docs user. Simply use it to locate the symbols that you need, then copy and paste them from Google Docs to Pages, Word or whatever editor you’re using.
First MacBook to NOT receive a Consumer Reports recommendation
The latest MacBook Pro has become the first MacBook to not receive the coveted recommendation by Consumer Reports. Apple’s latest and greatest notebook has been widely panned as a letdown due to its high price, lack of ports and gimmicky Touch Bar. For Consumer Reports, it is the inconsistent battery life of the MacBook Pro that is costing the recommendation badge.
Apple vs Nokia
After Samsung, Apple is going to court with Nokia. This time around, it is Nokia who sue Apple for patent infringement, saying that Apple has refused to license its patents. In a sign of retaliation, Apple has pulled all Withings products from its online store. Withings is a subsidiary of Nokia who makes digital scales, health and fitness gears.
Amazon Prime Air delivers to first customer
Parcel delivery using drone becomes a reality as Amazon has successfully tested its delivery in U.K. Currently under testing, drone delivery is expected to expand to dozens of customers and later grow to hundreds near the piloting Amazon facility in Cambridge. Find out more about Amazon Prime Air.
Apple USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 dongle discount extends till end March 2017
Last month, Apple dropped the price of all its USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 adaptors until December 31 to make peace with its new MacBook Pro customers. The good news is this offer is extended till March 31, 2017.
Chewbacca sings “Silent Night”
For the Christmas and holiday spirit, here’s our favourite wookie singing “Silent Night”.