Friday Morning News

container_benchmarcAfter being shown off on-stage at Apple’s October special event, Pixelmator for iPad is out. It’s $6.49 on the Australian App Store, a price point that some claim has to be price trolling, given it’s a desktop-class app that looks and works like it could have been designed by Apple themselves. A review from MacStories reaffirms that position, examining the set of retouching tools offered by Pixelmator and the deep integration it has with iOS 8.

Speaking of downright amazing apps, PhotoMath is an insane app that gives you the answers to mathematical expressions by using the camera and doing calculations in real-time. Not only can it give you the answer to math questions, it’ll also show you how to steps it took to do so. It doesn’t support “complex” maths like differential equations, but just realising this kind of app exists is amazing.

Facebook are out with an app that has nothing to do with Facebook. Rooms is for creating bite-sized message boards on any particular topic, and because it has no connection to Facebook and doesn’t use your Facebook credentials, you create an individual identity for each of the rooms you join. Others can join your Room from QR codes, and it’ll be interesting to see if Rooms takes off, or if it crashes and burns.

MacStories also has a review of Nuzzle, the social news app that gets links from people you follow on Twitter. It’s kind of like the Shared Links tab in Safari, only in a much more visual interface. It’s free, and available for both the iPhone and iPad.

An update to Fantastical for iPhone and iPad overhauls the app for iOS 8, bringing support for interactive notifications, its own share extension, and a Today widget that gives you an overview of what’s going on in your calendar. It’s kind of impressive how they’ve managed to pack the full app into the share extension, letting you create events and reminders from basically anywhere.

Apple and GT Advanced have gone their separate ways, after dissolving their partnership and ending their production agreement. Apple are saying GT Advanced’s sapphire production wasn’t ready for prime-time, but remain open about the possibility of working with the company in the future once they improve their techniques.

AppleInsider says some users are experiencing bluetooth connection issues after upgrading to OS X Yosemite, with input lag being the most noticeable and reproducible issue. Worse still, there doesn’t appear to be any fix for the input lag, making working with any kind of bluetooth peripheral an arduous task.

Some folks on the MacRumors forums have put together a “Continuity Activation Tool“, which automates the process of enabling Handoff on older Macs. But before you jump in, there are a few caveats: only the mid 2011 MacBook Air and mid 2011 Mac mini can use the tool to enable Handoff without hardware upgrades, seeing as Handoff relies on bluetooth to be able to function. Other Macs are supported, but need hardware updates to work.

If you put a set of buttons, knobs, and sliders onto your iPad, you can turn it into a modular interface for controlling pretty much anything. That’s the idea behind the Modulares Interface B.A, which turns the iPad into a tactile interface for whatever you want.

I’ve been wondering what to do with my spare PowerMac G5 cases, and putting together some crazy furniture is now pretty high on the list, after seeing what some Germans did. Originally I was thinking some kind of coffee table, but the bench looks kinda cool too. Decisions, decisions…

Notable Replies

  1. I’ve ordered the appropriate bluetooth card for my Early 2011 MacBook Pro. I’ll let you know how it goes with the Continuity Activation Tool. There’s still a few years life in this old thing and I love to tinker, so it’s worth a shot!

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