Monday Morning News

envoypromini-1The iPad Pro has once again raised its head, this time appearing in industrial renderings as a larger-screened iPad. What’s purported to be the iPad Pro has a 12.9-inch display, coupled with a pair of speakers on both ends of the tablet for four speakers total. Like the more recent iPad Air 2, there’s no mute/rotation switch on the rendering, and there’s also no sign of the side-mounted Lightning/accessory port that appeared on previous sketches and renders of the device.

Amidst internet grumblings about the heart rate sensor on the Apple Watch not working with tattoos, Apple has updated their Apple Watch heart rate support document to say darker-ink tattoos can affect heart rate sensor accuracy: “The ink, pattern, and saturation of some tattoos can block light from the sensor, making it difficult to get reliable readings”. Other issues experienced by Apple Watch early adopters includes a malfunctioning band-locking mechanism.

In other Apple Support article news, a separate document says you should spin your Digital Crown under a running tap in order to loosen any trapped debris. Apple doesn’t recommend submersing the Apple Watch, but we’ve already seen videos where the watch lasts a couple of meters without any damage. Perhaps Apple are erring on the side of caution when it comes to Apple Watch water resistance?

IMore gives us the run-down on the Activity app on the Apple Watch. Both your Watch and iPhone have access to the same data, so it’s easy to check out the activity achievements you’ve earned or the daily progress you’ve made towards your activity goals.

The thing about Force Touch is that like the tap-and-hold on the iPhone, it’s hard for users to know what can be Force Touched and what can’t be. Discoverability is poor, despite many of Apple’s apps supporting the feature. If we haven’t already seen one or two-step tutorials for Apple Watch apps, then adding a pane about Force Touch wouldn’t go astray, developers.

Not that a couple of grams is going to make that much of a difference, but I still found it interesting that different colours of the Apple Watch Sport Band have different weights. Not that it really matters — the 42mm Apple Watch Sport and Apple Watch have seen their shipping dates slip to July. (At time of writing, the 42mm Apple Watch Sport with White Sport Band is the only one that’s available to ship in 2-3 weeks.)

A look at Apple’s ResearchKit by Ars Technica examines the framework that will make medical research easier. By giving medical researchers the ability to create apps with good-looking interfaces and covering all of the other menial aspects of medical research studies, Apple makes it easy for researchers to focus on what really matters: the tasks designed to contribute to their research.

Slack is one of the year’s best communication tools. Not only because it brings teams and groups together in a way that Hangouts, Messenger or any other cross-platform communication tool doesn’t, but because it’s significantly better than anything that came before it. If IRC was for the internet’s early days, then Slack is the group/team-specific internet of today, and the story of how Panic went all-in with Slack is a good one.

A well-known feature of the iPhone is the ability to add any website to your home screen, essentially making a site-specific browser. But all those still use Safari’s cache and cookies, whereas an app like Mercato offers true site-specific browsers on iOS, if that’s something you’ve been looking for.

Brian Lovin’s latest design details post takes a look at Carousel, the photo and video storage app from Dropbox. There’s plenty of little details which make the app feel great in use, if only Australian internet was up to the task of uploading thousands of photos to the internet.

9to5Mac has a review of OWC’s Envoy Pro, a USB flash drive that’s a fraction larger than normal because it hides a MacBook Air-like SSD inside, which gives you blistering fast transfers over USB. It comes in 120GB and 240GB capacities too, for about US$119 and US$199, respectively.

Over at Macworld, Jason Snell praises the oft-neglected apps of the Utilities folder.

Notable Replies

  1. I do love that everyone is writing about that tattoo thing as if it’s unique to the Apple Watch. It isn’t.

    Any device using an optical heart rate sensor (like the Scosche Rythm+, Moto 360 or Fitbit Charge HR/Surge) is affected by tattoos.

    But “Optical Heart Rate Sensors don’t work well with tattoos” isn’t as sexy a headline as “ZOMG!!! Apple Watch doesn’t work with tattoos!!!11!1!!!” I guess…

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