News from Six Colors

The latest in the world of Apple

Six Colors Writing about Apple and other stuff by Jason Snell, Dan Moren, and others.

  • Shoot to thrill: Three camera features the iPhone should add (Macworld)
    by Dan Moren on August 23, 2019 at 6:05 am

    In the era of the personal computer, we worshipped at the altar of processor speeds, RAM capacity, and hard drive space. But in the era of the smartphone, none of these items are as important as they once were. Instead, we are more concerned about what their devices can do, and chief among those capabilities is taking great pictures.

    Look back over the past few years of smartphone announcements from industry leaders like Samsung, Google, and, of course, Apple, and you’ll see cameras occupying a lot of time in onstage demos as well as a prominent position in smartphone marketing and ads.

    With the unveiling of Apple’s 2019 iPhone line-up a matter of weeks away, many anticipate a big improvement in the devices’ cameras. That’s no surprise: every time a new phone rolls around, Apple always touts it as featuring the best camera ever. Because as good as the current iPhone’s camera is, there’s always room for improvement.

    Continue reading on Macworld...

  • Turning your fan smart with an IR blaster and Homebridge ↦
    by Dan Moren on August 22, 2019 at 7:43 am

    As someone who enjoys mucking around with smart home tech, I was intrigued by Benjamin Mayo’s recent how-to for 9to5Mac on getting his not-so-smart tower fan to work with HomeKit. The solution involves the Homebridge open source project, a relatively inexpensive Wi-Fi IR blaster, and a little bit of programming know-how.

    I spent an hour yesterday getting my own fan to work with the process, and while it’s not exactly the plug-and-play experience that you get with HomeKit, it wasn’t exactly rocket surgery either. The only hiccup I ran into was not realizing for a while that my fan’s IR remote uses separate codes for on and off—this after I spent a solid 20 minutes trying to troubleshoot why every thing seemed to be working fine except for the fan turning on.

    But in the end not only did I make it work, but I even implemented variable speed control via HomeKit (which fortunately works with the way my fan is set up). Of course, now that I’ve got Homebridge running on my Synology NAS, I’ve started to wonder what other smart home shenanigans I can get up to…

    [Read on Six Colors.]

  • 252: Not with That Credit Limit ↦
    by Dan Moren on August 22, 2019 at 7:30 am

    This week, on the irreverent tech show that you may remember has three regular co-hosts, we discuss the recent launch of the Apple Card and why it’s an odd product for Apple. Plus, how to reject the arbitration clause, and Dan signs up for one live on air! We also talk subscription pricing, Lex’s hopes for Echo Auto, Dan’s search for another wireless speaker, and what we all use for RSS readers. Plus tech podcast doppelgängers.

    [Read on Six Colors.]

  • Bloomberg: Three new iPhones launching in September ↦
    by Dan Moren on August 22, 2019 at 5:07 am

    A story from Mark Gurman and Debby Wu at Bloomberg has a lot to say about revamps to the iPhone, iPad, and Mac to be announced next month:

    The main feature of the Pro iPhones will be a new camera system on the back with a third sensor for capturing ultra-wide-angle photos and videos. The extra camera will let users zoom out and capture a larger field of view. The sensors will capture three images simultaneously and use new artificial intelligence software to automatically correct the combined photo if, for example, a person is accidentally cut out of one of the shots. The new system will also take higher resolution pictures rivaling some traditional cameras. Photos taken in very low-light environments will improve, too.

    As always, it’s best to take these reports with a grain of salt, but Gurman’s track record is well established, and many of the details about the iPhone have been hinted at before, such as the discontinuation of 3D Touch, the “Pro” names, and the improved cameras. But improved waterproofing, better Face ID, and a more shatterproof exterior were all news to me. Information about other products, such as the rumored 16-inch MacBook Pro, is still pretty sparse though.

    Of course, the big question is how Apple will tell the story of these new phones, elevating it from merely a list of bullet point features into a compelling product.

    [Read on Six Colors.]

  • (Podcast) Clockwise #308: Lipstick on a Piggy Bank
    by Dan Moren on August 21, 2019 at 12:09 pm

    This week, on the 30-minute tech show with two full-time co-hosts, Dan and Mikah are joined by special guests Jeremy Burge and James Thomson to discuss our systems for getting things done, where we stand on Qi charging, our thoughts on the Apple Card, and dealing with a plethora of subscription services.