Review: iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3

I picked up my new iPads after the event in Cupertino ended last Thursday where Apple introduced the new products. I’ve been using the new iPads just as I have used the previous generation devices, so I could get a good idea how they function under my normal working conditions. [...]

BIAS Desktop amp modeling

BIAS Desktop is the world’s most accurate, thorough and versatile guitar-amp modeler and designer. Its advanced amp-modeling engine captures the warmth and feel of real tube amps in every aspect, component by component. To start, the plug-in includes 36 authentic models of the most sought-after vintage and modern amps in rock ‘n’ roll history.

This alone is worth it—BIAS is my favorite amp modeling software for iOS, but then they added this:

Amp Matching utilizes a collection of underlying technologies to analyze and compare your currently selected BIAS amp model and the sound of a target tube amplifier, the corresponding cabinet and the microphone in front of it. It then executes the tonal compensation and enhancement needed to make your amp model accurately match the target tube amplifier.

Holy shit!

Trunk Monkey

I laughed my balls off watching this.

Apple Pay: “The most secure payments scheme on the planet”

For Apple Pay, Apple has worked with the payment processing networks to create end-to-end security for the user leveraging the EMVCo specification, completely removing the actual credit card number from any part of the payment process and instead generating one time payment tokens that are useless after they are processed. Simply put, the Target and Home Depot breaches would not have even been possible with Apple Pay. Tom Noyes, a former credit card executive, goes so far as saying that Apple Pay is “… the most secure payments scheme on the planet.” Now that’s secure.

Apple will deliver convenience and security—the best of both worlds.

New Mac mini

“People love Mac mini. It’s a great first Mac or addition to your home network, and the new Mac mini is a nice upgrade packed into an incredibly compact design,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing.

I think Phil summed it up perfectly—People love the Mac mini. Even though this wasn’t a staggering update, consumers are going to love it.

27-inch iMac with Retina 5K Display

iMac with Retina 5K display delivers an amazingly immersive user experience. With a resolution of 5120 x 2880, iMac with Retina 5K display has four times more pixels than the standard 27-inch iMac and 67 percent more pixels than a 4K display. Text looks as sharp as it does on a printed page, and you can see more of your high-resolution photos with pixel-for-pixel detail.

I just saw the new iMac in the hands-on area after the event and it is incredible.

OS X Yosemite available today for free

Apple today announced that OS X Yosemite, the latest major release of the world’s most advanced desktop operating system, is available as a free upgrade for Mac users from the Mac App Store.

I’ve been using Yosemite for a while now and I really like all of the changes, especially the redesigned interface.

Apple Pay starts October 20

Apple today announced that customers can start making payments with the touch of a finger on Monday, October 20, when Apple Pay becomes available in the US.

This could very well be one of Apple’s most significant announcements in years.

Apple introduces iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3

Apple today introduced iPad Air 2, the thinnest and most powerful iPad ever. Now just 6.1 mm thin and weighing less than a pound, iPad Air 2 features an improved Retina display for enhanced contrast and richer, more vibrant colors, and better cameras for taking stunning photos and videos. Available in gold, silver and space gray, the new iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 offer Touch ID so users can unlock their iPad with just the touch of a finger and make purchases easily and securely within apps using Apple Pay.

Great looking devices.

PCalc for OS X Yosemite

Lots of changes in the latest update:

  • Support for OS X Yosemite, including a Notification Center widget for quick calculations simply click on the display to switch to the main app, even mid-calculation.

  • Handoff support, between PCalc running on iOS 8 and Yosemite – continue your calculation on any device. The full state of the calculator, including the tape, is sent over.

  • Support for custom button layouts created with the iOS version. Full editing on the Mac will come in the next release.

  • Visual improvements, to match the new look of Yosemite, and unify with the iOS release.

  • A new dark calculator theme, “Backlight”.

  • All the core calculation code improvements from PCalc 3.3.2 on iOS, including better operator precedence support.

The Mac To The Future Bundle

8 Elite Mac Apps + 25 Comprehensive OS X & Web Development Courses

There are some nice apps here for $30.

Apogee Ensemble

The all new Apogee Ensemble is the first Thunderbolt 2 audio interface to offer superior sound quality, the lowest latency performance and the most comprehensive studio functionality all in one box. Ensemble includes 8 Advanced Stepped Gain™ mic preamps, monitor controller functionality including talkback, front panel Guitar I/O, two headphone outputs and digital connectivity for a total of 30 x 34 I/O. Blending acclaimed innovations, groundbreaking new features and an effortless user interface, Ensemble empowers you to capture inspiration when creative lightning strikes.

What a great looking interface. This thing is a beast.

Macworld Expo goes on hiatus

Very sad news today for the Mac community:

“We are announcing today that Macworld/iWorld is going on hiatus, and will not be taking place as planned in 2015. Our MacIT event, the world’s premiere event for deploying Apple in the enterprise, will continue next year with details to be announced in the coming weeks.

I remember back in 1994 as one of the original members of MacCentral that one of our main goals was to attend a Macworld Expo. I grew up in my profession writing about all the great products released at the expos over the years. This is a sad day.

Since 1985, Macworld events have brought together a community to celebrate the incredible innovations that Apple has brought into the world, shining a spotlight on the developers who add value to the user’s experience in infinite ways. As Apple products and the related ecosystem have changed, so has the marketplace, and we are proud to have played a part in that evolution. Literally thousands of companies and hundreds of products have come to market at Macworld, and countless professional relationships have been forged. We’d like to take this opportunity to thank the Apple community for allowing us to host these events and be a part of the incredible story that is the Apple market.

We are committed via our MacIT event to bringing together the product developers innovating with enterprise iOS and OS X based solutions, and the growing legion of professionals empowering their organizations through these tools. We are exploring exciting new partnerships, venues and delivery opportunities through which MacIT can continue to serve this market, and we look forward to announcing our plans for this event within the next few months.”

Much respect to Paul Kent for keeping the doors open as long as he did.

Rick Smolan’s Inside Tracks

I got a copy of Rick Smolan’s smartphone-enhanced book late last week and had a chance to try it out. As you would expect from a photographer of Rick’s experience, the photos are simply amazing. The story also pulls you in, certainly more than what I expected.

What was really cool is that after downloading the app, I was able to just point my iPhone at a picture and a movie explaining that photo would show up on my iPhone. It added so much to the experience.

I love the book. You can help fund the project and read the background story at National Geographic.

Genelec Offers Revolutionary 8351 Smart Active Monitor Loudspeaker [Sponsor]

Voted BEST in Show at the Audio Engineering Convention in Los Angeles last week!

genelec

With a compact footprint and outstanding acoustic performance, the 8351 Acoustically Coaxial SAM System marks a bold step forward in active monitoring featuring major advances in audio driver technology integrated into a sophisticated enclosure design

Genelec, the leader in active monitoring technology for over 35 years, offers the revolutionary new 8351 three-way Smart Active Monitor (SAM), developed in response to the need for increasing audio perfection for near-field recording and mix environments. Offering unique size and technological innovations, the 8351 breaks new ground in electro-acoustic engineering, as the mechanical, acoustical and signal-processing designs are linked closely together. The result is a system that is completely unique in the professional monitoring industry and represents a bold step forward for the active monitoring pioneer.

The 8351 borrows its size attribute from Genelec’s acclaimed 8050, the 8351 has a particularly compact footprint for a three-way monitor. The center of the 8351’s enclosure features the Minimum Diffraction Co-axial midrange/tweeter driver. This breakthrough in coaxial driver design provides extremely accurate imaging and improved sound quality, with crystal clear accuracy, both on and off-axis, vertically as well as horizontally. Aesthetically striking is the absence of any visible woofers, which are concealed beneath the Directivity Control Waveguide (DCW). The areas on the perimeter of the DCW are the acoustic openings for the proprietary Genelec-designed Acoustically Concealed Woofers (ACW™).

It’s this arrangement, the Co-axial midrange / tweeter in combination with the innovative bass drivers, together form a three-way co-axial enclosure with large continuous Directivity Control Waveguide (DCW) across the entire front. The extremely smooth frequency response and dispersion pattern lead to outstanding clarity and definition of the audio signal.

Genelec knows that smaller environments can cause significant problems with regards to the room performance, but SAM (Smart Active Monitoring) technology takes all that can be good about a monitor by itself and integrates it further into the listening environment. SAM technology creates a computer controlled, flexible network of monitors and makes them as a fully aligned system with regards to level, timing and room response equalization – all done automatically – as well being configurable by the end user. Like all active monitors in the Genelec SAM range, the 8351 is capable of automatically adapting to acoustical environments to offer an indispensable tool for sound professionals in broadcasting, post production, music studios and remote recording environments.

The 8351 is a remarkable achievement in electro-acoustic design by a group of engineers who remain committed day after day to delivering performance-based solutions for the professional audio market.

For more information, please visit Genelec.

“Do you foresee any hope for a turnaround for Samsung?”

Horace Dediu

Samsung’s operating model seems to be to invest as a ‘fast follower’ filling in the market after it’s established while leveraging capital intensive components synergies… If the modus operandi does not change then their turnaround will depend on the creation of new opportunities/categories.

I honestly don’t see an opportunity for Samsung to create new product categories. I think they’ve proven that’s not its strength.

A normal user’s thoughts on iOS 8

This was actually pretty interesting, not only to see what held people up from updating right away, but also how misinformation and rumors affects an individual’s views of features in the operating system.

How to beard

There’s some good advice, especially when he says to leave it alone.

Apple Watch’s editorial debut in Vogue China

Today, BoF can reveal that the Apple Watch will make its fashion editorial debut on the cover of Vogue China’s November issue, featuring supermodel Liu Wen. We spoke to Angelica Cheung, editor-in-chief of Vogue China, to get the story behind the story.

Magic Script Creator

My thanks to Magic Script Creator for sponsoring The Loop’s RSS feed this week. Magic Script Creator lets you experiment with creating custom AppleScripts by just answering a few questions. No prior knowledge of AppleScript is needed in order to use this application. Included in Magic Script Creator are 24 different examples that you can configure hundreds of different ways. Most examples contain UNIX command line tools, combining their power with AppleScript’s strengths.

Version 4.0 contains two new major features. First, you can choose to compile your scripts with line by line remarks. This will help you understand what each line of code is executing. Second, for those examples containing UNIX command tools, you can export the MAN (or manual) page in an easy to read PDF. No more trying to read these manuals in a tiny terminal window! To learn more about Magic Script Creator, watch an instructional video, purchase the application, or try a demo version, please visit our homepage.

TextExpander touch 3.1

Type more with less effort on your iPhone or iPad! Expand custom keyboard shortcuts into frequently-used text snippets. Grab your favorite snippets from your Mac.

Such a great app made by a great company that cares about its users.