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Free, Yet Powerful Vector-Design Program for iOS in Vectornator Pro

Vectornator on ios app storeYou have probably figured out by now that I’m not an artist. That doesn’t keep me from being interested in applications to create art and to appreciate those who use them well. I used to think all digital art was created using pixel-based drawing and painting apps. It turns out that amazing art can be created using vector design programs.

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Create Real Videos from Your Live Photos with Snapthread

Snapthread logoOne of the more interesting advancements in iPhone photography in the last few years has been Live Photos. If you haven’t played around with them before, the sensor actually captures a few seconds of video on either side of the photo. Up until recently, the fun party trick was to hold your finger down on the photo and you could see the tiny video. While enjoyable, you couldn’t do anything else with Live Photos.

Back then the photo was a single hi-resolution JPG with a video sidecar file. But with the new High Efficiency Image Format (HEIF/HEIC) things are getting a lot more interesting.

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Made for iPhone Hearing Aids – by Gretchen Macdowall

This is a product review of the Made for iPhone hearing aid interface. It covers the usability of iPhone integration features but only touches on the particular hearing aid I have, since there are several Made for iPhone hearing aid models.

I’ve had the telltale signs for awhile now – not hearing timers go off, comically misinterpreting words in a conversation, turning up the volume on everything to 10. It was time for hearing aids. In typical geek fashion, I was not concerned about how they would look, but I did care about how they would connect to my phone and my car.

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Security Bits – AMD Bugs (AMD Gets Its Turn in the Spotlight (RyzenFall, MasterKey, Fallout & Chimera) & GrayKey

Spectre/Meltdown Update

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Security Bits – US Customs Epic Security Fail, Can Cellebrite Unlock Any iPhone

Spectre/Meltdown Update

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Focos Tutorial on ScreenCasts Online

This week Don McAllister published my video tutorial of the iOS app Focos on ScreenCasts Online. This is an amazing app that works with dual-lens iPhones: iPhone 7+, 8+, and X. I’m really proud of this particular tutorial and the feedback has been amazing on it.

Remember the Lytro camera that took the world by storm because it’s proprietary image format allowed you to change what was in focus after the fact? It never became really popular because it was proprietary. Focos allows you to do the same thing (change the focus point) on portrait-mode photos taken by one of these dual-lens phones.

That’s not all though, you can change the virtual aperture of the image, thereby changing the depth of field. You can simulate an f/1.4 lens up to f/22. You can change how the background (fuzzy) bokeh looks by simulating famous lenses, you can change how far forward and backward the fuzzy part is in the image using an amazing visual representation of the depth data, and you can even change the shape of bright lights in the background to new shapes up to and including Apple logos.

I’ve embedded the video preview into the shownotes, but you can proceed over to ScreenCasts Online from the provided link to watch it for free with his 14 day free trial. Don’t do it though, you’ll get hooked when you see how much amazing content is there and you’ll want a subscription.

Matias Wireless Keyboard – by Terry Austin

Hello, Castaways!

Matias Backlit Wireless Aluminum Keyboard on AmazonTerry Austin here with a brief review of my brand new Matias keyboard. I recently found myself in need of a new wireless keyboard and on the very reliable recommendation of the ineffable Jeff Gamet over at the Mac Observer, I went with the Matias Wireless Aluminum Keyboard in Space Gray (to match my MacBook Pro).

This keyboard has a few key features that make it invaluable for my home office. I’m a work at home professor who teaches college level anatomy & physiology classes online. On top of that I do some consulting work for a major publisher of higher ed textbooks. My work station is something of a geek’s dream…

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Charge Your Apple Watch and Phone with Belkin Valet Power Pack

Belkin valet power pack showing LED endWhen Steve and I were retiring, many people asked us if we were going to travel. I said, “no plans at all to travel.” Evidently I was wrong! It seems we travel an awful lot these days, to both foreign lands and locally to go see the grandson.

I’ve gotten so that I can pack in my sleep, grabbing all of the necessities. There are of course two lists in my head. Silly things like clothes and toothbrushes, and the more important list of things like laptops, tablets and of course chargers.

The one thing I often seem to forget though is my Apple Watch charger. I even have two of them, one on my desk and one by my bed, but every 3rd trip I forget to bring one. My theory on why I forget the Apple Watch chargers is it’s because the little charger pucks are threaded into a stand and so they’re not so easy to make easily portable.

In a pinch, you can usually drum up a lightning cable and a USB-charger block to charge your phone, but there’s no way to piece together a charger for the Apple Watch.

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CCATP #515 – Allison Hartley on Trials & Tribulations of a New iPhone

Allison hartley laughingThis week our guest is Allison Hartley. Allison is the Manager of the Napa Branch of the California department of Rehabilitation, and a podcaster. She co-hosts both the Tech Doctor Podcast with Dr. Robert Carter (dr-carter.com/…) and That Blind Tech Show (blindabilities.com/…).

Allison joins us to talk about the less than smooth experience she had upgrading to iPhone X. You might think it was hard because she’s blind, but accessibility had nothing to do with it. We talk a bit about whether Apple has taken their eye off the ball about quality lately (spoiler alert, yes!).

You can follow Allison on Twitter @hot4technology.

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