Create PDFs from emails on iOS


Quick Tip: Create PDFs from emails on iOS – The Sweet Setup

The task that I’d like to do most is convert an e-mail into a PDF so that I can send them into Evernote. These will typically be receipts that I need to save for tax purposes. While Dispatch can do this natively, cannot.
Thankfully, a third-party service has stepped in to make this a possibility. PDF is a free service that allows you to forward emails to a special email address, and it will return a PDF copy of that email in return. There is no account to sign up for — just forward an email to and wait for the return email.

Great tip from Bradley. I use this all the time – extremely useful for my workflow.

The Demise of Google Glass


Ron Miller from TechCrunch on the Apparent Demise of Google Glass from his own First Hand Experience of using it;

I found it uncomfortable looking up to see that small screen. What’s more, the operating system consisted of a carousel interface. You could move up and and down and side to side within that interface, but your email, texts, tweets, whatever you were reading was on cards and you cycled through them by touching the side of the device. I found this awkward and I imagined that over time as more tools developed, the carousel itself would become overcrowded.
You could also use your voice, “OK Glass.” But I pictured people in the checkout lines at supermarkets all, muttering commands to their wearables. It didn’t seem like a plausible way of interacting with a computer in public on a regular basis.

As it turned out, I wasn’t going to spend $1500 on an item I didn’t enjoy using. I found myself having to force myself to use Glass because I simply didn’t like it.

Interesting though that Google have put Nest designer Tony Fadell on it to try and take the idea in another direction. We might not have heard the last of it after all.

The Software and Services Apple Needs to Fix


Glenn Fleishman writing on his blog:

Here’s a list of regularly recurring issues or fundamental problems I’ve seen supplemented by those provided by others.

Glenn lists a lot of the issues he currently has experienced on OS X and iOS and the list is long. Although I have not been immune to issues on both platforms recently, I personally haven’t experienced the majority of the issues Glenn lists here – but then maybe that’s the point. The majority agree that improvement and consistency is needed – Snow Leopard style.

If UK’s Prime Minister has his way, Apple will stop encrypting iMessage and Facetime


If UK’s Prime Minister has his way, Apple will stop encrypting iMessage and Facetime | Cult of Mac:

One of the great things about iMessage and Facetime is that it encrypts your messages automatically, making it very, very difficult for hackers to spy on the messages you send.
But guess what? If UK Prime Minister David Cameron gets his way, iMessage and Facetime encryption might soon be a thing of the past.

The Independent reports that Cameron says that if he wins the next election and is re-elected Prime Minister, part of his plan is to make it illegal for anyone to send encrypted messages.

The Prime Minister said today that he would stop the use of methods of communication that cannot be read by the security services even if they have a warrant. But that could include popular chat and social apps that encrypt their data, such as WhatsApp.

Apple’s iMessage and FaceTime also encrypt their data, and could fall under the ban along with other encrypted chat apps like Telegram.

These moves are being made in the wake of the terrorist attacks on the Charlie Hebdo offices in Paris.

This won’t happen. Too many obstacles will have to be overcome to enable this – Mr. Cameron is offering a faint election promise in light of recent events to appear proactive – something he is arguably not the best at.

Belkin WeMo home automation line expands with family of new sensors


Belkin WeMo home automation line expands with family of new sensors | TUAW: Apple news, reviews and how-tos since 2004:

Belkin’s iOS-friendly WeMo home automation line took another big step forward today with the announcement at CES in Las Vegas of a new line of sensors. For those who want to create a subscription-free security system, the new devices are just what the doctor ordered. The sensors are battery-powered with a one-year battery life, perfect for easy installation by anyone. Pricing at this time is undetermined, and Belkin says that the new products will arrive in the second half of 2015.
First up is the WeMo Door and Window Sensor, which is a magnetic contact switch used to determine if a door is opened or closed. This is perfect for making sure that doors and windows are closed when leaving the house, or for setting up rules to automate other processes when a door or window is opened or closed. Need to find out if a specific window or door is open or closed? Just use the free WeMo app to find out.

Next is the WeMo Keychain Sensor, a keychain fob that tells the system when someone arrives at or leaves a home. A button on the sensor can be set up to control any other WeMo device when pressed – perfect if you’ve set up a WeMo Maker Switch to open your garage door.

The WeMo Alarm Sensor is designed to listen for other battery-powered alarms – smoke or fire sensors, CO monitors, water leak detectors – and then notify you via the app, notifications, or text alerts when those devices are beeping. With the proper alarms, the sensor, and the WeMo app, homeowners can contact emergency responders or neighbors immediately in case of fires or leaks.

A popular device for home security system is a room motion sensor using infrared heat signatures to detect human movement in a room. The WeMo Room Motion Sensor is immune to pets, designed to reduce the possibility of false alarms, and can be set to work with other WeMo devices when motion is detected.

Finally, the WeMo Water with Echo Technology is quite intriguing. The device is attached to one point on a home plumbing system and senses and analyzes the pressure change vibrations caused by turning on a faucet or flushing a toilet. WeMo water is designed to calculate home water consumption, duration and cost, and can alert users to leaks in a plumbing system. WeMo Water is current undergoing field trials and will be on display at the 2015 Internation CES.

As always, TUAW will be reviewing the new devices when they become available as part of our continuing – and growing – coverage of connected devices in the Apple ecosystem.

Belkin’s Wemo products already integrate with SmartThings but these new product announcements look like they want to expand and control your control your house to the level of SmartThings. All good for the consumer either way.

New Hardware, Premium Services, and Integrations Coming to SmartThings

Announced on SmartThings Blog:

To kick off this year’s International Consumer Electronics Show, SmartThings CEO, Alex Hawkinson, joined Samsung’s president and CEO, BK Yoon, on stage to deliver an opening keynote address focused on the future of the Internet of Things.

Today, on behalf of Samsung, I’m making a promise: Our IoT components and devices will be open.”
Yoon began by reaffirming Samsung’s commitment to help SmartThings build a completely open smart home platform, stating, “Today, on behalf of Samsung, I’m making a promise: Our IoT components and devices will be open. We will ensure that others can easily connect to our devices. That’s why last August, when SmartThings became a member of the Samsung family, we promised to keep its platform open.”
Hawkinson then took the stage to unveil some exciting new announcements for SmartThings customers, developers, and anyone who’d like to easily turn their home into a smart home. Here are three things to expect:

New SmartThings Hub and Sensors
In Q2 of this year, we’ll begin selling the next generation of the SmartThings Hub and sensors.

The new SmartThings Hub includes a more powerful processor and local app engine, built-in backup battery power, and expanded cellular connectivity. This will enable SmartThings to continue operating in the event of a power or Internet outage.

The new Hub also expands connectivity options to include additional wireless protocols such as Bluetooth Smart, providing customers with the widest range of devices supported by any smart home platform.

We’re also updating our family of sensors with modified versions of the SmartSense Presence, SmartSense Motion, and SmartSense Multi sensors. At roughly one-third the size of our first-generation devices, the new SmartSense Motion sensor and SmartSense Multi sensor pack all of the power of SmartThings’ current devices, while offering a more minimal presence in your smart home.  And the new SmartSense Presence sensor features a more durable and compact plastic enclosure.

New Optional Premium Service

We’re also launching an optional premium service that will offer customers advanced incident management control, and improved home monitoring through DVR video streaming.

This new service enables SmartThings customers to automatically send a text to or call friends, neighbors, or loved ones they pre-select whenever a problem is detected that needs immediate attention–such as a flood or fire. Customers will be able to grant trusted contacts access to their smart devices so that these friends or neighbors will be automatically notified of a problem requiring attention at the customer’s home, and also able to easily resolve it.

The premium service will also allow customers the option to see what’s happening inside their home 24/7 by offering live DVR video captured by SmartThings-compatible cameras. Customers can keep track of activity happening in certain areas of their home, or opt to receive video clips whenever certain events take place in or around their home.

New Integrations on the Open Platform
A plethora of new devices will soon join the many connected products that already work on SmartThings’ open platform. These include:

• Netgear and D-Link cameras

• Somfy window shades

• Racchio water irrigation system

• Chamberlain garage door openers

• August locks

• Weatherbug climate data

• Samsung smart appliances

I am looking forward to seeing how SmartThings integrates with these 3rd party manufacturers and although Samsung recently purchased the company, SmartThings continues to develop for multiple platforms.

Mophie Juice Pack battery cases for iPhone 6/6 Plus now available for pre-order


Mophie Juice Pack battery cases for iPhone 6/6 Plus now available for pre-order | 9to5Mac:

Mobile battery case maker Mophie announced today three new versions of its popular Juice Pack charging case designed specifically for the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Mophie has designed new versions of its Juice Pack Air and Juice Pack Plus cases for iPhone 6 as well as a single model of its Juice Pack case for iPhone 6 Plus. The new Mophie Juice Pack lineup starts at $99.95 with color matching options available for each iPhone.

As others have commented – The Mophie Juice Pack case on the iPhone 6 Plus will make the phone huge whether that is a good thing or a bad thing to you. Battery life is already great on the 6 Plus but with a Mophie attached, it will be days before you need to typically recharge.

Microsoft fans abandon Windows Phone for iPhone


Diehard Microsoft fans abandon Windows Phone for iPhone | Cult of Mac:


If you needed any more confirmation that Windows Phone is dead in the water, two of its most high profile supporters have abandoned it for the iPhone.

Veteran Microsoft journalists Ed Bott and Tom Warren both published essays this week in which they criticized Windows Phone for its shortcomings and announced that they’ve stopped using Windows Phones personally. Citing a lack of carrier and third-party app support, both agreed that Windows Phone has missed its shot at being a real competitor in the smartphone market.

Over at ZDNet, Bott explained that a lack of support from Verizon is the main reason he ditched his Lumia Icon for an iPhone 6 Plus.

Because of Windows Phone’s almost nonexistent market share, he argued that carriers have no reason to negotiate with Microsoft and maintain a good experience for its users:

Thanks to Microsoft’s minuscule market share (small single-digit percentages in the U.S.), the carriers have almost no interest in collaborating with it on mobile devices. And Microsoft has almost no leverage when negotiating with carriers. The resulting not-so-virtuous circle is what stacks the deck against the Windows Phone platform and makes the experience so frustrating for the few who actually use it.

The reality of how poorly Windows Phone devices are updated is in stark contrast to how Apple can roll out a new iOS version and have it available on nearly every device no matter the carrier.

Bott, who has covered Microsoft for decades and written books on the company, also lamented how Microsoft released its flagship Lumia Icon phone in February and then stopped selling it in October. That would be like Apple halting iPhone 6 sales in May.

A real shame because the user interface of the OS is gorgeous and unique but if its not selling and developers are not supporting their apps enough for it, it doesn’t matter how good it is, there is potentially no mainstream future for it.

Personal details of all MoonPig customers exposed by security bug


Personal details of all MoonPig customers exposed by security bug | Technology | The Guardian

MoonPig, which is owned by online photo printing company PhotoBox, said in a statement that “we are aware of the claims made this morning regarding the security of customer data within our apps.

“We can assure our customers that all password and payment information is and has always been safe. The security of your shopping experience at Moonpig is extremely important to us and we are investigating the detail behind today’s report as a priority. As a precaution, our apps will be unavailable for a time whilst we conduct these investigations and we will work to resume a normal service as soon as possible.

The headline is a little misleading – personal details have not been (as yet) posted to the internet. The capability to do that has been exposed by one person which Moonpig are now working hard to fix. It may be worth changing your password and perhaps removing/changing you default payment method on your account but no immediate panic it would appear.