Ring announces new external security camera, in wired, battery & solar versions

9to5Mac:

Ring has announced a new external security camera designed to provide a neater and cheaper alternative to the Floodlight Camera it first announced back in January and launched later in the year.

Along with more compact lighting, the Spotlight Cam is available in three versions depending on how you want it to be powered: wired, battery and solar …

All three models have motion-activated cameras and lights, 1080p video, two-way talk and a siren alarm. Alerts are sent to a companion app when the cameras are triggered.

Looks good – Nice to have the options for different power sources now.

UK iTunes movie purchase receipts hint at upcoming support for 4K, HDR video downloads

UK iTunes movie purchase receipts hint at upcoming support for 4K, HDR video downloads | 9to5Mac:

It’s been widely speculated that the next Apple TV hardware upgrade will include support for 4K HDR-enabled displays. Today a recent purchase receipt from a UK iTunes movie purchase strongly hints that 4K support may be soon bound for iTunes, which would go hand in hand with 4K Apple TV support in the future.

The best wireless keyboard for the Mac? The receipt, which was noted by MacRumors forum member Tomas Jackson shows several film purchases. The most notable item on the receipt, the 2016 adventure film, Passengers, shows Movie (4K, HDR) under the Type column, where the remaining films simply show Film (HD).

Jackson, who resides in the UK, shared his findings, and another poster, who also resides in the UK noted a similar finding. Currently the 4K type appears to be only showing up on UK purchase receipts, as another member, located in the US, purchased the same movie and it displayed Movie (HD) under the Type instead of 4K.

Only a matter of time before a 4k compatible Apple TV is released so it makes sense. September event I presume.

Apple kills off iPod Nano and Shuffle

Samuel Gibbs, The Guardian:

Apple has killed off the last remaining app-free music players in its roster, the iPod Nano and iPod Shuffle, leaving nothing but multi-use, connected devices in the brave new world of streaming, apps and games.

From the moment the iPhone was launched in 2007 the writing has been on the wall for Apple’s iPod line, and by extension, every other dedicated music player out there. For Apple, in the era of streaming music and smartphone ubiquity, now is the time to put its legacy players to bed, with the wifi-enabled iPod Touch the last remaining member of a once dominant gadget line.

End Date for Adobe Flash

Tom Warren for The Verge:

Adobe is finally planning to kill off Flash once and for all. Chrome, Microsoft Edge, and Safari have all been blocking Flash over the past year, but Adobe is now planning to remove support for it fully by the end of 2020. “We will stop updating and distributing the Flash Player at the end of 2020 and encourage content creators to migrate any existing Flash content to these new open formats,” explains an Adobe spokesperson.

A number of gaming, education, and video sites still use Flash, and Adobe says it remains committed to supporting the technology until 2020 alongside partners like Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Mozilla. Microsoft says it plans to disable Flash by default in Edge and Internet Explorer in mid to late 2019, with a full removal from all supported versions of Windows by 2020. Google will continue phasing out Flash over the next few years, while Mozilla says Firefox users will be able to choose which websites are able to run Flash next month and allow Firefox Extended Support Release (ESR) users to keep using Flash until the end of 2020. Apple is also supportive of the 2020 end of life for Flash, and Safari currently requires explicit approval on each website even when Mac users opt to install Flash.

John Gruber, Daring Fireball:

Apple’s key decision was never supporting Flash on iOS, and sticking with that decision even when they were under significant marketing pressure to do so. Steve Jobs’s famous “Thoughts on Flash” was not the cause of Flash’s demise — it was an explanation for why Flash was doomed.

tvOS 10.2.2 update for Apple TV is out now

9to5Mac:

Apple has released a minor tvOS software update for the latest Apple TV. tvOS 10.2.2 is now available through the Settings app for all users.

The latest release likely only includes bug fixes, performance improvements, and security updates. We’ll update when Apple shares which security improvements are included in tvOS 10.2.2.

macOS 10.12.6 update rolling out on the Mac App Store

9to5Mac:

Apple has released the final version of the latest macOS 10.12.6 software update. Mac users running macOS Sierra can find the update through the Mac App Store.

macOS 10.12.6 will likely be the last version of macOS Sierra before Apple ships macOS High Sierra later this fall. macOS 10.13 is currently available in both developer and public beta versions for testing.

macOS High Sierra includes the Apple File System, HEVC support, Metal 2, improvements to Mail, Photos, and Safari, and more.

Force Quitting Apps on iOS

John Gruber:

The single biggest misconception about iOS is that it’s good digital hygiene to force quit apps that you aren’t using. The idea is that apps in the background are locking up unnecessary RAM and consuming unnecessary CPU cycles, thus hurting performance and wasting battery life.

That’s not how iOS works. The iOS system is designed so that none of the above justifications for force quitting are true. Apps in the background are effectively “frozen”, severely limiting what they can do in the background and freeing up the RAM they were using. iOS is really, really good at this. It is so good at this that unfreezing a frozen app takes up way less CPU (and energy) than relaunching an app that had been force quit. Not only does force quitting your apps not help, it actually hurts. Your battery life will be worse and it will take much longer to switch apps if you force quit apps in the background.

Here’s a short and sweet answer from Craig Federighi, in response to an email from a customer asking if he force quits apps and whether doing so preserves battery life: “No and no.”

Just in case you don’t believe Apple’s senior vice president for software, here are some other articles pointing out how this habit is actually detrimental to iPhone battery life:

I see people regularly force quitting their apps all the time – people who do this are idiots.

Apple Begin Showcasing HomeKit In Selected Stores

9to5Mac:

Apple has rolled out new in-store displays to select Apple Stores, demoing how users can take advantage of the Home app and HomeKit accessories to create smart home experiences.

The company has constructed special areas in the Apple Store where customers can test out the Home app on iOS devices and see the changes update live in the virtual home pictured on the screens. If visitors like what they see, they can then buy accessories like Philips Hue bulbs off the shelf using the Apple Store app.