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Starting April 2018, all new apps must natively support iPhone X display

February 20, 2018
Apple confirmed in a promotional mailer sent last week to its registered developers that new iPhone apps, including universal apps, will soon need to include native display support for the 2436-by-1125 pixel resolution OLED screen on iPhone X.
“Starting April 2018, all new iOS apps submitted to App Store must be built with the iOS 11 SDK, included in Xcode 9 or later. All new apps for iPhone, including universal apps, must support the Super Retina display of iPhone X,” reads the message.
The mailer doesn’t specify a cut-off date for updates to existing apps to support iPhone X natively. It’s pretty aggravating seeing some of my favorite apps getting dozens of updates since iPhone X launched but still no iPhone X display support (case in point: Inbox by Gmail).
Even some of Apple’s own apps are guilt of this, like iMovie.
Developers can update their apps for iPhone X using Apple’s tools which make it easy to take full advantage of the 5.8-inch Super Retina display and the notch by respecting safe areas, supporting adaptive layouts and more.

How to save an email as PDF

February 19, 2018
How to save an email to PDF
If you want to save the content of an email outside of your inbox, the best file format to choose is probably PDF as it is widely used and it can be shared and viewed across all platforms, including Windows PCs, Macs, iOS, and Android devices.
In this post, I will show you how to save an email as PDF from your iPhone, iPad, or Mac, without having to use a third-party application. You will then be able to either share this PDF with someone, or save it locally on your device or your computer.
For this tutorial, we will assume that you are using the default Mail application on your iPhone, iPad, or Mac. Most third-party email clients have their own feature to print an email to PDF, so the method depends greatly on the app you use. But if you use the stock Mail app, these instructions will work perfectly for you.

How to convert an email to PDF on iPhone and iPad

The screenshots in this part of the guide were taken on an iPhone, but the steps are identical on iPad.
1) On your iPhone or iPad, select the email you want to save as a PDF document.
2) Tap on the forward button, and select Print.
Print email to PDF on iPhone
3) You will now be presented with a preview of what your email would look like if you were to print it. Do a pinch-to-zoom gesture on the image preview of the email. Alternatively, you can press firmly on the preview if you’re using an iPhone.
Convert email to PDF on iPhone
4) The preview will now take the entire screen. What you are seeing is now a PDF. Tap the Share icon in the upper right corner of the screen. You can now share the PDF file generated by SMS, email, and more, or save it to iCloud Files, Dropbox, and more, depending on the apps you have installed on your device.
Share or saved email PDF

How to convert an email to PDF on Mac

1) On your Mac, select the email you want to print to PDF.
2) In the menu bar, select File > Export as PDF…
Export email as PDF on Mac
3) Select the location where you want the PDF file to be saved. In our case, we choose to save it to the Desktop. Click Save.
Save email as PDF on Mac
4) Once on your Desktop, you can obviously share it with someone via email, or leave it in a folder on your computer as some sort of backup.

Apple changes its corporate address to One Apple Park Way

February 19, 2018
Apple has been in the process of moving an entire workforce from its old headquarters to the new Apple Park campus for almost a year now.
Recently, it changed its official corporate address from 1 Infinite Loop to One Apple Park Way. The new address is reflected on and in email footers included with correspondence sent out to customers, such as promotional mailers sent to Apple Music subscribers.
The change was reportedly timed to coincide with Apple’s recent annual shareholders meeting that took place at the Steve Jobs Theater on Tuesday. AppleInsider spotted one of the first documents with the new One Apple Park Way address: forms filed with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission last Tuesday.
The Apple Park name was announced in February 2017.
In April 2017, Apple began moving in first employees to Apple Park. The company originally said it would finish migrating the 12,000 employees from its old to the new campus by the end of 2017. However, as completion of the new headquarters took a bit longer than expected, some employees are yet to relocate.

Tip: the fastest way to toggle AirPlay as an output on iPhone & iPad

February 19, 2018
iOS 11 brought a customizable Control Center and also moved AirPlay options around.
While the new Control Center is a lot better and more customizable than in previous iOS versions, the AirPlay experience took a step back. That’s because it’s now less obvious how you can send audio or video content to an AirPlay-compatible device, like your Apple TV set-top box or a Sonos wireless speaker.
Most people access the list of AirPlay output options by bringing up Control Center.
From there, they would firmly press the Now Playing card with 3D Touch (or tap and hold on devices without 3D Touch) to expand it and reveal playback controls, including the AirPlay output button in the top-right corner.
Tapping that button reveals the list of AirPlay destinations, with one final tap to select a desired AirPlay device to use as an output. It’s a multi-step affair—four steps, to be precise—for such a seemingly simple task as changing your AirPlay device.

How to quickly toggle AirPlay output on iOS 11

Thankfully, there’s a hidden shortcut in Control Center that saves you from having to fumble with 3D Touch, expanded playback controls and all that jazz.
1) Bring up iOS 11’s Control Center on your iOS 11 device:
  • iPhone X—Swipe down from the top-right edge of the screen.
  • iPhone and iPod touch—Swipe up from the bottom edge of any screen.
  • iPad—Swipe up from the bottom edge of the display or double-click the Home button.
2) Tap the icon in the upper-right corner of the Now Playing card.
To go straight to AirPlay from Control Center, hit the icon that looks like half a Wi-Fi logo.
Your AirPlay audio menu immediately pops up into view, allowing you to change the AirPlay playback device with a single tap. This useful tip means you no longer have to expand the Now Playing controls if all you want is go straight to AirPlay from Control Center.
If you’re in an app that provides its own AirPlay menu, like the Music app, use that to change your AirPlay destination even faster than going with Control Center’s Now Playing card.
The Music app provides its own shortcut to the AirPlay menu.
I love my AirPods and typically switch them between my iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple TV multiple times per day. Anything that helps me enable my AirPods from the AirPlay menu with as few taps as possible gets a thumbs-up in my book.
This also works with video. If you start playing a video embedded on a webpage via your iPhone and want to continue watching on your television, hit that icon on Control Center’s Now Playing card and select your Apple TV from the list.
Do yourself a favor and memorize this handy shortcut to jump straight to AirPlay from your Control Center without having to manually expand the Now Playing card.
How do you like this cool trick?
Let us know in the comments!

Distracted Apple employees are finding out how hard the glass walls of the new campus are

February 18, 2018
A (somewhat comical) report out of Time today is shedding light on an issue at Apple’s new HQ; employees keep walking into the glass walls.
The issue arrises out of the fact many employees eyes are glued to their iPhones, and often don’t see the glass walls and doors that are ever-so-prevalent around the office.
Aside from the exterior largely crafted of glass, the interior is ripe with it as well. There are even individual workspaces, dubbed “pods” that are primarily made out of glass.
Steve Jobs himself is credited with the idea of the pods, blending a private workspace with an open environment. While the reception has largely been lauded, you can’t help but chuckle a bit at this turn of events.
Time says some employees have taken to putting sticky notes on doors to better demarcate them, but have found them removed as it detracts from the appearance of the campus. Other employees say there are other markings to designate doors.
There is no firm number on how many times distracted employees have found themselves face-first in a glass wall or door, but it reportedly has been happening repeatedly.
What do you think of Apple’s new HQ headache? Let us know down in the comments.

Google Maps for iOS picks up Explore, Driving & Transit tabs

February 18, 2018
Google said yesterday that the most recent update to its mapping and navigation app on App Store has brought three new tabs—Explore, Driving and Transit—that Android customers have had for more than a year.
Swiping up reveals the new tabs at the bottom of the interface.
You can use these shortcuts to quickly find a nearby restaurant, beat traffic or catch your next bus or train. Additional options are revealed by swiping up further.
Similar to quick shortcuts on Apple Maps, the Explore tab lets you quickly find nearby gas stations, ATMs, convenience stores, restaurants and other points of interest. The Driving tab includes real-time traffic conditions and delays for the selected area.
If you have saved your work and home addresses on Google Maps, this tab will also provide ETAs for those addresses, too. The Transit tab brings your public transportation options in one place, including bus and train schedules.

Twitter stops support for its Mac app, here are the two best alternatives

February 18, 2018
best twitter apps for Mac
Twitter announced on Friday that beginning immediately, its Mac app will no longer be available for download, and the app will no longer be supported in 30 days. Whether or not Twitter was ever committed to their Mac app is an entirely different conversation, but the company suggests users access the service via the web, which it says will provide a consistent experience across platforms.
We’re focusing our efforts on a great Twitter experience that’s consistent across platforms. So, starting today the Twitter for Mac app will no longer be available for download, and in 30 days will no longer be supported.
For the full Twitter experience on Mac, visit Twitter on web. ?
Twitter stops support for Mac app
If the goal is consistency, then I guess Twitter will reach its goal. But as John Gruber notes, “people choose the Mac because they want the best experience — not the same experience they can get on a $200 Chromebook.”
The death of the official Twitter app for Mac will be a big blow for Mac users who wanted a way to access the social network from within an app rather than a browser.

The best Twitter apps for Mac

The good news is that the official Twitter app for Mac is not the only Twitter app for Mac. There are a couple alternatives in the Mac App Store that will in some ways provide a better experience, albeit with some limitations, and at a cost too.
When it comes to third-party apps for the Mac, your choice is actually very limited as there are only two options.


Tweetbot for Mac
Tweetbot for Mac is the most full-featured app you will find in the Mac App Store. It’s been around for several years and comes with all the bells and whistles you would expect from a solid Twitter client, such as support for multiple accounts and lists, mute filters, multiple column views, and more.
If you also use the Tweetbot app for iPhone or iPad app, then the Mac version will be a nice complement and will sync your activity such as your timeline, unread status, and mute filters across devices.
Personally, this is the Twitter client I have been using for several years now and the one I recommend to everyone.


Twitterrific for mac
Although available on iOS for years, Twitterrific for Mac is the latest entrant in the Twitter for Mac apps category.
It overlaps on many fronts with Tweetbot in terms of features such as support for multiple accounts, timeline syncing, and more, but where Twitterrific really shines is with its customization options. Choose between a dark and light theme, choose a font type and size, customize the appearance of photos and videos in your timeline, and more.
If you’re into tweet storms, Twitterrific will also natively support this feature.
It should be noted that as the first Twitter client ever made years ago, Twitterrific seems to benefit from a very special relationship with Twitter, something which may play in its favor at times.
Twitterrific is currently on sale for $7.99 (normally priced at $19.99).

Limitations of third-party apps

Twitter has historically kept some features to itself and didn’t give app developers full access to its API resulting in an experience that doesn’t feel complete at times.
The most obvious example is probably with polls, which third-party apps don’t get access to. For example, if someones posts a poll on Twitter, you will not be able to see that poll in any app because Twitter restricts access to this. Twitterrific does display an icon that indicates the tweet contains a poll, and you can then go to the web view to see the poll, but it’s not native.

In short…

Although disappointing, the end of Twitter’s official app for Mac isn’t the end of the world as Tweetbot and Twitterrific are solid alternatives. Besides, with rumors that Apple may let developers easily port their iOS apps to the Mac starting this year, it seems that we may still be able to get some sort of support for an official Twitter app, even though it might not be designed with the Mac in mind.
Picking an absolute best between Tweetbot and Twitterrific is very subjective so you will have to find out for yourself which one you like better. I tend to think that Twitter power users would probably lean towards Tweetbot, while others may prefer Twitterrifc’s approach. You be the judge.
On a similar topic, we recently published a guide to the three major Twitter clients pitting the official Twitter app, Tweetbot, and Twitterrific against each other. If you’re looking for a great Twitter client for iOS, you might want to check out this great article.
Otherwise, let me know your preference when it comes to Twitter clients for Mac down in the comments.

Google Chrome Has a New Ad Blocker

February 17, 2018

credit: Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images News/GettyImages
Google has finally enabled a built-in ad blocker for Chrome. Chrome now automatically filters ads from sites that don't meet the Better Ads Standards. The internet's most annoying ads will be blocked on Chrome, so if you don't already use Chrome, you may want to consider it—unless you're weirdly into ads.
Google revealed which ads would be blocked: full page ads, ads with autoplaying sound and video, large sticky ads, pop-up ads, flashing ads, and ads that appear on a site with a countdown blocking you before the content loads.
Ads are important for websites, as they allow them to make money, which in turn, allows them to exist. But as long as site managers are meeting the correct standards (and hopefully quit using the annoying ads all together), there shouldn't be a problem.
credit: Google
When an ad is blocked, Chrome will show the user a message indicating that ad blocking has occurred as well as an option to disable the setting by selecting "allow ads on this site." For desktop users, the notification looks similar to Chrome's existing pop-up blocker. Android users will see message in a small infobar at the bottom of the screen.
credit: Google
If you're a site owner and want to find out the steps you need to take to ensure your ads aren't blocked, click here.

Watch This Robot Open a Door Like a Velociraptor

February 16, 2018

credit: Boston Dynamics
Robots aren't really futuristic anymore. They exist all around us, and they seem to be here to stay. The only problem is, they'll eventually outsmart us and will take over the world. At least, that's how it goes in movies.
Boston Dynamics invented SpotMini, a robo-dog that can do things like wash the dishes, load the dishwasher, deliver beverages, and slip on a banana peel and get right back up. And it has recently learned how to open doors, which looks eerily similar to certain velociraptors in Jurassic Park. You know the ones.
So, now SpotMini can plan its escape from being a household servant and literally take over the planet. Check it out:

Netflix Has a Hack to See the First Show You've Ever Binged

February 16, 2018

credit: Netflix
Netflix is good for two things: to binge watch shows and then to binge watch more shows. Throw some movies, a couch, and some snacks in there too, and you've got yourself the perfect Netflix scenario.
Just like any good life partner, Netflix knows what you like. It knows that you like your shows, but it also recognizes you like to reminisce about your past. Specifically, the shows you watched when Netflix first made its way into your life. For some, that was 10 years ago (before binge-watching was even a thing).
Netflix has a hack to see the very first show you marathoned. Or if you weren't into marathon-watching just yet, you can see the very first movie or episode you watched. Either way, it's a fun little hack to get your daily dose of nostalgia.
All you need to do is go to Netflix, click on your account page in the upper right hand corner, go to the "my profile" section, and click on "viewing activity." Then scroll all the way down to the bottom. (Depending on how long you've subscribed to Netflix, that could take a minute).
You'll find something along these lines:
credit: Netflix
From there, you'll either be pretty proud of your younger self's taste in content... or slightly embarrassed.

This Website Has Cool Optical Illusions for Kids

February 16, 2018

Optical motion illusion background
credit: Vectordivider/iStock/GettyImages
An optical illusion is an image that deceives the eye by appearing to be something other than what it is. The image can use color, light, and patterns to trick our brains into trying to make sense out of what we see, even if what we see isn't real. And since kids love tricky things, they tend to love optical illusions.
The website Optics4Kids is all about optics and optical illusions. You can find tons of illusions on the site that pose questions for your kids to try and figure out. The answers are listed in case something is a little too hard.
Here's an example:
credit: Optics4Kids
Optics4Kids also offers a bunch of hands-on DIY activities to help kids understand the physics of light. There are activities for ages 5 and up, ages 10 and up, and ages 15 and up. Kids will be able to do things like create a water prism to break light into the seven colors of the rainbow, make a lens and see how their eyes manipulate the light that enters it, and use Jell-O to explore lenses and different angles of light entry.
Check out all the activities here.

How to reduce the file size of a PDF on Mac

February 16, 2018
How to compress a PDF
Portable Document Format, or PDF for short, is one of the most ubiquitous file formats that is universally adopted across platforms. A PDF created on a Windows PC will be easily opened and even edited on a Mac, for example. That alone makes it one of the most used and most convenient file formats.
On Mac, you can easily create a PDF without the need of additional software, something I personally use quite often. While the process is quick and simple, it lacks customization options, specifically about the quality, and by extension the file size, of the PDF generated.
In these cases, you might end up a with a very large PDF file weighting several MB. Of course, the better the quality of the document, the heavier the file will end up being.
There are instances where quality matters more than file size, but in most occasions, you’ll probably want to end up with a smaller file size which will make it easier to email, for example. Thankfully, there is a relatively unknown feature on your Mac that allows you to to take an existing PDF file and compress it to reduce its size.
In this tutorial, I will show you how to compress and reduce the file size of a PDF on a Mac by using the Preview app.

How to compress a PDF on Mac

For this tutorial, I downloaded a sample PDF that weighs in at 105 MB. This is a pretty large file that many email services wouldn’t even allow you to send to someone. We’ll see how much the file size reduction process helps at the end of the process.
1) On your Mac, double-click on the PDF file you want to compress to open it. By default, it should open with Preview. If not, make sure you do open that file with Preview.
2) In the menu bar, click on File, then click on Export…
3) Click on the Quartz Filter dropdown menu.
How to reduce PDF file size
4) Select Reduce File Size, the click Save. The compressed PDF file will be saved to your computer.
Unfortunately, you don’t have any control over the compression level. In most cases, you probably won’t care about that, but if that is something you really want to adjust, then you should look into more capable third-party apps such as PDF Expert.
Results: My 105 MB file was compressed and reduced to only 3.2 MB, which represents a reduction of about 97% in size. Although some images within the document have clearly lost their sharpness, the text contained in the file looks just as sharp in the compressed version as it does in the original one.
Your mileage will greatly vary depending on the original file, what it contains, and what your Mac can effectively compress within that file, but in most cases, you will end up with a file dramatically reduced in size.