All things iPod, iPhone, iPad and Beyond | iLounge

Tip of the Day: Aerial Screensavers on the new Apple TV

The aerial screensavers available on the new Apple TV make for a refreshing change from the photo-based screen savers of prior versions; currently Apple offers up 34 different screensavers covering five specific locations around the world: China, Hawaii, London, New York, and San Francisco. Rather than storing the screensavers permanently as part of tvOS, the Apple TV downloads new screensaver footage from Apple’s servers on a schedule. If you find that your screensavers are getting stale, you can increase how often the Apple TV downloads new content from Apple’s servers by going into the Apple TV Settings app and choosing General, Screensaver.

Review: Parrot Hydrofoil Drone

While the company's 2015 Airborne and Jumping drone lineups were iterations on 2014's Jumping Sumo and Rolling Spider, Parrot has broken a bit of new ground in its drone lineup this year with its Hydrofoil drone ($160), a new hybrid robot drone designed to allow users to take to the water with speed and agility.

Mac: 1337 & Senri LLC Leo’s Fortune - HD Edition

One of our favorite iOS platform adventure games of last year, Leo’s Fortune ($7), is available for Mac starting today. The game is centered around one mustached furball’s quest to find his stolen gold, and that simple premise leads users through lush environments and into vicious traps on the way to discovering the truth behind who took the loot. Players follow the trail of coins to solve physics-based puzzles through 24 levels, using Leo’s jumping and hovering abilities to avoid spikes and other hazards. The game’s already impressive graphics get a further upgrade for the Mac, possibly accounting for the $2 higher price when compared to the iOS version. Finishing the game will unlock Hardcore Mode and beating the game without dying yields its own special prize. Users can also compete in Game Center to beat as many levels in the fastest time possible. The game takes up 851 MB of space and requires OS X 10.7 or later to run.

Review: Apple Pencil for iPad Pro

iLounge has been rating styluses for years, but it's always been a bit of a niche category — by design, no one has actually needed an iOS stylus before, and even the best of the styluses so far have required users to make some sort of concession, whether in features, accuracy, or price. Apple Pencil ($99) for iPad Pro is different, then, and not just because it's an official Apple stylus. Pencil and iPad Pro have been built to work in tandem with each other, which allows the stylus to do more than your typical accessory. iPad Pro can sense when Apple Pencil is being used, and according to Apple, the subsystem scans Pencil's signal 240 times per second, making it a fast, nearly latency-free stylus. Pencil is said to last for 12 hours of normal use on one charge, and it can be recharged using the built-in Lightning connector.

Apple reaches deal with UnionPay to bring Apple Pay to China

Apple has struck a preliminary agreement to use UnionPay’s point-of-sales network to bring Apple Pay to China, Bloomberg reports. Sources familiar with the negotiations said UnionPay, China’s largest payment network, aims to introduce Apple Pay as soon as next year, but noted that the two companies haven’t signed firm agreements with Chinese banks on linking local bank cards to the service. That information seems to conflict with yesterday’s report that Apple had reached deals with China’s four largest state-run banks to link Apple Pay with local bank accounts, with sources now saying some banks have lingering concerns about the fees charged by Apple Pay and the low number of users the service has worldwide. Apple Pay takes in 0.15 percent of each purchase made through its system — which comes out of the 2 percent fee paid by retailers in the U.S. — but that rate has proven too high in China, where the total fee paid by some retailers is only 0.38 percent.

DisneyLife subscription-based app launches in the U.K.

Disney has launched the subscription-based app DisneyLife for U.K. residents ahead of a planned global roll out, offering unlimited access to movies, shows, music, books, and more for £9.99 a month. The service provides unlimited streaming within the U.K. and downloads that expire after 30 days without an Internet connection. Users running the app on Apple devices with iOS 8 or iOS 9 installed can stream HD content, but videos downloaded for offline viewing aren’t available in HD. While there’s no native Apple TV version of the app, content from the app is supported on Apple TV through AirPlay with one catch: All audio and video is streamed in standard definition.

Apple buys motion capture company Faceshift

Photo: TechCrunch

Apple has acquired Faceshift, a motion capture company best known for its work on creating animated characters for the new Star Wars film, TechCrunch reports. Faceshift’s technology records a person’s facial expressions in real time, allowing that information to be used in creating realistic faces for animated characters in movies or rendering custom avatars for players within video games. With several Faceshift employees now working for Apple out of Europe, speculation about how Apple will use Faceshift’s capabilities has centered around identification or security applications. Apple kept quite about buying the company when rumors first circulated earlier in the year, and has since issued its usual statement: “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.” Apple already owns several patents in the areas of facial recognition, augmented reality and motion capture.

Daily Deal: Pay What You Want Learn to Code Bundle

In our iLounge Deal for today it’s time for the Pay What You Want Learn to Code Bundle. From HTML5 to Ruby and Python and beyond, this set of courses provides over 92 hours of instruction to help you become a developer. Pay what you want for Git Complete: The Definitive, Step-By-Step Guide and Learn Cloud Computing with AWS and if you beat the average price, you’ll receive the fully upgraded bundle, including AngularJS: From Zero to Hero, Become a Professional Python Programmer, Build Responsive Real World Sites with HTML5 & CSS3, Become a Certified Web Developer, Learn Linux in 5 Days & Level Up Your Career, PHP & MySQL Web Development From Scratch - Build 5 Projects, and Advanced Ruby Programming: 10 Steps to Mastery. Best of all, 10% of the profits from your purchase will go toward Project HOPE, who delivers essential medicines and supplies, health expertise and medical training to respond to disaster, prevent disease, promote wellness and save lives around the globe.

Get the Pay What You Want Learn to Code Bundle now

Tip of the Day: Reducing loud sounds on the new Apple TV

Another small new feature added by Apple in the new fourth-generation Apple TV is the ability to adjust the dynamic range of your audio input. This is particularly useful for watching TV later at night, or anytime you prefer to use lower volume levels so as not to disturb others — it enhances detail such as spoken dialogue, while softening music and other loud background noise.

Review: IK Multimedia iRig Pro DUO

We were very impressed with IK Multimedia's original iRig Pro when it came out two years ago — it's an accessory that does an excellent job of blending functionality from the company's prior iRig PRE XLR microphone interface, iRig HD guitar interface, and iRig MIDI adapter into a single unit that was even better than the sum of its parts. Now, IK Multimedia has released the "deluxe version" we predicted two years ago, and taken the design a step further with iRig Pro DUO ($200), a unit that adds a second channel to the multi-interface functionality of its predecessor along with a more elegant design and several additional small but useful enhancements. As with IK Multimedia's other accessories, iRig Pro DUO provides a standard Core Audio and Core MIDI interface into iOS devices, meaning it will work with almost all iOS audio and MIDI applications as well as IK Multimedia's own apps such as AmpliTube, SampleTank, and Mic Room, for which IK Multimedia also provides free gear upon registering iRig Pro DUO.

Sign up for the iLounge Weekly Newsletter


iLounge is an independent resource for all things iPod, iPhone, iPad, and beyond.
iPod, iPhone, iPad, iTunes, Apple TV, Mac, and the Apple logo are trademarks of Apple Inc.
iLounge is © 2001 - 2015 iLounge, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Terms of Use | Privacy Policy