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1Password Adds ‘Travel Mode’ Feature for Added Security While Traveling

AgileBits has announced a new 1Password feature launching today that travelers will appreciate. Rick Fillion shares the details:

Travel Mode is a new feature we’re making available to everyone with a 1Password membership. It protects your 1Password data from unwarranted searches when you travel. When you turn on Travel Mode, every vault will be removed from your devices except for the ones marked “safe for travel.” All it takes is a single click to travel with confidence.

1Password is home to some of the most sensitive information in its users lives, so a feature like Travel Mode seems like the perfect way to better safeguard that information when traveling. AgileBits has made its implementation extremely easy as well, with a simple login to 1Password.com to enable or disable the feature.

Though the benefits for individuals are clear, Fillion highlights Travel Mode's usefulness in a business setting as well. He shares that administrators of 1Password teams have the option to mark team vaults as "safe to travel" or not, allowing companies to keep business information as secure as possible when their employees travel.

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IKEA’s Low-Cost Smart Lights Will Support HomeKit

Earlier this year IKEA announced a collection of low-cost smart lights under the Trådfri name. At the time, it was unknown whether the lineup would be compatible with existing smart home platforms, such as Apple's HomeKit. Today MacRumors shared new details announced in a Swedish press release:

IKEA said in its press release that HomeKit support is in the works... IKEA plans to retrofit the new functions via a software update to the Trådfri Gateway and Trådfri app. In addition to HomeKit, the update will also make IKEA's smart products controllable through Amazon Echo and Google Home.

Perhaps the most significant barrier to wider smart home adoption thus far has been cost. While IKEA's Trådfri offerings will certainly not be able to compete with the prices of traditional lighting, their cost will be easier to swallow than that of competing products.

Additionally, news that the lights will support not only HomeKit, but Alexa and Google Home as well, set IKEA's products up to be strong contenders in the smart home market when they launch later this year.


Snapchat Adds Collaboration to Stories

New sharing options are rolling out today for Snapchat that allow friends to collaborate on Stories together. From Snap's website:

Today we’re announcing a new way to create custom Stories – about anything, with any of your friends, even for a specific location! It's perfect for a trip, a birthday party, or a new baby story just for the family.

You decide who can add to the Story and who can view it – you can also choose to Geofence the Story to a location.

Stories have always been a personal medium, so expanding into shared Stories is a significant move. While it would potentially cause headaches if a shared Story could be added to by any friends, the custom controls over who can add to it and the location they have to be in should alleviate those concerns.

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Screens 4.0 for macOS Adds Curtain Mode, Drag-And-Drop File Transfers, Touch Bar Support, and More

Screens 4.0, which was released today, is a complete rewrite of the screen sharing app from the ground up that adds features previously available only in the iOS version as well as some exclusive macOS-only features. What’s made Screens my favorite way to connect to a remote Mac is that it has managed to abstract away the complexity that accompanies many VNC apps. That hasn’t changed with Screens 4.0, which is even easier to use and more versatile than before.

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Anker Is Building an Electronics Accessory Empire

Nick Statt of The Verge has a profile of Anker, the company known for selling quality portable chargers, USB charging hubs, cables and other items for reasonable prices. Anker, founded by a former Google software engineer, is a great example of a company that has found a niche that’s underserved by bigger companies like Apple and Samsung. As Statt’s profile explains, deep knowledge of how to sell through Amazon effectively combined with setting up shop in China to closely manage his supply chain helped founder Steven Yang build Anker into a trusted brand.

Anker’s PowerIQ technology has helped too:

Most Anker charging products have one signature: the PowerIQ logo. Launched in 2013, the company’s proprietary charging standard is now present on nearly all of its batteries and wall plugs. The technology, carried by a small chip inside each charger, identifies whatever device is being plugged in, be it an iPhone 7 Plus, Google Pixel, or an iPad Pro 9.7-inch, in order to detect and deliver the maximum current the product allows. Anker says the technology can shave hours off the amount of time it takes to reach a full charge. A next-generation version of the chip, called PowerIQ 2.0, is slated to start shipping in new Anker charging products this month, allowing for smaller and lighter accessories.

Earlier this year, I bought Anker’s largest portable battery to power my Nintendo Switch and Apple gear on long flights and extended trips. The PowerIQ feature is fantastic, letting my family and me simultaneously plug into one big battery to charge multiple devices quickly. Looking through my Amazon order history, that’s just the tip of the iceberg, though. A couple of other recent additions are a 60-watt USB-A and USB-C wall charger and USB-C to USB 3.0 braided cables. Anker has become my go-to brand for cables and charging accessories, and Statt’s profile makes it easy to understand why.

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Apple’s New Switch to iPhone Ad Campaign

Apple posted a series of five short videos to YouTube today encouraging consumers to switch to the iPhone. The spots, which are each just 16 seconds long, take place on a two-tone stage. The left side of each set is a plain gray color and represents ‘your phone.’ The more colorful, right-hand side of the stage is the iPhone.

The ads make the case that:

  • It’s easy to move your photos from another phone to the iPhone;
  • Moving to the iPhone from another phone is straightforward;
  • The iPhone is faster than your current phone;
  • Your privacy is protected by the iPhone; and
  • Switching to get a better music experience is simple.

None of the ads have any dialogue. Instead, they use humorous skits and music to make each point.

You can check out all five spots after the break.

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Nike Announces New Collection of Apple Watch Bands

Nike has announced a new collection of "Day to Night" Apple Watch bands going on sale soon. The four new Nike Sport Bands match up with the designs of a collection of Nike shoes: the Nike Air VaporMax Flyknit "Day to Night" collection. This marks the first time Nike has directly paired Watch bands with a shoe line.

The "Day to Night" collection celebrates runners whenever they choose to run – at twilight, sunset and everything in between. Each of the colors is inspired by a shade of the sky, from dawn to dusk, and allows runners to – for the first time – make a statement by matching their Apple Watch Nike+ bands to their footwear.

Each band will be priced at $49.00 when they go on sale next month. They'll be available from nike.com and select Nike retail stores on June 1, and shortly thereafter from apple.com, Apple Stores, and other retail partners.


AppStories, Episode 6 – Interview: The Making of the CARROT Apps with Brian Mueller

On this week's episode of AppStories, we interviewed Brian Mueller, the creator of the CARROT series of apps, about how he got started, the origins of CARROT, a corgi with a top hat and monocle, and his new CARROT game, Artificial Superintelligence.

You can listen to the episode below.

Sponsored by:

  • Setapp – An app for every job, already on you Mac.
  • SaneBox – Clean Up Your Inbox Today (and Keep It That Way Forever)
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Clean Up Your Inbox Today (and Keep It That Way Forever) with SaneBox [Sponsor]

What if you had someone to go through your email and find just the important messages? SaneBox does exactly that. Once set up, it leaves your important messages in your inbox and moves the rest to a SaneLater folder for reviewing later. That initial inbox purge is powerful because it reduces your inbox to a manageable number of messages. With additional training to tell SaneBox what’s important to you, it only gets better at dealing with your daily deluge of messages.

There’s much more to SaneBox than shuffling unimportant messages into a designated folder, though. If there’s something you never want to see ever again, send it to the SaneBlackHole, which is much easier than unsubscribing to unwanted messages.

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SaneBox works on top of your existing email setup. There’s no particular app to download or new email account to set up. It all works server-side so you can use any email client you want.

Sign up today for a free 14-day SaneBox trial to take back control of your email. MacStories readers can receive a special $25 credit automatically by using this link to sign up.

Our thanks to SaneBox for sponsoring MacStories this week.