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Posts tagged with "iPhone"

Bezel: The Best Way to Screen Capture Your iPhone From a Mac

I have recently been working on a personal web project that involves a lot of testing on my iPhone. While I would usually just have my iPhone to the side on my desk to test my changes in real-time and take screenshots, I was looking for a solution to mirror my iPhone’s screen directly on my Mac’s desktop. This is where I stumbled upon Bezel.

Bezel is a fantastic utility from Nonstrict that allows you to start capturing your iPhone immediately after connecting it to your Mac. The app is both simple and extremely convenient.

To start using Bezel, all you need to do is allow the app to start at login. Then, plug in your iPhone when you want to start mirroring your screen. That’s it. Bezel will automatically display your iPhone on your desktop. Similar to Federico’s Apple Frames shortcut, the app will frame your iPhone’s display with a bezel that matches your iPhone model.

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Introducing the New MacStories Setups Page

Federico's setup (left) and John's (right).

Federico’s setup (left) and John’s (right).

Setup optimization is a never-ending journey at MacStories. We’re always looking for the fastest, most efficient, and often, most portable way to do everything in our lives. The result is constant change. Hardware and apps are swapped in and out of our systems and workflows frequently.

We write or talk about our setups in a bunch of different places, which we realize can make it hard to keep up with the most current version of what we’re using. That’s why we’ve dedicated to our setups. That way, the next time you wonder, what was that pair of headphones Federico mentioned on AppStories or that giant battery pack John wrote about for Club MacStories, you’ll have a place where you can quickly find the answer. You’ll find a link to the new Setups page in the navigation bar at the top of the MacStories homepage, too.

Our new Setups page is what Apple might call ‘a living document.’ We’ll update it periodically throughout the year with changes we make with links to everything that’s still being sold somewhere.

Speaking of links, many of the ones you’ll find on the Setups page are affiliate links. If you buy something using those links, MacStories, Inc. will receive a small commission. You can learn more about how MacStories uses affiliate links in our privacy policy.

Also, if you have any questions about the gear and apps listed on the Setups page, feel free to reach out on Mastodon using @viticci or @johnvoorhees, or ping us on Discord.

Crash Detection Saves Unconscious AppleInsider Writer

The Apple Watch and iPhone’s crash detection has saved a lot of lives, and you probably think of it as something for when you’re driving your car. However, as AppleInsider’s Daniel Eran Dilger discovered, it works with scooters, too. Dilger was in a serious accident while riding a scooter. Lying on the ground at night, unconscious, and bleeding, he could have bled to death.

Fortunately, Dilger’s Apple Watch contacted emergency services, who found him, thanks to the feature, and took him to a hospital:

Even though I wasn’t driving a conventional vehicle, Crash Detection determined that I had been involved in a serious accident and that I wasn’t responding. Within 20 seconds, it called emergency services with my location. Within thirty minutes I was loaded in an ambulance and on the way to the emergency room.

When I came to, I had to ask what was happening. That’s the first I found out that I was getting my eyebrow stitched up and had various scrapes across the half of my face that I had apparently used to a break my fall. I couldn’t remember anything.

It’s a scary story that highlights just how important Crash Detection can be in circumstances like Dilger’s, where he was unable to call emergency services himself.

Dilger also reminds readers to update their emergency contacts on their devices. His were out of date, so they didn’t get a call about the accident. Fortunately, Find My Friends alerted Dilger’s partner of his location so they could call the hospital to check on him.


Game On: An Upcoming Game Release Check-In

Ever since WWDC 2022, when Apple showcased Resident Evil Village, the company has been eager to highlight console and PC titles that are coming to its platforms. Sometimes, it can be a little hard to keep track of what’s coming, so today’s Game On focuses on recent big-title release news as well as other recent updates in the world of Apple gaming.

Before looking at the titles coming next to Apple’s platforms, let’s take a quick look back at one of the all-time classic iOS games: Machinarium. The game, from Czech studio Amanita Design, which was followed up a few years ago on Apple Arcade by Pilgrims, started on the Mac and other platforms, but was also an iPad gaming pioneer, debuting on the tablet in 2011, with its unforgettable hand drawn style.

However, like a lot of games, Machinarium hadn’t seen an update in a long time. According to Touch Arcade, the game hadn’t been touched since 2019 but was updated last week with controller, Metal rendering, and Core Audio support. If you love puzzle games and haven’t played Machinarium, you can buy it on the App Store and play it on iOS, iPadOS, and tvOS for $5.99.

Source: Capcom.

Source: Capcom.

Skepticism about whether Apple will be successful in attracting console and PC-level games to its platforms is warranted, given the company’s track record with such games. However, they continue to push back, with Tim Cook recently telling The Independent in the context of an interview about the Apple Vision Pro that:

There’s significant excitement about our role in gaming, and we’re very serious about it. This is not a hobby for us. We’re putting all of ourselves out there.

Apple’s last self-proclaimed hobby was the Apple TV, which took a very long time to graduate from that role but is now part of the company’s videogame strategy.

Also, just before iOS and iPadOS 17 were released, Jeremy Sandmel, Apple’s Senior Director of GPU Software, and Tim Millet, Apple’s VP of Platform Architecture, were interviewed by IGN and emphasized the advantage of Apple silicon and its Metal framework across the iPhone, iPad, and Mac as a unified gaming platform:

So we really look at these many generations of SoC architecture across the phone, across the iPad, across now, Apple Silicon Macs. And we’d see that as part of one big unified platform, a graphics and gaming platform in particular.

Fort Solis. Source: Dear Villagers.

Fort Solis. Source: Dear Villagers.

And judging from the announcements, the pace of top-shelf releases is beginning to pick up and include the iPhone more often than in the past. Among other notable upcoming releases:

There may be other big releases coming that I’ve missed, but that alone is a pretty healthy lineup to go with other titles that are already available. It will be interesting to see if others are added to the release roster in the coming weeks.

How 3D Pets Uses the iPhone to Create Prostheses for Pets

It’s easy to forget how powerful the computers we carry with us everywhere are. While most of us are firing off text messages to our friends, companies like 3D Pets are using the iPhone’s LiDAR and TrueDepth camera in innovative ways to help dogs and other animals with missing or deformed limbs.

Yesterday, both Apple and Marques Brownlee published videos spotlighting the work 3D Pets is doing to create custom prostheses for pets. The process includes taking a 3D scan of the animal using the iPhone’s TrueDepth camera and then modeling and 3D printing a one-of-a-kind prosthesis.

The tech is cool, and the stories are heartwarming and worth taking a break during your day to watch.

Detail Duo and Detail for Mac: A Modern, Machine Learning-Powered Approach to Video

It’s harder than ever to push Apple devices to their limits. Sure, some apps and workflows will do it, but for everyday tasks, Apple silicon has opened a gap between hardware and software that we haven’t seen in a while.

The transformation was gradual with the iPhone and iPad compared to the sudden leap the Mac took with the M1, but the result is the same. There are fewer and fewer apps that push Apple’s chips to the max.

That’s beginning to change with the focus on machine learning and Apple silicon’s Neural Engine. While pundits fret over Apple’s lack of an AI chatbot, developers are building a new class of apps that use local, on-device machine learning to accomplish some pretty amazing feats on all of Apple’s devices.

Detail Duo.

Detail Duo.

Great examples of this are the apps by Detail, an Amsterdam-based startup. Detail has two apps: Detail Duo, an iPhone and iPad video production app, and Detail for Mac, which does something similar but with a focus on multi-camera setups more suitable to a desktop environment.

As I explained in my Final Cut Pro for iPad first impressions story last week, I don’t work with much video. However, I’ve been dabbling in video more, and I’ve discovered a story as old as personal computers themselves.

Every hardware advance that creates a huge amount of performance headroom is eventually consumed by the ever-growing demands of apps. That’s just as true with Apple silicon as it was for other chip advances. What seemed like more power than average consumers would ever need quickly becomes a necessity as apps like Detail Duo and Detail push that hardware to its limits.

It’s these sorts of advances that I find incredibly exciting because when they’re coupled with intuitive, well-designed apps, they open up entirely new opportunities for users. For Detail, that means simplifying and democratizing video production that would have been out of reach of most users not that long ago, expanding access to video as a creative outlet.

Before digging into these apps further, though, you should know that my son Finn is on the team building Detail and Detail Duo. That’s one of the reasons I’ve known about and followed these apps for a long time now. I figured that’s context readers should know.

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A Conversation with David Niemeijer of AssistiveWare About Personal Voice, Assistive Access, and Developing Apps for Accessibility

Source: Apple.

Source: Apple.

Earlier this week, Apple announced a series of new accessibility features coming to its OSes later this year. There was a lot announced, and it can sometimes be hard to understand how features translate into real-world benefits to users.

To get a better sense of what some of this week’s announcements mean, I spoke to David Niemeijer, the founder and CEO of AssistiveWare, an Amsterdam-based company that makes augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) apps for the iPhone and iPad, including Proloquo, Proloquo2Go, and Proloquo4Text. Each app addresses different needs, but what they all have in common is helping people who have difficulty expressing themselves verbally.

What follows is a lightly edited version of our conversation.

Let me start by asking you a little bit about AAC apps as a category because I’m sure we have readers who don’t know what they do and what augmented and alternative communication apps are.

David Niemeijer: So, AAC is really about all ways of communication that do not involve speech. It includes body gestures, it includes things like signing, it includes texting, but in the context of apps, we typically think more about the high-tech kind of solutions that use the technology, but all those other things are also what’s considered AAC because they augment or they are an alternative for speech. These technologies and these practices are used by people who either physically can’t speak or can’t speak in a way that people understand them or that have other reasons why speech is difficult for them.

For example, what we see is that a lot of autistic people is they find speech extremely exhausting. So in many cases, they can speak, but there are many situations where they’d rather not speak because it drains their energy or where, because of, let’s say, anxiety or stress, speech is one of the first functions that drops, and then they can use AAC.

Source: Apple.

Source: Apple.

We also see it used by people with cerebral palsy, where it’s actually the muscles that create a challenge. [AAC apps] are used by people who have had a stroke where the brain system that finds the right words and then sends the signals to the muscles is not functioning correctly. So there are many, many reasons. Roughly about 2% of the world population cannot make themselves understood with their own voice.

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Microsoft and Netflix Aim to Challenge Apple in Mobile Gaming

Two pieces of mobile gaming news caught my eye this morning.

The first was an interview that Phil Spencer, CEO of Microsoft Gaming, gave to the Financial Times. The annual Game Developer Conference began today, and Spencer wants developers to know that Microsoft intends to publish games on mobile devices:

We want to be in a position to offer Xbox and content from both us and our third-party partners across any screen where somebody would want to play.

He continued:

Today, we can’t do that on mobile devices but we want to build towards a world that we think will be coming where those devices are opened up.

Spencer is banking that the EU’s Digital Markets Act will force Apple and Google to open up their devices early next year. Microsoft is having troubles of its own with US, UK, and EU regulators over its proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard. Part of Spencer’s strategy to win regulators over appears to be the prospect of bringing competition to mobile gaming with its own store and a native Game Pass app that isn’t relegated to streaming via a browser, which is the case for it and services like NVIDIA’s GeForce Now under current App Store rules.

The second piece of news comes from Netflix, which says it has 40 mobile games coming to iOS in 2023, which will join the 55 already available. Working within the constraints of the App Store’s guidelines, Netflix’s games are released as separate App Store downloads that Netflix subscribers can download and play at no additional cost. I’ve been impressed with the quality of the games released by Netflix, which include titles like TMNT: Shredder’s Revenge, Kentucky Route Zero,Reigns: Three Kingdoms, Oxenfree, and Lucky Luna.

However, perhaps even bigger than the news of Netflix’s growing catalog is that the first two Monument Valley games are coming to the company’s mobile game catalog in 2024. That’s a big deal because both games are currently part of an Apple Arcade subscription, as well as being available as separate App Store purchases. It’s not clear whether the games will remain part of Arcade after they’re published by Netflix, but even if they are, it will provide another avenue to play the games at no additional cost, which will dilute the value of an Arcade subscription.

Microsoft and Netflix are already competing with Apple in mobile gaming to a degree, but their hands are tied by App Store guidelines. Microsoft has settled on streaming games, which is clunky and constrained, while Netflix has launched dozens of individual games without a good way to organize and market them under their brand.

What Microsoft and Netflix have done so far demonstrates that a little competition is a good thing. Developers have more avenues for publishing their games, and consumers have more choices. The Digital Markets Act has the potential to be the catalyst that opens the door to competition even wider, which I expect will create all sorts of new opportunities for developers and consumers alike.

Primate Labs Updates Geekbench on All Platforms

Yesterday, Primate Labs released Geekbench 6, the suite of benchmarking tools for Apple and other vendors’ hardware. According to the company:

Geekbench tests have always been grounded in real-world use cases and use modern. With Geekbench 6, we’ve taken this to the next level by updating existing workloads and designing several new workloads, including workloads that:

  • Blur backgrounds in video conferencing streams
  • Filter and adjust images for social media sites
  • Automatically remove unwanted objects from photos
  • Detect and tag objects in photos using machine learning models
  • Analyse, process, and convert text using scripting languages

In addition to updating benchmark workflows, Primate Labs says Geekbench includes modern file types and file sizes that reflect current computing tasks on Macs, iPhones, iPads, and other devices. The company also changed its multi-core benchmark to include tasks that span multiple cores to align the tests with how modern devices typically tackle a job.

My time with the new benchmark apps has been limited, but running them on my Mac and iPhone went smoothly. It’s worth noting that the apps are significantly larger, and it take longer than before due to the changes made to the underlying benchmark tests. However, it’s great to see Primate Labs working to make its tests reflect modern usage patterns and hardware.

Geekbench 6 for Mac is available as a direct download from Primate Labs. The iOS and iPadOS versions of the app are available on the App Store.