Apple has released a new ad showcasing the new Portrait Lighting mode on the iPhone 8 Plus that lets users create dramatic studio lighting effects when shooting in Portrait mode.
Titled "Portraits of Her", the ad features Shannon Wise of music group The Shacks walking along a sidewalk and singing the band's 2016 single "This Strange Effect" as the camera transitions through the Portrait Lighting mode's range of effects, such as Natural Light, Studio Light, Contour Light, and Stage Light.
The short ad concludes with the iPhone 8 Plus operator showing Wise her portrait photo as he taps through the various effects in the Camera app interface before choosing a favorite.
The Portrait Lighting feature on the iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X uses sophisticated algorithms to calculate how facial features interact with ambient light. While developing the new camera feature, Apple reportedly studied the work of professional portrait photographers as well as famous painters to see how lighting has been used in the visual arts throughout history.
Sphero, known for its line of robotic balls and droids, today launched the $50 Sphero Mini, the company's most affordable toy yet.
Sphero Mini measures in at about 1.25 inches, making it similar in size to a ping pong ball. It's essentially a tiny version of the original Sphero robotic ball, and it's controlled the same way -- through an app on your iPhone.
The Sphero Mini connects to an iPhone using Bluetooth and can be used for playing games, learning to code, playing with pets, and more, thanks to a built-in gyroscope, accelerometer, and LED light.
Sphero has designed a series of games that use the Mini as a controller mechanism, and with a future update, it will be programmable using the Sphero Edu app. Unique to the Mini is a Face Drive app feature that lets it be controlled via head movements and facial expressions.
Sphero Mini can glow in millions of colors with the LED lights, and it has a range of 10 meters. The battery in the Sphero Mini lasts for 45 minutes before needing to be recharged, and charging takes an hour. There are also interchangeable shells in a range of colors that can be purchased for the Mini, as well as a pins and cones accessory pack.
macOS High Sierra adds integrations with several third-party apps that let you do all kinds of fun things with your photos, from making photo books to putting them on t-shirts and coffee mugs.
Third-party apps supplement the existing built-in tools that allow you to make prints or create books, slideshows, cards, and calendars
You can use these tools directly in the Photos app without having to visit a third party site, and there's even a special spot in the Mac App Store to download the integrations. Here's how it works:
Starting a Project - Downloading Apps
Open Photos on Mac.
Scroll down to "My Projects."
Click on "Go to App Store."
Clicking the link from Photos brings up a list of all Mac apps that integrate with Photos.
Choose an App and click to download.
If you've already created a project, accessing a list of available apps is done by going to File --> Create and choosing the "More" App Store option.
Right now, there are six apps that are offering integration with Photos, but more apps will likely implement compatibility in the future. All of the apps are free, with the exception of the GoodTimes collage maker, which is priced at $19.99.
Wix is an app that lets you arrange your photos into albums that can be published online on a website using Wix's website creation tools. [Direct Link]
Mimeo Photos has tools and templates for creating photo books, calendars, and cards with unique layout options and editing tools. [Direct Link]
WhiteWall is for creating photo prints that can be hung on a wall, either solo or in photo arrangements with a wide range of frames and mounting options available. [Direct Link]
Shutterfly Photo Books
Shutterfly is for creating photo books using the Shutterfly service, which often has competitive pricing options. [Direct Link]
GoodTimes - Collages
GoodTimes is the sole paid app available for Photos right now, and it costs $19.99. It can be used to create scrapbooking pages, photo arrangements, and photo collages. [Direct Link]
Mpix Photo Prints
Mpix lets you create standard prints, framed prints, metal prints, canvas prints, wood prints, collages, posters, cards, and a wide range of other projects. [Direct Link]
Using an App to Make a Project
Open the Photos app.
In the Photos menu bar, choose File --> Create
Under Create, choose the third-party app you want to use for your project.
Drag photos from your Photo Library to the Project. These photos are the photos that the app will be able to use -- it doesn't have access to your full photo library.
Re-open the project by clicking on it from the "My Projects" list.
When you use one of these integrated third-party Photos apps, all of the project creation is done entirely in the Photos app.
For example, with Mpix, I chose a Metal Print from the list of options, provided access to my Photo Library, added photos, chose a photo for the project, resized it, and proceeded to purchase options all without opening a different app.
These same simple project creation tools are available for all integrated apps, making it simple to do a lot more right in the Photos app without having to fuss too much with third-party services.
Adobe this week recommended customers using its Illustrator and InDesign software hold off from updating to the new macOS High Sierra operating system. Illustrator and InDesign have not been updated for High Sierra and there are some incompatibility issues that prevent the apps from working properly.
With Illustrator, users are seeing errors after upgrading to the new Apple File System. Illustrator pops up errors during installation, and, for already-installed software, there are problems with launching the app, opening a file, and creating a document. A separate problem leads to color management issues, while a third affects the rendering of Brushes, Live Corner widgets, and more.
While there are workarounds for the GPU issues in Illustrator, there is no fix for the problem with APFS. Adobe says its engineers are working on a complete solution for a future Illustrator CC update.
As for InDesign, the cursor appears as a pixelated box, also a problem with no current solution. Adobe engineers are working on a fix to correct the problem as soon as possible.
Adobe recommends customers test their software on a non-production partition to make sure the update is compatible with current hardware and drivers before committing to a macOS High Sierra install. The company also says customers may wish to remain on an older version of macOS until the issues are addressed in updates.
Following the release of a new Mac update, there are often problems with software for a few weeks as developers work to add in support for new features and address incompatibilities.
For other apps that have issues, take a look at our forums, where MacRumors readers have compiled a comprehensive list of apps that have bugs or are incompatible with the macOS High Sierra update.
Other major apps that don’t work properly right now include Autodesk AutoCAD 2017, Civilization V, DiskWarrior 5.0, Ulysses 3, 2Do, and Transmit Version 5, among others.
Also of note, Microsoft Office for Mac 2011 is no longer being updated and is not compatible with macOS High Sierra. Microsoft does not plan to add support for the High Sierra update.
Any of these games are effortless recommendations, particularly as they're from the good ol' days of the App Store before freemium shenanigans took over. Dragon Fantasy is particularly good if you're looking for a modern spin on retro RPGs. It hit the App Store back in 2011 and since has been ported to Vita, 3DS, Android, and PC.
The most unexpected surprise of the week, without question, was Annapurna dropping Flower onto the App Store. It's by Thatgamecompany, who is also responsible for the upcoming game Sky that was teased back at the iPhone reveal keynote. One of the main reasons we're super excited for Flower to hit the App Store is what it means for speculating on what other games of theirs might come in the future as it seems like the sky is the limit. I'd love it if Journey eventually made its way to iOS.
Modern Combat Versus also hit the App Store, which thematically speaking is the complete polar opposite of blowing petals around on the wind in Flower. Versus is an online team-based multiplayer shooter, set in a futuristic and gritty military environment.
Gameplay is sort of similar to titles like Overwatch or Team Fortress 2, but it's on your iPhone. It has a Clash Royale-ish chest unlocking system to divvy out loot, and we're really curious to get deeper into the game to see how much or how little these freemium shenanigans impact overall balance if you don't empty your wallet.
Super Mario Run got a huge update, which not only comes packed with loads of new content, but the whole game unlock is on sale for $4.99, down from its original $9.99. Super Mario Run was pretty controversial in the TouchArcade community when it was first released as it wasn't seen as a "real" Mario game, but given the constraints of virtual controls I think it's definitely worth trying out if you still haven't yet, regardless of whether or not you end up paying for it.
This week Blizard released the Blizzard Battle.net app, which basically just serves as a chat client for Battle.net. One thing I hadn't realized which came out when we published this story is just how many people had Hearthstone on their phones specifically to communicate to their Blizzard game friends, even if they don't play Hearthstone. If that describes you, well, you can now save gigs of space on your phone by deleting Hearthstone. (But, really, Hearthstone is great and you should really play it instead of deleting it.)
In other Blizzard news, rumors are flying surrounding a new mobile game that Blizzard is working on. A job posting recently appeared (which is now removed) where Blizzard was searching for a Unity mobile engineer to work on a unannounced "MMO RTS project." Whether this is going to be an adaptation of their existing IP, or like Overwatch, a totally new Blizzard IP is totally up in the air. Given how well Hearthstone has done, it seems supremely inevitable that Blizzard will release something else on mobile though, whatever it turns out to be.
Limbo has been on the App Store for ages now, but Playdead just announced plans to bring its PC and console game Inside to both iOS and Switch. There isn't a ton to go off of here aside from a vague announcement, but both Limbo and Inside have massive fan followings so we're going to be watching this one closely.
Last, but not least, is a teaser for an upcoming puzzle game called Campfire Cooking. I absolutely love how developers on the App Store continue to find new ways to reinvent grid-based puzzles, and in this one you're moving food around a grid that represents a campfire. Check out the trailer — it's super clever, as "fire and food management" isn't something I think I'd ever thought of for a puzzle game.
Those are the big stories this week, but as usual, if you're into these sort of things be sure to head over to TouchArcade where we post this kind of stuff day in and day out.
For this week's giveaway, we've teamed up with MyMe Unity to give MacRumors readers a chance to win one of the company's Unity case systems with a Unity Case for your iPhone, a Cradle to use as an accompanying stand, and a matching cable for charging.
The Unity Case offers dual-layer protection with an inner silicone case and an outer shell, for superior impact resistance. It comes in a range of stylish two-tone color options, has a raised bezel for screen and camera protection, and it ships with a screen protector for the display for complete device safety.
A strong magnet is built into the center of the Unity Case's outer shell, allowing it to attach to metal surfaces like a refrigerator. It ships with two Metal Mounting Plates that can be placed anywhere in your house or car to mount your phone for hands-free access.
The Unity Case is priced at $25 and is available for the iPhone 5 and later, and the cases for the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus also work with the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus. It's not clear, though, if these interfere with wireless charging.
In addition to attaching to anything metal, the Unity Case pairs with the Unity Smart Cradle, which attaches to the case with a metal ball joint that allows the case to be positioned in any orientation and at several angles.
The Cradle, priced at $12-$24, comes in a range of colors and styles to match the cases and it can be placed on flat surfaces or surfaces like car windshields and mirrors. There are also Cradle and Unity Case bundles available for $35, a discounted bundle price.
MyMe Unity also offers a $20 5-ft tangle-free magnetic Lightning cable that goes along with the whole Unity setup. It has a magnet at the top to allow it to attach to the cradle when not in use, keeping it within reach at all times.
The whole Case, Cradle, and Cable setup costs about $60, making it more affordable than some standalone case and mount options. We have 10 Case, Cradle, and Cable bundles to give away to MacRumors readers. To enter to win, use the Rafflecopter widget below and enter an email address. Email addresses will be used solely for contact purposes to reach the winner and send the prize. You can earn additional entries by subscribing to our weekly newsletter, subscribing to our YouTube channel, following us on Twitter, or visiting the MacRumorsFacebook page.
Due to the complexities of international laws regarding giveaways, only U.S. residents who are 18 years of age or older are eligible to enter. To offer feedback or get more information on the giveaway restrictions, please refer to our Site Feedback section, as that is where discussion of the rules will be redirected.
The contest will run from today (September 29) at 11:00 a.m. Pacific Time through 11:00 a.m. Pacific Time on October 6. The winners will be chosen randomly on October 6 and will be contacted by email. The winners will have 48 hours to respond and provide a shipping address before new winners are chosen.
Nanoleaf, the company behind the HomeKit-enabled Aurora smart modular lighting system, recently introduced a $49 accessory that allows the Aurora lights to respond to music, adding a whole new sound-based dimension to an already great product.
Called the Nanoleaf Aurora Rhythm, the add-on module is a small three-triangle accessory that snaps right in to an existing Nanoleaf setup using the same plastic connector tabs that connect the Aurora lights together.
Apple has shared a new page for its upcoming Michigan Avenue store along the Chicago River, set to open Friday, October 20.
Apple Michigan Avenue via MacRumors reader Brad Fosler
Apple starts out with a tribute to the city:
Chicago's creative roots run deep. It's where house music and rock and roll first took the stage. Where world-famous architecture lives. And where contemporary art thrives. Along the Chicago riverfront where the city was founded, we're opening Apple Michigan Avenue. A space for the next generation of creative pioneers to come together, connect, and share their talent.
Apple has partnered with Chicago rapper Saba to create a campaign centered around his new single "Where Ideas Sing" released last week.
"Where Ideas Sing" construction barrier via MacRumors reader Brad Fosler
The so-called "city anthem" was brought to life by public artist Matthew Hoffman, who created a large "Where Ideas Sing" wrapping with lyrics adorning the glass windows of the upcoming store. There's also a message to pedestrians:
On this historic site where the city was first founded, we celebrate the opening of the all-new Apple Michigan Avenue. These lyrics are from "Where Ideas Sing," an anthem written by hip-hop artist Saba and brought to life by public artist Matthew Hoffman. The spirit of this collaboration, like the store itself, was inspired by the vibrant energy of this great city. And here, we’re setting a new stage for creativity in Chicago, right where it started.
The store will be located at 401 North Michigan Avenue next to the Michigan Avenue Bridge in Downtown Chicago.
Best Buy today launched a new two day sale that will run through tomorrow, September 30, and grants customers free shipping on orders $35 and over as well as fast one-hour in-store pickup on most items. As usual, Best Buy has a variety of Apple products discounted, including iMacs and iPad Pros from late 2015, and the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. Below we’ll list all of the Apple devices with markdowns in Best Buy’s sale, as well as some notable deals on other products.
iMacs From Late 2015
21.5-inch, Intel Core i5, 8GB RAM, 1TB HD – $949.99, down from $1,299
21.5-inch 4K, Intel Core i5, 8GB RAM, 1TB HD – $1,099.99, down from $1,499.99
27-inch 5K, Intel Core i5, 8GB RAM, 1TB HD – $1,299.99, down from $1,799.99
27-inch 5K, Intel Core i5, 8GB RAM, 1TB Fusion Drive – $1,499.99, down from $1,999.99
27-inch 5K, Intel Core i5, 8GB RAM, 2TB Fusion Drive – $1,749.99, down from $2,299.99
The only iPad models on sale are the 32GB models of the 12.9-inch iPad Pro from late 2015, which is available for $549.99, down from $799.99. The sale is for Wi-Fi only models available in Silver, Space Gray, and Gold. For the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus deal, you can get $150 off Apple’s smartphones from 2016 when buying and activating either device on a monthly installment plan.
Best Buy’s sale also has deals on numerous TVs, including a few 4K sets that will work with the new Apple TV 4K. There are three Samsung sets on sale, starting with the company’s 55-inch LED Curved 4K Ultra HD Smart TV for $749.99, down from $899.99, then rising to the 65-inch LED Curved 4K Ultra HD Smart TV with High Dynamic Range for $1,599.99, down from $2,399.99. Brands like Sharp, Vizio, and LG all have 4K TV sets on sale today and tomorrow as well, with screen dimensions increasing to 75 inches.
Discounts ending tomorrow also encompass Bragi’s The Dash headphones, Bluetooth speakers from Sony and harmon/kardon, and more, so be sure to check out our Deals Roundup for more information before the two day sale finishes.
In other deals-related reminders, Rogue Amoeba’s 15th anniversary sale ends tomorrow, September 30; MacRumors readers can continue to get 15 percent off RAVPower’s Qi Wireless Charger on Amazon through October 15; and our exclusive $308 discount off SOUND FORGE Pro Mac 3 continues through October 13. You also still have a few hours to enter our weekly giveaway for a Pad & Quill leather case for the iPhone 8, 8 Plus, or X, ending today at 11:00 a.m. Pacific Time.
Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Best Buy and may earn commissions on purchases made through these links.
Apple has acquired Regaind, a small French artificial intelligence startup focused on photo and facial analysis, according to TechCrunch.
Apple essentially confirmed the deal with its standard statement:
Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.
Regaind has developed a computer vision API that can extract "game-changing insights" from images, according to its website.
We help businesses and developers deal with massive flows of images by using state-of-the-art artificial intelligence to analyze and sort them. Your problem is often not reduced to finding a photo of a "sailboat" or of a "lion": it's also about finding the right one for your specific use, among many others. Regaind enables you to understand the content of an image, as well as to assess its technical and aesthetical values, so as to maximize your impact with high quality photos.
Regaind is able to analyze the aesthetics, sharpness, exposure, colors, and other properties of photos, and use that information to boost or promote the most relevant ones in a meaningful way.
Regaind's computer vision API can also detect faces in a photo, as well as the gender, age, and emotion of the people that appear. It's possible that Apple is already using this technology for facial recognition features like Animoji in the iPhone X, and there could be additional implementations to follow.
Apple could use Regaind's technology to improve the Memories feature in the Photos app on iOS, for example, which already intelligently curates photos and videos based on activities, trips, holidays, people, pets, and more.