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Google Pay rolling out now, will soon include an answer to Apple Pay Cash

February 21, 2018
Google on Tuesday announced that its new and consolidated mobile payments service, Google Pay, is now available as a standalone app in Play Store.
The solution replaces the outdated Google Wallet service and Android Pay, a previous solution that let Android users buy goods with their smartphones. The Wallet app has been renamed Google Pay Send and received a fresh coat of paint to go with the Google Pay brand.
Google Pay combines features from both services, including the ability to pay at checkout counters with an Android-powered smartphone or tablet. There’s also the option to scan into transit systems in cities such as Kiev, London and Portland, initially.
It works with Google’s partners, allowing customers to use the service to purchase goods online through websites or using Google Assistant, in addition to in stores with a smartphone.
“We’re currently working on bringing Google Pay to all Google products, so whether you’re shopping on Chrome or with your Assistant, you’ll have a consistent checkout experience using the cards saved to your Google Account,” said the firm.
Key features include:
  • Home tab—Google Pay’s new Home tab gives you the info you need, right when you need it. See your recent purchases, find nearby stores, enjoy easy access to rewards and get helpful tips.
  • Cards tab—The Cards tab is an easy way to keep everything you need at checkout organized and at the ready. It’s where you’ll store your credit and debit cards, loyalty programs, offers and even that stack of gift cards from last year’s birthday.
  • Pay your fare—Use Google Pay on transit in cities such as Kiev, London and Portland (with more coming soon) and stop worrying about your pass once and for all. Now all you need at the turnstile is the device that’s already in your hand.
  • Security and encryption—Like all Google products, Google Pay comes with strong security protections to safeguard your account and personal data from security threats. In other words, it’s got your back.
This is just the beginning as Google is already said to be hard at work on its answer to Apple Pay Cash. Going live in the coming months, that service will let customers in the United States and the United Kingdom send money to one another, and will also compete with similar services offered through Facebook Messenger, PayPal and Venmo.
What are your thoughts on Google Pay?
Let us know down below in the comments!

Customize your Lock screen’s charging text string with PersonalEcate

February 21, 2018
Any time you plug your locked iPhone or iPad into a power source, the screen lights up with an over-sized battery indicator that gives you a brief summary and visual representation of your remaining percentage.
With a new free jailbreak tweak dubbed PersonalEcate by iOS developer CydiaGeek, you can customize the string of text that typically appears underneath the battery indicator icon.
Shown above, you can see an example of how the tweak works. We’ve replaced the “X% Charged” text string with something a little more personalized. You can set any custom text you want – it doesn’t need to match our example.
PersonalEcate adds a preference pane to the Settings app where you can configure the tweak to your liking:
Here, you can:
  • Toggle the tweak on or off on demand
  • Enter the text string that you want appearing underneath the battery indicator icon
  • Hide or show the battery indicator icon
The developer includes a respring button at the bottom of the preference pane so that you can save your changes any time you adjust the settings.
For the most part, PersonalEcate doesn’t have anything to offer besides personal aesthetics, so it’s more of a novelty tweak than anything else. If you’d like to give the tweak a try, then you can download it for free from Cydia’s BigBoss repository.
As of this writing, PersonalEcate supports jailbroken iOS 8, 9, and 10 devices. CydiaGeek says he’s working on iOS 11 support and will add it in a future update.
What will you change your charging text string to after installing PersonalEcate? Share in the comments below!

Things 4.3 brings URL linking scheme, powerful automation & handover from other apps

February 21, 2018
German developer Cultured Code today released Things 4.3 for iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch and Mac, bringing several new productivity features to the popular to-do app, including an expansive new URL scheme for linking, powerful automation and handover from other apps.

Linking to Things

Made possible by Culture Code’s brand new URLs that start with “things:”, these links can reference a to-do or list in Things and can be used to jump to a particular point in Things from other apps. To generate a link on your Mac, right-click any item and choose Share → Copy Link.
As an example, tapping the link things:///show?id=today will open Things on your device and tell it to show your Today list (works only if you already have Things 3.4 installed).
With custom URLs, you can easily paste your project’s link into another app and quickly jump back to it in Things when need be. Of course, you can also link related to-dos and lists inside of Things itself.

Automation

Powerful time-saving automations are now available in Things 4.3.
Again, taking advantage of the app’s new URL scheme, the “things:” links can be used to execute a bunch of complex commands from outside of the app, allowing you to create to-dos, show tag filters, perform searches and so on. These automations work great with apps like LauncherLaunch Center Pro and Apple’s own Workflow.
Here are a few examples (if you’ve updated to 3.4, tap to execute them):
Creating these commands is made easier thanks to a little web tool they put together.
Check out additional workflows created by MacStories and The Sweet Setup.

Handover from other apps

Not to be confused with Apple’s Handoff continuity feature, this capability allows other apps that took advantage of Culture Code’s open source Swift library to send data into Things. This basically makes it easy to create entire Things projects from other apps, complete with notes, headings and to-dos.
As an example, the mind mapping app MindNode lets you brainstorm your ideas and then export them as a Things project when the time is right. “We’re happy that the Drafts app has also built this feature into their upcoming version, and hope to see more apps with integration soon,” the developers said.
This release of Things for iOS and macOS also brings diacritic-insensitive search so no longer do you have to be very particular with your queries. For instance, searching for “uber” will also find “über”, searching for “francais” will also find “français” and so forth.
This update is available at no charge to existing users of the app.

My Cousin Vinny, Suburbicon, and other movies on sale in iTunes right now

February 21, 2018
Apple has updated its iTunes Store with new promotions on movies and other content. This week’s deals include films featuring Best Actress and Supporting Actress Oscar winners for under $10, Marvel hits under $15, and much more.

Best Actress Oscar Winners

Best Supporting Actress Oscar Winners

Other Movie Deals

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 Apple.com 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!