Beautiful Dynamic Desktops

So Apple introduced the idea of dynamic desktops in Mac OS Mojave last year but deigned to only provide us with two options. Since then its been quite difficult tracking down alternatives but today I stumbled across a project which is making that easier.

Its a collection of dynamic wallpapers that you can use with your Mac to experience the passing of time as you're busy working!

its free and also includes tips and guidance on how to make your own dynamic wallpapers from your own photos.

 

Dynamic Wallpapers only work with Mac OS Mojave and later.

Visit: https://dynamicwallpaper.club

 

Let us know in the comments how you get on!

 

 


What Three Words: Revolutionising postcodes

Postcodes have been around for quite a long time but were never meant for locating something specific. Many properties on a street can share a postcode and as we all know when waiting in for an Amazon delivery, they are not the ideal way to find the location of building. So, we need to combine a house number, sometimes a building name, a street name and a postcode to ensure that items arrive or someone turns up at the right spot.

What if, however, you'd like someone to be able to find their way to your desk? or your garden? or your car parking spot?

What3words is a brilliant concept that has already been adopted by several organisations including the emergency services. The concept is that with just 3 words you can geolocation a place down to a 3m x 3m square. That means you can direct someone or something to your back door or a particular spot in a cafe.

 

In the app (available here), you just search for an address and it gives you three words to find it. There are 57 trillion possible combinations but these 3 words work like a mnemonic and are a great deal easier to remember than a full postal address. 10 Downing Street, for example is:

input . caring . brain

This is explicitly for the front door of 10 Downing Street (or at least the 3x3m square that the door is in). This has all kinds of applications. It's brilliant for developing countries that do not have a postcode system or infrastructure. You'll literally be able to locate a tent in a field and have stuff delivered there.

If you broke down on a motorway you could direct the recovery service to your exact location. You're waiting in airport terminal to meet someone and you can give them the 3 words of where you are standing etc. etc. the list goes on.

 

It remains to be seen how widespread the system becomes but if it takes off it will certainly make locating places a whole lot easier.

What do you think? Let us know in the comments below.


Dujio Blog - Siri

Real Life Siri Impression!

A female rapper called HAZMATCAZ from Baltimore has created a video that has swept across the web due to her uncanny rendintion of a Siri response.

She has the same smooth deep voice that we all recognise from turn by turn driving instructions on our iPhones.

Have a watch yourself to see for yourself:


All4 App on Apple TV (A Long time coming!)

Without much fanfare the Channel 4 Catch up TV app All 4 has finally come to the Apple TV just in time for Christmas. For those of us obsessed with The Great British Bake off (🙋🏽‍♂️) and other Channel 4 gems your time has finally come to quit streaming from your phone or watching on your Mac.

Apple TV All4 Player.jpg

The App itself is incredibly basic and lacks some of the perks that we have come to appreciate in Apple TV apps such as global search using Siri or showing an interactive tile on the home page of the Apple TV but fingers crossed the app gets more sophisticated in the near future.

The BBC still rules the roost with one of the best video service apps. Channel 4's offerings are often hindered by ads that have a tendency to crash a program midway, Nonetheless, this has been a long time coming and we are finally able to get in as much flour and yeast based programming as our eyes can handle!

Head to the App Store on your Apple TV now to search for All4.


Apple’s Jony Ive designs a $250,000 Unibody Diamond Ring!

Sir Jony Ive, the Chief Design Officer at Apple and Marc Newson have come together to create a one of a kind ring hewn from a single lump of diamond for the Product (RED) charity initiative.

Heres a quote from the Sotheby's catalogue:

...with their mutual obsession with transformning raw material into objects of value, Ive & Newson's design is singular, clear and un-compromised by the traditional metal settings and bands that have previuously been required to create 'diamond rings'. Theirs will be created by removing material rather than adding-an ambition made possible by the extraordinary scale of the stone which will enable the ring to be completely made of this material.

Its certainly a feat of enginerring to be able to create a ring like this but we dont imagine we will see many, the size of diamond required to make this beast of bling precludes it from becoming a standard design. It looks like this may be a one off. The ring hasn't actually been finished yet and will be made to fit the winning bidders chosen ring size and will be constructed with 2-3000 facets - the highest amount ever seen in a cut diamond.

Visit Sotheby's for more information


Free Phone Charging Trial at TFL Overground Stations

On our way to a client visit today we spotted at Shoreditch High Street Overground station a new area dedicated to charging devices.

It appears that this is a trial that may be rolled out across London. Now that more and more people use their phones for contactless access to the TFL network it makes sense for there to be charging points for those times when you run out of juice just when you need it the most.

The devices, installed by chargebox (and looking suspiciously like an old Powermac G4 Cube) are capable of fast charging which means you can get 20% charge in ten minutes or so.

We also spotted that they have used our old friend Sugru (click here to find out more about Sugru) to re-enforce the cables from the rabid hordes of commuters who will no doubt manhandle them at their liesure.

So next time your dropping low in charge at Columbia Road Flower Market or munching on a Brick Lane Bagel you have a new friend in town.


Print Plugins for Apple Photos

Printing Photo Projects on a Mac

In the latest update to the Mac Photos App, Apple has enabled third parties the ability to write photo project plugins. Until now only editing plugins were available ie to retouch or add filters to your images.

Now there are a range of plugins available for printing your images and turning them into photo books.

Some of you may remember that there was the option of doing this in Aperture (rest in peace), however the selection available at the moment are very much consumer focused services and not the likes of Queensbury or Couture Books et al.

All you need to do is head to the App Store to find the appropriate app (links below) and it will install itself. When you launch the apps all that will show is a splash screen as the apps themselves are installed into the photos app as a project option in the sidebar on the left.

This is a little clumsy and I think the need to have an external app to do this is a bit confusing but nonetheless that’s how it’s done.


Available Now

1. Whitewall

Whitewall is a popular service for creating framed prints at lots of different sizes with lots of customisable options.

2. Mimeo

Mimeo has a similar offering to Apple’s own range of printable products but its always good to have a choice right?


Coming Soon...

3. Motif

Motif is actually a plugin that was created by the company that used to print all of apples print products and as such means that the products will be quite familiar to anyone who used to use Apples print services. At the moment they are Ireland and a few other European Countries only but I have been assured that they are making their way over to Europe very soon. These guys definitely look like the easiest option and feature slightly more sophisticated designs.


 


Notch Googles Day!

Notch Ado About Nothing?

Okay I'll stop with the terrible puns.

After mocking Apples notch in the iPhone X last year and then swiftly following suit with thier own notch filled software and hardware, Google, who you think at this point would have learnt a thing or two about mocking their own future features, have an embarrassing problem. Two notches!

Yes that right! Not one but two notches are appearing on some Android devices, which is a fairly disruptive and embarrassing bug.

img_5082.jpg

And...

img_5418-1

The whole idea of notches has been controversial since apple debuted the iPhone X - personally I'm not all that bothered by a notch if it means that the camera is unaffected and there are no compromises, which an all screen display would inevitably involve.

Google have already said they are working on a fix but one can't help but find this amusing nonetheless.


Exploring iOS 12: Screen Time

Screentime: A Wake Up to Tech Addiction

For quite some time now we have all been commenting on the increase in technology addiction and how people using social media and phone apps engage less and less with the “Real” world and those around them. Screen time is out to change that.

Apple have put together the Screen Time app that easily and clearly shows us how much time we are spending on each and activity. Prepare to be shocked by your own habits! It goes one step further than just showing us, it allows us to actually set an allowance of how much time you want to spend in each app each day.

So if your an instagram addict or a facebook fanatic and you want to get some control over how much of your life you invest in these apps you can set your own limits an get warned when you are approaching them.

When you hit your limit you’ll be met with a blank screen with a warning and a button to let you extend your time in the app -which means that any extension of time is an affirmative action by you - so you only have yourself to blame!

We think its a really positive step that, despite at first appearance seems to fly in the face of what a tech company’s normal motivations are, could end up improving Apple’s reputation and bringing back some Humanity to the technology we use.


So what's a HEIF anyway?

HEIF or High Efficiency Image Format is the new format that Apple is going all in on for their devices and products from the release of iOS 11 onwards (any day now). It will replace JPEGS as the standard format for iPhones (which happen to be the most used cameras in the world).

Of course any changes like this tend to cause panic amongst those used to doing things a certain way so we will take a moment to explain what HEIF is and how it will (or won't) affect you.

What is it?

HEIF is actually the still image form of the H.265 video format that is now a go to standard. The biggest advantage to you and me is that a HEIF file will take up roughly half the space of an ordinary JPEG but will actually be higher quality in terms of clarity and colour reproduction. This will mean you will free up a huge amount of space on your iPhone, as it is generally photographs that take up the majority of space on our devices these days, this is particularly useful for those who opted for a 16gb iPhone (I couldn't cope!).

JPEG (Joint Photographic Expert Group) has been around a very long time and significant advances have been made in imaging technology so it seems only right that it should now be replaced with a superior and more efficient format.

So other than space what else can this new format do?

The efficiency of HEIF means that it should also be less taxing on your devices processor and ultimately the battery too. Encoding of the format is hardware accelerated on Apple devices.

The other point is rather than being just a filetype, a HEIF is actually a container. What this means is that it can be more than just a simple image. It can be a collection of images and include sound. If that sounds familiar it should, Apple's Live Photo feature has these elements and this is partly why Apple are choosing this format as it allows them to experiment with photography on their phones with greater flexibility. It can also handle transparency like a GIF file.

The only way is up! Right?

There are no downsides I can think of in using HEIF over JPEG. Currently JPEG is king in the world of photography. Apple has made it clear that when using HEIF in iOS 11 - you won't notice any difference in what you do. The images are taken in HEIF but when you need to send them to someone or upload them somewhere they are dynamically converted to JPEG to ensure complete compatibility.

So you don't need to worry about converting anything or incompatibility. Basically until the rest of the world catches up and switches over, you will benefit from extra space and speed. When the world (and indeed the web) switches over to this format browsing websites will be much faster and that can only a good thing.