Pad & Quill's Timber Catchall is an Apple Watch accessory you'll want to own

Pad & Quill's Timber Catchall is an Apple Watch accessory you'll want to own

It's an exciting time right now, with many new apps and accessories being announced for the Apple Watch. On Thursday, DODOcase introduced the Dual Charging Dock organizer, which uses the company's bookbinding skills to full advantage in a small book-like organizer that holds a Watch charger and other items. Now Pad & Quill has outdone itself and competitors with the Timber Catchall (starting at US$99), a dual iPhone and iWatch charging stand hand crafted from American Cherry, Mahogany ($119), or Walnut ($139).

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Today in the App Store -- Ready Steady Play, Hotel Tonight and more

Today in the App Store -- Ready Steady Play, Hotel Tonight and more

Here are some of the best free apps, app updates and new apps that have landed in the App Store recently. Today's notable apps include a discount on Ready Steady Play, the new Halo: Spartan Strike and a major update to Hotel Tonight. All app prices are USD and subject to change. Some deals may expire quickly, so grab them while you can.

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AWT News Update: April 17, 2015

AWT News Update: April 17, 2015

Thanks for joining us for today's episode of the AWT News Update, now featuring Accessible Apple news provided by our accessibility editor, Alex Jurgensen. In today's news:

  • Canada may be the first country other than the USA to have Apple Pay, if six leading banks agree to terms
  • Two Tulsa roommates stab each other with broken beer bottles during an argument over whether iPhone or Android is the best (we all know that iPhone's the winner) 
  • and there's more!
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Grovemade's Walnut Laptop Stand: Natural beauty

Grovemade's Walnut Laptop Stand: Natural beauty

Portland's Grovemade is one of my personal favorite accessory manufacturers for a lot of reasons. Sure, they make amazing and beautiful accessories that are handcrafted from wood, but the company's entire philosophy of thoughtfulness shows through in every product. The new Walnut Laptop Stand (US$119) is a perfect example of this philosophy, melding laminated walnut veneer, leather, and stainless steel into a graceful, beautiful and functional stand for your favorite MacBook.

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Cheatsheet is a handy utility for iPhone

Cheatsheet is a handy utility for iPhone

iOS developer Christopher Adam Overholtzer is my kindred spirit, and we've never even met. In the press kit for his app Cheatsheet Quick Reference and Notes (universal, free with in-appp purchase), he notes: 

"Cheatsheet was made by Adam Overholtzer, a UX designer and iOS developer living in California. He never remembers his employee ID number."

I was never able to remember my employee ID number, either. Or my wife's PO Box combination. Or where I parked the car. Or where my damn keys are. Fortunately for me, Christopher has done something about that. Here's my look at Cheatsheet for iPhone and iPad.

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Apple Stores to offer "Apple Watch Basics" workshops starting April 24

Apple Stores to offer "Apple Watch Basics" workshops starting April 24

With a week to go until the official launch of the Apple Watch, Apple has updated its retail website to give potential buyers information about a new Apple Watch Basics workshop. The workshop doesn't appear to be something that is currently in the works for every Apple Store, but it's beginning to show up as a Concierge option at selected stores.

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Five things you should do now to prepare for the Apple Watch

Five things you should do now to prepare for the Apple Watch

Apple Watch pre-orders should begin arriving next week with the first deliveries expected on April 24th. Before your package arrives, you should spend some time preparing for the Watch so your first-day experience with it will be smooth sailing. Below are some tips you can do now while you are waiting for the Watch to make its way to your doorstep. Please feel free share any additional tips in the comments below. 

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60-Second Tips: Using Photos for OS X to quickly fix a tarnished photo

60-Second Tips: Using Photos for OS X to quickly fix a tarnished photo

In today’s 60-second tip, we demonstrate how to use the new Photos app in OS X to quickly improve your less-than-perfect images.  I'm using one of my bird photos, which has a white haze as I shot it through the front window of my house. In less than a minute, it will be ready for use in my family's nature journal. 

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AWT News Update: April 16, 2015

AWT News Update: April 16, 2015

A light news day in the world of Apple, but enough to bring you our daily podcast! 

  • Apple releases a supplemental update to OS X 10.10.3 Yosemite
  • Yahoo joins the growing list of developers with apps that will work with Apple Watch
  • There's an auction of a 1976 Apple-1 Computer going on right now for charity
  • A Kickstarter campaign aims at making development of text/video/photo-centric apps as easy as dragging and dropping media
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Apple releases four more Apple Watch Guided Tours; DODOcase announces Dual Charging Dock Organizer

Apple releases four more Apple Watch Guided Tours; DODOcase announces Dual Charging Dock Organizer

Ten days ago we told you about the first of a series of Apple Watch Guided Tours. Now Apple has released four more tour videos, bringing the total to seven.

Added were Guided Tours for Phone Calls, Siri, Maps and Music. I personally found the Phone Calls and Siri demos to be instructive, as it seems logical that voice commands will be the primary input to a wrist-borne device. 

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Kick off National Park Week with these park guides and outdoor adventure apps

Kick off National Park Week with these park guides and outdoor adventure apps

National Park Week starts this weekend with free admission available on April 18th and 19th to visitors at at participating parks. The week-long event is meant to encourage people across the nation to get out and explore their national parks. To help you get up and get out, here is an assortment of park guides and outdoor-focused apps that’ll make your visit memorable. 

 

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Accessible Apple: Apple Watch Try-ons, What You Need to Know If You Require Accessibility Features

Accessible Apple: Apple Watch Try-ons, What You Need to Know If You Require Accessibility Features

Last Friday, I visited my local Apple Store for my 11:30 AM Apple Watch Try-on appointment. During the appointment, I confirmed a few facts that I had previously read about and discovered some new ones. Below is a list of the things you should know before booking your Apple Watch try-on appointment if you are interested in seeing the watch's accessibility features in action:

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Sago Mini Toolbox lets toddlers discover hammers, scissors and more

Children’s app company Sago Sago is known for their “mini” series of apps, which are designed for preschoolers and include colorful and playful themes. This trend is continued in the company’s latest title - Sago Mini Toolbox, which debuted today in the iOS App Store.

As its name implies, Sago Mini Toolbox has a building theme that allows children to explore tools such as hammers, saws, rulers and scissors. The app has a “making” philosophy that encourages kids to pick a tool and build (or saw, or drill) something with it.

Like most Sago apps, the user interface is simple for younger children to understand. My 3-year-old son immediately knew how to start in on a building project, and the app provided the right tools for him to use. He also had no problem completing the task thanks to the kid-friendly graphics and controls.

The one thing I love about these types of apps is that they achieve a nice balance between entertainment and education. Though I may be using them to engage my child while I am at a doctor’s appointment, I don’t feel so bad about that parenting choice as they are learning in the process. They aren’t just playing a mindless game with heavy advertising.

My only critique of Sago Mini Toolbox is that the projects are fairly scripted — you saw, drill or hammer where the app indicates. This is useful as it keeps young children on task with achievable goals, but it does take away some of the creativity and free-form exploration that an older toddler would enjoy. It would be nice to have a series of scripted projects, along with a few exploration areas that allow children to choose any tool they want.

Sago Mini Toolbox is available for $2.99 in the iOS App Store. It is geared for the pre-school set who can utilize the simple controls and appreciate the repetition of the tasks. The app also is very kid-safe with no in-app purchases or advertising.