To celebrate MAR10 Day (on March 10th, natch), Google and Nintendo added a “Mario mode” to the latest version of Google Maps for iOS and Android. To try it out, search for a destination and tap the Directions button, but instead of tapping Start, tap the question mark block in the lower-right corner and then tap Let’s-A-Go! when prompted. Google Maps changes your navigation marker to Mario in a go-kart. Mario mode will be available only through 17 March 2018, so check it out soon.
The Olympics are upon us once again, so here’s how you can watch them on your Apple devices.
CARROT Weather’s AI would kill you if it could, but since it can’t, it instead provides accurate and attractive weather forecasts. Josh Centers explains why CARROT Weather has become his favorite weather app.
Bored with your treadmill but need to get moving? Mike Matthews looks at three iOS apps that could revitalize your treadmill workouts with gorgeous video scenery and additional features.
On the site Tedium, which promises to surface "stories that maybe fell through the cracks of time," editor Ernie Smith writes about Eudora, the much-missed email app of yesteryear. There's nothing new here, of course, since Qualcomm officially discontinued Eudora over a decade ago, but it's still nice to see acknowledgment of how popular and important Eudora was in this "here today, gone tomorrow" Internet era. Our article about converting email away from Eudora is quoted, and Steve Dorner himself even makes a cameo appearance in the comments.
In the Stupid Apple Tricks department, iMore’s Serenity Caldwell has discovered that it is possible to pair a cellular-capable Apple Watch Series 3 with an Android phone, although she admits that it’s a terrible idea. The process involves tricking the Apple Watch by inserting the SIM from an Android phone into an iPhone, pairing the Apple Watch, and then moving the SIM back to the Android phone. It works, but your Apple Watch will lose many features and have awful battery life. In other words: don’t try this at home.
Want to see how well Siri works when it’s backed up by a full team of video production editors? Apple has produced an amusing “film” with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson in which he manages to use Siri repeatedly while doing everyday made-up movie star stuff. We believe all the actual Siri commands he issues could work, although many would require that the iPhone be unlocked. And when we tried to duplicate his commands, Siri failed to understand our words much of the time. Happily, when Siri misheard “read my last email” as “delete my email,” we learned that Siri isn’t allowed to delete emails. Which is a good thing.
Apple provides some fantastic images for use as Desktop backgrounds and screensavers, but if you like seeing pretty pictures regularly, you’ll get bored with Apple’s tiny collection. Happily, Mac developers have tapped massive Internet photo sites to give you an inexhaustible set of beautiful photos to dress up your Desktop, screensaver, and browser windows.
The Wall Street Journal’s Joanna Stern vowed to live with an original iPhone for a week, but she lasted only 12 hours, as summarized in this amusing video. The original iPhone lacks a front-facing camera, video capture, and Siri, and both performance and battery life were underwhelming. Worst of all, most apps and Web sites don’t work with it anymore. There was a headphone jack, but even then you needed a dongle to use non-Apple headphones. It’s easy to say that technology has advanced considerably since 2007, but it’s also clear that many problems stemmed from a lack of emphasis on backward compatibility. Be sure to watch until the end to see Stern’s helmet cam setup! The article is limited to subscribers, but the video is free for everyone.
Hankering to play Crystal Quest or Lode Runner again, in their original 9-inch black-and-white glory? Thanks to the Internet Archive, you can run dozens of apps for the original Macintosh in your Web browser.
With the W3 Stand for the Apple Watch, Elago has tapped into Apple nostalgia while solving a practical problem: a charging stand that looks like the classic 128K Mac. With a watch positioned sideways within the accessory in Nightstand Mode, users get a geeky bedside clock.
Looking for a simple solution for amplifying your iPhone’s speaker? The Mangobeat is an all-natural amplifier made by an independent craftsman.
Microsoft has created a new experimental chatbot, called Project Murphy, that you converse with via Facebook Messenger, Skype, or Telegram. The image-morphing technology underlying Project Murphy is impressive, but the results can be wonderfully silly since the bot merges the faces in two images to create hypotheticals of personal scenes you describe. For instance, try “What if Oprah were Miss Piggy,” “What if Tim Cook were Superman,” or “What if Steve Jobs were very old?” You can even upload your photo to use in “What if” questions for 10 minutes. Project Murphy is a lot of fun, especially if (like us) you’re not good at image manipulation apps like Photoshop.
Pokémon Go is the phenomenon of the summer, but what the heck is it? Josh Centers explains how the game works and why it’s causing some weird behavior.
Maps are but representations of reality, and how Apple and Google have interpreted that reality has led to surprisingly different representations of it. Justin O’Beirne has started a detailed comparison of the two mapping systems, looking at how each shows cities, roads, and places (points of interest, if you will). O’Beirne is careful not to anoint a winner, but a summary of his findings shows that Apple labels more cities and Google labels more roads. Plus, while the two show a similar number of places, they have only 10 percent of their places in common, thanks to Apple focusing on landmarks and Google prioritizing transit.