We’re getting very close to rolling out the new TidBITS infrastructure, and Adam Engst provides a heads-up on the timing and a sneak peek at the new look. In other Apple-related announcements this week, Apple has announced a surprise education event for March 27th and revealed the early June dates for this year’s Worldwide Developers Conference. Returning to more practical topics, Adam reviews Twelve South’s PencilSnap, which helps keep your Apple Pencil where you can find it, and Julio Ojeda-Zapata digs deep comparing the HomePod’s smarts against competition from Amazon and Google. Notable software releases this week include OmniFocus 2.12.1, Retrospect 15.0, Microsoft Office 2016 16.11, and Slack for Mac 3.1.
This is just a heads-up that we’ll be transitioning everything — Web site, mailing list, commenting system, membership system, and more — to new servers in a few weeks.
Apple has announced an education-focused event to be held at the end of March, at a Chicago high school. You might not want to buy an iPad or MacBook Air between now and then.
Apple has announced WWDC 2018 dates and that the location will remain in San Jose. If you’re interested in attending, get your name in the lottery by March 22nd.
If you’ve been perturbed by how easy it to damage or lose the iPad Pro’s Apple Pencil, check out Twelve South’s PencilSnap. It’s a $29 leather case that holds the Apple Pencil snugly and attaches to the iPad Pro’s Smart Cover or Smart Keyboard with hidden magnets.
Not every HomePod owner is a music addict, and even those who are will likely want their speakers to do other stuff. Julio Ojeda-Zapata has explored ways to tap the HomePod and Siri for information consumption, personal management, and other uses. For context, he compares the HomePod’s capabilities and Siri performance to equivalent features in competing Amazon Echo and Google Home smart speakers.
Notable software releases this week include OmniFocus 2.12.1, Retrospect 15.0, Microsoft Office 2016 16.11, and Slack for Mac 3.1.
We have only one ExtraBIT this week, in which analyst Ben Thompson explains why the United States blocking Broadcom’s acquisition of Qualcomm might be a good thing.