Regret not ponying up for that OnStar subscription for your last car? A startup called Automatic promises to provide most of those features (and a few extra) with an iPhone app and a hardware dongle that plugs into your car’s diagnostics port.
The device performs diagnostics, lets you turn off your “Service Engine” light, provides fuel-saving tips based on your driving habits, remembers where you park (and where you drove), calls for help in an accident and more.
The device (expected to ship in August) costs a one-time fee of $69 and connects to a companion iPhone app via Bluetooth. (An Android version is planned; Windows Phone and Blackberry users are out of luck.) The company says it works with virtually every gasoline-powered car sold in the U.S. since 1996.
If Automatic lives up to its promise, it could be huge. More information, including a link to pre-order, is on the company’s website.
Here’s Automatic’s promo video:
On the 10th anniversary of the iTunes Music Store, we thought it would be fun to turn back the clock and take a look at how we covered Steve Jobs’ introduction of the service. The event also introduced iTunes version 4 and the third generation iPods, with what turned out to be a short-lived redesign and a capacity of up to 30GB — “up to 7,500 CD-quality songs,” according to Jobs, in an analogy that might not have much meaning for today’s music buyers.
Read on for our “as-it-happened-coverage” of the birth of a music industry sea change.
My apologies for the site outage over the last couple of days, especially to those who were looking for the slides from my Macworld/iWorld session. (They’re here by the way.) We moved to a new server and due to an unfortunate typo (damn you, Mountain Lion autocorrect!) the site was unreachable and it took a little while to track down the problem.
If you’re reading this, all should be well in the domain name server department, and I’m happy to report that the new site seems “wicked fast” so far. I’m using a very minimalistic theme at the moment, although you expect some modifications over the next several weeks.
Please let me know if you have any issues navigating the site, and thanks for your patience.
I’ll be making a few appearances at this year’s Macworld/iWorld Conference in San Francisco next week. I always love meeting readers/listeners, so if you spot me, please take a minute to say hi.
Here’s where I’ll be:
- Thursday, Jan. 31st, 1-1:45: TT803: Tech vs. Wild: Surviving Your Next Campout (and Other Natural Disasters) with High Tech Gear
- Friday, February 1st, 3-3:45: TT843: iTravel Well: Troubleshooting Your Tech Travel
- Friday, February 1st, 9PM-?: Cirque du Mac featuring the Macworld All-Star Band (If you see me on the show floor, ask — I may have a ticket or two.)
Going to Macworld/iWorld? I’ve got one Free iFan Pass to give away (a $100 value), courtesy of the kind folks at IDG. First reader to claim it, gets it. Send a DM to me on Twitter: @ChuckLaTournous.
[Update: The pass has been claimed; thanks to all for your interest. For those who didn't get the free iFan pass, I'll have a link for 1/2 price iFan passes and free Expo Only passes soon. Stay tuned.]
[Update 2: Use the link below a free Expo Only Pass or a $50.00 iFan pass (that's 1/2 off): https://2013.macworldiworld.com/portal/registration/mwspeo13]
I don’t usually publish CES news, but I’m pretty excited about IK Multimedia’s “iRig HD,” the next generation of its iOS (and now Mac) interface for guitars and basses. I use the original iRig all the time (currently to practice for the upcoming Macworld All-Stars appearance at Cirque du Mac.)
IK Multimedia unveiled the “HD” version of its popular guitar interface at CES, and today announced it earned an iLounge Best of Show award.
The original iRig connected to iOS devices through their microphone/headphone jack. The iRig HD connects in a variety of ways: through the 30-pin or Lightning connector on iOS devices and now through USB on your Mac. Going through the dock connector promises a higher quality digital signal — a promise I look forward to testing. It also adds a pre-amp gain control, which should alleviate one of the very few shortcomings of the original version. Like its predecessor, the iRig HD uses a free companion app to act as a virtual amplifier. Additional amps, stomp boxes and other effects can be added as in-app purchases.
Here’s how IK Multimedia describes it the iRig HD:
iRig HD is a high-quality digital guitar/bass/instrument interface that allows users to plug their guitar or bass into their iPhone, iPad, iPod touch or Mac. It can be used with the AmpliTube range of guitar amps/effects apps and software or any other real-time processing app/software, like GarageBand and more. Using AmpliTube, users can play with the sound of their favorite amplifiers and effects, record their performance and compose entire songs, everywhere. iRig HD features crystal clear digital signal thanks to its superior 24 bit converter, an onboard gain control for perfect level setting, a low power consumption circuit for longer device battery life, plus an ultra-slim design and interchangeable adapter cables for maximum portability and universal compatibility.
The iRig HD is scheduled to be available in the spring; pricing has not yet been announced, but according to reports from CES it will carry a $99 price tag. Look for a full review on The Mac Observer as soon as I’m able to test it.