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Thursday October 30

09:35
Hands On: WaterField Outback Slip Case for iPad Air 2

iPad cases are built not only to suit a wide range of uses but a wide range of incomes, and both of those factors come into play with one of WaterField's first products for the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3, the Outback Slip Case. On a functional level it's relatively straightforward: it's a cushioned sleeve that you slide an iPad into. WaterField makes four variants, split between the Air and the Mini, and whether you want one sized to accommodate a Smart Cover as well. We tested the Air 2/Smart Cover edition....



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09:30
How Apple Pay handles a canceled credit card

Apple Pay is easy, convenient, and instantly popular enough that its rivals are already trying to kill it through collusion. Of course that's when you're making purchases. How easy is it to deal with things like canceled credit cards? Apparently,...

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08:50
Apps: OmniOutliner, MacFamilyTree, Tower
08:36
Microsoft Joins the Fitness Tracking Game with...

Microsoft is hoping to grab a slice of the fitness tracking market with its new Microsoft Band. The new fitness tracker packs in sensors for tracking steps, heart rate, UV light levels, and more.

The Mac Observer Spin: Microsoft's best bet for competing against the Apple Watch is an early release, which is exactly what happened. Microsoft Band has a cool mix of sensors and longer battery life than Apple's smartwatch, plus a lower price point, and it's available now. Still, it isn't Apple Watch, so it'll be interesting to see how well it sells since so many people are holding out for some Apple kit on their wrist.


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08:30
IHS teardown: Apple nets $224 on each 16GB WiFi iPad...

Despite its upgrade, the iPad Air 2 shares a nearly similar bill of materials as its predecessor, claims IHS following its teardown analysis of Apple's latest tablet device. According to the analysis, the entry-level $499 16GB WiFi-Only iPad Air 2...

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08:26
AT&T admits to testing “unique tracker” on...

This isn’t the best news.

According to Forbes, wireless carriers Verizon and AT&T have ceded that they’re tagging their customers with unique codes that are visible to third parties, making smartphone users far easier to track on the Web than they’ve ever been before, targeted advertising being that much easier to create as a result of this. After the findings by researchers, AT&T admitted it’s “testing” a new way of tracking its customers for ad display purposes.

“There’s nothing ready to announce,” said AT&T spokesperson Mark Siegel. “We’re still testing.”

But that means, yes, AT&T customers are being tagged by AT&T in a way that’s visible to the websites they visit, but AT&T says it’s building in what...

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08:22
Trade-in service Gazelle begins selling certified...

Gazelle has long been a popular choice for conveniently turning a used iPhone or iPad into cash, and today the electronics trade-in service announced its own certified pre-owned store for buying “gently used devices” at a discounted price. While the pre-owned store lists categories including iPhone, cell phones, iPads, and tablets, Gazelle inventory is currently limited to pre-owned Apple devices including iPhone 4 and up, iPad 2 and up, and iPad mini.

The benefits of Gazelle’s certified pre-owned devices include a “30-point...

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08:14
Apple’s market-leading tablet share falls to 22%...

Worldwide unit shipments for the top 5 tablet plus 2-in-1 device vendors over last five quarters

New data from IDC tracking worldwide tablet shipments shows that Apple has maintained its lead during the third quarter despite “a decline in overall iPad shipment volume in 3Q14.” Specifically, Apple grabbed 22.8% of the market with 12.3 million shipments during the quarter compared to 14.1 million units and 29.2% share in the year ago quarter. That compares to Samsung at 18.3% of the market and 9.9 million units shipped up from 19.3% and 9.3 million units shipped in the third quarter last year:

Apple, during its earnings call, noted...

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08:11
Apple Pay fans tears down CurrentC’s App Store...

The most recent volley in the NFC payment war between Apple Pay and the MCX consortium’s CurrentC mobile payment service has been fired.

And it has a lot to do with app reviews.

Per 9to5Mac, a number of users have expressed their displeasure with the CurrentC app, at the time of writing, the app having accumulated 2,856 1-star reviews against a total of just 30 reviews giving it 2 stars or more …

The movement to boycott merchants who are members of the MCX consortium also seems to be growing in popularity, gaining a Boycott MCX website with a full list of members. When you click on the name of a consortium member (CVS Pharmacy in the example shown below), a list of competing stores who accept or plan to accept...

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08:10
Review: Uniq Bodycon, LifePro, and Helio for iPhone...

Bodycon for both iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus can be directly compared to Switcheasy’s 0.35 case for iPhone 6. As in the case of the similarly-priced 0.35, the even thinner Bodycon — just .3 mm thick — has no button coverage and offers very little drop protection. Helio for iPhone 6 makes no bones about being an artificial leather case, and its low price reflects that. Unlike Bodycon, the volume controls and sleep/wake button are covered here.…

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08:00
Scare your neighbors with a spooky Halloween network...

Spoooooooky!

Earlier today, Ars IT editor Sean Gallagher was doing some scary things with wireless when he discovered someone probing for a Wi-Fi network with a name that appeared to be something un-parseable. I theorized that it was actually something in Unicode that Wireshark wasn't parsing properly. "So someone has a Unicode SSID?" Gallagher asked, incredulous.


That's the strangest SSID I've ever seen. Sean Gallagher

I was inspired. I wanted a Unicode SSID—one that could match the season and give my network name a seasonal gothic flare. So I set out to see if I could do it with my own Wi-Fi network. While I was successful, the effect may be lost on Windows users and others on devices that can't handle Unicode characters...

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08:00
Logitech updates Type+, Ultrathin keyboards for iPad...

Logitech quickly updated its Type+ and Ultrathin Bluetooth keyboards for the new iPad Air 2, and has also announced a new standalone keyboard for any and all iOS devices -- the US$69.99 Keys-To-Go (see image above).

The Keys-To-Go uses Logitech's...

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07:51
NXP hopes Apple's adoption of NFC will...

Chipmaker NXP, which is believed to supply the near-field communications chips found in the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, hopes automakers will adopt its technology, potentially enabling future car owners to unlock and even start their car with their smartphone.

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07:50
Meijer is first MCX member to break ranks,...

While CurrentC consortium MCX’s contracts state that members cannot accept competing forms of mobile payment, Midwest grocery chain Meijer appears to be the first member to break ranks by continuing to allow NFC payment – including Apple Pay.

Michigan Live quotes spokesman Frank Guglielmi as saying that the chain’s 213 grocery and gas outlets have no plans to block Apple Pay.

We have had the technology in our stores to accept mobile wallets for several years now. If a customer has Apple Pay capability, our hardware works with it [...] We don’t plan to remove or disable these systems.

Meijer is currently shown on both Apple Pay and MCX websites:

...

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07:30
Apple Pay vs. CurrentC: Prelude to the Beacon Wars


The current dustup between Apple Pay and CurrentC is a stark, bleak mess. That's not because Apple promises an easier, more secure way of making a smartphone-based retail transaction. Nor is it because CurrentC wants to harvest data on you and provide behavior-bending coupons, incentives and special deals, while cutting out the middleman credit card processing industry. It gets worse. Paying by smartphone -- which seems like a new and cool convenience -- is just the start of an unavoidable new in-person retail experience.

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07:30
Remind yourself to get things done with Air Tasks

Air Tasks is a free gesture-based app for the iPad or iPhone that's perfect for those of you who take a minimalist approach to your to-do list.

In the sea of productivity apps in the App Store, Air Tasks gestures are the only thing that make the app...

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07:27
Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks out: ‘I’m proud to be gay’

Apple CEO Tim Cook on Thursday published a moving essay in Bloomberg Businessweek in which he publicly announced for the first time that he is gay. Cook is the first CEO of a Fortune 500 company to publicly come out.

Cook is famously private and said he doesn’t think of himself as an activist, but decided to speak out to help others.

“If hearing that the CEO of Apple is gay can help someone struggling to come to terms with who he or she is, or bring comfort to anyone who feels alone, or inspire people to insist on their equality, then it’s worth the trade-off with my own privacy,” Cook wrote.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

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07:25
Apple CEO Tim Cook comes out as gay in new essay

Apple CEO Tim Cook has come out as gay in a new essay written for Bloomberg Businessweek. Although the fact has been widely known for some time, Cook has never before stated it publicly. He says that he is "proud to be gay," but admits that it "wasn't an easy choice" to come out. "Privacy remains important to me, and I'd like to hold on to a small amount of it," the essay reads later on. "I've made Apple my life's work, and I will continue to spend virtually all of my waking time focused on being the best CEO I can be. That's what our employees deserve - and our customers, developers, sharehol...



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07:01
Apple CEO Tim Cook writes “I’m proud to be gay”

Apple CEO Tim Cook speaking during a September 2012 media event.

Nathan Mattise / Ars Technica

After years of speculation and debate about the seemingly open secret of Apple CEO Tim Cook's sexuality, Cook himself finally addressed the matter in an editorial in Bloomberg Businessweek Thursday. "I’ve come to realize that my desire for personal privacy has been holding me back from doing something more important. That’s what has led me to today," Cook wrote.

"While I have never denied my sexuality, I haven’t publicly acknowledged it either, until now. So let me be clear: I’m proud to be gay, and I consider being gay among the greatest gifts God has given me."

Cook had long been a focal point in discussions about powerful...

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06:54
External Link: Apple CEO Tim Cook: “I’m proud to be...

In a first-person piece posted on Bloomberg Businessweek, Apple CEO Tim Cook writes, “While I have never denied my sexuality, I haven’t publicly acknowledged it either, until now. So let me be clear: I’m proud to be gay.” He goes on to explain why he decided to make this fact public. “I don’t consider myself an activist, but I realize how much I’ve benefited from the sacrifice of others. So if hearing that the CEO of Apple is gay can help someone struggling to come to terms with who he or she is, or bring comfort to anyone who feels alone, or inspire people to insist on their equality, then it’s worth the trade-off with my own privacy.” Apple has been a supporter of gay rights long before Cook joined the company, offering benefits to domestic partners of gay employees as far back as 1993. Back then, county commissioners in Williamson County, Texas (just outside Austin) rejected Apple’s request for a $750,000 tax rebate when building an $80 million business park purely because of...

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06:49
Skype for iPhone gets save/delete photos feature,...

Following an update to version 7.1 for Mac yesterday, today Skype for iPhone is getting its own update that brings a few highly requested new features.

First up, version 5.7 of Skype for iPhone introduces the ability to save and delete photos: If you want to save a memorable photo to your camera roll or delete a sent photo from a chat, simply press and hold the image and the options will appear.

Also new in the updated app is much improved performance, according to Skype, including faster chat load times especially when entering a chat through notifications: Now when you receive a notification and tap it to open the app, the message will be there waiting for you without any delays.

Skype is also making...

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06:37
News: Tim Cook: ‘I’m proud to be gay’

Apple CEO Tim Cook has published an essay on equality in Bloomberg Businessweek, in which he publicly acknowledges that he is gay in an effort to help others who may be struggling with issues of inequality or coming to terms with their own sexual orientation. Cook notes that while he has been open about his sexuality to many of his colleagues, and has never denied his sexuality, he has yet to acknowledge it publicly until now. Cook states outright,…

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06:26
Spotify brings iPad app in line with iPhone &...

Spotify has belatedly brought its iPad app in line with the dark-themed iPhone and Mac apps, also adding in the Your Music feature which made it easier to organise your favourite content.

The iPhone and Mac apps got the same update way back in April, and it’s unclear why it’s taken the iPad app so long to catch up.

Spotify is a free download from iTunes.

Filed under: Apps Tagged: Spotify, Spotify app ...

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06:15
Daily Deal: Slickwraps For iPhone 6, $13.99

Today in iLounge Deals you can pick your own customized Slickwrap for your iPhone 6 for only $13.99—almost 40% off the regular price. With a choice of over 35 different colour and texture options from solid colours to wood grain and more, Slickwraps lets you customize the look of your iPhone to fit your own personal style. Made from ultra-thin, commercial grade vinyl, Slickwraps are tough enough to protect your iPhone from minor scratches and…

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06:00
ProShot is a worthy addition to your app collection

ProShot (free) has been a big hit on Windows Phones, but was missing from the App Store. It's no longer absent from the iOS world, and it launches with a barrel of useful features that give your iPhone capabilities similar to a serious...

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05:53
A tale of three companies

The quarterly mobile sales numbers from IDC are out and here’s what they say about the top three mobile phone companies.

∞ Read this on The Loop

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05:38
Hands On: Pandemic 2.5 (iOS)

How many games actually allow a player to play as something truly terrible? Sure, there are a lot of games that let players choose the "wrong" choice, but where are the games that let you wreak total havoc? Pandemic 2.5, the successor to the popular flash game Pandemic 2, will. This devious little gem allows players to create a custom disease from the ground up, which serves to help them eradicate the human race. The game manages to be part resource management, part chance, and part outwit-the-AI, and can be profoundly frustrating....



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05:30
Gro Book knows no bounds

Educate children about the three Rs: reduce, reuse and recycle with Gro Book, a US$3.99 universal book app about making responsible choices. Imaginative stories are told, in 24 different ways, by Sophie the Sweater, in this wonderfully illustrated...

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05:20
'I'm proud to be gay,' Apple CEO Tim...

Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook published a letter on Thursday revealing that while it wasn't an "easy choice," he's decided to publicly announce that he is "proud to be gay," and that it has given him perspective on what it means to be a minority.

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05:17
Tim Cook speaks up

Tim Cook posted an essay in Bloomberg Businessweek this morning saying, in a nutshell, that he’s proud to be gay and felt it was important to make this public statement.

∞ Read this on The Loop

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05:03
‘Third-generation’ Flipboard iOS app gets redesign,...

The popular Flipboard app has received a significant upgrade in version 3.0, in what the company is describing as “the most personal and most magazine-like experience we’ve ever built.”

In addition to a slicker interface, users are now presented with top-level topics that drill down into increasingly specific ones (for example, from Technology to iPhone). In all, there are more than 30,000 topics … 

The app is also for the first time adding content curated by Flipboard to that created by users, through a magazine known as The Daily Edition.

... | Read more »
04:30
Tim Cook comes out: "I'm proud to be gay...

In a Bloomberg BusinessWeek essay published this morning, Apple CEO Tim Cook affirmed that he is gay, something that had long been spoken of quietly within the tech community (and sometimes accidentally in the mainstream media). In his own...

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04:25
Apple Pay fans express displeasure at MCX in app...

While the MCX consortium’s CurrentC mobile payment service isn’t due to launch until next year, it has been carrying out limited trials, facilitated by placing the app in the iTunes store. iPhone owners have been expressing their displeasure at the blocking of Apple Pay by MCX members by rating and reviewing the app.

At the time of writing, the app had accumulated 2,856 1-star reviews against a total of just 30 reviews giving it 2 stars or more … 

The movement to...

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04:18
Tim Cook officially comes out as gay in public essay...

In an essay published on Bloomberg’s website, Apple CEO Tim Cook has publicly come out as gay. Although his sexuality wasn’t really a secret, this is the first time he has officially confirmed his sexual orientation. Cook says he has relaxed this aspect of privacy to help others as part of Apple’s efforts against discrimination. The essay can be read in full at Bloomberg.

At the same time, I believe deeply in the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, who said: “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’ ” I often challenge myself with that question, and I’ve come to realize that my desire for personal privacy has been holding me back from doing something more important. That’s what has led me to today.

...

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03:26
How Newsstand failed The Magazine, and what Apple...

Apple’s Newsstand was introduced with iOS 5 as a place for apps designed to deliver content in the form of a periodical—whether continuously as new articles or in the form or regularly produced issues—to gain superpowers. A Newsstand app could change its cover each issue, update images on demand in the App Store, automatically download content in the background, and have a free trial period.

Then, after some fanfare, and major publications adopting the Newsstand format, emphasized on the iPad but available on the iPhone and iPod touch as well, Apple more or less left it to rot. In iOS 7, they hid the embarrassment of the tumbleweeds surrounding Newsstand by removing the tiny cover previews that used to dot the skeumorphic interior, making it a flat, unchanging icon, while turning the special...

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03:03
Take the pain out of two-factor authentication with...

I’ve been stressing two-factor authentication (2FA), or two-step verification, in my early columns here at Private I, because I believe most people avoid using this extra protection for their accounts due to the fuss and management, and may think it will lock them out of access or require an extra step when it’s unnecessary.

But 2FA isn’t an obstacle course with bottomless pits. It’s more like a flu vaccination. If you’re not feeling ill and aren’t worried about getting sick, you might skip the innoculation. That does you a fat lot of good when you’re laid up for two weeks with aches and fevers with one of the strains covered by the current shot—and you’ve infected all your coworkers.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

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Wednesday October 29

22:44
Apple, Samsung still tops in smartphone market, but...

A new report from IDC again places Apple and Samsung at the top of the heap for smartphone manufacturers as it has for years now -- but there is nonetheless notable change in the air. Samsung saw a significant drop in shipments for its smartphones, dropping 8.5 percent from the year-ago quarter. Apple, in second place, saw a 16.1 percent increase in shipments. Though Samsung was dominant with 78.1 million units shipped, a new challenger from China is beating the Korean company on its home turf of low-end smartphones....



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21:58
Android Wear Devices won’t be iOS or Mac compatible...

Google invited us to check out their new line of Nexus products running Lollipop earlier today.   The Motorola Nexus 6 is about the size of the iPhone 6 Plus with a slightly bigger screen and thicker/heavier profile. On the other hand, the HTC Nexus 9 is smaller than the iPad Air with a 9-inch display and stereo speakers. Both run Android 5.0 Lollipop which has a new Material Design. The new products will go up against Apple’s iOS devices for global electronics consumers’ holiday shopping money.

However, one set of devices won’t be competing for Apple users’ shopping dollars. An Android Wear project manager told me that there were no current plans to make Android...

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21:19
Samsung, Apple retain global smartphone lead in Q3...

The global smartphone market grew 25 percent year-over-year during the third quarter of 2014, according to research firm IDC, with Apple seeing moderate gains and Samsung posting the only loss in shipment volume out of the top five manufacturers.

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20:12
Microsoft Band fitness tracker leaks through...

Microsoft's rumored wearable device has appeared earlier than expected, leaked within a companion app on the Mac App Store. The Microsoft Band is, as rumored, a device with a thin display similar to the Samsung Gear Fit, with the accompanying app screenshots showing it will apparently be capable of a similar level of monitoring of the user's actions as other fitness trackers....



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19:44
Hands On: PicTrove 2 Pro (iOS)

PicTrove 2 Pro is an app that has taken the time-intensive act of image-searching on the web and streamlined it. Users are able to search multiple websites, including Google, Bing, Flickr, Pinterest, and more all at once, and compare them side-by-side. Tapping and swiping through allows a user to browse images one at a time from a specific search site. There is also the ability to refine searches per site, allowing a user to specify whether they would like photographs or clipart, or decide on the size or quality of the image. Even animated GIFs are fully supported within PicTrove 2 Pro....



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19:32
The Long and Winding Road to Shellshock Recovery


Four days after the Shellshock vulnerability was disclosed, Incapsula's Web application firewall deflected more than 217,000 attempted exploits on more than 4,100 domains. The company recorded upwards of 1,970 attacks per hour, from more than 890 IPs around the world. Shellshock was expected to be far worse than the Heartbleed flaw, which was expected to impact about 17 percent of the secure Web servers worldwide. That added up to about 500,000 servers. That's because Shellshock lets the hacker take over -- whereas Heartbleed did not.

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19:12
Samsung suffered a 73.9% drop in Q3 mobile profits...

Samsung Electronics reported overall Q3 operating profits of 4.06 trillion won ($3.8 billion)--a 60 percent year-over-year drop--while its Mobile division suffered a 73.9 percent drop in profits.

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19:00
Today in the App Store -- the best free apps, new...

Here are some of the best free apps, app updates and new apps that have landed in the App Store recently. All app prices are USD and subject to change. Some deals may expire quickly, so grab them while you can.

Apps Now Free

DropTask - Visual To-Do...

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18:37
MCX Holds Press Conference, Does Itself No Favors

MCX, the group behind CurrentC, held a press conference today to clear up misconceptions about the group and its agreements. It also had to discuss a data breach, and didn't do a very good job at addressing any of those things. Kelly explains what happened, and what she'd do instead.

The Mac Observer Spin: #lolcurrentc


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18:22
Microsoft inadvertently leaks 'Band'...

Microsoft's rumored wearable fitness tracker was inadvertently leaked online Wednesday when the company's first-party syncing app was posted to Apple's Mac App Store, disclosing a few key features of the unannounced device.

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18:01
GT Advanced CEO tells court Apple contracts were...

Daniel Squiller, the COO of GT Advanced Technologies who was among those slowly selling off his holdings in company over the course of 2014, has told the bankruptcy court that the company lost $461 million before it finally filed for bankruptcy, which he characterized as a last-resort measure to get out of "unsustainable" contracts with Apple. Squiller painted a picture that claimed that GT Advanced assumed all the risk in their joint venture, while Apple took none....



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18:00
Daily Deals for October 29, 2014, featuring Freebie...

It's time to save some of that hard-earned cash with our Daily Deals, featuring exclusive TUAW Deals, a handy list from Dealnews and our own handpicked iOS and OS X selections.

All prices are USD and subject to change. Some deals may expire quickly....

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17:44
Microsoft outs upcoming fitness ‘Band’ with...

Update: Microsoft has now announced the Microsoft Band, a $199 fitness band that does everything described below. It goes on sale Thursday.

Microsoft hasn’t officially announced its wearable device, but it seems the company has accidentally published its desktop syncing client to the Mac App Store early. Whoops. The...

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17:23
Skype updated to version 7.1 with support for OS X...

Skype has been updated to support the newly released OS X Yosemite and fix several issues. It is now easier to copy a link in a group chat, or leave the conversation. A few crashes related to video calls and searching have been addressed as well. You can grab the update from the Skype website.

Version 7 was recently released with a redesigned interface and other changes.

 

Filed under: ...

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17:09
Apple in early talks to sell iPhone in Iran, report...

Almost one year after the U.S. began to loosen sanctions on exports to Iran, Apple is reportedly in early stage talks with distributors to start official sales of its products in the country.

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16:35
Class-action suit alleges 2011 Apple MacBook Pros...

Some 2011 MacBook Pros with AMD GPUs are experiencing graphical corruption issues.

Apple Support Communities poster abelliveau

Last week three men filed a class action lawsuit in Northern California District Court alleging that Apple's 2011 MacBook Pro laptops were defective and that Apple did not take proper steps to compensate customers whose hardware broke.

The lawsuit specifically addresses 15” and 17” MacBook Pros from 2011, which the plaintiffs claim suffered from “random bouts of graphical distortion, system instability, and system failures.” The plaintiffs also assert that the problem is widespread, with an online survey conducted by the plaintiffs receiving over 3,000 responses from 2011 MacBook Pro owners in a single week.

In the...

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16:30
ACM 278: Apple is the New Microsoft and Thinking...

Apple is the dominant force in several markets, so does that make the company the new Microsoft? Jeff and Bryan dive into how Apple of today compares to Microsoft from the 1990s, and whether or not competing platforms have a chance against Apple Pay and HealthKit. They also look at a cool iPhone interface concept based on the Apple Watch.


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16:30
Check out HelloTel when you check in to your hotel

HelloTel is a brand new social networking app. This app allows users to "check-in" to a hotel much like a user would check-in on location based apps like Foursquare. The user is then also able to see nearby users who have checked into their hotel as...

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16:00
Making music on the Mac with GForce M-Tron Pro synth

The M-Tron Pro (approx. US$225) is a software-based Mellotron emulator synth, available for Mac as stand-alone or as a plug-in with Logic, GarageBand, Pro Tools, and a host of other music apps. It's made by UK-based developer GForce...

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15:43
Apple: Widgets Can’t Calculate, Orders Featured...

Apple featured PCalc as an iOS 8 app with a neat calculator widget. Apple then told developer James Thomson he had to pull the app. Because it has a calculator widget.

The Mac Observer Spin: This is a disappointment on a number of fronts. But we're used to it because Apple's kind of on a bad PR hot streak at the moment, and it reminds us of the bad old days of specious App Store rejections.


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15:30
Tilt to Live: Gauntlet's Revenge features...

Tilt to Live: Gauntlet's Revenge is another entry in the Tilt to Live game series. This time, the arrow travels through a side-scrolling obstacle course picking up pointonium as it goes along. The three main courses are filled with spiked walls, fire...

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15:23
Developers of PCalc, Nomi run afoul of Apple's...

Apple's platform policies for iOS, OS X and their respective App Stores have occasionally irked developers or even wildly disrupted their businesses. The latest collision involves a retroactive ban on widget calculators and tightened WiFi privacy rules for iOS, as Apple issues new rules for apps using Apple Pay and TestFlight.

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15:22
That neck beard freaks me out

Much respect to all the participants of the 2014 World Beard and Mustache Championships. But holy shit, that neck beard is scary as shit.

∞ Read this on The Loop

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15:14
Everything you think you know about the news is...

It’s fascinating to see that people in different parts of the world get things so wrong about their own country.

∞ Read this on The Loop

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15:10
CurrentC CEO, COO field questions about data breach...

CurrentC governing company Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX) held a conference call a bit earlier today. The company's lead executives took turns defending the company against some claims related to fines for merchants abandoning CurrentC, and also tried to explain away the email data breach it had suffered....



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15:07
BlackBerry hopes to rekindle sales by reintroducing...

Hoping to strike a chord with old school BlackBerry users, the not quite dead company on Wednesday teased a new device called BlackBerry Classic, which appears to be a modern take on the seminal BlackBerry Bold.

| Read more »
15:00
Sumptus: Using natural language input to easily...

The best way to stay on a budget is to keep a running log of your expenses; that (and taxation entities like the IRS) is why so many companies require their employees to keep detailed records of exactly what they spend. But many of the expense...

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14:56
Logitech debuts new Type+, Ultrathin, Keys-To-Go...

Logitech has announced a trio of new iPad keyboard accessories, beginning with updates of its Type+ and Ultrathin cases for the iPad Air 2. The Type+ is a thin folio design, with features such as automatic wake/sleep magnets for both an iPad and the keyboard itself. It costs $100, and comes in black, blue, green, or purple, with extra "synthetic" versions of the first two colors....



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14:42
9to5Toys Last Call: the thinnest iPhone 6/Plus cases...

Be sure to follow 9to5Toys to keep up with the best gear and deals on the web: TwitterRSS FeedFacebookGoogle+ and Safari push notifications.

Today’s can’t miss deals:

The thinnest iPhone 6/Plus cases we’ve found so far and some that are just thick enough to prevent ‘camera wobble’

Blue Microphones Snowball USB mic for Mac/PC/iPad (w/ adapter)...

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14:27
MCX CEO calls CurrentC exclusivity fines '...

During a press conference on Wednesday, MCX CEO Dekkers Davidson responded to criticism of the retail consortium's CurrentC system, saying merchant fines for using other payment solutions are untrue.

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14:22
CurrentC won’t let email hack delay launch as it...

People interested in checking out CurrentC, the mobile payment app from a retailers group that includes Walmart, Best Buy, and other major brands, signed up for the app’s email list to get advance news about the launch. But that email list was hacked on Tuesday, leaking the addresses of a slew of early CurrentC testers. The news couldn’t come at a worse time for the app, which has incurred the wrath of Apple Pay fans before its public debut.

Merchant Customer Exchange, the retail group behind CurrentC, sent emails to the affected users and disclosed the hack in a Wednesday blog post. On a conference call with reporters, MCX CEO Dekkers Davidson said the attack was perpetrated on its email provider, which he declined to name, and said MCX’s systems have fended off a slew of more serious hacking attempts in the last week.

...

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14:00
A tribute to the iPod Classic -- RIP, old friend

The iPod Classic, the standard for portable music for over a decade, has been discontinued due to a lack of availability of the parts needed to make it. While current generations exist, each with their own features that make them unique in their own...

| Read more »
13:56
iOS 8 apps with calculator widgets blocked from App...

Apple has forced the developer of PCalc, James Thomson, to remove an iOS 8 Notification Center widget that let people do calculations without opening the app. The decision is an apparently sudden reversal, given that the app was previously approved with the widget intact. PCalc has been featured in several sections of the App Store, such as "Great Apps and Games for iOS 8," and even "Extend Your Apps," which focuses on software with unusual widgets....



| Read more »
13:55
News: AT&T and Verizon tracking customer web...

New reports reveal that both AT&T and Verizon have been using unique identifying information to track web activity for their respective mobile customers. According to Wired, Verizon has been “subtly altering” web traffic from its wireless customers for the past two years in order to insert a unique identifier header, or UIDH, that allows the company to identify users on the web and target its Internet advertising. This “perma-cookie”…

| Read more »
13:44
HP May Sprout New Manufacturing Techniques


HP on Wednesday announced its Blended Reality ecosystem, consisting of HP Multi Jet Fusion, an advanced 3D printer; and Sprout by HP -- a combination scanner, depth sensor, high-res camera and projector that provides 3D images of items and enables real-time remote collaboration. The ecosystem might revolutionize manufacturing, sharply reducing the design-to-prototype cycle and making it easy to customize products. It also might let individual entrepreneurs -- the traditional backyard shops -- carve a niche for themselves in the market.

| Read more »
13:42
Review: Trident Case Aegis, Cyclops, Kraken A.M.S...

Aegis, like a lot of rubber and plastic iPhone 6 cases we’ve seen so far, may spook users when inserting the iPhone for a correct fit. This is even a bit more troublesome than most in that regard, however. The case’s rubber layer comes extremely close to the iPhone 6’s proximity sensor above the ear microphone, which could be an issue. Button coverage is nice and clicky, and the case offers sealed port protection, even offering part-time…

| Read more »
13:34
MCX: Merchants accepting both CurrentC and Apple Pay...

Earlier this week, retailers CVS and Rite Aid blocked NFC payments at their stores following the launch of Apple Pay because of their existing commitment to MCX’s CurrentC platform. Nevertheless, MCX CEO Dekkers Davidson assures that merchants accepting both CurrentC and Apple Pay “could be entirely possible” in the future.

The blockade has ignited somewhat of a controversy between Apple Pay and MCX, only worsened by the fact that it was confirmed that CurrentC suffered a security breach earlier this morning. MCX, or Merchant Customer Exchange,...

| Read more »
13:31
Google Wallet adds recurring bank transfers for...


Google today announced it’s adding new ways to add money to its Google Wallet service in addition to some new features that will make keeping an eye on your balance easier.

First up, you will now be able to setup automatic bank transfers that will ensure there is always money to spend in your Google Wallet account. The recurring transfers allow you to schedule weekly, bi-weekly or monthly deposits and can be cancelled at any time:...

| Read more »
13:30
Serious about getting in shape? Get Custom Fit

This free universal app is not intended for those of us who work out occasionally but are not really all that serious about getting in top shape. Custom Fit and Custom Fit Pro, a US$1.99 upgrade are aimed at the people who are dedicated to working...

| Read more »
13:11
Apple in talks to bring iPhone to Iran

Apple is talking to Iranian distributors about the possibility of selling the iPhone in the country, sources tell the Wall Street Journal. Senior Apple executives have reportedly met with the distributors at the former party's London headquarters. If the iPhone does become available in Iran, it will be through premium resellers, rather than Apple itself, which has no direct footprint to speak of. "Over a dozen" Apple employees -- including technical and marketing staff -- have been involved in the recent efforts, the Journal adds....



...

| Read more »
13:07
Hands On: PluralEyes 3.5 (OS X, Windows)

DSLR shooters often have a troublesome workflow when trying to put together videos recorded with the dual-purpose cameras. While many consumers might look to a dedicated camcorder to produce a short film or conduct an interview, DSLR cameras provide the necessary technology needing only an external audio recorder to do the job. But how do users bring video and audio together? In the past, filmmakers entered into a time consuming process to match peaks in waveforms. However, that is no longer needed as Red Giant offers a supremely better solution with PluralEyes 3.5....



...

| Read more »
13:01
Hours after citing capable security, CurrentC...

Hubris, anyone?

Just hours after publishing a blog post answering some questions about its upcoming CurrentC mobile payments system and touting the security of its cloud-based storage of sensitive information, the company behind the effort, Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX) has alerted users of unauthorized access to their email addresses.

Per MacRumors, the company released the following statement:

Thank you for your interest in CurrentC. You are receiving this message because you are either a participant in our pilot program or requested information about CurrentC. Within the last 36 hours, we learned that unauthorized third parties obtained the e-mail addresses of some of you. Based on investigations conducted by MCX security personnel, only these e-mail addresses were involved and no...

| Read more »
13:00
The 3 Unexpected Consequences of Apple Pay Will be...

Apple Pay isn't just a new mobile payment method. It's also a stake in the heart of merchants who want to use your purchase activity for their own ends. It gives companies who want to honor the customer a high-profile bandwagon to jump on. Finally, it punctuates Apple's leadership. John Martellaro looks at the unexpected consequences of Apple Pay.


| Read more »
13:00
Twelve South announces the BookArc Stand for Mac Pro

Mac Pro owners now have another choice at how to position their beautiful cylindrical powerhouse on a desktop. Twelve South today announced the BookArc Stand for Mac Pro (US$59.99), a shiny little chrome-plated rack onto which you gently place your...

| Read more »
12:55
9 mistakes you're making in Photoshop

Each version of Photoshop comes with new features that let you work smarter instead of harder, but old editing habits are hard to break—especially if you’ve been using the program for a long time. Here you’ll find a roundup of some common editing mistakes and how to avoid them.

Perform edits on separate layers

Here you can see all the layers in this image.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

| Read more »
12:54
Freebie Wednesday - Four Free Deals from TMO

We usually promote one deal a day, but through our friends at Stack Social, we actually have a ton of deals going at any one time. Right now, for instance, we have not one, but four different free offers. Check 'em out.

Monster Mac Freebie Bundle: Eight Mac Utility Apps, Plus BackBlaze after 60,000 Downloads
Mac Freebie Developer Toolkit Bundle: Four apps aimed at developers
Blue Ray Player: Play Bluray discs on your Mac (requires a physical Bluray drive)
Build Your Own iPhone Game: Eight week developer course that will teach you how to make an iOS game.


| Read more »
12:46
IHS iSuppli completes iPad 2 teardown, estimates...

As is customary, the new iPad Air has been torn down to get an approximate fix on his much its component pieces retailed for.

The answer for the iPad Air 2 is about US$275.

Per MacRumors and Re/code, research firm IHS iSuppli has torn down the new iPad Air 2 in an attempt to estimate Apple’s component costs for the device. According to IHS iSuppli’s estimates, the 16 GB iPad Air 2 costs Apple roughly US$275 to build, just one dollar more than last year’s iPad Air.

The report unsurprisingly points out that Apple benefits from stronger profit margins as users move to higher capacity models, with Apple paying only about US$50 more for 128 GB of storage compared to the base 16 GB configuration while charging users US$200 for the...

| Read more »
12:30
Sami Apps: Back to basics

Sami Apps is an educational application designed for children ages 0-6 years old to increase cognitive skills. There are four different sections of games and apps for players to master from educational games that teach the basics of writing to a...

| Read more »
12:15
Mac: Twelve South BookArc for Mac Pro

A BookArc for the Mac Pro? Why not? Twelve South certainly seems to have thought so, adapting its elegantly simple MacBook stand for Apple’s most powerhouse desktop Mac, providing not only a way to hold your Mac Pro, but a way to make it shine like the high-tech work of art that it is. Made from an interior of solid steel with polished chrome on the outside and soft silicon padding on the inset, this new BookArc holds your Mac Pro on its side…

| Read more »
12:00
Xiaomi says it's not copying Apple, but Apple...

Xiaomi -- the fast-rising Chinese electronics company which is quickly becoming a major player in smartphones -- has come under fire in the past for similarities between its MiPhone smartphone and MiPad tablet, and Apple's iconic mobile gadgets, but...

| Read more »
11:56
GT Advanced blames Apple for one-sided sapphire...

Testimony from chief operating officer of GT Advanced Technologies reveals that the company lost $461 million before it filed for bankruptcy -- a course that the company asserts was the result of "unsustainable" contracts in which it assumed all of the risk, while Apple took none.

| Read more »
11:42
Apple reportedly in ‘preliminary contact’ with...

The Wall Street Journal reports that Apple is in early talks with “Iranian distributors” to bring the iPhone to Iran:

Apple Inc. is in preliminary contact with Iranian distributors about a possible entry into the country should Western sanctions ease sufficiently, people familiar with the matter said.

The report notes that financial and banking sanctions as well as political tension has thus far prevented companies like Apple from conducting business in Iran, but points to a policy change in May that lifted the ban on sales of “consumer communications technologies” in the country. The report goes on the claim that “senior Apple executives” have already met with “potential Iranian distributors” at Apple’s regional headquarters in London....

| Read more »
11:34
T-Mobile opens up iPad Air 2, iPad mini 3 orders

Following up on earlier promises, the US branch of...



| Read more »
11:30
Apple asks PCalc devs to remove app widget due to...

PCalc is one of the most popular utilities on the App Store, and since it made the move to iOS 8 and added Notification Center widget functionality, it got even better. Apple seemed to agree at first, and even promoted the app on its Featured page....

| Read more »
11:17
News: iOS updates causing Mophie Juice Pack Air...

A number of users of the Mophie Juice Pack Air have reported problems with the battery case not being recognized or properly charging iPhone 5 devices following iOS updates. While the specific reasons are unclear, there have been reports since iOS 7.0 and iOS 7.1 of iPhones suddenly showing a message that the accessory may not be supported, usually following an iOS update; similar issues have been reported following the recent release of iOS 8.1.…

| Read more »
11:15
STM dux Case for iPad mini Features Drop Protection...

The STM Dux case for iPad mini and mini with Retina display is the perfect option for those who want complete protection and coverage for their mini while letting the whole world know they have a tablet from Apple. Plus, it meets the U.S. Department of Defense Standard 810F/G for drop tests.


| Read more »
11:09
CurrentC email breach

A security breach at the worst possible time.

∞ Read this on The Loop

| Read more »
11:07
GT Advanced COO discusses Apple’s sapphire fallout,...

While lawyers for bankrupt sapphire supplier GT Advanced confirmed previously that it had reached an agreement to repay Apple approximately $439 million, many details regarding what exactly went wrong in the partnership had not been disclosed publicly. Today we get what might be the clearest explanation yet of what happened between the two companies leading up to GTAT filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last month.  In a declaration filed by COO of GT Advanced Daniel Squiller with the courts yesterday (via Fortune), the company outlines previously sealed info regarding its deal with Apple and...

| Read more »
11:00
Rachio app update can lower home lawn watering usage...

Rachio, developers of the amazing Iro smart sprinkler controller, today announced an app update that can reduce residential irrigation water usage by up to 30 percent. Version 1.7 of the free Rachio app uses enhanced evapotranspiration (ET)...

| Read more »
10:52
Facebook is betting big on the future and plans to...

Another quarterly earnings report, another slam dunk for Facebook. The company made
$3.2 billion in the third quarter, up 59 percent year-over-year, and grew to 1.35 billion monthly active users. More than 700 million people check Facebook
on their phones every single day. These are impressive numbers. But Facebook is about to toy with the hearts and minds of investors, shareholders, and
analysts by spending the next year investing heavily in its passion projects: WhatsApp, Oculus, and Internet.org.

Facebook has proved that its advertising business is strong. The company makes money hand-over-fist every single quarter. But founder and CEO Mark
Zuckerberg is more interested in the long-term, and unlike most execs, Zuck is happy to share what his priorities will be over the next three, five, and 10
years.

...

| Read more »
10:45
TMO Daily Observations: 2014-10-29

AT&T is under fire from the FTC, and the FCC wants to change the rules on cable television. John Martellaro and Kelly Guimont join Jeff Gamet to talk about what they expect to come from the FTC suing AT&T for data throttling, and how opening the Internet to broadcast TV streaming will impact viewers.


| Read more »
10:40
CurrentC payment system customer emails stolen

Contactless payment platform CurrentC has fallen victim to user information theft. Merchants Consumer Exchange (MCX), The company behind the mobile payment system is informing beta users of the service that "that unauthorized third parties obtained the e-mail addresses of some of you." The company claims no other data has been stolen, but the theft calls into question the data security of the not fully operational payment system....



| Read more »
10:30
A week with Apple Pay

Megan Geuss

Back in 2011 when I worked for PC World, Google gave me a Sprint Nexus S 4G review unit with the brand-new Google Wallet app on it. I set up a pre-paid card and took the phone around to a handful of retailers around downtown San Francisco, testing to see how paying with a phone worked in the real world.

The results were mixed: some interactions were fast and simple, but I went to a Peet's Coffee and an Office Depot where the terminals just didn't work. A few days after the article went up, I went to a Whole Foods where the terminal wasn't even plugged in, and the cashier directed me to another terminal nearby. All in all, it was clear that the system was a bit too rough around the edges to truly revolutionize the idea of the wallet. And I came away from the experience knowing that I certainly wasn't going to be leaving...

| Read more »
10:30
Good news Apple Pay fans! MCX confirms that...

In an effort to mitigate the avalanche of criticism stemming from Rite Aid and CVS' decision to disable Apple Pay support, MCX yesterday put up a blogpost to help crystallize what it terms a "misinformed conversation."

One notable clarification is...

| Read more »
 
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LibreOffice 4.3.3.2 - Free Open Source o...
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VMware Fusion allows you to create a Virtual Machine on your Mac and run Windows (including Windows 8.1) and Windows software on your Mac. Run your favorite Windows applications alongside Mac... Read more
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TextWrangler is the powerful general purpose text editor, and Unix and server administrator's tool. Oh, and also, like the best things in life, it's free. TextWrangler is the "little brother" to... Read more
NeoFinder 6.6 - Catalog your external me...
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Chromium 38.0.2125.111 - Fast and stable...
Chromium is an open-source browser project that aims to build a safer, faster, and more stable way for all Internet users to experience the web. FreeSMUG-Free OpenSource Mac User Group build is... Read more
Default Folder X 4.6.11 - Enhances Open...
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Mariner Write 3.9.3 - Light-weight and s...
Mariner Write is your Mac OS go-to word processing tool! Professional writer, educator or student, Write has all the functionality you need for that important letter, technical paper or research... Read more

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1st & Goal Review
1st & Goal Review By Andrew Fisher on October 30th, 2014 Our Rating: :: FOR THE D&D LOVING QBUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad 1st & Goal is a board gamer’s football game, a football fan’s board game, and... | Read more »
French Developer Pated Unveils Seashine
French Developer Pated Unveils Seashine Posted by Ellis Spice on October 30th, 2014 [ permalink ] French one-man studio Pated has unveiled Seashine, “a poetic journey into the abyss.” Players take on the role of a jellyfish strugglin | Read more »
Agents of Storm: Tips, Tricks, and Strat...
Calling all agents: Would you like to see what we thought of this rather pretty base builder? Check out our Agents of Storm review! Have you downloaded Agents of Storm, been bowled over by the graphics, and aren’t quite sure what to do next? Never... | Read more »
Any.DO 2.0 Hopes to Help Manage Producti...
Any.DO 2.0 Hopes to Help Manage Productivity Posted by Ellis Spice on October 30th, 2014 [ permalink ] iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad | Read more »
Base Busters Review
Base Busters Review By Jennifer Allen on October 30th, 2014 Our Rating: :: FUN BUT RESTRICTED MIXUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Mixing up two forms of tower defense gaming and collectible cards, Base Busters is a fun... | Read more »
Sumptus - Personal Expense Tracker in Yo...
Sumptus - Personal Expense Tracker in Your Pocket 1.0 Device: iOS iPhone Category: Finance Price: $3.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Sumptus - a personal finance assistant in your pocket. It’s an ultimate expense tracker... | Read more »
Meat Factory (Games)
Meat Factory 0.1 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $.99, Version: 0.1 (iTunes) Description: Meat factory harks back to the old days of the game and watch. Easy to pick up and play, but hard to score big. With cute visuals... | Read more »
Medford Asylum: Paranormal Case - Hidden...
Medford Asylum: Paranormal Case - Hidden Object Adventure (Full) 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Uncover the mystery of Medford City asylum! | Read more »
Secret Files Sam Peters (Games)
Secret Files Sam Peters 1.0.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0.0 (iTunes) Description: [ After the successful iOS release of Secret Files Tunguska, the acclaimed point and click adventure Secret Files... | Read more »
Woah Dave! (Games)
Woah Dave! 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: ***SPECIAL LAUNCH PRICE! IT DOESN'T COST A LOT OF MONEY!*** Optimized for iPhone 6+! A huge hit at E3, PAX, PAX East, IndieCade... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Apple drops prices on refurbished 2013 Retina...
The Apple Store has dropped prices on 2013 Apple Certified Refurbished 13″ and 15″ Retina MacBook Pros, with Retina models now available starting at $999. Apple’s one-year warranty is standard, and... Read more
New 2.8GHz Mac mini on sale for $949, save $5...
Abt Electronics has the new 2.8GHz Mac mini in stock and on sale for $949.05 including free shipping. Their price is $50 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for this model from any reseller... Read more
Sale! 3.7GHz Quad Core Mac Pro available for...
 B&H Photo has the 3.7GHz Quad Core Mac Pro on sale for $2649 including free shipping plus NY sales tax only. Their price is $350 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price for this model from any... Read more
Mujjo Steps Up The Game With Refined Touchscr...
Netherlands based Mujjo have just launched their Refined Touchscreen Gloves, stepping up their game. The gloves feature a updated elegant design that takes these knitted gloves to the next level. A... Read more
Sale! Preorder the new 27-inch 5K iMac for $2...
 Abt Electronics has the new 27″ 3.5GHz 5K iMac on sale and available for preorder for $2374.05 including free shipping. Their price is $125 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for this... Read more
Simplex Solutions Inc. Brings Secure Web Surf...
New York based Simplex Solutions Inc. has announced the release and immediate availability of Private Browser 1.0, its revolutionary new secure web browser developed for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch... Read more
Save up to $180 off MSRP with an Apple refurb...
The Apple Store has Apple Certified Refurbished 2014 MacBook Airs available for up to $180 off the cost of new models. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each MacBook, and shipping is free.... Read more
Apple refurbished 2013 MacBook Pros available...
The Apple Store has Apple Certified Refurbished 13″ and 15″ MacBook Pros available starting at $929. Apple’s one-year warranty is standard, and shipping is free: - 13″ 2.5GHz MacBook Pros (4GB RAM/... Read more
What Post PC Era? – The Mac Bounces Back, Big...
Apple’s fiscal Q4 2014 was an all-time record quarter for Mac sales, with 5.5 million units shipped, representing nearly one million more sales (+21 percent, + 25 percent sequentially) than Apple... Read more
Unpacking The Big Changes At Microsoft – iPad...
The days of product keys and email attachments are nearing an end and Microsoft, though late to the game, is making big strides to keep up, says tech expert Karl Volkman of SRV Network, Inc. Under... Read more

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