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Tuesday October 4

Apple releases iOS 10.1 beta 2 with Portrait camera...

Apple has released the second iOS 10.1 beta which includes the Portrait camera for iPhone 7 Plus that applies a DSLR-like blur effect over photos using the dual lens system. iOS 10.1 beta 2 is available to registered developers. A public beta of iOS 10.1 for non-developers is also currently active. tvOS 10.0.1 beta 2 for Apple TV and watchOS 3.1 beta 2 are also available for developers.


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Google unveils Pixel & Pixel XL w/ Siri-like...

Today at its press event to unveil its new Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones, a rebranding of its Nexus-line of devices, Google also took the wraps off new features coming to its Assistant and Home platforms and more. The company highlighted claims that its new smartphones have the best camera of any mobile device yet, including comparing it to the new iPhone 7 camera.


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Photographer showcases upcoming Portrait mode using...

Reddit users claiming to be professional photographers proclaim the iPhone 7 Plus in Portrait mode in iOS 10.1 an excellent, high-quality photography tool when coupled with the appropriate user skillset.

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9to5Toys Lunch Break: OtterBox iPhone7/Plus cases $...

Keep up with the best gear and deals on the web by signing up for the 9to5Toys Newsletter. Also, be sure to check us out on: TwitterRSS FeedFacebookGoogle+ and Safari push notifications.


OtterBox iPhone 7/Plus cases are the standard and up to 31% off at Amazon – Commuter: $35,...

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Canada's Desjardins, UK's Metro & The...

Outside of Russia, a trio of international financial institutions added support for Apple Pay on Tuesday, including Canada's Desjardins, and the U.K.'s Metro Bank and The Co-Operative Bank.

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Update the Nobel Prizes

Like many things, the Nobel is a product of its time. Does it need to be updated to reflect the 21st century and not the 19th?

∞ Read this on The Loop

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How is the world feeling?

These kinds of studies and surveys are what I magine Apple envisioned when they created the infrastructure for these apps.

∞ Read this on The Loop

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Meeting “The Boss”

My friend Sly has been a lifelong fan of Bruce Springsteen. I’m so happy for her to have been able to meet him, even if for only a few brief moments. Read this story and ask yourself, what hero/idol would you like to meet? Or do you believe it’s true you shouldn’t meet your idols? I’m very glad Sly met hers.

∞ Read this on The Loop

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Review: A jet black Apple Magic Keyboard & Magic...

The jet black iPhone 7 might be a little more prone to scratches and fingerprints with its glossy finish, but that didn’t stop me from choosing the color for my iPhone this year. And I’m glad I did— it’s even more stunning in person than how it appears in photographs.  

The only thing missing was a jet black Apple Magic Mouse and Magic Keyboard to match my new iPhone…


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Nostalgia fuels the free-to-play Micro Machines, but...

Free-to-play games often look appealing, but it’s difficult to know at a glance whether the business model is insidious and fun ruining, or reasonable and worth pumping a few bucks into. With Freemium Field Test, we’ll take a recent free-to-play iOS game, put it through its paces, and let you know if it’s really worth your time (and money).

Licensed video games have a long history of missing the mark, and that’s as true today as it was decades back. However, there are always exceptions to the rule—and way back in the day, Codemasters’ Micro Machines was one of the first truly awesome adaptations. Released across various consoles in the early ‘90s, the top-down racer was not only a spot-on use of the miniature toy license, but it was also a really great game to boot.


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How-To: Delete and opt out of macOS Sierra automatic...

If you rely on your Mac and don’t want to upgrade to a newly released operating system, you may want to opt out of the automatic download that Apple is starting to push for macOS Sierra. If your Mac has already downloaded the macOS Sierra installer and you want to remove it from your hard drive, you can do that too and opt out of future automatic downloads. Here’s how…


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Yahoo launches Newsroom mobile app for a more social...

Yahoo today launched a new app for iPhone and iPad (and Android) called Yahoo Newsroom.


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Leaked photo shows off Apple's nearly-finished...

A Facebook photo leaked by a construction worker appears to show the interior of Apple's Regent Street store in London, which is due to reopen on Oct. 15 after over a year of renovations.

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Bowers & Wilkins’ latest top-end headphones cost...

Much as I adore my B&W P5 headphones (recently upgraded to the wireless model), I must admit that even I would think twice about buying the company’s latest top-end model: the P9 Signature. These over-ear wired headphones cost a cool $900, but they do come with one extra: register them on B&W’s website and the company will send you a Lightning upgrade early next year.


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Feds Probe Alleged Phone Hacks as Election Fears...

Federal authorities have been investigating reports that hackers targeted the mobile phones of a handful of Democratic Party staffers. The news follows a series of breaches in recent months that revealed emails and other personal information of party staffers and other Democratic officials.
The FBI has launched an investigation into the attacks, which party officials believe are linked to Russia. Several members of Congress have raised suspicions in recent weeks that Russia might be attempting to interfere with the U.S. elections.

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Circle, Square, and Venmo: Payment apps let you pay...

Glen Fleishman, with a little help from Josh Centers, walks through the payment apps that work inside the iMessage infrastructure. Learned a lot, all very interesting, but found this telling:

We’re still in the early days of iMessage apps, but two prominent payment apps have added iMessage integration: Square Cash and Venmo. A third, Circle, was launched on multiple platforms by entrepreneurs with deep Internet roots. Oddly, PayPal hasn’t yet updated its app to support iMessage payments, but the company often lags putting improvements in its native software.

Is this a wait-and-see on PayPal’s part? They’ve clearly opened a door to the competition. Or perhaps iMessage support is just not that big a deal in the larger world of payment processing.


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WhatsApp adds Snapchat-style emoji, drawing, and...

WhatsApp's imagery is getting a Snapchat-like feature boost, following in the footsteps of the rest of Facebook's various mobile apps.

The company just announced new enhancements for its camera feature, including the ability to write or draw on photos and videos. You can also add an emoji for those times your photos need a little extra spice, like a cartoon taco or a smiling turd.

Prior to this update, WhatsApp’s image editing tools allowed you to crop and rotate photos. There were no editing options for videos whatsoever.

The story behind the story: The new draw and emoji features in WhatsApp follow a trend among Facebook properties that were really sparked by the popularity of Snapchat. Facebook Messenger gained the ability to draw on photos in 2014, then almost a year ago those same features landed in the main Facebook app on Android and iOS. In April, Facebook announced that...

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A song created by artificial intelligence

[VIDEO]: Chris Mench, writing for Complex:

Scientists at Sony’s CSL research lab unveiled a new track called “Daddy’s Car.” If that sounds bizarre to you, you’re not wrong. Although the song sounds like any run-of-the-mill track, it’s actually created by the artificial intelligence software Flow Machines. The software draws from a massive database of songs to compose its music, combining small elements of many tracks to create new compositions. All someone has to do to create a song is choose a style of music or artist from the database and the software will make the score for them. The most represented genres are jazz and pop, but all types of music are represented. In this case, a musician named Benoît Carré wrote the lyrics and arranged the music.

The song is embedded in our main post. Take a listen. Even if this style of music is not your cup of tea, set that aside and listen to the changes and harmonies. There’s a lot of derived musical techniques at work, all...

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PSA: Now is a good time to educate your less-techy...

A number of friends have recently forwarded me examples of some relatively convincing-looking phishing emails purporting to be from Apple. These include fake Apple Music subscriptions or purchases, inviting the user to login to the Apple website to cancel the transaction if it wasn’t made by them.

The link, of course, goes to a fraudulent site, but many of them are close copies of the real thing. No 9to5Mac reader would be taken in by any of them, but a non-tech person might be. So if you’re the person who acts as unofficial tech advisor to your friends, you might want to ensure they are up to speed on these …


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ICYMI: The NYPL's book train and better-...

Today on In Case You Missed It: The New York Public Library will unveil a brand new "book train" at its Bryant Park branch that will ferry research materials up 11 floors from a subterranean storage vault to a newly refurbished reading room. Also,...

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Some love for the iPhone 7’s new home button

Jeff Benjamin, writing for 9to5mac, goes into a fair amount of detail on the new iPhone 7 home button. If you’ve not yet had the chance to play with one, this post will answer a lot of questions.

The Home button on the iPhone 7 feels more responsive than the old mechanical Home button, as long as you ensure that you make skin contact with it.

To me, the home button feels different, even odd, because the underlying mechanism is completely different. Rather than a directly coupled microswitch which clicked as you pressed it, the new mechanism relies on a circuit to activate a taptic engine lying underneath the home button.

I get the slightest feeling of delay from the moment I apply pressure to the home button to the moment when I actually feel the vibration from the taptic engine. This could be my imagination, the way my brain translates that different feel, but it certainly will take some getting used to.

Because the new solid state Home button requires...

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Disabling the auto-downloading of macOS updates

Christian Zibreg, writing for iDownloadBlog, walks through the mechanics of enabling/disabling macOS and other auto-downloads.

∞ Read this on The Loop

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Apple Pay comes to Russia

Apple Pay has launched in Russia, making it the 10th country to support Apple’s mobile payment service. It will initially operate in Russia with partners Sberbank and MasterCard.

Apple Pay is available in the U.S., UK, Canada, Australia, China, Singapore, Switzerland, France and Hong Kong. Japan and Brazil are also expected to add Apple Pay support in the near future.

Apple Pay works with the iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone SE and Apple Watch. When paying within apps, Apple Pay is compatible with the iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPad Air 2, iPad mini 3, iPad mini 4 and iPad Pro. It’s also macOS Sierra compatible.

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Adobe releases Photoshop and Premiere Elements 15...

Adobe on Tuesday released the latest versions of its consumer-level photo and video editing software, Photoshop Elements 15 and Premiere Elements 15, each of which provides users with new easy-to-use tools, effects and guides.

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Adobe unveils Photoshop & Premiere Elements 15...

Adobe is releasing Photoshop Elements 15 and Premiere Elements 15 today, and this year’s release includes of plenty of powerful new tools that make advanced photo and video editing more approachable.


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Apple is granted another patent for a gesture-based...

Apple has been granted yet another patent (number 9,449,758) for a “three dimensional user interface session control using depth sensors” that hints at a Mac user interface that utilizes gesture controls in much the same manner its Leap Motion’s Leap control device. 

It could also apply to a television set should Apple ever reconsider plans to enter that market. The patent involves a method for presenting, on a computer display, an image of a keyboard comprising multiple keys, and receiving a sequence of three-dimensional (3D) maps including a hand of a user positioned in proximity to the display. 

Here’s the summary of the invention: “An initial portion of the sequence of 3D maps is processed to detect a transverse gesture performed by a hand of a user positioned in proximity to the display, and a cursor is presented on the...

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Google poaches ex-Apple senior director, Amazon...

Design executive David Foster, once a senior director at Apple, and most recently responsible for Amazon's Echo, Kindle, and Kindle Fire development has moved to Google, and will head up the search engine giant's smartphone push that is expected to start on Tuesday.

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Want a flat-sided iPhone 7? All you need is a...

With the iPhone 7 not looking radically different to its two predecessors, one YouTuber decided to take matters into his own hands and carry out a DIY redesign. Apparently fearless, PeripateticPandas dismantles the phone and then takes both a circular saw and a belt-sander to the casing.


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Rumor: Apple to introduce three new iPad Pro models...

The current rumor has it that Apple will be swapping out the iPad mini with a smaller iPad Pro.

A report from KGI in August suggest that Apple may launch three new iPads in 2017, and suggested that the 9.7-inch model would grow in size slightly to 10.5-inches. It’s also been suggested three new iPad Pro models are coming up in the spring of next year, with some details overlapping the KGI report.

It’s been thought that the 10.5-inch iPad Pro will be changed to a 10.1-inch iPad Pro. The larger screen size will be achieved by making the external dimensions 1cm longer and 0.5cm wide.

Current word around the campfire has the iPad mini 4 being changed to a 7.9-inch iPad Pro, complete with a Smart Connector and no less than four...

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Now you can link up to 50 Ultimate Ears Boom &...

Ultimate Ears’ Boom & Megaboom speakers have consistently been rated highly in our Bluetooth speaker roundups and reviews, and the company has just advised us of a new feature coming today. You were previously able to pair two of the speakers for either stereo use or just louder mono, but a firmware and app update will now allow you to link up to 50 of them.


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Apple launches Spoken Editions section of iTunes,...

If you love audiobooks, this could be nifty.

On Monday, Apple announced its new “Spoken Editions” section of iTunes, which will feature narrated content from a number of online publishers in the form of audio-only podcasts. These Spoken Editions are available both in the iTunes storefront, as well as in Apple’s Podcasts app, for easy access.

With the launch, more then 40 publishers will be distributing content, including the Huffington Post, Reuters, Slate. .Mic, Wired, IGN, Bustle, Fusion, Gizmodo, Jezebel, Lifehacker, TIME, Skift, TechCrunch and Playboy.

The podcasts are powered by SpokenLayer, a company that has developed a service that quickly turns a publishers’ RSS feed of articles into audio recordings that can be...

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Drobo announces the 5C, a five-bay USB-C storage...

Apple World Today readers are no strangers to Drobo's products and its BeyondRAID technology. The original Drobo device had four drive bays and a FireWire connector, while newer models have grown in both capacity and the speed of connectivity. Today the company acknowledged the fast and compact USB-C interface by announcing a new product -- the Drobo 5C ($349).

The Drobo 5C has five bays into which any combination of hard disk or solid state drives can be placed without the need for carriers or screws. Users often start off with two or three drives of relatively small size, then add more and larger drives as their storage needs grow. Drobo devices can be set up for either single or dual drive redundancy, meaning that one or two drives can fail simultaneously without loss of data. Drives are easily hot-swappable.

USB-C is backward compatible with both USB 3.0 and USB 2.0, and the new interface is featured on Apple's 12-...

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Latest Apple patent appears to show fingerprint...

Long-standing rumors that Apple plans to embed the Home button into the display of future iPhones became more concrete when Bloomberg, the WSJ and NYT all reported that Apple plans make this move in 2017.

We’ve seen a succession of Apple patents for this technology, and another one published today appears to describe a technology that would allow a fingerprint to be recognised almost anywhere on the screen, not just in a fixed location … 


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Blast Baseball 360 swings for the fences, but only...

With the fall softball season here, I had high hopes that the $149.95 Blast Baseball 360 might help me improve my swing and up my on-base percentage. But so far the experience has been inconsistent. I’m not having a blast (sorry, couldn’t resist the pun). 

The Baseball 360 has two components: a sensor and an app (available for free at the Apple App Store for iOS 9 and 10). The Blast Motion Sensor for baseball, softball and t-ball attaches to the bottom of your bat with a rubber mount and sends (once you’ve downloaded the Power Sensor app) data points to your iPhone, via Bluetooth, that capture the performance of your swing. 

To use you place the Blast Motion Sensor on the included wireless charger and power it up. After installing the app and registering your account, follow the on-...

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It's time for an Apple laptop with LTE support

It’s time for a Mac laptop with LTE support. Having 4G LTE in a laptop is nothing new and there's no obvious reason why at least some models of the MacBook Pro, MacBook, or MacBook Air (if it lives on past this month) shouldn’t offer this capability. 

After all, the iPad line already has such options. And LTE is booming. ABI Research says that, by 2018, “LTE deployments should deliver population coverage of 57% (4.2 billion) and 31% (2.3 billion) in legacy WCDMA and CDMA2000 markets respectively.” 

Of course, there is concern about attaching a laptop to today's high cost cellular bandwidth. So perhaps Apple should start building towers and putting together their own your digital wireless network. It would be a similar but different effort from Google's. 

Perhaps it could be dubbed "iCloud Unlimited." In essence Apple would begin building out digital towers and infrastructure, starting with the major metropolitan areas first and expanding later to the more rural...

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Apple Pay launches in 10th country as it goes live...

Apple Pay has now notched up ten countries as it goes live in Russia today. The country joins Australia, Canada, China, France, Hong Kong, Singapore, Switzerland, the UK and U.S. in supporting Apple’s mobile wallet service.

The launch was marked on Apple’s Russian website, though the company has yet to update the Apple Pay availability page of its U.S. site.

Support in Russia is currently limited to one bank and one card type …


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Apple patents fingerprint sensor that works through...

Apple on Tuesday was awarded a patent that, if recent rumors are to be believed, might make its way into next year's iPhone model. Specifically, the company now owns IP covering a fingerprint sensor capable of gathering accurate readings through structures like a device screen.

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Monday October 3

Apple Pay launches in Russia with support for...

Russia became the latest major market to gain access to Apple Pay on Tuesday, with iPhone, Apple Watch and iPad owners in the region now able to use the service at participating retailers.

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The Week in iPhone and iPad Cases: Pad & Quill...

New iOS cases of the week

This week’s roundup of new iPhone and iPad cases brings you more goodies for your iPhone 7 and 7 Plus—and a few picks for your iPad Pro. Read on!


The Tough Jacket (iPhone 7; $35 MSRP, $24.89 on Amazon) protects your iPhone from drops and bumps thanks to multiple layers of protection.


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Kuo: Apple Watch shipments to decline in 2016...

Well-connected analyst Ming-Chi Kuo believes Apple Watch sales will decline in 2016 despite the launch of a revamped Apple Watch Series 2 and price cuts for the refreshed first-gen model, now called Apple Watch Series 1.

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Toyota Positions Kirobo Mini as Tiny Traveling...

Gearing up for this week's CEATEC trade show in Tokyo, Toyota on Monday announced that its compact-sized Kirobo Mini, pitched as a "communication partner," will go on sale early next year in Japan. The Mini is a smaller version of the astronaut robot Kirobo, which visited the International Space Station in 2013. The Kirobo Mini is meant to take part in more down-to-earth affairs -- such as routine driving trips. It's about 4 inches in height, and it can communicate via expressions and gestures.

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iTunes, App Store, and Apple Music suffering from...

According to a plethora of reports on Twitter, the App Store, iTunes Store, and Apple Music are all experiencing widespread server issues for many users this afternoon. While Apple has yet to confirm the issues, reports have been rolling in for nearly an hour now.


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Apple moves its next earnings call up two days to...

Apple has moved its earnings call for the fourth quarter of 2016 up two days from Thursday Oct. 27, to Tuesday, Oct. 25, citing an unannounced scheduling conflict.

As usual, the company will release earnings after the close of the stock markets on that date, followed shortly thereafter by the live streamed earnings call. For the fourth fiscal quarter, Apple is guiding for revenue between $45.5 billion and $47.5 billion, and gross margin between 37.5 percent and 38 percent.

If you're not familiar with the format, Apple CEO Tim Cook and CFO Luca Maestri both point out highlights of the previous quarter's financial performance before answering questions from leading Wall Street analysts. 

Expect to hear news on how well the new iPhone 7 and 7 Plus are selling, as well as hints on how well the Apple Watch Series 2 is doing (Apple never discloses how many are sold). Likewise, if there is a Mac/iPad announcement before Oct. 25 (though...

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AWT News Update: October 3, 2016

Mmmm, that new Mac smell!

October starts with a whimper from some of Apple's competitors, who are either getting out of competing markets or about to jump into them. We also look a new product for those who love that "new Mac smell":

  • Microsoft bows out of the smartwatch market, with no plans to make a third-generation Microsoft Band (were there really first- and second-generation Bands?)
  • KGI's crack analyst Ming-Chi Kuo seems to be making forecasts for the past
  • The new Google Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones come out tomorrow, and you are excused if you think they look pretty much like an iPhone 7 and 7 Plus
  • Twelve South outs a new line of novelty items for Apple fans

The text version of the podcast can be viewed below. To listen to the podcast here, click the play button on the player below.


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‘Spoken Editions’ of podcasts now available at iTunes

Podcasts branded “Spoken Editions,” short-form programs that offer listeners an audio version of the publisher’s written content, are down available at iTunes. They allow you to “read” your favorite website or hear the news when you’re doing other things.

Spoken Editions of WIRED News, TIME, Bustle News, Slate, and more are available. TechCrunch says that, apparently, many of the publishers' Spoken Edition podcasts were created by SpokenLayer, a company that creates streaming audio and podcasts for media brands using text.

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Notable apps and app updates for Oct. 3, 2016

On a regular basis, Apple World Today posts a list of notable new apps or app updates that have been released. They may not necessarily be new, but they're popular and deserve mention. Here are today's picks.

iOS Apps/Updates

Chris Patterson has introduced IMMaterial 1.0, a free Messages app for iOS 10. With it anyone can create custom stickers for iOS 10 Messages from any of the over 3,000 icons included in web fonts, including Google Material Icons, Font Awesome, Iconic Icons, and more.

Virtual Halo has debuted a personal safety app for the Apple Watch and iPhone that alerts your ICE (in case of emergency) contacts to your whereabouts and circumstances at the press of a button. Designed for travelers, parents and children, hikers, thrill-seekers, expecting mothers, seniors and more, the...

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Prepare to Be Google Pixelated

Leaks about Google's expected family of Pixel smartphones, reportedly manufactured by HTC, on Monday reached a crescendo ahead of the company's Tuesday press event. Google is poised to announce two smartphones, the Pixel and Pixel XL, according to specs published online. The Pixel XL has a 5.5-inch 2,560 x 1,440 pixel AMOLED display and a 3,450 mAh battery; the Pixel has a 5-inch 1,920 x 1,080 AMOLED display and a 2,770 mAh battery. Both have a Gorilla Glass 4 screen, a 12-MP rear camera with 1.55-micron pixels and an f/2.0 aperture.

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'Spoken Editions' section makes official...

Following a false start in September, Apple on Monday launched an expected "Spoken Editions" section on the iTunes Store, letting people hear audio versions of written content from online publishers.

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Comment: I’ve grown to love the new Home button on...

A change to the iPhone’s Home button was long-rumored, but when Phil Schiller confirmed the existence of the iPhone 7’s solid state Home button, that’s when you knew it was for real.

The iPhone 7 isn’t Apple’s first foray into this area, as the MacBook line has taken a similar approach with its trackpad. But the iPhone is way more popular than the Mac and more people own and use iPhones when compared to the Mac.

It’s common knowledge that the majority of Apple’s profits are generated by the iPhone, so a fundamental change to the device’s primary hardware input method wasn’t something for Apple hardware engineers to take lightly.

The good news is that, despite initial criticism, the iPhone 7 Home button is actually quite good once you get used to it. While it does have a few downsides, the change has produced several new positive side effects as well....

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Apple reschedules fiscal Q4 2016 earnings call to...

Apple on Monday moved its earnings call for the fourth quarter of 2016 up two days to Tuesday, Oct. 25, citing an unannounced scheduling conflict.

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Apple reschedules Q4 2016 earnings call to October...

Last week, Apple announced that its Q4 2016 earnings call would take place on Thursday, October 27th. Today, however, Apple updated its Investor News webpage to reveal that, due to a “scheduling conflict,” the earnings call and release have been moved up to Tuesday, October 25th.


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IDrive online backups: Sign up with AWT and save 75...

It's always a good time to think about your backup plans...before you need to do a restore. At Apple World Today, we're big fans of three-level backup redundancy. First, most of us use Time Machine for our primary local backup. There's a second app -- Carbon Copy Cloner -- that's used to produce a second, separate local backup that's bootable. And finally, we use online backups to insure that a physical disaster like a fire or flood won't ruin our day. IDrive is one of the best online backup firms out there, and if you sign up using this Apple World Today link, you get your first year of 1TB of online storage for 75% off -- that's just $14.88.

Having suffered through a hard drive loss in 1999 was bad enough, but my files and backup needs are much more critical now. That's why I entrust my online backup to IDrive and you should to...

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Apple officially launches new ‘Spoken Editions’...

After a premature appearance last month, Apple’s new “Spoken Editions” section in iTunes is now live. Spoken Editions, for those unfamiliar, are narrated pieces of content from a variety of online publishers. Spoken Editions are available in iTunes on the Mac and PC as well as Apple’s first-party Podcasting app for iOS.


Filed under: Apple ...

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Macworld’s October Digital Edition: Hands-on with...

Every day, Macworld brings you the essential daily news and other info about all things Apple. But staying on top of that torrent of information can be a constant challenge. One solution: the Macworld Digital Edition.

We've upgraded our system for customer service and downloading issues. The login process to download your issues will be different for all new issues, and access to your digital issues through the new system will require a password to be created.

  • To set up your account with a password for the Digital Edition of Macworld. Go to the Macworld app on your device. Click on My Account in the top right corner. Click on the Existing Subscribers tab. Click on option two and enter the email address tied to your account and choose your password.
  • If your email address was found proceed to step 6. If your email address was not found, go back and choose option one and enter your name and address.
  • To...
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TidBITS Watchlist: Notable Software Updates for 3...

Notable software releases this week include Default Folder X 5.0.7 and Airfoil 5.1.2.


Read the full article at TidBITS, the oldest continuously published technology publication on the Internet. To get a full-text RSS feed, help support our work and become a TidBITS member! Members also enjoy an ad-free version of our Web site, email delivery of individual articles, the ability to make long comments with live links, and discounts on Take Control orders and other Apple-related products.

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ExtraBITS for 3 October 2016

In ExtraBITS this week, Apple legend Bill Atkinson explains why he’s excited about having Siri accessible via the forthcoming AirPods, The Intercept reveals a potential privacy loophole in iMessage, and Aetna is making a big investment in the Apple Watch.


Read the full article at TidBITS, the oldest continuously published technology publication on the Internet. To get a full-text RSS feed, help support our work and become a TidBITS member! Members also enjoy an ad-free version of our Web site, email delivery of individual articles, the ability to make long comments with live links, and discounts on Take Control orders and other Apple-related products.

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ScanSnap Conflicts with Sierra Easily Avoided

Fujitsu has published details of the conflicts between its ScanSnap software and Sierra, and it turns out that the previous concerns were overblown. Most ScanSnap users can upgrade to Sierra safely, as long as they avoid certain actions.


Read the full article at TidBITS, the oldest continuously published technology publication on the Internet. To get a full-text RSS feed, help support our work and become a TidBITS member! Members also enjoy an ad-free version of our Web site, email delivery of individual articles, the ability to make long comments with live links, and discounts on Take Control orders and other Apple-related products.

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Google Pixel revealed by resellers, shows remarkable...

While Google would have likely preferred the details remain secret until Tuesday's announcement, assorted retailers have leaked specifics about Google's new phone line -- the "Google Pixel."

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Stevie Wonder’s ‘Songs in the Key of Life’ turns 40...

I can definitely say this was the first album that showed me the power of music. The whole thing is utterly incredible.

∞ Read this on The Loop

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The 50 most beautiful places in Europe

It’s set up as a really annoying 50 page slideshow but the photography is spectacular.

∞ Read this on The Loop

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Reports: New iPad Pro models coming next year, with...

Apple is on track to release new iPads next year, which isn’t a big surprise. What is intriguing, however, is the rumored sizing of those new iPads: a 10.1-inch iPad Pro to replace the 9.7-inch model, and a 7.9-inch version to phase out the iPad mini 4.

The current iPad Pro lineup features a 12.9-inch model and a 9.7-inch version, but early next year that lineup could expand to three. The new iPad report comes from Japanese blog Makotakara, but echoes earlier rumors from KGI Securities. The smaller 7.9-inch...

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Apple To Make macOS Sierra Available As Automatic...

Remember how Microsoft was pushing Windows 10 updates to your computers? That surely made a lot of people furious. Today, Apple told The Loop that it will also begin automatic download of its latest desktop operating system update, macOS Sierra on Macs that are compatible with the new software -- provided, automatic downloads are switched on and the Mac has enough storage space. From the report: t's important to note that this is not an automatic installer -- this process will only download the update in the background, and then alert you that it is available to install. You can choose to install it when its convenient. You can also choose to ignore the update. [...] Of course, you can manually delete the download if you don't wish to upgrade, and you can choose to manually download the update from the App Store at any time.


| Read more »
Do Not Disturb enhanced in iOS 10 - How to enable...

iOS has included a Do Not Disturb feature for a long time. With this option enabled, any contact you have designated as a “favorite” causes your iPhone to ring while other calls are silenced and sent to your voicemail.

One Do Not Disturb feature I have often wanted is for text messages from favorites to make a sound when Do Not Disturb is enabled. Apple delivered this option with Emergency Bypass in iOS 10, which must be set up manually for each contact you want to be alerted to. To do this:

    •    Launch Contacts and select the contact you want alerts from
    •    Tap Edit
    •    Select Text Tone
    •    Scroll to the top of the Text Tone screen and enable Emergency Bypass
    •    Press Done

When these steps are completed, the Contact card displays the text tone you have chosen for that contact and shows that Emergency Bypass is enabled. Emergency Bypass can also be enabled for a contact’s ringtone by selecting “Ring Tone” while...

| Read more »
iPhone 7/7 Plus is already more popular than the...

The iPhone 7/7 Plus is already more popular than the iPhone SE, and is close to overtaking the iPhone 4 and 4s lineup, according to a new report from Localytics as noted by AppleInsider.

The research group places the iPhone 7/7 Plus at a 3.6% of all Apple handsets in use. That's enough to put it ahead of the iPhone SE, which was tracked at 2.6%. The iPhone 4 and iPhone 4s collectively account for 3.7% of iPhones in use. The iPhone 5 and iPhone 5s still account for an estimated 24.4% of active Apple smartphones. 

The iPhone 6s accounts for 27.5%. Apple's leader remains the iPhone 6, which Localytics says represents 38.3% of all iPhones in active use.


| Read more »
Microsoft halts sales of Band fitness trackers, says...

Microsoft has pulled its Band fitness trackers from its online store, and confirmed that it won't have a new model out in 2016, suggesting that the company is rethinking its approach to a wearables market largely dominated by Fitbit and Apple.

| Read more »
Your Mac can automatically download, but not launch...

Nobody likes waiting. That’s why I bet if you pop open the Mac App Store pane in System Preferences, I bet you have the box checked to “Download newly available updates in the background.”

Now, if you have that box checked, your Mac will download not just app updates and incremental OS updates, but major updates too, starting with the installer of macOS Sierra. This new behavior is rolling out over the next week to users of El Capitan versions 10.11.5 and 10.11.6.

Don’t worry. The Sierra installer isn’t going to just launch and update your Mac without intervention from you. You’ll get a notification from the App Store that it’s ready, just like you always have, but if you click that notification, you won’t have to wait for the installer to download. It’ll just launch and guide you through the process.


| Read more »
Love that new Mac smell? Now you can buy a candle...

I thought it was just me, but apparently I’m not the only one who tends to take a long extended whiff every time I crack open a new Apple product. There’s just something about the smell that’s so ridiculously pleasing to the senses.

Apparently the fine folks over at Apple accessory maker TwelveSouth feel the same, as it’s introduced a new candle that smells just like a freshly-opened Mac. Seriously, and there’s more… more…

Filed under: Apple ...

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Newly launched iPhone 7 lineup already tracked at 3....

After just a few weeks on the market, Apple's new flagship iPhone 7 series is already more popular than the iPhone SE, and is on the cusp of overtaking the iPhone 4 and 4s lineup, new data reveals.

| Read more »
Analyst: Apple Watch sales in 2016 will be less than...

In a note to clients — as noted by Business Insider — KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says Apple could sell fewer Apple Watches in 2016 than it did in 2015. His projection for 2016 Apple Watch shipments have been cut 15-25%.

"Based on these considerations, we revise down our 2016F shipments projection for the entire Apple Watch line from 10.0-10.5mn units to 8.5-9.0mn units (vs. 10.4mn units in 2015)," writes Kuo. "We now predict 2016F Apple Watch sales will decline from 2015 (with shorter selling time of eight months).”

He says the four main problems affecting Apple Watch sales are: a lack of killer apps; inadequate battery life; heavy reliance on an iPhone; and the likelihood that multi-touch will not be the best user interface solution for wearable devices. 


| Read more »
Apple taking auto download feature on macOS Sierra...

Starting today, Apple will push macOS Sierra to prospective upgraders on older versions of OS X, as well as downloads for point updates for users already on Sierra -- but won't install anything without explicit permission from the user.

| Read more »
Mophie debuts modular Hold Force case for iPhone 7...

Joining in on recent trends, Mophie on Monday announced its Hold Force modular case for the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, allowing buyers to swap between backs depending on what they need to accomplish.

| Read more »
Apple's Fouloum data center is the largest...

Apple's investment in a Denmark-based data center and related biogas research will nearly hit $1 billion, and make it the largest foreign capital expenditure in the country.

| Read more »
Apple will push macOS Sierra update with automatic...

Apple is rolling out the option to automatically download macOS updates starting with macOS Sierra today. The major Mac software update was released at the end of September, and starting today Apple will begin automatically downloading the update on Macs that haven’t updated yet (via The Loop).


Filed under: Apple ...

| Read more »
Apple Watch sales expected to drop this year despite...

While this year marks the first time Apple Watch has been on the market for a full 12 months, one analyst believes year-over-year sales will be down and not higher. Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities (via Business Insider) has issued a report that says new Apple Watch shipments have decreased by 15-25% which affects the firm’s annual sales prediction.


Filed under: Apple ...

| Read more »
∞ Apple to make macOS Sierra available as automatic...

Apple told me on Monday that it is making its new macOS Sierra available to customers as an automatic download beginning today. What this means for users is that if you have auto update downloads enabled, macOS Sierra will download in the background for you. […]

| Read more »
Tim Cook: Augmented reality will be an essential...

Apple CEO Tim Cook has a hunch about the future of augmented reality, and whether it will ever become mainstream.

This weekend, Cook said that it will take some time for AR to become “acceptable.” But once that happens, AR experiences will be an integral part of our daily lives, comparing the emerging technology to the iPhone and eating three meals a day.

“I do think that a significant portion of the population of developed countries, and eventually all countries, will have AR experiences every day, almost like eating three meals a day. It will become that much a part of you,” Cook said during his panel at a tech conference in Utah. Cook then admitted that there are technical challenges preventing AR from becoming a reality.

To read this article in full or...

| Read more »
Circle, Square, and Venmo: Payment Apps Let You Pay...

Some person-to-person payment services have added iMessage app versions, letting you text money to friends. Glenn Fleishman explains the P2P payment space and looks at the iMessage apps for payment services Circle, Square, and Venmo.


Read the full article at TidBITS, the oldest continuously published technology publication on the Internet. To get a full-text RSS feed, help support our work and become a TidBITS member! Members also enjoy an ad-free version of our Web site, email delivery of individual articles, the ability to make long comments with live links, and discounts on Take Control orders and other Apple-related products.

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The Lack of Strategic Thinking in Election 2016

One of the problems facing the technology industry right now is the critical lack of strategic thinking. Hedge fund managers and activist investors increasingly are forcing tactical decisions that raise stock prices over the short term, largely by destroying the firm's long-term viability. What makes this trend particularly problematic is that most top executives don't seem to understand they are destroying their companies until it's too late. Joe Tucci's and Michael Dell's recent partnership was a massive effort to remove that threat.

| Read more »
Apple issues third developer beta of macOS Sierra 10...

Apple on Monday provided developers with a third pre-release beta of macOS Sierra 10.12.1, right on schedule with an earlier rumor suggesting new MacBook Pros will ship with the update later this month.

| Read more »
Apple releases macOS 10.12.1 beta 3 for Mac

Apple has released the third macOS 10.12.1 beta for Mac. The third seed follows last week’s beta 2 release and the first beta two weeks ago which don’t yet include any notable changes. We’ll update and mention any new changes in this release. Last month, Apple released macOS Sierra for the Mac which includes Siri, Apple Pay, and many new features.


Filed under: Apple ...

| Read more »
England: Apple’s flagship U.K. store in London to...

Apple's flagship U.K. store in London will reopen on Saturday, Oct. 15, at 10 a.m. The store (pictured prior to the renovation) is located at 235 Regent Street, London, W1B 2EL.

According to MacRumors, renovations include the relocation of three columns to create a more spacious feel, replacing the central glass stairs with two new side staircases, and re-configuration of the Backroom with improved facilities for employees. The store's overall square footage has been reduced by 4,400 square feet, or around 25% of the current size. 

Hours for the store are: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday-Friday; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday; and noon to 6 p.m., Sunday. Apple has 489 retail stores in 22 countries and an online store available in 39 countries.

| Read more »
Tip: Send low-quality photos and save data via Apple...

Users can now send photos iPhone in low quality mode, conserving data and battery usage via a new feature found in Apple's Messages app in iOS 10. Here's how to use it.

| Read more »
Regent Street Apple store in London to make long-...

Having been under renovations for over a year, Apple's flagship U.K. store in London will finally reopen on Oct. 15 at 10 a.m., the company has announced.

| Read more »
9to5Toys Lunch Break: $100 iTunes Gift Card $85, 21...

Keep up with the best gear and deals on the web by signing up for the 9to5Toys Newsletter. Also, be sure to check us out on: TwitterRSS FeedFacebookGoogle+ and Safari push notifications.


Get a $100 iTunes Gift Card for just...

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Video tests claim that iPhone 7 sapphire lens cover...

A new video shared over the weekend tests the claim going around that the iPhone 7 camera sapphire lens and Home button covers are less durable than common sapphire covers used in watches. JerryRigEverything compares the iPhone 7 lens cover to a traditional watch sapphire cover in a scratch test to compare hardness levels.


Filed under: Apple ...

| Read more »
Apple Maps now supports Amtrak routes across the U.S.

Close to a year after support for Amtrak routes in the U.S. Northeast rolled out to Apple Maps, the company is finishing the job. Apple’s navigation app now supports information for Amtrak routes in the Midwest, Northwest, South, and West, as first spotted by Macrumors. Amtrak offers 34 routes overall and they all appear to be supported now by Apple Maps.

The new Amtrak routes also include Amtrak trips to Montreal and Vancouver. The other Canadian route—the Maple Leaf between New York and Toronto—was added as part of Northeast Amtrak support in 2015.


| Read more »
Deals: Unlocked 256GB iPhone 7s back in stock; 15%...

Fall is in the air, and deals on Apple products are plentiful this Monday morning. Snap up an unlocked 256GB iPhone 7 on eBay while supplies last. Or grab a $100 iTunes code for $85. A 21" iMac 4K is also $200 off with free shipping.

| Read more »
StubHub ticketing app lands on Apple TV with rich...

StubHub is out with what it says is the “first ticketing app for Apple TV” on the tvOS App Store. StubHub for the fourth-gen Apple TV offers a visually rich experience with both categories and show times. Their goal is to help people go from browsing for entertainment in the living room to finding something to experience out in the world. There’s even a handy feature that shows you seat perspectives for available tickets on the big screen.


Filed under: Apple ...

| Read more »
Apple store polling shows slightly improved iPhone 7...

Continued stock level monitoring by analysts show that stock levels of the iPhone 7 family are improving even under heavy demand -- which could be a good sign for Apple's financial results.

| Read more »
Tim Cook Defends Apple's Approach To Security...

Apple CEO Tim Cook has once again defended his company's hardline approach to security. At Utah Tech Tour event while taking questions from the audience, Cook said, (via BusinessInsider):"This is one of the biggest issues that we face. Encryption is what makes the public safe. As you know, there are people kept alive because the grid is up. If our grid goes down, if there was a grid attack, the public's safety is at risk" -- hence the need for encryption to protect it. "You can imagine defence systems need encryption, because there are a few bad actors in the world who might like to attack those. [...] Some people have tried to make it out to be bad," the chief executive told the audience at the Utah question-and-answer session. "Encryption is inherently great, and we would not be a safe society without it. So this is an area that is very, very important for us... as you can tell from our actions earlier this year, we throw all of ourselves into this." he added. "We're very much...

| Read more »
Bees, flowers, and iPhone

Nature’s balance. Love this.

∞ Read this on The Loop

| Read more »
∞ Apple Campus 2 drone footage

[VIDEO]: Matthew Roberts updated his monthly Apple spaceship campus footage. Great stuff.

| Read more »
Facebook intros new Marketplace feature through iOS...

Facebook on Monday began rolling out a new feature in its iOS and Android apps called the Marketplace, where users can buy and sell items locally in a manner similar to Craigslist.

| Read more »
∞ MacOS Sierra: Using “About This Mac” to clean up...

Matt Gemmell tweeted:

Do like the new macOS Sierra thing where you can find which apps/docs/etc you’ve not used in a while.

Embedded in the tweet was an image, showing his Mac after he launched About This Mac and tapped the Storage tab. Like so:

  • Choose “About This Mac” from your Mac’s Apple menu.
  • Tap the Storage tab
  • Tap the Manage… button

Lots of things you can do here. For starters, you can tap Applications (in the sidebar), then tap the Last Accessed header to list Applications in reverse order, which will show you the apps you haven’t accessed in a long time. The longest neglected app I found on my Mac was iPod Software 2.1, which I haven’t touched since 2003.

Before you start deleting old stuff, you might read through the responses to...

| Read more »
The one thing to do to make your MacBook Pro live...

Keir Thomas walks through the process of rebonding/regreasing his MacBook Pro’s heatsink. Is this necessary? Will it extend the life of your MacBook Pro? Keir says yes, and he’s got the tech chops to make this look relatively easy.

Though I love getting my hands dirty, I think I’ll hold off on this one until I get my hands on a new MacBook Pro. That said, I found this post and the accompanying pictures fascinating and well worth the read. And, sure enough, his MacBook Pro runs much cooler after his tweaking is done. Cool.

∞ Read this on The Loop

| Read more »
The iPhone 7 finishes last in flawed Which battery...

Blog “Which? Tech Daily” ran the HTC 10, LG G5, Samsung Galaxy S7, and the Apple iPhone 7 through a series of battery tests.

The most notable difference:

Whilst the iPhone 7’s 712 minutes of call time (nearly 12 hours) may sound acceptable, the rival Samsung Galaxy S7 lasted twice as long – and it doesn’t even have the longest lasting battery. The HTC 10 lasted an incredible 1,859 minutes (that’s almost 31 hours).


So just why does the iPhone 7 have such a poor battery life? It may sound obvious, but the majority of the fault lies in its comparatively tiny cell. Smartphone batteries are measured in milliampere hours (mAh). The iPhone 7 has a 1,960mAh battery, whilst the HTC 10 has a 3,000mAh battery: it should hardly be surprising that one battery nearly half the size of another offers roughly half as much charge.

So was this a fair test? Is call time a fair measure of battery life? In browsing/email testing, the battery life was much closer,...

| Read more »
Denmark: Apple’s enters into an ‘ambitious agreement...

Apple has followed up on its promise last year to build a data center in Denmark with an “ambitious agreement” with the University of Aarhus (pictured) on a new biogas research and development partnership, according to CPH Post Online. Foulum is a small town outside of Viborg where Aarhus University’s agricultural research facilities are located.

Biogas typically refers to a mixture of different gases produced by the breakdown of organic matter in the absence of oxygen. Biogas can be produced from raw materials such as agricultural waste, manure, municipal waste, plant material, sewage, green waste or food waste. Biogas is a renewable energy source and in many cases exerts a very small carbon footprint.

CPH Post Online says that, under the terms of the agreement, Apple will provide financial support to the university’s research into biogas and how usable...

| Read more »
How-To: Download all Apple Music on iPhone or iPad...

Downloading your complete Apple Music collection to your iPhone or iPad is surprisingly difficult, even on the redesigned and simpler iOS 10 update. There’s no obvious ‘download all’ button and iCloud Music Library moves all syncing to iCloud, not iTunes, so you can’t just shuttle your library from your Mac to your iPhone or iPad.

If you like to keep a local music library, this is a problem you will likely face when you upgrade to a new iPhone even if you restore from an encrypted backup using iTunes, which is considered the most efficient method. There are a few ways to work around this issue using iTunes. I’ll share my method below …


Filed under: Apple ...

| Read more »
Apple CEO Tim Cook touts encryption, AR at Utah Tech...

[VIDEO]: Tim Cook hopped on stage for a Q&A with Senator Orrin Hatch on Hatch’s Utah Tech Tour. Video embedded in the main post.

∞ Read this on The Loop

| Read more »
∞ iOS 10, the Phone app, and automatic voicemail...

If you are using iOS 10 and have not yet encountered automatic voicemail transcription, take a minute and open the Phone app and tap the Voicemail tab.

Tap on a voicemail and you’ll notice that, in addition to the playback controls, there’s now a textual transcription of each message. Though the quality of the transcription can be spotty, it’s usually good enough to get a basic sense of the message.

The service is a beta, which gives me the sense that we’ll see needed improvements to transcription accuracy over time.

Lory Gil pulled together this nice how-to on various aspects of working with iOS 10’s voicemail transcription.

| Read more »

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Backblaze - Online backup serv...
Backblaze is an online backup service designed from the ground-up for the Mac. With unlimited storage available for $5 per month, as well as a free 15-day trial, peace of mind is within reach with... Read more
Postbox 5.0.5 - Powerful and flexible em...
Postbox is a new email application that helps you organize your work life and get stuff done. It has all the elegance and simplicity of Apple Mail, but with more power and flexibility to manage even... Read more
Coda 2.5.19 - One-window Web development...
Coda is a powerful Web editor that puts everything in one place. An editor. Terminal. CSS. Files. With Coda 2, we went beyond expectations. With loads of new, much-requested features, a few surprises... Read more
Toast Titanium 15.1 - $99.99
Roxio Toast 15 Titanium, the leading DVD burner for Mac, makes burning even better, adding Roxio Secure Burn to protect your files on disc and USB in Mac- or Windows-compatible formats. Get more... Read more
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Firetask uniquely combines the advantages of classical priority-and-due-date-based task management with GTD. Stay focused and on top of your commitments - Firetask's "Today" view shows all relevant... Read more
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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. Version 54.0.2840.71: Release notes were unavailable... Read more
Chromium 54.0.2840.71 - 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. Version 54.0.2840.71: Release notes were unavailable... Read more
Firetask 3.8.1 - Innovative task managem...
Firetask uniquely combines the advantages of classical priority-and-due-date-based task management with GTD. Stay focused and on top of your commitments - Firetask's "Today" view shows all relevant... Read more
Yep 3.8.0 - $23.99
Yep is a document organization and management tool. Like iTunes for music or iPhoto for photos, Yep lets you search and view your documents in a comfortable interface, while offering the ability to... Read more
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Use Data Rescue to recover: crashed, corrupted or non-mounting hard drive deleted, damaged, or lost files reformatted or erased hard drive One powerful new feature found in Data Rescue 4 is... Read more

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5 apps for the budding mixologist
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Flippy Bottle Extreme! takes on the bottle flipping craze with a bunch of increasingly tricky physics platforming puzzles. It's difficult and highly frustrating, but also addictive. When you begin to master the game, the sense of achievement is... | Read more »
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KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has a strong record of Apple hardware prediction accuracy, forecasts in a new note to investors released late last week that a long-overdue redo of the... Read more
12-inch Retina MacBooks on sale for $100 off...
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PixelStyle is an all-in-one Mac Photo Editor with a huge range of high-end filters including lighting, blurs, distortions, tilt-shift, shadows, glows and so forth. PixelStyle Photo Editor for Mac... Read more
13-inch MacBook Airs on sale for $100-$140 of...
B&H has 13″ MacBook Airs on sale for $100-$140 off MSRP for a limited time. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 13″ 1.6GHz/128GB MacBook Air (sku MMGF2LL/A): $899 $100 off... Read more
2.8GHz Mac mini available for $988, includes...
Adorama has the 2.8GHz Mac mini available for $988, $11 off MSRP, including a free copy of Apple’s 3-Year AppleCare Protection Plan. Shipping is free, and Adorama charges sales tax in NY & NJ... Read more
21-inch 3.1GHz 4K on sale for $1379, $120 off...
Adorama has the 21″ 3.1GHz 4K iMac on sale $1379.99. Shipping is free, and Adorama charges NY & NJ sales tax only. Their price is $120 off MSRP. To purchase an iMac at this price, you must first... Read more
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MacPrices is proud to offer readers a free iOS app (iPhones, iPads, & iPod touch) and Android app (Google Play and Amazon App Store) called iTracx, which allows you to glance at today’s lowest... Read more
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Select 9-inch Apple WiFi iPad Pros on sale fo...
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