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Tuesday June 10

15:02
Apple Releases MacBook Air Firmware Update for Sleep...

Apple released MacBook Air EFI Firmware Update 2.8 for mid-2013 and 2014 models Tuesday. The update addresses sleep and memory issues.


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14:46
Apple-Focused Distributor Dr. Bott Declares...

Dr. Bott, a long-time Apple-focused distributor of devices, cases, accessories, and other gear, recently declared bankruptcy. The company filed for Chapter 11 protection, and it's unclear if it intends to use that process to continue operations.


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14:05
Google Steps Closer to Robot Overlord Status with...

Internet search giant Google took another step closer to becoming our robot overlord on Tuesday with the US$500 million purchase of Skybox Imaging. Google plans to use Skybox's satellite network to improve its own Google Maps service.

The Mac Observer Spin: Google tracks us through our Web searches, browsing, and email, plus it has Google Glass to see what we see, and is building its own self driving cars. Next stop: robot overlords.


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13:10
Smile Launches ‘Get A Little, Give A Lot Promotion’...

Smile has launched the "Get a little, give a lot" promotion with a 20 percent off sale on PDFpen and PDFpenPro, and everyone who buys it can donate a free copy to a nonprofit of their choosing.

The Mac Observer Spin: Kelly pink puffy hearts Smile for about a squillion reasons, this is just the latest of them.


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12:53
Apple Products Slated To Return To Costco Warehouses

Four years ago, Apple's iPods and gift cards slowly disappeared from Costco, but are going to make a comeback. An internal company memo said that iPhones and iPads are returning to the warehouse chain, while separate sources said that gift cards are already reappearing.

The Mac Observer Spin: This generally means a permanent deal on gift cards, which is awesome for anyone. Not to mention getting a crack at being one of the devices at those displays in Costco, which is one of the few places left that doesn't seem to sell anything from Cupertino.


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12:23
Kloqe Aluminum Case for iPhone 5/5s is Sturdy,...

The Kloqe aluminum case for iPhone 5/5s is made of aluminum and is sleek, minimalist, and beautiful. Well designed plastic caps on each end allow the radios to work effectively. It is the most beautiful iPhone case John Martellaro has ever seen, but it does have one small flaw. John sizes up this amazing but possibly flawed case.


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12:20
Doxie One Portable, Battery-Powered Scanner - Just $...

For just a few more days you can save $50 and get the Doxie One portable scanner for just $99. You don't even have to have your computer with you to scan with this thing. Scans are stored on an included 2GB SD Card, and then you can sync that to your Mac when you're ready (the scanner has a USB port in case your computer can't directly read SD cards - they thought of it all!). Full 300dpi sheets will scan in just eight seconds, and the Doxie app includes OCR and the ability to create searchable PDFs (among other formats). Upload directly to Evernote or Dropbox if that's your fancy. If you haven't gone paperless yet, this is your chance!


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11:51
EU to investigate Apple’s Irish tax practices

The European Commission will launch a formal investigation into Apple’s tax practices in Ireland, RTE reports. It’s expected that the commission will officially announce the investigation tomorrow. Apple CEO Tim Cook testified on Apple’s tax policies to a U.S. Senate subcommittee last year. Recently, a March report

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11:25
iTunes Radio adds ESPN Radio, local NPR stations

ESPN Radio and a number of local NPR stations are now available on iTunes Radio. The stations are notably live streaming stations, rather than customizable iTunes Radio stations. NPR launched its first iTunes Radio station, NPR News and Culture, in March. A search for…

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10:16
TMO Daily Observations: 2014-06-10

Apple has a different take on just how the information our personal tracking devices should be used, and that bit of information came out in a meeting with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Kelly Guimont and Bryan Chaffin join Jeff Gamet to talk about just how differently Apple sees our personal information, and to share their hopes for a better future for Skype.


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08:49
Apple plans 1,000 in-house ad/marketing employees,...

Ad Age has a new comprehensive report on Apple’s shifting strategies in advertising and marketing, claiming the company is “madly building an internal agency that it’s telling recruits will eventually number 1,000.” The article starts with an anecdote about a pitch from Apple’s longtime ad agency partner TBWA/Media Arts…

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08:08
Apps: FIFA 2.0, Kindle 4.3, Sky Force 2014 + Sleep...

FIFA has updated its free FIFA Official App before the start of the World Cup this week. As one might expect, the updated app has more information about the World Cup, including the latest news, rosters, schedule, and information on the Brazilian stadiums and cities hosting the tournament. Another…

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07:20
Apparent Oleg Pliss iPhone Hackers Arrested

Two Russian men apparently linked to the iPhone lockout scam that hit Australia in May have been arrested. The two have been accused of remotely locking victim's iPhones and then demanding a ransom, and while authorities stopped short of saying they were involved on the Oleg Pliss attacks, their actions sound exactly the same.

The Mac Observer Spin: Regardless of whether or not the real Oleg Pliss attackers are in custody, this is a great reminder to avoid offers that are too good to be true, and to stay away from websites that you think aren't trustworthy.


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06:04
Netflix Backs Down from ISP Speed Shaming

Netflix has backed down from its Internet bandwidth shaming campaign against Verizon, bringing an end to what the video streaming company called a trial run to let customers know why the movies they want to watch download slowly. After the warnings gained media attention, Verizon threatened legal action if Netflix didn't stop.

The Mac Observer Spin: Netflix backed down, which means either Verizon won this round or Netflix played a gamble to force the ISP into more talks about bandwidth availability. Either way, it's pretty clear Verizon isn't interested in a Net Neutrality that's equally open for all data.


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Monday June 9

17:10
Apple Launches ‘Soccer Fever’ iTunes Collection of...

Apple launched a collection of apps and games in the App Store called "Soccer Fever." The move is timed for World Cup 2014, which begins this month in Brazil.


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16:46
Apple Sees Mobile Tech As Opportunity for Users to...

Apple sees mobile technology platforms, "as an opportunity for people to learn more about themselves," according to discussions held with Food and Drug Administration (FDA) officials. Highlights from the meeting show that Apple used the meeting to talk about medtech sensors, including a glucometer, regulations for such sensors, and the FDA's stance on apps dedicated to medical monitoring.


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14:55
Get Scrivener, a Great Writing Tool, for Just $20

I have a great deal for you on Scrivener, a product I personally endorse in the strongest terms. Scrivener is a writing tool aimed at novelists, screenwriters, short story writers, and any other writers out there. I've been using it for almost three years to work on two novels, and I can't imagine using anything else. In addition to being wonderful for organizing your work into scenes and chapters, research documents, and more, it also has incredible output tools that can turn your manuscript into a Word doc for submission to the industry, an Epub file for iBooks, a Kindle file, a PDF, and many, many other formats. With our deal, you can get it for $20, less than half the retail price of $45, but you only have five more days to get it at that price. If you want more info on Scrivener, check out John Martellaro's review.

...

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14:15
MGG 505: WWDC Dissected - What it Means For Users

You've heard about the WWDC keynote, but you haven't heard a deep dive from the sessions yet. This year Apple loosened up the NDA such that attendees to the sessions can talk a little bit more detail than they could in the past. Dave was at most of those sessions, and he and John will deep dive into a few topics from there and, more importantly, how you, as a user, will be impacted by the changes now afforded to developers. After that, of course, it's time to answer your questions, and they piled up quite high over the past week. Lots to cover, and your geeks get to it all. Download today and enjoy!


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13:13
Dev: iOS 8 includes code for side-by-side apps

iOS 8’s SpringBoard includes code to run two apps side-by-side, according to a tweet from developer Steven Troughton-Smith. He notes that the code anticipates that side-by-side apps will be run at 1/4, 1/2, or 3/4 size. While a previous report noted that Apple would add split-screen multitasking to iOS…

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12:48
FOIA request reveals Apple, FDA medical sensor...

Apple and the FDA discussed Apple’s interest in including medical sensors in mobile devices, according to a report from Apple Toolbox, which filed a Freedom of Information Act request to gain insight into Apple’s December meeting with the FDA. The response notes that “[w]ith the potential for more sensors…

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12:46
Apple Addresses MacBook Air Battery Issue with...

Apple released MacBook Air SMC Update 2.0 on Monday to address a battery drain issue affecting the mid 2013 MacBook Air model. The problem occurs when the laptop lid is closed and the computer should otherwise be in a low power use mode.


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12:25
Report: Apple rejects apps rewarding video ads,...

Apple is now cracking down on apps that reward users for watching videos or sharing socially, according to TechCrunch. App developers are now reportedly receiving rejection notices as Apple cites sections 2.25 and 3.10 in its App Store Review Guidelines. Section 2.25 reads: “Apps that display Apps other…

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12:15
How Apple’s WWDC Keynote Blew Away All the Editorial...

There is nothing like a WWDC Keynote, a two hour glimpse into the psyche of Apple, to provide a solid picture of what the company is up to. Observers may or may not like the personality of Tim Cook or the current product line, but last week's keynote illustrates how the efforts of thousands of Apple engineers have come to fruition. It obliterated the Apple hysteria.


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12:07
Skype Announces Big Changes in Upcoming iPhone...

Microsoft has announced a redesign of Skype for iPhone on the Skype blog. This update is a big one, and includes not only some design changes but some speed updates as well.


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11:49
Apple’s iOS 8 Protects Mobile Privacy from Wi-Fi...

One of the improved privacy features of iOS 8 could also foil marketers tracking smartphone data. A Swiss scientist has revealed that MAC address tracking-a common method marketers (and also malware) can use to monitor mobile phones (and therefore customers) as they move through a store-is foiled by Apple's latest iOS 8 beta releases.

The Mac Observer Spin: It's nice to see this baked into iOS, rather than it being a separate utility. It would be nice if this became the norm.


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11:06
Apple looking for ‘high-profile’ corporate...

Apple is hoping to find some “high-profile external candidates” in its search for a new VP of worldwide corporate communications, Re/Code reports. The company is looking to fill the position vacated by longtime PR chief Katie Cotton, whose retirement was announced last month. CEO Tim Cook is reportedly…

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10:43
TMO Daily Observations: 2014-06-09

Apple bought the location discovery app company Spotsetter, but not to get into the social networking business. Bryan Chaffin and Kelly Guimont join Jeff Gamet to talk about what's really behind the purchase, and to explain what today's 7-to-1 stock split means for Apple investors.


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09:45
Apple Doesn’t Need to Be First to Home Automation;...

Last week at WWDC Apple quickly announced HomeKit, the company's home automation framework for developers. Many folks have been asking if Apple is too late with this; if the market is already saturated such that there's no room for Apple (or any other new "platform"). It's possible that Apple is late to the party, but I will offer this: Apple is rarely first at anything, but Apple is often the best.


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08:52
Wells Fargo Analyst Adjusts AAPL Target Following...

Wells Fargo analyst Maynard Um has lowered his target price range for Apple's stock to reflect its value following Monday morning's 7-to-1 stock split. His new 12 month target price range is between US$86 and $93, and was between $388 and $645 last week before the stock split.

The Mac Observer Spin: Apple's stock is already trading above Mr. Um's target range. That doesn't, however, mean he's underestimating how it will perform over the next 12 months.


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08:39
iOS 8 randomizes MAC addresses when searching for Wi...

As tweeted by Swiss programmer Frederic Jacobs on Sunday, iOS 8 will randomize a device’s MAC address while scanning for available Wi-Fi networks. Companies are currently able to use device-specific MAC addresses to track the location of devices — for instance, MAC addresses allow retailers to recognize if…

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08:06
New photos of alleged iPhone 6 rear shell surface

New photos of the alleged 4.7” iPhone 6 rear shell have surfaced on Xiaolongchakan.com. The new photos match another photo of the alleged shell in late May, albeit without a sticker on the shell. It now appears as if the majority of the…

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07:24
Researchers Find Yet Another Major OPenSSL Security...

As if Heartbleed wasn't enough of a headache for OpenSSL, security researchers have found another major flaw that lets attackers bypass the protocol's encryption without being detected. The flaw exploits the OpenSSL handshake to force sending and receiving computers to use weak passwords attackers can decrypt through man in the middle attacks.

The Mac Observer Spin: OpenSSL is a powerful tool for encrypting information passing between your computer and Web servers, but this threat and Heartbleed show it isn't necessarily as safe as previously thought. The OpenSSL team is stretched thin, so there just isn't enough manpower to stay on top of every security issue. Translation: Don't blindly assume the information passing between your computer and Internet servers is always encrypted.

...

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05:54
AAPL 7-to-1 Stock Split Trading Starts Today, Over $...

After closing on Friday at US$645.57, Apple's stock is trading in the pre-market Monday morning around $92. That drop doesn't, however, indicate a decrease in Apple's stock value but instead comes from the promised 7-to-1 stock split scheduled to take effect today.


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05:46
Dr. Dre profile highlights perfectionism, mysterious...

A Wall Street Journal profile of Beats Electronics co-founder and new Apple executive Dr. Dre says that the vaunted producer and rapper is a perfectionist, and “serves as Beats’ ‘cultural barometer’ of what is cool,” but uses a “mysterious process” and is “rarely seen at Beats headquarters.” In detailing…

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05:11
Report: Apple Maps improvements derailed by internal...

A new report from TechCrunch purports to explain the absence of major improvements this year to Maps, Apple’s iOS and OS X competitor to Google Maps, blaming bad “planning, project management, and internal politics” for delays of features that were expected to debut at the Worldwide Developers’ Conference (WWDC)…

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Saturday June 7

07:30
How to Run iPhone Apps on iPad (and Why You’d Want...

Most apps for iPhone and iPod touch can be used with iPad, but they might not take advantage of the larger screen. Sandro Cuccia shows you how to find and use apps specific to the small-screen devices, and why you might want to.


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Friday June 6

14:15
3 Free iOS Games for Sodoku, Word Jumble, and...

Flabby brains equal more senior moments. Vern Seward offers a cure in this week's Free on iTunes with 3 puzzlers for iOS. Sudoku:), Word Search, and Crossword Jewels.


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14:04
Apple Stores to Offer Pre-Paid and Month-to-Month...

Apple stores will soon be able to connect a newly purchased (full price) iPhone to a pre-paid or month-to-month plan right in the store. Right now a full-price phone can only be connected in a carrier store or to a separately purchased pre-paid SIM card.


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13:51
Last Chance to Get Borderlands 2 for Mac for $9.99

We have a deal for Mac gamers today: you can get Borderlands 2 for Mac for US$9.99, which is half off the retail price. It's a great deal, but it expires in one day. That means if you want it, you should hop on it, and pronto. There's a trailer for the game on the deal listing, and it's been described as, "pure, unadulterated, shoot-em-up fun thatâs wrapped in an absurd, colorful, and interactive package," though it may not be for the squeamish. Have fun!


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13:47
iLounge Weekly arrives Monday, giveaway reminder

The latest edition of iLounge Weekly, our weekly newsletter covering all things iLounge, will be arriving in subscribers’ inboxes early next week. iLounge Weekly is a summary of the week’s best news, reviews, and feature articles we’ve published, and it also features giveaways and accessory discount offers…

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13:29
Lego + Sugru = Organized Keys and Cables

If you aren't familiar with Sugru, it is a miracle substance that starts sort of rubbery and after it cures it becomes silicone. It's one of the common fixes for frayed cables, so common that Sugru now comes in white for those wanting a less obvious repair for their Apple cables. Sugru highlights some of the neater hacks on its site, and the latest one making the rounds at TMO Towers is a Lego hack. Here's the scoop: Take some Sugru and attach a flat plate to the desired surface, attach a Lego minifig, and let the little Lego guy hold your Lightning cable. You can also attach a Lego brick to your keys, and attach your keys to the same plate. Lego/Sugru hacks are relatively common, check out the site for a bit of inspiration.


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13:16
Apple Buys Spotsetter, a Social Discovery Engine for...

Apple has bought Spotsetter, a company that provides a socially-sourced discovery engine for locations. Without naming sources, TechCrunch reported that Apple bought the company in order to acquire both the technology and the company's founders.


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12:38
iLounge Game Spotlight: Final Kick, Penalty Cup...

This week, we’ll be taking a look at three recent soccer games that have hit the App Store in time for the World Cup, which starts next week. First up are Final Kick (free) and the laboriously titled Penalty Cup Soccer 2014 — World Edition: Football Champion of…

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12:33
Netflix, Verizon, and Net Neutrality: the Ongoing...

Netflix and Verizon are fighting over Verizon's right to throttle traffic, Netflix's right to have its data delivered to customers, and customers' rights to get the data they're paying for. Netflix recently began telling customers that Netflix was reponsible for any streaming issues, and on Thursday, Verizon fired off a cease and desist letter demanding that Netflix stop.


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12:29
Report: Apple acquires social search engine...

Apple has acquired Spotsetter, a social search engine, TechCrunch reports. According to Spotsetter’s website, the search engine “provides personalized recommendations for places to go.” The deal was reportedly made to acquire Spotsetter’s technology and its two founders, Stephen Tse and Johnny Lee, with some of the Spotsetter team…

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11:51
Apple Reportedly Planning Wearable Media Event for...

Apple is planning to unveil its highly-anticipated and much rumored foray into wearable computing-a.k.a. the iWatch-in October, according to online reports. Citing unnamed sources, Re/code's John Paczkowski said that Apple "hopes to schedule a special event [in October] to show off the device."


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11:21
Apple to intro in-store prepaid and month-to-month...

Apple is readying prepaid and month-to-month plans for iPhones in its retail stores, 9to5Mac reports. A source claims the move is being made to boost iPhone sales. Customers will soon be able to purchase a full-price iPhone, and then connect it to prepaid or month-to-month calling and data plans…

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11:06
The CIA Can Neither Confirm Nor Deny Its First Tweet

There is so much to say about the CIA's new Twitter account, starting with the fact that the CIA has a new Twitter account. Twitter says that it's verified, too. It's the spy agency's first tweet, however, that has gone almost instantaneously viral. "We can neither confirm nor deny that this is our first tweet." That's brilliant, and it's hilarious to see that someone at the CIA has a sense of humor, even if there is little that is funny about what it does. The tweet is 20 minutes old as of this writing, and in that time, it has been retweeted 17,000 times and the agency itself has gained 20,000 followers.

We can neither confirm nor deny that this is our first tweet.
- CIA (@CIA) June 6, 2014


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10:29
TMO Daily Observations: 2014-06-06

Verizon and Netflix are fighting over Net Neutrality and claims that they're both throttling streaming video. Kelly Guimont and Bryan Chaffin join Jeff Gamet to sort through what's happening and why it matters consumers, plus they take a look at Apple's decision to use the HealthKit name even though there's already another company using it and offering similar services.


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07:19
PayPal looking to integrate Touch ID into mobile...

PayPal is “moving quickly” to integrate the iPhone 5s’ Touch ID into its mobile payment apps, Business Insider reports. PayPal developers recently attended a session on Touch ID at WWDC. “It seems to be a fairly easy API to use, but we’re still kicking the tires,” a source from…

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07:16
Poll: What new feature are you most looking forward...

With Apple having taken the wraps off iOS 8 at this week’s Worldwide Developers Conference, we’re curious to know what you, our readers, think is the single most significant feature that was announced this week. Does the idea of seamlessly integrating your Mac, iPhone, and iPad experience with Apple’s new…

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06:55
Report: Apple employees reveal issues with iTunes...

The development of Apple’s iTunes Radio and Ping suffered from shortsighted management, and Apple engineers often preferred to use Spotify and Pandora, according to a new report from Buzzfeed, which interviewed both former and current Apple employees. “Pandora is an awesome radio that blows iTunes Radio out of the…

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06:28
Apple Chips in $2M to Help Offset Tax Payer Super...

Apple, Google, and several other tech companies have chipped in US$2 million each to help defer taxpayer costs for Super Bowl 50, which will be hosted in San Jose. The contributions are part of a $40 million fund started by the Super Bowl Host Committee.

The Mac Observer Spin: It's nice to see big companies doing something to help keep down the bill tax payers will get stuck with because the Super Bowl is coming to town. Even better would be to find a way to fund the event so tax payers don't have to pick up any of the tab.


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06:22
Report: iWatch to have October launch, curved OLED...

Apple’s rumored iWatch will launch in October with a curved OLED touchscreen, Nikkei Asian Review reports. The report, which only refers to the device as “a wearable health-monitoring device” and “watch-like wearable gear,” claims iWatch will run on iOS 8 and use biometric sensors to collect health data. Apple…

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05:25
OS X: Archiving Messages from Apple Mail

If youâre the kind of person whoâs got 47,000 messages in his inbox, then you might also be the kind of person whoâd like to learn how to archive some of those emails out of the Mail program. This simple process can clean up your inbox and any other mailboxes you have while still letting you access your old messages if you need to in the future. Come on in to find out how!


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Thursday June 5

15:22
Apple, Google, and Facebook CEOS Sign Open Letter...

The CEOs of Apple, Microsoft, Google, and Facebook (among others) added their names to an open letter to the US Senate as part of the Reset The Net campaign. The letter urges better protections for U.S. consumers than those provided under the House version of the USA Freedom Act.

The Mac Observer Spin: Apple and Microsoft and Facebook and Google agree this is a bad scene. What more do you need to know?


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15:10
OS X Yosemite: System Requirements and Resources

If you're planning to try the public Beta of OS X Yosemite, you'll want to refer to the Macintosh System requirements.
Plus, we've included some helpful Yosemite links, all in one place.


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14:58
Sprint Reportedly Near to a Deal to Buyout T-Mobile

Sprint and T-Mobile are "zeroing in" on terms of a deal that would have Sprint-the 3rd largest wireless carrier in the U.S.-buy T-Mobile-the 4th largest carrier-for US$32 billion. According to The New York Times's DealBook column, the price has been more or less agreed to, but other aspects of the deal still have to be worked out, and it could be some time before it is announced.


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14:08
Apple Gets a Cameo in New Beats By Dre Video

A new video from Beats by Dre, titled "The Game Before The Game," features Apple in a couple of notable cameos among other celebrity appearances.


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13:42
Philips reveals iOS 8 Hue widget concept

Philips, maker of the Hue smart bulb, has tweeted a concept prototype showing Hue being used within an iOS 8 widget. The concept shows the widget within Notification Center — a user could simply swipe down to change the lighting in a room set up with Hue bulbs.

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13:40
OS X Yosemite Features Explained and Ranked

As with all OS X releases, Apple has added plenty of new features to Yosemite. How do these features rank in terms of usefulness and likely wide adoption? Which ones will become signature features? John Martellaro sizes them up.


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12:32
Apps: Angry Birds Space 2.0, Catan 4.0.5, Disney...

Rovio is claiming its newest update for Angry Birds Space ($1) is its biggest update ever, and has given it a fitting name: Beak Impact. The new episode in version 2.0.0 introduces 40 new levels, in addition to 10 bonus levels. Players can unlock bonus levels by, strangely enough,…

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11:44
Apple’s Jony Ive and Bono Will Talk About (RED) at...

Apple's designer-in-chief, Sir Jony Ive, will join U2 frontman Bono at the Cannes film Festival to talk about (RED), the AIDS charity cofounded by Bono. The two will be talking about (RED)' success in working with corporate partners like Apple, the charity's single biggest contributor.


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11:23
Griffin Wired Keyboard for iOS Devices Eliminates...

The Griffin wired keyboard for iOS devices is designed for those who, well, donât like Bluetooth or work in environments where Bluetooth isn't practical or allowed when needed. For example, classrooms, government offices and commercial flights. This full-size keyboard solves that problem. Plus it doesn't need batteries.


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11:01
TMO Daily Observations: 2014-06-05

Netflix subscribers won't need to install Microsoft's Silverlight on their Macs once OS X Yosemite ships, so Jeff Gamet invited Kelly Guimont and John Martellaro back to share their take on why that's a big deal. They also have plenty to say about the convergence of OS X and iOS, and why that may not mean exactly what you think.


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08:15
AAPL Stock Split: What You Need to Know

Apple's 7-to-1 stock split is only a couple days away, and the company said that the change applies to share holders on record as of June 2. With one date behind us now, and the other fast approaching, what does that mean for your Apple stock, especially since it's still trading? Read on to find out.


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07:16
Apple reveals more Family Sharing details

Apple has set up a FAQ within iTunes Connect for Family Sharing in iOS 8, and it reveals more details about the upcoming feature. The feature lets up to six family members share iTunes, Books, and App Store content through the credit card of one adult with an Apple ID,…

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07:03
Australian Company Claims Apple Stole HealthKit Name

Apple's HealthKit fitness tracking platform for iOS 8 has plenty of people excited, but it has Alison Hardacre angry and disappointed. That's because Ms. Hardacre is the co-founder of HealthKit, an Australia-based company that lets users track their health and fitness online, and then share that information with their doctors.

The Mac Observer Spin: This isn't the first time Apple has jumped on a name that's already taken. Typically, Apple follows up with negotiations and strikes a deal. It'll be a pain for the Australian HealthKit, but it's business as usual for Apple.


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06:28
Apple producing more ads in-house

Apple is now producing more of its own television advertisements, Reuters reports. The company is decreasing its reliance on longtime ad agency partner TBWA\Chiat\Day, as Apple is “seeking a fresh approach to regain advertising as one of its key competitive advantages.” Recent iPad ads, including the iPad Air “Pencil”…

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05:39
Apple Pushes Health and Fitness in New iPhone 5S Ad

Apple is serious about the move into health and fitness tracking, and its latest iPhone 5S commercial makes that very clear. The ad, called "Strength," showcases the iPhone 5S as an important part of user's fitness routines along with third party devices like step trackers and smart scales.

The Mac Observer Spin: Health and fitness is clearly far more than an afterthought for Apple. Get ready for more apps, devices, and of course ads.


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05:00
One Year of Unlimited BackBlaze Backup: $24.99 (ends...

Our deal partners at StackSocial and friends at BackBlaze have teamed up to offer this killer deal. $25 for a full year of unlimited online backup is pretty darned hard to beat (tomorrow this deal expires and that price doubles back up to $50). I've used BackBlaze over the years and they truly are a Mac-first type of shop. Their Mac interface is a first-class, native Mac application and it works every time. Configuration is as easy or complex as you want it to be, and you'll be backing online up in no time. All of this, of course, is seated on top of BackBlaze's own, secure data center, and your data is encrypted in transit, too. If you don't already have BackBlaze, go grab this deal. $25 for one year isn't a price you'll get tomorrow for anything this good.


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Wednesday June 4

14:29
ACM 257: WWDC 2014 Roundup

Apple hosted its annual keynote presentation at Worldwide Developer Conference this week, so Jeff and Bryan have plenty to talk about. They took a look at what they like from iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite, how Apple is marginalizing Google branding in searches, the move towards smart home control, health and fitness tracking, and more.


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13:05
How to Interpret What You Saw in the WWDC Keynote

In the past, the WWDC keynote was not available for public viewing, so if you watched it, you may have been a bit confused about some things that were said and done. John Martellaro explains.


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11:06
China Media Wants Apple, Others Punished for Being...

China state media outlet, China Daily, is demanding the government dole out sever punishment to Apple, Google, Microsoft, and other big tech companies for acting as pawns of the U.S. government to steal secret information. The news outlet alleges the companies it is targeting worked as U.S. government agents to monitor Internet activity in China, although it isn't saying what type of data was stolen.

The Mac Observer Spin: This smells of political posturing and has the potential to be a big headache for tech companies regardless of how complicit they may or may not have been with the NSA.


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10:40
TMO Daily Observations: 2014-06-04

If you think Apple needs a new hardware platform to handle all of the smart home and fitness features iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite can offer, think again. Kelly Guimont and John Martellaro join Jeff Gamet to explain why the iPhone is Apple's manage-everything-device, and they explain why the public beta of OS X Yosemite won't be a smart choice for everyone.


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10:32
UAG Case for iPhone 5/5s Meets Military Drop-Test...

Urban Armor Gear has released sturdy, attractive, cases for iPhone 5/5s. The armor shell and silicone interior emphasize impact resistance and MIL-STD drop protection, but the case is also low in weight. It's available in seven colors. An added feature is the unique, oversized volume buttons.


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09:11
iOS 8 adds new MIDI and other audio enhancements

Additional information from WWDC this week reveals that Apple plans to introduce new audio enhancements in iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite, including new CoreAudio and CoreMIDI APIs that will include support for MIDI over Bluetooth LE and enhancements to Apple’s iOS inter-app audio feature. While…

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06:28
Netflix Finally Moves Away from Silverlight with OS...

Netflix is finally moving away from Microsoft's Silverlight for video streaming on the Mac, at least for OS X Yosemite users. The company said it is instead relying on a feature called Media Source Extensions which will give subscribers 1080p quality video without taxing your Mac's CPU or battery.

The Mac Observer Spin: Finally! We'll be able to watch Netflix streaming on our Macs without having to install yet another proprietary media streaming plug-in.


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06:13
Report: Apple plans Lightning cable MFi headphones

Apple has added a specification to its Made For iPhone/iPad/iPod program allowing manufacturers to create headphones with Lightning connectors, rather than traditional 3.5mm headphone plugs, according to a new report from 9to5Mac. While not currently supported by iOS devices, Lightning headphone support will be enabled in a…

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05:40
iOS 7: Organizing Books into Collections

Do you read a lot on your iOS devices? Then this tipâll help you stay more organized. Whether you want to put your books into Collections sorted by author, by genre, or by whether or not youâve read them, weâll give you the lowdown.


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Tuesday June 3

16:30
Apple Lays Ground Work for Disrupting Google’s...

There were a few themes that were clear in Monday's keynote from Apple's World Wide Developer Conference, but something that may have been overlooked were clues that Apple wants to cut into Google's search business.


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13:54
More About Patrick Kane, the Kid With The Bionic Arm

Apple kicked off WWDC on Monday with a thank you note to developers. Part of that video features Patrick Kane, a UK teenager with a prosthetic hand that works in conjunction with an iOS app to memorize different grips and switch between them easily. An online profile of the young man offers a glimpse into how he uses his iPhone with his prosthetic.


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13:46
Apple Posts WWDC Thank You Note to Developers Video

Apple kicked off WWDC on Monday with a keynote address, and that keynote address started with a video. It's a "thank you note to developers," according to Apple, who posted the video on YouTube. What I thought was interesting was all the people describing developers, because each of them looked like a developer to me. To be fair I live in Portland so my sense of many things is a little warped, but if the end of the video said all those people actually were developers I wouldn't have been surprised. See for yourself below:


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13:42
Apple Eases Up on iOS, OS X Beta Secrecy

Apple is taking a less restrictive stance on secrecy surrounding the upcoming releases of iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite by letting developers talk more openly about the operating systems instead of clamping down with a nondisclosure agreement (NDA) that stops them from saying anything at all. The change doesn't mean developers can talk openly about everything they're experiencing in the beta operating systems, but it will let them discuss features Apple has already highlighted at its Worldwide Developer Conference without fear of repercussion.

The Mac Observer Spin: Apple wasn't stopping developers from talking about keynote announcements from previous WWDC events, so it made sense to change the agreement wording to match the company's intent. Good move, Apple.


| Read more »
13:30
Are You Ready for Apple’s Next Hardware Platform?...

There has been plenty of agitation for Apple to pull the next generation hardware technology out of a magician's hat. That thinking jumps the gun because Apple already has the ultimate hardware platforms in place to support its "Kit" initiatives. One of them is called the iPhone.


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13:14
Apple Signals New Stance on Bitcoins and Other...

Apple has signaled a new stance on Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies with a change to its App Review Guidelines for the App Store. Though Bitcoin wasn't mentioned by name, for the first time Apple specifically stipulated that the "transmission" of "approved virtual currencies" would be allowed, a reversal from an unstated position that resulted in all Bitcoin wallets being kicked out of the App Store.


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12:59
Apple announces Controller Forwarding feature

Apple announced a new Controller Forwarding feature in a closed presentation Monday at WWDC, 9to5Mac reports. The feature would allow MFi iPhone controllers to act as controllers for iPads and Macs. Additionally, the iPhone’s touchscreen and motion control could also be used as a controller for those devices. These…

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12:59
Xcode 6 contains resizable iPad, iPhone simulators

Apple’s Xcode 6 contains a new feature that lets developers test interfaces for “resizable iPhones” and “resizable iPads.” Allowing for adjustments for both devices alludes to possible new resolutions for both iPhone and iPad devices. While 4.7” and 5.5” iPhone models are expected at this point, allowing developers to adjust…

| Read more »
12:25
Apps: Google+ 4.7, Instagram 6.0, Toca Town, Vivaldi...

Google has updated its Google+ (free) iOS app to version 4.7.0. The updated app introduces Google+ Stories, which combine photos, videos, and places into trip summaries. A new photo editor featuring filters and other creative tools has also been added. Users can now check out total content views within…

| Read more »
12:25
Reset The Net On June 5: Taking Back Online Privacy

June 5 is the day we Reset the Net, according to nonprofit Fight for the Future and raise privacy awareness. This means taking personal action to help secure some data, whether you're a user, developer or site owner.

The Mac Observer Spin: This is a great idea, and I hope they're sucessful. A lot of the suggestions for tools are easy to use, so even more people can take basic steps. I really like the possibility that this could help keep governments from breathing down my neck, my own included. Add in the options for developers of apps and of websites, and it could really make a difference.


| Read more »
11:49
Razer introduces Junglecat iPhone game controller

Razer has introduced Junglecat ($100), a game controller for iPhone 5/5s. The Junglecat is a sliding keyboard built into an iPhone case — it slides out from under the case with a d-pad, pause button, four action buttons and two bumper buttons. A Junglecat companion app lets users remap…

| Read more »
11:40
Antagonism and Arrogance - Tim Cook Personifies...

Apple was launching some amazing new features, but Tim Cook decided to mock their rivals instead of being positive. Charlotte Henry thinks this is a mistake.


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10:47
TMO Daily Observations: 2014-06-03

It's day two at Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference and Dave Hamilton took time out of his busy on-location schedule to join Jeff Gamet and Bryan Chaffin to share his take on Monday's announcements. They also discuss Apple's apparent move to control more of our search experience and how that may impact Google.


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09:58
Swiftkey - Officially Coming to an iPhone Near You

Swiftkey announced on Tuesday that it would bring its namesake keyboard replacement to iOS 8 when it's released later this year. A key feature in iOS 8 is the ability to support third party keyboard replacements like Swiftkey through Extensions, and not surprisingly, Swiftkey said it was rather pleased by the announcement.


| Read more »
07:54
Apple Design Award Winners 2014: Sky Guide, Monument...

Apple's annual Worldwide Developer Conference kicked off on Monday with plenty of excitement about iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite, and wrapped up later in the day with the unveiling of its Apple Design Award winners. This year's winning apps included Sky View: View Stars Night or Day, Monument Valley, and more.


| Read more »
07:03
iOS 8 gets Wi-Fi Calling Support, T-Mobile Already...

When iOS 8 launches this fall, it'll include a great feature that wasn't mentioned in Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference keynote event on Monday: Wi-Fi calling support. The feature lets Wi-Fi networks handle voice calls -- saving user's talk minutes -- and T-Mobile has already committed to let its iPhone customers join in.

The Mac Observer Spin: Wi-Fi calling support has already been available to Android and Windows smartphone users, so it's nice to see Apple finally getting on board. Now we just need Verizon and AT&T to let their customers use the feature, too.


| Read more »
07:00
T-Mobile announces support for iOS 8 Wi-Fi Calling

T-Mobile announced it will support Wi-Fi Calling on the iPhone with iOS 8, which was quietly introduced by Apple on Monday. This feature will allow T-Mobile customers to place calls and send messages even in areas of poor cellular service, as long as there’s a Wi-Fi network. T-Mobile…

| Read more »
06:32
Apple updates app guidelines to allow ‘approved’...

Apple has updated its App Store Review Guidelines to allow transmission of certain approved virtual currencies, Reuters reports. Section 11.17 in the guidelines states: “Apps may facilitate transmission of approved virtual currencies provided that they do so in compliance with all state and federal laws for the territories…

| Read more »
05:54
How to Join Apple’s OS X Yosemite Beta Program

Apple announced OS X Yosemite during a keynote presentation on Monday at its annual Worldwide Developer Conference in San Francisco. The major update won't be ready until this fall, but Apple is offering a public beta some time this summer. You'll need to sign up to get your hands on the public beta, and it's easy to do.


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Monday June 2

18:57
Trent Reznor Confirms He’s Still CCO At Apple’s...

Trent Reznor settles conflicting reports about his job at Beats Music by personally confirming (via Twitter) he's still part of the company and looking forward to working with Apple.


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Software Updates via MacUpdate

TinkerTool 5.3 - Expanded preference set...
TinkerTool is an application that gives you access to additional preference settings Apple has built into Mac OS X. This allows to activate hidden features in the operating system and in some of the... Read more
Audio Hijack Pro 2.11.0 - Record and enh...
Audio Hijack Pro drastically changes the way you use audio on your computer, giving you the freedom to listen to audio when you want and how you want. Record and enhance any audio with Audio Hijack... Read more
Intermission 1.1.1 - Pause and rewind li...
Intermission allows you to pause and rewind live audio from any application on your Mac. Intermission will buffer up to 3 hours of audio, allowing users to skip through any assortment of audio... Read more
Autopano Giga 3.6 - Stitch multiple imag...
Autopano Giga allows you to stitch 2, 20, or 2,000 images. Version 3.0 integrates impressive new features that will definitely make you adopt Autopano Pro or Autopano Giga: Choose between 9... Read more
Airfoil 4.8.7 - Send audio from any app...
Airfoil allows you to send any audio to AirPort Express units, Apple TVs, and even other Macs and PCs, all in sync! It's your audio - everywhere. With Airfoil you can take audio from any... Read more
Microsoft Remote Desktop 8.0.8 - Connect...
With Microsoft Remote Desktop, you can connect to a remote PC and your work resources from almost anywhere. Experience the power of Windows with RemoteFX in a Remote Desktop client designed to help... Read more
xACT 2.30 - Audio compression toolkit. (...
xACT stands for X Aaudio Compression Toolkit, an application that encodes and decodes FLAC, SHN, Monkey’s Audio, TTA, Wavpack, and Apple Lossless files. It also can encode these formats to MP3, AAC... Read more
Firefox 31.0 - Fast, safe Web browser. (...
Firefox for Mac offers a fast, safe Web browsing experience. Browse quickly, securely, and effortlessly. With its industry-leading features, Firefox is the choice of Web development professionals... Read more
Little Snitch 3.3.3 - Alerts you to outg...
Little Snitch gives you control over your private outgoing data. Track background activityAs soon as your computer connects to the Internet, applications often have permission to send any... Read more
Thunderbird 31.0 - Email client from Moz...
As of July 2012, Thunderbird has transitioned to a new governance model, with new features being developed by the broader free software and open source community, and security fixes and improvements... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

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Garfield: Survival of the Fattest Coming...
Garfield: Survival of the Fattest Coming to iOS this Fall Posted by Jennifer Allen on July 25th, 2014 [ permalink ] Who loves lasagna? Me. Also everyone’s favorite grumpy fat cat, Garfield. | Read more »
Happy Flock Review
Happy Flock Review By Andrew Fisher on July 25th, 2014 Our Rating: :: HERD IT ALL BEFOREUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Underneath the gloss of Happy Flock’s visuals is a game of very little substance. It’s cute, but... | Read more »
Square Register Updates Adds Offline Pay...
Square Register Updates Adds Offline Payments Posted by Ellis Spice on July 25th, 2014 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
Looking For Group – Hearthstone’s Curse...
For the first time since its release (which has thankfully been a much shorter window for iPad players than their PC counterparts), Blizzard’s wildly successful Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft CCG is sporting some brand new content: the single... | Read more »
Poptile Review
Poptile Review By Jennifer Allen on July 25th, 2014 Our Rating: :: SIMPLY FUNUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Simple yet a little bit glorious, Poptile is a satisfying entertaining puzzle game with oodles of the ‘one... | Read more »
Modern Combat 5: Blackout Review
Modern Combat 5: Blackout Review By Brittany Vincent on July 25th, 2014 Our Rating: :: LESS QQ, MORE PEW PEWUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad The fifth entry into the blockbuster Modern Combat series is what mobile... | Read more »
Watch and Share Mobile Gameplay Videos W...
Watch and Share Mobile Gameplay Videos With Kamcord Posted by Jennifer Allen on July 25th, 2014 [ permalink ] iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad | Read more »
THE KING OF FIGHTERS '98 (Games)
THE KING OF FIGHTERS '98 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $3.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Series’ masterpiece “KOF ’98” finally joins the battle on iPhone! FEATURES:■ The best game balance in the “KOF”... | Read more »
LEX Goes Free For One Day In Honor of Ne...
LEX Goes Free For One Day In Honor of New Update Posted by Jennifer Allen on July 24th, 2014 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
Thomas Was Alone Goes Universal, Slashes...
Thomas Was Alone Goes Universal, Slashes Price to $3.99 Posted by Ellis Spice on July 24th, 2014 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Mac minis on sale for $100 off MSRP, starting...
Best Buy has Mac minis on sale for $100 off MSRP. Choose free shipping or free instant local store pickup. Prices are for online orders only, in-store prices may vary: 2.5GHz Mac mini: $499.99 2.3GHz... Read more
Global Tablet Market Grows 11% in Q2/14 Notwi...
Worldwide tablet sales grew 11.0 percent year over year in the second quarter of 2014, with shipments reaching 49.3 million units according to preliminary data from the International Data Corporation... Read more
New iPhone 6 Models to Have Staggered Release...
Digitimes’ Cage Chao and Steve Shen report that according to unnamed sources in Apple’s upstream iPhone supply chain, the new 5.5-inch iPhone will be released several months later than the new 4.7-... Read more
New iOS App Helps People Feel Good About thei...
Mobile shoppers looking for big savings at their favorite stores can turn to the Goodshop app, a new iOS app with the latest coupons and deals at more than 5,000 online stores. In addition to being a... Read more
Save on 5th generation refurbished iPod touch...
The Apple Store has Apple Certified Refurbished 5th generation iPod touches available starting at $149. Apple’s one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free. Many, but not all... Read more
What Should Apple’s Next MacBook Priority Be;...
Stabley Times’ Phil Moore says that after expanding its iMac lineup with a new low end model, Apple’s next Mac hardware decision will be how it wants to approach expanding its MacBook lineup as well... Read more
ArtRage For iPhone Painting App Free During C...
ArtRage for iPhone is currently being offered for free (regularly $1.99) during Comic-Con San Diego #SDCC, July 24-27, in celebration of the upcoming ArtRage 4.5 and other 64-bit versions of the... Read more
With The Apple/IBM Alliance, Is The iPad Now...
Almost since the iPad was rolled out in 2010, and especially after Apple made a 128 GB storage configuration available in 2012, there’s been debate over whether the iPad is a serious tool for... Read more
MacBook Airs on sale starting at $799, free s...
B&H Photo has the new 2014 MacBook Airs on sale for up to $100 off MSRP for a limited time. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only. They also include free copies of Parallels... Read more
Apple 27″ Thunderbolt Display (refurbished) a...
The Apple Store has Apple Certified Refurbished 27″ Thunderbolt Displays available for $799 including free shipping. That’s $200 off the cost of new models. Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Solutions Consultant (ASC) - Apple (...
**Job Summary** The ASC is an Apple employee who serves as an Apple brand ambassador and influencer in a Reseller's store. The ASC's role is to grow Apple Read more
Sr. Project Manager for *Apple* Campus 2 -...
…the design and construction of one building or building components of the New Apple Campus located in Cupertino, CA. They will provide project management oversight for Read more
WW Sales Program Manager, *Apple* Online St...
**Job Summary** Imagine what you could do here. At Apple , great ideas have a way of becoming great products, services, and customer experiences very quickly. Bring Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant (ASC) - Apple (...
**Job Summary** The ASC is an Apple employee who serves as an Apple brand ambassador and influencer in a Reseller's store. The ASC's role is to grow Apple Read more
Project Manager / Business Analyst, WW *Appl...
…a senior project manager / business analyst to work within our Worldwide Apple Fulfillment Operations and the Business Process Re-engineering team. This role will work Read more
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