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Monday June 19

ExtraBITS for 19 June 2017

Apple Music is now offering a cheaper annual subscription, Ars Technica takes a look at macOS 10.13 High Sierra’s underpinnings, and Jeff Bezos just spent more at Whole Foods than you ever will.


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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Sean Bean cast as lead in Crackle’s 50 Cent series ‘...

In April, Sony Pictures Television announced a new slate of original programming for its streaming service Crackle, two shows of which are being produced by Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson's G-Unit Film and Television Inc. The first of those shows is now be...

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'Stranger Things' action figures cash in...

Netflix's Stranger Things is ultimately one long nostalgia trip for kids from the '80s, so it only makes sense that it you'd see tributes to every last facet of '80s culture, right? Funko agrees. It's preparing Stranger Things action figures that are...

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Real Words as HEX Colors
Dear Apple, Please Don’t Give Up on iBooks in iOS 11

Improvements to iBooks in iOS 11 I’d like to see include barcode scanning and book playlists.

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PayPal’s CEO Is Clueless About Apple Customers

Despite, what Mr. Schulman things, Apple Pay Cash should be a success if only because of Cupertino’s loyal existing customers.

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Hasbro’s Gaming Crate delivers new board games every...

There are a plethora of subscription boxes to choose from these days, including nerdy ones like Loot Crate and Minecraft, kid-friendly boxes like the one from Nickelodeon, science-based subscriptions from MEL Chemistry and makeup assortments like Bir...

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AWT News Update: June 19, 2017

Monday's here! We have a few bits of Apple news for you that weren't on the regular Apple World Today website, so listen up and you'll be informed:

  • Developer Beta 4 of macOS Sierra 10.12.6 was released to developers today
  • Apple's removed restrictions on NVMe flash storage, which means that next year's Mac Pro and the iMac Pro coming out later this year may be able to use many third-party NVMe drives for fast booting
  • There's a way to get Apple Music for less than $9.99 per month, and we tell you how
  • PayPal's CEO thinks that Apple's upcoming Apple Pay-based person-to-person payment system won't be able to compete with PayPal's Venmo

AWT is sponsored this week by Letter Opener, powerful macOS and iOS software for opening those winmail.dat, MSG, and XPS files from Windows PC users. Check it out online at

The text version of the podcast can be viewed below. To...

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Apple Music adds $99 annual subscription option,...

Apple Music today has quietly added another subscription option for users. Seemingly with no official announcement from Apple itself, a new annual subscription option is now available that offers users 12 months of Apple Music for $99…


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Jaguar thinks the Gorillaz app is a good way to find...

Jaguar Land Rover has teamed up with an unlikely partner to recruit its next wave of engineers -- the animated band Gorillaz. The auto company will be using the band's mixed reality app to challenge aspiring team members, fast-tracking the best perfo...

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Sony taps crowdfunding to deliver its kid-friendly...

Sony's answer to Lego Mindstorms is a robot-building kit called Koov. It's the first product from Sony's Global Education division, and it's meant to help kids learn to code while they have fun building robots. The company has put the design kit on I...

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Review: Urbanears Stadion Bluetooth Sport Headphones

Early last year, we had our first experience with Urbanears’ unique and innovative Hellas, a Bluetooth workout headphone with a unique design — all the soft parts were easily detached and machine-washable. Urbanears is back with another very interesting Bluetooth headphone, the Stadion. Though far from an audiophile listening experience, the Stadion’s unconventional form factor might be just what some users need.{/exp:char_limit}

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Armani is the latest designer to take a chance on...

Emporio Armani is the latest fashion house to jump onboard the Android Wear bandwagon. The company unveiled its first touchscreen smartwatch collection at Milan Fashion Week recently, with singer Shawn Mendes as the spokesperson for the line. The new...

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Panorama of Park Meadows Mall Apple Store

Apple’s old retail store in the city of Lone Tree, CO (Park Meadows Mall) was always shoulder to shoulder.  Late last year, Apple opened its new store, not far from the old location. The new design is gorgeous and spacious. The problem is getting a pano shot. Because the store is so big, it’s impossible to get a proper shot with a constant flow of foot traffic during business hours. So I got there early before the store opened and took this amazing photo. The store really shows off its beauty when empty like this. But, of course, the really beauty is when it opens and becomes, well, still very crowded. (iPhone 7, size reduced.)

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Ikea Wants You to Shop for Furniture with AR in iOS...

College students and recently single grown ups, rejoice! Ikea is Apple’s augmented reality launch partner, which means you’ll be able to try out furniture in your home or apartment through your iPhone or iPad. Ikea plans to let you view furniture from their catalog in your rooms without having to make a trip to your local store. Just take photos of your rooms and place photorealistic furniture where ever you want to decide if it looks good, or even fits, before you buy. The retailer is committed to its AR push in a big way, too, because it plans to show new products in the app before they appear in other places. Ikea is shooting to have their app ready to go when iOS 11 officially launches this fall.

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Outlook for Mac adds features Office 365 already has

Outlook 2016 for Mac users are about to get a big update with some of the most requested features for the venerable Microsoft email program. You can now send your emails when you want with a new Send Later feature, use delivery and read receipts to m...

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EU Schools US and UK on Digital Privacy Laws

Proposed EU laws aim to protect, not erode, encryption and digital privacy.

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TMO Background Mode Interview with Other World...

Larry O’Connor is the founder and CEO of Other World Computing. Also known as MacSales, it’s one of the most respected suppliers of Apple product upgrades and accessories. OWC started when Larry was in high school. Frustrated with the high prices of Apple II memory expansion, he found his own source and started selling on-line. His small company just kept growing. As growth continued, Larry resisted controlling partners or buyouts and stayed true to his vision: create a profitable, fun place to work for his employees, and take great care of his customers. I asked Larry about the challenges of managing a modern company with hundreds of employees. We also chatted about his concern that Apple has steered away from easily upgradable Macs. If you’ve thought about starting your own company, this episode is a must.

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Time Warner is the latest broadcaster to ride...

Snap seems to have no trouble scoring giant media deals. The social app creator has forged a $100 million, 2-year agreement that will have Time Warner making short-form original shows (around 3 to 5 minutes per episode) for Snapchat viewers. While...

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Google Play’s new feature for Samsung phones isn...

Google Play Music and Samsung have a history of exclusives, and now they may have debuted their best one yet. Android Authority reports that Google Play Music's playlist New Release Radio, which is a personalized playlist of new release music with da...

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'The Unwillingness To Foresee The Future'

An anonymous reader shares a few excerpts from Ben Thompson's analysis: Back in 2006, when the iPhone was a mere rumor, Palm CEO Ed Colligan was asked if he was worried: "We've learned and struggled for a few years here figuring out how to make a decent phone," he said. "PC guys are not going to just figure this out. They're not going to just walk in." What if Steve Jobs' company did bring an iPod phone to market? Well, it would probably use WiFi technology and could be distributed through the Apple stores and not the carriers like Verizon or Cingular, Colligan theorized." I was reminded of this quote after Amazon announced an agreement to buy Whole Foods for $13.7 billion; after all, it was only two years ago that Whole Foods founder and CEO John Mackey predicted that groceries would be Amazon's Waterloo. And while Colligan's prediction was far worse -- Apple simply left Palm in the dust, unable to compete -- it is Mackey who has to call Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, the...

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Supreme Court rules sex offenders can use social...

It's understandable why governments would want to keep sex offenders away from social networks -- you don't want predators messaging their potential targets. Is an outright ban taking things a step too far, though? The US Supreme Court thinks so. As...

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Apple Seeds macOS Sierra 10.12.6 Developer Beta 4

The build number for macOS Sierra 10.12.6 Developer Beta 4 is (16G18a).

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Apple widening NVMe flash storage support in High...

Discovery that Apple has intentionally removed restrictions on NVMe in the High Sierra beta suggests that future Macs won't be limited in which mass-storage flash drives may be used, possibly including both the "modular" Mac Pro and the iMac Pro.

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External Link: Apple Music Adds $99 Annual...

An individual Apple Music subscription costs $9.99 per month ($119.88 per year), but you can now save about 20 percent with Apple’s new $99 annual subscription. For some people, not having to account for monthly credit card charges will be an added bonus. Apple has made the new option a bit hard to find, but 9to5Mac explains how to get it. Unfortunately, Apple doesn’t yet offer an annual subscription for family or student plans.


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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'Star Trek Discovery' explores new...

After four months of production following a worrisome delay, CBS is finally comfortable enough with its long-awaited new Star Trek series to set a release date: September 24th, 2017. That's right on schedule.

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Apple issues fourth beta of macOS Sierra 10.12.6

On Monday afternoon, Apple released an update to just one of its eight currently running OS betas, and unveiled the fourth beta of macOS Sierra 10.12.6

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EU Encryption Proposal, Colorado Bill Blocking...

The European Union seems to be taking a very different stance on digital encryption than the United States, so Jeff Butts and Bryan Chaffin join Jeff Gamet to shear their thoughts, plus they look at a proposed Colorado law blocking kids from buying smartphones.

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The Art of Manipulation and Misdirection

Last week, I listened to an economist talk about Apple's complaints that Qualcomm had charged Apple too much for access to patents. What I thought was fascinating was that Apple had folks focused on the 5 percent that Qualcomm had charged it instead of on the massive profit that Apple made on each phone. The price of the iPhone 8 is rumored to be well over $1,000 -- but it could cost well under $500 to build. All other smartphone prices seem to be trending down, while Apple's appear to be trending up. This is an example of expert manipulation.

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The FTC plans to block the DraftKings and FanDuel...

Last November, fantasy sports sites DraftKings and FanDuel announced they would be merging -- a deal that was expected to finalize later this year. However, according to an Federal Trade Commission press release, the FTC will try to block the merger.

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Amazon surpassed Sonos to become leader in Wi-Fi...

A new report from Strategy Analytics gives us a look at the current state of Wi-Fi speaker sales ahead of Apple’s release of its newly unveiled HomePod Siri speaker slated for this December. The report shows that Amazon with its push of Echo and other Alexa-enabled WiFi speakers was able to surpass shipments from Sonos that has mostly ruled the majority of the market since 2014.


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Fourth macOS 10.12.6 beta rolling out on Mac App...

Apple has released the fourth developer beta version of the upcoming macOS 10.12.6 software update. Developers testing the pre-release software can find the update through the Mac App Store.


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Best Buy is selling a 1TB portable drive for just $...

Best Buy has a good deal on WD’s Easystore external hard drives once again. Right now, the big box retailer is selling a 1TB easystore portable HDD with USB 3.0 for $40.

WD’s easystore line is a Best Buy exclusive, so there’s not exactly a one-to-one comparison at other stores—however, a similar WD drive at Amazon is $54 right now. That’s not a bad price in its own right, as most drives in this class sell for $55 to $60. Best Buy’s sticker...

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Tinderbox 7.1

Fetches styled text from DEVONthink and improves performance. ($249 new, free update, 31 MB)


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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Nike+ Run Club update adds Speed Run tracking from...

Although Apple and Nike make the Apple Watch Nike+ with Nike+ Run Club pre-installed, there are still features in Nike’s run tracking app that require carrying an iPhone along for runs.

Speed Run tracking is no longer one of those limitations, however, as the latest update to NRC now lets you start a speed run from the Apple Watch without bringing an iPhone.


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It's time to embrace the eSIM

It's a downright shame that eSIMs aren't commonplace by now. Embedded-SIM technology has the potential to make getting connected to cellular networks much more convenient, but there hasn't been a consumer-friendly set of specifications for it since i...

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External Link: Under High Sierra’s Hood

As a refinement update, macOS 10.13 High Sierra doesn’t seem to offer much over 10.12 Sierra, but there’s a lot going on beneath the surface. Ars Technica’s Andrew Cunningham takes a deep dive into the foundational improvements coming to High Sierra, including the APFS filesystem, the HEVC video and HEIF image formats, and the Metal 2 graphics API. Although most users won’t likely even realize these technologies are in play, they should make your Mac faster and more efficient.


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...

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IKEA details plans for app using Apple’s ARKit

When it launches, the app will let customers choose which IKEA product they want and then use an iPhone or iPad powered by ARKit to see how the IKEA furniture looks in their own home before it’s purchased. IKEA has been doing this for years now, including an early version which required users to scan pages of an IKEA catalogue to view AR furniture, but the company said that Apple’s platform will greatly increase the consistency and quality of the experience.

I really hopes this works well. This could really help AR take off for the average consumer.

∞ Read this on The Loop

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Tim Cook, other tech CEOs meet with Trump today

President Donald Trump will meet with the chief executives of technology companies including Apple Inc and Inc on Monday as the White House looks to the private sector for help in cutting government waste and improving services.

∞ Read this on The Loop

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Apple's 120Hz ProMotion iPad Pro display hints...

Apple has a long history of introducing groundbreaking technology in one device, only to gradually carry it over to the rest of its product lineup in the ensuing years. With that in mind, the newly released iPad Pro with 120Hz ProMotion display could hint at the future of Apple's portable devices -- particularly as the company pushes into augmented reality and virtual reality.

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Amazon over takes Sonos in the intelligent home...

Strategy Analytics latest Global Wi-Fi Speaker Forecast 2014-2022 reports that global shipments of Wi-Fi based wireless speakers grew by 62% in 2016 to 14 million units with Amazon accounting for 77% of the increase in volume demand from the previous year. The company estimates that Amazon shipped over five million Echo speakers in 2016 compared to just over four million from second placed Sonos.

"Sonos has long been synonymous with connected home audio and as recently as 2014 it accounted for 50% of the small but growing Wi-Fi speaker market," says David Watkins, director within the Intelligent Home...

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9to5Toys Lunch Break: iOttie iPhone Car Mount $14,...

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.


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Apple, Ikea teaming up for an augmented reality app

Apple and Ikea have announced an augmented reality app that allows users to try out how furniture will look in the home before buying.

In an interview with Di Digital, Inter Ikea’s Leader of Digital Transformation Michael Valdsgaard says of Apple: “It will become the biggest AR-platform in the world overnight. It’s super interesting to us.” 

The app will launch the fall and apparently be based around the ARKit that Apple introduced this month at its annual Worldwide Developer Conference. It allows developers to tap into the latest computer vision technologies to build detailed virtual content on top of real-world scenes for interactive gaming, immersive shopping experiences, industrial design and more.

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IKEA plans to improve AR shopping tools with help...

Apple and IKEA are creating an AR app that will let customers preview how an item will look in their home. Michael Valdsgaard, IKEA's digital transformation manager, told Swedish website Digital.di, "This will be the first augmented reality app that...

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News: IKEA to partner with Apple on AR app that...

IKEA is planning an augmented reality collaboration with Apple to let customers see what the company’s furniture would look like in their houses, Digital.di reports. The company expects 500–600 products to be available in the app at launch, allowing users to see what the items would look like in various spots around the house, with Michael Valdsgaard, digital transformation manager at Inter Ikea Systems, saying they have the technology down…

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IDC predicts AR and VR headset shipments will hit...

While Apple is getting serious with both AR and VR this year thanks to iOS 11 and more powerful Mac hardware, IDC has new data on the forecast for augmented and virtual reality mainstream adoption. IDC expects “dedicated AR and VR headsets collectively” to reach nearly 100 million units by 2021 compared to just under 10 million units last year.


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Paste Smart Cloud Clipboard History and Snippets...

We have a deal for you on Paste, a smart cloud clipboard history and snippets manager for Mac. It’s a system-wide clipboard utility that can automatically identify and store text, images, links, files, and other types of content. It’s just $4.99 through us, half off retail.

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Ikea's plans for ARKit revealed, virtual...

Briefly teased at the WWDC keynote, flat-pack furniture company Ikea has officially declared that it is working on a ARKit catalog for the iPhone that will launch at some point in late 2017.

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watchOS apps continue to disappear as Whole Foods...

Whole Foods just removed its Apple Watch app from the App Store, making it the latest company to do so after Google, eBay, Amazon and others did the same earlier this year. Speaking of Amazon, the removal of the Whole Foods Watch app follows Amazon’s announcement that it will acquire the grocery store chain for $13.7 billion this week…


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A Prairie HomeKit Companion: The Elgato Eve Room

The Elgato Eve Room is a HomeKit-compatible device that monitors air quality, relative humidity, and temperature in a room. Josh Centers shows you how you can use its data to control your appliances.


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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Lock down your private data with a RA4W VPN lifetime...

One of the most popular product categories in the Apple World Today Deals Shop for the past several months has been virtual private networks (VPNs). There's a good reason for that: people want to know that they can work from anywhere with a laptop or mobile device and not worry about that data being compromised. Today's deal? A lifetime subscription to RA4W VPN for only $19.99.

RA4W provides a client for macOS and for iOS, so regardless of what device you're using you know that you can instantly connect to one of the 20+ RA4W servers located around the world. Everything is encrypted, there are no logs kept of your online usage, and your bandwidth is unmetered. Need port forwarding? RA4W does it for free.

RA4W is also useful...

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European Union seeks to ban backdoors for encrypted...

A European Parliament committee has published a draft report proposing that the ability for citizens to protect their data with encryption should be protected, including banning any possibility of government sanctioned backdoors to encryption protocols that could be used by law enforcement officials.

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Ikea to be Apple launch partner for AR, showing...

Tim Cook said in a recent interview that he was so excited about augmented reality that he wanted ‘to yell out and scream.’ He named furniture-buying as an example of something that can be completely changed by the use of AR, and gave a specific shout-out to Ikea – a company also briefly referenced in the iOS 11 keynote.

We’ve talked to Ikea, and they have 3D images of their furniture line. You’re talking about changing the whole experience of how you shop for, in this case, furniture and other objects that you can place around the home.

The company has now told a Swedish site a little about its plans …


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AMD Vega 56 and Vega 64 GPUs destined for iMac Pro...

The GPUs that will be in the iMac Pro -- the Vega 56 and Vega 64 -- have been detailed by an AMD-provided driver update for Linux, with the cards able to utilize much as twice as a much data in each register as previous cards when 32 bits of precision aren't needed.

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HBO’s 4-part documentary on Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre

[VIDEO] This looks phenomenal. Check out the trailer (embedded in the main Loop post).

∞ Read this on The Loop

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Jean-Louis Gassée: Apple Culture after ten years of...

Jean-Louis Gassée, Monday Note:

The scale of Apple’s iPhone supply chain operation demands military precision. Producing and selling 212M iPhones a year (in 2016) requires very different “people, processes, and purposes” than were needed when Apple was selling relatively modest numbers of Macintosh personal computers (4.6M units in its 2000 Fiscal Year, climbing to 5.3M units in FY 2006).

How did Apple grow from 5.3M Macs in 2006 to 212M iPhones last year, a 40X multiple? In one of his many Apple 2.0 strokes of genius, Steve Jobs hired an experienced supply chain executive, Tim Cook. With Jobs’ support and inspiration, the future COO and CEO assembled the necessary team, set new rules, and forged new partnerships. As quantity begets nature, Apple became a different company.

…although not entirely.

Another great read from Jean-Louis, including this take on the snipe at Phil Schiller as told in the about to be released...

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Pokémon Go overhauling gyms and battling with new...

As the second year of Pokémon Go arrives, Niantic has detailed major changes to the gameplay centered around how gyms and gym battles work. Gyms will soon work like PokéStops and include exclusive items, badges, and more while battling is getting more advanced with new social features coming.


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News: Apple’s AirPort not cracked by CIA program...

The latest round of Vault 7 WikiLeaks documents details how the CIA was able to break into routers and use them to monitor a subject’s web browsing history and intercept passwords, but Apple’s AirPort appears to have been unaffected by the efforts. The agency’s “Cherry Blossom” project ended up gaining access to routers from Asus, Belkin, Buffalo, Dell, DLink, Linksys, Motorola, Netgear, Senao, and US Robotics through…

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Cook, other tech execs to meet with President Trump...

President Donald Trump will meet with the chief executives of technology companies including Apple CEO Tim Cook today as the White House looks to the private sector for help in cutting government waste and improving services, reports Reuters.

White House officials said on a conference call on Friday that the administration believed there was an "economic opportunity" to save up to $1 trillion over 10 years by significantly cutting government information technology costs, reducing government costs through improved IT, leveraging government buying power and cutting fraud across government agencies. The meeting with nearly 20 chief executives comes as the White House pushes to shrink government, cut federal employees and eliminate regulations.

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Apple Pay “Lose your wallet” Discounts Coming to San...

Apple Pay “Lose your wallet” promotion is coming to the Hayes Valley and Marina districts in San Francisco this weekend.

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Backing Into Apple Television

M.G. Siegler, in this Medium post:

No less than Steve Jobs himself said to Walter Isaacson in interviews for his biography that Apple had “finally cracked it” with regard to what they wanted to do in television.

That was six years ago. We’re still waiting to see the fruits of that labor. It’s starting to feel like we may never see them.


We’re now seeing what Apple thinks it must do: compete with Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, etc. Apple spent a bunch of time suggesting they would not take this approach. Their original content was all about promoting Apple Music or whatnot. But you don’t hire these two guys if you’re not going all-in on content.

And by “these two guys”, M.G. is referring to Apple’s...

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Canada’s largest sports retailer, SportChek, now...

If you’re looking for somewhere to try on and buy an Apple Watch in Canada, and you don’t have an Apple Store nearby, you now have a new option: SportChek.


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macOS High Sierra tech preview: A quick look at the...

Enlarge / High Sierra's default desktop wallpaper. (credit: Apple)

Even by the standards of recent macOS releases, this year’s High Sierra is shaping up to be a low-key release with few high-profile user-visible improvements. Apple’s highlight page covers quite a few things, but in most cases they’re iterative tweaks that would mostly belong in the “grab bag” section of an overview of, say, Leopard or even Yosemite. Don’t get me wrong, I’m looking forward to iCloud-backed iMessages and family iCloud storage plans, but support for tables in Notes and flight status updates in Spotlight aren’t exactly life changing (not unless your life is continuously interrupted by extremely small and specific problems).

But to call High Sierra a minor release is to ignore the big under-the-covers...

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PNC Bank announces Apple Pay support

PNC Bank, N.A., has announced new mobile payment option enabling Visa commercial cardholders to use a smartphone or mobile device to make corporate purchases via Apple Pay, Android Pay and Samsung Pay. It’s one of the first U.S. banks to enable mobile wallet payments for commercial cards that may be used to make travel-related and in-store purchases, says Christopher Ward, executive vice president and head of Treasury Management product management.

"Businesses recognize the growing need to make payments fit the new 'digital-first' lifestyle of their corporate cardholders," says Vicky Bindra, global head of products and solutions for Visa. "Visa's collaboration with PNC is helping bring the convenience and security of mobile payments to their corporate cardholders and meet the growing demand for convenient business payments for everyone, everywhere.”

PNC Bank, National Association, is a member of The PNC Financial Services Group. Apple Pay — Apple’s mobile payment...

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iFixIt on the Microsoft Surface Laptop teardown: “...

I have long railed against construction that makes phones, tablets, and laptops difficult to repair. But this might be a new low.

As the iFixIt folks make their way through the Microsoft Surface Laptop teardown, it becomes clear that getting inside is no easy task. And these folks are pros at taking things apart. It’s their raison d’etre, their primary gig.

The whole thing turns a bit ugly. Just look at the picture in Step 5. Here’s a quote:

Now that we’ve got a clear look at the plastic, it seems these aren’t reusable clips at all, but weak ultrasonic spot welds that we’ve been busting through. This is definitely not going back together without a roll of duct tape.

Yeesh. I wonder what plan Microsoft has for repairing these units when they start rolling in. Will they simply replace the cover, discard the old?


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Jay-Z’s new album ‘4:44’ drops exclusively to Sprint...

Following a deal with Sprint to acquire 33% of Jay-Z’s TIDAL streaming music service, today the companies announced that the first exclusive release as part of the partnership will be Jay-Z’s new album later this month. The release will be a big one, Jay-Z latest full-length album set for release at the end of this month. But it won’t exactly be a total Sprint exclusive like the company is making it seem…


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Apple CEO Tim Cook meeting with President Trump to...

More than a dozen tech CEOs, including Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook, will meet with U.S. President Donald Trump and his staff on Monday, discussing ways that the government can trim costs and improve security with the help of American corporations.

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External Link: Amazon to Buy Whole Foods for $13.7...

Amazon has stunned the financial and tech worlds by announcing that it will acquire upscale grocer Whole Foods for an eye-popping $13.7 billion. We already knew that Amazon was testing automated convenience stores without cashiers, but the company has even larger ambitions. It seems likely that Amazon bought Whole Foods as a way of gaining access to 431 prime retail distribution centers. Internet wags have suggested that Jeff Bezos accidentally purchased Whole Foods through a muddled conversation with Alexa on his Amazon Echo and decided to just roll with it.


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...

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Apple Focusing on Autonomous Driving Systems

Tim Cook unexpectedly revealed that Apple is working on autonomous systems for self-driving cars. Rumors surrounding Apple’s Project Titan car team have been swirling since 2014, but Cook’s statement in a Bloomberg Technology interview was the first public statement that Apple has made about its plans in this space. Adam Engst summarizes what Apple has done so far and ponders what Apple’s announcement might mean.


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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News: Daily Deal: Aura Premium, Lifetime Subscription

In our iLounge Deal for today, we’re offering a lifetime subscription to Aura Premium for only $59.99 — that’s 84% off the regular price. Created by top meditation teachers and therapists, this top-rated app helps you receive stress and anxiety by providing short, science-backed mindfulness exercises each day. Aura also goes a notch beyond other mindfulness apps with machine learning technology that completely caters to you and your…

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The backstory to Amazon’s swooping purchase of Whole...

Texas Monthly:

Monday, April 10, was going to be a big day for John Mackey, but he had no idea how big it would turn out to be. The co-founder, CEO, and spirit animal of Austin-based Whole Foods Market was flying to New York to launch a tour to promote the publication of his second book, The Whole Foods Diet (summary: Go vegan, or mostly vegan).


As he stepped off the American Airlines flight at JFK (Whole Foods doesn’t own a jet, and Mackey flies coach), his phone lit up with urgent text messages and voice mails. A hedge fund in New York called Jana Partners had snatched up almost 9 percent of Whole Foods’ stock and announced that it would pressure the company to either overhaul its business or sell itself—perhaps to another grocery giant, such as Kroger, or to a less traditional player, such as Amazon. Mackey and other leaders might have to be replaced. A media frenzy ensued, and the PR team who had carefully staged what should have been a traveling...

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PayPal CEO claims Apple Pay’s person-to-person...

PayPal CEO Dan Schulman has dismissed the person-to-person Apple Pay service coming to iOS 11 later this year. He said that it would struggle to compete against PayPal’s own Venmo app …


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Elon Musk’s plan to start populating Mars by the end...

In February 2017, SpaceX announced a mission to head beyond the moon. They’ll take two private, paying customers to finance the trip, and they’ll launch in late 2018.

This marks the beginning of Elon Musk’s dream of populating Mars, giving Earthbound folk a second shot at coexisting on a planet all their own.

The linked document is a very readable blueprint for this dream. Will it happen? Not clear. Could it happen? Read the paper. Seems doable, with the right dreamer at the helm.

∞ Read this on The Loop

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FDA initiates program towards streamlining approvals...

This may help Apple’s plans to help make HealthKit ubiquitous and to get digital patient records out in a timely manner.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) commissioner Scott Gottlieb this week released a statement on how the government agency is aiming to streamline innovation of digital health and medical technology through a new approach to regulating devices:

FDA will soon be putting forward a broad initiative that is focused on fostering new innovation across our medical product centers. I will have more to say on many elements of this initiative soon. However, today I want to focus on one critical aspect of this innovation initiative: A new Digital Health Innovation Plan that is focused on fostering innovation at the intersection of medicine and digital health technology. This plan will include a novel, post-market approach to how we intend to regulate these digital medical devices.

The new plan arrives as the FDA prepares to implement changes...

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Apple’s WiFi routers left off CIA’s Cherry Blossom...

At least this will make you feel better about your AirPort router.

Per a series of recently-published documents from WikiLeaks, the CIA has has has apparently been hacking WiFi routers for years to secretly spy on Americans’ internet activity, but Apple’s AirPort Base Stations aren’t on the list. Plenty of other popular basestations are, however, which means the public, home, and business WiFi networks you use could’ve been surveillance targets.

Reports surrounding the CIA’s tool kit used to monitor Internet activity passing through WiFi routers, known as “Cherry Blossom,” mention a variety of hackable router models. Manufacturers of these devices include 3Com, Aironet/Cisco, Asustek, Belkin, Buffalo, D-Link, Linksys, Netgear, US Robotics, and more. Apple’s AirPort Base Station lineup is not mentioned on this list.

Apparently once a device makes it onto the Cherry Blossom list, it’s easy for the CIA to maintain its hacked state even after firmware updates....

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Satechi BT Touch Speaker: portable, looks great,...

Satechi's BT Touch Speaker is a portable, $49.99 Bluetooth speaker that provides a surprising amount of audio volume considering its small size and price. It also allows for hands-free calling from any Bluetooth-enabled smartphone such as the iPhone, thanks to an integrated, built-in mic. 

The first time you turn on the BT Touch Speaker, it remains in "pairing mode" for two minutes, as indicated by the status indicator light blinking red and blue. To return the speaker to pairing mode at any time, press and hold the "Phone/Pairing" button until the light blinks red and blue.

To pair your iDevice with the Satechi speaker, go toSettings > General > Bluetooth. You'll see the unpaired device. Type in 0000 as the pairing code to make the connection. Once successfully paired, the...

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Europe may outlaw the kind of backdoor access the...

While the battle between the FBI and Apple over backdoor access to iPhones ended without a legal ruling, it seems the European Union takes Apple’s side. The European Parliament has proposed legislation which would safeguard data privacy and specifically outlaw the creation of backdoors for law enforcement agencies.

The proposed legislation would also provide a legal right to use end-to-end encryption, preventing individual EU countries from banning its use …


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How to fix things when Message won’t sync between...

After purchasing a new 27-inch iMac, I noticed that Messages wouldn’t sync between the all-in-one and my iPhone 7 Plus. Messages sent to the smartphone wasn’t reach the iMac, something I find very convenient when working at my home office. If you run into this problem, here’s how to fix it:

  • Open “Settings” on the iPhone (or iPad) and tap “Messages.”
  • Scroll down and tap on “Receive At” which is usually followed by a phone number or email address.
  • Tap the “Use your Apple ID for iMessage” button at the top and sign in.
  • Exit out of Settings.
  • On your Mac, double-check the Apple ID used in Messages for Mac to make sure it’s the same as the Message setup on your iPhone (or iPad).

That should do it.

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Trump meeting with Tim Cook & other tech leaders...

President Trump will meet today with the CEOs of almost 20 tech companies, including Apple, Amazon, Alphabet, Adobe, IBM, Intel, Microsoft and Qualcom. He is reported to be seeking their advice on how to make better use of IT to cut costs.

The White House apparently believes that it can use technology to cut a trillion dollars from the government budget over the next ten years …


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Apple patent involves a sensor to tell you when your...

Apple has been granted a patent (number 20170164684) that would tell you, among other things, when your shoes are starting to wear out. If the patent ever comes to fruition, I would image it would involve the company’s ongoing partnership with Nike since I doubt we’re going to be seeing a line of Apple Shoes.

In the patent summary, Apple notes that, as a shoe wears, physical support provided by the shoe decreases, thereby reducing associated protection from injury.  Good shoes are necessary to provide support during intense physical activity, such as running, soccer and football. When a critical wear level is reached, even if the shoe looks like it’s not particularly worn, the shoe may not provide adequate support and may, in fact, cause damage to feet. Apple wants to change this.

Here’s the summary of the patent: “A system assesses activity and displays a unitless activity value. A detector senses activity of a user. A processor reads sensed activity data from the...

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Sunday June 18

Senate alters sanctions to allow use of Russian...

Don't look now, but American spaceflight just dodged a bullet. Senators have passed an amendment to an Iran-Russia sanctions bill that, if gone unchecked, would have barred both NASA and private outfits from using Russian rocket engines. The original...

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Elon Musk says Los Angeles is open to using his...

Elon Musk might just have the first customer for his traffic-skipping tunnels. The tech entrepreneur says he's having "promising conversations" with Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti about using The Boring Company's technology as part of a larger unde...

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All the weird things you missed at E3

E3 2017 will go down in history as the first year the show was open to the public, which means the crushing crowds filling the Los Angeles Convention Center were even more extreme. The rest of the show, however, was just as amped up -- eSports tourna...

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Rapid-fire archery battles are the best way to do E3

Nothing gets rid of the E3 jitters like shooting an exploding arrow right at your social media manager's face. Luckily, we brought TowerFall: Ascension to the E3 show floor this year, so nobody had to break out the actual bow hidden behind the Engadg...

| Read more »
Google bets AI and human oversight will curb online...

Google is under a lot of pressure to stamp out extremists' online presences, and it's responding to that heat today. The internet giant has outlined four steps it's taking to flag and remove pro-terrorism content on its pages, particularly on YouTube...

| Read more »
Microsoft expects consumers to 'figure out...

The best way to keep a job as a marketer is to never go off message. That's precisely what happened when I interviewed Xbox's head of console marketing Albert Penello on our E3 stage this week. While he was more than happy to talk about the Xbox One...

| Read more »
Discover your rockstar stage persona in ‘The Artful...

"It's not an artist's job to give people something they want, but to give them something they never could have imagined." These words are spoken to Francis Vendetti in The Artful Escape, an upcoming game that follows a young guitar prodigy on a psych...

| Read more »
Review: Apple's 2017 12.9" iPad Pro gains...

Staggered launches of the first generation of iPad Pro tablets left the larger 12.9-inch model in an awkward position, lacking key professional-grade features like always-on Hey Siri and a color balancing True Tone display. Apple has rectified that with its 2017 12.9-inch iPad Pro, bringing it up to speed with the smaller 10.5-inch version with a simultaneous release.

| Read more »
'YotaPhone 3' isn't the dual-screen...

If you're one of the few people who are still waiting for the next dual-screen YotaPhone, listen up: we finally have an update for you. During Harbin's China-Russia Expo over the weekend, Baoli Yota -- the joint venture formed by investor Baoli (form...

| Read more »
'The Daily Show' celebrates the tweets of...

The President tweets a lot. It's quickly becoming part of his legacy, offering an unprecedented level of access to the commander in chief and leaving others in government scrambling to deal with the aftereffects of each post. Usually, reflections on...

| Read more »
What do you think of the new features in iOS 11 so...

iOS 11 has been available in beta form for almost two weeks at this point, with Apple having unveiled the new operating system at WWDC 2017. We’ve already told you that there are risks that come with installing a beta operating system, such as poor performance and battery life problems.

When you put the normal beta issues aside, however, what do you think of iOS 11 and its new features? Whether you’re running it yourself or looking in from the outside.

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The Indie Megabooth is a calm bubble floating above...

One of the best experiences at E3 wasn't actually at E3. The Devolver parking lot was positioned directly across the street from the flashing lights, gigantic banners and thumping booths packed inside of the Los Angeles Convention Center, and it offe...

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The best electric kettle

By Michael Sullivan & Winnie Yang & Tim Barribeau

This post was done in partnership with The Sweethome, a buyer's guide to the best homewares. When readers choose to buy The Sweethome's independently chosen editorial picks, it may earn affil...

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Curios Aren’t Just for Breakfast Anymore – Mac Geek...

Alternative AirPlay Receivers, iMac Upgrades, Troubleshooting in Console, and AirPods controls are just the first four things your two favorite geeks discuss today. Then it’s on to solving the issue of stale Contacts on your iPhone, MailDrop woes, and the Preppers approach to backups. All this and more in this week’s Mac Geek Gab podcast. You’re guaranteed to learn at least four new things.

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First Impression, Hands-on: The new DJI Spark drone...

Last Thursday I finally got my hands on the super-portable $500 DJI Spark and, as a hobby photographer and drone enthusiast, it’s probably the most exciting iPhone accessory of the year. The Spark is such a small drone that you can take it with you anywhere and anytime, while it also has optics and stabilization features along with some impressive AI that produces impressive imagery and video.

They say that the best camera is the one you have in your pocket. Having a drone that you can easily bring along on trips opens up a whole new world of possibilities. That’s what gets me the most excited…


| Read more »
After Math: Reach out and touch someone

It's been a telling week for communications. Chinese scientists bounced quantum entangled photons into space and back, McDonald's recruited new hires through Snapchat, and it would appear that North Korea has had its fingers in everybody's cyber-pies...

| Read more »
A chat with the 76ers' first all-female eSports...

The Philadelphia 76ers bought Team Dignitas -- an established esports organization with teams across League of Legends, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Heroes of the Storm -- in September, making it the first North American sports franchise to p...

| Read more »
Playing witness to an android riot in 'Detroit...

I don't know when I'll get to play Detroit: Become Human again. The latest game from David Cage's Quantic Dream studio (Heavy Rain, Beyond: Two Souls) conspicuously didn't have a release date, or, hell, even a release year when Sony showed off a bran...

| Read more »
Ben Heck’s Logic Gate board game: Finding a purpose

The team's having trouble with the Logic Gate board game and needs your input. Behind all good games is a fun concept, whether it's racking up points or solving puzzles. Now, the team needs help identifying what this could be for their Logic Gate...

| Read more »
Microsoft Office 2016 15.35 and Office 2011 14.7.5

Makes improvements to Outlook in Office 2016 and resolves remote code execution vulnerabilities in both editions. ($149.99 new, free update)


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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Software Updates via MacUpdate

WhiteCap 6.7.1 - Visual plug-in for iTun...
WhiteCap is a sleek and sophisticated music visualizer and screensaver that features futuristic, wireframe mesh visuals with dynamic backgrounds and colors. WhiteCap contains thousands of visual... Read more
DiskMaker X 6.0 rc5 - Make a bootable OS...
DiskMaker X (was Lion DiskMaker) helps you to build a bootable drive from the official OS X installer app (the one you download from the Mac App Store). It detects the OS X Install program with... Read more
Lyn 1.9 - Lightweight image browser and...
Lyn is a fast, lightweight image browser and viewer designed for photographers, graphic artists, and Web designers. Featuring an extremely versatile and aesthetically pleasing interface, it delivers... Read more
MacFamilyTree 8.2.1 - Create and explore...
MacFamilyTree gives genealogy a facelift: modern, interactive, convenient and fast. Explore your family tree and your family history in a way generations of chroniclers before you would have loved.... Read more
LaunchBar 6.9 - Powerful file/URL/email...
LaunchBar is an award-winning productivity utility that offers an amazingly intuitive and efficient way to search and access any kind of information stored on your computer or on the Web. It provides... Read more
LaunchBar 6.9 - Powerful file/URL/email...
LaunchBar is an award-winning productivity utility that offers an amazingly intuitive and efficient way to search and access any kind of information stored on your computer or on the Web. It provides... Read more
MacFamilyTree 8.2.1 - Create and explore...
MacFamilyTree gives genealogy a facelift: modern, interactive, convenient and fast. Explore your family tree and your family history in a way generations of chroniclers before you would have loved.... Read more
Spotify - Stream music, crea...
Spotify is a streaming music service that gives you on-demand access to millions of songs. Whether you like driving rock, silky R&B, or grandiose classical music, Spotify's massive catalogue puts... Read more
VOX 2.8.26 - Music player that supports...
VOX just sounds better! The beauty is in its simplicity, yet behind the minimal exterior lies a powerful music player with a ton of features and support for all audio formats you should ever need.... Read more
beaTunes 5.0.1 - Organize your music col...
beaTunes is a full-featured music player and organizational tool for music collections. How well organized is your music library? Are your artists always spelled the same way? Any R.E.M. vs REM?... Read more

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This War of Mine gets a new ending and m...
This War of Mine just got a big new update, featuring free DLC that adds a new ending to the game, among other exciting changes. The update is celebrating the game's two-year release anniversary. Apart from the new ending, which will be quite... | Read more »
Summon eight new heroes in Fire Emblem H...
Nintendo keeps coming at us with Fire Emblem Heroes updates, and it doesn't look like that trend is stopping anytime soon. The folks behind the game have just announced the new War of the Clerics Voting Gauntlet, expected to start next Tuesday. [... | Read more »
The best deals on the App Store this wee...
iOS publishers are pulling out all the stops this week -- there's a huge number of seriously great games at discounted prices this week. Let's not waste any time and get right down to business. [Read more] | Read more »
The House of da Vinci (Games)
The House of da Vinci 1.0.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0.0 (iTunes) Description: Enter The House of Da Vinci, a new must-try 3D puzzle adventure game. Solve mechanical puzzles, discover hidden... | Read more »
Solve the disappearance of history’s gre...
Blue Brain Games invites you to indulge in an immersive hands-on 3D puzzle adventure in similar vein to The Room series, with its debut release The House of Da Vinci. Set during the historic period of the Italian Renaissance (when Leonardo himself... | Read more »
Age of Rivals (Games)
Age of Rivals 3.3 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $.99, Version: 3.3 (iTunes) Description: Deep civilization-building strategy in a fast-paced card game! | Read more »
Panthera Frontier (Games)
Panthera Frontier 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: | Read more »
Angry Birds Evolution beginner's gu...
Angry Birds changes things up a fair bit in its latest iteration, Angry Birds Evolution. The familiar sling-shot physics mechanics are still there, but the game now features team-based gameplay, RPG elements, and a new top-down view. With all of... | Read more »
Sega Forever is for the retro game fans
Sega is launching a new retro games service titled Sega Forever, in a move that's sure to delight games enthusiasts with a bit of nostalgia. Sega's releasing five classic games for free. The titles include Sonic the Hedgehog, Phantasy Star II,... | Read more »
The Little Acre (Games)
The Little Acre 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: | Read more »

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ABBYY TextGrabber 6 for iOS Implements Instan...
ABBYY has announced the release of TextGrabber 6.0.0, an important feature update to the company’s productivity app developed for iOS and Android devices. TextGrabber 6.0 now offers Real-Time... Read more
vPhone, First Smartphone That Can’t Be Lost,...
Austin, Texas based Hypori has introduced the vPhone, a virtual smartphone that affords every business user the benefits of separate work and personal phones, conveniently delivered on a single... Read more
Save this weekend with 2016 refurbished MacBo...
Apple has dropped prices on Certified Refurbished 2016 15″ and 13″ MacBook Pros by as much as $590 off original MSRP. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free: -... Read more
New 27-inch 3.4GHz iMac on sale for $1699, sa...
MacMall has the new 2017 27″ 3.4GHz iMac (MNE92LL/A) in stock and on sale for $1699 including free shipping. Their price is $100 off MSRP. Read more
Clearance 2016 MacBook Pros available for up...
B&H Photo has clearance 2016 13″ and 15″ MacBook Pros in stock today and on sale for up to $400 off original MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY & NJ sales tax only: - 15″ 2.7GHz... Read more
Apple Ranks 9th In comScore Top 50 U.S. Digit...
comScore, Inc. has released its monthly ranking of U.S. online activity at the top digital media properties for May 2017 based on data from comScore Media Metrix Multi-Platform. * Entity has... Read more
10.5-inch iPad Pros available for up to $20 o...
B&H Photo has the new 2017 10.5″ iPad Pros available for up to $20 off MSRP including free shipping plus NY & NJ sales tax only: - 64GB iPad Pro WiFi: $649 - 256GB iPad Pro WiFi: $749 - 512GB... Read more
Three Off-The-Beaten-Track iOS Apps That Dese...
One of the great things about using iPads and iPhones is the vast selection of apps available for most anything you want or need to do. The three outlined in this article have been in my core app... Read more
Apple No. 1 Spot In Gartner Top 100 Vendors i...
Gartner, Inc. has unveiled the top global 100 vendors in IT in 2016 based on their revenue across IT (excluding communication services) and component market segments. In the Gartner Global Top 100:... Read more
Clearance iMacs available for up to $300 off...
B&H Photo has clearance 21″ and 27″ Apple iMacs available starting at $949, each including free shipping plus NY & NJ sales tax only: - 27″ 3.3GHz iMac 5K: $1999 $300 off original MSRP - 27″... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* News Product Marketing Mgr., Publish...
…organizational consensus on strategy and vision for publisher tools, authoring, and Apple News Format.Carries this strategy and vision across the organization to Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions - Apple,...
Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
Security Data Analyst - *Apple* Information...
…data sources need to be collected to allow Information Security to better protect Apple employees and customers from a wide range of threats.Act as the subject matter Read more
Lead *Apple* Solutions Consultant - Apple I...
…integrity, and trust.Success Metrics/Key Performance Indicators:Quantitative* Year over Year growth in Apple Product and Beyond the Box sales in the assigned Point of Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant till v%u00E5r...
…ethics, integrity, and trust.Success Metrics/Key Performance Indicators:QuantitativeYear over Year growth in Apple Product and Beyond the Box sales in the assigned Point Read more
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