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Tuesday February 13

19:41
Flipboard CEO calls Apple News a ‘product living in...

Speaking at the Code Media conference today, Flipboard CEO and co-founder Mike McCue had some choice words for Apple and its Apple News platform. Flipboard, of course, is the news curation app with which Apple News directly competes…

more…

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18:50
Flipboard CEO knocks Apple News for closed ecosystem...




Flipboard CEO Mike McCue had a few choice words for segment competitor Apple News, describing Apple's news service as "living in the past" because it does not curate media, offers no social sharing integrations and lacks other features that would set it apart in the crowded space.

| Read more »
18:28
Facebook announces new Messenger features to help...

Starting when the clock officially turns to February 14th in your location, Facebook Messenger will offer a slew of Valentine’s Day features for those couples who are madly in love. The company announced the features in a blog post, saying that they allow for you to “feel the love with Messenger.”

more…

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17:22
Highlights from Apple’s shareholders meeting

The shareholders meeting is typical a recap of what happened with the company over the last year, as well as voting on proposals. Typically, not much happens, but if you want a recap you can read this.

∞ Read this on The Loop

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17:07
Universal Audio releases the Helios Type 69 preamp...

Whether it was housed at Olympic in London, Musicland in Munich, or in the famed Rolling Stones’ mobile studio, the Helios Type 69 console was at the center of hundreds of iconic albums from rock’s “Golden Age.” From must-own albums by Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, and Pink Floyd, to Bob Marley and the Wailers, David Bowie, Black Sabbath, and AC/DC, the Type 69 delivered fat, unmistakable attitude, with a punchy midrange and an assertive growl.

The Helios was legendary.

∞ Read this on The Loop

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15:43
Acoustic testing finds HomePod's adaptive audio...




In its advertising push for HomePod, Apple has touted its smart speaker as capable of delivering consistent sound to listeners positioned anywhere in a given room. New testing backs up those claims, and offers insight into how the company accomplished such a feat.

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15:34
027: Shareholders meeting recap, Kevin Durant on...

Today we’ve a recap of Apple’s 2018 meeting of shareholders from Steve Jobs Theater, Apple picking up a new TV show starring NBA’s Kevin Durant, and two useful HomePod tips.

9to5Mac Daily is available on iTunes and Apple’s Podcasts app, Stitcher, TuneIn, Google Play, or through our dedicated RSS feed for Overcast and other podcast players.

https://9to5mac.files.wordpress.com/2018/02/9to5mac-daily-02-13-2018.mp3

...

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15:34
As HomePod proves divisive, what smart speaker do...

It’s no secret that HomePod has been one of the more divisive Apple products to launch in recent years. Whether it’s because of sound quality or Siri capabilities, people either love Apple’s smart speaker or hate it.

Now, we’re curious: If you’ve had the chance to try HomePod and some of its competitors, what smart speaker do you think sounds best?

more…

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13:30
Apple World Today News Update: February 13, 2018

Today was Apple's annual shareholder meeting, held at the Steve Jobs Theatre on the Apple Park campus. As a result, today's podcast covers just one topic -- the shareholder meeting, the agenda of the meeting, and comments made by shareholders and the Apple executives during the meeting. 

The text version of the podcast can be read below. To listen to the podcast here, click the play button on the player below. Apple News readers need to visit Apple World Today in order to listen to the podcast.

Text Version

This is Steve Sande for Apple World Today, and you’re listening to the AWT News Update podcast for Tuesday, February 13, 2018.  

Today’s podcast is on one topic only — Apple’s shareholder meeting that was held at the Steve Jobs Theatre on the Apple Park campus this morning.  As usual, the...

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12:14
Voters shoot down human rights committee proposal at...




A proposal to create an Apple human rights committee was defeated in voting during Tuesday's shareholders meeting, AppleInsider can confirm.

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12:10
Facebook’s ‘Protect’ feature on iOS essentially...

Facebook is rolling out a new security feature called Protect to many users of its iOS app. While the name might make unknowing users feel good about installing the associated free app, the Facebook owned VPN is designed to collect and analyze user data to “improve Facebook products and services.”

more…

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11:59
News: Report: Apple Watch sales overtake entire...

Worldwide shoppers in the fourth quarter of 2017 bought more watches from Apple than from every watchmaker in Switzerland combined, according to a new analysis from Statista. While Business Insider still notes that China still sells more watches than any other single country, the Swiss produce the iconic watch brands like Rolex and Swatch that have been staples in the industry for decades. The fact that Apple beat all those watchmakers combined over…

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11:54
The Boston Dynamics robot can now open doors. Great.

I saw this video yesterday. This is just a horror movie waiting to be filmed. So creepy.

∞ Read this on The Loop

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11:44
Skype bug could allow malicious attacker ‘system’...

A nasty Skype bug could allow a malicious attacker to gain “system” level access, if exploited. The bug is applicable on both macOS and Windows desktop platforms.

more…

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11:20
Kevin Durant's life and times to be chronicled...




In its continuing bid to produce content to expand services revenue, Apple has commissioned a drama based on basketball star Kevin Durant's life.

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10:55
The Fall Part 2: Unbound is now out for the Mac,...

Over The Moon has launched its sequel The Fall Part 2: Unbound on Mac, PlayStation4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC, and Linux platforms. It’s the sequel to the award-winning original game (not surprisingly called The Fall) the second chapter in a planned trilogy.

Here’s how the game is described: “The Fall Part 2: Unbound is a hybrid of haunting metroidvania exploration merged with brain teasing point-and-click adventure puzzles and a healthy dose of chilling hard sci-fi. This sequel picks up right where its predecessor left off as we follow the exploits of A.R.I.D., a rogue AI who’s rewritten its protocol to follow one rule: “save myself”. The new parameters of A.R.I.D.’s programming have allowed her the ability to possess new hosts including a posh, reality-divorced Butler, a sexy service Companion, and a mysterious combat drone known as One.’

You can buy the Mac version at ...

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10:45
Apple developing a drama series based on the life of...

Apple is developing a drama series dubbed Swagger that’s based on the early life and career of NBA superstar Kevin Durant, reports Variety.

The article says the series is inspired by Durant’s youth basketball experiences. It will explore the world of Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) basketball and the lives of the players, their families, and coaches. The series will be produced by Brian Grazer and Ron Howard’s Imagine Television along with Durant’s Thirty Five Media. 

This will be Apple’s ninth scripted pickup. Click here for more info on the company's TV plans.

Durant plays for the Golden State Warriors. He’s won an NBA championship, an NBA Most Valuable Player Award, the Bill Russell NBA Finals Most...

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10:45
Apple working on ‘Swagger’ TV show starring Kevin...

Apple is working on a TV show starring NBA superstar Kevin Durant, Variety reports. The show is dubbed “Swagger” and will be produced by Imagine Television and Durant’s Thirty Five Media.

more…

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10:39
AAPL shareholders meeting recap: Wearables business...

As scheduled, Apple’s annual shareholders meeting took place at Steve Jobs Theater at Apple Park today. The 2018 Annual Meeting of Shareholders — previously held at Town Hall at 1 Infinite Loop — is the first to take place at Apple’s new campus. While there were no surprises during the voting procedure, Apple CEO Tim Cook did throw out a few tidbits regarding Apple Watch, Apple Pay, who might replace him one day, and much more.

more…

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10:37
Apple shareholders nix proposals for director...

At its annual meeting (held today), two Apple shareholder proposals weren't approved. Also, CEO Tim Cook downplayed a suggestion that the company might issue a special dividend to shareholders with some of the $285 billion in cash that the company is now able to bring back from overseas.

A proxy access measure sought reconsideration of the company's rules for shareholder nomination of directors, that currently say a group of no more than 20 shareholders have to hold a 3% stake to nominate. That measure failed with 67.8% against. Meanwhile, a call for a human rights committee that would report its oversight to the public failed with 94.4% opposed. 

Shareholders did approve four company-proposed measures, including a required "say on pay" vote for executive compensation.

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10:27
How to play anything on your HomePod, including...




Apple's HomePod may be limited in connectivity, but thanks to its support for the legacy AirPlay standard, it's possible to connect basically anything you want to it over Wi-Fi. One of the best ways to do this is with the Airfoil app, available from longtime Mac developer Rogue Amoeba.

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09:39
Consumer Reports' dismissal of HomePod a...




Testing stalwart Consumer Reports declared this week that Apple's HomePod falls behind Google's Home Max -- and even the Sonos One -- in terms of audio quality. To anyone who knows the publication's controversial history with Apple products, that conclusion is utterly unsurprising.

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09:27
9to5Toys Last Call: Apple Leather iPhone Cases $36,...

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. more…

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09:27
Canon’s and Nikon’s crazy DSLR stockpiles at the...

This story pops up every Olympics and every Olympics, I marvel at the incredible amount of hardware the big boys of DSLR bring to support their shooters.

∞ Read this on The Loop

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09:24
Samsung's Galaxy S9 expected to copy iPhone X...




Looking to keep up with Apple's iPhone X, Samsung is planning to add an animoji-like "3D emoji" feature to the Galaxy S9 premiering later this month, according to a Korean report.

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09:24
News: Apple provides sneak peek inside lab where...

After yesterday’s look at the insides of a HomePod that iFixit ripped apart, today brings a tale from The Loop that includes a peek at all the parts preassembly — and the lab where they were all crafted. Kate Bergeron, Apple’s Vice President for Hardware Engineering, gave the publication a look at the company’s audio lab, where the HomePod and all other sound-related projects from Apple have come to life. Bergeron said the HomePod…

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09:23
Koogeek LS1 Smart Light Strip: HomeKit-compatible...

LED light strips are nothing new; Philips has had them in its lineup of Hue lighting products for several years. But up until this time, LED light strips have been rather pricy — the Hue strip starts at $90 — and have often been incompatible with Apple’s HomeKit home automation framework. Koogeek has introduced the 2 meter long (78.7 inches) LS-1 LED light strip that works with Apple HomeKit, can offer 16 million choices of color, and has a suggested retail price of just $38.99. Apple World Today had an opportunity to try out the LS1 LED Light Strip and will definitely be a popular item once it’s available on Amazon

Design
Like most LED light strips, the LS1 has a deceptively simple design. It uses a  flexible silicone strip with 60 5050 SMD LEDs embedded in it, with a 3M adhesive tape on the back. Not only can the strip...

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08:34
Canary home security cameras now work with Amazon...

Canary has announced that its home security camera system now works with Amazon Alexa devices with screens including Echo Spot and compatible Fire TVs. Alexa support lets you use voice to view live video from connected cameras. While the company is shipping Echo integration, Canary is still not offering a clear roadmap for when Apple HomeKit support may be coming.

more…

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08:32
News: Just-funded Plux wireless charging pad will...

With Apple’s AirPower charging pad still yet to be released, competitors have been popping up with their own offerings that provide more features at what could prove to be a lower cost. The recently funded Plux is one of them, offering a 10W fast charging Qi-compatible multi-device charging pad large enough for an iPhone, AirPods and an Apple Watch. The pad also comes with a stand converter that allows for the use of Face ID and Nightstand Mode.…

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08:15
Apple Watch holiday sales volume beat entire Swiss...




More Apple Watches shipped in the fourth quarter of 2017 than the entire Swiss watch industry, a report claims, showing the Apple-produced wearable device is still growing in popularity, though analysis also indicates the Apple Watch still has some way to go before it can outpace Swiss watches on an annual basis.

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08:04
Samsung is planning to copy Animoji on the Galaxy S9...

Whenever Apple debuts a unique feature, it’s inevitable that it eventually gets picked up by others. We’ve seen this time and time again, and with the debut of the iPhone X and its Animoji, others are copying. According to a new report, Samsung will be doing just that with its next flagship.

more…

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07:54
Plux wireless charger aims to beat AirPower at its...

Apple's AirPower charger isn't here yet, but promises -- at a cost of $199 -- to give owners of the iPhone 8/8 Plus/X, Apple Watch, and (with a special case) AirPods a way to wirelessly charge their mobile Apple gear. Plux has an Indiegogo campaign currently running that plans to beat Apple's charger with more features and a much lower price point.

Plux is designed to charge a Qi-equipped iPhone, Apple Watch and AirPods at the same time, with up to 10W of power. The power is important for fast charging, as Apple's own device will apparently deliver on 7.5W to the devices. Included in the $39 "Super Early Bird" perk is the Plux wireless charging pad, a Type C cable for connecting the device to a power source, a stand converter that can place the charging pad in a vertical position, and a wireless receiver and holder for the AirPods.

Plux...

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07:37
News: iHeartRadio editorial content added to Apple...

Apple News now features editorial content from iHeartRadio, according to a recent blog post from the music and news provider. While mainly known for its music service, iHeartRadio also generates news content on everything from entertainment and celebrity gossip to sports and politics. The new content is featured in the Entertainment section of Apple News, and iHeartRadio’s radio service is also available on iOS, Apple TV and through CarPlay....

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07:33
ABI Research: Apple, Google offerings pose serious...

In a competitive study of smart home voice control platforms, ABI Research finds that Alexa currently leads the market. This is due mostly to the market deployment footprint and scale it enjoys. However, Amazon faces well positioned and strengthening challenges to its dominance, especially in multi-language support, according to the research group.

ABI Research says Amazon is the current front-runner when it comes to smart home voice control device shipments and in the breadth of partnerships that bring the Alexa platform to a wide-range of additional smart home devices and applications. However, both Google and Apple are extending their mobile device voice control platforms into the smart home, and they both have the existing user base, knowledge base, and solid regional language support to push Amazon out of the ring. Supporting multiple languages is now becoming a key function and challengers Apple (with Siri),...

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07:32
Apple's shift in iOS development pace about...




Apple's "cultural shift" towards spacing out new features in iOS is more a natural function of development scale, and not really the revolution some people might perceive it to be, according to a noted former Microsoft Windows president.

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07:23
AAPL stock climbs to $162 ahead of Apple’s...

AAPL stock has climbed to $162 ahead of this morning’s annual shareholder meeting in the Steve Jobs Theater inside the Apple Park campus grounds …

more…

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07:20
New Mac app brings real-time WYSIWYG interface to...

Karl Traunmueller has released Compositor 1.0, a new Mac app that brings WYSIWYG [what you see is what you get] features to the LaTeX document preparation system widely used in academia for preparation of scientific and technical publications. 

Editing and viewing are fully integrated. The document is typeset with every keystroke the user makes, and the results are displayed immediately, according to Traunmueller.

Compositor works with macOS 10.11 or newer. A fully-functional 60-day free trial is available for download from the product's website. Licenses can be purchased from the product's online store at an early-adopter price of $19. The purchase includes all future updates, including major version updates. There are currently no plans to support Windows or Linux platforms, says Traunmueller.

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07:01
Android-powered Essential Phone estimated to have...




Despite being one of the first handsets on the market with an edge-to-edge display, the Essential Phone, pioneered by former Android chief Andy Rubin, failed to compete with the likes of Apple's iPhone X in any meaningful way, with one new estimate suggesting just 88,000 units were shipped last year.

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06:56
Verdant Skies is a new, macOS compatible life...

Howling Moon Software has announced Verdant Skies, its latest game title for macOS and Windows. It’s a $19.99 life simulation game in which you can customize artwork, dialogue, items, crafting recipes and more.

In Verdant Skies, you're on Viridus Primus, an alien world filled with wildlife and possibility. As you build a home for yourself, you spend your days fishing, painting and combining genes from various crops so they flourish. You make friends with a cast of colonists, deepening your relationships as you work together in this exotic world.

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06:56
Apple's 2018 shareholder meeting today, held...




Later this morning, Apple is holding its 42nd annual shareholder meeting at its new Apple Park facilities for the first time, offering some members of the public a glimpse inside its new headquarters. However, this year attending the meeting requires a pre-arranged registration; shareholders of record who simply show up have been put on notice that the event is already at capacity.

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06:55
Adobe updates Lightroom CC, Lightroom Classic, XD...

In a series of blog posts today, Adobe outlined changes and improvements announced for their Lightroom CC ecosystem and XD prototyping tool.

more…

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06:47
∞ The long lost ’80s Siri instructional video

[VIDEO] I’ma just leave this here (well, actually, in the main Loop post). Well played, Squirrel Monkey.

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06:42
How to use Shazam with Siri on HomePod

If there’s music playing and there’s a HomePod in the room, chances are that music is coming from HomePod. But there may be times when you’ve got some background music coming from another source (your TV, say) and you want to identify the tune.

I am used to asking Siri on my iPhone to identify background music. Typically, I’ll fire up Siri and say:

What song is this?

But trying to get HomePod Siri to identify a song playing in the background proved tricky. I tried everything I could think of. No dice.

Fortunately, 9to5Mac’s Benjamin Mayo figured this out. To ask HomePod’s version of Siri to identify a background song, say:

Hey Siri, Shazam this.

Works every time. Weird to me that none of the more standard ways work. I hope we don’t end up with a Siri dialect problem, where users have to remember which command works on which version of Siri...

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06:25
How to AirPlay audio from your Mac to HomePod

One piece of FUD I encounter again and again is that you can’t play competing streaming services, such as Spotify, on your HomePod.

There is an element of truth there, as Apple Music is currently the only first class citizen on HomePod. But you can AirPlay pretty much anything you can play on your Mac or iOS device to HomePod. Even Spotify.

What you lose when you AirPlay to HomePod is the ability for Siri to control the music. Though you can ask Siri to change the volume (“Siri Volume 25” to set volume at 25%, for example), you can’t get Siri to pause playback or skip to the next track. With AirPlay, you’ll need to use your iPhone or Mac to control the flow.

I wonder what magic is cooking for AirPlay 2. Will AirPlay 2 give Siri the ability to control track flow? If so, will Apple enable that gift for Spotify?

For the specifics of AirPlay on your Mac,...

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06:24
Fast talker: Alexa may offer speedier answers with...

Amazon wants to cut the lag time between your asking Alexa a question and the virtual assistant giving you an answer. According to a report by The Information, the online retailer is developing its own artificial intelligence chips to be used in Echo devices and other hardware. If successfully created and deployed, these AI chips would allow more voice-based requests to be processed on-device rather than going to the cloud.

Currently, Alexa needs to contact the cloud to interpret commands. That's why there's a short delay after you ask the virtual assistant a question—she...

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06:21
Apple invention involves a docking station that...

Apple has been granted yet another patent (number 9,891,719) involving a gesture-based user interface (you can see a list of the others here). However, this one involves a docking station and, unlike some previous ones, doesn’t seem to involve the Mac. Just iPhones and iPads.

The invention involves a docking station configured to mate to an electronic device that enables methods of interacting with the electronic device by impacting (e.g., knocking) on a table on which the device and/or the docking station are disposed and by means of contactless gestures. The electronic device may remain in a powered off state while the docking station continuously monitors for user input. The docking station may have a processor that can detect a user's impact and contactless gesture inputs.

In the patent filing, Apple says that docking...

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06:08
iFixit’s brilliant HomePod teardown

[VIDEO] Not sure how long iFixit has been posting teardown videos, but this one (embedded in the main Loop post) is the first I’ve seen. Brilliant to be able to watch someone tear this tech down to the nubs.

So much to learn about the work and material that goes into HomePod. That outer mesh is magical. I wonder how they manufacture it.

One thing that is clear: This sucker is tough to take apart. It’s no wonder Apple charges $279 to repair or replace a broken, out-of-warranty HomePod.

∞ Read this on The Loop

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06:06
The Apple Watch tops the Swiss in holiday watch...

As this chart by Statista shows, Apple shipped more watches during the holiday quarter last year than the entire Swiss watch industry exported, marking the first time Apple topped the entire export output of the industry's traditional home.

For all of 2017, the Swiss exported more watches than Apple shipped, and the Chinese still make far more watches than anyone. But as the data indicates, Apple is rapidly gaining ground, notes Business Insider.

According to estimates by market research firm Canalys, the Apple...

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06:04
Foxconn branching out from iPhones into more...

iPhone assembler Foxconn is seeking to diversify its production lines as it says the smartphone market has become stagnant. The company currently relies on Apple for around half of its revenue, but has ambitious plans for even higher-end manufacturing …

more…

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06:00
Google is testing its fast-loading AMP tech inside...

At this point, Gmail is pretty much the only email provider anyone uses, but that doesn't mean that Google can rest upon its laurels. The company is now experimenting with its Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) tools to bring email into the 21st century....

| Read more »
06:00
News: Daily Deal: Paww WaveSound 2.1 Low Latency...

For Tuesday’s iLounge Deal, we’re offering the Paww WaveSound 2.1 Low Latency Bluetooth 4.2 Over Ear Headphones for only $69.99 — that’s 46% off the regular price. Designed for those who appreciate good audio quality mixed with superior design elements, these headphones use start-of-the-art wireless technologies and comfort-enhancing features to give you the freedom to listen to your music when, where, and how you want. Bluetooth…

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05:57
∞ Apple adds three new videos to their official...

[VIDEO] The videos (embedded in the main Loop post) are:

  • How to shoot a Portrait selfie on iPhone X
  • How to edit a Portrait selfie on iPhone X
  • How to create a bouncing Live Photo on iPhone

All three are found on Apple’s official iPhone photography page. If you’ve never explored that page, take a minute to look it over. Lots of helpful tips.

This is excellent marketing on Apple’s part, the first two a subtle and, I think, effective push towards the iPhone X.

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05:52
TrendForce: iPhone annual production volume to...

According to TrendForce, the iPhone's annual production volume is expected to increase by 6% because of improved specs of new iPhones and Apple’s expansion in Indian market.

Apple remained the second place in the ranking of smartphone production for 2017. TrendForce says that, for this year, Apple is set to launch three new flagship models in 3Q18, and will expand the adoption of Face ID and all-screen technology in these new iPhones, along with upgrading their existing functions and increasing the memory content, as well.

Competition will intensify in the global smartphone market this year. Apple and Nokia are the only international brands with a clear future of growth in 2018, says TrendForce. The growth momentum in global smartphone market will remain weak in 2018 due to lower demand and less replacement purchases, adds the research group.

Faced with continuous rise in the costs of upstream components,...

| Read more »
05:45
First look: IOGear USB-C Compact Docking Station...




The IOGear USB-C Compact Docking Station with Power Delivery Pass-Thru is a port-replacement peripheral for USB 3.1 type C gear -- but isn't perfect for 4K.

| Read more »
05:36
iPhone market share will grow this year while...

Global smartphone sales were weaker than expected in the second half of 2017, says TrendForce. It predicts that growth will slow to 2.8% this year, and says that there are ‘only two international brands with a clear future of growth in 2018’ …

more…

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04:37
‘Rise of the Tomb Raider: 20 Year Celebration’...

Feral Interactive has announced that Rise of the Tomb Raider: 20 Year Celebration, ‘the definitive edition of the acclaimed action-adventure,’ will be coming to macOS and Linux this spring.

The company says all the downloadable content will be bundled with the game, which includes both action and puzzle-solving …

more…

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04:30
Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day; plan accordingly

Tomorrow (Wednesday, Feb. 14) is Valentine’s Day. You knew that, didn’t you? If not, I’ve rounded up some websites that will help you prepare for the romantic day.

First of all, you can impress your special one (or ones) with your impressive knowledge of the history of Valentine’s Day. Well, actually, the saga of the lovers’ day and the story of its patron saint is shrouded in mystery. February has long been celebrated as a month of romance, and St. Valentine’s Day, as we know it today, contains vestiges of both Christian and ancient Roman tradition. But who was Saint Valentine, and how did he become associated with this ancient rite?

Saint Valentine, according to romantic legend, was a kind-hearted Roman priest who married young couples against the wishes of Emperor Claudius II, and was beheaded for his deeds on the Feb. 14. In truth, the exact origins and identity of St. Valentine are not known. You can learn more about the legendary figure and the theories of the...

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04:00
Tips for using Apple Mail in iOS 11

Apple Mail in iOS 11 has some overlooked nifty features. Among them:

  • Fast Unsubscribe: emails with unsubscribe links will now automatically have them displayed at the top of each message with an easy to hit button.
  • Unread Only: when viewing your mailbox, look for the filter icon (bottom left corner) and change the default setting to “Filtered by: Unread.”
  • Quick Actions: Swipe left on a message in the new threaded view and it will reveal quick actions such as flag, reply and trash.

(This how-to is based on my experiences and info on Apple's support pages — where the images sometimes come from.)

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03:55
Trend line suggests Apple Watch could be on track to...

Comparing recent Canalys data with that of the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry numbers indicates that the Apple Watch achieved a new first in the holiday quarter: shipments of the smartwatch exceeding exports for the entire Swiss watch industry …

more…

| Read more »
03:30
Notable apps and app updates for Feb. 13, 2018

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

macOS Apps/Updates

AKVIS has updated AKVIS Decorator, its smart resurfacing and recoloring tool for macOS (10.7 and higher). Version 6.0 offers new tools, the selection saving feature, full compatibility with Photoshop CC 2018, a number of interface improvements, etc. Also, it’s now possible to apply different textures to the same image.

AKVIS Decorator allows youto alter the surface of any objects such as clothes, furniture, buildings, cars, walls, etc. The built-in library offers more than 1800 textures to suit most needs. 

The product is available as a standalone program and as a plugin filter for AliveColors, Adobe Photoshop and...

| Read more »
03:15
AppleCare+ for HomePod priced at $39, covers two...

If you’re looking to snag AppleCare+ for your new HomePod, it’ll run you $39.

The extended warranty and accidental damage repair program offers two out-of-warranty repairs like accidental damage from a drop.

Without AppleCare+, the repair will run $279.

The checkout process for a HomePod has said since the pre-order process that AppleCare+ coverage extending the warranty to two years, granting a longer customer support window, and providing for reduced-cost out-of-warranty repairs would cost $39. However, a new support document published on Friday breaks down the HomePod repair process, as well as costs associated with the repair.

While there are no varying costs for repairs associated with the HomePod (as with a screen or battery replacement for a MacBook or an iPhone), out-of-warranty damage for a HomePod, such as a drop or exposure to water, will run the user $279.

The AppleCare+ service also grants users an express replacement service,...

| Read more »
03:00
iFixit completes teardown of HomePod, posts findings

When in doubt, use a hacksaw.

The cool cats at iFixit have taken it upon themselves to crack into the newly-released HomePod to find out what’s inside.

The outfit, which used an actual hacksaw to crack the smart speaker open, discovered an A8 processor, seven tweeters, six far-field microphones, and a high excursion woofer. The speaker dynamically adapts to its placement in a room to improve audio output and to create a stereo-like sound from a single unit.

After physically destroying the HomePod’s body, iFixit found they had to to slice the fabric mesh outer skin, then cut through the inner body with a saw.

It’s unknown as to what Apple’s technique is to open the HomePod without damaging the outer body.

During the teardown, iFixit found an extra microphone that’s most likely used for tuning the woofer alongside a 14-pin connector that’s thought to be used for diagnostics. The HomePod also features a large magnet to drive its high-excursion...

| Read more »
02:00
Amazon Is Designing Custom AI Chips For Alexa

According to a report (paywalled) from The Information, Amazon is designing a custom artificial intelligence chip that would power future Echo devices and improve the quality and response time of its Alexa voice assistant. "The move closely followers rivals Apple and Google, both of which have already developed and deployed custom AI hardware at various scales," reports The Verge. From the report: While Amazon is unlikely to physically produce the chips, given its lack of both fabrication experience and a manufacturing presence in China, the news does pose a risk to the businesses of companies like Nvidia and Intel. Both companies have shifted large portions of their chipmaking expertise to AI and the future of the burgeoning field, and both make money by designing and manufacturing chips for companies like Apple, Amazon, and others. Amazon, which seeks to stay competitive in the smart home hardware market and in the realm of consumer-facing AI products, has nearly 450 people with...

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01:53
How to use Shazam with Siri on HomePod to identify...

HomePod’s strand of Siri has its limitations but it’s music features are pretty robust. You can actually use the Shazam song identification features on HomePod, you just need to know the right request phrase for Siri.

The HomePod uses its microphones to listen to the environment and Shazam will try to find a match for the song. You can then get the HomePod to play the song straight from Apple Music. Here’s how to use Shazam on HomePod …

more…

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Monday February 12

18:19
Facebook to launch subscription tool in iOS app...




Facebook has resolved a revenue sharing issue with Apple, it was announced on Monday, allowing the social media giant to launch a subscription tool for publishers looking to enable paywall access on Facebook's iOS app.

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18:14
How to use AirFoil to create a stereo HomePod pair...

The HomePod may have officially launched to consumers on Friday, but there are still some features users are waiting on, including stereo support and multi-room support. However, there are third-party applications that bring those features to HomePod users today…

more…

| Read more »
17:11
Facebook to roll out subscription tool on iOS...

Facebook will be rolling out a subscription tool soon that will allow publishers to put up paywalls for certain content on the social media platform.

more…

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16:46
Apple Music student membership expands to over 80...

Apple announced today that it is expanding the availability of its Apple Music student membership. The company hasn’t yet confirmed a complete list of new markets, but says the discounted membership is coming to 82 new regions this month…

more…

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16:32
Apple to expand Apple Music student discount to 82...




In an expansion scheduled to roll out over the course of February, Apple will begin offering half-price Apple Music discounts to students in 82 additional countries, according to a report on Monday.

| Read more »
16:18
TidBITS Watchlist: Notable Software Updates for 12...

Notable software releases this week include Carbon Copy Cloner 5.0.8, MarsEdit 4.0.7, VLC Media Player 3.0, BBEdit 12.1, ChronoSync 4.8.4, and DEVONagent 3.10.

 

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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16:18
ExtraBITS for 12 February 2018

In ExtraBITS this week, Apple is reportedly scaling back new iOS features to focus on stability, your smart home devices could reveal more about you than you realize, and a malicious cryptominer was accidentally distributed by MacUpdate.

 

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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15:20
Apple highlights Portrait selfies, bouncing Live...




Apple on Monday posted a trio of short tutorial videos to its YouTube channel explaining how to take perfect Portrait selfies with iPhone X and bouncing Live Photos with all current iPhone models.

| Read more »
14:56
026: iOS 12 (and 13) rumors, Alto’s Odyssey, and...

Today we’ve got the latest details on what to expect in iOS 12 (and 13), the release date for Alto’s Odyssey, and loads of new HomePod details following launch weekend.

9to5Mac Daily is available on iTunes and Apple’s Podcasts app, Stitcher, TuneIn, Google Play, or through our dedicated RSS feed for Overcast and other podcast players.

https://9to5mac.files.wordpress.com/2018/02/9to5mac-daily-02-12-2018.mp3

...

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14:27
See Apple's HomePod take on the competition in...




AppleInsider puts HomePod's sound quality to the test against four smart speaker competitors, Sonos' One, Amazon's second-gen Echo, Google Home and Google's Home Max, in this comprehensive comparison. Find out which comes out on top.

| Read more »
14:03
Reddit Audiophiles Test HomePod, Say It Sounds...

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: Apple released its much-hyped HomePod speaker to the masses last week, and the general consensus among early reviews is that it sounds superb for a relatively small device. But most of those reviews seem to have avoided making precise measurements of the HomePod's audio output, instead relying on personal experience to give generalized impressions. That's not a total disaster: a general rule for speaker testing is that while it's good to stamp out any outside factor that may cause a skewed result, making definitive, "objective" claims is difficult. But having some proper measurements is important. Reddit user WinterCharm, whose real name is Fouzan Alam, has made just that in a truly massive review for the site's "r/audiophile" sub. And if his results are to be believed, those early reviews may be underselling the HomePod's sonic abilities. After a series of tests with a calibrated microphone in an untreated room, Alam found the...

| Read more »
13:48
Apple Maps transit directions come to Tucson, Arizona




Thanks to behind-the-scenes updates, visitors and residents of Tucson, Ariz. can now use Apple Maps to figure out public transit directions across the city.

| Read more »
13:42
As HomePod hits the market, Amazon is working on...

As eager customers got their hands on Apple’s HomePod starting last Friday, one thing is for sure, the smart speaker competition is heating up. The latest news is that Amazon is working on creating custom chips for future Echo devices to help maintain its market lead.

more…

| Read more »
13:34
∞ The Dalrymple Report: Music and drummer jokes with...

Subscribe to this podcast

I had so much fun with Dave Hamilton this week. Dave is a gigging drummer and really knows his music. We talked about live setups, different bands, recording, and tell a couple of drummer jokes.

| Read more »
13:30
Review: RHA MA750 Wireless In-Ear Headphones

RHA is back with a new version of its MA750 headphones — the MA750 Wireless. Unlike the RHA T20i we tested last year, the MA750 Wireless comes in a "neckbuds" form factor which, against all odds, seems to be increasingly popular these days. Though we think that RHA has just about nailed the neckbud design, we think the MA750 Wireless's sound falls a bit short of the T20i.{/exp:char_limit}

| Read more »
13:28
Snapchat redesign causes uproar as users call on...

Users are not happy with the latest Snapchat update. The company has broadly rolled out a major redesign of its application, and now it is seeing a massive uproar on social media, with users begging for Snap to roll back the update.

more…

| Read more »
13:23
Consumer Reports: HomePod audio quality ‘very good’...

Apple’s HomePod has been well received by most critics so far, with audiophiles and regular people alike. Consumer Reports, however, has done some early testing on the HomePod and found that a few of Apple’s competitors may sound a little bit better…

more…

| Read more »
13:13
HomePod First Impressions: Let the (Apple) Music Play

We’ve had the HomePod for a weekend, and for the most part, it has been a success when it comes to music, thanks to excellent audio quality and Siri spinning Apple Music tracks with aplomb. Siri on the HomePod has been less useful as a fount of general knowledge, or perhaps we just don’t have the right questions.

 

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.

| Read more »
13:08
Apple World Today News Update: February 12, 2018

Steve is back to recording the podcast after a week-long hiatus due to a death in the family. Today we have three stories; one highlighting major US carrier Verizon, another the HomePod, and the final focusing on wireless mobile chip vendors Qualcomm and Broadcom:

  • Verizon announced that it will begin locking smartphones for a specified amount of time in order to reduce criminal demand for its unlocked phones
  • A scientific test of Apple's new HomePod smart speaker proves that it has excellent sound quality
  • Apple suppliers Qualcomm and Broadcom are set to restart talks on a possible takeover of Qualcomm by Broadcom; any takeover would have an impact on Apple

The text version of the podcast can be read below. To listen to the podcast here, click the play button on the player below. Apple News readers need to visit Apple World Today in order to listen to the podcast.

...

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13:04
Apple's MacBook lineup now world's fourth-...




Apple's share of the global laptop market climbed from 8.3 to 9.6 percent during 2017, allowing the company to rise from fifth to fourth place.

| Read more »
12:47
Apple shares new ads focused on Portrait Lighting...

Apple today has published three new ads focused on Portrait Lighting on iPhone X, and Live Photos.

Without any narration, the three videos are quick and easy tutorials on how to shoot, and edit Portrait Lighting photos, along with the third demonstrating how to add effects to Live Photos.

more…

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12:33
External Link: Will iOS 12 Be the iPhone’s Snow...

For years, Apple has stuck to a strict schedule of annual iOS releases that sport a sometimes dizzying array of new capabilities. Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, whose sources have proven generally reliable, is reporting that Apple will be holding back some of the more ambitious features in iOS 12 to focus instead on polish and reliability. Under the new scheme, major features will be planned over a two-year period, with engineers having more leeway to delay features that need more work. That doesn’t mean iOS 12 will be devoid of new features. One of the most interesting, Gurman says, will enable developers to create apps that work on both macOS and iOS. That will likely have significant implications for Apple users.

 

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 ...

| Read more »
12:32
External Link: Your Smart Home Could Be Spying On You

Gizmodo’s Kashmir Hill and Surya Mattu teamed up to learn the extent to which home automation devices report back to their manufacturers and leak personal information. Hill filled her house with smart devices, including an Amazon Echo, lights, coffee maker, TV, and even a bed. Then she had Surya monitor how much data was sent out by the devices. The results may shock you. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the worst offender was the Amazon Echo, which contacted Amazon’s servers every few minutes, even when the “Alexa” wake word and the microphone were turned off.

 

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...

| Read more »
12:31
External Link: Malicious Cryptominer Distributed by...

The MacUpdate site was hacked on 1 February 2018, and the attackers slipped a malicious code into updates for Firefox, OnyX, and Deeper that would use CPU cycles on infected machines to mine cryptocurrency. Malwarebytes has instructions for removing the malware. Although MacUpdate removed the offending updates quickly, the moral of the story is that it’s always best to update an app from inside the app itself or via the developer’s Web site.

 

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.

| Read more »
12:26
News: HomePod’s Siri response accuracy lags behind...

While Loup Ventures found the HomePod to be the best-sounding smartspeaker on the market, its inquiry also found the device’s Siri responses to be the worst of the pack for correctly answering questions. Siri on the HomePod only answered 52.3 percent of queries correctly, a sharp drop off from Google Home’s 81 percent success rate and even behind Alexa’s 64 percent and Cortana’s 57 percent. While Siri understood most of the…

| Read more »
12:18
Alto's Odyssey coming to iPhone, iPad, Apple TV...




The follow-up to "Alto's Adventure," snowboarding endless-runner "Alto's Odyssey" now has a release date, with the new title expected on Feb. 22.

| Read more »
12:08
HomePod set up failing with a blank white screen?...

Some new HomePod owners are hitting a problem that prevents them from setting up the device. During the initial set up, one of the popup screens is simply blank with seemingly no way out but to cancel the process. It turns out there’s an amusing bug causing this, but luckily there’s a simple fix …

more…

| Read more »
12:02
New aerial footage of Apple Park from Matthew...

Just when we thought we had seen the last of the Apple Park drone flights, pilot Matthew Roberts is back with another video showing several more completed structures and the latest progress on landscaping at the new Apple headquarters.

One fascinating thing to notice is that Apple will need to keep a close eye on the solar shade "eyebrows" that surround all four floors of the "spaceship" building; several shots taken near areas where sod is being placed show dirt discoloring the bright white finish of those architectural features.

Quite a few employees have made the move to the spaceship recently; a tweet from 

| Read more »
11:29
The Threat to the Mac: the Growing Popularity of Non...

Peter Ammon, former AppKit engineer at Apple, in a comment in a Hacker News thread regarding a report positing that the ability of Mac apps — even sandboxed ones — to capture screenshots of the entire screen a security problem:

IMO the app sandbox was a grievous strategic mistake for the Mac.
Cocoa-based Mac apps are rapidly being eaten by web apps and
Electron pseudo-desktop apps. For Mac apps to survive, they must
capitalize on their strengths: superior performance, better system
integration, better dev experience, more features, and higher
general quality.

But the app sandbox strikes at all of those. In return it offers
security inferior to a web app, as this post illustrates. The
price is far too high and the benefits too little.

IMO Apple should drop the Mac app...

| Read more »
11:27
Reminder: Apple includes a tiny AirPlay toggle in...




Apple, in its "infinite wisdom," compacted the Control Center in iOS 11, and gave AirPlay even less of a starring role on it. With HomePod now available and able to have audio streamed via AirPlay AppleInsider shows you where the AirPlay button is, and two slightly different ways to turn it on.

| Read more »
11:03
Apple News picks up iHeartRadio entertainment news...

iHeartRadio is the latest high-profile publisher to join Apple News. The service announced today that its editorial content can now be found on Apple’s News app on iOS.

more…

| Read more »
11:02
Alto’s Odyssey launches next week

The wait is almost over. Alto’s Odyssey launches on the App Store next week on Thursday, February 22nd. The game will be available on iOS + tvOS, right at launch.

This is the follow-up to Alto’s Adventure, a great game from Ryan Cash.

∞ Read this on The Loop

| Read more »
10:50
Verizon to join other carriers in temporarily...




Verizon will soon begin briefly locking all smartphones bought for its network as way of combatting theft and fraud, the wireless carrier announced on Monday.

| Read more »
10:46
Reddit audiophiles test HomePod, say it sounds...

Enlarge / Apple's new HomePod speaker retails for $350. (credit: Apple)

Apple released its much-hyped HomePod speaker to the masses last week, and the general consensus among early reviews is that it sounds superb for a relatively small device. But most of those reviews seem to have avoided making precise measurements of the HomePod’s audio output, instead relying on personal experience to give generalized impressions.

That’s not a total disaster: a general rule for speaker testing is that while it’s good to stamp out any outside factor that may cause a skewed result, making definitive, “objective” claims is difficult. A speaker’s...

| Read more »
10:12
Apple invests in AR device OLED component maker...

Apple is making further investments into bringing augmented reality devices to market. The latest news is the company backing a small AR display component maker along side LG and others.

more…

| Read more »
09:44
Apple suppliers Qualcomm & Broadcom to meet...




Qualcomm and Broadcom will reportedly meet on Wednesday in order to discuss the latter's $121 billion takeover offer, despite Qualcomm's repeated rejections in the past.

| Read more »
 

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Alto's Odyssey (Games)
Alto's Odyssey 1.0.1 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0.1 (iTunes) Description: Just beyond the horizon sits a majestic desert, vast and unexplored. Join Alto and his friends and set off on an endless... | Read more »
Check out these 5 games that are a lot l...
So you're in love with Minecraft, but you're looking for something else to play as well? You've come to the right place then, because this list is all about games that are a bit like Minecraft. Some of them, more than others. [Read more] | Read more »
Our top 5 characters from casual RPG Cre...
Creature Quest definitely lives up to its name with a host of collectible creatures based on fantasy tales and world mythologies. To celebrate Creature Quest’s first birthday, we’re going to lay out what we think are the five best characters in the... | Read more »
Around the Empire: What have you missed...
Did you know that Steel Media has a whole swathe of other sites dedicated to all aspects of mobile gaming? Sure you'll get the very best iPhone news, reviews, and opinions right here at 148Apps, but we don't want you missing out on a single piece... | Read more »
All the best games on sale for iPhone an...
Oh hi there, and welcome to our round-up of the best games that are currently on sale for iPhone and iPad. You thought I didn't see you there, did you, skulking behind the bushes? Trust me though, the bushes aren't where the best deals are. The... | Read more »
The Battle of Polytopia Guide - How to H...
A new update just released for The Battle of Polytopia (formerly Super Tribes), which introduces online multiplayer. For all the fans of Midjiwan’s lite take on Civilization, this is certainly welcome news, but playing online isn’t as easy and... | Read more »
Here are the very best mobile games to p...
It's Valentine's Day! Did you get loads of cards and chocolates and other tacky, simple expressions of human affection? Did you send out tat because you find it almost impossible to express emotion unless there's a section dedicated to it at your... | Read more »
Florence (Games)
Florence 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Florence is an interactive storybook from the award-winning lead designer of Monument Valley about the heart-racing highs and... | Read more »
Purrfect Date (Games)
Purrfect Date 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Cats are a lil’ like marmite. Either you absolutely head-over-heels love’ em, or… nahhh, who are we kidding?! Everyone... | Read more »
More monsters to collect and evolve in C...
A laid-back mix of RPG and TCG, Creature Quest is all about building your deck, evolving your creatures and winning in battle. It’s the creation of VC Mobile, set up by Might and Magic producer Jon Van Caneghem. There are elements of that classic... | Read more »

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Lowest sale price available for 13″ 1.8GHz Ma...
Focus Camera has the 2017 13″ 1.8GHz/128GB Apple MacBook Air on sale today for $829 including free shipping. Their price is $170 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for a current 13″... Read more
21-inch 2.3GHz iMac on sale for $999, $100 of...
B&H Photo has the 2017 21″ 2.3GHz iMac (MMQA2LL/A) in stock and on sale for $999 including free shipping plus NY & NJ tax only. Their price is $100 off MSRP. Read more
Apple refurbished Mac minis in stock again st...
Apple has restocked Certified Refurbished Mac minis starting at $419. Apple’s one-year warranty is included with each mini, and shipping is free: – 1.4GHz Mac mini: $419 $80 off MSRP – 2.6GHz Mac... Read more
Tuesday MacBook Deals: $250 off 15″ 2.9GHz Ma...
Adorama has the Silver 15″ 2.9GHz Apple MacBook Pro on sale today for $250 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and Adorama charges sales tax for residents in NY & NJ only: – 15″ 2.9GHz Silver MacBook Pro... Read more
Save up to $350 with these Apple Certified Re...
Apple has a full line of Certified Refurbished iMacs available for up to $350 off original MSRP. Apple’s one-year warranty is standard, and shipping is free. The following models are available: – 27... Read more
B&H offers $200 discount on Silver 15″ Ma...
B&H Photo has Silver 15″ Apple MacBook Pros on sale for $200 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges sales tax for NY & NJ residents only: – 15″ 2.8GHz Touch Bar MacBook Pro Silver (... Read more
12″ Apple iPad Pro Sale of the Year! Models u...
B&H Photo has 12″ #iPad Pros on sale for up to $150 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges sales tax in NY & NJ only: – 12″ 64GB WiFi iPad Pro: $719 $80 off MSRP – 12″ 256GB WiFi... Read more
Deals on 32GB 9″ iPads: Up to $50 off MSRP, s...
B&H Photo has 2017 9.7″ 32GB iPads on sale for $299 including free shipping plus NY & NJ sales tax only. Their price is $30 off MSRP, and it’s currently the lowest price available for these... Read more
15″ 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro available for o...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 15″ 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pros available for $1699. That’s $300 off MSRP for this model, and it’s the lowest price available for a 15″ MacBook Pro currently offered by... Read more
13″ 3.1GHz/256GB Silver Touch Bar MacBook Pro...
Amazon has the Silver 13″ 3.1GHz/256GB Touch Bar MacBook Pro (MPXX2LL/A) on sale for $1649.99 including free shipping. Their price is $150 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for a new 13″... Read more

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# Strategist, Apple Media Products, Content and Marketing Job Number: 113399632 Santa Clara Valley, California, United States Posted: 20-Feb-2018 Weekly Hours: 40.00 Read more
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