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Thursday March 27

11:00
Star Wars: Assault Team puts Star Wars: Force...

I love Star Wars and I love collectable card games, so it should say quite a bit that I couldn't review Star Wars: Force Collection because the bare-bones production values turned me off that much. As a collectable card game, it's apparently not bad,...

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10:44
Re/code review of Office for iPad

Bonnie Cha takes the new Office suite for a spin.
∞ Read this on The Loop

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10:43
External Link: Microsoft Releases Office for iPad

Lucifer, call the furnace repairman: Microsoft finally unveiled the much-rumored iPad version of its popular Office productivity suite. Office for iPad includes the familiar Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, available as individual downloads. Microsoft previously made another Office app, OneNote, free g
for Mac, iPad, iPhone, Android, Windows and Windows Phone. Those wanting unrestricted use of the other iPad apps will be disappointed. Although anyone can download Office for iPad to harness it as a reading and presenting tool, access to editing features requires an Office 365 subscription, like its iPhone sibling. Such subscriptions start at $6.99 per month or $69.99 a year for personal versions of Office 365. The announcement came at a San Francisco media event keynoted by Satya Nadella in his first major appearance as the company’s new chief executive. Read the full article at TidBITS, the oldest continuously published technology...

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10:39
Japanese newspaper repeats persistent 'iPhone 6...

Apple is readying two variants of the so-called iPhone 6 with significantly larger 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch displays for a September launch, according to a Thursday report from the Land of the Rising Sun.  ...

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10:34
Microsoft launches long-awaited Office for iPad [u]

(Updated with app download links, dropping of subscription requirement for Office Mobile for iPhone)) Microsoft is today officially releasing Office for iPad, a long-rumored port of its Windows and Mac work suite. The trio of apps let people do full editing of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents, while preserving the same formatting seen on the desktop. Each app uses a custom touch-tailored interface, for instance offering a special numerical/symbolic keyboard for Excel. The apps do however make use of the same "ribbon" interface scheme.... ...

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10:32
Microsoft Releases Office for iPad

Microsoft has released the much-rumored Office for iPad, which is free for reading Office documents, but editing requires an Office 365 subscription. 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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10:30
Today in the App Store -- the best free apps, new...

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

Apps Now Free

Sago Mini Bug Builder...

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10:27
Satya Nadella and the iPad Office rollout video

Follow the headline link to watch Satya Nadella discuss Microsoft’s cloud and mobile strategy and, more importantly, watch the rollout of Microsoft Office for iPad.

I have to say, I find Nadella likable. Certainly more likable than that last guy.
∞ Read this on The Loop

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10:22
Report: New hi-res iPhones ‘as early as September’

Apple’s new iPhone will arrive in two screen sizes “as early as September,” Japan’s Nikkei Asian Review reports. The report claims mass production of LCD panels will start next quarter, noting the resolution of the handset “is expected to be significantly higher than that of current models.”  As

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10:21
∞ Microsoft Office apps now live in the App Store

As promised in their press briefing today, Microsoft Excel, PowerPoint and Word went live in the App Store at 11a PST today.

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10:11
Microsoft Office for iPad arrives: Word, Excel...

Just moments after Microsoft Office for iPad was announced, the trio of applications that make up the industry leading productivity suite hit the App Store and can now be downloaded.  ...

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10:09
PencilCase does HyperCard-style iOS app creation

Robots & Pencils has announced PencilCase, a new platform for developing and publishing iOS apps. The technology is loosely based on Apple's now-defunct HyperCard, and is aimed at non-developers. Along those lines, it uses a drag-and-drop interface for inserting UI elements, animations, 3D models and physics. An included Javascript engine can be used to insert manual code where needed....  ...

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10:09
Microsoft Announces Office For iPad

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella gave a talk Thursday morning in San Francisco about Microsoft's vision for mobile devices, and made a few announcements, the most notable being the release of full versions of Word, PowerPoint, and Excel for iPads running iOS 7.

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10:06
Apps: Cocktail, DEVONthink Pro, Kaleidoscope

    ...

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10:00
Steve Jobs wasn't even okay with Google hiring...

Earlier this week, PandoDaily released treasure trove of information pertaining to the anti-poaching agreements many top Silicon Valley tech firms entered into a few years back, including an email showing showing that Steve Jobs angrily called Google...

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09:48
iPhone 6 coming as early as September, likely in 4.7...

There’s not a whole lot here that we haven’t heard before, but today Nikkei Asian Review reports that orders into component suppliers indicate Apple’s next-gen iPhone will debut as early as September in two new screen sizes.
As reported previously by Bloomberg, WSJ, and others, Nikkei says Apple will introduce a new 4.7-inch iPhone alongside a larger 5.5-inch model. The report’s cites sources in Apple’s supply chain and says Apple’s display suppliers–...

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09:34
Twitter rumored to relaunch altered #music program...

Even though Twitter is shuttering its #Music service and has yanked the supporting app from the iOS App Store the microblogging service is preparing a new offering, according to services familiar with the matter. The new service is allegedly eschewing an app-driven offering, and focused on conversations about content, hosted on Twitter itself....  ...

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09:27
Office for iPad

Microsoft today announced Office for iPad, a trio of apps that bring Word, PowerPoint and Excel to tablets. Those should be showing up in the App Store shortly — around 11AM Pacific (2PM Eastern), to be exact.

I’m looking forward to seeing it.
∞ Read this on The Loop

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09:27
Microsoft brings Word, Excel, and PowerPoint to the...

A live demo of Word for iPad.

Microsoft

Microsoft's Build Developer Conference is next week, but the company isn't saving all of its announcements for that show. CEO Satya Nadella took to the stage in San Francisco today to talk about the company's future, putting an emphasis on the company's "cloud first, mobile first" agenda. To drive that point home, the company today announced the long-rumored version of Microsoft Office for iPad, which trails the iPhone and Android versions of the software by about nine months. The software goes live in the iOS App Store at 11am Pacific Time today.
Word, Excel, and...

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09:21
Microsoft Office for iPad launches today, requires...

Microsoft on Thursday unveiled a long-awaited version of its Office suite for iPad, bringing productivity applications Word, Excel and PowerPoint to Apple's tablet lineup, requiring users to subscribe to its Office 365 service for editing documents.  ...

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09:20
Apple Appears to be Ramping up for iPhone 6...

DigiTimes said on Wednesday that Apple has reportedly placed orders with two companies for iPhone 6 batteries. Another company that has been making iPhone 5 and 5c batteries has, so far, been passed over - so far.

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09:18
Russian Officials Dump iPads For Samsung Tablets...

wiredmikey writes: "Russian government officials have swapped their iPads for Samsung tablets to ensure tighter security, the telecoms minister told news agencies on Wednesday. Journalists spotted that ministers at a cabinet meeting were no longer using Apple tablets, and minister Nikolai Nikiforov confirmed the changeover "took place not so long ago." He said the ministers' new Samsungs were "specially protected devices that can be used to work with confidential information." This isn't the first time Russian powers have had concerns over mobile. In August 2012, Russia unveiled a prototype tablet with its own "almost Android" mobile OS that has the remarkably familiar feel of an Android but with bolstered encryption. In an even more paranoid move, this past July a Russian state service in charge of safeguarding Kremlin communications was looking to purchase an array of old-fashioned typewriters to prevent leaks from computer hardware."...

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09:15
Microsoft announces new Office for iPad apps...

 

Microsoft’s Office suite of productivity apps has long been rumored to be in development for the iPad shortly after the tablet’s debut in 2010. Most notably was The Daily (now defunct) reporting it had knowledge (and screenshots) of Microsoft’s software for Apple’s mobile platform in 2011, something Microsoft was quick to...

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09:12
9to5Toys Last Call: 1Password 50% off, Onkyo network...

Be sure to follow 9to5Toys to keep up with the best gear and deals on the web: TwitterRSS Feed,FacebookGoogle+ and subscribe to the new Safari push notifications feature.
Today’s can’t miss deals:
Last Call updates:
WD My Passport Ultra USB 3.0 Portable HDDs:
1TB: $60 (Reg. $90)
2TB: $100 (Reg. $140)
wp.me/p1xTlR-ntk— 9to5Toys (@9to5toys) March 27, 2014
1Password for Mac goes 50% off:...

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09:07
Mavericks adoption now over 40 percent North...

Five months after launch, Mavericks has already grabbed slightly over 40 percent of all North American OS X usage, according to web traffic data from ad network Chitika. By comparison, Mountain Lion is currently sitting at just 21 percent, and took 14 months to hit a peak of 34 percent. Lion and Snow Leopard each account for 18 percent of OS X usage at present; Leopard has shrunk to 3 percent, and Tiger and a miscellaneous "other" category each have 1 percent shares....  ...

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09:02
Microsoft Launches Public Cloud in China


Microsoft is now offering general availability of its Azure cloud service in China, becoming the first multinational company to provide public cloud services in the Middle Kingdom. Microsoft is partnering with 21Vianet, a Chinese data center services provider, a marriage that likely helped appease Beijing officials. Until now, all major cloud providers in China -- Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent -- have been Chinese.
The China launch is part of a broad push in Asia.

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09:00
Live coverage from Microsoft's Office for iPad...

Thursday marks the first major event hosted by new Microsoft Chief Executive Satya Nadella, where the company is also expected to unveil a long awaited version of its Office productivity suite for Apple's iPad. AppleInsider is there live with up-to-the-second coverage.  ...

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08:55
Microsoft announcement, live from San Francisco

We're going to be live at Microsoft's announcement at One Kearny in San Francisco! Join us at 10 am PT/1 pm ET for updates and insights from the event.

You can read more about the anticipated topic (Office for iPad!) in our preview post here....

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08:55
Macworld/iWorld 2014: The State of Apple Technology...

Thanks for joining us for our liveblog of the Macworld/iWorld 2014 "State of Apple Technology" panel discussion, featuring the following speakers:

Moderator: Jason Snell, Senior VP, Editorial Director, IDG Consumer & SMB

Panelists:
Ben Bajarin,...

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08:50
OS X upgrade adoption rate half that of iOS despite...

Chitikia is out with a report today with OS X adoption numbers for the five months since Apple released its latest major software update to the desktop and notebook last October. According to the report, a record 40% of Mac users have upgraded to OS X 10.9 Mavericks since its release. For perspective, that’s 6% higher than OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion reached in a 14-month period.
The acceleration in adoption is largely attributed to Apple adopting the iOS upgrade model and making OS X Mavericks a free software update for users rather than charging between $20 and $130 as previous updates had seen.
But despite adopting the iOS...

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08:36
Amazon to unveil its Apple TV competitor on April 2nd


Amazon has been developing a set-top-box product for several months, and the company appears set to take the wraps off of it next week. Amazon has issued invitations for a media event to be held at 11 AM EST on Wednesday April 2nd.
The invite reads “please join us for an update on our video business,” and the couch and popcorn seems to point directly to a new video watching product. Last year, we reported on trademark filings that seem to indicate that Amazon has considered calling the device the “...

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08:30
A rack mount for the Mac Pro and other news for...

It's been a rather quiet morning, but here are three stories we found for you.

Sonnet Tech has announced a 4U rack mount for Apple's cylindrical Mac Pro. The so-called xMac Pro Thunderbolt 2 PCIe Enclosure rolls off the tongue and includes three...

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08:25
∞ Apple offers “Refund for In-App Purchases made by...

Apple sent an email today to its iTunes account holders who have made in-app purchases. The email gave account holders the chance to ask for a refund for any and all in app purchases made by a minor.

I think this is beyond fair. The text of the email is in the post.

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08:11
Wouldn’t Have Happened If Tim Cook Had Been in Charge

Pando continues its thorough coverage of the Apple/Google-led no-poaching wage-fixing cartel case. You have to laugh at this, from Sergey Brin, after being shown an email from Steve Jobs:

Wow, Steve used a smiley. God, I never got one of those.

But overall, this is serious business. From Pando’s report a week ago:

Schmidt responded:

I would prefer that Omid do it verbally since I don’t want to
create a paper trail over which we can be sued later? Not sure
about this.. thanks Eric

Google’s HR head at the time, Shona Brown, agreed with her boss,
in lower-case ee cummings syntax:

makes sense to do orally. i agree.

(Seems...

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08:07
Skunk Baxter Gibson Firebird

I’m happy that Gibson honored Skunk with his own model, but I was never a big fan of the Firebird.
∞ Read this on The Loop

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08:00
The Week in iOS Apps: Here comes the sun

Here comes the sunThis week’s roundup includes a cool new way of looking at the sun. Plus, there are apps for seeking real estate, organizing your life, and fighting in the Game of Thrones universe.DIY Sun ScienceBy now, you know we’re fans of NASA, space, science, and any app that does cool things with those topics. DIY Sun Science is a free iOS app from NASA that helps young users learn about the sun—either in classroom settings or on their own. It includes live satellite views of the sun, videos, and activities with step-by-step instructions to guide even young users in learning more about our closest star.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

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07:57
BusyContacts

BusyContacts is a complete replacement for the built-in Contacts app on OS X that is designed to make creating, finding, and managing contacts faster and more efficient.

From the same company that brought us BusyCal.
∞ Read this on The Loop

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07:52
Where and When to Find TMO Team at Macworld/iWorld...

It's Macworld/iWorld time again, and here's the full rundown on where you can find Bryan Chaffin, Jeff Gamet, and Dave Hamilton around the show.

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07:45
Microsoft announces Office for iPad

As expected, Microsoft officially announced Office for iPad today at an event featuring new CEO Satya Nadella. Office for iPad will go live at 2 p.m. EST today with Microsoft Word, Excel, and Powerpoint in the App Store. For free, users can download the apps to read and…

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07:31
WD ships the first Thunderbolt-powered portable dual...

WD today announced immediate availability of the My Passport Pro, which it bills as the first Thunderbolt-powered portable dual-drive. The two internal 2.5-inch hard drives and an integrated Thunderbolt cable are packed in a svelte aluminum enclosure that weighs just 1.59 pounds. Users can easily choose between a RAID 0 setup for increased performance or RAID 1 for data redundancy. It’s capable of speeds up to 233 MB/s and to help put that in perspective, it is capable of  ”copy[ing] a 22 GB high-definition video file in half the time typically required by a USB 3.0 drive working in RAID 0 format.” Combined, it is about half the speed of an SSD but with much more space/$.
The My Passport Pro is available in 2TB ($299.99) and 4TB (429.99) capacities now from the WD online store. It’s expected to hit Apple stores and other e-tailers very soon....

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07:07
Adoption of OS X 10.9 Mavericks significantly...

The rate at which Mac owners are upgrading to Apple's OS X 10.9 Mavericks has far outperformed the operating system's predecessor -- OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion -- with one report saying the latest OS is now running on over 40 percent of active Macs.  ...

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07:04
PencilCase reimagines HyperCard to let non-...

Robots & Pencils, a company that has up until now been making mobile apps for others, is launching a new platform for Mac that it says reimagines Apple’s HyperCard and allows non-developers to create & publish native iOS apps. Dubbed ‘PencilCase,’ users can create native apps with a drag and drop interface for adding UI elements, 3D models, programmed animations, and physics with no code required. There’s also a full built-in Javascript engine for those that might want to add some code.
We’ve seen a few similar build-your-own app platforms aimed at non-developers, but Robots & Pencils CEO Michael Sikorsky told us a little bit about why PencilCase is different:...

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07:01
Expo Notes: Western Digital reveals new Thunderbolt-...

Western Digital kicked off its booth at Macworld/iWorld by unveiling the new My Passport Pro portable hard drive equipped with Thunderbolt.While the My Passport Pro looks similar to WD’s My Passport Air, the new drive is much thicker because it has two 2.5-inch hard drive mechanisms configured as a RAID 0 or 1.The My Passport Pro also has an integrated Thunderbolt cable, so not only do you not have to worry about buying an expensive Thunderbolt cable, but you also don’t have to worry about carrying and losing that cable. The integrated cable also provides power to the drive, so you don’t need an external power supply.To read this article...

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07:00
Runtastic 5.0 update brings redesign, hydration...

Runtastic today updated its Running and fitness app, bringing a brand new look to the app and few notable new features.

The biggest changes users will notice is a fresh, new UI with improved automatic syncing to a user's Runtastic account when an...

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06:51
Sonnet’s new rack mount turns the 2013 Mac Pro into...

Sonnet's rack mount enclosure for the new Mac Pro fits in tons of expansion options.

Sonnet

After Apple discontinued the Xserve in early 2011, it introduced a pair of options Mac buyers could turn to if they still wanted systems they could fit into a server rack. One is the Mac Mini Server, a $999 configuration that adds a quad-core CPU and extra hard drive to the standard Mini. The other was the Mac Pro Server, a version of the big silver box that came with lots of CPU cores and OS X Server but was otherwise not so different from the standard workstation. Apple still sells the Mac Mini Server, but the Mac Pro Server was discontinued when Apple shrank the Mac Pro ...

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06:50
Samsung 'puzzled' as South Korean carriers...

Apple's chief rival Samsung had big plans for the debut of its flagship Galaxy S5 smartphone on April 11, but carriers in its native country of South Korea have opted to upstage that launch date by releasing the new handset early.  ...

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06:43
Political move? Russians shelve iPads

Journalists spotted that ministers at a cabinet meeting were no longer using Apple tablets, and minister Nikolai Nikiforov confirmed the changeover “took place not so long ago.”

He said the ministers’ new Samsungs were “specially protected devices that can be used to work with confidential information.”

Something smells fishy here.

Nikiforov denied that Russia was clamping down on US technology in response to Western sanctions imposed over its takeover of Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula.

Ah, that was it. Walks like a duck, quacks like a duck. Political bullshit is what it is.
∞ Read this on The Loop

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06:33
WD ships My Passport Pro, dual-drive bus-powered...

Drive manufacturer WD today introduced My Passport Pro, the first portable, Thunderbolt-powered dual-drive. The peripheral is available in 2TB and 4TB capacities, and sports a Thunderbolt cable built into the case itself, which also powers the drive....   ...

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06:30
BusyMac launches all-new Mac contact-manager

BusyMac Software, maker of the popular BusyCal app for OS X, has announced the upcoming launch of the all-new BusyContacts.
The new app is designed to be a complete replacement of OS X’s built-in Contacts app; it features customizable views, the ability to add tags to each contact, as well as smart filters that allow users to quickly find and group entries. Of course, it is also designed to work alongside the company’s calendar-management software, which allows it to keep track of your appointment history with each contact, turning the combination into a personal CRM system of sorts.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

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06:18
MS Enterprise Mobility Suite may debut today next to...

Alongside Office for iPad, Microsoft may also be preparing to launch a new licensing bundle today called the Enterprise Mobility Suite, sources say. The bundle is reportedly aimed at large-scale customers who need a way of managing Windows, iOS, and/or Android devices. While cross-platform support has been available from Microsoft for a while, EMS is expected to include Windows Intune, a new Azure Active Directory "Premium" option, and Azure Rights Management Services. Active Directory Premium is described as a paid version of Azure Active Directory with features like group-based app access... ...

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06:09
Apple exploring new iPad Smart Case with integrated...

iPad owners might soon have a new, more compact option when choosing a keyboard to pair with their tablet as Apple is contemplating a redesigned iPad Smart Case with an integrated, multitouch keyboard.  ...

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06:00
UpTo calendar app relaunches with a renewed,...

When UpTo originally launched, it focused on being what it described as “half-social, half-calendar.” Unfortunately, that didn’t work out so well as the social side and the calendar side fought for dominance, resulting in an app that felt like it didn’t know what it wanted to be when it grew up.
Today the company behind UpTo is re-launching the app with a new design and a new focus: rather than trying to turn calendars into a social network, the app is now focused entirely on being the best calendar app it can be. That being said, the new version of the app is not entirely devoid of social features.
Keep reading to find out how the developers finally figured out how to balance these two sides to the software.
...

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06:00
Rumor Roundup: 'Multiple sources saying pretty...

Apple to Move Production of iPhone Batteries to Automated Lines (MacRumors)

"[...] according to a report from DigiTimes." BZZZZT! Next!

New leak may finally reveal Apple's iPhone 6 design (BGR)

From the article: "A user on 9to5Mac's discussion...

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05:46
App Annie releases monthly App Store and Google Play...

There is a ton of great data to sift through. Amazing how big an impact Flappy Bird had on the App Store. Check the post for my top 3.
∞ Read this on The Loop

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05:45
Apple patent may hint at sapphire touchscreens

A newly published patent application further hints at the possibility of sapphire displays in Apple products. The application for “oleophobic coating on sapphire” reveals a component that would feature a surface coating and transition layer on top of a sapphire glass base layer, which may be “a window for…

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05:30
Bioprinting, Part 2 - The Ethical Conundrum


Nearly 120,000 people in the United States are on the waiting list for an organ transplant that may save their lives, according to the American Transplant Foundation.
"In the short term, we need many more people to register to be a potential organ donor," said Jordan Miller, assistant professor of bioengineering at Rice University.
However, donor organs require immunosuppressive therapies, which can limit the recipient's quality of life, so over the long term, the medical community is "extremely excited" about 3D printing's potential.

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05:28
Neurosurgeons successfully implant 3D printed skull

This is absolutely fantastic.

A 22-year-old woman from the Netherlands who suffers from a chronic bone disorder — which has increased the thickness of her skull from 1.5cm to 5cm, causing reduced eyesight and severe headaches — has had the top section of her skull removed and replaced with a 3D printed implant.

How fortunate is this woman that 3D printing technology was available to her surgical team. I can’t get over how cool this is.
∞ Read this on The Loop

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05:19
Twitter rolls out two major new features

You’ll now be able to tag up to 10 people in a tweeted photo and attach up to 4 photos in a single tweet.
∞ Read this on The Loop

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05:16
Searching iTunes Now Faster And Easier With fnd.io...

Searching in iTunes has never been a very good experience, and now fnd.io is looking to fix that. Developed by Jeremy Mack and Ryann Pierce, the new search tool was launched this week.

| Read more »
05:00
Apple patents iPad smart cover with built-in gesture...

On March 27, 2014, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals an all-new iPad smart cover configuration that includes a keyboard panel. One of the aspects of this design which differentiates itself from Microsoft’s Surface tablet cover is that Apple’s keyboard has been uniquely designed to double as a multi-touch gesture keyboard eliminating the need for a touchpad.

I like the premise, the idea that you can gesture on the surface of the keyboard itself.
∞ Read this on The Loop

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05:00
Daily App: PhotosPro will make you think Apple'...

PhotosPro (US$1.99) is a very appealing app that could teach Apple a few lessons. Think of it as a replacement for Apple's Photos app.

It will display your photos in a long list, or let you see what you took on a particular date or within a range of...

| Read more »
04:45
iPhone IP Wars: Nokia vs Apple vs HTC, Motorola...

In 2007 Apple introduced iPhone, emphasizing that virtually every significant aspect of its entirely new experience and industrial design was protected by patents. Three years later a global patent war erupted. Who's to blame?   ...

| Read more »
04:36
Apple patent for fingerprint-resistant coating adds...

A new Apple patent application filed last year and published by the United States Patent & Trademark Office today adds more proof that Apple is preparing to use sapphire displays in upcoming devices (via AI). There has been no shortage of proof that Apple is preparing to do something— most likely next-generation iPhone screens— with the large Sapphire plant it recently picked up in Arizona. We already know...

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04:00
The 3rd Generation Drobo: Faster and less expensive

Drobo announced the 3rd generation of its 4-bay namesake device yesterday, and by any indication the newest member of the Drobo family should be quite popular. Sporting a pair of USB 3.0 ports, the Drobo 4-bay starts at just US$349 for the bare box...

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04:00
FlippedBITS: Do Privacy Policies Mean Anything?

Most companies that do business on the Internet have published privacy policies, and although they’re often full of tedious legalese, they’re worth reading. Whether they do anything to protect you is another question. 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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03:32
Apple tips hand on sapphire displays with patent for...

While Apple remains coy about plans to incorporate sapphire into its product lineup, a new patent application published on Thursday suggests the company is at the least experimenting with the hard material for use in touch-capable displays.  ...

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03:27
External Link: BusyContacts to Offer Alternative to...

Finally! For years now we’ve been asking BusyMac for an app that will do for Apple’s Contacts what BusyCal does for Calendar — that is, replace it. (Can you tell we’ve never liked Contacts?) At Macworld/iWorld, BusyMac announced BusyContacts, which promises to do just that — provide a multi-account solution for syncing, sharing, and maintaining address books via iCloud, Google Contacts, Exchange, and any other CardDAV-compatible service. BusyContacts will offer customizable views, tagging, smart filters, social network integration, and more. It is slated to enter public beta within a few months and will cost $49.99 when it ships later in 2014. 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,...

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02:07
Apple's 'transparent texting' tech...

Apple is looking into technology that offers users an easier, safer, way to text and walk by making an iPhone's screen "transparent" during messaging operations through the clever use of live video.  ...

| Read more »

Wednesday March 26

23:01
Sonnet creates new Mac Pro enclosure for rackmount...

Hardware upgrade and card maker Sonnet on Wednesday unveiled a long-promised Thunderbolt 2-compatible rack-mountable docking station for the new, Mac Pro that adds ports and slots galore while encasing the cylindrical workstation so that it can be mounted in a rack using a 4U enclosure for use in datacenters. Now scheduled to ship in June, the XMac Pro Server enclosure offers a total of four USB 3.0 ports (one of them in the front), two Gigabit Ethernet ports, an HDMI port, BNC connectors and three PCIe single-width expansion slots alongside Thunderbolt 2 compatibility.... ...

| Read more »
23:00
Join us for the Macworld/iWorld 2014 State of Apple...

When it rains, it pours. Sure enough, it has been raining here in drought-stricken Northern California, so much so that numerous flights were delayed coming into the city yesterday. And after a drought of Apple-related liveblogs, we actually have two...

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21:30
OmniFocus 2 is redesigned, expected to ship in June...

It's been more than a year since The Omni Group announced OmniFocus 2 for Mac (ironically, it was at last year's Macworld/iWorld), and now the company says its expanding its testing pool with an expected ship date of June.

Testers can download the...

| Read more »
21:27
Briefly: Russian gov't drops iPads; Clear,...

Russian government officials have opted to stop using iPads in official capacities, possible due to concerns about alleged "backdoors" that allowed for NSA monitoring (which Apple has denied). Instead the government has arranged a deal with Samsung that will see politicos using customized, secured tablets specifically designed to handle confidential information as legislators often need to have available. There was no detail on prices or the cost of dropping the iPads, and the move could be seen as part of an effort to stop supporting American companies, given the US opposition to Russia's pol... ...

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20:57
Briefly: Twitter app adds more photo tagging, new V-...

Twitter announced an update to its mobile apps today, adding the ability to now tag up to ten people in a photo. Available for both iOS and Android app, tagging does not affect character count in a tweet. Up to four photos can be shared in a single tweet, and a full image in a group can be viewed by tapping on a preview. The new photo features rolled out today on iPhone, and are due soon for Android and its web version....  ...

| Read more »
20:20
Briefly: OWC's 128GB upgrade kit for Mac Pro,...

Other World Computing announced the expansion of its MaxRAM Certified Upgrades to include up to 128GB memory upgrade kits for the Apple Mac Pro 2013 six-core, eight-core, 12-core models. Offering both OWC 32GB modules and matched kits up to 128GB, pricing per module starts at $600. The new 128GB upgrade kit is priced at $2,130....  ...

| Read more »
19:14
Crews working round the clock to finish Apple...

Photos and reports from tipsters indicate that Apple's forthcoming sapphire manufacturing plant may already be partially online as construction crews race to finish the building for a targeted June completion date. The building, which is very nondescript in appearance, is located in Mesa, Arizona and was built in a partnership with GT Advanced Technologies, the inventors of a process to manufacture nearly scratch-proof sapphire glass in larger quantities and at lower cost than had previously been available.... ...

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16:53
Russian government drops iPad in favor of Samsung...


Russian government officials have stopped using iPads in an official capacity, instead opting to use offerings from Samsung according to a new report by Business Insider. The new Samsung devices are custom, secured tablets designed to be used with the confidential information government officials often need to handle.
Russian officials have denied that the swap is an effort to stop supporting American companies following sanctions related to the Ukrainian crisis. It also doesn’t seem to relate to recent rumors that the US government had...

| Read more »
16:44
Study: Apps with TV commercials do better in App...

A new study by mobile analytics firm App Annie has quantified the idea that app developers can increase their products' visibility in the App Store and gain players through the use of TV commercials -- particularly for top-quality "freemium" titles. While the practice of developers creating their own TV ads is common in some countries like Japan, it is a fairly new phenomenon in the North America. The App Annie study showed a correlation between TV exposure and a gain in App Store rankings....  ...

| Read more »
16:43
Microsoft rumored to debut Enterprise Mobility Suite...

Many expect Microsoft to launch Office for iPad on Thursday, but fresh rumors say the company may also make a play for mass device management with a cross-platform Enterprise Mobility Suite, a competitor to Apple's recently released Deployment Programs initiative.  ...

| Read more »
16:30
Join us for the Microsoft announcement liveblog,...

All the signs are pointing to an Office for iPad announcement coming tomorrow from Microsoft's new CEO Satya Nadella. While the software giant's product teams were long suspected of having a finished iPad version of the PC and Mac productivity suite...

| Read more »
16:00
Bandcamp is an invaluable music resource, but you...

Bandcamp is a revolutionary service that has helped break down the barriers for self-released music across every genre of music. If you like music, they have you covered.

Utilizing deep fan integration and tags the site allows you to search by...

| Read more »
15:53
iBeacons at Macworld 2014

We were excited to see what we could do with iBeacons at the show. We focused on using iBeacons in a way that was both exciting and appropriate for the event. We settled on check-in to speed up people getting their badges and a game to help people investigate the show floor and highlight how beacons can help explore large environments.

Great to see.
∞ Read this on The Loop

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15:42
Tips for the obsessive compulsive traveler

I recently revamped the way I travel, so I found Michael Lopp’s article interesting.
∞ Read this on The Loop

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15:40
New photos of Apple's sapphire plant show build...

Fresh photos of Apple's Mesa, Ariz., sapphire plant, built in partnership with GT Advanced Technologies, show construction of external fixtures is progressing as planned, while a new rumor claims the site may be expanded to a neighboring building.  ...

| Read more »
15:07
Briefly: Game of Thrones for iPad, iTunes gift card...

Just ahead of its fourth season debut on HBO, the official Game of Thrones: Ascent game, previously playable only on the web and Facebook, has launched on the iPad. The free app includes Game Center integration, updated artwork suitable for Retina-quality displays, and "Volume You," a history of the player's character through the storyline. As the series unfolds, new content will be added to the game to reflect what has happened on the show. Season Four of the popular drama will debut on April 6.... ...

| Read more »
14:00
Device 6 is a fun, clever puzzler for iPhone

Device 6 for iPhone (US$3.99, universal) was recently featured in Apple's Indie Game Showcase, and for good reason. It feels like a contemporary take on Zork and other text-based games I loved years ago. It combines fun puzzles, clever design, great...

| Read more »
13:52
Twitter adds photo tagging feature, bumps attached...

Twitter on Wednesday announced two new additions to its ubiquitous microblogging platform, including a photo tagging feature and a loosening of the per-tweet picture cap.  ...

| Read more »
13:24
Street Blaster: OMG, a Kilowatt of Portable Audio...

Is it a small turbojet engine? Is it an NFL benchwarmer for sub-zero weather? Nope. It's Pyle Audio's Street Blaster, a boombox that can generate a 1000 watts of stereo audio on the go. Features include Bluetooth and NFC support, multiple audio inputs and USB for recharging the battery. (Size not disclosed.) "The AUX input allows users to connect iPods, tablets, MP3 players, PCs and various other devices for even more play options."

At over two feet long (62 cm) and a dainty 21.7 pounds (almost 10 kg), it's not going into your carry-on items. Instead, it's going to have special outdoor and arena uses that will likely provide plenty of audio shock and awe. The Street Blaster is available now for US$249.99.

| Read more »
13:15
Twitter announces photo tagging, multiple photo...


Twitter has announced a few new features for its iPhone app today. Users with the latest update to the Twitter for iPhone app will soon see the ability to select up to four photos at a time to upload when composing a tweet. These photos will be displayed as a collage on the tweet’s detail screen.
Along with the multi-photo support, users are also now able to tag other people in their photos. A new “who’s in these photos?” button allows you to add the username of other people in the picture. Photo tags won’t take up any characters in the body of the tweet, so the full character count will be...

| Read more »
12:56
Is Google Thwarting Android-x86 Development?


Has Google been spreading FUD to discourage computer makers from using an Android OS retooled to run on legacy computers? The maintainer of the Android-x86 Project has suggested that the Justice Department should investigate whether Google has been interfering with adoption of the open source code his community is developing. The release of the latest version of an open source Android OS to run as an alternative Linux distro may stall without Google's support.

| Read more »
12:55
Drobo’s newest storage array is its most affordable...

Connected Data has announced the third generation version of its 4-bay Drobo storage array. A completely new architecture along with USB 3.0 connectivity help make it “three times faster than the previous generation.” Speed is always a welcome upgrade, but the real crowd-pleaser in this announcement is that its MSRP has been chopped to $349, and previous generation Drobo owners are eligible for a $50 customer loyalty discount.
Current Drobo owners will find it easy to migrate their data to the new system because it’s also built on BeyondRAID technology:
The foundation that allows first and second generation Drobo customers to seamlessly upgrade to a new Drobo by simply removing the disk pack from their current Drobo, and moving it to their new one.
It also offers Apple users an easy way to limit the amount of space available to Time Machine. This prevents OS X from storing extremely old backups because...

| Read more »
12:55
Analyst McCourt Sees iPhone Share of U.S. Market...

Raymond James Financial Advisor's Analyst Travis McCourt, in a recent assessment of the U.S. smartphone market, reported that the iPhone's share looks to be stabilizing at about 50 percent. He also thinks the game is just about over for Nokia's Lumina and BlackBerry with 3.4 and 1.5 percent U.S. market share respectively.

| Read more »
12:55
TUAW TV Live at Macworld/iWorld 2014

Although a slight weather delay may keep me from starting off the show with Doc today, we're both planning on gracing your computer and tablet screens later today with a live show from San Francisco. The team is in the Bay Area for Macworld/iWorld...

| Read more »
12:30
Gandalf takes a break on his MacBook Pro while...

Let the software install wizard jokes fly! What you're looking at above is Gandalf, played by Ian McKellen, using his MacBook Pro while taking a break during filming of The Hobbit.

Naturally, the photo has inspired a slew of photoshopping and other...

| Read more »
12:02
Oculus defends sale to Facebook

If I just made $2 billion, the last thing I’d be doing is defending the sale—I’d be knee-deep in Heineken bottles.
∞ Read this on The Loop

| Read more »
12:00
5 iPhone speaker amplifiers that you already own

The speakers on the iPhone are fine for text tones and chirps from Angry Birds, but they don't really fit the bill for high-quality music. If you don't have your headphones handy but still want to rock out to some booming tunes, give these household...

| Read more »
11:53
Amazon follows Google in cloud price cuts

Clearly, it’s good when price cuts happen, but as noted in the story, this is the 42nd price cut for AWS since it’s introduction.
∞ Read this on The Loop

| Read more »
11:47
Last.fm closing streaming music service, continues...

Last.fm is shutting down its subscription-based music streaming service at the end of next month. The company reveals in a forum post that it's closing the $3 ad-free streaming radio function from its apps on April 28th, though it will continue to operate its ongoing "Scrobbler" music tracking, playlist building, and new music recommendation service to users as normal....  ...

| Read more »
11:41
BlackBerry CEO declares war on leaks

In my short time leading BlackBerry…

Blah, blah, blah

But, when curiosity turns to criminality, we must take strong action.

Blah, blah, blah

This may mean you see a few less blog posts with photos and rumors…

Nobody gives a sweet flying shit.
∞ Read this on The Loop

| Read more »
11:36
Oculus co-founder defends sale of company amidst...

After word broke that virtual reality pioneer Oculus will be bought by Facebook for $2 billion, enthusiasts responded negatively, questioning the merits of the deal and future of the Rift headset. That led the co-founder of Oculus to take to the Internet to defend the sale, in which he argued Facebook is a better landing spot for the company than Apple or Microsoft. ...

| Read more »
11:30
Daily Deals for March 26, 2014, featuring the Mac...

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

TUAW's Daily Deals

The Mac Freebie Bundle [On sale for FREE, down...

| Read more »
 
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Cosmic Mechanic Review
Cosmic Mechanic Review By Blake Grundman on April 16th, 2014 Our Rating: :: SLIGHTLY CREDIBLE MACHINEUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Creatives folks love the opportunity to have their wits tested, but there isn’t enough variety to make the mind quake.   | Read more »
ClutchPlay Games Releases Trailer for it...
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148Apps Live on Twitch: Pivvot’s Looper...
On our latest Twitch stream, we’ll be playing a pair of minimalist arcade games, one that just got a big content update in Pivvot, and another that was inspired by it in 15 Coins. Whitaker Trebella, creator of Pivvot, will discuss the new modes added to the game and the challenges of designing them. As well, Engaging Games’ Blake Johnson will... | Read more »
Word Cubes Review
Word Cubes Review By Jordan Minor on April 15th, 2014 Our Rating: :: SQUARESVILLEUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Word Cubes is fine, but it is barely any different from any other word game.   | Read more »
PAX East 2014 – Desert Fox: The Battle o...
PAX East 2014 – Desert Fox: The Battle of El Alamein is Coming to iOS Soon Posted by Rob Rich on April 15th, 2014 [ permalink ] Shenandoah Studio has become one of the go-to developers for war games on iOS, with | Read more »
Tank of Tanks Review
Tank of Tanks Review By Carter Dotson on April 15th, 2014 Our Rating: :: TANKS A LOT!iPad Only App - Designed for the iPad This multiplayer game played on a single iPad is simple, chaotic fun.   | Read more »
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