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Thursday March 20

12:08
Apple Adds MP3 Export (Back) to GarageBand 10

Apple has once again given GarageBand users the ability to export songs as MP3s in an update to the consumer music recording solution. GarageBand 10.0.2 also adds three new drummers for those who bought the in-app purchase, as well as other improvements.

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12:00
Your iPhone is About to Have a Lot More Ads

It goes without saying that there has been a massive move to mobile, smart digital devices ever since Apple introduced the iPhone in 2007 with adequate Internet access. Accordingly, advertising goes where the eyeballs are and is about to follow.

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10:41
Apps: Cosmos, NCAA March Madness Live, NFB StopMo...

FOX Broadcasting Company’s Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey (free) is a companion app to the new 13-part FOX series, Cosmos. The app offers a full view of an interactive cosmic calendar which visualizes the history of the universe throughout the year. Episode sneak peeks and synopses are included along with…

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09:09
Fitbit Hit with Class Action Lawsuit Over Force Band...

Fitbit recalled its Fitbit Force wristband fitness tracker after some users complained of skin rashes. That wasn't enough for Jim Spivey because a class action lawsuit was filed on his behalf against the company claiming they didn't do enough to warn users of the possibility of skin irritation.The Mac Observer Spin: It's one thing to file a class action lawsuit against Fitbit when you personally suffered from the Force rash. The main plaintiff in this case, however, didn't. Maybe there was a better way for him to handle his disappointment with the company.

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07:07
Sponsor: Get MacX DVD Ripper Pro for Free This Week

I'd like to thank Digiarty for again sponsoring TMO this week. They're always good for a very useful freebee, and this time is no different. In fact, this time is even better than last! From now until the 24th, they're giving away MacX DVD Ripper Pro for free just for you.

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05:56
First Apple Retailer, FirstTech, to Shut Down

FirstTech may not be a familiar name, but it holds a special place in the history of technology because it was the very first store to sell Apple's personal computers. Time marches on, and now the Minneapolis-based retailer is closing its doors after more than 35 years in business, and will be taking a little bit of the glory days of the personal computing frontier days with it.The Mac Observer Spin: Smaller companies can't compete with retail and service providers working on the national level, so they're slowly dropping off the map. It's sad to see independent retailers close shop, and it's sad to see the very first Apple II retailer go out of business.

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05:22
China Mobile added 1M new iPhone users in February

China Mobile sold about one million new iPhones in February according to Chief Executive Li Yue. “We added 1.34 million new 4G users in February and most of them are iPhone users. We are happy with the progress as we are still building our 4G network and the coverage is…

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05:05
EA Patches Flaw, Blocks Apple ID Phishing Scam

The gaming company EA has fixed a security flaw that let hackers use one of its servers to stage a phishing scam to trick victims into revealing their Apple IDs. Hackers used known issues in a years-old version of a Web calendar module as their hook into EA's servers.The Mac Observer Spin: It's great that EA acted so quickly to shut down the phishing scam. It isn't so great that they still had a version of WebCalendar from 2008 with known security vulnerabilities sitting there ready and waiting for hackers.

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Wednesday March 19

17:47
ACM 247: New iPhones, Old iPads, and Sorting Out...

Apple added an 8GB version of the iPhone 5C to its product lineup, but not in many markets. The company also replaced the iPad 2 with the formerly discontinued fourth generation iPad, Microsoft is finally bringing its Office suite to the iPad, and it turns out DigiTimes reports aren't always wrong. All that, and Jeff and Bryan fill you in on their upcoming Macworld/iWorld appearances.

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17:15
Bryan, Jeff, and John Interviewed Hither and Yon

The staff at The Mac Observer has been busy all over the Interwebs, including video podcasts and radio interviews you can stream. Bryan Chaffin and John Martellaro appeared on the Tech Night Owl radio show, and Jeff Gamet was interviewed on video as part of Chuck Joiner's Road to Macworld series.

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14:35
Resize Image Lets You Scale Images Quickly on iPhone

Resize Image is a handy little free app for your iPhone. It's exactly what it says on the tin, you can scale images down from their current size, either by file size or by pixel measurement. Bonus: You get to determine what those pre-set sizes are, so if you need something particular just adjust the preferences. As noted in an iTunes review, this is great because you don't have to send full size iPhone photos over iMessage/MMS. Second, this is fab for those working with a blog platform or other web service where you want to send a smaller version of your picture from your phone instead of having to email it to yourself for further jiggery-pokery on your computer. It's ad-supported, but the US$1.99 IAP removes them if you prefer. [Via TUAW]

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11:20
Apple TV Critics Are Not Looking at the Big Picture

The frenzy of HDMI dongles on the market or just announced reveals that Apple's competitors are taking the easy road and don't understand what customers really want in the world of TV.

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10:50
Jesse Jackson Targets Apple, Other Tech Companies...

Jesse Jackson is set to visit HP's Annual Shareholder Meeting Wednesday as part of the Digital Inclusion Initiative, drawing attention to the lack of diversity in leadership positions throughout Silicon Valley.The Mac Observer Spin: Jesse Jackson is not wrong, and the numbers that back him up are pretty bleak.

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10:15
EA Games Site Hacked to Steal Apple IDs

EA Games has a headache on its hands thanks to hackers that compromised one of their servers to use as a phishing scheme to steal Apple IDs. The hackers crafted a login page that asks for users Apple ID information, along with their credit card number, birthday, and other bits of information that would be handy for anyone wanting to steal your identity.The Mac Observer Spin: Phishing scams are a real pain because once you've been tricked into giving up your personal information, your bank accounts, online logins and identity are in someone else's hands. This hack probably could've been avoided if EA had updated some of the web modules they're using on their servers.

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09:26
Hacked EA game site phishing for Apple IDs

An EA Games server is hosting a phishing site that’s asking for Apple IDs, passwords, and credit card information, according to anti-fraud Internet services company Netcraft. Two websites in the ea.com domain use the compromised server, which redirects users to the actual Apple ID website after entering their confidential…

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07:35
Analyst: Q2 iPhone Sales to Hit 42M, Blow by Wall...

Apple's second quarter iPhone sales will hit the 42 million mark, coming in above the market consensus of 38 million. That high number comes from Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty who said everyone has been reading the supply chain information wrong.The Mac Observer Spin: 42 million iPhones versus 38 million? That's some serious money for Apple's bottom line. If she's right, it'll be interesting to see how Wall Street responds: happiness for beating their estimates, or disappointment for not beating then enough.

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06:21
iPad Switch Out Takes On Samsung’s New Tablets

Apple dropped the iPad 2 as its lower priced tablet on Tuesday and replaced it with the formerly discontinued fourth generation iPad with Retina Display. Wells Fargo analyst Maynard Um thinks that was a smart move because it puts Apple in a better competitive position against Samsung and its new Galaxy TabPRO product line.The Mac Observer Spin: Apple's fourth generation iPad may be old gear in technology terms, but it still offers a great feature set at a good price point. It beats Samsung's new Galaxy TabPRO price point, and for consumers who were already thinking about an iPad, that may be enough to keep them from looking at Samsung's tablets.

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05:28
Checkmark 2 for the iPhone Takes Your Task Lists to...

Snowman's just released Checkmark 2 for the iPhone and iPod touch is a cool task list manager for keeping track of pretty much anything at your desk or on the go. The new version includes iCloud Sync support, date-specific reminders based on locations, easy to set recurring reminders for daily, weekly, bi-weekly and monthly tasks, one-tap rescheduling, and more. You'll need iOS 7 to run Checkmark, and it's currently available through the App Store for half price at US$2.99.

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04:33
iPhoto: Search Your Photos by Date

Wondering where certain pictures ended up in your iPhoto library? You can find them by the date they were taken, without having to page through all your events! We think this built-in date search is pretty darned handy, especially if youâve got a ton of images, and itâs easy to use, too. In this Quick Tip, Melissa Holt will tell us how.

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Tuesday March 18

14:12
Disney CEO Says ‘The Incredibles’ Sequel from PIXAR...

Good news, fans of Pixar's The Incredibles: a sequel is, at long last, in the works. Disney CEO Bog Iger told analysts and investors that Brad Bird, the writer and director of the first movie, is working on a script for a sequel.

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13:47
Apple CEO Cook slams new ‘Haunted Empire’ book

Apple CEO Tim Cook has issued a strongly-worded statement slamming “Haunted Empire: Apple After Steve Jobs,” a new book by former Wall Street Journal technology reporter Yukari Iwatani Kane. Cook said in a statement to CNBC, “This nonsense belongs with some of the other books I’ve read about Apple.…

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13:44
Google Announces Android Wearables Developer Preview...

Google has announced Tuesday Android Wear, which is primarily a way to carry Android through to wearable technology (namely, watches). There's a Developer Preview available now for those (with Android Developer accounts) curious about what wearing Android devices will entail.The Mac Observer Spin: Now that a lot of Android's rough edges are much smoother, this might be an interesting idea if the fragmentation issue can be overcome and device compatibility hurdles are much lower. There's a lot of possibility here, especially for whoever can strike a balance between readable display and comfortable-to-wear accessory.

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13:10
How to Assign an App to a Specific Mavericks Desktop

If you have multiple displays, there are two operating modes in Mavericks. You can have one big - or two independent desktops. Here's how to assign an application to a specific desktop.

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12:35
Automatic Link Talks to Your Car’s Computer, Reports...

Have you seen Automatic Link? If you haven't, check it out. It's a device that connects directly to your car's onboard computer and relays the data to your iPhone or Android device. The app can then give you feedback about your driving-if you then act on that feedback, your mileage could improve. You also get detailed diagnostic information, the kind of information normally available only to your mechanic, including decoding your Check Engine light. Cool, right? The device is available now for US$99.95 (no subscription required), it works only in the U.S., and it works with, "just about any gasoline engine car sold in the U.S. since 1996."

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11:03
Apple releases iTunes 11.1.6 beta to employees

Apple has released iTunes 11.1.6 beta to its employees, 9to5Mac reports. The beta restores the ability to sync contacts and calendar information to an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch from a Mac running OS X 10.9.3, which is also in beta. Apple had previously removed the ability to sync…

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10:39
Apple Launches ‘Films Funded on Kickstarter’ Page on...

Apple has launched a page on iTunes dedicated to films that were funded through Kickstarter campaigns. A subsection of the "Independent" category, "Films Funded on Kickstarter" debuted featuring Veronica Mars.

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09:01
Flying Toasters Screen Saver Recreated in CSS

There was a time when the Flying Toasters screen saver from After Dark was a stunning thing to see on your trusty old Mac Quadra. Or Centris. Or Performa. At the time, that took native apps and some serious processing power to render those screen savers and save our CRT displays from image burn-in. Bryan Braun has brought Flying Toasters, along with other After Dark screen savers, back to life, and he did it all with CSS. That means you can relive Fish, Spotlight, Rainstorm, Warp, and more right in your browser -- and you can do it on your Mac, iPad or iPhone. No kidding.

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06:45
Apps: Angry Birds Epic, Bears vs. Art, Facebook 8.0...

In Angry Birds Epic (Free), just soft launched in the Australian, Canadian, and New Zealand App Stores, Rovio has brought its most famous characters into an unusual new genre: a tactical RPG where the birds navigate through a fantasy world, battling bad piggies along the way. Combat is handled…

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06:24
Microsoft to Finally Bring Office to the iPad in...

Microsoft is reportedly ready to release a version of its Office suite for the iPad this month, which seems like something of a contradiction considering former CEO Steve Ballmer routinely said Apple's tablet isn't a device for serious work. The new CEO, Satya Nadella, is expected to announce Office for the iPad ahead of the company's Build conference in early April.The Mac Observer Spin: If Office for the iPad is little more than a shell for Office 365, Microsoft shouldn't even bother. There are already plenty of Office-compatible alternatives that run natively on iOS.

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05:27
Apple Drops iPad 2, Brings Back iPad 4

Apple unceremoniously put the iPad 2 out to pasture on Tuesday when it replaced the entry level model with the fourth generation iPad. Apple had offered the iPad 2 as a lower priced option to the iPad Air at US$399, and now it's offering the previously discontinued iPad 4 at the same price point.The Mac Observer Spin: As of now, the only non-Lightning connector iOS device in Apple's lineup is the iPhone 4S. Bonus: Your $399 gets you a lot more iPad than it did on Monday.

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04:38
Apple Adds More Market Competition with 8GB iPhone 5C

True to Monday's reports, Apple launched an 8GB version of the iPhone 5C Tuesday morning. It's available in the E.U. and U.K right now, and will presumably show up on Apple's U.S. website later this morning.The Mac Observer Spin: It'll be interesting to see what the 8GB iPhone 5C does for Apple's sales. The iPhone 5S is selling well, as is the iPhone 4S. At a price point that's just $60 below the 16GB model, the 8GB iPhone 5C may be enough to keep customers who are dead set on buying Apple, but it probably isn't enough to pull in shoppers who are looking hard at Android alternatives.

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04:07
Apple adds 8GB iPhone 5c, re-launches 4th-gen iPad,...

Confirming reports yesterday, Apple officially expanded the iPhone lineup this morning by adding an 8GB version of the plastic-bodied iPhone 5c, and changed the iPad family by discontinuing the aging iPad 2 in favor of the fourth-generation iPad, also known as the “iPad with Retina display.” It appears that neither…

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Monday March 17

17:13
Microsoft Steps into Evernote Territory with OneNote...

Microsoft is making a move into Evernote's market on the Mac with its OneNote app. The app has been available to Windows users for some time, but not for the Mac until now.The Mac Observer Spin: This is something Microsoft should've brought to the Mac years ago. Instead, they left the market open for Evernote -- and by extension, they left the iPhone and iPad market in Evernote's hands, too. Microsoft may be big, but that doesn't mean they can take down Evernote.

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16:13
Apple to bring back iPad 4 on Tuesday?

Apple will bring back the fourth-generation iPad on Tuesday, 9to5Mac reports. According to a source, Apple stores have been receiving shipments of the previously discontinued iPad. Both Wi-Fi and LTE black and white 16GB models have arrived in stores. It’s likely that Apple will make the 16GB fourth-gen iPad…

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15:40
Microsoft Office to make iPad debut March 27

Microsoft will unveil Office for iPad at a March 27 event, The Verge reports. The iPhone and iPod versions of Office were released last June. Apparently, the iPad version will be similar, requiring an Office 365 subscription for editing. Document creation and editing will reportedly be supported in…

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15:32
SoundPad Combines iPad Stand and Portable Stereo...

We have a deal on a cool stand for iPads (and other tablets) designed around watching videos and movies. It's a stand with a built-in rechargeable battery that powers stereo speakers. The stand is adjustable, and the battery will power the speakers for up to 8 hours. Your iPad sees the speakers through Bluetooth, meaning no wires are necessary. Thanks to our friends at StackSocial, we can offer it to you US$45.99-it has an MSRP of $70.

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15:10
Apple Might Be Replacing iPad 2 with $399 iPad 4

Apple is about to replace the US$399 iPad 2 with a $399 iPad 4, a move that would dramatically increase the value of Apple's entry-level iPad price point. Online reports say that iPad 4 units have been delivered to Apple Store locations with instructions not to open them until Tuesday, March 18th.

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14:15
Former Apple Marketing VP Talks About Steve Jobs

If you've ever wondered what it was like working for the late Steve Jobs, check out what Allison Johnson has to say. Ms. Johnson was Apple's Vice President of World Wide Marketing for Apple from 2005 to 2011, when she left to found advertising company West. During her tenure at Apple, she oversaw the launch of marketing campaigns such as "Mac vs. PC" and "There's an App for That," and she often worked directly with Steve Jobs. She was recently interviewed at the 99U conference by Behanceâs Scott Belsky, and the topics of discussion included her time at Apple and Mr. Jobs. Among the interesting quotes, she said, âHe spent as much time in my world as he did in Jonyâs world. Those were the two parts of the company he cared a lot about.â Check out the full interview in this video. [Via Cult of Mac]...

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13:44
Imitone Kickstarter Project Converts Singing Into...

Wow, talk about a Kickstarter project aimed directly at me! Evan Balster has developed software for the Mac and PC called imitone that takes the notes you sing and turns them into MIDI signals. I can't tell you how many songs I've started by humming something only to forget it before I sit down with a guitar. In fact, I've taken to recording Voice Memos on my iPhone where I sing various parts and offer notes to myself on what I'm thinking. With imitone, I could sing them to my Mac (note to Evan, bring imitone to iOS, please!) and import the MIDI data directly to Logic and put together a quick demo. I say Logic, imitone's MIDI data works with any MIDI software. The software is fully functional, but the Kickstarter money will be used to better refine the Interface with a professional designer for commercial release. Evan has already raised more than US$18,600 of his $20,000 goal, and funding options that get you a copy of the software start at $25.

...

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13:20
Apple Starts Charging for Out-of-Warranty Online...

Apple has begun charging customers for online chat support on products that are out-of-warranty. The company will charge US$19.99 per incident for such support, though customers can request an exemption.

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10:50
A Touchscreen Remote With a Next Gen Apple TV Would...

There are many technical issues related to a next generation TV system, as conceived by Apple. But one small area where Apple could cash in on its expertise would be a touchscreen remote, a simpler, less expensive version of the iPod touch to accompany a 4th generation Apple TV.

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07:11
Apple Looks for iPhone 5C Sales Boost with New 8GB...

Apple is reportedly ready to add a lower cost 8GB version of the iPhone 5C to its product lineup, and the new model could hit store shelves early this week. Apple currently offers the iPhone 5C in 16GB and 32GB versions, and word on the street is that neither are selling as well as the iPhone 5S or the older entry-level iPhone 4S.The Mac Observer Spin: If the iPhone 5C isn't selling well, then adding in a lower priced model could help draw in potential buyers who are worried about their overall smartphone startup costs. The crowd that only wants free phones, however, won't be looking beyond the older iPhone 4S.

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06:45
Apple TV adds ACC Sports channel

Apple has added an ACC Sports channel to Apple TV. The channel offers game highlights, interviews, insider reports, player profiles and more on Atlantic Coast Conference athletics. NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament previews are also included in a Campus Insiders section. Like…

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06:07
Apple launches $20/incident post-warranty chat...

Apple today has started charging out-of-warranty customers for for online chat support — it now costs users $20 per incident for support. The company’s new web payment system, first reported weeks ago, is having difficulties thus far, 9to5Mac reports. It’s likely Apple will offer exceptions for payments until…

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05:52
Steve Jobs Killed Apple Television Idea in Secret...

The notion of an Apple-branded television may sound exciting, but Apple co-founder Steve Jobs shot down the idea before he stepped down as company CEO. His revelation came during a secret meeting with the company's top executives and sales people, and seem contradictory to the ongoing rumors that Apple has been designing just that.The Mac Observer Spin: I've been saying all along that a television just doesn't make sense for Apple. Instead, sell the Apple TV and let people connect it to whatever television they want. Profit margins will be higher for Apple, and it's a product the company can convince consumers to replace more often than every seven years.

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05:43
Apple to release 8GB iPhone 5c this week?

Apple may introduce an 8GB version of the iPhone 5c this week, according to an alleged internal email from German wireless carrier O2, obtained by German blog stadt-bremerhaven.de. The lower-capacity version of the phone is supposedly shipping to stores today for a Tuesday morning launch.

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05:33
Healthbook app may monitor heart rate, hydration,...

Apple’s upcoming Healthbook app may track users’ heart rate, hydration, blood pressure, blood sugar, sleep, and more, according to a new in-depth look from 9to5Mac. The article offers “complete recreations of screenshots” which appear to answer numerous questions as to what Apple is testing in health and fitness tracking.…

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04:51
iPhone, iPad Apple Store Apps Beef Up iBeacon Support

Apple has released updates for the iPhone and iPad versions of its Apple Store app that improves iBeacons support, and lets users buy physical gift cards. The Apple Store app is the company's companion app for its retail stores.

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Sunday March 16

07:47
MGG 493: Finder Tips, Display Tips, Syncing...

Dave and John blast off on Sunday morning with a few quick tips and answers, including changing the Finder's default search (to what it should be), setting your Mac's default display, correcting drifting time, and more. Then It's a few questions about automating iTunes and dealing with overlapping WiFi channels. Good, geeky fun for you!

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Saturday March 15

06:30
25 More Tips for Mastering iPhone Photography

Continuing with his collection of killer tips, Sandro Cuccia offers twenty-five more tips that are guaranteed to help you improve your iPhone photography.

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Friday March 14

17:31
Cloud Storage Price Comparison

Online file storage, or Cloud storage, may be easy to come by, but that doesn't mean all services are created equally and pricing can vary widely, too. Google drove that point home this week when it dramatically lowered the prices for its Google Drive storage options. We took a look at just how Google's prices stack up against Apple, Amazon, Dropbox, and other Cloud-based storage options.

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17:19
Weather or Not: 3 Free Weather Apps You’ll Want

Need a weather app? Vern Seward points out 3 great freebies in this week's Free on iTunes. AccuWeather, WunderMaps, and Yahoo! Weather.

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17:01
MOTO TC Rally Car Controlled by iPhone for $39.99

We have a killer deal on a fun toy for you, Griffin's MOTO TC Rally Car, an RC car you control with your iPhone through a companion app. This USB-rechargeable car can be raced on pavement, and it has impact sensors that detect damage from other drivers and obstacles. You can add armor (that slows you down), and it's usable with iPhone 5/5c/5s, iPhone 4s, iPod touch (5th gen.), iPad 3, 4, and Air, and the iPad mini. It retails for US$99, but in this TMO deal, you can get it for $39.99, an offer that expires in 11 days.

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15:59
Apple Reportedly Shelves Plans for a Larger iPad ‘...

Apple has reportedly shelved plans for a 12-inch to 13-inch iPad, a device that many have called an iPad Pro. Citing unspecified and unnamed rumors, DigiTimes said that Apple has canceled its plans for such a device even as other companies were running into hurdles trying to bring their own large tablets to market.

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12:05
It’s Far Too Late for MS Office on iPad

Microsoft has had a version of MS Office ready for the iPad for some time now. What's held it up has been the attempt to entice business users over to the Surface tablets instead. John Martellaro thinks it's too late now, far too late, for Microsoft to reverse its strategy.

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11:46
iLounge Game Spotlight: Glorkian Warrior: Trials Of...

Glorkian Warrior: Trials Of Glork ($3) is a collaboration between developer Pixeljam and prolific comic book artist James Kochalka. A Glorkian Warrior graphic novel, The Glorkian Warrior Delivers a Pizza, will be released in a few weeks. The game is a colorful Galaga-esque shooter with a light dose of…

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11:04
Amperage Stompbox Gives Guitarists 7 Knobs for MIDI-...

I have something for musicians today, a Kickstarter project called the Amperage Pedal. It's a stompbox that gives guitarists, bassists, and keyboardists, 2 foot switches and 7 banks of 7 knobs for MIDI-capable apps on your iPhone, iPad, Mac, or PC. That's a lot of control for the growing legions of musicians who use mobile devices and computers to control and shape their sound onstage, though I can also see studio and in-your-living-room use for it. The device will work with any MIDI-capable software out of the box, but the folks behind it said they'll release a utility for Mac and Windows that allows tinkerers even greater control over the device. Funding options that include a finished product start at US$225, and the company is looking to raise just under $10,000.

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07:38
Apple’s Burstly Kills SkyRocket Service

Burstly, the company that's known for its TestFlight iOS app testing platform and is now owned by Apple, has been notifying users of its SkyRocket product that they have until June 9 before that service shuts down. SkyRocket is an app monetization service designed to make it easier for developers to work with in-app ad placement services.The Mac Observer Spin: Burstly was offering cross-platform services for developers. Based on the Burstly features that have already shut down, it looks like that's not something Apple is interested in supporting. Hopefully those services will resurface as part of the iOS SDK at Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference this spring.

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06:16
Apple may remove Game Center app in iOS 8

Apple is thinking about removing the Game Center app from iOS 8, while leaving the Game Center functionality intact within games, 9to5Mac reports. Recent alleged leaked screenshots from iOS 8 do feature the Game Center icon. Apple may also simplify alerts within Notification Center and add the ability…

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06:02
Some users reporting battery issues with iOS 7.1

Some users are reporting battery issues following installation of iOS 7.1. Multiple threads have popped up on Apple’s support communities regarding decreased battery life while using the newly released operating system. An iLounge editor noted a 35 percent battery decrease with light usage of a device within an hour’s…

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05:51
iOS 7.1: The Keyboard Apple Should’ve Given Us

Apple made some great improvements in iOS 7.1. It's faster, more stable, you can add shapes to more easily see buttons, and more. That awesome update didn't, however, hit the mark with its new on-screen keyboard representation for the caps lock key. I have a much better idea for how that could've played out.

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04:40
iTunes: Show What Playlists Your Songs Are In

Within iTunes, you can easily check to see which playlists a song, album, or artist belongs to, and there's even a sneaky way to figure out which items aren't in any playlists at all. In this Quick Tip, we'll go over how to do just that, and afterward, maybe your iTunes library will be a happier, better-organized place. That's our hope, anyway.

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Thursday March 13

15:34
Fund a Usable Enigma Machine Reproduction on...

I found a super cool Kickstarter project that will exercise your history, math, cryptography, and gadget nerd all at once! It's called the Open Enigma Project by S&T Geotronics, an open source recreation of the german Enigma encryption device from World War II. Enigma was an incredible mechanical encryption machine that was cracked by the allies only through a remarkable combination of luck and mistakes on the part of the Nazis. Better yet, assuming you're not a Nazi, it was exploited by the Allies to remarkable effect because the Nazis knew it to be uncrackable. OK, so enough history: this Kickstarter project will allow you to get or make your own (depending on your funding level) electronic Enigma reproduction that will allow you to create your own encrypted messages. It can interface with your computer through USB, has WiFi, and can encrypt your router traffic. What?! Too cool!

...

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15:23
Apple Buys iPhone 5c Ad Space on Yahoo! Home Page

Apple has taken out ad space on Yahoo!'s home page to promote the company's iPhone 5c. The ads are colorful animations that play off the circle imagery that stems from the cases Apple designed for the devices.

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12:37
iPhone App Interface Design For Beginners for $29

Check out this deal for an e-learning course called iPhone App Interface Design For Beginners that will teach you the basics of iOS interface design and how to implement those principles. The course also teaches you to how to review the results of your interface design so that you can see how it really looks on an iPhone. That's cool, but what's even cooler is that it's just $29 through our friends at StackSocial in this TMO deal. This price expires in seven days, so get to it.

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12:10
2014 Will Be the Year That Defines Apple CEO Tim Cook

Time can be a funny thing, and not just in a Stephen Hawking yuk-yuk kind of way. For we intellectual mortals, time has a magical ability to change our perspective on things, making small things become important, and allowing us to all but forget what used to feel like was of end-of-the-world, apocalyptic magnitude. That's what is going to happen in 2014, a year I believe will come to define the Tim Cook era of Apple.

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11:10
iOS 7.1: Turn Parallax Off But Allow Other Motion

In iOS 7.0, there was an option to reduce overall motion in the interface. That meant killing the zoom animation on app launch and the home and lock screen parallax effect. iOS 7.1 adds a measure of flexibility.

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11:03
Apps: Fantastical 2 2.05, Paper 1.61, Ridge Racer...

Fantastical 2 ($5), the calendar and reminders app from Flexibits Inc., has updated to version 2.0.5. The update adds support for opening links in 1Password and Mercury web browsers, and creating events with floating time zones. An update to the week view makes events and invitations easier to read.…

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07:48
Rutledge: The New MacBook Pro BookBook Case

Twelve South's BookBook cases for the MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, iPhone, and iPad are cool and stylish, and now there's a special design just for the 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro model. The Rutledge is made from leather and hand-finished, which gives each case its own unique look. Like the other cases in the BookBook line, this one looks like an old hard cover book and offers rigid protection to help keep you laptop safe. The interior is padded for added protection, and it uses dual zippers to keep the case closed when you aren't using your MacBook Pro. The BookBook Rutledge is priced at US$99.99, and you can pick one up at the Twelve South website.

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07:21
Healthbook, Preview, and TextEdit iOS 8 icons leaked

A few alleged iOS 8 screenshots including icons for Healthbook, Preview, and TextEdit have been posted on a Weibo account. The shots are legitimate, according to 9to5Mac. Healthbook’s icon is very similar to the Passbook icon, and Preview and TextEdit’s icons match the Mac versions.

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07:20
Apple Patent Adds More Evidence to Wearable Tech...

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office published an Apple patent application on Thursday that offers up more evidence that the iPhone and iPad maker is looking to our wrists as the target for its rumored move into the wearable tech market. The patent application describes a pedometer that sits on your wrist, much like the Nike Fuelband or Fitbit Force.The Mac Observer Spin: A patent application doesn't necessarily mean a product is on the way, but considering the other patents Apple has, as well as the company's health and fitness-related hiring spree, it sure looks like we'll be seeing some wearable tech in the near future.

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05:48
United Adds iPad In-flight Movie Service, Leaves...

The skies will be a little more friendly for United passengers with iPads and iPhones come April because the airline will begin offering in-flight movies just for those devices. United will be adding the service to some of its planes next month, and plans to eventually offer iPhone and iPad owners movies and TV shows throughout its fleet.The Mac Observer Spin: Services like free in-flight movies can help airlines differentiate themselves, and potentially draw in travelers that otherwise would've gone with a different company. Skipping the Android-toting crowd says United sees iPhone and iPad owners as potentially more valuable customers -- or at least those are the travelers the airline is most interested in.

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05:30
Report: Apple developing versions of TextEdit,...

Apple is working to develop versions of its TextEdit and Preview Mac applications for iOS, 9to5Mac reports. The iOS versions of the apps would reportedly only be used to view TextEdit and Preview files stored in iCloud; users would have to edit documents using Pages. It’s “currently uncertain, but…

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04:46
1Password 4 Adds Editing to Mini Viewer

AgileBits rolled out 1Password 4.2 for the Mac on Wednesday, bringing with it the ability to edit items and passwords from the menu bar in the 1Password mini viewer. 1Password is a password manger and generator that also stores private and sensitive information in an encrypted database.

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Wednesday March 12

19:47
ACM 246: The Year of Tim Cook and the Goodies in iOS...

It's 2014 and Jeff and Bryan think this is the year that will define Tim Cook's leadership at Apple. They also take a look at iOS 7.12, share some tips, talk about some cool Kickstarter and Indiegogo projects, and discover exactly why you should lock cats outside of the recording studio.

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13:20
iOS 7.1 Quick Tips: a Quick Reference

In this quick reference article, we've collected all the iOS 7.1 Quick Tip and How-to articles we've published. It will be updated as we go along, so be sure to check back from time to time.

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12:21
Take to the Skies with Your Own LEGO Drone

Governments are flying drones, and Amazon wants to, so why shouldn't you, too? GenCode has a Kickstarter project that'll let you do just that, and the bonus: Your quad-copter drone is made from LEGO bricks. Assuming the project reaches funding, you'll get a box full of LEGO bricks, four custom designed motors, mounts for cameras and a remote control system, plus instructions for building your very own LEGO drone. Did we mention this is a real flying drone made out of LEGO bricks? Really, this whole project can be summed up in two words: LEGO. Drone.

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11:40
Stunning ‘Wolfram Language’ Has Knowledge of the...

Wolfram Language is a knowledge-based computer language that's been in development by Stephen Wolfram for about 30 years. "It's a language where a vast amount of knowledge about how to do computations and about the world is built right into the language," according to Mr. Wolfram who formally announced the language last year.

That's all fairly abstract, but the working result is magnificent and needs to be seen to be appreciated. In this stunning YouTube tour of Wolfram Language, Mr. Wolfram illustrates the power of his creation. It has to be seen to be believed. How people in the future will use this new kind of computer language for research and analysis can only be guessed at right now.

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11:32
Pioneer working on aftermarket CarPlay solutions

Pioneer Electronics is looking into implementing CarPlay compatibility into its “existing and future products,” according to a report. The news was reportedly verified by a Pioneer customer service representative. Pioneer makes many in-car electronic systems, opening up the possibility that vehicle makers who haven’t been announced as Apple partners

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10:42
Photos of 5th Ave. Apple Store Cube Repairs

Apple is busily repairing the 5th Avenue Apple Store's iconic glass cube entryway, and the repairs have been documented on Instagram. One of the enormous glass panels that make up the cube was shattered by a snow blower in January, necessitating the repair.

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10:00
Review: Ultra-slim Bluetooth Keyboard Designed for...

The Ultra-slim Bluetooth keyboard for iPad (E6300) from Rapoo is thin and light. It's about a half-inch longer than the iPad mini, just 8 inches wide. It's small size and features should appeal to those who type with their thumbs.

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07:20
Apple Files Appeal in First Samsung Patent Trial

Apple may have won decisively in its first U.S. patent infringement trial with Samsung, but that hasn't stopped the iPhone and iPad maker from filing its own appeal in the case. Apple is hoping to score a reversal on Judge Lucy Koh's refusal to grant a permanent injunction blocking the sale of infringing Samsung smartphones and tablets.The Mac Observer Spin: This injunction is a big thing for Apple even though many of the devices it would block aren't sold any more. It'a about showing a history of Samsung patent infringement, and that's a valuable weapon to take into the court room.

| Read more »
06:49
Monsters vs. Aliens and Chicken Run: $9.99 on iTunes...

Apple is offering up several HD movies for just US$9.99 each from its Kids & Family section, including Monsters vs. Aliens, Chicken Run, and Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were Rabbit. These are all movie purchases, not rentals, so it's OK to procrastinate on watching after you buy -- and they're great to have on hand whenever you need to watch something fun, or use the TV as a babysitter. The deal is for a limited time, so don't procrastinate on your purchase.

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05:32
iTunes Radio could be standalone app in iOS 8

Apple is currently testing iTunes Radio as a standalone app within iOS 8, 9to5Mac reports. At this point, the streaming service is accessible through the iOS Music app. iTunes Radio app functionality would resemble the Music app, allowing users to browse history, purchase streamed tracks, and create stations. Though…

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05:15
Apple drops iPhone return policy to 14 days

Apple will change its iPhone return policy from 30 days to 14 days by Thursday, according to 9to5Mac. The change is already reflected on Apple’s website. The 14-day period will match the return policies of other Apple products. An internal Apple document claims the change is being made…

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05:10
ZiiLabs Hits Apple, Samsung with Graphics Chip...

Both Apple and Samsung have been targeted in a patent infringement lawsuit by ZiiLabs, formerly known as 3DLabs. The lawsuit named Apple because of its A-series processors used in the iPhone and iPad, and Samsung for the graphics tech it uses in the processors it makes for Apple, as well as its own chips.The Mac Observer Spin: The two companies that seem to be locked in a never ending battle over patent infringement claims are both targeted by a third company for the very same thing. There is some irony tucked away in that.

| Read more »
04:20
iOS 7.1: Control Siri Manually

iOS 7.1 gives us a new way to tell Siri that weâre finished with a command, whichâll be incredibly helpful at preventing frustration (especially for those who are new to using the voice assistant!). Melissa Holt will tell you about Siriâs new feature in this Quick Tip, and if you havenât already updated, this just might make you rush to do so.

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Tuesday March 11

15:36
Apple’s iOS 7.1 Reaches 5.9% Adoption Rate In Just...

Apple's iOS 7.1, which was released on Monday, hit a 5.9 percent adoption rate in just the first 24 hours, according to Chitika. The marketing research company released a report on Tuesday based on the operating systems reported in their app metrics platform.

| Read more »
14:40
Blizzard Launches Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft...

Blizzard launched Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft on Mac and Windows on Tuesday. The latest expansion of the company's massive World of Warcaft franchise is a "fast paced strategy card game" that includes playing heroes, casting spells, summoning creatures, all through digital cards. The game is a free download, and it pits the player against a series of mini-bosses on the way to the ultimate boss, Illidan Stormrage. I included the promotional video below.

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13:34
Acoustic Stream on Kickstarter is a Wireless Guitar...

There are a lot of audio interfaces for iPhone and iPad out there, but there's a Kickstarter project for guitarists called Acoustic Stream that does something new. It allows you to record, practice, or play live through your iOS device wirelessly. Designed specifically for acoustic guitar, this device goes inside your guitar. You then activate it by tapping one, twice, or thrice on the guitar for recording, tuning, or simple connectivity to the companion app. That means no cords to manage! If you're one of those folks who bangs on your guitar while you play to provide your own percussion section, this may not be for you, but for the rest of us, giddy up! Oh, and it monitors the humidity around your device and will alert you if it gets too dry or too wet. That's way cool all by itself, IMO. It works with Bluetooth LE iOS devices and some Bluetooth LE Android devices. The company has raised $36,000 out of a goal of $50,000. Funding options that get you an Acoustic Stream start at $...

| Read more »
11:38
Apps: Duolingo 3.3, Marvel Unlimited 2.0, Smash Hit...

Duolingo (free) has updated its app to version 3.3. The update offers more language classes for native speakers of a variety of languages — Romanian and Polish speakers now have access to an English course, while Portuguese speakers can now take a Spanish class, and vice-versa. Duolingo also lists…

| Read more »
11:29
iOS 7.1: Quick Fix for Slow Keyboard

Some users have been reporting slow keyboard response after upgrading to iOS 7.1. If you're one of them, we have a quick fix-resetting your keyboard dictionary-for you that should get you back up and running in real time in no time.

| Read more »
10:45
iOS 7.1: Calendar’s New ‘Show Events’ View for iPhone

iOS 7 introduces a new and very welcome method of displaying events below a static display of the month. It eliminates the jarring visual transition from monthly calendar view to the hour-by-hour view. Here's how to toggle that option.

| Read more »
10:37
Apple to Samsung: Give Us $40 for Every Android...

The patent licensing fees Apple wants from Samsung for every Android-based smartphone and tablet it sells is US$40. That works out to about $8 per patent, and makes for a figure that's substantially higher than the numbers Apple balked at when Samsung demanded 2.4 percent of every iPhone sold.The Mac Observer Spin: Apple's $40 per device licensing fee demand is remarkably high and completely unreasonable considering the company was outraged at Samsung's 2.4 percent per device licensing demands. Of course, that demand won't fly in court and wasn't acceptable to Samsung during pre-trial settlement negotiations. It's no wonder the two companies can't reach a licensing agreement.

| Read more »
08:46
Flip Wallet Review: Magnetic Leather iPhone Credit...

Toffeeâs Flip Wallet case, made of genuine leather, has a place for a iPhone 5/5s, a place for cards and cash, and a really nice extra feature that use a magnet to hold the back in place while you use your iPhone.

| Read more »
07:34
iOS 7.1: Deciphering the New Caps Lock

Apple made several interface changes in iOS 7 that left us scratching our collective heads, and one that really stood out was the caps lock button on the on-screen keyboard. The company addressed that with iOS 7.1, but that doesn't mean it's any easier to figure out. Since we can't get inside your iPhone or iPad to do something better, we've made a handy graphic showing what each button state really means.

| Read more »
07:28
Apple running large iPhone 5c ad on NY Times site

Apple is still committed to pushing iPhone 5c sales, as evidenced by a new large interactive ad now running on the front page of the New York Times website — an uncommon move from Apple. Colored dots run across the page before settling in the ad, which occupies a…

| Read more »
06:49
Star Trek Online Finally Comes to the Mac

After a four year wait Star Trek gaming fans can finally play the Star Trek Online multiplayer game on the Mac. Windows PC users have been able to visit strange new worlds and new civilizations ever since the game launched, but Mac users were left in space dock with no way to warp out of orbit.

| Read more »
05:53
Report: iOS 8 Maps to gain public transit directions

Apple’s Maps application will boast improved data and public transit directions in its iOS 8 incarnation, 9to5Mac reports. It is expected that public transportation options will be “deeply integrated” into iOS 8 Maps, with train, subway, and bus data, and will first be introduced for major cities, with other…

| Read more »
04:48
iTunes Radio Hits Top 3 in Online Music Streaming

Apple's iTunes Radio is just shy of six months old, but is already the third largest online music streaming service behind Pandora and iHeartRadio. That comes from data in an annual radio report from Edison tracking active streaming music listeners.The Mac Observer Spin: After six months iTunes Radio is the third largest streaming music service in the United States behind Pandora and iHeartRadio. That has to be a pretty harsh wake up call for Spotify.

| Read more »
 
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