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Prime membership rescues Amazon from loss, $241 million profit posted

39 minutes ago | Posted in: Investor, industry

Amazon released its fourth quarter and annual numbers today through a its investor relations site and a web cast conference call. Prime service membership was called out as a key contributing factor increases in Q4 and full year 2014 numbers, with new Prime membership growing slightly faster in markets outside North America.

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Apple offers iOS productivity bundle on App Store

59 minutes ago | Posted in: developer, iPhone apps, Apple, iPad apps

On Thursday, Apple gathered 19 leading productivity apps and put them under a banner sale called "Get Productive." Among the better-known offerings are the popular calendar program Fantastical 2 for iPhone now $2 (normally $5), to-do app Clear (also now $2 versus a normal price of $5) and Duet Display, a new app that allows users to connect their iPad to a Mac and use the former as a second display (normally $15, now on sale for $8).

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Elgato issues recall for faulty Smart Power battery packs

2 hours ago | Posted in: troubleshooting, accessories

Elgato has alerted customers to a recall of some of its Smart Power 6,000mAh battery packs. The warning is being issued through a variety of means, including a notice for people updating the packs' associated iOS app. Affected units could potentially overheat while recharging.

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Hands On: Microsoft Outlook (iOS)

2 hours ago | Posted in: networking, iPhone apps, iPad apps

There must be people who use Outlook for pleasure but you'll probably find all their names on a staff directory at Microsoft. Yet this might actually change now: the brand new Outlook for iOS, released today, is strong, capable, quick, and has a good-looking design to boot.

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Facebook introduces Foursquare-style Place Tips

3 hours ago | Posted in: iPhone, iPhone apps

Facebook has introduced a new feature to its iPhone app, called Place Tips. These appear at the top of a News Feed while on the go; tapping on an entry expands it and shows not just related posts and images from friends, but popular menu items and any upcoming events. Tips are triggered based on location tracking, and Facebook is currently testing them in New York City areas including Central Park, Brooklyn Bridge, Times Square, the Statue of Liberty and JFK Airport.

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FCC redefines broadband speeds as 25Mbps downloads, 3Mbps uploads

4 hours ago | Posted in: industry, networking

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has changed its definition of broadband, after commissioners voted 3-2 in favor. The previous definition of 4Mbps download, 1Mbps upload minimum speeds have been increased to 25Mbps down, 3 Mbps up, a move which pushes higher the proportion of households in the United States declared to be incapable of receiving broadband Internet access.

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Briefly: Soundcloud, Tumblr iOS apps receive updates

5 hours ago | Posted in: iPhone apps, iPad apps

Music discovery and streaming service Soundcloud has received an update for the iPad version of its iOS app. Soundcloud allows users to explore trending music and audio feeds, as well as search directly for tracks, artists and other users. In v3.7.1, the iPad app offers an over-all simplified experience. The previously available audio recording feature has since been removed, meaning that users need to upload any locally stored sounds before upgrading. Free to download, Soundcloud is available for iOS devices running iOS 7.0 or later.

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iOS apps: Castro, Instagram, OneDrive

5 hours ago | Posted in iOS apps

  • 4.3MB

    Castro 1.2.2 ($4)

    Castro is a mobile podcast client that can help users keep up to date on all the shows they follow. Version 1.2.2 includes new URL schemes for play and pause, as well as a fix for an issue where broken SSL certifications prevented feed/artwork updates. The activity indicator has also been resoled, and several crashes have been fixed.

  • 12.8MB

    Instagram 6.3.2 (free)

    Instagram is a popular social network for sharing images and videos. Within the app users can edit their media and share it with all of their followers in a photo feed, or privately share content directly with friends. Various bugs fixes and performance improvements are included in this update.

  • 53.6MB

    OneDrive 5.0 (free)

    OneDrive is Microsoft’s cloud storage service that can be used to store and manage files. The v5.0 release includes an improved design, as well as the ability to create photo albums that enable users to view photos together in one place without copying or moving the actual files. Integration is also included with several password managers, including AgileBits, 1Password, and LastPass, and several known bugs have been fixed.

  • 1.8MB

    TimeStamp 1.6 ($1)

    TimeStamp is a simple tool that can be used to log time spent on any number of projects and activities. Version 1.6 no longer requires an in-app purchase to unlock unlimited projects, and includes fixes for a variety of known bugs.

  • 35.8MB

    Map My Fitness 5.7.2 (free)

    Map My Fitness can be used to track over 600 different types of workouts. Support is included for connecting with most popular activity trackers for importing detailed data, as well as for sharing data between other health and fitness apps. The latest update includes new challenges for 2015, as well as an improved user experience and fixes for a few minor bugs.

 
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Google Play beats App Store in downloads, fares worse in revenues

5 hours ago | Posted in: industry, developer

Google Play is vastly outpacing the iOS App Store in terms of downloads, but the latter is generating more revenue, according to analytics company App Annie. Google saw about 60 percent more downloads than Apple during 2014, but the App Store produced 70 percent more revenue. This includes both initial and in-app purchases.

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Amazon WorkMail seeks to replace Google, Microsoft corporate email

6 hours ago | Posted in: enterprise

Amazon is taking on Google, Microsoft, and other suppliers of remote workplace communications, with its own corporate email service. Dubbed WorkMail, the service is claimed to be a "secure, managed business email and calendaring service," hosted in the cloud on Amazon Web Services (AWS), and could be an easier and cheaper corporate email system to manage than current services like Exchange servers.

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iTunes Connect users report being logged into wrong accounts [u]

6 hours ago | Posted in: troubleshooting, developer

A variety of developers have reported being logged into the wrong account after signing into iTunes Connect. Earlier today, signing into the service would display apps belonging to different developers; one person, for example, says they encountered an account belonging to someone at BlackBerry, showing apps such as BBM and BES12 Client. Anyone engaging in further actions would trigger an "unable to process request" message, and a redirect to the right account. In some instances, people had trouble logging in at all.

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Hands On: CoinKeeper (iOS)

6 hours ago | Posted in: iPhone apps, iPad apps

There's something to be said for sticking to a budget. It helps ease stress and promote financial stability. That being said, budgeting is something that can be difficult to do, especially if you're a busy person. Sitting down to a table full of receipts and papers isn't always doable. That's why , a budgeting app by Disrapp, exists: To help make budgeting available to even the busiest of people.

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Apple Back to School promo goes live in Australia, New Zealand

8 hours ago | Posted in: education, Apple

Apple has launched the Australia and New Zealand editions of its annual Back to School promotion. Qualifying university students, parents, and educational staff are being given gift cards matched to the device they buy; unlike last year, though, the cards are for the Apple Store, rather than for the Mac or iOS App Store. A similar change was made last year for the American Back to School promo.

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Microsoft OneDrive upgrades photo functions, offers Mac sync client

8 hours ago | Posted in: software, iPhone apps, iPad apps

Microsoft has made some changes to OneDrive, with updates primarily concerning photography. Overall updates to image organization, searching, and sharing are accompanied by changes to the iOS app for work-related items, alterations which make it easier to access files stored on OneDrive for Business accounts without requiring a dedicated app, as well as a Mac client making file synchronization smoother.

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Hands On: Gravity Ghost (OS X, Windows)

8 hours ago | Posted in: computers, gaming, software

Indie games have seen a lot of success in recent years, and with good reasons. Now that game design has become more accessible due to the wide availability of tools, and publishing has become easier due to things like Steam Greenlight, the gaming community is able to play an ever expanding catalog of strange and wonderful games. One such game is Gravity Ghost, a physics-centric puzzle game by Ivy Games.

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Apple, Samsung effectively tied for lead in global smartphone market

9 hours ago | Posted in: iPhone, industry, mobile phones, Apple

Apple's surge during the last quarter and Samsung's respective slump put the two corporations in a dead heat in terms of smartphone marketshare, according to Strategy Analytics. The research firm estimates that the companies each shipped about 74.5 million smartphones worldwide; while only Apple has announced that figure specifically, Samsung says that of the 95 million phones it shipped in total, the number of high-end devices went into the "high 70 percent range." That could mean anything between 71 and 75 million units.

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Pointers: 10 Fast Tips for Safari (OS X)

10 hours ago | Posted in: computers, troubleshooting, Apple

You hear more criticism of Safari than you do of any other browser on OS X -- but you would. It's the one that comes on your Mac and if nobody criticised it, you'd never think to try Chrome or Firefox's latest build that will likely be incremented before you finish this paragraph. There are things that rival browsers do better but by far the biggest difference between them all is your personal taste. So if you can't be bothered downloading Firefox 37 and haven't yet bothered to download Chrome, you're fine. Have a look sometime, Firefox 38 might be perfect for you and Chrome has its fans too, but the Safari you've already got is good -- sufficiently good that if you have skipped straight to Firefox 39 or Chrome and haven't even looked at Safari, that's not fine at all. Bailing on Safari means you're missing out on excellent features and most especially so in the very latest release. Here are ten fast and short Pointers for getting more out of Safari on your Mac.

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Previous News

Microsoft releases Outlook preview, ships Office for Android apps

11 hours ago | Posted in: software, iPhone apps, iPad apps

Microsoft has made its Office apps available to all Android users, following the limited preview release and the iOS version. The apps, including Word, Excel, and Powerpoint, are accompanied by a new preview of another Office app, with a rebranded version of email app Acompli as Outlook downloadable from both Google Play and the iTunes App Store.

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Hands On: Comic Zeal (iOS)

11 hours ago | Posted in: iPad apps

There are a lot of reasons to make the leap to digital formats when buying comics. For one, it's a lot easier to carry a digital collection of comics around, and for another, it's a lot harder to bend the pages of a digital comic book. Whatever your reasons are, Comic Zeal Comic Reader by Bitolithic Pty is a great digital comic book reader.

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Samsung fourth-quarter, fiscal year 2014 results shows drop in profits

16 hours ago | Posted in: Investor, industry, mobile phones

Samsung released its Q4 and FY 2014 results today, and as expected, the news was not good. The past three years have resulted in growth for the company, but fiscal 2014 shows an annual earnings decline, in spite of strong performance by the company's chip division. The earnings from smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices fell to 1.96 trillion Korean won ($1.8 billion), a 64.2 percent decline from the year-ago quarter. The news comes on the heels of a record-shattering report from its main rival, Apple.

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R&D at Apple increases by 42 percent, hits $1.9B

18 hours ago | Posted in: Investor, Apple

Although the iPhone now makes up some 69 percent of Apple's revenues, it will not always do so -- and thus the company is undoubtedly working on at least one product that is destined to be the successor (in terms of revenue) to the iPhone, which itself displaced the iPod as the company's top money-maker. Barely mentioned in the conference call with analysts but noted in the breakdown of expenses, Apple has significantly increased spending on research and development (R&D).

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China to require backdoors, audits for foreign enterprise sales

18 hours ago | Posted in: computers, industry, security, software, enterprise

At the end of last year, the Chinese government approved a 22-page set of regulations for the sale of computer equipment to Chinese banks, but that will ostensibly apply to all enterprise sales. The rules require foreign companies to turn over source code, submit to audits, and build "back doors" into hardware and software so that the government can monitor devices. The new rules are expected to be the first in a series to be introduced across the next few months.

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Review: Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 3500 projector

18 hours ago | Posted in: digital imaging

Trying to find the perfect projector for a home theater can be tricky, as there are bountiful options on the market from a large number of manufacturers. Name brand aside, trying to find the right options for the based on room size, necessary features and functions can still leave consumers scratching their heads. Epson is attempting to give buyers a one-shot option to build their home theaters around, with the Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 3500 projector. But does the projector keep up with the needs of film, television shows, and gaming, or would consumers be better served elsewhere? Find out in our review.

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Apple's Q1 certified as best quarter for any company ever

21 hours ago | Posted in: iPhone, industry, Apple

In addition to being the best quarter in the company's history, Apple's Q1 results also blew away quarterly revenue and profit figures for any company ever, according to credit rating analysts Standard & Poor's. Even more remarkably, CFO Luca Maestri noted repeatedly that fluctuations in major currencies (such as the Russian ruble and the unusually-strong US dollar) actually cost the company a potential five percent -- or $3.73 billion -- in additional revenue.

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TracFone settles with FTC over 'unlimited' plan throttling complaints

23 hours ago | Posted in: industry, mobile phones

A carrier has settled with the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over complaints it offered mobile phone contracts that claim to have "unlimited" data, but turn out do not. TracFone was accused by the FTC of capping and throttling customers on the "unlimited" plans, with the carrier agreeing to pay out $40 million in refunds to consumers as part of its settlement.

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Remote Desktop server v3.8 updated with Yosemite support, more

Wed January 28, 2015 | Posted in: enterprise, networking, Apple

On Wednesday, Apple updated its Apple Remote Desktop (ARD) server/administrator software to version 3.8, the first major upgrade in well over a year. The new version primarily spruces up the app for OS X Yosemite compatibility, including an updated interface. The program was last upgraded in October of 2013, largely for the same reason, but for Mavericks (though two minor updates were issued later). In addition to an interface overhaul to match Yosemite's design language, a number of enhancements and fixes are included.

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Documents show Apple paid just A$80.3M in Australian taxes for 2014

Wed January 28, 2015 | Posted in: Investor, Apple

Apple paid about A$80.3 million in taxes to the Australian government last year, despite pulling in A$6 billion in revenues in that country, according to documents filed with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission. While the company's actual tax bill must legally be kept confidential, an expense figure has to be produced for the sake of annual accounts. The A$80.3 million sum is over twice the A$36.4 million Apple paid in 2013, when it actually took in more revenue, A$6.1 billion.

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