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Microsoft smartwatch touted for launch within weeks, sale soon after

1 hour ago | Posted in: gadgets

Microsoft could introduce its own wearable device in the next few weeks, a report claims. According to sources of Forbes, Microsoft's rumored smartwatch will attempt to beat its counterparts, such as the Samsung Gear range and the Moto 360, by offering a battery life said to last for more than two days from a single charge, something many current smartwatches struggle with.

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Weekly Game Replay: Final Fantasy XIV expansion, Halo 20GB download

12 hours ago | Posted in: gaming

Every Sunday Electronista and MacNN report some of the important news from the gaming industry across the past week. During this week's edition, we look at Final Fantasy XIV's first expansion, the download requirements for Halo: The Master Chief Collection, NPD numbers for video game hardware sales, and console updates for the Xbox One and PlayStation 4.

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Briefly: Tumblr's native OS X app, Griffin launches new iPad cases

13 hours ago | Posted in: software, accessories, Apple, iPad

Blogging social platform Tumblr has released a native OS X app. A microblogging service, Tumblr lets users share media ranging from text, photos, music, links, video and more. Tumbler's app for OS X features a full-screen viewing option, and additionally allows posting to Tumblr from anywhere on one's Mac that has a Share button in its window. Free to download, the new Tumblr app requires OS X 10.10.

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Crowdfunding Critic: Mad Genius motion controller

15 hours ago | Posted in: gaming, gadgets

Electronista and MacNN's article series Crowdfunding Critic brings readers projects from sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo that the team believes are interesting or potentially useful. However, be aware that the articles aren't an endorsement of any given project. All crowdfunding campaigns come with risks, so we ask our readers to carefully research the items they are pledging to, as they are investments. In this edition, we take a look at the Mad Genius motion controller.

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MasterCard prepares credit card with fingerprint sensor for 2015

17 hours ago | Posted in: industry, security

At a press event last week, MasterCard and Zwipe announced a new type of payment card dubbed the Zwipe MasterCard. Where the new card is different from the the standard credit or debit card is in the payment process, looking to biometrics to approve purchases. The Zwipe MasterCard uses authentication via fingerprint for MasterCard contactless payment terminals, while retaining Europay, MasterCard and Visa (EMV) chips on cards.

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Retina iMac teardown by iFixit demonstrates moderate repairability

Sat October 18, 2014 | Posted in: computers, troubleshooting, Apple

Apple repair purveyors iFixit have given their regular disassembly treatment to Apple's new 27-inch 5K iMac. As the machine has re-used the chassis from the last generation of iMac, and has only minor changes to the internals apart from the display, the repairability score remains the same at a five out of 10. Notably, the company has found a larger display data connector, with the fused LCD and taped-down display hindering repair efforts.

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Anonabox project killed by Kickstarter over security, hardware issues

Sat October 18, 2014 | Posted in: security, networking

Following allegations casting doubt on the project, the TOR-based Anonabox Kickstarter project has been terminated. Since the launch of the security-minded Anonabox, and nearly instant completion of funding goals, commenters and other figures questioned the source of the hardware, the actual security of the device, and criticized the lack of a promised and complete open-sourcing of the code.

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Opinion: iPad Air 2 demo highlights power of 64-bit mobile computing

Sat October 18, 2014 | Posted in: iPhone, Apple, iPad

Apple's demo for the iPad Air 2 during its latest keynote event was hugely impressive. As the company often does during its live presentations, it invited two developers on stage to highlight not only their apps, but also the power of the new iPad Air 2. Although all the technical details are not yet fully known about the powerful new custom 64-bit A8X chip, Apple did reveal some impressive numbers. But numbers aside, if you ever held any doubts about the benefits of Apple going 64-bit for the iPhone and iPad, the performance capabilities of iPad Air 2 as demonstrated should put them to bed.

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Amex web page promotes Apple Pay, adds directions for linking cards

Fri October 17, 2014 | Posted in: iPhone, industry, Apple

Financial services and credit card issuer American Express has posted a new web page on its site, extolling the benefits of Apple Pay and instructing users on how to add their cards to the Passbook-based payment system. The mobile payment system is designed for the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus (now expanded to include the latest iPads for online or in-app purchases only) and will be formally rolled out on Monday, alongside the release of iOS 8.1.

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Halloween Giveaway: Free Collage Maker software for all!

Fri October 17, 2014 | Posted in: computers, software

With Halloween fast approaching, there will undoubtedly be countless new memories being captured of all the scary costumes, silly face paint, jack-o-lanterns and good times filling up the storage space of millions of Americans and Canadians. MacNN and Electronista want you to have some fun with those memories, so we have teamed up with PearlMountain software to give away free copies of Picture Collage Maker Pro and Picture Collage Maker for Mac to all of our readers.

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New Mac mini not user-upgradeable, new analysis reveals

Fri October 17, 2014 | Posted in: computers, Apple

Server farm and hosting provider Macminicolo has posted its preliminary findings on the latest edition of the Mac mini, noting that the RAM in the unit is not user-accessible as was the case in previous models. This does not completely preclude the possibility of it being upgraded, but doing so would void the warranty on the machine. The 5400rpm hard drive included in the 2014 models is upgradeable, but again only through a warranty-voiding procedure.

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Apple pulls Bose products from online store

Fri October 17, 2014 | Posted in: accessories, audio, Apple

In spite of the two companies settling a lawsuit over noise cancellation patents, Apple has gone ahead and removed Bose headphones and speakers from its online store, visitors note. Rumors surfaced a week ago that Apple was planning to remove Bose products from its stores. Why it would want to was uncertain, but one point of speculation was animosity because of the lawsuit.

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GT planning to lay off 727 workers from Mesa sapphire plant

Fri October 17, 2014 | Posted in: industry, Apple

GT Advanced plans to lay off 727 workers at its sapphire plant in Mesa, Arizona, according to a mandatory Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification issued to the Mesa City Council. Affected people are said to include 524 in production, 108 in technical jobs, 70 in management, and 25 in administration. The move comes as GT is planning to "wind down" the Mesa plant, and despite Apple's promise that it would try to preserve jobs.

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Forums: Time for a new iMac?

Fri October 17, 2014 | Posted in: computers, troubleshooting, Apple

Since yesterday marked the release of the new 27-inch iMac, the MacNN forums have been abuzz with chatter about this latest addition to the Mac family, and finally there is an answer to the age-old question "is it time for a new iMac?" and it looks like that answer is a resounding "yes." The official OS X 10.10 Yosemite thread was started yesterday by "Eden Aurora," where users can share their experiences and first impressions.

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Apple deals: iMac and Mac mini from $499

Fri October 17, 2014 | Posted in: computers, Apple

With the unveiling of the new iMacs and Mac minis yesterday, Apple also has cut prices on refurbished iMacs and Mac minis. The refurbished Mac mini with a 2.5GHz Intel dual-core i5 processor, 4GB of RAM and a 500GB hard drive has been reduced by $80 to $419. For $929, after a $170 discount, is the refurbished 21.5-inch iMac with a 1.4GHz Intel dual-core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and a 500GB hard drive.

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DealNN: $382 off new Retina 27-inch iMac

Fri October 17, 2014 | Posted in: computers, upgrades/storage, Apple, iPad

It's hard to believe, but Expercom has already managed to secure lower pricing on the brand new 27-inch Retina iMac with a 3.5GHz quad-core i5 processor, 32GB of RAM, 1TB Fusion drive and AMD Radeon R9 M295X 4GB video card. This configuration retails for $3,349 from Apple, but is priced at only $2,942 with $25 for shipping. That's a savings of $382. The only difference is the wait time of 10 days to 3 weeks before it ships, versus Apples' 3-5 day shipping time. As always, this item is backed by Apple's one-year limited warranty on parts and labor.

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Previous News

Mac version of 1Password 5 gets Yosemite makeover, sync upgrades

Fri October 17, 2014 | Posted in: security, software

AgileBits has released v5.0 of its password and credit card manager for the Mac, 1Password. The software has been redesigned to match the look of OS X Yosemite, including support for the OS' new dark mode. AgileBits is also exploiting changes to iCloud for "faster and more robust syncing;" the company warns, though, that iCloud sync now requires v5.0 on both iOS and OS X.

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Friday Deals: Filemaker Pro BOGO, 2K up to 85 percent off, more!

Fri October 17, 2014 | Posted in: computers, gaming, software

Its time for Friday Deals! Every Friday, we round up the best deals for you, the discerning MacNN and Electronista reader. As usual, all prices are verified at the time of publication, but may not be valid if you're reading this after the weekend, so check before buying. Check back frequently over the weekend, we like to add stuff!

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FBI director warns Apple, Google away from encrypting devices

Fri October 17, 2014 | Posted in: security, Apple

The head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has asked for companies to back away from encrypting consumer devices by default. Echoing similar comments made last month, Director James Comey spoke to the Brookings Institute yesterday about the issue, which is claimed will make it difficult for law enforcement officials to collect evidence from mobile devices.

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Updated iTunes 12 goes live for Windows users

Fri October 17, 2014 | Posted in: software, Apple

Following its debut for the Mac alongside OS X Yosemite, Apple has released the Windows version of iTunes 12. The software brings with it a radically different look, borrowing design cues from Yosemite. One of the major interface changes is the relocation of categories like Music, Apps, Podcasts, and Movies to buttons in a new menu bar, where a second set of fluctuating options makes it easier to jump to associated items like playlists, app updates, a specific section of the iTunes Store, or iTunes Radio.

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Apple opens up online preorders for iPad Air 2, iPad mini 3

Fri October 17, 2014 | Posted in: Apple, iPad

Apple has officially opened up preorders for the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 at its online store. In the US, Apple is currently promising delivery sometime between October 23rd and the 27th. Delivery in fact appears to be the only option, as in-store pickup is quoted as "coming soon."

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Yosemite SMS Relay, Instant Hotspot functions waiting for iOS 8.1

Fri October 17, 2014 | Posted in: iPhone, software, networking

Although OS X Yosemite is out and most Continuity and Handoff features should already work, two important ones -- Instant Hotspot and SMS Relay -- won't function until iOS 8.1 is released on Monday, notes AppleInsider. The former automatically tethers a Mac, iPad, or iPod touch to an iPhone, while the latter lets people receive SMS/MMS messages from an iPhone on the above devices. Instant Hotspot requires the paired devices to be on the same Apple ID and the iPhone to have tethering enabled by a carrier.

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iOS apps: Things, Songza, YouTube

Fri October 17, 2014 | Posted in iOS apps

  • 16.1MB

    Things 2.5.2 ($10)

    Things is a task management tool that can help users organize all of the chores that they need to finish. Version 2.5.2 includes Handoff support for the Mac, while iPad support is coming soon. The app icon also now shows at the proper resolution on the iPhone 6 Plus, and a crash on iOS 5 when syncing has been fixed.

  • 35.5MB

    Songza 3.3 (free)

    Songza is a music streaming service that offers listeners access to a catalog of handmade playlists. The latest release features a new and improved iPad design. This redesign includes a new search results page that categorizes results by artists, playlists, and activities.

  • 20.4MB

    YouTube 2.13 (free)

    YouTube is the official iOS client for accessing Google’s video sharing website. Through the app users can search for videos, access their “watch later” list, and subscribe to all of their favorite channels. Version 2.13 has been updated for the iPhone 6 and addresses a number of bugs. The status bar should no longer overlap the UI, and problems with keyboard orientation have been fixed.

  • 28.3MB

    Snapseed 1.6.2 (free)

    Snapseed is a photo editing app that includes a number of basic adjustment tools and image filters. A bug that occasionally prevented users from swiping the filter selector on iOS 8 has been resolved with this patch.

  • 35.6MB

    Facebook Messenger 14.1 (free)

    Facebook Messenger is the official client for sending direct messages to all of a user’s Facebook contacts. Along with the standard bug fixes, v14.1 also introduces the ability to add colourful drawings and text to photos from the camera roll before sending.

 

VirnetX files for rehearing of tossed Apple verdict

Fri October 17, 2014 | Posted in: industry, networking, Apple

Patent holding firm VirnetX has filed a motion with the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, requesting a rehearing of a September decision tossing a $368.2 million verdict against Apple, and asking it to reinstate a District Court's damages award in full. In a press release, VirnetX says the decision was "contrary to the patent statute and Supreme Court precedent." It also asserts that it should receive damage payments on the basis that the District Court properly construed the claim term "secure communication link."

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We're hiring: paid mobile app reviewer position available

Fri October 17, 2014 | Posted in: iPhone apps, mobile phones, iPad apps

MacNN and Electronista are hiring paid app reviewers! We're looking for writers who have a familiarity with and own iOS and OS X devices, with Windows and Android gear a bonus. The ideal candidate has four hours free per day, and is available five days a week of your choosing. Applicants will be expected to write two reviews of software we would provide, of approximately 400 words in length, in a daily shift. Interested? Look inside for more details.

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iPhone 6 met with organized, 'low-key' launch in China

Fri October 17, 2014 | Posted in: iPhone, Apple

The Sanlitun Apple Store in Beijing, one of the company's most important in China, was witness to a "low-key" iPhone 6 launch Friday morning, says the Wall Street Journal. As close as an hour before store opening, just a handful of people had lined up, even less than the 24 security guards Apple had on site. The line grew to around 100 people by launch, but composed entirely of preorder customers with assigned pickup times. People without preorder reservations simply waited for their turn to get in line.

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Briefly: Rdio adds CarPlay, Alien Blue now an official Reddit app

Fri October 17, 2014 | Posted in: iPhone apps, iPad apps

Music subscription service Rdio has released an update for its iOS app, featuring new CarPlay support and other iOS 8 inclusions. A paid monthly service, a Rdio Unlimited account offers access to albums, songs, playlists and stations, with the option to download unlimited songs via mobile for offline listening. Rdio v3.0.4 adds push notifications for iOS 8 users, and high-resolution images and album artwork optimized for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.

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