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Giveaway: Tomb Raider

37 minutes ago | Posted in: computers, gaming, software

For nearly two decades the Tomb Raider franchise has been keeping adventure seekers entertained for countless hours all around the world. Since the release of the first game in 1996, there have been sequels to the game, a series of box office hit motion pictures novels and even theme park rides. The most recent chapter in the Lara Croft saga was released last year, and recently the staff here at Electronista got a chance to dig in to the action to see if it lives up to our expectations. We also secured five redemption codes to give away to our readers.



Hands On: Tomb Raider (OS X, Windows)

47 minutes ago | Posted in: gaming

Last year, Square Enix published a new take on a fan favorite character that made a debut on the PlayStation back in 1996. Under the development of Crystal Dynamics, Tomb Raider was rebooted to reintroduce the origins of Lara Croft. Rather than rely on some of the typical tropes associated with the character, the development team added a depth and human touch that was welcome in the series. Earlier this year, the game was ported to OS X by Feral Interactive, giving Mac owners a chance to experience Croft's new story.



Editorial: In defense of the new $499 Mac mini

49 minutes ago | Posted in: computers, gaming, Apple

After the release, we came out pretty strongly against Apple's new $499 Mac mini. We thought it to be underpowered, and despite some minor improvements, generally a step backwards. Time has passed, tempers have cooled a bit, and we've given it a second thought. While we're not saying that its a must-buy, there are some good use cases for it, and in some instances it trumps the 2012 model.



Deezer acquires Stitcher, will keep iOS, Android apps alive

1 hour ago | Posted in: Investor, audio

Paris-based streaming music service Deezer has acquired Stitcher, the company has announced. The purchase, for an undisclosed amount, will allow Deezer to take control of the personalized Internet talk radio service, which currently provides access to eight out of the top ten US terrestrial radio programs to users, as well as a collection of around 35,000 radio programs and podcasts.



Amazon Rewards Visa Card gets added to Apple Pay

2 hours ago | Posted in: iPhone, Apple

The Amazon Rewards Visa Card has been added to Apple Pay, some owners have noticed. The card wasn't initially compatible with Apple Pay when the service was launched earlier this week. Support for the card is notable because of its popularity, owing to users getting 3 percent back on Amazon purchases, 2 percent at gas stations, restaurants, and drugstores, and 1 percent on all other purchases.


Apps: Skitch, BusyCal, ExanDriver

3 hours ago | Posted in apps


    Skitch 2.7.3 (free)

    Skitch is a tool for taking and sharing screenshots. After capturing an image with the software, users can perform basic editing and share the file via e-mail or automatic website uploads. Support for OS X Yosemite is included with this update.


    BusyCal 2.6.3 ($50)

    BusyCal is a desktop calendar app that allows users to share calendars among family, friends, and workgroups. The latest release adds Retina graphics for a number of elements, including the source list, as well as support for sending e-mails via AirMail 2. A timezone bug that affected invites generated by Outlook and lotus Notes has also been fixed.


    ExpanDrive 4.1.8 ($50)

    ExpanDrive builds cloud storage into any application by allowing the online storage account to act like a USB drive plugged into the Mac. Support for OS X Yosemiteā€™s Dark Mode has been added with this release. Due to popular demand the developers have also reintroduced support for OS X 10.6, as well as fixed a problem with Dropbox folder creation.


    Delicious Library 3.3.2 ($25)

    Delicious Library is a cataloging tool that allows users to create a database of all their belongings. Items can be entered manually or via the built-in bar code scanner. The v3.3.2 update resolves a crash that could occur on older MacBook Airs with HD-3000 graphics. In addition, a few menu item labels have also been fixed.


    Art Text 2.4.8 ($20)

    Art Text is a tool for creating textual graphics, headings, logos, ices, and buttons. The software includes multi-layer support for creating complex graphics, as well as 600 built-in vector icons and shapes to use. Version 2.4.8 includes a new Share option for posting graphics to Facebook and Twitter, or attaching them to an e-mail. A problem that resulted in the windows positioning themselves incorrectly when starting the app has also been addressed.


BBEdit 11 gets improvements to Clipping, syntax highlights, more

3 hours ago | Posted in: software, developer

Bare Bones has upgraded its popular text and code editor, BBEdit, to version 11. The Mac software has a long list of new features, fixes, and minor improvements. Some changes include better syntax highlighting, a revised Find Differences interface, and a new text extraction function. The Clipping system, meanwhile, has been upgraded to support snippets that can be used in one or many languages.



Bringing Apple Pay to China a high priority, says Cook

4 hours ago | Posted in: security, Apple

For Apple, getting Apple Pay working in China is a major priority, CEO Tim Cook tells China's state-run Xinhua news agency. "China is a really key market for us," he says. "Everything we do, we are going to work it here. Apple Pay is on the top of the list." He adds however that the company still has to learn the steps needed to bring Apple Pay to China, and has yet to meet with local banks, merchants, and carriers.



Samsung Knox Android security suite under fire from new researcher

5 hours ago | Posted in: security, mobile phones

Reports have begun to circulate about a pervasive flaw in Samsung's Knox security software for Android phones. The technology, which is the foundation of Android 5.0 Lollipop's enhanced protections has come under fire by a lone, previously unknown researcher, previously unknown to the field, who calls the effort merely "security by obscurity."



Review: Sound Blaster Roar Bluetooth speaker

10 hours ago | Posted in: gadgets, audio

There could very well be a new king of the hill for Bluetooth speakers, with Sound Blaster's recent entry into the marketplace. Bringing a heap of features for music enjoyment to a powerful speaker, the company introduced the Roar earlier this year. With the crowded market for Bluetooth speakers, is it possible that a company like Sound Blaster could release a device that topples some of the big names in audio? Find out in our review.



Former Apple execs Johnson, McDougal form new retail startup, Enjoy

15 hours ago | Posted in: computers, industry, peripherals, gadgets, accessories

Former Apple retail chief Ron Johnson, along with his former Apple colleague Jerry McDougal and former Apple creative director Tom Suiter have teamed up in a new retail-oriented startup endeavor called Enjoy, promising to help consumers spend more wisely instead of just aiming for the cheapest price. The company, which launches next year, will help consumers make smarter choices on buying, such as educating shoppers on the finer points of a camera to promote the best overall value.



Briefly: Pocket Informant 4.5, Nike hints at future Apple projects

16 hours ago | Posted in: enterprise, iPhone apps, Apple, iPad apps

Web Information Solutions has updated its iOS app Pocket Informant, a combined scheduling and task list manager compatible with built-in calendar data, Google, Toodledo, Evernote or Informant Sync. Free to download, by upgrading to its premium version ($15) users can sync with other calendars, utilize Rich Text Notes and Contact Management features, Task Smart Filters and more. Pocket Informant v4.5.1 integrates iOS 8 components like the Today Widget, TouchID Support, Alarm Actions, and the ability to create tasks and notes from Safari and the Notes app. Users can now log in to Google, Toodledo, or Informant Sync through the app using 1Password, and can now sync with Toodledo's latest API. Various fixes have been additionally included since the major update was launched. Pocket Informant requires iOS 7.1 or later.



AAPL hits all-time high, may close week at record levels

18 hours ago | Posted in: iPhone, Investor, Apple, iPad

Apple's stock on Thursday hit a new all-time closing high, reaching $104.83 per share at the closing bell. While many are waiting to see if the company can close the week at that level or higher, others -- including activist investor Carl Icahn and CEO Tim Cook -- believe the stock remains undervalued. AAPL also set a new intra-day high of $105.05 during trading, and is up slightly from its close at this writing in after-hours trading. Stronger-than-expected iPhone numbers and the coming holiday season has helped fuel the rise.



Facebook unleashes Rooms, brings communities back to chat rooms

18 hours ago | Posted in: iPhone apps, mobile phones

Facebook's Creative Labs team is bringing a new, yet old way to socialize over the Internet to users through its application Rooms. The free iOS app lets users create custom chat rooms on a topic, without requiring any special log in or connection to a Facebook account. Instead, users can select whatever user name they like and chat in virtual anonymity.



Briefly: Christian Bale to play Steve Jobs, MagSafe 2 Snuglet

21 hours ago | Posted in: peripherals, Apple

Christian Bale is set to play the late Apple CEO Steve Jobs in the forthcoming biopic film written by Aaron Sorkin. Previously considered for Leonardo DiCaprio, Aaron Sorkin said in Bloomberg interview that there wasn't a need for Bale to audition for the role due to being a good fit. The latest screenplay is comprised of three thirty minute scenes of backstage goings on prior to three keynote presentations.



Giveaway: win one of five copies of RapidWeaver 6!

21 hours ago | Posted in: software, Graphics/Web Design

Earlier this week, we reported on a major update to Realmac's web publishing tool, RapidWeaver 6. It is now built exclusively for Mavericks and Yosemite, and has a dozen major new features. Immediately, our team was hard at work putting RapidWeaver 6 to the test, and yesterday our full hands-on review was published. We aren't quite done yet, though -- MacNN has five copies of this software to give away to our readers!



Jury-rigged Continuity Activation Tool puts tech on older Macs

21 hours ago | Posted in: software, hacks

A new user-created tool enables OS X Yosemite's Continuity function on Macs that are officially unsupported. Dubbed the Continuity Activation Tool, it checks for strict hardware compatibility -- namely the presence of Bluetooth 4.0 -- and disables an Apple blacklist that shuts off Continuity on some Mac models. It also whitelists Mac board-ids inside Yosemite's Wi-Fi code. Before making any changes, the tool creates system driver backups.


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Previous News

Amazon posts massive quarterly loss, misses Wall Street predictions

22 hours ago | Posted in: Investor, industry today announced financial results for its third quarter that ended on SeptemberĀ 30. Net sales increased 20 percent to $20.58 billion in the third quarter, compared with $17.09 billion in the third quarter of 2013. Despite the increase, Amazon's net loss was $437 million in the third quarter, or $0.95 per diluted share, compared with net loss of $41 million, or $0.09 per diluted share in the same time period of of 2013.


TestFlight beta-testing opens up to general community

23 hours ago | Posted in: iPod, iPhone, developer, Apple, iPad

Following a soft rollout to internal testers a few weeks ago, Apple has fully opened its TestFlight beta-testing service. "You can now invite up to 1,000 testers to beta test your iOS apps by simply sending them an email invitation through iTunes Connect," the company says on its developer portal. "Once they accept your invitation, testers can install your beta app on their iOS devices, get updated builds, and provide feedback, all within the TestFlight app."


Pixelmator comes to iPad with touch controls, Photoshop support

Thu October 23, 2014 | Posted in: digital imaging, Graphics/Web Design, iPad, iPad apps

Initially teased at Apple's iPad and iMac event last week, Pixelmator for the iPad has now been released. The app attempts to carry over many of the features of its desktop counterpart, including numerous brushes, effects, and adjustment options. Users can for instance control levels, curves, white balance, and hue and saturation. Individual sections of an image can be lightened, darkened, blurred, and repaired, or even distorted and transformed.


VisionTek unveils USB 3.0 Pocket SSD external drive

Thu October 23, 2014 | Posted in: computers, upgrades/storage

Accessory manufacturer VisionTek today announced the new VisionTek USB Pocket SSD line of thumb drive-sized SSDs. The USB 3.0 drive can be used with nearly any Windows, OS X, and Linux based system, with performance of up to 455MB/s read and 440MB/s write in a pocket-sized drive.


Foxconn looking to build $5.7B factory to win iPhone display orders

Thu October 23, 2014 | Posted in: iPhone, industry

Apple's chief assembly partner, Foxconn, is hoping to gain orders for iPhone displays by building a new factory in Zhengzhou, China, sources tell the Wall Street Journal. The company is allegedly in talks with Zhengzhou's government about getting financial help for the factory, which could cost up to 35 billion yuan, or about $5.7 billion. One of the topics under discussion is how much money local government would have to invest in the project.


iOS apps: Fantastical, MindNode, Sketch Club

Thu October 23, 2014 | Posted in iOS apps

  • 20.9MB

    Fantastical 2.2 ($3)

    Fantastical is a calendar utility that allows users to create events by explaining events in basic English. For example, a user can enter "Lunch with John at 123 Main Street on Tuesday," and the software will add all of the relevant information to a new event. In v2.2 users can now view their calendar and event list in the Notification Centre thanks to the new Today widget. A new app extension also lets users create events or reminders fro selected text in other extension-enabled apps.

  • 6.1MB

    MindNode 3.5 ($10)

    MailNode is a mind mapping tool that can be used to create a visual representation of ideas. Maps start from a central thought and can be expanded outwards through the introduction of new nodes. Along with optimizations for the new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, the latest release includes an overhauled style inspector and theme picker, new gesture controls, and support for image only nodes.

  • 10.6MB

    Sketch Club 2.0 ($3)

    Sketch Club provides users with all the tools necessary to not only create digital art, but also to share it with a wide community of other users. Version 2.0 features a range of improvements, including a new home screen, new layers panel, new icons, and support for iOS 8 and the latest iPhone models. A new save system has also been introduced, replacing the previous slot system with a more iOS standard method.

  • 14.8MB

    Duolingo 4.1.2 (free)

    Duolingo is a free tool that can help users learn new languages. Lessons are currently included for 6 different languages, including Spanish, German, Portuguese, Italian, and English. Two new languages, Danish and Irish, have been added with the latest release.

  • 55.5MB

    Angry Birds Seasons 4.2.1 ($1)

    Angry Birds is a physics-based puzzle game where players take control of a fleet of irritated birds. The v4.2.1 update adds 15 all new NBA themed levels, as well as a new in-app purchase option that incdlues an additional 30 NBA team levels.


GT Advanced confirms split with Apple, will repay $439 million [u]

Thu October 23, 2014 | Posted in: industry, Apple

(Updated with Apple response, hints at future initiatives) GT has confirmed its split with Apple via a press release, offering further details on the terms. "GT will be released from all exclusivity obligations under its various agreements with Apple," the statement explains. "GT will retain ownership of all production, ancillary and inventory assets located in Mesa [Arizona] and Apple is provided with a mechanism for recovering its $439 million pre-payment made to GT over a period of up to four years without interest, solely from a portion of the proceeds from ASF sales.


Apple to open 25 new Chinese stores in two years, says Cook

Thu October 23, 2014 | Posted in: Apple

As part of his trip to China, Apple CEO Tim Cook has told local media that the company is planning to open 25 stores in Greater China during the next two years. "Greater" China includes not just mainland China but Hong Kong and Taiwan. So far there are no Apple Stores in Taiwan, but there are three in Hong Kong and a dozen on the mainland, most of those being split between Beijing and Shanghai.


Briefly: Fantastical 2 update, Yahoo Mail adds new notification types

Wed October 22, 2014 | Posted in: iPhone apps, iPad apps

Flexibits has announced the release of two free updates for calendar app Fantastical 2, available as separate native versions for iPhone and iPad. The iPhone variation provides native display support for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, and includes an enhanced landscape view for iPhone 6 Plus. Both apps now require iOS 8, and feature new text-enabled event and reminder creation with Fantastical's new app extension. Interactive notifications let users snooze an alert or complete a reminder, and the app now can be viewed in the Notification Center with Fantastical's Today widget. Currently on sale for twenty percent off, Fantastical 2 for iPhone is priced at $3, and $8 for iPad.


Apple to drop support of SSL 3.0 due to POODLE vulnerability

Wed October 22, 2014 | Posted in: security, developer, Apple

In a note to developers, Apple has announced that due to a serious security flaw in SSL version 3.0, the company will be dropping support for the protocol beginning Wednesday, October 29 for all of its push notifications, which are delivered through Apple's own servers. The company will switch to Transport Layer Security (TLS) for the service, and notes that developers will need to build in support for TLS in their apps to ensure uninterrupted push notification compatibility if they haven't already.


Tim Cook posts photo from latest China visit

Wed October 22, 2014 | Posted in: security, Apple

Apple CEO Tim Cook has posted a picture from his latest trip to China on Twitter, showing him sharing a laugh with a factory worker named Zhang Fan, who helps assemble the iPhone 6 at a factory in Zhengzhou. While Foxconn's factories manufacture equipment for a wide variety of technology firms including Google, Microsoft and others, Cook is the only CEO to routinely visit the facilities and personally investigate conditions and safety at the plants. He called the meeting with Zhang "an early highlight" of the trip.


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