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Briefly: Pebble Time ships May 27, HBO Now discounts considered

1 hour ago | Posted in: gadgets, software

The Pebble Time smartwatch will start shipping to backers of its Kickstarter campaign from May 27, the company has revealed. In mass production since the start of this month, backers of the Pebble Time are being sent invitations to finalize their selections for backer rewards and their smartwatch, with tracking numbers expected to be provided to customers by mid-June. Shipments of the smartwatch will apparently continue on a "rolling basis" when the devices reach regional distribution centers. The company has also advised it is preparing to debut the new support apps called "Pebble Time Watch" for iOS and Android from next week

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Hands On: Aftershokz Bluez conduction headphones

3 hours ago | Posted in: iPod, iPhone, gadgets, accessories, iPad

Headphones, the humble hero of every day life. Boring commute on public transportation? Just pop in your headphones and listen to an audio book. Noisy construction outside of your window? Slip your headphones over your ears and have an impromptu Netflix marathon. Avid jogger? A great playlist can help workouts fly by, but in this case, headphones are more of a hindrance than a boon. Cutting out important audio cues, such as sounds of construction, car horns, bike bells, or yelling pedestrians can be dangerous. But there is a solution - headphones that don't work by closing off your ears. We took a look at Aftershokz Bluez, headphones designed to help keep you alert at all times.

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AT&T to drop two-year contracts through third-party sellers

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

AT&T, one of the US' largest carriers, has opted to make a significant change to its arrangements with third-party resellers of its services, including franchises and agents such as Apple, Walmart, and others. All non-company stores will be restricted from offering any two-year contracts in the traditional format with an up-front down payment, though AT&T company stores and its own online site will continue to offer contracts. Instead, retailers will have to offer the AT&T Next option, where buyers pay the cost of the phone alongside the monthly service plan fees.

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Apple Game Roundup: Game of Thrones, Heroes of the Storm, more

4 hours ago | Posted in: gaming, Apple

On Tuesdays and Fridays, MacNN takes a few minutes to round up important goings-on in the Mac and iOS gaming world. In today's entry we look at the release date for Telltale's Game of Thrones Episode 4, the launch of Heroes of the Storm's public beta, a progress update for Shadowrun: Hong Kong, a new Surprise Attack game collection from Humble Bundle, and the latest character video for Overwatch.

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Daily Deals: ViewSonic Projector, Acer Chromebook, iTunes credit

4 hours ago | Posted in: computers, gaming, peripherals, gadgets, software, upgrades/storage, accessories, networking, audio, mobile phones, Apple

Welcome to Daily Deals, the post where the staff of MacNN and Electronista scour online retailers for discounts, offers, sales, and bundles on hardware, software, and gadgets for you, the discerning reader. Our last recap of the week follows after the new batch of deals, including a 1080p home theater projector, a $130 Chromebook, and the Logitech UE Mini Boom speaker.

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Forums: 15-inch MBP updates, wireless mouse problems and more

4 hours ago | Posted in: computers, troubleshooting, software, upgrades/storage, Apple

This week in the MacNN forums, members discussed the recent updates to the 15-inch MBP in a thread started by Moderator "P" in which he points out some of the changes that have been made. Today Mac Elite "rotuts" turned to the forums looking for help figuring out why his Logitech mouse is not working with his new iMac.

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Apple deals: Macs from $419

4 hours ago | Posted in: computers, Apple

Right now at Apple's online store, save big on refurbished Macs, with prices starting as low as $419. The refurbished Mac mini with a 1.4GHz Intel dual-core i5 processor, 4GB of RAM and a 500GB hard drive has been cut by $80 to $419. Priced at $679, after a 120 discount, is the refurbished 11.6-inch MacBook Air with a 1.4GHz Intel dual-core i5 processor, 4GB of RAM and 128GB of flash storage.

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Pointers: get more and less from Spotlight

6 hours ago | Posted in: software

There must have been a time before Spotlight, but who wants to remember that? While we've often recommended applications with similar functions like LaunchBar 6 and Alfred 2, what Spotlight does out of the box is very good. It could be handier, though, and you can stop it searching everything, everywhere. You are always more likely to search for music in iTunes, for instance, so having Spotlight list all the soppy ballads you own takes time and might be embarrassing.

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Apple Watch: US sales figures; heart rate flaw in 1.0.1 update?

6 hours ago | Posted in: gadgets, troubleshooting, Apple

Figures extrapolated from some 14,000 online shoppers who use Slice Intelligence's services suggests that the Apple Watch is selling approximately 30,000 units a day, following an unsurprising initial rush of over 2.5 million pre-orders. While some analysts will inevitably portray this as a slump, the drop-off is typical of new products, and puts the Apple Watch on pace to have outsold all existing smartwatches on its first day or two of pre-ordering, and outselling the early days of the iPhone and iPad.

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Hands On: Breezeblox 1.1 (iOS)

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

We know that spatial-awareness puzzles require a certain kind of person: a bold person, one who isn't afraid to get their mind tangled up in the puzzle. They've got to be a little pensive, too. After all, these puzzles often require a very specific solution, putting the wits of even the best lateral thinker to the test. One such puzzler is Breezeblox, a deceptively inviting puzzle game about a jiggly square.

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Giveaway: Win your choice of Apple device worth up to $700

10 hours ago | Posted in: gadgets, Apple

Do you have your eye on an Apple product that you'd like to acquire, but don't feel like spending the money to buy it? MacNN Deals is giving you the opportunity to win your choice of prize from a selection of Apple products in the latest easy-to-enter competition, which can net you an Apple TV, an iPad, an iPhone 6, or even an Apple Watch if you want one.

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MixRadio now available to download on iOS, Android

12 hours ago | Posted in: audio, iPhone apps

MixRadio, originally called Nokia Music and owned by Line, has exited its beta testing and is now available to download on iOS and Android. Previously available only on Windows Phone and already available in 31 markets, the cross-platform music streaming service has managed to retain the majority of its features during the porting process, including free personalized playlists.

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YouTube adds 60fps live streaming option, new advertising units

Thu May 21, 2015 | Posted in: gaming, Graphics/Web Design

Google is making a number of small changes to YouTube, that will likely be welcomed by advertisers and gamers alike. YouTube's live streaming capability will now include support for 60fps streams, making it more suitable for gaming, while the initial advertising preroll that runs before many videos will now allow users to find out a lot more information about the advertised products, as well as making it easier to purchase.

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Hands On: Streamline 1.2 (iOS)

Thu May 21, 2015 | Posted in: iPhone apps, iPad apps

Streamline Calendar by Serendipi shows everything on the user's various calendars on a zoomable format. Rather than looking at a traditional calendar, the app organizes events and appointments into a timeline that can be expanded, or narrowed down.

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Adobe to discontinue iOS Photoshop Touch, plans successor apps [u]

Thu May 21, 2015 | Posted in: Graphics/Web Design, iPad apps

[Updated with correction to erroreous CC subscription requirement] Adobe has chosen to withdraw its current photo editor for the iPad and Android tablets, Photoshop Touch, as of May 28, but has announced plans for new and supplemental technologies manifested in a number of apps to come later this year. A new photo editor, currently dubbed "Project Rigel," will offer greatly-improved speed, and was teased in a video that shows the program offering selective object removal, warping, and color swapping. The new app will be free of charge, unlike the $10 Touch app, and does not require a Creative Cloud subscription.

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Daily Deals: Seagate Barracuda, Asus Transformer, Nintendo 2DS

Thu May 21, 2015 | Posted in: computers, gaming, peripherals, gadgets, software, upgrades/storage, accessories, audio, mobile phones, Apple

Welcome to Daily Deals, the regular post where we search the Internet to find bundles, discounts, offers, and sales on hardware and software for you, the discerning MacNN and Electronista reader. The last few days of still-active deals are accompanied by a new set, including a 2TB Seagate Barracuda hard drive, the Nintendo 2DS, and an Asus Transformer notebook.

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Previous News

Apple Watch: IBM MobileFirst for Watch; Bands now available separately

Thu May 21, 2015 | Posted in: enterprise, accessories, Apple

On Thursday, Apple updated its enterprise app solutions web page to announce updates to some of the MobileFirst for iOS apps, developed in partnership with IBM, to offer Apple Watch support. Three of the 22 current MobileFirst apps -- Field Connect, Incident Aware, and Hospital RN -- now include Apple Watch versions of the apps, with push notifications, iBeacon support, notifications, and weather conditions, among other information available to front-line workers.

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Apps: Drive Genius, Carbon Copy Cloner, VueScan

Thu May 21, 2015 | Posted in apps

    65.5

    Drive Genius 4.1 ($99)

    Drive Genius is a storage management utility that features a number of tools for optimizing and repairing hard drives. Version 4.1 reintroduces the Initialize utility, now featuring enchantments like the ability to select the format drive. A new option to disable the DrivePulse preference files corruption check has also been added.

    12.5MB

    Carbon Copy Cloner 4.1.3 ($40)

    Carbon Copy Cloner is a backup utility that can preserve HFS+ compression data during backups. An issue that prevented the software from sending e-mail notifications at the end of backup task has been addressed with this update. Time Zone changes that do not have a net effect on the wall time will also no longer cause a task to be rescheduled.

    8.1

    VueScan 9.5.11 ($40)

    VueScan is a scanning utility that includes support for most flatbed and film scanners. The software uses ICC profiles and IT8 calibration to ensure accurate colors, and features a number of advanced features for tweaking scans. In v9.5.11, the software will no longer prompt for appending if the Scan+ or Save+ buttons are pressed. The size of the busy animation has also been increased, and issues with both Canon MF4600 and MF6500 scanners have been fixed.

    39.6MB

    TenFourFox 31.7 (free)

    TenFourFox allows users to take advantage of Firefox 31 on their PowerPC-based Macs. Version 31.7 includes all of the security and stability patches from Firefox ESR 31.7. While this improves overall stability, several known issues still exist and can be found in the full release notes.

    9.1MB

    Nicecast 1.11.5 ($59)

    Nicecast is a tool for broadcasting audio files as an Internet radio station. Alternatively, the app can be used to access a personal iTunes Library from anywhere in the world. A bug introduced in v1.11.4 that could cause the application to crash when the source is quit has been resolved in this release.

    12.48GB

    Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel 1.06 ($60)

    Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel is a game that uncovers the story behind, Handsome Jack, a villain first introduced in Borderlands 2. Version 1.06 includes a range of minor bug fixes. This includes performance improvements, multiplayer connectivity improvements, and an issue with gun graphics and animations in the Grinder UI.

 

Hands On: Lost Within 1.0 (iOS, Android)

Thu May 21, 2015 | Posted in: gaming, iPhone apps, iPad apps

We're no stranger to spooky games and scary themes, but sometimes the suspense inherent in horror survival games makes us very anxious, and it's difficult to get a good play session rolling. When faced with having to sneak through a creepy asylum, with a creepy kid whispering creepy things at us, and gurgling "inhabitants" chasing us into lockers ... we did the only thing any rational adult would do. We called our friend Todd, and asked him to virtually hold our hand through Skype while we played Lost Within by Amazon Game Studios.

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Briefly: Facebook video calls goes global, Google Maps traffic alerts

Thu May 21, 2015 | Posted in: software, iPhone apps

Facebook is making video calling via the Messenger app available to more users. Previously available in 18 countries, including the United States, the Facebook Messenger video calling has been rolled out globally for iOS and Android users, though some countries will be delayed in receiving the calls due to ongoing work to improve the service's quality in those regions.

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Promotional photo may be leak of Touch ID-equipped iPhone 5c

Thu May 21, 2015 | Posted in: iPhone, Apple

Among the promotional photos released in connection with the new Apple Lightning Dock designed for the iPhone 6 line (but which also works with the older iPhone 5 family) is an image that appears to show an iPhone 5c equipped with a Touch ID sensor rather than the normal home button. While the image could be a simple Photoshop gaffe, it raises the possibility that Apple might refit and freshen the iPhone 5c to be able to handle Apple Pay as part of a larger, multi-country rollout of the mobile payments service.

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Range of Apple's iCloud services suffer continued downtime [U]

Thu May 21, 2015 | Posted in: troubleshooting, Apple

[Update: Apple says all services now restored as of 9:30AM ET] Some of Apple's iCloud services have been suffering a global, widespread slowdown or outage, beginning around 2:30AM Eastern time and continuing into mid-Thursday morning. The problems have reached into 11 services from Apple's online cloud offering, including iCloud Drive, iCloud Keychain syncing, iCloud Mail syncing, Documents in the Cloud, iCloud Backup, Back to My Mac, Photos, Find My iPhone/iPad/iPod touch/Mac, iMovie Theater, iCloud sign-in, and the iWork for iCloud beta.

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PayPal agrees to pay $25M over deceptive credit scheme

Thu May 21, 2015 | Posted in: industry

PayPal will pay out $25 million in fines and restitution, as part of a settlement in a case claiming it deceived customers over credit schemes. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) filed a complaint and proposed consent order to a federal court on Tuesday that PayPal enrolled customers into PayPal Credit without their permission, promoted benefits it failed to provide, and mishandled disputes over billing.

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Review: Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge

Thu May 21, 2015 | Posted in: mobile phones

The Samsung Galaxy S6 range is a critical component in Samsung's flagging smartphone strategy. With sales of its high-end smartphones being sapped by intense competition from Apple's larger iPhone 6 models, and sales of its mid-range and low-end smartphones being attacked from all sides by the cheaper Chinese competition, the success of the Galaxy S6 is vital to the company reversing its fortunes. The Galaxy S6 Edge is potentially the more interesting of its two Galaxy S6 models -- both of which share identical specs on paper -- as the Edge features a more adventurous design with a curved version of its Super AMOLED display. So can Samsung claw back market share with its new smartphone, and return high profitability to its mobile division? Read on in our full review of the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge.

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Hands On: Stackables 3.2 (iOS)

Thu May 21, 2015 | Posted in: iPhone apps, iPad apps

There's no doubt about it: vintage is in. That's probably one of the reasons that photo filter apps have taken the App Store by storm. The big issue with most of these apps is that they'll often only feature a handful of preset filters with little to no customization. If you're looking for a great way to make your pictures stand out from all the others, we think that Stackables might just do the trick.

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Hands On: Postbox 4.0b4 (OS X, Windows)

Thu May 21, 2015 | Posted in: software, Apple

It used to be that free trumped everything, especially when that free was something built by Apple or Microsoft. When literally every Mac or Windows user has a particular type of software provided right there with their computer, it used to be that rivals simply died. Now we seem more open to persuasion, or at least to considering alternatives, and for some people Postbox 4 is going to be so ideal they'll wish they bought it two versions ago.

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OWC tears down new Retina iMac, few substantive differences found

Thu May 21, 2015 | Posted in: Apple

Accessory purveyor OWC has unboxed and torn down the new 2015 Retina iMac. In a blog post, the company has noted that the new model has retained the 2-lane PCI-e SSD upgrade slot "whether ordered with a SSD or not," can take 32GB of RAM. Additionally, the 3.3GHz model uses a Radeon R9 M290 GPU, versus the M290X in the faster models.

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