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Apple Watch: plethora of details leak as public debut nears

3 hours ago | Posted in: industry, gadgets, Apple

As the publicity machine shifts into high gear in preparation for the public debut of the Apple Watch on March 9, new details and additional features, applications and other bits of information are making their way into the press. The codename for the project, for example, was "Gizmo," reports The New York Times. Among other revelations are the role that former Adobe Flash chief Kevin Lynch played, power-saving and style details, and the news that the watch will also launch abroad in its first month.

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Epic removes $19 monthly fee for access to Unreal Engine 4

3 hours ago | Posted in: gaming, developer

Epic Games is making it easier for would-be developers to gain access to its powerful Unreal Engine 4 software, by getting rid of the monthly subscription. Previously costing $19 per month per user, Epic has removed the charge entirely, allowing anyone with an interest to register, download, and use the game engine in the production of their own games and apps.

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Back to the Mac: taking 'ctrl' of 'cmd' and other habit-shifting

6 hours ago | Posted in: computers, software, Apple

Recently, staff writer and long-time Windows user Malcolm Owen returned to the Mac following a five-year absence. Back to the Mac is a series of posts where he charts his progress in introducing Apple to his computing environment again. In this installment, Malcolm recounts his first full working week with on the Mac mini.

Switching between two different ways of using an item or working can be tough to do. Long-established patterns are difficult to break, and altering the way you navigate a computer in the short term could, for people resistant to change, be akin to giving up an addiction. I hate change.

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Analysis: The state of Apple Pay, Samsung Pay in 2015

8 hours ago | Posted in: industry, Apple

At yesterday's keynote to the Mobile World Congress, alongside the Galaxy S6 family of phones, Samsung revealed Samsung Pay, a competitor to the Apple Pay service. Not much was said about the new offering, derived almost entirely from the recent purchase of LoopPay -- but more information has come to light, including why Samsung noted in press materials that the phone could be remotely wiped to secure Samsung Pay information if lost.

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Apple releases public beta of 10.10.3, including new Photos app

8 hours ago | Posted in: software, digital imaging, developer, Apple

A little over a week after the second developer beta of OS X 10.10.3, which includes the first public peek at the forthcoming Photos app, Apple has made a new version public for pre-registered beta testers. Build 14D87p is the first public beta of 10.10.3, and includes the Photos app for public testing for the first time (developers had been able to to use the application in the previous two betas). The public version appears to be identical to the second developer beta, numbered 14D87h.

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Daily Deals: Viewsonic monitor, 16MP Fujifilm camera, 6TB hard drive

8 hours ago | Posted in: peripherals, gadgets, upgrades/storage, accessories

Welcome to Daily Deals, the post where we scour online retailers to find discounts and offers on gadgets, hardware, games, and other items for you, the discerning MacNN and Electronista reader. Since it is the start of a new week, we have wiped the slate clean, with the new collection of deals including a Fujifilm 16MP compact camera, a 6TB Seagate desktop hard drive for $200, and a 24-inch Viewsonic monitor.

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Hands On: Sentinel 4 Dark Star (iOS)

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

Tower defense is hardly a new genre, especially on mobile platforms. For those unfamiliar with the idea behind tower defense, it generally follows a relatively simple formula: a player is given a base (or bases) to defend from oncoming waves of enemies. For every enemy that the player defeats, they are awarded some form of resource, usually money, which can then be used to buy more units to defend your base from larger waves of enemies. The genre is one of the more stressful and challenging ones, attracting tactical gamers and stress junkies alike. We checked out Sentinel 4: Dark Star, the fourth installation in Origin8's tower defense series.

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Cintiq bolsters drawing pad line with Cintiq 13HD touch model

9 hours ago | Posted in: gadgets, digital imaging

Earlier today, drawing tablet manufacturer Wacom announced the latest in its line of artists' peripherals, the Cintiq 13HD touch. The Cintiq 13HD touch is designed to offer a natural pen and touch experience. Wacom's pen display offers characteristic touch and pen capabilities, providing a digital workflow that emulates drawing or painting on paper or canvas.

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Briefly: Jackson promotion, shuttle drivers, supplier merger

9 hours ago | Posted in: industry, Apple

Apple CEO Tim Cook, in a reply to a London Apple Store worker who asked about increased accessibility in the company's latest projects, reportedly said that Apple Environmental Vice President Lisa Jackson has been tasked with helping Apple increase its focus on accessibility. "In every product we do, we want it to be accessible for everyone," Cook said, adding that the Apple Watch will gain some accessibility features over time in addition to the ones it has now.

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Apple, IBM reveal three more 'MobileFirst for iOS' enterprise apps

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

IBM and Apple have used their partnership to release three more iOS apps for enterprise, under the IBM MobileFirst for iOS initiative. The new apps, called Advisor Alerts, Passenger Care, and Dynamic Buy, will join the existing 11 apps already brought out under the partnership, with more enterprise-specific apps expected to launch in the coming years.

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Apple adds 'vehicles' to corporate documents in Swiss filing

10 hours ago | Posted in: industry, gadgets, software, developer, accessories, Apple

According to a Swiss enthusiast site, Apple has amended the corporate document filings it maintains with the government in that country to include "vehicles" among its activities. The statement, added to official documents that classify the company for tax and licensing purposes, is incredibly broad -- covering any sort of product for any sort of moving vehicle, from wheelchairs to airplanes -- but is notable in light of recent speculation that Apple is developing a car of some type.

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Hands On: Rapid Reader (iOS)

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

The human brain is an incredible organ. It's said that every human brain contains something comparable to 2.5 petrabytes (or about 2.5 million gigabytes) worth of "space" for knowledge and memories. That equals somewhere just over 300 million hours worth of video, which we find phenomenally impressive. What better way to start filling up that storage than with a little light reading? What if you could do a lot of light reading -- to the tune of 600 words a minute or more? That's why we checked out Rapid Reader by Wasdesign, an app that helps you speed read all of your favorite content on the Internet.

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MacNN Podcast Episode 4: Net Neutrality, Leonard Nimoy, Apple Watch

14 hours ago | Posted in: industry, gaming, Apple

The MacNN Podcast hits its fourth airing and touches on the hot button issues in the tech world! Join this week's hosts, MacNN Editor Charles Martin, alongside staff writer Michelle Elbert, and Managing Editor Mike Wuerthele as they discuss the events that got our attention, needed further discussion, or just plain tickled our fancy.

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Nikon bolsters DSLR line with new 24.2MP D7200

14 hours ago | Posted in: digital imaging

Nikon today expanded its DSLR range with the D7200. The new model, aimed at the enthusiast market, has a 24.2MP CMOS, boasting no optical low-pass filter. Due to improvements in hardware and software, the company claims 30 percent faster image processing with the new model over the now replaced D7100.

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Microsoft Universal Foldable Keyboard works on iOS, Windows, Android

15 hours ago | Posted in: peripherals

Microsoft has made a second version of its multi-platform keyboard, this time in a more-portable form. Unveiled at Mobile World Congress alongside new Lumia devices, the Universal Foldable Keyboard is a full QWERTY keyboard which can be paired with two iOS, Android, Windows Phone, or Windows devices, with the user able to switch between the two with a press of a button.

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BlackBerry shows full Experience Suite for Android, iOS, Windows

16 hours ago | Posted in: security, software, iPhone apps, iPad apps

BlackBerry today unveiled a package of software and services to bring the platform's security features to smartphone and tablets running iOS, Android, and Windows operating systems. Coming to all platforms are the BlackBerry Productivity Suite, BlackBerry Communication and Collaboration Suite, and the BlackBerry Security Suite. The Productivity Suite allows users to manage work and personal messages, and edit documents across all devices. Additionally, all personal and work messages can be monitored one place, including email, text messages, and social networking accounts.

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Hands On: A Druid's Duel (Cross Platform)

16 hours ago | Posted in: gaming, software

Digital board games are becoming more common these days, especially those that boast the chance for online multiplayer. We've tried out several for various platforms, from Magnifico for the iPad to Small World 2 for the PC, and we have enjoyed what they have brought to the digital table, so to speak. We sat down with A Druid's Duel by Thoughtshelter Games, a tactical tile-control based board game that has been released on Steam.

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Pointers: Pages 5.5.2, 2.5.2 (OS X, iOS)

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

You probably own Apple's Pages, and you may even have opened it. If you did, what you think depends on what you're used to: new users just dive right in and start typing, while we've heard Word users complain that it simply isn't powerful enough for them. This is an odd one: they are actually right, but not in the ways they expect. Pages does lack some of the very heavy-lifting word processor functions that Word has, but few people use those. What Word fans think is missing from Pages is the more general day-to-day features that in fact it has, and has very well.

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Weekly Game Replay: Telltale Super Show, free-to-play Fable Legends

Sun March 1, 2015 | Posted in: gaming, software

Every Sunday, MacNN and Electronista collect together a few notable items from earlier this week in the world of gaming. In this week's Weekly Game Replay, Telltale Games is working with Lionsgate to span between games and TV shows, Fable Legends becomes free-to-play, and ToeJam & Earl may be making a comeback.

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Hands On: OmniGraffle 6 (OS X, iOS)

Sun March 1, 2015 | Posted in: software, Graphics/Web Design, iPad apps

Admit it: whether you're in the market for a drawing application or not, you're reading this in part because you hope to find out what a graffle is, and why you might one to be omni. We can't help you with the word, but we can say that OmniGraffle 6 for Mac is a superb tool for creating presentation graphics, design wireframes, and really just anything that you can draw more easily than you can write.

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Samsung Pay electronic payment system deployed in Galaxy S6, S6 edge

Sun March 1, 2015 | Posted in: mobile phones

Today at its Mobile World Congress keynote, Samsung Electronics announced the latest in mobile payment services, Samsung Pay. Utilizing the company's purchase of LoopPay in February, Samsung's effort uses both Near Field Communication (NFC) and a new proprietary technology called Magnetic Secure Transmission (MST), allowing consumers to transition to secure mobile payments at nearly all merchant locations.

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Hands On: Reeder 2.5.3 (OS X, iOS)

Sun March 1, 2015 | Posted in: software, iPhone apps, iPad apps

Even when we praised the RSS newsreader Unread back in January, we said we personally lean toward using one of its main rivals, Reeder for Mac and for iOS. Software is a hugely personal thing and while Reeder has specific features we rate, we also just like using it. Now a minor new update to version 2.5.3 has fixed just about our only key criticism of Reeder so we want to enthuse at you about it.

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Ikea launching line of Qi based wireless charging home accessories

Sun March 1, 2015 | Posted in: gadgets, accessories

Global home furnishings retailer Ikea today announced a product launch of powered bedside tables, lamps, and desks that implement a wireless charging standard. Ikea has adopted the QI standard, and will sell cases in-store that use the standard for phones that do not have the technology integrated, like the iPhone and Samsung Galaxy S5.

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HTC partners with Under Armour for Grip fitness tracker

Sun March 1, 2015 | Posted in: gadgets, accessories

HTC revealed a third device at its Utopia in Progress event, alongside the One M9 and the Vive VR headset, a rumored fitness tracker which marks the company's first foray into wearable devices. The HTC Grip has been designed in partnership with sports clothing manufacturer Under Armour, with the tracker sending data to Under Armour Record for monitoring the wearer's progress.

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Huawei TalkBand B2 doubles as a Bluetooth earpiece

Sun March 1, 2015 | Posted in: gadgets, accessories, audio

Huawei has introduced a new fitness tracker, the TalkBand B2, that made its debut alongside the company's new smartwatch at Mobile World Congress. Serving as a successor to the TalkBand B1, the B2 edition again doubles as a fitness wristband and a Bluetooth earpiece.

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Huawei Watch pairs traditional design with Android Wear

Sun March 1, 2015 | Posted in: gadgets

Huawei has introduced its flagship Android Wear device, simply known as the Watch. The company has called on traditional timepiece designers to help with industrial design. The result resembles a typical wristwatch, until the display flips from a clock face to an app interface.

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