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Apple reverses course, decides to allow apps with calculator widgets

1 hour ago | Posted in: iPod, iPhone, developer, Apple, iPad

In another sudden turnaround, Apple has reversed a decision to block apps with calculator widgets from the App Store. An Apple spokesperson says that PCalc and other similar apps will be permitted in the store without changes. It's suggested that the company simply hadn't anticipated the possibility of widgets serving as calculators, hence reviewers being confused as to whether they can give the greenlight.

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Best Buy to offer gift cards with iPad Air, MacBook Air on Nov. 8th

2 hours ago | Posted in: computers, iPad

As a part of November 8th promotional event, the US branch of Best Buy will be giving away gift cards with purchases of an iPad Air or MacBook Air. Buyers of a first- or second-generation iPad Air will get a $50 card; card value jumps to $100 when buying a MacBook. Shoppers must go to "select" retail outlets to qualify.

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Hands On: WaterField Outback Slip Case for iPad Air 2

3 hours ago | Posted in: accessories, iPad

iPad cases are built not only to suit a wide range of uses but a wide range of incomes, and both of those factors come into play with one of WaterField's first products for the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3, the Outback Slip Case. On a functional level it's relatively straightforward: it's a cushioned sleeve that you slide an iPad into. WaterField makes four variants, split between the Air and the Mini, and whether you want one sized to accommodate a Smart Cover as well. We tested the Air 2/Smart Cover edition.

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Apps: OmniOutliner, MacFamilyTree, Tower

4 hours ago | Posted in apps

    38.2MB

    OmniOutliner 4.1.4 ($50)

    OmniOutliner is a tool for collecting, creating, and organizing information. In v4.1.4 all supported font weights in each font family should be usable when running under OS X Yosemite. In addition, a few minor corrections have also been made to the apps help files.

    284.7MB

    MacFamilyTree 7.3.1 ($50)

    MacFamilyTree is a genealogy program that can help users discover and visualize their family history. The software also features a number of built in reports and charts, and allows users share genealogical data using the GEDCOM standard. The latest release corrects a graphical glitch with display charts, along with a number of localization issues. Support for adding M4A audio files to a database has also been added.

    31.2MB

    Tower 2.1 ($59)

    Tower is a Git client for Mac OS X that allows users to access Git features without needing to remember all of the frameworks commands and parameters. Version 2.1 features an updated design and icon for OS X Yosemite. A number of issues, including both display and scrolling problems in the commit changeset view, have also been fixed with the update.

    171.3MB

    RapidWeaver 6.0.1 ($90)

    RapidWeaver is a web design tool that allows users to create web pages with little to no coding knowledge. The software automatically fills in XHTML and CSS coding based on a user's design. The latest release brings back the ability to right-click a page and publish only that page. A problem where the Save dialogue would default to the App Support folder has also been resolved, along with an issue that resulted in a crash when selecting or deleting a project resource.

    20.5MB

    Arq 4.7 ($40)

    Arq is a backup utility that will make incremental backups to an online storage account. The software keeps hourly backups for the past 24 hours, daily backups for the past month, and weekly backups for everything older than a month. Support for the new AWS Frankfurt region is featured in this release. A new button for deleting all Arq-created content from a Google Drive account has also been added.

 

Apple CEO Tim Cook comes out as gay in new essay

5 hours ago | Posted in: Apple

Apple CEO Tim Cook has come out as gay in a new essay written for Bloomberg Businessweek. Although the fact has been widely known for some time, Cook has never before stated it publicly. He says that he is "proud to be gay," but admits that it "wasn't an easy choice" to come out. "Privacy remains important to me, and I'd like to hold on to a small amount of it," the essay reads later on. "I've made Apple my life's work, and I will continue to spend virtually all of my waking time focused on being the best CEO I can be. That's what our employees deserve - and our customers, developers, shareholders, and supplier partners deserve it, too. Part of social progress is understanding that a person is not defined only by one's sexuality, race, or gender. I'm an engineer, an uncle, a nature lover, a fitness nut, a son of the South, a sports fanatic, and many other things. I hope that people will respect my desire to focus on the things I'm best suited for and the work that brings me joy."

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Hands On: Pandemic 2.5 (iOS)

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

How many games actually allow a player to play as something truly terrible? Sure, there are a lot of games that let players choose the "wrong" choice, but where are the games that let you wreak total havoc? Pandemic 2.5, the successor to the popular flash game Pandemic 2, will. This devious little gem allows players to create a custom disease from the ground up, which serves to help them eradicate the human race. The game manages to be part resource management, part chance, and part outwit-the-AI, and can be profoundly frustrating.

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Apple, Samsung still tops in smartphone market, but Xiaomi rising fast

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

A new report from IDC again places Apple and Samsung at the top of the heap for smartphone manufacturers as it has for years now -- but there is nonetheless notable change in the air. Samsung saw a significant drop in shipments for its smartphones, dropping 8.5 percent from the year-ago quarter. Apple, in second place, saw a 16.1 percent increase in shipments. Though Samsung was dominant with 78.1 million units shipped, a new challenger from China is beating the Korean company on its home turf of low-end smartphones.

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Microsoft Band fitness tracker leaks through companion apps

16 hours ago | Posted in: gadgets

Microsoft's rumored wearable device has appeared earlier than expected, leaked within a companion app on the Mac App Store. The Microsoft Band is, as rumored, a device with a thin display similar to the Samsung Gear Fit, with the accompanying app screenshots showing it will apparently be capable of a similar level of monitoring of the user's actions as other fitness trackers.

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Hands On: PicTrove 2 Pro (iOS)

17 hours ago | Posted in: digital imaging, iPhone apps, iPad apps

PicTrove 2 Pro is an app that has taken the time-intensive act of image-searching on the web and streamlined it. Users are able to search multiple websites, including Google, Bing, Flickr, Pinterest, and more all at once, and compare them side-by-side. Tapping and swiping through allows a user to browse images one at a time from a specific search site. There is also the ability to refine searches per site, allowing a user to specify whether they would like photographs or clipart, or decide on the size or quality of the image. Even animated GIFs are fully supported within PicTrove 2 Pro.

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GT Advanced CEO tells court Apple contracts were 'unsustainable'

18 hours ago | Posted in: industry, Apple

Daniel Squiller, the COO of GT Advanced Technologies who was among those slowly selling off his holdings in company over the course of 2014, has told the bankruptcy court that the company lost $461 million before it finally filed for bankruptcy, which he characterized as a last-resort measure to get out of "unsustainable" contracts with Apple. Squiller painted a picture that claimed that GT Advanced assumed all the risk in their joint venture, while Apple took none.

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CurrentC CEO, COO field questions about data breach, Apple Pay block

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

CurrentC governing company Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX) held a conference call a bit earlier today. The company's lead executives took turns defending the company against some claims related to fines for merchants abandoning CurrentC, and also tried to explain away the email data breach it had suffered.

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Logitech debuts new Type+, Ultrathin, Keys-To-Go keyboards for iPads

22 hours ago | Posted in: peripherals, accessories, iPad

Logitech has announced a trio of new iPad keyboard accessories, beginning with updates of its Type+ and Ultrathin cases for the iPad Air 2. The Type+ is a thin folio design, with features such as automatic wake/sleep magnets for both an iPad and the keyboard itself. It costs $100, and comes in black, blue, green, or purple, with extra "synthetic" versions of the first two colors.

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Calculator widgets for iOS 8 suddenly blocked from App Store

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

Apple has forced the developer of PCalc, James Thomson, to remove an iOS 8 Notification Center widget that let people do calculations without opening the app. The decision is an apparently sudden reversal, given that the app was previously approved with the widget intact. PCalc has been featured in several sections of the App Store, such as "Great Apps and Games for iOS 8," and even "Extend Your Apps," which focuses on software with unusual widgets.

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Apple in talks to bring iPhone to Iran

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

Apple is talking to Iranian distributors about the possibility of selling the iPhone in the country, sources tell the Wall Street Journal. Senior Apple executives have reportedly met with the distributors at the former party's London headquarters. If the iPhone does become available in Iran, it will be through premium resellers, rather than Apple itself, which has no direct footprint to speak of. "Over a dozen" Apple employees -- including technical and marketing staff -- have been involved in the recent efforts, the Journal adds.

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Hands On: PluralEyes 3.5 (OS X, Windows)

23 hours ago | Posted in: software, digital imaging, audio

DSLR shooters often have a troublesome workflow when trying to put together videos recorded with the dual-purpose cameras. While many consumers might look to a dedicated camcorder to produce a short film or conduct an interview, DSLR cameras provide the necessary technology needing only an external audio recorder to do the job. But how do users bring video and audio together? In the past, filmmakers entered into a time consuming process to match peaks in waveforms. However, that is no longer needed as Red Giant offers a supremely better solution with PluralEyes 3.5.

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T-Mobile opens up iPad Air 2, iPad mini 3 orders

Wed October 29, 2014 | Posted in: iPad

Following up on earlier promises, the US branch of T-Mobile has officially launched the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 at its online and retail stores. People shopping online, at least, are being told that the 128GB Air 2 is currently unavailable, despite it being ready at Apple and other third-party vendors. Apple does typically produce fewer quantities of its highest-end models.

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CurrentC payment system customer emails stolen

Wed October 29, 2014 | Posted in: security, iPhone apps, mobile phones

Contactless payment platform CurrentC has fallen victim to user information theft. Merchants Consumer Exchange (MCX), The company behind the mobile payment system is informing beta users of the service that "that unauthorized third parties obtained the e-mail addresses of some of you." The company claims no other data has been stolen, but the theft calls into question the data security of the not fully operational payment system.

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Briefly: Xtreem's Atom RC Drone; new Cooler Master mouse, keyboard

Wed October 29, 2014 | Posted in: peripherals, gadgets

Xtreem, a range of remote controlled toys designed by Swann, has announced the release of its new Atom RC Mini Drone. Focused on precise maneuverability, the drone uses an infrared signal to communicate with its joystick remote control, which offers eight-way multi-dimensional movement, and heights of up to 100 feet in the air. The helicopter's Li-poly battery provides up to four minutes of continuous flight time, and can be recharged via its remote control or by plugging it into a USB port. Priced at $40, the Atom Mini RC Drone is available at Fry's.

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Hands On: ColorSnapper (OS X)

Wed October 29, 2014 | Posted in: software, Graphics/Web Design, Apple

Visually creative professionals have long been in favor of using OS X to get their job done, in part because of simple, included utilities, like DigitalColor Meter. This utility allows users to magnify screen contents and copy the RGB pixel components, suited for those who seek a specific hue for their own design project - web, graphic or otherwise. This included tool is great, but for those who seek a more integrative alternative, we decided to check out ColorSnapper, priced at $5, to see if more features made a better pixel color picker.

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CurrentC partners banned from supporting Apple Pay, other rivals [u]

Wed October 29, 2014 | Posted in: iPhone, industry, security

(Updated with news of CurrentC hack) Retailers partnering with MCX on the upcoming CurrentC mobile payment system are contractually obligated to use CurrentC exclusively, according to the New York Times. Several of the retailers say that if they break their contracts, there are steep fines in place. This will block several popular payment platforms, namely Apple Pay, Softcard, and Google Wallet.

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Verizon testing FiOS bundles with year of Netflix in NYC area

Wed October 29, 2014 | Posted in: Investor, industry, networking

Surprisingly given the public animosity between the two companies, Verizon has begun offering a year of video streaming service Netflix to some of its new customers. Customers who sign up for FiOS Internet and television bundles in the immediate vicinity of New York City are being offered the deal. Packages including a year of Netflix start at $80 a month and include a free year of Netflix.

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iOS apps: Camera+, Tweetbot, Dropbox

Wed October 29, 2014 | Posted in iOS apps

  • 56.3MB

    Camera+ 6.1.1 ($3)

    Camera+ builds on the default camera app by adding extra shooting features, editing options, and photo filters. Within the app users can set the exposure separately from the focus, as well as use a horizon level to eliminate crooked shots. Version 6.1.1 is an emergency bug fix release that addresses a few big bugs that were introduced in the previous update.

  • 7.2MB

    Tweetbot for Twitter 3.5.1 ($5)

    Tweetbot is a Twitter client that includes multiple timelines, smart gestures, and support for a number of other social services such as Instapaper and CloudApp. Timeline position, direct message read statuses and mute filters are also synced automatically between the iPhone and iPad via iCloud. The v3.5.1 update resolves several known issues.

  • 53.7MB

    Dropbox 3.5.1 (free)

    Dropbox provides users with access to all of the files that have been stored in their cloud-storage account. Furthermore, users can select favorite files that can be viewed even when no internet connection is available. An issue on iOS 8 that prevented slow-mo videos from being backed up has been fixed with this release. Various other common crashes have also been addressed.

  • 13.4MB

    Plex 3.5.2 ($5)

    Plex can be used to stream music, videos, and photos from any home computer running the Plex Media Server. The latest release offers improved compatibility with iOS 8, as well as support for the full resolution of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. Chromecast support has also been updated, and several minor bugs have been fixed.

  • 20.9MB

    Path 4.0.4 (free)

    Path is a social network where users can share various aspects of their day-to-day life. Support is included for capturing thoughts, photos, videos, places, music, movies, books, and even sleep. Version 4.0.4 has been fully updated for iOS 8 and will now run in native resolution on both the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.

 

Apple spreads iAd to 70 more countries around the globe

Wed October 29, 2014 | Posted in: developer, Apple

The iAd network is now available in another 70 countries, bringing the total up to 95, according to an Apple announcement to developers. The company hasn't identified which regions are new except for Australia, but says the remainder are spread across the Americas, Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. The change should increase the potential reach of existing iAd campaigns and enable new ones.

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Hands On: Dragonbox Algebra 12+ (iOS)

Wed October 29, 2014 | Posted in: education, iPhone apps, iPad apps

Educational Apps aren't in short supply, and most parents with iPads, iPods, and iPhones likely have the devices filled filled to the brim with the latest and greatest miracle apps that promise to teach their children all sorts of things. However, to stumble across an app that is truly engaging and capable of teaching children skills that directly translate into the classroom is somewhat of a rarity. That being said, DragonBox Algebra 12+ by WeWantToKnow delivers an app that is fun to play while simultaneously teaching children the core rules of Algebra.

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LG shipping 31-inch Digital Cinema 4K Monitor to US this week

Wed October 29, 2014 | Posted in: peripherals, digital imaging

LG has introduced another high-resolution monitor to its computer display range, one which is able to display a higher-than-Ultra HD image. The Digital Cinema 4K monitor offers a resolution of 4096x2160, higher than the 3840x2160 resolution of a standard 4K television or display, all packed into a screen measuring 31 inches diagonally.

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Hands On: Terminology 3 for iOS

Wed October 29, 2014 | Posted in: iPhone apps, iPad apps

Pocket dictionaries are actually pretty useful, when you think about it. Sometimes you run across a word in conversation or in an article that you don't recognize, and being able to define it on the fly makes your life much easier. Maybe you're a writer and suffer from same-word-syndrome, where you repeatedly use the same descriptor over and over. A pocket dictionary can help break the cycle by suggesting synonyms. Enter Terminology 3, a dictionary app that offers more than the standard definition function in iOS. The program includes a full, completely-offline US English dictionary, thesaurus and word reference that allows you to find definitions, synonyms, and antonyms whenever the need strikes.

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Apple reveals that iOS 8 has topped 50 percent adoption

Tue October 28, 2014 | Posted in: iPhone, software, developer, Apple, iPad

As of October 27, iOS 8 was installed on 52 percent of eligible devices, Apple has announced in a posting on its developer website. While far slower than the take-up rate of iOS 7 last year, the milestone was achieved in a little less than six weeks' time -- still far faster than comparative figures for other mobile and desktop platforms. Early delivery and quality glitches in iOS 8 -- most notoriously the short-lived 8.0.1 bugfix release -- may have made the public more gun-shy about trusting later updates.

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Mojang's digital card game Scrolls releasing by the end of November

Tue October 28, 2014 | Posted in: gaming

Minecraft developer Mojang announced in an interview that its next game Scrolls is looking at a November release. The card-based tactics game, best known for its legal spat with Bethesda Softworks over the Scrolls trademark, moved into beta in June 2013 before it was announced that the title would be expanded beyond OS X and Windows.

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