Black Friday is just one week away, and veteran shoppers are probably dreading the prospect of facing off against a deal-seeking mob shouting at each other over discounted electronics in the near future. Today's Friday Deals post, just as with previous Fridays and now every Monday until the end of the year, aims to provide you, the discerning MacNN and Electronista reader, early deals from retailers from the comfort of your home, without going near the intimidating (and likely plague-ridden) mass of shoppers. As usual, all prices are correct at the time of publication, but may not be valid at a later time. We're going to update this post many, many times over the next three days. Check back often!
Top Stories | AAPL Stock: 116.5 ( + 0.19 )
Evernote is a documentation tool that allows users to create notes that contain both audio and text. Web and application content can also be clipped directly into Evernote, and all notes are automatically synced across all of a user's devices. The update includes a new Work Chat feature that offers a new way to share and collaborate within Evernote. Users can share any of their notes or notebooks, as well as chat with individuals or groups they are working with.
Airmail is a mail client that has been designed to provide a simple experience to all users. With the app users can track multiple e-mail accounts, with support for all major e-mail services and the ability to quickly switch between accounts. Performance on OS X Yosemite has been improved with this release. Integration with Box has also been added, and numerous crashes and other small bugs have been fixed.
Firetask helps users organize and prioritize all of their daily tasks. Version 3.7 has been optimized for OS X Yosemite and now features a more modern design for the toolbar. In addition, the new version allows users to unarchive completed and cancelled projects and improves searching by always issuing prefix-queries.
iSale is an online auction manager that can help a user track items on eBay. The software includes tools for finding items on eBay, as well as for creating personal auction pages. The latest release resolves an issue with loading eBay categories.
CyberDuck is an open source FTP and SFTP (SSH Secure File Transfer) browser licensed under the GPL. The application features integration with external editors, as well as support for many Mac OS X system technologies such as Spotlight, Bonjour, the Keychain, and AppleScript. The v4.6 update now supports PAC files for proxy configuration, and offers improved performance when downloading and mirroring files. The software will also now remember the last selected directory per bookmark in the upload and save panel.
1 hour ago | Posted in: industry
Aereo has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, following the high-profile shutdown of the service via a ruling from a New York court. The cloud-based TV rebroadcasting and DVR service made the filing just under two weeks after it was forced to lay off a large number of employees at its Boston New York offices, with little chance of resurrection.
2 hours ago | Posted in: Apple
The iCloud edition of iWork has received a number of updates, primarily the addition of new languages. Pages is now usable in Arabic, Hebrew, French, German, Japanese, Brazilian Portuguese, and simplified Chinese; Arabic and Hebrew are bidirectional. Keynote and Numbers, meanwhile, have been translated into French, German, Spanish, Japanese, Brazilian Portuguese, and simplified Chinese.
3 hours ago | Posted in: software, iPhone apps, iPad apps
At this point, there's a good chance that most iPhone users are using their devices to quickly jot down notes and reminders on the fly. It's extremely convenient, especially since most people keep their phones on them nearly all the time. However, there are times when a user has so little time to take notes, that going through the process of unlocking their phone and digging for the app they need is simply too cumbersome. That's the exact problem that Neato, by Mohammad Khoman, is trying to remedy.
Two leading investment and analysis firms have joined with others in raising AAPL target prices recently, in part because the stock has already outperformed most expectations on its most recent bull run. Longtime Apple analyst Gene Munster from Piper Jaffray has raised his target from $120 to $135 on the strength of iPhone 6 demand, while Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty raised her view to $126 per share from the previous $115, which the stock has already surpassed. The two join a growing list of AAPL bulls.
10 hours ago | Posted in: iPhone apps, iPad apps
Are you a budding wordsmith? Then Thesaurus Rex is your new best friend! Thesauruses used to be big, clunky books, that were often found covered in dust at the back of any public or academic library reference section. But as more and more people write, these useful books have managed to find a way into the pockets of millions of people. One such entry is Thesaurus Rex by Dictionary.com, an app which promises to help users find the perfect word for any occasion.
Apple is trying a different tack in the struggle to keep Macs secure by encouraging users to either disable the Flash browser plug-in outright, or to keep up-to-date with the latest version, which routinely fixes serious security issues found in the multi-platform media player. The latest maneuver by the iPhone maker, which debuted today, is a direct pop-up prompt to update to the latest version when users visit a page that requires Flash Player. The dialogue box takes users directly to Adobe's own page for updating Flash.
The US online Apple Store has recently revised the wait time for an online-ordered iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus, just in time for the holiday buying season. The units are still very constrained, but are slowly catching up with demand, based on changes to ship times on Apple's website. The two higher-end iPhone 6 models now have a US ship time of seven to 10 days, while the 16GB model now has a five-to-seven day wait time. The larger iPhone 6 Plus has dropped to a seven-to-10 day shipping window for the 16GB model, but still has longer times on larger-capacity units.
13 hours ago | Posted in: audio
The way the popularity of content is measured may be seeing some changes in the coming weeks, both for audio and video. Billboard will start to include streaming and digital track sales as part of the Billboard 200 albums chart, while Nielsen is said to be preparing to track content watched through streaming services starting from next month.
15 hours ago | Posted in: troubleshooting, software, developer, Apple
Just days after issuing the OS X Yosemite 10.10.1 update that has reportedly fixed a raft of Wi-Fi and Mail issues (but not all of them), the company has seeded the first beta of 10.10.2 for developer. The new build, 14C68k, is now available through the Yosemite Software Update mechanism or Apple's developer portal. The release notes for the beta curiously do not mention any focus areas, but do warn testers of a known flaw in opening documents from iCloud Drive.
17 hours ago | Posted in: industry
Google's legal battle with the Rockstar Consortium over claims that the search company infringes upon seven patents with the Android operating system appears to be coming to an end. According to a filing submitted to the US District Court of the Eastern District of Texas on November 17, both parties have agreed to settle their dispute.
17 hours ago | Posted in: iPhone, accessories, iPad apps
Photo gallery and sharing app Carousel has received an update, now supporting iPad users. The Dropbox-made app provides a private way to share, store and organize image and video content, and instantly back up files to one's Dropbox account. In addition to now being iPad-compatible, the latest version of Carousel also supports integration with Instagram and Whatsapp. Free to download, Carousel requires iOS 7 or later.
18 hours ago | Posted in: industry
Uber is forming a privacy team by bringing onboard a number of experts, as it attempts to secure its customer's data. The hiring of a team, including former IBM Chief Privacy Officer Harriet Pearson, comes shortly after reports claimed one of the app-based cab company's executives had tracked a ride of a journalist without their permission.
19 hours ago | Posted in: digital imaging
Where other companies are shifting drawing focuses to tablets or digital-capture methods, Moleskine is trying to keep the drawing experience analog. However, instead of foregoing digital workflows entirely, the company is offering a new notebook and app that works with Adobe Creative Cloud to convert hand-drawn sketches into digital files.
19 hours ago | Posted in: industry, Graphics/Web Design
Google has launched a new service called Contributor, allowing people to pay to remove ads from participating websites. At the service's portal, visitors can pick which sites they want to contribute to, and whether to donate $1, $2, or $3 per month. Once a subscription is active, visiting those sites will display thank-you messages and/or pixel patterns in place of the ads.
21 hours ago | Posted in: gaming, iPhone apps, iPad apps
While more commonly known for its full-scale action-puzzler series Trine, Frozenbyte recently made its first foray into the mobile game space with the release of Splot ($2). A charming platformer designed to be played in short, sporadic bursts, Splot carries a fairly simple story, which is presented at the beginning as a short series of comic panels. Two groups of aliens -- the Splots and the Blobs -- are struck by an asteroid, and then marooned on a foreign planet populated by the Birdlings. The Blobs look to take advantage of this situation by making a quick lunch out of these little birds, while the Splots vow to protect the Birdlings.
21 hours ago | Posted in: industry
Corning has introduced the fourth generation of its hard-wearing glass, used by a large proportion of smartphone and mobile devices. Gorilla Glass 4 is said to be twice as resistant to damage compared to its competitors, and with initial shipments of the new glass already being sent to manufacturers, could make an appearance in new smartphones from early next year.
Another bank, America First Credit Union, has announced support for Apple Pay. Beginning today, customers will be able to register AFCU's Visa card, and use it to make mobile payments. Apple Pay requires an iPhone 6 or 6 Plus at retail; for app-based payments, people can also use an iPad Air 2 or an iPad mini 3. Early next year, the Apple Watch will become another retail option.
23 hours ago | Posted in: industry, digital imaging, Apple
Foxconn's display unit, Innolux, will be spending about NT$80 billion ($2.6 billion US) during the next two years on a new Taiwanese factory meant to supply an exclusive but unnamed client, says Innolux PR representative Sophia Cheng. The statement was in reference to comments made by Innolux President Wang Jyh-chau at a press conference earlier today. Although Cheng says she isn't aware if such a deal has been signed, the client is elsewhere believed to be Apple, one of Foxconn's biggest contracts and possibly one of the few that could justify such an expenditure or demand such secrecy.
The Basis Peak, a fitness tracker launched in September, will soon gain some extra smartwatch-style functionality. The tracker from the Intel-owned company will be able to show notifications from a connected smartphone on its monochrome display, while another change will let the wearable device pass heart rate data to other fitness-related mobile apps.
Thu November 20, 2014 | Posted in: Apple
Apple has moved into a new office in Lund, Sweden, property firm Vasakronan has confirmed. News agency Rapidus describes Apple's presence there as a "development unit" that moved in a few weeks ago. The office is said to have space for just 10 or so workers, but it may be significant thanks to the local firms Apple has acquired in the past few years.
Thu November 20, 2014 | Posted in iOS apps
OmniFocus is a task management tool that can help users stay organized. The software allows users to build to-do lists directly on their handheld and sync them with the OmniFocus desktop application. Version 2.4 includes a number of UI changes to bring the app more in line with the iPad version, as well as fixes for several problems related to iOS 8. Notifications have also been made interacting, allowing users to mark them as complete or snooze simply by swiping.
Minecraft Pocket Edition is a portable version of the popular survival game that gives players to create a range of tools and items with the proper materials. The latest release improves graphics, offers better performance, and resolves a number of known bugs. Gold mines have also been added to the Mesa biomes, and baby animals are now able to swim without sinking.
Halftone allows users to turn their photos into vintage-style comics that can easily be shared with friends and family. A bug that prevented users from accessing all of their photos within the app has been fixed with this update. Camera support when loading images into a panel has been added after being frequently requested, and some missing 3x Retina HD assets have been added.
Mint is a finance management app that can help users keep track of spending across all of their accounts. A number of tools for creating and tracking a budget are also included in the app, along with support for syncing data across multiple devices. Version 3.7 introduces a new Mint Updates View for the iPhone that provides a detailed view of the most recent financial changes. Information is organized into contextually sensitive cards that highlight things like fee alerts, recent transactions, and high spending alerts.
Movies provides users with reviews, trailers, and showtimes for all of the movies currently in theaters. Users can also find information on upcoming movies and titles recently released on DVD. The latest release offers better support for Netflix queue management.
Apple has added 10 new companies to the list of those providing it with data for iOS and OS X Maps, reports say. The parties are mentioned in a new email to businesses, asking about submitting bulk location information. The added firms include DAC Group, Location3 Media, Marquette Group, Placeable, PositionTech, SIM Partners, SinglePlatform, UBL, Yext, and Yodle. Apple asks for bulk content to be submitted to one of the entities on its partner list, rather than directly.
Cisco is said to be preparing to pay a $188 million pre-tax charge to settle a lawsuit brought against it by Rockstar, the Apple-led patent holding firm born out of the remains of Nortel Networks. The company recent mentioned a $188 million payout in an earnings call. The connection to the settlement can be made, as Cisco has asked the judge in the lawsuit to stay litigation because it has signed a "term sheet" with Rockstar.
Thu November 20, 2014 | Posted in: peripherals, iPhone apps, iPad apps
Brother has announced its new P-touch label maker this week, featuring a full-color LCD display. Designed for high-volume business use, the PT-D600 includes an easy-type keyboard with display that allows editing in real time. High-resolution barcodes and labels can be created with information stored in an Excel or Access database on the user's computer. Brother's label library includes ready-to-print business labels and pre-programmed with 14 fonts, 11 styles, 99 frames and over 600 symbols. The PT-D600 works with other 60 TZe tape cartridges in a variety of colors and sizes as well as specialty tapes. Up to 99 labels can be stored in internal memory for quick reprinting. Priced at $100, more information can be found through Brother's website.
Thu November 20, 2014 | Posted in: gadgets, accessories, mobile phones
Starbucks is expanding its wireless charging efforts, by adding more Duracell Powermat charges to 200 locations in the San Francisco Bay Area, ahead of plans to offer it across the United States and possibly in Europe and Asia by next year. For customers without a compatible wireless charging device, Duracell Powermat "Rings" will be available to borrow and return for each visit, or can be bought for $10 each.
Thu November 20, 2014 | Posted in: iPhone apps, iPad apps
As even casual students of the sciences have learned by now, it's apparent that there's a lot of differences between disparate measurement systems. Be it miles to kilometers, Fahrenheit to Kelvin, or cubic centimeters to gallons, there's a good chance there's going to be a conversion that can't be a done off the top of one's head. With the proliferation of the smart phone, there's no reason to not have a pocket converter at the ready. Unit Converter Infinity by Incpt.Mobis is a choice that stands out.
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