Everyone likes getting something for nothing, especially when there's no or relatively few catches. Freebie Friday is the post where the MacNN staff find stuff that you can get, and possibly make use of this weekend, without spending a single cent. F... more
[Update: outage resolved] Since at least 2:17 PM Pacific Time today, the iTunes and App Stores appear to be dysfunctional for at least some users. The problem appears to be most severe in the northeastern US and in England, but there are scattered reports from a number of other countries, though not all users are affected. For those that are, however, upgrades and purchases are not able to go through. This also is having an impact on Apple's streaming services and the ability of users to log into their iTunes accounts.
Editor's Note: as MacNN closes at the end of this month, we're showcasing our favorite pieces from its recent history. I'm William Gallagher, and I wrote this one about OmniPlan back in early 2015, so I should say first that the software detailed in it has been updated many, many times since then. I did like the software when I first reviewed it, and I like it even more now -- but the reason I picked this is that it was a deceptively hard piece to write.
This isn't going to sound like a compliment, but it is: we've practically nothing to say about this backup app. That would be because it does the job, though, and that not only can we quickly start using it, but we can quickly forget about it, too. Mac Backup Guru 6.0 is a way to make a complete copy ("clone") of your whole hard disk, a backup of important documents, and a regular copy of either. It does what it says it will, and where it's noteworthy is in how easily it does all this.
YouTube is stepping up its efforts to allow users to stream live over its service, with an upcoming update to its mobile app. Putting itself in direct competition with Facebook's own live-streaming service and the Twitter-owned Periscope, the Alphabet video site is slowly rolling out a change to its iOS app that will allow a small selection of users to broadcast video live to their subscribers, directly from their smartphone or tablet.
Editor's Note: As we wind down operations, the staff of MacNN is running some of their personal favorite stories, either moments we were especially proud of or -- as with this one -- stories that really stuck out in our minds. I'm MacNN writer William Gallagher, and I've chosen my colleague and pal Malcolm Owen's series about being a Windows user returning to the Mac. It's a fresh perspective on what, to me, is the very familiar Apple environment.
Honda has revealed that it will offer an upgrade for buyers of the brand-new 2017 Honda Accord, which debuts June 27, that supports both Apple's CarPlay and Google's Android Auto for those buyers who include the seven-inch Display Audio touchscreen in their options packages. Honda currently supports CarPlay in the 2016 Accord and Civic, and the 2017 Ridgeline, with the 2017 Civic Hatchback gaining the technology when it arrives this fall. The company did not say how much the 2017 Accord upgrade would cost.
Every day, we are showcasing some of the offers available from our MacNN Deals store. Today's selections are all things to help charge your devices, including a charger that works with international outlets, another that turns an Apple USB wall plug into a portable battery, a battery pack that can survive a wet weekend away, and one that can jumpstart your car.
The ability to download Netflix shows and movies for viewing at a later time may be arriving this year, according to a report. The chief operating officer of Penthera, a firm that helps with delivering video content to mobile devices, believes the major streaming service is going to reverse its long-held policy of not offering downloads to its users, and instead will be permitting offline viewing of content for certain shows.
I first started writing for MacNN and Electronista back in 2010, after seeing an ad in the banner of the site, looking to hire new writers. I was already gainfully employed in a good job, but I just love technology so much, and always had aspirations as a writer, that I thought I'd apply and see what happened. I was very fortunate to be chosen out of over a hundred applicants, and have thoroughly enjoyed the journey since then. For me, it has been nice to have a second income stream, but I've done this job because I've absolutely loved it, not because I've had to do it.
If you look through the Steam store, you'll find that there's quite a few games you can play on a Mac, though sometimes it could be worth looking in other directions for entertainment, such as consoles. If you've been interested in getting hold of one of the current-generation consoles, but was put off by the cost, you may want to take part in one of the last MacNN Deals giveaways, where one lucky winner will receive a special edition PlayStation 4 with Uncharted 4.
Yesterday, Apple released an update to increase the support for RAW images from more digital SLR cameras. The Digital Camera RAW Compatibility Update 6.20 now allows Mac desktops to display images for 13 more cameras that use the file format, typically used for images that are unprocessed and uncompressed by the camera itself, with the new support covering imaging devices from Canon, Olympus, Panasonic, and Sony.
Apple Music may soon become available to people living in South Korea, with a report claiming the music streaming service negotiated a deal with one of the organizations standing in the way of the service's launch. The Federation of Korean Music Performers, a music copyright association, claims it has entered into an agreement with Apple over royalty fees the company would need to pay in order to stream music in the country.
Apple on Thursday confirmed that it was no longer producing the only independent monitor it was still making, the 27-inch Thunderbolt Display. The $999 high-quality device was popular with graphic artists and other large-monitor enthusiasts in its heyday, and was designed to promote the then-new Thunderbolt port on 2011 and later MacBook Air and Pro models. The peripheral featured a 16:9, 2560x1440 display that was well-regarded in terms of out-of-the-box color fidelity, and included a built-in FaceTime HD (720p) camera, mic, speakers with subwoofer, a built-in MagSafe cable, and a design intended to complement the iMac and MacBook Pro lines.
Editor's Note: As we wind down operations, the staff of MacNN is running some of their personal favorite stories, either moments we were especially proud of or -- as with this one -- stories that really stuck out in our minds. Without question, this was one of them. Originally written in 2013, we have laughed about this one many times (only because we can't afford it), but fret not -- some more "night shift what th--?" type stories are yet to come. In the meantime, we give you one of the stories we're glad we didn't flush the press release on -- the Bluetooth Toilet. And yes -- it is still available.
Every day, we are showcasing some of the offers available from our MacNN Deals store. Today's highlighted items are all things to do with storage, including two online backup services to preserve the data on your iPhone or Mac, a way to expand the storage capacity of a MacBook Air, and a handy flash drive for transferring files off your iPad and onto your desktop.
BlackBerry is continuing to hemorrhage money, after its latest financial results show it endured a net loss of $670 million for the most recent quarter. Revenue for the Canadian smartphone producer is also poor, pulling in just $400 million over the three-month period ending in May, a year-on-year drop of 39 percent, with the balance sheet hammered by a list of adjustments and a hefty asset impairment charge pushing it into the red.
Subscribers of T-Mobile will soon be able to roam around Europe without worrying about overusing their data, the carrier has announced. Part of its Summer Unleashed promotion, T-Mobile is providing its customers free unlimited high-speed data throughout the summer if they cross the Atlantic for their vacation, while customers of other carriers are also being given a small connectivity treat if they are on a domestic flight this weekend.
Go get some of the best articles and tutorials we've ever done. Just make sure you go get them right now. For the MacNN e-books that are just a buck each for our most popular Pointers pieces won't be a buck, and won't be MacNN for much longer. For from the end of this month, MacNN.com is closing down.
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WhatsApp now handles over 100M calls daily
WhatsApp is celebrating that it is being used for over 100 million calls every day. In a brief notice, the Facebook-owned messaging platform advises the voice-calling feature it rolled out to its users last year now deals with an average of over 1,100 calls initiated per second. Earlier this year, it increased the security of its calls and other messages, by introducing end-to-end encryption on all platforms. http://bit.ly/292HqCX
Adele's '25' album now streaming
Recording artist Adele has "pulled a Kanye" after saying that her current album "25" would not be available for streaming. The seven-month-old record, which has yielded a number of hit singles, is now available for streaming on all the major streaming services, such as Apple Music and Spotify, as of today in most major markets, with worldwide distribution to come. Reportedly, the singer had demanded streaming be limited to paid subscribers -- a condition that has hurt some streamers with artists, who aren't paid royalties for free or trial listens . Apple pays performers its normal royalty rates during its free trial, avoiding the issue -- and having repeated success in both signing up exclusives and placing those exclusives into the top of the charts. http://ti.me/28U7NOu
SanDisk iXpand case has battery, storage
A new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s case from SanDisk appears to be the "holy grail" of accessories: a stylish and protective case that offers both extra storage as well as the option of extra battery power as well. The iXpand Memory case offers either 32GB, 64GB, or 128GB of additional storage incorporated into the case, and an optional add-on battery pack (sold separately) adds up to an extra day or more of charge. Through the associated iXpand app, camera photos and videos can be automatically stored on the extra storage, optionally password-protected, The cost for the case is (in order of storage capacity) $60, $100, and $130. The battery pack's release data has not yet been announced, but the add-on should retail for an additional $30. http://bit.ly/291epHu
Fifth Hong Kong store to open June 30
The 46th official Apple store in what the company calls the "Greater China" region will open at 10AM local time in Hong Kong's New Town Plaza in the Sha Tin district on Thursday, June 30, according to a new page on Apple's retail website. Despite slowing growth due to economic turmoil in China, the country is still Apple's fastest-growing market. The new story will be the fifth for Hong Kong, a lucrative market for Apple thanks to the high concentration of wealth there and a thriving "gray" market. Normal store hours for the new store will be 10AM to 10PM every day. http://apple.co/291diaT
Apple Music bug bites very short songs
There appears to be a reproducible bug in the current version of iTunes -- version 12.4.1, running on OS X 10.11.5, both the current non-beta versions of the respective software -- that causes a streamed song to become "stuck" in endless buffering if the streamed item just before this happened was 60 seconds or less in length. The problem appears to stem from code in iTunes that signals the next track to start downloading one minute before the currently-playing track is done, and thus songs shorter than one minute don't trigger the download. Locally-stored music is unaffected by the bug, and the problem does not appear to exist in either the macOS Sierra developer beta or versions of iTunes earlier than 12.4, and does not affect the iOS Music app at all. http://bit.ly/291cN0l
Walmart Pay expands to 15 states
Walmart, one of the key progenitors of the failed CurrentC mobile payment system that was distinguished from Apple Pay by its ability to collect and share customer financial and buying data among its participants, has expanded the soft rollout of its alternative solution "Walmart Pay" to an additional 15 US states following a pilot program in Arkansas and Texas last month. Walmart continues to resist adding Apple Pay. The system, built into the Walmart app for iOS and Android, works with a complicated system of the camera scanning a purchase code at the register, then generating a QR code which is then scanned by the register. The system is available now in Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, and Washington, DC. http://apple.co/28SqZfu
Amazon refreshes entry-level Kindle
Amazon has added a new Kindle to its ebook reader range, one that is thinner and lighter than the previous entry-level model. Offering a six-inch 167-dpi touchscreen display, a doubled 4GB of storage, and an option for a white casing, the new model also adds in the ability to export highlights and notes to an email account as a PDF. Two versions of the all-new Kindle are available, priced at $80 including "Special Offers" and $100 without. http://amzn.to/28Q4c3R