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The MacNN Podcast, episode 16: Money (and Touch ID) changes everything

55 minutes ago | Posted in: iPhone, Investor, industry, gaming, gadgets, software, audio, mobile phones, Apple

Thanks to a combination of the Memorial Day weekend in the US (and bank holiday long weekend in the UK) along with continent-spanning long travel days for your MacNN editor, the process of putting the final touches on this week's episode of the growing-nicely and award-eligible MacNN Podcast was delayed by a couple of days, for which we apologize. As usual, we spent time on the weekend reviewing the top tech stories of the week, and bringing you our analysis.

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Hands On: Pixelmator for iPhone 2.0.1

55 minutes ago | Posted in: Graphics/Web Design, iPhone apps, iPad apps

Where was this yesterday? We were in our car –– properly and correctly in a car park, we would never edit photographs on the Interstate –– and needed to do a tiny bit of work on an image that we'd forgotten to do earlier. Sometimes it's very handy getting to hide behind the third person: we were daft forgetting to do that image, we were daft forgetting to bring our iPads. If this were just about 18 hours later, we could've used the new Pixelmator 2.0.1 on our iPhones.

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Hands On: Til Morning's Light 1.0.1 (iOS, Android)

1 hour ago | Posted in: gaming, iPhone apps, iPad apps

So, unlike our game from Amazon Game Studios (Lost Within), we didn't call Todd and ask him to keep us company as we played Til Morning's Light, but the story here is still pretty horrific. The game sits firmly in the classic survival horror genre of exploring a spooky old house, solving puzzles and occasionally being attacked by monsters. The puzzles aren't terribly difficult, although there's a very real danger of overlooking something important. We also enjoyed the production quality, and the quick-time combat system held our interest.

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Game Replay: Game UK Splatoon robbery, new Evolve arena mode

9 hours ago | Posted in: gaming

Welcome to the Game Replay, the twice-weekly look at the wider world of gaming by the staff of MacNN and Electronista. In today's edition, a robbery of a game retailer causes issues for Nintendo's UK Splatoon launch, a new arena mode has been added to Evolve, and the republishing of Iron Brigade by Double Fine.

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Pointers: Summer Project E-publishing -- part one, introduction

9 hours ago | Posted in: education, software

Self-publishing -- once known as the "vanity press" -- has been around for decades. If you had a burning desire to be a published author, but mysteriously the conventional literary "mafia" couldn't see the value in your heartbreaking work of staggering genius, you could pay to have books created for you in the hopes that this would lead to your "discovery." It rarely worked out that way (until 50 Shades of Gray took that path). With the advent of desktop publishing in the late 1980s and the emergence of e-books into the mainstream more recently, authors can now take much more control over their literary fate. In this new Summer Project, MacNN is going to show you what we mean, by putting out a book ourselves over the next eight weeks. Read on to find out more.

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Briefly: Roboto font now open source, Amazon ebook changes

15 hours ago | Posted in: software, iPhone apps

Roboto, the font used throughout Android, Chrome OS, and a number of other Google products has been made open source. Originally released under the Apache license as part of Android 4.0 in 2011, Google has now made it, and the toolchain used for its creation, into an open source project hosted on Github. Google has also added Latin, Cyrillic, and Greek characters found in Unicode 7.0, with the total number of glyphs increased from approximately 13,000 to more than 40,000 as part of the effort.

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OWC adds 8TB Ultrastar He8 hard drive to iMac upgrade stable

16 hours ago | Posted in: computers, upgrades/storage

Mac upgrade vendor OWC announced today that Apple iMac owners can now upgrade their iMac to 8.0TB of storage while maintaining correct system fan control with the OWC in-line digital thermal sensor. The new drive option extends the iMac upgrade path and provides increased storage capacity with 23 percent lower energy consumption.

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Daily Deals: Toshiba 65-inch HDTV, 1TB and 2TB external drives

17 hours ago | Posted in: computers, gaming, gadgets, software, digital imaging, upgrades/storage, accessories, networking, audio

Welcome to Daily Deals, the post where the staff of MacNN and Electronista scour online retailers for offers, sales, discounts, and bundles on hardware and software for you, the discerning reader. A mid-week recap of still-active deals follows, along with a new batch including two extremely cheap external hard drives, and a 65-inch HDTV.

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CBS CEO: Discussions with Apple over streaming an 'ongoing discussion'

18 hours ago | Posted in:

CBS CEO Les Moonves, speaking at the Code Conference, all but confirmed Apple's television service. Citing a meeting held with Apple media chairman Eddy Cue, the broadcast TV executive said that CBS would "probably" sign a deal with Cupertino, as they are "very excited about it" with the only sticking point being licensing fees.

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Hands On: Fusion 1.0.0 (iOS)

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

If you're a fan of photography, chances are you probably know what HDR photos are. If you're not, let us key you in. HDR stands for High Dynamic Range imaging, and it's been around for a while. It compiles three images, one over-exposed, one under-exposed, and one balance, to create images with bright, brilliant highlights and deep, rich shadows. iOS 8 brought about a burst mode to our favorite iOS devices, and we took a look at Fusion, a point-and-shoot camera app that allows you to take HDR images quickly and easily.

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Malicious Unicode Messages string responsible for iPhone crashing

Wed May 27, 2015 | Posted in: iPhone, security, troubleshooting, iPhone apps

A new iOS bug has manifested itself, allowing for malicious senders to remotely crash an iPhone. A very specific string of Arabic text can be used, which triggers a flaw in unicode handling, which will lock up Messages, induce phone restarts if locked, and can cause Springboard to crash.

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Crowdfunding Critic: Flare Audio headphones and earphones

Wed May 27, 2015 | Posted in: audio

Welcome to Crowdfunding Critic, an occasional post that arises every so often, whenever we find something on one of the many crowdfunding efforts that may be worth your time, and possibly your money. None of the projects featured in this series of posts pay us for the attention, as we select them based on if they are interesting to us and potentially you. This time we're looking at the Flare Audio lineup of premium headphones and earphones.

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Hands On: Edjing Pro 1.0.9 (iOS)

Wed May 27, 2015 | Posted in: audio, iPhone apps, iPad apps

DJs have been mixing their magic on turntables and large, expensive basement studio setups for decades at this point, bringing us incredible mashups and original songs. However, there's no reason that DJs should be chained to heavy, expensive equipment when a perfectly viable resource sits within their hands. Today we checked out Edjing Pro, a professional DJ mixing tool for the iPad and iPhone.

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Living with: Drafts 4 (iOS)

Wed May 27, 2015 | Posted in: iPhone apps, iPad apps

Woke up one morning -- dah da dah duh -- with an entire short play in my head. As you do. I would like to tell you that I picked up my iPad, opened Drafts 4 and wrote the whole thing in one go because that is what I should have done. Instead, as much of a fan of Drafts on iOS as I am, I tried writing it in Final Draft instead.

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Hands On: iKlip Grip

Tue May 26, 2015 | Posted in: iPhone, accessories, mobile phones

While IK Multimedia is perhaps better known for the audio software it creates, the past few years has seen the company growing more and more into the mobile accessory space. Products like the iRig, iRig Mic HD, and iLoud have given the company a reputation for creating products that are not only well built, but also easy to use. Most recently, the company has announced the launch of the iKlip Grip, a new multifunction product aimed towards mobile photographers.

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Apple replaces flawed discoveryd in new OS X 10.10.4 beta release

Tue May 26, 2015 | Posted in: networking, Apple

Apple has replaced the controversial discoveryd networking routine with the older mdnsresponder in the latest beta of OS X, released today. In our brief testing with the beta, we had all of our sporadic networking issues resolved on an afflicted MacBook Pro Retina i7 2012 model, as well as on a 2014 era Mac mini.

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Hands On: Kindo 1.0.1 (iOS)

Tue May 26, 2015 | Posted in: gaming, iPhone apps, iPad apps

Kindo by Space Bears is a two player board game where the players take over spaces in an attempt to capture the King of their opponent. The developers describe it as a "fresh new medieval board game", which sounds odd; it's a pretty good description. The style of the design is fairly simple and we could see it in the same category as Checkers, Go, or most of all Othello. The mechanics are certainly interesting, and it includes all the game modes one could ever want from a board game app. We're still not sure how we feel about the choices of colors in the various themes though.

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Apple Game Roundup: Telltale comes to GOG, Pac-Man turns 35, more

Tue May 26, 2015 | Posted in: iPhone, gaming, iPhone apps, Apple, iPad, iPad apps

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 Telltale Games collection coming to GOG, the 35th anniversary update to Pac-Man for iOS, the latest Overwatch character reveal, and Terra Battle's new update.

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Daily Deals: $150 500GB Samsung SSD, Acer monitor, GoPro bundle

Tue May 26, 2015 | Posted in: computers, gaming, gadgets, software, digital imaging, upgrades/storage, accessories, networking, audio

Welcome to Daily Deals, the weekday post where we search for discounts, offers, sales, and bundles on hardware, software, and gadgets for you, the discerning MacNN and Electronista reader. A recap of the still-active three-day weekend's deals follows after the new list, including a GoPro bundle, and an Acer monitor for $90.

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Hands On: Movie Pass 2.0.7 (iOS, Android)

Tue May 26, 2015 | Posted in: iPhone apps, iPad apps

MoviePass is a subscription service for people who go out to the movies often. The member uses an app to "check into" a movie at a nearby theater, and then uses a special card to pay for the ticket. The directions say the number of movies a member can see through MoviePass is "unlimited," but what they really mean by that is there aren't any blackout dates. In reality, there are a number of restrictions, but they're not onerous. For people who find themselves going out to the movies often, this has the potential of being a pretty good deal.

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Ex-GT Advanced AZ Apple facility suffers roof fire, cause unknown

Tue May 26, 2015 | Posted in: industry, Apple

The Apple facility in Mesa, AZ, formerly owned by GT Advanced had a roof fire earlier today, over a loading dock. The fire is currently contained, and for the moment, appears to have been limited to portions of the roof and solar installation only. Firefighters from three stations were drawn to fight the fire, which required the evacuation of 12 people from inside the facility.

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Hands On: Wraith Premium Wood Headphones

Tue May 26, 2015 | Posted in: accessories, audio

If there's one piece of tech we're fussy about, it's got to be our headphones. There's something so important about finding the perfect pair of headphones, ones that provide an excellent listening experience, are durable, and look great to boot. That's why we're excited to tell you about our experience with Wraith, a set of gorgeous wooden headphones by Symphonized.

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Hands On: Monodraw 1.0 (OS X)

Tue May 26, 2015 | Posted in: software, digital imaging, Graphics/Web Design

You're not going to need this often but let's work it out. What Monodraw 1.0 does it let you produce ASCII art – and already if you're blinking at that, you're not the market for this – like those images you've seen that are made up entirely of letters. They used to be done on typewriters because we knew no better, they were then done on computers because we were young. The makers of Monodraw want you to do ASCII art because it will last forever. They're right.

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Windows 10 mobile support increases, Cortana heading to iOS, Android

Tue May 26, 2015 | Posted in: software, iPhone apps

Microsoft will be making Windows 10 more useful to smartphone owners, by making it easier to set up their desktop and mobile device to connect together and share files. The added mobile support is also supported by a second announcement that the Cortana virtual assistant will be available to download and use on other platforms than Windows Phone, with both iOS and Android set to receive access in the future.

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Jony Ive promoted to Chief Design Officer at Apple

Tue May 26, 2015 | Posted in: industry, Apple

Jony Ive has received a promotion at Apple, from his position as Senior Vice President of Design to the newly-created Chief Design Officer. The move to the company's third C-level executive, alongside CFO Luca Maestri and CEO Tim Cook, will allow Ive to delegate his existing roles to other long-standing Apple employees while still exercising creative control, without the added work of administration and management.

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MacPaw releases DevMate OS X app development and distribution tool

Tue May 26, 2015 | Posted in: developer, iPhone apps, iPad apps

MacPaw has officially released a new platform for app development and distribution called DevMate. The new package is a two-fold platform that helps developers with app distribution, collection of data, and analysis. The SDK, DevMateKit, simplifies integrated activations, updates delivery, collects feedback, and collates crash reports. The Dashboard displays application data that gives developers a quick overview of how the app is performing in the App Store.

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