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Follow-up: Apple clarifies use of data in Spotlight searches

5 hours ago | Posted in: security, software, Apple

While it may sound like a report from the Department of the Obvious, the new version of Spotlight included in Yosemite includes searching beyond the local drive, and consequently gathers and sends to Apple some information on what users are searching for, their (city-level) location -- if Location Services is turned on -- and what Spotlight Suggestion was selected. That one needs to get certain data to perform a web search has apparently come as a surprise to some, and thus Apple has released a statement clarifying exactly what data is gathered, how it is used, and reminding users of how to turn it off if desired.

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Apple launches mini-site promoting Swift programming language

6 hours ago | Posted in: education, developer, Apple

Continuing its effort to promote its own streamlined object-oriented programming code Swift, Apple has followed up from its Swift blog with a full-blown mini-site on Apple.com. The new site takes a similar approach to Apple's dedicated mini-sites for education and business, highlighting some of the many apps now built using swift and featuring case studies, profiles and links to tutorials and free resources. The new promotional mini-site is in addition to the regular Swift developer site.

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Apple Pay to be used at both 2014 World Series stadiums

7 hours ago | Posted in: iPhone, developer, iPhone apps, Apple

Major League Baseball, which has taken the role of unabashed cheerleader for several of Apple's financial and retail technology initiatives including Passbook and iBeacons, has announced another embrace -- this time, Apple Pay. Both of the two MLB stadiums involved in this year's World Series will be accepting Apple Pay for concessions starting with the event, which begins on Tuesday. San Francisco's AT&T Park and Kansas City's Kauffman Stadium will both have the hardware on hand for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus users.

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Review: Plantronics Rig Surround 7.1 headset

8 hours ago | Posted in: gaming, audio

Trying to capture the true soundscape of video games can be a daunting task. Looking to surround-sound home theater options, users have to balance the price of speakers and a receiver with the space demands a setup would require. Due to this, gamers often turn to headphones to get the job done. Plantronics has released the Rig Surround headset as a way to fill the need for 7.1 surround sound experience without an expensive price tag or room full of speakers. But is the Rig headset something that consumers should look to, or would they be better off making room for the speakers? Find out in our review.

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CEO recaps growth report, praises employees in company memo

9 hours ago | Posted in: iPhone, computers, industry, Apple

As is his habit, Apple CEO Tim Cook on Monday released a company-wide memo to employees recapping much of the sales and growth data from the analyst conference call given earlier that afternoon. He referred to the expectation-beating results as "Apple's highest September quarter revenue ever, and our strongest growth rate in seven quarters," adding that this was made possible "by your hard work and dedication." He also noted the big jump in Mac sales, beating industry averages significantly.

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Giveaway: win one of five copies of Printworks

11 hours ago | Posted in: software, Graphics/Web Design

MacNN just finished its hands-on review of Belight Software's latest update to their page layout and design software title, Printworks. This software can be used for everything from creating business cards and calendars, to CD labels, postcards and more, and for a limited time it's priced at only $30 (normally $50). We have five copies to give away to our readers.

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Hands On: Printworks (OS X)

11 hours ago | Posted in: software, Graphics/Web Design, Apple

Standalone desktop publishing software fills a need for those who want to create a variety of printed projects, particularly if seeking a structured, template format. Launched earlier this year, Printworks for OS X is an all-purpose page-layout and desktop publishing app that offers templates for a wide variety of documents, as well as the option to design a document from scratch. A comprehensive app currently available for $30 (regularly priced at $50), Printworks' attention to detail throughout the creation process of a document is suitable for personal use or for small businesses who are seeking software specifically for this purpose. Is it worth the pricetag?

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Yosemite uploads location, search data to Apple via Spotlight

12 hours ago | Posted in: security

The Yosemite version of Spotlight is automatically uploading both location and search data to Apple whenever the tools is used, reports say. The information is mentioned in an official "About Spotlight & Privacy" document, but may be missed by the average person. "If you have Location Services on your device turned on, when you make a search query to Spotlight the location of your device at that time will be sent to Apple," one part of the document reads.

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Apple breaks all-time Mac sales record over summer

12 hours ago | Posted in: computers, industry, Apple

In what CEO Tim Cook called the "best ever" quarter for the Mac, Apple's Mac lineup overall jumped a remarkable 25 percent in a single quarter to 5.52 million units. Making the event more noteworthy is the fact that the growth was achieved prior to any notable refreshes. Instead, what appears to be driving the increase in Mac sales is volume in emerging markets, such as China - where Macs were up 54 percent year-over-year. Price cuts and great back-to-school sales also contributed to the jump.

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Briefly: Dropbox 3.5 for iOS, memory upgrades for new 27-inch iMacs

13 hours ago | Posted in: upgrades/storage, iPhone apps, Apple, iPad apps

Dropbox has released an update for its iOS app today, featuring new features for iOS 8 and support for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. The cloud storage service allows users to access and share their remotely stored files, including photos, documents and videos. Dropbox v3.5.0 features new support for TouchID, with fingerprint unlocking now available within the app. Also included is a fix for previewing RTF files on iOS 8, and general stability and performance improvements. Free to download, Dropbox for iOS requires iOS 7.0 or later.

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Apple Q4 breakdown details hits to iPad, iPod numbers

13 hours ago | Posted in: iPod, iPhone, Investor, computers, Apple, iPad

In the wake of its official announcement, Apple has posted a detailed breakdown (PDF) of its Q4 financial results. On a regional basis the company did well in most cases, for instance increasing Americans revenue 17 percent year-over-year to $16.247 billion, and European revenue 19 percent to $9.535 billion. "Greater" China -- including Hong Kong and Taiwan -- advanced 1 percent to $5.778 billion, and Japan was up 5 percent to $3.507 billion. Only the rest of the Asia Pacific region saw problems, with revenue dipping 3 percent to $1.923 billion. Global retail sales rose 15 percent to $5.133 billion.

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Apple pulls in $42.12 billion in Q4 revenues, driven by iPhone 6

14 hours ago | Posted in: iPhone, Investor, Apple, iPad

Apple pulled in $42.12 billion in revenues during its fourth fiscal quarter, which ended in September, according to an announcement. That figure surpasses the $37.47 billion the company posted in Q4 2013, as well as consensus expectations of $40 billion, and Apple's own guidance in the last quarter. Net profits rose year-over-year from $7.5 billion -- or $1.18 per diluted share -- to $8.5 billion and $1.42 per share. Gross margins increased from 37 to 38 percent.

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All iOS apps must support 64-bit code as of February, Apple says

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

As of February 1st, all new or updating iOS apps must not only be based on the iOS 8 SDK, but contain 64-bit code, Apple is informing developers. At the moment developers are still being allowed to submit 32-bit-only apps or universal binaries. The problem is that more recent iOS devices -- namely those based on 64-bit A7, A8, and A8X processors -- have to load extra resources into memory to handle 32-bit code, taking a toll on performance.

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Apple Store, other iOS apps update with support for Apple Pay

15 hours ago | Posted in: iPod, iPhone, iPhone apps, Apple, iPad, iPad apps

The official Apple Store app has been updated to v3.1, enabling support for online Apple Pay transactions. Shoppers can now also make NFC-based payments at the company's retail outlets, but this doesn't require an app update; in either scenario, users must have a compatible device running iOS 8.1, which was released earlier today. Online payments are supported by the iPhone 6/6 Plus, iPad Air 2, and iPad mini 3. Only the 6 and 6 Plus can be used at retail.

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Obama signs BuySecure executive order to hasten US EMV adoption

17 hours ago | Posted in: industry, security

Last week US President Barack Obama signed an executive order that will help consumers that a victims of identity theft, as well as speed up the adoption of the Europay, MasterCard, and Visa (EMV) chip standard for credit and debit cards. In the executive order signed by the president, parts of the federal government will be adopting EMV measures, as well as strengthening the public's ability to monitor financial health or seek help when necessary.

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Apple releases iOS 8.1 with Apple Pay, iCloud Photo Library, more

17 hours ago | Posted in: iPod, iPhone, troubleshooting, Apple, iPad

As planned, Apple has released iOS 8.1 to the public. The main addition is support for Apple Pay, but a number of other important features are present. These include beta support for iCloud Photo Library, and the return of the Camera Roll to the Photos app. SMS Relay enables SMS/MMS messaging via a nearby Mac or iPad, and people can now force a device to use 2G, 3G, or 4G for data, instead of it selecting networks automatically. A minor photo-related improvement generates alerts whenever there's too little storage to start a timelapse video.

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Previous News

Chinese government hijacking iCloud, Microsoft logins, reports say

18 hours ago | Posted in: security

China's state firewall is currently hijacking attempts to visit iCloud.com or Microsoft's login gateway, login.live.com, redirecting people to dummy websites, reports say. People visiting iCloud.com through Firefox or Chrome will see a warning page, but visitors with Qihoo -- the most popular browser in China -- are being forwarded directly to a dummy site with no obvious signs it isn't Apple's. It's believed that the Chinese government may be trying to harvest iCloud and Microsoft logins.

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Apple pushing for $5 monthly fees in move to relaunch Beats Music

19 hours ago | Posted in: industry, Apple

In preparation for relaunching Beats Music next year, Apple is currently pushing record labels to allow lowering monthly subscription fees from $10 to $5, sources say. The company's marketing pitch is allegedly that even Apple's best iTunes customers typically spend about $60 per year, or $5 per month. As such anyone switching from downloads to streaming would generate an equal amount of revenue, and more importantly the potential subscriber pool would increase thanks to more affordable fees.

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Apps: Screens, Arq, Coda

20 hours ago | Posted in apps

    10.3MB

    Screens 3.5.2 ($30)

    Screens is a screen sharing and VNC client that can be used to connect remotely to any Mac, Windows or Linux computer. Support is included for controlling a computer with gestures, while a scrollable shortcuts toolbar gives quick access to other functions. Version 5.3.2 includes a number of improvements, such as an updated interface, support for Adaptive Display, and the ability to send reich text and images from one Mac to another.

    20.5MB

    Arq 4.6.1 ($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. The latest release includes a "Remove Unreferenced Objects Now" menu item that causes Arq to immediately clean up any objects at the destination that aren't referenced by any backup records. A number of reported bugs have also been resolved.

    88.6MB

    Coda 2.5 ($100)

    Coda is a web development application that was designed to bring all the functions of web page creation into a single window. The software includes an integrated file browser, text editor, CSS editor, built-in terminal, and a preview window for checking the final product. In v2.5 Coda will now index the Local Root and autocomplete all of a user’s personal functions, classes, and variables. In addition, sites, keys and passwords can now be synced using Panic Sync, and a new plug-in manager lets users update their plug-ins via the Preferences.

    15.8MB

    Airfoil 4.8.10 ($25)

    Airfoil is a software utility that can send audio files to AirPort Express units and Apple TVs, as well as other Macs and PCs. The latest release fixes a problem that prevented Netflix videos from showing in the Airfoil Video Player on OS X Yosemite. A minor update to Instant On that fixes a few small issues is also included.

    4.1MB

    Tincta 2.5 (free)

    Tincta is a one-window text editor that offers syntax color profiles for over 80 languages, along with line numbering, block selection, and live searching. New to version 2.5 is the ability to make block comments simply by pressing the Command and Forward Slash keys together. Several crashes have also been addressed, along with a UI glitch that occurred after using the search.

 

Most early Apple Pay transactions likely to be in-app, Apple says

20 hours ago | Posted in: industry, Apple

The lion's share of early Apple Pay transactions will probably be in-app, rather than ones made at retail stores, admits Apple's senior VP of Internet Software and Services, Eddy Cue. Over the weekend Cue spoke with the Wall Street Journal about the service, which launches today. In fact many of Apple's merchant partners have yet to receive point-of-sale terminals compatible with Apple Pay, but the company is expecting them to upgrade within the next year.

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Benchmark estimate suggests decreased Mac mini multi-core performance

21 hours ago | Posted in: computers, Apple

The refreshed Mac mini may offer a significant dip in performance compared to earlier iterations, a report claims. A blog post from the Geekbench benchmark suite suggests that, though the new Haswell-based systems may have slightly higher single-core performance scores than the Ivy Bridge-based counterparts from late 2012, their multi-core performance will apparently suffer considerably.

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Spotify introduces multi-user discounts in Family subscriptions

23 hours ago | Posted in: audio, iPhone apps

Spotify is adding a new subscription option to its plan roster, one which covers multiple users. Spotify Family will provide access to the premium version of the music streaming service to up to five nominated users, with the group plan being discounted heavily compared to the single-user subscription, a payment option Rdio first introduced in June of last year.

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Microsoft smartwatch touted for launch within weeks, sale soon after

Mon October 20, 2014 | Posted in: gadgets

Microsoft could introduce its own wearable device in the next few weeks, a report claims. According to sources of Forbes, Microsoft's rumored smartwatch will attempt to beat its counterparts, such as the Samsung Gear range and the Moto 360, by offering a battery life said to last for more than two days from a single charge, something many current smartwatches struggle with.

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Weekly Game Replay: Final Fantasy XIV expansion, Halo 20GB download

Sun October 19, 2014 | Posted in: gaming

Every Sunday Electronista and MacNN report some of the important news from the gaming industry across the past week. During this week's edition, we look at Final Fantasy XIV's first expansion, the download requirements for Halo: The Master Chief Collection, NPD numbers for video game hardware sales, and console updates for the Xbox One and PlayStation 4.

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Briefly: Tumblr's native OS X app, Griffin launches new iPad cases

Sun October 19, 2014 | Posted in: software, accessories, Apple, iPad

Blogging social platform Tumblr has released a native OS X app. A microblogging service, Tumblr lets users share media ranging from text, photos, music, links, video and more. Tumbler's app for OS X features a full-screen viewing option, and additionally allows posting to Tumblr from anywhere on one's Mac that has a Share button in its window. Free to download, the new Tumblr app requires OS X 10.10.

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Crowdfunding Critic: Mad Genius motion controller

Sun October 19, 2014 | Posted in: gaming, gadgets

Electronista and MacNN's article series Crowdfunding Critic brings readers projects from sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo that the team believes are interesting or potentially useful. However, be aware that the articles aren't an endorsement of any given project. All crowdfunding campaigns come with risks, so we ask our readers to carefully research the items they are pledging to, as they are investments. In this edition, we take a look at the Mad Genius motion controller.

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MasterCard prepares credit card with fingerprint sensor for 2015

Sun October 19, 2014 | Posted in: industry, security

At a press event last week, MasterCard and Zwipe announced a new type of payment card dubbed the Zwipe MasterCard. Where the new card is different from the the standard credit or debit card is in the payment process, looking to biometrics to approve purchases. The Zwipe MasterCard uses authentication via fingerprint for MasterCard contactless payment terminals, while retaining Europay, MasterCard and Visa (EMV) chips on cards.

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