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Briefly: IBM welcomes Macs; GM adding CarPlay, Android Auto to Chevy

20 minutes ago | Posted in: iPhone, industry, enterprise, Apple

Only a few months into the program, The Apple and IBM enterprise alliance has already scored one major client, a company that could become the world's largest Mac-supporting business outside of Apple itself: IBM. Big Blue last week decided to practice what it preaches, and embrace the changes that have come about in corporate workplaces since the introduction of the "Bring Your Own Device" movement. A new memo announced that workers could opt for a MacBook Pro or Air when updating or getting a new workstation device.

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Daily Deals: GoPro Hero4 Black, Sony speaker dock, The Hobbit trilogy

1 hour ago | Posted in: computers, gaming, peripherals, gadgets, software, upgrades/storage, accessories, networking, audio

Welcome to Daily Deals, the post where the staff of MacNN and Electronista scour online retailers for bundles, offers, sales and discounts on hardware and software for you, the discerning reader. Just a new collection of deals today, plus still active ones from yesterday, with the new additions including a GoPro Hero4 Black action camera, a portable Bluetooth speaker dock with Lightning from Sony, and an exceptional Blu-Ray and DVD deal on The Hobbit trilogy.

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Hands On: Fantastical 2.3 (iOS, Apple Watch)

2 hours ago | Posted in: gadgets, software, iPhone apps, iPad apps

We were only just saying that Calendar is one of the few little disappointments on Apple Watch, and now Flexibits has released Fantastical 2.3 for iOS, which solves two of those little letdowns in one fell swoop. They're big enough that this is a reason to buy Fantastical, but if you get it for the Apple Watch, then you are also getting an excellent iPhone calendar.

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Apple grabs exclusive launch of Showtime app with no subscription

2 hours ago | Posted in: iPhone apps, Apple, iPad apps

Three months after HBO announced an Apple-exclusive trial for its HBO Now on-demand streaming app that did not require an existing cable or satellite subscription, CBS has announced that it will do the same for its own premium movie and original programming cable channel, Showtime. A new Showtime app for iOS and Apple TV will launch on July 12, and cost $11 per month following a 30-day free trial.

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Logitech MX Anywhere 2 Mouse uses same Darkfield sensor as MX Master

3 hours ago | Posted in: peripherals

Logitech is bringing some of the design principles of its MX Master Wireless Mouse to the mobile peripherals market with a compact peripheral for travelers. The MX Anywhere 2 mouse is a shrunken version of the MX Master that measures 2.4 inches wide, 4 inches long, and 1.35 inches high, and weighs just 3 ounces, making it an ideal mouse for mobile workers to pack alongside their notebook for more mouse accuracy than a trackpad.

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Review: Rapoo Bluetooth A600 NFC Speaker

3 hours ago | Posted in: gadgets, accessories, audio

For the most part, we enjoyed our experience with the smaller Rapoo A300, so we were interested in what would be different about the next model up in the line. The Rapoo A600 is about the mass of a good-sized potato, or of two A300s set side-by-side. We ran it through its paces, and while it performed admirably, we don't see -- or hear -- much in the way of a difference between it and the smaller version. Check out the full review here.

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Hands On: Cato's Hike 1.3 (iOS)

5 hours ago | Posted in: education, iPhone apps, iPad apps

Cato's Hike: A Programming and Logic Odyssey by Hesham Wahba is an iOS app for helping kids, and adults if they're so inclined, to learn about programming. The app utilizes an object-oriented language of "cards" and customizable maps to demonstrate the various principles. The app is very cute, and we liked the idea of the cards format for the programs. We think Cato's Hike is a good tool for a parent or teacher to guide a would-be programmer to a better understanding of how it's done.

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Apple's Cook addresses personal, tech privacy issues in speech

5 hours ago | Posted in: security, Apple

Even as the Republican-dominated US Senate passed a measure attempting to restore some -- but not all -- of the government's bulk data-collection powers (which expired on Monday), Apple CEO Tim Cook reiterated his role as America's leading corporate pro-privacy advocate by speaking via teleconferencing at an event hosted by the Electronic Privacy Information Center, where he was honored as one of America's "Champions of Freedom."

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MacNN Deals: Start up your startup with Swift courses, design bundles

6 hours ago | Posted in: software, developer, audio

Every day, alongside our regular Daily Deals post, we are showcasing some of the sales available on our own MacNN Deals page. Today, we're looking at a collection of items that could help you start up your own startup, with training packages for designing business assets and creating software accompanied by an important tool for keeping concentration high: earphones.

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Citing slight risk of fire, Apple recalls Beats Pill XL speakers

7 hours ago | Posted in: audio, Apple

Apple today announced a voluntary recall of Beats Pill XL speakers, including a refund for customers. Apple has determined that, in rare cases, the battery in the Beats Pill XL may overheat and pose a fire safety risk. The recall does not affect any other Beats or Apple products.

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Apple support document confirms Apple TV at core of HomeKit network

8 hours ago | Posted in: Apple

Confirming speculation, Apple has posted a support document for HomeKit which spells out that a third generation Apple TV can be used as a hub for a system. With an Apple TV as a central point, users can control HomeKit devices while away from the home network with an iOS device.

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Pointers: Summer Project -- E-publishing, part two

9 hours ago | Posted in: education, software

Don't look at us like that. Planning is exciting -- or at least, it is essential. If you're a writer, then the thing you want to do is write; and if you're a publisher, then the thing you want is for that writer to have written, please, so that you can get on with your work. Our job in this Summer Project is to create a real book -- paperback and ebook -- and do so in front of you with only one massive cheat. As explained in last week's introduction, the cheat is that this isn't just playing around with the tools, and this book wasn't conjured up for the series.

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Hands On: Colour Madness 1.6 (iOS)

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

Reflex-driven games require a special sort of gamer. You have to like stress. Not just like it, but relish it. Hair-trigger reflexes and the ability to make a split-second decision are two important qualities to posses when playing these type of games. If that sounds like the type of gamer you are, then we'd suggest you check out Colour Madness.

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Living With: Apple Watch

10 hours ago | Posted in: Apple

As I write this, it is one month to the day since my Apple Watch arrived -- and I only know that because I looked it up. It simultaneously feels like I have always had one and that it is still a new toy. Those two things can't both be true, but they are and really it just means I am firmly in that time when I just don't appreciate that I'm actually a lucky git for having one.

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Game Center outage hits some users throughout Tuesday

15 hours ago | Posted in: troubleshooting, Apple

Following a series of short but widespread iCloud and online storefront-related outages, Apple's Game Center has been down since early Tuesday afternoon (Pacific TIme), and as of late Tuesday has still not yet been resolved. According to the company's system status page, every area of Apple's online services saw some level of outage on Tuesday, with a morning disruption of Siri, Apple Pay, storefront, and iCloud services followed by a second disruption of the online stores in the early evening.

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Forums: Mavericks sharing preferences and more

Tue June 2, 2015 | Posted in: computers, troubleshooting, software, upgrades/storage, Apple

Late last week in the MacNN forums, Fresh-Faced Recruit "JB1000" had some questions about the sharing preferences in Mavericks, but has yet to find a solution. Today "andi*pandi" has been trying to figure out how to synch sms messages across iPhone and iPad, assuming that they would synch automatically after upgrading to 8.3.

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Previous News

Apple deals: iPods, iPads and iMacs

Tue June 2, 2015 | Posted in: iPod, computers, Apple, iPad

This week at Apple's online store, save on a selection of refurbished items from iPods to iMacs. A $30 price cut is offered on the refurbished 5th generation 16GB iPod touch, which has been reduced to $149 from $179. The 32GB 5th generation touch has been cut to $199, while the 64GB configuration has seen a $60 drop to $239.

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Apple Game Roundup: XCOM 2, App Store tweak, Heroes of the Storm [u]

Tue June 2, 2015 | Posted in: gaming, iPhone apps, Apple, iPad apps

[Update: Heroes of the Storm is out for OS X] 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 announcement of XCOM 2, a tweak to the way Apple displays content in the App Store, and the coming release of Raceline CC and Radical Rappelling.

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Apple updates Apple Events channel, adds NatGeo to Apple TV

Tue June 2, 2015 | Posted in: developer, Apple

Apple on Tuesday re-activated its Apple Events channel for Apple TV owners ahead of the just-confirmed live stream of the Worldwide Developer Conference keynote, scheduled for 10AM PT on Monday, June 8. In addition, the company added a new channels from National Geographic, combining content from both the NatGeo channel as well as the NatGeo Wild channel that includes full shows, documentaries, and more.

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Sonnet Allegro Pro USB 3.0 PCIe card debuts, one controller per port

Tue June 2, 2015 | Posted in: computers, upgrades/storage

Sonnet Technologies today announced the Allegro Pro USB 3.0 PCIe, a four-port, four-controller SuperSpeed USB 3.0 PCI Express 2.0 adapter card with charging capabilities. The Allegro card provides users a simple way to add four USB 3.0 ports, each providing full 5Gbps bandwidth, to Mac Pro and Windows computers with PCIe slots, and to Thunderbolt-to-PCI Express card expansion chassis.

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Daily Deals: Lego Fusion, JBL speaker dock, Pioneer AV receiver

Tue June 2, 2015 | Posted in: computers, gaming, peripherals, gadgets, upgrades/storage, accessories, networking, audio

Welcome to Daily Deals, the post where the staff of MacNN and Electronista scour online retailers for discounts, bundles, offers, and sales on hardware and software for you, the discerning reader. Just a new collection of deals today, plus still active ones from yesterday, with the new additions including surprisingly cheap Lego playsets with additional app-related play, a Lightning-equipped speaker dock, and a 4K-ready AV receiver from Pioneer.

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Netflix denies third-party advertising coming to streaming service

Tue June 2, 2015 | Posted in: industry

Netflix will not be bringing third-party advertising to its video-streaming service, the company has advised. Recent reports suggested that Netflix was testing putting in trailers for Netflix programming before and after shows being watched on the service, though the company has since spoken out denying it is considering bringing any revenue-generating advertising anytime soon, and it is just promoting its self-generated shows.

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HomeKit-compatible smart products now hitting marketplace

Tue June 2, 2015 | Posted in: industry, gadgets, accessories, networking, iPhone apps, Apple

First announced roughly a year ago, the first products taking advantage of Apple's HomeKit home-automation technology are, as expected, now hitting the market. Among the offerings soon to appear at retail are a "smartplug" electrical outlet adapter from iHome, air quality and energy-use sensors from Elgato, and a range of lighting kits to add HomeKit functionality from Lutron. Insteon, Ecobee, and General Electric have also made announcements.

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Briefly: iCloud issues, Apple Pay adds another 12 institutions [u]

Tue June 2, 2015 | Posted in: troubleshooting, developer, Apple

[Updated with new information] Although the system status page for Apple's services continues to report no issues, some users are experiencing issues with iCloud.com, the App Store and other aspects of the service. General syncing seems to be working, but developers are also reporting issues with CloudKit Dashboard. Some users, including MacNN staffers, have reported problems with app updates and iCloud mail accounts as well.

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SourceForge stops adding 'third-party offers' to software projects

Tue June 2, 2015 | Posted in: software, developer

SourceForge is changing its practices regarding adding third-party offers to the installer of seemingly-unmaintained software projects, following complaints from users and recent reports. The company is no longer adding the extra offers, which includes antivirus software and back-up services which generate SourceForge revenue, and will instead only add the extra items to projects that have chosen to include them in the installer.

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Hands On: Merchants of Kaidan (OS X, Windows)

Tue June 2, 2015 | Posted in: gaming, software

Centuries ago, picking up a special trinket or a necessary item wasn't as simple as driving down to the local big box store. Villages and towns in the Middle Ages often went without specialty goods, often settling for what was available in the local area if other items weren't readily available. However, traveling merchants filled a vital role in delivering products from far and wide, from the everyday to the extraordinary. While many of these road-worthy individuals likely enjoyed their treks across the land, the appeal to a life of wheeling and dealing was in the money to be made. For those curious about what the life of a carriage-bound trader might have been like so long ago, Forever Entertainment SA's Merchants of Kaidan offers a taste without an exorbitant investment.

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