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Devs will not have access to NFC APIs this year, Apple says

1 hour ago | Posted in: iPhone, developer, networking, Apple

Third-party app developers won't be able to access the APIs for Apple's NFC chips this year, a company spokesperson says. That effectively limits the NFC support in the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus to Apple Pay. That may be a security measure on Apple's part, since opening up the APIs too early could make it easier for hackers to crack the payment technology.

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Olympus reveals silver OM-D E-M1, incoming firmware update

1 hour ago | Posted in: gadgets, digital imaging

Olympus has revealed two changes to the OM-D E-M1 it launched last year. The company is releasing a silver-colored version of the professional-grade camera, with a pre-installed firmware upgrade which adds a number of changes to the device's software, as well as enabling more functionality from within its companion smartphone app.

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Review: Autodesk Smoke 2015

2 hours ago | Posted in: software

The follow-up to Smoke 2013, Autodesk's Smoke 2015 aims to improve on the original video editing software. While it introduces a new Timeline FX workflow and integrated 3D tracker alongside other new features and performance upgrades, is it enough to make users switch to the latest edition? Read our review of Smoke 2015 to find out.

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Opinion: Battery life should dictate Apple Watch release strategy

3 hours ago | Posted in: gadgets, Apple

As an early adopter of all types of technology, I will be among the first to get my hands on an Apple Watch when it launches early next year. There is a lot that Apple looks to have nailed with it, including the typically elegant industrial design, advanced materials and system architecture combined with what looks to be the most evolved smartwatch OS by some margin. The multiple collections and easily swappable bands also make it highly customizable, greatly enhancing its overall appeal. However, the biggest question mark over it at this point is its battery life, which is a potential issue that could be addressed by Apple if it adopts a slightly different tact before launch.

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Free iTunes U2 album now up to 'record-breaking' 33 million in 'sales'

9 hours ago | Posted in: industry, audio, Apple

Less than a week after Apple added U2's new album Songs of Innocence to iTunes' users libraries as a free gift, Apple has revealed that the album has been downloaded, streamed or played in its entirety more than 33 million times, an average "sales" figure of 5.1 million copies per day. Apple did also provide a tool for users who didn't want the gift to remove it completely if they desired.

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Cook: Consumers 'are not our product,' pushes privacy policies

10 hours ago | Posted in: industry, security, Apple

During more of the interview for PBS' "Charlie Rose" show, Apple CEO Tim Cook addressed the thorny issue of user privacy, with Cook coming out strongly differentiating Apple from other companies, noting that Apple "tries not to collect data." Cook said he believes users "have a right to privacy," and used the issue to reiterate that Apple was not cooperating with US government spying programs.

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Epson debuts new PowerLite Home Cinema, Pro Cinema 3LCD projectors

12 hours ago | Posted in: digital imaging

Epson announced two new projectors at the CEDIA Expo 2014 last week, adding entries to the Home and Pro Cinema lines. Pro Cinema entries include the LS9600e and LS10000, both utilizing Epson's 3LCD reflective laser technology. Three entries are now available in the PowerLite Home Cinema line, with the 3600e, 3500 and 3000 covering a range of prices above $1,000.

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T-Mobile confirms it will upgrade 'Test Drive' iPhones to iOS 8

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

US carrier T-Mobile is still running its "Test Drive" promotion, which offers to send a no-obligation iPhone 5s and a week's worth of access to non-customers to help them evaluate if they want to switch networks. On Monday, the carrier acknowledged that it will be upgrading the "test drive" iPhones to iOS 8 beginning just days after its debut on September 17. The company also said it will eventually move to the iPhone 6 as its default model for the "test drive" promotion, pending sufficient availability.

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Sprint revamps prepaid program, now available in three data tiers

13 hours ago | Posted in: industry, mobile phones

Today, a new series of tiered offerings for prepaid cellular plans were announced by Sprint. Inspired by the changing needs of wireless consumers and the need to be competitive against AT&T and Verizon, Sprint is offering plans in a different way than was announce earlier in the year. Plans have been simplified to three different base plans, giving consumers the amount of data they need.

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Crowdfunding Critic: Mass Fidelity Core wireless speaker system

14 hours ago | Posted in: audio

Welcome to another edition of the Crowdfunding Critic, an article series where Electronista and MacNN staff look at some interesting projects being crowdfunded through sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo. While we believe these devices to be appealing or useful at some level, please note that the article isn't an endorsement of the project or campaign. With any crowdfunding campaign, there are inherent risks involved. As such, we ask our readers to research the items they may be contributing to since it's an investment. In this week's edition, we take a look at The Core wireless speaker system from Mass Fidelity.

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Apple joins data-security industry group ahead of Apple Pay debut

15 hours ago | Posted in: iPhone, industry, security, Apple

Apple is now a member of a non-profit trade association made up of mostly financial institutions, cellular carriers and software and hardware developers devoted to improving security in applications, transactions, data and cryptography. The group, GlobalPlatform says its objective is to "create a standardized infrastructure that accelerates the deployment" of secure software and data, "protecting them from physical or software attacks." Most of Apple's carrier and financial partners in Apple Pay are also members.

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Apple likely using six-core GPU in A8 SoC for iPhone 6, reports say

16 hours ago | Posted in: iPhone, Graphics/Web Design, Apple

An analysis of the claims of Apple and leaked benchmarks with regards to the graphics performance and technologies in the new A8 chip that powers the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus indicates that Apple has likely moved to a new PowerVR GPU. The most likely candidate is the six-core PowerVR Series6XT GX6650 made by Imagination. Apple is also likely using a revised version of the Cyclone architecture, first used in the A7, to manage graphics processing.

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Connnecticut AG asks Apple CEO Tim Cook to address Watch security

17 hours ago | Posted in: security, Apple

Connecticut's Attorney General, George Jepsen, has issued a letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook, asking the company to explain how the Apple Watch will collect and store data. Jepsen asks, for instance, "whether Apple will allow consumers to store personal and health information on Apple Watch itself and/or on its servers, and if so, how information will be safeguarded," and "if and how Apple will review application privacy policies to ensure that users' health information is safeguarded." Other concerns include consent, the specific types of data the watch and its apps will collect, and guideline enforcement.

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Not-yet-released iPhone 6, 6 Plus spotted in public in China, Vietnam

18 hours ago | Posted in: iPhone

Photos from websites in China and Vietnam show what are claimed to be completed iPhone 6 and 6 Plus units, even though the products are only officially shipping on Friday. In Vietnam, the devices are said to have been spotted in a Red River restaurant by an Associated Press reporter. To gauge their authenticity, the reporter tested apps like Messages and Siri. Chinese images of the phones stem from people on MacX's forums.

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Apple creates custom tool for removing U2 album from iTunes accounts

19 hours ago | Posted in: troubleshooting, Apple

Responding to complaints, Apple has created a special web tool for removing U2's Songs of Innocence album from an iTunes account. Users must sign in with an Apple ID, and the company cautions that once the album is removed, people must purchase it if they want it again. The record is still free until October 13th.

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Briefly: FotoMagico adds 4K, Algoriddim's Djay 2 update

19 hours ago | Posted in: software, digital imaging, iPhone apps, iPad apps

Boinx Software has announced the release of an update for its slideshow creation tool, FotoMagico. Now optimized for the production of 4K video, FotoMagico v4.5 can now better accommodate later versions of OS X, from Mountain Lion to the upcoming Yosemite. Users can quickly preview special scaling animations when using 4K clips, and overall software performance and stability is improved. Priced at $100, FotoMagico v4.5 is available as a free update for existing v4 users.

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Previous News

Apple seeds third public, eighth developer previews of OS Yosemite

19 hours ago | Posted in: troubleshooting, software, developer, Apple

Apple has released a third public beta of OS X Yosemite, as well as an eighth developer preview. Both are available through the Mac App Store; for the former people must be participants in the AppleSeed program, and for the latter users must be registered developers. So far, any changes beyond bugfixes have yet to be discovered.

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Stanford, Duke to start medical trials using Apple's HealthKit

21 hours ago | Posted in: iPod, industry, security, Apple

In the next few weeks, two major US hospitals -- linked with Stanford University and Duke University, respectively -- are embarking on medical trials using Apple's HealthKit platform, according to Reuters. Doctors at Stanford say they're working with Apple on tracking blood sugar for children with diabetes. Duke, meanwhile, is planning a pilot to track blood pressure, weight, and other statistics for patients with cancer or heart diseases.

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New iPhone 6 includes free iLife, iWork apps on 64GB, 128GB models

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

People picking up a 64 or 128GB iPhone 6/6 Plus later this week will find several of Apple's iLife and iWork apps pre-installed, a leaked internal Apple training document reveals. The company specifically lists iMovie, GarageBand, Keynote, Pages, Numbers, and iTunes U. "These apps are also available as a free download from the App Store for the 16GB models," Apple writes.

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Phones 4U goes into bankruptcy, cancels iPhone 6 preorders

23 hours ago | Posted in: iPhone, industry

UK retailer Phones 4U has gone into administration -- the UK equivalent of bankruptcy protection -- following a decision by network operator EE not to renew a contract ending in September 2015. The company now lacks any network partners, as earlier this month Vodafone said it would skip extending its own contract. All of Phones 4U's 550 stores are shut today, and will only reopen if and when administrators decide business can resume. The situation could endanger the jobs of some 5,596 workers.

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iOS apps: Carcassonne, PDF Expert, Duolingo

Mon September 15, 2014 | Posted in iOS apps

  • 212MB

    Carcassonne 3.43 ($10)

    Carcassonne is a digital version of the land building board game. All of the original artwork is included, along with support for both offline and online multiplayer. In v3.43 chat will now respect all iPhone keyboard sizes correctly. A number of stability and performance improvements are also included.

  • 72.6MB

    PDF Expert 5.1.4 ($10)

    PDF Expert allows users to store and read PDF files on an iPad. The app includes support for password protected, full text document search, navigation through embedded PDF bookmarks, and more. Version 5.1.4 introduces a new text writing parameters picker on the iPhone, as well as a new search UI in the iPhone PDF viewer. The image viewer has also undergone a few improvements, and searching by name in the file manager will now include folders in results.

  • 19.9MB

    Duolingo 4.0.7 (free)

    Duolingo is a free tool that can help users learn new languages. Lessons are currently included for 6 different languages, including Spanish, German, Portuguese, Italian, and English. New to v4.0.7 is a Dutch language course designed for English speakers.

  • 24.6MB

    Movies by Flixster 6.16 (free)

    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 theatre details and showtimes pages have been redesigned in this release, and various minor bugs have been addressed.

  • 16.3MB

    OmniFocus for iPhone 2.3 ($20)

    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. The v2.3 update resolves a problem the software faced when running on iOS 8, however was released prematurely. As a result the new release introduces several new problems for users running iOS 7.x, forcing the developers to recommend holding off on this update for the time being.

 

Apple drops most official cases for iPhone 5s

Mon September 15, 2014 | Posted in: iPhone, accessories, Apple

Apple has winnowed its official case selection for the iPhone 5s down to just a single black option, checks of the company's online store show. Previously there were was a collection of several leather cases in different colors. At the moment, Apple appears to be concentrating on production of leather and silicone cases for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.

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iPhone 6, 6 Plus preorders top 4 million in first 24 hours

Mon September 15, 2014 | Posted in: iPhone, Apple

Having only made ambiguous references on Friday, Apple has today officially announced that it achieved a "record" 4 million preorders for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus in the first 24 hours of availability. "Demand for the new iPhones exceeds the initial pre-order supply and while a significant amount will be delivered to customers beginning on Friday and throughout September, many iPhone pre-orders are scheduled to be delivered in October," the company continues.

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Hands On: Planetary Annihilation (OS X, Windows, Linux)

Mon September 15, 2014 | Posted in: gaming, software

In August 2012, a team from Uber Entertainment launched a kickStarter campaign, aiming to raise $900,000 to make a new real-time strategy game called Planetary Annihilation. After two years of work and raising over $2.2 million, as well as other funds via "early access," the game is finally released outside of beta, and gamers can finally try out what backers have been playing for some time during the game's development.

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Doximity: Doctors a prime market for fast iPhone 6 adoption

Mon September 15, 2014 | Posted in: education, iPhone, developer, Apple

Although it is not surprising to learn that Apple products such as the iPhone and iPad have an above-average adoption rate among medical professionals, new information from a networking site devoted to doctors has shed new insight on the relationship between Apple and the medical field. Doximity, described by Forbes as a "LinkedIn for doctors," reports that of its 300,000 member database, some 85 percent of doctors carry iPhones -- and they tend to upgrade to new models very quickly.

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Roundup: Games for iOS at PAX Prime 2014

Mon September 15, 2014 | Posted in: gaming, software, iPad apps

At this year's Penny Arcade Expo in Seattle, there was no shortage of iPad games on the show floor. From independent developers to more well-known names in publishing, there weren't enough genres of games to keep all levels of players engaged. Electronista was on hand to take a look at some of the games that are out now or coming to iOS in the future.

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Briefly: Q Card Case Wallet, NovaPack battery case for iPhone 6

Sun September 14, 2014 | Posted in: iPhone, accessories

Mobile accessories designer CM4 has announced the introduction of its Q Card Case for the iPhone 6. A one-piece design, the Q Card case protects the user's phone in addition to storing credit cards, cash and IDs. Its rubber-and-fabric composition aims to minimize overall bulk. The Q Card Case for iPhone 6 is now available to order for $40, with shipping beginning next week.

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