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OS X Yosemite public beta includes iTunes 12 beta access

2 hours ago | Posted in: software, Apple

Apple is pushing OS X Yosemite public beta users access to the new iTunes 12 beta. Developers were granted access to the iTunes 12 beta earlier in this week, and similarly OS X Yosemite public beta users will receive a notification via the Mac App Store software update function to install the optional update. iTunes 12 comes with a redesigned interface along with new features. Like the OS X Yosemite beta, the software is not finalized for release and may not alway work as expected, but gives Mac users an opportunity to provide Apple with feedback ahead of its official introduction.

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Briefly: Gmail for iOS update, EverWeb for Mac 1.5

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

Google has updated its Gmail for iOS (free) to allow users to leverage the company's Google Drive in two new ways: users can now save attachments in emails directly to Google Drive, and users can now access Google Drive directly from within the Gmail app to add attachments to outgoing messages. The update to version 3.14159 (yes, pi) also gives users more options with account management, such as deciding which of their Gmail account is seen without removing other accounts, and changing the Gmail profile pic.

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Review: Razer Taipan mouse

2 hours ago | Posted in: gaming, peripherals

The list of gaming devices is growing larger with each passing day. A large number of companies have entered the gaming input arena, already containing some well-known names in the industry. Many PC gamers know one such name, Razer, as the go-to company for mice and other controls. The Taipan is a mouse that Razer has offered since 2012, but gave it new flair with a white finish this May. Does the new finish give gamers a good reason to revisit the Taipan, or is it a dated approach to gaming? Find out in our review.

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Judge expresses concerns over Apple's e-book settlement deal

4 hours ago | Posted in: Apple

In an unsurprising move, US District Court Judge Denise Cote hinted that she may overrule a settlement worked out between Apple and the attorneys general of 33 states and territories along with consumer groups over e-book pricing, expressing "concern" that one of the terms of the deal allows Apple to pay little or nothing if they are ultimately found innocent on appeal. She also objected to another agreed-upon aspect that allowed Apple to pay no interest on the monetary damages while the appeal was in process.

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Potential 5.5-inch iPhone flex cables, SIM trays leak

6 hours ago | Posted in: iPhone, Apple

A new set of pictures from a Taiwanese enthusiast site could provide the first evidence of the existence of a 5.5-inch iPhone if legitimate. The images, showing flex cables for the volume-mute button as well as the wake-sleep control, also include an unknown longer flex cable previously unseen in an iPhone model, as well as a set of micro-SIM trays. All are said to be for a 5.5-inch iPhone which has been long-rumored, but to date little credible evidence exists for its production.

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FCC gets a chance to flex muscle on municipal broadband issue

6 hours ago | Posted in: industry

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) could soon have a chance to act on Chairman Tom Wheeler's promise to overturn state laws when it comes to municipal broadband networks. Today, the Electric Power Board of Chattanooga (EPB) filed a petition with the agency asking that they step over state law to allow them to expand access.

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Crowdfunding Critic: Pond wireless charging system

10 hours ago | Posted in: iPhone, peripherals, mobile phones

Historically, MacNN and Electronista have covered few, if any, in-progress crowd-sourced projects unless there was something unusual about them, like making 100x their goal. Starting this week, on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons we're going to look at crowd-funded projects that we find interesting. Keep in mind that we aren't specifically endorsing any projects, or telling you that there aren't any risks in funding a prospective project, we're just pointing out something we found that we like. Please do your research before investing! That all said, our inaugural crowd-sourced project this week comes to us from Kickstarter -- the Pond Wireless Charging device for iPhone 5/5s, Android and Windows.

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Network glitches hit iCloud Mail, iTunes, App Store services [u]

10 hours ago | Posted in: troubleshooting, Apple

[Updated with spreading service issues] Apple online services have been affected by a pair of problems on Thursday, the company's system status page indicates. Still ongoing is a glitch with iCloud Mail, resulting in "slower than normal response" for some users. Trouble appears to have begun shortly after 2PM Eastern.

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SampleTank 3 gets new interface, built-in MIDI engine

11 hours ago | Posted in: software, audio

IK Multimedia has started shipping SampleTank 3, an upgraded version of its "groove workstation" for Mac and Windows users. The main addition is a redesigned interface, newly streamlined into three pages: Play, Mix, and Edit. The first allows for performance, layering, and adjustments, while Mix handles effects and processing. Edit enables more in-depth sound control, including access to 10 filters.

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Review: Cambridge Audio DacMagic XS

13 hours ago | Posted in: computers, gadgets, audio

Every computer with a microphone or headphone port has one -- a digital to analog converter (DAC). There are nearly as many chipsets and DAC models as there are models of laptop, and as many opinions on the efficacy of various implementations. Cambridge Audio has a USB one to supplement its line -- the DacMagic XS. Does the little device do as it promises, and actually boost the listening quality of digitally encoded music? Read our review and see.

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OS X Yosemite public beta now available

14 hours ago | Posted in: software, Apple

As promised earlier this week, Apple has begun seeding the first public beta of OS X Yosemite. Access is limited to the first million people entered into the OS X Beta Program. That requires having both an Apple ID and a Mac running OS X Mavericks.

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Briefly: Oyster for web, mobile web browsers, IFTTT's Square channel

14 hours ago | Posted in: gadgets, iPhone apps, mobile phones, iPad apps

Oyster, an e-book subscription service, has announced its launch of new web and mobile web readers. The expansion marks its second new platform in the past month (with the first launch specifically for Android users in June). Pages in the web reader will scroll smoothly from top to bottom, with five reader themes to select from. Oyster is partnered with over 1,600 publishers, and offers access to a diverse library for $10 per month.

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Apple's iPad maintains global dominance, but loses further ground

15 hours ago | Posted in: industry, Apple, iPad

Although Apple's iPad is still the leading tablet globally, the company is continuing to lose marketshare, according to new IDC shipment data. Year-over-year, Apple's June-quarter tablet share fell from 33 to 26.9 percent, based on shipments of 13.3 million iPads this quarter versus 14.6 million in Q2 2013. The company's next closest competitor, Samsung, saw its share slip from 18.8 percent to 17.2.

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Wuxi, China Apple Store to open on August 2nd

17 hours ago | Posted in: Apple

Apple will open its next Chinese store in the city of Wuxi on August 2nd, at 10AM, according to an official listing. The outlet will be based at the Wuxi Hang Lung Plaza, and operate from 10AM to 10PM every day. Wuxi is on the east coast in the cluster of cities near Shanghai, which already has several Apple Stores.

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Google adds Explore location discovery to Google Maps mobile apps

17 hours ago | Posted in: software, iPhone apps

Google is adding a new option to the Google Maps app for Android and iOS, providing suggestions for nearby locations to visit when traveling. The new "Explore" button, appearing on the apps this week, will offer up a variety of restaurants and coffee shops in the immediate and surrounding area, as well as other potential activities for the user to try out.

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Swatch denies any involvement with Apple on iWatch tech

17 hours ago | Posted in: industry, gadgets, Apple

Swatch has quickly denied a report that it's working with Apple on iWatch-related projects, according to Reuters. A spokeswoman for the company claims that the report is unfounded, and that the only involvement Swatch has with phone makers is supplying various components, such as integrated circuits. Apple's iWatch is expected to ship in the fall.

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Apple seeds new betas of Safari 7.1 and 6.2 to developers

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

Apple is distributing new developer betas of Safari 7.1 for OS X Mavericks and Safari 6.2 for OS X Mountain Lion. In release notes for both, the company is asking developers to test AutoFill, extension compatibility, and "general website compatibility." The updates' main feature though will be WebGL, making it possible to run 3D content without third-party plugins.

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Apps: Little Snitch, Output Factory, Cyberduck

19 hours ago | Posted in apps

    23MB

    Little Snitch 3.3.4 ($35)

    Little Snitch is an internet traffic monitoring and management utility. The software informs a user when a program attempts to establish an outgoing internet connection and provides options for allowing or denying the connection. The latest release has removed a leftover Network Monitor logging message, as well as improved OpenVPN, AFP, and SMB support. In addition, the Network Monitor should now display the correct TCP connection state.

    7.5MB

    Output Factory 1.5.6 ($170)

    Output Factory automates the process of printing and exporting from Adobe InDesign. Users can export as single pages with variable file names, update modified links on the fly, preflight InDesign files before output, and more. In v1.5.6 the export to ePub Fixed Layout option is now supported by InDesign CC 2014.

    57.7MB

    Cyberduck 4.5 (free)

    CyberDuck is an open source FTP and SFTP (SSH Secure File Transfer) browser licensed under the GPL. The application features integration with external editors, as well as support for many Mac OS X system technologies such as Spotlight, Bonjour, the Keychain, and AppleScript. Version 4.5 now allows users to connect to Windows Azure Blob storage, and includes a new SSH//SFTP protocol implementation. In addition, the update now supports TLS mutual authentication with client certificate.

    8.1MB

    Together 3.2 ($40)

    Together is a tool for storing, previewing, editing and searching a variety of files. Most items can be dragged to Together's main window or Shelf for quick access. Version 3.2 lets users share iCloud libraries with the iOS versions of Together, and also makes a number of improvements to the tag browser, item list and Shelf. In addition, the software now automatically repairs libraries overwritten by Dropbox, preventing "File cannot be opened" errors.

    5.3MB

    Tweetbot for Mac 1.6.1 ($20)

    Tweetbot for Mac is a desktop Twitter client that offers support for multiple timelines, multiple windows and columns, Mountain Lion's Notification Center, and Retina displays. An issue with images being upscaled in the full-size image view has been resolved with this update, along with an issue related to Flickr image previews. Other problems related to OS X 10.7 and the editing list descriptions have also been fixed.

 

Briefly: Booq's Cobra pack, NatureArt 6.0 released

Thu July 24, 2014 | Posted in: accessories

Booq has announced the release of its newest laptop backpack offering this week: the Cobra pack. Comprised of a 1680 denier ballistic nylon exterior with a water-repellent coating, items within the pack are protected from weather conditions, and its quilted inner lining prevents damage during transport. The bag's main compartment features two open pockets and a slip pocket that offers easy access to something like a magazine or book while travelling. Its zippered mesh window pocket keeps passports, tickets and important items accessible, and its separate zippered padded laptop compartment can accommodate a 15- to 17-inch laptop. A second zippered back pocket can hold a tablet.

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Rumor: Apple working with Swatch, Timex, more for 'iWatches'

Wed July 23, 2014 | Posted in: peripherals, gadgets, Apple

Though Swatch is perhaps best-known these days for pooh-poohing the idea that Apple's forthcoming "iWatch" health device would "be a revolution," a new rumor from anonymous sources claims that the Swiss watchmaker may be among other watch firms working with Apple to bring the "iWatch" technologies to a wide range of co-branded devices for different markets. While such collaborations would be unusual for Apple normally, the company has been opening itself up to more partnerships lately.

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RBC follows others, raises AAPL to $110 by year's end

Wed July 23, 2014 | Posted in: iPhone, Investor, industry, Apple, iPad

Despite some disappointments in Apple's latest quarterly earnings report, analysts appear to be satisfied that the company's overall financial picture is in order, particularly on the strength of rising margins and strong developing market sales. The stock closed up $2.47 on Tuesday (an increase of 2.61 percent) to close at $97.19, not far from its 52-week high. On Tuesday, RBC Capital Markets raised its year-end target price to $110, joining Barclays and Morgan Stanley in predicting the company would hit an all-time high this year.

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Report: Apple could debut payments system, e-wallet with iPhone 6

Wed July 23, 2014 | Posted in: iPhone, enterprise, developer, Apple

A new report is claiming that Apple is accelerating its plans for a grand "digital wallet" mobile payments system, which could even be ready to debut in the same time frame as the expected "iPhone 6." The company is said to be in talks with Visa to create a partnership agreement that would allow consumers to pay for goods and services using only their iPhone, leveraging the "secure enclave" portion of the A7 chip and Touch ID to create what would be expected to be a seamless mobile payment system.

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Gameloft early access contest for Modern Combat 5 results in piracy

Wed July 23, 2014 | Posted in: gaming

It turns out that winning an early access to game isn't enough to satisfy every fan, as mobile developer Gameloft recently learned. In a contest that gave fans access to Modern Combat 5: Blackout before its expected July 24 release date, one of the lucky winners decided to crack the game and upload it for illegal distribution. Afterward, thousands of players turned up in the game before its release on Android, iOS and Windows 8 devices.

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Briefly: New Griffin iPad Air case, new apps for FiftyThree's Pencil

Wed July 23, 2014 | Posted in: gadgets, software, developer, accessories, Apple, iPad

Griffin Technology has announced the release of a new rugged case for use with iPad Air. The Survivor Slim aims to deliver protection for all conditions, featuring a shatter-resistant shell and silicone bumper for absorbing the shock of a drop. Its accompanying screen shield prevents scratches and smudges, and the flexible button covers deflect dust, dirt, and rain from entering vulnerable places on the tablet.

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Facebook hits $2.9 billion in second quarter revenues, up 61 percent

Wed July 23, 2014 | Posted in: Investor, industry

Facebook released its quarterly earnings for the second quarter of 2014, showing a large increase year-over-year. Revenues topped out at $2.9 billion, a staggering $1.1 billion, or 61 percent, increase from 2013. The revenue jump is due largely to advertising revenue and an increase in daily and monthly active users.

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AT&T misses revenue guidance, blames customer transition to AT&T Next

Wed July 23, 2014 | Posted in: Investor, industry

Communications giant AT&T has released its quarterly earnings report for its second quarter of the fiscal year. AT&T's consolidated revenues totaled $32.6 billion, up 1.6 percent versus the year-earlier period. Compared with results for the second quarter of 2013, operating expenses were $27.0 billion versus $26.0 billion; operating income was $5.6 billion versus $6.1 billion; and operating income margin was 17.2 percent versus 19.1 percent.

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FCC reminds broadband providers that they can't lie to customers

Wed July 23, 2014 | Posted in: industry

In a public notice to Internet service providers, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) reminded business that they cannot lie to consumers about the services they offer. The notice informs business and the general public that "every provider of broadband Internet access in the United States" is subject to the Open Internet Transparency Rule.

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