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Hands On: Vox 2.5.1 (OS X, iOS)

3 minutes ago | Posted in: software, iPad apps

This is the most beautiful, even mesmerising app and where you always want to shout loudly about great software, we wanted to stand on desks and bellow that Vox 2.5.1 is a gorgeous music player and service. Unfortunately, we more stood by desks arguing over it. It was 50/50 between one side of MacNN saying it is stunning with some problems and the other half saying those problems were just too much. Both sides are right: we long to recommend this to you but if we do, we have to prepare you for frustrations.

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Taking Apple Music for a drive: the non-techie point of view

30 minutes ago | Posted in: iPhone apps, Apple, iPad apps

We're a completely Mac and iOS household but it's my husband William who is the techie one. Look left a bit and there's me. Hello. I just want to use the stuff without understanding the innards. So MacNN asked me for a non-geek review of Apple Music.

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Analyst: iMac refresh due in third quarter with KSF-based screens

40 minutes ago | Posted in: industry, Apple

Apple will be refreshing its iMac range with a selection of new processors and better displays sometime in the third quarter, among other predictions from an analyst at KGI Securities. Ming-Chi Kuo suggests the new panels will use an LED phosphor material called KSF, said to provide a significant boost to color saturation and picture quality of the display, though there appear to be some issues with some of what the analyst suggests.

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AT&T, DirecTV launch first combined wireless, television plans

1 hour ago | Posted in: mobile phones

Following its very recent acquisition of DirecTV, AT&T has rolled out the first of its combined nationwide package of TV and wireless services from a single provider on one bill beginning August 10. The low-end offer includes HD and DVR service for up to four TV receivers, unlimited talk and text for four wireless lines, and 10GB of shareable wireless data for $200 a month.

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Pointers: Fix Waiting Apps (iOS)

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

You may never have seen this, in which case you have a good day now. The rest of us have turned to our iPhones and found that an app we need urgently is greyed out for no clear reason. Or a whole folder is. Or the app does say Installing and you realise it must be an update as you installed this one months ago -- but then it keeps on saying Installing. Perhaps the very worst is when it just says Waiting. Surely, there can be no worse torture inflicted on a law-abiding iOS user than having an app say Waiting, in perpetuity.

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Living With: Knomo Leather Case

1 hour ago | Posted in:

Seven years ago I spent a fortune on a fashion item without realising it. It was a Knomo leather case and I did not know that Knomo is a big name in fashion until my wife Angela told me so about twenty minutes ago. All I knew was that it cost £80 (about $125) and that I had bought it in a London Apple Store because I felt I had little choice. Flash forward seven years and I still have the bag but it's contents are completely different -- and now I'm getting men stopping me on the street to ask about it.

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Briefly: Nokia sells Here maps, Windows 10 high adoption rate

2 hours ago | Posted in: Investor, industry, software

Nokia is selling its mapping business to a collection of German car manufacturers. The Here mapping arm is being picked up by Audi, BMW, and Daimler for €2.8 billion ($3.1 billion,) with the technology likely to be used in in-car navigation systems and to help self-driving research being performed by each of the manufacturers. Despite the sale, the Here team advises that the mobile app version will still be available, as it is likely to help car-based mapping systems and other markets.

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Game Replay: Super Smash Bros. on YouTube, Nvidia Shield Tablet recall

10 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. In today's edition, Nintendo adds more costumes and YouTube uploads to Super Smash Bros., Nvidia recalls the Shield Tablet over safety concerns, Sony allows PlayStation Plus subscribers to vote on which free games they will get, and Worms 4 is heading to iOS.

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MacNN's Week That Was: July 26 through August 2, 2015

13 hours ago | Posted in: gaming, software, digital imaging, Apple

Hopefully you have had an enjoyable weekend, and are starting to wind down in preparation for the start of the working week, so why not relive the bits you may have missed. In this weekly discussion, we look at the stories that entertained us, informed us, or just plain tickled us in the course of the week. Yes, this does include talk of Windows 10, because it's just too important an item not to talk about here. We're not just highlighting our own writing -- anything that we've discussed behind the scenes here at MacNN is fair game.

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Leaks of 'iPhone 6s' parts show few hardware changes

17 hours ago | Posted in: iPhone, Apple

As one might expect once the unit entered larger-scale production in anticipation of a September release, leaked images from factory workers in China of the next release of iPhones are increasing in frequency, and are increasingly likely to be legitimate. The images thus far have revealed little in the way of changes to the design or casing of the next iPhones, likely to be called the "iPhone 6s" and "iPhone 6s Plus," despite rumors of significant new features.

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Opinion: The trouble with the Music app for iOS

Sun August 2, 2015 | Posted in: software, Apple

In response to Jim Dalrymple's troubles with Apple Music and its problematic integration with iTunes and iTunes Match, Marco Arment wrote a piece recently that provided a good explanation of why this seems to have reached a tipping point. While Arment highlighted a range of issues, one that he said he didn't want to get "started on" was the Music iOS app. In the absence of Arment's views, I have put forward what my issues with the Music app for iOS are here.

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Introducing two books from MacNN writers

Sun August 2, 2015 | Posted in: education, software

If you've been following our Wednesday Pointers column over the last nine weeks, you'll know that the column on that day was devoted to documenting the process of writing a book, and then turning that manuscript into a real, buyable, out-in-the-world e-book and paperback. That book, William Gallagher's The Blank Screen: Blogging, is now available -- and an e-book version of the columns has also been created.

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Pointers: the iOS troubleshooting and device maintenance guide

Fri July 31, 2015 | Posted in: iPod, iPhone, troubleshooting, Apple, iPad

Today's Pointers column was inspired by a real-life incident in which an acquaintance asked me for help in picking out a new iPad. Knowing that they had a fourth-generation iPad -- not far removed from the iPad Air 2 that I have -- I asked why. "Doesn't work anymore," they grumbled resentfully. "Lots of crashes, some apps don't even launch now." I asked if it had ever been turned off. "Every night," they said. I said, "no, not put to sleep -- turned off." "You can do that?!" they exclaimed.

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Daily Deals: Toshiba external drive, Onkyo headphones, Harry Potter

Fri July 31, 2015 | Posted in: computers, gaming, peripherals, gadgets, software, upgrades/storage, accessories, networking, audio

Welcome to Daily Deals, the post where the staff of MacNN searches online retailers for offers, bundles, sales, and discounts on hardware, software, games, and gadgets for you, the discerning reader. Still-active deals from yesterday are accompanied by a new wave of offers, including Onkyo headphones for $60, an external Toshiba 1TB hard drive and Wi-Fi adapter for $65, and all of the Harry Potter movie franchise films in various formats.

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Strategy Analytics: Apple now second-biggest mobile phone maker

Fri July 31, 2015 | Posted in: iPhone, Investor, industry, Apple

A new study by Strategy Analytics has confirmed Apple CEO Tim Cook's claim that iPhone sales were up a staggering 35 percent year-over-year, making Apple the smartphone maker with the second-highest mobile phone shipments overall, including "feature phones." The remaining-but-shrinking market for low-end smartphones and feature phones is what keeps Samsung in first, but Apple's marketshare rose to 10.9 percent share, compared to last year's 8.2 percent.

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Hands On: Bee 1.0 (iOS)

Fri July 31, 2015 | Posted in: iPhone apps, iPad apps

The world seems to hate email, but it isn't going anywhere -- and those of us who like it are bemused at attempts to replace it. Microsoft Send didn't strike a chord with us but actually, maybe Bee 1.0 does. It's definitely got a place in adding convenience and speed to emails, though probably not if you're a heavy user of Apple's Mail, and definitely not if you're wedded to Gmail or Outlook.

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Google rebuts French global 'Right to be Forgotten' request

Fri July 31, 2015 | Posted in: industry, Graphics/Web Design

Google has responded to France's request for the European "Right to be Forgotten" law to be expanded to cover all Google search pages, suggesting it to be a bad idea for Internet users as a whole. French data protection regulator CNIL's formal notice for delisting of requested links has been declared by Google global privacy counsel Peter Fleischer as a "troubling development that risks serious chilling effects on the web."

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Forums: 21.5-inch Retina iMac?

Fri July 31, 2015 | Posted in: computers, troubleshooting, software, upgrades/storage, Apple

This week in the MacNN Forums, members discuss their hopes and dreams that one day we will see a , with many saying that it's probably still a long way off. One Fresh-Faced Recruit is wondering if their MacBook from 2009 can actually handle 8GB of RAM, and has a few questions about Yosemite.

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Apple deals: iMacs from $929

Fri July 31, 2015 | Posted in: computers, Apple

Currently at Apple's online store, there is a wide selection of refurbished iMacs on sale with prices starting as low as $929. A $170 price drop on the refurbished 21.5-inch iMac with a 1.4GHz Intel dual-core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and 500GB hard drive makes the price $929. A $230 discount is offered on the refurbished 21.5-inch iMac with a 2.9GHz Intel quad-core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and 1TB hard drive, now $1,269.

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App Update: Pagico, FCS Remover, Vinoteka, more

Fri July 31, 2015 | Posted in: software

App development has taken off in the last few years, making it increasingly difficult to stay on top of all the latest versions. To help all of you out, we here at MacNN are dedicated to sorting through new update releases, and highlighting some of the important ones, as well as showcasing apps that we find to be interesting. Today, we look at revisions to Pagico, FCS Remover, Vinoteka, Call Recorder for FaceTime, File Juicer, and MTR.

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MacNN Deals: Homeware gadgets to wake you up, set the mood

Fri July 31, 2015 | Posted in: gadgets

Every day, alongside our regular Daily Deals post, we are highlighting some of the offers available on our own MacNN Deals page. Today's offering includes an unusual alarm clock, a cooking thermometer for your iPhone, and the ability to change the mood of a room using Bluetooth-equipped lightbulbs.

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Hands On: Vellum 1.2.5 (OS X)

Fri July 31, 2015 | Posted in: software

There's reviewing and there's reviewing. You know that the tiniest single-function utility gets examined, turned upside down, poked about with and possibly even shaken a bit. You also know that doesn't take long. There are things like Microsoft Word which take a month or more of serious use with betas and previews before more serious use with the final release. Then there's Vellum 1.2.5. We've had this software for about six months, maybe seven. You can't say we're quick with the news on this one, but complete, we are.

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Giveaway: Win a Samsung 4K TV with an Apple TV, Fire TV, or Roku 3

Fri July 31, 2015 | Posted in: gadgets

This is your reminder that our own MacNN Deals page is giving you the opportunity to own a serious upgrade for your living room. The giveaway prize package is for a Samsung 50-inch 4K television, and to provide you with content to watch on the large high-resolution screen, your choice of a new set-top box from either an Apple TV, an Amazon Fire TV, or a Roku 3 Media Player.

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Rumor: Apple TV refresh in September includes Siri voice control

Fri July 31, 2015 | Posted in: gadgets, Apple

The Apple TV may be the subject of a refresh in the near future, according to another recent rumor for the streaming set-top box. The latest version claims Apple is intending to unveil a next-generation Apple TV in September, alongside the launch of new iPhones, with it this time incorporating many updates, including an update to its operating system that allows access to the App Store, as well as voice control provided by Siri.

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Hands On: Gif Me! Camera 1.11 (iPhone)

Fri July 31, 2015 | Posted in: digital imaging, iPhone apps

The Internet is obsessed with GIFs, if you haven't noticed, but we're pretty sure you have: and for good reason -- they're small, they're animated, and usually contain some of the funniest bits of things you'll see all day. If you've ever wanted to make your own GIFs, we've got a just the app for you to check out: Gif Me! Camera.

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Hands On: Angry Birds 2 2.0.1(iOS)

Fri July 31, 2015 | Posted in: gaming, iPhone apps, iPad apps

At this point, we're sure that almost everyone who owns an iPhone or iPad has at least tried out an Angry Birds game, be it the original or one of the many sequels. It's hard to go a public place without coming across some sort of Angry Birds merchandise. Billionaire developers Rovio have finally made a proper sequel, Angry Birds 2, and we sat down and took a look at it to see how it holds up to the original.

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