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iOS apps: Fantastical, MindNode, Sketch Club

21 minutes ago | Posted in iOS apps

  • 20.9MB

    Fantastical 2.2 ($3)

    Fantastical is a calendar utility that allows users to create events by explaining events in basic English. For example, a user can enter "Lunch with John at 123 Main Street on Tuesday," and the software will add all of the relevant information to a new event. In v2.2 users can now view their calendar and event list in the Notification Centre thanks to the new Today widget. A new app extension also lets users create events or reminders fro selected text in other extension-enabled apps.

  • 6.1MB

    MindNode 3.5 ($10)

    MailNode is a mind mapping tool that can be used to create a visual representation of ideas. Maps start from a central thought and can be expanded outwards through the introduction of new nodes. Along with optimizations for the new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, the latest release includes an overhauled style inspector and theme picker, new gesture controls, and support for image only nodes.

  • 10.6MB

    Sketch Club 2.0 ($3)

    Sketch Club provides users with all the tools necessary to not only create digital art, but also to share it with a wide community of other users. Version 2.0 features a range of improvements, including a new home screen, new layers panel, new icons, and support for iOS 8 and the latest iPhone models. A new save system has also been introduced, replacing the previous slot system with a more iOS standard method.

  • 14.8MB

    Duolingo 4.1.2 (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. Two new languages, Danish and Irish, have been added with the latest release.

  • 55.5MB

    Angry Birds Seasons 4.2.1 ($1)

    Angry Birds is a physics-based puzzle game where players take control of a fleet of irritated birds. The v4.2.1 update adds 15 all new NBA themed levels, as well as a new in-app purchase option that incdlues an additional 30 NBA team levels.

 
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GT Advanced confirms split with Apple, will repay $439 million

21 minutes ago | Posted in: industry, Apple

GT has confirmed its split with Apple via a press release, offering further details on the terms. "GT will be released from all exclusivity obligations under its various agreements with Apple," the statement explains. "GT will retain ownership of all production, ancillary and inventory assets located in Mesa [Arizona] and Apple is provided with a mechanism for recovering its $439 million pre-payment made to GT over a period of up to four years without interest, solely from a portion of the proceeds from ASF sales.

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Apple to open 25 new Chinese stores in two years, says Cook

1 hour ago | Posted in: Apple

As part of his trip to China, Apple CEO Tim Cook has told local media that the company is planning to open 25 stores in Greater China during the next two years. "Greater" China includes not just mainland China but Hong Kong and Taiwan. So far there are no Apple Stores in Taiwan, but there are three in Hong Kong and a dozen on the mainland, most of those being split between Beijing and Shanghai.

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Briefly: Fantastical 2 update, Yahoo Mail adds new notification types

11 hours ago | Posted in: iPhone apps, iPad apps

Flexibits has announced the release of two free updates for calendar app Fantastical 2, available as separate native versions for iPhone and iPad. The iPhone variation provides native display support for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, and includes an enhanced landscape view for iPhone 6 Plus. Both apps now require iOS 8, and feature new text-enabled event and reminder creation with Fantastical's new app extension. Interactive notifications let users snooze an alert or complete a reminder, and the app now can be viewed in the Notification Center with Fantastical's Today widget. Currently on sale for twenty percent off, Fantastical 2 for iPhone is priced at $3, and $8 for iPad.

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Apple to drop support of SSL 3.0 due to POODLE vulnerability

11 hours ago | Posted in: security, developer, Apple

In a note to developers, Apple has announced that due to a serious security flaw in SSL version 3.0, the company will be dropping support for the protocol beginning Wednesday, October 29 for all of its push notifications, which are delivered through Apple's own servers. The company will switch to Transport Layer Security (TLS) for the service, and notes that developers will need to build in support for TLS in their apps to ensure uninterrupted push notification compatibility if they haven't already.

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Tim Cook posts photo from latest China visit

12 hours ago | Posted in: security, Apple

Apple CEO Tim Cook has posted a picture from his latest trip to China on Twitter, showing him sharing a laugh with a factory worker named Zhang Fan, who helps assemble the iPhone 6 at a factory in Zhengzhou. While Foxconn's factories manufacture equipment for a wide variety of technology firms including Google, Microsoft and others, Cook is the only CEO to routinely visit the facilities and personally investigate conditions and safety at the plants. He called the meeting with Zhang "an early highlight" of the trip.

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Twitter introduces Digits, a new way to log into applications

13 hours ago | Posted in: software, developer

Twitter has started putting the pieces into place to distance users from password requirements with the announcement of Digits. The company unveiled the new platform at its first mobile developer conference in San Francisco today, as a part of its Fabric suite of development tools. Rather than relying on a username and password for every app, Digits uses a telephone number and text messages to confirm identities instead.

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Apple found not guilty of infringing on expired GPNE patents

13 hours ago | Posted in: iPhone, industry, Apple, iPad

Non-practicing entity GPNE, which had tried to sue Apple over alleged infringement of expired pager-related 3G wireless patents, has come away completely empty-handed after a jury exonerated Apple of all charges. The firm, which has attempted to sue or sued most other big-name tech firms over the same or similar patents, had sought $94 million in damages (which Apple had referred to as an "attempt to extort money" from the iPhone maker), but was awarded nothing.

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AT&T reveals third quarter earnings, falls short of estimates

14 hours ago | Posted in: industry

AT&T's quarterly results fell short of industry projections when the company announced $32.9 billion in revenue for the third quarter of 2014. The resulting earnings per share (EPS) was $0.63, missing the projected $0.64 EPS on $33.25 billion in revenue. While the company may have missed projections, it announced that it picked up more than two million mobile and broadband customers.

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Teardown of iPad Air 2 by iFixit confirms 2GB RAM, smaller battery

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

A new teardown of the iPad Air 2 has confirmed much of what was speculated about the device, but has also revealed some minor surprises. The team at iFixit have rated the new iPad a "two" on a scale of 10, with 10 being the most repairable. The company says that while the new "fused" display is better visually, and sturdier when opening up the iPad, it will also increase the cost of repair for a cracked screen. The teardown also revealed that the latest full-size iPad features a smaller battery and more RAM.

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Google debuts Inbox as tool for managing email with automated bundling

15 hours ago | Posted in: software, iPhone apps

Google has started to invite people to try out its new email service, one that has been in development for a number of years. Made by the same team behind Gmail, Inbox aims to help users manage their incoming e-mail by automatically grouping similar emails together and by picking out what it believes to be the more important incoming messages.

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Rare Apple I computer sold at auction for $905,000

16 hours ago | Posted in: computers, Apple

On the same day that Apple's stock closed at the second-highest price it has achieved in 2014, a new record-high price for its first computer -- the original Apple I -- has also been set, by a considerable margin. While an incredibly rare still-functional Apple I model (thought to be one of just six in such pristine condition) along with a letter from Steve Jobs was sold in May 2013 for $671,400, the latest auction in New York saw this latest unit -- one from the original first batch of 50 -- change hands for $905,000.

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FCC freezes clock on merger reviews of Comcast/TWC, AT&T/DirecTV

17 hours ago | Posted in: industry

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has stopped its "180-day informal time clock" in the review of the merger proposals for Comcast and Time Warner Cable, as well as AT&T and DirectTV. The reason for the stoppage involves the modified joint protective orders that the FCC created at the beginning of October, which content companies are now using to bar outside sources from reading confidential programming agreements.

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OS X Yosemite nudges Chrome, Firefox users into trying Safari

17 hours ago | Posted in: software, Apple

People using Chrome or Firefox within OS X Yosemite are seeing push notifications asking them to try Safari, accounts say. The messages tout Safari as "fast, energy efficient, and with a beautiful new design," and even include "Later" and "Try Now" buttons. They appear to be triggered by launching Chrome or Firefox for the first time after the Yosemite upgrade.

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New iPad Air 2, Mini 3 available for Personal Pickup at Apple Stores

18 hours ago | Posted in: Apple, iPad

Shoppers at Apple's online store now have the option of selecting Personal Pickup as a delivery option for the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3. When preorders opened last Friday, the company required all orders to be shipped. Notably, some stores are listed as having iPads ready for pickup today, even though Apple Store workers are saying they won't have tablets on sale until later this week, or even next week. Shipped orders are beginning to arrive on doorsteps however.

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FBI director asks Congress to update law to circumvent encryption

19 hours ago | Posted in: security

Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director James Comey isn't giving up his crusade to persuade the government and businesses that law enforcement should have access to encrypted phone data. Comey took his fight to Congress recently, asking that it update the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA) to cover newer technologies.

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Avast 2015 adds Home Network Security, SecureDNS

19 hours ago | Posted in: security, software

Avast Software has launched Avast 2015, an update of its multi-platform security suite. The main addition this year is a tool called Home Network Security, which scans a local network for potential vulnerabilities. These may include things like weak or default router passwords, unprotected IPv6 use, and already-compromised Internet connections. A related new feature is called SecureDNS, which offers encrypted traffic between a computer and an Avast-operated DNS server, reducing the chance of DNS hijacking.

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Previous News

Apple Pay bugs cause problems with card images, overcharging

20 hours ago | Posted in: iPhone, troubleshooting

Although the service appears to be working in general, some banks supporting Apple Pay are encountering some early technical problems. One issue is that in some cases, the correct card designs aren't being displayed in Passbook. Affected cards will show generic logos for their associated institutions, and possibly lack descriptions as well, which can make numbers the only way to distinguish between them when a person has multiple cards from the same firm. Sources claim that a fix for the bug is already underway.

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Hands On: RapidWeaver 6 (OS X)

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

Just because you need a website, doesn't mean that the best option is to hire someone to create one out of whole cloth. The alternative is either learning HTML, CSS, and a host of other acronymic technologies, or seeking out all-in-one website design software that allows users to publish a website without requiring coding knowledge or a ton of design expertise. Realmac Software has announced the release of RapidWeaver 6, an upgrade to its longstanding website creation app, and we've had a chance to put it through its paces.

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Unity Technologies names ex-EA exec John Riccitiello as CEO

21 hours ago | Posted in: Investor, computers, industry, gaming

Cross-platform game development engine designers Unity Technologies has named a new chief executive. John Riccitiello, the prior chief of EA, is the new head of the company, with David Helgason stepping down. Helgason will continue with the company, and is planning on focusing on improving relationships with developers as well as "working with some insanely talented people here at Unity."

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Ricoh unveils three laser printers with 23 page-per-minute output

21 hours ago | Posted in: peripherals

Ricoh has launched a set of three monochrome laser printers in the United States. The SP 213SNw and SP 213SFNw multifunction printers and the SP 213Nw printer all offer print speeds of up to 23 pages per minute, a low 10-second wait for the first print, minimal warm-up times, and a number of different connectivity and networking options.

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Early reviews call Air 2, Mini 3 best iPads ever, but just iterative

22 hours ago | Posted in: iPad

Early reviews of the iPad Air 2 and Mini 3 are beginning to arrive, and are typically touting the tablets as Apple's best ever, but with some caveats. Re/code's Walt Mossberg for instance says they represent a "modest evolutionary improvement over last year's models, not the kind of big change that the first iPad Air or the Retina display iPad mini did last year." He suggests that the Air 2 may be worth buying for people owning an iPad older than last year's model.

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Apps: Alfred, iBank, Stacks

23 hours ago | Posted in apps

    3.7MB

    Alfred 2.5.1 (free)

    Alfred is a quick launch utility that can help users search their computer and the internet. Version 2.5.1 includes support for 1Password 5 in OS X Yosemite, as well as an improved workflow search. An exception when passing an empty string in script filter XML subtext mod keys has also been addressed with this update.

    40.8MB

    iBank 5.2 ($48)

    iBank is a financial managers designed for personal and small business' needs. iBank can manage credit cards, bank accounts, investments as well as analyze income and expenses with live updating charts. A new overview report has been added with this release, along with the ability to preserve more data when switching investment transaction types. A wide range of bugs were also resolved, including a problem with importing data via direct download from Morgan Stanley Smith Barney.

    10.8MB

    Stacks 2.6.8 ($30)

    Stacks offers an alternative method for creating pages within RapidWeaver. The latest release corrects a graphics stuttering and tearing issue related to the library window. In addition, the update now requires a 64-bit Intel processor and OS X 10.9 or later.

    20.5MB

    Arq 4.6.2 ($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 v4.6.2 update fixes an issue that caused the backup process to abort when there was an error creating an FSRef on OS X Yosemite.

    3.9MB

    Byword 2.3 ($10)

    Byword is a text editor that has been designed for use with Markdown formatting. The software includes a range of keyboard shortcuts, an alternate dark theme for working in low-light situations, and the ability to sync documents across all Mac, iPhone, and iPad devices. Version 2.3 includes a number of improvements for OS X Yosemite, as well as support for iCloud Drive.

 

Pangu team debuts early, developer-only iOS 8.1 jailbreak

23 hours ago | Posted in: iPod, iPhone, hacks, iPad

The Pangu jailbreak team has developed a new hack for iOS 8 and 8.1 devices, reports and the team's website note. The initial release is said to be intended strictly for app developers, since it doesn't install Cydia or other services designed to make jailbreaking simple and practical. The public version is in fact waiting on those services being brought up to speed for iOS 8.

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Briefly: Sky+ mobile app update, UberXL launches in United Kingdom

Wed October 22, 2014 | Posted in: software, iPhone apps, iPad apps

British broadcaster Sky has updated its iOS and Android Sky+ apps to allow users to display their photographs from their mobile devices on the television through the Sky+ HD set-top box. The app also includes a new updated homepage, complete with a dedicated Sports section, and a Smart Series Link option that lets the Sky+ box record all current and future seasons of selected programs.

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Apple CEO meets with Chinese official to discuss iCloud hijacks

Wed October 22, 2014 | Posted in: security, Apple

Apple CEO Tim Cook met with China's Vice Premier Ma Kai in Beijing on Wednesday to discuss man-in-the-middle attacks against iCloud users, according to Reuters and China's state-run Xinhua news agency. Reuters notes that the Chinese government has so far denied allegations of involvement, which in particular tied the attacks to the state firewall used to censor Internet access in the country. As for the meeting, Xinhua says only that the pair shared views on "protection of users' information" and "strengthening cooperation and in information and communication fields."

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Google Play Music updates Listen Now page, adds Songza playlists

Wed October 22, 2014 | Posted in: software, audio

Google Play Music has been updated for both Android and iOS, with a new look and extra features. While it has received a Material Design-influenced makeover, similar to the leaked Gmail update, the main change users will notice is the inclusion of activity and time-related playlists, something Google has introduced courtesy of its acquisition of Songza in July.

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Apple SEC filing reveals executive RSU bonuses, lobbying costs

Wed October 22, 2014 | Posted in: Investor, Apple

In its latest SEC 10-Q filing, Apple has revealed certain company details -- including the fact that it still spends a small fraction of the money other tech firms do on Washington lobbying, and that it continues its practice of awarding its executives restricted stock units (RSUs) that could be worth millions if they stay with the company and it continues to do well. CFO Luca Maestri and Senior Vice President of Retail and Online Stores Dame Angela Ahrendts both received their first executive bonuses as part of the disclosure.

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