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Facebook updates photo app Slingshot, chat app Messenger for iOS

1 hour ago | Posted in: iPhone apps

On Thursday, Facebook updated two of its applications for iOS users: the now-required Messenger chatting program, and its SnapChat-like photo-messaging app Slingshot. The latter's biggest change is the removal of what was previously a puzzling core requirement of the app -- users no longer have to "reply" with a message, photo or video before being allowed to see the message, photo or video sent to them. The now-mandatory Messenger app has been updated to allow full-screen viewing of photos and videos.

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Briefly: Telltale's The Walking Dead season 3, Blood Bowl on tablets

2 hours ago | Posted in: gaming, iPad apps

During last's weeks San Diego Comic Con, Telltale Games, the developer of narrative-based adventure games like The Wolf Among Us, announced that it would be producing a third season of its popular The Walking Dead game. Details on the next season of the title are scarce as it was only mentioned during a panel for Skybound Entertainment, The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman's imprint. The game likely won't be out and time soon as the company still hasn't wrapped up season two of The Walking Dead. It's also looking to release narrative games in the same style with Tales from the Borderlands and Game of Thrones.

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Office for iPad gets PDF export, new fonts and Picture tools

4 hours ago | Posted in: iPad, iPad apps

Microsoft has updated its trio of Office apps for the iPad -- Word, Excel, and PowerPoint -- adding a number of significant features. Perhaps the biggest addition is support for PDF export, but new third-party fonts have also been added, as have new Picture tools that let people crop an image or reset it to an unaltered state. Other changes are specific to Excel and PowerPoint.

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Apple CDN now live in US and Europe, analyst says

5 hours ago | Posted in: networking, Apple

Apple's proprietary content delivery network is now operational in the US and Europe, says Frost & Sullivan analyst Dan Rayburn. Its status was determined by conducting traceroutes for OS X downloads, which show that files are being shuttled directly from Apple to ISPs. The network is estimated to be capable of delivering multiple terabits per second.

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US, Canadian Apple Stores to start iPhone 5s screen replacements

7 hours ago | Posted in: iPhone, troubleshooting, Apple

US and Canadian Apple Stores will finally start conducting iPhone 5s screen replacements on or around August 4th, sources say. Some US stores have been piloting the service for the past several months, but now Apple Stores are reportedly receiving "large quantities" of replacement screens. iPhone 5c screen services began in January.

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Sky Mobile wireless service launches in US on Sprint frequencies

7 hours ago | Posted in: mobile phones

Sky Communications has launched a new wireless provider, Sky Mobile, across the US. The new carrier offers several options for mobile users with basic users still being able to purchase flip phones, with smartphone users being able to choose from devices from Apple, LG, Samsung, and Kyocera.

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Apple confirms Beats layoffs; 200 people expected to lose jobs

7 hours ago | Posted in: industry, Apple

Apple has confirmed reports of job losses at Beats as a part of its $3 billion acquisition. "We're excited to have the Beats team join Apple, and we have extended job offers to every Beats employee," says Apple spokesman Tom Neumayr. "Because of some overlap in our operations, some offers are for a limited period and we'll work hard during this time to find as many of these Beats employees as we can another permanent job within Apple." Sources say that last week, about 200 out of Beats' 700 employees were told that their positions are now temporary, and will be cut within the next few months.

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Macphun brings Tonality to photo-editing lineup for B&W images

7 hours ago | Posted in: software, digital imaging, Graphics/Web Design

Photo software maker Macphun has unveiled a fourth tool in its suite of image-editing apps, this time creating one aimed at the art of black and white photography, whether the image was originally shot in color or not. Called Tonality, the program works with up to 16-bit RAW images or JPEG files and offers a range of tools that go far beyond simply removing color. In addition to serious tools like adaptive exposure, smart contrast and structure detailing, the program brings various styles and filters into the mix.

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Researchers: USB firmware exploitable for computer malware install

8 hours ago | Posted in: security, upgrades/storage

A pair of researchers are going to discuss a giant security exploit in how the Universal Serial Bus (USB) firmware can be exploited. Security researchers Karsten Nohl and Jakob Lell have developed "BadUSB," a malware package resident in USB firmware that can be used as an attack vector to install any manner of software on a PC, with little or no warning to the user, and as of right now, no effective way to stop the attack.

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Apple opens first 'open-air' temp shop in Switzerland's Glattzentrum

9 hours ago | Posted in: Apple

As anticipated, Apple has launched its first-ever "open-air" temporary store, located inside of the Glattzentrum mall in Wallisellen, Switzerland. The mall's primary Apple Store is undergoing an expansion. Workers won't say how long construction is expected to last, but the temporary shop has opened earlier than rumored, which could mean that the expansion will be ready in time for product launches expected in September and October, such as new iPhones and iPads.

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Shazam arrives for Mac with always-on detection

10 hours ago | Posted in: software, audio

Music and TV recognition service Shazam has today launched its first-ever Mac app. While similar in design to the iOS client, the Mac app is able to listen constantly, generating an ongoing list of items it hears. Notifications give users the ability to jump quickly into pages for lyrics and/or buying the media in question.

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iOS apps: Facebook Pages Manager. Kindle, LinkedIn

10 hours ago | Posted in iOS apps

  • 52MB

    Facebook Pages Manager 5.0 (free)

    Facebook Pages Manager gives users all the tools needed to manage a Facebook Page and connect with an audience. Users can post updates and photos, as well as respond to comments and send private messages. Version 5.0 now allows users to see star ratings and reviews on their Page. Various bug fixes and performances updates are also included in the update.

  • 38.4MB

    Kindle 4.4 (free)

    Amazon's Kindle app allows users to shop for books through the online Kindle Store. Users can also download any of the books they have previously purchased for reading on an iPhone or iPod touch. The v4.4 update features several customer-requested features that make syncing and navigation easier. Users can now choose to sync to the most recent page read, and any books that are being read on iOS will automatically sync the page place across all Kindle devices. Notes can also now be exported to e-mail from any “Print Replica” textbooks.

  • 7.2MB

    LinkedIn 7.2 (free)

    LinkedIn is a tool that allows users to access their professional contacts through a mobile device. The software provides up-to-date news and messages from a network of contacts, and allows users to post their real time status. Version 7.2 introduces a new profile page for both the iPhone and iPad. In the iPhone side users can now edit their profile directly in the app, as well as see who has viewed the profile and what common traits are shared. Meanwhile, on the iPad users can now check out other people’s interests, as well as the companies, news, and influencers that they follow.

  • 28.1MB

    Dropbox 3.2.2 (free)

    Dropbox provides users with access to all of the files that have been stored in their cloud-storage account. Furthermore, users can select favorite files that can be viewed even when no internet connection is available. A bug that prevented some users from viewing images has been resolved with this update.

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    Playstation App 1.70.50 (free)

    The Playstation App allows users to stay connected to their Playstation account through a mobile device. Within the app users can see what their friends are playing, compare trophies, and view recent activity. Support is also included for sending and receiving messages, as well as accessing the Playstation Store. Stability while using some of the app’s features has been improved with this update.

 
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Apple environmental chief expanding green power efforts

18 hours ago | Posted in: industry, Apple

In a new report for the UK newspaper The Guardian, Apple Senior VP of Environmental Initiatives Lisa Jackson has acknowledged that the company needs to do more to facilitate more use of renewable energy by its suppliers and partners as well as itself. The iPhone maker has had tremendous success in converting its data centers to renewable energy, and has implemented similar measures in 120 of its stores. The next target, the paper says, is its Arizona sapphire glass plant.

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Briefly: Echoes voice announcements for Mac, Amberlight 1.2

21 hours ago | Posted in: digital imaging, networking, Apple

Parliant has announced the release of its new voice messaging product for Mac users, Echoes. Functioning on a local network, users can contact other Macs running Echoes and send a voice message instantly, without the need for "dialing" like Skype or FaceTime. To send a voice announcement, one selects "Announce" from the Echoes icon found in the menu bar. Users can announce to both individuals or groups, and quickly reply to the sender of the last received announcement. Keyboard shortcuts for sending and replying can be set, and the last announcement made can be re-sent without re-recording. Priced at $10, Echoes is available through the App Store.

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Report: Apple offers fastest delivery among online sites

21 hours ago | Posted in: industry, Apple

Customer service analytics company StellaService has released a new report that ranks Apple as number one for online delivery speed, up from an eighth-place ranking in April. The iPhone maker captured the top spot for the first time in June with an average processing-and-delivery time of just 2.3 days, beating mostly online clothing outlets such as Abercrombie, Zappos, Nike and others. In a separate study that ranked all aspects of customer service, Apple was topped by J. Crew and Mr Porter.

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AgileBits' 1Password previews iOS 8 extension, Touch ID support

22 hours ago | Posted in: security, developer, iPhone apps, iPad apps

AgileBits, makers of the security and password vault 1Password, are among the first to implement and preview an iOS 8 extension and third-party Touch ID support, allowing other app makers to utilize the program's stored passwords outside of the 1Password app itself. Apple announced the concept of iOS extensions at June's Worldwide Developer Conference, which enables one app to use tools or services found in a different app in a secure manner.

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FCC 'deeply troubled' over Verizon's decision to slow down customers

Wed July 30, 2014 | Posted in: industry, mobile phones

Last week, one of the largest mobile carriers in the United States announced it would begin throttling some unlimited accounts that access 4G LTE. Verizon stated that it would begin the effort in October, but it would be limited to only the top five percent of data users on unlimited plans. While the slowdown won't have an effect on all LTE customers, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler believes that the new policy is running afoul of several regulations.

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Previous News

UBS again praises Cook, urges investors to 'buy in' to AAPL for fall

Wed July 30, 2014 | Posted in: Investor, Apple

Six weeks after it rebutted a New York Times editorial that cast doubt on Apple's CEO, investment firm UBS has again praised Tim Cook's vision and leadership of Apple in a note to clients. In particular, analyst Steven Milunovich was taken with Cook's plans to expand iOS to automotive, gym, medical and home markets through its CarPlay, HealthKit and HomeKit initiatives, as well as the continuing growth of the entire OS X and iOS eco-systems, which the company refers to as "the Applesphere."

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Apple re-issues MacBook Air EFI firmware update

Wed July 30, 2014 | Posted in: Apple

Apple released a new update for MacBook Air EFI firmware today, updating to version 2.9.1 for "Mid-2011" models of the notebook. The company states that the update fixes a few issues for owners facing problems with waking from sleep and fans running at full speed in a specific instance. The update replaces a previous version that caused a number of additional problems for owners.

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Apple seeds first betas of OS X 10.9.5, Safari 7.0.6/6.1.6 to devs

Wed July 30, 2014 | Posted in: troubleshooting, software, developer, Apple

Apple has started seeding the first beta of OS X 10.9.5 to developers. The code is listed as built 13F7, and available through the Developer Center. Users are asked to focus testing on just a handful of areas, including Safari, graphics, and USB, including smart cards.

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No redesigned Apple TV set-top until 2015, report says

Wed July 30, 2014 | Posted in: industry, peripherals, Apple

Apple is indeed working on a new set-top that will let people will watch both live and on-demand TV, but won't have it ready until sometime in 2015, a source indicates. Engineers at the company are allegedly being told not to expect to ship the device this year, and working along that timeline. The issue is claimed to be cable companies "dragging their heels," and the possible Comcast/Time Warner Cable merger, which together are interfering not only with the device but a matching TV service.

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Major layoffs impacting Beats during Apple takeover, sources say

Wed July 30, 2014 | Posted in: industry, Apple

Although the takeover has yet to be fully approved legally, some workers and technology resources are already being shifted from Beats to Apple, sources say. Apple executives have allegedly visited Beats' California headquarters this week and the last, offering some workers new positions at Apple while telling others that their jobs will be cut. Many Beats employees in creative or development roles are being offered work at Apple; many of these are allegedly headed to Apple's Cupertino's headquarters, but the company is keeping both the Santa Monica offices and some engineers associated with Beats Music.

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Logitech G402 Hyperion Fury claimed as 'fastest gaming mouse'

Wed July 30, 2014 | Posted in: gaming, peripherals

Peripheral producer Logitech has created what it claims is the world's fastest gaming mouse ever manufactured. The G402 Hyperion Fury uses Logitech's Fusion Engine system on a built-in 32-bit ARM processor for tracking, allowing it to keep up with tracking speeds faster than 500 inches per second, more than the preceding G502 Proteus Core's 300 inches per second tracking.

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QuarkXPress 10.2 adds rendering, notes features,bugfixes

Wed July 30, 2014 | Posted in: software, Graphics/Web Design

Quark has released a v10.2 update for QuarkXPress, its flagship publishing software. The code makes significant feature additions, for instance letting people adjust rendering quality for different balances between performance and fidelity. Users can also add notes to projects that are separate from content and exportable as PDFs; redlines meanwhile show where changes have been made, and allow groups to approve or reject them.

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Best Buy CEO: Post-PC era ending, tablet sales 'crashing'

Wed July 30, 2014 | Posted in: Investor, industry, Apple

In an interview, electronics retailer Best Buy CEO Hubert Joly believes that the day of the tablet may already be over. Citing observations at his stores, the CEO claims that the company has "actually had a revival of the PC business at Best Buy," giving credit to Microsoft for discontinuation of Windows XP, and to Apple for continuing to innovate for consumers.

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Russia asks Apple, SAP to turn over source code as anti-spy measure

Wed July 30, 2014 | Posted in: security, Apple

The Russian government has proposed that two Western companies, Apple and SAP, grant access to their source code so it can determine whether or not products are tools for spying on state organizations and/or the public, Reuters reports. Russia's communications minister, Nikolai Nikiforov, is said to have made the request when he met last week with Apple's local general manager, Peter Nielsen, and SAP's local managing director, Vyacheslav Orekhov. In an official Communications Ministry statement, Nikiforov comments that "Edward Snowden's revelations in 2013 and US intelligence services' public statements about the strengthening of surveillance of Russia in 2014 have raised a serious question of trust in foreign software and hardware."

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Crowdfunding Critic: Modbook Pro X

Wed July 30, 2014 | Posted in: computers, hacks

Last week, we launched the Crowdfunding Critic here on MacNN and Electronista, and promised that every Tuesday and Thursday we'd highlight a new campaign. While we were working on yesterday's selection, we got wind of this -- the Modbook Pro X, by Modbook, Inc., a modification of Apple's 15.4-inch MacBook Pro into a massive pen-enabled tablet. Based on it, we decided to do our second article in the series a day late, but we think this one is worth the wait.

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