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Sapphire production insufficient for iPhone 6 displays, analysts say

1 minute ago | Posted in: iPhone

Supply chain orders so far don't support the idea of the iPhone 6 using sapphire for its display, except perhaps in limited numbers, according to analysts with Trendforce. "Analysis of the iPhone 6 supply chain indicates related component suppliers need to ship products to OEMs for assembly in June 2014 to meet the September launch date. Yet, the research institute did not discover demands for smartphone cover glass," the firm writes. "The sapphire glass version new iPhone will be issued in limited volumes this year, mostly because sapphire ingot manufacturers yield rates were lower than forecasts and [because of] issues involved in sapphire glass processing."

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Trouble at TPK may hint at iWatch production issues

1 hour ago | Posted in: industry, gadgets

Changes in profit forecasts at TPK may signal delays in iWatch production, reports suggest. Taiwanese publication UDN notes that TPK -- thought to be making touch modules for the iWatch -- has pushed back a predicted third-quarter profit surge into the next quarter. Since suppliers often experience such surges in association with Apple orders, it could mean that iWatch production has suffered setbacks. TPK also provides touch components for devices like the iPhone and iPad, however.

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MOTU ships trio of Thunderbolt audio interfaces, AVB Ethernet switch

1 hour ago | Posted in: computers, audio

Audio device manufacturer MOTU has announced three new Thunderbolt audio interfaces with 48-channel mixing, DSP effects and AVB Ethernet audio networking for system expansion. Based on a new, shared technology platform, the 1248, 8M and 16a use ESS Sabre32 Ultra converters, and provide low analog latency, with round trip performance of only 32 samples (0.66 ms) at 48 kHz.

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CNBC, Fox Now added to US Apple TV lineup

2 hours ago | Posted in: peripherals, Apple

Apple has added a pair of new app channels to the Apple TV, CNBC and Fox Now. The former is NBC's business network, while the latter offers access to shows like Glee, Family Guy, and The Following. In both cases, viewers must have a cable subscription to unlock the full range of content. Otherwise, people are limited to a much smaller selection of clips and episodes.

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Briefly: Total War: Shogun 2, SilhouetteFX 5.2

3 hours ago | Posted in: gaming, software

Feral Interactive has announced that historical strategy game, Total War: Shogun 2 for Mac is due for release in the coming weeks. Total War: Shogun 2 features real-time battle tactics and turn-based political strategy, set in 16th century Japan. Players play as the leader of one of nine competing clans as to attempt to dominate Japan and become shogun.

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Refurbished Retina MacBook Pros drop below $1,000 mark

3 hours ago | Posted in: computers, Apple

In addition to launching new MacBook Pros, Apple has also updated prices for refurbished models. The cheapest Retina option is now a $999 October 2012 system, with a 13.3-inch screen and a 2.5GHz dual-core Core i5 processor. That signals the first time a refurbished Retina machine has been below $1,000.

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AppleCare+ plans for iPhone, iPad come to Mexico and Sweden

4 hours ago | Posted in: iPhone, troubleshooting, Apple, iPad

In keeping with expansion efforts made during the past year, Apple has brought its AppleCare+ plans for the iPhone and iPad to Mexico and Sweden. Mexican plans cost 1,599 pesos, or about $123. Swedish plans are 799 kronor, or $117. In the US AppleCare+ coverage is $99.

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Drobo Mini ships with included SSD storage for portable storage

4 hours ago | Posted in: upgrades/storage

Connected Data, creators of the Drobo range of storage appliances, has launched a version of its most portable device with built-in storage. The Drobo Mini, first revealed two years ago, will include four SSD drives pre-installed into its four 2.5-inch drive bays, giving users such as photographers and film makers a fast storage option without needing to buy drives separately.

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Apple updates MacBook pro line with faster processors, more RAM

5 hours ago | Posted in: computers, Apple

As predicted, Apple has updated its MacBook Pro with Retina display product line. Both sizes of the model have an unchanged external design, but now boast faster processors, with some models seeing a doubling of RAM as standard. Surviving the upgrade is the 13-inch MacBook pro, which also remains unchanged save a price cut.

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Canon unveils PowerShot SX520 HS, SX400 IS bridge cameras

7 hours ago | Posted in: digital imaging

Canon has increased its range of versatile PowerShot digital cameras with two new additions. The new PowerShot SX520 HS and the PowerShot SX400 IS are both bridge cameras with DSLR physical styling, with the two touting extended-range zoom lenses capable of providing wide focal ranges, and though they have similar image processors and sensors, they do offer different photographic experiences.

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Briefly: Yelp adds video, Facebook forces Messenger for iOS

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

Branching out in its ability to offer reviews of local businesses, Yelp has now updated its iOS app to version 8.1, which gives users the option to create a shortly 3-12 second-long video message alongside or in place of written reviews, comments or images. The video option is the only significant new feature, alongside the usual bug fixes and tweaks, and "lives" alongside the photo option -- which can now be toggled between photos and videos. Users can find existing video reviews alongside photos in both the app and on the company's website.

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Apple Stores gearing up to allow early-upgrade carrier program buying?

13 hours ago | Posted in: iPhone, Apple

Traditionally, iPhones bought from Apple Stores come in two varieties: locked to an individual carrier with a two-year contract, or completely unlocked but at full retail price. Last month, the company began allowing sales of iPhones on pre-paid plans, and now appears to be poised to allow Apple Store sales of iPhones to existing (and eligible) AT&T Next, Verizon Edge, T-Mobile Jump, and possibly Sprint EasyPay customers, who have the freedom to upgrade their phones more often in exchange for a slightly higher monthly charge.

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Beats Music app updated, offers more user customization

14 hours ago | Posted in: audio, iPhone apps, Apple, iPad apps

As the process of Beats Music's acquisition by Apple continues, the iOS app for the subscription-based Beats Music service has received an update to both make playback better and more reliable as well as to improve the overall user experience. The new version 2.2.0 gives users the ability to customize the services's "Just For You" recommendations by changing artists and genres with a new feature called Tune Your Taste. In addition to some other changes, Beats reports that it has "fixed a ton of bugs."

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Apple drops cross-appeal against Samsung, gives up injunction

16 hours ago | Posted in: iPhone, industry, mobile phones, Apple

Two years after the first Apple-Samsung patent trial, the big winner in that case -- Apple -- has dropped a motion to cross-appeal a portion of Judge Lucy Koh's final verdict. The action means that the company has officially given up hope of seeing any product bans on the 23 Samsung products found guilty of copying Apple technology, though the matter is largely moot as none of the products are still offered for sale anyway. Despite the clear victory in the jury trial, Judge Koh twice refused to issue sales injunctions on the infringing Samsung products.

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HBC department stores Lord & Taylor, Hudson's Bay to use iBeacons

19 hours ago | Posted in: industry, gadgets, iPhone apps, mobile phones, Apple, iPad apps

HBC Department Store Group, which owns both the Lord & Taylor and Hudson's Bay department store chain, has announced it will be using indoor iBeacons leveraging Apple technology, manufactured by Motorola Solutions and powered by software from Swirl Networks across more than 130 of the corporation's stores in Canada and the US. The move follows in the footsteps of Macy's, which did a similar deployment of iBeacons last November in stores in New York City and San Francisco.

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Bitcoin app Blockchain allowed to return to App Store

20 hours ago | Posted in: iPod, iPhone, industry, iPhone apps, iPad

A Bitcoin trading app, Blockchain, has been allowed to return to the iOS App Store, reports note. The title was one of several removed from the App Store early this year during an Apple crackdown. The company's policy is normally to prohibit apps allowing activities which may be illegal in some countries. Although Bitcoin has become increasingly accepted, it still sits in a legal limbo in many regions.

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Previous News

Briefly: Hilton enables phone-based room keys, new NPR One app

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

Hilton Worldwide has announced that its guests will now be able to use their iOS or Android device to control most elements of a guest's hotel stay. Due to roll out this summer, the upcoming Hilton app will soon allows users to choose a preferred room, make requests, and check in and out of the hotel through their smarphones. Room selection is anticipated to be available by the end of the year, and will include the DoubleTree and Embassy Suites chains. In 2015, guests' phones will also unlock their room. Most of these features focus on bypassing the physical hotel lobby. By the end of 2016, Hilton aims to integrate the majority of its rooms worldwide with these new app-based functionalities.

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Next-gen iPhones could have NFC, 802.11ac Wi-Fi

Mon July 28, 2014 | Posted in: iPhone

A Chinese repair firm, GeekBar, claims to have obtained photos of the logic boards for Apple's upcoming 4.7- and 5.5-inch iPhones. The two are noticeably different from each other and the board for the iPhone 5s; significantly, the one for the 5.5-inch iPhone -- sometimes dubbed the "iPhone Air" -- isn't larger than the one for the 4.7-inch iPhone 6, but simply has a different layout. In both cases, chips and other installed components are missing.

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T-Mobile CEO launches $100 four-line promotion, attacks AT&T

Mon July 28, 2014 | Posted in: mobile phones

T-Mobile has unveiled a new promotional price plan, one which is taking aim directly at AT&T. In remarks against AT&T's "Best-Ever Pricing for Families" marketing, T-Mobile CEO John Legere relayed details of a plan effectively providing four lines on the carrier's Simple Choice shared price plan, complete with 10GB of LTE service, for $100 per month.

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Apple 'close' to buying radio app Swell for $30M, sources say

Mon July 28, 2014 | Posted in: industry, Apple

Apple is on the verge of buying out Swell, a radio and podcast streaming app for iOS, sources say. The deal is reportedly worth $30 million, and if completed should result in the shutdown of the app's services sometime this week. While Swell has a dedicated fanbase, it's also said to have had trouble finding users beyond that group. An Android app was in beta testing but never released.

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European Commission approves Apple acquisition of Beats

Mon July 28, 2014 | Posted in: industry, Apple

The European Commission has authorized Apple's $3 billion takeover of Beats, according to an official statement. The organization was tasked with scrutinizing any possible antitrust concerns in the deal. In its judgment, the Commission notes that while both Apple and Beats sell headphones in Europe, even their combined marketshare is low, and the companies aren't in close competition. Their headphones are said to "differ markedly in functionality and design."

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iOS apps: Bartender, TotalFinder, VLC Media Player

Mon July 28, 2014 | Posted in iOS apps

  • 5.2MB

    Bartender 1.2.20 ($15)

    Bartender allows users to clean up their menu bar by hiding, rearranging, or moving menubar items into the Bartender bar. The latest release includes support for the OS X Yosemite beta, as well as a number of fixes for issues specific to the latest Yosemite builds.

  • 7.8MB

    TotalFinder 1.6.2 ($18)

    TotalFinder is a tool that adds tabs, hot keys, and other various tweaks to the Mac OS X Finder. New to v1.6.2 is initial compatibility for the OS X Yosemite beta, as well as a TotalFinderDockIconIgnoresVisor tweak that has been requested by users. A scenario where the cut selection would stop updating itself has also been fixed and a number of general stability improvements have been made.

  • 33.5MB

    VLC Media Player 2.1.5 (free)

    VLC Media Player includes support for a wide range of audio and video file formats, including DVDs, VCDs, and various streaming protocols. Version 2.1.5 includes a number of fixes and improvements, including a more stable QTSound capture module, correct video-on-top support, a larger audio output buffer size, and a fix for DxVA2 sample decoding.

  • 57.7MB

    Cyberduck 4.5.1 (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. A connection failure that occurs when sandboxing denies access to ~/.ssh/known_hosts has been fixed with this update.

  • 11.2MB

    Default Folder X 4.6.8 ($35)

    Default Folder X provides users with quick access to folders and commands by attaching a toolbar to the right side of Open and Save dialogs in OS X. The v4.6.8 update fixes a code signing problem that prevented the previous release from enhancing some applications when running Yosemite.

 

Uber closes Javascript hack exposing driver review of passengers

Mon July 28, 2014 | Posted in: security, iPhone apps

Cab-hailing service Uber has patched a hole which allowed passengers to find out their average score based on reviews from Uber drivers. A Javascript hack which surfaced over the weekend polled Uber servers for the passenger score, giving a response between 1.0 and 5.0, though Uber has been quick to close the loophole in order to protect its driver review system.

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New MacBook Pros could be released on Tuesday

Mon July 28, 2014 | Posted in: computers

The MacBook Pro refreshes hinted at during the weekend may ship on Tuesday, according to a source for French site MacG. The updated 13-inch Pro is said to have a "J44a" model name, while its 15-inch counterpart is the "J45a." The source didn't have any specifications or prices to share.

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Sign in Chinese store may show next-gen Retina MacBook Pro specs

Mon July 28, 2014 | Posted in: computers, upgrades/storage, Apple

A sign spotted by a Mac user at the new Paradise Walk Apple Store in Chongqing , China may have leaked the changes coming to the next lineup of 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro, with the most dramatic being the bump up to 16GB of RAM as standard on all models, even the low-end unit. Assuming the sign is correct, all three models of Retina MacBook Pro will bump around 200MHz in speed, with the line jumping to 2.2GHz, 2.5GHz and 2.8GHz, respectively. It is assumed that the RAM in the Retina models remains non-upgradeable.

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Review: JBL Synchros E40BT headphones

Sun July 27, 2014 | Posted in: audio

For all the different configurations of headphones on the market, it's always a tough choice for buyers to get something that is just right. For consumers searching for a strong sound but who don't want to shell out a couple hundred dollars on over-the-ear headphones, on-ear is the next step down. But does that mean the sound quality is a step down as well? The JBL Synchros E40BT headphones aim to convince users otherwise, with their balanced approach to sound and mid-range price. Does that mean that the headphones are good, or something that consumers would be settling for? Find out in our review.

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Samsung patent application for tablet sleeve uses prior Apple art

Sun July 27, 2014 | Posted in: industry, Apple

A new patent application from Samsung has surfaced, in which the company is seeking to claim a patent on a new type of sleeve for tablets. While that would not be cause for concern in most cases, some of the art in the application makes a direct call to a familiar cover for Apple's iPads. In the filing, Samsung - which has been repeatedly accused by Apple and others of "slavishly copying" the iPhone maker -- introduces prior art in the form of Apple's Smart Cover.

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