Even as questions arise about the LA Unified School District's handling of its botched and now-abandoned iPad program, Apple continues to win school districts over to the tablet. The St. Paul School District in Minnesota is launching a program that will offer tens of thousands of iPads to students in a total of 61 schools over time, with an initial rollout to 37 schools in the city. The district is leasing the equipment from Apple, which includes up to 1,000 unspecified MacBook models.
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Apple continues to tweak its iAd mobile advertising platform, now offering new formats, including full-screen interstitial ads (as often seen on iTunes Radio in iTunes) as well as Facebook-style "pre-roll" videos where video clips begin playing silently until clicked on by users, which opens the full video with sound. A new implementation guide has also been issued with the updated offerings. Additionally, the company says that the iAd network is now available in Russia and Switzerland beginning today. Ad creators can choose to update their ads to target either or both countries using iAd workbench, notes 9to5Mac.
9 hours ago | Posted in: iPhone, accessories, Apple
Starting on Wednesday, T-Mobile will offer a discount of up to $50 off the full price of all iPhones, according to a leaked internal memo. The offer will not affect subsidized iPhones, but applies to "device only" (no contract) sales. The discount will vary depending on the model and capacity, notes TmoNews, and is likely a reaction to recent price-cutting of contract phones by retailers like Walmart, which has dropped the price of the iPhone 5c to 97 cents and the iPhone 5s to $79 with a two-year contract.
Automattic, the company responsible for the WordPress blog platform, announced today that it acquired BruteProtect. The pick up will allow the company to strengthen security of the WordPress platform through its Jetpack service, without additional cost to users. BruteProtect started its life as a plug-in for the popular blogging software, only to expand into other areas of security, server management and premium services.
11 hours ago | Posted in: audio, iPhone apps, Apple, iPad apps
The USA Today newspaper app for iOS is temporarily removing the program's ability to feature audio versions of top articles, revealing that the reason is due to a change of serving technology needed to prepare a forthcoming update of the app to be CarPlay-compatible. In the current update of the app, the announcement was buried in the program's release notes, and there is no mention of when the audio feature will return.
12 hours ago | Posted in: software, iPhone apps
Ride share service Uber is apparently looking to expand into some other functions, as the company is testing a service dubbed UberFresh starting today. The program is attempting to deliver lunch to people in a short time frame, utilizing a menu specific to the area being tested. The service is only being offered for a limited time, but a successful test could mean the program would be expanded further.
12 hours ago | Posted in: iPhone apps, Apple
American television network ABC has updated its content streaming app for iOS. Watch ABC allows its users to view the network's shows, sports content, news and weather reports on demand - so long as a participating cable TV provider account is used to sign in to the service. Live video content is available in Chicago, Fresno, Houston, Los Angeles and other major cities, subject to the participating TV provider as well. Watch ABC v3.4.0 now includes the ability to stream content with AirPlay, via Apple TV, and as well by using Chromecast via Google Chromecast. Watch ABC for iOS is free to download, and requires iOS 5.0 or later to run.
Flattening iPad sales during the last two quarters are nothing to worry about, says Apple CEO Tim Cook in a new interview. "We couldn't be happier with how we've done with the first four years of the iPad," he tells Re/Code's Walt Mossberg. "I'd call what's going on recently a speed bump, and I've seen that in every category."
12 hours ago | Posted in: computers, upgrades/storage
Storage solutions provider Seagate today announced it is shipping the world's first 8TB hard disk drive. The five-platter enterprise-oriented drive is in limited availability right now to "select customers," with wide scale availability next quarter, and a retail release shortly thereafter.
13 hours ago | Posted in: digital imaging
Four new e-All-in-One printers were announced by HP today, adding a few new options for consumers and businesses looking to add a printer that can be used with a number of devices. HP has said that it is adding three low-cost options to the Envy line for in-home use, and an Officejet model for home offices to suit different customer needs. Desktop and mobile devices, including iOS, Android, ChromeOS, Windows 8, and the Kindle Fire HDX can all be utilized with the new e-All-in-One units.
13 hours ago | Posted in: iPad
Apple suppliers are preparing to build a long-rumored 12.9-inch iPad, with production scheduled to start by the first quarter of 2015, sources tell Bloomberg. The unnamed sources don't have any further details on the tablet, except that Apple has been working with suppliers for a year or more to develop larger touchscreen devices. As for the iPad Air and iPad mini, a new Air is said to be in production now, while a new Mini is on the cusp. Both should ship later this year.
14 hours ago | Posted in: Apple
Apple-owned Beats Music has launched a US contest to promote itself and next month's iTunes Festival in London. The #GoWithMe promotion offers 25 winners a chance to take a friend to see one of five concerts. Options include Kiesza, Calvin Harris, Pharrell Williams/Jungle, Maroon 5/Matthew Koma, or Ed Sheeran/Foy Vance.
14 hours ago | Posted in: iPhone
French site Nowhereelse has published a photo of what it claims is the Quick Start guide for the iPhone 6. If authentic, the guide shows the layout of the device, including a sleep/wake button relocated from the top to the side, presumably because of the phone's larger size. The date on the phone is also set to "Tuesday, September 9," when Apple is generally expected to announce new iPhones. Past Quick Start guides have also used announcement dates.
15 hours ago | Posted in: computers, troubleshooting, software, Apple
Yesterday, Mac Elite "jeff k" took to the MacNN forums looking for assistance with trying to figure out why a stubborn file won't clear out of the trash can. Mac Elite "rotuts" sparked a conversation about apps that can be used to catalog hard drive file usage by date.
Right now at Apple's online store, find big savings on refurbished iMac models. A $200 price cut can be had on the 21.5-inch iMac with a 2.7GHz Intel quad-core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and 1TB hard drive, now $1,099. For $1,399 is a 21.5-inch iMac originally released in October of 2012, with a 3.1GHz Intel quad-core i7 processor, 8GB of RAM and a 1TB hard drive.
15 hours ago | Posted in: computers, upgrades/storage, audio, Apple
This week at Adorama.com, get the Mac mini desktop computer for the reduced price of $879 with free shipping. That's $20 less than the retail price, and the lowest price we have seen on this Mac model by the same price margin. This Mac mini features a 2.6GHz Intel dual-core i7 processor, 1TB hard drive and 4GB of RAM. It is backed by a one-year warranty on parts and labor from Apple.
15 hours ago | Posted in: iPhone apps
Canadian cable companies Rogers and Shaw are preparing to open up its own streaming video equivalent to Netflix later this year. Shomi is a subscription video-on-demand service which will provide movies and TV show streams, which the two companies plan to launch in the first week of November for an estimated $9 per month, the same cost as its competition.
16 hours ago | Posted in: iPhone
Verizon is deliberately letting its remaining 32GB iPhone 5c inventory run dry, a source tells AppleInsider. The carrier has allegedly "retired" the model, as it prepares for Apple to launch new iPhones next month. The Verizon online store is in fact already out of the 32GB 5c in all colors except for blue. Every 16GB model is still in stock, as are all editions of the iPhone 5s.
17 hours ago | Posted in: software
Google has released Chrome 37 for Windows, Mac, and Linux. The biggest change affects only Windows users, in the form of DirectWrite support for better font rendering. Previously, Chrome for Windows depended on the Graphics Device Interface, and Google explains that the change "required extensive re-architecting and streamlining of Chrome's font rendering engine."
Showtimes can be used to find movies playing in nearby theaters. The app uses a users location to determine where the closest theaters are, and then allows showtimes to be sorted by times, critic ratings, box office sales, and more. Version 5.2 now allows users to compare multiple movie ratings providers side by side. A new Average Score has also been added to let users know what movies are doing well and which are duds. A few known issues have also been fixed, which should improve both stability and performance of the app.
Instagram is a popular social network for sharing images and videos. Within the app users can edit their media and share it with all of their followers in a photo feed, or privately share content directly with friends. A number of bug fixes and performance improvements are included in this update.
TSN GO provides users with access to live streams of several TSN channels. Within the app users can also view breaking headlines, up-to-the minute scores and stats, and analysis and features from TSN’s all-star roster of Insiders and experts. The v2.6 update now allows users to stream TSN1, TSN2, TSN3, TSN4 and TSN5 all within the app.
PhotoBlur can be used to create smooth background images based on existing photos. The software will take colors from a source image and create a blurred background image, which can be further modified with captions and overlaid images. Version 1.1 offers an improved interface, as well as a new option for overlaying wallpapers with patterns.
Nick gives users access to a range of Nickelodeon content on their mobile device. Within the app users will find original videos, animated shorts, games, full episodes, polls, and more. The latest release adds two new games to the app, Bikini Bottom Brawlers and Nick Soccer Stars, and resolves a number of reported bugs.
17 hours ago | Posted in: mobile phones
T-Mobile has announced its second set of price plan changes in as many days. The carrier is extending the line capacity of its Simple Choice plans from five lines to a maximum of ten per account, while a new scheme will provide tablets added to a Simple Choice plan the same amount of LTE data as allocated to smartphones on the same account.
17 hours ago | Posted in:
Video streamer Netflix has formally objected to the Comcast and Time Warner Cable merger, with a complaint filed with the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) earlier this week. The streamer believes that the merger hampers consumer access to data, and "would set up an ecosystem that calls into question what we have to date taken for granted: that a consumer who pays for connectivity to the Internet will be able to get the content she requests."
18 hours ago | Posted in: peripherals
In addition to an updated iTunes Festival app, the Apple TV has also been refreshed with Showtime Anytime, an app for the Showtime TV network. While some episodes are available on-demand for free, full use of the app -- including live streaming -- requires authenticating a subscription with compatible providers. That list includes AT&T U-Verse, Bright House, Comcast Xfinity, Cox, DirecTV, Optimum, Time Warner, Verizon FiOS, and a number of regional firms.
The superintendent of Los Angeles' Unified School District, John Deasy, has formally suspended future implementation of an iPad contract with Apple. "Moving forward, we will no longer utilize our current contract with Apple," he writes in a memo issued to the Board of Education. "Not only will this decision enable us to take advantage of an ever-changing marketplace and technology advances, it will also give us time to take into account concerns raised surrounding the [project]."
19 hours ago | Posted in: mobile phones
Verizon Wireless is gearing up to roll out its Voice over LTE (VoLTE) service over its cellular network. Its planned service will be going live over the next few weeks, with the higher-quality HD Voice calling accompanied by a simplified video calling service built directly into the phone dialer, allowing users to seamlessly switch between voice-only and video calls.
20 hours ago | Posted in: Apple
[Updated with iOS app, Apple TV channel news] Another 19 musical acts have been added to the list performing at next month's iTunes Festival in London. Some prominent names include Mary J. Blige, deadmau5, Tony Bennett, Ed Sheeran, Placebo, and Little Dragon. In all, Apple has announced 40 artists, but over 20 more have yet to be made public.
21 hours ago | Posted in: accessories, audio
Blue Microphones, a digital audio brand best known for its USB audio mics popular with both podcasters and musicians, has expanded into headphones with the release of its first Mo-Fi headphone set. As recently noted by one of our reviewers, most headphones sound much better when paired with a combination DAC and amplifier like the Sony's PHA-2 portable headphone amps -- but Blue has taken it a step further by building the amp directly into its headphones.
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