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Apple Watch picks up standalone functionality

32 minutes ago | Posted in: Apple

Apple has quietly added standalone functionality to the list of Apple Watch features ahead of its impending launch. According to the dedicated Apple Watch section on the Apple website providing an overview of its capabilities, Apple Watch users will now be able to leave their iPhone behind when going for a run and will be able to use the Apple Watch itself for music playback. While the feature is not uncommon in some competing smartwatches, the pre-launch Apple Watch event held last year by Apple did not include any mention of standalone functionality, instead suggesting that iPhone was a mandatory requirement for the Apple Watch in all usage scenarios.

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Hands On: Vintagio (iOS)

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

Vintagio by MacPhun takes video and images from an iOS device, and lets the user apply filters to give them a retro look. As an example, here's a very dull video where one of our reviewers stupidly crosses a river by walking along something that isn't meant to be used as a bridge while it's raining. Directly below it, is a slightly more amusing version of the same video with a built-in effect and soundtrack from the app applied.

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Briefly: Product placement, iPad EDU changes, 'Serena' on iTunes, more

1 hour ago | Posted in: education, troubleshooting, Apple, iPad, iPad apps

Apple will now handle support for Beats Music customers, along with businesses offering Apple Pay, through its AppleCare division, according to reports. Previously, Beats Music support was handled by an outsourced firm, but has now been moved in-house after the company was acquired by Apple last year. The move to offer support to businesses implementing Apple Pay will encourage more companies to do so. There is also a specific Merchants support hotline for Apple Pay for those already using the system.

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Apple Watch: Ive, Cook meet the press; first joke iWatch app developed

3 hours ago | Posted in: Investor, industry, security, Apple

A new interview with Apple design head Sir Jonathan Ive and recent remarks by CEO Tim Cook are shedding some light (and building up hype) for both the Apple Watch and the current outlook of the company and the men who run it. Ive, in an interview with London's Financial Times, explains the rationale behind the development of the Apple Watch, while Cook expanded on his view on privacy, and Apple's industry leadership. In other news, a forthcoming Apple Watch app has already set the bar to a new low.

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Hands On: Microsoft Office 2016 Preview (OS X)

5 hours ago | Posted in: software

We're not going to judge Microsoft Office for Mac 2016 in the detail or the depth that we will when it finally ships as a finished product. However, Microsoft has made it available in preview beta form, and it is irresistible. It's also very good, and if you have even a modicum of interest in Microsoft Office, you should try it now - though there are one or two caveats you'll want to keep in mind.

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Forums: importing address book from Outlook to iCloud

6 hours ago | Posted in: computers, troubleshooting, software, upgrades/storage, Apple

This week in the MacNN forums, Senior User "Chinasaur" was asking fellow forum-goers how they would go about importing a .csv file from Outlook.com to iCloud as they have accidentally erased their contacts and this is the only backup they have. So far a solution has yet to be found. Members continue to discuss reasons why someones Mac might have hard system crashes.

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Apple deals: up to $600 off Mac Pro

6 hours ago | Posted in: computers, Apple

At Apple's online store today, save on a wide selection of refurbished Mac Pro configurations. The refurbished Mac Pro with a 3.7GHz Intel quad-core Xeon E5 processor, 12GB of RAM and 256GB of PCIe-based flash memory has been reduced by $450 to $2,549. For $3,219 is the refurbished Mac Pro with a 3.7GHz Intel quad-core Xeon E5 processor, 16GB of RAM and 512GB of PCIe-based flash storage.

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Apple, Japan Display agree to deal on $1.4B LCD plant

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

Japan Display, a company created by three Japanese tech firms in 2012, has agreed to a deal with Apple to help build a $1.4 billion new display manufacturing facility that should increase its overall LCD capacity by 20 percent. The company already supplies Apple with some 50,000 raw-material Retina display panels per month at present, and the investment by Apple in the new facility could guarantee a steady supply in the future.

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Hands On: Musyc (iOS)

7 hours ago | Posted in: audio, iPhone apps, iPad apps

It's been said that creating music is one of the finer joys in life. However, not everyone has the chance to invest in an instrument, or lessons, or spend the time practicing. Because of this, a large portion of the population is left to only wonder what it would be like if they were to create their own music. That's why we took a look at Musyc Pro, a strangely simple app aimed at the casual musician.

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Daily Deals: QNAP TS-431, Amazon Kindle, Sony 4k AV receiver

8 hours ago | Posted in: computers, gaming, peripherals, gadgets, software

Welcome to Daily Deals, the post where we place discounts and offers on hardware and software we find in online stores for you, the discerning MacNN and Electronista reader. Alongside our last recap of the week's still-active deals before they disappear, we have a Sony 4k AV receiver, a driveless QNAP network attached storage appliance, and a few inexpensive Windows laptops.

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Ask.com toolbar included in latest Java update for OS X

8 hours ago | Posted in: security

Oracle's Java Update 8 Update 40 for OS X has an unexpected surprise for installers. The update instructions note that the company has "partnered with companies that offer various products" and will install the borderline-malware Ask.com toolbar into unsuspecting OS X users' systems.

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Windows, Blackberry also susceptible to HTTPS-breaking FREAK attack

10 hours ago | Posted in: security

In an advisory published on Thursday, Microsoft has admitted that all versions of its OS and browser are susceptible to the FREAK bug. Additionally, all BlackBerry devices are also vulnerable. The flaw allowing the attack exists in approximately 36 percent of websites that use HTTPS, and miscreants are able to intercept and modify data passing between a vulnerable browser and a susceptible site. Neither BlackBarry devices nor Windows devices were intially pegged as susceptible due to a flaw in the coding of the test site.

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Dow Jones shoving AT&T off industrial average, replacing with Apple

10 hours ago | Posted in: Investor, industry, Apple

Apple stock is going to supplant AT&T's on the Dow Jones Industrial Average. After market close on March 18, Apple will be listed on the average, with the low-performing AT&T being pulled. The move was precipitated by a Visa four to one split, effective on the same date.

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Republicans file bill to rip Internet regulatory powers from FCC

11 hours ago | Posted in: industry

Legislation has been filed opposing the US Federal Communication Commission's Title II and net neutrality vote. Representative Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) is driving the "Internet Freedom Act" which if passed will block the FCC from implementing its net neutrality proposal, including Title II, and strip the agency from issuing a new rule on the matter. The move is similar to one she took in July, trying to strip the FCC of regulatory powers, over a slightly different matter.

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Hands On: Artree relaxation app (iOS)

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

We'd like to think at this point there's an app for just about everything, and just about everyone. Most apps have a very clearly-defined purpose, be it a productivity app that promises to help you make the most of your time, or a game that promises to entertain you. Occasionally, there are quirky apps that don't have a specific person or function in mind. Artree by Hansol Huh is an example of a quirky app that might not be everyone's cup of tea, but certainly does what it was designed to do very well.

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Battery replacement program for iPhone 5 extended until 2016

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

A battery exchange program for some iPhone 5 users has been extended into from this year into 2016. Initially limited to "two years after the first retail sale or until March 1, 2015, whichever gives longer coverage" the language on Apple's website for the program was quietly changed to run through January 2016.

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Previous News

Hands On: NoteSpot (iOS)

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

NoteSpot by Maximiliano Villa is a very simple note-taking app that saves your location as soon as you tap to create a new note. More simple than something like RemindMeAt, but more robust than dropping a pin on the iOS map. NoteSpot is an easy way to create a list of things you want to remember about the places you've been, or see exactly where you were when that idea came to you.

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Pointers: Use Dropbox to Share Files (OS X)

12 hours ago | Posted in: software

Dropbox is so handy and so universally-used that it's probably the case that either you already use it to share files, or you haven't yet had a need to. Dropbox has changed over the years, though, and the current ways of sharing large files and whole folders are better. They're easier. They're also faster, in that you can do much more sharing directly from the Finder on your Mac, and only rarely going to Dropbox.com to do anything.

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Revamped Beats Music, iTunes streaming coming in June, sources say

Thu March 5, 2015 | Posted in: audio, iPhone apps, Apple, iPad apps

Apple is now aiming for a revamp of its Beats Music streaming service, which will see the offering tied in more closely to both iTunes and other Apple products and services, to happen in June -- right around the time of the expected Worldwide Developers Conference, which is likely to happen on June 8–12, according to sources familiar with current plans. In addition to retaining the personalization and hand-curated recommendation features, Apple may be planning to lower the monthly cost.

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Logitech G303 Daedalus Apex revealed with 12,000 dpi optical sensor

Thu March 5, 2015 | Posted in: gaming, peripherals

Logitech has unveiled another gaming mouse in its range of high-performance peripherals, this time with a high DPI optical sensor. The G303 Daedalus Apex's Delta Zero optical sensor is able to offer a dpi range from as low as 200 to 12,000 with zero smoothing, tracking movement at 300 inches per second and is also able to be tuned to operate optimally with the mousing surface being used.

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Hands On: Alice Trapped in Wonderland (iOS)

Thu March 5, 2015 | Posted in: gaming, iPhone apps, iPad apps

Point-and-click adventure games have been popular for quite some time, with titles such as Myst and Neverwood leading the pack. A big draw to the genre is the ability to force players to engage in lateral thinking by giving them cryptic puzzles to solve. One such title for iOS is Alice Trapped in Wonderland by MediaCity Games, a point-and-click adventure set in the classic children's book world.

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Continental, BMW talking to Apple about car partnerships

Thu March 5, 2015 | Posted in: industry, software, Apple

Two major auto manufacturers are said to be in talks with Apple about a variety of possible partnerships, from Continental's hopes that it could participate in any rumored Apple Car creation to BMW's desire to collaborate with the iPhone maker about bringing some its existing and future car technology to its auto lineup. BMW went out if its way, however, to specifically deny that its talks with Apple have anything do with developing or building a car.

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Microsoft releases public preview of Office 2016 for Mac

Thu March 5, 2015 | Posted in: software

Microsoft on Thursday released a public preview beta of the programs that make up the forthcoming Office 2016 for Mac. The new versions, which inherit many of the features from the last Windows release, offer a Yosemite-inspired look that support Retina displays, full-screen mode, and other modern Mac and OS X features. The preview versions are completely free to download and use, but are intended to give customers a sneak peek and to gather feedback from users ahead of the final release.

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Hands On: Fresh Air Weather (iOS)

Thu March 5, 2015 | Posted in: iPhone apps, iPad apps

There are places in the world where the weather is extreme, but people who live there know how to deal with it. There are places in the world where weather remains constant, except for certain parts of the year when everybody freaks out. No matter where you live, there are a few things you can be sure of. Two of them are that the sun rises and sets, and that atmospheric conditions will create some kind of environment people may or may not need to prepare for. Fresh Air by Backcountry Studios, seeks to take a topic most people see as banal, the weather, and put it in context with what's going on in your life.

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Daily Deals: Trendnet wireless router, Hisense HDTV, Amazon Kindle

Thu March 5, 2015 | Posted in: gaming, peripherals, gadgets, software, accessories

Welcome to Daily Deals, the weekday post where discounts, sales, and offers for various gadgets, gizmos, hardware, and software are listed for you, the dear MacNN and Electronista reader. Today, we recap the still-active deals from earlier this week, with the new items including a 40-inch HDTV, a $25 dual-band wireless router, and $20 off the Amazon Kindle.

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Hands On: Awesome Paper Toys (iOS)

Thu March 5, 2015 | Posted in: iPhone apps, iPad apps

Most people know about origami, which is the act of folding paper into three-dimensional shapes and objects. In origami, the crafter never cuts or glues the paper, and instead relies on precise folding techniques. Paper craft, which is like origami's laid-back cousin, is a lot less strict. In paper craft, users make three-dimensional objects, but can use cutting, folding, and gluing pieces of paper together. Often, paper craft employs unique techniques to make the end product kinetic, or moveable. Awesome Paper Toys by Philipp Stollenmayer, teaches users how to create nine unique paper crafts that are sure to entertain anyone who sees them.

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