Electronista

Saturday, May 30

Hands On: Friendly for Facebook + Messenger 5.2 (iOS)

If you're like us, nothing frustrated you more about the more recent Facebook updates than when, for no discernible reason whatsoever, Facebook decided to split its messaging system into a separate app from everything else. Despite the outcry, Facebook hasn't decided to change it. Fortunately for us, there's a third-party Facebook app, named Friendly, that sets it right....

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Friday, May 29

Pointers: Yes, you can still burn a music CD in iTunes

Today's Pointers column is inspired by a lamentation from a veteran Mac user of our acquaintance who expressed some regret over the upgrade to iTunes 12 (he had jumped several versions in finally doing the upgrade). Among the other changes the recent version had introduced, he was convinced that Apple had removed the ability to burn music CDs, which he still found useful. In case others are laboring under this miscon...

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Briefly: HomeKit gadgets to ship next week, new Manhattan Apple Store

Just ahead of Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference, which kicks off June 8, a number of manufacturers are set to announce the first HomeKit-compatible products arriving at retail, according to sources. The home-automation technology allows common household products such as lighting systems, environment systems, alarms, doors, and other items to be controlled through iOS app and Siri....

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Forums: MacBook Air strange issues and more

This week in the MacNN forums, members help each other troubleshoot MacBook Air problems, storage issues and more. Mac Elite "And.reg" is still trying to figure out what is going on with his MacBook Air after reporting strange issues months ago. Forum goers continue to assist Mac Elite "jeff k" with trying to figure out why his notebook is telling him he has no more room on his hard drive to update the OS. ...

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Apple deals: up to $600 off MacBook Pros

At Apple's online store today, save up to $600 on refurbished MacBook Pro models. The 13.3-inch MacBook Pro with a 2.5GHz Intel dual-core i5 processor, 4GB of RAM and 500GB hard drive has seen a $270 price cut to $829. A $340 price cut drops the cost on the refurbished 13.3-inch MacBook Pro with a 2.6GHz Intel dual-core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and 512GB of flash storage down to $1,359....

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Hands On: Google Photos 1.0.0 (iOS)

It's not as if Apple owns the rights to the word "photos," but with the new Google Photos 1.0.0 for iOS launch, there are going to be some short but confusing conversations. Are you going to store your photos in Photos or in Photos? Look into Google's offering, and you will immediately decide to move to it -- but if you look even a tiny bit further, the decision is less clear. We think Google has big and compelling a...

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Apple Game Roundup: Subject 13 launch, Chivalry Community Fest, more

On Tuesdays and Fridays, MacNN takes a few minutes to round up important goings-on in the Mac and iOS gaming world. In today's entry we look at the launch of Subject 13, increased legendary drop rates in Borderlands 2 and The Pre-Sequel, the Chivalry: Medieval Community Fest, and a unique achievement in Invisible, Inc....

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Hands On Simple Machines 1.0.1 (iOS)

Simple Machines by Tinybop is less like a game, and more like a collection of scientific toys. The mechanical demonstrations are certainly like games, and some of them have goals the user can shoot for, certainly. There are no points, and very little in the way of "win" conditions, however. What Simple Machines does have is a lot of charm, whimsy, and science!...

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Daily Deals: $800 MacBook Air, 5TB external storage, hard drive bundle

Welcome to Daily Deals, where we search the Internet to find sales, discounts, bundles, and offers on hardware, software, games, and gadgets for you, the discerning MacNN and Electronista reader. The usual recap of still-active deals comes after the new wave of deals, including a MacBook Air for $800, a bundle of three 4TB hard drives for a NAS, and a Samsung D3 Station 5TB USB 3.0 external drive for $120. ...

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Lyve Cam unveiled as 4K-shooting camera that uploads to cloud storage

A new camera intends to make it easier to take pictures at social gatherings, by automatically shooting high-resolution stills and video, and upload them to cloud servers shortly after they have been taken. The Lyve Cam from Lyve Minds is a cylindrical camera capable of 13-megapixel photographs and 4K-resolution video, that can be set to connect to a local Wi-Fi network and upload the content to Lyve's own cloud serv...

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Briefly: Apple retakes top brand from Google, best service from CR

With a staggering "brand value" growth rate over the last decade of 1,446 percent, Apple was again awarded the "top global brand" for the fourth time in the last five years in the latest BrandZ brand value report by marketers Millward Brown. Google had captured the top spot away from Apple last year, but the iPhone maker's stellar sales performance over the past year saw its "brand value" rise 67 percent to $247 bill...

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Mac Game Review: Total War: Shogun 2 Collection

Persevere and never fear. Excellent advice for those who choose to undertake the massive gaming experience that is Total War: Shogun 2 Collection, from Sega and Feral Interactive. For those who have never delved into the series, the Total War games are a series of war games that combine real-time tactics with turn-based strategy, to give an experience that is similar to Civilization, but with a much tighter focus on ...

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MacNN Deals: Protect yourself from losing your smartphone data

Every day, alongside our regular Daily Deals post, we are showcasing a few of the sales available on our own MacNN Deals page. Today, we're looking into ways to protect your precious data stored on your smartphone, including backing up your data, recovering it if things get accidentally deleted, and minimizing physical damage to the iPhone while also providing more photography options for the camera. ...

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Hands On: HTML Studio 3.5 (iOS)

If you're a web designer, a big part of your job is being chained to your computer, typing away endless amounts of code. But what if you wanted the option to travel lighter? What if you didn't want to tote around a laptop or sit at home? That was the reasoning behind HTML Studio, an iOS-based HTML coding program....

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Jawbone sues Fitbit over claims it stole confidential information

Fitness tracker producer Jawbone has sued Fitbit for acquiring confidential documents, shortly before its competitor holds its initial public offering of stock. Filed in a California State Court on Wednesday, Jawbone accuses Fitbit of "systematically plundering" confidential commercial information from it by hiring Jawbone employees, some of which acquired the secret data before departing to the competition. ...

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Thursday, May 28

Man fined $120 for using Apple Watch while driving

A man in Quebec, Canada has been ticketed with a potential fine of $120 for using his Apple Watch to manually change songs remotely on his nearby iPhone, sparking a debate about whether the Watch can be as distracting as the smartphone it ostensibly replaces in such situations, and opening a discussion about the nature of "no handheld devices while driving" laws which are widespread throughout North America. Defendan...

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Google I/O: Google Cardboard upgraded, brought to iOS

Google spent some time during its Google I/O keynote talking about its virtual reality efforts. Google Cardboard has received an update, with the budget VR headset now able to work with iOS devices, while its other video-related efforts involve a new design of camera system that has the support of camera producer GoPro, and the incoming addition of true stereoscopic VR video to YouTube. ...

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Appeals court slams Bromwich, but denies Apple request for replacement

The Second US Circuit Court of Appeals handed Apple a minor defeat on Thursday in its fight to both get rid of the antitrust "watchdog" a biased lower court had appointed for it, as well as overturn the earlier court ruling entirely. In a decision on the fate of Michael Bromwich, a personal friend of the original trial judge Denise Cote who Apple has argued is not qualified in antitrust and who has attempted to condu...

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Apple buys German augmented-reality firm Metaio

Apple has bought out the assets and technology of Volkswagen-created augmented reality (AR) firm Metaio, which developed AR-enhanced business and product-oriented interactive software for websites and companies. The acquisition is not the first of Apple's buyouts of AR firms, which use live video from cameras and overlay graphics or information to supplement what can be seen -- from instantly translating a sign into ...

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Hands On: Final Draft Writer 2.0 (iOS)

Now that Final Draft has come to the iPhone –– in form of Final Draft Writer 2.0 –– you could in theory write the next Hollywood blockbuster on your phone. You won't. Nobody will. What you could well do is make changes and as any screenwriter would tell you, there are always changes to be made. ...

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Daily Deals: iPad Air 2, Xbox One Assassins Creed Bundle, Monitors

Welcome to Daily Deals, where we search the Internet to find sales, discounts, bundles, and offers on hardware, software, games, and gadgets for you, the discerning MacNN and Electronista reader. The usual recap of still-active deals comes after the new wave of deals, including savings on USB battery packs for smartphones and tablets, noise-cancelling Beats headphones, a travel router, savings on an iPad Air 2, and m...

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Google I/O: Brillo, Weave revealed as Internet of Things projects

Google has unveiled its attempt to help development of Internet of Things (IoT) devices, by launching Project Brillo. Based on core components of Android, the IoT operating system is designed to run on low-powered devices, and includes native support for Wi-Fi, Bluetooth LE, and other Android functions in order to make communications between devices as simple as possible. ...

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Google I/O: Google Photos available now on Android, iOS [u]

Updated with iOS version availability. At today's Google I/O keynote, the search giant unveiled Google Photos. The new service by the company allows Web-based users, as well as Android and iOS device owners a file repository and discovery utility for unlimited 16MP photos, and 1080p videos, for free. Included in the service is automatic video tagging, advanced search, privacy measures for shared pictures, and album c...

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Hands On: Transcriptions 1.1 (OS X)

We start the day thankful. We're running this Summer Project about researching, writing and publishing books and in looking up a link for you in it, we found that one of our favorite software tools has been seriously updated. We've no clue how we missed it, but we have transcribed so many countless, countless interviews using Transcriptions 0.8.0.1 that we've worn it out. Now we've found Transcriptions 1.1. So thank ...

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Amazon same-day delivery adds free option for Amazon Prime members

Amazon has modified its same-day delivery service, expanding the utility for Amazon Prime members. Starting today, Amazon Prime members in select areas will be able to order from a million-strong catalog, and receive free same-day delivery if the order exceeds $35. The previous $6 charge still applies to items not on the million-item list, or if the order falls beneath the $35 threshold....

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Hands On: D3lta 2.0.1 (iOS)

Geometric designs are "in" right now, and being popularized in clothing styles, jewelery, website designs, artwork, and more. Just about everything that can feature geometric designs can and will, and it's the benchmark of being on the forefront of trendy. We came across an app called D3lta which takes an unlikely candidate, photography, and juxtaposes it with the inherent "hipness" of geometric design....

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Avago buys chip supplier Broadcom in $37 billion deal

Avago Technologies Limited and Broadcom Corporation today announced that they have entered into an agreement under which Avago will acquire Broadcom in a cash and stock transaction that values the combined company at $77 billion. Upon completion of the acquisition, the combined company is expecting to generate combined annual revenues of approximately $15 billion....

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MacKeeper developers facing class action suit, $2M payout proposed

ZeoBit, the developers of MacKeeper are facing a class action suit, alleging that not only did the "utility" not function as advertised, but was deceptively marketed. Under a proposed settlement, the company will deposit $2 million into a fund to reimburse customers and pay attorney fees, but admit no fault in wrongdoing in distributing the software....

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MacNN Deals: Cases to make your iPhone 6 more useful

Every day, along with our regular Daily Deals post, we are going to showcase some of the offers available on our own MacNN Deals site. Today, we're discussing cases for iPhones that add more than just protection, including the ability to replace a wallet with a cover, and two options for boosting the battery life of the iPhone via battery covers. ...

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Hands On: Pixelmator for iPhone 2.0.1

Where was this yesterday? We were in our car –– properly and correctly in a car park, we would never edit photographs on the Interstate –– and needed to do a tiny bit of work on an image that we'd forgotten to do earlier. Sometimes it's very handy getting to hide behind the third person: we were daft forgetting to do that image, we were daft forgetting to bring our iPads. If this were just about 18 hours la...

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The MacNN Podcast, episode 16: Money (and Touch ID) changes everything

Thanks to a combination of the Memorial Day weekend in the US (and bank holiday long weekend in the UK) along with continent-spanning long travel days for your MacNN editor, the process of putting the final touches on this week's episode of the growing-nicely and award-eligible MacNN Podcast was delayed by a couple of days, for which we apologize. As usual, we spent time on the weekend reviewing the top tech stories ...

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Hands On: Til Morning's Light 1.0.1 (iOS, Android)

So, unlike our game from Amazon Game Studios (Lost Within), we didn't call Todd and ask him to keep us company as we played Til Morning's Light, but the story here is still pretty horrific. The game sits firmly in the classic survival horror genre of exploring a spooky old house, solving puzzles and occasionally being attacked by monsters. The puzzles aren't terribly difficult, although there's a very real danger of ...

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Lenovo takes on Chromecast with own Cast streaming device

Lenovo has revealed it is taking on the Google Chromecast with its own media sharing device. The Lenovo Cast is a compact round disc measuring 70mm (2.8 inches) in diameter and 15mm (0.6 inches) high, making it larger than Google's device, and it offers a few of the content streaming functions as its competition, except it also adds in a few more items that makes it slightly more flexible to use compared to its Googl...

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