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Ive, Newson talk Apple Watch, modern craftsmanship at conference

04/25, 4:35pm

Apple SVP of Design Sir Jonathan Ive and fellow designer Marc Newson appeared at the first Conde Nast International Luxury Conference in Florence, Italy on Wednesday and gave an interview to International Vogue editor Suzy Menkes, during which they reiterated the standard speaking points on Apple's overall design philosophy and missing, but also discussed the Apple Watch in the context of the strata of the luxury market, and the meaning of craftsmanship in the 21st century.

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Hands On: SmartDown 1.0.4 (OS X)

04/25, 8:00am

It's not as if you are stuck for applications to write in: whether you go for Microsoft Word or TextEdit, there are just about 40 different word processors for every man, woman and child on the planet. It's just that not many work in Markdown, which is a form of writing, a format, and a syntax that works well for the web. SmartDown is one of those, and it works very well.

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Hands On: Sorcery! 3 – The Seven Serpents 1.0.2 (iOS, Android)

04/24, 7:25pm

The third installment of Steve Jackson's Sorcery! game series is now available from iTunes. It isn't necessary to play the first two chapters to enjoy the third; each leg of the journey is its own self-contained quest and story. However, for those willing to put in the time, a magic word is given at the end of each game to add input into the next. Friendships, items, curses, abilities, and knowledge transfer from one to the other, giving the whole experience a richer feel.

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Apple wins three-year Chinese patent case against Siri technology

04/24, 6:31pm

After two legal defeats, Apple has won its case on appeal in a lawsuit brought by Zhizhen Network Technology that dates back to 2012. The Beijing Higher People's Court has ruled that Apple did not violate any patents held by the Shanghai-based Zhizhen, and thus no infringement has occurred. Apple first attempted to have the Zhizhen patent, which covered only "a type of instant messaging chat bot system," invalidated, but later sued the government and the company when authorities ruled in favor of Zhizhen.

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Hands On: Hazel 3.3.5 (OS X)

04/24, 4:24pm

You don't hear enough about Hazel from Noodlesoft. Its simplest description is that it automatically does things for you to do with files and folders, it moves and renames and sorts them. Unfortunately one reason you don't hear enough about it is that once you've set it up, you never have to think about it again. It just keeps right on doing its stuff. That's admirable and it's also a shame for Noodlesoft which should be lauded more. It's also a shame for you because you genuinely forget that it's there when you could be using it for more and more.

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Apple unveils three new TV ads for Apple Watch

04/24, 4:00pm

Celebrating the launch of the Apple Watch, the company has posted three new ads showcasing its newest device -- complete with Apple's signature style of illustrating everyday use of the Watch ahead of explaining features or giving the product a false image equating it with power, sex, or glamor. The three ads -- "Us," "Up," and "Rise" -- offer dramatized but realistic normal uses for the Apple Watch, with differing emphasis.

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The Feature Thief: Apple taketh away, sometimes giveth back

04/24, 2:51pm

Stop us if you've heard this one: Apple takes one of its key software applications, radically changes it, losing important features along the way. Existing users say Apple has dumbed down an app that was perfect, while new users say this is fantastic, they can finally understand the application. Flash forward a few months, and Apple has stealthily added back some or all of the features. We've seen this with iMovie and Final Cut Pro, we saw it with Pages, we are seeing it now with iPhoto turning into Photos. It is a well-worn path by Apple, and if we're not fans of the way they go about it, we are often fans of how these new applications turn out ... eventually.

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Forums: New iMac problem, jpg editing on iPod Touch, more

04/24, 2:20pm

Today in the MacNN forums, Forum Regular "Harvey" explained some troubling behavior with their 8-month old iMac and wonders if anyone else has experienced anything else like this on Yosemite. Also today one Mac Elite was trying to figure out how to edit jpg files on his new iPod Touch, and fellow forum-members began suggesting apps to use.

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Apple deals: up to $600 off Mac Pros

04/24, 2:18pm

At Apple's online store this week save big on refurbished Mac Pro models, with savings of up to $600 off. The refurbished Mac Pro with a 3.7GHz Intel quad-core Xeon E5 processor, 12GB of RAM and 256GB of flash storage has been reduced to $2,549 for a savings of $450 off the list price. Priced at $3,219 is the refurbished Mac Pro with a 3.5GHz Intel 6-core E5 processor, 12GB of RAM and 512GB of storage.

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Daily Deals: Crucial 960GB SSD, Jongo T2 speaker, Garmin Vivofit

04/24, 1:10pm

Welcome to Daily Deals, the regular post where we search online and offline retailers for discounts, offers, and sales on an array of hardware and software for you, the discerning MacNN and Electronista reader. Today, we cover the still-active deals from throughout the week, while the new deals list includes a sub-$300 960GB SSD, the Pure Jongo T2 wireless speaker, and the Garmin Vivofit fitness band.

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Apple Game Roundup: Batman GOTY, Total War: Warhammer, D&D VTT

04/24, 1:05pm

On Tuesdays and Fridays, MacNN takes a few minutes to round up important goings-on in the Mac and iOS gaming world. Today, we're looking at Total War: Warhammer's announcement, Retina MacBook gaming benchmarks, Dungeons & Dragons downloadable content for virtual tabletop Fantasy Grounds, and Feral's release of Batman: Arkham Asylum – Game of the Year Edition

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Hands On: Deliveries 6.1 (iOS, Mac)

04/24, 12:33pm

We've said it before in other venues, but it's worth repeating: when you become an adult, you get really excited over the strangest things. You know that part in the 1979 film The Jerk when Steve Martin's character jumps up and down yelling, "the new phone book is here! The new phone book is here!"? That was us when we tried out Deliveries: a package tracker by Junecloud. We tested Deliveries on an iPhone 5 and an iPad Mini 2, but there's also a Mac app, and everything syncs through iCloud.

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Ahrendts in China, lines at boutique locations for Apple Watch launch

04/24, 11:47am

While Apple has since abandoned its former April 24 retail launch day for the Apple Watch due to a global sellout, a few select stores -- almost entirely third-party fashion boutique sellers who secured allotments early -- are said to have or have had actual stock of Apple Watches to sell. Customers hoping to score one today are lining up outside these shops, even as Apple Retail chief Dame Angela Ahrendts spent the day in China.

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Plug officially pulled on Time Warner Cable and Comcast merger

04/24, 9:59am

As expected, Comcast and Time Warner Cable have both walked away from the blockbuster merger deal, citing governmental resistance from the Department of Justice and the Federal Communications Commission. In a statement about the collapse, Comcast CEO Brian Roberts said that "we would have liked to bring our great products to new cities, but we structured this deal so that if the government didn't agree, we could walk away."

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Briefly: Google Maps image insults Apple, X-Files HD hits Netflix US

04/24, 9:07am

Users of Google Maps may find an odd image if they search Pakistan. Team Android reports someone has inserted an image of the Android mascot urinating on the Apple Logo. While it is unlikely to be an addition by a Google employee, it is possible that the image was added as part of Map Maker, a system that allows users to submit edits to the map for inclusion into the main Google Maps service, with the insulting image possibly overlooked during moderation.

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