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

05/30, 8:14am

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

05/29, 11:50pm

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 misconception, this column will show you that yes, CD music burning is still doable in iTunes 12.1 in 2015.

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

05/29, 5:46pm

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

05/29, 4:21pm

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

05/29, 4:20pm

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)

05/29, 4:08pm

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 advantages, but Apple has some too -- and in the end, the best result may be that both companies force each other to get better.

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

05/29, 2:42pm

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)

05/29, 2:40pm

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

05/29, 2:33pm

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

05/29, 12:57pm

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 service, retrievable later via the company's mobile app.

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

05/29, 11:57am

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 billion, compared to an overall brand value rise of 14 percent in 2015, and 126 percent over the last 10 years.

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Mac Game Review: Total War: Shogun 2 Collection

05/29, 9:33am

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 the battlefield. The entire series is very complex, both in strategy as well as in design. While the games have generally done a good job of introducing new players to the gameplay styles and mechanics, they can be quite daunting for those not accustomed to such a deeply involved experience, and Total War: Shogun 2 Collection is no exception to that.

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MacNN Deals: Protect yourself from losing your smartphone data

05/29, 8:30am

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)

05/29, 8:00am

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

05/29, 7:12am

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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