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Hands On: VLC 2.4.1 (iOS)

02/28, 12:48pm

VLC has famously been on and off the iOS App Store for various reasons -- but it's back now and looks likely to stay, because the developer is promising another major update besides this week's update, coming in the near future. Nonetheless, don't wait: grab this video player while you definitely can.

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New Jersey man hospitalized by exploded iPhone 5c battery

02/28, 12:36pm

An iPhone has reportedly exploded in a Long Island, New York man's pocket, sending him to the burn ward for 10 days. Erik Johnson was given a swath of third-degree burns on his left thigh after he bent over to get keys, when he heard a pop and, according to Johnson's claims, the battery burst and caught on fire, burning the man severely. An iPhone 5c belonging to a MacNN editor isn't seeing any bulging or any signs of problem, nor have we heard any previous claims for this model, but Johnson has photographic proof of the explosion.

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Hands On: Hero Keyboard (iOS)

02/28, 10:52am

Hero Keyboard by Corey Stone is a keyboard app that arranges the letters based on the frequency of use in the English language, to make it easier for the user to type with both of their thumbs. The keyboard consists of three concentric rings surrounding a circular "space" button. More frequently-used letters displayed larger and more centrally than less popular letters. As a result of this configuration, the letters at the top of the first ring spell out "HERO," hence the name of the keyboard.

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Swiss venture founded to generate smartwatch reference technology

02/28, 10:49am

Precision watch manufacturers are combining forces to combat Silicon Valley's surge into the space. Manufacture Modules Technologies (MMT) is a new Swiss joint venture formed by Fullpower Technologies of Silicon Valley and Union Horlogere Holdings. Its declared mission is to bring the MotionX Horological Smartwatch Open Platform to the Swiss watch industry.

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Sonic.net CEO praises Title II, Ex-FCC head lambastes it [u]

02/28, 10:30am

[Updated with comments from Republican ex-FCC head Michael Powell] While the debate about this week's Federal Communications Commission Title II regulation and net neutrality vote rages on publicly and privately. Sonic.net CEO Dane Jasper welcomes Title II, and has said so publicly, joining a chorus of ISPs that welcome the enforcement. Additionally, the FCC has clarified in no uncertain terms what it will do if claims that fees to use existing telephone poles will rise turn out to be true. A former FCC chair, however, remains opposed to the measure.

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Hands On: RemindMeAt (iOS)

02/28, 9:44am

Deep in the recesses of Southern California is a path, in a park, that splits to the left and the right. The left path leads to a duck pond, and the right does not. Once upon a time there was a child, who would always get her family lost in the park, because every time she would forget they had to go left to get to the duck pond. Every. Single. Time. She would think, "this time, I'll get it right. This time we go right!" And every time, she was wrong. If only smartphones existed back then, she could have used RemindMeAt to set up a note that would appear when she arrived at the park, reminding her to go left.

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Hands On: Airy (OS X, Windows)

02/28, 8:40am

The newly-updated Airy - YouTube Downloader for Mac does what almost every word in its title says. It downloads YouTube videos, it runs on a Mac. Run this, grab a YouTube video, and save it to your Mac to watch later. It's so simple, you'll be surprised YouTube itself doesn't come with this functionality.

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Hands On: Apples vs Robots (iOS)

02/27, 8:56pm

Just when you thought the platform wars were over ... okay, maybe you didn't. Either way, Apples vs. Robots by umetec is a very simple tower defense-type game, where the player protects a group of technology enthusiasts from an oncoming horde of robots by chucking apples. Unsurprisingly, this pay-once-and-play game is an iOS exclusive.

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Briefly: VLC updates for iOS, OS X; MLB gets spring refitting

02/27, 7:44pm

Video playing and translation app VLC has received a major new update today, including a return to an iOS version of the app. The latter has actually been available for a while now, but was only offered to those who had originally "purchased" the official iOS app. The new version today is a minor bump from the "buyers only" v2.4.0, now at 2.4.1 for iOS and available to all. The desktop version for various platforms is 2.2.0, with a v1.1.0 final for Android and a beta of the same version for Android TV also being released.

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Cook: Apple launching full-on assault on wallet-carrying

02/27, 5:16pm

In a new interview with the UK newspaper the Telegraph, Apple CEO Tim Cook has revealed a few new tidbits about the forthcoming Apple Watch, as well as some of the larger vision behind such innovations as the watch, and Apple Pay, and Touch ID -- an all-out attempt to reduce the ephemera people need to carry with them, from wallets to car keys. In the same report, Cook also confirmed that Apple will "tweak" its retail look to accommodate Apple Watch buyers, who are likely to be even more upscale than average Apple customers.

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Hands On: AG Drive (iOS)

02/27, 3:55pm

Fittingly enough for a racing game, let's get this out front: AG Drive ($4) is a Wipeout clone. That isn't a strike against it – the developer admits it, the Wipeout series has plenty of fans, and many worthy titles have followed the same template. But a game can hew close to that template or build a unique identity, and execution, ultimately, is everything.

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Forums: trouble pasting text into mail, cleaning App cookies and more

02/27, 2:58pm

Recently one Fresh-Faced Recruit turned to the MacNN forums looking for help figuring out why they were having trouble pasting text into Mail. A solution has yet to be found. A discussion about how to clear out cookies that are generated by iPhone Apps is under way in the thread titled "cleaning iPhone App cookies" that was started last week.

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Apple deals: retina MacBook Pros from $999

02/27, 2:57pm

At Apple's online store today, take advantage of discounts on refurbished MacBook Pro models that start as low as $999 for the 13.3-inch Retina MacBook Pro with a 2.4GHz processor, 4GB of RAM and 128GB of flash storage. A $290 discount is offered on the refurbished 13.3-inch Retina MacBook Pro with a 2.6GHz Intel dual-core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and 512GB of flash storage, now $1,409.

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Hands On: Magnifico (iOS)

02/27, 1:55pm

When boardgames make the leap from physical to digital, there's often a lot of anticipation about how well they'll translate from one medium to the next. There's something lost between the physical world and the digital, but the convenience of carrying a game wherever you wish to play without lengthy setup times is often enough of an advantage. Games like Small World have seen considerable success when making the leap to digital, proving that they can provide tons of fun if they are done well. We took a look at Magnifico, by Slitherine, a digital adaptation of a board game of the same name.

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Apple may release iOS 8.2 as early as Monday, report claims

02/27, 1:38pm

Ending an unusual scenario where two iOS betas were being tested by developers simultaneously, a new report suggests that iOS 8.2 is likely to be released next week, possibly as early as Monday. Apple has been testing both iOS 8.2 and the forthcoming iOS 8.3, the latter of which is now on its own second beta version. While Apple released a total of five betas for iOS 8.2, the same report claims that iOS 8.3 will only have a maximum of four betas.

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