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Apple Game Roundup: iOS Minecraft, Civ: Beyond Earth expansion, more

05/19, 12:23pm

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 iOS Minecraft getting proper controller support, Adventure Time Puzzle Quest hitting the iOS App Store in the summer, a content expansion pack for Civilization: Beyond Earth, and an index of the top 15 games of 2015.

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Hands On: DeadEyes 1.2 (iOS, Android)

05/19, 12:21pm

Lots of people have told us they're "done" with Zombies. We hear that they're everywhere, over used, and it's gotten old. Well, we have to admit, we're not tired of Zombies yet. Now we're not as enthusiastic about them as some of our friends might think we are, but we're not opposed to some zombie based entertainment. It's true, there's a lot of zombie stuff out there and it seems to be still going strong. So when we see something with zombies in it, our attitude isn't to say, "oh no, not again." But rather, "okay, let's see what you've got." So when we saw a turn-based puzzler called DeadEyes, we wanted to see what developer Load Complete was able to do with the zombie-apocalypse genre. The answer is, "deliver a solid gameplay experience."

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Apple launches first Lightning Dock for iPhone 6, 6 Plus

05/19, 11:00am

Following the release of the updated 15-inch MacBook Pro, Apple on Tuesday also debuted its first official iPhone Lightning Charging Dock specifically designed for the iPhone 6 line. The $39 accessory works with both the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 as well as the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus, and thus features a new design that features a raised Lightning connector, making the unit able to work with other Lightning-equipped iPhones, and without having to remove most third-party iPhone cases.

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Basis releases Peak software update, reveals titanium fitness tracker

05/19, 10:58am

Basis, the Intel-owned company behind the Peak fitness tracker, is rolling out a major update to its Basis App that will allow it to work with Apple HealthKit and Google Fit, along with a number of other changes. At the same time, the manufacturer has also started selling a limited-edition version of the Peak tracker, this time made from titanium instead of the aluminum used in the standard version.

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Hands On: Bamboo Paper 2.5.1 (iOS)

05/19, 10:46am

Design giants Wacom are known for their line of drawing tablets, which they've been producing for the better part of two decades. Because of this, they've become an industry standard when it comes to graphic design and digital illustration. Seeking to extend their market, Wacom recently made the leap of producing a line of Bluetooth-enabled styluses for the iPad, and with it came Bamboo Paper, a stylus-compatible drawing app designed for the iPad.

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Another 30 banks, credit unions add Apple Pay support

05/19, 10:05am

Apple has again updated its list of Apple Pay partners by adding another 30 credit unions and banks, and is continuing to focus more lately on credit unions in the latest additions as it has done with recent updates. Personal and branded cards from the financial institutions can be added to Apple Pay in most cases, though small-business and sub-branded speciality cards may not always be compatible. Since its launch last fall, Apple Pay has nearly instantly become the most popular of the various mobile-payment services, despite only being available on the iPhone 6 (and now, Apple Watch).

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Briefly: WD My Cloud NAS Plex app, Devon apps updated

05/19, 9:35am

WD is expanding its apps offerings by introducing Plex Media Server, an entertainment app that can now be downloaded to and deployed on the My Cloud NAS series. The software update allows users to Stream supported video and audio file formats directly from a personal My Cloud to any Plex app. The app download for the My Cloud is free. Compatible models are the My Cloud Mirror, My Cloud EX2/EX4, My Cloud EX2100/EX4100, and My Cloud DL2100/4100.

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Starbucks teams up with Spotify for in-store music

05/19, 9:14am

Starbucks employees will be able to have more control over in-store music provided by Spotify, the two companies have revealed. A multi-year deal struck between the coffee chain and the music streaming service will also do more than provide music, with it opening up the Starbucks loyalty program to allow Spotify subscribers to increase their rewards balance and eventually earn free drinks.

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Apple rolls out Force Touch 15-inch MacBook Pro, new Retina iMac

05/19, 8:46am

Apple today updated the 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display with the new Force Touch trackpad, faster flash storage, longer battery life and faster discrete graphics, delivering even more performance and capabilities to the MacBook Pro line. Apple also today introduced a new $1,999 configuration of the 27-inch iMac with Retina 5K display, quad-core processors and AMD graphics, and lowered the price of the top-end iMac with Retina 5K display to $2,299.

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Hands On: Two Dots 1.6.2 (iOS, Android)

05/19, 7:43am

Two Dots by Playdots purports to be the story of two brave dots. We're not sure there's actually a story there; certainly the game's visuals portray themes of travel and adventure which we quite like, but really what the user gets is some simple but engaging connect-the-dots puzzle action. We enjoyed the gameplay in Two Dots, but it does the thing we dislike most in games with micro-transactions. That being, it keeps us from actually playing the game.

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The MacNN Podcast, Episode 15: Man down!

05/18, 5:35pm

Episode 15 of The MacNN Podcast is on the air! Regular shenanigans ensue, even if not perpetrated by the regular crowd. This week, we talk about Microsoft up to its old tricks with six versions of Windows 10 at retail, Xbox consoles bricked by Microsoft (or not), Cox Cable's cap testing, and much more!

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Briefly: POTUS tweets, Foxconn profits, Cook on Weibo

05/18, 5:07pm

US President Barack Obama, still well known for using a specially locked-down BlackBerry as his personal smartphone, used a White House Executive Office-registered iPhone to post the first tweet on Twitter from his own @POTUS account. Improvements in security made to the iPhone starting with iOS 8 have apparently made the device worthy of being used by the President. Unlike other official presidential Twitter channel, Obama himself will tweet from the @POTUS account.

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Hitachi shows trio of new Wireless AllPlay speakers

05/18, 4:46pm

Earlier this week, Hitachi introduced new whole-home speakers, bolstering the company's AllPlay line. Using the new speakers, users will be able to send audio through their Wi-Fi network from a local source or cloud/streaming services such as Spotify, IHeartRadio, and Rhapsody. Each speaker includes multiple inputs, allowing users to send audio to individual speakers from their mobile devices.

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Hands On: Montar Universal Car Mount

05/18, 4:14pm

Don't get us started on which States let you use a windshield-mounted GPS: it's so complicated, it changes and anyway by the time we'd listed all the conditions our UK colleagues will have driven wherever they're going. For the US, we can wait with crossed fingers for a heads-up laser display projected onto the glass. Until then we're going to argue that having your iPhone mounted up where you can see it is safer than an in-dashboard system you have to keep taking your eyes off the road to see. More, we're going to recommend you use the Montar Universal Car Mount wherever it is safe and legal to do so.

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Ricoh unveils seven projectors including first 1080p model

05/18, 3:18pm

Ricoh has announced a collection of new projectors aimed at business and education markets, with some upgrading a number of existing project models. The group of seven projecting devices include Desk Edge, Short Throw and standard models, designed to be capable of displaying an image on a screen or surface at a variety of distances, and incorporate advanced functions including Wi-Fi and Miracast functionality.

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