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OS X 10.10.2 leaves beta, brings predicted changes

01/27, 1:56pm

Simultaneous with the launch of iOS 8.1.3, Apple has also released the finished version of OS X 10.10.2. As anticipated, the one feature addition is the ability to browse iCloud Drive items from within Time Machine. Elsewhere, the update is dedicated solely to squashing bugs, such as Wi-Fi disconnects, webpages loading too slowly, and various security and stability problems in Safari.

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Apple's iOS 8.1.3 goes live, reduces space needed for OTA updates

01/27, 1:27pm

Apple has released iOS 8.1.3 via iTunes and as an over-the-air download. Though primarily a maintenance update, it does make one important change: reducing the amount of storage that will be needed for future over-the-air upgrades. The amount of space iOS 8 required for an OTA update was a common complaint by users; on 16GB iPhones and iPads, there is frequently too little room left, forcing people to use iTunes instead. Apple hasn't said how much storage will be needed in the future.

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Pushbullet brings notification/sharing service to native Mac app

01/27, 12:55pm

Pushbullet has introduced a native Mac client for its namesake notification and file/link sharing service. When used in tandem with the company's updated iOS app, the software can not only display iPhone and iPad notifications on a Mac, but be used to dismiss them without picking up the mobile device. More significantly, users can copy and paste between platforms, push links, or download and open exchanged files.

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Twitter adds group messaging, 30-second video uploads to mobile apps

01/27, 12:08pm

Twitter has started to add some features it hinted at last November to its mobile apps. Rolling out slowly, users will be able to send Direct Messages to groups of people for the first time, while those who typically post videos to the micro-blogging service will benefit from being able to upload video clips directly to Twitter from within the app, without using a secondary service.

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Briefly: Pandora 5.7, new Wrise Mac word processor

01/27, 12:00pm

Music discovery app Pandora has announced an update to its iOS app, featuring a new design and additional components. Pandora allows users to create personalized music stations that play their preferred music. The latest version (v5.7) offers a refreshed design that improves the ease of shaping a station, including a new Personalization icon for quick access to one's history, and being able to "un-thumb" a song previously marked "up" or "down" by re-tapping the Thumb icon.

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Apple TV gets 120 Sports network

01/27, 11:26am

Apple has silently added another channel to the Apple TV, 120 Sports. The network is backed by Sports Illustrated, and covers leagues such as the NHL, MLB, NBA, NASCAR, and NCAA. On the Apple TV, users can browse through Dashboard, Timeline, and Catch-Up sections. Timeline lets users watch a live stream and videos in reverse chronological order, whereas Catch-Up is a curated collection of clips related to trending topics.

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Western Union to launch Apple Pay support for bills and transfers

01/27, 10:30am

Western Union has announced plans to support Apple Pay for bill payments and money transfers. The technology should eventually reach all of the company's standalone outlets in the US, as well as kiosks at over 7,600 Walgreens and Duane Reade stores. At the moment, however, the only location with Apple Pay is an outlet at 1440 Broadway in New York City.

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Apple loses online payments specialist Bora Chung to eBay

01/27, 9:41am

Auction site eBay has poached Bora Chung, a woman who until recently worked on global payments technology for Apple's online stores, says SFGate. It's believed that eBay is building up a new payment platform in anticipation of PayPal being spun off into its own firm later this year. Chung has actually worked for PayPal in the past, having once been chief of staff to Dana Stalder (senior VP of global consumer and merchant services) and Dickson Chu (VP of global products and experiences).

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Hands On: Alfred Remote (iOS)

01/27, 9:07am

When we recently reviewed Alfred 2 for Mac -- it was a rave. We noted how it was the perfect app to feature in a Hands On piece because that's the point: just about anything you can do on your Mac, Alfred 2 lets you do from the keyboard. It's not the only application that does this, but it does it very well, and is a true boon for getting things done. So much so that the application has been around and continuously developed for many years, just always with this hands-on idea. Until now.

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Dropcam providing free replacement for older cameras

01/27, 7:08am

Owners of older Dropcam camera will be able to upgrade to a newer version at no charge, due to an impending lack of support from the company. The Nest-owned manufacturer will be providing a Dropcam HD as a replacement for earlier models, as the company will be dropping support for original Dropcam and the Dropcam Echo from April 15.

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Analysts: China iPhone sales outpace US, Apple gaining on Samsung

01/27, 3:18am

On Tuesday, Apple will reveal its latest figures on its overall sales and general health, but analysts will again focus on one key segment -- Apple's best-selling device, the iPhone -- as the only metric that matters. Two key aspects of that metric, however, may have larger implications than just the quarterly revenues, or a temporary change in Apple's stock value. According to analysts, it is now likely that Apple is selling more iPhones to China now than it is in the US market (where it is market leader by a long way) -- and even more remarkably, that Apple is close to rivaling the total smartphones sales of rival Samsung.

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Comcast provides letters to politicians supporting its merger with TWC

01/27, 1:29am

The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) frequently puts out a call for comments as part of their decision-making process, and usually hears back from concerned citizens as well as "astroturf" industry-funded campaigns. In the case of the merger of Comcast and Time Warner Cable (TWC), however, Comcast posted a thank you to the politicians, organizations and businesses that submitted comments in its favor. An investigation of those letters, however, has revealed a number of politicians who's comments were penned by Comcast employees, and simply signed off on, much like the situation where Mississippi State Attorney General Jim Hood sent a subpoena to Google which was later discovered to have been written by the MPAA's law firm.

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Apple doubles Australian tax contribution, still increases profits

01/26, 11:30pm

Apple paid more than twice as much in taxes in Australia for 2014 as it did in 2013, but still managed to grow profits in the country -- despite increasing scrutiny about its legal but aggressive tax avoidance techniques. According to documents filed with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), Apple paid AU$80.4 million in taxes for 2014 ($64 million US) compared to just AU$36.4 million (roughly $32 million US at the time) in 2013.

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New mural created for upcoming Chongqing flagship store

01/26, 9:00pm

Following in the footsteps of recent murals that "drape" under-construction standalone stores (such as the one that covered the recently-opened Hangzhou store), Apple has created another mural to cover the cylinder-shaped forthcoming Chongqing store, which is set to open this Saturday. The new location, the second for the city, will be the third of five store openings in China promised by the company before the arrival of the New Year on February 19.

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Hands On: TaskTime4 (OS X) [u]

01/26, 7:45pm

[Updated with correction for program authorization] This is you: you may be no good at the money side of anything. Unless you're an accountant, in which case we apologize. Everyone else, though, most especially anyone who works freelance, or in a one-man or one-woman company, often struggles with the financial side -- because the money part is not primarily why you got into business. Hopefully you'll be earning lots, but you started your business because you wanted to do what that business does, and you'd rather be your own boss and risk failure than do some other kind of work to make somebody else wealthy. Consequently, your interest and focus is on the job. Somehow, you have to also keep an eye on the money -- and that's where TaskTime4 comes in.

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