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Editions at Play is the new Google bookstore and it is a brand new idea of bringing pages to life, of adding interactive elements and of bringing old-fashioned books into the 21st century. Stop us if you've heard that before. As with ebooks before them, as with Choose Your Own Adventure books before that, this new Editions at Play idea puts the reader at the center of the action. It's meant to solve the problem of people not reading much, by meaning they don't have to read much.
There's a funny meme floating around where someone asks someone else if they can fax something for them, and the answer is "no, because of where I live." "Where do you live," the confused asker asks. "In the 21st century," is the reply. These days, that question (which, fair warning, will likely be the subject of a future Pointers) could just as easily be asked by people who want you to "burn" something for them, which in computer vernacular means to create or copy an optical disc of media.
It's probably safe to assume that MacNN readers know who Steve Jobs is at this point in history. His story has been told in many ways and in 2015 a new entry to the history of Jobs was submitted in the form of a movie. This would be the third movie, second since his death, and first feature presentation that we have have had an opportunity to share with our readers in the form of a giveaway. Enter for a chance to win a Blu-ray combo pack that includes a Digital HD code as well as a DVD copy.
Smile Software fits our Developer Insight series perfectly: we're interviewing longstanding developers whose products we don't just rate highly, but which we know have fans. Yet the reason for us wanting them to have been developers for a substantial time is that gives them a perspective on the entire software industry. In this case, Smile is particularly interesting, because half of its product line is on the Mac App Store, and half isn't: if anyone has opinions about what's happening with that store, it is co-founder Greg Scown.
Previously launched in Japan, and soft-launched in the US, the Apple and Belkin screen protector installation program will continue its rollout US-wide starting today. The program, supporting only iPhone 6-series phones, uses an installation apparatus to insure what the companies call "an impeccable result that mirrors the look and feel of the native screen."
Apple employees are often targets of hackers wanting to gain access to their company credentials, but it is claimed staff are being offered bribes to share their account details. According to a report, hackers are offering high prices for account passwords, with bribes to some staff exceeding $20,000, all in the name of acquiring precious internal information and data that could be sold online to interested parties for far higher figures.
Late on Monday, Adobe announced that three of its web and image management programs had all received significant updates: Animate -- formerly known as Flash Professional , but now more of an HTML5 design program -- has been bumped up to Animate CC , a full member of the Creative Cloud family of apps, with many new changes. The company's Muse CC has also been updated to incorporate "responsive design" capabilities, and Bridge CC picks up photo downloader support under 10.11.x (El Capitan), automated cache management, and the ability to auto-stack panoramic and HDR images.
Apple is apparently getting closer to launching its first retail stores in India , with the government reportedly preparing to fast-track the company's application. A source of a report claims Apple will be able to bypass a number of regulations that typically prevent foreign entities from setting up stores to sell their own products, with Apple deemed a "provider of cutting-edge technology" and is being given preferential treatment.
You know that over its 40-year history, Apple has had its ups and downs. What we didn't appreciate, until we started slicing through those decades week by week, was that there would be weeks that seemed just a bit cursed. Yet alongside the plane crash that changed everything, alongside Black Tuesday at NeXT, and alongside the failure of the Apple III, this week also saw the famous autographing of the Macintosh.
Apple is establishing a Repair Extension Program for 2013 Mac Pro models, according to details provided in a leaked internal notice. It is said Apple and Authorized Service Providers will be able to repair certain Mac Pro systems manufactured early last year, after determining that graphics cards used in the production of the Mac Pro at that time were error-prone, causing freezing, restarts, video distortions, and in some cases preventing the Mac Pro from booting entirely.
If you ever need to get your Touch ID-enabled home button repaired, be sure to have it done by Apple Authorized Service Providers or Apple directly only: UK newspaper The Guardian reports that "thousands" of users who have had their Touch ID button repaired by third parties and found that their iPhone would then "brick" itself (become inoperative) after the next iOS update. The notorious "Error 53" that causes this, according to Apple, is a security measure to prevent low-level hardware hacking.
A new report from industry analyst Canalys reports that the Apple Watch has established itself as the industry leader in smartwatches, shipping around 12 million units since its debut last April and accounting for two-thirds of all smartwatch shipments. In part the confirmation of what many analysts already suspected came about because of a strong holiday quarter, with Apple selling around five million Apple Watch units during that period. Separate from full-blown smartwatches, basic fitness bands exceeded 37 million units for calendar 2015.
Late on Thursday, Apple quietly updated its Mac App Store listings for Final Cut Pro X and its subsidiary programs -- Motion and Compressor -- to add support for 4K exporting to Apple's own devices that can display UHD files, such as the iMac line. The update also introduces new sharing options along the same lines, adding the fourth-generation Apple TV, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPad Pro, and support for multiple YouTube accounts to the Sharing window's options. The update also adds a new AVC import option, and offers numerous bug fixes.
At a "Town Hall" meeting with employees following the company's Q1 earnings report, Apple CEO Tim Cook reportedly rejected the notion -- long favored by analysts -- that Apple needs a "pared down" and inexpensive iPhone model in order to attract buyers in developing or "emerging" markets like India. While most of the meeting dealt with a rehash of information given during the analyst call, some was concerned with employee matters like retention incentives, as well as saying the Apple TV and tvOS both have "bright" futures.
Neither William Gallagher, nor Malcolm Owen, would describe themselves as corporate types -- or even really what you might call intense businessmen. Consequently, they're not sure that you should listen very closely to their news or observations about big business this week, but there is also Billy Mays, there are dead cats -- and there is Steve Jobs.
Apple Pay is now available at two million locations worldwide, according to a new report , in a year that should see rapid expansion of compatibility as US merchants update to point-of-sale (POS) terminals that support both mobile payment options and the new "chip-and-PIN" EMV debit and credit cards . A new Bloomberg article notes that a number of US chain restaurants and retailers will be adding Apple Pay and other NFC-based payment options to their stores, including Au Bon Pain, Chick-Fil-A, and Crate & Barrel.
Apple has rolled out an update to Apple Music for Android that takes advantage of one feature many Android devices possess: microSD card storage. Version 0.9.5 of the Android app now allows users to download songs to a memory card for offline listening, a new addition that means Android subscribers will not have to worry about music tracks taking up too much space from the smartphone's existing and limited internal storage.
Every so often, people browse the Internet and the Mac App Store to try and find useful things to add to their app arsenal, but sometimes it's hard to find discounted apps that you really want to get. For App Deals for OS X , the MacNN staff has compiled a list of apps for your Mac that are either a great bargain, or even free for a short while. Today's assortment of Mac apps includes sales on Sonic the Hedgehog franchise title Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing , iWork clipart repository Stills, and file duplication and version control tool FoldersSynchronizer.
Sony has added another mirrorless camera to its Alpha camera line, this time as a follow-up to the A6000 announced almost two years ago. The A6300 bears a similar resemblance to its predecessor, with the new model including a slightly smaller 24.2-megapixel APS-C Exmor sensor with a BIONZ X image processor, with the combination allowing it to record 4K video in Super 35mm format, namely capturing footage without pixel binning.
Occasionally you have an idea that makes you want to smack your head or "facepalm" yourself for not having thought of it earlier. In my case, I thought of the topic for today's Pointers quite a while back, but I'm hitting myself for not having remembered to bring it to you in a column before now, because it's clever and cheap -- two great tastes that taste great together. In a nutshell, this Pointers will go over how to make one of the most tedious and awful chores a writer can do on a computer a little easier -- not perfect, but better than the manual alternative.
Fitbit has launched a new fitness tracker that aims to offer a more fashion-conscious styling than other wearable tracking devices, with a slimline bangle-style appearance. The Fitbit Alta is a thinner tracker compared to others in the Fitbit range, using a narrow OLED tap display inside a sweat and splashproof stainless steel and elastomer band, but it still retains the same activity tracking capabilities as its stablemates.
Canon has unveiled a new version of its EOS-1D X digital camera aimed at the professional market, one it initially released four years ago. The EOS-1D X Mark II is an upgraded version of the original, housing a new 20.2-megapixel full frame CMOS sensor with dual DIGIC 6+ image processors, giving it a boost in terms of speed and image quality, as well as allowing it to film 4K and 1080p video at 60 and 120fps respectively with a "Dual Pixel" CMOS autofocus.
[Updated with confirmation] Microsoft is reportedly acquiring the producer of a popular predictive keyboard used on mobile devices. The software giant is allegedly preparing to announce an acquisition of the London-based SwiftKey , producers of the software keyboard of the same name , with the acquisition claimed to cost Microsoft somewhere in the region of $250 million, providing founders Jon Reynolds and Ben Medlock at least $30 million.
The Leef iBridge is the answer to a couple of our recent prayers. It is an elegant, MFI certified, USB and Lightning drive solution for Lightning port equipped iPhones and iPads that allows users to transfer data directly between a Mac or PC via USB drive to their compatible iOS device. It supports unprotected video and music files in the full range of formats supported by Apple on these devices (including ALAC) as well as Office-style document types. Read onto to see why we like it a lot, and why iOS photographers and videographers will love it as well.
While we love the new 12-inch Apple MacBook , it does take a little getting used to its single USB-C connector. Sure, that it is reversible is great, but as there still very few USB-C accessories on the market, we have found it almost mandatory to carry around Apple's USB-C to USB adapter with us for those instances where data transfer either can't be done wirelessly, or quickly. While it gets the job done, connecting a standard USB flash drive to the adapter is hardly elegant. Thankfully, SanDisk has come to our aid with its 32GB Dual USB Drive with Type-C connector.
While there has been a lot of fanfare surrounding the launch of the Apple Music service, it hasn't been without its hiccups. Apple commentator Jim Dalrymple, among other users, ran into the some serious issues with a bug that saw music that he owned in his library being incorrectly identified as being Apple Music offline files. This resulted in DRM being incorrectly applied to those tracks, which -- when he switched off Apple Music in an attempt to fix the issue -- caused those files to be purged from his library altogether.
We are working up our full review on Windows 10 as I write this piece, and like other reviews you will read around the web, we are finding a lot to like about the latest and greatest from Redmond. However, we have found the both the upgrade process for existing users something of a chore, and the outright purchase process and download process to be a downright pain in the neck. Read on to see why when it comes to customer service and support, Apple still reigns supreme.
Electronista is currently on hand at Computex Taipei, and has had the opportunity to get hands-on with the forthcoming Liquid X2. The latest flagship smartphone from Acer stands out from the rest of the Android crowd for two reasons in particular; it packs a huge 4,000mAh battery, and it also has room for three SIM card slots. This is an Android handset for those who value battery life, flexibility and practicality over an ultra-thin design.
On Tuesday, Apple issued its first-ever software update for the Apple Watch, nearly a month after its abortive retail debut. The popular device, still facing overwhelming demand and supply shortages due to a now-worked-out part issue, can be updated through the paired iPhone to Watch OS version 1.0.1, which brings the usual "performance improvements and bug fixes" to the device, adds more than 300 new emoji characters, and updates language support.
It's Day Two of The Feature Thief , the mini-series of columns examining just what in the world was in Apple's mind when it abandons years of development in favor of a shiny new application nobody likes. To be fair, though, it's also examining how sometimes that move was necessary, and often how it works out rather well or even superbly in the end. Once the furor has died down, and especially once Apple has put back some features it's dropped, we can often say that the new applications are better. Whether it's worth the ride getting there is a different question –– and whether you should jump ship to rival companies' products is another.