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Google brings Android Wear to iOS, LG Watch Urbane supported

Upcoming Android Wear smartwatches will work with iPhones

Google is expanding the reach of Android Wear from Android smartphones, by allowing some owners of its smartwatches to connect to iOS devices, confirming earlier rumors . Rolling out today, Android Wear for iOS will allow the LG Watch Urbane to pair with an iPhone 5 or newer running iOS 8.2 or later, though it appears the majority of Android Wear users won't be able to connect their older smartwatches to iOS at all.

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Hands On: Sixth-gen iPod touch with Apple A8 SoC

New Apple iPod touch has the Nintendo DS, and Sony PS Vita in its sights

Once the darling of the Apple product range, the Apple iPod touch has become a sideshow in Apple's product range. Despite this, Apple recently gave its iPod range a small refresh, which included new color options -- but the iPod touch did also get a substantial spec bump up to the Apple's 64-bit A8 processor that powers the iPhone 6. While the upgrade will go unnoticed by most, both Nintendo and Sony will not have missed the significance of its launch.

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Rumor Roundup: the September 9 event gossip scorecard

Our grades for the likelihood of various whispers and scuttlebutt

So now that it is finally confirmed that Apple has chosen September 9 for its big event , and a different venue than usual to accommodate more press and that requires some street closures for a likely outdoor component (which hints strongly that something unexpected is up), the rumors are again flying about what we should expect to see at the event. Let's have a look at what's being whispered about, and a (speculative) look at the odds any of it will happen.

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Apple media event scheduled for September 9 in San Francisco

'Hey Siri, give us a hint' headlines the invitation

Apple has officially invited media to its September 9 event at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco. The heading for the event is "Hey Siri, give us a hint," referencing Apple's voice recognition and interpretation technology that may extend itself past the iPhone and iPad at the event in either OS X or other hardware.

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Hands On: Leef iBridge for iPhone, iPad

Leef iBridge is the iOS equivalent of microSD storage

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.

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MacNN One More Thing Podcast episode 1: Formerly Known As...

Show notes from the 'other' MacNN show

Bless Swatch for giving us the idea for the title and bless Apple for creating enough news that we need a second podcast. MacNN: One More thing is your midweek podcast with William Gallagher and Malcolm Owen, let loose from Monday's main show and allowed to talk in their natural British accents all they like.

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Living With: freelance writing and Apple Music

Learning a lesson and hammering on the keys with help from Apple Music

This is my 20th year of freelancing, I think. Could be 21st. Maybe 22nd. It's funny how leaving regular employment was a mountain when it was ahead of me, but not even a hill in retrospect. Whenever I did it, though, I've now had at least two decades of working from home, plus very often fitting in with many different offices. A week-long project in a book publisher's building, one day a week at a magazine's office, running mentoring sessions in people's homes, workshops at festivals, and once doing a thing in an abbey. Call me stupid, but it's taken the new Apple Music service to make me realize that across every place I went, I had to adapt to different attitudes to music.

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Swatch: 'one more thing' trademark inspired by '70s TV show 'Columbo'

Company denies shot at Apple with trademark, says 'film noir' product inbound

Responding to recent coverage of Swatch's "one more thing" trademark, the company has refused claims that it has anything to do with Apple, and claims inspiration from classic television show Columbo . In an interview, a company spokesperson denied any such move by the watch manufacturer and said that regarding the phrase "obviously our design team plans to launch a collection inspired by the 'Film Noir'."

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Apple's Logic Pro jumps to 10.2, includes Alchemy soft synth

New version also features more presets, filters, modulation sources, more

On Tuesday, Apple issued a major update of its pro audio software Logic Pro X , now incorporating the Alchemy soft synthesizer from its takeover of Camel Audio and adding new loops, filters, presets, modulation sources, and ways to more easily find and control them. Alchemy and some of the other improvements added to Logic Pro X have also been incorporated into MainStage , now at version 3.2 with the Alchemy synth in it as well.

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Pointers: Getting Things Done with Apple Gear -- part 3, Doing Stuff

Three parts in and finally we're doing our To Do list

Previously... David Allen's Getting Things Done is a superb methodology for doing things, getting through your work and not going home at the end of the day defeated by your To Do list. It's so effective that GTD has become a cult –– but its creator is a corporate kind of guy and he prefers paper. We're less corporate and far more technology-addicted. So this week-long series is about what Getting Things Done really does and what Mac and iOS tools you can best use for it.

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MacNN Podcast episode 29: Having Fun Without Us

In which, a pair of staffers cover the topics of the week, shotgun style

Two man show! While the rest of the gang is off having a life , Mike and Jordan hit the microphones for this week's lean-and-mean episode. Up this week -- iPad Pro rumors, why we cover some of the rumors (but not all), Bungie's Destiny changes, and so much more!

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Closer Look: Apple Watch with Link Bracelets

Apple Watch with Link Bracelets increase the appeal of wearing it regularly

As the Apple Watch  global rollout continues, it has become clear that it is the single most successful smartwatch released to date. Although Apple hasn't broken out the exact sales figures, it is estimates that Apple has sold upwards of four million Apple Watches and counting. Two of the most appealing models within the range of ordinary buyers are the steel Apple Watch models with matching Link Bracelets. We take a closer look to see if they are worth the premium.

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Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks on Good Morning America, praises ConnectED

CEO asked about digital divide, Silicon Valley diversity

Apple CEO Tim Cook appeared in a pre-recorded segment on Good Morning America today, highlighting Apple's participation in the US ConnectED program , rather than launching a new program as many media outlets reported. The Cupertino executive spoke about the digital divide, and answered questions about diversity in the technology sector with host Robin Roberts.

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Pointers: Getting Things Done with Apple Gear -- Introduction

The OS X and iOS guide to getting productive

Perhaps you know this, but there is a productivity system, a methodology, called Getting Things Done which was invented by David Allen in the 1990s, and introduced to the world in his book . It's about handling all your work, about coping with lots of tasks and ultimately, yes, about getting things done. Allen is a spectacularly clever man, and his methods -- honed over years of working with corporate types under pressure -- are genuinely useful and we'd even go so far as to say brilliant. They take effort to master, but they're simple to understand and they are very effective, to the extent that GTD, as it's known, has its evangelists. So we're just about to annoy most of them.

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Continued iTunes library testing: all is still not well, but improving

Apple making strides to fix the problem, but not quite there yet

Following up on our last two rounds of iTunes testing has been grueling this week. After upgrading our test rig to the new iTunes last week, we re-ran our battery of tests regarding library corruption and re-tagging. Additionally, in response to some questions, we've re-ripped CDs recorded and produced in the last five years, and tested them with an entirely new Apple ID. How did the Apple update fare? Better, but still not where it needs to be -- read on for more details

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Hands On: PowerPoint 2016 15.13.1 (OS X)

Better than ever –– but still PowerPoint

We may like Excel 2016 a lot and think that Word 2016 is much improved but the summary for those and their stablemate PowerPoint 2016 is that you should definitely get them if you're already committed to the older versions. If problems with the older software are making you wary of continuing with Office, then what we're saying is you're right to look around but the 2016 versions are contenders. They're no longer mandatory, but they're contenders.

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Parallels Desktop 11 for Mac ships with Windows 10 support

Cortana accessible from Mac desktop in latest Parallels release

Parallels has launched a new version of its virtualization software with support for Windows 10. Parallels Desktop 11 for Mac brings a number of speed improvements to the software among other features, including the previously-rumored ability to verbally access Cortana, Microsoft's own digital assistant included within Windows 10, from anywhere on the Mac desktop if Parallels is still running in the background.

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The MacNN Podcast, episode 28: 'Candle in the Compton'

At last, some other topics not related to Microsoft -- and some MS stuff too

It's August, and that means festival season, almost everywhere. MacNN Editor Charles Martin is out on the road again enjoying a big one in Edmonton, Alberta , but he's not letting that stop him from hosting this week's episode of the show. Joining him this week are staff writer Malcolm Owen in Wales, Bradley McBurney in Kelowna, BC, and William Gallagher in Birmingham (UK, not Alabama). We predict, we blame ourselves, we mention Microsoft. Show notes after the jump.

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Review: Windows 10

Microsoft appeals to Windows 7, Windows 8 users with Windows 10 changes

Microsoft recently unleashed Windows 10 onto the world, with the software giant deciding to make it a free upgrade for Windows 7 and later systems. Not only that, but Microsoft also brought back the Start Menu following user feedback, as well as included the Cortana virtual assistant on the desktop for the first time. Is the latest version of Microsoft's operating system enough to keep existing Windows users happy, while also being attractive enough to bring a new audience onboard? Find out what we think in our review .

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My Stupid Fault: don't look back in anger

Deadlines and 'percussive maintenance' do not mix

Having used Macs since I was a kid with an SE/30, I have a fair share of "my stupid fault" type stories of brain slips, goofs, and outright naivety when it comes to dealing with computers, but one particular story stands out: not because of the disaster itself, but because of why I was under so much pressure as to make the bone-headed mistake that I did. Things were a bit different then, but the lessons I learned continue to be valuable today.

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Late summer home server project part four: getting the job done

The server is only as good as the services you run on it

There's not much left in the late summer project, other than some tweaking and application installs, really. Last Friday we demonstrated why you needed one. So far this week we've chosen the hardware and set up basic services . Now we're going to take our list of what we need a server for and discuss applications to seamlessly get you those for your home. Not everything is just running on the server for this discussion -- there are apps for iOS that work very well in conjunction with a server, and we'll discuss those too!

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Hands On: SanDisk Dual USB Drive with Type-C connector

SanDisk helps smooth the transition to USB Type-C with Dual USB Drive

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.

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Hands On: Parallels Access 3.0.0 (OS X, iOS)

Smooth, convenient and clever remote access app

There are several ways to remotely control the Mac back in your office or home but they all come down to whether they're easy enough and reliable enough to actually use. When they are then from your iPhone or iPad you can grab files you forgot to bring, you can run desktop apps and you can just switch the thing off from afar. Of all the ways to do it, Parallels Access 3.0 is the latest, it's currently our favorite and it's now the one with an Apple Watch app.

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Late summer project: OS X home server, part three - the setup!

Getting basic services and iTunes up and running

We interrupt your regularly scheduled Wednesday pointers column, because it's time. You've decided you wanted a server last week , and you chose a server heart yesterday , and at this point in the installation, it doesn't so much matter what it is. You've got the iron, your drive array may or may not be on hand, but it's go time. The machine is connected to the network, and its bare nature is staring you at the face, perhaps openly mocking you. Now what? How do you make this work for your and your family? We'll tackle some common problems, and basic setup in this, part three of our late summer project on how to deploy an OS X home server.

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Late summer project: setting up an OS X home server, part two

Taking a look at what we want, what we need, and what we've got

With any project, right after the "yeah, what a good idea" part comes the "huh, what do I need" assessment. Before we roll into the nitty-gritty of the home server project we announced last week , that's what we're going to go over first. We're going to discuss what you want, versus what you need, cross-referenced with what you have. Three questions, that will help avoid multiple (seemingly mandatory) repeat trips to the local computer or electronics superstore.

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The MacNN Podcast, episode 27: introducing Microsoft Sponge

Latest episode a bit like a quick summer read, so try listening at poolside

This week, the usual suspects -- MacNN Editor Charles Martin, Managing Editor Mike Wuerthele, and staff writer Malcolm Owen -- deliver a lighter, shorter, 47-minute summer episode that tries to accentuate the positive, and make lemonade out of lemons. Having spent last episode complaining about iTunes 12.2, the iOS Music app, and (as required by law) Microsoft's Windows 10, this episode focuses on the new Back to School promo from Apple, what can be done to make iTunes better, how to make an OS X home server , how Windows 10 is working out, and Microsoft's new iOS-to-Windows initiative . Show notes after the jump.

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Apple Music's dirty little secret: DRM

Simple system for protecting streaming music causing major headaches

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.

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Hands On: Microsoft Outlook (Apple Watch)

Great email app that needed more testing

There's no question Microsoft is doing some superb work on Apple's iOS, Macs, and now also Apple Watch. There's also no question it's still Microsoft. The new version of Microsoft Outlook 1.3.5 for iOS includes a tremendous Apple Watch app, with a feature list that is greatly superior to Apple's own Mail on the Watch. Since you don't have to have an Outlook email account to use this app, and since you can connect your regular iCloud one to it, it should be great. Except that, yet again, Microsoft has a long list of features -- and while this time they kind of work, they also kind of don't. If you went through a bullet point presentation about the features, you'd say they work, but if you actually go to use them, you wouldn't.

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Opinion: Windows 10 good, MS customer service still awful

Windows 10 holds new promise, but getting there is the same old story

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.

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Your Apple Watch is broken: now what?

Apple does the actual repairing but you have to be brave

This is what happens when you need Apple to repair your Apple Watch: this is also the article I didn't want to write, partly because it required me to be without my Watch for a considerable time, but mostly because, oh, come on, didn't I just do this? Previously on MacNN ... I took my Watch off for one week so I could write about whether I even noticed its absence, whether this device was actually useful, or just a new toy. Short version: I noticed, boy did I notice, and the Apple Watch is both useful and a permanent, constant new toy. Shortest version: I honestly suffered. You still don't look sympathetic -- but that's okay. Lets talk about what happens when the Apple Watch has to go back to the shop, and what Apple does, and what you have to do.

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