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Living With: Apple's iPhone 5c in white

Yeah, it may not be that popular, but I like it

I did the original review here of the iPhone 5c -- it was an upgrade for me from the iPhone 4, a game changer in its own regard. Our review was one of very few positive ones, and I'm not entirely sure why. Maybe reviewers compared it to the significantly more expensive (without contract) 5s, which released at the same time, and maybe not. But, other than the original "game changing" original iPhone that gave us the full Internet on mobile, it has been my favorite Cupertino-built phone so far.

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Hands On: Griffin Powermate Bluetooth

Gorgeous and unexpectedly useful control for Macs

Look away. Look away. You don't need this, you really do not -- but you're going to want it. Here's how smitten we are with the Griffin Powermate Bluetooth : it's on our desk, it's connected to our Mac and we're using it constantly yet we still lust after it as if it were something Apple had just announced. That's a bit of a turnaround given that when we picked it up we expected it to be spectacularly pointless. It's only a knob, a round aluminium control that sits on your desk and does things like turn the volume up or down.

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One More Thing podcast episode 2: Downton Apple

Televisions, smoke detectors and mirrors

All the news that's fit to say plus a lot that really isn't because it's just speculation. We'd say this has been the worst week for people guessing what Apple is up to and Apple dropping hints about what it isn't doing yet, except that most weeks are the worst week for that. In this second edition of the Other MacNN Podcast, One More Thing, William Gallagher and Malcolm Owen join some dots, right some wrongs and generally put the world to rights. It's the MacNN guarantee: we'll put the world to rights for you, but you'd probably best tune in to find out exactly how we're doing that. Also to learn the details of our Thingies of the Week.

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Intel details entire range of sixth-generation Skylake processors

Desktop, mobile processors boast low power consumption, Xeon options

Intel has finally confirmed its entire lineup of Skylake processors , produced using a 14nm process, at its IFA keynote address in Germany this morning. The sixth generation of Intel Core processors detailed today consists of 48 new processors, including 20 destined for use in desktop systems and servers and 26 designed for notebooks and tablets, one of which is an unlocked mobile processor meant for enthusiast notebooks.

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Tales of the Genius Bar: 12-inch MacBook display etching issue

12-inch MacBook suffers display etching, Genius Bar to the rescue

Every now and then, even we have to make a trip to the Apple Genius Bar. For those new to the Apple family, the Genius Bar is embedded deep in an Apple retail store, and its the prime destination for Apple tech support for consumers, regardless if hardware or software related. As my 12-inch MacBook is covered under warranty, I recently took it in for inspection at the Genius Bar for an issue where it appears that the trackpad has made contact with the display surface and left permanent marks.

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Review: Blue Yeti Studio recording microphone and software

Studio-in-a-box offers hi-quality, affordable start for podcasters, musicians

Despite being very familiar with Blue Microphones' lower-end products -- we've long recommended the company's Snowball line of mics for beginning podcasters or vocalists, and we were very impressed with Blue's Mo-Fi headphones -- we wanted to thoroughly test each component of the Blue Yeti Studio, which features a Yeti-class desk microphone bundled with software to enhance different types of recordings. It's a slightly pricier package than a basic starter mic for a first podcast, so is it worth it? Find out in our review .

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The MacNN Podcast, episode 30: 'Free (as in) beer'

As we wait for September 9, it's app-y hour this week on the show

Driving across 770 miles of breathtaking Canadian landscape, Editor Charles returns from the Edmonton Fringe Festival with accolades and a shiny new Apple Watch for his trouble, just in time to bring you the big 3-0 episode of the MacNN Podcast , along with Managing Editor Mike, writer William Gallagher, and special guest Matt Boyd of the excellent webcomic Three Panel Soul .

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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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