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The Mac Observer



Apple iPhone, Mac, Watch and iPad News, Opinions, Tips and Podcasts



 



The Mac Observer’s iOS 10 Tip Roundup

Sat, 01 Oct 2016 13:00:29 +0000

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iOS 10 is chock full of cool new features, and The Mac Observer has been digging through Apple’s newest mobile operating system to find the stuff that’s going to make using your iPhone and iPad easier. Check out our tips and tricks for Messages, Music, 3D Touch, and more.

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J.D. Powers Finds Apple Music Customers Have Highest Customer Satisfaction

Sat, 01 Oct 2016 12:30:16 +0000

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J.D. Powers found that Apple Music customers have the highest customer satisfaction ratings amongst streaming music services. In a report authored by Kirk Parsons, the firm attributed those results, in part, to the strength of Apple’s ecosystem.

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Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II Hits Mac and Linux

Sat, 01 Oct 2016 02:21:41 +0000

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Good news for Mac gamers: Feral Interactive announced the release of Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II for Mac and Linux. This real-time strategy powerhouse is set in the Warhammer 40,000 universe (obviously), where you are a Force Commander of the Blood Ravens Chapter defending the Imperium of Man. This game has very high system requirements—Feral Interactive specifies a number of video cards that aren’t supported. Make sure your Mac can cut it before buying this game. It looks very fun, and was a big success on the PC. The video included below shows off some game-play. There’s a theatrical trailer on the game’s site, too. It’s available on the Mac App Store, Steam, and directly from Feral. It’s $19.99.

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Evidence is Mounting: Apple Will Convert the Macs to ARM CPUs

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 20:54:42 +0000

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The time since most of the Macs have been updated can now be described as geologic. Is that because Apple doesn’t care about the Macs? Or, more likely, could we be in for another major architectural change? Evidence is mounting that Apple will abandon Intel and take the Mac lineup to ARM. John looks at the evidence and makes the case.

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TMO Daily Observations 2016-09-30: iPhone Lightning Headphone Adapters, Listener Comments

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 17:38:33 +0000

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Third party Lighting to 3.5mm headphone adapters are starting to make their first appearances for the iPhone 7. John Martellaro and Dave Hamilton join Jeff Gamet to look at the headphone adapter market and whether or not most people will really need one. They also respond to listener comments on yesterday’s show where we talked about the limitations of Apple’s Airport Extreme Base Station.

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A Game of Thrones Gets Enhanced Edition Exclusive to iBooks

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 16:03:10 +0000

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ZOMG ZOMG ZOMG FANBOY SWOON! Apple announced A Game of Thrones: Enhanced Edition on Thursday—an iBooks exclusive. The new version of the massively popular (and utterly brilliant) book includes new artwork, a glossary, more information about the houses, and more. The entire A Song of Ice and Fire series is getting these Enhanced Editions, but A Game of Thrones: Enhanced Edition is available now for $8.99. You can preorder the others for $11.99. Apple has a video on the iBooks landing page for these new versions. It includes comments from George R.R. Martin about the series, as well as a great look at some of the new artwork. This is a huge score for Apple’s iBooks.

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macOS Sierra: Fast Sound Settings from the Menu Bar

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 15:25:38 +0000

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Apple gets that we’re always looking for ways to make the routine things we do on our Macs easier and some of the subtle changes in macOS Sierra really show that off. The Sound menu bar item is a perfect example because now switching audio input and output sources is even simpler.

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iLDOCK on Kickstarter: Lightning Port and Headphone Jack for iPhone 7

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 15:24:39 +0000

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Market forces are rushing in to meet the needs of those who want to be able to listen through headphones and charge their iPhone at the same time. iLDOCK is a Kickstarter project for a Lightning splitter with a built-in headphone jack. It quickly tripled its funding goal of $5,000, with 28 days to go. As of this writing, there are $10 funding options that will get you an iLDOCK. There’s also an iLDOCK Plus that adds a USB port, microSD slot, and a TF slot.

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Get 8 Mac Utilities for Free

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 14:00:20 +0000

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Our friends at Stack Commerce have put together a collection of eight Mac utilities, including: CommandQ, Export for iTunes, UnDistracted, SuperTab SE 1.4, Screenie, Total Video Player for Mac, iFotosoft Photo Viewer, and SQLPro for Postgres. And they’re all free. The details are on the deal listing, but grab them while they’re hot.

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CW Shows Come to Apple TV, No Cable Subscription Required

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 13:57:26 +0000

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The CW made good on its promise to bring shows like Supergirl, The Flash, and iZombie to Apple TV for free. The network’s Apple TV app is available now, and doesn’t require a cable or satellite subscription to watch, or need any sort of login.

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Safari 10: Hide Flash from Every Website Except Some

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 01:34:11 +0000

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Safari 10 allows you to have Flash installed, but to control which sites know it (or access it). For many users, this would be the best compromise between having flash and not installing it all. Bryan Chaffin shows you how to do it.

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Use 3D Touch in LINE to Read Messages without a Read Receipt

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 22:53:36 +0000

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The LINE Corporation has done something very useful with 3D Touch, and I thought I’d tell you about it. When you’re looking at your Chats view, you can view recent chats, as shown below, without sending a read receipt. Bryan Chaffin shows you how.

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Apple Rolls iPhone 7 Commercial, “Balloons”

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 21:55:52 +0000

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Apple has a new spot out for iPhone 7 called “Balloons.” It’s a lovely spot with some beautiful imagery. While the piece is very light on product imagery, the balloons are meant to be a metaphor about iMessage bringing people together. The tag line at the end of the spot is “The all-new iPhone 7, with expressive messages. Practically magic.” Like I said, I think it’s beautiful. I’d be curious to know what you think.

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My Fantasy Wish List for Apple’s October Event

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 21:22:39 +0000

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It’s one thing to make sober, informed predictions about what Apple may announce next. But, this time, John just wants to have fun and provide his fantasy wish list for an Apple event in October. What would have John giggling with delight?  Read on to find out.

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How to Make macOS Sierra Empty Your Mac’s Trash for You

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 17:48:29 +0000

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macOS Sierra is loaded with cool new features, but sometimes it’s the little things that make your life easier, like not needing to remember to empty your Mac’s trash. You can set the Trash to auto-delete after 30 days, and it’s easy to do. Read on to learn how.

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TMO Daily Observations 2016-09-29: John’s Apple Product Wish List

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 17:23:21 +0000

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Word on the street says new Retina MacBook Pro models are coming in October, and TMO’s sources say they’ll be announced on the 11th. Dave Hamilton and John Martellaro join Jeff Gamet to talk about John’s wish list for new Apple products, and Jeff disagrees with John’s take on Apple TV.

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Smartphone Photo and Video Certification Bundle: $29

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 16:47:18 +0000

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We have a training bundle for you today designed to teach you how to use mobile devices to take better photographs, and modern video gear (including your mobile device) to make better videos. Both courses last one month, with 8 lessons and 12 hours of content each. You can get this package through our deal for $29.

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New Retina MacBook Pro Models Expected in October

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 14:47:08 +0000

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That new MacBook Pro you’ve been holding out for may finally be only a few weeks away. A new report claims Apple plans to release updated models in the second half of October.

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8Bitdo Goes Retro with Apple-themed Game Controller for iPhone, iPad

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 23:44:07 +0000

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iPhone and iPad game controllers aren’t exactly news, unless they’re awesomely retro—like the AP40 from 8Bitdo. Their game controller has a classic NES look with a dash of Apple II thrown in, sports Apple’s iconic rainbow stripes, and the “AP40” name is a hat tip to Apple’s 40th anniversary. It’s a Bluetooth game controller you can use with iOS and Android devices, as well as the Mac, and it comes with a green Apple leaf plug for the USB charger port. As if that isn’t enough, it comes bundled with Apple II-shaped stand to hold the charger, your iPhone, or iPad. The AP40 is a Kickstarter project that’s already nearing its minimum funding level. Funding at the US$49 level gets you the AP40, and at $69 you get the controller and retro stand, too.

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ACM 378: Life Without a Headphone Jack, More Apple Watch, Siri on the Mac

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 21:16:56 +0000

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We’ve had our iPhone 7s for a week and a half, and Bryan and Jeff talk about life without the headphone jack. They also discuss the differences between Apple Watch (Series 0) and the new Apple Watch Series 2. They close out the show talking about Siri on the Mac, using it, and the lack of “Hey Siri” support. Plus, Bryan is punchy from a lack of sleep, so silliness runs rampant.

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NuGuard KX Case for iPhone 7 Offers Superb Protection

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 21:08:02 +0000

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The NewerTechnology NuGuard KX case for iPhone 7 or 7 Plus features a hard outer shell integrated with a soft, energy absorbing inner shell. Despite that, it’s easy to get on and off and the volume and sleep/wake buttons are relatively easy to press through. It comes in three colors, and a plastic screen protector is included. This is a superb iPhone case.

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MyMac Spotlight Interview on Bryan Chaffin

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 20:39:34 +0000

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The good folks at MyMac were kind enough to put my through one of their Spotlight interviews. They asked me 7 questions and I gave them mostly meandering, far-flung answers that explored life, the universe, and everything. There’s some what-makes-Bryan-tick stuff in it. If you’re into that sort of thing. I don’t advise it. Thanks to Tim Robertson and MyMac for putting me in the Spotlight!

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iOS 10 and Swift 3 Starter Bundle: $45

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 18:42:30 +0000

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We have a tutorial bundle for developers today, called the iOS 10 and Swift 3 Starter Bundle. It includes five video tutorials designed to teach you Apple’s Swift 3 programming language and iOS 10 development. That’s more than 82 hours of video content and hundreds of lectures, and you can get it through our deal for $45.

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TMO Daily Observations 2016-09-28: Blackberry Ditches Smartphones, Apple’s Think Different Ads

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 17:47:05 +0000

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Blackberry is giving up on making smartphones. John Martellaro and Kelly Guimont join Jeff Gamet to discuss Blackberry’s long downward spiral, plus they look back on Apple’s first Think Different ad from 19 years ago.

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Dr. Mac’s First Impression: iPhone 7 Plus

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 16:54:27 +0000

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Dr. Mac got a new iPhone 7 Plus and shares his first impressions in this week’s thrilling episode (#194 for those keeping track) of Dr. Mac’s Rants & Raves.

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Skype Adds Lock Screen and Siri Integration on iOS 10

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 15:43:52 +0000

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With version 6.25, Skype for iOS brings two iOS 10 features forward: lock screen and Siri integration. Now when you get a Skype call, your iPhone rings just like it would for a normal phone call — and you can answer the same way you normally would. Additionally, you can say things like, “Hey Siri, call Jeff Gamet on Skype,” and then Jeff’s iPhone will ring the same way … assuming Jeff is in your Skype contacts list! Speaking of contacts, this version of Skype also adds integration there, bringing your Skype contacts into your iOS Contacts list. Download for free from the App Store.

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iOS 10: Managing Siri’s Third Party App Voice Control

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 15:19:59 +0000

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iOS 10 opens Siri to third party apps so you can say things like, “Hey Siri, get me an Uber.” If you don’t want Siri calling rides for you—or Siri says it can’t—it’s time for a trip to your iPhone’s Settings to manage which apps Siri can control. Read on to learn how.

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watchOS 3: Configure Your New Dock

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 13:27:57 +0000

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Got an Apple Watch? Then you’ll need to know how to access and edit the new watchOS 3 Dock feature, which’ll put your favorite apps just a button click away. We’ve got your answers in today’s Quick Tip!

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Fujitsu Plans ScanSnap Fix for Sierra by Middle October

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 00:29:35 +0000

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Futjitsu issued another update for ScanSnap customers and macOS 10.12 Sierra. The company narrowed down the circumstances and features of ScanSnap that cause a problem in Sierra to three (below). More importantly, Fujitsu said, “A fix for the above problems is expected to be made available in the middle of October, 2016.”

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iOS 10: Save a File as PDF to iBooks

Tue, 27 Sep 2016 23:49:52 +0000

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In iOS 10, you can now Print to PDF, just as we’ve been doing with OS X/macOS. But there’s also another nice trick in the Sharing option. “Save PDF to iBooks.” It’s simple and fast. John likes this feature a lot.

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Apple Needs to Step Up its HealthKit Game Before Making it a Diagnosis Tool

Tue, 27 Sep 2016 23:39:07 +0000

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Apple wants HealthKit to grow from a basic health and fitness tracker to a platform for monitoring even more about us, and to use that information to help diagnose medical issues. Considering Apple’s commitment to improving our health, there’s no reason why the company can’t reach that goal—but not before a big issue get resolved.

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How Do You Export Multiple Albums in macOS Sierra Photos?

Tue, 27 Sep 2016 23:08:16 +0000

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You can export multiple albums in one fell swoop in Photos in macOS Sierra (this may work in previous versions). Dave Hamilton and John F. Braun explained how in Mac Geek Gab 623, and this is what you do.

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TMO Daily Observations 2016-09-27: HealthKit for Diagnosis, Roku vs Apple TV

Tue, 27 Sep 2016 18:12:17 +0000

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Apple wants HealthKit to track your overall health and become a diagnosis tool. Bryan Chaffin and John Martellaro join Jeff Gamet to discuss whether or not Apple is ready to expand HealthKit, and they also look at the state of Apple TV compared to Roku’s latest home entertainment appliance offerings.Bonus: Bryan lost his Apple Watch battery life bet with John.

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Pay What You Want for The Award-Winning Mac Bundle

Tue, 27 Sep 2016 17:49:56 +0000

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We have a new Pay What You Want deal called The Award-Winning Mac Bundle. It’s 13 Mac apps, including Drive Genius 4, The Hit List, DeltaWalker 2 Pro, Nisus Writer Pro, Aurora HDR, WinZip 5 Mac, VPN Forever: 3-Yr Subscription, Project Planning Pro, Letter Opener for macOS Mail, Duplicate Photos Fixer Pro, Screen Grabber Pro, eXtra Voice Recorder, and PhotoStitcher. That’s a quality list of apps (and services). Pay anything, even a penny, and you get three of them. Beat the average price—$11.12 and rising as of this writing—and get all 13. Beat the leader’s price, and you’ll earn an entry in an iPhone 7 giveaway. You can read all the details on the deal listing.

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iOS 10: Print to PDF With and Without 3D Touch

Tue, 27 Sep 2016 16:50:17 +0000

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One of the new features in iOS is the ability to natively print to PDF, similar to what you can do with macOS. It’s relatively simple, but not necessarily obvious. It involves getting the print preview up on the screen, and then switching to share mode in order to generate a PDF. We’ll show you the steps!

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How to Set Up Universal Clipboard for Your Mac and iOS Devices

Tue, 27 Sep 2016 15:57:36 +0000

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iOS 10 and macOS Sierra support a new feature called Universal Clipboard that lets you copy text or graphics on one device and paste them into documents on another. It really is as simple as copy-and-paste—assuming everything is configured correctly. Read on to learn how to make sure you’re set up to use Universal Clipboard.

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macOS Sierra: Using Tapback in Messages

Tue, 27 Sep 2016 13:38:21 +0000

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Today’s Quick Tip is all about how to use those funny little Tapback icons from iOS 10 within the Messages app in Sierra, too. So if you’ve just gotta give someone a thumbs up or a heart, you can do that, and we’ll tell you how.

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watchOS 3: Mickey and Minnie Mouse Can Now Speak the Time

Mon, 26 Sep 2016 22:38:10 +0000

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One of the coolest Apple Watch faces has been Mickey Mouse, tapping his foot in time with the seconds. Now, watchOS 3 adds Minnie to the fun. Plus they can each speak the time out loud with a tap. John shows you how.

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iOS 10: How to Use Maps Extensions

Mon, 26 Sep 2016 21:51:15 +0000

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iOS 10 lets third party apps link into Maps, which means you can find where you want to go and request an Uber, decide where to eat and make a dinner reservation, and more. Follow along to learn how to use extensions in Maps with TMO’s video tip.

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TMO Background Mode: Interview with Founder & President of Bombich Software, Mike Bombich

Mon, 26 Sep 2016 21:07:33 +0000

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Mike Bombich is the founder and president of Bombich Software, the developer of Carbon Copy Cloner. It’s a backup app for the Mac that has saved the day for many users. He started his career at Bowling Green State University studying aquatic ecology. But he also took computer science classes thinking that one day he would do scientific simulations of ecological systems. Soon, Mike discovered that he had a strong interest the software development process itself. Later, Mike worked for a tech support organization and discovered the real need for software that could back up the new Mac OS X launched in 2001. He created CCC. That got the attention of Apple and landed him a job working on technical solutions for professionals. Mike tells the story about how this app changed his life.

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iOS 10 Maps ‘Overview’ Buttons Moved to the Swipe-Up Drawer

Mon, 26 Sep 2016 19:13:10 +0000

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The Maps app got a major overhaul in iOS 10. It has a new look and feel (that I like), as well as a new layout. One of the basic changes is that the Overview button moved from the main interface to the drawer at the bottom of the screen.  Bryan Chaffin shows you where to find it.

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A-Shirt Makes Apple-Inspired Shirts for Apple Fans

Mon, 26 Sep 2016 18:35:43 +0000

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Have you heard of A-Shirt? They produce Apple-inspired T-shirts for fans of the company. They work on a subscription model where you get a new shirt every two months. The shirts are designed by designers all over the world. In the image I included, the white T-shirt with the drawings of the Two Steves is the current shirt being offered. Each shirt is a one-time production, and once they’re shipped, they’re gone. A-shirt even destroys the printing framed. The company also offers members a lot of content about how each shirt is created, the dyes used, the material, etc. You can sign up to get your first shirt for $25, with subsequent shirts at $50. If you commit to longer terms, the price-per-month decreases.

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TMO Daily Observations 2016-09-26: macOS Sierra PDF Issues, Apple ID Two-Factor Authentication

Mon, 26 Sep 2016 18:32:01 +0000

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Worried about viewing PDF documents in macOS Sierra? Dave Hamilton and Bryan Chaffin join Jeff Gamet to look at what we know now about potential data loss in PDFs, plus they dive into two-factor authentication for Apple IDs and why that matters for HomeKit and Apple Watch users.

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Apple’s iPhone 7 Invitation Refused by Bloggers

Mon, 26 Sep 2016 18:25:21 +0000

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Apple engages in relentless technical progress. But when the iPhone 7 design was leaked, many bloggers blinked, then seized the opportunity for rabble-rousing. It’s turning into a rinse-repeat cycle by the pundit sheep. Particle Debris page 2 takes a look at analysis by Jean-Louis Gassée who properly sizes up Apple’s invitation: “We’re going wireless, please join us.

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Avantree PowerHouse 4 Port Fast USB Charging Station

Mon, 26 Sep 2016 18:01:29 +0000

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Check out the Avantree PowerHouse 4 Port Fast USB Charging Station. The picture tells the story, but it’s a charging station with spots and ports for four different devices. It’s a great way to save space and keep things a lot less cluttered. We have a deal on this device for $35.99.

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Stilo 6R Stylus Features Magnetic Body and Hybrid Tip

Mon, 26 Sep 2016 17:28:56 +0000

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Stilo announced its 6R stylus for mobile devices. This device features what the company calls a Hybrid Tip, made from both rubber and brass. Stilo says it gives the 6R a “natural feel and pinpoint precision.” We haven’t tested that out yet, but will be doing so in the near future. In that the shape of your pen/pencil/brush/stylus is extremely personal, the 6R is shaped like a prism. The body is magnetized enough to stick to your magnetic-friendly mobile devices. Stilo 6R is priced at $14.99.

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How to Stream the Clinton/Trump Presidential Debate on Your iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV

Mon, 26 Sep 2016 14:40:19 +0000

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The first presidential debate between Democrate candidate Hillary Clinton and Republican candidate Donald Trump is scheduled to start at 9PM easter time on Monday, September 26th, and there are plenty of ways to watch even if you don’t have a cable TV subscription. Read on to see which iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV apps are ready to keep you in the political loop.

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MGG 624: Sierra, APFS, Wi-Fi and Personal Servers

Sun, 25 Sep 2016 16:06:08 +0000

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Today it’s all about answering your questions! Ok, maybe one tip, but it’s high time your questions got answered, and your two favorite geeks are just the right guys to do it! First it’s two macOS Sierra questions, then it’s onto APFS and the future of backups, including a query about choosing an external backup drive. This plus perhaps the aforementioned tip might just round out the show… or there might be more about Photos and HDR. Listen and find out!

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Can’t Remotely Control Your HomeKit Devices? Enable iCloud Two-Factor Authentication

Sun, 25 Sep 2016 01:04:15 +0000

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If you upgraded to iOS 10 on your iPhone or iPad, and tvOS 10 on your fourth generation Apple TV and now can’t remotely access your HomeKit devices, there’s probably an easy fix for that. Odds are you haven’t enabled iCloud Two-Factor authentication, which HomeKit in iOS 10 and tvOS 10 requires. Read on to learn how to get set up.

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ScanSnap on Sierra Update: Fujitsu Warns of Data Loss In ‘Specific Circumstances’

Sat, 24 Sep 2016 01:43:20 +0000

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Fujitsu updated ScanSnap users Friday on Sierra compatibility, warning of data loss in “specific circumstances.” This is an escalation from an earlier advisory that ScanSnap users should not update to macOS 10.12 Sierra.

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