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



 



Don’t Fear The Wi-Fi – Mac Geek Gab 645

Sun, 19 Feb 2017 17:16:26 +0000

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Inexpensive quasi-mesh Wi-Fi, cloud management for your videos, changing your Finder icons and upgrading your Mac’s Wi-Fi to the latest standards are just how this show starts out! From there it’s on to answering your questions about monitoring iOS data usage, looking at PDF data – all of it! – and then your geeks dive into the Wi-Fi danger conspiracy! We promise you’ll learn at least four new things!

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Apple Answers Tweets in 4 New iPad Pro Ads

Sat, 18 Feb 2017 08:47:06 +0000

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Apple launched four new iPad commercials that respond to real tweets from real folks. The first (included below) is in response to a tweet about iPad not being a real computer. The second spot addresses a tweet about poor Wi-Fi. The third answers whether Microsoft Word is on the iPad (it is), and the fourth notes that iPads aren’t subject to PC viruses. The Twitter accounts are real (Tweet 1 account, Tweet 2, Tweet 3 account, Tweet 4), and The Verge reported that Apple contacted at least one of the tweeters before using their tweets. There’s almost zero chance Apple didn’t do so with all of them. But, Apple used actors to represent the Twitter account owners. It’s an interesting campaign. Some have already noted it’s reminiscent of Apple’s “Get a Mac” campaign. More interesting, though, is that this is the first time I can remember Apple addressing questions like these, especially in an ad. The company is also leveraging social media, an area that hasn’t typically been a strong suit for Apple. They’re not my favorite spots from Apple, but they’re solid. It will be interesting to see if this becomes a major campaign.

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WWDC in San Jose Is Closer and Other Apple Insights

Sat, 18 Feb 2017 03:24:07 +0000

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We had a good discussion about Apple moving WWDC back to San Jose on Thursday’s Daily Observations. In that discussion, we talked about how much easier it would be for Apple engineers to attend an event in San Jose because it wouldn’t necessarily suck up a whole day and hours of travel. We also talked about proximity to Apple Campus 2.0, and the reality San Jose is less expensive. Daring Fireball‘s John Gruber discussed the move with Apple senior vice president Phil Schiller, who confirmed most of what we thought. Mr. Gruber also pointed out that Apple’s WWDC is a much bigger deal to San Jose than it ever was to San Francisco. He said Apple was working with San Jose’s mayor and others to stage events throughout the week, something San Francisco never did to my knowledge. Check out his piece—it’s a good read.

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AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon Unlimited Data Plan Comparison

Fri, 17 Feb 2017 23:58:43 +0000

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After spending years pressuring customers to give up their unlimited data plans, the cell carriers have come full circle and are offering unlimited data plans. Sorting out which carrier offers the best deal—AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, or Verizon—isn’t exactly straight forward, so we ranked each based on their features. Read on to see which comes out on top.

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Get Free Bitcoins from 11 Faucets That (Still) Pay

Fri, 17 Feb 2017 23:25:04 +0000

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We’ve upgraded our Bitcoin Faucet Guide with 10 (updated to 11) faucets that still pay out. Bryan Chaffin explains how they work and shows you which faucets you can trust to pay when they say they will.

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iPhone Prototypes Must Be Carried In A Special Case

Fri, 17 Feb 2017 23:16:38 +0000

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Whenever Apple tests new iPhone prototypes, they must be used in real world conditions. But how do you test a prototype in public and still keep it secret? By using a special stealth case. MacRumors got its hands on photos of a special case that Apple uses.

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Apple, Let Us Tune into Those FM Radio Channels

Fri, 17 Feb 2017 21:59:58 +0000

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Your iPhone has an FM radio chip that you’ve never been able to use. FCC chairman Ajit Pai thinks that’s a shame, and so does Jeff Butts. While the FCC chairman isn’t going to try forcing Cupertino to turn on the chip, he’s certainly turning up the heat about it. Let’s see what the good chairman has to say, and what impact that might have on streaming music services.

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iPhone 8: Goodbye Home Button, Hello Function Area

Fri, 17 Feb 2017 21:48:08 +0000

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The latest in the steady stream of iPhone 8 reports says the familiar Home button with Touch ID is going away and in its place we’ll get the Function Area. That’s fancy talk for a space at the bottom of the iPhone screen for a row of virtual buttons.

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Amazon is Just Getting Started With Alexa/Echo

Fri, 17 Feb 2017 21:38:28 +0000

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The Amazon Echo family of devices shouldn’t be underestimated. We talk about how it appears to be a device for casual questions, weather, music and shopping. But the underlying technology is going after something much bigger. Moreover, Amazon’s lead over Apple in AI and home automation may be unstoppable. John looks at two articles that provide insight into what Amazon is after in the long run.

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iPhone 8 Biometric Sensors, FCC and Smartphone Radio Chips – TMO Daily Observations 2017-02-17

Fri, 17 Feb 2017 18:49:44 +0000

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New reports say Apple won’t include a Home button on the iPhone 8 this fall. Bryan Chaffin and Jeff Butts join Jeff Gamet to look at what that means for Touch ID and biometric authentication on the new phone, plus they offer up their thoughts on an FCC request for smartphone makers to enable the FM radio chips in smartphones.

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ExoMount Touch Air Vent Car Mount: $16.99

Fri, 17 Feb 2017 17:05:32 +0000

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We have a deal for you on the ExoMount Touch Air Vent Car Mount. The mount rotates and swivels, and the grip is rubber. You can get it through our deal for $16.99, 31% off retail.

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Getting Two-Factor Verification Codes for Your Apple ID

Fri, 17 Feb 2017 14:08:18 +0000

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If you’re using two-factor authentication for your Apple ID (and you should be!), then you’re likely familiar with how you’ll approve access from your trusted devices with a six-digit code. But what if that code never comes through or you accidentally dismiss the prompt? Well, in today’s Quick Tip, we’re going to show you an easy way to generate a new one from your Mac or iOS device!

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A 4K/UHD Apple TV is Finally in the Works. Now We Know the Story

Thu, 16 Feb 2017 23:17:48 +0000

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The Apple TV has taken a beating lately. The current model is barely state-of-the art. Companies like Amazon, Netflix and Roku have leapt ahead of Apple in 4K/UHD, leaving the Apple TV in 4th place amongst customers. Now we know why, thanks to a Bloomberg report. The question is, can Apple fix the product and make it a winner again?

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Pokémon GO Adding 80 New Monsters to Catch

Thu, 16 Feb 2017 22:41:19 +0000

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Get ready for Pokémon GO Gen 2 and 80 new monsters because Niantic plans to give us more characters we gotta catch by this weekend. The new monsters come from the Pokémon Silver and Pokémon Gold video games, so if you’re tired of the gobs of characters already available you’ll have plenty more to keep you roaming around your neighborhood. Niantic also rolled in new evolutions and Evolution items to collect, new berries, new avatars, and more. The updates are free, unlike the time we’ll all spend hunting for Chikorita, Cyndaquil, Totodile.

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iOS 10: How to Make Home Button Touch ID Work Like it Used to

Thu, 16 Feb 2017 22:41:09 +0000

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iOS 10 brought a big change to the way the Home Button worked by requiring users to press it, even after your fingerprint has been recognized. But, there’s a feature tucked away under Settings > General > Accessibility that allows you to make your Home Button work like it used to. When this option is turned on, your iPhone or iPad with Touch ID will unlock with just a touch from the lock screen. Here’s how to do it.

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iPhone 8 and 3D: It’s About Facial Recognition, not AR

Thu, 16 Feb 2017 21:59:38 +0000

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There’s plenty of speculation about what new technology will come with the iPhone 8. Do recent trademark filings mean it will use an iris scanner instead of Touch ID? What about augmented reality; will that be the hottest new feature to arrive in Apple’s mobile phone? Or are all of these rumors completely off base, and the plan is actually for the iPhone 8 to unlock your phone based on how well it can recognize your face? Jeff Butts digs deep into the science and the rumors, and offers his take on the matter.

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New McDonald’s Ad Pokes Fun At Apple to Promote ‘STRAW’

Thu, 16 Feb 2017 21:57:12 +0000

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Fast food chain McDonald’s has a new ad for a product called “the STRAW.” It pokes fun at Apple, in particular Jony Ive, as it features white backgrounds and a British narrator. The product will released along with four new shakes in time for St. Patrick’s Day. Check out the Suction Tube for Reverse Axial Withdrawal in the commercial.

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New Apple TV Getting 4K Video, But Not Much Else

Thu, 16 Feb 2017 21:39:38 +0000

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Apple has plans to refresh the Apple TV this year and finally bring it in line with other set top streaming boxes—assuming this was 2015. The big change coming to the next Apple TV is 4K video support, and not much else.

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4K Apple TV, WWDC 2017 – TMO Daily Observations 2017-02-16

Thu, 16 Feb 2017 19:00:37 +0000

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Apple may finally release a 4K Apple TV this year. John Martellaro and Bryan Chaffin join Jeff Gamet to look at what we know about Apple’s plans and if 4K support is enough to keep Apple TV relevant. They also look at Apple’s new San Jose venue for this year’s Worldwide Developer Conference.

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WWDC 2017 Set for June 5-9, Moves to San Jose

Thu, 16 Feb 2017 14:53:12 +0000

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Apple’s annual Worldwide Developer Conference will run from June 5th through June 9th this year, and is getting a change of venue. For 2017, WWDC will be held at the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose instead of Moscone West in San Francisco.

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MailButler Professional 1-Year Subscription: $14.99

Thu, 16 Feb 2017 14:00:37 +0000

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Our friends at Stack Commerce said this is the last chance to get our deal on MailButler Professional, a collection of plugins for Apple’s Mail.app. With these plugins, you can mark your emails as to-do items, snooze emails, track emails to find out if recipients have actually opened them, schedule emails to be sent at specific dates and times, and more. You can get a one year subscription to MailButler Professional through us for $14.99.

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LEGO Batman has the Siri Easter Eggs We Deserve

Thu, 16 Feb 2017 00:28:05 +0000

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The LEGO Batman movie is out, and it shows us just how important Siri is: She’s the computer system of choice for Gotham’s elite vigilante crime fighters. Luckily, we don’t have to live in Gotham, become emotionally scarred orphans watching our parents die, or spend gobs of money on devices named bat…something. We can get Siri to treat us like the bat heroes we want to be right on our iPhones. Just press and hold your iPhone’s Home button to activate Siri, and get your Batman on by saying, “Hey, computer,” or “Hey, ‘puter.” Siri will respond with bat-appropriate comments, first try.

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Bryan Chaffin Talks about How Politics Intersects with Technology

Wed, 15 Feb 2017 23:52:58 +0000

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Chuck Joiner asked me on to MacVoices to talk about Apple, the tech world, and politics. In this video podcast, I make the case that Apple is just plain too big to avoid politics. From regulations, to taxation policy, to international posturing, to the fact that Apple is worth almost US$700 billion, Apple can’t avoid politics. More importantly, the broader tech world itself that it increasingly intersects with tech. I think I spewed off about getting older and struggling to understand Millennials, too. It’s all kind of hazy, but that didn’t stop Chuck from making that part of his title…oh, and check out that key frame he picked. Why did I agree to do this show again? … Oh, right, because I luuuuurve me some Chucky J!

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Setapp: Like Netflix for Mac Apps

Wed, 15 Feb 2017 23:38:46 +0000

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Dr. Mac’s been testing Setapp, a new subscription service from MacPaw with access to more than 60 Mac apps for $9.99 a month. It’s an ambitious undertaking by MacPaw, but the good doctor thinks they’ve done a masterful job…

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Mac Users Can Expect More Malware and TV Shows Are Good for Apple Music – ACM 398

Wed, 15 Feb 2017 23:34:48 +0000

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With state-sponsored hackers from Russia developing malware for the Mac, Bryan Chaffin and Jeff Gamet fear Mac users can expect more malware in the future. They also discuss the negativity that greeted Planet of the Apps, and argue that TV shows are good for Apple Music. Plus, they visit listener comments on Net Neutrality.

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Fox Launches ‘Movie of the Day’ App on Apple TV

Wed, 15 Feb 2017 23:32:41 +0000

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According to Home Media Magazine, “The free Movie of the Day app on Apple TV gives consumers a 24-hour window to buy some of the most popular movies from the Fox catalog for $4.99 to $9.99 — up to 75% off. Fox reports the app, previously launched for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, boasts a loyal following of close to 90% of monthly users returning and engaging with the app daily.” Upcoming dates and titles:  Feb. 15-Deadpool; Feb. 16-Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters;  Feb. 17-Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates and Feb. 18-Epic. Feb 14th launched with Kingsman.

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What’s With the Status Icons At the Top of My Apple Watch?

Wed, 15 Feb 2017 21:06:19 +0000

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If you’ve looked closely at your Apple Watch, you’ve noticed a bunch of status icons. We’ve talked about them before, but some new ones have recently appeared. Jeff Butts digs into the user guide and tells you what those funny little icons mean.

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Who’s More Intelligent, Apple’s Siri or Amazon’s Alexa?

Wed, 15 Feb 2017 20:13:43 +0000

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In the battle of virtual personal assistants, Apple and Amazon have strong contenders. Which one is “smarter,” though, Siri or Alexa? Perhaps it’s too early to really call the race, since both personal assistants keep growing and evolving. Be that as it may, Jeff Butts has put both through their paces, and shares his thoughts.

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Right to Repair Laws, Apple Design Critics – TMO Daily Observations 2017-02-15

Wed, 15 Feb 2017 19:11:49 +0000

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Apple doesn’t make it easy for people to get parts for do-it-yourself repairs, and some states want to change that. Kelly Guimont and John Martellaro join Jeff Gamet to debate whether or not companies should be required to make device parts available outside of authorized repair centers, plus they look at a claim Apple is actually pretty crappy ad designing products.

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Facebook Says Auto-playing Audio is Just What You Want

Wed, 15 Feb 2017 16:58:55 +0000

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Facebook wants to make video more engaging, so it’s going to make their audio auto-play in their mobile apps. Currently, audio is off by default and from Facebook’s perspective, that’s boring, limiting, and just plain blah.

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macOS: Printing Specific Calendar Events

Wed, 15 Feb 2017 14:13:00 +0000

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This Quick Tip is about printing from the Calendar program on your Mac. If you want, you can print out just a few events, so if you need to send someone an itinerary without doing anything fancy like calendar sharing, you can. Come check it out!

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Hype 3.5 for Mac: $24.99

Wed, 15 Feb 2017 14:00:34 +0000

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We have a deal for you today on Hype 3.5 for Mac, software that allows you to add animations to web pages, infographics, presentations, digital mags, ads, e-books, GIFs, videos, and more to webpages. It outputs HTML5, too. You can get this software for $24.99 through us.

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Russians Who Hacked DNC Now Targeting Macs

Wed, 15 Feb 2017 03:06:41 +0000

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A Russian group that hacked the Democratic National Committee during last year’s presidential election are now targeting Macs, according to security firm Bitedefender Labs. APT28—also known as Sofacy, Sednit APT, and other names—has been developing malware that targets Macs and gives the Russians remote access to those Macs. Bryan Chaffin has the details.

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Iconfactory Plans to Rebuild Twitterrific for Mac with Kickstarter Campaign

Tue, 14 Feb 2017 23:29:04 +0000

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The Iconfactory has launched a Kickstarter for Twitterrific for Mac. The company wants to rebuild the Mac version of this venerable Twitter client for the Mac, and the company is looking to raise US$75,000 to do it.

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Amazon Intros Chime Video Chat Service

Tue, 14 Feb 2017 22:13:07 +0000

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Apple has FaceTime, Microsoft has Skype, Google has Hangouts, and now Amazon has Chime. They’re all video chat services, and now Amazon is in on the game across the Mac, Windows, iOS, and Android. Chime is more business focused with features like 100-people conference call support and corporate directories. It’s free for one-on-one conversations, adds in screen sharing and the corporate directory feature for US$2.50 a month per user, and $15 a month gets you all that plus meeting scheduling along with  video and audio recording. Apple doesn’t have much to worry about since FaceTime targets individual users, but Skype and Hangouts better watch out because Chime is clearly targeting their users.

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4 Possible Roadmaps For macOS and iOS Evolution

Tue, 14 Feb 2017 22:00:30 +0000

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From time to time, we’ve seen scenarios related to how the Mac/macOS and the iPad/iOS might evolve as personal computing platforms. We know about the declining sales of the iPad and Apple’s seeming inattention to the Mac line as whole in 2016. In turn, that has created some discussion about their respective future developments. John catalogs the likely and not-so-likely roadmaps for these products.

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Eddy Cue Says Video is a Big Part of Apple Music’s Future

Tue, 14 Feb 2017 21:48:38 +0000

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The future of streaming music is streaming media, according to Apple’s Eddy Cue, which is why the company is behind shows like Carpool Karaoke and Planet of the Apps. The “Apple Music is more than just music” message is one he’s already expressed, and it’s a sign Apple’s competition in the streaming music market is growing beyond Spotify and Tidal to more inclusive services like Amazon Prime.

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Photon Strike is a Fun Arcade Scroller for iOS

Tue, 14 Feb 2017 19:39:14 +0000

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You may known of my penchant for tower defense games, but I also have a not-so-secret love for arcade scrollers. The good news for your time-sucking pleasure is that I found a new one called Photon Strike. It’s a solid vertical scroller for iPhone an iPad (I played on iPad) with good graphics and fast action. In fact, it’s very fast. It’s similar to others in the genre. You have to steer your ship (with your fingers), firing as long as your finger is on the screen. Waves of enemies fly around the screen, and you have to shoot/avoid them. Powerups are available throughout each level, and you get credits for each enemy you destroy for buying upgrades. It’s free to download, but for real-world cash, you can get yourself a whole heap of credits. You can also watch videos for free credits. Every five waves there’s a boss at the end. It’s ad-supported, but the ads go away with any purchase (the ads are not obnoxious).  That said, this is the kind of game where I’m happy to pay to unlock ads to directly support the developer.

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iOS: Easily Print To PDF Emails In Apple Mail

Tue, 14 Feb 2017 19:20:58 +0000

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On iOS there is a hidden feature that lets you print to PDF any email you want. It doesn’t require a third-party app or another email client. You can do it inside Apple Mail with a 3D Touch. Andrew Orr shows you how.

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Apple Music’s Reality TV Plans – TMO Daily Observations 2017-02-14

Tue, 14 Feb 2017 18:26:11 +0000

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Apple is making a push into original video content for Apple Music with Planet of the Apps and other shows. John Martellaro and Dave Hamilton join Jeff Gamet to look at how reality TV fits in with Apple’s plans. They also look at the state of personal privacy with smart TVs and more.

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Planet of the Apps Trailer Teases Spring Premiere

Tue, 14 Feb 2017 14:55:43 +0000

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Apple’s reality TV series Planet of the Apps is coming this spring and the first trailer giving us a glimpse into the show is out. It features Jessica Alba, Gwyneth Paltrow, Gary Vanderchuk, and Will.i.am teaming up with app developers who make it through an escalator pitch phase to work towards landing US$10 million in funding and a featured spot on the App Store. Planet of the Apps will stream on Apple Music without commercials, and could give us an interesting behind-the-scenes look into the app development process. Still, based on the trailer—and keep in mind I’m not the reality TV demographic—Carpool Karaoke sounds a lot more interesting.

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DEVONthink Pro: $39.95

Tue, 14 Feb 2017 14:00:55 +0000

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We have a deal for you today on DEVONthink Pro for the Mac. This software allows you to view and edit many documents inline, read webpages as if they were local documents, and file your information. You can also store your documents in a self-contained database and sync your data directly on the local network or on any USB stick or SD card w/ AES 256-bit encryption. It’s US$39.95 through us, half off retail.

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Tip: Stop Surveillance By Smart TVs from Vizio, Samsung, and LG

Mon, 13 Feb 2017 23:46:09 +0000

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In light of the recent case against Vizio, an article by Consumer Reports gives details on how to stop your smart TV from spying on you with automatic content recognition. This works with television models from Vizio, Samsung and LG. Here’s how to stop the surveillance and protect your privacy.

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Make Your iPhone Night Photography Stellar With These Tips

Mon, 13 Feb 2017 23:16:44 +0000

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Jeff Butts loves iPhone night photography, but it took a while for him to really get the hang of it and start capturing great shots. In this article, he shares with you what he’s learned, including his favorite tips and accessories for getting stellar iPhone night images. Whether you’re shooting the city skyline or the stars at night, you’ll want to read these tips and tricks.

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Oodles of Money to be Made Confusing the Consumer

Mon, 13 Feb 2017 22:46:41 +0000

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At least one TV maker collected and sold your viewing habits. The secure operation of a modern smartphone baffles many. Secret assaults on our systems are cloaked in deception.  It’s a full-time job keeping up with the latest invasions of privacy. One way to perpetuate that process is to keep people busy with videos and fully distracted while staying under regulatory radar.  Friday’s Particle Debris opens with Vizio’s collection of viewing data and continues with links on page 2 about how ignorant people are of browser tracking.

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Genius Bar Revives 30 Year Old Mac SE

Mon, 13 Feb 2017 22:34:17 +0000

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If your Mac isn’t working you make a Genius Bar appointment at your local Apple Store to get some help. That’s exactly what my good friend and British Tech Network host Ewen Rankin did—except his was a 30 year old Mac SE prototype. With the help of friends he got ahold of Mac OS System 3.3 on floppy disks—the operating system the SE originally shipped with—and then made his way to the Apple Store. The geniuses were more than happy to help out even though the Mac was older than some of them, and in the end they got it up and running. Sure, Ewen could’ve taken care of the Mac himself, but enlisting the aid of the Genius Bar wasn’t only cool, it was a great example of Apple’s customer service in action.

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Apple Posts New iPhone 7 Plus Commercials to Highlight Portrait Camera

Mon, 13 Feb 2017 22:30:51 +0000

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Apple has two new commercials out promoting iPhone 7 Plus’s Portrait camera. That’s the two-lens camera unique to iPhone 7 Plus that allows photographs to have a shallow depth of field (meaning a blurry background and sharp foreground). The pieces explain in very simple terms what Portrait mode on iPhone 7 Plus does for a photo.

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TMO Background Mode: Interview with Astrophysicist Dr. Christine Corbett Moran

Mon, 13 Feb 2017 20:28:38 +0000

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Dr. Christine C. Moran is an astrophysicist who specializes in computational astrophysics, high performance computing and big data visualization. She’s interested in the gravitational force, which she’s described as the most beautiful and mysterious of all of nature’s fundamental forces. In her undergraduate life, she studied both physics and philosophy, great background for her Ph.D. in astrophysics from the University of Zurich. Along the way, she’s also worked for, notably, SpaceX and the M.I.T. Media Lab. She’s also a Mac user and iOS app developer. We talked about her interest in gravity, computation, and hobbies: flying and martial arts (Kung Fu). Also, in November, 2016, she returned from the South Pole (radio) telescope where she did research on the Cosmic Microwave Background. Come take a cosmic journey with John and Christine as she tells her story.

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Media Files:
https://www.macobserver.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Christine-Moran-1200w-400x211.jpg




iPhone 8 to Get Bigger Battery, Ditch Included Headphone Jack Adapter

Mon, 13 Feb 2017 19:32:23 +0000

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The iPhone 8 is either going to have longer battery life, or more power hungry components. Either way, the battery in Apple’s rumored OLED iPhone will be bigger, according to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

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Media Files:
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The State of Apple Pay – TMO Daily Observations 2017-02-13

Mon, 13 Feb 2017 18:51:10 +0000

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Some big retailers don’t seem interested in Apple Pay, and Apple is having a fight over adoption in Australia. Adam Christianson from the Maccast and John Martellaro join Jeff Gamet to look at the state of Apple Pay and talk about what they see in the future for contactless payment systems.

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Media Files:
https://www.macobserver.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/tmo-daily-observations-1400-500x500.jpg