An iOS clipboard manager you didn't know you needed
If you don't happen to know what a clipboard manager is, you need one. If you do and you've also tried out a couple, you know why you need it and you know just how hard it will be to make you give them up. Not to rub it in if you haven't tried one yet but they have been around for a very long time – or at least they have on Macs. With iPhone and iPads, it's really taken until iOS 8 for them to be possible. Clips is a free clipboard manager for iOS and it is just about as good as Apple allows it to be.
Government websites seeing 25 of traffic from Apple devices
A measurement of US government web traffic has revealed that 26 percent of visits come from Apple devices -- with nearly 17 percent originating from iOS devices, with another nine percent from Macs. This puts the platform at about one-half the traffic generated by Windows devices (58 percent), with Android devices in third place with 14 percent. The data comes from analytics of over 300 government websites.
This week in the MacNN forums, Fresh-Faced Recruit "Pootie Tang" raised a red flag over an incident they had with Safari that they believe to be caused by a virus, thought they quickly discovered it was just easily-removable adware. Mac Elite "And.reg" has been having bizarre issues with trying to get iCloud keychain working, and has turned to the forums looking for advice.
Portable storage for all your mobile devices
It seems like no matter how much internal storage is included today's mobile devices, we, as users, will always find a way to fill them up. This is where Seagate's Wireless can come in handy, especially now that more devices are making the move away from removable media. The 500GB drive can be accessed wirelessly, meaning users can store photos, videos, and music that would normally take up precious space off of their mobile device. On paper, the Wireless seems like a very useful tool, so we managed to get our hands on one, fill it with data, and take it on vacation to see just how well it really worked.
MacNN and Electronista deals for March 19, 2015
Welcome to Daily Deals, the post where we scour the Internet's major retailers to uncover the finest price cuts and discounts on technology and software for you, the discerning MacNN and Electronista reader. Today's recap of deals from earlier in the week is accompanied by a swathe of new additions, including a GoPro Hero4 bundle, the SteelSeries Stratus, and an extremely cheap memory upgrade.
Potential but unwieldy security threat to those running pre-iOS 8.1.1
A new device on the market costing $300 could be used by attackers to crack the PIN codes on iOS devices running system versions older than iOS 8.1.1. While the chances of it being used on someone's personal device are extremely low -- since it requires both physical access to the device as well as a great deal of time -- users can protect their devices and foil the so-called "IP Box" attack by moving to a more complex passcode.
CEO vows to improve quality, says collaboration is why Apple is better
Following an excerpt from the forthcoming biography called Becoming Steve Jobs about the mercurial co-founder and former CEO of Apple, the company's current leader Tim Cook was interviewed by Fast Company about what has changed -- and what has stayed the same -- since Jobs' untimely death in 2011. In the wide-ranging conversation, Cook owns up to some growing pains, but says the spirit of Jobs lives on.
Big China carriers now offering latest LTE-capable iPad models for first time
Apple's sales in China are set to further increase now that the country's second- and third-largest carriers will offer the Wi-Fi + Cellular versions of the latest iPads, the first time China Unicom and China Telecom have been able to do so. The special iPad models, which vary slightly from the North American and European versions, will support China's proprietary TD-LTE and FDD-LTE standards, as well as other LTE versions.
Lawsuit alleged every Apple mobile device abused assortment of ex-Nokia patents
Late Monday, a jury ended a legal battle with a patent licensing firm. A jury in Texas' "rocket docket" declared that Apple did not infringe on five patents held by Conversant owned Core Wireless Licensing SARL, who was seeking $100 million in damages, and a portion of Apple's device sales going forward, some of which may have been paid out to Microsoft.
MacNN and Electronista deals for March 16, 2015
Welcome to Daily Deals, the time of the day when we search the Internet for discounts and offers on a variety of hardware, software, and gadgetry for you, the discerning MacNN and Electronista reader. Today's post has wiped the slate clean of older deals, meaning that all the ones listed are brand new deals waiting for your attention, including some JBL headphones, external storage from LaCie, and a discounted iPad Air.
The writing app beats Scrivener to the iPad
It's not as if this were Mac versus PC, not Word versus WordPerfect, not even Aperture versus Lightroom. Still, Ulysses vs Scrivener, a war of word processors, is a thing -- and Ulysses just took a big step ahead. These two applications give writers a complete and single package of tools for writing, research, and then publishing. What they have not given writers before was the ability to pick up an iPad and carry on where you were.
Turn your iOS devices into a smart remote
Universal controllers for entertainment systems have been around for a while, but a basket full of remotes is still a common fixture in many homes. The Pronto smart remote is here to replace all of those remotes with an iOS app and a little black monolith. With the Peel iOS app, the user connects to the Pronto via Bluetooth and sends out infrared (IR) commands to various entertainment system components in the room. We liked the ability to reduce multiple controllers down to a single app on a device we usually have on hand while we're watching TV anyway, but it wasn't without its issues.
Apple Maps is underrated, except when it isn't
Well, this is awkward: I'm about to enthuse at you about how and why Apple Maps is very good, but the impetus came when my wife Angela offered to pick me up from a meeting in Kings Heath, Birmingham (in England, for those not familiar with the place). I shared my location with her over Messages and was just thinking how handy this was, how straightforward and easy it was -- when she texted back "why are you in Stechford?"
AppleCare now handling support for Beats Music, Apple Pay for Business
Apple will now handle support for Beats Music customers, along with businesses offering Apple Pay, through its AppleCare division, according to reports. Previously, Beats Music support was handled by an outsourced firm, but has now been moved in-house after the company was acquired by Apple last year. The move to offer support to businesses implementing Apple Pay will encourage more companies to do so. There is also a specific Merchants support hotline for Apple Pay for those already using the system.
Facility will open next year, ensure steady LCD display supply for iPhone
Japan Display, a company created by three Japanese tech firms in 2012, has agreed to a deal with Apple to help build a $1.4 billion new display manufacturing facility that should increase its overall LCD capacity by 20 percent. The company already supplies Apple with some 50,000 raw-material Retina display panels per month at present, and the investment by Apple in the new facility could guarantee a steady supply in the future.
iPad Air 2 and 'appflows' reveal the real power of Apple's post-PC paradigm
We recently had the opportunity to learn about how iPad Air 2 is being used in small business. There are several apps being used by small businesses on the iPad Air 2 to enable them to undertake tasks themselves, where they might otherwise outsource at considerable expense. We also looked at real-world case studies, where the same apps had been used to excellent effect. Perhaps the most interesting aspect was how a series of different apps could be used together to powerful effect. What we were really exploring could best be called app workflows, or "appflows," if one is looking for a catch phrase.
Harnessing the iPad as Mac graphics tablet
Professional creation apps often feature built-in support for drawing tablets, though many users never get the chance to take advantage of this, due to the high cost of these input accessories. Astro-HQ, a new company formed by two former Apple engineers, is looking to solve this issue with the release of Astropad, a new tool that turns nearly any iPad into a sketch board for any OS X app. Consisting of a free iOS app and a $50 desktop companion, Astropad looks to be a great option for a graphics artist on a tight budget.
Bubble-free screen protector comes in glossy, matte
Have you ever tried to put in a screen protector that relies on static to cling to the screen? How many bubbles and wrinkles does it have in it? How many times did you have to start over trying to apply it, only to end up with less-than-perfect results? If you've ever found that process maddening, or just want a hassle-free screen protector for your iOS device, I found one for you: the Moshi iVisor.
Is imitation the sincerest form of flattery?
Fittingly enough for a racing game, let's get this out front: AG Drive ($4) is a Wipeout clone. That isn't a strike against it – the developer admits it, the Wipeout series has plenty of fans, and many worthy titles have followed the same template. But a game can hew close to that template or build a unique identity, and execution, ultimately, is everything.
Daily deals for Friday February 27, 2015
Welcome to Daily Deals, the time when we search for deals, offers, discounts, and sales on hardware, software, and other technology for you, the discerning MacNN and Electronista reader. Alongside our usual recap of still-active deals, the new batch of offers include an omnibus deal on Rosetta Stone, a battery case for the iPhone 6, and a heads-up on the OWC garage sale.
Ericsson source of latest barrage, court filings made in Eastern District of Texas
On February 26, Ericsson filed two complaints with the US International Trade Commission (ITC) and seven complaints in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas against Apple, asserting 41 patents covering many aspects of Apple's iPhones and iPads. The patents include standards-essential patents related to the 2G and 4G/LTE standards, as well as other patents that are critical to features and functionality of Apple devices, such as the design of semiconductor components, user interface software, location services and applications, as well as the iOS operating system.
Windows Phone holds steady at one percent; BlackBerry not counted in survey
The latest Good Technology Mobility Index Report on the mobile enterprise space, based on a survey of Good's customer base for its own enterprise-level email services, shows iOS gaining ground by taking away share from Android in calendar Q4 2014, with the former growing by four percentage points to hit 73 percent share of global enterprise activations. Android fell by the same amount to 25 percent, while Windows Phone held steady at one percent.
Ridiculously easy way to edit relationship data into Contacts
This week's Pointers tip is short and sweet, and one of those head-slapping "of course!" moments. It's a far simpler way of adding your family into Siri so that she (or he) will understand who you mean when you say "send a text to my wife" or "read me the last email from my father." You can do this manually in Contacts (or the previous version, known as Address Book), but its a bit labor-intensive that way. Using this easier method, you can eliminate the dreaded "which John did you mean?" when you know more than one, and meant the one you're related to.
Commercial itself was created using iPad Air 2, showcases student works
During the Academy Awards on Sunday night, Apple debuted a new minute-long TV commercial that features the iPad Air 2 -- not only as the subject of the ad, but also as the creative tool that created the spot. Appropriately called "Make a film with iPad," the entire commercial was shot using the built-in camera of the iPad Air 2, and combines the work of students using the tablet to make their own films with behind-the-scenes footage and a voice-over from director Martin Scorsese.
Superb Sudoku app gets gets bug fix update
The bug was something to do with iOS 8 compatibility. We don't care. We just want to enthuse about a puzzle game that has kept us up nights with that 'just one more game' feeling. Plus, the bug's been fixed now, what are you waiting for? Sue Doku is on the App Store and it's $1.
Move possible, but would require re-think by Apple of existing OS security
According to "sources familiar with the matter," Apple is intending to launch more public beta releases of upcoming system software, starting with a revision to iOS8 in mid-May. The move may be intended to help deflect criticism of recent, high-profile bugs in releases of both Apple's iOS, as well as in its desktop operating system, OS X.
Beats headphones, iOS devices, MacBook all leaders in their respective categories
A new survey measuring customer loyalty and engagement has picked several categories of Apple products as the best in their field, at least in the minds of consumers. Beats headphones were the top most-liked headphone brand, the combined MacBook lines took best laptop, and the iPhone and iPad unsurprisingly won best smartphone and tablet, respectively. The Consumer Loyalty Engagement Index measures how well a product meets -- or exceeds -- consumer expectations.
win 1 of 2 copies of Shadowrun: Dragonfall - Director's Cut
Late last year, Harebrained Schemes released their latest title Shadowrun: Dragonfall - Director's Cut. This RPG game features 17 missions, intuitive touch interface, team customizations options and more. Last week, our staff completed a Hands On review, and also obtained two iOS App Store redemption codes to give to our readers.
win 1 of 5 copies of Workflow 1.1
What is Workflow 1.1? Is it really an "essential" tool to add to your tool kit? What's new in version 1.1? Last week MacNN explored these questions in a complete Hands On review. We discussed who this software title would be good for, and who it might not be so good for. We also secured five promo codes to give away copies of this software to our readers.
The MacNN Podcast for February 16, 2015
The MacNN Podcast hits its second episode and engages on a wide variety of topics! Join this week's hosts, MacNN Editor Charles Martin, alongside staff writer Michelle Elbert, reviewer William Gallagher, and news writer Malcolm Owen as they discuss the events that got our attention, needed further discussion, or just plain tickled our fancy.
Initiative launches in September, massive transaction volume expected
At today's Cyber Security conference at California's Stanford University, Apple CEO Tim Cook took the stage. As part of the appearance, the White House and Cook announced that Apple Pay would be enabled for users of federal payment cards, including all benefits that are paid out through debit cards. Additionally, the Apple payment service would be accepted at National parks and similar venues.
BrydgeAir stands out from the Bluetooth keyboard accessory crowd
The market for keyboard accessories for tablets like the iPad is extensive, whether Apple likes it or not. That Apple hasn't released an equivalent accessory to speaks volumes about the typical ergonomics of these kinds of accessories. The best option that we have found to date is to marry an iPad with the Incase Origami and one of Apple's wireless keyboards, although it is not the most integrated solution. Does the BrydgeAir Bluetooth keyboard for the iPad Air offer a better, more integrated solution?
Popular RPG series makes leap to iOS
Shadowrun: Dragonfall is, in some ways, a testament to how much mobile gaming has evolved. The assumption used to be that anyone playing a game on a phone or tablet could only afford to play for a few minutes at a time while riding the subway or sitting in a waiting room. Now that mobile devices are beginning to replace computers and consoles for some people though, it's not uncommon to see single-player iOS and Android titles that can take a dozen hours or more to complete.
Airline becomes first to take mobile payment system for in-flight purchases
JetBlue has announced that, starting next week, passengers will be able to pay for items such as food and beverages in-flight using Apple Pay. Items range from amenities like headsets and food items, to upgrading to a premium seat. The service will begin with cross-country flights between New York and California, then expand to other routes. Flight attendants will use Apple's iPad mini, which will be specially encased to take credit cards as well.
Initiative praising Apple, Samsung for strides in anti-theft measures
Smartphone thefts have precipitously declined in three major cities that spearheaded an anti-theft initiative that they claim has driven industry trends. According to a joint press release from New York, San Francisco, and London, iPhone thefts alone have fallen 25, 40, and 50 percent, respectively -- the law enforcement group claims that device "kill switches," known in the Apple world as "Activation Lock" and "Remote Wipe," are credited for the drop in stolen devices.
Bringing your 'brains' with you, safely and efficiently
You may have noticed that people rarely use the term "getting away from it all" when they talk about vacations anymore. Unless you are going camping in the middle of absolutely nowhere, or trying to do a cruise ship on the cheap, chances are you are in fact bringing some of "it" with you -- probably in the form of your iPhone, iPad or Mac (or all three) and a connection to the Internet. As jet-setting journalists, we have come up with a few tips for this over the years, which we now pass on to you.
Credit card ties Apple Pay to tradition, while Elliphant breaks new ground
American Express has again created its own commercial featuring Apple Pay, a technology the company has been a strong supporter of. Made in collaboration with Apple, the Amex ad uses its own previous commercials to portray the mobile payment technology as the next step of its evolution. In contrast, Apple's own latest TV spot is busy promoting the company's iPad tablet, showcasing its role in rap artist Elliphant's song creation process.
Bluetooth stylus brings pressure sensitivity to iPad
Bluetooth styluses are a relatively new development for the iPad. They all offer some level of pressure sensitivity, ranging from 16 in the very cheap ones, to thousands of levels in the more expensive models, sometimes running well over $100. Seeing a market, big name developers like Wacom have entered the arena to design accessories to work with tablets. We checked out FiftyThree's Pencil -- one of the earlier entries into the field, and designed to go specifically with the company's Paper drawing app, though it can be used elsewhere.
Health data from the 'worried well' can help identify problems early
Apple's HealthKit API and the apps that utilize it aim to take data collected from the iOS 8 Health app and others, and allow the user the option of sending it securely on to the user's healthcare provider (complying with HIPAA as required by law). Of the 23 top hospitals surveyed by Reuters, 14 of them -- or 60 percent -- responded that pilot projects involving HealthKit were either in place or being worked out.
Rival beats TSMC to 14-nanometer process, said to win contract
Numerous reports appear to confirm that Samsung will return to a larger role in helping Apple manufacture its next-generation A9 chip, which will be used in future iOS devices. Apple primarily uses Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) for its A8 chips seen in the iPhone 6 and current iPad lines, but still used Samsung for manufacturing the chips to some extent due to demand. Sources say Samsung has beaten TSMC to a 14-nanometer process, giving it the edge.
Package built for iOS 7, runs on iOS 8; limited possibility of spread
Security researcher Trend Micro has found another malware package that uses Apple's "ad hoc provisioning" feature to install. The software, called XAgent, is part of a phishing attack that harvests contact information from an infected phone, and emails itself to friends of the infected. Users must install the malware themselves, but could be tricked into doing so. Data stolen includes text messages, contact lists, pictures (specifically, screen shots), location information, and a list of installed applications.
Combined leasing plan saves $17 on equivalent separate schemes
Sprint is offering its customers the option of switching over to iOS devices wholesale, with a promotional bundle that leases just Apple products. The carrier is putting together its current iPhone for Life and iPad for Life schemes into one single leasing plan, which will let users have both an iPhone and an iPad all on the same mobile plan for $100 per month.
Prediction based on likely development time, Apple Watch timing
Speculators are now predicting, based on the usual development cycle and other factors, that Apple will release the currently-in-testing iOS 8.2 upgrade next month. Conventional wisdom has the release as likely in the second week, approximately a month prior to the Apple Watch rollout, which is estimated for April. In related news, Apple has updated its gauge for iOS 8 adoption, now at 72 percent of users.
monitors, Macs, iPods and iPads
Apple's online store currently has a vast selection of refurbished products, from iPods and iPads to Mac Pros and accessories. Save $200 on the refurbished 27-inch Apple Cinema display with 2560x1440 resolution. It was $999, but is now $799. That monitor would pair nicely with the six-core Mac Pro which has a 3.5GHz processor, 16GB of RAM, 256GB of storage and a price tag of $3,399.
MacNN and Electronista deals for February 3, 2015
Welcome to Daily Deals, our new regular series where we search online retailers for offers and discounts for you, the discerning MacNN and Electronista reader. Today's deals include a multifunction laser printer from Canon, discounted Kindle Fire tablets, clearance PCs at Staples, and a recap of still-active deals you should take another look at before they disappear.
Asian version of US ad plays to Chinese market, gift-giving season
Apple has created a new version of its holiday ad "The Song" for the Chinese market in time for the Lunar New Year celebrations, which commence later this month. The wholly-reimagined ad is prominently featured on the company's China website, and is the first such ad made directly for China. Senior VP of Retail Dame Angela Ahrendts has made China a priority over the next two years as it emerges as Apple's third-largest market.
Releases enter later testing phase
Apple has released fifth betas of iOS 8.2 and Xcode 6.2 to developers. Both are available through the Dev Center; iOS 8.2 is also accessible as an over-the-air update for people already using beta firmware. Exact changes have yet to be discovered, but Xcode has been updated to include the latest set of WatchKit tools for Apple Watch developers.
Amazon shipments fall nearly 70 percent
The global tablet market shrank year-over-year for the first time during the most recent quarter, according to new estimates from IDC. The market dipped 3.2 percent, from 78.6 million units to 76.1 million -- driven in large part by declines at Apple and Amazon. Apple's iPad shipments fell nearly 18 percent, from 26 million to a little over 21.4 million; Amazon, meanwhile, plummeted almost 70 percent, from 5.8 million units to 1.7 million. Also contributing, however, were drops at Asus and Samsung. The former slid from four to three million tablets, while Samsung went from 13.5 million to 11 million.
Apple credits TaiG team in release notes
Yesterday's iOS 8.1.3 update sabotages the TaiG jailbreak tool, users say. The hack was functional through iOS 8.1.2, outdoing Pangu, which stopped working as of v8.1.1. Although the TaiG team itself hasn't confirmed the problem, Apple's notes for v8.1.3 actually credit the group with finding four security vulnerabilities.
Cites high customer satisfaction, enterprise opportunities among reasons
Apple's iPad tablet is continuing to see growing declines in sales, as noted in the most recent quarterly results. As expected, the iPad dropped 18 percent year-over-year in sales, though new models and the holiday season provided a substantial boost from the previous quarter. Although Apple only sold 21.4 million iPads this holiday season compared to 26 million last year, sales were up strongly from the previous quarter, leaping from September's 12.3 million iPads.