iPods, iPads and accessories
At Apple's online store right now, take advantage of price cuts on refurbished iPods, iPads and Apple Accessories. The 5th generation refurbished 16GB iPod touch is now only $149 after a $30 price break, but for even more bang for your buck, get the 32GB 4th generation Touch for only $10 more, now $159. The 4th generation 64GB Touch is also a steal at $209 after a $120 discount.
Contract between LAUSD and Apple not being examined, only financials
Adding a further level of complexity to the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) failed iPad program, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has opened an "informal inquiry" to investigate if the school complied with legal requirements for bond usage in the purchase. The agency is reportedly examining if the contract was properly disclosed to investors, and if sufficient documentation was provided to insure the bonds were used legally.
Price district paid per iPad with educational materials still less than retail
In the wake of its collapsed iPad program, the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) is seeking millions of dollars in refunds from Apple. The district's board of education has authorized state and city attorneys to investigate litigation to claim money from Apple and Pearson after the district itself broke the contract.
Safari troubles, Mighty Mouse programming and more
This week in the MacNN forums, members discuss problems they have been having recently with the copy bounding box in Safari on the iPhone as it seems to be broken at the moment. One Mac Elite who is new to OS X and the Mighty Mouse is wondering how to program the Mighty Mouse to work different.
MacNN and Electronista deals for April 14, 2015
Hello and welcome to Daily Deals, where the staff of MacNN and Electronista scour online retailers to find discounts, offers, and sales for you, our discerning readers. A recap of still-active deals from Monday follows the new deals batch, which includes $100 off the Alienware Alpha, a triple-pack of Seagate storage drives, and a heavily-discounted Lytro camera.
MacNN and Electronista deals for April 13, 2015
Hello and welcome to Daily Deals, the post where we search the Internet for sales, offers, and discounts for you, the discerning MacNN and Electronista reader. Since it is the start of a new week, all older sales have been removed, with the new batch including discounts on the Lexar JumpDrive, $100 off the Moto 360, and $100 off the Apple iPad Air 2.
Widely beta-tested, each brings new features to devices
With today's release of OS X Yosemite 10.10.3, Apple is officially releasing its iPhoto replacement program Photos for the Mac. While the program has already been in use on iOS for some time, the new program sits alongside existing iPhoto or Aperture libraries with its own copy, and adds new abilities and features we have previously reported on. The update, leaked earlier today, also brings a non-beta version of iCloud Photo Library and new emoji, while the iOS 8.3 release shares the emoji improvements and adds wireless CarPlay support, along with new Siri accents and languages.
Staffers reflect on the fifth anniversary of the iPad, ponder the Surface 3
Presenting episode nine of The MacNN Podcast, which this week features a hands-on report on the new 2015 MacBook Pro, along with some chatting about the recently-revealed new MacBook benchmarks, well ahead of its April 10 debut. We also celebrate the fifth anniversary of the iPad by talking about the many ways, big and small, it has changed our lives. We discuss the new Surface 3 from Microsoft, the Doctor Who BBC bundle on BitTorrent, and more.
Vending machine automates process of allowing students to rent iPads
Vending machines that can serve up nearly anything have been popular in Japan for years, and most US airports and some malls now have "mini-store" type vending machines that can offer items like electronics or pet supplies. Drexel University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania has been renting iPads to students since 2013, but has now automated the process with a kiosk that offers up to 12 iPads available for rental to students.
Has it really been just five years since the tablet shipped to the world?
If you wanted to find out what was going on this day in history, five years ago, the odds are that you'd now pick up your iPad and start searching online. These devices have become visibly invisible: they still have the new-toy status, they still get noticed, yet when we use them, we forget what marvellous devices they are -- and we focus instead on what we're doing. We think of what we're looking for, what we're creating. We have a split view of them, in which they are both the norm and the exception: they are what we automatically use for work or pleasure, and they are so much better than alternatives that they are just everywhere.
Samsung and partner said to regain contract lost by TSMC
Potentially confirming earlier reports, Samsung has apparently won the contract to manufacture the main chip in Apple's forthcoming iOS lineup. According to sources familiar with the matter, the manufacturer will produce the Apple-designed chip at the Giheung plant in South Korea, with spillover orders going to Samsung partner Globalfoundries.
New app lets you create stylish blogs and journals
Adobe continues its series of excellent and rather beautiful iPad apps with Adobe Slate 1.0.1, a free tool the company says is for telling stories with photos. And it is. It's also an attempt to get you into the Adobe ecosystem, but it does what it claims and makes concocting illustrated online articles very quick and stylish.
Apple's e-reader is under-appreciated
Anyone who bought the Kindle device that lets you read in direct sunlight made a sensible choice, and they got terrific battery life too. I made my iPad choice, and I lived with it, despite not being able to read on the sun-soaked beach. Of course, you can read Kindle books on iPad, but now I actively seek out titles on Apple's iBook Store before I bother looking for them on Kindle.
Apple leaving streaming to broadcasters; sticking with hardware, software
As part of its as yet unconfirmed live television service, Apple is reportedly asking the networks themselves to handle the technical details, and associated costs of the streams that will reportedly be available on the Apple TV, similar to deals in place now. Costs generally run $0.05 per stream per hour, but executives are said to be balking at the potential cost for the as yet unknown demand for the service.
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.