This concept video shows some great improvements for iOS 11

 2017 is no different — I still hate concept videos. But Federico Viticci and Sam Beckett teamed up once again to design some of the changes they’d like to see with iOS 11. It’s more convincing than your average concept video. In particular, this video focuses on iOS for the iPad. The Shelf is an interesting new feature. You can pull it down from the top of the screen and… Read More

New Apple Music subscribers in some countries won’t be able to rock out for free

Even if you hate the design and navigation, one thing has been clear since Apple released its Music streaming service to the world at WWDC 2015: it has the best introductory offer in the business. But like all good things, it looks like that might be coming to an end.

Several outlets have spotted that Apple’s website in Australia, Spain, and Switzerland is now showing that new Apple Music subscriptions will cost a buck rather than nothing. New customers still get the same three months of music, but now their iTunes accounts will be charged 99 cents, euros, and francs, respectively.

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47% off Pecham Vertical Stand for PS4 with Cooling Fan and Dual Controller Charging – Deal Alert

Keep your PS4 or PS4 Slim compact, organized and functioning properly with this vertical stand from Pecham. It features an integrated cooling fan, dual controller changing and a USB hub for powering & charging your phone or other devices as needed. Pecham's stand currently averages 4.6 out of 5 stars from over 185 people on Amazon (82% rate the full 5 stars: read reviews here), where its list price of $29.99 has been reduced 47% to just $15.99. See this deal now on Amazon

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Save 24% on Amazon’s Echo Dot By Buying Certified Refurbished Right Now – Deal Alert

Echo Dot is a hands-free, voice-controlled device with a small built-in speaker—it can also connect to your speakers or headphones over Bluetooth or through a 3.5 mm audio cable to deliver stereo sound to the speakers you choose. Dot connects to the Alexa Voice Service to play music, make calls, send and receive messages, provide information, news, sports scores, weather, and more—instantly. Echo Dot can hear you from across the room, even while music is playing. When you want to use Echo Dot, just say the wake word “Alexa” and Dot responds instantly. If you have more than one Echo or Echo Dot, Alexa responds intelligently from the Echo you're closest to with ESP (Echo Spatial Perception). Buying a certified refurbished Dot typically saves you 10%, but right now Amazon is offering a 16% discount on that discount, so you'll be paying just $37.99 -- a total 24% Continue reading "Save 24% on Amazon’s Echo Dot By Buying Certified Refurbished Right Now – Deal Alert"

9 augmented reality iPhone apps you should try

A new view of the world
Pokemon Go

Image by Niantic

Pokémon Go may be the popular face of augmented reality (AR) apps—upon its debut last July, the game became an instant international obsession—but it was hardly the first AR effort. Augmented reality, which has been around the edges of popular consciousness for many years, is all about what you see and how and under what circumstances you see it. Unlike virtual reality (VR) where you are literally transported into another world, AR is still the real world, with an extra added something.

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Apple’s new iCloud security requirements: How it affects you and the software you use

If you use iCloud for email, calendar events, or contacts with any apps other than those made by Apple, and you haven’t upgraded the security on your account to use two-factor authentication (2FA), syncing and other interaction will fail starting June 15. That’s when Apple imposes a new security requirement that requires unique passwords for all third-party software that works with iCloud accounts. That includes apps like BusyContacts, Fantastical, and Thunderbird, to name a few of hundreds, as well as online services that sync with iCloud or retrieve email.

That sounds a lot more secure, but there’s less there than meets the eye. Apple’s method of allowing third-party access has significant flaws in containing abuse if one of these unique passwords gets discovered. There’s a better way with its own set of problems, but Apple doesn’t appear to be moving in that direction. (Here’s our how-to guide on setting up Continue reading "Apple’s new iCloud security requirements: How it affects you and the software you use"

JBL E55BT wireless headphone review: These modeslty priced cans deliver strong features and good sound

JBL’s E-Series headphones are designed to bring the company’s signature sound in a range of headphone models with a focus on style. At the top of the E-series lineup sits the E55BT wireless headphones. If you're looking to grab some signature JBL sound for less than $150, these headphones might just be your ticket.

Like all E-Series models, the E55BT comes in five bold monochromatic options: black, blue, red, teal, and white (my review pair happened to be red).  Included accessories are Spartan. There's a 3.5mm audio cable and a microUSB charging cable, but no carrying case or even a 1/4-inch adapter.

The JBL E55BT is a circumaural, or over-the-ear, design. The headband is wrapped in a soft, two-tone cotton mesh, with the underside of the headband a darker color than the top. Sizing is adjustable in typical click-stop increments. I had no problems getting a good, snug Continue reading "JBL E55BT wireless headphone review: These modeslty priced cans deliver strong features and good sound"

Basic motivations: Making iPhone 8 headphone news

Shocking news has reached the Macalope’s furry ears! Wait, can “news” be false? Let’s find out!

Writing for Boy Genius Report, Zach Epstein says “Apple’s iPhone 8 will basically bring back the headphone jack.” (Tip o’ the antlers to David V and David Gorski.)

How does one “basically” include a hardware feature?

Well, one does not include it, is the answer.

Look, the whole House Cup thing was always a complete sham that was rigged by Dumbledore showing up in the last five minutes to put his finger on the scale for Gryffindor because Neville Longbottom learned to tie his shoes by himself or something. But the Macalope is still going to have to take 80 points from Slytherin for egregious link baiting.

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iPhone 8 rumors: Apple paying more than double to add 3D Touch to OLED display

Poor iPhone 7, only halfway through its first year and already totally overshadowed by whatever is coming next. After all, 2017 marks the iPhone’s 10th birthday, so Apple is reportedly gearing up to make its anniversary edition extra special.

We’ll keep track of the latest rumors and how plausible they are, and we’ll put them in one spot (this one!) so you can pop on over whenever you want to read the latest.

If you passed on the iPhone 7 to wait for the iPhone 8—or the iPhone 7s or whatever name Apple decides to use—it sounds like the next phone could be the design refresh you were waiting for. Just don’t expect the headphone jack to return.

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Tim Cook is testing a new Apple Watch device that monitors his blood sugar levels

Tim Cook is not only acting CEO at Apple, but he’s also one of its beta testers.

This week, CNBC reported that Cook has been testing a new device that monitors his blood sugar levels. This glucose monitor is a prototype attached to Cook’s Apple Watch that can track how food consumption and exercise affects the CEO’s blood sugar levels.

Back in February, Cook told students at the University of Glasgow that he had been continuously wearing a glucose monitor, but did not confirm it whether it was an Apple prototype.

“It’s mentally anguishing to stick yourself many times a day to check your blood sugar,” Cook said. “There is lots of hope out there that if someone has constant knowledge of what they’re eating, they can instantly know what causes the response... and that Continue reading "Tim Cook is testing a new Apple Watch device that monitors his blood sugar levels"

Tim Cook is testing a new Apple Watch device that monitors his blood sugar monitor

Tim Cook is not only acting CEO at Apple, but he’s also one of its beta testers.

This week, CNBC reported that Cook has been testing a new device that monitors his blood sugar levels. This glucose monitor is a prototype attached to Cook’s Apple Watch that can track how food consumption and exercise affects the CEO’s blood sugar levels.

Back in February, Cook told students at the University of Glasgow that he had been continuously wearing a glucose monitor, but did not confirm it whether it was an Apple prototype.

“It’s mentally anguishing to stick yourself many times a day to check your blood sugar,” Cook said. “There is lots of hope out there that if someone has constant knowledge of what they’re eating, they can instantly know what causes the response... and that Continue reading "Tim Cook is testing a new Apple Watch device that monitors his blood sugar monitor"

53% off Linksys Cable Modem for Comcast, Eliminate Rental Fees – Deal Alert

The Linksys DPC3008 Cable Modem delivers high-speed broadband connectivity to your home and office with download speeds up to 340 Mbps and upload speeds up to 120 Mbps. The Gigabit Ethernet port provides high-speed network performance, while DOCSIS 3.0 support ensures you can connect directly to your existing cable broadband service. Comcast-certified, the DPC3008's simple setup allows you to get connected quickly and easily. It also allows you to stop paying monthly modem-rental fees. If you have broadband internet from Comcast or similar providers, you're probably paying a monthly fee to rent the cable modem, so do the math and you may find this one pays for itself in short time. The Linksys modem typically lists for $42.92, but with this deal you get it for 53% off, or just $19.99. See this deal on Amazon.

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Nest Thermostat Currently Discounted 6% – Deal Alert

A thinner, sleeker design. A bigger, sharper display. The 3rd generation Nest Learning Thermostat is more beautiful than ever. With Farsight, it lights up when it sees you coming and shows you the time or temperature from across the room. And the Nest Thermostat is proven to save energy. Independent studies have proven that the Nest Learning Thermostat saved an average of 10-12% on heating bills and 15% on cooling bills. That means that in two years, it can pay for itself. Or maybe a bit less, since its currently discounted 6% off its typical list price. See the Nest Thermostat deal on Amazon now, while you can.

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Snapimals is the modern-day Pokémon Snap and it’s just as addictive

These days, keeping up with games can be a full-time job. So how do you separate the signal from the noise, the wheat from the chaff, the Temple Runs from the Temple Jumps? Allow us to help by regularly selecting a game You Should Play.

Remember Pokémon Snap, the unexpectedly addictive photography game for Nintendo 64? Well, it’s back—in spirit—in Snapimals, a freemium game in which you try to capture wild animals’ wacky antics in still photos.

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Ask the iTunes Guy: Managing your iTunes library

The bigger your iTunes library, the harder it is to keep it coherent. In this week’s column, I answer two questions about managing a library. The first asks how to sort artists by their last name instead of their first name, so it’s easier to find music in a large library, and the second discusses how to rip CDs when your main computer is a laptop without an optical drive.

Sorting artist names

Q: I would like to sort the artists and composers in my iTunes library by last name so they’re easier to find in lists. I know I can do this by entering the name in the Sort Artist tag, but this will take a long time. Is there any quick way to do this?

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FLI Charge review: Versatile wireless charging pad works with USB gadgets, too

Apple is praised for innovation, but is often one of the last to adopt new technologies. Yet there’s no denying the company helps fuel mainstream adoption by doing it better than everyone else. The new iPhone is rumored to introduce wireless charging, which has yet to hit the tipping point.

There have been several attempts to bolt wireless charging onto iPhone, but none do it as well as FLI Charge ($149 MSRP for the Essential Setup; available on Amazon). At its heart is FLIway 40, a silver/white charging pad measuring 8.66 inches across, 3.92 inches deep, and half an inch thick. It’s the first to offer 40 watts of power, enough to charge multiple devices at once, and far more than competing products.

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The computer as an appliance: Moving beyond the Amazon Echo, Google Home, and Siri

Over the past few decades, computing has trended towards the personal. We’ve gone from the age of desktops to the age of laptops to the age of the smartphone. And even though that newfound mobility has brought with it freedom and flexibility, it’s not without its costs.

For one thing, we are, more than ever, entranced with our own personal screens, in the same way that we don our headphones and tune out the world. Computing has become a siloed affair, with each of us involved in our own personalized experiences—even if they connect us with other people across the world, all on their own devices.

But part of me wonders if the pendulum is beginning to swing back to a model where the technology we use at home is linked to a particular location. That’s not to say such a device would supplant the smartphone or tablet, or even Continue reading "The computer as an appliance: Moving beyond the Amazon Echo, Google Home, and Siri"