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23% off LilGadgets Premium Children's Wireless Bluetooth Headphones with SharePort - Deal Alert

MacWorld - 1 hour 12 min ago

These highly rated & multi-award winning Bluetooth headphones from LilGadgets are designed for kids. The Untangled Pro offers several fun color options, is durably constructed out of a high quality polycarbonate & stainless steel, and is covered with comfortable SoftTouch fabric. Fully charged, the Untangled Pro has a generous 12 hour battery life with 180 hours on standby. It features a 93db volume limiter for safe listening, and an integrated "SharePort" that lets multiple headphones connect and listen along. Each pair comes with a high quality microfiber travel pouch, a four foot premium nylon braided 3.5 millimeter audio cable with an inline microphone and a micro-USB charging cable. They are currently rated 4.7 out of 5 stars on Amazon from over 1,700 people (84% rate 5/5 stars: read recent reviews). Its typical list price of $64.95 has been reduced 23% to $49.95. See them on Amazon.

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Impending iOS update to help diagnose additional iPhone battery shutdowns

AppleInsider - 1 hour 39 min ago

An imminent iOS update will help collect information about sudden iPhone shutdowns, specifically problems aren't limited to the iPhone 6s units Apple is currently offering battery replacements for, according to an updated support document posted on Tuesday.

macOS: Saving Out Messages Conversations

MacObserver - 1 hour 44 min ago

Got some incriminating text messages you’d like to save? Or maybe you don’t want to blackmail your friends and would just like to keep a certain conversation forever and ever? This Quick Tip is for you in either case. We’ll discuss how to save out a single Messages conversation on your Mac!

Independent Galaxy Note 7 analysis theorizes that too-tight battery led to inevitable failures

AppleInsider - 1 hour 47 min ago

An independent analysis of the Galaxy Note 7 suggests that Samsung engineered the device too tightly, and failed to give the battery any buffer between it and the surrounding metal of the case, which lead to the conflagrations experienced by more than 100 users in the summer and early fall.

HyperDrive USB Type-C 5-in-1 Hub with SDXC, microSDXC, 2 USB 3.0 Ports: $39.95

MacObserver - 1 hour 56 min ago

Today I am pleased to tell you about a deal on a gadget I would have linked to as Cool Stuff Found if we didn’t have a deal. It’s the HyperDrive USB Type-C 5-in-1 Hub, a hub you can plug directly into your MacBook or MacBook Pro with Touch Bar. As you can see in the picture, the hub has an SDXC slot, a microSDXC slot, two USB 3.0 ports, and a USB-C port, too. The device is made from aluminum, and it’s priced at $39.95 through us, 20% off retail. Works with Chromebook Pixel, too.

Google WiFi review: Mesh networking made easy

MacWorld - 1 hour 56 min ago

Google delivers much more router than you’d expect for $129, but just one Google WiFi won’t be enough for most people. Unless you live in a studio apartment, you’ll want to avail yourself of two or three of these devices so you can deploy a mesh network. The master router and a single node probably would be adequate for the 2800-square-foot home we tested in, but adding a third node delivered a significant boost to the farthest corners of the house. Google encourages this approach by offering a substantial per-unit discount when you order a three-pack for $299.

Google WiFi is a dual-band router, of course, operating on both the 2.4 and 5GHz frequency bands. Google describes it as an “AC1200 2x2 Wave 2” device, which means it supports two spatial streams simultaneously, and that it delivers maximum theoretical throughput of 300Mbps on the 2.4GHz band and 867Mbps on the 5GHz band.

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iPhones may not be the only Apple devices that get flexible displays

AppleWorld.Today - 2 hours 9 min ago

It’s widely believed that the 2017 iPhone will have a curved, possibly flexible, display. A new patent filing (number 9,516,743) by Apple hints that iPads and even Mac laptops could benefit from such technology.

In the patent filing, Apple notes that it can be challenging to form displays for electronic devices such as smartphones and laptops. The inactive border region in a display contains support circuitry such as signal lines and thin-film transistor circuitry but doesn’t contain active pixels for producing images for a user. 

To reduce the apparent size of the inactive border region, it’s possible to use a flexible substrate in forming the display. This allows portions of the inactive border region to be bent out of sight, reducing the size of the visible inactive display border and enhancing the appearance of the display. Active display regions may also be bent. For example, an active display region may be bent so that a display conforms to the curved shape of a device housing. 

However, challenges arise when bending displays. Apple says that, if care isn’t taken, metal signal lines can crack and display pixel circuitry can become damaged. Damage to display components such as these may cause the display to fail prematurely. The company wants to alleviate such problems.

Apple files for — and is granted — lots of patents by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. Many are for inventions that never see the light of day. However, you never can tell which ones will materialize in a real product.

Tim Cook denies that Apple Watch sales are tanking

AppleWorld.Today - 2 hours 22 min ago

Apple CEO Tim Cook refutes the data from the IDC research group that says Apple Watch sales dipped 71% year-over-year from 3.9 million units in the this quarter of 2015 to 1.1 million units in the third quarter of 2016.

In an email to Reuters, he said that said the gadget's sell-through — a measure of how many units are sold to consumers, rather than simply stocked on retailers' shelves — reached a new high in quarter three of 2016.

"Our data shows that Apple Watch is doing great and looks to be one of the most popular holiday gifts this year," Cook wrote."Sales growth is off the charts. In fact, during the first week of holiday shopping, our sell-through of Apple Watch was greater than any week in the product’s history. And as we expected, we’re on track for the best quarter ever for Apple Watch," he said.

However, the CEO didn’t respond to Reuter’s request for specific sales figures for the smartwatch.

Netflix has the top-grossing app at the Apple App Store

AppleWorld.Today - 2 hours 29 min ago

After making it possible for subscribers with iPhones or Android phones to download some of their favorite programs instead of just streaming ‘em via a broadband connection, Netflix’s app now tops the list of top-grossing apps at the Apple App Store, as noted by Variety. The download feature is available on all plans.

On the iOS app, users can visit the menu and discover a section of content "available for download." The selection includes a mix of original programs such as House of Cards and Orange is the New Black, as well as older movies and TV shows from networks such as Parks and Recreation

Netflix’s app is free to download in the Apple App Store. However, the company started to offer users the ability to pay for their monthly subscription fees via in-app subscription fees a little over a year ago.

Here's one reason why you shouldn’t use shared photo albums with Photos Family Sharing

MacWorld - 2 hours 56 min ago

Yurick Vezina asks a seemingly reasonable question about deleting an iCloud shared album:

I’m the owner and I don’t have the option to remove or add subscribers nor to delete the album! All the current subscribers are part of my family in Family Sharing; I don’t have the option to remove them.

Apple documents this very, very poorly, like a lot of elements of Family Sharing, which is a method of pooling certain resources without sharing an Apple ID. Family Sharing has slightly improved since its introduction, but I have recommended against using it, as it has too few advantages and locks you into a set of irreversible choices with your accounts, media purchases, and app purchases. You can leave a family group, but you still wind up entangled.

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Elgato’s Avea Flare is a fun, but novelty, portable mood lamp

AppleWorld.Today - 3 hours 26 min ago

Elgato’s Avea Flare is a novelty item, but a fun novelty item. Whether it’s US$99.95 worth of fun, only you can decide. 

The Flare is a portable mood lamp that looks like an ostrich egg (it’s 8.7 inches tall, six inches in diameter, and weighs just over a pound). Made of thick white plastic with a matte finish, its bottom is a flat base designed for placing on the floor, a counter, or any other flat surface. On the bottom of the Flare are a circular series of tiny rubber pads for grip, a metal induction ring for charging, and two rubber buttons. The Power button turns the light on and off, while the Mode button cycles through different brightness settings. 

About that induction ring: the Flare doesn't have to be plugged into a power outlet after it’s been charged charged by placing it atop the circular induction base. Of courser, the base itself must be plugged into an outlet. The Flare uses a built-in lithium polymer battery that lasts up to eight hours when fully charged. And it will stay on indefinitely when it’s perched atop the charging base

The appeal to Apple fans is that you can control the Flare’s ambience with your iPhone, iPad, or Apple Watch via a free app that you can download at the Apple App Store. It uses Bluetooth, so you need no additional gateways or bridges.

With the Elgato Avea app, you can connect to the light with Bluetooth to choose the scene you want and to control the brightness, saturation, and vividness of the scene. The app remembers your settings for each scene for the next time you turn it on. What’s more, if you connect more than one Flare, they’ll automatically coordinate their lighting to create an even more immersive atmosphere.

There’s a choice of 10 different dynamic lighting scenes —including Fairy Woods, Caribbean Sea, Candy Land, Magic Hour, Mountain Breeze, Cherry Blossom, Sunny Field, and Calm Provence — that range from subtle (Caribbean Sea) to garish (Candy Land). For something a bit more basic, you can also select from a number of primary colors lighting moods.

You can also set up a wake-up alarm that slowly turns on the Flare to simulate a sunrise, as well as connecting it to a variety of alarm sounds. Unfortunately, you’ll have to set the alarm every night.

With its compact footprint, you can lug the Flare pretty much anywhere you’d like. It has a water resistance rating of IP65, so you can even place it beside a swimming pool. 

Unfortunately, the Flare doesn’t work with Apple HomeKit, a framework that allows control of compatible home automation devices through iOS and Siri. The Home app in iOS 10 lets you securely control any "Works with Apple HomeKit” accessory. You can also organize your accessories by room, manage multiple accessories at the same time, control your home with Siri, and more.

Also, since it’s a mood lamp you can’t use it to light an entire room. You simply use it to set a specific mood. 

It’s pretty cool, but, as I said at the beginning of this review, only you can decide if it’s cool enough to fork out 100 bucks.

The Avea Flare works with: the iPhone 4S or later; the iPod touch (fifth generation); the iPad mini or iPad (third generation or later) with iOS 9 or later; and the Apple Watch, with watchOS 2 or later. 

Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft and YouTube will share terror content info

MacWorld - 3 hours 49 min ago

Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft and Google’s YouTube have agreed to share with one another identifying digital information of violent terror content that they find on their platforms.

When they remove “violent terrorist imagery or terrorist recruitment videos or images” from their platforms, the companies will include in a shared industry database the hashes, or unique digital fingerprints, of the content.

Other participants can use the shared hashes to help identify matching content on their hosted consumer platforms, review against their respective policies and definitions, and remove the content when appropriate, according to a statement by the companies on Monday.

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Would you like a Mac/iPad/Apple Watch update program?

AppleWorld.Today - 3 hours 56 min ago

Apple has an annual subscription program that allows you to update to the latest and greatest version of the smartphone. What if you could do the same with your Mac, iPad, and Apple Watch? As an Apple journalist that would be very cool and convenient. I can’t see it happening, but CCS Insights predicts the Cupertino, California-based company will introduce a combined subscription model for its hardware and services in 2018.

“The concept of ‘Apple as a service’ builds on the success of Apple’s iPhone Upgrade Program,” the research group said. 

Of course, the success of such a program depends on what it would cost. Needless to say, it wouldn’t be inexpensive. And while I’d love to be able to easily keep all my Apple equipment up to date, I’m dubious this will happen. However, this isn’t the only prediction CCS made. The analysts also predict:

  • Apple will extend its apps and services to other platforms by 2018;
  • Apple will launch a mixed reality platform and hardware by 2017;
  • Apple will engage in a bidding war to acquire CityMapper.

Reasons: They’re why the iPhone doesn’t get equal treatment

MacWorld - 4 hours 6 min ago

There’s always a reason to not give the iPhone a fair shake, if you look hard enough. Or, even if you don’t really.

Writing for the unbearable lightness of being that is Business Insider, Antonio Villas-Boas brings us “8 reasons Google’s Pixel is better than the iPhone.” (Tip o’ the antlers to Nate Ardle.)

Of course, that isn’t the iPhone 7. No, no. Why would you think that?

You should also note that I’m comparing the Pixel XL experience with my iPhone 6s and not the iPhone 7 series.

Of course you are. Because reasons.

Not good reason, mind you, just reasons. Reasons we happened to have lying around. Reasons we found in an old gunny sack. Under a dead muskrat.

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Why iPhone 8 rumors keep pointing to OLED and wireless charging

MacWorld - 4 hours 26 min ago

We have nine months before a new flagship iPhone, but there are a few things we already know. Or, at least we think we know.

Analysts are expecting a “revolutionary” new iPhone in 2017 to make up for declining sales and the lack of notable changes to the iPhone lineup. According to The Wall Street Journal, Apple is prototyping more than 10 iPhone models in order to deliver a truly innovative product next year. 

So in this week’s episode of The iPhone Show, Oscar highlights the biggest iPhone 8 rumors to have surfaced so far, including Apple switching to an OLED display, using an all-glass casing, and introducing wireless charging. Watch the video above to learn more about these “revolutionary” new features.

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Behold the Electro Mechanical Voice Inscriber from the 1950s

MacObserver - 4 hours 45 min ago

Oh my goodness…check out this film about EMVI, the Electro Mechanical Voice Inscriber. This device was invented by a 16 year old kid named Victor Shineman in what looks to be the mid 1950s. Using analog electronic gear, EMVI used a microphone to “convert [spoken] letters into low voltage current. Electrical impulse would type out the spoken letter” on a typewriter. It’s primitive, and it appears to have only done one letter at a time, and maybe even only one letter (“a”). But come on, in the 1950s? Using analog gear? That’s nothing short of magic. This video was shot for the “21st School Science Fair,” put on in New York City by The American Institute of the City of New York. It’s utterly fascinating.

iKlip Grip Pro: Adjustable, Tripod, Selfie Stick, Camera Grip

MacObserver - 5 hours 11 min ago

IK Multimedia announced Tuesday that iKlip Grip Pro has shipped. This clever device serves as a desktop tripod, an above-the-crowd extender (or selfie stick), or a handheld camera grip. It features a pivoting ball-joint attachment for 90 degree angle adjustments and 360 degree rotation. It also comes with a detachable Bluetooth button you can use to trigger your camera app or camera. It will mount a smartphone, GoPro, or DSLR camera, too. I’ve been thinking about tripods recently, and while there are a ton of good ones on the market, this device seems super flexible. I plan on checking it out. It’s US$59.99/€59.99, and it’s available now. The video below offers a solid look at the iKlip Grip Pro.

Apple’s Computing Future Could Be the Reverse ToasterFridge

MacObserver - 5 hours 42 min ago

Jean-Louis Gassée has an excellent piece on the future of desktop and mobile operating systems. It includes some lore—including that time Apple tried to buy a a code dump of BeOS from Palm—and some interesting speculation on the future. Both are well worth your time, and it got me thinking about an old interview of Steve Jobs from the mid-1990s. Think: the Reverse ToasterFridge.

Amazon Go: a Retail Store with No Checkout Lines (Kind of Like Apple)

MacObserver - 6 hours 39 min ago

Amazon has taken a page from Apple’s book and maybe one-upped it, or at least brought it closer to home. The company announced Amazon Go, a combination retail store and app that allows you to walk in, scan a code, and walk out without doing going through any form of checkout line. Apple’s been doing something similar for years.

New Apple Spot: ‘iPhone 7 – Romeo and Juliet’

MacObserver - 7 hours 11 min ago

“Your movies look like movies on iPhone 7.” That’s the tag line to Apple’s newest commercial, iPhone 7 – Romeo and Juliet. It features a performance from Shakespeare’s play of the same name with children in the starring role. The piece looks like a movie at first, but then you see the kids on a stage and a proud parent filming his daughter (Juliet) with his iPhone 7. It’s touching, It’s cute. I suspect it will tug all the right strings for parents with younger kids. I also think it’s a powerful message that paints a solid picture of how good iPhone 7’s camera is without it being a ‘splainy commercial.

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