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Updated: 8 min 30 sec ago

An app a day helps a teacher stay sane: How your iPad can keep kids on track

8 hours 42 min ago
Step up your tech game this school year

The school year is well under way, and teachers can use all the help they can get when it comes to keeping kids focused. The right iPad apps let teachers create dazzling lessons, quickly update parents, and stay organized without going crazy. 

If you're a teacher, you know the struggle is real. These apps barely scratch the surface of the creative and organizational tools the iPad has to offer, but we found the best ones to help you manage the time for what you actually want to do: teach.

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The Week in iPhone Cases: Extreme protection, yet still functional

10 hours 55 min ago
Extreme protection, yet still functional

No matter how careful you try to be, accidents can strike when you least expect it. This week’s roundup of new iPhone cases features a number of protective picks that can help you keep your phone safe in any environment.


The Crusta (iPhone 5, 5S, 6, and 6 Plus; $45) features a unique four-layer structure designed to withstand even the harshest conditions.

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Microsoft says new Office for Mac due in 2015, unveils new Outlook app

11 hours 6 min ago

It’s been four long years since Microsoft released the last version of Office for the Mac, in 2010. And it will be one more before the next version arrives, Microsoft said Friday.

But to tide you over until then, there’s a new version of Outlook.

Although Microsoft released the latest version of its email client on Friday, the roadmap to the next version of Office is the real news. In the first half of 2015, Microsoft will release a public beta version of Office for Mac, which includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote. In the second half of 2015, the company said, Microsoft will ship the final version. Current Office 365 subscribers will be able to upgrade for free, as expected; Microsoft also said that it would ship a “perpetual license of Office for Mac” (aka a standalone version) in the same timeframe.

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Swedish hacker finds 'serious' vulnerability in OS X Yosemite

11 hours 11 min ago

A white-hat hacker from Sweden says he’s found a serious security hole in Apple’s Yosemite OS X that could allow an attacker to take control of your computer.

Emil Kvarnhammar, a hacker at Swedish security firm Truesec, calls the vulnerability “rootpipe” and has explained how he found it and how you can protect against it.

It’s a so-called privilege escalation vulnerability, which means that even without a password an attacker could gain the highest level of access on a machine, known as root access. From there, the attacker has full control of the system.

It affects the newest OS X release, version 10.10, known as Yosemite. Apple hasn’t fixed the flaw yet, he says, so Truesec won’t provide details yet of how it works.

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Court rules cops can demand fingerprints, not passcodes, to unlock smartphones

12 hours 11 min ago

If police suspect that you’ve committed a crime, the odds are pretty good that they’ll want to search your smartphone for evidence. Whether they can actually search your phone depends on the security method you’ve picked—if any—to protect the device. Use Touch ID? Turn over those fingerprints. Have a passcode? You’re home-free.

A Virginia Circuit Court decided this week that cops can’t make you cough up your smartphone passcode because it violates the 5th Amendment, which bars the state from forcing you to incriminate yourself. Fingerprints are a different story, The Virginian-Pilot reported. They’re similar to DNA and handwriting, Judge Steven Frucci ruled.

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How to avoid deleting messages when swiping your iPad too briskly

15 hours 25 min ago

Reader Nancy Hilton has an iOS issue that she’d like me to take a swipe at. She writes:

I upgraded my iPad mini to iOS 8, and suddenly an accidental left swipe mysteriously wipes out an email message. A gentle left-swipe displays More, Flag, and Trash options, but a quicker swipe produces a brief narrow red line, and poof! the message is gone into cyberspace. Can you help?

I can. As you’ve rightly deduced, this is a behavior introduced with iOS 8, and it works across iPads, iPhones, and iPod touches. It was a notion Apple introduced with the idea that it’s an easy way to quickly delete messages. The problem is that if you’re a little too frisky in your swiping you can accidentally delete messages.

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Two coasts, 10 days: Macworld’s thorough field test of Apple Pay

17 hours 41 min ago

Apple Pay’s eventful early days were full of highs and lows. Excited iPhone users rushed to test the mobile payment service on day one and found it super seamless. Cashier confusion, Bank of America’s double-charging foul-up, and the NFC block at Rite Aid and CVS marred the rollout, but a major product launch is never smooth. And who knew CurrentC, a QR code-based app that isn’t even on the market yet, would turn into such a huge thing?

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Seth Rogen will play Steve Wozniak in the next Steve Jobs biopic

Thu, 2014-10-30 14:21

Freaks and Geeks alum Seth Rogen is set to play the Mac community’s favorite ubergeek Steve Wozniak in the upcoming Steve Jobs biopic (no, not that one, the other one), alongside Christian Bale as Steve Jobs. Hopefully it won’t be Superbad. (Sorry.)

The news comes from Variety, which also reported that “Jessica Chastain is being eyed for an unspecified role.” Perhaps that’ll be a composite character of every woman in Jobs’s orbit—after all, last year’s Jobs (the one starring Ashton Kutcher) was seriously bereft of women actors who weren’t playing Steve’s mother, wife, or girlfriend.

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The Week in iOS Apps: Old timey pictures in TinType, Bitstrips meets emoji, and more

Thu, 2014-10-30 13:45
Old timey pictures in TinType

This week’s app roundup includes TinType, an app that tries to reproduce the look of photos taken before your grandparents were born.


If you want your emoji to be more personalized expressions of your feelings, well, here’s your chance. Bitmoji lets you create a cartoon avatar of yourself, then choose from a library of moods and comic scene, which can then be used in a number of messaging apps.

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Flipboard 3.0 is both more and less personal than before

Thu, 2014-10-30 10:47

A new update for Flipboard aims to make the popular reading app more personal—but not all the time.

Flipboard 3.0 lets users add new magazines on more than 30,000 topics, from broad ones like “art” and “food” to highly specific ones like “optical illusions” and “human geography.” When launching the app, Flipboard presents a massive list of potential topics to select, along with a search bar for finding exactly what you want. As before, Flipboard sources its stories from around the Web and presents them in a magazine-like format.

For those who don’t want to drill down into specific topics, Flipboard is also adding a staff-curated “Daily Edition,” with general topics like news, business, tech, sports and culture. A new edition will arrive every day at 7 a.m., and it will always conclude with a “Parting GIF.” Of course, users can still follow individual publications or users who’ve curated their own magazines, and they’ll show up alongside new topics in Flipboard’s typical grid view.

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Don’t be surprised to see video ads in your Instagram feed starting today

Thu, 2014-10-30 10:47

Instagram has been slooooowly phasing advertising into your main feed. First there were sponsored photos from brands like Michael Kors—artfully edited and filtered, of course. Now the photo-sharing app is introducing 15-second video ads, starting with a promo for Disney’s new animated film, “Big Hero 6.”

Other brands you might see in your stream are Lancome, Banana Republic, the CW, and Activision, according to Adweek. Activision is pushing Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare in a 15-second clip, with a longer version of the promo hitting Facebook on Thursday. Lancome has a new perfume and mascara it plans to advertise on Instagram. Banana Republic’s ad is a time-lapse holiday preview.

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Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks out: ‘I’m proud to be gay’

Thu, 2014-10-30 08:27

Apple CEO Tim Cook on Thursday published a moving essay in Bloomberg Businessweek in which he publicly announced for the first time that he is gay. Cook is the first CEO of a Fortune 500 company to publicly come out.

Cook is famously private and said he doesn’t think of himself as an activist, but decided to speak out to help others.

“If hearing that the CEO of Apple is gay can help someone struggling to come to terms with who he or she is, or bring comfort to anyone who feels alone, or inspire people to insist on their equality, then it’s worth the trade-off with my own privacy,” Cook wrote.

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The d-word: Which is doomed, Apple Pay or CurrentC?

Thu, 2014-10-30 08:00

Apple is locked in battle with something else again and you know what that means. Writing for IT World, Matthew Mombrea says give him a “D,” give him an “O,” give him another...

It’s “Doom.” He thinks Apple Pay is doomed.

“Why CurrentC will beat out Apple Pay in the end” (tip o’ the antlers to @JonyIveParody)

No. Just... no.

Now, the Macalope isn’t saying Apple Pay is necessarily going to “win” (although he thinks it’ll at least be a winner for Apple), but he is saying that CurrentC is going to lose. Hopefully in a dramatic style that will allow us all to laugh heartily at its expense. Heck, the only reason you’re hearing about CurrentC is because it’s what’s preventing people from using the convenience of Apple Pay. We’re not hearing about it because it’s something anyone says they want.

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Use these apps to keep your little monsters safe on Halloween

Thu, 2014-10-30 05:00

If you’re a parent, Halloween can be an unsettling mix of emotions. Sure, your kids are having a great time roaming the neighborhood and stuffing themselves with candy, but being a parent you’re of course worried about their safety, especially if this is the first Halloween that you’re letting your kids trick-or-treat unsupervised. 

Use your iPhone to put your mind at ease on All Hallow’s Eve with this collection of apps that can track a group of family members—even if they’re using Android devices—and apps that help light the way.

Find My Friends

Find My Friends is the best location-tracker if everyone has an Apple device.

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Review: OmniFocus 2 for iPad makes life easier with extensions and background syncing

Thu, 2014-10-30 04:30

Spoiler Alert: OmniFocus 2 for iPad isn’t for everyone. If all you need to keep track of is a grocery list and a few one-off tasks each day, OmniFocus isn’t really the task manager you are looking for. On the other hand, if you juggle multiple areas of responsibility, and frequently need to break down large projects into more manageable steps, OmniFocus will keep your life organized, and turn you into a productive, task-obliterating machine.

OmniFocus 2 for iPad represents the last piece of the OmniFocus pie being updated to version 2, bringing the app in line with OmniFocus 2 for Mac and iPhone. Yes, that means that to use OmniFocus across all your devices, you’ll have to spring for up to three different paid applications. But again, OmniFocus is industrial strength task management, and the iPad version is well-designed and worth it to anyone who has already jumped on the OmniFocus train.

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How Newsstand failed The Magazine, and what Apple should do

Thu, 2014-10-30 04:26

Apple’s Newsstand was introduced with iOS 5 as a place for apps designed to deliver content in the form of a periodical—whether continuously as new articles or in the form or regularly produced issues—to gain superpowers. A Newsstand app could change its cover each issue, update images on demand in the App Store, automatically download content in the background, and have a free trial period.

Then, after some fanfare, and major publications adopting the Newsstand format, emphasized on the iPad but available on the iPhone and iPod touch as well, Apple more or less left it to rot. In iOS 7, they hid the embarrassment of the tumbleweeds surrounding Newsstand by removing the tiny cover previews that used to dot the skeuomorphic interior, making it a flat, unchanging icon, while turning the special folder’s interior into something unexceptional, even homely.

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Take the pain out of two-factor authentication with an app

Thu, 2014-10-30 04:03

I’ve been stressing two-factor authentication (2FA), or two-step verification, in my early columns here at Private I, because I believe most people avoid using this extra protection for their accounts due to the fuss and management, and may think it will lock them out of access or require an extra step when it’s unnecessary.

But 2FA isn’t an obstacle course with bottomless pits. It’s more like a flu vaccination. If you’re not feeling ill and aren’t worried about getting sick, you might skip the innoculation. That does you a fat lot of good when you’re laid up for two weeks with aches and fevers with one of the strains covered by the current shot—and you’ve infected all your coworkers.

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CurrentC won’t let email hack delay launch as it explores NFC

Wed, 2014-10-29 15:22

People interested in checking out CurrentC, the mobile payment app from a retailers group that includes Walmart, Best Buy, and other major brands, signed up for the app’s email list to get advance news about the launch. But that email list was hacked on Tuesday, leaking the addresses of a slew of early CurrentC testers. The news couldn’t come at a worse time for the app, which has incurred the wrath of Apple Pay fans before its public debut.

Merchant Customer Exchange, the retail group behind CurrentC, sent emails to the affected users and disclosed the hack in a Wednesday blog post. On a conference call with reporters, MCX CEO Dekkers Davidson said the attack was perpetrated on its email provider, which he declined to name, and said MCX’s systems have fended off a slew of more serious hacking attempts in the last week.

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9 mistakes you're making in Photoshop

Wed, 2014-10-29 13:55

Each version of Photoshop comes with new features that let you work smarter instead of harder, but old editing habits are hard to break—especially if you’ve been using the program for a long time. Here you’ll find a roundup of some common editing mistakes and how to avoid them.

Perform edits on separate layers

Here you can see all the layers in this image.

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Facebook is betting big on the future and plans to lose money in the process

Wed, 2014-10-29 11:52

Another quarterly earnings report, another slam dunk for Facebook. The company made $3.2 billion in the third quarter, up 59 percent year-over-year, and grew to 1.35 billion monthly active users. More than 700 million people check Facebook on their phones every single day. These are impressive numbers. But Facebook is about to toy with the hearts and minds of investors, shareholders, and analysts by spending the next year investing heavily in its passion projects: WhatsApp, Oculus, and

Facebook has proved that its advertising business is strong. The company makes money hand-over-fist every single quarter. But founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg is more interested in the long-term, and unlike most execs, Zuck is happy to share what his priorities will be over the next three, five, and 10 years.

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