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Updated: 1 hour 55 sec ago

Apple says Yosemite’s Spotlight Suggestions don’t violate your privacy

2 hours 42 min ago

Apple’s Spotlight feature got a tune-up for OS X Yosemite and iOS 8. The search function now scours the Internet as well as your hard drive when you type queries into the Spotlight bar (with a little help from Bing). But privacy watchdogs accused Apple on Monday of being a little too helpful by automatically collecting your location data and search terms and sharing that data with Bing.

Apple’s response: That’s not exactly how Spotlight works.

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New Mac mini restricts RAM and storage upgrades, but hints at PCIe SSD possibilities

3 hours 1 min ago

Mac mini fans recently rejoiced after Apple updated the storied compact Mac after two years without a major overhaul. But for DIY types, the new Mac mini is a mixed bag offering both heartache and promise.

The teardown experts over at iFixit recently took apart the base model 2014 Mac Mini with a 500GB hard drive and 1.4GHz Dual-Core Intel Core i5 processor. The DIY site found that upgrading the Mac mini’s RAM is now pretty much impossible, but adding an internal SSD at a later date just might be doable.

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Hands-on with Homeboy: This could be the best home-security camera yet

3 hours 17 min ago

If you’re looking for an IP camera for home security, you'll want to know about Homeboy. It remedies almost every drawback I’ve seen in security cameras. It doesn’t cost a fortune. And you’ll be able to buy one soon—without having to participate in a crowd-funding campaign.

If Homeboy looks familiar, it's because it built on the intellectual property developed for the Hive camera that garnered a lot of attention about two years ago, but that was ultimately never brought to market.

I spent some hands-on time last week with a production-level Homeboy and a beta version of the iPhone app that goes with it (which is why this isn’t a formal review).

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Those who forget history: Apple's events haven't always been magic

4 hours 17 min ago

How does that saying go? “Those who forget history are doomed to write incorrectly about it”?

Writing for Mashable, Chris Taylor laments:

”Apple Magic Wears Thin at Underwhelming Launch” (tip o’ the antlers to @JonyIveParody)

“It’s been way too long,” read the press invites for Apple’s iPad Air 2 launch event Thursday. Presumably this was an attempt at a pun on the fact that the new tablet is ... thinner?

The Macalope has pondered this issue was well and concluded it was most likely a tongue-in-cheek nod to it only having been a handful of weeks since the last event. Either that or a reference to how long it had been since the Mac mini was updated.

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First Apple-IBM enterprise products coming next month

4 hours 30 min ago

The first products from Apple’s mobile enterprise partnership with IBM will roll out next month, according to Apple CEO Tim Cook, who said the partnership “could change the way people work.”

In July, Apple announced an “exclusive” deal with IBM in which iPhones and iPads would be sold to enterprises backed by IBM’s cloud and analytics services. The first products will be for the banking, government, insurance, retail, telecommunications and travel and transport sectors, Cook said on a Monday earnings call.

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Leeo Smart Alert Nightlight review: $99 is cheap if it saves your house from burning down

6 hours 17 min ago

Okay, so maybe my headline is bit over the top. The Leeo Smart Alert Nightlight isn’t a robotic fire extinguisher (although Leeo CEO and co-founder Adam Gettings’ background includes designing robots for SWAT teams and other first responders). But the Leeo really can prevent your house from burning down, and that renders this $99 nightlight very inexpensive indeed.

A smoke detector can save your life and property if a fire breaks out, and a carbon monoxide detector can save your life. But if you’re not home to hear those alarms go off, they’re not very useful. One alternative is to install a home-security system that provides remote monitoring, but ADT, Vivint, and similar companies charge at least $15 per month for that service.

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Second-screen apps for every World Series fan

7 hours 30 min ago

The World Series has returned, with the San Francisco Giants set to battle the Kansas City Royals for baseball supremacy.

And thanks to second-screen apps, you don’t have to be merely a passive viewer of the this year’s Fall Classic. These apps for your iPhone or iPad can enliven the experience, whether you’re watching on TV, streaming the games online—or you’re even lucky enough to attend in person.

Stream the game with MLB At Bat

For the first time Major League Baseball will live stream the series through its official app, MLB At Bat. If you’re an MLB.TV subscriber it’s included with your package. 

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Continuity, cannibals, and Apple Pay: 6 key takeaways from Apple's Q4 earnings

7 hours 35 min ago

The news was nearly all sunshine during Apple’s fourth-quarter 2014 earnings call on Monday, with sluggish iPad sales the one black spot on the otherwise blazing sun of record-setting revenue. You can listen to the whole call, including the question-and-answer session with analysts, but if that doesn’t sound like the most riveting way to spend an hour, don’t worry: these are the things that you need to know.

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Bottom line: Should you upgrade to OS X Yosemite?

7 hours 51 min ago

Recently we’ve covered OS X Yosemite up one side and down the other. Read through our guides for installing Yosemite; getting familiar with the new operating system’s design; putting Handoff and Continuity to good use; and learning about changes to Safari, Notification Center, Spotlight, and Mail, Messages, and Calendars. That should give you a pretty fair idea of the changes Apple has wrought with Yosemite. Equipped with this knowledge it’s time to ask the important question: Should I update or not?

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Low end theory: Apple could do better to price its products more evenly

8 hours 5 min ago

When Apple announced the new lineup of iPads and Mac minis last week, I noticed a disturbing trend. We're used to Apple making the best products in every category and charging appropriately for them. When people complain to me that you can get Windows computers for less, I point out that you can't get comparable Windows computers for less.

But if you look across Apple's product lineup, many of the low-end offerings really stands out—and not in a good way. Many of them come across as unnecessarily hobbled devices, and while there might be a few instances where they'd be serviceable, I can't see myself recommending any of them. In fact, they remind me of Road Apples, devices Apple used to sell back in the 1990s that were underpowered, not upgradeable and soon terminated.

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Apps to discover and learn more about classical music

8 hours 17 min ago

Classical music is proving to withstand the tests of time, so you might be wondering how an app can help get you more in touch with this rich, inspiring art form. Sure, you may already consider yourself a classical music buff, but there’s always more you can learn about how orchestras work, or how certain classical works are constructed. Or perhaps you enjoy classical music and want to immerse yourself into the genre some more, but you don’t know where to start. Maybe you have kids, and you want to introduce them to classical music in a fun way.

I looked at a number of apps—and some books—that can help you with any of those scenarios. Whether you’re a novice to the genre, or a seasoned musician, you’ll find something that will help you discover and learn more about great music.

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Why Apple Pay could even be a big deal for Android users

Mon, 2014-10-20 16:10

The launch of Apple Pay on Monday has brought considerable publicity to a technology that’s already embedded in millions of Android smartphones yet has so far failed to take off.

Clunky implementations, lack of widespread acceptance and poor user knowledge have hampered NFC technology, but some in the payments industry are hoping Apple Pay has an impact far beyond iPhone 6 users.

“I think without a doubt, Apple has a unique place in the mobile ecosystem, with hardware, software and services,” said James Anderson, senior vice president of emerging payments at MasterCard. He said Apple’s adoption is an endorsement of NFC and gives consumers the feeling that the technology is safe and ready to be used.

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IPhones dial in larger Apple profit in fourth quarter

Mon, 2014-10-20 15:00

Apple’s iPad shipments declined, but strong iPhone 6 and 6 Plus sales buoyed the company’s profit in its fourth quarter for fiscal 2014.

Apple’s net profit was US$8.5 billion during the quarter, up from $7.5 billion in the same quarter one year ago, the company said on Monday.

Revenue was $42.1 billion for the quarter ending on Sept. 27, growing from $37.5 billion in the same quarter last year. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected revenue of $39.88 billion for the quarter.

IPhone shipments were 39.27 million units in the fourth quarter, increasing from 33.8 million units in same quarter last year. IPad shipments were 12.3 million, falling from 14.08 million units a year ago. Mac shipments totaled 5.5 million units, compared to 4.58 million units during the year-ago quarter.

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iOS 8.1 arrives, which means Apple Pay is live

Mon, 2014-10-20 11:44

Forget minor updates like iOS 8.01 and 8.02. We were waiting for 8.1, which is packed with major features like Apple Pay, iCloud Photo Library, and support for Continuity so your phone and your Mac will work in perfect harmony. Now it’s ready to install.

So far, there have been no reports of major issues downloading 8.1, but it’s always safe to wait before upgrading (especially if you haven’t backed up your device).

What you can expect: If you have an iPhone 6 or 6 Plus, Apple Pay will function as your wallet at participating retail stores. Simply store your credit or debit card information in Passbook and wave your iPhone near a near-field communications reader at a store that accepts Apple Pay. Authenticate your fingerprint with Touch ID and your transaction is complete. Check out our guide on how and where to use Apple Pay before getting started.

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Apple, Spotify aim to push streaming prices down

Mon, 2014-10-20 10:17

Spotify’s new family plan gives you two premium accounts for $15 a month. Apple reportedly has a cheaper service in the works, which indicates the market for $9.99-a-month music streaming subscriptions isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

Apple reportedly wants to relaunch a cheaper Beats Music, if record labels play along.

The company bought Beats Electronics, best known for its stylish (and ubiquitous) headphones, back in May for a cool $3 billion, but hasn’t done anything with its Beats Music streaming service. In the aftermath of the acquisition, it seemed like the subscription music app was a footnote to the main attraction, the headphones. But rumors are swirling that Apple has big plans for Beats Music, which could include a price cut.

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Meet Flic, the iOS photo manager for lazy people

Mon, 2014-10-20 05:20

In September, when everyone was freaking out about making room on their phones for the iOS 8 install, I knew exactly what my storage issue was without even having to look at my iPhone’s usage stats: Photos. I never clean out my Camera Roll. I automatically sync my photos with iCloud and Dropbox’s Carousel, so I rarely ever think about my photos once they’ve been snapped and shared.

Swipe left to trash, swipe right to keep, and watch your space clear out.

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Why Apple Pay is Apple’s most important product in years

Mon, 2014-10-20 04:48

The dust is still settling after Apple’s iPhone event, where we saw the stunning iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. Apple CEO Tim Cook said the phones broke sales records all over the globe. They’re still sold out in every Apple store in New York City. (Believe me, I looked.) But the company’s truly game-changing product of the year isn’t a phone, or any piece of hardware. It’s Apple Pay.

Apple built its reputation on stunningly beautiful, easy-to-use hardware and software. The iPod changed the way we listen to music, the iPhone changed the way we communicate, and the iPad changed the way we compute. OS X and iOS are both intuitive and aesthetically pleasing—and now they work together better than ever. But when it comes to services, Apple often falls short. Siri and Passbook feel like afterthoughts. Apple Maps was a complete failure. iTunes Radio…well, there’s a reason why Apple bought Beats. Apple Pay is a different story.

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How and where to use Apple Pay with your iPhone 6

Mon, 2014-10-20 04:41

Roughly one month after we first saw a demo of Tim Cook scanning an iPhone at a cash register to buy stuff, Apple Pay has arrived for the rest of us to check out. But before you go blowing your entire paycheck on everything from big handbags to Big Macs, there are a few things to keep in mind about the platform. Read on to learn more about how Apple Pay works, how to get your iPhone ready for it, and most importantly, where you can go test it out yourself.

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Known NFC spoofing techniques probably wouldn't work with Apple Pay

Mon, 2014-10-20 04:02

Apple Pay is poised to turn how we pay for goods at a retail store on its head. The new Apple Pay system lets you make purchases with the cards in your iTunes Store account. When you bring your iPhone 6 near an NFC-equipped payment terminal, you’ll see your cards in Passbook, and you can authorize a transaction with the Touch ID fingerprint reader. That’s it, you’re done, and none of your sensitive credit card information was ever shared directly with the merchant.

Near-field communication, or NFC, isn’t a new technology, and hackers have had plenty of time to develop hardware that sniffs out the signals as they’re wirelessly transmitted from your phone to a reader. While some security experts I spoke to insist that these known vulnerabilities could apply to Apple Pay transactions, they also admitted that Apple’s use of one-time-use tokens instead of your actual credit card information would render these hacks pretty toothless.

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