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Updated: 1 hour 6 min ago

Apple Music may get retuned in June

3 hours 7 min ago

Apple Music has two major problems: The streaming service’s interface is needlessly complicated and its relationship to iTunes—both the store and your library of purchased songs—has been a disaster. Those will reportedly be fixed in an overhaul expected to debut at the Worldwide Developers Conference in June.

Apple Music is the result of Apple’s acquisition of Beats Music in 2014, but folding Beats employees into Apple resulted in a culture clash that has affected the streaming service’s rollout, according to a Bloomberg report. Apple diverted resources from iTunes, which was viewed as a service in decline, to focus on Apple Music instead of finding ways to combine the two or, at the very least, improve iTunes. It turns out that the download store is holding strong, still pulling in billions of dollars in revenue every quarter. iTunes on its own is more successful than most businesses.

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25% off Nextbit Robin Unlocked Android Phone - Deal Alert

3 hours 32 min ago

Currently averaging 5 out of 5 stars on Amazon (read reviews), Robin has been discounted through May 10th by 25%. With a list price of $399, this item is discounted by $100 and can be purchased via Amazon right now for $299

Robin was born from a Kickstarter campaign (over $1.3M raised from 3,611 backers), and a desire to create something that uniquely stands out. This very well designed smartphone merges 32GB of onboard storage with 100GB of cloud storage, seamlessly backing up your apps and photos into intelligent archives that can be restored instantly and effortlessly. It features a 5.2" 1080p LCD with Gorilla glass 4, 13 MP rear Camera with phase detection Autofocus and Dual tone flash, and Dual Front facing speakers with Dual amplifiers. Learn more about the discounted Nextbit Robin unlocked smartphone and explore buying options on Amazon now.

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BlackBerry's BBM for Android and iOS adds video chat

4 hours 18 min ago

Facebook and Microsoft are chasing the dream of messaging apps as the future of user engagement, and now BlackBerry wants in on the action too. No, BlackBerry isn’t ready to join the bot revolution, but it is adding video calling across all platforms. BlackBerry Messenger users on Android and iOS can now try out BBM’s new video chat feature, called BBM Video, currently in beta.

BBM Video on Android.

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7 celebrity apps for iOS that are actually useful in their own pointless way

4 hours 30 min ago
Famous people have app ideas, too...

Image by Gotta Go!

...and sometimes they happen to be pretty freakin’ brilliant.

From Tom Hanks to Snoop Dogg, here’s what happens when famous people make an iOS app we can’t help but love.

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How the Watch could fuel Apple's next growth spurt

5 hours 30 min ago

There wasn’t a whole lot of positive news from Apple last week. Despite a quarter that saw $50.6 billion in revenue on the back of 51 million iPhone, 10.2 million iPad, and 4 million Mac sales, Apple’s stock and confidence sunk to levels not seen since the days of the third-generation iPod. 

The problem is that those numbers, as astronomical as they are, are all less than Apple sold during the same time period last year. It was bound to happen—particularly after the iPhone 6 was such a monster hit last year—but what has everyone spooked isn’t so much the drop in sales, it’s the fear that it’s just the beginning of a disturbing trend.

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What to do when a hard drive won’t unmount in OS X El Capitan

6 hours 30 min ago

Kurt Jefferson wants El Capitan to let his drives go!

Sometimes the drive won’t unmount no matter what, and I get the dreaded “The disk wasn’t ejected because one or more programs may be using it” or “The volume cannot be ejected because it’s currently in use” messages.

He’s had this happen routinely with a Mac mini using flash drives and external hard disk drives (HDDs). I’ve definitely seen some of this behavior, though it’s not routine. If OS X “understands” why it can’t unmount a drive, starting a few releases ago, it will tell you. But the dialogs Kurt is seeing aren’t the informative kind that tell you which app is involved.

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Bowers & Wilkins P5 Wireless headphones review: So expensive, so good

8 hours 7 sec ago

Bowers & Wilkins aren’t known for messing with a good thing. When the company decided that the time was right to introduce its first pair of Bluetooth headphones, it chose to run with the pleasing aesthetics and audio of an existing set of cans: the Bowers & Wilkins P5 Series 2 ($285 on Amazon).

Save a few small differences, the company’s new P5 Wireless headphone ($395 on Amazon) are pretty much the same as the P5 Series 2—that’s a win in this case. The P5 series 2 sound great, are made with premium materials, and feature an industrial design to die for. The P5 Wireless jam these virtues into a cable-free package that makes for the money what could be the best sounding set of wireless on-ear headphones that you’ll ever clamp to your skull.

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5 quick ways to recover storage space on an overstuffed iPhone or iPad

8 hours 30 min ago

Sure, 16GB of storage sounded like plenty when you first bought your iPhone, but you probably regretted your decision to go with Apple’s cheapest option when those pesky “low storage” warnings started popping up.

Indeed, you’d be surprised by how quickly your iPhone or iPad can chew through storage, particularly the tiny 16GB model. Even worse, your iOS device may refuse to install updates or snap any more photos if your handset’s storage is bursting at the seams.

One remedy for a jam-packed iPhone or iPad is to, say, simply delete all your songs (which you can always re-sync via iTunes or redownload from the iTunes Store) or trash large swaths or photos and videos. But there are also easier, more painless ways to find a few gigs of breathing room.

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The Week in iOS Accessories: The everywhere doorbell

Tue, 2016-05-03 14:30
C'mon, ring that bell!

The latest roundup includes a new home doorbell that you can answer from your iPhone. Read on!

August

The $199 August Doorbell Cam (also available on Amazon) lets you see who is on your front porch—whether you’re at home, or away—on your iPhone. It’s motion triggered, and records the people who approach, so you can have a record of visitors. And it makes a handy intercom: Let people in remotely to drop off a package, then ensure the door is locked again once they leave.

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India has shot down Apple's plan to sell refurbished iPhones

Tue, 2016-05-03 14:13

India reportedly has rejected Apple’s plan to sell refurbished iPhones in the country, a blow to the company’s hopes for growth there.

The government turned down Apple’s application to import and sell the older, refreshed phones, Bloomberg reported, citing an unnamed official. Apple didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Apple looked to refurbished handsets as a way to attract more buyers in India. An earlier application was rejected last year by India’s Ministry of Environment.

The company’s phone sales growth has been slowing in China, so it has been looking to India as its next big growth market. Apple had only three percent market share in India in the fourth quarter of last year, according to IDC. Samsung was the biggest phone seller, with 27 percent.

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Giphy Keys wants to be the default iOS keyboard for GIF lovers

Tue, 2016-05-03 13:35

For Giphy, people’s love of GIFs has proven to be no laughing matter. The startup has recently raised $55 million so it can become a one-stop-shop for finding, sharing, and LOL’ing at GIFs on the Internet.

On Tuesday, Giphy revealed its latest bid at dominating GIF-sharing with the new Giphy Keys, designed to become your default iOS keyboard. Giphy Keys draws from Giphy’s huge repository of online GIFs so you can browse and share animated images of Kristen Wiig with just a few taps. Giphy Keys lets you share fully-supported GIFs in iMessage, Facebook, and Twitter. You can also copy-and-paste the GIF’s URL.

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21% off LG Nexus 5X Unlocked Smartphone 32GB - Deal Alert

Tue, 2016-05-03 13:27

Averaging 4 out of 5 stars on Amazon from over 480 people (read reviews), this LG Nexus 5X unlocked, multi-mode phone will work on all US carriers including AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint, as well as MVNO's (Mobile Virtual Network Operators) and most international carriers. It features Android 6.0 Marshmallow, a fingerprint sensor, new USB Type-C charger, and a powerful camera. Under its 5.2-inch display is a hexa-core Snapdragon 808 processor for world-class speed at an affordable price, which right now gets just a bit more affordable. With a list price of $429.99, you can save $80 now and buy it on Amazon for $349.99.

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Apple stops tocking: It wants to escape an unsustainable pace

Tue, 2016-05-03 13:00

The second version of the 12-inch MacBook was met with many cries of disappointment, as Apple simply revved the computer's processor and a few system specs instead of thoroughly redesigning the USB-C-equipped laptop. Similarly, the iPhone SE appeared outside Apple’s phone release cycle, and lacks a number in its name. And a year after its introduction, pundits bury the Apple Watch, and wonder why a new version is likely six months away—nearly two years since Apple first revealed the Watch to the world.

Apple is slowing down, and I think it’s a dandy change. Despite analysts’ insistence that Apple needs to come out with a revolutionary new product every year or so—and then decrying the Watch as one of them (ignoring an estimated first-year revenue of $6 billion)—the company has nearly always focused on iteration, punctuated with major moves forward, only several years apart.

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65% off Holy Stone Drone Quadcopter with HD Camera - Deal Alert

Tue, 2016-05-03 12:16

Amazon is currently featuring this 6-axis quadcopter from Holy Stone for $79.99, which is $150 off its typical listing price of $229.99. It averages 4.5 stars out of 5 on Amazon from over 300 people (read reviews). The U818A features a 2MP HD video camera and one-button "return to home" mode. 6-axis flight control gives this unit a high level of stability. At 65% off, the current price-point might make it a good option for an introductory drone quadcopter. Learn more and explore buying options now on Amazon. 

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Twitter’s Connect tab takes another shot at the 'who to follow' problem

Tue, 2016-05-03 11:22

Twitter is trying to get better at recommending people to follow with a new Connect tab for iOS and Android.

The Connect tab replaces a previous Find People section, and does more to explain why it is recommending particular people and accounts.

Trending accounts no longer have their own section, but are instead featured in a carousel at the top of the screen. Below that, there’s an option to connect your address book for finding people you know in the real world.

The meat of the new Connect tab, however, lies below these two sections. Here, you can scroll through a series of recommendation cards, each based on a group of people you’re following already and on your recent activity. Additional cards are interspersed for popular accounts nearby and people you might know through your Twitter contacts. Twitter says it will continue to refine these recommendations over time.

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Bowers & Wilkins is the trophy acquisition of a startup with high-end audio ambitions

Tue, 2016-05-03 10:53

Ever heard of Eva Automation? Me neither. Until I got a press release from Bowers & Wilkins this morning reporting that the little-known Silicon Valley startup had acquired the renowned British manufacturer of high-end audio equipment.

Eva’s management team, on the other hand, is well known in the upper echelons of the tech industry. CEO Gideon Yu’s resume includes a partnership at the venture-capital firm Khosla Ventures, Senior VP of Finance at Yahoo, CFO at YouTube, and then the same position at Facebook. More recently, he became a co-owner of the San Francisco 49ers football team and led the team’s efforts in financing the construction of Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif, which hosted Super Bowl 50 in January.

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Dish Network's traveling technicians get into the iPhone repair business

Tue, 2016-05-03 10:01

Dish Network is finding a new purpose for its technicians in the age of streaming video.

With its new Smart Phone Repair program, Dish will send someone to your house or work to replace a broken iPhone screen or worn-out battery on site. The service is available seven days a week to anyone across the United States—whether they’re Dish TV subscribers or not—with same-day and next-day appointments. Repairs take 30 to 45 minutes.

Each iPhone battery replacement costs $40, and screen repairs range from $130 to $150, depending on the model of iPhone. Dish also charges $35 for the service call itself, which can cover the repair of multiple phones. Dish says it’s open to corporate events as well, in case companies want to repair company iPhones on a large scale.

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Simple answers: They’re for simple people

Tue, 2016-05-03 08:00

Are you in the Tim Cook replacement pool yet? Better hurry, all the good replacements are getting taken. While Apple’s quarter can only be described as bad for one company—Apple—the question is (somehow) not whether or not Tim Cook should be replaced, but simply who should replace him.

Writing for The Washington Post, Vivek Wadhwa explains “Why Tesla is the spark that Apple needs.” (Tip o’ the antlers to Paul Salzman.)

See, Apple’s earnings announcement was “dismal” and “it badly needs to rethink its innovation model and leadership,” ergo Musk. That’s pretty much the depth of the thinking there.

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Fixing an out-of-storage problem for iCloud backups

Tue, 2016-05-03 06:00

Mac 911 sometimes has questions that strike close to home—in this case, literally in my house when my mother-in-law was visiting recently. Her iPhone 6 Plus kept producing an error when it attempted to back up to iCloud, and was pushing her to upgrade her iCloud storage from the (absurdly low) 5GB free level to one of the paid tiers.

My wife and I had tried to troubleshoot this before, because my mother-in-law uses her phone mostly for phone calls, and doesn’t use it to shoot pictures, rarely messages, and has installed only a few apps. She didn’t have iCloud Photo Library syncing enabled (in Settings > iCloud > Photos), and her iCloud storage had just a few tens of megabytes in it.

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China’s booming middle class bodes well for Apple, says Tim Cook

Tue, 2016-05-03 05:24

Apple CEO Tim Cook still sees great potential in the Chinese market despite a drop in its revenue from the country in the first quarter.

In an interview to Jim Cramer of CNBC’s Mad Money program, Cook said Monday that the middle class in China is expected to boom from 50 million people five years ago to almost 500 million in the next five years. “This is an unprecedented growth of the middle class,” said Cook, adding that he “could not be more optimistic about China.”

To a question from Cramer, Cook said it was an error by him not to to mention the figures about the burgeoning Chinese middle class during the company’s recent earnings call.

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