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Updated: 10 min 32 sec ago

How Vevo plans to get you hooked on music videos again

2 hours 34 min ago

In theory, Vevo should be one of my favorite streaming-video apps.

I’m a big music fan, and Vevo is like a modern interpretation of classic MTV, serving up more than 150,000 music-video streams on demand. Yet whenever I install Vevo on one of my TV-streaming boxes, I find myself liking the idea more than the product itself. Unless you’re into the Top 40, sitting down with Vevo for a long listening session can feel like too much hassle.

This hasn’t been a huge issue for Vevo the business, which gets much of its revenue by licensing music videos to other sites, such as YouTube. (The company is a joint venture between Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, Google, and Abu Dhabi Media.) But lately, the company has realized it ought to take more pride in its own apps. In April, Vevo brought on a new CEO, Erik Huggers, who previously tried (unsuccessfully) to reinvent TV under Intel, and the company is hiring many more product engineers to improve Vevo’s own apps.

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I have multiple Apple IDs. What happens if I delete one?

2 hours 34 min ago

Nicole Max writes in with a question that is all too common in one variant or another in response to an earlier Mac 911s about managing two Apple IDs:

I do indeed have two Apple ID accounts and it appears that my iPhone and iPad are listed as the two devices on one account (the one I use to sign into iTunes with). My laptop is listed as the device on the other account.

Here’s the problem for her:

I am afraid to delete the ID that my computer is linked to for fear that I will not be able to reconnect it/sign it into the apple ID account that has the iPhone and iPad. If I delete the apple ID with the computer listed as the device, will I be able to start fresh and add my computer to the Apple ID account with the other two devices?

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Let there be light: How Li-Fi could change the Apple ecosystem

3 hours 4 min ago

In 1998, Steve Jobs bet Apple’s future on a cable. At a time when the best PCs were still being built with serial and SCSI ports, Apple opted to fit the iMac with a pair of newfangled USB ports, which offered the kind of clutter-free simplicity Apple craved.

The only problem? USB wasn’t exactly universal at the time. Not only was it struggling to take off with Wintel users, there were exactly zero peripherals for the Mac that utilized USB when the iMac made its debut. Still, Jobs went all-in on a bet that Apple’s Bondi Blue all-in-one was so desirable people would buy it in droves and subsequently force the industry to change.

Of course, we all know how that bet paid off. The iMac was every bit the success Steve knew it would be, and USB didn’t just change Macs; it became the communication standard in virtually every device we use. And now it looks like Apple is moving toward the adoption of yet another nascent technology that has the potential to transform the landscape just like USB did: Li-Fi.

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Why you should use your iPhone with a Bluetooth keyboard as your main travel computer

3 hours 34 min ago

With all the unsettling, unblinking zeal of a missionary, I want to try to convince you that something which sounds a bit weird is actually a great idea which will completely change your life. I want you to consider using an iPhone as your primary computer when you’re traveling, especially on business, only carrying one extra thing with you: a Bluetooth keyboard.

Let me admit up front that you will look a bit peculiar. As you board a train, as you check into a hotel, as you post up at a coffee shop—if all you’re carrying is a keyboard, you will attract looks. You could, naturally, carry a bag instead and stash the keyboard in it, but while this makes you look less goggle-eyed crazy, it takes away from one of the main advantages of the iPhone-plus-keyboard setup: traveling light. 

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How to prevent your iPhone's screen from rotating

Wed, 2016-02-10 16:00

There’s nothing worse than your phone switching orientations on you at random, just because you tilted it slightly too far in one direction or another. 

OK, there are things worse than that, but hyperbole aside, the above example is still enough to make you grumble at your phone. To prevent this sort of annoyance, look no further iOS’s screen rotation lock feature: With the tap of a button, you can prevent the contents of your screen from rotating with your device—useful if you’re trying to use your phone while lying in bed, among other things.

To get to this magical toggle, wake your iPhone if it isn’t already, then slide your finger up from the bottom edge to bring up Control Center. Tap the Orientation Lock button—it’s a lock icon with a circular arrow surrounding it—so it turns white. Slide the Control Center pane down again to hide it, and your screen’s contents should no longer rotate as you turn your device on its side.

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How updating your Mac's apps could allow man-in-the-middle attacks

Wed, 2016-02-10 15:44

The drumbeat of avoiding insecure “http” web connections beats every louder. A researcher disclosed several days ago a vulnerability hiding in plain sight with the Sparkle update framework for OS X Yosemite and El Capitan. Because Sparkle allows apps to update via non-encrypted web connections, the potential of sending malicious updates through man-in-the-middle attacks is quite high. But the attack works because of three separate OS X issues: executing JavaScript in WebKit views intended to show formatted text; mounting FTP servers on the desktop; and Gatekeeper not checking certain paths for and kinds of downloaded files. (Ars Technica reported first on the researcher’s post, which went up in late January.)

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The Week in iOS Accessories: Protect that Apple Pencil

Wed, 2016-02-10 14:00
...plus, a new Apple Watch band, and more

This week’s roundup includes a couple of accessories for your Apple Pencil. Which we thought was an accessory itself. Whoa. In any case, read on!

ASAP Dash

The ASAP Dash is billed as the “world’s fastest pocket-sized charger.” The 5,000mAh battery can charge an iPhone in just 15 minutes, and it weighs just 6.3 ounces. It was hugely popular in the crowdfunding stage, more than doubling its initial production goal. If you pledge $119 now, though, there’s still time to grab one when the devices ship in June.

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Podcast 494: Error 53 is only helpful to robots

Wed, 2016-02-10 10:02

Things break. And getting something fixed instead of just tossing it is a good thing to do. But your best intentions can go awry, if, say, you get an iPhone 6 fixed by a third party, and the Touch ID button gets separated from the secure element—you might see a cryptic Error 53, along with a phone that's not so much a phone as a brick. Glenn and Susie discuss why this makes sense for Apple to do from a security standpoint—but Apple still screwed up by not making this abundantly clear from the start. And it turns out you can't really get an Apple Watch repaired outside an Apple Store—not even in Queens.

Elsewhere, Google is giving out 2GB of free Google Drive storage for doing a security check you should do anyway. (Do this same check on Facebook while you're at it, although that network will only reward you with baby photos and a dead battery.) Also a big shout-out to Dan Moren, whose recent column was tweeted by Phil Schiller.

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Sonos brings Apple Music out of beta today

Wed, 2016-02-10 09:18

Sonos, the makers of high-end Wi-Fi speakers that everyone seems to love, opened up Apple Music integration to beta testers in December. Today, nearly eight months after its launch, Apple Music comes to all Sonos users.

When Apple and Sonos announced the beta integration, the companies said they were proceeding slowly to ensure the best possible experience. Offering early access to beta users was part of that process. Hundreds of thousands of Apple Music subscribers tested the service on their Sonos speakers.

“The feedback from Apple Music members on Sonos during the beta period has been great,” Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior VP of software and services, said in a statement.

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Twitter begins rolling out its algorithmic timeline, but it's opt-in—for now

Wed, 2016-02-10 08:37

After months of testing, rumors, and general user anxiety, Twitter is now employing an algorithm that displays some Tweets out of chronological order.

The feature, known as “Show me the best Tweets first,” gathers up older tweets that Twitter thinks you might have liked seeing, based on “engagement and other factors,” and pushes them to the top of the Timeline. Below this cluster of Tweets, users will still see their Timelines in reverse chronological order, and refreshing the Timeline will instantly make the algorithmic Tweets disappear. On some level, it’s a prioritized version of the “While you were away” that Twitter introduced a year ago.

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BitTorrent hits Apple TV via a P2P livestreaming news app

Wed, 2016-02-10 08:33

The New Hampshire primaries are over and now we know who the big winner was. No, we’re not talking about Sanders or Trump, but BitTorrent Inc, the company that focuses on ways to use the BitTorrent protocol beyond simple file sharing. 

BitTorrent partnered with the burgeoning independent news organization OTT News to bring live, torrent-based video streaming coverage of the latest presidential primary to Apple TV, Android, and iOS, and it was thanks to technology that's been in the works for years now.

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A primer in Profile Manager: Payloads for OS X

Wed, 2016-02-10 06:00

This is episode 11 in our series on setting up and managing devices using Server’s Profile Manager service.

If you’re just tuning in now, you’ll want to look at:

Last episode we looked at payloads that can be deployed to both iOS and OS X devices. Now we’re going to look at payloads that can only be deployed to Macs.

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Apple TV vs. Amazon's Fire TV: The gaming match-up

Wed, 2016-02-10 04:30

When it comes to gadgets, Apple and Amazon tend to have very different audiences. Consider tablets, for example: Amazon’s entry-level Fire tablet is priced at a stunning $50, while Apple’s cheapest active iPad (2013’s iPad Mini 2) sells for $269. There’s a noticeable gap in quality between the two in many regards, but Amazon’s focus on cheap, usable tech contrasts sharply against Apple’s higher-end polish and performance.

The difference is less obvious when it comes to set-top boxes, however. Last fall’s overhauled Apple TV was a big leap for the device, adding apps and games along with the touchpad remote, but Amazon had already mined that territory with the first Fire TV. Right after the Apple TV was released, Amazon refreshed the Fire TV with added processing power, 4K resolution support, and other enhancements. And the price difference isn’t quite so dramatic. 

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8 iPhone cases that make for a memorable Valentine's Day gift

Wed, 2016-02-10 04:13
Nothing says "I love you" like finding the perfect iPhone case

Does your loved one love his or her newest iPhone? Here are some top-notch cases that make for a Valentine’s Day gift he or she will remember but are still more affordable than an engagement ring.

For exotic (and ethical) leather lovers

A leather case is always a good choice, but for a special occassion like Valentine’s Day, why not go a little more exotic? Ullu’s alligator leather SnapOn case ($449) for iPhone 6 and 6s comes in a bunch of vibrant colors, like hot pink, lime, turquoise, and “Blue Jeans.” All of Ullu’s leather products are handcrafted, and the company ensures that the leather has been sourced ethically and legally.

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1Password 6 for Mac review: Enterprise features and lots of small improvements

Wed, 2016-02-10 04:00

Unless you’ve been living under the proverbial rock, there’s a good chance that you have, by now, become aware of how tragically easy it can be for your online credentials to be stolen. From picking weak combinations of characters that can be easily guessed—it’s somewhat sad that, in 2016, “password” is still the most common passphrase—to reusing the same password across multiple websites, it doesn’t take much to make a mistake that could very well turn out to be fatal.

While there is no bulletproof solution to this problem, the easiest way to alleviate it is to engage the services of a password manager—an app designed to provide an encrypted digital vault in which all your different logins are stored. This way, you can use completely different (and highly secure) credentials for each website while only having to remember the one “master password” that unlocks your vault.

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Apple faces class-action lawsuit over 'Error 53' iPhone-killing fiasco

Tue, 2016-02-09 12:30

Was your iPhone a victim of “Error 53”? You may meet the requirements to join a new class-action lawsuit against Apple.

A Seattle-based law film is preparing to file a class-action lawsuit against Apple over the mysterious Error 53 that rendered iPhone 6 and 6 Plus models useless after updating to iOS 9. Law firm PCVA believes Apple violated consumer protection laws in the U.S. and is asking iPhone users who experienced this mysterious error to contact them.

Error 53 affected iPhone users who had their Home button repaired or replaced by a third-party. Last week Apple confirmed the error and explained it was part of a security feature to prevent unauthorized tampering of Touch ID.

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The Week in Mac Apps: Performance Pro protects your data and online identity

Tue, 2016-02-09 12:00
...plus, an update from iA Writer, and more

This week's roundup of new Mac apps brings us better browsing tools, from antivirus scanners to ad blockers. Read on!

AntiVirus Sentinel Pro - Adware & Virus Scanner - Network Monitor & Protection 3.2.5

Work without worries with Security Focus Europe’s $10 AntiVirus Sentinel Pro (Mac App Store Link), which offers real-time protection from malware and other potential threats.

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The most annoying Apple TV feature is about to be fixed

Tue, 2016-02-09 10:04

The fourth-gen Apple TV’s App Store is a game-changer, but searching for and installing apps is one of the most irritating experiences I've ever had on an Apple device because you have to use the touchpad remote to enter text. It takes forever. But tvOS 9.2 is about to change that with the addition of voice dictation. (Insert raised hands emoji here.)

Developers with access to the third tvOS 9.2 beta update discovered on Monday that the next version of the software includes support for dictation and Siri for App Store searches. This is major. Searching for apps using the touchpad is a pain. Entering your username and password is worse. My Apple ID is lengthy, my password comprised of various letters, numbers, and symbols. I have actually debated internally whether I really need an app, just to avoid the five minutes it will take to find and install. (I have my Apple TV set to require an iTunes login for paid apps, but you can change that setting.)

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Tempest in a teapot: The iPhone 5se pre-fail

Tue, 2016-02-09 08:00

It must be hard to be Apple and to know that no matter what you do, someone will find a way to criticize it.

The Macalope imagines all the money probably makes up for it, though.

InvestorPlace has the scoop on “The iPhone 5se: Everything That’s Wrong With Apple Inc.” (Tip o’ the antlers to Matthew Faltz.)

Everything? Even the things that contradict the other things?

Really, Tim Cook? Really?

Welcome to another episode of Great Ledes In History.

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Withings' connected health app gets better at monitoring your blood pressure

Tue, 2016-02-09 06:00

February is American Heart Month, so there’s no better time to make sure you’re doing great when it comes to overall cardiovascular health.

Maker of connected health devices, Withings, has just released Hy-Result, a paid upgrade to its Health Mate iOS app that delivers advanced blood pressure monitoring. Using any in-home blood pressure monitor, Hy-Result takes six daily readings over the course of five days to create a more comprehensive view of your cardiovascular health.

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