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Updated: 1 hour 12 min ago

Supplier woes suggest Apple Watch sales aren't great

9 hours 43 min ago

How well is the Apple Watch selling? Apple isn’t saying much, but that hasn’t kept Bernstein Research anaylist Mark Li from trying to find out. 

According to the Wall Street Journal, a subsidiary of Advanced Semiconductor Engineering (ASE) and one of Apple’s suppliers for the Watch told investors that it fell short of a “break-even” number of shipments of its Apple Watch components during the second quarter, and it expects to fall short again in the third quarter. According to Li, it’s very rare for a company to fall short of “break-even” shipments in the third quarter, given the looming holiday rush, and Li says that ASE’s shortfall indicates that Apple Watch sales are lower than expected.

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The wheel of fortune: Sometimes you’re hot, sometimes you’re not

Sat, 2015-08-01 05:00

Let us now harken back, if you will, all the way to those heady days of the spring of 2014. Val Kilmer was the Ice Man, college dorm rooms were grooving to the sounds of Peter Gabriel’s So and the entire country was soon to be mesmerized by the baby stuck in a well.

Wait, that was 1986. Sorry, it just seems so long ago that we were being told how Xiaomi was going to kill Apple in China, the United States and, eventually, the off-world colonies. Because it’s just obvious that everyone wants cheap phones and they care about literally nothing else. This much we can all agree on.

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The week in Apple news: Apple TV, Apple Watch at Best Buy, new Apple campus, Steve Jobs photos, and more

Sat, 2015-08-01 04:00
Apple headlines for the week ending July 31, 2015

Want to see the Apple Watch in person, but the closest Apple Store is too far away? Head on over to your nearest Best Buy. That’s one of the headlines in this week’s news review. You can see all the important headlines here in this slideshow. Want to get more details on a story? Click on the link.

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Report: Apple and BMW started talking about an iCar collaboration last year

Fri, 2015-07-31 17:18

The Apple Car is taking another lap on the rumor circuit, with a new report from Reuters that Apple execs visited BMW last year to find out more about how BMW makes the (very cool) i3 electric car.

“Apple executives were impressed with the fact that we abandoned traditional approaches to car making and started afresh. It chimed with the way they do things too,” an unnamed source at BMW told Reuters. 

According to the report, Tim Cook visited BMW’s headquarters in 2014 and asked the carmaker’s board members very detailed questions about production of its i3 electric vehicles, which BMW manufactures using lightweight carbon fiber. BMW execs were willing to provide the parts for the Apple Car, according to Reuters.

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Wi-Fi sensibility: Not really risky, but not really needed

Fri, 2015-07-31 12:33

Windows 10—bear with me—has shipped, but this column isn’t about the new operating system, which has received generally positive reviews from our friends at PCWorld and elsewhere. Rather, it’s about a feature that started receiving attention a few weeks before release and more on the ship date: Wi-Fi Sense.

Wi-Fi Sense allows Windows 10 users to connect automatically to open Wi-Fi networks, as well as to share access to Wi-Fi networks for which they have passwords. The former isn’t controversial at all: iOS allows carriers to set up automatic connections to networks they run or partner with as of several releases ago. Many apps for mobile devices and computers also allow this.

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How Apple Music can turn users into subscribers

Fri, 2015-07-31 11:33

According to industry sources, Apple Music has racked up 10 million users in its first month. That’s a pretty good number, as the far more established Spotify boasts somewhere in the realm of 20 million paid subscribers.

Of course, we’re also just a month into a three-month free trial period, and it’s pretty easy to get people to sign up for your service when it doesn’t cost them a dime. So when September 30 rolls around and users have to decide whether Apple Music is worth $10 a month to them, what’s Apple going to have to do to convince them to stick around?

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Read-it-later app Pocket testing recommendations in public beta

Fri, 2015-07-31 10:20

Pocket has made it super simple to save content to read later for the last eight years, but the popular service hasn’t been able to recommend you articles you haven’t read. That changes now. Pocket is opening up a public beta for people who want to try out new features before they’re polished, and first up is a new Recommendations tab.

In Pocket’s beta for iOS, Android, and the web, the new Recommendations tab will sit next to My List, where the articles and videos you save to read/watch later are stored. The app will use the stories you save to determine which articles you might be interested in.

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Capture One Pro 8.3 review: Aperture replacement light on library features, strong on editing tools

Fri, 2015-07-31 06:00

When Apple discontinued Aperture in favor of Photos for OS X—sacrificing most of the features that appealed to Aperture users—the presumed replacement was Adobe’s Lightroom CC. But not all photographers are drawn to Lightroom.

Phase One’s Capture One Pro offers many of the features that Aperture users expect. It’s an organizer that stores, tracks, and remembers information about all of your photos; and it’s also a sophisticated image editor that allows you to make adjustments such as cropping, exposure, and color changes.

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How to make an Apple Music playlist in iTunes or on iOS

Fri, 2015-07-31 05:46

The Macworld staff is still on the fence about Apple Music. Some of us are really into the recommended playlists—which are sometimes eerily relevant—while others are still dealing with the aftermath of enabling iCloud Music Library. But even fans of the streaming service have noticed that making a playlist is nowhere near as simple as it could be. If you’re looking for a quick guide to creating and adding to an Apple Music playlist on iOS or iTunes, we’ve got you covered. (Don’t want to play tech support for your new-to-streaming friends and family members? Send them our way.)

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The 10 Mac games you need to play from July 2015

Fri, 2015-07-31 04:30
July's Mac games

While it’s true that July’s highest-profile release was an 11-year-old Star Wars game—albeit with some welcome modern tweaks—the rest of our picks showcase another strong and diverse month for Mac gaming. There’s so much worth digging into here: Alluring side-scrollers like Feist and The Swindle, puzzle games like The Talos Principle: Road to Gehenna and The Magic Circle, and even a game called Zenzizenzic. (Can you figure out what kind of game that one is?) 

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Hands-on with Mail 9 in El Capitan: Improved full-screen support, swipe gestures, and more

Fri, 2015-07-31 04:00

Mail is one of those apps most of us take for granted. It’s one of the first apps we configure when setting up a Mac. In El Capitan, that foundational app experience is the same—what’s more, Apple has introduced big improvements to Mail 9 that make it easier to work on and do more with your messages.

Much more robust full-screen support and swipe gestures are two of Mail 9’s most noticeable visual changes. That’s not all: Improved data detectors make it easier to add events to your calendar and contacts to your contact database. There are other under the hood improvements to make it easier to find what you need and act on it.

Full-screen support and gestures

Full-screen support in Mail 9 makes it easier to juggle multiple email messages. Let’s say you’re composing an email and you want to check another message or copy something from it. The email message you’re composing now moves to the bottom of the screen, so you can access your email inbox, copy text or attachments from other messages, and more.

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Amazon Echo review: Betcha can’t buy just one of these voice-activated connected-home controllers

Fri, 2015-07-31 04:00

Amazon’s Echo is the best voice-controlled product that I’ve seen at the consumer level. It’s versatile, powerful, and amazingly quick to recognize your speech and then do something, whether that’s answering a trivia question, playing music, giving you the weather forecast, or controlling your home’s lighting.

And those are just a few of the things the Echo can do; it’s capable of many other functions: Alarm clock, kitchen timer, shopping-list manager, news and sports-scores reporter, and more. But what will really blow your mind is just how fast the Echo will recognize your speech and then act.

As with much of Amazon’s hardware, you’ll get the most benefit from the Echo if you subscribe to Amazon services, especially Amazon Prime. Once it’s linked to your account, you can have it play audiobooks using Audible, play music from your Amazon Prime music library, and even order products based on voice commands.

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Report: Get ready for a new Apple TV this September

Thu, 2015-07-30 16:26

Truth be told, we were a little disappointed when we didn’t get a new Apple TV announcement during WWDC in June, but it looks like Apple is finally blowing the dust off its old streaming media device.

According to BuzzFeed, Apple is planning to announce a new Apple TV during its iPhone event in September—“for real this time.” BuzzFeed’s unnamed sources confirm that the next-generation Apple TV will be slimmer, come with Apple’s A8 processor, include more built-in storage, and will have a better operating system. This iteration of the set-top box will also support Siri voice commands and have a redesigned touch-pad remote control. Additionally, this new Apple TV will have its own App Store, with a developers kit that will also be announced at the event.

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The Week in iPhone Cases: Poetic’s simple design offers just the right amount of protection

Thu, 2015-07-30 14:00 wallet cases, bumpers, and more!

This week’s roundup of new iPhone cases includes modern aluminum bumpers from Designed by M and Patchworks, catchy patterns from Headworks, a beautiful wallet case from Toffee, and more.


Reinforced with a TPU bumper, the SlimGrip (iPhone 6; $10) features a transparent back that helps prevent damage from drops and minimize smudges.

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Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, MirrorLink: Most 2016 Volkswagen cars will have all three

Thu, 2015-07-30 13:38

Volkswagen is joining the wave of 2016 models that will support some combination of Android Auto, Apple Carplay, or MirrorLink in new infotainment systems.  

The company announced Wednesday that its MIB II second-generation modular infotainment platform will support all three smartphone-car interfaces, in nearly all 2016 models and trim packages. (The 2016 Touareg and Eos models are the only ones left out.) Floor models of 2016 vehicles with the systems installed should arrive shortly in dealership showrooms. 

Along with the smartphone integration, Volkswagen says its MIB II platform has higher-resolution screens, faster processing speeds, and better graphics than MIB I, which debuted in 2015 Volkswagen Golf models. The lower end system has a 5-inch, 400x240-pixel resistive touch display, while the higher-end option includes an 800x480-pixel capacitive touch screen, which can range in size from 6.3 to 8 inches.

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Starbucks's iOS app now lets you order ahead and skip the line

Thu, 2015-07-30 12:45

Starbucks orders can get complicated: Getting an upside-down, two pump, nonfat Caramel Macchiato with light ice often requires yelling over the espresso machine and the person in line next to you.

If you have an iPhone, there’s a better way to place your drink order. You can do it all from the Starbucks app—complete with all of those customizations—and then pick up your beverage right at the counter. You pay for it in advance, too, so no need to even talk to the barista (besides saying “thank you,” of course).

I took the app for a few trial runs at nearby Starbucks coffeehouses and came away largely impressed. In fact, Apple could study what Starbucks has built here as a way to inject some smarts into Apple Pay and its upcoming Wallet feature in iOS 9. 

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iOS 9: Five small features that will change your life

Thu, 2015-07-30 11:28

Even though the forthcoming iOS 9 is not a drastic software update, there are a ton of subtle tweaks and changes that'll make iPhone users jump up with joy. After a couple of weeks testing the iOS 9 public beta, we've unlocked a some of the best hidden features.

Watch the video above to see how you can become an iOS 9 expert come this fall. In the video, we highlight how to:

  1. Automatically creates selfie/screenshot albums in Photos app
  2. Call, iMessage, or FaceTime your Contacts directly from Spotlight search
  3. Get quick access to the Wallet app and Apple Pay from the lock screen
  4. Enable the new iCloud Drive app to upload attachments in an email
  5. Use the new search bar in the Settings app

What upcoming iOS 9 features are you most excited to try out? Let us know in the comments!

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Spotify gets the IFTTT treatment

Thu, 2015-07-30 11:04

When Deezer became the first subscription-based streaming-music service to integrate with rules-based automation engine IFTTT (If This Then That) last week, it was obvious that other services would follow suit over time. Few predicted that it would happen this soon.

Spotify has become the latest music streamer to hop on the IFTTT bandwagon. “The Spotify Channel makes it easy to find the right music for every moment—on your phone, laptop, tablet and more,” IFTTT wrote in a blog post announcing the new channel.

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Facebook CEO Zuckerberg: Video today, virtual reality tomorrow

Thu, 2015-07-30 10:38

When people grow tired of posting photos and videos on social media, what then? Virtual-reality posts, according to Mark Zuckerberg.

We’re entering into an era in which people’s posts increasingly will revolve around video, “but that’s not the end of the line,” according to Facebook’s CEO. After video, he said, “I think immersive 3D content is the obvious next thing.”

“There’s always a richer way that people want to share and consume thoughts and ideas,” Zuckerberg said.

The Facebook chief made his comments in response to a question during the company’s earnings call on Wednesday about what mainstream applications could come out of virtual reality and Oculus VR. Facebook bought the VR headset maker last year for $2 billion, baffling some industry watchers about the social network’s intentions.

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Angry Birds 2 is the 'sequel' you've been waiting for

Thu, 2015-07-30 10:23

Well it’s about time. Nearly six years after the original Angry Birds burst onto the mobile gaming scene Rovio is back with its official sequel, Angry Birds 2.

Yes, if Angry Birds Seasons, Angry Birds Rio, Angry Birds Space, Angry Birds Star Wars I and II, Angry Birds Transformers, a green piggies spin-off, a Mario Kart rip-off, and a bunch of other games weren’t enough to tide you over since 2009, you can now play Angry Birds 2.

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