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Updated: 1 hour 27 min ago

Sprint's new 'All In' unlimited plans limit video to 3G speeds

1 hour 36 min ago

Sprint says it’s simplifying wireless service with a new “All In” plan that includes the cost of a smartphone, but its rules on throttling are making things more complicated.

For $80 per month, the plans include a high-end phone like the iPhone 6 (16GB) or Galaxy S6 (32GB), along with unlimited talk, text, and data. While the price you pay hasn’t really changed from Sprint’s older plans—and is actually $10 pricier than the iPhone-only plan Sprint used to offer—it’s supposed to be simpler by building the phone price into the advertised rate.

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Apple Music makes its debut with iOS 8.4, out now

1 hour 49 min ago

Apple Music has dominated headlines since it was announced earlier this month at the Worldwide Developers Conference, but despite all the hype and controversy, few people have actually used Apple’s new streaming music service. That changes right now.

iOS 8.4 just rolled out as an over-the-air update for iPhones, iPads, and iPods. You can upgrade now by going to Settings > General > Software Update. Apple Music comes preinstalled when you upgrade your devices, and if you update to 8.4 right away, you’ll be one of the first to hear the service’s Beats 1 live radio station when it begins broadcasting at 9 a.m. Pacific/12 p.m. Eastern.

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AC/DC finally embraces streaming music with Spotify, Apple Music, and Rdio

2 hours 44 min ago

For those music streaming fans about to rock, we salute you. Three years after the group made its digital debut on the iTunes Store, Australian rock legends AC/DC are now streaming. At this writing, AC/DC’s catalog was live on Rdio and Spotify. The band is expected to show up on Apple Music when it launches later Tuesday, according to The New York Times.

Prior to 2012, AC/DC was one of the few major holdouts from the digital music revolution. The band opposed the notion of selling their music as singles instead of whole albums, as guitarist Angus Young told The Telegraph in 2008.

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Survey fever: Don’t catch it

2 hours 44 min ago

True story: If you go to your dictionary app right now and look up “gullible”, there’s a picture of a tech reporter.

The Macalope has railed against the ridiculous use of surveys since the dawn of time. Or, well, at least 2006. And somehow it never seems to stop. A new survey comes out and it doesn’t matter if it’s of 11 people, it’ll be used to predict Apple doom. And when the Macalope says 11 people, he mean exactly 11 people. Pretty soon we’re going to get down to a report noting that “Earl and Karl hanging out in front of the Tastee Freeze do not plan on buying an Apple Watch.”

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Which songs stumped Shakira? Shazam will now show you

3 hours 3 min ago

Shazam is releasing a new version of its music recognition app that lets users connect with artists they like and see what songs they’ve searched for using its service.

Shazam lets people identify songs, TV shows and movies by capturing a brief snippet onto their phone, which gets matched against Shazam’s database. The new version due out Tuesday, for iOS and Android, lets users see what songs have been identified by artists using the app. Because not even musicians know every song that’s playing.

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Think Retro: An iPhone in Newton's clothing?

5 hours 57 min ago

Last week, the vice president of design for Lenovo, the company which a decade ago bought IBM’s computer division, floated the idea of creating a computer which is both thoroughly modern and yet which “embraces the original design details [of 1992’s 700c] in the strongest way possible.” Basically, he wants to make a retro ThinkPad with modern guts, and he wants to know if you’d buy it.

Unsurprisingly, this idea appeals to me a great deal, and it got me thinking about one of my favorite bits of Apple hardware, the Newton MessagePad.

Christopher Phin

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How Square aims to bring Apple Pay into mom-and-pop shops

6 hours 14 min ago

You can use Apple Pay at more than 700,000 retail locations across the U.S., but good luck trying to pay with your phone at your neighborhood coffee shop or favorite food truck. While national chains and big-box stores are working to upgrade their systems to accept contactless payments and chip cards, small businesses have been much slower to join the mobile payment party.

When Cupertino took the wraps off Apple Pay last fall, some predicted that Apple would crush smaller mobile payment companies like Square. Now it’s clear that Apple needs Square to reach the millions of independent shops that otherwise would sit out the switch to mobile payments. Square’s new Apple Pay reader will do with contactless payments what its original reader did with traditional credit and debit cards: make it easy and cheap for small businesses to accept any way you want to pay and kill the phrase “cash only.”

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Get your Snapchat fix with Facebook's new silly photos

Mon, 2015-06-29 14:40

Pretty soon you’ll start thinking that Snapchat has somehow invaded your Facebook feed. But don’t worry, it’s just that photos posted to Facebook are now getting quirkier.

Facebook has updated its iOS photo uploader to make it easier to spruce up your photos right from the app. Now you can overlay text, emojis, and stickers to your photos, as well as choose from different “swipeable” filters that you can preview instantly. TechCrunch notes that the Facebook app has been testing overlaid stickers and filters since February, but now these options also include text and emojis. Facebook has created a new editing button that houses filters, text/emoji overlays, stickers, as well as cropping and tagging.

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DisplayMate: Less reflective Apple Watch Sport is easier to read in bright sunlight

Mon, 2015-06-29 11:25

The Apple Watch and Apple Watch Edition have sapphire crystal covering their displays, but the lower-cost Apple Watch Sport uses Ion-X glass instead. Both were chosen for durability, but they also reflect different amounts of light. After having previously analyzed the OLED display used in all three watch models, Dr. Raymond Soneira at DisplayMate just published a detailed shootout comparing the display performance of an Apple Watch to an Apple Watch Sport.

While both the watches tested (42mm Apple Watch versus 42mm Apple Watch Sport) use the same OLED screen, they appear different in ambient light, since the sapphire crystal covering the Apple Watch is more reflective than the Ion-X glass on the Apple Watch Sport. DisplayMate measured the reflectance of the Apple Watch Sport to be 4.7 percent, and the Apple Watch was 8.2 percent reflective, a 74 percent increase.

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Sonos and Apple will make beautiful music together by year-end

Mon, 2015-06-29 11:12

Apple Music won’t be tuning out Sonos after all, with support for the whole-home speakers coming by year-end.

Apple confirmed the plans in a statement to BuzzFeed’s John Packowski, saying “we’re working together to make Apple Music available on Sonos before the end of the year.” (Sonos’s PR director, Fiede Schillmoeller, also tweeted the same thing.) Apple’s new service, which streams millions of songs on-demand for $10 per month, launches on Tuesday for iOS and desktop web browsers with a free three-month trial. Support for Android and Apple TV is coming this fall.

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iPhones equipped with Force Touch tech are reportedly ready to roll

Mon, 2015-06-29 09:42

Production is said to be underway for the next iPhone models, and it looks like the new version’s big selling point will be Force Touch.

Apple is reportedly adding the pressure-sensitive displays already found in the Apple Watch and 12-inch MacBook to its iPhone line-up, unnamed sources told Bloomberg. The iPhone 6s and 6s Plus will be the same size and have the same look as their 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch predecessors, so manufacturing is expected to be hiccup-free—though the new displays could throw a wrench in the process.

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Google harms users by favoring its own services in search results, study finds

Mon, 2015-06-29 08:16

Google’s favoring of its own services in search results doesn’t just harm competitors, it also harms consumers, according to research sponsored by a complainant in the EU antitrust trial against the company.

The study found that users are 45 percent more likely to click on search results organically generated by Google’s own search engine than on results in which Google favors its own services, as it does now.

“This suggests that by leveraging dominance in search to promote its internal content, Google is reducing social welfare—leaving consumers with lower quality results and worse matches,” the researchers found. The study “provides empirical evidence” that Google favoring its own products in some cases harms Google’s users.

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Freemium Field Test: Lara Croft: Relic Run is flashy, fun, and free

Mon, 2015-06-29 07:30

Free-to-play games often look appealing, but it’s difficult to know at a glance whether the business model is insidious and fun ruining, or reasonable and worth pumping a few bucks into. With Freemium Field Test, we’ll take a recent free-to-play iOS game, put it through its paces, and let you know if it’s really worth your time (and money). 

By foot, bike, or ATV, you’ll swipe to change lanes as you avoid obstacles and snag collectibles.

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The Week in iPad Cases: Pad & Quill’s gorgeous new backpack makes a great travel companion

Mon, 2015-06-29 07:00
...plus keyboard cases, mounts, and more!

This week’s roundup of new iPad cases includes a functional crossover from WaterField Designs, a versatile keyboard solution from ZeroChroma, and colorful, creative options from DODOcase, Everything Tablet, and Belkin.

Belkin

The FreeHand (all iPad mini models; $10) sports a slim, lightweight design with an integrated handstrap behind its cover.

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MindNode 2 review: Makes Mac brainstorming a breeze

Mon, 2015-06-29 04:00

The human brain may be great at coming up with ideas, but it’s not always efficient at organizing such information in any meaningful way. That’s where a technique known as mind mapping comes into play, extracting information from your cranium and presenting it in a visual way that makes sense to others.

MindNode 2 is capable of creating visually rich mind maps with ease.

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Apple Music launching 8am Pacific Tuesday, allows uploads like iTunes Match

Sun, 2015-06-28 14:05

As Apple Music’s first day approaches, we’re learning a bit more about the details of the launch, and of the service itself. Eddy Cue even took to Twitter on Sunday to answer individual questions, and reveal an iTunes Match-like feature of Apple Music, for uploading songs that you own that aren't already available to stream.

As MacRumors reports, Apple Music Senior Director Ian Rogers wrote on his blog that Apple Music and the required iOS 8.4 update will become available starting at 8 a.m. Pacific time Tuesday, with Beats 1 programming beginning an hour later. Rogers later edited his post to remove any mention of a launch time, but he also mentioned an 8 a.m. start time in a Tweet from Saturday.

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Disney gets sick of selfie sticks, bans them from its parks

Sat, 2015-06-27 11:30
The ban takes effect at Disneyland and Disney World—and at Disney's Paris and Hong Kong locations—next week.

You’re doing it wrong: A negative Watch review, hold the hate

Sat, 2015-06-27 05:00

The Macalope’s been blasting his anti-Watch diatribe zone pretty hard over the last few months and it’s really starting to show. He’s never looked more fit.

But his personal trainer and life coach, Esteban, recently suggested he’s been neglecting his logicus maximus. It lacks tone and groans at the slightest strain. Fortunately, it turns out there are opinion pieces about the Apple Watch that are negative without being completely jacktastic. Take this piece by Evan Niu at Money.

“Why I’m Returning My Apple Watch”

Is it the most pointless device you’ve ever owned? Is it the physical manifestation of Apple’s arrogance as well as every ill of our consumer-based economy? Did an Apple Watch kill your brother?

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The Week in iPhone Cases: Lifeproof's latest rugged case packs a (battery) punch

Sat, 2015-06-27 05:00
...plus battery cases, leather cases, and more!

This week’s roundup of new iPhone cases includes fancy designs from OtterBox, elegant leather options from Hard Graft and Distilunion, and Lenzcase’s iPhone/glasses case hybrid.

dbrand

The Skin (iPhone 6; $4 to $16) adds a thin layer of protection to the front and back of your iPhone 6 without the extra bulk that comes with a full-blown case.

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Low Power mode in iOS 9 saves battery life by slowing performance

Fri, 2015-06-26 16:31

Technology is a story of compromises and tradeoffs. We want devices with big, pixel-dense screens. We want snappy performance and lots of RAM. But we don’t want to have to keep one nervous eye on the battery-life indicator, or have to top off just to make it through the day.

iOS 9 includes a battery-saving Low Power mode, a first for Apple. This will let you flip one switch to eke out maximum power savings. iOS will shut down background activity and reduce performance to get you as much as three extra hours before the battery finally goes kaput. On Friday, MacRumors used Geekbench 3 to quantify just how big of a performance hit you can expect.

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