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Aug 27 2015 11:55PM EST | Source: MacLife.com

Apple has at last announced the date for its next big media event and, well, it's going to take place on the date we've all been saying it was going to take place on for months now. In addition, Apple is said to be bringing some spiffy animated wallpapers to the "iPhone 6s" and "iPhone 6s Plus."

Apple to Hold Next iPhone/Apple TV Event on September 9

And so the rumor mill is right again. Apple sent out invitations this morning stating that, yes, the next Apple media event will be held at 10AM PDT on Wednesday, September 9 at San Francisco's Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, where Steve Jobs unveiled the Apple II in 1977. The invitation's message is both simple and vague: "Hey Siri, give us a hint."

In addition, Windows users will be able to join in on the festivities live for the first time ever this year, as the Cupertino company's page for the event notes that you can stream it on September 9 "on a PC with Edge on Windows 10." As usual, of course, you can also watch the event on Apple TV or through the Safari browser on a Mac or iOS device.

There's always a chance Apple could surprise us, but there have been plenty of trustworthy "hints" from the rumor mill that suggest that Apple will at last unveil the so-called iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus at the event. Both devices are expected to be be made from stronger aluminum than their immediate predecessors, and they're expected to feature Force Touch, an improved camera, 2GB of RAM, and an A9 processor.

Apple is also expected to use the event to unveil the next generation of the Apple TV, which is expected to have Siri support (which likely explains the invitation's tagline), its own App Store, a touch-based remote control, and an A8 processor. Apple isn't expected to announce its long-awaited subscription-based streaming TV service at the event, though, as negotiations are supposedly still bogged down.

For a bit of fun, saying "Hey Siri, give me a hint" to Siri does, in fact, reveal a set of customized responses. Unfortunately, the hints are no more helpful than "Well, I hear there's something big happening on September 9" and our personal favorite: "Why don't you check a rumors blog? That's what I do."

Ouch, Siri.


iPhone 6s and 6s Plus May Have Apple Watch-Like Animated Wallpapers

Fittingly enough, the pace of rumors hasn't slowed down even with the next Apple media event on the near horizon. The latest rumor passed along from insider sources to 9to5Mac claims that the so-called iPhone 6s and 6s Plus will feature new animated wallpapers in the style of the "Motion" watch faces for the Apple Watch. Each time a user wakes up his or her phone, they'll be treated to watching the wallpaper dynamically change based on their interactions.

Source: cnBeta

Some of the wallpapers seem based off the static backgrounds that showed up in the beta for iOS 9 earlier in the month, such as smoky clouds with different colors and a school of koi. The koi, in fact, seems to lend some credence to a "leaked" photo of the box for the iPhone 6s Plus that appeared on the Chinese site cnBeta this morning. Some inconsistencies with Apple's earlier iPhone packaging led some commentators to doubt its authenticity, but as the box depicts a koi fish on the front, it could be a way to tie-in the packaging with this new feature.

Dynamic wallpapers already exist to a degree on the current iPhones, but their complexity doesn't come close to matching that of the motion watch faces for the Apple Watch. At the moment, there's no word as to whether we'll get to put the snazzy new wallpapers on older iPhones, but it seems unlikely in light of the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus's allegedly better processor and extra RAM. In fact, the static images we saw in the iOS 9 beta might be as close as we get.

Follow this article's writer, Leif Johnson, on Twitter.

Aug 27 2015 11:43PM EST | Source: CNET Android Atlas
Mirrativ lets you stream games and more directly from your phone or tablet.

Aug 27 2015 10:27PM EST | Source: MacLife.com

[This is an advertorial. Maclife gets a portion of each unit sold.]

Do you spend as much time wrangling with the tangled cords to your headphones as you do actually listening to music or podcasts? Wires are a pain, there's no way around it. So why not ditch the cords and still enjoy your music thanks to the power of bluetooth? You can get the Bluetooth Stereo Headphones on sale now at 34% off from our Deals tab.

If you never want to deal with untangling cords before plugging in your headphones, then you need the Bluetooth Stereo Headphones. You can go cord free and still enjoy crystal clear music. With their lightweight build, you'll barely even know they're there. Add to it their stereo-quality sound and comfortable earbuds designed to give you the perfect fit and you have a set of comfortable, quality headphones with none of the hassle.

The Bluetooth Stereo Headphones usually retail for $49. If you head to our Deals tab, you can save 34% off the retail price. That means you'll pay just $31.99. It's a great deal for these handy headphones, so get this deal today!

Bonus Deal: If you’re going to make the most of your new headphones, you need to keep your phone going all day. The Slim Juicer Battery Case for iPhone 6 will give your device extra life while protecting it. Get it for just $30.99.

Aug 27 2015 7:22PM EST | Source: MacLife.com

We're looking at the biggies this week: Apple's top-of-the-line jumbo-sized models. So if you've got an iMac hankering, you've come to the right place. And, as always, we'll have a collection of gadgets and goodies to go along with your new big Mac to make things run smoothly as can be. You can even save some dough on a brand-new Apple Watch!

Aug 27 2015 6:51PM EST | Source: Geek.com
You probably know at least one person whose smartphone is attached to their hand at all times. They’re tweeting, or Instagramming, or Facebooking, playing CCGs, or doing whatever else is popular rather than […]

Aug 27 2015 5:30PM EST | Source: MacLife.com

SmartDown is a full-featured Markdown text editor with syntax highlighting and HTML previewing, offering export to RTF, HTML, and PDF. Plain Markdown is supported, along with MultiMarkdown for things like tables, and Critic Markup for tracking changes. Light/dark themes are available, as well as your own; every aspect of syntax highlighting is customizable, and you can add your own CSS for Markdown preview.

Writers are well served, with statistics on words, sentences, pages, and reading time; you can even specify a word-count goal, and SmartDown will show your progress. It takes Markdown syntax into account when counting words, and it offers a Highlight Mode, where all but the current sentence or paragraph is dimmed. You can also do basic outlining in your Markdown file. Headings can be collapsed/expanded, using arrows in the document gutter, and there’s a floating tooltip marking the section. You can even export your work as an OPML file.

There are some handy editing tools, like shortcuts to move lines and a right-click palette of Markdown-insertion options. 

The bottom line. SmartDown is ideal for planning, organizing and writing documents in Markdown. Extensive customization options add to the appeal.

Review Synopsis









Mac running OS X 10.9 or later


Completely customizable Markdown syntax highlighting and previewing. Outlining, with collapsible headings and OPML export. Useful statistics, goals, and tools for writers.


Some rough edges in interface and keyboard shortcut support.

Aug 27 2015 3:00PM EST | Source: Geek.com
LG Rolly Keyboard
Portable keyboards are quite a popular edition to a mobile workers bag. Typing on a touchscreen has improved greatly in recent years, but it still doesn’t compare to tapping away on real, physical […]

Aug 27 2015 1:29PM EST | Source: Geek.com
This pair will hit the streets as the Lumia 950 and 950XL.

Aug 27 2015 12:26AM EST | Source: MacLife.com

At last, Apple has started selling third-party Apple Watch accessories in its stores, although the selection is currently severely limited. In other news, we finally get to see the movie poster for the Steve Jobs biopic that's been in the news for months, and Apple CEO Tim Cook received an, ahem, agreeable amount of Apple shares for his recent performance as CEO.

Apple Starts Selling Third-Party Apple Watch Accessories in Stores

As a part of Apple's continuing redesign of its retail experience, the Cupertino company today started selling third-party accessories for the Apple Watch in its stores. As noted by MacRumors, the first product available is ElevationLab's $29.95 NightStand, which serves as both a charger and an alarm clock.

ElevationLab originally only offered the NightStand in blue, black, and red, but as a result of its new direct partnership with Apple, it's now also possible to get the unit in pink, blue, green, black, and white (in Apple stores only) — specifically, the exact colors used for the Apple Watch Sport band. The device is also one of the few third-party devices so far to take advantage of watchOS 2's upcoming Nightstand Mode, which turns the Apple Watch into an alarm clock while it's charging.

Source: MacRumors

Sources claim that the device is the only third-party Apple Watch accessory available for purchase in an Apple retail store at the moment, but that might change next month.

As an aside, the report also notes that Apple has indeed removed that iPad "smart signs" that used to provide pricing and information for products like iPads, iPhones, and Macs throughout the store; now, instead, you'll have to take the slightly more awkward step of opening a dedicated pricing app to find out how much the device you're handling actually costs.

Movie Poster for Danny Boyle's Steve Job Biopic Revealed

Danny Boyle's Steve Jobs biopic is rapidly approaching its October wide release date, and now we even have an official poster for the highly anticipated film. The poster is designed with the same minimalist, white-space heavy design Apple products are known for, and it also recalls the cover of the bestselling Walter Isaacson biography the film is based on. As a bonus, it features actor Michael Fassbender looking a little more like Steve Jobs than usual.

The film itself will first be shown as the highlight of the New York Film Festival on Saturday, October 3. Michael Fassbender stars in the title role, but the film also stars Kate Winslet in the role of former Mac marketing chief Joanna Hoffman, Seth Rogen as Steve Wozniak, Jeff Daniels as former Apple CEO John Sculley.

The film focuses on the action backstage on the eve of three major Apple product launches: the original Macintosh in 1984, the NeXT Computer, and the iMac.


Tim Cook Receives Performance-Based Award of $58 million in Apple Stock

Tim Cook just had a very good Monday, according to a new report filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (via AppleInsider). As rewards for his tenure and performance, the Apple CEO received 560,000 vested restricted Apple stock units, which roughly amounts to a value of $58 million based on Apple's current stock price. Cook didn't sell any of the vested restricted stock units, and Apple reportedly withheld 290,836 units in order to stay within minimum statutory tax withholding requirements.

According to the filing, Apple's total shareholder return (TSR) had to fall within the top third of the Standard & Poor 500 in order for Cook to receive the stock. Apple ranked 46th, which was within the 90th percentile. Had Apple only reached the middle third, Cook would have received only 50 percent of the given award. If Apple had ranked in the bottom third, Cook wouldn't have received any restricted Apple stock units at all.

But, of course, he did well, and that brings his total current stock to approximately 1.17 million AAPL shares, with an additional 4.76 million set to vest in 700,000-unit batches in 2016 and 2021. Also, 1.68 million more will vest in six annual installments beginning in August of 2016.

In line with Cook's stated desire to make Apple "a force for good," Cook stated last year that he plans to give his entire fortune away once he pays for the college education of his young nephew.

Follow this article's writer, Leif Johnson, on Twitter.

Aug 27 2015 12:08AM EST | Source: CNET Android Atlas
Load links in the background while you're using another app, keeping you focused and saving time.

Aug 26 2015 11:42PM EST | Source: MacLife.com

Aug 26 2015 10:00PM EST | Source: MacLife.com

[This is an advertorial. Maclife gets a portion of each unit sold.]

The skies don't have to be a mystery - all you need is the right tools to master the art of flight, such as your very own drone. The popular flying devices are a blast to play with, but have function beyond just fun. You can take a look at the best drones fit to fly and get one that fits your needs and budget in our Deals tab.

Snowflake Drone: $39.99

Taking to the skies is easier than you could imagine thanks to the Snowflake Drone. This tiny little flyer is capable of going just about anywhere, and with six-axis gyro technology, it's able to flip and roll with ease while staying in the air. You can pre-order the Snowflake Drone for just $39.99.

Code Black Drone: $99

Remote control toys have really taken a step forward in the awesome category over the last few years, and the Code Black Drone is all the proof you'll need. With a battery that is rechargeable via USB and a quick charging time of 30 minutes, the Code Black Drone is easy to keep going. Get it for $99.

SKEYE Mini Drone: $64.99


Remote control toys have really taken a step forward in the awesome category over the last few years, and the SKEYE Mini Drone is all the proof you'll need. Six-axis stabilization and precision-control steering makes it easy to navigate the skies Get it for just $64.99. 

Striker Spy HD-Camera Drone: $69.99


A fear of heights shouldn’t keep you grounded. With the Striker Spy HD-Camera Drone, you’ll be able to see the world from a whole new perspective without going there yourself. You can get it for just $69.99.

Aug 26 2015 8:44PM EST | Source: Geek.com
Amazon’s Appstore for Android never really gained traction, despite having the full weight of the retail giant behind it. Google Play has continued to be the go-to source for Android apps and games, […]

Aug 26 2015 6:31PM EST | Source: MacLife.com

AirDrop and iCloud Photo Library make it easy to wirelessly move digital photos between Mac and iOS devices, but images need a passport to get to a more diverse range of travel destinations.

PhotoSync 3.0 is the absolute best way to shuttle photos and videos between a dizzying array of iOS and Android devices, Mac or PC computers (via the free desktop companion), FTP and WebDAV servers, cloud storage services, and a new generation of wireless storage devices.

Rather than rely on multiple client apps for services like Dropbox, Flickr, OneDrive, and Google Drive, PhotoSync can be configured to transfer photos and videos to each with a tap, and be set up to automatically transfer to a preferred service whenever you arrive at a predetermined Wi-Fi location, such as home or office.

With this update the list of available targets now includes Amazon Cloud Drive. It’s perfect timing now that Prime members can upload unlimited photos free of charge, although we initially had problems with a mysterious error triggered by a duplicate file check on this particular service. (The developer has a workaround on the way, but deleting empty files from a web browser also does the trick.)

In addition to supporting the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus properly, PhotoSync is also now fully compatible with iCloud Photo Library and OS X Photos, allowing users to create subdirectories, access image folders, upload burst mode images, and delete content directly for the first time. 

PhotoSync also offers the option to transfer original images or those with edits made in the Photos app already applied. This toggle switch is buried in Transfer Settings for each target, but offers an extra level of control you won’t get from native client apps.

We’d love to see future support for a number of off-the-beaten path targets, such as cloud photo services like Shutterfly and Adobe Revel, or lesser-known storage options such as Bitcasa or Copy.

The bottom line. Expertly and seamlessly transfers photos and videos between devices, computers, and the most important cloud storage services.

Review Synopsis


PhotoSync 3.0







iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch running iOS 7 or later


Full support for iCloud Photo Library and OS X Photos. Option to transfer original or edited photos on a per-target basis.


Less responsive with larger photo libraries. Missing some popular cloud services.

Aug 26 2015 5:47PM EST | Source: Geek.com
That’s the official FCC website up there. It looks a little different, though. That’s because you don’t normally see a pop-up or a huge banner ad when you load it up. You can […]

Aug 26 2015 12:09AM EST | Source: MacLife.com

Aug 26 2015 12:09AM EST | Source: MacLife.com

In yet more proof that Apple probably needs to work a little harder on that whole "doubling down on secrecy" thing, someone has allegedly put together a more-or-less working iPhone 6s using the many parts that have supposedly leaked over the last few months. In other news, one of the actors from the upcoming Steve Jobs movie reveals details about the film's unique rehearsal process.

Video Allegedly Shows 'iPhone 6s' Powered On with Help of Leaked Parts

Leaked iPhone 6s parts are apparently numerous enough that it's now possible to build working models out of them, and someone has apparently done just that with the help of a couple of iPhone 6 parts. The unidentified source then sent photos and a video of the device to MacRumors. The authenticity of all this isn't confirmed, but the components match what we'd expect to see from an iPhone "s" release, such as minimal changes to the device's exterior and multiple tweaks to the interior.

There are enough components on hand to power up the device, as seen in the video. Unfortunately, it only goes to a blank screen with a gear icon, which doesn't do much to confirm the rumors of Force Touch coming to the device. The same could also be said of the photos showing the inside of the device's display, which sports the same mysterious rectangular hole that was spotted in other alleged component leaks from a couple of weeks ago. Then as now, it's not clear what function the hole serves, but Force Touch at least seems like a possibility.

Source: MacRumors

Other photos purport to show the logic board for the iPhone 6s, which shows the already "leaked" Qualcomm MDM9635M LTE modem for better data speeds and a heretofore unknown Qualcomm WTR3925 radio frequency chip designed to boost cellular connections. On display, too, is what seems to be the Samsung-made A9 chip for the next iPhone. The chip is thought to deliver 2GB of RAM, although nothing about the photos confirms that.

Apple is expected to reveal both the so-called iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus at a media event next month, likely on September 9.


Steve Jobs Biopic Actor Relates Details About Unique Rehearsal Process

It's long been known that Aaron Sorkin's script for the upcoming Steve Jobs biopic starring Michael Fassbender is split into three acts, but a new Collider interview with actor Michael Stuhlbarg demonstrates that the structure uniquely affected rehearsals for the film too. Stuhlbarg plays Andy Hertzfeld, one of the Macintosh's original engineers, and he claims the rehearsal process was "unlike anything I've ever done to this point and probably unlike anything I'll ever do again."

In contrast to many movies, which are apparently rehearsed on a scene-by-scene basis, the rehearsals for the Steve Jobs film focused on each act individually — as Stuhlbarg says, more "like a three-act play." Two weeks were devoted to the rehearsal of one act, and an additional two weeks were spent filming at the original location used for a famed Apple product unveiling. The three product unveilings depicted in the film are the original Macintosh, the NeXT Computer, and the iMac.

The unique filming process allowed the actors to bond "in an extraordinary way," Stuhlbarg says, and "it kind of gave us something in the telling of the story that you don't often get, which is a sense of momentum of what a story is telling you."

The film will hit most theaters on October 9, although you can see it at the New York Film Festival a few days ahead of time on October 3.

Follow this article's writer, Leif Johnson, on Twitter.

Aug 25 2015 6:26PM EST | Source: Geek.com
The early days of the iPhone were marked by a number of messy patent battles, mostly with Android device makers. Apple had gone out of its way to acquire various software patents for the […]

Aug 25 2015 6:06PM EST | Source: MacLife.com

Lightroom is Adobe’s professional photo enhancing and cataloging program, and it’s designed to be used alongside a regular image-editor like Photoshop. Indeed, if you buy it using the Creative Cloud subscription option instead of a one-off fee, you’ll get Photoshop as well. Lightroom’s editing tools don’t reach the same depths as Photoshop’s, but it’s aimed at a slightly different target — simpler non-destructive improvements to photos, rather than full editing of images with lots of layers.

Adobe has introduced new tools for organizing photos in Lightroom 6, but the main additions are to the editing tools. There are also exciting new panorama and HDR tools, and it’s now possible to “brush out” areas adjusted with the Graduated and Radial filter tools. Lightroom 6 also introduces face recognition, and comes with new HTML5 web galleries and a major upgrade to the Slideshow tools.

Blending several images to make an HDR composite is simple. There are options for “deghosting,” if you have objects moving between the frames, such as leaves and branches, or passersby. It can take a minute or so to blend the images, eventually producing a realistic image with the shadows and highlights intact but without unrealistic tonal compression or flattened contrast. Panaroma merges follow a similar process and result in seamless compositions.

It’s now possible to manually mask out areas modified by the Gradient and Radial Filters; sometimes you’ll have buildings or other objects jutting out into a darkened sky — and you don’t want these objects darkened by the Gradient Filter. It’s also now possible to move the “pins” created by the Adjustment Brush.

It’s a little odd to find face detection and recognition tools in a professional image cataloging application, but it will appeal to those who used the feature in Aperture or iPhoto. At first, Lightroom can still identify unique faces and group them together, but you have to tell it who these people are. The more you use it, though, the more it’s able to suggest names automatically.

There are many other small improvements and additions too, and it all adds up to make Lightroom a great next step for people moving on from Aperture, or upgrading from iPhoto/Photos.

The bottom line. If you’re a photo enthusiast, expert or professional, you need software which can organize, output and enhance your pictures; with a few minor quibbles, Lightroom is the best choice.

Review Synopsis


Lightroom 6





$149 or $9.99/month (Creative Cloud)


Mac running OS X 10.8 or later, 64-bit processor


Powerful cataloging and searching tools. New HDR and Panorama merging. Powerful non-destructive editing.


Subscription needed for Cloud options.

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