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Latest collection of news from a number of reliable sources.
Sep 3 2015 3:29PM EST | Source: Geek.com
When is a smartphone not a smartphone? When it supports Windows 10’s Continuum feature and lets you hook up to a monitor, keyboard and mouse, and run apps just like you would on […]

Sep 3 2015 2:56PM EST | Source: MacLife.com

We've got two options of everyone's favorite machines this week. We grabbed a couple samples to show you the range, so if you're in the market for everyone's favorite pocket sized computer, the Mac Mini, we've got you covered, all the way up to if you're going for the megillah in iMac jumbo 27" screens. So get out your wallets and start saving on these sweet deals.

Sep 2 2015 11:51PM EST | Source: MacLife.com

More specific details about the devices we'll probably see at Apple's media event next week continue to roll in from alleged insider sources, which at this point means that Apple CEO Tim Cook could just walk on stage and show that the devices exist and his work would be done. Today's rumors claim that the next Apple TV will have a universal search feature and come with a black remote, and that we'll finally get to see the "iPad Pro" after months of rumors.

Next Apple TV Said to Support Universal Search Feature

The latest batch of rumors regarding the Apple TV came in this morning from both Buzzfeed and 9to5Mac. In Buzzfeed's report, insider sources revealed that the device will start at $149 (in line with previous rumors) and support a universal search feature that will let users search for media through third-party services such as Netflix in addition to iTunes. As for 9to5Mac's sources, they claim that the device will contain somewhere between 8 and 16 GB of storage, and that the long-rumored touchpad remote will be black instead of the current silver.

Farewell, Silver

According to the "sources familiar with Apple's plans," the Cupertino company expects that the universal search feature will be a "cornerstone" of the new set-top box. What's more, the search feature won't limit users to titles, but will also allow them to search for media based on directors, actors, or a number of other "targeted searches." Even better, you'll be able to do all this through Siri.

All this comes on top of all of the other information we "know" about the device, such as how it'll come with an A8 processor and its own App Store, which is widely expected to contain games in addition to the core streaming services. Additional rumors claim that the device will support lightweight motion controls that resemble those currently found on iOS devices.


Apple May Reveal 'iPad Pro' and New iPad Mini at Next Week's Event

Apple's September 9 event is shaping up to be very busy indeed, as new rumors from 9to5Mac claim that it'll also feature the new iPad mini 4 and the long-awaited 12.9-inch "iPad Pro."

But don't get too excited yet. While the huge iPad is expected to make an appearance on stage a week from now, it allegedly won't land in customers' hands until sometime in November. It's currently thought that Apple might choose this later launch date out of a desire to give developers time to create specialized apps for the device. Indeed, there's always a chance that Apple could reveal the device at a separate autumn event, as the list of products rumored for next week's show is growing longer by the day and the company has been known to host two fall shows in the past.

Source: MacRumors

As for the iPad mini 4, in line with previous rumors, it's expected to match the specs of the existing iPad Air 2 (but in a smaller package). If you want a new iPad Air, you're apparently stuck with what's on the market as there's no indication that Apple plans to release a new version of the device before 2016.

Based on previous rumors, the "iPad Pro" will sport a 12.9-inch screen, a Force Touch-compatible stylus, an A9 processor, 2 GB of RAM, and possibly even USB 3.0 ports for users who want to hook up peripheral devices. There's also some indication that the device will launch with iOS 9.1 installed rather than 9.0, which sits well with the new rumor of a November launch date.

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

Sep 2 2015 8:15PM EST | Source: MacLife.com

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

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Sep 2 2015 7:49PM EST | Source: CNET Android Atlas
The search giant and Android maker will introduce two smartphones, one made by LG and the other by Huawei.

Sep 2 2015 6:07PM EST | Source: CNET Android Atlas
The search giant and Android maker will introduce two smartphones, one made by LG and the other by Huawei.

Sep 2 2015 5:40PM EST | Source: MacLife.com

There have been many attempts lately to drag mobile email kicking and screaming into the 21st century. Although innovative solutions such as Mailbox, Inbox by Gmail, and Mail Pilot have been praised by users looking for a completely new approach, none of them has yet displaced Apple’s built-in Mail on our dock.

The latest contender to the throne is Spark, a free iPhone app with striking similarities to Microsoft Outlook for iOS — the only third-party email app thus far to really make us sit up and take notice. Featuring a comparable unified inbox approach, Spark emphasizes smarter email, rather than trying to reinvent the wheel.

One unique feature we like automatically sorts incoming missives into personal, notification, or newsletter categories, stacking them atop a Smart Inbox view until read, at which point they fall back in line with the rest of the inbox. Important messages can also be pinned (Spark’s version of flagging) at top to keep them front and center.

The natural-language-based smart search works well for combing through thousands of messages, but Spark’s “smart” notification system isn’t quite as intelligent — at least not initially. It wound up creating anxiety over missed emails instead, which could only be relieved by tapping the alert icon in Details view to force smart notifications from specific senders. Other options include notifications for every email, or none at all.

There are other features Spark absolutely nails: it’s one of the most customizable email clients, allowing users to tweak which “message cards” show up in its sidebar and handy pop-up widget — for example, results from saved smart searches, specific IMAP folders, or a basic calendar view. Additional cards for tracking iTunes/Amazon purchases, flights or packages are coming soon.

Spark is pretty solid for a 1 release, scoring bonus points for its ability to save emails as a PDF file, send or save attachments to a variety of cloud services like iCloud, Dropbox, or Evernote, and use quick responses (Like, Thanks, Smile) to confirm receipt — a handy trick that also works on Apple Watch, along with full voice dictation for longer replies. But there are bugs to be squashed, such as long pauses when opening new emails, and Spark’s penchant for displaying the splash screen way more often than it should.

The bottom line. Spark hasn’t kicked Apple Mail off our dock quite yet, but it’s already neck and neck with Microsoft Outlook as one the best third-party email apps around.

Review Synopsis









iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch running iOS 8 or later


Message cards for customized workflow. Very handy Apple Watch support for quick or dictated replies.


The app’s splash screen displays too frequently at launch. Smart notifications aren’t so intelligent.

Sep 2 2015 3:04PM EST | Source: CNET iPhone Atlas
The site vows that it will beat the trade-in deals from both Apple and the wireless carriers with special pricing. But don't dawdle, the deal ends in a week.

Sep 2 2015 3:03PM EST | Source: CNET Android Atlas
More than a quarter of smartphone buyers across Europe jumped ship from Android to iOS, which saw solid gains across most of the continent, says research firm Kantar Worldpanel ComTech.

Sep 2 2015 2:28PM EST | Source: Geek.com
Acer has released some pretty beastly PCs under the Predator label, but now they’re taking it mobile. Their first smartphone to bear the name is powered by a chip with 10 processing cores. […]

Sep 2 2015 12:29PM EST | Source: Geek.com
The current crop of smartwatches use Bluetooth technology to connect the wearable with a user’s phone, and that’s really the only viable option right now. Bluetooth dominates short-range wireless communication, but a team […]

Sep 2 2015 12:38AM EST | Source: CNET iPhone Atlas
If you own an Android or iOS device, you can now save content to watch on the go, no connection required. Here's how.

Sep 2 2015 12:14AM EST | Source: CNET Android Atlas
If you own an Android or iOS device, you can now save content to watch on the go, no connection required. Here's how.

Sep 2 2015 12:12AM EST | Source: MacLife.com

Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu have all caught the "original television programming" bug, and now Apple apparently wants in on the action, too. In other news, you can now download videos from Amazon Prime Video to your iPhone or iPad for offline viewing, and the first of Apple's next-generation retail stores is reportedly coming to a Memphis suburb.

Apple Allegedly 'Flirting' With Producing Its Own TV Shows

Apple recently bolstered its presence in the music world with the introduction of Apple Music, and according to a new report from Variety, the Cupertino company now wants to get on some of the action that services like Netflix and Amazon are enjoying and start making its own television programming. Apparently, "preliminary conversations" have already started. As with all of Apple's digital content endeavors, Apple's Eddy Cue is reportedly heading the project.

It's currently unknown, however, just how far Apple wants to go with the idea. One source who spoke with the magazine claims that Apple wants to make its own original shows and movies and is prepared to create the necessary production departments. Yet another claims that Apple is merely "flirting" with the idea, although reportedly it did recently make a try to nab Top Gear stars Jeremy Clarkson, James May, and Richard Hammond after their departure from the BBC.

Apple's current homegrown media offerings are largely limited to the Beats branch of the business, through which Apple hosts the acclaimed Beats 1 radio station and reportedly produces videos for the likes of Drake and Eminem.


Amazon Prime Video Now Allows Offline Viewing for iOS Devices

Speaking of television content services, Amazon just scored a massive victory over Netflix today with its announcement that Amazon Prime Video users can download movies and television shows on their iPhones and iPads for offline viewing. Best of all, there's no additional charge for the service if you're an Amazon Prime member. The company expects to have a wider release for the service down the road, but for now the service is limited to Prime customers in the U.S., the U.K., Germany, and Austria.

The catch is that not all shows are available for offline viewing, although Amazon claims that "thousands" are ready to download. And these aren't piddly releases, either — current offerings include everything from Downton Abbey to Star Trek: Into Darkness.

"There's no doubt that the way people watch entertainment is changing — anytime, anywhere viewing is important and we are excited to provide our Prime members with offline viewing capabilities on iOS and Android platforms starting today," said Amazon digital video chief Michael Paull in the release. "We are proud to be the first and only online subscription streaming service that enables offline viewing — on vacation, in a car, at the beach, on a plane, wherever our Prime members want to watch they can, regardless of internet connection."

Amazon previously allowed offline viewing through its Kindle Fire tablet, but this marks the first time that the feature has been available outside of the company's own ecosystem. You can download the relevant app for free here.


Apple's First 'Next-Generation' Store in U.S. Coming to Memphis

Apple is reportedly seeking a building permit to renovate a new storefront at 2031 West St. in Memphis' Germantown suburb, which isn't really news in itself. But as the Memphis Daily News reports, Apple representative Rick Millitello claims that the new store will be one of the first next-generation Apple Stores. Rumors about what to expect from Apple's overhaul of its stores have been circulating ever since The New Yorker's profile of Jony Ive mentioned an upcoming "redesign," and the Germantown plans provide us our first glimpse of what to expect.

Apple's existing Germantown store. Photo: Daniel McGarry

Some of the changes aren't too surprising, such as Apple's plan to replace the building's existing brick facade with three huge glass panels and to fill the room with natural oak display tables. But hints of what to expect reveal themselves in other details, such as the way the building's exterior will have matte granite reinforced panels and a changeable display that exhibits artwork, "living plants at times, TV displays," and other things.

Apple's existing store in the area is across the street at 7615 W. Farmington Blvd. in the Shops of Saddle Creek North. Once it opens, the new store will be located in the Shops of Saddle Creek South. Millitello also said that multiple overseas locations will also see the redesigned stores this fall.

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

Sep 1 2015 9:38PM EST | Source: MacLife.com

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

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Sep 1 2015 9:14PM EST | Source: MacLife.com

Believe it or not, Apple subsidiary FileMaker turns 30 this year, and the latest version of the venerable productivity solution proves that, like wine, some things only get better with age.

FileMaker Pro 14 continues a recent trend of updated interfaces following the introduction of Launch Center, which streamlines the appearance of favorite or recently-opened files. Solutions can now be assigned one of 29 colorful icons, or have custom graphics applied. The approach has been implemented across the FileMaker universe for a consistent look and feel on Mac, Windows, iOS, or web browsers.

Likewise, the Starter Solutions feature introduced with version 12 has been redesigned, with 16 layouts that also work on WebDirect and mobile. This makes it far easier for novice users to get up to speed with ready-made templates for contact, invoice, inventory, project, or event management databases. Three of these layouts — Personnel Records, Time Billing, and Research Notes — are not available on iPhone.

WebDirect (FileMaker’s tech for running Solutions directly in your web browser) has also gone mobile in this version, allowing tablets to run desktop solutions on Safari for iPad, or Chrome for Android. (Chrome for iOS isn’t recommended, and didn’t work so great in our tests.) We found the print options to be less robust, there are a few limitations involving container fields, and many dialog boxes haven’t yet been touch-optimized, but the experience was otherwise quite smooth. WebDirect is also now up to 25% faster at running many web-optimized layouts and you’ll feel the difference; an overhauled toolbar offers finger-friendly tap targets for mobile devices, and menus that slide in or out and automatically collapse or expand when the device is rotated. Other interface improvements include a new button bar, button icons, and in-field labels, along with a color palette coordinated with the selected theme.

Switching to mobile is more seamless, thanks to a new look for the free FileMaker Go 14 iOS app and the ability to launch solutions in fullscreen mode. There’s also more control over video or audio playback (which can now be done from container fields). There’s still no iCloud sync, though — only through dedicated servers.

The bottom line. A significant refresh for the veteran software that unifies the experience across desktop and mobile.

Review Synopsis


FileMaker Pro 14





$329 ($196 upgrade)


Mac running OS X 10.9 or later, 2GB RAM (4GB recommended), DVD drive (for boxed product)


Launch Center streamlines favorite and frequently used files. WebDirect solutions now work on mobile tablets.


WebDirect solutions offer less functionality. No iCloud sync between desktop and iOS apps.

Sep 1 2015 12:20AM EST | Source: MacLife.com

More "leaked" information about the next Apple TV came in over the weekend, and the latest rumors claim that the device will support Bluetooth gaming controllers. Elsewhere, Apple added Cisco to its growing list of enterprise partners, Apple Pay is now available on an entire university campus, and a quarter of a million iPhone jailbreakers found their iPhones affected by a particularly nasty strain of malware.

Next Apple TV Said to Support Bluetooth Game Controllers

Less than a week ahead of the expected announcement of the next-generation Apple TV, new rumors about the device continue to pour in, and they continue to make the device sound amazing in comparison to its current incarnation. The latest batch comes from insider sources who allegedly spoke with 9to5Mac, and they claim that the next Apple TV will support Bluetooth game controllers that closely resemble those for gaming consoles like the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 — in other words, they'd be a lot like the MFi controllers currently available for iOS devices. As with those controllers, it's Ilikely that third-party manufacturers like Logitech will make the actual controllers.

That's cool and all, but the report also dispels some other exciting rumors, specifically the ones claiming that the next Apple TV would support the kind of motion controls you find on the Nintendo Wii. Instead, the sources claim, it'll just mimic the same tilting features you already find on the iPhone and iPad.

Other "leaked" information about the device came in from 9to5Mac earlier in the day, claiming that the device will cost somewhere between $149 and $199 and that it'll be available in October. In addition, the sources claim that Apple's long-awaited cable-cutting streaming TV service will come to both the third and fourth generations of the device, with the $69 third (and current) generation mainly being regarded as an entry-level device.


Apple and Cisco Announce Enterprise Partnership

Apple first made big headlines in the enterprise market when it announced its surprise partnership with IBM last year, and now the Cupertino company has teamed up with Cisco to create a "fast lane" for iOS business users. The press release announcing the partnership is light on details (as was an appearance by Tim Cook at Cisco's Global Sales Experience (GSX) today), but it notes, for instance, that switching between an iPhone and a desk phone should be seamless with the resulting optimized technology.

Source: Eric J. Bell

"iOS is the world's best mobile platform, and nearly every Fortune 500 and Global 500 company today has put iOS at the center of their mobile strategy," said Apple CEO Tim Cook in the press release. "iPhone and iPad have become essential tools for the modern workforce and are changing the way work gets done. Together with Cisco, we believe we can give businesses the tools to maximize the potential of iOS and help employees become even more productive using the devices they already love."

As partners, Apple and Cisco will reportedly work together to create "experiences" for "mobile, cloud, and premises-based collaboration tools such as Cisco Spark, Cisco Telepresence, and Cisco WebEx in order to deliver seamless team collaboration and reinvent the meeting experience."


Over 225,000 Jailbreakers Affected By New Malware Attack

If you've ever considered breaking away from Apple's "walled garden" and jailbreaking your iOS device, consider this: Today Palo Alto Networks and WeipTech revealed that malware known as KeyRaider has affected around 225,000 jailbroken iOS devices. That's a quarter of a million Apple IDs that the people responsible for KeyRaider have access to, and they're reportedly already using it to make fraudulent purchases off the App Store. Worse yet, the malware removes the ability to unlock an iPhone from the lock screen, and the culprits are sometimes using that feature to demand ransoms before the phone can be unlocked again.

Source: Palo Alto Networks

The bulk of the damage is in China, where users unassumingly downloaded affected apps through the jailbreaking tool Cydia, although Palo Alto notes that it has also affected some devices in the U.S. and the U.K. In addition to Apple IDs and passwords, KeyRaider also gains access to each affected device's unique GUID identifying code, its security certificates, its private keys for push notifications, and its App Store purchase history. Indeed, one of the ways jailbroken devices get affected is when the user download two jailbreak features that allow users to download apps from the App Store for free.


Apple Pay Now Available Throughout University of Oklahoma Campus

Apple Pay has been making steady inroads into retail establishments across the U.S. since its debut last year, but as of this week, it's also available throughout the entire University of Oklahoma campus. That means students can use it at any of the Norman, Oklahoma campus' 400 point-of-service locations, which include everything from restaurants to bookstores. It's the first time a university has so fully embraced Apple's mobile payment technology.

Source: Wikipedia

And it's apparently just the beginning. Back during Apple's earnings call for the third quarter last month, Apple CEO Tim Cook claimed that more than 700 colleges and universities would start using the service. The University of Oklahoma was among the universities Cook specifically mentioned at the time, as was the University of Kentucky and Cook's own alma mater Auburn University.

As for the University of Oklahoma itself, it's certainly enthusiastic about the service's potential, as it released a meme-filled list today detailing why "having Apple Pay campus wide is so awesome."

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

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