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Latest collection of news from a number of reliable sources.
Jul 23 2014 1:00PM EST | Source: CNET Android Atlas
This super-fast keyboard app gets a new look and support for 17 new languages.






Jul 23 2014 12:27PM EST | Source: MacLife.com

OS X Yosemite Handoff

In the process of updating your home theater? Logitech made the task a bit easier Tuesday with the announcement that its Harmony Smart Keyboard and Harmony Smart Control remote products can now be purchased separately for users who already own the required Harmony Hub. And hey, they work great with your existing iOS and Mac devices, which is more than we can say for some of the news in our Morning Report...

Report Claims iOS 8, OS X Yosemite May Not Launch Together

Although the latest developer betas for iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite have been released in tandem thus far, 9to5Mac reported Tuesday the rollout of these mobile and desktop operating system updates may be staggered when they finally arrive this fall. Much like Apple did last year with iOS 7 and OS X Mavericks, this year's updates are expected to launch a month apart from each other, with iOS 8 arriving first, presumably alongside new iPhone hardware in September, while OS X Yosemite toddles along the next month in October.

What makes this rumor from "people briefed on the plans" a bit suspect is the fact that iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite feature far tighter integration than ever before thanks to the new Continuity and Handoff features, allowing Mac users to make phone calls or iOS owners to pick up where they left off on the desktop.

EFI Firmware Update Causing Headaches for MacBook Air Owners

MacRumors reported Tuesday that the latest MacBook Air EFT Firmware Update 2.9 released July 15 appears to be doing more than solving sleep and wake issues, causing many notebooks to "shut down completely for several hours," while others continue to see the update listed in the Mac App Store as if it were never installed in the first place. Apple's Support Communities have a growing thread on the issues, with some users claiming the update bricked their MacBook Air, even several hours after installation.

Apple Posts Support Document Over iOS "Backdoor" Concerns

A forensic expert sounded the alarm earlier this week over what he called "backdoors" Apple allegedly built into iOS to covertly collect data from iPhone, iPod touch or iPad users. After issuing a stern denial of those claims, Apple has now posted a support document detailing what it calls the "diagnostic capabilities" of iOS, which are intended to "help enterprise IT departments, developers, and AppleCare troubleshoot issues."

The three processes outlined include com.apple.mobile.pcapd, com.apple.mobile.file_relay, and com.apple.mobile.house_arrest, which Apple points out "requires the user to have unlocked their device and agreed to trust another computer," while all such transmitted data is encrypted in such a way that not even Cupertino has access to it. Whether such explanations are enough to satisfy critics, however, remains to be seen...

Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter

 

Jul 23 2014 10:47AM EST | Source: REUTERS Technology
(Reuters) - A rise in margins has raised hopes that Apple Inc may be able to hold the line on pricing ahead of the launch of new iPhones later this year.

Jul 23 2014 10:37AM EST | Source: REUTERS Technology
TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's largest telecom company, BCE Inc, said on Wednesday it will pay C$3.95 billion ($3.68 billion) to take regional telecom Bell Aliant BA.TO private, buying the 56 percent stake it does not already own to cut expenses and bolster its offerings in Atlantic Canada.

Jul 23 2014 9:43AM EST | Source: REUTERS Technology
MOSCOW (Reuters) - Internet auction site eBay Inc said it planned to expand in Russia, still its top priority among emerging markets even though the country faces increasing Western sanctions over the Ukraine crisis.

Jul 23 2014 9:30AM EST | Source: REUTERS Technology
(Reuters) - A rise in margins has raised hopes that Apple Inc may be able to hold the line on pricing ahead of the launch of new iPhones later this year.

Jul 23 2014 7:50AM EST | Source: REUTERS Technology
(Reuters) - BCE Inc , Canada's largest telecommunications company, said it would take Bell Aliant Inc private by buying the stake it does not already own in the company for about C$3.95 billion ($3.68 billion).

Jul 23 2014 7:44AM EST | Source: REUTERS Technology
MOSCOW (Reuters) - Online retailer eBay Inc still sees Russia as a top priority in emerging markets, Vice President Wendy Jones told a news conference on Wednesday.

Jul 23 2014 6:13AM EST | Source: REUTERS Technology
LONDON (Reuters) - British broadband provider TalkTalk added 185,000 subscribers to its TV service in its first quarter, taking its base to more than 1.1 million and helping revenue rise 3.1 percent to 434 million pounds ($741 million).

Jul 23 2014 6:06AM EST | Source: REUTERS Technology
TOKYO (Reuters) - Sony Corp said on Thursday it would invest 35 billion yen ($345 million) to increase production of image sensors for smartphones and tablets, as the company courts handset makers to get more orders for front-facing camera sensors, used to take selfies.

Jul 23 2014 3:35AM EST | Source: REUTERS Technology
TOKYO (Reuters) - Sony Corp said on Thursday it would invest 35 billion yen ($345 million) to increase production of image sensors for smartphones and tablets, as the company courts handset makers to get more orders for front-facing camera sensors, used to take selfies.

Jul 23 2014 3:28AM EST | Source: REUTERS Technology
MOSCOW (Reuters) - Online retailer eBay Inc still sees Russia as a top priority in emerging markets, Vice President Wendy Jones told a news conference on Wednesday.

Jul 23 2014 1:49AM EST | Source: REUTERS Technology
SEATTLE/BOSTON (Reuters) - eBay Inc's StubHub online ticket resale service said it was the victim of a massive international cyber fraud ring, the details of which authorities plan to disclose on Wednesday as they announce arrests in the case.

Jul 23 2014 12:50AM EST | Source: REUTERS Technology
SEATTLE/BOSTON (Reuters) - eBay Inc's StubHub online ticket resale service said it was the victim of a massive international cyber fraud ring, the details of which authorities plan to disclose on Wednesday as they announce arrests in the case.

Jul 22 2014 11:45PM EST | Source: REUTERS Technology
SEATTLE (Reuters) - Microsoft Corp said it aims to get its loss-making Nokia phone unit to break even within two years, helping its stock rise in after-hours trade.

Jul 22 2014 11:34PM EST | Source: MacLife.com

Apple held its quarterly earnings call today, and the report from CEO Tim Cook follows the general trend we've been seeing for some months now. Device sales are generally up for year-over-year, with the notable exception of the iPad (which has witnesses sales drops of 8 percent in the past 12 months). But there's an important statistic among all these numbers—since 2008, the Cupertino giant has paid over 20 billion to its iOS developers.

Compare that figure to the $15 billion Apple reported just last January, and you'll discover that that's a increase of $5 billion just within the last half-year. TechCrunch, who drew attention to the figure, points out that Google reportedly paid out $5 billion over the entirety of last year. Push those numbers a few months further, and it's suddenly apparent that Apple has paid out "nearly half" of the total $20 billion within the last 12 months along.

TechCrunch also points out that Apple's cut of all this is approximately $8.5 billion, based on a calculation figuring in the iPhone maker's 30 percent cut and thus bringing the total number to roughly $28.57 billion. If you weren't already aware, in other words, it's a good idea to focus on iOS if you design apps for mobile devices.

All total, Apple sold 35.20 million iPhones, 13.27 million iPads, 4.41 million Macs, and 2.96 million iPods during the last quarter. For the same quarter last year, Apple sold 31.24 million iPhones, 14.62 million iPads, 3.75 million Macs, and 4.57 million iPods.

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

Jul 22 2014 11:25PM EST | Source: MacLife.com

Today Apple secured a patent for a smartwatch from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (No. 8,787,006), providing some of the first direct evidence that the company is, in fact, working on a piece of wearable tech for the wrist. Here's the thing, though—the patent filing dates all the way back to 2011, meaning that whatever Apple announces in the coming months (if they do) might not look anything like what we see on the paper.

Indeed, at this point, the concept described seems rather old fashioned. Rather than an integrated device, the filing describes a unit with sensors to be worn on the wrist that can be fitted with various peripherals. That's only found in the details, though. The basic wording is so vague that the patent could likely be interpreted as applying to smartwatches in general.

Some of the language, for instance, reads as follows: "As an electronic wristband to be worn on a wrist of a user, another embodiment of the invention can, for example, include at least a central portion and at least one band portion. The central portion can include a touch screen display, control circuitry and a battery. The touch screen display can be configured to present visual information to the user and to receive user input from the user. The control circuitry can be configured to control operation of the electronic watchband, and the battery can be configured to provide power to the electronic wristband."

And so forth. You can read the entire lengthy document here if you have around 15 minutes to spare. It also describes gesture-based controls in place on the swipes and taps we know so well from iOS, and it already includes information about the health and fitness sensors that have been a staple of iWatch rumors almost from the beginning. And how about that name? The patent filing calls the device "iTime," which seems like a more elegant styling for such a device than the more prosaic "iWatch."

Be sure to check out our roundup of existing iWatch rumors here.

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

Jul 22 2014 10:54PM EST | Source: MacLife.com

Are you one of those people who likes to organize your life around to-do lists? If so, Mavericks’ Reminders app is here to help. Just as on the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad, Reminders makes it easy to create to-dos and synchronize them seamlessly with all your devices using iCloud — with any changes made on one appearing on all the others.

You get a default Reminders list to start things off, but it’s easy to add new ones. You can rename a list by right-clicking on its name, choosing Rename from the pop-up menu, typing a new name, and pressing Return. Reminders also lets you set up categories of lists so that you can get a quick overview of specific tasks, such as birthdays and anniversaries. We’ll show you how to add items to your Reminders list, set up and both time- and location-based alerts, and sync them using iCloud. To set iCloud up, open the Apple menu and go to System Preferences > iCloud. If you’re not logged in, type in your Apple ID and click Sign In > Next > Allow. Once that’s done, check that Calendars and Reminders is ticked. Next, sign in with the same Apple ID on any iOS devices you own by going to Settings > iCloud.

1. Create a Reminder

Open Reminders and click the + symbol (top-right). Type the name of the reminder and press Return. This creates a simple “to do” without a due date, time, or location. To mark it as done, click the box to the left of the reminder and it goes into your Completed items.

 

2. Timed Reminders

Repeat step one, but this time, hover the mouse pointer over the “to do” you’ve created. Click the “I” that appears. In the box that pops up, click “On a day,” then click the date to make a mini calendar appear. Now, simply choose the date to be alerted to your reminder.

 

3. Choose Your Time

Click the date you want to be reminded about. Now, click the hour to highlight it, then type in when you want the alert to appear — doing the same for the minutes — and click Done. Your reminder is now set and an alert will pop up on all your Apple devices.

 

4. Location Aware

You can make reminders appear when you’re in a certain place — handy if you’re syncing your Reminders to an iPad or iPhone. To do this, create a reminder, click the “I” as in step 2, and tick “At a location.” You need to have Location Services switched on.

 

5. Pick Your Place

Type in the location — an address from Contacts, a zip code, or the full address — and then hit Return. Pick 
the location from the list that appears, then choose whether you want to be reminded when you arrive or when you leave that location.

 

6. Completed Reminders

When you click the box next to a reminder, it’s marked as “Complete” and is moved to the Completed list. You can click on it to check on your completed tasks. Click to uncheck the reminder and it goes back on your reminders list. Reminders also appear in iCloud.devices.

Jul 22 2014 10:36PM EST | Source: CNET iPhone Atlas
Previously for iPad only, this smart mail-manager automatically separates the wheat from the chaff.






Jul 22 2014 9:59PM EST | Source: REUTERS Technology
(Reuters) - Computer systems containing the Wall Street Journal's news graphics were hacked by outside parties, according to the paper's publisher Dow Jones & Co.

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