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Updated: 39 weeks 4 days ago

iPhone 7 rumors: Video shows alleged leaked prototype getting wet

Fri, 08/19/2016 - 17:52

Now that it’s nearly September, the iPhone 7 rumors are getting even louder, since its expected unveiling (rumored to be September 7) is right around the corner. To help keep track of all the scuttlebutt, we’re collecting every rumor we’ve heard so far—and every new one that crops up between now and the day Tim pulls the new iPhone out of his pocket. Then we’ll assess whether each rumor seems legit or absurd, and we’d love to hear your thoughts, too. Sound off in the comments.

What’s the latest?

The rumor: The latest rumor to surface is actually in video form. Two videos were posted on a U.K. YouTube site earlier this week claiming to depict leaked prototypes of both the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. The videos seem to corroborate earlier rumors—for example, we see both iPhone models with a near-identical look as the current generation, but with only a Lighting port, redesigned antenna lines, dual speakers, and no Smart Connector in sight. In addition, the iPhone 7 Plus sports a dual camera. The video quotes recent rumors that the Home button won’t be “press-able,” but we don’t get to see that in the video, which were posted on SlashGear.

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The Week in iOS Apps: Getting to know Google Duo

Fri, 08/19/2016 - 16:15
Duo is for video

Google’s new video-calling app is a challenge to Apple’s FaceTime. Read on!

Google Duo

Google Duo (free, iPhone only) is the latest iteration of Google’s video-calling app—this time, it’s disconnected from Google’s underused social network (this feature had previously been available as part of the Google Hangouts app) and instead designed to be more of a challenge to Apple’s FaceTime offering. You make calls using your contacts list, and can chat with anybody who has the app—regardless of whether they’re on the iOS or Android platform.

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Apple releases another iOS 10 beta

Fri, 08/19/2016 - 13:36

Did you install the recently-released iOS 10 beta (version 6 for developers, Public Beta 5 for anyone in the Apple Public Beta Program? Well, it’s time again to update it. Apple on Friday released iOS 10 beta 7 for developers, and iOS 10 Public Beta 6 for beta testers in the general public.

The update is available by running Software Update in the Settings app. Since it’s only a 60MB download, this update is probably filled with bug fixes and optimizations. If you are running dev beta 6/Public Beta 5, you should install it.

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Pandora goes after on-demand streaming to compete against Spotify

Fri, 08/19/2016 - 13:26

Pandora is aiming to expand its territory in the music streaming wars.

The internet radio service is set to start offering two paid subscription tiers as early as next month, according to The Wall Street Journal. These tiers for on-demand streaming would complement Pandora’s free radio stations and make the company better suited to rival Spotify, Apple Music, Tidal, and other music services. 

Similar to those services, Pandora’s on-demand subscription will cost $10 a month. Pandora’s second paid subscription offering will be an upgraded version of its no-ads radio service, Pandora One, which will give listeners the chance to skip more songs and enable offline listening. Pandora One is currently $5 a month, and the price is set to remain the same after the added features.

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How to turn on Twitter's quality filters and silence trolls

Fri, 08/19/2016 - 10:24

Twitter has finally come up with a solution to muzzle trolls.

The company published a blog post on Thursday announcing two new controls for filtering your notifications. Twitter notifications are the primary method through which trolls can contact and harass users.

The first new setting reduces the noise in your notifications stream. By default, anyone who mentions your Twitter username with the “@” symbol shows up in your Twitter notifications. It doesn’t matter if they’re asking a simple question, offering constructive criticism, or threatening to cut your head off. Everyone shows up.

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Best Deals of the Week, August 15-19 - Deal Alert

Fri, 08/19/2016 - 09:25
Best Deals of the Week, August 15-19 - Deal Alert

Check out this roundup of the best deals on gadgets, gear and other cool stuff we have found this week, the week of August 15th. All items are highly rated, and dramatically discounted!

34% off Lumsing 5 Port 40W USB Charging Station, with Quick Charge Port

Inexpensive, highly rated and discounted. That's the situation with this Lumsing charging station. This compact device will be the central charging hub in your dorm room, kitchen, bedroom, etc, and can charge up to 5 devices simultaneously. It currently averages 4 out of 5 stars on Amazon from 900+ people (read reviews) and its list price of $29 has been reduced to $19.

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Telepaint still holds up as a unique and addictive iOS puzzle game

Fri, 08/19/2016 - 09:00

These days, keeping up with games can be a full-time job. So how do you separate the signal from the noise, the wheat from the chaff, the Temple Runs from the Temple Jumps? Allow us to help by regularly selecting a game You Should Play.

Truly unique—and totally addictive—puzzle games don’t hit the App Store every day. But Telepaint is an adorable puzzle-platformer with a clever, touch-friendly twist: Instead of furiously tapping your screen to jump, duck, and slide past obstacles, you use a portal system to get your little paint bucket protagonist safely to his paint brush buddy.

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How to find all the characters in a font

Fri, 08/19/2016 - 08:00

In a recent Mac 911, I answered Lynn Garwood’s question about character selection when she upgraded from Mavericks to El Capitan:

In the old system, I could click on the [input palette] icon in the menu bar and see all the characters within any font that I chose, then double-click it to add it to my document. In El Capitan, that icon produces nothing but emoji and symbols. Where can I find all the characters within a font so I can do what I used to do?

Except I didn’t! I read her question as asking about key combinations, and pointed her to the Keyboard Viewer. Astute commenter “xploraiswakco” very politely noted that I had answered her question sort of, but not really the core of what she was asking: the Character Viewer had changed to the Emoji & Symbols palette, and no longer has the same approach to showing characters (not key combinations) in every font. (Thank you, xploraiswakco!)

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The next big thing in tech ought to be better batteries

Fri, 08/19/2016 - 07:38

Over the last couple weeks, as I spent some time on the road, I noticed that one accessory has become more or less ubiquitous among smartphone users: the external battery pack. Once carried mainly by the tech savvy, the battery pack has become a must-have. When I was at the Gen Con gaming convention, they seemed no less common than a t-shirt with a nerdy joke on it.

Some of that recent omnipresence no doubt stems from the phenomenon that is the battery-chomping Pokémon Go, but that’s really just throwing kerosene on the fire that is mobile device usage. With all of us tethered to our smartphones, tablets, laptops, and wearable devices, power and where to find it has become a major concern.

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Ask the iTunes Guy: Selecting multiple playlists, iOS Music icons, and more

Fri, 08/19/2016 - 07:00

“Why can’t I do [enter your pet peeve here] in iTunes?” It’s a common question; not that everyone wants to do the same thing, but I get a lot of email from readers wondering why a specific feature isn’t available in iTunes. In this week’s column, I look at one such missing feature: the inability to select multiple playlists to be able to move them to a folder. There is a workaround, of course, and I explain it. I also discuss the perplexing icons on the iOS Music app, and a case of a possible missing Repeat button in that app.

Selecting multiple playlists

Select multiple playlists and move them to a folder with this AppleScript.

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Aukey Eye-Care LED desk lamp review: This little light doesn't shine

Fri, 08/19/2016 - 06:00
Sometimes cheap is just that.

50% off Vimtag VT-361 Pan&Tilt HD WiFi Video Security Camera with Night Vision - Deal Alert

Thu, 08/18/2016 - 15:08

This full-featured camera broadcasts over wifi, allowing you to view live from multiple mobile devices at once. Its footage records to micro SD where it is stored and accessible remotely as well. Remote pan/tilt/zoom, 2-way voice, motion-detection alert, and night vision capabilities are all onboard. This model averages 4 out of 5 stars on Amazon from over 4,100 people (read reviews). Amazon indicates that its typical list price of $200 has been reduced 50% to $100.

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Apple Watch 2 rumors: Apple runs into problems releasing cellular model in time

Thu, 08/18/2016 - 14:47

Apple has already taken the wraps off watchOS 3, which will debut this fall. But will the next-generation operating system have a new device to put its super fast app-loading times and brand-new fitness features to good use?

Apple Watch 2 rumors have been flying since the first watch started shipping last April. We’ll stay on top of the latest reports and figure out if they’re plausible or just wishful thinking.

What’s the latest?

The rumor: Originally, the Wall Street Journal reported that the Apple Watch 2 would include cellular connectivity. That might mean yet another data plan to pay for, but the watch would function on its own instead of being tethered to an iPhone. Now Bloomberg has just found out that Apple is running into some roadblocks developing an iPhone-free Watch with cellular capabilities. The issue stems from the Watch’s cellular chips draining the device’s battery too quickly, which would result in “limiting user appeal.” Apple is moving forward and will still release a new Watch model in September with GPS tracking, saving the cellular option for a future version down the road.

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50% off Anker Compact Car Jump Starter with USB Power Bank - Deal Alert

Thu, 08/18/2016 - 14:07

This device from Anker is compact enough to fit in your glovebox, and powerful enough to jump start any 3L gas or 2.5L diesel engine many many times over on a single charge (Anker claims around 15 times). Surge protection and an incorrect setup alarm included for peace of mind. Almost 1,000 reviewers on Amazon rate it 4.5 out of 5 stars, reporting many successful jumps of cars, motorcycles, and giant trucks -- many with completely dead batteries (read reviews). Also includes 2 USB charging ports for your portable USB devices, and a built-in flashlight. It's typical list price of $160 has been reduced 50% to $80, making it a good consideration for yourself, or a gift for someone else's glove box/emergency kit. 

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AT&T Mobile Share Advantage mimics T-Mobile, dropping overages in favor of throttling

Thu, 08/18/2016 - 13:49

With AT&T’s Mobile Share Advantage, the telecom giant follows a new trend: Customers who switch to this new shared mobile plan (available August 21) will be spared bandwidth overage fees. Instead, the firm said, after available bandwidth is used up, its Mobile Share Advantage customers will be throttled to 128Kbps for the rest of the current billing cycle.

The Mobile Share plans pool bandwith among devices that can include smartphones, feature phones, tablets, gaming devices, wearables, laptops, hotspots, and other hardware. A monthly charge per device is paired with a charge for a tier of bandwidth. 

Why this matters: AT&T joins T-Mobile and Sprint among the big four U.S. carriers in shifting to throttling instead of causing customers to rack up fees at $10 per gigabyte above plan totals. That’s good news for consumers, though it’ll be interesting to see whether they’ll tolerate throttling or break down and buy more bandwidth, sending more money to the carriers after all.

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The ‘Apple Store’ is now just ‘Apple,’ but you probably called it that anyway

Thu, 08/18/2016 - 13:45

Been to your local Apple Store lately? You probably noticed that it’s much more than a place that sells stuff. There are Geniuses there to help you with your tech problems, and in the bigger stores, there are training sessions and youth programs. Mostly, people never buy a thing and just hang out, using the iPads, Macs, and the free internet access. Some people stay there all day, and that’s fine with Apple, as long as you don’t stink up the joint.

The Apple Store is much more than a store, and that’s probably why Apple decided to drop the “Store” from the name, according to a report by MacRumors. Now it’s just “Apple,” plus the name of the location to differentiate each store. For example, in Orlando, Florida, the two Apple stores are known as Apple Florida Mall and Apple Millenia.

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Parallels Desktop 12 for Mac supports macOS Sierra and the hit game Overwatch

Thu, 08/18/2016 - 12:36

As much as we don’t want to admit it, sometimes we need to use software that (gulp) isn’t available for the Mac. To keep you on the cutting edge of virtualization, Parallels on Thursday announced Parallels Desktop 12 for Mac, with support for the forthcoming macOS Sierra.

Plus, the company’s brand-new Parallels Toolbox app is a set of 20-plus tools and utilities for performing tasks like password-protecting files, recording a screencast, and downloading online videos. These tools, which are easily accessed from the menu bar, are available in all editions of Parallels Desktop 12, but if you don’t need the virtualization, you can get Parallels Toolbox on its own for $10 per year, with a 14-day free trial available starting August 23. The company says that it plans to add more tools to the toolbox every few months.

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T-Mobile shifts to unlimited plans in the latest bid to stand out from the competition

Thu, 08/18/2016 - 12:34

T-Mobile is hoping to make a another splash by ditching traditional smartphone plans in favor of one, unlimited offer.

Called T-Mobile One, the new plan charges $70 per month for the first line, $50 per month for a second, and then $20 for additional lines (stopping with eight). The plan includes unlimited talk, text, and 4G LTE data.

Of course, there are caveats buried in the fine print. T-Mobile says video playback is limited to 480p, the same speed as you’d get with Binge On. Tethering is capped at 2G speeds, which makes it essentially worthless for all but emergency connectivity. To get around the video limitation you’ll need to pay $25 per month extra per line. It’ll cost you $15 for any month in which you want to add on 5GB of tethering.

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Microsoft PowerShell goes open source, lands on Linux and Mac

Thu, 08/18/2016 - 11:44

Sysadmins, rejoice: PowerShell is coming to Linux and Mac. Microsoft announced Thursday that its automation and scripting system is breaking out of the confines of Windows and going open source.

The company is also releasing alpha versions of PowerShell for Linux (specifically Ubuntu, Centos and Redhat) and Mac OS X. A new PowerShell GitHub page gives people the ability to download binaries of the software, as well as access to the app’s source code.   

PowerShell on Linux and Mac will let people who have already built proficiency with Microsoft’s scripting language take those skills and bring them to new platforms. Meanwhile, people who are used to working on those platforms will have access to a new and very powerful tool for getting work done. 

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The Week in iPhone Cases: New colors for Speck's CandyShell

Thu, 08/18/2016 - 11:00
New iPhone cases of the week

Find the right case for your iPhone SE with this week’s roundup of new iPhone cases—including new themes for Speck’s CandyShell. Read on!


The Urbanite (iPhone SE; $35 MSRP, $26.95 on Amazon) offers impact protection without adding excess bulk to your iPhone. This sleek case features multiple layers of sturdy materials, raised edges to prevent scratches and dents to your screen, and reinforced corners for extra peace of mind. The Urbanite comes in green/black, gray/pink, or brown.

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