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iPad Deals Are Still Happening

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Did you miss out on a great iPad deal during the Cyber Monday madness? Have no fear, Best Buy is here, and the savings are from $50 to $100 on the new iPad mini 3 and iPad Air 2. The more expensive the device, the better the savings, so Apple's newest, most powerful tablets cost about as much as last year's models. For example, a 128 GB iPad mini 3 costs about $500, which is the same as a 128 GB iPad mini 2. Going big is a no-brainer.



Major Medical Providers Are Adopting HealthKit -- A Good Sign for Apple Watch

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In theory, it's a great idea: having patients use their iPhone or Apple Watch to track their health data and make it available to their physicians, who are then in a better position to treat them. And now it's clear that major medical providers are seeing the utility of this and are jumping on board. According to GovernmentHealthIT, Duke Medicine and Ochsner Health System are integrating their electronic health records system with HealthKit. They will be among the presenters at the mHealth Summit that's taking place this week in Washington, DC. Mobile health is becoming a hot topic, and doctors are finding that mobile devices can be a real boon.



Apple Patent Hints at Cracked Screen Prevention

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AppleInsider reported on a new patent picked up by Apple that might save your iPhone from a cracked screen. If you drop your phone, a motor and sensors determine the point of impact and shift the positioning of the device in midair to save sensitive areas, like the screen and camera.



Game Centered Special Edition: Top iOS Games for Console Gamers

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The following dozen games are either ports of popular console titles, or iOS games that shine in their own right as being console quality. To be included on this list, a game must either be a new release as of this year, or it must have been updated recently to support iOS 8 and Apple's advanced new programming interface known as Metal. With the introduction of iOS 8 and Metal, alongside the powerful A8 and A8X processors that are inside the latest iDevices, Apple has leveled the virtual playing field. It would be ignoring the facts for a core console gamer to say that iOS can't support video games that are on par with console or PC titles, especially if you indulge in iOS' streaming capabilities that allow us to play these great games on a large screened TV. With the graphic capabilities of iOS 8 and the exciting titles currently available for the platform, it's easy to see how Apple's iOS is leading the way in a mobile eSport industry that is on track to bring in a revenue of over 24 billion dollars this year, and set to overtake PC and console gaming's revenue in 2015. As the holidays are upon us again, don't forget that you can gift any of these apps to your favorite gamer via the App Store.

 



Sony Looks for a Way to Stand Out in Wearables

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Sony made Walkmans for years. I owned several, and recently impressed my daughter when I dug out one of my trusty Walkmans after watching Guardians of the Galaxy, which featured one prominently. Then Apple introduced the iPod, and soon, the Walkman became irrelevant. Likewise, Sony, along with Ericsson, made cell phones, but Apple introduced the iPhone and Sony is losing money on their smartphones. Sony makes videogame consoles and handhelds like the PSP, which are threatened by mobile gaming on Apple and Android gadgets. And there's always the ongoing rumor of an Apple TV which could threaten Sony's bread and butter. Sony also made and still makes smartwatches, but with the Apple Watch on the horizon, that's another market that could slip out from under them. 



Apple iPads in Education Under Threat from Chromebooks

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Apple has always been a strong player in education. They believed that if a student's first computer is an Apple, then that could influence their future purchases. It certainly did with me, as I first used an Apple ][ Bell & Howell (the black one) in high school, and while I purchased an Osborne 1, a Radio Shack Color Computer, a Sinclair ZX-80, and an IBM PC, I always had a special place in my heart for Apple. So when it was time to go to college, I picked a school (Carnegie Mellon University) that had a deal on Macs, and bought one the day I arrived on campus. I even applied for (and got) a job at the school's computer store, and became Apple's Campus Representative. I was at CMU when Steve Jobs came there to acquire the Mach Kernel for his NeXT Computer company, and I got to see him speak. So that first Apple computer set my career in motion.



Rumor: New Details of 12.2-inch "iPad Air Plus," iPad Mini 4

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Many rumors have now suggested Apple will be coming out with a larger iPad next year, with the most recent courtesy of the Japanese magazine Mac Fan, as reported by the website Macokatara. The magazine's January issue, which came out November 28, has published a schematic of a 12.2-inch iPad that it calls the "iPad Air Plus." The report says that it will ship sometime between April and June of next year. It will be powered by a new A9 processor and will have four speakers, one on each edge of the casing. The placing of the speakers will allow for stereo sound even if the iPad is rotated. The size is expected to be 305.31 x 220.8 x 7 mm.



Survey Suggests Apple Will Sell 24 Million Apple Watches by Sept. 30

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A new survey by UBS reported by Business Insider found that 10 percent of the 4,000 consumers they surveyed expected to buy a smart watch next year. Extrapolating that figure of 10 percent to the number of iPhone users, UBS estimated that Apple will sell 24 million Apple Watches by the end of their fiscal year on September 30. Based on an average price of around $425, that would generate over $10 billion in revenue and would likely add over $3 billion in profit for the company's fiscal year.



Beyond Black Friday, What Comes Next for Apple users?

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Black Friday is behind us, and thoughts turn to what's next to come out of Cupertino (and China) from Apple. Obviously, the Apple Watch is expected in early spring, but rumors are already swirling regarding the next iPad. A larger screen version has been discussed for some time, but it wasn't ready for this season. Sources in Japan, as reported by Apple Insider, have given us a peek at what to expect from such a device. They are calling it the iPad Air Plus, but I think that's too long a phrase and iPad Pro is a more likely moniker.



Unlock Your Mac Using Touch ID with FingerKey

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Unlocking your computer just became a whole lot easier thanks to the FingerKey ($1.99) app. Using Apple's Touch ID functionality, Mac-owners can login from a distance with their iPhone 5s, 6, or 6 Plus.



Apple Honors World AIDS Day, Supports (RED)

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Monday, Dec. 1, is World Aids Day, and a portion of every product Apple sells will go to support (RED) and the Global Fund to fight AIDS. In addition, through December 7, 100 percent of the proceeds from the purchase of (or in-app purchases in) select apps will go to support (RED). You can see a list of the apps in iTunes.



iOS 8 Now on 60% of iOS Devices

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More iOS users are running iOS 8 than those that are on an older version, as reported by Apple Insider and Apple. It took a while, by Apple standards, but it was still a lot faster than Android. And with Black Friday upon us, the numbers should go up, as more users pick up the next generation of iPads and iPhones, which require iOS 8. Indeed I just added an iPad mini 3 to my stable thanks to BestBuy's early Black Friday offering.



Time Magazine Names Apple Watch Top Gadget of 2014

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Three Apple products made Time magazine's list of Top 10 Gadgets of 2014, with the Apple Watch coming in at number one. (Which is a bit ironic, since it won't be available until 2015.) The iPhone 6 Plus ranked fifth on the list and the iPad Air 2 ranked ninth. Time described the watch as a "daring foray into the wearable market" and said that "Apple could be the first company to make wearable computers ubiquitous."



Sonos Offers Rare Gift Card Promotion This Holiday Season

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We have reviewed several Sonos wireless speakers and audio accessories at iPhone Life, and in this reviewer's opinion, there are few products that compare. The speakers sound astonishingly great, with solid wireless performance, and their streaming app and service library keeps getting richer and more refined. They don't often do sales or special offers, but the word on the street is they are offering gift cards and store promotions at select retailers for the Play family line. 



Big Savings for Cyber Monday at TYLT

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Black Friday has come and gone, but the Black Friday coupon code that TYLT emailed their customers for 50 percent off on in-stock items is still good for Cyber Monday. Just visit http://www.TYLT.com and add items to your shopping cart. Enter code CYBER2014 through Cyber Monday and get half off on some great items.



Another Superhero to Play Steve Jobs?

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Maybe it's a reflection of how we treat superstar inventors like Steve Jobs, or just the glut of superhero movies lately, but another actor in the running to play Steve Jobs has also played a superhero (or villain.) Michael Fassbender, the younger Magneto in the X-Men films, is taking over for Christian Bale, of Batman fame, as the title character in the Steve Jobs movie. The film has changed studios as well, from Sony to Universal, but it looks like Seth Rogen, who played superhero the Green Hornet, will serve as Jobs' partner, Steve Wozniak.



Best Buy Offering $100 Discount on iPad Air 2; Black Friday Shopping Guide

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Black Friday is here, and Best Buy has a great deal: $100 off on all iPad Air 2 models. (However, according to AppleInsider, some WiFi models were aleardy sold out as of 7 am Friday morning.) In addition, their discounts include $75 off all iPad mini 3 models and up to $200 off on some cellular data iPad mini 2 models.



Some iPhone 6/6 Plus Users Reporting Scratched Screens

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First there were reports that the new iPhones bent easily, and now there's a report that some users are complaining that their displays are easily scratched. It turned out that bending wasn't as much of a problem as first reported, and I'm hoping the same will be the case regarding the scratching. AppleInsider has posted an article about extended discussions (nearly 700 posts) on Apple's forums of the scratching issue. People say they are noticing scratching on the display after less than a week of normal use, and that these displays seem more prone to scratching than on other recent iPhone models. AppleInsider suggests the fault could lie with the new design of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, which lack a protruding bezel "lip" that might have helped protect earlier models from brushing against surfaces. The curved-edge design leaves the glass more exposed. 



Game Centered: Apple's Latest iPhone 6 Commercial is All About Gamers.

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Video games on iOS are huge right now. In acknowledgement and celebration of this fact, Apple's newest iPhone 6 commercial is all about gaming, specifically a new game entitled Vainglory (free). Vainglory debuted alongside the introduction of the iPhone 6 series of iPhones and was used at the unveiling to demonstrate the prowess of the new iPhone's gaming capabilities, and with good reason! Vainglory has absolutely gorgeous graphics as well as intense and fast-paced, strategic multiplayer gameplay, built from the ground up for iOS.



Apple's Web Preview Still Lists Apps as Free

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As a follow-up to my article on Apple changing the wording from "Free" to "Get," I noticed that the word hasn't changed everywhere. While iTunes and the App Store display "Get" for apps that don't have an initial price, the App Store preview pages, which are displayed when web sites link to an app, still show "Free" for such apps. Eventually, Apple may get around to fixing this, but it is a glaring inconsistency from a manufacturer that usually takes their entire web store down to make changes.



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