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Expert Blogs

#GamerGate: Thoughts from a Game-Playing Tech Journalist [Updated]

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Do you know what #GamerGate is? It's a term that's received a great deal of publicity lately. If you are a someone who plays a lot of video games and keeps up with current events then you are likely quite familiar with GamerGate. Whatever your gaming platform of choice happens to be, whether it's a console, a tablet, or a smartphone, if you are more than a casual gamer then the issues that are swirling around the hashtag #GamerGate have to do with you. GamerGate is about the sometimes controversial content of video games, the people that play them, and the press that covers them, and from a broader perspective, GamerGate is about lingering stereotypes and prejudices that play out in video game land.



Take an App for a Test Flight with Apple's Expanded Beta Program

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Recently, Apple expanded their beta programs for iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite, making it easier for non-developers to gain access (legitimately) to pre-release software. Now they're making it easier for developers to do the same with their apps. I've used Testflight before as a way to share unreleased and beta versions of apps with colleagues and customers, but you were limited to 100 devices and the process could be a pain.



#BendGate Continues with New iPad Air 2

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"Today I'm going to test what you all ask yourself."

Really, Marvin from Germany? Do we all ask ourselves if our brand spankin' new, shiny, expensive electronics will bend? Personally, I think #BendGate has gotten a little out of hand. Check out the video below:



How to Pay with Apple Pay

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The good news is Apple Pay makes it easier and safer to pay than ever before. That's a also the bad news. Now that Apple makes it so easy to pay for things, you'll be tempted to pick up the tab more often! So how does it work? First, you'll need iOS 8.1 and new hardware, such as the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, or in early 2015, an Apple Watch. You can also pay using Apple Pay within apps on the iPad Air 2 or iPad mini 3, but not in stores as those devices do not have the necessary NFC (Near Field Communication) hardware.



Living In an OmniGroup World

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Just outside of Redmond, WA, center of the Microsoft universe, lies a little city we like to call Seattle. Seattle is the home to OmniGroup, a company dedicated to writing some of the best, and more enduring, Macintosh software around, along with complementary iOS apps to facilitate the increasingly mobile lifestyles of their customers.



Last Chance for Special Pricing on MacTech Conference!

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I just heard from MacTech folks that they're making special pricing available to our readers! The below link will get iPhone Life readers an EXTRA $100 off the registration price when they register. In other words, the pre-registration pricing ($1299) will end this weekend. The below link locks in the rate at $1199 during that time. Then it goes up by $200. http://www.mactech.com/conference/sponsored-discount?rid=iPhoneLife



Download iOS 8.1 and Get Ready for Apple Pay!

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Apple promised iOS 8.1 would be out this week and it is. The update uses only 126 MB but adds features like Apple Pay for the new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, as well as iCloud Photo Library and integrated SMS messaging for iPad and Mac computers. Those are the new features, but of course there are bug fixes and reliability enhancements.



Building a Smarter Home with Ivee and Iris

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Apple didn't release a smart home device this year, but instead unleashed HomeKit, an SDK to help third parties do what they do best... make home automation equipment that, now, can be based on Apple's standards. Several vendors have stepped up to the plate, which is good because it's hard to find one vendor that has everything a smart home owner would need.



Siri Is Much More Than She Seems

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I just read a touching and uplifting story about an autistic boy befriending Siri. I am a huge Siri fan and have written about her more than once in this blog, but I have a new found admiration for the programmers who developed Siri.



SoundHound and TouchTunes - Convergence of Online and On-Premises Music Services

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If you like and use the SoundHound music app (free), which can guess melodies like a musical savant, then you might want to add TouchTunes (free). SoundHound recently announced a team up with TouchTunes: an in-venue entertainment and music platform that provides service at over 60,000 locations. With SoundHound and TouchTunes together, you can now get your online music choices queued up when visiting any TouchTunes supported location!



The Biggest iPad News May Be the Deals on Older iPads

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The enhancements to the iPad Air and iPad mini were expected and appreciated, but they still come with Apple's premium price. Apple has managed to make the iPad family the top selling tablet, but it's still priced higher than typical Android devices.  If you have embraced the Apple ecosystem of apps, music, contacts, ebooks and more, those Android units just don't fit the bill.



Apple Event Takeaway - Driving Nails in the PC Coffin!

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Apple didn't announce anything earth-shatteringly out of this world today. What they announced was more of the same steady excellence that marks all their product releases. More wireless integration and excellent cloud service synchronicity across their product line that will make it all but impossible to want or need to stay connected to the PC realm. If you are a PC, your world became a little bleaker today.



How Do the iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3 Stack Up?

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Today's event showcasing two new iPads (alongside an iMac and Mac Mini) came and went without many unexpected revelations. This was in part due to the constant leaks and incessant rumors that seem to be everywhere prior to Apple's press events.



Apple iPad Announcement Roundup

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Nothing Apple introduced today was truly unexpected, yet it still managed to impress in a big way. Here's a rundown of what excited us most at today's keynote.



Apple Watch SDK and More Great App Developer News

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App developers heard some great news today when Tim Cook announced that WatchKit, the software development kit for building apps for the upcoming Apple Watch will be released next month (November)!

As I discussed previously in my Developing Next-Generation Apps for the Apple Watch post, this provides a great opportunity for app developers to get in the ground floor of a new technology and get noticed.



iPad Air 2 Cellular Works with Multiple Carriers!

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When speculating about the iPhone 6, I postulated that Apple could do something revolutionary and make a single LTE model that worked with multiple carriers. It didn't happen, but when I purchased my (second) iPhone 6 from Radio Shack, the clerk and I discussed how the technology is already there with LTE and SIM cards, and it would make inventory so much easier. Instead of stocking AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint models, stores could just stock the single SKU. It didn't happen with the iPhone 6, but today Apple did it with the iPad Air 2!



Five iPad Models to Choose From

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I greatly enjoyed today's Apple event introducing the new iPads and iOS 8.1. But I didn't get what I was hoping for: a new iPad mini with all the features of the new iPad Air 2. Yes, we got a new iPad mini 3, but apparently it's the same as the previous version with the addition of Touch ID. As you can see in this comparison chart, we now have five iPad models to choose from: iPad Air, iPad Air 2, iPad mini, iPad mini 2, and iPad mini 3. As is typical, the new iPads with more features have been introduced at the same price as the older models, and the price of the older models has dropped. Perhaps the biggest news is that the memory configurations of the new iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 now match those of the new iPhones: 16, 64, and 128 GB. That means for the 64 and 128 GB models you're paying $100 less than for a similar amount of memory in the earlier iPads. And both the new iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 come with a gold-colored option.



A Stellar Year: "Strongest Lineup of Products That Apple Has Ever Had."

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Earlier this year, when Apple's Eddy Cue said that "we've got the best product pipeline that I've seen in my 25 years at Apple," he apparently wasn't exaggerating. This year has been nothing short of spectacular for Apple, with the release of one innovative and impressive product after another. It would seem the creative spirit of Steve Jobs is alive and well in Cupertino California. As Tim Cook reiterated today, this is the "strongest lineup of products that Apple has ever had." Congratulations Mr. Cook, job well done. Now as Apple wraps up itsr last major product announcement of 2014, let's take a quick look back at what a year it's been for this powerhouse company as it proves itself to be more cutting edge and more relevant than ever.



How to Get Today's New Apple Products

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If you're like me, if Apple announced it, you gotta have it. In my case, it's for professional reasons. As an app developer, and writer for iPhone Life, I need to have access to the latest gear. But I also enjoy technology and don't like waiting! So, starting October 17, you can try to pre-order the items just announced today, but even that isn't a guarantee. I was online at 3 a.m. the day the iPhone 6 was supposed to be orderable, but it took a half hour to finally buy one.



New iPad Includes a Barometer

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As a former weather guy, one part of the Apple announcement today really sparked my interest. The new iPad Air 2 will include a barometer. This both excites and makes me wonder just how well this feature will be harnessed. It is likely this is the same sensor introduced in the iPhone 6, though I admit that I haven't been able to test apps leveraging the feature yet.



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