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Apple News: CarPlay Coming to a Car Near You

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Apple's "iOS in the Car" was first discussed at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference in June of 2013, but at this week's Geneva Motor Show, it was formally introduced and rebranded as "CarPlay." The system lets Apple compete with Microsoft, BlackBerry, and Livio Radio and bring the Apple experience inside the car, fresh from the factory.



Through March 5 Get $25 Gift Card When You Purchase an Apple TV

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Rumors were swirling on Friday that a new Apple TV device was imminent. The reason for the rumors? Apple began offering a $25 iTunes Store gift card with the purchase of each Apple TV. Analysts and enthusiasts concluded that Apple was clearing out inventory to make room for a new device, especially as it's been over two years since Apple has released a new version of the hardware. And then Jim Darlymple dashed all hopes with a single word: "Nope." He apparently has contacts inside Apple, because he's always been right when he says there's no truth to a rumor. So while the gift card offer may not herald a new device, it's an appealing offer in its own right.



You Have Been Selected: An Unlikely Invitation

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“Hi there," began the e-mail.  Even for a devoted Apple fan, this moment was still exciting—an e-mail for Google Glass.  I, Jake Underwood, high school senior, had been included in the chosen group. I had been offered a chance to buy Google Glass for $1500 plus tax. Can I borrow some cash?



SCAM ALERT Part 2: App Developers and Buyers Beware

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Yesterday I wrote a SCAM ALERT warning about telemarketers attacking Windows users. Today, I received an email offering to market my apps. I'm always interested in increasing sales of my apps, as most developers are (except for the guy who created, and pulled, Flappy Bird!) I had to download a PDF for the details, so I did, after verifying it was safe to do so. 



Apple Supply Chain Rumors: iPhone 6 Possibly in July, Apple TV and iWatch in Fall

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StreetInsider.com reported Wednesday that a securities analyst who has contacts in Apple's supply chain says production of the iPhone 6 appears to be ramping up earlier than one would expect for a September launch, meaning that it could appear as early as July. It seems doubtful, and the bulk of the recent rumors have been suggesting September. On the other hand, analysts have been saying Apple needs to come out with a larger iPhone ASAP in order to stay competitive in a market that's rapidly moving toward larger devices. So perhaps Apple has indeed decided to try to speed things up. The analyst also says that his checks confirm that Apple's next generation of phones will have larger displays. His supply chain checks also indicate that Apple appears to be gearing up for a launch of an Apple TV set-top device and an iWatch, both no earlier than the second half of 2014.



Medical Emergencies Shows Use of iDevices Among Healthcare Workers

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So far, 2014 hasn't been the best year for my family health wise. Three days into the new year, my son broke his wrist while in a snowboarding lesson. Last week, I was hospitalized for two days because of a bad reaction to a new medication.

Through these two health emergencies, I noticed something in common with the different hospitals we visited; they both used iDevices as part of their care. While using iDevices is nothing new to the healthcare industry, I still found it interesting.



SCAM ALERT: "Microsoft" Remote Tech Support Telemarketers

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One of the great things about being an Apple-based environment is the lack of (or at least scarcity of) viruses and malware.  So I found it intriguing today when I received not one but two phone calls from 000-000-0000 according to Caller ID, trying to sell me anti-malware software.

The first time they called, I explained I had a Mac and that ended the call.  The second time, I played along.



iPad Air Named Best Mobile Tablet of 2014; Best Buy Offering iPad Sale

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The iPad Air took the top award for "Best Mobile Tablet" this week at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Well deserved. According to the judges, "The iPad Air packs class-leading performance in an attractive and svelte frame, while its ecosystem has an undisputed advantage in the number of format-optimized apps." That certainly makes it stand apart. Accompanying the judges' comments is a description, which reads:



Evidence Mounts for Super Hard Sapphire Crystal Display in iPhone 6

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If Apple pulls this off, it's doubtful that any other phone manufacturer will be able to match it anytime soon. Forbes reported today that the iPhone 6 will indeed come with a sapphire crystal coating on the display. This material is nearly indestructible, and would make it virtually impossible to scratch the display. That would really set the iPhone apart, and is just the sort of touch that Apple adds to their products to foster consumer love. Apple is already using sapphire crystal to cover the camera lens and Touch ID to avoid scratches.



Apple Developer News: iTunes Connect Sales Dashboard

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Apple just made a major enhancement to their 'iTunes Connect' service which is where app developers download sales reports, among other things. Before, the service was a utilitarian, mundane web page, with basic sales data, but was weak on charting and analysis. This gap in functionality spawned a variety of service providers who would crunch your sales reports and create elegant graphs including revenue and rankings. I can't share my sales data or any proprietary screens, as it might be covered by Apple's non disclosure rules for developers, but here is a screenshot from Apple's official iTunes Connect documents on their public-facing website.



New App from Disney Offers Free Movie and Ability to Bypass iTunes Store

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On Tuesday Disney released a new app, Disney Movies Anywhere (free), that lets you stream or download your movies from Disney, Pixar, and Marvell, as well as browse and purchase additional movies. Plus, just for creating an account, the app offers a free movie, Pixar's The Incredibles (regularly $19.95). The app also offers free exclusive Disney content, including original programming and never-before-seen videos. The idea behind the app is that it lets you keep your movies from these studios all in one place as well as buy new movies. This includes viewing movies that you purchased from the iTunes Store. You can watch your movies via streaming or download them and watch offline. Each purchase carries with it Disney Movie Rewards points.



Apple TV: To Buy or Not to Buy?

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The current Apple TV device turns two years old in March, and throughout those years, speculation about the development of a more robust Apple TV has been ongoing. The latest educated guesses predict a new Apple TV with Time Warner support by April, as detailed by my colleague Jim Karpen on February 13. Presumably, that box will replace your existing cable DVR box while making it easier to access content from iTunes and other Internet channels like Netflix. If anyone can make the cable guide more appealing, it's Apple. It would be ironic if the next iteration of Apple TV were to actually embrace cable and be sold or rented directly from your cable company, when so many people look to devices like the Apple TV or Roku to "cut the cord" and eliminate their cable bill altogether.



What Samsung's News Means for Apple

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It might not be Apple news, but at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Samsung unleashed a ton of news that will certainly impact Apple. While Apple has yet to release an "iWatch" (if you don't count the 4th generation iPad nano, which I sometimes wear as a watch) Samsung is already on the second version of their Samsung Gear. One of the biggest complaints about the Gear was it only worked with one particular Samsung device, the Galaxy Note 3, and not other Android phones or the iPhone. Now, the Gear 2 works with more Samsung devices. Samsung also announced a lighter version without the camera, dubbed the Gear 2 Neo, as well as the Galaxy Fit, a sleeker model that focuses on health and fitness, and can work standalone or with your Samsung devices. In an about face, the Gear 2 watches no longer run Android but instead run Samsung's own Tizen operating system, and the Gear Fit uses an undisclosed O.S. to make the battery last even longer.



Rumor: Apple May Use Quantum Dot Technology in iPhone 6 Display

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The big question for the iPhone 6 is what Apple will do to make it stand out from the competition. Just having a 4.7-inch display won't cut it, given that there's already a plethora of larger-display smartphones on the market. Certainly the rumored use of sapphire crystal would distinguish it from the crowd, since the display would be nearly indestructible. And if Apple goes with a bezel-free design, that would be a major innovation, giving you a larger display but keeping the overall size of the phone as small as possible. And now we have yet another rumor: according to an article on Forbes, there's a possibility that Apple will use Quantum Dot technology in the display — which would certainly be a major innovation. The virtue of this technology is that it can more accurately render colors.



A Day to Remember Steve Jobs

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I've never been a fan of memorializing the date of someone's death, especially if they left us too soon. A birthday is a much more positive day to celebrate, and today, February 24th, marks Steve Jobs' birthday.  Apple CEO Tim Cook reminded us, not only of this fact, but of some of Steve's sayings, in a couple of tweets today.



Vote Now in the iPhone Life Photo Contest: Voting Ends March 3!

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Vote now in the iPhone Life iPhone Photography Contest! The deadline is Monday, March 3. Click HERE to choose your favorite images. The top 10 photos will be featured in an upcoming issue of iPhone Life magazine.

Don't worry if you can't choose just one; you can vote for as many photos as you like. You can only vote once per day for each image though, so make sure you vote every day from now until the contest closes at 11:59 p.m. on March 3!



Upgrade to iOS 7.0.6 Right Now! Latest Update Addresses Serious Security Flaw

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Please update iOS on your iPhone or iPad as soon as possible, if you haven't done so already. On Friday, Apple released iOS 7.0.6 to fix a flaw that had been discovered. And according to this article on Wired, it's very serious. It's simply a typo in the code, an extra GoTo statement, that would allow hackers to bypass authentication procedures on your device and intercept email and other communications that should have been encrypted. 



GBA4iOS Version 2.0 includes iPad Support and iOS 7 Redesign

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The popular Game Boy Advance emulator GBA4iOS has been updated to 2.0, bringing a host of new features and improvements. Unlike the previous release, GBA4iOS can be downloaded from the official website without the need for a jailbroken iPad or iPhone.

The latest update comes with a brand new design scheme for iOS 7, along with a built-in web browser for downloading games. Version 2.0 was designed “with the goal of making everything not only look better, but simpler to use.”



Samsung Goes After Apple in Parody of iPad Air Commercial

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Samsung is really going after Apple in their commercials. I included their video making fun of the iPhone 5s in a recent post. They also have a video that parodies an iPad Air commercial and highlights the fact that the Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1 is marginally thinner than the iPad Air. I suspect, though, that the thinness comes at the expense of battery life. As we saw in a previous post, the iPad Air battery actually lasts for 13 hours of video playback, which is higher than the advertised 10 hours — and 40 percent better than the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 edition. Apple's original video that Samsung is parodying shows a pencil on a table at eye level, and talks about a wonderful tool that can be used for so many different things. Then the camera pans up, and you see an iPad Air was hidden by the pencil and that the commercial was really speaking about the iPad Air — while highlighting its thinness by hiding it behind the pencil. In the parody, a pencil again obscures an iPad Air. But then hidden behind the iPad Air is the Galaxy Tab Pro.



Microsoft Launches OneDrive to Rule Them All (and to replace SkyDrive)

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As people across the world slept on Wednesday night, Microsoft subtly shifted the branding associated with SkyDrive, the company's Dropbox, Box, and Google Drive competitor. The now rebranded OneDrive, offers a basic storage capability across devices. The initial allocation is an interesting 7GB. To get you started, mobile users who choose to backup their photos to OneDrive will be rewarded with an additional 3GB, bringing the storage capacity for new users to 10GB. Like Dropbox before it, OneDrive now encourages its adherents to send out referrals. Each referral that takes up the offer returns 500MB in incremental storage, maxing at 5GB of extra free storage.



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