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Apple News: The Beat Goes On

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The rumored purchase of Beats by Apple has caused a fair amount of headshaking, but it makes a lot of sense. Sure, at $3.2 billion, it would be one of the larger purchases by Apple, but it's a smart move. Purchasing of Beats would give Apple several advantages, overnight. First, street credibility. With every iPhone and iPod, Apple gives away a pair of cheap earbuds. Sure, they were enhanced recently, but still there's no prestige in those nondescript white EarPods. Beats, however, made it cool to spend $300 on a pair of headphones. And their "b" logo is everywhere, even on smartphones and laptops.



Rumor: iPhone 6 May Include Near Field Communication (NFC) Chip

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Brightwire, a global investment newswire, reported last week that the iPhone 6 will likely include a Near Field Communcation (NFC) chip, a chief purpose of which is using one's phone to complete point-of-sale transactions. You simply tap the NFC terminal at the checkout counter to make a purchase. According to the report, which is based on "a source close to the matter," the impetus for this move appears to be a deal Apple has made with China UnionPay, which Brightwire describes as "the only domestic bank card organization and interbank network in China." In short, if you want to sell lots of iPhones in China, and if the only bank card company wants NFC, then Apple does NFC. The two companies are also reportedly working together on a mobile payment system for use in Apple Stores in China.



Harrod's Upgrades iPhones, iPads, and Cases with Expensive Bling

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Since my recent trip to London, I've shared many travel tips. But this time I'm going to just let the following images speak for themselves. They come from the technology section of the upscale department store Harrod's. Look not only at the beauty of the crystals, diamonds, and gold plating, but at the prices associated with them. Keep in mind, a gold-plated iPhone 5s covered in diamonds becomes obsolete just as quickly as your basic model at AT&T or T-Mobile.



iPad Reading Apps: Kindle vs. iBooks

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I am an avid reader. I try to read at least 52 books a year. And up until the fall of 2011, I fought the whole e-book trend. But on September 17, 2011, I received my first e-book reader: a Kindle keyboard. And my conversion from being a print book reader to an e-book reader began.  



Three Apps To Help You Evaluate Your Mental Health

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The month of May is National Mental Health Awareness Month. Millions of Americans wake up to face each day living with a mental health condition—myself included. Two years ago I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. I have good days and bad days, but for the most part I am managing my illness. 

I have to admit, at times it's more difficult to talk about having bipolar disorder than if I had a physical ailment such as diabetes. The difficulty comes with trying to explain what it's like living with a mental illness. 



Vote Now in the iPhone Life Photo Contest: Voting Ends May 12!

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Vote now in the iPhone Life iPhone Photography Contest! The deadline is Monday, May 12th. Click HERE to choose your favorite images. The top 10 photos will be featured in an upcoming issue of iPhone Life magazine.



Reuters Reports iPhone 6 Coming in August, "Phablet" in September

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Reuters reported today that the much-anticipated 4.7-inch iPhone 6 will be coming in August — a month earlier than everyone has been expecting. And the report said that the larger 5.5-inch device will make its appearance in September. This too diverges from earlier rumors, which have stated that it wouldn't arrive until the end of 2014. The source of the Reuters report was media reports in Taiwan, which were based on unidentified sources in Apple's supply chain.



Apple Set to Keep Your Heads Ringing with Acquisition of Beats Electronics

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At this very moment Apple is rumored to be involved in active talks to buy Dr. Dre’s Beats Electronics. At over 3 billion dollars, this would be Apple’s biggest acquisition ever, far surpassing the $429 million Apple spent in 1996 to buy NeXT, its largest purchase to date.



Top 3 App Deals of the Week

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As new iOS apps flood the App Store every day — recently topping 1,000,000 — we know it’s tough to tell which ones are worth their salt. But thanks to our Weekly Scoop, you can have the best for free! Here you’ll find a weekly roundup of the coolest apps free or at a discount for a limited-time only. Each week features the best and brightest from websites like Free App ReportAppsGoneFree, appsfire, and more.



Apple News: Sir Jony Ive Knighted in the UK, Now Honored in the US

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Sir Jony Ive, already a British Knight, is now being honored stateside for his work on design, or at least he will be on October 30th. The New York Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) has always had an affinity for Apple's designs, so it's only fair that the head of design at Apple get his due from the San Francisco MoMA.



May 19th Biweekly Giveaway!

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This is the official announcement of the iPhone life Biweekly Giveaway! Be sure to enter the giveaway at iphoneLife.com/giveaways to win prizes, which we'll announce May 19th! We are raffling off tons of great accessories for FREE.

Here's how it works: Every other Friday we will announce the prizes we're giving away through iphonelife.com, Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. To enter the giveaway, go to iphoneLife.com/giveaways and tell your friends to enter too! On the following Monday morning, we will randomly select the winners. If you win an app, we will email you the promo code to redeem the app for free. If you win an accessory, send us your address and we will mail it to you.

This weeks featured items are:



Tip of the Day: How to Get the Old Arrow-Shaped Buttons Back

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Some people revel in change, others not so much. If you are one of those who feels unsettled when your favorite website updates its home page or your favorite author updates her author photo, you may be comforted to know that you can make the buttons on your iPhone all gray and arrow-shaped again. Just like they were before iOS 7.



Apple News: Laying Down the Law on Customer Information

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Whatever your feelings on government wiretapping, it is no surprise, now, that technology firms are cooperating with the government. But Apple has just shed some light on the process thanks to a web page that details their terms for cooperating with U.S. Law Enforcement. While lengthy, the document itself is, ironically, far shorter than the iTunes Terms of Service agreement that most users gloss over on their way to downloading apps and music.



Give Your iPad A Makeover With A Protective Skin From iCarbons (Review)

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The iPad mini with Retina display's portability is definitely one of its biggest selling points. Unfortunately, the more you take it around, the more likely you are to accidentally cause some damage. The wise thing to do would be to get a case; but if you don't want to take away from the iPad mini's natural form, a protective skin from iCarbons ($14.95-$24.95) is a great substitute.



Apple News: iPad Still Champion According to JD Power

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Apple's iPad may have reinvented the tablet computer years ago, but they haven't rested on those laurels. The iPad continues to rank highest in every category tracked by JD Power in their 2014 U.S Tablet Satisfaction Study, except of course, price. To be fair to Samsung, Amazon, and Asus, the margin of victory (0.8%) is quite small, but a win is a win!



Apple Is Number 2 in Online Sales, Just Behind Amazon

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According to the Wall Street Journal Apple has gained the number two spot in online retail sales revenue, passing Staples to come in just behind Amazon. Considering Amazon makes all of their money online, and Apple has an impressive retail channel as well, and sells through other businesses (including Staples, Amazon, and BestBuy), this accomplishment is even more impressive. Recently, Apple has offered trade-in incentives as part of their effort to bring in more direct iPhone business, at the expense of wireless carriers and other retailers. Clearly, this is paying off.



WINNERS of the iPhone Life May 5th Biweekly Giveaway

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Thanks to everyone who entered the May 5th iPhone Life Biweekly Giveaway! Every other week we give away three amazing prizes, so if you didn't win this time, make sure you enter the May 19th giveaway and tell your friends to enter too!

And the winners are... (drum roll please):

 



Tip of the Day: How to Get Siri to Stop Interrupting You

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It's like the Interrupting Cow joke that delights school-age kids everywhere; you activate Siri and start speaking your request, only to be interrupted by, "Here's what I found on the web." At which point you probably say something like "If you'd just let me #$@%ing finish, Siri, you'd know I'm trying to call my wife, not do a web search!" 

I can't help you with your anger issues, but I do have a very simple solution to your problems with Interrupting Siri:



Skullcandy's Crusher Over-Ear Headphones: Guaranteed to Rattle Your Bones [Review]

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If you're a music lover or an iOS gamer, you already get this, but it's hard to appreciate the full scope and flavor of our media when relying solely on our iOS device's speakers. Even if the extent of your media consumption on your iPhone or iPad (or laptop or desktop) doesn't stray beyond watching movies and videos, you'll have to admit, the in-built speakers these gadgets come with don't necessarily broadcast the most stellar audio. For crystal clear, pristine sound reproduction we have to look to the world of headphones and external speakers. With that in mind I'm always on the lookout for great headphones and speakers to share with iPhone Lifers. This week we'll be taking a look at Skullcandy’s Crusher over-ear headphones ($99.99).



Apple News: Taking Stock of Apple Shares

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Apple has made dramatic moves in the post-Steve Jobs era to shore up their position on Wall Street. For the first time, Tim Cook issued dividends to shareholders, making Apple stock an even better investment. Apple believed in their own stock, perhaps more than investors, and began a significant buy-back campaign, to own more of their own destiny. And more recently, they announced a stock split that will see the average share at a much more attainable sub-$100 price compared to flirting with $600 pershare.



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