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App Review: Tinker Takes an Interactive Approach to Short-Term Goals

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The two-person team at Leef had a few issues with the current crop of productivity apps, namely the complex features and superfluous visuals that can render them almost counterproductive. With Tinker ($0.99), the creators wanted to avoid the design and usability flaws they saw in other apps, and instead, give users a direct and efficient approach to achieving short-term goals.



Apple's Revenue Projection Suggests September 26 Launch of iPhone 6

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Yesterday Apple forecast revenue of $37–40 billion for the September quarter. That compares to their record revenue of 37.4 billion in the just-ended June quarter. The forecast was lower than many analysts were expecting. And since everyone is expecting Apple to sell a huge number of iPhone 6 units when it launches, that forecast suggests the iPhone 6 will arrive no sooner than late September. The betting right now is on September 26 as the launch date. That would still be in September, thereby boosting revenues the last few days of the month, but not early enough to push anticipated revenue over $40 billion. 



Apple Announces Solid 3rd Quarter Profits, But Is it Enough for Investors?

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Another quarter, another solid profit reported by Apple. But it seems like investors always want more—When asked what his number (to retire) was, Josh Brolin's character in Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps said, "More." In this case, the number was 35.2 million iPhones sold, which is a new record for Apple, but amazingly, expectations were higher. That number represents a 12 percent increase over the same quarter from 2013, but it's apparently not enough to make investors happy. That rate is on par with the rest of the smartphone market (understandable, because Apple is a big part of it), but much less than Windows Phone, which is growing at 28% (also understandable, because it's coming from such a small share.) Most businesses would be happy with such increases, but investors seem to have a special relationship with Apple.



Tip of the Day: How to Disable Facebook's Video Auto-Play

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Late last year, Facebook introduced auto-play for videos on the social network. Perhaps the most obnoxious part about it is that every time a video ad starts playing in your News Feed, you are essentially paying with your precious data or battery power for them to advertise to you. Fortunately it's easy to disable this feature.



Apple Orders 70 to 80 Million iPhone 6's, Chinese Online Sellers Already Taking Preorders

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If there's any doubt that the iPhone 6 is generating excitement, that's put to rest by the fact that Chinese online sellers on the Alibaba website have already begun taking preorders for the phone. What other phone would start selling even before it's announced?



Inateck Speaker and USB Charging Base Review

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Inateck is a tech accessory company that offers computer peripherals like wireless adapters, mobile charging solutions, and PCI interface cards. They also have a selection of compact and affordable Bluetooth speakers, and recently sent us charging gear and speaker samples to check out. We gave them a go...



Better Headphones than Beats for Less

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When Apple paid $3 billion for Beats by Dr Dre, a lot of analysts think Apple overpaid. But that doesn't mean you have to. Sure, Beats headphones will set you back $200 and if you want wireless Bluetooth headphones with the Beats logo, expect to pay $300 to $350. But there are alternatives.



5 Fun iPhone and iPad Accessories for Kids

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1. Plush Pals ($39.99)

These adorable plush animals are a must have for any music-loving kid (or adult). Plug Freddy, Manny, or Patch into your iDevice and they'll sing your favorite song, act as if they're narrating a cartoon, or mimic your video game. A bonus? They're soft and cuddly, apart from the battery area in the bottom. See the Plush Pals in action on their website or right here



Apple News: Putting the Apple Logo to Work

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MacBook owners have (usually) appreciated the glowing Apple logo on the back of their MacBooks. It's a neat touch that shows Apple's attention to detail. Now iPhone owners might see something similar when they turn their phone around. The previously etched-in Apple logo on other metal iPhones may now be replaced by a plastic opening, according to the latest spy shots from Uswitch.com.



Tip of the Day: Quick Charge Your iPhone Battery

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Your ankles hate you. Go back to spin class. Sergey Nivens/Shutterstock

The other day, I was about to head out on the trails for my annual attempt at completing a couch-to-5K program, when I realized that my iPhone battery was almost out of juice. I didn't want to risk having my phone die while I was out on the relatively deserted trails (what if I got attacked by angry squirrels and needed to call for help?) And I needed to leave the house soon or I wouldn't be able to complete the workout before sunset.



Apple's Quarterly Report Tomorrow May Give Hint about Timing of iPhone 6

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Apple will be releasing their June quarterly earnings report tomorrow after the market closes, and will be answering questions from investors. Of course, investors are eager to know how Apple did, and expectations for this quarter are fairly high. But even more important for many is the guidance Apple will give regarding the September quarter. Wall Street always wants to know not only how Apple did, but how it expects to do in the coming quarter. And if, as everyone is expecting, Apple begins selling the iPhone 6 in September, that will certainly affect Apple's earnings forecast for the September quarter. So Apple's guidance should give a clue regarding what we'll see and when. Of course, Apple never explicitly says what's coming. If the guidance is especially high, it could mean we'll get something in addition to the iPhone 6 before the end of September.



Apple News: iTunes Festival, London Edition

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Not all the Apple news is about sapphire screens and the pending iPhone 6. Apple is promoting their latest iTunes Festival, and this time it's based on London. You can win tickets to attend, or for the rest of us, stream the content using an iOS device, including Apple TV.



Ringtones...for your Bicycle?

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I've backed a few projects on Kickstarter, but they're usually boring things like stands and cables. The other day I saw the MYBELL and had to put my money down. The MYBELL is a bicycle horn for the smartphone age. Obviously it mounts to a bicycle handlebar, though I might try it out on my scooter. What makes the MYBELL unique is that you can customize the sound that it plays, just like a custom ringtone on your smartphone. In fact, it will accept MP3 files via the included (weatherized) USB port.



Take Super Selfies with HISY

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Buzz Aldrin, who inspired the name of Toy Story's Buzz Lightyear, has an Apple connection. He spoke at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference about three years ago. Now, with the 45th anniversary of his walk on the moon, with fellow astronaut Neil Armstrong, he's back in the news. Most recently, Buzz Aldrin offered up his own "Space Selfie," the first ever, taken back in 1966.  



New Video Reveals iPhone 6 Front Panel Not Pure Sapphire

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Apple's main competitor these days seems not to be other phones but rather the high expectations created by the rumor mill. I'm among those who've stoked the expectation for a sapphire display on the iPhone 6. But the latest scratch test of an alleged iPhone 6 front panel reveals that it's not pure sapphire but likely has a sapphire composite laminate on the display. As the test shows, it's definitely harder and more scratch-resistant than Gorilla Glass but not as hard as the pure sapphire used in the Home button. Marques Brownlee, whose earlier scratch-test video I covered in this post, explains in his newest video (embedded below) the Mohs scale of mineral hardness. Minerals are rated on a scale of 1 to 10, with diamond being the hardest at 10. Simply, any mineral on the scale can scratch minerals rated below it but not anything rated above it. Gorilla Glass comes in at 6.8 on the scale. Sapphire is 9. The only thing that should be able to scratch sapphire should be diamond. But in his test he shows how both garnet sandpaper (rated 7) and emery sandpaper (rated 8) can scratch the iPhone 6 front panel, suggesting it's not pure sapphire.



Tip of the Day: How to Share Your Shopping List Using iCloud

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Thanks to iCloud, you can create things like shopping lists or to-do lists in Reminders at home on your iPad and then access and edit those lists on your iPhone while you're out running errands or shopping. But what if you want want your spouse to have a copy of the list on his or her device so they can add and check off items as well? Here's how you can share your shopping list with another person using iCloud.



Introducing the iPhone Life Tip of the Day Newsletter

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One thing we hear over and over from iPhone Life readers is how much they love finding out about new tips and tricks for their iPhones and iPads. Some of them want to explore all the cool functions their device offers, others are trying to master the ins and outs of their iPhone's camera, and still others are looking for that one trick that will help them work around a longtime iPhone or iPad frustration.



Tip of the Day: How to Turn Off Your iPhone's Flashlight Without Opening Control Center

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The iPhone's built-in flashlight can come in handy in all sorts of situations, such as digging through camping equipment while you look for a real flashlight during a power outage, cleaning up after your dog on late-night walks, or locating the eyeglasses you just knocked off your bedside table in the middle of the night without turning on a lamp and waking your spouse.

But since your iPhone usually goes to sleep while you are completing these tasks, opening Control Center to turn off the flashlight when you are finished can feel like too many stepsespecially if you prefer not to allow access to Control Center from your lock screen. 



Mass Production of iPhone 6 Rumored to Begin This Month, 5.5-Inch Phone in August

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Two rumors courtesy of a report in Taiwan's Economic News Daily indicate that Apple is ramping up to begin production of the iPhone 6. According to the report, mass production of the 4.7-inch phone will begin this month (specifically, the third week of July), with mass production of the 5.5-inch phone expected to begin in August. 



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 ReportAppsGoneFreeAppieDay, AppShopper and more.

Hurry! Get 'em while they’re hot!



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