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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.



iPad Air 2, Half as Thick as Original iPad

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The iPad Air 2 was announced today, and many of its features were expected, but it wasn't clear quite how thin it would be. At 6.1mm, you could stack two of them on top of each other and it would be as thick as the original iPad. This makes the iPad Air 2 the thinnest tablet on the market. Apple claims the iPad Air 2 is the only one with an Anti-Reflective Coating.



Apple Continues to Innovate, with Continuity

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Last month, and even before that at the WWDC event in June, Apple showed off a technology called Continuity. This promised to allow seamless integration between multiple iOS devices but also with Mac OS computers. A Keynote presentation could be started on an iPhone, continued on an iPad, and finished on a Mac.



Pay with Apple Pay, Starting Monday

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Apple Pay was preannounced last month, but today Apple let us know when we can start using it. As of Monday, October 20, iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus owners will be able to use the phone's Near Field Communication features to pay.



Tip of the Day: Swipe Email Drafts Out of the Way Temporarily

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You may have had the experience of working on a draft of an email but then needing to look at a different email in your inbox. But the draft obscured the screen and couldn't be quickly be pushed aside and then returned to. Fortunately, Mail in iOS 8 has remedied this situation. You can swipe away a draft, access your other email, and then quickly bring it back into view to continue working on it. This is typically referred to as "minimizing" the email draft.



iPhone Life Liveblog of Oct. 16 Apple Event Starts at 10 a.m. PT/1 p.m. ET

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Don't Miss Our Oct. 16 Apple Announcement Coverage!

Tomorrow we will find out just what Apple meant in its event invitation when the company said, "It's been way too long." Will we see an iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3? A long overdue update to Apple TV? A revamped Mac mini? What about Apple's new HomeKit smart-home platform?



Here's What to Expect from Thursday's Apple Event [Update]

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Once again I'm really looking forward to an announcement from Apple. Thursday's event will be live streamed and will likely introduce the next iPad Air and a new retina iMac. Beyond that, not much is known. The iPad Air 2 is expected to have Touch ID and an 8-megapixel camera. In addition, it's expected to come with the new A8 processor, which is remarkably more efficient than the previous A7, meaning the battery can be smaller while offering greater performance. The iPad Air 2 is also rumored to include an anti-reflective screen coating, which would be a nice feature. However, rumors say that the Apple is having problems producing this new type of display, which may constrain supplies of the new iPad for a while. 



LifeCharge Battery Case with Wireless Charging Is a Powerful Case

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I love my iPhone 6, but this iPhone 5 battery case from LifeCharge makes me miss my iPhone 5s. There are a lot of battery cases out there, and there's only so many ways to differentiate themselves, but LifeCharge found two ways that I appreciate. First, it recharges wirelessly, using the included charging pad. Just place the iPhone, in the LifeCharge case, on top of the slim, silver pad, and it starts charging. It's like magic! Since Apple is unlikely to adopt Qi or PowerMat's charging standards, this may be the closest we come to induction charging.



Taking Stock of Apple's iPhone 6 and 6 Plus Inventory

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Even as Apple ramps up for another product announcement, it's still hard to get your hands on the last set of products they announced. The new iPad Air is expected to be in short supply, and the iPhone 6, especially the Plus-sized model is also playing hard to get. Given all the sizes (6 and 6 Plus), colors (silver, gold, and space gray), carriers (AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, etc.) and memory combinations (16GB, 64GB, 128GB) it's remarkable if you can find the exact model you want, in stock, without settling for something else.



Tip of the Day: View the Desktop Version of a Website in Safari

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One of the useful new features of iOS 8 is the ability to view the desktop version of a website in Safari rather than the mobile version — saving me a lot of frustration. For years I’ve had a personalized Yahoo page that's well organized into three columns: 1) stocks, sports, weather, 2) top news, science news, Doonesbury, and 3) Apple news sites. So it was really disorienting when I would go to my Yahoo page on my iPad and all the news feeds would be in two columns with the order all jumbled up. The first time I used this new iOS 8 feature to request the desktop site, my response was: hallelujah!



The End of MacWorld, in Print and Tradeshow Form

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MacWorld has a storied history. It launched with the original Mac back in 1984, and was the closest thing to an official Apple magazine as there was. The MacWorld tradeshow, many of which I attended, was a chance to meet with Apple representatives, Apple fans, and suppliers without having to mingle with PC folk! So many of Apple's product announcements and turning points occurred at MacWorld and so many great writers contributed to the print magazine of the same name.



Apple Has a Fix for a Broken iPhone 6

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I've owned every iPhone since the beginning and never cracked a screen. But the other day, my luck ran out. Technically, it was my daughter's luck and her iPhone that cracked, but the buck stops with me. It was a new iPhone 6 and it fell out of her pocket at three or four feet, onto the parking lot. It was in a case, but the case didn't offer much protection on the bottom edge and that's where the crack started.



Swift Programming 101: Generics-A Practical Guide

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If you have read Apple's documentation on Generics and were left wondering how you could use this technology in your own projects, this post is for you! You will learn how to take full advantage of generics in your every-day code as well as how to avoid the constant type-casting that usually results from creating generalized code.



Tip of the Day: Quickly Mark All Emails as Read

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Mail in iOS 8 has a lot of helpful features that make it easier for you to deal with the onslaught of email messages. In addition to the new swipe gestures covered in a previous tip, iOS 8 also offers a quick way to mark all email messages as read. If you've glanced down the list of messages in your Inbox and determined there's nothing needing your attention, this is a quick way to deal with them.



iPhone 6/6 Plus Case of the Week: The Otterbox Defender

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It's that time of year again. Right after a new iPhone comes out there is the inevitable deluge of great cases to protect your new investment. This happens with every iPhone release, but perhaps never more markedly than with the introduction of the completely new form factors of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. If ever an iPhone needed a case it is these large and larger models, with their increased real estate, slick, rounded edges and extra weight. Rather than clump a bunch of individual cases together I'll be focusing on one great case each week over the course of the coming months. This week's featured case is Otterbox's Defender.



Next iPad to Have Touch ID

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File this under "obvious" but it's inevitable that the next iPad will have Touch ID. After all, Apple's announcement invitation simply said "it's been way too long" and it's been too long without Apple adding that capability to the iPad, since the iPhone 5s and now iPhone 6 and 6 Plus have it. So the latest rumors out of China are not surprising, but it's nice to see a photo to make it more believable.



Tip of the Day: Save Time by Using Swipe Gestures to Mark or Flag Email in iOS 8

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If you're like me, you spend a lot of time each day dealing with email. The new swiping gestures available for marking and flagging email messages in iOS 8 can save you some of that time. An earlier tip by Sarah Kingsbury explained how to swipe left to quickly delete messages. But you can also use swiping gestures to mark emails as read or unread or to flag them for followup, as well as every other function, such as forwarding or moving to another folder.



Review: HoverBar 3 and iKlip Xpand

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Twelve South HoverBar 3 ($99.99)

3 out of 5 stars

Twelve South, the makers of one of my favorite bookish iPad and MacBook cases (the BookBook series) also sells other items, one of those being the HoverBar 3.

Here is the simple value proposition of the HoverBar: Screw down the adjustable arm to the edge of a desk, table, bed or to the neck of a monitor and when you attach your iPad, it will hover above whatever the bar is screwed down to.

AS far as that simple value proposition goes, the HoverBar does exactly what it says. It is a high-quality product, matching what I have come to expect from the Twelve South engineering team. But quality does not always make for a good design.

Here are my issues:



Learn How to Build iOS Apps from Scratch

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Have you always wanted to build an iOS app, but lacked the knowledge and skills? Have you ever signed up for an online course on creating iOS apps, only to feel frustrated because the content was out of date or not comprehensive enough? Are you dying to learn more about Swift and programming for the Apple Watch? It's a story we hear all the time at iPhone Life. And that's why we decided to partner with iPhone app expert, former Apple employee, and adjunct professor at RIT Paul Solt to make his iOS development courses available to iPhone Life readers at a big discount.



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