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MacTech Promises to Be a Magical Developers Conference

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Perhaps you didn't attend Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference, either by choice or you didn't win Apple's lottery to earn the privilege of paying for WWDC. Or maybe you were one of the lucky ones to make it to Apple's event. Either way, you will be interested in attending the independent MacTech Conference in Los Angeles, the first week in November.



Launch of iPhone 6 to Bolster Earnings of Component Makers

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The investment bank Pacific Crest Securities yesterday predicted in an opinion piece in Barron’s that the iPhone 6 will not only boost Apple Inc., it will also benefit component makers like InvenSense, NXP Semiconductors, and Synaptics.



Apple News: Professional Athletes Test Driving the iWatch?

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Armchair athletes may be fine with products from FitBit, Jawbone, and the like, but Apple appears to be going for top shelf athletes. This fall's announcement of an Apple iWatch is an all-but-foregone conclusion, but the difference may be that Apple is seeking the feedback from star athletes like Kobe Bryant. The Beats acquisition demonstrates Apple's attention to celebrity endorsements. While rappers and musicians care deeply about sound quality, professional athletes care deeply about their health!



Big Touch ID Improvements Coming this Fall?

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Apple's Touch ID may be getting more than just software enhancements this fall. The fingerprint sensor system is slated to expand beyond unlocking the iPhone 5s and making purchases in the App Store and iTunes. Apple announced at their WWDC event that Touch ID would be accessible to app developers for remembering passwords for authentication. Imagine paying via PayPal with your fingerprint!



Apple News: Watching for an iWatch

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All signs point to an Apple iWatch being released around October. Apple's boosting their Sapphire manufacturing, which could make iPhone screens more durable, but more importantly, it could make an iWatch that handles the bumps and grinds common to watches. Indeed Sapphire is commonly used already for traditional watch screens, and unlike iPhones, most people don't put their watch in a protective case!  



Apple Quietly Makes Some Macs More Affordable

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Apple didn't really make any hardware news during their Worldwide Developers Conference. Two weeks later they haven't released entirely new machines, but they have made some pricing moves. The iMac is now even more affordable, with the lower cost of entry starting at $1099 (and $50 less for Education customers.) Apple TV and the venerable Mac mini have also seen their price drop, overseas at least. Power users might scoff at the specs on these entry level systems, but for surfing the web, checking email, using iTunes, Netflix, etc., they could be ideal.



Kanye West Weighs in on Apple Beats Acquisition

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In a surprise appearance at the Cannes Lions International Creativity Festival, rap superstar and reality television celebrity Kanye West shared some of his thoughts on the recent acquisition of Beats Music by Apple. West compared Apple's buy-out of the company co-founded by Dr. Dre to Samsung's tapping the popularity and cultural influence of Jay-Z when they partnered with him last year to give away a million free copies of his latest album to Galaxy phone buyers. In fact, West suggests that the Apple Beats deal wouldn't have happened if not for the success Samsung saw from leveraging Jay-Z's popularity for promotion.



T-Mobile Wants You to Test Drive an iPhone 5s

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The always aggressive T-Mobile is adding more marketing programs to entice users to switch to their network. The latest campaign is a cheekily-named "7 Night Stand" that lets potential customers test drive a new iPhone 5s for a week. This should give wary users a decent chance to test the phone and the coverage where they live and work. I know Verizon and AT&T customers that regret their decision, based on coverage in their house or office. It's a neat idea that T-Mobile hopes will turn those one-week stands into at least starter marriages if not something longer!



Game Centered Special Edition: Introducing GodFire: Rise of Prometheus.

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Game Centered features roundups and in-depth reviews of the best in iOS games and related gaming news. Among the App Store’s myriad games, it’s all too easy to overlook some of the greats. Each installment of Game Centered will take a close look at a select few worthy of special recognition. Typically Game Centered features several different games, but this week we've got a summer blockbuster on our hands, so this edition is devoted entirely to the highly anticipated GodFire: Rise of Prometheus.

 



Apple News: Amazon Fire Phone Brings the Heat for Apple

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Competition is a good thing, and Amazon just raised the bar. Amazon's Jeff Bezos wasn't satisfied with just revolutionizing shopping for books, music, movies, or anything. Today he announced the Kindle Fire Phone, a 4.7-inch Android device that is more than just a phone. Like everything Amazon does, the Fire Phone is designed to make it easier to shop, for music, movies, TV shows, and physical products. Their integrated Firefly app recognizes over 100 million items, by image or audio. There's a dedicated button for Firefly. Amazon also has an SDK to allow third-party developers to integrate with this feature. [Full disclosure, I have developed an app called AllAccess.US that recognizes logos and launches that brand's info.]



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