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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. 



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