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Microsoft Updates Office 2016 Preview for Apple Devices

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Microsoft and Apple have had an interesting relationship. In the early days, the two firms jockeyed for position in the nascent personal computing space. Apple leveraged the user interface and mouse design from Xerox PARC and Microsoft did the same from Apple. Later, when Steve Jobs returned to Apple, Bill Gates "rescued" Apple with a $130-million-plus investment and a promise to support Macs with versions of Office. This wasn't just a gesture of goodwill to keep Apple relevant. Apple was on the ropes and Microsoft needed an adversary to fend off antitrust regulators. Plus Office was a nice little revenue stream.



Apple Posts New Website with Siri Tips

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It took me a while, maybe a yearm to become accustomed to using Siri. And now I use it all the time. I'm surprised when Siri sometimes responds with, "I'm sorry, Jim, I can't answer that for you." So it helps to have a sense for the ways in which Siri can be the most helpful. To that end, Apple last week posted a new, well-organized Siri website that teaches you all the different ways that Siri can help you. The site advises you to "Talk to Siri as you would to a friend and it can help you get things done — like sending messages, placing calls, or making dinner reservations."



Are You Ready for Ads on Your Apple Watch?

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Ads are one way for developers to make money, as app prices drop to $0.99 or free. And advertisers are always trying to find ways to get in front of people. Advertisers consider devices like the iPhone and iPad the "Second Screen," after television. It looks like smart watches will be the "Third Screen" and may become targets for ads. A new report suggests smartwatch advertising could be a $70 million business by 2019.



Tip of the Day: How to Send and Accept Family Sharing Invitations

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Sharing iTunes and App Store content is important. Family Sharing allows families to access the same content across multiple devices. Adding members to your Family Group is easy! Once you've set up Family Sharing and started your group, you can easily add new members anytime. The benefits of Family Sharing are having access to the same music, apps, and even iBooks. Here's how to send and accept family sharing invitations. 



Griffin Joins the Crowdfunding Crowd with Cove Multi-Device Charging Station

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Crowdfunding is not just for the independent inventor. Firms as big as Sony have joined the bandwagon and tested market acceptance of new products. Griffin, one of the leading vendors of accessories for Apple and other brands has launched an Indiegogo campaign for the Cove. The Cove is an elegant all-in-one charging station that charged up to five tablets or smartphones, but with a twist. About the size and appearance of a breadbox, the Cove tucks all the wires and devices inside a wood case. Martha Stewart would approve.



WWDC 2015 Announced

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As predicted, Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference will be held the week of June 8, 2015 at the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco. Tickets are $1599, not including hotel costs, which can be astronomical, and there are no guarantees of getting a ticket. Interested developers must first apply and then find out on April 20 if they were able to buy a ticket. The developer's credit card on file will be charged automatically. Last year, a developer would be notified that they "won" the raffle and then have a short time period to actually make the purchase. This new policy should cut down on people entering the raffle with multiple ID's or without definite plans to attend.



Tip of the Day: How to Search Conversations in the Messages App

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Did you forget what time you made that dinner reservation for? How about when you have that meeting tomorrow? Did you text about it? Thankfully, you can search your messages in case you need to! It’s easy.



Apple Makes Apple TV More Affordable for Content Providers

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During Apple's Watch event in March, they dropped the price of the Apple TV from $99 to $69, and introduced HBO NOW, which lets cable customers cut the cord and still get HBO on their Apple devices. The HBO deal was significant because it is Apple exclusive, although just for three months, and users can get a 30 day trial for free. It turns out the deal may be even more significant because it foreshadowed that Apple is slashing the fee it takes from such content providers.



iRig Mic Field Review - Improve Your iPhone's Recording Quality!

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The iRig Mic Field ($99.99) is a simple way to capture better quality audio in vids, personal recordings or on-the-go interviews. The newly released external mic from IK Multimedia gives you the flexibility to tilt the mic to Portrait or Landscape orientation while filming and is a good companion for vbloggers, musicians, or just anyone interested in boosting the sound on their recordings.



With the Apple Watch, Seeing, and Trying One On, Is Believing

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I was able to order an Apple Watch at 3:10 a.m., EST, Friday, and my watch is on the way. But I wanted to try one on to make sure I ordered the right size, etc. After I placed my order, I booked one of the first appointments for a try on. There was just a short line when I arrived at the Apple Store, and quite a few people were there for the new MacBook, not necessarily for the watch. The staff was getting a quick intro to the watch and the process, which includes custom drawers that can be unlocked only by a specially equipped iPhone.



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