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Google Docs, Sheets, & Slides iOS apps now let you ‘M...

Today, 07:32 PM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News

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Google is rolling out updates to its Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides apps for the iPhone and iPad today bringing the ability to make a copy of a document and more.

In addition to the new “Make a copy” function for documents, spreadsheets, and presentations across all three apps, you’ll also now be able to copy links to your device’s clipboard. Sheets and Slides also receive a new “accessibility settings menu when VoiceOver is enabled.”

The updated apps also arrive with bug fixes and a few other minor enhancements.

The latest version of Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides will be hitting the App Store today.

What’s New in Version 1.2.6936

* Make a copy of a document
* Bug fixes and performance improvements


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Apple plans relaunched Beats streaming music service for...

Today, 06:26 PM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News

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Apple won’t take the wraps off of its upcoming Beats-based music streaming service at its March 9 “Spring Forward” event, according to music industry sources briefed on the launch timeline. Instead, Apple currently plans to introduce the service, at least in beta form, at its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in early June. The WWDC keynote takes place on Monday, June 8th, so that’s when the debut will likely occur. The new iTunes music streaming service is based on technology acquired from Beats Music, including curated playlists, cloud-based libraries, and offerings customized to the musical tastes of individual users. The service will be priced as high as $7.99 per month, which is less expensive than current $9.99 pricing for Beats Music, Spotify, and Rdio…

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The service was initially planned for launch earlier in 2015, but was delayed by the departures of key employees, as well as difficulties integrating Beats human and technology resources into Apple. Some Beats executives such as Bobby Gaza, who was a Senior Vice President at Beats in charge of technology, have departed Apple in recent weeks. The new Apple-made service will also make way for Apple’s first entirely-in-house Android application, but sources say that delays to the Android app are also possible as some of Apple’s Android developers have also left the company. Apple has, not coincidentally, published job listings for Android developers in recent days.

Apple currently plans to launch the new music service as part of an iOS 8.4 upgrade for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch following WWDC, but a final decision has not yet been made. It’s possible that the service will be bundled into iOS 9 this fall, which is expected to have a significant focus on bug fixes and stability improvements. The service will be integrated into the standard iOS Music application and will function similarly to Beats Music for iPhone, but it will have an entirely Apple-designed aesthetic that matches the Music app and iOS. On the Mac side, the new service will be implemented with an iTunes update.

As for the Apple TV, the new service will be an app that replaces the existing Beats channel. Sources say that Apple is also finishing up work on a slimmer Apple TV set-top-box with a more capable and tactile remote control and a redesigned operating system bundled with an App Store. As of last fall, Apple had hoped to debut a new set top box as soon as this month, but with reports of the discussions between Apple and content providers being in only “early stages”, it seems that, just like last year, content roadblocks could keep the new Apple TV from debuting until another point in the future. As we learned yesterday regarding the larger iPad Pro, Apple will have another busy fall, so perhaps the new Apple TV will launch later in the year.

While the streaming service won’t debut at the March event, as some had hoped, Apple still has plenty to talk about. The Apple Watch will be the cornerstone of the event, where sources expect Apple to spend a significant amount of time introducing and demonstrating third-party WatchKit applications as selling points for the device. It is also highly likely that Apple will discuss the rest of the price points for the device and its accessories before the April ship date. Apple has a redesigned MacBook Air with Retina display in the works for this year, but it remains unclear whether Apple actually plans to debut the computer at the March event.


Filed under: AAPL Company, iOS, iOS Devices, Mac Tagged: $7.99, Apple, Apple TV, Beats, Dr Dre, Eddy Cue, exclusive, iOS, iOS 8.4, iOS 9, iPad, iPhone, iPod, Jimmy Iovine, music service, Rdio, Retina MacBook Air, Spotify, streaming, The Next Episode 367854 367854 367854 367854 367854 367854 367854 b.gif?host=9to5mac.com&blog=22754319&pos

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Apple promoting new Photos app to Aperture customers in e...

Today, 06:13 PM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News

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Apple has began promoting the new Photos app to Aperture users in an email blast to past customers. Photos replaces iPhoto with new iCloud features built in, but the app does not carry over the same advanced editing features as Aperture.

Photos was first announced at WWDC last June with a release date targeted for sometime this year. The developer betas of OS X 10.10.3 included the new app for testers, and earlier this week the first public beta for non-developers was released.

Aperture, which is still being sold for $79.99, is no longer being updated and will be removed from the Mac App Store when the new Photos app is released with OS X 10.10.3 this spring. Adobe has developed an Aperture-to-Lightroom migration toolfor professional photographers looking for software alternatives.

The email can be read in full below:

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Filed under: AAPL Company Tagged: Aperture, IPhoto, Lightroom, Mac App Store, photos 367903 367903 367903 367903 367903 367903 367903 b.gif?host=9to5mac.com&blog=22754319&pos

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Apple Watch predicted to take 55% of the 2015 global smar...

Today, 05:56 PM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News

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Research firm Strategy Analytics released its latest report today forecasting global Apple Watch sales and smartwatch marketshare for 2015. The firm’s predictions put Apple’s anticipated global smartwatch marketshare at more than half with 54.8% reached in 2015. Notably, that forecasted percentage is versus all other smartwatches combined competing with the Apple Watch.

While the report predicts that Apple will take the overwhelming majority of smartwatch sales this year, it predicts a relatively conservative number of units shipped globally in 2015 at 15.4 million. That forecast still beats the collective “other” group with a 12.7 million units shipped globally predicted.

To be clear, the firm is predicting that the as-of-yet unreleased Apple Watch will outsell the existing smartwatch market in 2015…

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Compared to other predictions, the forecast from Strategy Analytics is more conservative (and perhaps more realistic) than previously released reports.

A Credit Suisse survey at the start of the year concluded that as many as 35 million Apple Watches would be sold in the first year based on iPhone owner interest, while the firm itself predicted a percentage of that at 20 million units in its forecast. Based on the iPad’s first year performance, Morgan Stanley forecasted even higher at 30 million units shipped in 2015. More specifically, Gene Muster of Piper Jaffray recently predicted just 10,000 of the 18k gold Edition models being sold in 2015.

Interestingly, Strategy Analytics does show the smartwatch market growing considerably in 2015 from 4.6 million units actually sold last year to 28.1 million units expected to ship globally this year. While the majority of that increase is attributed to the Apple Watch itself, the firm’s numbers puts everyone else’s collective growth tripling at 8 million more this year.

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As for Apple, the firm notes that battery life and and over-all appearance compared to other smartwatches will create competition toward the end of the year creating challenges for the successor to the Apple Watch will need to address for Apple to maintain its lead.

Apple has only thus far described the Apple Watch battery life as needing to be recharged every night, but we’ve reported performance during the device’s development cycle as measuring in at 2.5 to 4 hours of active usage with 19 hours of combined passive/active use.

Apple is set to unveil much more availability details for its Watch on Monday, and we’ll have coverage of its special event as it happens. As for the Apple Watch’s international plans, we reported earlier this week comments from Tim Cook pointing to a multi-country launch next month.


Filed under: Apple Watch Tagged: analysts, Apple Inc, forcast, Google, iOS, iPhone, Strategy Analytics, units, Watch 367881 367881 367881 367881 367881 367881 367881 b.gif?host=9to5mac.com&blog=22754319&pos

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Gmail for iOS updated w/ share sheet support, ability to...

Today, 05:16 PM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News
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Google this morning has released a major update for Gmail on iOS. The update bumps the app to version 4.0 and packs a handful of new features. First off, Gmail on iOS now supports the ability to archive and reply to messages directly from a notification, a feature many have been requesting since iOS 8 launched.

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The update also adds the ability to attach documents from third-party apps via the share sheet directly to an email to make it easier to move files on the go. That feature works the opposite way too, meaning that you can open attachments that you receive in emails directly in another app to view and edit them.

The update is available for free on the App Store now. The full changelog from Google is below:

  • Take quick actions – Archive or reply to messages directly from a notification
  • Email files from other apps – Attach photos and documents to Gmail right from your favorite apps
  • New attachment viewer – Open attachments from Gmail into any app

Filed under: iOS Tagged: Apps, Gmail, Google, Updates 367874 367874 367874 367874 367874 367874 367874 b.gif?host=9to5mac.com&blog=22754319&pos

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9to5Toys Lunch Break: Beats Solo2 headphones $150, S...

Today, 05:02 PM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News

Keep up with the best gear and deals on the web by signing up for the 9to5Toys Newsletter. Also, be sure to check us out on: TwitterRSS FeedFacebookGoogle+ and Safari push notifications.

Today’s can’t miss deals:

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Beats by Dr. Dre Solo2 wired and wireless on-ear headphones $50 off, deals from $150

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SanDisk Connect 32GB Wireless iOS/Android Flash Drive $35 shipped (orig. $60)

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ZAGGkeys MINI 7 Case/Keyboard (refurb) for iPad mini $9 shipped (orig. $90)

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Charge up to 5 iPhones, iPads and other USB devices at once in your car for $14 Prime shipped

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Put a 128GB microSD card in your Android phone/tablet, GoPro, MacBook + more for $80 shippedSanDisk’s groundbreaking microSD card will stuff an extra 200GB in your MacBook, GoPro, more

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Small States Review Bolt Briefcase from WaterField Designs is an ideal work and travel companion, $249 giveawayMore new gear from today:

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Onkyo 4K Ultra HD 5.2 Ch. A/V Home Theater Receiver w/ WiFi & Bluetooth $250 shipped (Reg. $300)More deals still alive:

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Groupon 10% off: Xbox One bundles $315, Lenmar iPhone battery case $18, moreNew products & more:aether-cone-speaker.jpg?w=655&h=410Aether’s Cone wireless speaker gains a couple new tricks, still looks beautiful
Filed under: Tips and Tricks Tagged: 9to5Toys, Beats by Dr. Dre, Beats deals, Beats headphones, Best Buy Deal of the Day, coupon code, Daily Deals, free apps, free music, free shipping, Freebies, giveaways, iPhone flash drive, SanDisk Connect, Solo2 headphones, wireless iOS flash drive 367856 367856 367856 367856 367856 367856 367856 b.gif?host=9to5mac.com&blog=22754319&pos

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Back to the Mac: Microsoft releases redesigned Office for...

Today, 04:55 PM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News

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Before today, the latest versions of Word, PowerPoint, and Excel for OS X came with Office for Mac 2011, a suite of productivity apps which you can tell from the name included dated software without many modern features Mac users expect. Office for Mac 2011 was actually first released in October 2010. A lot has changed since then.

Microsoft moved Office from a paid upgrade approach to a cloud subscription model, saw its CEO Steve Ballmer retire and buy a basketball team, appointed Satya Nadella as head of the company, and even released Office for iPad and iPhone.

For the Mac, though, the most capable versions of Word, PowerPoint, and Excel have only been available as Web apps—not native—until now. As promised, Microsoft is today releasing the public beta of Office for Mac 2016 including all new versions of the company’s go-to productivity apps.

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In addition to being sandboxed and fully Cocoa rather than Carbon, each new app is optimized for Retina displays, features full-screen modes, and cloud syncing between platforms.

Office for Mac 2016 takes the “cloud first, platform second” approach of Microsoft’s other Office 365-compatible apps. For example, multiple users can collaborate on documents in real time when using the same app on different platforms like Word for Mac, iPad, or PC. Microsoft also treats the ribbon tool bar similarly across versions of Office so the user experience is familiar regardless of which platform you’re using.

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Aside from being rebuilt and redesigned for the modern Mac operating system, Word picks up some new features like a design tab for managing and creating style and layout preferences for documents.

Microsoft also highlights threaded comments between using with collaborating on a document to making group editing straightforward. A navigation pane on the left of the word processor allows you to easily move and structure content as you work.

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The redesigned version of PowerPoint features a new animation pane for making presentations more lively and interactive. Slides can be further customized with tools like transparency sliders and more available.

PowerPoint 2016 also includes a brand new presentation mode for presenters. Each of the new Office 2016 Preview apps can take advantage of OS X’s full screen mode, and the new presentation view is no exception. This provides presenters with an overview of the presentation, the current and next sliders, as well as a timer and other tools.

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Excel, an app even iWork fans sometimes praise over Numbers, gains a ton of new smarts in Office 2016. For starters, keyboard shortcuts now mirror the Windows version of Excel so users switching between platforms won’t go crazy anymore. For Excel 2011 users, you can keep the previous shortcuts around as well.

Excel 2016 for Mac now supports functions from Excel 2013 for Windows, enabling compatibility between platforms, and a new PivotTable Slicer allows you to set parameters for data to quickly find new data points from existing numbers.

Each new app features a brand new open and create window, too, which includes recent documents saved to OneDrive from all Office 365-compatible platforms like iPhone, iPad, the Web, and PC.

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The Office for Mac 2016 Preview also includes the current versions of both OneNote and Outlook which were released a year ago and last October, respectively.

Finally, the apps in Office for Mac 2016 are preview versions, not the final versions Microsoft plans to release this summer. During the preview phase, Microsoft is especially encouraging user feedback and making the process of sharing your thoughts and ideas easy.

In the top right of each app, a smiley face button initiates a feedback form where you can include your comments, a screenshot, and optionally your email address for any ideas you have or problems you may encounter.

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Microsoft is targeting availability for the final release later this summer, at which point an active Office 365 subscription will be required. The suite is free to try without a subscription and can be used with Office 2011 installed. Pricing for a standalone version for Mac without requiring an active subscription is expected closer to launch.

Office for Mac 2016 Preview is now available to try for free and includes Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Outlook, and OneNote. OS X 10.10 Yosemite is required.


Filed under: Apps, Mac Tagged: Excel, Microsoft, Office, Office 2016, OneDrive, Outlook, PowerPoint, Word 367758 367758 367758 367758 367758 367758 367758 b.gif?host=9to5mac.com&blog=22754319&pos

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Kids’ coding academies aim to bridge ‘skills gap’

Today, 04:15 PM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News
There are plenty of schools with computers. But find a teacher with tech industry experience and you’ve found a “unicorn,” says a school director who wants to introduce kids to the language of coding. Lyel Resner, director of K-12 curriculummf.gif


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Release notes from an internal iOS 8.2 build show more im...

Today, 03:46 PM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News
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After several weeks of testing, Apple is expected to release iOS 8.2 next week as it puts the Apple Watch on stage one more time. We reported before the event date was announced that Apple has been targeting the second week in March for iOS 8.2 release and passed over BGR’s report that the update would be available as soon as this week (which didn’t pan out). Ahead of the update’s release, though, BGR has posted release notes for an internal release highlighting additional changes to the Health app and stability improvements and big fixes.

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Beta versions of the update have added blood glucose tracking and data explanations to the built-in Health app as well as support for pairing with the upcoming Apple Watch. We also detailed the planned “Companion” app used to interface with the Apple Watch earlier this year. This app includes an extensive settings panel for managing the Apple Watch including a long list of accessibility options and an unannounced monogram watch face feature.

Health App improvements

  • Adds the ability to select the unit of measurement for body temperature, weight, height, distance, and blood glucose
  • Improves stability when dealing with large amounts of data
  • Includes the ability to add and visualise workout sessions from 3rd-party apps
  • Addresses an issue that may have prevented users from adding a photo in Medical ID
  • Fixes units for vitamins and minerals
  • Fixes an issue where Health data wouldn’t refresh after changes data source order
  • Fixes an issue where some graphics showed no data values
  • Adds a privacy setting that enables turning off tracking of steps, distance, and flights climbed

Stability Enhancements

  • Increases stability of Mail
  • Improves stability of Flyover in Maps
  • Improves stability of Music
  • Improves VoiceOver reliability
  • Improves connectivity with Made for iPhone Hearing Aids

Bug Fixes

  • Fixes an issue in Maps that prevented navigating to some favorite locations
  • Addresses an issue where the last word in a quick reply message wasn’t autocorrected
  • Fixes an issue where duplicate iTunes purchased content could prevent iCloud restore from completing
  • Resolves an issue where some music or playlists didn’t sync from iTunes to the Music app
  • Fixes an issue where deleted audiobooks sometimes remained on the device
  • Resolves an issue that could prevent call audio from routing to car speakers while using Siri Eyes Free
  • Fixes a Bluetooth calling issue where no audio is heard until the call is answered
  • Fixes a timezone issue where Calendar events appear in GMT
  • Addresses an issue that caused certain events in a custom reoccurring meeting to drop from Exchange calendar
  • Fixes an certificate error that prevented configuring an Exchange account behind a third-party gateway
  • Fixes an issue that could cause an organizer’s Exchange meeting notes to be overwritten
  • Resolves an issue that prevented some Calendar events from automatically showing as “busy” after accepting an invite.

Filed under: iOS Tagged: Apple watch, Companion App, Health app, iOS 8.2 367849 367849 367849 367849 367849 367849 367849 b.gif?host=9to5mac.com&blog=22754319&pos

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Apple Rumored to Offer Personal Engravings on Apple Watch...

Today, 03:41 PM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News
apple_watch_back-250x338.jpg Apple may give customers the ability to engrave personalized messages onto the upcoming Apple Watch, according to French Apple and tech site iPhonote [Google Translate].

According to the website's source, who remained anonymous due to their "involvement at Apple", the company would offer an engraving option similar to that of products like the iPhone, iPad, and iPod lines.

The contact, however, remains unsure of whether the feature would be available on the Apple Watch's launch date or not. They remain "almost certain", however, that the customization option will emerge for the device eventually.

An engraving option certainly makes sense for Apple's new fashion-focused wearable, especially considering that essentially all of the company's mobile products include the personalization option, but the small footprint of the Watch does raise questions on where the actual engraving would be located.

The heart rate sensor located on the device's backside takes up nearly all of the real estate of the 38mm or 42 mm device, although drastic character count limitations could perhaps fit truncated messages around the sensor. There's also a possibility that more room could be found on the device's side opposite the digital crown, but until Apple officially announces the engraving service, it remains to be seen where the personal messages would fit onto the wearable.

Despite being announced nearly six months ago, a number of details on the Apple Watch have yet to be revealed in the lead-up to its April launch. Last week, the company sent out invites for the "Spring Forward" media event to take place Monday, March 9 and for which most evidence points towards a heavy focus on pricing and launch day details for the new wearable device.

(Photo: aBlogtoWatch)mf.gif


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