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Take better selfies with your iPhone’s timer mode

Yesterday, 09:45 PM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News
It can be tricky to get the best shot when taking a selfie or group shot with your iPhone. If you want a better angle than the length of your arm can provide (or your ridiculous selfie-stick will telescope to),mf.gif


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Apple Watch Order Statuses Shifting to 'Preparing for...

Yesterday, 09:39 PM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News
Apple Watch order statuses have begun changing from "Processing Items" to "Preparing for Shipment" as Apple gets ready to send out the first Apple Watch orders to customers who pre-ordered their devices on Friday, April 10. Apple Watch orders that have changed to "Preparing for Shipment" are still listing prospective delivery dates of 4/24 to 5/8, but the first orders are expected to begin arriving on Friday April 24, the official launch date of the Apple Watch. Now that order statuses have shifted, customers should begin receiving shipment emails in the near future.

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The change to customer order statuses comes just minutes after Apple began charging credit and debit cards for Apple Watch purchases. As we have previously mentioned, bulk shipments of the Apple Watch have already been arriving at central distribution centers across the United States from China, where the Apple Watch was manufactured. Apple Watch orders will ship out from these central distribution centers via Fedex and UPS, so despite the late shipping date, many devices will arrive on Friday.

With the iPhone 6, Apple also shipped hundreds of thousands of devices to central distribution centers before updating customers on the status of their orders. iPhones began shipping out on Monday and Tuesday for a Friday delivery, and it's likely Apple Watch orders will follow the same general timeline.

Deliveries could come from any of the major shipping hubs in the United States, which include Memphis, Tennessee; Louisville, Kentucky (UPS' WorldPort location); Indianapolis, Indiana; Newark, New Jersey; and Oakland, California. Many orders are likely to pass first through Anchorage, Alaska, where both UPS and FedEx have logistics centers, before heading out to other distribution sites.

The earliest Apple Watch pre-orders listed ambiguous delivery dates of 4/24 to 5/8, but Apple's head of retail Angela Ahrendts stated in a memo to employees last week that "customers who pre-ordered will start receiving deliveries next Friday as planned," so customers who managed to pre-order in the minutes before shipping dates started slipping will see deliveries this week.

Once an order changes to Preparing for Shipment, customers may be able to track by reference number using a phone number on the UPS and FedEx websites to get tracking information before a shipping email even goes out.mf.gif


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Control a Star Wars droid with your iPhone, you will

Yesterday, 09:30 PM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News
Soon you’ll be able to control the cute new robotic star of Star Wars: The Force Awakens with your iPhone. The toy version of BB-8, the droid with an R2-D2-style head perched precariously atop a rolling round body, will popmf.gif


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Apple preparing to ship out first Apple Watch orders as c...

Yesterday, 09:20 PM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News

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Ahead of the expected first Apple Watch arrivals on April 24th, Apple has began charging customer credit and debit cards. Various users on social media that pre-ordered the Apple Watch are reporting that they have been charged by Apple for their order. According to reader reports, both Apple Watch and Apple Watch Sport customers have been charged.

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While some users report that their shipment status has yet to change, our own Dom Esposito’s order status for his 38mm Apple Watch Sport has changed from from “processing” to “preparing for shipment.” His stainless steel model, however, remains as processing as of right now.

The first batch of Apple Watch pre-orders are expected to arrive on April 24th, although as we’ve noted before, supply of the device has been limited and therefore launch day arrivals could also be sparse. It appears that, today, customers in the United States and Canada have been charged for their orders, while international users have not.

Hearing from multiple places that UK orders (for Friday) will be charged and start preparing for shipment tomorrow.

— Benjamin Mayo (@bzamayo) April 20, 2015

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Image via @Stez38

@markgurman pic.twitter.com/GDGLA1ILBD

— NonValueAdded (@NonValueAdded) April 20, 2015


Filed under: Apple Watch Tagged: Apple, Apple watch, April 24, Orders, sport, Watch 375648 375648 375648 375648 375648 375648 375648 b.gif?host=9to5mac.com&blog=22754319&pos

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Apple Watch Charges Begin Showing Up On Credit and Debit...

Yesterday, 09:16 PM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News
According to dozens tweets and emails received by MacRumors, Apple has just begun charging customers who pre-ordered the Apple Watch for their purchases. The charges suggest that early Apple Watch orders will soon shift from "Processing Items" to "Preparing for Shipment" as Apple gears up to begin sending devices to customers ahead of the Apple Watch's Friday April 24 launch date.

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As we shared earlier today, bulk shipments of the Apple Watch have already begun arriving at central distribution centers across the United States and are ready to begin heading to customers over the next few days. We haven't seen word of shipments happening yet, but status changes should happen within the next few hours.

Apple Watch pre-orders began selling out within minutes as orders came up on April 10, but those who managed to place an order shortly after 12:01 a.m. Pacific Time will likely receive an April 24 delivery date. Even the earliest Apple Watch pre-orders offered delivery estimates of April 24 to May 8, but Apple retail chief Angela Ahrendts suggested the first Apple Watch orders would arrive on April 24 in a memo shared with employees last week.

Customers who were not lucky enough to pre-order within the first few hours that the Apple Watch was available will likely be waiting for several more weeks to receive their devices, but Apple executives did tell one MacRumors reader that those orders could arrive sooner than expected as supplies ramp up. Apple Watch pre-orders placed today offer shipping estimates that range into June and beyond.mf.gif


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Apple favorite Beyoncé shows off exclusive Apple Watch Ed...

Yesterday, 09:14 PM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News

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Following an Apple Watch with gold link bracelet, an exclusive combo that Apple isn’t offering to consumers, surfacing on the wrist of designer Karl Lagerfeld, today Beyonce is flaunting the same model at Coachella, as shown in these images posted to her website. 

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While so far Apple has been quiet about the exclusive Apple Watch models, it appears that the company is giving out a limited run of exclusive strap colors to celebrities and influencers like Beyonce and Lagerfeld. Beyonce has teamed up with Apple in the past on exclusive releases for iTunes and other promotions, and many other musicians and celebrities with ties to the company have also been spotted with the device ahead of its April 24th release. 

In addition to the all gold— we’re assuming 18k like the gold Apple Watch Edition— link bracelet, a collection of Sport bands in dark blue, red, yellow, and various skin and earth tones were spotted at an event hosted by Apple’s Jony Ive and friends during Milan Design Week.

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It’s unclear if Apple has plans to offer these bands down the road to all consumers, but it’s definitely an interesting idea to offer these limited edition models to a select crowd of influencers— limited edition models are something many traditional mechanical watch makers offer to increase the collectibility of certain pieces.


Filed under: Apple Watch Tagged: Apple, Apple watch, Beyoncé, Coachella, exclusive, Gold, limited edition, link bracelet 375641 375641 375641 375641 375641 375641 375641 b.gif?host=9to5mac.com&blog=22754319&pos

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1,500 iOS apps have HTTPS-crippling bug. Is one of them o...

Yesterday, 09:08 PM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News

About 1,500 iPhone and iPad apps contain an HTTPS-crippling vulnerability that makes it easy for attackers to intercept encrypted passwords, bank-account numbers, and other highly sensitive information, according to research released Monday.

An estimated two million people have installed the vulnerable apps, which include the Citrix OpenVoice Audio Conferencing, the Alibaba.com mobile app, Movies by Flixster with Rotten Tomatoes, KYBankAgent 3.0, and Revo Restaurant Point of Sale, according to analytics service SourceDNA. The weakness is the result of a bug in an older version of the AFNetworking, an open-source code library that allows developers to drop networking capabilities into their apps. Although AFNetworking maintainers fixed the flaw three weeks ago with the release of version 2.5.2, at least 1,500 iOS apps remain vulnerable because they still use version 2.5.1. That version became available in January and introduced the HTTPS-crippling flaw.

"The issue occurs even when the mobile application requests the library to apply checks for server validation in SSL certificates," researchers Simone Bovi and Mauro Gentile wrote in a blog post published in late March. They went on to say that they analyzed one app running AFNetworking 2.5.1 and found alarming results. "We tested the app on a real device and, unexpectedly, we found that all the SSL traffic could be regularly intercepted through a proxy like Burp without any intervention!" (Emphasis is theirs.)

Read 5 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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New platform offers visual artists a chance to put their...

Yesterday, 09:05 PM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News
There are many ways for photographers to display and share work: Build a website, post on Facebook, spread your brand on Instagram or create a repository on Flickr. But the few mentioned above are not perfect, especially when it comesmf.gif


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iOS-controlled toy Sphero made Star Wars’ BB-8 possible,...

Yesterday, 09:04 PM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News

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Best known for its app-controlled robotic toys, iOS developer Sphero was responsible for creating the ball-shaped droid BB-8 featured in Disney’s upcoming Star Wars: The Force Awakens, according to Time. Having released the original iOS-controlled Spheroand much-improved Sphero 2.0 balls in 2012 and 2013, the company was accepted into a Disney accelerator program in 2014, receiving personal mentoring from Disney CEO Bob Iger — a close friend of late Apple CEO Steve Jobs. “When the tech-savvy CEO saw Sphero’s technology in action,” Time reports, “he realized the potential application for BB-8 and connected the startup with the masterminds of the Star Wars characters.”

Along with the disclosure of Sphero’s involvement in the robot’s creation, Time noted that an BB-8 toy was planned for release. Gizmodo noted that an official BB-8 toy by Sphero had appeared on Fat Brain Toys’ site, but has since been pulled. Separately, designer Christian Poulsen has demonstrated how to make a homemade BB-8 droid by cutting open a Sphero ball, inserting a neodymium magnet inside, and placing another magnet inside a handmade foam head, painting the head and ball to match BB-8. Poulsen described making the toy as a quick one-day project, and has a collection of videos showing the modified Sphero moving around much as BB-8 does in the upcoming movie. Sphero 2.0 currently sells for $130. The official Sphero-designed toy will likely be released closer to the film, which is due out on December 18, 2015.


Filed under: General, iOS Devices Tagged: app, BB-8, iOS, Sphero, Star Wars, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Toy 375631 375631 375631 375631 375631 375631 375631 b.gif?host=9to5mac.com&blog=22754319&pos

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The best travel accessories for your MacBook Air, MacBook...

Yesterday, 08:30 PM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News

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Traveling with any MacBook is a lot easier today than it was five or ten years ago. Apple’s latest laptops consume much less space than their predecessors, and last much longer when they’re in active use. Whether it’s on a seat-back tray or resting in your lap, your MacBook can deliver quite a few hours of productive work time, video viewing, or even gameplay without assistance. But it can do even more if you bring the right accessories along.

My goal is to help you choose the best items to carry with you on the road — the type of items I’ve spent years testing. The picks below are highly practical and focused to make good use of space and address real-world concerns that many travelers have. Read on!

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The Best Way To Protect Your Privacy. If you’ve ever tried to work or look at private files on a plane, train, or bus, you’ve probably noticed that some other passengers are craning their heads to check out your MacBook’s screen. There are some passive-aggressive approaches to dealing with this, but the simplest solution (apart from closing your Mac) is a privacy filter — a piece of form-fit film that can be placed on the screen to limit off-angle visibility. The #1-ranked option is 3M’s Privacy Screen Protectors ($26-$36/MacBook Air$37/13″ Retina MacBook Pro$37/15″ Pro. $28-$45 non-Retina Pro), which are normally sold in clear or black, but also offered in gold. Viewed straight on, they look substantially clear — a little tinting is obvious — but from the side, the screen looks partially or entirely black, depending on the viewing angle, with enough fuzziness to obscure the details of whatever you’re looking at.

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The Best Travel USB Cable. I’ve carried a lot of USB cables around over the years, almost always for two types of devices: Apple devices and related accessories. These days, all of Apple’s iOS devices use Lightning connectors, and all of their accessories use Micro-USB cables. The easiest way to save space is to combine both of those cables into one, and the best of the combined Lightning and Micro-USB cables I’ve tested is Dodocool’s 2-in-1 Lightning/Micro USB Cord ($13). I strongly, strongly prefer licensed Lightning cables to generics, and this thick cable has proved very resilient in my travels. With a full-sized USB plug on one end, the other end has a Lightning connector there when you need it, pulling off to reveal a Micro-USB plug when necessary.

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The Best International Travel Adapter. If you’re traveling overseas, being able to refuel your MacBook when you arrive in another country is critically important. Once you’ve packed the wall adapter that came with your MacBook, there are three options to consider: cheap, fancy, or powerful. If you want nothing more than a simple adapter, the least expensive option is a set of easily detachable wall plugs such as Bestek’s Grounded Universal Plug Set ($15). Get the whole set, pick the one that you need for a given trip, stick it on the end of your MacBook’s wall charger, and leave the rest behind for later adventures. Apple’s official option is the World Travel Adapter Kit ($40), which is the most compact because it replaces the wall plugs on your MacBook’s charger, rather than adding something on top of the existing plugs. The most deluxe is Twelve South’s PlugBug World ($45), which comes with both replacement international wall plugs and adds a 2.1-Amp USB port for only $5 more than Apple’s kit. This could be especially handy for users of Apple’s new 12″ Retina MacBook.

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The Best Spare Power Solution – A Portable Power Outlet. When you’re running out of power in the middle of a flight, train ride, or bus trip, figuring out a way to keep your MacBook alive can be a challenge. MacBook Air and MacBook Pro laptops require Apple’s official wall adapter and MagSafe connector for charging, which limits your on-the-go refueling options. My strong recommendation is ChargeTech’s ChargeAll, which gives you a portable AC power outlet that can be carried anywhere. The 12,000mAh version ($150)can power a 13″ Retina MacBook Pro for just under 5 hours, while the 18,000mAh version ($200) works for over 7 hours, and has twin 2.4-Amp USB ports for iPad and iPhone charging. For Apple’s Retina MacBook, you can use your choice of ultra-high-capacity battery packs (my favorite is Anker’s Astro E7), any of which can be used with a USB to USB-C cable to power the 12″ MacBook.

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The Best Little Travel Drive. I tend to take a lot of photos (and at least some videos) when I’m traveling, and given the limited amount of space on my MacBook, a spare drive for holding overflow content is always handy. The one I’ve recently fallen in love with is Seagate’s Seven ($95, review here), which is covered in steel and billed as the world’s thinnest 500GB portable hard drive. Bundled with a USB 3.0 cable and capable of fitting pretty much anywhere — it’s smaller than an iPhone 6 Plus — it has enough storage space to hold a gigantic photo and video library on its own, tucking away in your bag when not in use. As prices of solid state drives (SSDs) continue to come down, however, traditional hard drives will need to be as thin and affordable as Seven to remain relevant.

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The Best Carrying Case. There’s no single laptop bag that’s right for every user; the designs vary a lot in style, size, and features. But I’ll give you a few pointers that will help you choose something that’s going to work the best for you over time. Any bag you buy should have a dedicated, padded compartment for your MacBook. Preferably, it will have several compartments to carry accessories such as the ones shown above, including a couple of relatively large pockets capable of holding the MacBook’s wall adapter and a spare battery if you’re buying one. It should zipper closed for security, come from a company with a history of quality manufacturing, and be easy to carry in the way that you feel most comfortable toting around several additional pounds worth of stuff. Estimate that your MacBook, adapter, and supplies will add between 4 and 6 pounds of weight to your back or shoulder.

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I personally love Incase’s DSLR Sling Pack ($80), because I always travel with a camera and laptop; this one fits both MacBook Airs and the 12″ MacBook, but is a very tight squeeze for my 13″ Retina MacBook Pro. Despite that fact, the build quality is so excellent that the zipper and exterior have remained intact for years despite holding all sorts of computer and camera gear. There are many, many other laptop-ready options out there in several major styles, including Messenger Bags, BackpacksBriefcases, and Purses like the ones shown above. Just make sure the bag you pick has the combination of security, space, and practicality you need.

Even More Great Options

Read more of my How-To guides and reviews for 9to5Mac here (and don’t forget to click on Older Posts at the bottom of the page to see everything)!


Filed under: How-To, Buying Guides, General, Mac, Tips and Tricks Tagged: 3m, Accessories, Anker, Cable, carrying case, ChargeAll, Dodocool, international adapters, Lightning, MacBook, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, micro-usb, portable power, privacy film, Seagate Seven, Travel, travel drive, USB-C 375583 375583 375583 375583 375583 375583 375583 b.gif?host=9to5mac.com&blog=22754319&pos

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