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SCOSCHE's BoomBOTTLE+ is a rugged Bluetooth speaker t...

Today, 04:48 PM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News

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Accessory maker SCOSCHE has debuted a new rugged Bluetooth speaker perfect for the outdoors. The BoomBOTTLE+ is a tough new cylindrical speaker that you can take pretty much anywhere thanks to its dust and water proofing and large battery, letting you listen to the latest tracks on Apple Music or catch up on your favorite podcasts on the go.

The sound of the BoomBOTTLE+ is powered by 55mm drivers, along with two passive radiators. The size and cylindrical shape of the speakers allows it to fit inside a bike's water bottle cage, allowing cyclists to take it anywhere without blocking their hearing with headphones. The speaker is IP67 rated, meaning that it's completely dust tight, and can be immersed in water up to one meter deep. It also has a shock-absorbent shell to keep it safe from drops.

SCOSCHE says that the 6,000mAh battery can deliver 15 hours of music playback, and the BoomBOTTLE+ is even supposed to charge your phone or tablet while in use. The speaker comes in three color options: Black/Space Gray, Black/Gold, and Sport Blue. It is available now from SCOSCHE for $179.99.

Buy the BoomBOTTLE+ from SCOSCHE for $179.99



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New music on iTunes: Albums from The Weekend and Andra Da...

Today, 04:13 PM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News

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Every Friday, the iTunes Store adds new music to its lineup. This week, we have new albums from The Weekend and Andra Day, discounts on dance, and you can pre-order Demi Lovato's new album.

This week sees the release of Beauty Behind the Madness, the new album from The Weekend. Andra Day's debut, Cheers to the Fall, is also available. This week also sees the debut of BADLANDS, the first studio album from Halsey. We also have a new single from Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Downtown. Finally, we have Alessia Cara, who has released her new EP Four Pink Walls.

Apple is currently discounting a wide array of dance albums. For $5.99 each, you can grab music from Dillon Francis, Donna Summer, Alesso, and Daft Punk, among others. The music includes a mix of more modern hits and classic tracks.

In addition to new music to buy, new pre-orders for upcoming albums are also available. That starts with Confident, the new album from Demi Lovato, expected October 16. Also expected on October 16 is E Project, a new album from Jean-Michel Jarre. You can also pre-order Tangled Up, the new album from Thomas Rhett, which is expected on September 25.

Check back next week for more great music from the iTunes Store.



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Mobile Nations Community Update, August 2015

Today, 03:11 PM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News
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Greetings all! Time for the Mobile Nations Community Update, your monthly look at the best contests, recent happenings, hottest forum threads, and more from Android Central, Connectedly, CrackBerry, iMore, and Windows Central.



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Save 33% on this nylon holster with belt clip for iPhone 6

Today, 03:09 PM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News

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Manufactured in the US, this durable nylon holster shields your iPhone 6 from damage while securely attached to your side using its heavy duty belt clip. It's even water resistant for those days when weather get rough! Grab one on sale today for just $23.95



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Google, sadly, tells ad developers how to disable Apple...

Today, 02:52 PM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News

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Instead of helping developers turn off app transport security, Google should help them apply as much of it as possible.

App Transport Security is Apple's forward-looking way to make sure any communications between an app and a web server are done using TLS 1.2 and SHA256 or better security. That way nobody can eavesdrop on or tamper with your private data. Yesterday Google not only told developers how to disable it, including giving them the code to do it. From the Google Ads Developer Blog:

While Google remains committed to industry-wide adoption of HTTPS, there isn't always full compliance on third party ad networks and custom creative code served via our systems. To ensure ads continue to serve on iOS9 devices for developers transitioning to HTTPS, the recommended short term fix is to add an exception that allows HTTP requests to succeed and non-secure content to load successfully.

Not surprisingly, that caused a backlash in the security community.

What Google could have done, and arguably should have done, was help developers configure things in such a way that app traffic remained secure while working on making the ads secure as well Instead, Google simply told them how to turn it all off. Private data connections and ads, all of it. It's the easiest approach but also the laziest and worst approach for users.

Google updated the article later in the day:

We've received important feedback about this post and wanted to clarify a few points. We wrote this because developers asked us about resources available to them for the upcoming iOS 9 release, and we wanted to outline some options. To be clear, developers should only consider disabling ATS if other approaches to comply with ATS standards are unsuccessful. Apple has provided a tech note describing different approaches, including the ability to selectively enable ATS for a list of provided HTTPS sites.

Our own Nick Arnott wrote about ATS after Apple announced it at WWDC 2015 and recommended several options, the third of which could be a better solution for developers and users both. From Neglected Potential:

Conversely, you may only want ATS to work on domains you specifically know can support it. For example, if you developer a Twitter client, there will be countless URLs you may want to load that may not be able to support ATS, though you would want things like login calls, and other requests to Twitter to use ATS. In this case you can disable ATS as your default, then specify URL which you do wish to use ATS.

In this case you should set NSAllowsArbitraryLoads to true, then define the URLs that you want to be secure in your NSExceptionDomains dictionary. Each domain you wish to be secure should have its own dictionary, and the NSExceptionAllowsInsecureHTTPLoads for that dictionary should be set to false.

App Transport Security is brand new with iOS 9 and there will be some initial pain, especially for people with content like ads. But that doesn't mean the privacy and security baby should be thrown out with the bathwater. Everyone is stressed and rushed leading up to a launch, so if a company like Google recommends an easy out by just shutting security down, that out is more likely going to be taken.

Recode put it this way:

Both companies say they're moving toward the same goalpost on mobile security. The difference: When ads and security clash, Google wants to figure out a compromise, because Google is an advertising company. Apple isn't.

Everyone, platform owners and developers included, can be inclined to punt in the face of impending change. I'm optimistic, however, that Google can get it together and help developers achieve the best results for now, and better ones going forward.

Because once security and privacy is turned off, there's a good chance they'll stay that way.

Nick Arnott contributed to this article.



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PayPal U.K. customers can get 20% off select digital iTun...

Today, 02:26 PM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News

PayPal customers in the U.K. can once again get select digital iTunes Store gift cards for 20% off when they buy them through PayPal. The promotion is only available to cards purchased through PayPal Digital Gifts, and applies only to select amounts. Customers can get a £15 card for £12, a £25 card for £20, a card worth £50 for £40, and finally, a £100 gift card for £80.

Customers can apply these cards to their iTunes accounts. They can be used to buy anything currently on offer from any of Apple's digital content stores, including apps, movies, music, and books. The promotion has already started, and will run until August 31.

Save 20% on iTunes gift cards with PayPal



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Apple joins Pentagon program for military wearables and s...

Today, 02:07 PM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News

Apple is among the 162 companies, universities, and other groups partnering with the U.S. Department of Defense to develop new sensors for the military, including some that could be worn by soldiers. But far from developing a military-grade Apple Watch, Apple, Boeing, and others are being asked to help build high-tech, multi-purpose sensors that could be worn by soldiers, but also used for other purposes, like being attached to vehicles.

From Reuters:

The new technology aims to use high-end printing technologies to create stretchable electronics that could be embedded with sensors and worn by soldiers, a defense official said, and could ultimately be used on ships or warplanes for real-time monitoring of their structural integrity.

In addition to Apple and Boeing, the so-called FlexTech alliance consists of companies, universities, and other groups. Membership includes Harvard University, Advantest Akron Polymer Systems, and Kalamazoo Valley Community College. The research and development program will be based out of a new lab in San Jose, California.

Source: Reuters; Via MacRumors



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Apple Music exec Ian Rogers resigns just two months after...

Today, 01:11 PM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News

Ian Rogers has resigned from Apple just two months after the company launched its new music streaming service, according to FT sources. The Apple Music executive joined Apple last year after the acquisition of Beats was complete, leading the charge to get Beats 1 off the ground, hiring former BBC radio DJ Zane Lowe and preparing for the global launch.

From the FT report:

"News of his departure caught colleagues off guard. He is leaving the west coast to work for a Europe-based company in an unrelated industry, people familiar with the situation said. Apple confirmed that Mr Rogers was leaving the company but declined to comment further."

Previously the CEO of Beats, Rogers' departure from Apple was somewhat unexpected, but it will be interesting to see what's on the horizon for the former Apple exec, as well as how Apple Music will be represented by retention figures (for paying customers) later this year.

Source: FT



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Best Apple Watch leather bands

Today, 01:00 PM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News

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Anyone in the market for making their Apple Watch just a little more classy will want to check out our picks for the best-looking leather bands available. You'll find a wide variety of styles, colors, and clasps for both 42 mm and 38 mm Apple Watch sizes.

Note: While Apple has announced an official Made for Apple Watch program for bands and other accessories it will take a while before any third-party bands ship with that seal of approval. So, if you're eager to get third party bands now, now, now make doubly sure they're well produced from trusted manufacturers and won't damage your watch.

Case-Mate Signature Leather Band

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Case-Mate's Signature series leather Apple Watch bands strike a strong, classic look. The clasp has the logo engraved in a subdued profile, and the edge of the band has additional texture added. You'll be able to snag these in black and brown for 42 mm Apple Watches.

Pad & Quill Classic Band

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These bands are available in tan, whiskey, chocolate, and black colors, while clasps are in black and silver. Pad & Quill make a name for themselves by relying on handcrafting and using high-quality materials. In this case, the Classic band is made with soft tumbled, full grain American steer hide. The Pad & Quill Classic band for the Apple Watch is shipping soon, and early reviews are looking good.

Apple Leather Loop

Apple's own 42 mm leather loop band is on the premium side of pricing, but offers an very clever clasping mechanism. Just feed the long end through the clasp on the shorter, wrap it back around, and the clasp will secure itself. The signature ridged style isn't something you'll see often in a watch strap, and with four colors available, you'll definitely find one that strikes your fancy. Here's our in-depth review if you want more details.

Monowear Leather

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Monowear's leather band designs are fairly traditional, with a standard clasp and two securing loops. What's particularly fetching about these bands is the tan-colored underside of these bands, which contrast nicely with the various colors available for the exterior side. Black, brown, red, blue, and creme colors are options, as well as matte silver, polished silver, and dark grey steel elements, depending on your preference.

Lucrin Ostrich Leather

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If you want to go all-out with luxury, Lucrin's Ostrich leather Apple Watch bands are about the fanciest you'll find out there. Available in both 38 mm and 42 mm sizes in 30 dazzling colors. The ostrich leather is the most expensive of the bunch, but you can tone it down with goat leather, granulated leather, or standard leather too.

Apple Modern Buckle

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Another option in the premium bracket is Apple's Modern Buckle band for 38 mm watches. It's constructed with top-grain Granada leather and features a clip-style clasp. Brown, black, blue, and pink colors are available in small, medium, and large sizes.

Your favorite leather bands for the Apple Watch?

We're always on the lookout for the nicest Apple Watch bands available. Leave a link in the comments with your favorites so far!



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Why I won't be sad to see One to One go away: It'...

Today, 12:00 PM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News
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For people making a living selling and supporting Apple gear, Apple's One to One program is a liability, not an asset.
A rumor surfaced this week that Apple's excising its One to One program at its retail store in favor of expanding the free group workshops program. One to One allows owners of new Macs and other devices to purchase a year's worth of weekly, personalized training with Apple specialists in Apple retail stores at a steal of a price: $99. If One to One does indeed go away, I can understand why. It's very expensive for stores to do, and many customers can get effective training other ways.
Serenity Caldwell recently shared her experiences as a past Apple Store employee who did One to One training. Amidst some touching anecdotes about her customers and experiences doing the training, she said, "That program may not make sense for Apple retail anymore. The stores are getting bigger and more crowded, and personalized training was always a harder sell in noisy, rambunctious environments."
Anyone who's been in an Apple retail store over the past few years knows what Ren's talking about. Apple retail stores are crazy busy. Apple wants to maximize the profit for each of its locations, so it puts them in heavily trafficked areas and hasn't expanded their footprint to new locations dramatically unless demographics show that areas can support additional stores. The net result is that the Apple Store has gotten busier and busier. With few exceptions, locations like that just aren't a good learning experience.
The retail store where I work, while not owned by Apple, is authorized by Apple to sell and service much of their gear. We're located almost an hour's drive by highway from the closest Apple-owned store. There are other places in the area to buy Apple gear: Best Buy, Walmart, Target. But for personalized sales and service, many people are much more comfortable coming to us.

Apple has set customer expectations, and some of our customers expect to get the same deals they can get from an Apple store.


One of the first things they'll tell me is, "I'm not a computer person." I already knew that, for the most part: After all, they're in a computer store. "Computer people" haven't set foot in computer stores unless it's an emergency ever since the Internet hit the scene. Customers are often amazed that we don't have a line at the service counter, and that they don't need to make an appointment. Our volume is lower — a lot lower than the Apple Store.
Still, Apple has set customer expectations, and some of our customers expect to get the same deals they can get from an Apple store. So to keep pace with what Apple has done, we also offer a $99 deal for buyers of new Macs and iPads: Ten individual one-hour training sessions to use over the course of a year. While most of our customers turn it down, some new converts to Apple platforms and people who are, frankly, timid with the technology, do take advantage of it.
We also, by the way, offer free seminar-style introductory classes, just as the rumor currently suggests Apple is going to continue to do once the One to One program has run its course. Many people on the fence about buying new gear attend those, to make sure they'll be comfortable with their new products. Some new buyers do too, just to make sure they've got down the basics.
Spending $500 on a new iPad or $1000 on a new Mac can be a really intimidating experience for a lot of people, especially older customers on fixed incomes who may not be as comfortable with technology as their kids and grandkids. That's who our own training caters to the most. We have very few customers buying the training who aren't already eligible for AARP benefits at least, if not Social Security.
Apple makes its computers and portable devices very easy to use, but let's not deceive ourselves: Even Apple products can still be overwhelming, confusing and just plain scary for many. For them, One to One assistance and other individualized training is really helpful.
The problem is that individualized training purchased as a package is a money-loser for the store. We're not compensated by Apple for training customers in any way. When a customer buys the $99 deal from us, they're getting customized training for $10 an hour, which doesn't even cover the employee's wages.

We have to offer training to keep customers, but we're not a social welfare agency.


I certainly appreciate that people are looking to get the most out of the expensive technology they purchase, and I appreciate that some people who want or need this gear don't have a lot of discretionary income to throw around.
Right now Apple's One to One pricing doesn't let us do that. We have to offer training to keep customers, but we're not a social welfare agency. We have to make enough money to pay employees, keep the lights on, and put enough in the owner's pockets to make the business operation worthwhile. It wouldn't be the worst thing in the world for us to see it go away.
Disclaimer: I speak only for myself, not the management or ownership of the third-party Apple-authorized retailer where I work.


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