‘Eight’ Wooden Acoustic Amplifier for iPhone Looks Amazing, Sounds OK

6:30 PM EDT, Oct. 10th, 2014 · Bryan Chaffin · In-Depth Review

'Eight' Wooden Acoustic Amplifier Looks Amazing, Sounds OK

Eight is the most unique iPhone accessory I've seen, and it's the most beautiful. Designed by Slovakian company Stark, Eight is a wooden acoustic amplifier/dock for your iPhone 5/5s/6. With the addition of the included Lightning cable, it's also a charging dock. It's hand crafted, made of gorgeous wood, is cleverly designed, feels amazing (seriously), and it sounds OK.

Apple’s October 16 Invitation is Actually a Hidden Promise

5:00 PM EDT, Oct. 10th, 2014 · John Martellaro · Particle Debris

It's been all hands on deck for Apple in the last year. iOS 8, iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, OS X Yosemite, the new Mac Pro, home automation, health monitoring, iBeacon, Apple Pay, and what looks like some very hard work on the Apple Watch. Some other products appear to have stagnated.  Does the October 16 event invitation suggest a remedy? Is this even a problem? John Martellaro sizes up the promise of Apple's invitation.

VPN Unlimited Premium Plan: 3 Years Of Hacker Protection & More for $19

4:16 PM EDT, Oct. 10th, 2014 · Bryan Chaffin · TMO Deals

VPN Unlimited Premium Plan: 3 Years Of Hacker Protection & More for $19

Need access to otherwise restricted web content? Don’t trust your WiFi connection? Need to ensure online security? You want to consider a virtual private network (VPN), and boom! We just happen to have a deal for three years of VPN Unlimited's Premium Plan for $19. With this package, your Internet data is encrypted between the VPN and you, greatly limiting your exposure to hackers, and for those who live in countries that block access, it can be the only way to get to some sites. There's a lot more information on our deal site.

TMO Daily Observations: 2014-10-10

1:41 PM EDT, Oct. 10th, 2014 · Jeff Gamet · Daily Observations Podcast

Daily Observations Podcast

It looks like GT Advanced Technologies may be looking at an ugly split from Apple now that it wants to shut down the sapphire factory where it's been making glass for the Apple Watch. Bryan Chaffin and Bob LeVitus join Jeff Gamet to talk about what's happening with GTAT and its bankruptcy filing, and how this impacts Apple. They also take a look at Apple's marketing strategy for the upcoming Apple Watch and how the company seems to be getting cozy with the fashion industry.

GT Advanced Technologies Wants to Close Apple Sapphire Glass Factory

11:15 AM EDT, Oct. 10th, 2014 · Jeff Gamet · News

GT Advanced Technologies filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection earlier this week and now is asking the court for permission to shut down the factory where it has been making synthetic sapphire glass for Apple. The company's bankruptcy filing came as a surprise to everyone, including Apple, and its latest request likely isn't sitting well with the iPhone and iPad maker.

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Watching GTAT's implosion just hurts, and at this point it's hard to imagine the situation improving. Shutting down its sapphire factory doesn't bode well for Apple, either, because the Apple Watch launch is getting closer all the time.

Apple to Live Stream Oct 16 Media Event

9:47 AM EDT, Oct. 10th, 2014 · Jeff Gamet · News

Apple is hosting a media event on October 16, and like its iPhone 6 and Apple Watch event in September, this one will be streamed live online. The company is expected to introduce new iPad models, and possibly new Macs, too.

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Apple may be streaming next week's event, just as it did with last month's iPhone launch, but hopefully it won't be exactly like the September event with translators talking over Tim Cook, multiple music tracks playing at the same time, and ongoing feed drops.

Withing’s Health Mate Adds HealthKit Support

8:50 AM EDT, Oct. 10th, 2014 · Jeff Gamet · iOS

Withings just updated its Health Mate app for the iPhone with support for iOS 8's HealthKit, so now you can load up Apple's Health app with data from your Pulse, Smart Scale, Aura, and more. Health Mate was already a great app for tracking your health and fitness activities, and now it's even more useful. Check out our growing list of HealthKit-compatible apps.

Apple Watch Will Make Editorial Debut in Vogue China’s November Issue

8:27 PM EDT, Oct. 9th, 2014 · Bryan Chaffin · News

Vogue China

Apple is letting the fashion world enjoy the editorial debut for Apple Watch. The Business of Fashion (BoF) reported that Vogue China got early access to the device, and will feature it on the cover of the November issue on the arm of supermodel Liu Wen.

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I think the watch and technology worlds don't get Apple Watch yet, each for different reasons. Apple is positioning this device obliquely to anything most of us thought about before it was announced.

The World’s Largest iOS 8 + Swift eLearning Bootcamp: $99

4:54 PM EDT, Oct. 9th, 2014 · Bryan Chaffin · TMO Deals

The World's Largest iOS 8 + Swift eLearning Bootcamp: $99

We have a new developer training bundle for you today called The World's Largest iOS 8 + Swift eLearning Bootcamp. It's designed to give you in-depth training on iOS 8, Swift and Xcode 6. Over the course of 24 courses with 80 hours of content, you'll be guided through building 70 different working apps. This collection of courses retails for $2,956, but through our deal, it's yours for $99. If you want to learn how to make iOS apps, this is a good place to start.

Icahn to Apple: Buy Back More Shares

2:10 PM EDT, Oct. 9th, 2014 · Jeff Gamet · Apple Stock Watch

Apple has US$133 billion in cash and big-name investor Carl Icahn thinks it's time for the iPhone and iPad maker to use some of that money to buy back more stock. In an open letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook, Mr. Icahn said he thinks the company's stock is currently sitting at about half its value, and that's an opportunity not to be passed up.

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Carl Icahn is right about this being a good time for Apple to buy back more of its stock, but don't think his open letter is an altruistic move. This is all about business and increasing his own profit. That's just how business works.

TMO Daily Observations: 2014-10-09

12:57 PM EDT, Oct. 9th, 2014 · Jeff Gamet · Daily Observations Podcast

Daily Observations Podcast

Confused about Apple's whole third-party password thing for iCloud? Dave Hamilton and Bryan Chaffin join Jeff Gamet to explain what you need to know about iCloud's new password requirements for the Mac, iPhone and iPad, plus they take a look at Carl Icahn's open letter to Tim Cook pushing for more Apple stock buybacks.

Apple Named World’s Most Valuable Brand, Again

10:20 AM EDT, Oct. 9th, 2014 · Jeff Gamet · News

Interbrand has ranked Apple as the world's most valuable brand for the second year in a row with a valuation at US$118.863 billion. Apple's value increased by 21 percent compared to last year's Best Global Brands report at $98.3 billion, and has the iPhone and iPad maker ranked above Google, Coca-Cola, IBM, and Microsoft.

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This is the second year in a row Interbrand ranked Apple as the world's most valuable brand. It's also the first time four of the top five companies were tech-related, and the first time the top two companies were each valued over $100 billion. Seems the iPhone is doing well for Apple.

Apple’s iCloud App-specific Password Requirement Starts Today

9:21 AM EDT, Oct. 9th, 2014 · Jeff Gamet · News

If you enabled two-step verification for your iCloud account and you're using your Apple ID to sign in to third-party apps, it's time to start using app-specific passwords. Apple set the requirement to use app-specific passwords starting on October 9, which just so happens to be today.

iOS 8: Hiding Your Current Email Drafts

8:40 AM EDT, Oct. 9th, 2014 · Melissa Holt · TMO Quick Tip

For today's Quick Tip, we're going to discuss the convenient new way to store and access email drafts under iOS 8. This small interface change will really make your message composing much simpler, especially if you need to refer to another email while you're writing. Come on in and get acquainted with this feature!