Recent Articles By Bryan Chaffin [RSS]
Apple made Things for iPad from Culture Code free for a week starting now. Things is a task manager/todo organizer, and it's become quite popular since we gave it an Editors' Choice Award in 2009. Things for iPad 2.5 was recently released and brought a ton of new features. Apple liked it enough to make it the free app of the week, so grab it while you can. It's normally priced at $19.99.
Judge Denise Cote gave final approval to a settlement between Apple and class-action plaintiffs over antitrust claims regarding iBooks. Under the terms of the settlement, Apple will pay the class $400 million in damages for price fixing in the ebook market, while lawyers get $50 million.
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And meanwhile, the company that actually has more than 60 percent market share of the online retail book market and ebook market rolls on. Nice work, DoJ/Judge Cote.
If you're giving or getting stuff for the holidays, you're going to need batteries. Enter today's deal, because you can get 100 AA and 52 AAA Duracell batteries for $59.99. That's enough batteries for every remote in the house—even the ones you have no idea what they go to. Every toy, every gadget, and every laser pointer. With this deal, you can power them all. The retail price on this pack is $160, but the deal ends later today. So, you know, giddy up! [Update: this deal rolls over to a new seven day counter once it expires. - Bryan]
OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG! It's here. It's finally here! Ironhide Studios released Kingdom Rush Origins. That sound you're hearing is my holiday week vanishing in a puff of extended iPad tapping. Seriously, the Kingdom Rush franchise are my favorite iPad games, and each addition gets better. Established as a prequel to Kingdom Rush and Kingdom Rush Frontiers, Kingdom Rush Origins is a tower defense game. With the help of a mobile hero, the player sets up towers to defend paths from an invading force. It's tons of fun, with new tower types, new heroes, new monsters, and assumedly a new final boss. The iPhone version is $2.99, while the "HD" iPad version is $4.99 (I recommend it on iPad). You can easily play without making any in-game purchases.
Apple is working behind the scenes to secure better pricing for Beats Music customers before including it as a service in iOS in 2015. Citing unnamed sources "briefed on the plans," The Financial Times reported that Apple is looking for a retail price of US$5 per month for subscribers, while record labels are holding out for a higher price.
Apple is currently promoting the 2014 winners of the National Book Award in the iBooks Store. The company is offering the four winners of this year's award for US$9.99 and $10.00. Past winners are also included in the promotion, and they start at $4.99.
Apple has changed the wording for free and freemium apps—where once the download button said "Free," it is now labeled "Get," as shown in the screenshot below. Apple didn't announce the change, but it seems likely the change is part of Apple's efforts to comply with tighter European Commission rules governing the way Apple, Google, Amazon, and other market "free" apps.
Scanners. Remember when they were a thing? If you were a real computer geek, you needed one. And the more space it took on your desk, the more impressive it was. Then digital camera became a thing, and the number one activity we used scanners for—scanning printed photographs—became a quaint relic packed away with our FAX machines. But there are still things we need to scan. Receipts, contracts, the award your kid got for doing something nifty at school, that photograph of your great grandmother everyone in the family wants a copy of, but the negative might well be a slab of glass lost at the turn of the previous century. Anyway, enter Doxie Go! Nancy Carroll Gravley reviewed it for us, and through today's deal, you can get one for $139 (it retails for $199). Snap it up, because the deal expires in five days.
The number two person in the U.S. DOJ's number two person recently warned Apple the company's encryption scheme in iOS 8 will eventually result in the death of a child. Bryan Chaffin argues that when anyoen tells us we must give up privacy for the sake of the children, they've lost the argument.
I am pleased as punch to announce a giveway for our readers today. Through our sponsor Arcsoft, you can register to win a Simplicam, the company's Wi-Fi-powered home security camera. All you have to do is post a comment in this article letting us know you'd like to win.