Recent Articles By Bryan Chaffin [RSS]
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.
Check out the LithiumCard AIR, a wallet-sized charger for iPhone and iPad (or other device). It has a thickness of five credit cards, but delivers up to 2 amps of power, which is what an iPad requires. It has a micro-USB port and a Lightning port, and it charges via its own USB port. It can also charge itself and your device at the same time. The LithiumCard AIR is priced at $39.99 through our deal. It's regularly $60.
Apple announced the release of WatchKit on Tuesday, the set of APIs that allows developers to make apps for Apple Watch. WatchKit is being included with the iOS 8.2 beta SDK, which was also released on Tuesday.
I. Just. Don't. Get. It. Detachable keyboard. Stylus. Touchscreen/laptop/tablet/toaster/fridge. These are the features that have helped propel Microsoft's Surface product line into some distant nth place in the tablet wars, and these are the features Microsoft is touting in a new Christmas commercial for the Surface 3. This time, though, instead of comparing the device to the iPad, Microsoft is comparing it to a MacBook Air. Oh, and the kickstand. That's been a megahit packing in customers at the Microsoft stores in a binary orgy of 0s and 1s at a time. It gets air time. Every time Microsoft does something right under semi-new CEO Satya Nadella, the company reminds us that it doesn't get tablets. Anyway, here's the commercial. I do have one nice thing to say about it: it's a clever use of "Winter Wonderland," but the that clever use is wasted on an awful message.
The NES30 Bluetooth Controller was a surprise hit for our readers. This gamepad controller was designed to look and feel just like the original NES30 gamepad, only it's Bluetooth and programmable. That means you can use it to control games on Bluetooth-eqipped iPhones, iPads, Macs, PCs, and Android devices—it also works with Nintendo Wii. Oh, and it can be plugged into a USB port, too. That makes it pretty flexible. Anyhoo, this deal has been very popular, but it's coming to an end in 6 days. Pick it up quick if you want one or plan on giving it as a gift. It's $29.99 through our deal, regularly $40.