Soundfreaq’s $99 Lightning/Bluetooth/USB Desktop Speaker

4:13 PM, Apr. 21st, 2014 · · TMO Deals

I'll be honest, most speaker deals are deals I don't post. I'm picky when it comes to sound and don't want to lead anyone astray. I had a chance to test the Soundfreaq Sound Step Lightning, however, and it impressed me. The speaker set is small, but it's a 2.1 setup, meaning it has stereo left/right speakers as well as a separate, downward-facing subwoofer. The three speakers together make for a relatively well-rounded sound here. At $99, you're getting more than you bargain for with this, with sound equal to speakers twice its price (but not four times its price, to be fair!). Connections include line-in, Bluetooth, USB Audio and a Lightning-connector dock on the front. If you're looking for a speaker to add to your desk or bookshelf – even something to add to your Mac – check this one out.

Analyst: AAPL Q2 iPad Sales to be Offset by Better Gross Margins

2:00 PM, Apr. 21st, 2014 · · TMO Interview

Wells Fargo analyst Maynard Um thinks Apple could report lower iPhone and iPad sales for its second fiscal quarter, but that downswing will be offset by better than expected gross margins. Apple will announced its Q2 2014 earnings this Wednesday after the market closes.

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Just because iPhone and iPad sales figures may be down doesn't mean Apple has to report lower earnings. There's a lot that plays into company profits, but regardless of how good those numbers are, it's a safe bet everyone will key in on the expected decline is iPhone and iPad numbers.

Apple Releases Earth Day Video Narrated By Tim Cook

1:49 PM, Apr. 21st, 2014 · · Product News

Apple and the Environment

Apple unveiled a new section of Apple.com on Monday about the environment just one day before Earth Day. On the front page of the new section is a video narrated by CEO Tim Cook about what Apple is doing to help make things better. In fact, "better" seems to be the theme of the video.

Logitech’s Ultrathin Keyboard Cover for iPad Air: Quality Build Plus Great Key Feel

1:10 PM, Apr. 21st, 2014 · · Reviews

If you've ever looked into keyboards for the iPad, you may have come across Logitech's Ultrathin Keyboard Cover and thought it looked like a great option. Its compact size and integration with the iPad as a cover that goes everywhere your iPad does is a great concept that doesn't disappoint. Of course as with all keyboards of a portable nature, there are trade-offs. However, the Ultrathin has some compelling features that may well make up for those trade-offs and then some.

MGG 498: Encryption for Everyone, Choosing Wi-Fi Channels & More

12:11 PM, Apr. 21st, 2014 · & · Mac Geek Gab Podcast

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John and Dave kick off the week with a Monday show (after kicking back all weekend) and start with what they do best: answering your questions and sharing your tips. Today they dig into which encryption makes sense for you, some tips on copying/pasting and learning about your Mac; wrangling Time Machine under control, and more. Download today and enjoy!

1st Gen Apple TV Owners Lose iTunes Store Access

11:42 AM, Apr. 21st, 2014 · · News

First generation Apple TV owners can't connect to the iTunes Store any more, and it isn't clear if the issue is temporary, or if Apple is leaving those users behind. The problem started late last week, and so far there hasn't been any resolution.

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It seems likely that Apple has made some backend changes that leave first generation Apple TV owners in the dust. The company does, after all, leave products behind when it doesn't see any value in continued support.

Apple TV Adds A&E, History, Lifetime Channels

10:49 AM, Apr. 21st, 2014 · · News

Apple TV owners woke up to three new channels on Monday: A&E, History, and Lifetime. The new channels appeared without users needing to install any updates, and backs up the notion that Apple is serious about bringing more content to its little set top box.

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Seeing more channels come to Apple TV is great, but it doesn't make it any easier to cut the cord because you still need to have a cable or satellite subscription. For now, it's just another way to watch content that's already available to you.

Nike Shoots Down Reports of Killing FuelBand

9:58 AM, Apr. 21st, 2014 · · News

Nike may have axed most of its FuelBand team, but that doesn't mean the fitness tracker is on death row, or at least that's what the company is saying. When news of the layoffs leaked, speculation arose that the company was pulling out of the hardware market and would focus instead on software for fitness trackers, including Apple's rumored iWatch.

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If Nike is worried about competition in the wearable fitness tech market now, just wait until Apple gets in on the game.

Reminder: AAPL Q2 Earnings Report this Wednesday

8:45 AM, Apr. 21st, 2014 · · Apple Stock Watch

Apple's second fiscal quarter earnings conference call for 2014 is scheduled for Wednesday, April 23, and will come with the usual watchful eyes of investors and analysts looking to see exactly how the company performed post-holiday season. Analysts will be watching Apple's iPhone and iPad sales figures closely, and The Mac Observer will offer our usual news coverage and analysis of the event.