Gate Wants to Make Your Mailbox Smart

4:13 PM, May. 14th, 2015 · · News

Gate

SAN FRANCISCO - Zikgo Labs showed off Gate at Pepcom's MobileFocus event Wednesday night, a device the company is funding through Kickstarter. Gate is an interesting addition to the Internet of Things in that it makes your mailbox smart. Using a sensor and a base station, Gate can alert you when your mailbox is opened, removing the uncertainty of knowing when your mail has been delivered.

Apple’s Beats Streaming Music May Revive Ping

2:56 PM, May. 14th, 2015 · · News

Ping, Apple's failed attempt at a social networking service, may be getting a revival of sorts in the new Beats streaming music service. Apple will reportedly use the feature as a way for artists to share tour dates, new songs, and more with fans, making it more of a promotional tool than a dead on arrival social networking platform.

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Ping really was a dismal failure, but reviving the artist's page feature could be a good fit for Beats Music and a way to set Apple's offering apart from the competition.

Apple, A123 Settle Employee Poaching Lawsuit

10:40 AM, May. 14th, 2015 · · News

A123 Systems, the battery designer that sued Apple for poaching key employees, has settled its case out of court. The company claimed Apple targeted employees from its advanced energy storage division, and that the workers who left violated non-compete contracts.

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Looks like this deal worked out exactly how Apple wanted. It gets the vehicle battery engineers it needs for the Titan electric car project, and A123 Systems isn't distracting from their work any more.

Facebook Ready to Take Over Online News Syndication

2:54 PM, May. 13th, 2015 · · News

Facebook unveiled Instant Articles on Wednesday, positioning itself as a potential big time player in the news publishing market. The new feature gives media outlets such as National Geographic and the New York Times a new platform for reaching readers, and a new avenue for generating ad-based revenue.

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Assuming Instant Articles is successful, publishers may find Instant Articles isn't an optional choice. If they aren't there, competitors will get the traffic, and in the end Facebook becomes the arbiter of the news. It's all about going to your readers instead of hoping they come to you.

Make Your iPhone Camera Even Better (Part II)

2:40 PM, May. 13th, 2015 · · News

iphone camera accessories square jellyfish

In addition to using the 645 Pro Mk III camera app he told you about last week for most of his photos, Dr. Mac also uses a handful of third-party accessories to help him take better pictures and videos with his iPhone. Check out his inexpensive yet effective toolkit in this week's Dr. Mac's Rants & Raves (Episode 122). 

Google Embraces Apple Watch with News & Weather App

9:37 AM, May. 13th, 2015 · · News

Google is getting into the Apple Watch game with its latest update for the iPhone Google News & Weather app. The Apple Watch version shows a handful of top headlines, and includes a Glance view, too.

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Google News & Weather's latest update isn't so much about features as it is about Google starting to support Apple Watch. This could lead to other Google apps making their way to our wrists, and hopefully that includes Google Maps.

iPhone 6s Will Reportedly Have Force Touch

6:56 PM, May. 12th, 2015 · · News

iPhone 6s Will Reportedly Have Force Touch

Apple's next iteration of the iPhone—expected to be the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus—will feature Force Touch, a technology first introduced on the company's new MacBook and the Apple Watch. The prediction comes from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities, who also said Apple would release a rose-gold color for the iPhone.

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Bryan Chaffin likes most of these predictions. Force Touch is a natural fit for iPhone, but a rose gold iPhone is less certain.

China’s Military Bans Apple Watch and Other Wearable Tech

11:30 AM, May. 12th, 2015 · · News

Apple may have a hard time finding a place on the wrist of Chinese soldiers because the country's military has banned Apple Watch as a potential security threat. Other companies are up against the same brick wall, too, because the military sees wearable tech devices as tools enemies could use to spy, or to track soldier's movements.

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It's technically possible for Apple Watch and other Internet-enabled wearable devices to be used for spying, but that doesn't mean they are. There isn't any indication Apple's tech is being used in that way, and this decision from China's military is more about internal control than the potential cybersecurity threat posed by Apple and other wearable tech device makers.

TMO’s Jeff Gamet Shows Off Apple Watch at MacinTech

9:55 AM, May. 12th, 2015 · · News

The Mac Observer's Managing Editor, Jeff Gamet, will be speaking at Denver's MacinTech Macintosh User Group on Tuesday evening, May 12, in Centennial, Colorado. Jeff will be talking about Apple's new Apple Watch, will show off the smartwatch's features, and will share some tips and tricks, too.

Verizon to Buy AOL, Will Own TechCrunch, HuffPo, More

8:57 AM, May. 12th, 2015 · · News

Verizon is about to become a big name in the online news and blogging world thanks to its just announced plan to buy AOL in a US$4.4 billion deal. Once the deal closes this summer, AOL will be a fully owned subsidiary of Verizon, giving the wireless and broadband service provider properties such as TechCrunch, The Huffington Post, Makers, and Engadget, along with AOL.com.

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Verizon is already a big name in the wireless and broadband markets, and now wants to expand into content creation and delivery. This deal will expand Verizon's online advertising opportunities, and that's the real focus. HuffPo and TechCrunch are just along for the ride.