What Is A VPN, And How Can It Help You?

· · Deep Dive

Now that Congress have chosen to allow ISPs to sell your data, many people are turning to VPNs to help. But you may not know how VPNs work, or how a VPN can help you browse the web safely. In this article Andrew Orr explores the technical details and gives you our VPN recommendations.

iOS: Close Running Apps All at Once

· · Quick Tip

Close running apps all at once

Even though Apple says this is unnecessary, sometimes when you have a lot of apps running, it can help boost your iPhone’s performance to shut them down. Doing that one by one is a pain, so Jeff Butts found a way to close running apps all at once.

Kove Commuter Wireless Speaker:

· · TMO Deals

Kove Commuter Wireless Speaker

We have a deal for you on the Kove Commuter Wireless Speaker. It’s a Bluetooth 4.1 portable speaker with a large 4,000mAh battery capacity giving you 8-plus hours of playback time. It’s $89.99 through us.

6 Cool Tech Things Going On in Germany

· · Dr. Mac's Rants & Raves

Hamburg Elbphilharmonie (concert hall) as seen from the harbor.

Dr. Mac was in Germany last week, where he found six cool tech things, including his first encounters with Microsoft’s HoloLens Augmented Reality (AR) headset and HTC’s Vive Virtual Reality (VR) headset, plus robots galore, a very cool drone, and more.

Twitter Drops User Names from Counting Against 140 Character Limit

· · News

@usernames no longer count against character limits in Twitter replies

Twitter has been quietly changing how replies work for some users over the past few days, but now it’s official for everyone: user names no longer count towards the 140 character limit. The change means you tweets don’t have to be as short when several people are included in your replies.

iOS 10.3: How to See Which Apps Are Still 32-bit

· · Quick Tip

Settings > General > About > App Compatibility shows which iOS apps are still 32-bit

Apple is making it very clear the days of 32-bit app support on the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch are coming to an end. Lots of developers are working to make sure their apps are 64-bit, but there’s a chance some of the titles you depend on haven’t made the move. If you want to see if any of the apps you’re using are still 32-bit there’s an easy way to check on your iPhone and iPad. Follow along to learn how.

Apple's USB-C Adapter Discounts End Friday

· · News

Apple extends its USB-C discounts to March 31, 2017

If you’ve been procrastinating on buying those USB-C adapters for your new Touch Bar MacBook Pro it’s time to get motivated because Apple’s discounts are about to end. The discounts are available through March 31st, which means you need to buy yours today or Friday before the prices go up.

macOS: Using "Restore a Copy"

· · Quick Tip

macOS Sierra Logo

This Quick Tip of the day is about restoring file versions. The fact that you can go back to earlier saved documents is great, but what if you don’t want to replace the one you’re working on when you revert to an old version? Melissa Holt’s got the scoop in this article!

Spotify Goes after Apple Music's 'Carpool Karaoke' with 'Traffic Jams'

· · Cool Stuff Found

Spotify must think Apple Music has the right idea with this original video thing because it’s doing the same thing. Variety reported Wednesday that Spotify has purchased a show called Traffic Jams. Clearly borrowing from Apple Music’s Carpool Karaoke, Traffic Jams puts hip-hop producers and artists in a car and asks them to make a song in the back seat. We Apple fans may be inclined to dismiss this show because it’s a blatant ripoff. Ignore that instinct, though—that’s the way the TV industry works. Folks copy ideas, and sometimes they build on them. Instead, Spotify—which is beating Apple on users—is effectively validating Apple Music’s approach of using original video content to boost its steaming music business. That’s very interesting to me.

Head of Apple Mail Terry Blanchard Leaves for Rival Email App

· · News

Terry Blanchard at Readdle

Terry Blanchard, who led the engineering and QA teams for Apple Mail since 2011, is moving on. He’s not going far though. Terry will still manage an email team, but it’s for the Spark email app owned by Readdle. Andrew Orr tells us what this could mean for the future of Apple Mail.

The ISP Coup, an Apple VPN, and Samsung's Bixby Gambit - ACM 404

· · Apple Context Machine Podcast

Apple Context Machine Logo

ISPs performed a coup against consumers, and they did so in collusion with one of America’s major political parties. Bryan and Jeff are two tense geeks about it. Their solution would be for Apple to launch a VPN integrated into Apple’s products. And then there’s Samsung’s Galaxy S8 and that company’s delusions of software relevance. Oh, and Bixby, which could eventually succeed in making Samsung relevant.