Review: Jawbone UP 24, a smart fitness band that gets you up 24/7

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The Jawbone UP bracelet has been on the market for three years receiving improvements every year. The Jawbone UP 24 received a major update: Bluetooth LE. Initially to sync the data onto the phone, the user had to plug the band into the phone’s headphone jack and wait, typically about fifteen seconds, for the data to sync into the app.

Now, since the UP 24 has Bluetooth LE capabilities, it is compatible with the iPhone 4S and later, the fifth generation iPod Touch, the third generation iPad and newer as well as the iPad Minis. Jawbone has made the UP 24 to be compatible with Android phones. Bluetooth LE allows the band to automatically connect with the Jawbone UP app.

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This week’s Apple Pay arrivals: Sephora, tickets.com, Disney Store app, Square coming in 2015

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Apple is steadily rolling out more support for banking and card issuer partners since first launching its new Apple Pay payments service last month. The other part of the equation is retailers and app developers supporting the service and this week saw the rollout of additional support including announcements from Sephora, venues that utilize tickets.com, and the Disney Store iOS app. In addition, Square is today confirming that its previously announced under development bitcoin and NFC capable register will arrive with Apple Pay support sometime in 2015. Read more

Apple granted final approval for $450 million ebooks settlement despite judge’s concerns

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Following preliminary approval it received in August, Apple has been granted the final court approval it needed in its $450 million ebook settlement, according to a Reuters report.

During a hearing in Manhattan, U.S. District Judge Denise Cote approved what she called an “unusual” accord. It calls for Apple to pay $400 million to as many as 23 million consumers if the company’s appeal of a ruling finding it liable for antitrust violations is unsuccessful.

U.S. District Judge Denise Cote previously expressed concern over the proposed settlement citing a clause in the agreement that she called “most troubling”, but today called the settlement agreement “within the range of those that may be approved as fair and reasonable.” Read more

Microsoft’s new Cortana ad mocks Siri for lack of contextual reminders and traffic reports

Microsoft has released yet another Cortana advertisement that mocks Siri for lacking contextual reminders and real-time traffic reports. Microsoft pokes fun at the personal voice assistant by claiming that it “just got bigger,” a sarcastic reference to the larger screen sizes on the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Perhaps the Redmond-based company is overlooking all of the new features Siri gained in iOS 8. Read more

Review: Pad and Quill’s Contega Linen case for iPad Air 2 is handmade perfection (Video)

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It’s always refreshing to see iOS accessory makers doing something different and Pad & Quill leads the pack in this area. With handmade cases crafted from linen, leather, and wood, it’s hard to go wrong with this simplistically elegant spin on cases.

Lately I’ve been using Pad & Quill’s Contega Linen case for iPad Air 2 and it’s changed my mind about “premium” cases. There’s something beautifully different about the craftsmanship and it’s created from materials that are designed to last, but not without a steep entry price for some…

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Apple officially announces iAd expansion into programmatic channels including AdRoll, now available in 102 countries

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Earlier this week news leaked that Apple would begin offering automated purchasing of mobile ads by advertising agencies through its iAd program when one partner ad company accidentally published a press release early, and today Apple has officially shared the full announcement regarding iAd’s “move into programmatic channels.” In addition to Rubicon Project, Apple shared that it is partnering with various “demand-side platforms (DSPs) and ad tech companies” which include Accordant Media, Adelphic, AdRoll, GET IT Mobile, MediaMath, and The Trade Desk.

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AirParrot 2 brings Mac & Windows screen mirroring to Chromecast, drag and drop media streaming

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AirParrot, the app that lets you send your desktop display to an Apple TV-connected TV, is today releasing version 2 with Chromecast support and number of other new features. Sure, you can mirror your Mac’s display to an Apple TV using Apple’s built-in AirPlay feature, but AirParrot provides features beyond what Apple offers and also support for screen mirroring from Chromebooks and Windows. Today’s release makes it the first to enable full screen mirroring support to Chromecast with audio support and more. 

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iWork for iCloud updated with eight new languages, easier document renaming and more

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Apple has updated its iWork for iCloud web-based productivity suite with eight new languages, the ability to rename documents in the editor and a few minor additional enhancements.

Pages gets all eight new languages: Arabic, Brazilian Portuguese, French, German, Hebrew, Japanese, Simplified Chinese, and Spanish – including bidirectional support for Arabic and Hebrew. Numbers and Keynote get all but Arabic and Hebrew …  Read more

iPhone app predicts whether you’ll like the beer or wine you’re looking at in the store [Video]

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Sure, there are shopping apps out there that will read the barcode of a product and let you know whether you could buy it more cheaply online, but someone has now tackled a far more more important issue: will you actually enjoy that bottle of beer or wine you’re eyeing up in the store?

Next Glass is a free iPhone app that uses your own personal taste preferences to predict how likely you are to enjoy a beer or wine you’ve never tried before. If you’re buying for a dinner party or other social occasion, you can link to friends using the same app and it’ll show you how much they’ll like it too …  Read more

Xiaomi thinks it can top Apple and Samsung as world’s largest smartphone maker within a decade

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Just weeks after Xiaomi overtook Huawei and LG to become the world’s third-largest smartphone maker, The Guardian reports that the Chinese handset maker’s chief executive and founder Lei Jun is out with a bold prediction that his company could move past Apple and Samsung to become the world’s largest smartphone maker within the next five to ten years. Read more

Apple pushes Flash Player update to address security issues

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Apple has issued a new update for Adobe’s Flash Player browser plugin. The update fixes “a recently-identified Adobe Flash Player web plug-in vulnerability,” according to Apple’s website. Users will be automatically prompted to install the update when visiting a page that uses Flash Player.

The prompt in Safari will take users to the Flash Player download page on Adobe’s website. Users who haven’t yet seen the prompt can also go there to download the update now.

Apple seeds first beta of OS X Yosemite 10.10.2 with build number 14C68k

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Apple has pushed the first beta build of OS X Yosemite 10.10.2 out to AppleSeed users and developers. The update has a build number of 14C68k and weighs in at 422 MB. Last week the company released version 10.10.1 to the general public.

Apple hasn’t provided any indications of what’s new in this beta and has not listed any particular focus areas, though it’s possible this could be a hotfix update to address any lingering Wi-Fi glitches that didn’t get fixed in the most recent patch.

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