Mini-review: Lensbaby LM-10, a fun if pricey accessory for iPhonography fans

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It took a while for Lensbaby’s Kickstarter-funded selective focus lens for the iPhone to make it into production, but the LM-10 is now here and I took it out for a play.

For those not familiar with Lensbaby, the company makes lenses for DSLRs with a bellows lens that provides a small in-focus area, with the rest of the image out of focus. It’s not the same effect as the shallow depth-of-field achieved with a wide-aperture lens, but a less-controllable effect designed to provide fun and unusual images …  Read more

Claimed production model of iPhone 6 casing shows more subtle Space Gray antenna breaks

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French site NWE claims to have found photos of a finished production model of the casing of the 4.7-inch version of the iPhone 6, shown in gray.

While not revealing anything new about the overall design of the phone, it does appear to give a much clearer view of how the antenna breaks are handled, with a significantly more subtle appearance than had been suggested by some earlier leaked parts, mockups and renders – as seen in the photo below …  Read more

Apple reportedly working with Dutch company NXP to include NFC in iPhone 6, possibly iWatch

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Apple is reportedly planning to include NFC in the iPhone 6 for secure wireless payments using chips sourced from a Dutch company called XNP, the Financial Times reported today. It’s not the first time this rumor has cropped up before an iPhone launch, but other recent reports seem to indicate that this year it might just be happening.

In fact, earlier this year Apple was said to have reached a deal with China UnionPay, the nation’s only domestic mobile payment processor, to include NFC support at countless retailers in the next iPhone. What’s perhaps even more interesting is that the technology may not be limited solely to the handset itself…

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Apple updates iOS 8 terms, disallows developers from selling data acquired through HealthKit

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Apple has updated its iOS 8 terms of use, according to The Guardian, to note that developers are not allowed to resell any information gained through the upcoming HealthKit framework. The HealthKit software was announced as part of a larger event earlier this year, but it was only with the most recent beta that Apple made note of this restriction.

The move is not unexpected, as it would be very much against Apple’s modus operandi to allow developers access to such crucial data without some restrictions on its use in place as a protection for users. Similar restrictions exist for the Touch ID API, which doesn’t allow developers to access user fingerprint data at all, let alone store it.

There is one exception to this rule, however…

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Hands-on with the fully reversible Lightning to USB cable from Truffol (Video)

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Rumors have suggested that Apple is planning to release a new version of its Lightning to USB cable that would be reversible on both ends. Initially this cable was rumored to launch with the iPhone 6, but another report claims it will launch at a later date, possibly next year.

Third-party manufacturers have already taken advantage of the hype surrounding this rumored cable and put it into production. The result is exactly what you’d expect…

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More photos of the structure Apple is building at the Flint Center ahead of iPhone event

In addition to officially announcing its special event to be held on September 9th where two new iPhones and the long rumored wearable device is expected to debut, Apple has begun to build some sort of structure at the Flint Center for Performing Arts in Cupertino, California, as noted in our previous post. Additional images of the venue and mysterious structure have been shared by The Loop which reveal more sides to the structure as you can see above…

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Apple announces special event for September 9th: ‘Wish we could say more’

Apple has just sent out press invites for its latest event, via The Loop, where the company is expected to announce the iPhone 6. The event is scheduled for 10 AM Pacific Time on September 9th. Atypically, Apple is holding the event at a new venue, the Flint Center for the Performing Arts in Cupertino. This is the same venue that Apple introduced the original Mac, over 30 years ago. Apple has constructed a ‘three-story structure’ at the site, which may be used as the hands-on area after the presentation is over. Usually, Apple’s demo areas are only the size of a large room and do not span multiple floors.

Yesterday, Recode reported that Apple will also show off its new wrist wearable device (‘iWatch’) at the September 9th event. Unsurprisingly, the invite does not reveal specifics about what Apple will announce, bearing a rather bland image of the Apple logo coupled with the slogan ‘Wish we could say more’. Feel free to speculate what you think will be announced in the comments. A full screenshot of the email is after the break. Read more

Android keyboard maker Minuum previews variable-height keyboard for iOS 8

e228a480-e440-4062-950a-c74a672d2526Minuum, which has existed on Android for a while now, has announced that it is bringing its custom keyboard  to the iPhone with iOS 8. Minuum is trying to stand out from the crowd with a particularly novel gimmick — you can change the height of the keyboard to save space or expand it to return to a familiar QWERTY layout.

In the mini-mode, keys bunch into groups of three. An autocorrection system then picks what word you meant to chose out of the possible options, similar to the word prediction systems of Fleksy and other custom keyboards.

How well applications will respond to the dynamically changing height is yet to be seen, as many apps in the store have been coded assuming fixed screen sizes. Over time, though, as developers update their apps, these issues should go away.

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CloudApp 3.0 arrives with support for screen recording, teams, Google Apps, and more

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File sharing software CloudApp has gotten a significant update with today’s launch of version 3.0 of its Mac client. The software already supported features like private and public sharing links, live view counters, and automatic screenshot uploads, but today it adds even more tricks to its bag.

The biggest addition to the application is support for something called CloudApp Motion. This handy feature will allow you to quickly capture all or part of your screen, then automatically upload the captured footage to the web as a sharable animated GIF. At the moment the GIF output is a bit choppy, so don’t expect buttery smooth playback, though the company has promised that high-fidelity GIFs are coming soon.

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Contrast debuts Contact Center, a simpler Launch Center Pro focused on keeping in touch

Contact Center

If you’re familiar with Launch Center Pro, the iPhone and iPad app we’ve covered that enables powerful automation on iOS, then you may recognize Contrast’s new iPhone app debuting today called Contact Center. While its name sounds like it could be an alternative address book, it’s actually a simpler, easier to learn version of Launch Center Pro focused on staying in touch with your favorite contacts.

Contrast describes Contact Center as allowing you to “automatically paste your clipboard into an email or message, jump right to a contact in WhatsApp, automatically paste your clipboard into an email or message” and more; below we’ll take a look at the new app.

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