Review: Incase’s Reform Sling Pack is a perfect fit for the 12-inch MacBook

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For the right task, Apple’s new 12-inch MacBook is both an ultra thin notebook and a powerful machine considering its size. Following my initial evaluation in April, I’ve been using it for work almost exclusively (aside from my podcasting setup for Happy Hour, which doesn’t benefit from being portable).

Similarly, the newly released Incase Reform Collection Sling Pack hides a surprising amount of use in a small and ergonomic profile. Typical of Incase’s bags and carrying cases, Sling Pack sports a trendy design fit for your Apple gear and accessories with cleverly placed stash pockets found throughout. Unlike previous products from Incase (and anyone else for that matter), Sling Pack is made of a new eco-friendly material…

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Apple CEO Tim Cook donates 50,000 AAPL shares ($6.5 million) to charity

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In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) today, Apple revealed that CEO Tim Cook has donated 50,000 Apple stock shares to charity this week. At today’s stock price of just over $130 per share, this number of shares is equivalent to approximately $6.5 million. Cook’s previous publicly-known, personal donation was to Project One America, an LGBT equality campaign…

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Opinion: Google’s new Photos may just have won my library away from Apple

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Google Photos

My relationship with Apple’s hardware is simple: I’m happily locked in, and not changing platforms any time soon. But my relationship with Apple’s software is complex: I want to love it, but every time Apple decides to “throw everything away” and “start over” with an app, it’s disruptive — and for many users, unnecessary. From my perspective, users weren’t complaining that Apple’s popular photo apps iPhoto or Aperture were hopelessly broken or even deficient in major ways, yet Apple discontinued both of them last month to release Photos, a bare-bones alternative no one seems to love. On the relationship scale, I didn’t abandon Aperture; Aperture abandoned me (and a lot of other people).

So yesterday’s announcement of the free cross-platform photo and video storage app Google Photos couldn’t have come at a better time. Apple has struggled to explain why it now offers two separate photo syncing services, neither with the virtually unlimited photo and video storage Google is now giving users — notably all users, including Mac and iOS users. Moreover, Apple has offered no sign that it’s going to drop the steep fees it’s charging for iCloud photo storage. With WWDC just around the corner, Apple has a big opportunity to match Google’s photo and video initiative, thrilling its customers in the process. If that doesn’t happen, I’m moving my collection into Google Photos, and not looking back…

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Mystery solved: Apple vans gathering next-gen Maps data, grabbing Street View storefronts + 3D images

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Three years after Apple launched its own iOS Maps app to replace Google as its iPhone and iPad map provider, the Cupertino company is readying its first major enhancements to the service. While Apple was known to be gearing up for the launch of a mass transit directions service this fall in a handful of cities, sources have revealed that it is also developing its first entirely in-house mapping database to reduce its reliance on TomTom, using a fleet of mysterious vans to take still photos of business storefronts to replace Yelp photos, and building a 3D Street View feature. Apple has been using the sensor-equipped vans in cities such as Los Angeles, Dallas, and New York since earlier this year, and, below, we detail how the vehicles are advancing Apple’s plans for the future of Maps…

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Readdle debuts Spark, a highly customizable email app for iPhone & Apple Watch

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Readdle today released a new addition to its giant collection of productivity apps for iOS with the debut of Spark. Spark is described in short as “fast and smart email for your iPhone” while its core features include tons of customization options and intelligent notification and filtering options that help take the stress out of email. Though Spark is only the latest third party email app to land on the iPhone, it is the first solid email client I’ve used on the Apple Watch so far. How does it compare to Apple’s own Mail app in this case? Read more

Apple posts official support doc with temporary workarounds for Messages bug

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Earlier this week a bug was discovered that centered around a string of text that when received via a message would cause your iPhone Springboard to crash and the Messages app to crash continuously. At the time, Apple said it was aware of the bug and working to push an update to fix it. In the meantime however, the company tonight has published an official support document with a few suggestions on how to temporarily work around the issue.

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Queens, NY Apple Store logo appears as Apple announces new Upper East Side store opening Jun. 13

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Apple’s first Apple Store opening in Queens, New York is approaching. Signage for the new store at the Queens Center mall has appeared, according to tips from readers. A photo of the location, which we discussed in our report on future New York Apple Stores earlier this year, is shown above. We were told earlier this year that this Queens store will be the largest New York Apple Store within a mall and that the opening is planned for later in 2015. Apple is expecting this store to pull in nearly as much revenue as some of its larger flagship locations in the State…

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