How-To: Clean your iOS device with free downloads, recovering lost space

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When Apple was designing the Mac app iDVD, then-CEO Steve Jobs directed his development team to build a dead-simple DVD-burning application: instead of a mess of options and windows, Jobs wanted one window with one button marked “Burn,” which would be pressed once the desired video file was dragged-and-dropped into the window. Years later, when Jobs wanted Apple’s iOS devices to be even simpler, he dumped the Mac’s windows and drag-and-drop file system in favor of a grid of icons. There wasn’t even a trash can to worry about — instead, iOS would automatically discard unused files as needed.

While that’s great in theory, the reality is that iOS actually leaves bits of trash sitting around on your device, and there’s no easy way to clean everything up at once. iTunes aggregates various types of lingering files as “Other,” but doesn’t have a trash can, nor does it provide direct access to your iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch file system so you can purge trash on your own. Consequently, your device may be holding a large collection of junk that could be dumped to free up gigabytes of space.

Below, I’ll show you how to clean your iOS device for free using two apps, one of which you definitely already have installed…

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FiftyThree’s free drawing iPad app Paper gets business-like, now feeds into Keynote & PowerPoint

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FiftyThree’s drawing iPad app Paper has so far been pitched as a creative drawing tool, but the company now thinks it might have appeal for business presentations too. The latest version adds a Diagram tool that lets you create objects like shapes, arrows and lines, which the app keeps neat and tidy while retaining the hand-drawn look.

Think Kit is here! Now Paper gives you the power to create diagrams, charts, and wireframes at the speed of thought. Think Kit adds three new tools—Diagram, Cut, and Fill. Powered by the Intention Engine™, Think Kit helps you quickly create powerful, personable graphics to express any idea, and continue seamlessly into your favorite presentation app.

Your roughly-drawn shapes get turned into neat versions automatically when the Diagram tool is selected, and you can drag shapes to move or duplicate them. A Smart Fill function lets you add color, keeping it constrained to your shapes …  Read more

Apple’s FileMaker debuts version 14 with redesigned iOS app, Mac enhancements

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Apple subsidiary FileMaker today introduced version 14, the first major update since 2013, of its popular iOS and Mac-based platform, which includes the FileMaker Pro, Go, and Server software suites. This new version focuses on separate enhancements for speed across the different software versions, with the Mac and Windows applications gaining improved features for productivity, and the iOS Go apps for iPad and iPhone receiving end-to-end redesigns for iOS 8. Below, we break down the most significant new features for the Pro, Go, and Server versions.

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Review: Adobe’s Lightroom CC + 6 let photographers transition from Aperture, gain new editing tools

lightroom6-1Until this year, Mac owners had three major options for organizing large digital photo collections: Apple’s mainstream iPhoto, Apple’s “pro” app Aperture, and Adobe’s similarly professional-grade Lightroom. When Apple discontinued iPhoto and Aperture in favor of an even more basic app called Photos, many people —amateur photographers and professionals alike — had to decide whether to downgrade to Photos or switch to Lightroom. Apple understood that it was ceding at least the professional market to Lightroom, and even helped Adobe to develop Aperture and iPhoto to Lightroom importers. With the writing on the wall, some people switched to Lightroom 5 well before Photos officially debuted last month.

I didn’t; since Lightroom 5 was almost three years old, I wanted to see what Adobe would deliver in its much-anticipated sequel. On April 21, Adobe released Lightroom 6 and Lightroom CC (2015) as standalone and cloud-linked versions of the same app. Both promise major speed improvements over Lightroom 5, new tools and brushes, a new facial recognition feature, automatic HDR and panoramic photo creation, and new slideshow options. As part of Adobe’s “Creative Cloud,” Lightroom CC comes bundled with Adobe’s latest version of Photoshop, plus cloud photo synchronization services, for $9.99 per month. Alternately, Lightroom 6 can be purchased by itself for $149 as a standalone download, minus Photoshop and cloud functionality.

Below, I’m going to focus on the key questions Aperture users have been asking: what it’s like to transition from Aperture to Lightroom — including new details added after initial publication of this article — plus which version of Lightroom to buy, and whether transitioning is a good (and safe) idea. The answers may surprise you…

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There’s good news & bad news for Nintendo fans: iOS rollout will be slow, but expect great games

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We learned back in March that Nintendo would finally be creating games for the iPhone and iPad, featuring Mario and other popular characters – though not in their original games, as we’d predicted. Today brings a mix of bad and good news …

The bad news is that Nintendo announced in its financial results presentation that it is planning to release just five games by March 2017.

Regarding the number of the titles, you may want to know that we will release approximately five titles by the end of the next fiscal year, which is the end of March 2017.

The company says that while it recognizes this will be seen as a small number, there are good reasons behind the decision …  Read more

ResearchKit Asthma app developer praises framework in first official blog post

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Apple’s ResearchKit platform debuted earlier this year alongside iOS 8.2 and has been gaining traction ever since then. Today, LifeMap Solutions, a company taking advantage of ResearchKit, posted the first official entry on Apple’s official ResearchKit blog. In the post, the company discussed its launch of Asthma Health, which was one of the inaugural apps built on ResearchKit.

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How-To: Safely shrink your Mac’s giant photo library, deleting duplicate images to save space

I’ve focused a lot over the last few months on helping readers to speed up and optimize Apple’s Macs — everything from adding RAM to recovering hard drive space and upgrading old hard drives to faster SSDs. Today’s How-To is focused on something very specific but with a lot of optimization potential: trimming down your Mac’s photo library.

Particularly after installing OS X 10.10.3 with Apple’s new Photos app, you might be surprised to learn that you’ve lost a lot of hard drive space, and that there are suddenly tons of duplicate photos on your Mac. After installing OS X 10.10.3, the new Photos app converted my 90GB Aperture library into a 126GB Photos library, and left both on my hard drive. That’s an incredible amount of wasted space attributable to duplicates, so it’s no surprise that a $1 utility called Duplicate Photos Fixer Pro has recently become the #1 paid Mac App Store app, while a superior alternative called PhotoSweeper ($10) is in the top 50. I’ve used both apps, as well as many others, and can help you choose the one that’s best for your needs…

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Yahoo & Localytics extend their analytics platforms to support Apple Watch apps

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With more than 3,000 apps for the Apple Watch already on the App Store for Apple’s new device, two major analytics platforms today announced support for Apple Watch apps through their respective SDKs.

Yahoo shared that its Mobile Developer Suite has added support for Apple Watch app analytics for developers at no cost through Flurry Analytics, the platform it acquired almost a year ago. By implementing Yahoo’s analytics system, developers of Apple Watch apps gain access to several metrics… Read more

Latest Flickr iOS app mimics Camera Roll view as it offers to auto-upload all your iPhone photos

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Flickr has made a significant update to its iOS app, revamping the look to mimic that of your iPhone’s Camera Roll and bringing the auto-upload feature added back in 2013 front-and-center. When you first run the app, it immediately asks if you want to automatically upload every photo you take. If you say yes, photos are set to private, so you won’t be sharing them with the world.

With Flickr offering 1TB of free storage, and a typical iPhone photo coming in at around 2.5Mb, that gives you capacity in the order of half a million photos …  Read more

Pixelmator, the popular image editor for Mac & iPad, is coming soon to the iPhone

Pixelmator is bringing its photo and image editor to the iPhone soon, as announced in a blog post today. Pixelmator was exclusive to the Mac until late last year when the developers ported the application to the iPad. It is now nearing completion on the iPhone version.

The especially good news for current Pixelmator users is that the iPhone version will not be released as a separate app. An update to the iPad app will make the software universal, so you can buy the app now and get the iPhone update for free when it is released. Even better, Pixelmator for iPad is currently on sale to celebrate the announcement

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Home Depot confirms plans to accept Apple Pay soon after disabling it

A public relations representative demonstrates how a PayPal customer can pay for goods using their mobile phone number at a cashier station at a Home Depot store in Daly City

Home Depot will soon officially gain support for Apple Pay after users this week noticed it had started quietly blocking the platform, the company tells Bloomberg.

Users have had success using Apple Pay at Home Depot stores since the service launched in October last year— Home Depot uses MasterCard Paypass terminals that technically support the NFC-based payments platform— but now the company appears to have stopped accepting it as it issues a statement touting rival PayPal. The company since confirmed, however, that it does plan to officially support Apple Pay following upgrades to its in-store hardware in the near future.

From Bloomberg: Read more