GarageBand, Star Walk, Threes and more apps go (RED) until December 7th, all proceeds going to charity

A range of apps have been updated today with limited-time promotions, in aid of the (RED) charity. Apple has participated in the event with an update to GarageBand, offering a limited-edition In-App Purchase that makes over 300 new drum, guitar, synth and bass loops available as an In-App Purchase. All proceeds from the sale of this expansion pack go directly to the (RED) charity, which sends the money to the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. The In-App Purchase, which is priced at $0.99, will be available until December 7th.

Other notable developers are also participating, many of which including exclusive additional content. For example, Threes has been updated, with a fresh red theme and updated icon. Monument Valley has added one special (RED) level, Star Walk has added exploration of Mars, The Red Planet. The popular drawing app, Paper, has also participated with a red application theme and icon. The ‘Over’ app has made special edition font and artwork packs available for purchase. djay and Heads Up! are also taking part in the event. Like GarageBand, 100% of proceeds of app and IAP sales go to the (RED) fund.

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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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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.

Evernote for OS X updated w/ Yosemite design, performance improvements, more

Evernote this afternoon has released a major update to its OS X desktop app, making both major design enhancements for Yosemite and under-the-hood performance improvements. The update, which the company says is a total rewrite of the app, adds an entirely redesigned interface with a new, lighter color scheme, as well as new icons.

At Evernote, we believe that speed and stability are essential for productivity. That’s why we’ve completely rewritten Evernote for Mac. Everenote is significantly faster, more reliable and consumes less energy than ever before. We’ve also added a number of new features!

In addition to the design improvements, Evernote also touts a variety of new features.

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OS X Yosemite 10.10.1 failing to cure WiFi problems for some users – support forums

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Yesterday’s dot-release of OS X 10.10.1 has seemingly failed to address the WiFi problems some users have been experiencing since upgrading to Yosemite, according to continuing posts on the Apple Support Communities.

Despite the first bullet-point in the release notes for 10.10.1 reading ‘Improves WiFi reliability,’ many of those who had reported connection failures, dropped connections and slow speeds said that nothing had changed since upgrading to 10.10.1 …  Read more

Apple releases OS X Yosemite 10.10.1 w/ bug fixes & WiFi improvements

Yosemite 10.10.1In addition to releasing iOS 8.1.1 for iPhone and iPad users, Apple has released OS X Yosemite 10.10.1 with bug fixes and performance improvements for Macs running the latest version of the desktop operating system. Mac users that have experienced WiFi performance issues running Yosemite should expect improvements with this bug fix release. The update is available for Macs running OS X Yosemite through the Updates tab of the Mac App Store.

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Last chance to get a Retina iMac for the holiday nears as ship times hit 2-3 weeks

Retina 5K iMac ship times

When Apple announced the first 27-inch Retina 5K iMac at its special event last month, its new super high resolution desktop computer became available for purchase online that same day. Ship times for the Retina 5K iMac have since steadily slipped from 3-5 days to 7-10 days. With Black Friday and the holidays quickly approaching, though, the shipment promise for the Retina 4K iMac has stretched out to 2-3 weeks when ordering directly from Apple… Read more

Samsung’s not done with its ‘me too’ act yet: announces Continuity clone, Flow

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Not content with being a ‘fast follower’ of HealthKit and HomeKit with its Digital Health and Smart Home platforms, and iBeacon with its Proximity Service, Samsung has just announced a Continuity clone, Flow.

People today use multiple devices in their daily activities: phones, tablets, laptops, smart watches, TVs, and more. But the way we work is still device-centric. We still use one application, within one device, with data that is tied to that application and device.

Samsung Flow is a platform that enables developers to create seamless transitions across devices, so that people can change devices in the midst of an activity and continue right from where they left off.

Flow is compatible with anything that works with Android’s Share feature: if content can be shared with other apps, Flow can be used to to hand it off to other devices …  Read more

Staples turns on Apple Pay support at its retail stores ahead of Black Friday

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Staples shared in an announcement today that it is now accepting Apple Pay transactions at its “over 1,200 stores” in the United States for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus users. Apple Pay, of course, will also be available for iPhone 5, iPhone 5c, and iPhone 5s users starting next year when paired with the upcoming Apple Watch. Apple included Staples in its list of retail partners when announcing its secure mobile payment service, although Apple noted that support would be “coming later this year” from the retailer as it was available in time for last month’s launch. Read more

US-China trade deal set to reduce manufacturing costs for Apple, aims to cut prices for consumers

President Obama and President Xi Jinping in Beijing (photo: Agence France-Presse/Getty Images)

President Obama and President Xi Jinping in Beijing (photo: Agence France-Presse/Getty Images)

A trade agreement reached between the U.S. and China looks set to reduce Apple’s manufacturing costs by removing import tariffs on components imported into the country.

Apple uses components from a number of countries around the world, notably Korea and Japan, which are imported into China for the assembly of iPhones, iPads and Macs. China currently imposes import tariffs on these components. The new deal would allow companies like Apple, Microsoft and HP to bring components into China free from these charges …  Read more