Possible class action suit in preparation as Retina MacBook owners report ‘staingate’ screen issues

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A possible class action suit is in preparation over multiple reports of what appears to be anti-reflective coatings flaking off the screens of Retina MacBook Pros, resulting in a stained appearance. Most of the machines affected seem to be 2013 models.

A group calling itself Staingate says that it has a database of more than 2500 people affected by the issue. More than 1800 of them have joined a Facebook group, a petition has been created, and lawyers Whitfield Bryson & Mason are collecting details of owners for “potential legal action against Apple related to staingate” …  Read more

Mac OS X El Capitan public beta to be released today for free (U: Available)

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Update: The OS X El Capitan beta is now available via Apple’s website. Instructions on how to enroll your device in the program and update can be found here.

Apple’s public beta of OS X El Capitan will be released today, according to Apple’s website. The build is meant to be tested by users wanting to preview the upcoming version of the operating system, which will be released for free this fall. Users can sign up to be an OS X Beta Program member on Apple’s site here.

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Microsoft releases Office 2016 for Mac to Office 365 subscribers

Earlier this year, Microsoft unveiled the entirely redesigned Office for Mac 2016 preview and introduced a variety of new features to go along with the fresh appearance. Today, Microsoft has released the official public build of Office for Mac 2016. In order to use the software, you must have an Office 365 subscription, which runs $99.99 per year or $9.99 per month.

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Here’s everything new in the latest iOS 9, El Capitan, and watchOS betas

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Apple earlier today began rolling out the third betas of iOS 9, watchOS 2, and OS X 10.11 El Capitan and we’ve been digging into each of them, trying to figure out what is new, changed, and improved. Most of the changes come on the iOS 9 and watchOS 2 side of things, with the new OS X 10.11 beta focusing mainly on under-the-hood changes. Read on for all of the changes…

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Opinion: Will size alone be enough to sell a bigger iPad?

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There isn’t any question that Apple’s working on a larger-screened iPad: early details leaked in 2013 and have been followed by dimensional drawings and prototype shells over the past year. All of the leaks suggest that the “iPad Pro” or “iPad Plus” will be nearly identical to the iPad Air 2, except with an almost 13″ screen and four (rather than two) speaker grilles. Few of the leaks have suggested major new design elements, such as an extra connector port, an integrated stand, or a stylus; no one believes Apple will even rotate the rear logo to signify a preferred horizontal orientation. In short, the “iPad Pro” will likely be a bigger-screened iPad Air, much as the iPad Air was just a bigger version of the iPad mini that preceded it.

Despite once-credible reports of an early 2015 release, the big iPad was apparently pushed back at least twice so Apple could focus on making more iPhones. Since it’s supposedly been rescheduled for a fall release, I wanted to pose a question: given what we (think we) know about it, do you believe a bigger-screened iPad without other major design changes will be compelling enough to succeed?…

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How-To: Go beyond OS X Photos + make amazing wall art from your Mac’s pictures (Part 1)

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Apple knew it had something special to share with the world when it released iPhoto in 2002: in addition to printing 20″ by 30″ poster-sized photos, the original iPhoto’s “most stunning feature” (according to Apple) was a page layout tool that quickly turned digital photo collections into printed hardcover books. These were Apple’s acknowledgements that tangible photos still had value in a digital era, and it subsequently added calendars, greeting cards, softcover books, and letterpress cards to iPhoto. Apple’s newer app Photos for Mac hides these options under the File menu at the top of the screen, and hasn’t expanded on them, a shame considering how nice the results look.

But apart from including the poster options in 2002, Apple never added “large-format art” to the list of things its photo apps could produce. Back in 2002, digital cameras were so low-resolution that they struggled to produce pixel-free 4″ by 6″ photos, so it’s no surprise that Apple wasn’t trying to build a market for large prints. Thankfully, a lot has changed since then. Canon currently sells two 50-Megapixel cameras, Sony has one 42-Megapixel camera, and Nikon offers four 36-Megapixel cameras. iPhones and iPads can create up to 43-Megapixel ultra-wide panoramas. A large, properly-composed print from any of these cameras (or even the more common 20- to 25-Megapixel cameras people are using today) will look amazing hanging on the wall of your home or office… if you know how to do it.

I wanted to see what the best options were for large-format photography, so I reached out to a collection of excellent art print services to see how digital photos would look on metal, glass, and canvas — materials Photos doesn’t offer. In Part 1 of this How-To guide, I’m looking at large-format metal prints that apply dyes and gloss directly onto aluminum surfaces, with results as saturated as Apple’s famous “nanochromatic” iPod nanos. A new Part 2 looks at large-format canvas and glass prints. Read on for all the details…

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Review: Moshi’s iGlaze, iVisor, ClearGuard & Muse enhance & protect the 12-inch MacBook

Dedicated accessories for Apple’s 12-inch MacBook with Retina display are still rarities at this point with the new design being different in every dimension than other MacBooks in the notebook lineup. For new MacBook owners looking to keep the $1300 and up machine in pristine condition, Moshi has a whole collection of premium accessories designed for the 12-inch MacBook. Today we’re taking a look at Moshi’s iGlaze 12, iVisor, ClearGuard & Muse 12: a lightweight hardshell case, bubble-free screen protector, ultra-thin keyboard cover, and slim fitting sleeve case for MacBook owners.

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Review: Bowers & Wilkins’ P5 Wireless hits new highs in Bluetooth headphone luxury

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Back when white earbuds dominated the market, Beats by Dre proved that mainstream customers were willing to pay $300 for large wired headphones and nearly $400 for wireless versions — even plasticky, overly bassy ones. The subsequent shift towards big headphones nearly killed makers of premium in-ear models, leading many audio companies to mimic Beats’ formula. But there were holdouts: iconic audio companies including Bowers & Wilkins refused to compromise their materials or change their sonic signatures to match Beats. Instead, B&W offered premium-priced headphones made from premium-quality materials, and let customers pick between plastic Beats or metal and leather alternatives.

Today, Bowers & Wilkins is debuting P5 Wireless ($400), a Bluetooth version of last year’s luxurious P5 Series 2 (and the since-discontinued original P5). Mixing chrome, brushed aluminum, and ultra-soft sheep’s leather, P5 Wireless is virtually indistinguishable from P5 Series 2 apart from its ability to operate with or without a 3.5mm audio cable. Classy in ways that even the top-of-line Beats Pro can’t match, P5 Wireless is the first Bluetooth headphone I would recommend to fans of classic premium audio gear…

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Latest MacBook hub on Kickstarter is the neatest yet, with form-fitting design

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Ever since Apple launched the single-port 12-inch MacBook, we’ve seen a flurry of companies offering to add the missing ports back in through various adapters, hubsdocks and more. Latest to the party is Branch, a Kickstarter project whose USP is its ‘form-fitted’ shape, which is naturally available in each of the three MacBook colors.

The emphasis here is on packing the essentials into an extremely portable unit, providing USB-C pass-through, two USB 3.0 ports and one Mini Display port capable of driving a 4K monitor. The company had originally pitched with HDMI (shown above), but said that it has switched to Mini DisplayPort following feedback from Kickstarter users …  Read more

Review: Akitio’s Thunder2 Dock fits a 7-port Thunderbolt 2 hub in your favorite MacBook bag

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Up until recently, Thunderbolt 2 docks could mostly be described as “seen one, seen them all.” I’ve continued to like the idea of docks that fuse Thunderbolt 2, USB 3.0, and other peripherals together in a single Thunderbolt-to-Mac connection, but the docks I’ve seen from Belkin, Elgato, and Kanex are so similar in looks and features that they’d be hard to tell apart in a lineup. CalDigit’s dock looked very different from the rest, but functioned almost exactly the same. No Thunderbolt 2 dock has been small enough to consider “portable,” and CalDigit’s design is downright bag-defiant in shape.

That’s why it’s great to see Akitio take a different path with the $279 Thunder2 Dock (available through Amazon for $230), a Thunderbolt 2 dock with a smaller form factor and focus. Roughly as thin as a MacBook Pro and made from a nearly-matching aluminum, Thunder2 Dock manages to include seven high-speed data ports even though it’s roughly the size of a portable hard drive. Since it requires wall power, it’s not completely portable, and just like its rivals, you give up certain features to gain others. But it’s definitely the first Thunderbolt dock I’d carry around if I needed multi-device support in the field…

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