Is paid iCloud storage a good deal, or can you do better? Cloud storage roundup

With former MobileMe customers losing their additional 20GB of free storage a couple of days ago, there are probably a bunch of new people eyeing the paid iCloud upgrade options and wondering whether or not to hand over their cash. So we thought it would be a useful to take a look at the other major cloud storage services out there, to see how they compare.

As none of them are trying to hide the filesystem in the way Apple does, they all essentially work in the same way: providing you with a virtual online drive that you treat just like a local folder. There are also OS X and iOS apps for each.

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Let’s start with the obvious: if you want something that is totally integrated into both OS X and iOS, and which Just Works, then iCloud is king.

Although the 5GB you get free doesn’t sound like a lot, you actually get more than this in practice – because Apple doesn’t count the space used by any of your iTunes purchases (apps, music, movies/TV shows or books), nor does it count the 1000 most recent photos you get to store in Photostream. If most of the content you want to store came from Apple, and all you want to do additionally is sync your contacts, calendar, notes and so on, the free storage is probably all you need.

iCloud is also a seamless way to store documents if you use Apple’s own iWork software: Pages, Numbers and Keynote. By opting to save documents on iCloud, they are automatically available to you from your Mac(s), iPad and iPhone – as well as on the web.

But if you have a lot of documents, you can pretty soon start bumping up against that 5GB limit. Which is where iCloud’s costs and limitations start to show up …  Read more

Want to increase the value of your iPhone? Chronic Unlocks offering 9to5Mac readers 20% discounts

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With the new iPhone 5s and 5c rolling in and many users wanting to upgrade to the new devices, it might be wise to increase the value of your phone by unlocking it. Chronic Unlocks, the go-to company for unlocking iPhones (and various Nokias, LGs, BlackBerrys and other smartphones), offers a quick, reliable, and low-cost unlocking service. Read more

$50 MacUpdate Bundle: Snapheal Pro, Civ V Gold, PDF Pen 6, TechTool Pro 7, ScreenFlow, more

From 9to5Toys.com:

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For the rest of September, MacUpdate has a solid $49.99 9 app bundle on its hands. All of the bundled titles represent the newest releases and will be compatible with the upcoming OS X 10.9 Mavericks release.  ($50 too much? ‘Name your own price’ for this bundle). The $49.99 bundle includes:

1. ScreenFlow 4 – $99.99 – The best way to record screencasts on a Mac.
2. TechTool Pro 7 – $99.99 – The latest version of the powerful system utility.
3. Civilization V: Gold Edition – $49.99 – Best-selling strategy game, packed with extra content
4. PDFpen 6 - $59.95 - The all-purpose, easy-to-use PDF editor.
5. Snapheal Pro – $39.99 – The easiest way to remove objects and enhance your photos.
6. DeltaWalker – $39.95 - Compare and merge files and folders.
7. Vitamin-R 2 – $29.99 – Boost your productivity by enhancing your on-task focus.
8. Choco 2 – $29.99 – Design gorgeous photo collages with ease.
9. Aurora 5 – $14.95 - The most versatile alarm clock for your Mac.

In addition, bundle buyers can save more with these optional upgrades: Read more

Apple offering rare iTunes movie collection sale (starting $10): Die Hard, LOTR, Godfather, Matrix, X-Men, Harry Potter, more

From 9to5Toys.com: iTumes-movie-sale Apple is offering a rare sale on iTunes movie bundles yielding the lowest prices we’ve seen on digital downloads of 25 popular movie collections. Save even more by snagging a 20% off $60 iTunes gift card at ebay: $48. Bundles are available in SD/HD and start at $9.99 making a lot of these “buy one get two free” pricing (US Only). (Update: We’re hearing Apple is changing prices on many of these) Here’s the full list via:

SERIES MOVIES PRICE NOTES
Arthur 2 $9.99 Yes, you’re stuck with Russell Brand
Hangover 2 $9.99 Does not include 3
Mean Girls/Clueless 2 $9.99  
Sherlock Holmes 2 $9.99  
Titans 2 $9.99 No Denzel in these
Charlie’s Angels 2 $12.99  
Night at the Museum 2 $12.99  
Scarface/Casino 2 $12.99  
Taken 2 $12.99  
Alvin & The Chipmunks 3 $17.99  
Austin Powers 3 $17.99  
Blade 3 $17.99  
A Cinderella Story 3 $17.99  
Ice Age 3 $17.99  
Lord of the Rings 3 $17.99 Not extended editions
The Matrix 3 $17.99  
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 3 $17.99 The ones from the ’90s
Back to the Future 3 $19.99  
The Godfather 3 $19.99* Coppola restoration
Jurassic Park 3 $19.99  
Lethal Weapon 4 $19.99  
Spider-Man 3 $19.99  
X-Men 4 $24.99 Trilogy + Wolverine Origins
Bourne Collection 4 $29.99  
Underworld 4 $29.99  
Die Hard 5 $39.99  
Star Trek 10 $49.99 Includes I to X
Harry Potter 8 $59.99  


Read more

Ending! Parallels 8 Bundle: $50, includes Snagit, Typinator, WinZip Mac, xPlan, Boom, Leap, more

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Ending this weekend from 9to5Toys.com, comes one of our favorite Mac app bundles. For $30 less than the price of the Parallels 8 (Give Windows 8.1 a free spin?) headliner app alone , you get another 9 other solid applications valued at $482 for $49.99. These are available for immediate download without shipping or tax charges worldwide.

Details and video below or on Specials.9to5Toys.com

Read more

Apple continues website redesign, flattens support pages

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As noted by several 9to5 readers, Apple has just recently updated its Support pages through Apple.com to better reflect the redesign the rest of the site has been receiving in recent months.  Today’s update provides a new design for the majority of support pages available through Apple.com/support, including: Videos, Manuals, Tech Specs, and Downloads.

Apple used to present these pages using a design that was a few generations behind the rest of the site and displayed links in a search result style list. Today’s update brings a flat grid style layout that allows users to select or search for a product in order to find related manuals, videos, tech specs, etc, but also displays search results by product in the grid layout.

Apple.com’s search result pages also get a cleaner look today to match the recent Apple online store design (pictured below). Read more

Parallels 8 Bundle: $50, includes Snagit, Typinator, WinZip Mac, xPlan, Boom, Leap, more

Screen Shot 2013-07-10 at 9.17.31 AM

From 9to5Toys.com, comes one of our favorite Mac app bundles. For $30 less than the price of the Parallels 8 headliner app (Give Windows 8.1 a free spin?), you get another 9 solid applications valued at $482 for $49.99. These are available for immediate download without shipping or tax charges worldwide.

Details and video below or on Specials.9to5Toys.com

Read more

iOS 7 includes the ability to control your iPhone or iPad using head movements [video]

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Discovered by an anonymous tipster, iOS 7’s “Accessibility” section now includes a feature that allows you to control your iPhone or iPad with left or right head movements. We’ve tested this ourselves and found it to be quite accurate, but it’s quite tedious to control your device this way since it cycles through all of the options on the screen and you move your head when it is bordering around the option you want. Read more

Solid Mac Bundle including Corel Painter, iTunes TuneUp, DiskDrill, Mac Scan, NetSpot Pro, more: $30

From 9to5Toys.com:

StackSocial has a pretty impressive bundle hitting this evening for just $29.99. In it you get 9 solid apps including:
Painter Lite: Ease Into the World of Digital Art
TuneUp: Organize Your iTunes Music Collection in Just a Few Clicks
Disk Drill Pro: Protect and Recover Data Like a Pro
MoneyWiz: Personal Finance For Your Mac
Voila: The Best All-in-One Mac Screencapture Tool
DVDRemaster 8: The Ultimate DVD Re-Encoding Solution
DesktopShelves: Fight Clutter on Your Desktop by Organizing Files on Shelves
MacScan: MacScan is the premier Macintosh security program
NetSpot Pro: The Only App for Wireless Site Survey, Wi-Fi Analysis, & Troubleshooting on Mac OS X

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StackSocial also has Dragon Dictate for half off at $99 for both PC and Mac.

How to: Create a bootable OS X Mavericks USB Flash Drive from original App Store package

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On Monday Apple finally unveiled to the world the next iteration of OS X, Mavericks.  A developer preview of the new operating system is available now as a Mac App Store download for registered developers.  Delivering Mavericks via a download is super conveient and easy for everyday users but can be unhelpful in several troubleshooting or advanced OS modification situations.  The only way to obtain a bootable OS X Mavericks USB flash drive is to create your own: Read more

Subtle features & details in iOS 7 and Mavericks

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The WWDC keynote may have dragged on for two hours, but there were many features and subtle details that weren’t mentioned by any of the Apple executives. We’ll be updating this post with all of the small features and details that have been discovered. If you find something that’s not on this list, feel free to ping @9to5mac or @swb1192, or leave a comment after the break.

Mavericks

- In Notification Center, the Facebook and Twitter share buttons now have a new roommate – Messages. Clicking on the Messages button brings up a Share sheet-style interface where you can type in the recipient’s name and message then shoot them a message without actually having to open the Messages app.

- LinkedIn integration has been added, but all of the Chinese websites (including mail.qq.com and 126.com) have been dropped from the English version of Mavericks.

- Text shortcuts have been added to the Mac, just like iOS. The default text shortcut is “omw” which is automatically replaced with “On my way!” These also seem to sync over iCloud (thanks, @Dexwell_)

- Along with the new offline & live feedback dictation, you can now edit text while  dictating.

- Do Not Disturb has been added to the Notifications preferences pane. Read more