Apple’s new ‘Change is in the Air’ ads show novel uses for the iPad Air 2

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Apple released a new iPad Air 2 campaign during Sunday football today showcasing various unique physical and software applications for the iPad Air 2.

Featuring the song “Who Needs You” by The Orwells [iTunes Store, YouTube], the ad is a departure from last year’s iPad Air which were focused on a single user.

iPad Air 2 isn’t just the thinnest and lightest iPad we’ve ever created. It’s the most powerful. From the studio to the classroom, the field to the garage, it’s helping people discover new and better ways to do the things they love. Imagine what you’ll do with it.

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Review: Harman Kardon Esquire Mini is the best iPhone speakerphone you can fit in your pocket

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I reviewed two portable Bluetooth speakerphone options earlier this year: The Philips WeCall ($145) vs. Logitech P710e ($125) . Both are square and have internal batteries and make conference calling easy. But for their ~$150 price tag, I wondered if you could get more portability and style without sacrificing sound quality.

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The answer to those questions is the Harman Kardon Esquire line of portable speakerphones. Below, I take a look at the Esquire Mini which retails for $149.99 and can be found as low as $145 at Amazon or $135 at World Wide StereoRead more

Best iPhone 6/Plus wallet cases: Pad and Quill Little Pocket Book and SurfacePad from TwelveSouth

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For all of its greatness, Apple Pay hasn’t nearly killed the need to take your wallet with you wherever you go. But if you are like me, it has lightened your load a little bit. Instead of carrying around 5 credit cards, I now carry around one each of debit and credit. Combine that with some other de-Costanzifications (scan insurance cards and health club cards for instance) I’ve made recently, I can now consolidate my wallet into a few card slots.

What I’m getting at here is that I can follow the lead of my wife and now consolidate my iPhone and my wallet finally. I’ve chosen two amazing iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus cases from my favorite iPhone case manufacturers to get me there: Pad and Quill’s Little Pocket Book ($60 -$10 off for Black Friday) and Twelve South’s $50 SurfacepadRead more

Holiday gift guide: Smart home products – get a jump on HomeKit for 2015

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I wondered earlier this year whether Apple’s HomeKit system would bring home automation to the masses. The good news is that you don’t need to wait for HomeKit to start bringing smart home technology to your family and friends – and we’ve put together a gift guide covering some of the main products that might bring a smile to their faces during the holidays.

With the right gadgets, they will be able to control lighting, heating, cooking, sound systems … even have their kettle switch on when they walk up to their front door, which will automatically unlock as they approach. Best of all, you can get them in on the smart home action from just $30 …

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Top Apple Maps app manager for Watch, iOS & OS X exits for Uber

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Apple is having trouble retaining top talent in its Maps division.

We’re told that a notable number of exits have occurred on the Maps team over the last several months with a large portion of those engineers heading to ride-sharing startup Uber. The most notable Apple employee to recently depart is Brad Moore, who exited in October to become a manager at Uber. As “Senior Engineering Manager, Maps Apps & Community” at Apple, Moore “built and managed the application and community teams responsible for Maps on iPhone, iPad, CarPlay, OS X, and Apple Watch,” according to LinkedIn.

Since Moore was in charge of such a critical application across all of Apple’s major hardware and software platforms, his departure marks a significant loss for Apple and a huge gain for Uber. Apple is said to also be overhauling its public transportation team following the group’s inability to launch the planned directions service for iOS 8 last year. Sources say that Apple’s Maps team is also progressing on its testing in major districts like New York City of a new indoor mapping service. Chris Blumenberg, another former top Apple Maps manager at Apple, left for Uber in July.

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Parallels Desktop 10 Black Friday bundle: 1Password, Camtasia, CleanMyMac 2, Gemini, and more for $50 upgrade/$80 new ($285 off)

From 9to5Toys.com:
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Starting this evening and running through Black Friday weekend, Parallels is running a special bundle of Mac apps for free when you upgrade to Parallels 10 for $49.99 or buy it new for $79.99. The bundled apps 1Password password manager, Camtasia screen recorder, CleanMyMac 2 file organizer/remover, Gemini file de-duplicator, Acronis True Image backup and restore software and a 2 year subscription to Parallels Access which allows you to run parallels VMs remotely on iOS and Android devices. Not a bad deal at all of you need any of these other apps.

Parallels 10 was announced in August and we reviewed it shortly thereafter noting it was the best way to run Windows and Linux VMs on a Mac.

Not sure you are into Parallels? Grab a 14 day free trial here. Just want Parallels in a shiny box? Amazon has it for $62. More info on the bundled apps below:

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Samsung going head-to-head with Apple with iBeacon rival, Proximity

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The rivalry between Apple and Samsung looks set to enter a new field as Samsung has announced a direct competitor to iBeacon, called Proximity.

Samsung Proximity is a mobile marketing platform that connects consumers with places via cutting-edge Samsung location and context-aware technology.

With Samsung Proximity, visitors are able to experience rich content related to their location, and marketers can better engage with customers for increased sales and brand awareness.

The applications Samsung describes for the service are identical to those already in use with Apple’s iBeacon partners …  Read more

OS X Yosemite 10.10.1 build 14B23 seeded to developers

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Apple today seeded the second beta of the upcoming OS X Yosemite 10.10.1 update to registered developers and participants in the AppleSeed program. The update is available for these users in the Software Update tab of the Mac App Store.

As with the first beta, Apple asks developers to focus their testing on WiFi-connectvitiy, Exchange accounts in the Mail app, and Notification Center. Apple has not indicated when OS X 10.10.1 will be released to the public, but the first point updates to OS X typically arrive within a month of the original version.

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iPhone 6 & 6 Plus increase iOS enterprise share at the expense of Android

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Good Technology is out with its latest report examining share of mobile platforms in the enterprise and in it noted that iOS was able to grow its market share following the introduction of the new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. The increase from 67% last quarter to 69% during Q3 isn’t a huge one, but it’s notable given it comes at the expense of Android OS just over a month into sales of the new Apple devices. Read more

Apple blocks WireLurker malware apps from opening, but needs to do more, argues security researcher

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Apple has now blocked the launching of Mac apps infected with WireLurker malware, after earlier revoking security certificates to prevent them being installed on new devices. WireLurker was capable of infecting non-jailbroken iOS devices when connected to a Mac running one of the compromised apps. Over 400 Mac apps in a third-party Chinese app store were affected.

In a written statement, an Apple spokesperson said:

We are aware of malicious software available from a download site aimed at users in China, and we’ve blocked the identified apps to prevent them from launching. As always, we recommend that users download and install software from trusted sources.

However, a security researcher says that it would be easy for other attackers to exploit the exact same weakness …  Read more

Adobe launches cloud-connected Capture & new Photoshop, Lightroom, Illustrator, and Premiere iOS apps

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Ahead of its annual MAX Conference kicking off today, Adobe has launched an entirely new suite of apps that are now available on the iPhone and iPad App Store. This year, Adobe is focusing on simplifying its mobile software lineup into four categories that sync with desktop counterparts: Illustration, Imaging, Video, and a new platform called Creative Cloud Capture Apps. Each of the apps within the four categories are either brand new or have been enhanced.

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