Calling Dick Tracy: Glide iOS app brings live video messages to Apple Watch

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Glide, the app that lets users send live video messages, today becomes the first to bring the feature to Apple Watch. With an update to Glide’s iOS app, users of Apple Watch will be able to receive live videos messages right on their wrist, although it’s a one-way experience for Apple Watch as the device doesn’t yet include a camera; your responses will be limited to text. Read more

How-To: Decode Apple’s Tech Specs pages before buying a new Mac, Part 2

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As I noted in Part 1 of How-To: Decode Apple’s Tech Specs pages before buying a new Mac, Apple has designed the Mac purchasing process to be easy: pick a model, pick the good, better, or best configuration, hand over your cash, and enjoy your computer. Since most people get confused by tech specs — bullet points filled with numbers and acronyms — Apple downplays them in its marketing materials, leaving customers to sort through the details and figure out what most of them mean.

But these specs are really important when you’re shopping for the right Mac for your current and future needs. So I’ve created this How-To guide to walk you through each of Apple’s Tech Specs pages using clear explanations, hopefully enabling you to properly understand what you’re about to buy. Part 1 focused on the “big 5″ Mac specs you really need to know about, and this Part 2 looks at the rest — generally things that remain the same in a given model, regardless of the configuration you choose…

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Apple airs filmmaking iPad ad narrated by Martin Scorsese for the Oscars

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On the day of the annual Academy Awards ceremony, Apple has begun airing a new iPad Air advertisement highlighting how the tablet is used in the filmmaking industry. The new video advertisement is narrated with excerpts from notable movie director Martin Scorsese’s 2014 commencement speech at the NYU Tisch School of the Arts. The video, embedded below, is accompanied by a website highlighting specific stories of the iPad being used to make movies. These video stories were actually filmed and edited on iPads. The new website also discusses key video planning, filming, and editing applications for the iPad such as Final Draft, Garageband (but not the consumer-focused iMovie), and VideoGrade. This film-focused advertisement follows a music-oriented one that aired on the day of the Grammy Awards.

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EFF: Apple’s iMessage most secure “mass-market” messaging, lacks complete protection from targeted surveillance

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The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) today released a report examining three dozen messaging services and ranking them based on what it deemed are seven “security best practices.” While Apple scored the best among what the EFF called “mass-market options”, it didn’t do as well when compared to all 36 messaging services included in the report. Specifically, EFF noted Apple’s iMessage and FaceTime services failed to offer “complete protection against sophisticated, targeted forms of surveillance.” Read more

Review: Nova wireless flash for iPhone adds a burst of light to your photos from any angle

Nova wireless flash for iPhone

We first told you about the Nova wireless flash for iPhone last fall when it was merely an idea on Kickstarter having just collected enough funding to ship. The campaign successfully raised over $85,000 and the wireless flash for iPhone is now available for purchase with an iOS app available on the App Store. I recently had the chance to test out the Nova wireless flash for iPhone, and below I’ll share a few insights from my experience.

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Contrast debuts Contact Center, a simpler Launch Center Pro focused on keeping in touch

Contact Center

If you’re familiar with Launch Center Pro, the iPhone and iPad app we’ve covered that enables powerful automation on iOS, then you may recognize Contrast’s new iPhone app debuting today called Contact Center. While its name sounds like it could be an alternative address book, it’s actually a simpler, easier to learn version of Launch Center Pro focused on staying in touch with your favorite contacts.

Contrast describes Contact Center as allowing you to “automatically paste your clipboard into an email or message, jump right to a contact in WhatsApp, automatically paste your clipboard into an email or message” and more; below we’ll take a look at the new app.

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As Siri gets more powers in iOS 8, we ask: Do you use it to its fullest or is it still a party trick?

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When Siri lost its beta tag almost a year ago, I suggested it might be a good time for those who’d been frustrated with its early performance to give it another chance. What I discovered through your comments was that Siri seems to be one of those things that polarizes views: people either loving it and using it every day, or dismissing it as a useless gimmick. Not too many people seem to fall between the two.

But Apple has continued to work hard on improving the service, adding new capabilities as well as refining its ability to handle existing ones. It might not yet be as sophisticated as its creators envisage for the future, but a year on seemed a good point to revisit the topic and find just how many of its capabilities people are using …  Read more

Continuity Keypad adds a dialer to OS X Yosemite for iPhone Handoff calls

Continuity Keypad

Anyone testing iPhone Handoff calling on OS X Yosemite, Apple’s latest Mac operating system, have probably noticed one major detail missing: a dialer. Student developers Eytan Schulman and Harrison Weinerman have created a very useful utility called Continuity Keypad that solves that problem.

Essentially what the app does is bridge a gap created by Handoff and FaceTime when making calls on your Mac using your iPhone. It creates a dialer similar to the one found on your iPhone allowing you to easily call numbers using your iPhone from your Mac, and it uses transparency to fit in with the new look of OS X. Read more

Apple bolsters iOS 8 Health app with on-device steps, distance tracking & caffeine monitoring

Apple has made significant enhancements to its upcoming Health application for iOS 8 in the latest beta of the new iPhone operating system. Most notably, the Health application can now utilize the iPhone’s own M7 motion tracking hardware for data sourcing.

The Health app’s Steps counter tab can now report steps without connecting to any third party applications or hardware devices. Because this feature likely uses the M7 processor, an iPhone 5s is required to get the steps data directly from the device…

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More pictures of the iPhone 6’s front and back appear online as Apple ramps production

On Weibo, user dreamerJimmy has posted more shots of the supposed iPhone 6 design, which has shown up in photos time and time again in recent weeks. The new images are of reasonable quality, though and indicate how the larger phone would compare physically with the current iPhone 5s. The user has a good reputation for leaks, posting accurate images of the iPhone 5 and iPhone 5c months before their unveiling.

In the first image, the much thinner bezels of the supposed new device can be clearly seen, to maximise the screen space on the front side. The distance between the Home Button and the display has also been shortened.

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Verizon rolling out VoLTE in ‘coming months’, could bolster iOS 8 FaceTime

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Verizon Wireless is officially joining in on this year’s major new cellular network technology: Voice over LTE, or “VoLTE.” VoLTE allows voice calls on compatible smartphones to be made over the previously-data only LTE network technology. This allows for higher-quality, better sounding (“HD Voice”) phone calls to be placed. The rollout will occur “later this year”, or “in the coming months” depending on which part of the press release you believe:

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