Father’s Day giveaway: Win one of 13 prizes including OtterBox, LifeProof cases, Bluetooth speakers, more

Father's Day Giveaway

Update: Entries are now closed and we’ll be contacting the winners momentarily.

It’s Father’s day once again and to celebrate, we’re giving away a total of 13 products, including cases from OtterBox, LifeProof, and Griffin, as well as other prizes including some wireless Bluetooth speakers, a couple of iPhone speaker docks and more. Read on to learn how to enter…

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Apple Store app featuring new, free music from iTunes

Stanford Apple Store

Once again, Apple is back to giving away free music through an iTunes promotion within its Apple Store app for U.S. customers. The new giveaway highlights three artists with “new tracks helping to define this year’s musical landscape.” Specifically, the app features tracks from Master Blaster Sound System, Bad Suns, and Kris Bowers. It’s worth checking out if you’re into discovering new music, but Amazon has some more traditional artists like George Strait, The Beach Boys, and Dean Martin in its Icon Series music giveaway over at 9to5Toys. Check below for how to grab the free tracks from iTunes. Read more

Starbucks now supports redeeming Pick of the Week cards with iOS 7’s camera feature

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Starbucks, this week, updated their iconic Pick of the Week promotion to take advantage of iOS 7’s ability to use the device’s camera to redeem iTunes gift cards. Before that, customers had to pick up a physical card featuring a promo code to redeem the Pick of the Week app and manually type the code into the iTunes Store. Earlier this year, Starbucks began offering the promotion via an App Store app. The pick of the week promotion allows customers pickup cards from participating Starbucks locations and download an app or other piece of iTunes media for free:

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FreedomPop expanding free wireless plan to all Sprint smartphones, iPhones included

FreedomPopFreedomPop, the wireless service provider offering free and cheap no-contract plans on Sprint’s network, today announced it’s now allowing customers to bring their old Sprint phones to activate on its $0/month wireless plans. We’ve confirmed with the company that will also soon include iPhones.

The company has been around since 2011 with various hotspot products and recently launched its first smartphone direct to customers alongside the world’s first completely free mobile service. A guaranteed 500 MBs of data, 500 text messages, and 200 anytime voice minutes for free each month would sound enticing to anyone, but previously customers would have to pay $99 for an almost two-year old HTC Evo Design to get it. Despite that, FreedomPop says it “immediately sold out” of stock when it launched last month.

That’s about to change today as FreedomPop will now let Sprint customers bring their own device to activate on its free and cheap plans. Although there is no mention of it in the carrier’s press release and some are reporting iPhones aren’t supported, we’ve confirmed FreedomPop will support the iPhone 4 and 4S as well as 20 other Sprint devices initially. Stephen Stokols, FreedomPop’s CEO, tells us it will be another few weeks before the iPhone is compatible, and eventually all Sprint smartphones will be supported. Around 600 devices, including iPhones, will be supported by the end of the month.  Read more

Apple announces OS X Mavericks available today for free

Update: OS X Mavericks is available now as a free download on the Mac App Store. 

Apple has done something it hasn’t done before with a major release of OS X, announcing today during its iPad event that it will release OS X Mavericks, the latest version of its desktop OS, later today for free to all users.

Mavericks is available starting today for iMac and MacBook Pros from 2007 or later, 2008 MacBook Air, MacBook, and Mac Pro or later, and the 2009 Mac mini or later.

Apple first showed off Mavericks back in June at its WWDC developer conference and has since seeded several betas as well as Golden Master release followed by silent update to the GM release that could likely be the version Apple ships later this month. Despite not receiving a radical visual overhaul like iOS 7, OS X Mavericks includes over 200 new features and many big new user facing features like iBooks, improved multiple display support, iCloud Keychain, new Finder features, Maps, quick reply and lock screen notifications, auto-updating apps, and a number of under the hood enhancements to improve battery life and performance. (Full press release below) Read more

Free content begins showing up in Apple Store iOS app amid sales push

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Two weeks ago, we reported that Apple would update its Apple Store iOS app with the ability to receive free content. The app was updated a couple of weeks ago to lay the groundwork for this feature, and now free content has begun appearing. The first paid app (normally $0.99) for free is Color Zen, and Apple will provide either a new app, piece of iTunes media content, or iBook each week.

The functionality works both in Apple Stores and actually if you are not in a store. A user just needs to pull up a store inside of the app’s store panel (see image above). When you click the free content option, you are taking to a screen to finalize your download.

We previously reported that Apple Store employees are instructed to install this application on a new iOS Device during Personal Setup (After a purchase). At an internal event in San Francisco last month, Tim Cook revealed that only a small percentage of Apple customers are aware of the app, but Cook wants to use the app as an element of his plan to boost iPhone sales in his stores. 

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iWork, iLife appear in iOS 7 free downloads screen, corroborates Apple apps going free theory

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We reported previously on the possibility of Apple making its iWork suite, and possibly its other premium content creation apps, available for free alongside iOS 7 and the launch of new iWork for iCloud web apps. It would make a lot of sense given it’s hard to imagine Apple allowing users to create documents for free on iCloud but not seamlessly transfer from iOS to Mac without having to throw down $30 for the three iOS apps. Today we get a little hint from the latest iOS 7 beta that Apple might actually be considering making the apps free this fall (via @nielskorte & iFun).

The screenshot above shows the screen that Apple presents most users with when launching the App Store on their iOS device for the first time. Curiously, on iOS 7 beta 3, the recommended free apps screen includes Apple’s iWork suite in addition to other paid apps such as Garageband, iMovie, and iPhoto. In the past, Apple has only included free apps in the pop up such as iBooks, iTunes U, and Podcasts. This could signal Apple has plans to offer its premium apps for free in the future…

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Kamcord adds voice overlay feature, announces 500M iOS gameplay videos recorded in last 6 months

Kamcord, the startup offering a free SDK that makes it easy for iOS devs to offer in-game recording functionality to their users, today is announcing some pretty big updates to the service. Since grabbing $1.5 million in seed funding from some notable investors back in December (Andreessen Horowitz, Google Ventures, Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer, and others), the Y Combinator-backed service has experienced some significant traction and the team is adding plenty of new features to stay ahead of the competition.

Kamcord-iPad-01The big new feature being announced is voice overlay functionality that will allow users to narrate their videos while they play, as demoed by the team in the video above. CEO Matt Zitzmann also provided us with some other updates the team has added in the last month, including: Video trimming, a custom UI / white-label solution, and a new “Gameplay of the week” notifications feature.

Also being announced today: Kamcord has recorded over 500 million gameplay videos in the last 6 months alone across the 100 apps its currently deployed in. One those games includes the latest from Chillingo and Zitzmann says the company is talking to all the other big mobile game developers too. Read more

Review + Giveaway: Abstergo jailbreak tweak finally fixes iOS notifications

When Apple introduced Notification Center in iOS 5, they changed the way most people manage notification on their iOS devices. For the most part, they were right. Unfortunately, Notification Center introduced its own deficiencies and now people are looking for changes once again.

Today, change has finally come in the form of a jailbreak tweak called Abstergo, and we’ve got five free copies for our readers. Keep reading for a full breakdown of the tweak and more information about how you can win a copy.

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AnoStyle is giving away an anodized iPhone 5 to a 9to5Mac reader!

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We’ve previously covered and reviewed AnoStyle’s anodization service for iOS devices like the iPhone 5 and iPad mini. We found the process for an iPhone 5 to be seamless:

There isn’t much to report besides everything turned out great and I love the result. It feels and looks like my iPhone, only in gold. The only con to AnoStyle, at least for the gold color option, is that the text below “iPhone” on the back is now extremely faint. Other than that, I feel like I own a limited edition iPhone (dusts shoulder off), and at least four people have asked me how I managed to snag a gold iPhone.

Today, AnoStyle has agreed to giveaway an anodized iPhone 5 to a 9to5Mac reader. The winner, which we will select and announce one week from today, can choose either a black/slate or white/silver iPhone 5 plus the anodized color (red, pink, yellow, orange, blue, teal, green, violet, gold, copper, bronze, blue steel, rose gold, or flat black).
 The iPhone 5 is an unlocked 16GB unit, but the winner can choose to pay the difference for a higher capacity model.
How to enter:
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Google releases free Quickoffice iPhone app for Google Apps for Business customers

After releasing a free version of the Quickoffice iPad app for its Google Apps for Business customers in December, Google today announced free iPhone and Android versions of the app exclusively for its Apps for Business customers.

Google Apps for Business can already edit Microsoft Office files using Quickoffice on an iPad, and starting today they can do the same on iPhone and Androiddevices. From Word to Excel to Powerpoint, you can make quick edits at the airport or from the back of a taxi and save and share everything in Google Drive… iPad and iPhone users can open and edit Office files directly from the Drive app. Just open Drive and select the file, make edits using Quickoffice and save it back to Drive.

Google noted the updated apps also bring new features including support for multiple Google Drive accounts, improved chart rendering, ZIP folders from multiple files, and the ability to sort Drive files by “Shared with me, Starred, and Recent”: Read more