Just when you thought the failed LA schools iPad program couldn’t get any messier, it did …

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We learned yesterday that the Los Angeles Unified School District may sue Apple for “millions of dollars” following the collapse of its plans to provide every student with an iPad. The mess eventually led to an FBI investigation and a federal review.

The latest development, as ever reported by the LA Times, says that the program is now the subject of a Securities and Exchange Commission inquiry into whether funds were misused in the $1.3B project …  Read more

Purported 12-inch ‘iPad Pro’ cases show stereo speakers, iPhone rumored to use same 7000 Series aluminum as Apple Watch Sport

Sonny Dickson has today posted images of an iPad Pro case that reiterates previous manufacturing renders and reports. Like a render seen in January, the case has holes for stereo speakers situated on top and bottom of the device.

The ‘iPad Pro’ has been widely reported to be in development for some time, featuring a larger 12.3 – 12.9 inch display. It is unknown if the new case images offer any new information — they could have been conjured up based on the previously leaked renders. Chinese case manufacturers have offered mixed indications of future Apple product plans. The iPhone 6 design was widely leaked through cases appearing online, but other instances have not been as fruitful.

Today, there has also been a rumor around the next iPhone’s materials …

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L.A. Unified School District may sue Apple for “millions of dollars” over failed iPad project

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The Los Angeles Unified School District is exploring the possibility of litigation against Apple over the failed project intended to provide every student with an iPad, reports the LA Times.

The Los Angeles Unified School District is seeking to recoup millions of dollars from technology giant Apple over a problem-plagued curriculum that was provided with iPads intended to be given to every student, teacher and administrator.

The project ran into early problems when students figured out how to bypass the restrictions designed to ensure the devices could be used only for school work, shortly before the district was accused of having miscalculated the cost of the program. The program was suspended last year, and later abandoned after deciding iPads were the wrong device. This was far from the end of the story, however …  Read more

IFTTT’s Do Button and Do Note apps get Apple Watch, iPad support

If This Then That (IFTTT), the service that lets users automate tasks from a long list of other mobile apps and web services, is about to launch two apps for Apple Watch.

Do Button, its iOS app for controlling hardware and software connected to the service with a single tap, and Do Note, a notepad app that uses IFTTT to save and share to other services like Google Calendar, Evernote, and Twitter, will both be receiving updates for Apple Watch by tomorrow. Read more

Wikipedia for iOS updated w/ design tweaks, ability to share facts as images, more

Wikipedia today has announced a major update to its app on iOS. The update adds a handful of new features to both the iPhone and iPad Wikipedia apps. First off, the update makes a few design tweaks to the appearance of articles. At the top of every article now is a large header image. Previously in Wikipedia on iOS, header images would appear smaller and below the first paragraph of text.

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Survey: 11% of teens plan to purchase Apple Watch, iPhone & iPad still most popular smartphone & tablet

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According to the latest data from Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster, interest in the Apple Watch among teens remains low. An October 2014 survey showed that only 16 percent of teenagers planned to purchase an Apple Watch, and now, a more recent survey shows that interest has dropped to 11 percent among the age group.

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Review: Aukey’s 12,000mAh PB-N28 is the $25 battery that fully refills any current iPad

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Last month, budget charging accessory maker Aukey released PB-N30, the first external battery with a female Lightning recharging port. For only $15, PB-N30 seemed like a steal given its 3,600mAh capacity — just right for use with any iPhone — but wasn’t capacious enough for power-hungrier iPads. So Aukey has released PB-N28 ($25) as a solution for tablet users, remarkably equipping it with over three times the power for only $10 more.

PB-N30 is an upgraded sequel to the company’s older PB-18, which stuffed a 12,000mAh battery into an iPhone 5-shaped enclosure. While the new model’s capacity is the same, PB-N30’s USB ports jump from 2.1-Amp/1-Amp charging to 2.4-Amp/1-Amp support, and it has a more neutral design that neither sticks out nor knocks off an Apple product. Not surprisingly, it cuts a corner or two to achieve its super-low price…

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Apple releases iOS 8.3, including new emojis with diversity, new Siri languages, more

iOS 8.3

Following the release of OS X 10.10.3 to the public, Apple has also released iOS 8.3 for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. The update, which has been in beta for several months, brings over 300 new emojis (including diversity options) as well as a new keyboard for inputting the symbols. The new keyboard features a scrolling UI, rather than the old page metaphor, to better accommodate the wider range of emojis available in the update.

iOS 8.3 also includes a whole host of new Siri languages, so more international users can benefit from Apple’s virtual personal assistant. The update adds Siri in Russian, Danish, Dutch, Thai, Swedish, Turkish and Portuguese. Siri’s voice has also been tweaked in this update.

Full change list included after the break:

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Opinion: The pros & cons of existing streaming music services & what Apple’s needs to succeed

Beats Music iTunes Festival

Apple’s upcoming music streaming service comes at an interesting time in the industry. Jay-Z recently relaunched his own streaming music service dubbed Tidal, recruiting help from other A-list artists like Rhianna, Alicia Keys, Coldplay frontman Chris Martin, and Kanye West. There are existing services from Spotify, Beats, Google, and others. All of these offerings have their own pros and cons, but I’ve used them all and none of them accomplish streaming music perfectly. Apple now has the opportunity to take the best features of each service and offer its own competitive service.

Last week, Ben Lovejoy broke down exactly what Apple’s streaming music service would need for him to stop buying music. Even without Apple’s new service, I’ve already done that. Most of my music is streamed from Spotify. Rarely do I actually buy albums on iTunes, and I almost never buy physical CDs. The problem with this approach is no streaming music service gets it 100 percent right for me.

I’m hoping that Apple incorporates the best of each existing subscription music service into its own upcoming music service. What are those key points? Let’s discuss…

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HBO NOW standalone streaming service debuts on Apple TV, iPhone & iPad with 1-month free trial

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HBO’s new standalone streaming service called HBO NOW has officially launched on Apple TV, iPhone, and iPad. HBO NOW allows subscribers to watch the premium network’s movies and TV shows online. The service is similar to Netflix as it’s delivered over a high-speed Internet connection rather than cable or satellite and doesn’t require long-term committments through contracts. Here’s how to get HBO NOW works: Read more