As predicted, Apple’s Black Friday ‘deals’ go live and are gift card only, no discounts

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As we predicted, Apple’s Black Friday deals take the form of gift cards rather than discounts. The Australian store is first to come online with the promotion.

Buy a Mac, and you get a gift card for AUS$150 ($137), an iPad gets you AUS$75 ($68) and an iPod AUS$50 ($45) – with a range of gift card values on selected accessories. It’s likely these amounts will be rounded in the USA.

There appears to be no gift card with the Retina iPad Mini (only with the non-Retina model), likely a reflection of the limited supplies available and that Apple knows it will sell well into the holiday season without incentives.

While the gift card amounts are slightly more generous than past discounts (last year Apple offered $100 discount on a Mac), the fact that you have to lay out the full amount for a credit that has to be spent later may limit appeal …

We’ve posted some answers to common questions about the deal. 

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Tweetbot 3.2 brings night theme, account switching shortcuts

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Today, Tapbots has released Tweetbot 3.2 to the App Store, the latest version of their highly-popular Twitter client. Tapbots have been pretty relentless in updating their flagship app with version 3.1 arriving only two weeks ago.

Tweetbot 3.2 brings a long-awaited night theme to the app, offering another theme choice to users who may not like the stark-white default look.

The theme can be set to adjust automatically based on time or manually set as the default look. The application theme can also be changed via a hidden gesture; simply swipe up and down with two fingers to toggle between the light and dark theme.

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Tweetbot 3 becomes top paid app in several countries, developers discuss future enhancements

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Since its launch yesterday, popular Twitter client Tweetbot 3 for iPhone has topped the paid app charts in several App Store-supported countries across the world. A look at AppAnnie’s data indicates that the new application is the top paid app overall in 35 countries, and it is the top app in the Social Networking category in 70 countries. As Tweetbot developer Paul Haddad notes, these impressive launch day statistics are evidence for why developers should charge for major app updates…

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Tweetbot 3 for iPhone arrives: gorgeous new design, same great features

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For many years, Tweetbot from Tapbots has been my favorite Twitter app and definitely my most used app on iOS. The application includes several powerful features wrapped up in a quick, smooth interface. However, the design began to look dated with the launch of iOS 7, Apple’s revamped iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch operating system, last month. For several months, the Tapbots crew has been hard at work on a complete, end-to-end redesign of their flagship app, and it is available now via the App Store. Check out my complete review…

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Apple CEO Tim Cook joins Twitter, waxes on visiting Apple Stores today

Tim CookOther Apple executives have been on Twitter for a while, and today CEO Tim Cook sent out his first tweet mentioning that he visited retail stores in Palo Alto for the retail launch of the iPhone 5s and 5c. Cook has been a member of Twitter since July, but his account is not yet verified by Twitter. Apple marketing chief Philip Schiller retweeted Cook’s tweet earlier today proving that the account is indeed run by the Apple CEO.

Earlier today Cook, along with Apple executives Phil Schiller and Eddie Cue, made an appearance at Apple’s Palo Alto retail store in California to greet customers that queued up for the launch of the new iPhones today.

Apple Marketing SVP Phil Schiller sometimes tweets about issues related to the company. For example, back in March Schiller tweeted the words “Be safe out there” along with a link to a study showing a much higher number of security threats on Android compared to iOS. Read more

iOS 7 downloads causing network outages at several school campuses, activation server failures

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As noticed by BusinessInsider, Apple’s release of iOS 7 today is causing havoc for the networks of several college campuses and other schools where a large number of iOS device users are attempting to download the new OS. Some schools, including Ohio University, is even urging students to delay upgrading to iOS 7 as the network experiences network problems due to the high amount of traffic.

Others having WiFi issues today include New York University, Michigan University, and Western Connecticut State University. Those three schools haven’t confirmed iOS 7 is the cause of network outages today, but students on Twitter have noted that iOS 7 is likely the culprit… Read more

A look at what some high-profile apps will look like when iOS 7 hits

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Apple announced on Tuesday that iOS 7 will be publicly available on September 18th. The revamped OS moves completely away from the realistic designs of the past six generations, dropping almost all “artificial shadows” (as Apple SVP Craig Federighi called them), gloss, and even button borders. Instead, the Jony Ive-inspired interface features an entirely rethought design language that focuses heavily on large icons, lightweight fonts, whitespace, transparency, and conservative use of color.

We previously took a look at what some of Apple’s own in-house apps could look like when redesigned for iOS 7. During Apple’s September 10th event, Federighi flashed up a slide displaying the upcoming iOS 7 updates for many third-party applications. None of the apps were labeled, but we’ve tracked down names for most of them.

The apps featured are:

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Join us for a live Hangout during today’s keynote

Despite our best hopes and wishes, it appears Apple won’t be providing a livestream for today’s event. While you’re keeping tabs right here for our liveblog and tweets, we’ll also be hosting a live Google Hangout starting about 15 minutes before the 10 am PST event and extending through the duration of the keynote.

Check it out here. Read more

How-to: Setup and use Dropbox to manage and share photos, files

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Before Dropbox became popular, there was iDisk, which was Apple’s cloud storage system. iDisk allowed you to store documents, pictures, QuickTime files, and PDFs in one cloud-based “drive.” This was accessible on all of your Apple products as well as at me.com on a PC. It was practically like having your most important files in Finder on your computer – but everywhere.

Then iCloud came out. iCloud dropped support of iDisk, which meant there was no longer a way to access all of your files in a Finder-like cloud system. This paved the way for third party apps like Dropbox to become even more popular.

Dropbox is free. Dropbox works on any platform: Mac, Windows, iOS, Android, and Blackberry. Dropbox gives you 2GB of storage space for free and they offer incentives to increase your allocated amount of free storage space.

There are two different ways to set up Dropbox:

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Parallels Desktop 9 for Mac hits Amazon Germany and MacMall US with purported September 5th delivery date

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Cat’s out of the bag? It appears that Parallels is preparing an update to their award-winning virtualization software for Mac.  Amazon Germany has a pre-order page up with Parallels Desktop 9 artwork and an expected delivery date of September 5th. Having a quick look around, it appears you can also order it now in the US at MacMall/PCM for $74.99 shipped:

A variety of other retailers appear to be getting units in stock after a quick Google search of manufacturer part PDFM9L-BX1-EN-NT. The September 5th release date would seem to fit into Parallels’ schedule. Previous releases were:

  • Parallels 8 – Released on September 4, 2012
  • Parallels 7 – Released on September 6, 2011
  • Parallels 6 – Released on September 14, 2010
  • Parallels 5 – Released on November 4, 2009

Parallels allows Mac Users to run Virtual machines of Windows, other instances of Mac OS, Linux, Android and just about every other Intel-based OSes out there inside of Mac OS. Likely updates this time around would probably include OSX 10.9 Mavericks and Windows 8/.1 compatibility improvements.

Parallels has traditionally allowed users who’ve bought within 2 weeks of  release a free upgrade to the new version but no such policy has yet been announced for this version. (Update: Here’s Parallels Tech Guarantee saying if you buy after August 15th (now) you are covered for a free upgrade when V9 comes out.)  If you are interested in purchasing Parallels now (and it is a GREAT product), we recommend downloading a free 30-day trial of Parallels Desktop 8 which would conclude after the above early September update, guaranteeing you wouldn’t need to pay extra for an update to v9.

If Parallels 9 is indeed coming out soon, you can bet we’ll have a full review of the product and/or any iOS accessory products, should such products exist, as soon as they are available.

  • Parallels 8 – Released on September 4, 2012
  • Parallels 7 – Released on September 6, 2011
  • Parallels 6 – Released on September 14, 2010
  • Parallels 5 – Released on November 4, 2009

Thanks/Danke Tipsters! Read more

If This Then That (IFTTT) launches iOS app for automating service directives

If This Then That (IFTTT) today launched an iPhone app version of its popular service for automating simple actions/services. The video above is a nice tutorial/overview of the service if you aren’t familiar. Channels are the services (like Facebook, Gmail, Twitter, as well as devices like Philips Hue, Belkin WeMo, and UP by Jawbone) and Recipes are the directives in IFTTT lingo.

Download the app and unlock three new Channels for iPhone: Contacts, Photos, and Reminders (with more to come). Create and use Recipes around the things you do on the go: snapping screenshots, adding new contacts, completing reminders, and organizing your photo albums.

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The IFTTT team notes that they are adding new features all the time.

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Facebook launches updated Instagram w/ 15 sec video clips, custom filters & cinematic stabilization

Today, live from Facebook’s press event, the company just announced that its bringing video to Instagram with a brand new set of features. In what appears to be direct competition for Twitter’s rapidly growing Vine video sharing app, Instagram will soon allow users to share similar short video clips. On stage, Instagram demoed an updated iOS app that now includes a button for video capture that will allow users to create 3-15 second long videos using multiple clips.

It also announced that it has partnered with an artist to create 13 brand new custom filters specifically for video and a handful of leading experts to integrate “mind blowing” cinematic video stabilization features (something that isn’t too great in a lot of other apps).

So what does this mean for your content? Nothing’s different from photos. We’re still committed to making sure you have control over all of your content. Only the people who you let see your photos will be able to see your videos. And as with photos, you own your videos.

As for where videos will appear, like photos, Instagram says “your video will appear on your profile and in feed. If your visibility is set to private, only your approved followers can see videos or photos you share.”

The video feature will also be available on the web, allowing users to view Instagram videos in any browser without having to use the apps. Read more