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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Ericsson countersues Apple over wireless technology licensing royalties

Apple LTE Phil Schiller

In response to Apple taking Ericsson to court over wireless patent licensing, the Swedish telecommunications company has filed a lawsuit in Texas that seeks the court to determine whether its licensing offer to Apple is fair. Ericsson told the court that it has been attempting to reach a new licensing agreement with Apple for over two years, but negotiations have failed to result in a deal. The patents in question are related to wireless LTE technologies that Apple uses in products like the iPhone and iPad. Read more

Review: Logitech m320 wireless mouse, an ergonomic and affordable solution

Logitech m320Logitech introduced its m320 wireless mouse last month and I’ve been trying it out for the past few weeks. The Logitech m320 is a wireless mouse (included wireless receiver required) with an ergonomic design for your hand to comfortably rest upon during use. Aside from fitting to your hand with ease, the Logitech m320’s super lightweight build allows it to smoothly glide across a surface without friction. Check out my hands-on with Logitech’s affordable desktop mouse… Read more

Beats announces Solo2 wireless headphones as first new product under Apple ownership

Beats Solo2 Wireless Headphones

Following our exclusive report of FCC documents revealing that Beats was working on a new pair of headphones, the accessory maker this morning has announced its brand new Solo2 wireless headphones as its first new product since being acquired by Apple for $3 billion earlier this year. The headphones are set to launch in the United States this month at Apple Stores and select retailers for $299.95. Read more

Apple announces new wireless technologies in iPhone 6, including VoLTE and Wi-Fi calling

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Apple has announced several new wireless features for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, including faster Wi-Fi that achieves speeds of up to 3x faster than previous models. New LTE technology is also preset, allowing speeds of up to 150 Mbps.

Perhaps more importantly, Voice over LTE calling has been enabled, and can take advantage of the new Wi-Fi hardware to place calls over a Wi-Fi connection while still using your cellular phone number. T-Mobile is one of the first carriers rolling this out in the United States.

The iPhone 6 will operate on over 200 carriers on 20 different LTE bands.

Steve Jobs had plans to make free, shared Wi-Fi the norm to improve iPhone experience

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There were lots of hints that Steve Jobs was interested in changing the way we all access the internet on the devices he helped create. Back in 2011 there were reports that Apple considered developing its own network for the original iPhone that could potentially replace traditional carrier services using Wi-Fi spectrum. Before that rumours claimed Jobs was interested in Fon, a WiFi sharing service that encourages users to share wireless internet access with others. Today, Walt Mossberg from ReCode shares another story about Jobs’ interest in a world of shared Wi-Fi, describing a conversation between the two where Jobs shared his vision of making free Wi-Fi the norm: Read more

Editors Keys turns Apple’s wireless keyboard into the first Logic Pro X shortcut keyboard

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Editors Keys today announced the first ever wireless shortcut keyboard for Apple’s recently released Logic Pro X audio suite.  The keyboard sports 150 shortcuts and the company notes it was also able to fit in some extra shortcuts as icons sitting behind the text on each key. Perhaps the best part of the new Logic Pro X keyboard is the fact that Editors Keys used an actual Apple wireless keyboard for the product, which means you’ll be able to swap out your current Apple keyboard without sacrificing the look and feel. The company says it worked with the Logic Pro X community to develop the best experience possible for users:  Read more

Contract-free carriers Straight Talk, NET10 picking up iPhone 5s, 5c on December 13th

(via Flickr)

(via Flickr)

Just as stock is starting to really level out and the holidays are quickly approaching, contract-free carriers Straight Talk and NET10 Wireless announced plans to begin selling both the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c starting December 13th.

Both Straight Talk and NET10 offer monthly plans which include unlimited talk, text, and data, but that of course comes at the cost of paying for the iPhone at full price. The iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c will retail for $649 and $549, respectively, for 16GB and will be sold exclusively at Walmart where each carrier is supported.

While the initial iPhone purchase may cost you a good bit more than a subsidized expense through a traditional carrier, the monthly bill may not as both carriers offer monthly plans at $50 or less.

Check the full press release below for more details and read our iPhone on Staight Talk reviewRead more

AT&T launches ‘Mobile Share Value Plans’ with notable monthly savings for BYOD customers, 18-month Next option

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AT&T has launched a new initiative called Mobile Share Value Plans that is designed to save customers money on their monthly AT&T mobile phone service bills. The following changes are specifically for the Mobile Share program, which allows devices to work under the same AT&T account and share data, talk, and text plans. Similar to T-Mobile’s “un-carrier” approach, the new AT&T plans separate the cost of the device hardware completely from the monthly service charges:

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Logitech announces ‘UE BOOM’ Bluetooth speaker, first with 360-degree sound & 15-hour battery


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Logitech’s UE brand is often at the top of our list when it comes to the best bluetooth speakers around, so we’re excited that today the company introduced its latest product with the announcement of the ‘UE BOOM’. Logitech is calling this “the world’s first social music player,” and that’s due to the fact that it’s the first to offer 360-degree sound and a 15-hour rechargeable battery. That’s a nice step up from the 5-8 hours you’ll get with most Bluetooth speakers.

Logitech is also following a trend that many Bluetooth speaker manufacturers have been lately: With UE BOOM you’ll be able to wirelessly connect two UE BOOMs via a free companion app to allow for traditional right/left stereo sound and other sound settings. It’s also water and stain proof: Read more

Review: JBL’s portable speaker line (OnBeat Micro, Flip, Charge) begs the question: Lightning dock or Bluetooth speaker?

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JBL’s $99 Flip, $99 OnBeat Lightning Dock and $149 Charge

When we did our Best Bluetooth speaker mega-review (TL;DR: Overall WinnerBest ValueBest SoundBest Portable/SoundApps/Updatesmore) a few weeks ago, we neglected to test JBL’s very capable ($99 Flip) and $149 Charge; something our commenters immediately questioned. Not even a day after the review went up, JBL sent us a box full of their new speakers to test against our recommendations (sometimes this is a great job!). JBL also sent us the $100 OnBeat Micro Lightning Dock to compare against so it might also be worth asking the question: Should you get a Bluetooth speaker or a Lightning dock speaker? Read more