February 6, 2015

9to5Toys Last Call: iPad mini 2 $250, Valentine’s Day gift deals, iTunes Free App of the Week, more

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Today’s can’t miss deals:

Last Call updates:

Best Buy 2-day sale: Moto 360 from $220, iPad mini 2 $250, Jawbone UP $30, Beats deals, more

Valentine’s Day Roundup: jewelry extra 30% off at Amazon, ProFlowers 30% off, Gap/Timbuk2/J.Crew up to 40% off, more

iTunes Free App of the Week: Angry Birds Seasons (up to $2.99 value)

Get 67% Off The Productivity Pack (Updated to include 3 Months of Dropbox Pro FREE)

Media: Despicable Me 2 & other Blu-rays $10 each, Big Hero 6 early release, more

More new gear from today:

More deals still alive:

New products & more:

  • Super Smash Bros. GameCube Controllers $25, Controller Adapters for Wii U $30
  • Kitchen Tech: Pressure Cookers make the perfect chicken sandwich, and much more
  • Olympus and Samsung queue up new cameras and accessories for the Spring
  • SONOS announces new PLAY:1 Blue Note Limited Edition wireless speaker
  • This iPhone 6 Batmobile case looks the part and even casts the Bat-Signal
  • Gaming For Couples: Tomb Raider Definitive Edition and NES Remix Pack
  • Life Hack: these simple Velcro ties make cable management a cinch
  • Eero beams carefree WiFi to every corner of your home or office
  • The Toshiba Encrypted USB Flash Drive arrives
  • Raspberry Pi 2 launches with juiced up specs and free Windows 10 at the same low price

Belgian shop selling Tetris mugs & electric razors promises Apple Watch on Valentines’ Day, “subject to availability”

The Apple Watch isn’t shipping by Valentine’s Day— a date that many speculated could make an ideal launch date– and there won’t be an event this month showcasing Apple’s new device ahead of preorders, but that’s not stopping anyone from using the Apple Watch as prime marketing material.

European department store chain Cora has chosen Apple Watch to grace the cover of its latest flyer this month hyping a February 14th date “subject to availability,” even though the Watch is on track to be released sometime in April, according to the latest from Apple CEO Tim Cook.

While we’ll have to wait and see who is more in the know on this matter (joking!), the September unveiling of the Apple Watch has spawned a new market of cheap knock offs and even promised competition from legacy watch industry insiders.

February 5, 2015

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W6XS6HE178I] Former Apple Mac Engineer Doug Field gives our Seth Weintraub a test drive of the new P85D 

Perhaps annoyed by Tesla’s persistence in picking off its engineers, Apple is attempting to win over some of the electric car maker’s employees with signing bonuses of a quarter-million dollars and salary increases of up to sixty percent, Bloomberg revealed today.

Teslas parked at Apple’s Campus

In the past, Tesla has managed to poach a significant number of Apple’s designers and engineers for its own products—more than 150, according to Bloomberg. Some employees have pointed to Musk, who is often compared to Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, as one of the key factors in their decision to jump ship. Perhaps that’s why so many seem to be jumping ship to work at Tesla?

But it seems Apple is ready to get back some of those workers. Musk says that Apple “tries very hard” to lure engineers back to Cupertino, but has had very limited luck so far.

expand full story

Twitter blames iOS 8, iPhone 6 launch for loss of 4 million monthly active users

Twitter CFO Anthony Noto announced today that the social network was placing the blame for 4 million lost users squarely on Apple’s shoulders, saying that the company had “lost approximately 4 million net users due to rollouts of iOS 8” during an earnings call.

The logic here, Business Insider explains, is that the Shared Links section in iOS 7’s version of Safari automatically updated to pull in the latest links from a users Twitter feed. In iOS 8 this feature has been shifted to use a manual refresh. As a result, users who were previously counted when their phones checked for those shared links were no longer listed among the service’s monthly active users.

But Twitter wasn’t done playing the blame game just yet. The microblogging service went on to say that as many as 1 million users had upgraded their iPhones and simply forgotten their passwords or failed to reinstall the Twitter app, leading to even fewer active users thanks to Apple.

Overall Twitter reported 288 million monthly active users for Q4 2014.

Update: Probably with a little push from Apple, Twitter now says:

Cleveland Cavaliers now sending iBeacon push notifications to iPhone users at games

Like several other professional sports teams, the Cleveland Cavaliers will now be sending out location-aware notifications to iPhone users at its games using Apple’s Bluetooth beacon iBeacon tech. The team will send out the usual reminders, video content, and promos available to those at the game. 

The team announced today that the notifications (pictured above) will be sent to fans through the official Cleveland Cavaliers app. YinzCam, Inc develops the app and is using Gimbal Bluetooth beacon hardware at the Cav’s Quicken Loans Arena to get the job done.

The opt-in notifications will include the following:

  • Welcome messages and exclusive video content for fans as they enter and explore different areas of the arena
  • Exclusive content delivered by points of interest, such as the 1976 Miracle of Richfield video highlights, viewable when fans pass the display of the original hardwood classic court from the Richfield Coliseum
  • Promotional incentives and giveaways to fans who attend games
  • Reminders about game times and to pick up 50/50 raffles tickets when volunteers are close by
  • Fan-controlled privacy with up-front opt-in, so engagement is only on the terms the fan wants

The MLB was one of the first professional sports team to adopt the tech for beaming location sensitive notifications to attendees at games, while the Golden State Warriors became the first NBA team to take advantage last year followed by several others. 

The Cleveland Cavaliers app is available on the App Store now.

UIKit-like framework called UXKit used in Photos for Mac

Apple released a preview version of its new Photos for Mac app to testers today, and some developers noticed a new private framework used to build the iPhoto replacement called UXKit. While Apple often uses private frameworks that never become accessible to developers, the UXKit framework is notable as it appears to be a version of UIKit based on AppKit.

Mac developers have long wanted a version of UIKit, the framework upon which apps are constructed and managed including the user interface and app interactions, as it would offer app makers a powerful tool for creating software for the desktop just like it has on the smartphone and tablet.

While UXKit remains a private framework accessible only by developers within Apple, it’s possible UXKit could be a hint of how Apple will encourage iOS developers to create apps on the Mac as well making it much simpler to create apps for both iOS and Mac.

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