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Updated: 14 hours 58 min ago

Apple Music FAQ: The ins and outs of Apple's streaming music service

Mon, 08/14/2017 - 17:45

Editor's note: This article was last updated on August 14, 2017, to include info on Apple Music's original video content and to update instructions to reflect changes in iOS 10. 

Apple singlehandedly turned the digital music marketplace on its head when it launched the iTunes Store in 2003, and now it’s going after the current hottest trend: Streaming media. Apple Music launched in 2015 to take on the likes of Spotify, Tidal, and other streaming subscription services. Now that it’s hit it’s two-year mark, Apple Music is showing no signs of slowing down—Apple is using the platform to launch original content and television shows, as well as exclusive content from artists.

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Staples has discounted the iPad mini 4 by $100

Mon, 08/14/2017 - 15:48

Tablets may not be as popular these days, but they're still great devices. If you're in the market for one, Staples has a nice deal on the iPad mini 4 this week. For $299, you can pick-up this diminutive iPad in all three available colors: gold, silver, and space gray. That's $100 off Apple's standard price.

The iPad mini 4 features a 7.9-inch display with 2048-by-1536 resolution at 326 pixels per inch. Under the hood, it has an A8 processor with the M8 motion coprocessor, an 8MP rear camera, and FaceTime front camera.

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You might flip for Flipping Legend's free, frenzied fun

Mon, 08/14/2017 - 08:00

Free-to-play games often look appealing, but it’s difficult to know at a glance whether the business model is insidious and fun ruining, or reasonable and worth pumping a few bucks into. With Freemium Field Test, we’ll take a recent free-to-play iOS game, put it through its paces, and let you know if it’s really worth your time (and money). 

There were plenty of endless arcade-style games before Crossy Road, but Hipster Whale’s game was so wildly fun, so vibrantly styled, and so pure and friendly in its freemium approach that it seemed to create a whole new genre of descendants.

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Amazon has a 50-foot ethernet cable for less than $7

Fri, 08/11/2017 - 14:48

Wi-Fi is great, but for online gaming, Twitch broadcasting, or anything else that requires a stable, high bandwidth connection only a wired cable will do. 

If you stop at a brick and mortar store, a long ethernet cable can cost you well above $25. Amazon, however, is offering a 50-foot flat CAT 6 ethernet cable for just $6.90 right now. That makes it pretty cheap to reach the closest router from out-of-the-way corners in your home.

The item is sold by CableMonsta, but it's fulfilled by Amazon and is covered by Amazon's return policy. To get the deal, sign-in with your Amazon account, then redeem the "buy 1, get 42% off" coupon listed under the price. (You may need to be logged in from a desktop computer to see it.) You'll see the discount during checkout.

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iPhone 8 rumors: iPhone 8 mockups are everywhere

Fri, 08/11/2017 - 13:11

Update August 11, 2017:  iPhone 8 mockups give you an idea of what to expect from the new iPhone. Go to the “What’s the latest?” section for all the new details.

Apple is still selling tens of millions of iPhone 7s every month—but all everyone can talk about is what’s coming next. After all, 2017 marks the iPhone’s 10th anniversary, so Apple is reportedly gearing up to make this year’s model extra special.

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Master the space-time continuum in Causality, a unique puzzle game for iPhone

Fri, 08/11/2017 - 08:00

These days, keeping up with games can be a full-time job. So how do you separate the signal from the noise, the wheat from the chaff, the Temple Runs from the Temple Jumps? Allow us to help by regularly selecting a game You Should Play.

Most of the puzzle games on the App Store fall into a handful of genres: match-3, hidden object, point-and-tap. Occasionally, you’ll see a unique take on one of those genres (like Spry Fox’s Road Not Taken), but…still in one of those genres.

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Best Buy is selling a 4TB portable drive for $100 today

Thu, 08/10/2017 - 17:39

Don't kid yourself. It's 2017 and that 1TB external hard drive for backups and extra storage just doesn't cut it anymore. Right now, Best Buy can solve that problem for a little cheaper than usual: The big box retailer is selling a portable 4TB WD easystore external hard drive for $100.

That's not quite the deal we saw in April when Best Buy had a desktop easystore 4TB drive on sale for $90, but today's deal is still a good buy. Though Easystore is a Best Buy exclusive, its non-Best Buy counterpart--the WD Elements line--is currently about $40 more expensive on Amazon.

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MacBook Pro: Features, specifications, and prices for Apple’s high-end laptop

Thu, 08/10/2017 - 14:45

Editor's note: We've updated this guide with a link to the refurbished 13-inch MacBook Pro in Apple's Refurnished and Clearance Store.

The MacBook Pro is Apple’s top-of-the-line laptop. It offers top-notch performance for demanding users who need processing power and are willing to spend top dollar for it.

The current version of the MacBook Pro was released in June 2017 at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference. The new laptops have the same design as the previous version, but the laptops feature new processors that provide a speed boost. Learn more about the MacBook Pro by reading about its main features below.

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The 8 big unknowns with Disney’s streaming service plans

Thu, 08/10/2017 - 10:00
Standalone ESPN and Disney streaming services are a “strategic shift," but the details and implications are murky.

The iPod’s successor is the Apple Watch

Thu, 08/10/2017 - 06:30

When Apple announced the tiny sixth-generation iPod nano in 2010, Steve Jobs joked that some people at Apple had suggested you could wear it as a watch—and some people tried. That particular iPod model is long gone, and now the iPod nano has been discontinued entirely.

But the spirit of the iPod nano lives on, and it turns out that that instinct from 2010 wasn’t that far off. Apple might not make a classic iPod anymore, but the product that most resembles it in Apple’s 2017 line-up is the Apple Watch.

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Best Buy is selling 60 AA batteries for under $7

Wed, 08/09/2017 - 13:21

While rechargeable AA batteries end up cheaper over the long haul, sometimes you just need the old-fashioned disposable kind on hand. Best Buy is making that more cost effective right now by offering 60 Insignia AA batteries for $6.74—or about eleven cents per battery. 

These are general purpose non-rechargeable alkaline batteries. There’s no claim on how long these batteries will last, but they should work out fine if you use them at a steady pace. Once the batteries are dead, check out RecycleNation for a location near you to dispose of them.

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The first 15 Apple Watch games you should play

Tue, 08/08/2017 - 16:40
Armed with fun

Image by Andrew Hayward/IDG

The Apple Watch hasn’t become the hugely significant gaming platform that some might have suspected, as the restrictions of the screen size and tech have seemingly scared developers away. On the other hand, some creators have worked within those limitations to design truly compelling wrist-based experiences.

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Anker's ludicrously popular Soundcore bluetooth speaker is just $27 right now

Mon, 08/07/2017 - 15:10

In case you missed it during the lead up to summer, Amazon is offering the Anker SoundCore bluetooth speaker on sale again—and this time it’s even cheaper. Right now, the SoundCore is available for $27 with the coupon code UVQH8VHF, or two dollars cheaper than when we last saw it on sale in May. That’s a great price for this speaker, as it matches the same all-time low that we first saw last fall.

The first-generation SoundCore features two 3-watt speakers and a built-in microphone for hands-free calling, and it supports Bluetooth 4.0 and an auxiliary line-in connection. It has reception range of 66 feet, and its 4,400mAh battery is supposed to provide a playtime of about 500 songs per charge. This portable speaker is also fairly light and compact, weighing 0.78 pounds and measuring 6.5 x 1.5 x 2.1 inches.

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Disney meets Final Fantasy (and tedium) in Kingdom Hearts Union χ[Cross]

Mon, 08/07/2017 - 08:00

Free-to-play games often look appealing, but it’s difficult to know at a glance whether the business model is insidious and fun ruining, or reasonable and worth pumping a few bucks into. With Freemium Field Test, we’ll take a recent free-to-play iOS game, put it through its paces, and let you know if it’s really worth your time (and money).

The Kingdom Hearts franchise has a wonderfully captivating premise: it’s a mash-up of the Disney film catalog and the Final Fantasy gaming universe, letting you embark on charming quests across worlds inspired by everything from Aladdin to The Little Mermaid to Tron.

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Report: Apple will release an LTE-enabled Apple Watch this fall

Fri, 08/04/2017 - 17:35

Apple might have one more trick up its sleeve at its annual fall event. While we’re all waiting for a brand new iPhone that will reportedly bring a brand new design, wireless charging, and AR capabilities, it seems as though Apple is also working on an LTE-enabled Apple Watch that will bring phone independence once and for all.

According to a report by Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, “at least some new Apple Watch models” this year will come equipped with LTE chips “planned for release by the end of the year.” That would allow users to receive notifications and phone calls without having an iPhone nearby, as well as download music and use third-party apps.

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Best Buy is selling Amazon devices at a steep discount right now

Fri, 08/04/2017 - 13:46

Best Buy has a one-day sale on Amazon devices today. The sale includes the Kindle Paperwhite, super cheap Fire tablets, and, yes, Alexa-powered devices like the Echo and Echo Dot. The discounts end just before 10 PM Pacific on Friday.

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Amazon is selling a 2.5-inch hard drive enclosure for $7

Thu, 08/03/2017 - 13:47

So you've finally decided to swap that 1TB hard drive for a 500GB SSD, in order to benefit from the SSD's faster read/write speeds. But what are you going to do with that old hard drive loaded up with all your photos and documents? Well, you can throw it into this Aukey 2.5-inch enclosure, which is available right now for $7.

To get this sale price, you have to click on the "Buy 1, get 30% off" link below the price. (You may need to use a desktop browser to see it.)

This enclosure isn't particularly different than anything else you'll find out there, but its price makes it an easy buy. Inside, there's a SATA connector, and on the outside you've got USB 3.0. As with other enclosures, you've got that specialized connector that feeds into the enclosure, with a regular USB connector on the other end. The enclosure comes with its own cord, so all you need to do is supply the hard drive.

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Discovery to buy Scripps: The good and bad for cord cutters

Thu, 08/03/2017 - 08:00
The combined network could stream channels like HGTV and TLC on the cheap, but consolidation always comes at a cost.

Amazon is solving our cable management problems today for less than $7

Wed, 08/02/2017 - 14:12
For $6.09, you can pick up 100 Velcro ties today and get those cables organized.

7 highlights of Tim Cook’s Q3 2017 financial call with analysts

Wed, 08/02/2017 - 07:00

Every 90 days there’s a new Apple financial quarter, a new raft of federally-mandated financial disclosures, and another hour-long conference call that lets us hear Apple CEO Tim Cook (and CFO Luca Maestri) take questions from inquisitive Wall Street analysts.

On Tuesday, Apple announced its quarterly earnings and followed it up with that exciting phone call. (If you’d like to read a complete transcript, I made one.) Here are seven highlights that I gleaned from Apple’s quarterly exercise in extremely limited disclosure.

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