Electronista

Tuesday, August 04

Opinion: Evernote chose the wrong free feature to mess with

As of July 15, if you use the free version of Evernote you can no longer email into it: you can't forward an email to store in your Evernote account, you can't use any apps that save into Evernote via mail. As of July 27, Evernote has a new CEO, as the company's co-founder Phil Libin has stepped to the left to allow ex-Google manager Chris O'Neill to take the helm. The two things are (possibly) unrelated but they com...

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The MacNN Podcast, episode 26: I can't put down this anti-gravity book

If it wasn't for our new books (have we mentioned them?), this would be a strangely all-Microsoft episode of The MacNN Podcast, but luckily the Redmond giant turns out software for both Macs and Windows (who knew?), so we've set up this episode to be fun to listen to while you wait for your approval notice from Microsoft that you may obtain your copy of WindOwS X -- sorry, Windows 10. We also talk cool software, incl...

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Monday, August 03

Introducing two books from MacNN writers

If you've been following our Wednesday Pointers column over the last nine weeks, you'll know that the column on that day was devoted to documenting the process of writing a book, and then turning that manuscript into a real, buyable, out-in-the-world e-book and paperback. That book, William Gallagher's The Blank Screen: Blogging, is now available -- and an e-book version of the columns has also been created....

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Sunday, August 02

Opinion: The trouble with the Music app for iOS

In response to Jim Dalrymple's troubles with Apple Music and its problematic integration with iTunes and iTunes Match, Marco Arment wrote a piece recently that provided a good explanation of why this seems to have reached a tipping point. While Arment highlighted a range of issues, one that he said he didn't want to get "started on" was the Music iOS app. In the absence of Arment's views, I have put forward what my i...

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Friday, July 31

Pointers: the iOS troubleshooting and device maintenance guide

Today's Pointers column was inspired by a real-life incident in which an acquaintance asked me for help in picking out a new iPad. Knowing that they had a fourth-generation iPad -- not far removed from the iPad Air 2 that I have -- I asked why. "Doesn't work anymore," they grumbled resentfully. "Lots of crashes, some apps don't even launch now." I asked if it had ever been turned off. "Every night," they said. I said...

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Hands On: Vellum 1.2.5 (OS X)

There's reviewing and there's reviewing. You know that the tiniest single-function utility gets examined, turned upside down, poked about with and possibly even shaken a bit. You also know that doesn't take long. There are things like Microsoft Word which take a month or more of serious use with betas and previews before more serious use with the final release. Then there's Vellum 1.2.5. We've had this software for a...

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Wednesday, July 29

Hands On: Microsoft Excel 2016 v15.11.2 (OS X)

It's no longer enough for Microsoft to add the odd new feature and scrub up the appearance of an app: the world has moved on, not least in that we now call them all "apps" instead of "applications." With Office 2016 now available to Office 365 users (if their companies have enabled it, or if they sign up themselves), our attention did go first to the new version of Microsoft Word. Office for Mac really contains four ...

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Pointers: Six tools for writing books

When you've done something once, you can fly through it the second time. Unless that second time is ages later, in which case you spend all your waking hours re-learning something you'd already sweated through. So entirely for you and not at all, not in the teeniest way for us the next time we write a book, here's what you need. It's what we recommend after a summer of working on this, followed up by one or two cases...

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Tuesday, July 28

Opinion: Why Force Touch on the iPhone will be awesome

Following the arrival of Apple Watch, a lot of people are expecting to see Apple bring Force Touch to the iPhone. It seems inevitable that Apple will do just that, with the possibility that it could arrive as soon as the next version of the iPhone, expected to arrive in the next couple of months. Not only will it work as a key feature differentiator, it will actually be a great addition for iPhone functionality, and ...

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Monday, July 27

The MacNN Podcast, episode 25: My Stupid Cat's Fault

Another interesting week at MacNN brings us plenty to talk about on Episode 25 of The MacNN Podcast, ranging from the FCC approval of the AT&T/DirecTV deal for no clear reason (but with a bunch of conditions), to our new column "My Stupid Fault." We also include a full report on Apple's fiscal Q3 and the uncalled-for drop in the stock, the results of our testing of Apple's new third-party SSD Trim support, and more....

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Saturday, July 25

Review: 15-inch Apple MacBook Pro with Force Touch trackpad

Apple's 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro continues to be a popular notebook with professional users and prosumers looking for the ultimate mix of performance and portability. The latest version of the 15-inch MacBook Pro comes with some welcome upgrades, including Apple's new Force Touch trackpad, and one of AMD's latest mobile GPUs. Unusually, perhaps, there is no CPU bump on the new model, although that is the result of ...

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Wednesday, July 22

My Stupid Fault: iCloud vs local iPhone backups

Yeah, right. "We should do an occasional column where we each admit to huge technology problems that were entirely our own doing," MacNN management said. "Maybe readers could learn from our mistakes, perhaps they can avoid doing similar things, and certainly we'll all have a good laugh," they said. "You go first."...

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Pointers: Summer Project -- e-publishing part 9, paperback writer

As I write this, the paperback of my book The Blank Screen: Blogging is working its way through the final stages of publication via Amazon. It's a book about blogging for writers and authors, but more importantly it has been the subject of the Summer Project. Through countless software apps and services, we've followed the creation of a genuine book. Not some test thing, not an afternoon's casual typing, but a real b...

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Tuesday, July 21

Live Coverage: Apple fiscal year 2015 third quarter conference call

While we're not expecting another question about an Apple television set, that doesn't mean that we can't cover the earnings announcement anyway! Starting at 5:00 EDST, join the MacNN team for a live breakdown of figures given by Cook and company, as well as the follow-up question and answer session. The ...

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Monday, July 20

Episode 24: What's that, Neil Young? I can't hear you

In this early season of presidential candidate pronouncements, its refreshing to see someone not running for office who can crazy with the best of them. On this week's MacNN Podcast We celebrate 10 years of podcasts along with Apple, as well as the new, updated iPod touch. We then proceed, like all good parties, to trash some things -- in this case, iTunes and Neil Young's crazy (high) horse. Show notes after the jum...

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Friday, July 17

Hands On: Microsoft Word 2016 (OS X)

If you have to use Microsoft Word at work, go get this now and be delighted with it. If you don't have to, if you're looking for a great word processor, it's just a little harder to recommend Word quite so readily. It's harder, and it's also very unfair, as 30 years of using various versions of Word have left us with biases against it. Word earned those biases, it's just difficult to think about going back to relying...

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Editorial: whatever happened to 'It Just Works?'

The smart money said if anything were going to go wrong, it would be Beats 1: something live is automatically the most likely to fall over in some way. If someone had already taken that bet, you'd settle for guessing that massive demand would overload the streaming servers. Yet instead, the bit of the Music app and Apple Music launch that caused problems -- and continues to cause them -- is good old iTunes for OS X. ...

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Thursday, July 16

Review: New entry-level iMac with 5K Retina display

The 27-inch Apple iMac with 5K Retina display is already one of the best value-for-money Macs that Apple has ever released. It was something of a surprise, then, to see Apple recently introduce an even cheaper model, making that incredible high-resolution Retina display more accessible to even more customers. Apple hasn't dropped the price of the existing specification, but rather introduced a new model with a slight...

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Wednesday, July 15

Apple takes lid off 64-bit A8 iPod touch, now up to 128GB

As expected, Apple has taken the wraps off a new iPod touch. Predictions for the device were generally correct, with the new version getting a new 8MP rear camera, 64-bit A8 processor, and M8 motion coprocessor. The new iPod touch is available in five colors: space gray, silver, gold, pink and a darker blue than the previous offering....

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Hands On: Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions Evolved 2.0.0 (iOS)

It's strange to think that one of the most popular Xbox Live Arcade games started out as a minigame within another game, but that's exactly how the popular shmup series Geometry Wars got its start. Geometry Wars has seen incredible success across multiple platforms, including console, PC, and even mobile platforms. Today we check out Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions Evolved for the iPad, to see just how well it holds up t...

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