All Articles by Derek Kessler

Sprint's offering a serious discount on an iPhone 6 for loyal customers

Sprint is offering their loyal customers some fairly substantial discounts for the holidays, including discounted device leasing, free service, and accessory discounts. Of course, it's Sprint defining "loyal" here, though customers that have been deemed worthy of the title have started receiving emails about the offers. Here's what Sprint's offering…

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Chase Bank is giving away David Guetta's new album to get people using Apple Pay

We've seen a few promotions from banks to get customers to start using Apple Pay, and now Chase Bank is getting in on the action by giving away music. Specifically they're offering a free early copy of David Guetta's upcoming album "Listen" to Chase customers for adding their credit or debit card to Apple Pay.

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Automated iAd sales begin with a trio of partners

Apple's official expanding the breadth of iAd ad system for iPhone and iPad by partnering with three established advertising firms: Rubicon Project, MediaMath, and AdRoll. The first actually posted the news two days ago, and now we're learning more about the full extent of the collaboration that will bring more advertisers into the iAd fold, possibly helping boost revenues for both developers using Apple's advertising platform and for Apple themselves.

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Arki isn't about just step counts, it's about stepping better

Quick, what's your walking posture like? Are you moseying around with your hands in your pockets, or are you head down towards your smartphone? Are you just doing it all wrong? That's what Arki aims to fix by using motion tracking for more than just counting steps. The Kickstarter campaign, which has been up for just over a week and is already closing in on their $100,000 goal, is geared around building a fitness tracker that uses data about how you move and the ideal walking posture to get you moving not just more, but moving more smartly.

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Stringer brings customizable shuffling to your music

If you've ever listened to music on shuffle, you've probably hit the point where you'd like to hear more from that album, but then continue on with the shuffling. That's an issue that the newly-released Stringer aims to alleviate, allowing you to easily move around a shuffled list of your entire iTunes library (including iTunes Match music) and make adjustments as you see fit.

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Beats Music might find itself bundled with iOS in 2015

A future release of iOS might just come with an extra app bundled inside: Beats Music. When Apple bought Beats back in May, many wondered what the end game was. And while the headphone business is presently far more lucrative for Beats than their streaming music service, finding it pre-installed on millions of iPhones might just change the calculus.

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OWC's upcoming Thunderbolt 2 Dock puts all other docks to shame

Easily the most useful aspect of the Thunderbolt connection has been the creation of single-cable docks, and OWC's just-announced Thunderbolt 2 Dock is really upping the ante on the docking game. Utilizing the blazing-fast 20Gbps interface, the OWC Thunderbolt 2 Dock sports a plethora of additional connection options, certainly far more than other offerings, all through a single cable to your Mac.

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The Apple Watch screens have a resolution of 390x312 and 340x272

Apple made a point when introducing the Apple Watch to show that unlike the various other smartwatches out there, theirs was coming in two different sizes, and now we know that also means two different resolutions. The reasoning is almost entirely gender fashion based: bigger watches look goofy on smaller female wrists, so they get smaller watches. That means the Apple Watch has two different-sized displays — the larger 42mm-tall watch has a 390x312 screen (38mm diagonally), while the smaller 38mm-tall Apple Watch has a 340x272 screen (33.3mm diagonally). This does compare well to competing Android Wear smartwatches, which tend to feature screens that aren't quite as pixel-dense.

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There's now a Facebook Groups app, because Facebook

First there was just Facebook, and then there was Messenger, and now there is Groups. Yep, Facebook has launched a dedicated app purely for their Groups feature, and, well, it's pretty much a different user interface for the current groups that already exist in the primary Facebook app.

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Get Guardians of the Galaxy today from iTunes, 3 weeks before the Blu-ray release

Today, for $19.99 you can buy Guardians of the Galaxy in HD from iTunes for $19.99 — and today is 3 weeks before its scheduled for release anywhere else, including the vaunted Blu-ray release. The film, one of the best of the year with an overwhelming 90% from Rotten Tomatoes, launches a new expansion of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, literally making it more of a universe by only spending a few minutes on Earth. Plus there's an absolutely amazing soundtrack (which we would be remiss if we didn't point out is free today on Google Play Music).

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Super! is a new quasi-social network built around caption-prompted photos

In case you didn't think you had a reason for another photo-oriented social network on your iPhone (hello, Instagram, Imugr, 500px, et al), there's a new one from serial entrepreneur and Twitter co-founder Biz Stone: Super!

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iOS 8.1.1 lands with bug fixes and performance improvements for iPad 2 and iPhone 4s

Alright folks, there's an update for iOS 8 out there — 8.1.1 is the version, and bug fixes are the name of the game. iOS 8.1.1 brings an assortment of unspecified bug fixes to iPhone and iPad, and we're hopeful they'll fix some of the more glaring issues with iOS 8.1 (looking at you, shy keyboard in Spotlight.

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Dash API Docs is the reference every iOS app developer needs

Developers need to know APIs, and Dash API Docs aims to bring them all into one place. Without knowing the APIs, it's incredibly hard to accomplish anything. But figuring out which API is going to do the thing you need it to do can be difficult task. So that's where the new app Dash API docs comes into play, bundling together the documentation for not one, not two, but 150 API documentations in one place.

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Redesigned Google Maps rolling out now to iPhones and iPads

Yesterday we told you about a big overhaul coming to Google Maps, and today that overhaul has arrived. The Google Maps app for iPhone and iPad has been bumped up to version 4.0, bringing a whole new "Material Design" look to the mapping, search, and navigation app.

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Google Maps redesign bringing Android style and Uber integration to iPhone and iPad

Google Maps is getting a redesign that will make the app on iPhone and iPad look a lot more like its Android counterpart. The design draws on Google's new "Material Design" language, which pervades the updated Android 5.0 Lollipop, bringing a layout that's flatter and layered, yet with lots of colors. In the case of Google Maps, lots of blue. It's a similar look and feel to the recently-released Inbox by Gmail.

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Apple tells developer of popular iOS 8 widget calculator to remove the widget

One of the coolest features of iOS 8 was the inclusion of support for widgets in the Notification Center on iPhone and iPad, but making full use of that feature has landed at least one developer in hot water. James Thomson, developer of the popular calculator app PCalc, was the recipient of a message from Apple informing him that having a widget in iOS 8 that performs calculations within notification center was not something he could do, and that it must be removed. This is in spite of PCalc being a featured app in the App Store for its calculating widget.

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Walmart's response to displeasure over dropping NFC and Apple Pay payments is laughable

There's been a bit of a tizzy recently after several US retailers dropped support for NFC payments in an effort to thwart Apple Pay, and the nation's largest retailer has chimed in with their own explanation as to why they did so. The retailer is Walmart, and they're the leading force behind the competing CurrentC payment system developed by the Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX). Our own Nick Arnott did some digging into what the CurrentC app transmits and came away unsettled. To recap, CurrentC cuts out the credit card company, instead linking directly into the checking accounts of users and offering a QR code to scan at participating retailers. Apple Pay, meanwhile, uses a combination of NFC, Touch ID authentication, and a tokenized one-time-use card number generator hooked up to the user's credit card accounts to make payments.

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The new Taco Bell app will let you order a Doritos Cheesy Gordita Crunch on-the-go

Taco Bell has released a new app that enables iPhone users to place an order for tacos from afar, and then come to the store to pick them up. The app is now focused on the menu and ordering, allowing users to select and customize their menu items (even including a drink selection where applicable), find restaurants, and add them to their order. You can even remotely pay with a saved credit card, debit card, or Taco Bell gift card.

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What's on Derek's iPhone 6 right now!

Hi, my name is Derek, I'm an iPhone 6 user. I've owned an iPhone 6 for a little over a month now. I use it a lot, more than I had previous iPhones. But nothings really changed since I started using the the iPhone 6. I'm still meticulous about how I organize things on the home screen… even with Spotlight search and Siri to launch things, I still want everything in its place. It is my iPhone, after all, I should have it set up the way I want it. But hey, with the 6 I can put more apps on the home screen, so there's that.

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That new multi-carrier SIM card in the iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3 will lock to AT&T after activation

While the introduction of what amounts to a universal SIM card in the new iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 brought on celebration of an impending future of easier carrier switching with just one SIM, we're only halfway there. Not only does the SIM not support Verizon, but if you try to activate it on AT&T, it will lock the SIM to that carrier.

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