Editorial

In-app purchases and the App Store: What every parent needs to know

In-app purchases (IAP) can seem like complicated, confusing things, especially if you're a parent new to the iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, and App Store, and trying to figure it all out for yourself and your kids. If you're already concerned about spending, if you're already stressed by technology, if you're already juggling as much as you can, then in-app purchases gone wild can sound downright scary. Sadly, that's largely because of stories, needlessly sensationalistic stories, portraying IAP as scary. Stories that, instead of empowering parents to take control, paint them as hapless victims whose families are completely beyond control. Luckily, Apple provides tools for any parent to effectively manage their children's App Store activities, including in-app purchases, and there are even more on the way soon.

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A bigger iPod touch: Engineered for even more funness?

In late June Apple rejiggered the iPod touch line, making a consistent feature set across the line, dropping the price and lowering the cost of additional storage capacity. It's probably enough to provoke some short-term sales increases of the iPod touch, but I'm more interested in what comes next. What I'd really like to see is a bigger iPod touch.

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Alive Inside: A Story of Music and Memory — how one iPod can make a world of difference

Alive Inside: A Story of Music and Memory, the Sundance Audience Award-winning documentary by Michael Rossato-Bennett that opens today in the U.S., soars on a single, inescapable note — that for people suffering from Alzheimer's and dementia, iPods and personal playlists can make a transformative difference.

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Apple + IBM: Sugar and spice or oil and vinegar?

Yesterday's formal announcement of a partnership between two computing giants, Apple and IBM, came as a big surprise to most industry observers. We hadn't seen any leaks on the subject, and it wasn't something I can recall being the topic of any predictions articles or other "this makes sense" style of article. On the surface, however, there are numerous reasons why it definitely does make sense.

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When should you buy your next Mac?

Here's my answer to the age-old question of when you should buy your next Mac, once and for all

In my capacity writing about the Macintosh for the past 15 years, I've been asked one question more than any other: Should I buy a new Mac now or should I wait?

Here's my answer to that question:

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iWatch and trying to predict the market size of mythical products

Everyone seems to believe an iWatch is coming. It's been talked about for ages, yet there have been no solid leaks on which to base any meaningful projections. The Pebble has been on the market for a while now. Android Wear is just now starting to ship. (Both pictured above.) It remains to be seen how successful "smartwatch" will be as a category in general. We can only guess that Apple's executive recruitment trends are geared towards turning the Cupertino mobile and computing giant into a luxury brand.

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iCloud Drive and Document Picker for iOS 8: Explained

iCloud Drive and its associated Document Picker are new features of iOS 8 that allow the app you're using to open files created in a different app, import them, move them, or export them right back out again, all without creating any unnecessary steps or complicated workflows. Everything is also automatically synced through iCloud, so changes made in one app won't only be reflected back in the original app that created the file, but on all your devices. It's yet another way inter-app communication has come to the iPhone and iPad. So, how do iCloud Drive and Document Picker work?

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If you're allergic to nickel and frequently use mobile devices like the iPad, consider using a case

Allergies are horrible. I say that as a person who's allergic to almost everything on the basic scratch test, and more. Plants, animals, minerals — all of them can induce reactions from the annoying to the miserable to the health-threatening. That includes nickel, which for years has made some people very, very careful about the type and purity of the metals they allow near their skin. Traditionally that's been jewelry frequently worn. Now it's also mobile devices, including the iPad and iPhone, frequently used.

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Samsung switches to advertising the iPad, knocking their own displays

Say what you want about Apple's ambitious Your Verse campaign for the iPad Air, but one thing you won't see in it is any device from any competitor. Like all of Apple's ads of late, it focuses exclusively on showing us what we can do with the technology in our hands, from the tops of mountains to the bottom of the sea. Samsung, on the other hand... well... where to begin?

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National Federation of the Blind wants to work with Apple on accessibility

A couple of days ago I wrote about Apple and accessibility, and the work they've done not only implementing but promoting accessibility — or better put, inclusivity. The same day an article from Reuters hit the wires that managed to mangle the story of the National Federation of the Blind (NFB). It was unfortunate, but it has given the NFB a chance to tell it again, tell it directly, and hopefully to reach even more people.

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