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Rock a dual-screen setup on your MacBook with Mountie

Laptops are wonderful because they're portable — you can work at your desk, you can work on a plane, you can work sprawled on your couch, you can work standing at a kitchen table. But with that freedom comes limitations: balancing a Stump Stand on your couch for your iPad or iPhone is doable, but not ideal.

Enter Mountie — the goofy gadget from Ten One Design I giggled over at first, but have grown to love.

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Smartphone Futurology: The science behind your next phone's processor and memory

The electronic brains behind the supercomputer in your pocket

Welcome to Smartphone Futurology. In this new series of science-filled articles, Mobile Nations guest contributor Shen Ye walks through current technologies in use within our phones, as well as the cutting-edge stuff still being developed in the lab. There's quite a bit of science ahead, as a lot of the future discussions are based on scientific papers with a vast amount of technical jargon, but we’ve tried to keep things as plain and simple as possible. So if you want to dive deeper into just how the guts of your phone function, this is the series for you.

A new year brings the certainty of new devices to play with, and so it’s time to look ahead at what we might see in the smartphones of the future. The first instalment in the series covered what's new in battery tech, while the second article looked at what's next in the world of mobile displays. The series' third part focuses on the electronic brains of our mobile devices — the SoC (system on a chip) and flash storage. The rise of smartphones, and fierce competition among rival manufacturers, has accelerated the pace of technological progress in both these areas. And we're not done yet — there are ever wilder technologies on the horizon that may some day find their way into future devices. Read on to find out more.

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iOS 9 wish-list: Guest Mode

I use 1Password instead of iCloud Keychain because, even after I unlock my iPhone or iPad, anyone who wants access to my passwords or credit cards still has to unlock 1Password. Like iTunes and Apple Pay purchases, it uses Touch ID to secure it against anyone but me. So, if a crying stranger asks to borrow my iPhone to call home, if a friend asks to surf the web while they wait, if someone at a conference has a failure and asks to borrow a device, I can hand it over without worrying about passwords or credit cards. You might think I'd like Touch ID for iCloud Keychain, and you're be right. But what I'd really like is more. I'd like a Guest Mode.

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The iPad unveiling, five years later

Five years ago this week — January 27, 2010 to be precise — Steve Jobs put sneaker to stage to show off what he himself considered to be one of the most important products of his life. The Mac had been introduced decades before, the iPhone only a few years, yet on that stage, at that event, Jobs would make the case that there was room between them for a new category of device. One that, in order to exist, had to be not only better at certain key tasks, but significantly better at them.. It had to be the iPad.

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Apple's ASP and the difference between cost and value

There's an incredible difference between what something costs and how much value we derive from it. Apple's success hinges on their understanding of this — we'll pay more for something that we believe makes our lives better. Sometimes "better" is prestige or cachet, sometimes it's adrenalin or excitement, sometimes its time saved or work accomplished. Often it's a mix. Yet it's what led Apple not only to record profits this quarter, but to the record average sales prices (ASP) behind them.

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Why Apple is underestimated so insanely always

Last year, the level of stupidity surrounding Apple was best exemplified by Haunted Empire, the calamitously bad book that tried to make the "Tim Cook's company is doomed" meme mainstream. Yesterday, Apple announced the most profitable quarter in the history of the business world — of which the other four companies in the top five are oil magnates. So, beyond market manipulation and negative attention seeking, what makes otherwise rational, intelligent analysts and journalists experience such a continued, collective blindspot when it comes to Apple's prospects?

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The year of Apple Pay

Apple Pay, the Touch ID-authenticated in-store and online payment service Apple started rolling out last October, has been growing steadily in terms of bank and retailer support. During Apple's Q1 2015 conference call, CEO Tim Cook said the company was getting "extremely positive" feedback on Apple Pay from both individuals and institutions. That wasn't his biggest endorsement, however — it was calling 2015 the "year of Apple Pay".

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Never mind the Apple Watch: Where's Apple Glass?

Wearables. We hear a lot about wearables, and Apple's staged to make a big entrance in 2015 with the release of the Apple Watch. In the interim, other companies are making plays in another segment of the wearables market: glasses. Google may have gone to ground for a bit to rework its Glass product, but Microsoft is charging full speed ahead with HoloLens and Facebook last year acquired Oculus VR, makers of the Rift headset. Where's Apple in all this?

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Mac sales continue to kick the PC market's ass

Apple's report for its Q1 2015 fiscal quarter was astonishing for its iPhone numbers alone: 74.5 million units sold, its highest quarter ever. But Mac sales were also astonishing: 5.519 million units, the best Mac results for a holiday quarter ever.

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Apple growing, Samsung slowing, and doubling down on the 'great product' strategy

Apple will report its first-quarter 2015 earnings later today, and analysts are expecting a blockbuster. That's in stark contrast to rival Samsung, whose profits have been stalling on both the premium and budget ends of market. What makes this remarkable is that Apple hasn't changed their product strategy to do it — they've doubled down on it.

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