Author Archive for Lory

Writer of all things app related, traveler of the space-time continuum, baker of really great cookies. Follow me @appaholik

BeOn Home Security Lighting Lets You Control Your Lights from your iOS Device

BeON 2

I leave my front light on all night. I know it is a serious waste of energy, but it keeps the house from being dark and makes it look like someone might be awake. It is my form of home security. I wish I could set the lights in my living room to go on and off at certain times, instead of having to leave them on all night. Let’s not even go into issues of being on vacation.

That’s where BeON comes in. This smart bulb home security system will turn your lights on and off at pre-scheduled times so that it looks like someone is home, even when they are not. We aren’t talking about full lights-on security either. The system will turn different lights on in waves, simulating the activity that would take place if you were home.

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PadGadget’s Flashback Friday: Atoms NG

Atoms NG 4

In 1992, a game developer named John Girvin created a freeware game for the Amiga called Atoms, which was actually based on the 1980s version of the same name. It has since been recreated a number of different times under a number of different nomenclatures (Exploding Atoms, KAtoms, etc.). This week, Girvin, with the help of a couple of buddies under the umbrella of Six Echoes Studios, launched a new-ish version of Atoms on the iPad and iPhone for your puzzle-solving pleasure.

Atoms NG (Next Generation) is the revised version of the 1992 game, which is based on the 1980 game. Although the mechanics are essentially the same as they were more than 20 years ago, it has been redesigned with graphics and animations for the 21st century.

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Researchers Discover Malware that Can Infect Non-Jailbroken iOS Devices Via USB and Mac

Malware Attack

Apple devices are pretty secure. For years, the Mac was considered the underdog of the computer world and most tech criminals didn’t even invest much time in Apple products because there just weren’t enough people using them.

Flash forward less than a decade and it turns out Apple has become popular enough to change those criminal minds. According to a recently released report from security research firm Palo Alto Networks, there is a new bug in town and it is specifically targeting Mac computers and iOS devices that connect to them.

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Microsoft Updates Office for iOS, Create and Edit Without Subscription, iPhone Support

Office 13

Microsoft has just announced an update to its mobile apps that brings support to Android devices, adds the iOS app for iPhone, and allows users to create and edit documents without needing an Office 365 subscription.

The company calls it the “Office Everywhere” campaign. Now, users of all different mobile devices will be able to work with the Office line of products. The best part is that you can do a lot more without having to spend a dime.

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Forbes Names Apple Most Valuable Company in the World for Fourth Year in a Row

Forbes Valuable Brand 2014

In various surveys around the world, Apple has managed to take the top spot. Whether it is for “coolest brand,” “best global brand,” “most valuable brand,” or “Kidfinity” the iPad maker is kind of a big deal. Less than a week after J.D. Power just dropped Apple from the top spot in its consumer satisfaction survey, Forbes has announced that, for the fourth year in a row, Apple is the World’s Most Valuable Brand.

Forbes attributes some of Apple’s success to its ability to charge a premium price and still move products. “There are other phones and tablets that are functionally comparable or arguably better than the iPhone and iPad, but the Apple brand carries tremendous weight and credibility, and customers are willing to pay up for that,” Forbes notes.

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PadGadget’s Sound Stage: Woojer Wearable Woofer Lets You Feel the Vibrations, Literally

Woojer 2

I’ve always been proud of my Mac’s subwoofer setup. It makes my music sound rich, deep, and pretty epic. If I’m playing games, experimenting with music apps on my iPad, or piping tunes through an external speaker, the biggest thing missing is that rich bass boost that sometimes feels like its vibrating in your chest.

Woojer is a matchbox-sized device that turns those weak bass beats into a physical blast that literally vibrates in your chest, or hip, or wherever you decide to clip it. The device connects to your iPad or iPhone, or any audio unit with a 3.5mm jack, for that matter, and coverts sound to vibration, giving a sort of augmented sense of immersion.

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Google Updates Maps with New ‘Material Feel,’ Coming in the Next Few Days

The new Google Maps app

Google has been hard at work redesigning its popular Maps app with a layering feature that will add bright colors and a few new enhancements that you will probably enjoy.

On the company’s blog, Google announced that, “over the next few days,” the update will roll out across android and iOS devices. Actually, the company specifically mentions the iPhone, so there is a chance that the iPad will be left out again.

The update promises rich surfaces and shadows that “echo the real world.” The redesigned interface will be easier to understand and access.

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Former NSA Official Says Apple, Google More Hostile to Western Intelligence Than China or Russia

Photo Courtesy of The Guardian

Photo Courtesy of The Guardian

More than a year ago, we learned that the NSA and FBI were spying on citizens of the U.S. through a data collection program called PRISM. At the time, companies such as Microsoft, Google, Apple, and Facebook were named as participants, knowingly or unknowingly, in the scandal.

Since then, Apple has gone above-and-beyond to make sure that there is no possible way that the government could collect user data. Just a few months ago, Apple CEO Tim Cook wrote an open letter on customer privacy where he described just how hard it would be for anyone, including the government, to access our personal data on devices running iOS 8. “Apple cannot bypass your passcode and therefore cannot access this data,” wrote Cook. “So it’s not technically feasible for us to respond to government warrants for the extraction of this data from devices in their possession running iOS 8.” He also noted in an interview with Charlie Rose in September that Apple literally could not comply with government subpoenas because user data is encrypted and “we don’t have the key.”

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Apple Beats Samsung For Brand Value in China

china_ipad

China Brand Research Center recently published findings of a consumer brand survey and found that Apple was the big winner in the mobile category. Samsung Electronics had previously held the coveted spot in 2012 and 2013. It looks like Apple CEO Tim Cook was right when he said that China was going to be a major player for the company in the future.

According to an article in Business Korea, the China Brand Power Index for this year showed Apple’s placement at number one on the list followed by Samsung, who incidentally did take first place in the TV and monitors category.

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CNN Election Coverage Team Caught Using Microsoft Surface as Stands for iPad

CNN iPad instead of Surface 1

Yesterday was Midterm Election Day for the US. While not nearly as big as the Presidential elections, it is still a pretty big deal for us. In an effort to generate some free publicity, Microsoft provided CNN newscasters reporting on the election a number of Surface Pro tablets. This made Windows fans very happy, as they were reportedly sending enthusiastic tweets across the Twitterverse. Sentiments like, “Watching CNN because they are using Surfaces. FOX using Macs” found their way into social media. As if the tablet a person uses determines whether news is reported properly or not.

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