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Tuesday, March 31

Apple opens App Store to all developers for Apple Watch apps

With just over three weeks to go until the first wave of countries will begin selling the new Apple Watch (and less than two weeks until curious customers can try one on), Apple has sent out a reminder to developers that they can now submit apps based on WatchKit to the App Store in order to be ready for the public debut on April 24. The email to developers included a link to a submission tutorial....

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Review: Griffin Twenty

A few years ago Griffin launched the original Twenty, a small digital amp that used an AirPort Express to turn any set of passive speakers into a wireless system for streaming music. Unfortunately for Griffin, shortly after the launch of the Twenty, Apple updated the design of the AirPort Express, which instantly antiquated the digital amp. Now, thanks to advancements in Bluetooth technology, Griffin no longer needs ...

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Google outs new Chromebooks, upcoming Chromebit HDMI dongle

Google has revealed a new lineup of Chrome OS devices that consumers will be able to purchase in the coming months. The usual new Chromebooks are being announced alongside a new device called the Chromebit, a compact computer that plugs directly into the HDMI port of a monitor or television, effectively turning it into a Chrome OS system. ...

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Charter, Bright House sign $10.4 billion merger agreement

Charter Communications and Advance/Newhouse Partnership today announced that the companies have reached a definitive agreement for Charter to acquire Bright House Networks for $10.4 billion in stock and cash. Bright House is the sixth largest cable operator in the United States, and serves approximately 2 million video customers in central Florida including Orlando and Tampa Bay, as well as Alabama, Indiana, Michigan...

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Daily Deals: 960GB SSD, MacBook Pro, Fujifilm camera bundle

Welcome to Daily Deals, the regular post where we scour the Internet for discounts, offers, and deals for our discerning MacNN and Electronista readers. Today, we recap the still-active deals from yesterday, and the new additions to the list this time includes a 960GB SSD for under $300, discounted Mac minis and MacBooks at Micro Center, and a Fujifilm FinePix bundle at Best Buy. ...

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ITC to investigate Apple over Ericsson LTE patent claims

The US International Trade Commission has announced a formal investigation into a complaint filed by Ericsson -- along with a handful of court cases -- following a lawsuit by Apple over what the iPhone maker says is a dispute about a fair rate for some standards-essential and LTE patents. The battle began earlier this year, when Apple complained to a court about "excessive" rates Ericsson wanted to charge for previou...

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WhatsApp brings voice calls to Android users now, iOS in coming weeks

WhatsApp is rolling out its voice calling function to all mobile users, starting with Android. Slowly introduced to users in early February, the latest update to WhatsApp in the Google Play app store is apparently enabled for the service, which lets users call other contacts instead of sending messages, though it appears users are still having to wait for their account to be enabled. ...

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Microsoft unveils Surface 3, exchanges Windows RT for full Windows 8.1

Microsoft has unexpectedly launched a new item in its Surface line. The Surface 3, originally expected to be launched alongside the Surface Pro 3 and previously believed to be scrapped by Microsoft altogether in favor of a smaller device, is a mix between the Surface 2 and Surface Pro 3, though in a notable change from the Windows RT-based range, it will instead run a full 64-bit version of Windows 8.1. ...

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Looking forward: MacNN, Electronista and new content

Hello -- my name is Mike. I've been the Managing Editor at MacNN and Electronista for a few months. MacNN has been a great resource for nearly two decades, but we haven't done much to stand out from the crowd since the days when Mac and Apple news on the web was hard to come by. Maybe you've already seen some things change around here, so read on a bit, and see what we have planned for our future....

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Briefly: BlackBerry Leap pre-orders begin, LG G4 'Save the Date'

Pre-orders for the mid-range BlackBerry Leap have commenced in the United States, the United Kingdom, and other countries. BlackBerry is selling the smartphone with a five-inch, 720p display unlocked directly from its website, priced at $275, though it warns the version it sells will not work with Verizon, Sprint, or US Cellular (i.e., America's CDMA-based carriers). Pre-orders in Canada will begin at a later date. ...

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Amazon performing secret drone testing in Canada close to US border

Amazon's attempts to test its drone-based Prime Air delivery service on a larger scale are being carried out in secret in Canada, according to a report. The retailer has apparently tested out the drones outdoors in British Columbia on a frequent basis, in order to sidestep the restrictive rules that apply to commercial drones in the United States, hampering development of the potential service....

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Monday, March 30

The MacNN Podcast, episode eight: Steve Jobs, Windows 10, more

We're now at episode eight of The MacNN Podcast, which this week welcomes our new Apple Gaming column, as well as reminding listeners about our weekly game news roundup. We also discuss the book Becoming Steve Jobs, and Tim Cook's latest honor from the business world. More confusion about Windows 10 pricing outside China has come to light, and tech companies are asking for changes in the Patriot Act....

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Tidal relaunches as artist-owned high-fidelity music streaming service

Music streaming service Tidal has relaunched as an artist-owned company. At a star-studded launch event streamed live, the musical artists owning part of the service gathered together for the announcement, with the overall message offered being Tidal's push to benefit musical artists more than its competitors, such as Spotify and its allegedly low royalty payments. ...

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Google adds unified inbox to Gmail for Android

Google is bringing the unified inbox to its Gmail app for Android, the search company has revealed. The latest version of the app allows users to view emails from multiple accounts on one single page, with the function not only working with multiple Gmail accounts, but also email addresses from other services, including Yahoo and Outlook.com. ...

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Daily Deals: Sony headphones, Canon printer, 30-inch Monoprice display

Welcome to Daily Deals, the weekday post when the staff of MacNN and Electronista take a moment to search retailers for offers, discounts, and other items for you, our beloved readers. Today, we wipe the slate clean of older deals, with the new deals including hefty discounts on Sony noise-cancelling headphones, a $65 Canon multifunction laser printer, and a sub-$400 30-inch display. ...

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Apple stores in US, Europe now accepting non-iPhone trade-ins

As reported previously, Apple has now expanded its "reuse and recycling" program in the US and Europe to include now taking selected models of non-iPhone smartphones as trade-in towards a new iPhone. The program is now operating throughout the US, Canada, the UK, France, and Italy, and may be operating in other countries as well. Only specific recent models are eligible, but customers can being the process either onl...

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HTC One E9+ leaks through manufacturer's website in China

HTC has leaked a phablet-sized variant of its plastic One E9+ via its Chinese website. While the One E8 was launched shortly after the One M8 flagship last year as a similar device with a cheaper casing for Asian markets, the One E9+ takes a different route, opting for a larger and higher-resolution display as well as a few other changes in specification from the One M9. ...

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Amazon launches Home Services marketplace for professional tasks

Amazon has launched a new service providing listings for professional services, something the retailer initially tested in November. Amazon Home Services offers the ability to search a list of pre-selected service providers in a number of different industries, such as appliance installation, plumbing, and other specialized household tasks, with the option to set an appointment with the provider to carry out the job a...

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Briefly: Nest UK daylight savings glitch, Chrome OS beta update

Owners of the Nest thermostat in the United Kingdom are complaining about a glitch where the device fails to respect this weekend's change to British Summer Time. Posts on the Nest support forums spotted by The Register note that the thermostat does recognize the change in time, but the schedule effectively does not take it into effect, with changes being performed one hour later than intended. While Nest works to fi...

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Sony launches Spotify-powered PlayStation Music in 41 countries

The replacement for Sony Music Unlimited is going live on the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 today, powered by Spotify. Launching in 41 countries, PlayStation Music provides gamers with access to streaming music, allowing users to play their choice of soundtrack as a background to whatever game they are playing on the Sony game consoles. ...

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