AT&T announces March 20 ship date for LTE-enabled Modio iPad mini case

AT&T announces March 20 ship date for LTE-enabled Modio iPad mini case

So, you bought a Wi-Fi-only iPad mini, but you really regret not being able to surf the web, send pictures or emails, or make FaceTime calls when you're away from home. Never fear, on March 20 you'll be able to buy an AT&T Modio LTE case complete with a built-in hotspot that works with any generation of the iPad mini.

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Piper Jaffray's Gene Munster on Apple Watch pricing, sales

Piper Jaffray's Gene Munster on Apple Watch pricing, sales

When it comes to Apple High-Definition Smart TVs, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster has been consistently wrong. As a result of his cracked crystal ball, Munster has become a bit of an in-joke among Apple bloggers, although his financial analysis of Apple is often quite accurate. Today StreetInsider.com featured Munster's look at the pricing, gross margins, and sales of the various models of the Apple Watch, and his predictions bear repeating.

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AWT News Update: March 3, 2015

AWT News Update: March 3, 2015

On today's AWT News Update podcast: 

  • A new Swedish "hypercar" will support Apple's CarPlay, if you have $1.89 million to buy one of the vehicles
  • Dr. Buzz Aldrin may have walked on the moon and taken a sub to the resting place of the Titanic, but he can't get a new app through the App Store approval process
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SXSW 2015 to use iBeacons for meetups, location-based alerts

Last year at the Austin, TX-based SXSW festival, iBeacons -- those Bluetooth LE (Low Energy) beacons that broadcast their location and information -- made a very limited debut. For this year's festival, the organizers are going all-out with iBeacons and will install more than a thousand Gimbal-built beacons around the festival venues.

The official SXSW Go app for the 2015 festival has several fun features built in to take advantage of iBeacons. There's a new "Around Me" feature that will allow attendees to introduce themselves to each other with a short message. Fortunately for those introverts attending the festival, the Around Me feature is opt-in only.

Attendees will also receive messages based on their location, including alerts about who has arrived at the venue recently.

Apple uses iBeacons at Apple Stores to alert users of the Apple Store app to what's going on, provide product reviews, and pick up online orders. iBeacons require that a user have Bluetooth enabled on his or her iPhone and be running apps that react to iBeacon transmissions.

Music Launcher is a handy if limited addition to Notification Center

Music Launcher is a handy if limited addition to Notification Center

Music Launcher from Cromulent Labs is pretty clever. It combines music, a launcher app and iOS 8's Today Widgets to let you launch your favorite music, podcasts and audiobooks right from the iOS Notification Center. It's terribly convenient, and easy to set up. I spent some time playing with it, and despite a few caveats, I enjoyed using Music Launcher. Here's my look at this handy app.

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Federico Viticci on how the iPhone helped him get back to health after cancer

Federico Viticci on how the iPhone helped him get back to health after cancer

Most, if not all of us in the Apple blogging world have a huge amount of admiration for Federico Viticci, the young Italian man behind MacStories.net. Viticci was diagnosed in the latter part of 2011 with Stage IV Hodgkin Lymphoma and underwent both chemotherapy and radiation treatment to beat the disease. Today, in one of his trademark long posts, Viticci talks about the physical toll that those treatments took on his body and how he's using a variety of iPhone apps to establish a healthy lifestyle.

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IBM creates automated test to check accessibility features of mobile apps

IBM creates automated test to check accessibility features of mobile apps

Apple's track record on accessibility is already pretty good -- see Alex Jurgensen's weekly "Accessible Apple" column for proof of that -- but developers often overlook the needs of people with disabilities when creating mobile apps. Now IBM researchers have developed a tool for iOS and Android apps that can help those who are vision or hearing impaired. 

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Pebble unveils $299 Steel Time smartwatch, details smartstrap accessories

Pebble unveils $299 Steel Time smartwatch, details smartstrap accessories

Pebble today introduced the Pebble Time Steel, a steel version of its recently announced Pebble Time smartwatch. The new Steel edition has a CNC-finished 316L stainless steel case with Gunmetal Black, Silver Stainless and Gold finishes. It will ship with band options of leather or stainless steel. The device also includes a larger battery that provides an advertised ten days of battery life. The Pebble Steel Time is available to pre-order via Pebble’s Kickstarter page for $249, a $50 discount off the suggest retail price of $299. Customers who ordered the Pebble Time can upgrade to the Steel edition and still keep their place in line, though the Steel version won’t ship until July.

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AWT News Update: March 2, 2015

AWT News Update: March 2, 2015

Image of iFon from iVoice via CultOfMac

On the AWT News Update podcast today: 

  • A small company in India has filed a lawsuit against Apple, opposing the use of the trademark iPhone in the country
  • Apple released the first public beta of OS X Yosemite 10.10.3, which includes the new Photos app
  • Three more enterprise apps arrive from the Apple/IBM partnership
  • The New York Times reports that the Apple Watch will have a "power reserve mode" when the battery is getting low that essentially turns the device into ... a watch.
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