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About Alex Heath

Alex Heath Alex Heath has been a staff writer at Cult of Mac for over two years. He is also a co-host of the CultCast. He has been quoted by places like the BBC, KRON 4 News, and books like "ICONIC: A Photographic Tribute to Apple Innovation." If you want to get in touch, additional contact information is available on his personal site. Twitter always works too.

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Apple To Breathe Life Into Drying Music Downloads With iTunes Store Redesign

iTunes Store on iPhone

photo: Jim Merithew, Cult of Mac

When iTunes Radio was introduced, it was clear that Apple hadn’t made the true Spotify competitor everyone had hoped for. Instead, it was designed to get people to buy more music from the iTunes Store—hence the buy button at the top right of every song.

Sadly, iTunes Radio hasn’t helped drive music downloads for Apple, so the company is considering a “dramatic overhaul” of the iTunes Store.

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Jony’s Way Or The Highway: Key Software Exec Greg Christie Leaving Apple

Jony Ive

A key executive within Apple is reportedly leaving the company due to a fallout with design chief Jony Ive. The result is that Ive will directly control even more of how Apple designs its software.

Greg Christie has been getting a lot of attention lately in the Apple vs. Samsung patent trial for his role as an engineer for the original iPhone. And that’s not all he’s known for; the guy has also patented nearly a hundred ideas for Apple, including the iconic “Slide to unlock” patent Apple is using as evidence in the ongoing case with Samsung.

Christie has been heading up Apple’s software design under Craig Federighi. But according to a new report, Ive is basically pushing Christie out because the two haven’t been getting along.

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Dropbox’s New Carousel App Wants To Be A Better Photo Stream

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(photo: Alex Heath, Cult of Mac)

Alongside Mailbox for Mac and Android, Dropbox announced an entirely new app today at an event in San Francisco. It’s called Carousel, and it’s coming to the App Store and Google Play later today. Think of it like a Photo Stream replacement that might actually work.

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Dropbox Announces Mailbox For Mac To Fix Your Inbox Woes

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At an event today in San Francisco, Dropbox made several announcements about Mailbox, the popular email app for iOS that it bought a little over a year ago. Things have been busy around Dropbox since then, because Mailbox is coming to not one, but two new platforms.

Mailbox for Mac was unveiled today alongside an Android app, the latter of which is out now in Google Play. But that’s not what we’re really interested in. What’s important is that Mac users can now sign up to get access to the private beta of Mailbox on the desktop. There are some new Mailbox features that should also get you excited.

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5 Things To Know About The Making And Future Of Office For iPad

All of the iPads Microsoft uses to test Office.

All of the iPads Microsoft uses to test Office.

Office for iPad hasn’t been in the App Store for very long, and it has already done surprisingly well. Microsoft recently bragged that Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and OneNote have been downloaded 12 million times combined in a week.

Microsoft won’t say how many Office 365 subscriptions have been bought through its new apps. Anyone can download them for free to view documents, but the editing features have to be unlocked with an in-app purchase.

The team behind Office for iPad took to Reddit today to answer questions about how the suite of apps was made, what took so long, and what’s planned for the future. Here are the five most interesting revelations:

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Comcast Reassures Us About The Obvious: A New Apple TV Is Coming

ACCAppleTV

You may have heard that Comcast wants to buy Time Warner. In a proposal published today that pitches the merger to the FCC, Comcast drops a hint about Apple’s future plans for the TV.

Although by no means a definite indication beyond the previous rumors that something new is coming, Comcast says that Apple is working on a set-top box. Given that Apple and Comcast have been in talks, the cable giant would be in a position to know.

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This Handy Web Tool Is A Much Faster Way To Search The App Store

Screen Shot 2014-04-04 at 4.22.03 PM

Let’s be honest, searching in the iTunes Store sucks, especially on the desktop. It’s often slow, and the results are difficult to navigate. Apple has tried to simplify things by displaying one result at a time in the App Store on iOS, but that approach also means that it can take longer to find the specific app you want in a sea of knockoffs.

A new web tool called “fnd” makes it easier to quickly search and navigate not just the App Store, but the iTunes Store in general.

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Nest Halts Sales of ‘Protect’ Smoke Alarm Over Safety Concerns

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Like Nests’s futuristic thermostat, its iPhone-controlled smoke/carbon monoxide detector looked like the perfect replacement for the antiquated systems used in most homes today. It turns out that the Nest Protect was a little too good to be true.

Since the device went on sale in November of last year, Nest has discovered that one of the Protect’s hallmark features can malfunction. And that happens to create big safety concerns. Until the issue is resolved, Nest Protect sales have halted.

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Download Gold: Office for iPad Strikes it Rich

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For those who thought Office for iPad was too late to the party, the numbers tell a different story. Today Microsoft announced that Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and OneNote combined have been downloaded a staggering 12 million times in one week.

If you doubt that number, then just take a look at the App Store charts.

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Vine’s Own Take On Instagram Direct Is Here

messages

Vine has added video messaging. After today’s update, video messages (or VMs) can be sent to friends on Vine or through SMS and email.

A six-second message can be sent to more than one person, but not as cleanly as Instagram Direct works. A new conversation thread will be opened for each person you send to, meaning you have to send the same video multiple times.

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