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About John Brownlee

John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his wife and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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New versions of Tweetbot for iPhone, iPad and Mac are on the way

Photo Mark Jardine

Tweetbot is ready for an upgrade. Photo: Mark Jardine

Many of us have been eagerly awaiting a new version of Tweetbot for iPad for quite a while now, as well as an updated version of Tweetbot for Mac. The wait seems like it’s drawing to a close though. Today, developer Tapbots shared some updates, giving us a roadmap for the next updates to both Tweetbots for Mac and Tweetbot for iOS.

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‘Brand X’ tablets are beating the iPad

Will the iPad rebound in 2015? Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Will the iPad rebound in 2015? Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

The iPad might be the king of tablets when it comes to quality, but it is no longer the king when it comes to sales.

A new report from research firm Strategy Analytics says that the iPad is now being outsold by so-called Brand X tablets: generic tablets sold under any brand name that isn’t Apple or Samsung.

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iTunes Match users: It might be time to switch to Google Play Music

It might be time to switch to Google Play Music. Photo: Cult of Mac

It might be time to switch to Google Play Music. Photo: Cult of Mac

It’s not often that Google incontrovertibly one-ups Apple on anything but search, but the company just scored a small but sizable advantage over Cupertino in at least one regard: music storage space.

Google expanded its Google Play Music service Wednesday to match, store and stream 50,000 tracks, twice what Apple allows iTunes Match paid users. Even better for listeners with large libraries? Google Play Music is free.

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Future Macs won’t run on silicon chips

Future Macs won't run on silicon chips. Photo: Intel

Future Macs won’t run on silicon chips. Photo: Intel

Intel’s Broadwell chips are late. The 14-nanometer wafers, which are believed to be integral to the much-rumored Retina MacBook Air, are due soon, but still not here.

But Intel’s already looking forward. At this week’s 2015 International Solid-State Circuits Conference, the chipmaker will announce a switch to a 10-nanometer process by early 2017 and to 7-nanometer chips shortly thereafter … a transition that means your Mac’s guts will soon no longer be made out of silicon, but another material entirely.

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iTunes and AOL end their love affair

All good things must come to an end. Photo: iTunes

All good things must come to an end. Photo: iTunes

Many of us have had AOL accounts throughout the years, but if you’re still using your AOL account to log into iTunes, you’re soon to be S-O-L: Apple has just announced that customers who use an AOL username to sign-in to iTunes will need to convert to an Apple ID before March 31st.

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Maybe the NSA hasn’t hacked your iPhone after all?

The NSA has just hacked 2 billion SIM cards around the globe, but Gemalto says it isn't that bad. Photo: Wikicommons

The NSA has just hacked 2 billion SIM cards around the globe, but Gemalto says it isn’t that bad. Photo: Wikicommons

Late last week, we reported on the newest leak from Edward Snowden, indicating that the NSA had hacked the SIM cards of pretty much every smartphone on Earth. iPhones included.

It looked bad. The hack allowed the NSA to tap into your phone without a court order. But today, the Dutch company responsible for 2 billion SIM cards released a statement, saying that as far as they can tell, fears of a massive NSA invasion are overblown.

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What if Apple made a lightsaber?

Photo: Martin Hajek

Photo: Martin Hajek

In his breathtaking profile of Jony Ive in the latest issue of The New Yorker, Ian Parker drops a bombshell. You know that crossguard lightsaber in J.J. Abrams’ new Star Wars movie? The gnarly, rough-around-the-edges one seen in the latest trailer? You can give Ive credit for inspiring it.

That got Martin Hajek thinking. The Dutch CGI modeler, who always loves rendering potential Ive designs, wondered what it would look like if Apple produced a lightsaber. Not something rough and spitty, but just as refined as any other Apple product. And so, the iSaber was born.

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The iPhone and Virgin Mobile break up

The iPhone is no longer available for sale from Virgin Mobile. Photo: Virgin Mobile


The iPhone is no longer available for sale from Virgin Mobile. Photo: Virgin Mobile

If you want to switch over to Virgin Mobile from your existing network for its low prices, you’ll have to go Windows Phone or Android: Sprint’s pre-paid subsidiary seems to have stopped selling the iPhone.

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Apple Maps Connect launches in France, Germany and Canada

Apple Maps Connect has officially launched in France, Canada, and Germany. Photo: Apple

Apple Maps Connect has officially launched in France, Canada, and Germany. Photo: Apple

After hints that a broader international rollout was imminent, Apple Maps Connect has officially come to Germany, France and Canada.

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Apple changes the way it collects garbage on the Mac App Store

Apple is changing the way the Mac App Store gathers trash. Photo: Claudio Beck (Flickr / CC)

Apple is changing the way the Mac App Store gathers trash. Photo: Claudio Beck/Flickr CC

Attention all Mac developers! You know how when your city changes its trash-collection policies it leads to months of confusion? That’s about to happen on the Mac

  • App Store If you want to continue selling apps there, you’ll have to switch how you collect your garbage.

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