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About John Brownlee

John Brownlee John 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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Secret hardware upgrades make the iPad Air 2 the fastest frickin’ tablet on the planet

Photo: Apple

Photo: Apple

The iPad Air 2 is starting to hit doorsteps for preorders today, and already, the benchmarks are blowing us away, with an early Geekmark score showing that the iPad Air 2 is the fastest, most powerful tablet out there. Period.

But that’s not the surprising thing about the iPad Air 2.

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Apple launches a portal for businesses to get better exposure in Apple Maps

Screenshot: Cult of Mac

Screenshot: Cult of Mac

If you’ve got a business that Apple Maps just keeps on getting wrong, great news. Apple has just launched a new portal for U.S. businesses to add or edit their listings within Apple Maps.

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How Siri became a 10-year-old autistic boy’s best friend

A boy and his best friend out to play. Photo: Louie Chin for the New York Times.

A boy and his best friend out to play. Photo: Louie Chin for the New York Times.

In Spike Jonze’s film Her, Joaquin Phoenix plays a man who falls in love with a Siri-like “digital assistant,” played by Scarlett Johansson. But falling in love with Siri doesn’t just happen in the movies. In The New York Times, there is a beautiful piece about a 10-year-old autistic boy named Gus whose best friend is Siri.

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This store will enlarge your pockets to fit your new iPhone 6

Is your iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus just too big for your skinny jeans? You’re not alone: a store in China is actually keeping a tailor on hand to enlarge pants for customers who can’t fit their new smartphones in their pockets.

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Rdio for iOS gets updated with iOS 8 and CarPlay support, along with better sound quality

The Rdio app just got better than ever. Photo: Rdio.

The Rdio app just got better than ever. Photo: Rdio.

If you’re an Rdio user, great news. The official iOS app has just been updated to optimize the music-streaming service for iOS 8. And it gets even better if you happen to have an automobile with CarPlay installed.

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Why Apple’s heading toward a ‘zombie iPad’ apocalypse

This is the source of the iPad's zombie problem. Photo: Apple

This is the source of the iPad’s zombie problem. Photo: Apple

Yesterday, Apple unveiled the iPad mini 3, a slightly updated version of the second-gen iPad mini with Retina display. But even though it’s two generations old at this point, Apple still sells the original iPad mini for $249. That makes it the cheapest iPad yet, albeit for good reason: It packs the same A5 chip and other silicon guts that the iPad 2 did way back in March 2011.

That might actually seem like a good deal for consumers, but it’s turning out to be a nightmare for developers who will likely have to support the iPad mini until 2017.

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The Mac App Store is broken, and developers are sick of it

The Mac App Store is broken. Photo: Apple

The Mac App Store is broken. Photo: Apple

First launched in January 2011, the Mac App Store promised to give developers the same sort of centralized marketplace to sell their apps that had made the iOS App Store such a success. Instead of making developers rich or giving them a better place to market their apps, though, an increasing number of developers are actually leaving the Mac App Store in what Milen Dzhumerov, one of the devopers behind Monodraw, has called a “subtle exodus.”

Why? It all has to do with Apple’s Mac App Store policies.

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What if Bendgate comes to the next iPad?

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Current rumor suggests that the next iPad Air will be even thinner than the last one.

And as we know from the release of the last iPhone, when something’s thinner… well, it’s likely to get bent.

So what will happen if Bendgate comes to the iPad? Our favorite concept designer Martin Hajek imagines the next iPad Air if it proves as pliable as the iPhone 6.

There are more images after the jump. What do you think?

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Apple TV + Philips? The first HDTV with built-in iTunes and AirPlay has been announced

Photo: Apple

Photo: Apple

Update: False alarm. As we suggested was a possibility, Philips was misunderstood by a reporter. They are actually just bundling Apple TV’s with new televisions, not building in the hardware.

We don’t know exactly what Apple plans on announcing next Thursday, but one thing’s for sure: It’s not just new iPads.

The tagline for the event — “It’s been far too long” — implies that we’re about to see a new version of a product that hasn’t been updated for a while.

One strong candidate is the Apple TV. But if a (possibly premature) announcement by consumer electronics company Philips is anything to go by, Apple might not just be giving the Apple TV a spec bump. Cupertino might announce instead that it will be integrating Apple TV hardware into third-party television sets!

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The latest iOS 8.1 beta hints the next iPad could come with a Super Retina display

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Before the iPhone 6 was officially announced, developers confirmed the higher resolution of the iPhone 6 by examining the beta for iOS 8, specifically in the way apps would prefer to load a 3x image over the 2x image on existing Retina Devices.

Now the iOS 8.1 beta is out, and developers are discovering that it will similarly call up 3x versions of many iPad UI assets, implying that the iPad could be seeing a resolution bump sometime soon.

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