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Apple Slashes Prices On Retina iPad Mini Refurbs

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Apple has begun selling refurbished models of the iPad mini with Retina display for about 15% off in its online store. Only WiFi models are being offered right now in 32GB and 64GB variants.

A 32GB Retina iPad mini refurb runs $419, which is $80 cheaper than retail price. Not many third-party retailers can match that kind of discount.

While the Apple Store is the last place to normally shop for discounts, it does have one thing going for it: refurbished products. When you buy a refurb from Apple, you’re buying hardware that Apple has replaced with even newer parts than stock items in most cases. Refurbs also come with a full, one-year warranty.

Dropbox Buys Photo Stream Alternative ‘Loom’ For Its New Carousel App

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Dropbox has been very busy lately. After announcing big updates to Mailbox and the all-new Carousel photo app, a new service is joining its repertoire. Loom, a popular photo and video storage service, announced today that it has been bought by Dropbox.

The news isn’t a complete surprise given the recent launch of Carousel. While it’s sad to see Loom go, the acquisition is very smart on Dropbox’s part.

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Facebook Adds ‘Nearby Friends’ To Let You Know Where The Party’s At

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Facebook announced this morning that it’s adding a new Nearby Friends feature to its mobile app for iOS and Android that lets you stay more connected than ever with your buddies by letting you stalk every step they take.

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Clone Strike: Flappy Bird Knockoff Kills It In Kuwait [Interview]

Why yes, those *are* Gunnar gaming glasses; why do you ask?

Why yes, those *are* Gunnar gaming glasses; why do you ask?

Eli Hodapp is the Editor in Chief of popular iOS gaming site, TouchArcade. He’s just released his vanity project, Hodappy Bird, a humorous take on the Flappy Bird phenomenon. The game plays just like its inspiration, with a bird that looks a lot like Hodapp and a Chicago skyline background (Eli lives in the city). Hodapp gave developer Paul Pridham $50 as a joke to build the game, and Pridham made it in the course of a weekend.

It’s all in good fun, of course, but also perhaps a commentary on the recent explosion of Flappy Bird into the market. We wanted to know more, so we contacted him.

Eli took a few moments to chat with Cult of Mac via email today about his project.

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With Hearthstone, The World Of Warcraft Comes To iPad… Kind Of

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If you’ve ever wanted to play Blizzard Entertainment’s wildly successful MMO World of Warcraft on your iPad, you just got your wish. Uh, kind of. After debuting on Mac and PC, Hearthstone: Heroes Of Warcraft has now been released on App Stores worldwide. But it’s actually a lot more like Magic: The Gathering than the MMO you’d expect.

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What Apps Will Look Like On The 4.7-Inch iPhone 6

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In the past, when Apple has grown the screen of an iOS device — for example, with the transition from the iPhone 4s to the iPhone 5 — Apple has taken pains to keep the pixel density the same. The Retina Display on the iPhone 5 is 326 pixels per inch, just like the iPhone 4s. This makes it easier for developers and helps prevent the widespread fragmentation seen in the Android operating system.

With many rumors pegging the forthcoming iPhone 6 as having a much bigger 4.7-inch display, a practical issue presents itself: what would that mean for resolution and pixel-density? If Apple increases the display size, will they increase the resolution to compete with the likes of HTC and Samsung’s 1080p Android smartphones? And if so, what does that mean for app developers?

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PDFpen Scan+ Does Searchable PDFs Better Than Ever

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Gone are the days when simply taking a photo of a document was enough. Today, if you care enough to scan or photograph a piece of text, chances are you’re also going to want to edit it.

This is where a tool like Smile’s popular PDFpen Scan+ app comes in — which has just been updated for iOS 7.

PDDpen Scan+ differs from rival apps like Scanbot by performing optical character recognition (OCR) to create creating fully-searchable PDFs. The app’s latest update — Version 1.3 — adds an enhanced user interface, new paper sizes for scanned documents, the ability to preview OCR text as page overlays, and many more new features.

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Why Angela Ahrendts Is Stalling Apple: Money

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Apple’s incoming SVP of Retail, Angela Ahrendts, is one of Cupertino’s most widely anticipated hires in ages. The CEO of popular fashion chain Burberry, Ahrendts is so well-suited to lead Apple’s retail ambitions, and such a powerhouse executive in her own right, that many have wondered if Tim Cook is planning to have her replace him as CEO when he retires.

But when is Ahrendts going to join Apple officially? She was originally expected this month, but it’s now looking like she might push her start until June.

Why? Why else. Money.

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How Google Swiped Apple’s Hot New PrimeSense 3-D Tech For Project Tango

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In November 2013, Apple acquired PrimeSense, a 3-D technology sensing company that could hint at the ability for future iPhones, iPads and Macs to have a Kinect-like ability to sense where users are and react to their movements.

Given the acquisition, you’d think Apple would be the first company to use one of PrimeSense’s hot 3-D imaging systems-on-a-chip, maybe in the iPhone 6, but no. Google has beaten Apple to the punch, using PrimeSense’s Capri PS1200 3-D imaging SoC in the experimental Project Tango device, the world’s first motion-sensing smartphone.

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iOS 8 Will Let Users Ask Siri, ‘What Song Is Playing?’ [Rumor]

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Want to ask Siri what song is playing and get a definitive answer? In iOS 8 you might be able to, according to a new report.

Apple will reportedly partner with Shazam for a song-recognition feature in the next version of its mobile operating system. For those who don’t know, Shazam has been operating its own song-identification app (a personal favorite of mine) for years.

The app pulls in data from an iPhone or iPad’s microphone, sends it to the cloud for processing, and then returns results to users — allowing you to track down those hard-to-find tracks, without having to spend ages googling lyric fragments.

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