Apple Business Essentials gives companies tools to manage employee devices

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The new Apple Business Essentials service brings device management, support and storage into one subscription for small businesses.
The new Apple Business Essentials service brings device management, support and storage into one subscription for small businesses.
Photo: Apple

Apple launched a new service aimed at small businesses Wednesday. Now in beta, Apple Business Essentials bundles device management, Apple support and iCloud storage into flexible subscription plans for companies with up to 500 employees.

Cupertino also unveiled an app for the service that enables employees to install apps for work and request support.

Apple’s entrance into comprehensive small business tech services by subscription could spell trouble for companies already in the space, such as Jamf and Hexnode.

Win one year of unlimited cloud backup from Backblaze [Cult of Mac giveaway]

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Backblaze Cloud Backup
Get unlimited Mac cloud backup from Backblaze.
Image: Backblaze

This week, Cult of Mac is giving five lucky winners one year of cloud backups from Backblaze. Your data is invaluable, and Backblaze is one of the most trusted providers of online backups for Mac. Run by ex-Apple employees, Backblaze has been around for 14 years and is reliable, easy to use and highly rated.

If you want peace of mind knowing all of your Mac files are safely backed up in the cloud, make sure to enter this week’s giveaway.

Kingston rolls out ‘record-breaking’ USB-C 3.2 flash drive

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The high-speed Kingston DataTraveler flash drive comes in sizes up to 1TB.
The high-speed Kingston DataTraveler flash drive comes in sizes up to 1TB.
Photo: Kingston

Kingston Digital, the flash memory affiliate of Kingston Technology, is rolling out its new DataTraveler Max. The company said the USB-C 3.2 flash drive “delivers record-breaking speeds up to 1,000MB/s read and 900MB/s write to make it one of the fastest USB drives on the market and the first of its kind.”

Guard your data with a PIN-enabled solid state drive [Deals]

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diskAshur2 SSD 256-bit Encrypted Solid-State Drive
This award-winning SSD gives you 128GB of storage, with PIN authentication, advanced encryption and super-fast read/write speeds.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

There is some data that can’t be kept safe enough. Personal finances, professional project files, digital family pictures — and that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to sensitive files.

How best to stash all that safely? Cloud storage is easy, but it’s not exactly 100% reliable. SSDs are great, but if they fall into the wrong hands, your data is as good as gone. However, this SSD packs PIN protection so only you can access your data.

Patent troll’s $533 million win against Apple gets reversed

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Apple adds 5 new vice presidents to its executive lineup
Apple's legal problems just got a big lighter.
Photo: Lyle Kahney/Cult of Mac

Apple’s long-standing legal battle with patent troll Smartflash is finally nearing an end.

A previous jury verdict from 2015 that required Apple to pay $533 million to Smartflash was thrown out by a federal appeals court today. The lawsuit between the two companies has been ongoing since 2013, after Smartflash accused Apple’s iTunes software of infringing on its data storage patents.

Getting Evicted From MobileMe? Here Are The Best Alternatives [Feature]

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MobileMepic
MobileMe will be gone in less than a month. Here are the best MobileMe replacement options.
Photo: Apple

On Sunday, MobileMe will be dead, and anyone who is still using MobileMe and not Apple’s replacement service, iCloud, will be forcibly evicted. That means anyone still using MobileMe either needs to transition to iCloud and/or copy all data stored in their MobileMe accounts to their Mac or PC. Any files stored in MobileMe’s range of services that can’t be converted to iCloud will be deleted. If you opt not to use iCloud, all data in your MobileMe account will be deleted.

Although iCloud offers several advances over MobileMe, there are some MobileMe services that don’t have direct iCloud equivalents. These include MobileMe Galleries for sharing photos and videos, website creation using Apple’s iWeb, and iDisk remote storage and file sharing. File and information sync is available using iCloud, but the functionality is implemented a bit differently than in MobileMe. In addition, users still using Snow Leopard also can’t upgrade to iCloud.

It’s a tricky problem for thousands of users. There isn’t a single online service that delivers quite the same mix of features and functionality that Apple offered with MobileMe, but by combining some apps and services, you can get pretty close to MobileMe’s feature set. We’ve gone through all of the main competitors to try to find the best services for the soon-to-be dispossessed MobileMe subscriber.

Seagate Buys Data Storage Company LaCie For $186 Million

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LaCie's 2big drives let you transfer files over a Thunderbolt connection.
LaCie's 2big drives let you transfer files over a Thunderbolt connection.

Seagate has bought French high-quality digital storage company LaCie for a reported $186 million. LaCie CEO Philippe Spruch will become head of Seagate’s consumer storage products division. LaCie makes Mac-friendly peripherals, and Seagate has been a long-time titan in the data storage business.