About Ben Reid





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ben [dot] reid [at] redmondpie [dot] com

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Ben has blogged 5119 post(s).

Posts by Ben Reid:

We’re back once again with another handful of great apps and games to grace your iPhone, iPad and iPod touch devices. There are five in all, worth a grand total of twelve bucks, so be sure to check them out after the leap!

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When we purchase our beloved mobile gadgets from the various stores that retail them, we almost forget the amount of work and the numerous processes that go into producing a freshly boxed, factory sealed device. With Apple having already taken some 4 million iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus pre-orders, the shipments are arriving by the plane load, and below, we have a rare, first-hand look at the process of hauling them over by air.

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The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus offer a myriad of exciting new features, but while the 8-megapixel rear-facing camera has been improved, it still doesn’t boast the kind of functionality laid on by rivaling handsets. The Samsung Galaxy S5, for example, shoots video in 4K, something that you cannot do on an iPhone. However, thanks to a new third-party app, you can do so even on the iPhone 5s, although the only catch is, said app costs a cool $1,000. Yes, you read that correctly. One. Thousand. Dollars.

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By and large, jailbreaking is a relatively safe affair to perform, and as long as you abide by the precautionary steps that must be taken when opening areas of the ecosystem ordinarily shut off by Apple, you’re generally safe. However, given that third parties can access root files, things can sometimes go horribly wrong, and with the jailbreak scene having been afflicted by two widespread incidents in the past five months, another piece of malicious software is said to be capable of stealing your Apple ID and password to buy apps without your consent.

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Apple’s close relationship with U2 has been long-standing and, from an outsider’s point of view, pretty harmless. Indeed, the fact that the Irish band’s latest album Songs of Innocence was to be released for free as an iTunes exclusive was clearly a win for the consumer. The move, which was announced after Apple’s iPhone 6 event last week, presumably meant that U2 fans could get their fill for free – excellent – while non-U2 fans could just skip the release. Much to the surprise of just about everyone outside Apple, though, the album was pushed out to just about everyone with an iOS device, much to the bemusement of those who don’t happen to like U2.

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With over four million pre-orders and counting, the launch of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus is going to be huge, but while only a handful of countries will see the new devices this coming Friday, September 19th, Apple has just announced that a host of other nations will be joining the party next week. On September 26th, 22 further locations will see the all-new Apple smartphones, and if you’re wondering whether yours has been included, check out the full run-down after the break!

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As well as its usual, dev-only Developer Previews of OS X Yosemite 10.10, Apple has also released a couple of betas, which public users with Apple IDs can install and check out on their Macs. Today, the third OS X Yosemite beta has been rolled out, and as well as details on how and where to download it from, we’ve also got the low-down on all the changes made in this latest release after the break.

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UK mobile retailer Phones 4u has entered administration, and while this is a disaster for all associated with the company as a whole, it’s also a bit of a headache for those who happened to place an iPhone 6 / iPhone 6 Plus pre-order with them.

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Given that both the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are larger, of higher resolution and offer better keyboard functionality than any previous Apple handset, it stands to reason that productivity will also improve. Folks considering the iWork suite, for example, to be a non-starter on the stuffy iPhone 5s canvas will be able to get their fill one of the newer models, and as per an Apple training document, both the 64GB and 128GB models of each new iPhone will get iWork and iLife apps installed as standard.

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As tech consumers, we’ve something of an affinity to voice assistants, particularly new ones. The massive fuss made when Apple dropped Siri a couple of years ago was equaled by the fanfare surrounding Windows Phone 8.1′s Cortana, and while Microsoft’s effort is naturally a more refined, well-rounded and personable feature than Siri was at launch, Cortana remains a work in progress. In fact, right now, Microsoft is attempting to spread Cortana beyond the confines of Windows Phone and onto the other major segments of its ecosystem, and a new Windows 9 screenshot offers a sneak peek of how it may eventually take shape on the desktop and tablet.

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Mojang, the company behind the ever-popular Minecraft, has just been snapped up by Microsoft for $2.5 billion. The deal, which was heavily rumored throughout last week, sees Mojang as the ideal purchase as it attempts to build and increase its gaming portfolio, and given that the software giant has nothing it its repertoire remotely close to Minecraft, the purchase does make a great deal of sense.

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Apple finally came through with its inaugural smartwatch effort earlier this week, and although we were impressed by the traditional charm of devices like the Moto 360 and LG G Watch R, it’s fair to say that the reaction to Apple’s new line up has been positive. As fans and commentators queue up to heap praise on Apple Watch, one expert has delivered an opinion from a more authoritative angle. As much as we enjoy considering the thoughts of those with great knowledge of Apple et al, the new Watch series has seen the Cupertino giant thrust into a market dominated by Rolex, Casio and a host of others, and one source familiar with the traditional watch market has just posted his thoughts on Apple Watch.

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For better or for worse, Netflix presents you with a list of TV shows and movies that you’ve watched in your Activity list. This is all well and good, but given that there’s no way of removing what you have watched from the list, it does throw up privacy issues to those on shared accounts. Still, if there are certain TV shows or films that you’d like to remove from your Activity list for whatever reason, now you can with ease.

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Apple’s iPhone 6 was finally announced on Tuesday, and given that the new lineup offers a new design, larger displays and a myriad of other features including NFC, it’s not surprising that pre-orders are aplenty. In the case of the iPhone 6 Plus, the more sizeable of the two new models, pre-order supplies have already been exhausted in the United States, but if you’re looking to avail the hottest property in tech on launch day, there’s always eBay. Even though we’re still one week from launch, the device is already being listed, and as you might expect, prices are sky high.

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Apple took the wraps off a number of great software features at this year’s Worldwide Developers Conference, and among them, Continuity seeks to allow users to work between devices with as few seams as possible. Incorporating OS X Yosemite as well as iOS 8, Continuity has promised to strengthen ties between Apple’s two major platforms, and SMS Continuity, which allows SMS and MMS messages to be managed through the Messages app on iPad and Mac, is one of the most useful of them all. Unfortunately, though, this feature will not roll out until next month, meaning that while iOS 8 is just days away, SMS Continuity won’t make the initial cut.

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With iOS 8 now well on the way – it’s set for release in just five days’ time – now’s a golden chance to stock up on apps and games ready for the new software. Alongside iOS 8, Apple will also be rolling out two new iPhones, and given the high pricing, here’s a welcome opportunity to penny pinch on apps worth a total of $17.

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Rockstar Games’ Grand Theft Auto 5 well and truly blew every previous video game release out of the water with its record-smashing release in late 2013. Having been pushed back from spring until September, the publisher teased some slick visuals at every opportunity throughout last year, and when it dropped, hordes of gamers went out to pick it up. Shortly after, though, both the PS4 and Xbox One hit the scene, with Rockstar promising that an updated and enhanced version would arrive for the two major consoles as well as PC, and now, we have firm dates for each. Details, as ever, can be seen below.

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It was suggested that the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus would be delayed in the run-up to Apple’s announcement earlier this week, with sources suggesting that manufacturing issues would push the handset back until October. As we learned at the keynote address, though, this isn’t the case, but while we suspected that the larger handset would be in short supply, shipping patterns following yesterday’s pre-orders have confirmed this to the the case. Anybody trying to pre-order an iPhone 6 Plus in the US is met with an availability estimate of 3-4 weeks, and so if you haven’t yet taken action, you’re going to have to queue if you wish to buy the iPhone 6 Plus before October.

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It’s a tad early in the life cycle of the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One for the yearning for new color configurations to begin. But with Microsoft having already confirmed that a white edition of its newest console courtesy of the Sunset Overdrive bundle, it’s likely that we’ll begin to see all manner of different variants as both Sony and Microsoft look to broaden appeal. If you happen to live in Dubai, however, you can already pick up both the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in shiny gold, and given that real rose gold is used in the modification process as opposed to gold plating, it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that it costs a bomb.

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Having been announced earlier on this week at the special keynote address in Cupertino, the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are now available to pre-order. Given that demand is surely likely to outweigh supply, you’ll need to act quickly if you want to secure yourself a handset, and below, we’ve got all of the details.

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